Monday, November 01, 2010


I seem to have survived another Halloween – this one particularly strenuous: the calendar made it so. With the holiday itself falling on Sunday night, that provided an opening for an astonishingly number of events:
•Saturday morning begins at a wholly ungodly hour with D.'s soccer game

•then a venture to the pumpkin patch, along with some last-minute makeup purchases at the party (yes, you're wondering, why wait till the last minute for the pumpkin? well, when it hits the mid-80s every day, pumpkins simply don't last – they turn into mush, we've learned over the years, in about 3 days)

•then a Saturday afternoon kids' party, which seemed to be mostly populated by 8-year-old boys in that state of adrenaline-drenched excitement that makes me say to myself, God, I'm glad we've got girls

•then a mostly-faculty attended evening costume party; great fun, even tho the conversation seemed to center on 2 of the most depressing possible topics – the internecine struggles in our own shark-snapping-its-guts college; and real-live politics (thankfully, only one Christine O'Donnell costume on display).

•Today, a solo paternal morning featuring morning violin practice for the girls followed by pumpkin-carving with minimal cursing & surprisingly few self-inflicted wounds (J. was working a pre-election phone bank)

•then another kids' party, at a bowling alley no less! – but actually great fun

•followed by the neighborhood kids' party (this is getting old)

•and finally wound up with trick or treating.
So yes, I'm bushed. And facing a looming deadline to thoroughly revise a 45-page piece.

But I've managed to add two pieces to the "Torture Garden" manuscript, & have a new biggish project moving from the back to the front burner. This one, by Ba'al, is poetry. Importunate editors wanting essays and reviews can just leave my doorbell alone for a while. (No, just kidding – I never say no.)

And the postperson delivered a shiny, mint hardcover of Simon Jarvis's Wordsworth's Philosophic Song yesterday (I seem to have lucked out – an Amazon Marketplace seller had it for $24, about 2/3 of what those creeps at Cambridge UP are charging for the POD paperback). After the ecstatic notices this thing got in the British alt-poetry community, I felt obliged to read it myself. And I've been querying every romanticist I meet – So, how's the Jarvis book? (My favorite response: "It's not as mind-blowing revelatory as you've heard, but it's not as abysmally awful and eccentric as you've heard either. It's a pretty good book.")

Now to find time to read it, among the 2 books of Paradise Lost for tomorrow & the various ditherings in preparation for the "brown bag" talk I've committed to end of next week.

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