Sunday Afternoon Potpourri: Absent-Minded Edition

The new term starts in eight days, so I’m poking at syllabi this afternoon instead of watching the Bengals play the Bills. I’m sitting in my office recliner, and a couple of minutes ago I realized that I’m wearing mismatched socks. Keep it classy, Mondo.


I’ve taken care of 2/3 of my syllabi for 3/4 of my course load (I’m teaching two sections of Froshcomp, so one syllabus does double duty.) The Shakespeare course is the biggest challenge this time around. For one thing, it’s the Shakespearean Era course, so I also have to sneak Marlowe, Jonson, et al. in there, and I’ve also changed a couple of things up. Most notably, I’m dropping Measure for Measure in order to do a Falstaff bit (Henry IV pt. 1 and Orson Welles’s Chimes at Midnight.) It occurs to me that there’s a significant chance that my students won’t have heard of Welles, other than possibly as the voice of Unicron in Transformers.

As I was reading a little about the production of Chimes, I ran across the following in St. Wiki:

When Joss Ackland played Falstaff on the stage in 1982, he said that he was more inspired by Welles than by Welles’ performance as Falstaff, stating that “like Falstaff, I believe he could have achieved so much, but it was frittered away.”

Sometimes I read things like that and feel the tread of Zontar the Enormous on my grave. Of course, then I wonder at my own arrogance, for seeing bits of myself in people like Welles and Johnson. Still, the Parable of the Talents haunts me from time to time.

At the same time, I realize those fears may themselves get in the way of the work I want to do, and identifying them may be a step toward overcoming them. Doesn’t mean that I’ll ever create Citizen Kane, but maybe it’ll help me find comfort in the work I do, while freeing me to do more of it.


The Edgar noms for this year are out, and I’m pleased to report that “First You Dream, Then You Die,” Donna Moore’s contribution to Black Is the Night, is a finalist in the short story category. That means that if you pick up a copy, you’ll be able to enjoy both her story and my own “The Jacket.” Why not get Moore than you bargained for (bargained foore?)?

And of course, we’re a mere ten days from the release of El Bee’s new Playing Games antho, which includes my bar-trivia-themed story, “Lightning Round”, along with lots of other good stuff. At the moment, the Big River people are only mentioning the Kindle version, but I have it on good authority that dead tree versions will be available on or about 31 Jan. So keep your eyes open!


Well, I need to get back to syllabusiness, so I’ll wrap this up with some music. Wilmington, DE’s the Enfields have graced this blog before with their “I’m for Things You Do,” which I’m sure was a hit in an alternate universe. But they did at least one other cool song in this one, and that’s what I’m sharing this afternoon. From rock and roll’s annus mirabilis of 1966, this is “She Already Has Somebody.”

See you soon!

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
This entry was posted in Culture, Education, Literature, Music, Pixel-stained Wretchery, Why I Do What I Do. Bookmark the permalink.

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