Speak softly, and carry a beagle

. . .seemed like a better title than “Random bullets of crap, Friday night edition.”

  • Schulz and Peanuts, the new biography by David Michaelis, is wonderful.  Michaelis makes explicit all sorts of fascinating connections between Schulz’s life and the comic strip he wrote and illustrated for fifty years.  Among many other examples, Michaelis proposes that the head-body-arms proportions of the children in Peanuts were suggested by Frieda Rich, a little person (Michaelis says “dwarf,” presumably because that would have been the word of the time) who was Schulz’s friend and colleague at Art Instruction Schools in Minnesota (and the character Frieda’s namesake).  She would walk over to Schulz’s desk and rest her elbows on it while they talked, much as the Peanuts kids would on the brick wall.
  • I have a nasty cold.  It was coming on when I did the interview with the University that Calls on Wednesday Before Thanksgiving, Then Takes the Rest of the Day Off, but didn’t completely blossom until afterwards, fortunately.  That interview seemed to go pretty well, though who can really tell, and besides I am mentally picking apart everything I said.  I definitely had the impression I was the first person they’d seen, so there wasn’t any of that “Thank goodness we’re having a good time with you” enthusiasm that I think I’ve seen before.  I liked them, though, and came away even more interested in their program.
  • Someone got to 2YC’s copy of season 2 of Rome before I did.  Rats.
  • Because Schulz and Peanuts is too big and heavy to carry around on teaching days, Chuck Klosterman’s newest book, Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas, was my commute book today.  Which explains why, despite a long day at 2YC and this nasty streaming cold, I kept laughing out loud during the commute.
  • Once again, my cell phone lit up today with the area code of one of the schools I’d applied to, and I have a fourth interview.  Going to Chicago is definitely looking worthwhile.  Because I have a bit of a disaster mentality, I have to say that I believe I’ll feel like quite the idiot if I don’t end up with a job out of these interviews, but a) we all know that’s a definite possibility, as always, and b) I’m actually feeling like that would be OK.  Not getting either of the out-of-town jobs would mean not having to decide what to do about that, and not getting either of the local jobs would mean not having to undertake a 45-mile commute.  And more to the point, I’m a week away from my last fall class and waving goodbye to the ridiculous schedule of the past four months–and hello to what seems like a saner, more sustainable teaching situation at NCC and New RU.  As a wise friend pointed out to me earlier today, even if I don’t get any of these jobs, things will still be different in the fall.  And, I think, better.
  • But man, wouldn’t it be awesome to have one job with a freaking office so that I could, like, leave a big heavy book there sometimes, and not have to turn my car into an adjunct office?  (The inside of my car is a disaster area.  It looks like the Unabomber has been living in it, drinking coffee and writing a manifesto in many drafts.)
  • My congestion and I are going to bed now.

3 responses to this post.

  1. […] For the moment, anyway, if you plug the words beagles in literature into Google, the top hit is the link to this post.  […]


  2. […] finally, I think I’m ready to test whether my worldview–the disaster mentality, the sense of impending panic, the difficulty being in the moment without anticipating the next […]


  3. […] made it to the 2YC holiday party, though I still have the mug that was the party favor. I had four interviews at MLA Chicago, all of which went fine, or so I thought, although I confess I can’t at this […]


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