Breaking News (for Pitt CNF MFAs)

I’m a big fan of TLAs (my old boss at Enron Defense loved saying “TLA” all the time. He’d say something like “EBS and other TLAs.” The first day of work I stared at him until he finally explained: Three Letter Acronym. Clever! And so I use it now all the time).

bruce and helen armwrestleThe CNF (Creative NonFiction) MFA (Master’s degree in Fine Arts) at Pitt is losing a faculty member: Bruce Dobler has just announced his retirement.

He just stopped by my cubicle and explained that due to illness and age and all sorts of other issues, he’s decided to retire.

“I’m sixty-eight right now. I’ll retire at sixty-nine next semester. It’s as good as age as any. And I’m getting married in June to someone who was a student of mine thirty years ago. How about that!”

He opens up an envelope he’s been holding in his hands. “This is her. Sometimes I confuse the two of you. Her name is Julieta.”

(pictured above, Bruce arm wrestles Helen Gerhardt in happier, simpler times.)

I look at her. She’s an attractive Latina in her sixties. Other than the fact that we are both Hispanic and female, we look nothing alike. I nod at Bruce. “Sure, I can see the confusion.”

“I saw an android — haha, I mean ‘angloid,’ it’s what I call people of my white ilk — having lunch with a Latino male yesterday. I couldn’t help myself and went up to talk to her. The Angloid agreed with me. How can anyone not marry a Latino?”

He then mentions he’s getting married in El Paso. I tell him I’ll be in Texas this summer. He nods and says that (of course) I should come to his wedding. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

“Good,” Bruce sits down next to me, there’s not that much room in my cubicle, I hear his breaths, “she works for the department of Homeland Security and she was in law enforcement before that. That’s a woman who can take care of you! Who wouldn’t marry her?”

I resist the urge to raise my hand.

“You’ll be missed, Bruce.”
“I’ll miss you too… Quesadillas… I was eating one yesterday and I thought, it’s like I’m eating a cheese god! Queso-Di-Os. Queso Dios! I told Julieta. And she said we can’t have any Pier Orgies at our wedding. It took me a full hour to realize she meant pirogies! She’s brilliant, I tell you.”

I’ll certainly miss him.

Although, I’m sure the five first-year students whose committees he chairs will miss him most of all. They’re probably praying to the Cheese God. Either that or they’re glad Bruce won’t be around with his TMIs.

“K-I-S. I gotta keep it simple, Adri, or the world will eat you alive. K-I-S.”

Gotta love those TLAs.
Rounding things up and setting them on fire.

  • From Harper’s Weekly – the curator of the Rotterdam Natural History Museum asked the public to donate pubic crabs, claiming that their population was dwindling as a result of Brazilian waxes. “When the bamboo forests that the Giant Panda lives in were cut down, the bear became threatened with extinction. Pubic lice,” he explained, “can’t live without pubic hair.”
  • NYT – New research underscores a vast transformation in the way scientists have come to understand the sleeping brain.
  • NYT – Bush asks congress for $1.4 Billion to fight drugs in Mexico. The war on drugs continues!
  • YouTube – Information R/evolution: a good video from the maker of that neat Web 2.0 thing that was around.
  • The Sadness – Deborah Kerr dies. The review doesn’t even mention Quo Vadis. I love that movie. or Casino Royale, the original masterpiece with Peter Sellers. She’s so much more than a silly kiss. It’s like when Anne Bancroft died and all they mentioned was Mrs. Robinson. Way to be short-sighted, world. Way to be short-sighted.