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Things about Things.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Things about Things....
*Old things.

My undergraduate English department from Cornell sends me an occasional newsletter. It's the one part of the constant alumni noise machine I pay attention to- because unlike the official, class and local organizations, they have never a-once tried to beg for money, and thus is the one part of the University that I have donated to. Most of the content is about new or honored faculty, notable alums, and recent publications by both- but as time goes on, I recognize more and more of my own professors listed in either the "retirements" or "memoriam" sections. These are increasingly the only ones I remember. In this case, though, I'm not the only one recognizing the now-deceased:

President Barack Obama awards the 2013 national humanities medal to MH Abrams, literary critic.

This issue brought the news that M.H. Abrams, shown above receiving the National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2013, died earlier this year at the age of 102. He was, officially, the lead professor on my sophomore year English lit course, along with two other faculty- one younger but who passed much sooner, and one who became my thesis advisor and recently retired.  He was also the lead editor (and remains credited as founder and general editor emeritus) of the Norton Anthology of English Literature- "the faithful NAEL," (rhymes with hit-with-hammer) in our parlance. Those two volumes carried me through three years of study and a lifetime of reference beyond; Emily now has volume 1, which includes everything from Beowulf up to the Romantics, which she left back here for me in volume 2.

Mike, as everybody called him, was already nearing 70 when I took that course, and by then he was only making cameo appearances at the lectern, but my career and memories are better for that connection.  (Oh- and another of the NAEL's editors with a Cornell connection, who I don't think I studied with, also passed away in the past year. I hope the rest of them are in excellent health.)


* New things.

Our dear friend ecosopher has started including guest contributions on her WordPress blog, which I've ported over here under the RSS feedname climbingbean. The first guest on the site was,.... go on, take a guess....

[Spoiler (click to open)]Taylor Dayne.

No, actually, it's moi. I wrote about the latest in a series of what I decried as cases of Celebrity Justice being applied in ways, and for things, that you and I would never be entitled to.  The piece on her WP site is here.


* Such a new thing I haven't seen it yet.

Stephen Colbert took over the Late Show last night. I tried streaming it during a dead hour at work and cbs dot com was overwhelmed with demand.  Hope to catch it later.

* Lost things.

A few of these, sadly, but with different ranges of sadness.

I once again forgot my phone someplace, but once again used the FindMyIphone thingie to know instantly where it was- safely on my soon to be new desk a couple of miles from here.  I picked it up first thing today and conveniently had a list of a whole morning of calls to return from the effort.

Less successful was the final resolution of the Eleanor Backup Situation. Between the software, manual and a call to tech support, I discovered that when setting up the external hard drive to back up "continuously," it backed up "nothing" unless you also pressed a button marked "enable backup," which, it is now obvious, we "didn't."  So what's lost is lost. Still, better to know that than to go tearing out hairs wondering if it really was or not.


* Found things.

I got a nice email this morning from the singer from the longlost Ithaca band I reconnected with (in digital form) last week. She was touched, and rather amused, by the efforts I'd gone to and was happy their music still plays on.  There had apparently been some talk last year about Getting The Band Back Together (it would've been the 30th anniversary of their last gig), but some things are just not meant to be.


* Not dead things.

Much as I mourn Professors' passings, I am pleased to NOT have to pass on the next death of a Python. Apparently, Variety posted news of Terry Gilliam's death the other day, leading to this rebuttal from the man who would know the best:

Terry is special to us- Brazil was the movie for our first date almost 30 years ago, and both Terry and specific scenes from Brazil are homaged in Jupiter Ascending, the latest from the Wachowskis that Eleanor brought home tonight for sheer shmalz value.

I've been trying to keep track of the references on that Facebook link to see whether "dead parrot" or "bring out your dead" is gaining more traction; it was roughly a draw at last count.  Since he (as Patsy) was only in the second of those scenes, and that only briefly, I'd think it would pull ahead, but maybe it would've helped if he'd had shit on him.
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