News of the World II: Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Help, help, help, self e-mailed editor at San Francisco Chronicle: She just discovered that she used the word “cataclysmic” three times in her review! Can someone there fix it, or will she have to think of a synonym? (Catastrophic? Horrendous? Tragic? Horrific?) After getting back from dimsum with son and one of son’s ex-Sacred Heart buddies at Joy Luck Place in San Mateo, self checks her e-mail: Editor has responded. No problem, he e-mailed, he’ll fix it. Happy happy joy joy.

And in other news of the day:

Stanford English professor (and feminist biographer/superstar) Diane Middlebrook has passed away. Cause of death: cancer. Self never studied with this blazing light of the English department, but she heard of her. Oh, she most certainly did. Not only was Middlebrook married to Carl Djerassi, he who invented the birth control pill and founded the Djerassi Resident Artists Center (whose fog-shrouded evenings and mournful moo-ing cows will forever be enshrined in self’s memory), but she penned groundbreaking biographies of the following iconic figures: Anne Sexton, Billy Tipton (who did M. Butterfly one better: a female jazz musician, Billy was married five times and adopted children, and none of his wives knew of his true gender), Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes (in 2004’s Her Husband). No doubt about it, she revolutionized the field of biography. She is quoted as saying: “One of the reasons I like working on biographies is that it takes a long time. You don’t have to work quickly. People are going to stay dead.”

And good friend Judy e-mails from Manila: “I found out that there is a cooking group for Ying, Liana Romulo coordinates meals that get sent to her.” Yes, it seems everyone is trying to make beloved sister-in-law Ying gain weight !!!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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