The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Friday, January 05, 2007

long break

that was a long blogging break. We had a family vacation to visit the wife's family in strangely "warm" Minneapolis, then I flew from there to Philadelphia for the MLA convention where I was both chairing a panel and interviewing candidates for a job, then back to Minneapolis for a few days. Some snapshots from the last two weeks:

• The Imperial Inn in Philadelphia's Chinatown has fantastic dim sum. And every time I go to Philly I like it--the city, and the Imperial Inn--better.

• I crossed paths with my blogging hero Michael Bérubé twice in the labyrinthine halls of the Marriott but didn't have the opportunity to talk with him--once I was in the middle of a conversation, and the other time he was. I hope to have the chance to talk with him about blogging. I also intend to read his WHAT'S SO LIBERAL ABOUT THE LIBERAL ARTS? soon.

• The "Grand Rounds" trail in Minneapolis is just fantastic, even in the winter. Four lakes, right in the middle of the city, linked by trails? Beautiful.

• I was already loving the Hold Steady's BOYS AND GIRLS IN AMERICA record before going to MLPS, but being there gave me a different appreciation for it. My brother-in-law gave me a significant look and told me that the song "Southtown Girls" is really, really true, but I wouldn't be able to appreciate why. Now I wonder what he meant. Are the Southtown Girls prostitutes, or are they just homely and acquiescent?

• O'Hare Airport, where I came very close to having to spend the night, has really jumped on the creature-comfort bandwagon. And I fully endorse that. I know it's huge, and probably some of the terminals are still crappy, but in my mad 1.5 mile sprint from the American to the United terminal I was quickly persuaded that it wouldn't be the worst place to pass fourteen hours.

• It's better to road-trip with small children in the winter, because the vomit smells less on the second day if the car's been in a freezing parking lot all night.


  • At 3:55 AM, Anonymous anna said…

    did you see the UFO at O'Hare? I love the vomit comment.

  • At 11:31 PM, Blogger zp said…

    We just re-visited Philly too and after a 5 year hiatus we loved it more than ever. And we loved it a lot to begin with. Schuykill Banks park (though small) is a nice improvement, as it links city bikers to Fairmont and the Valley Forge trail . . .


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