While waiting to see Polar Express yesterday, I went to Borders for the Times and scored the last copy of the book I've been waiting for, Antonio D'Ambrosio's collection Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer. I then read my piece twice before the movie started and was more pleased than usual with the finished product, despite a couple minor editorial miscues. I've been getting annoyed at my prose style of late, but it works well in this context. The best part, though, is the back cover:It can't get much better than that, from my perspective. I'm honored in the extreme. The book's editor -- not to mention author of several of its pieces -- was incredibly nice to work with throughout. This, however, is the orange-rind flavored icing on my favorite orange cake.
While talking to one of my undergraduates at the photocopier today, she informed me that she had yelled herself hoarse at the Arizona-Arizona State game Friday. I told her I'd watched the game and rooted for the 'Cats, even though my Pac-10 allegiances lie with Cal. "Oh, that makes sense. They're a lot better than us at football." I explained that my devotion was based on personal history rather than performance. And then I reflected on the horror of the 2001 season. Maybe they should perform a live sacrifice or two in Jeff Tedford's honor. Then again, there's always the hurricane-delayed Southern Mississippi game this Saturday to bring my thought balloon back to earth.
Those who spend too much time talking to me will know that I've become pathologically preoccupied with respiratory infections since moving to Tucson. From my discovery of our local treat Valley Fever, to postal anthrax, to SARS, I've had a series of unhealthy fixations. When I read things like W.H.O. regional director Dr. Shigeru Omi's dire warning about avian flu, however, I'm reminded that panic spreads faster than the reasons for it. Nevertheless, my chest has tightened several degrees over the past hour. Perhaps it's time to revisit my onetime obsession with the pandemic of 1918-1919.