SCIBA Awards 2010

lemon cake coverDuring my blurry cold-ridden awakening this morning, I heard some good news on NPR.

You’ll recall me talking about my friend and fellow USC professor Aimee Bender’s excellent new book, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake earlier in the Summer, including baking chocolate covered lemon cupcakes in honour of it.

Well, the book has won the SCIBA award for fiction. It was announced on Saturday, and it seems I get to announce it [...] Click to continue reading this post

Department of Special Circumstances

I’ve been quite ill today. Second bad cold in three weeks. This tells me that I am severely overdoing it, stressing myself out with too many tasks, jobs, errands, and so forth. Need to slow down. Well, today I canceled my office hour and decided to try to rest at home to recover. I wrote my lecture for the class at 3:30pm and ordered the demo equipment I needed. It was going to be a perfect class, in which I would make up the approximated half an hour of lag I feel I’ve been in the last week in terms of the material I’m scheduled to cover in order to be at the same place as the similar class taught by my colleague Doug. Unusually, I decided to drive to work, so that I could get in and out fast and go home and continue recuperating after (as I am supposed to be now, but inexplicably I am… blogging…) and it was all timed nicely. In – perfect lecture, catching up on everything – out. And then to bed.

Of course, that meant that something had to go wrong. This time it was quite spectacular. As I reached USC, going along Exposition Blvd. to find street parking, within minutes of class starting, something did happen. There was something blocking traffic in my lane and I saw that an Infiniti SUV had just stopped in the lane, and so cars were going around it in a noisy huff. annoyed at the driver for delaying them. I pulled around it too, and saw that there was a woman slumped over to one side! So of course I stopped my car, put on the hazards and ran back to see what the matter was. The woman had fainted, it seemed, and as I approached she seemed to stir out of her haze somewhat, so I asked her if she was ok. She said no. So I said I would call the emergency services. Did she want me to? Yes. Shall I use your phone? Ok. At this point I started fiddling with her phone only to realize that I had no idea how to make a phone call on an iphone, and so I ran back to my car and got my phone and called. I’d never called 911 before!

I was passed on to a paramedic who ran through some questions after I described the circumstances and our location. He wanted me to ask her various things (age, [...] Click to continue reading this post