So the blog has been a bit dormant since the Snowtorious B.I.G. hit us over a week ago. I’ve been shoveling almost every day, and steadily griping about it.

Stern Famine guards the solitary Coast,
And Winter barricades the Realms of Frost;
He comes, nor Want nor Cold his Course delay;
–Samuel Johnson, “The Vanity of Human Wishes” (1749)

I was under no threat of famine, having hit up the grocery store the day before, but I let the cold delay my course back to the blog quite a bit. When I left Florida for more northerly climes for grad school (shoosh–Atlanta is so colder than Florida), I was excited to have a reason to wear a leather jacket. Shoveling snow has made me long for Florida summers again. This is exactly what Johnson means by the vanity of human wishes.

And look at what I missed: a denied-tenure shootup! snow-blogging! Dick Cheney admitting to war crimes!

Even more importantly, one of the nicest (okay, one of the only) things that’s been said about my foray across the blogosphere:

3. Cut, paste, lambaste. If you do wish to engage with particular concerns critically and cuttingly, I think the best approach involves response to some prior prompt. Hop on over to Perplexed with Narrow Passages, for example, and you’ll find exceedingly fine examples of the kind I have in mind. The Abominable Dr. Vilmar has a knack for using existing texts as a springboard for his own concerns and commentaries; he owns up to his professional positions, but they are almost always situated as pointed parsings of extant arguments. He only does what English folks are trained to do, puncturing empty rhetoric and exposing faulty logic. In his writing the cultural context corroborates, reminding readers that he’s simply engaged in the work that falls to the professorial peeps.

Especially flattering was the comparison to Vincent Price!

And perhaps he was remembering the Vincent Price Treasury of Great Recipes I discovered and bought while I was in graduate school. I still have it. Price was an epicure who traveled the world and ate at the finest restaurants, and the cookbook translates his favorite recipes suitable for making at home using ordinary ingredients. What could be cooler than a cookbook by Vincent Price? And the answer is: nothing, really.

He’s a big sweety, that Bill. For once, I have decided to forego cutting, pasting, and lambasting. Today it’s nothing but epideictic rhetoric about The Inimitable Dr. Wandless.