Archive for the ‘My life’ Category

Our forgetful academics

March 17, 2014

(From my life.)

A note from Saturday, when I started the day very early (around 4 a.m.), working on comics-related things. Later, I went to lunch with my daughter and realized just before it that I had managed to forget to have  breakfast.

These days, breakfast is either a leftover from dinner the day before (recently: Tuscan shrimp pasta, pizza) or just granola. But I usually remember to have it.

The bad lure of academia.

Morning names

February 14, 2014

For some time now, I’ve been waking in the morning with a name stuck in my head, usually a name from show business or television: Laura Prepon, Frank Gorshin, Sada Thompson, Danny Pino, etc. (you can look them up). Usually just one day each (though Prepon had a three- or four-day run). Not extraordinarily famous, and I’m not sure why they pop up: they don’t figure in my dreams, and I don’t recall having heard something about them in the days before their names appear.

It’s sort of like being given crossword puzzle clues in the morning:

Laura of That ’70s Show


Prepon of That ’70s Show.


February 4, 2014

Not about language.

Sunday I woke to the welcome sound of rain — we’ve been having a terrible drought — but by lunchtime it had come to an end. Still, the air got cleansed.

I went out into the garage area on my way to lunch and saw it was sprinkled with what looked like confetti. At first I thought someone had been celebrating for the Super Bowl that day, but then I realized the true source.

In this area, the first flowering fruit trees bloom in mid-January, and there are flowering fruit trees is some of the little gardens in the garage area. They were now dropping petals. Very charming and cheering.

More Reading PA

January 28, 2014

My cousin Eleanor Houck points me to artwork by her son Rich (so, my first cousin once removed), who has a studio in downtown Reading PA.; website here. Interesting work in several media, including some pieces of local interest (nostalgic for me), like this painting of the Penn St. Bridge (over the Schuylkill River):

Going east over the bridge, into Reading. The tall building is the Courthouse, and that’s Mount Penn in the background.

Earlier posting with a dowtown view from 1941, here.

Reading PA

January 18, 2014

(Not about language, but about my life.)

From Eleanor Houck, this photo from the Berks [County PA] — where we both grew up — Center, showing a

close-up … of Pomeroys {department store] c.1941 [from the northeast corner of Fifth St. and Penn Ave.] as depicted in this painting by Jim Holton. What was your favorite Penn Street store?

Oh my, memories of my early life.


Burlingham Books

October 16, 2013

Ann Burlingham recently posted this nice photo of her bookstore:

That’s Burlingham Books in the small town of Perry NY (2 South Main St. 14530), not far from Rochester, within striking distance of Buffalo.



September 5, 2013

The last days of August and the first days of September bring together a number of birthdays every year, plus U.S. Labor Day, and this year has the Jewish High Holy Days as well.



August 24, 2013

Heard on KQED just moments ago, an NPR piece on puffin restoration on the Maine coast. Puffins have a special place in my household, because they were my man Jacques’s  totem animals (as penguins and woolly mammoths are mine) — from his many summers Down East, where the puffins roam.


John Transue

August 22, 2013

My sister-in-law Virginia Transue writes to tell me that my man Jacques’s brother John Transue (born 6/2/47) died yesterday, after 66 years of difficult life. That leaves Virginia (the widow of Jacques’s brother Bill) and I as the only surviving members of  our generation in the Transue family: Jacques, the youngest son, died first; then Monique, the mother; then father Bill; then J’s older brother Bill; and now John, the middle son. The next generation down has Bill and Virginia’s sons Tom and Joe, and Jacques’s son Kit and daughter Emily (from his first marriage).


Odds and ends 8/14/13

August 14, 2013

An assortment of short notes that have come my way recently, on errors, back-formations, penguins, gender roles, and more.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 227 other followers