22 February 2011

NOW We Get Snow...

So the Snowcalypse hit the Midwest and the East Coast a couple of weeks ago, and we were supposed to get it too, and since we're in the middle of them it would Only Make Sense if we did, but no, not so much, actually no snow at all. Because it went north.

And yesterday we were supposed to get a couple of inches of snow in the evening. About 3:00 I looked out the window and saw that what we were having (after hours of rain) was thick snowfall, and I thought, well, maybe it'll all be over soon, but no, not so much, actually it went on for hours. Because this time, too, it went north. Only we were in the north part.

So, there was chaos, as usual, and all the schools shut down this morning, as usual, and the traffic was hell on wheels (literally), as usual, because it is Pittsburgh in Winter and we are ALWAYS surprised. Life is entertaining that way.

Laura dug my car out, but I got activity points, too, cause I chipped the ice off. And I'm at work. Where the department office is in chaos cause the roof leaked (again), this time onto the copy machine.

So. I am in my private office, and I've printed out all copies of the Midterm Review Handout on my own little printer here, and I'm staying away from that end of College Hall.

It's so pretty out there! Sunny and bright and crisp and just darling. But Pittsburgh's just not that great at dealing with snow.

17 February 2011

How The English Department did Deal With the Starbucks, Redux

No time for an actual blog post, too bad, so I give you yet another saved post from the now defunct and sorely missed Creating Text(iles) -- many of you, oh ancient and faithful readers, have seen this already. You may go about your business, see you later.

For the rest of you, Malory tells the story of the time the first Starbuck's got put into the campus:

It befell in the days of George W. Bush, when he was president of all America, and so reigned, that there did come unto the noble knights and ladies of the English Department in the land of Duquesne, which was a noble and fair university, wherein did reside the holy fathers of the Holy Ghost, who did keep that university which hight Duquesne in fair and noble condition, a messenger, who rode unto the faculty lounge on the 6th floor of College Hall, which was a fair and noble room, with some sofas and a little refrigerator, wherein the noble knights and ladies of the History Department did keep their lunchtime sandwiches, and the messenger was sore afflicted, having walked up the six flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator, and the messenger did say, "Who here can help me? For I have heard that this is the place wherein I may find the English Department, which, like most other English departments in the great land of America, is known far and wide for that it does speak forth often of social justice, and even harbors Marxists and Feminists, and will do battle with those who oppress the weak."

And the noble knights and ladies of the English Department did rouse themselves from their lunchtime sandwiches, which they kept not in the little refrigerator in the faculty lounge, but did keep in the big refrigerator which was harbored in the mews wherein did reside the teaching assistants, who were the fair and noble squires unto the English Department, and did many noble deeds throughout the land of the university which hight Duquesne, which deeds shall be recounted elsewhere, and the noble knights and ladies did say unto the messenger, "Hey! what's going on?"

And the messenger did say, "You are not going to believe this, but there are wicked plans to dismantle the fair and noble deli next door in the Student Union, wherein you do buy your lunchtime sandwiches, and to put in its place the evil Starbucks, which has in its time vanquished many a fair and noble deli and/or small coffee shop, and eaten up its profits, in its evil quest to rule the world."

And the knights and ladies of the English Department did say, "Forsooth! and Damn! This is a pain in the butt! and also it is against the cause of social justice, to which, as denizens of the land of the university which hight Duquesne, we are sworn! and also, where the hell will we buy our lunchtime sandwiches, for the Subway is too far to walk in between classes?"

And they were wroth.

And they did wage battle with words, for which they were known far and wide as fearsome opponents, and undefeated in battle, at least most of the time, except when they went up against the theologians.

And they did remark at length amongst themselves on the evil nature of the Starbucks, calling it imperialist lackey of the capitalist running dogs and other such curses such as they remembered from their youth, when they did perform many works of social justice and political activism, being at that time stronger in body and also possessing no mortgages.

And this did continue for some time.And finally the Starbucks did open, and there came unto the noble knights and ladies of the English Department, where they did sit in the faculty lounge eating their lunchtime sandwiches, which they had brought from home, as the Subway was too far to walk to in between classes, a messenger, who did say, "Lo! I have seen the Holy Grail!"

And the noble knights and ladies of the English Department were quite interested, and did prick up their ears.

"No kidding!" the messenger did say. "The Starbucks kicks butt! Try the non-fat latte! I get the tall, cause it keeps me wired all through the Poetry Class, but they've got one even bigger!"

And the noble knights and ladies of the English Department did troop over to the Starbucks in a large group, and they saw that therein did reside the Holy Grail, ans it had been reported unto them, and that it was possible to buy a new one every day, though indeed, the cost did add up.

And they did cause their writers' group to meet there.

And they did hold their Poetry Readings there.

And the squires did meet with their apprentices there, for they saw that the Holy Grail did help them to stay on track through lengthy discussions with the apprentices wherein they did try to find the thesis statements that the apprentices had neglected to invent.

And there was much rejoicing.

And there was no more talk of social justice, as far as the Starbucks was concerned, though indeed the Faculty Senate did point out the need for a deli closer to College Hall than the Subway, wherein the knights and ladies of the university which hight Duquesne could puchase lunchtime sandwiches which were tastier than those they brought from home, and maybe could even be accompanied by those excellent potato chips which the knights and ladies of the university which hight Duquesne did sore miss.

And so the noble knights and ladies of the English Department did cease to speak evil against the Starbucks, for they had seen the Holy Grail, and they did turn their attention elsewhere, in search of their next evil and wicked opponent, who should be Sore Afraid.

14 February 2011

"The Arrival" -- Andy Shulman

I'm listening to the new CD I got from Andy Shulman -- called "The Arrival," it's the first I've heard of his music since I lived in Berkeley in the 70's, where I was a loyal fan of "Deakin," the band he fronted with Kate Moran.

And what a lovely gift this is this morning -- Andy's solid, intelligent, and sane lyrics -- the same deft touch I remember from long ago, but with years of wisdom added. And that strong lyrical musical line, and the clear rhythm. And the quick move from one form to another. Love. It.

One of the things I always loved about Andy's music was the way that he could make songs sound both familiar and unknown at the same time, as if one was following the sound and the lyrics down a path one vaguely remembered, only to find, at the end, that one had ended up someplace fresh, a new way of being in the world.

Still there, but more so. Thank you, Andy.

13 February 2011

Sally Rosen Kindred Reading in Pittsburgh

On February 25, 8:00 PM, Sally Rosen Kindred will be in town, to read poetry at Enrico's Tazza D'Oro in Highland Park. She's being sponsored by Carlow University's "Madwomen in the Attic" program.

Her first full-length poetry book, No Eden, is out from Mayapple Press.

See you there!

12 February 2011

Beowulf Socks

Over at The Sanguine Gryphon, Sarah, Gryphon, and the Elves design, among other things, literary knits.

I now have beautiful hand dyed yarn, and the pattern to make it into a pair of "Hwaet!" socks, which have knit into them the beginning lines of Beowulf. Because clearly the universe loves me.

And no. You can NOT buy the socks. You have to knit them yourself, or find somebody to do it. (And nope, not me! Sorry.)