Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Rise from the Torpor of my Sickbed to Praise Nancy Pelosi

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 06:  A ball person holds ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The President and Rahm Emmanuel were playing tennis for a while, but the score was still 0-0.

"We might as well stop till Pelosi shows up," the President said, "because she's the one with the balls."

This is, of course, somewhat unfair, and I give the President great credit for finally putting his nose into the Republicans' quivering gut and driving them into their own backfield, creating stumbles and fumbles --metamorphosis! new sports metaphor coming out!

But I certainly read several places that it was Pelosi who fanned the Prez with a towel as he sat bruised in his corner and threatened to make Rahm Emmanuel drink the spit bucket when the White House got shaky after Scott Brown's senate win in Massachusetts. (It's a bird! It's a plane! It's yet another sports analogy!)

Thank you, Nancy. That was no lady. That was Pelosi.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

If Robertsonesque Were a Word....?

Lincoln Memorial Washington DCImage via Wikipedia

Certainly it would be about the children because it's always about the children. But not in a bad way, for God's sakes.

(Also, note how appropriately I used the subjunctive. Maybe that's what Robertsonesque should mean: It's always about the subjunctive.)
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Friday, March 05, 2010

Kicked in the Vanity

First, you need to know that I have got my reporting and reviewing kids tweeting news and reviews this semester using the hashtags #usfreports and #usfreview.

Second, you need to know I broke into journalism as a copy editor, leveraging my Ph.D. in 19th Century English lit in a most surprising way.

And thus: the convergence of the twain.

I send a somewhat boastful email to certain USF journalism grads and also to some friends, under the subject line:

USF reporting students tweeting news and reviews.

Friend Lowell Boileau responds:

Why would the University report students who are tweeting? Is it a violation of rules? Is Hayakawa back?

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Monday, March 01, 2010

A Sort of Anniversary ... It Was 30 Years Ago Today.

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The morning of March 1, 1980, having spent the night in Bakersfield, we arose, had waffles for breakfast, tucked our three cats into the cab of the rented truck filled with all our stuff and headed north on Interstate 5. It was pretty late in the day when we hit Livermore, but we decided to push on.

And thus on the evening of March 1, 1980, we arrived in the Bay Area. We thought it would be temporary, two or three years at the most. I had gotten a job at the San Francisco Chronicle, and that (I thought) would give me the out-of-town glitter that would get me a job at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution somewhere down the line. E. was pretty sure in a year or two she would pass her architect's licensing exams, which would sent her up for a return to Atlanta, where I had been Executive Editor of Atlanta Magazine and E. had just got her degree from Georgia Tech.

Why I was looking for work rather than staying put is a long colorful story that over the years has come to bore even me. Let me just say that my only hope of staying at Atlanta Magazine was a willingness to stab my boss Larry Woods in the back -- to replace him; to become bitch of the bosses. And, having declined that, I knew I was doomed (for bosses love their bitches) and I threw a wide loose net, trying newspapers all over the country (and Time-Life Books, and various government agencies).

A job offer in San Francisco! Wondrous strange and a way station, a footnote, a byway, nothing serious and no commitment, the vocational equivalent of a one night stand -- just the kind of long bomb (a football term, only indirectly militant) that would give me the sheen you got from abandoning the South and then coming back.

Let me divest myself of that participle. It shaded into "going back." And so we never did. And now, somewhat weak, palsied and beaten down, I work on at the university simply so that we can stay right where we are, rather than cashing in our home equity and buying a mountain in western Virginia, from whence I came originally.

Ah. We went on an adventure, and it turned into a life. Ah old California friend who back in the day used to give me merry hell when I refused to call myself a Californian. Now he don't give a damn -- what you learn late is that you shed friends (or they shed you) as a snake season by season.

But I guess I am a Californian, if I am anything.

(To celebrate we went to the Chez Panisse Cafe. Not bad.)