Wednesday, November 24, 2004

shiny, shiny, shiny

Though she is unlikely to write about in on her own blow, The Squidge has just finished a paper for her Gender, Literature, and Culture I course called "Look, That's Shiny" which links Rosetti's "Goblin Market" to Tennyson's "Lady of Shallot" in that the women in both are tempted by something that's shiny.

I don't know why I find that so cool, but it seems really neat to me.

Not too much new round these parts. Lots of reading, helping undergrads with papers (which I will eventually have to mark), worrying about presentations, and being sad about the relatively miniscule size of my upcoming holiday break, as I'll only get to head home for a few days. Kinda miss the family. Kind of a lot, you might even say.

My beloved Horatio Hornblower is being considered as a possibility for the next Bond. Oh, please, say it is so--he would bring some good fresh blood to a series that needs it...

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

and in the eleventh hour...

...inspiration strikes. New mix CD project: Songs for English nerds

Possible selections include:
+Sloan's Underwhelmed
+The Weakerthan's Aside
+Moxy Fruvous's My Baby Loves A Bunch of Authors
+Simon and Garfunkel's I Am A Rock
+The McGarrigle Sisters' Schooldays (actually written by Loudon Wainwright III, Kate McGarrigle's ex and Rufus's dad)

Suggestions are VERY, VERY welcome - I know I'm not the only nerd out there...and of course, should you wish for a copy, just ask nicely.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

ah, things that make me laugh.

This is just bloody fantastic. (stolen from Dave, who Tinka thinks has the best blog going.)

Want to be a songwriter? Let Junior Eurovision show you how with these ten handy tips. Also, why was Celine Dion allowed to compete, back in the day? Why?

Just got back from taking the afternoon off to go see this film which was delightful and captivating and more than a little bit fluffy...all very wonderful things.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Canada Reads!

The books and panelists for Canada Reads have been announced...and when Rufus Wainwright is one of the picks, it's hard not to be exited. (Perhaps I shuld have listened to my mum and written the Ceeb a letter pitching myself as a panelist...)

Rufus is championing Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers, which is such an odd choice. It's certainly the strangest book I've ever read. This is what the CBC has to say about it:
One of the best-known experimental novels of the Sixties, Beautiful Losers is Leonard Cohen’s second novel, and his most defiant and uninhibited work. At the centre of the novel are the members of a love triangle, united by their sexual obsessions and their fascination with a mythic seventeenth-century Mohawk saint. There is the bereaved and nameless narrator, an authority on the vanishing A------ tribe; his wife, Edith, one of the tribe’s last members; and their maniacal and domineering friend, F. By turns vulgar, rhapsodic, and viciously witty, the book explores each character’s own version of self-abandonment, in which the sensualist within cannot be distinguished from the saint. Funny, harrowing, and fiercely moving, Beautiful Losers is a classic erotic tragedy, incandescent in its prose and exhilarating for its risky union of faith and sexuality.

Don't get me wrong, I quite enjoy the book (it was a big part of my research problem paper, actually) but it's quite deliberately inaccessible, and not something I'm sure I want my mom to read...

For the other panelists/books/info on what this whole "Canada Reads" deal is, anyway, you can visit the site here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I'm gonna make it after all...

Today was a reasonably tumultuous day. Mostly in a good way, I suppose, but also in a just plain chaotic way. My 10 a.m. class (Topics in American Lit) was cancelled, which was good (and bad) because I was supposed to give my major presentation. While extra time is always appreciated in such matters, I would have liked to have at least gotten that one more thing out of the way. I'm presenting on John Edgar Wideman's Philadelphia Fire with the loose topic of "Islands and Isolation" and eventually while build an argument around the island as a masculine space. For the time being, this is within Philadelphia Fire, but could potentially be extended to African-American lit in general (or the texts we've studied this year in specific). Wideman uses The Tempest as an intertext, which intrigues me, as I tend to associate it more with Caribbean lit than American.

So instead of presenting I marked more thesis paragraphs (oh boy, do I have some that are real doozies), made oven fries for lunch (mmm...potatoe-y goodness), and picked up my (marked) Research Problem...

...and I got a 90 on it.

I am so frigging happy about that. (I refer you to last week's posting about the nausea that handing it in induced.) Since school has started, I've been feeling like I'm doing everything I can to keep my head above the water (and being only marginally successful in doing so). The last two and a half months have been coupled with a feeling of marginal adequacy, a feeling of constantly being *barely* able to grasp at the theoretical texts we've read--a feeling of being a fish who has suddenly realized that her little pond has turned into the entire Atlantic Ocean. (How's that for hyperbole?)

This is exactly the mid-November confidence boost that I need. Oh, and if anyone wants to read how it came out, they are more than welcome to--just email me. Is it sad that I'm considering putting it on my fridge with a bit gold star?

Friday, November 12, 2004

some other beginning's end

So here I am, in North Bay Rock City, visiting the Squidge and not helping her clean because I am a big fat jerk. Actually, I am going to go help her (our parents are also en route this weekend) but I wanted to write something first.

So I checked out Hayden with Cuff the Duke at the UGoo on Wednesday night, and it was a pretty solid show. Hayden is kind of a Neil Young for a new generation...he's almost the cliché of what a sad, bordering-on-emo-indie-folkie guitar player ought to be, only he makes itw ork. Cuff the Duke were also quite entertaining (aside from vaguely assholic audience members) although if I had gotten the chance to talk to their lead singer, I would have been all, "Dude, Chris Murphy called, and he wants his schtick back. Oh, and his hair. And his glasses."

In all seriousness, I enjoyed them, and since they are semi-Guelph local, apparently they'll be playing again in January or so,t o which I can only say...rockzaurs.

Monday, November 08, 2004

I Pity the Foucault IV: Search for the Blood Orchid

It's a Foucault time of year again, what can I say? It snowed briefly here in Guelph today, and I rather suspect that this is going to be a very snowy winter. Perhaps not here, but my comrades in the Bay that is Northerly may in for something a little rougher.

Which is where I am headed this weekend, so perhaps I ought not to be too smug about such goings on.

I handed in my research problem today, and nearly threw up afterwards. I wasn't nervous about it until after it had been handed in and then I suddenly remembered exactly how sucky my argument was...I really hope I don't flunk out. I ended up writing about the Canada, history, and national identity thing that I've been going on about for ages, and I think some of my argument is quite good, but some of it is decidedly weak...and dare I say, cursory. (My bibliography was also much shorter than everyone else's--waaaaahhhh!)

I did find a spectacular website that has some wonderful ruminations on the Great Questions of Canada, contributed by such notables as Charlotte Grey, Jack Granatstein, and Neil Bissoondath.

There are some meditations on foucault and Nietzsche that I will get around to later this week, possibly, as they are quite interesting.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

now would be a BAD time to run out of gas

So birthday Cranium was a reasonably successful event; with good food and surprise brithday cake for me, which is pretty fun. (Speaking of which, there's a piece in the fridge..hmmm...) Unfortunately, it was quite the late night, which led to me being wickedly tired for my TAing today, which I hate. Oh, and no one came to see me in my office hours again. And I tried to explain why Eats, Shoots & Leaves" is funny, but I don't think that anyone got it.

THe nerd factor was deliciously high last night; we had nearly a half hour conversation amongst the 8 or so of us about performative punctuation, or what happens when air quotes are taken to the extreme...and being English majors, "punctuation" was expanded to include proper MLA formatting. Performing the interrobang (or as I prefer to call it, QUESTION MARK-EXCLAMATION POINT) is still my favourite thing.

Tomorrow I am off to a colloquium being held at this school, with whom our PhD program is joint. It will be long, and the food possibly bad, but I will get to see one of my undergraduate classmates, who is pursuing her MA in their Gender and Genre program, which should be great. And then my very own Scottish Lass is venturing up for an evening of...well, probably an evening of movie wwatching, because she is the sick.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I'm strong and I'm hardly ever wrong

So. Birthday XXIII is on the books for the moment, and it has been a reasonably good day, netting me the following: two Care Bears nightgowns, peanut butter lipgloss, The Finns's Everyone Is Here, more yarn, a flu shot, and a Cranium party. It has been a wonderfully music-ed day as well, with such selections as Jesse Cook's cover of "Fall at Your Feet," Concrete Blonde's "happy birthday" and The Pursuit of Happiness's "I'm An Adult Now". Oh, I also now have a 20 year old sister, and though I have difficulty imagining myself as 23, the knowledge of her 20 years makes me feel old. My Care Bear is also now twenty years old.

Project Apartment Clean was not so successful as anticipated; but this will be rectified tomorrow, as I got a considerable amount of miscellaneous other stuff done, like lesson plans for tomorrow, which I hear are important. Hey! tomorrow is pay day too.

Owing to my own stupidity, I do not get to go see Bill Whitehead read Timothy Findley tomorrow. I suck.

"Poem" of the "Month":
Well, I don't hate my parents
I don't get drunk just to spite them
I've got my own reasons to drink now
Think I'll call my dad up and invite him
I can sleep in 'til noon anytime I want
Though there's not many days that I do
Gotta get up and take on that world
When you're an adult it's no cliche, it's the truth
--the Pursuit of Happiness, I'm An Adult Now

Monday, November 01, 2004

some days are diamonds, some days are rocks

and shout out to Rob, whose discussion of Tom Petty put that song in my head. And an appropriate one it is too, as I just spilled oil all down my pants. Damn it.

I present on my research problem in an hour and a half or so; I'm not particularly prepared but not particularly unprepared, either. I've been thinkng about the darned thing long enough that I could probably talk about it at length without even realizing that's what I'm doing...hopefully it goes well. I havent been able to put the itme or effort into in that it deserves, unfortunately.

Hayden is playing at the school on November 10th with Cuff the Duke, and I think it's safe to say that you can colour me excited for that.

I will be celebrating my birthday this week by getting a flu shot and cleaning my apartment.