Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back in Western PA

The Spotted Pair and I managed to drag ourselves out of bed at 4am yesterday in order to fly back to Pittsburgh. Or I dragged myself out of bed but I'm not sure what they did as they were already awake by then and wondering what dire event was in store.
While I was unhappy when our second flight of the day was delayed, all seemed better once we got to the apartment. The weather was pleasant--neither boiling hot nor like the recent Bay Area weather that caused some people to put on fuzzy gloves or even wool turtlenecks topped with sweatshirts. Actually, it was pretty much ideal summer evening weather, so I went out for a walk. My neighborhood looked positively enchanting in the gloaming, and I saw fireflies!
I can't say I have ever given thought to whether I have a favorite insect, but the thought occurred to me that perhaps the firefly ought to be in the running. Butterflies are often gorgeous, but I'm not sure they can be said to have the magical charm of the common lightning bug.
My stay in California was, in retrospect, an odd mix of things. I got a lot done on certain projects, although not as much as I would have liked. I saw more friends than I expected, given that I had less free time than usual--while both John and Cesar spent significant parts of my visit away on separate European adventures, I did get to see them, my writing group, and several old friends from the NWU. At the end, several parts of my life even combined in an unexpected manner when Cesar took me to the poet Alice Rogoff's birthday party. They're in the same writing group and I know Alice slightly from the NWU (she was becoming active just as I was getting ready to go off to school), but it turned out that a significant number of the guests are close friends of an old friend of mine. I thought I had known Sullivan a respectable length of time, but they've known him since about 1969. Anyhow, it was nice to have a few opportunities to escape my various projects and even my father's medical adventures.
Meanwhile, my birthday draws closer and tomorrow my father is scheduled to get out of rehab, so some celebration ought to be in order.
But I regret to say that I have been asked to do a second rewrite of a journal article written last summer. This is better than having it rejected, but one of the anonymous reviewers seems to want me to shoehorn most of my dissertation into a 10,000-word article, in addition to adding some things that I would have to research separately. I am not sure what to do about this, so I think I should return to putting the final touches on my fall syllabi and presentations, since after all I do commence teaching in a week and a half.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Chilly San Francisco...I have admit that it was a shocking, having been completely sold on the idea that California is both sunny and warm. In the end I just caved and bought some jeans, a warm shirt, and drank a lot of coffee. The other killer element was the wind, which was worst at the tops of hills, understandably.

By the end of the week things had warmed up considerably. We got the best of both worlds, I guess.

Re: 'Yummy Mommies' is a whole lifestyle (apparently), which involves pushing expensive baby carriages (usually of the jogging variety), clutching Starbucks steamed beverages, and talking on cellphones. It doesn't hurt to have a pony-tail and an ass clad in Lululemon. The other option is to be driving an SUV while plowing through crosswalks (while talking on one' cellphone). My neighborhood is ground zero for such things.

Hence my general dissatisfaction with where I live....

I am happy that you are home with the buns!


August 14, 2008 5:11 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

I should have warned you about the weather. It's always cold in SF in the summer, just not quite as cold as this year has mostly been.

As for the lifestyle of expensively accoutred motherhood, it's giving me a pain. I've been saying Pittsburgh must be having a baby boom, and next thing I knew, I heard that something like more babies were born in the US this year than ever before. (I'm not sure it was quite that, but something along those lines.) Individual babies are one thing, but why the collective race to cover the planet with them? And why can't they and their mothers wear mostly hand-me-downs since it's not like anyone wears these clothes out by themselves... Well, the babies mainly since I sympathize with the mothers' desire not to look frumpy for 9 months straight.

August 14, 2008 5:51 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

Yummie mummies apparently don't exist here - you should see the giant old carriages people push. Our babysitters tried to sell me on one (for tradition's sake? because they liked the enormous wheels?) but since none of us could carry it down the stairs it had to go back to the bazaar - a good thing too since it took up half the apartment! So now James gets carried around in a sling, wearing his nearly new second hand clothing. He doesn't seem to mind.

August 14, 2008 8:09 AM  
Blogger jeery said...

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August 17, 2008 4:01 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

Thanks for the note!

August 17, 2008 4:09 PM  

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