Monday, March 28, 2005

one day at a time

I just finished watching Rick Mercer's Monday Report for the first time, and I've gotta say...I wasn't impressed. It's not that I think Rick should exist only in his nice little This Hour Has 22 Minutes box--Made In Canada is lovely, vicious, and delightful. I guess that it's just that I feel everything he wants to do on Monday Report was simply better when he did it on 22 Minutes. I think Mercer benefits from the group dynamic.

I think my favourite 22 Minutes moment is still the one where Marg Delahunty (Mary Walsh) goes to see Stockwell Day dressed in a wetsuit (playing on Day's recent press conference, which he arrived at on a Sea-Doo). For a reason that escapes me, she then makes a joke about wanting to bring him some milk, but not being able to because all the store had was homo milk (homogenized milk is 3.25% m.f. in Canada) which, of course, Stockwell wouldn't like, being the leader of the most conservative political party. Either that or the time that the very same Stockwell Day said that any issue brought forth to his government (if elected) via a petition with a certain number of signatures would be put to referendum. Rick Mercer proposed a referenda that would compel Stockwell to change his first name to Doris. If I remember correctly, the petition got well over a million signatures.

It's always interesting to see which politicians will participate in shows like 22 Minutes and Royal Canadian Air Farce. Even when it's someone whose politics I don't necessarily agree with, I still tend to hve a lot of respect for someone like, say, Preston Manning, who was just awesome on bits like "I Love That Word Refooooorm".

Air Farce actually has the last five or so seasons available to watch online. If you're interested, I was at the taping of this episode and this one. The Open book With Mary Walsh skit in this episode was filmed when I was there, and features Luba Goy as Margaret Atwood (she does a vicious Atwood) and Roger Abbott as Wary Walsh, dressed in her Marg Delahunty, Princess Warrior.

sad, sad, sad

There really isn't much I can say about this, except that it's quite sad, of course.

May flights of angels sing him to his rest.

Friday, March 25, 2005

here comes peter cottontail

Home for the long weekend, at last--however briefly, as am off to visit Family tomorrow, and then to return to Guelph. I have done a considerable amount of traveling these last few days, and I must say that I am growing tired of it, and I am becoming more and more hopeful that I will soon be able to just stay in Guelph for a bit.

Home is a good place, with cats and knitting and friends. I am reading a couple of new books, which makes for a pretty happy Rhi. I am not doing the homework that I ought to be doing, which also makes for a pretty happy Rhi. Unfortunately the school is open on Monday, so I have to head back. Unfortunately that means I have to finish reading The Rover, too--finally.

I have more to write but I'll save it for after the weekend.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

read me like a book

Yesterday went quite well, actually. I think--the 15 minutes in which I gave my paper have actually disappeared into a black void. I remember the question period, though--I got great questions about webcams and voyeurism, onine copyright, gendering blogspace, and how authority is established in blogs, particularly those those that deal with politics.

I've also been encouraged to think seriously about publishing what I presented, so perhaps that will be part of my summer's work. After playing video games, writing Finn: The Musical, and other such drunken debauchery.

I've been pretending to be Mr. Butlertron (from Clone High) to my sisters this morning on MSN. He gets all the best lines, Wesley.

Monday, March 21, 2005

what's the worst thing I could do?

Well, project blogger is....doing something. The printer and I are still trying to reconcile our differences; if it breaks and I have to buy a new one, I swear to...someone...that I will be a very, very unhappy Rhi.

Which is much worse than a very, very nervous Rhi, which is what I am right now. God, I hate public speaking.

time for bed

My computer is making some pretty grumpy noises as it prints out my fourth and hopefully final draft of the damned paper for the day--and of course, as I write that it decides to crap out all together. It really has some issues about printing longer documents. If only C3P0 were here to talk to it and find out if I've polarized one of the cables or something.

I am absolutely terrified of tomorrow, but I'm trying to pretend that I'm not. I hope I sleep well, but somehow I doubt it. The best part of the whole presentation is that the room we've reserved for the conference is (probably) the only room on the whole stupid campus that doesn't have a network connection in it. So instead of looking at blogs and posting to blogs, I'll be making people look at screenshots of blogs. boourns to that.

Oh well. At least I'm early enough in the morning that I will get it over with and be able to enjoy everyone else's presentations for the rest of the day.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

chained up in a lion's den

Because Ms. Bookish has asked me to, I have decided to post some snippets from the paper that I am currently writing. I have about 1300-1400 words right now. The paper is expect to have a reading time of 15 minutes, but my partner in crime and I are 'playing with the politics of authorship' and providing a joint intro to our papers that we hope will eat up about 5-7 minutes of our time, so I am trying to adjust my paper accordingly. Right now the thing is a mess, full of holes and highlighting about word choice and paragraph order and the necessity of tring to translate what is in essence a specialist paper to a paper being given to a generalist audience. We are being marked on performance rather than content, which helps, but I feel that in order for me to perform well (as I am a notoriously uneven public speaker) I have to have content that is rock solid.

"First, a few words are perhaps necessary as to why I am approaching this topic from the supposition that weblogging can and should be considered autobiography. Weblogging, or more common blogging, can assume a variety of forms. There are blogs for students, teachers, knitters, rock bands, businesses, and dogs. While I do believe that each of these examples does engage the autobiographic on some level, I will be focusing primarily on the personal weblog for the basis of my analysis. A personal blog is written by one person, and is intended to be a general reflection on that author—unlike special interest blogs, which tend to focus on the author’s relation to one specific subject. The personal blog, which can also be referred to as an online diary, becomes autobiographic because it is the writing of a life story."

I'll post more as it gets better--and feed back is *always* appreciated.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

this makes no sense

Guys, I honestly can't believe I outscored the Writer on this one. Seriously--I mean no harm by that--my parents make fun of me for how little I drink. (Though, to be fair, that has changed here in the Goo--I've been to more bars this year than I did in four years of undergrad.) I have nothing against drinking (I have a case of Corona and a few cans of Strongbow in my fridge right now)...I just usually...don't.

Speaking of alcohol, the geniuses at the LCBO delisted my favourite white wine, Piat d'Or. That makes me angry--it was such a good, cheap wine.

Bacardi 151
Congratulations! You're 139 proof, with specific scores in beer (60) , wine (100), and liquor (86).
All right. No more messing around. Your knowledge of alcohol is so high that you have drinking and getting plastered down to a science. Sure, you could get wasted drinking beer, but who needs all those trips to the bathroom? You head straight for the bar and pick up that which is most efficient.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 86% on proof

You scored higher than 89% on beer index

You scored higher than 94% on wine index

You scored higher than 94% on liquor index
Link: The Alcohol Knowledge Test written by hoppersplit on Ok Cupid

Friday, March 18, 2005

tanglewood days

For all those of you who care about the podiatrical excursion, my foot is only a little infected, and should heal nicely now.

I am anxiously anticipating next week; I need to go home for a bit.

no matter how bad these things can be.

For my paper on the Pythons, corss dressing and constructing masculinity and femininity, my prof suggested that I take a look at the traditions that Monty Python emerges out of, starting with British music hall and moving on to Spike Mulligan. So, I am trying to do that today (instead of working on that paper that I have to present on Monday, of course), and here are some of the interesting things I have found:

Musicals 101: Music Hall
Wikipedia Entry on Music Hall

I think what is particularly interesting (and likely because this is one of my favourite things about the Pythons) is the liminal area between high and low culture that results from music hall.

Two more hours to kill before my doctor's appointment.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

burning and exploding

Term Work Checklist Revisted:

+presentation for Politic of the Cross-Dressed Body on cloud 9, and capitalism and cross-dressing
+2 response papers for same (one on butch/femme and one on something I've forgotten)(butch/femme is done, something still forgotten)
+16 page research paper for same (topic undecided--either Monty Python or Denys Arcand's Declin de l'Empire Americain)(topic decided, it is to be on the Pythons)
+3 more response paper for Lit and Anthroone more left, and is optional
+12 page paper for same (on Jesuit Relations, commodification, and appropriation)
+research presentation on above research (initial presentation complete; follow up set for two weeks from now)
+8 page paper for colloquium on weblogging, autobiography, and the instability of identity (this happens Monday; I have not written it yet)
+online tutorial for Tri-Council policy on ethics in research involving human participants (due tomorrow)
+research proposal for research involving human participants (mock) (ditto)
+response to Meyrowitz's No Sense of Place(ditto)

+actual research proposal for summer research project
+three additional assignments, plus exam, to be marked for that class I TA. (Only two more now)

And just like that, it suddenly all seems that much more manageable. I bought myself a new shirt for the colloquium, to be worn with my suit. I tried on my suit pants this morning, and as I have lost about 25 lbs. since I bought them, it was *not* a pretty site. I have the matching skirt, as well, and it doesn't look bad, so I will still be quite stylishly attired for my paper--and, as we all know, stylish attire is 2/3s of having an excellent paper.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

fighting the good fight

My blipping, blurping, bleeding entries keep getting eaten by the slow internet connection, or by Blogger. I'm not really sure which. My parents came down to visit today, as they're both on hols this week (like small children everywhere, they are!) It was really nice--I got free lunch, and got to spend time with my parents, who amused themselves by poking fun at my "special" sense of direction. They did admire Finn, and my vacuum cleaner, and Dad stole my Finn Bros. CD.

Speaking of Finn, I had to rescue him yesterday since part of his plant decided today. I'm not sure that he's forgiven me for the undue trauma of cleaning out his vase yesterday...apparently bettas don't like being picked up by hand?

In case you couldn't tell, I really don't want to go do work right now.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

missing my family...

The wee one is in Italy for her school break. Before she left, she looked up the names of several internet cafes in each city she would be visiting. She has my digital camera, and a hair straightener of some kind. I hope she is having fun.

Everyone else is just doing what they normally do. Mom might come see me briefly next week, which means cleaning the apartment...but then, I've been looking for an excuse to procrastinate on my colloquium paper...We had to pick titles for them almost a month ago, and now I'm finding that my title doesn't address what I want the paper to. Dammit.

I went to and participated in a reading of Cloud Nine (Caryl Churchill) last week. It was a lot of fun. There was a lot of wine, cheese, and general good company. Being social and productive at the same time is awesome.

My foot is asleep, and I think I'm developing ADD. I either caught it from a toilet seat, or I've been thinking too hard.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

best. internet. quiz. EVER.

I am a d10

Take the quiz at

Here's what it says about me:
Ah, the d10! While you aren't actually a true regular polyhedron, you are the only die that makes logical sense--metrically speaking. Chances are, others see you as over-analytical or a goody-goody. While that may be true, you also have a gift for patience and tolerance. Growing up you probably had a calculator wristwatch that you never really needed to use (since you were faster on your own), and you probably aced all your classes (except for gym). You use the metric system almost exclusively, but are able to quickly convert in mid-conversation for the sake of your backwards Imperalist friends. You've coded in at least two different programming languages, and have created more original gaming systems than you'll ever admit. You're generally not a show-off, but you do take pride in being called either a geek or a nerd.

I would absolutely hate to tell you hwo much of that is true, although I should point out that I don't really get points for the Metric thing, because Canada just is that way already.

Best. Fish. EVER.

Finn has learned to tap on the glass of his bowl when he wants me to pay attention to him. He is so awesome.

Monday, March 07, 2005

writing about blogging about writing

Wheels inside wheels, guys.

I wrote half of my response paper last night, but apparenlty I didn't attach the file correctly and so i am having to start from scratch. This is actually working out quite well, as I am writing much more trenchantly this time, and about blogging, which makes me pretty happy as this may be informative for that colloquium paper I have to give in two weeks. Oh god, kill me now.

I'm actually pretty happy with the way this has turned out--I may post some of it tonight.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

the morning after

Blargh. Every time I think I have a handle on things, something will magically appear on my horizon to upset the balance. Six months in a leaky boat, indeed, Mr. Finn.

School (er, the second term) will be finished in one month + one day. Here is what remains to be done:
+presentation for Politic of the Cross-Dressed Body on cloud 9, and capitalism and cross-dressing
+2 response papers for same (one on butch/femme and one on something I've forgotten)
+16 page research paper for same (topic undecided--either Monty Python or Denys Arcand's Declin de l'Empire Americain)
+3 more response paper for Lit and Anthro
+12 page paper for same (on Jesuit Relations, commodification, and appropriation)
+research presentation on above research
+8 page paper for colloquium on weblogging, autobiography, and the instability of identity
+online tutorial for Tri-Council policy on ethics in research involving human participants (due tomorrow)
+research proposal for research involving human participants (mock) (ditto)
+response to Meyrowitz's No Sense of Place(ditto)
+actual research proposal for summer research project
+three additional assignments, plus exam, to be marked for that class I TA.

I will not implode, I swear. As I collect interesting resources, I'll try to pass them along here. I'm really interested in virtually everything I have added up there; I just don't know when I will have time to sleep, or eat, or knit, or go home for Easter in the next month. Argh!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

this is the worst.

You Are 50% Left Brained, 50% Right Brained

Thanks to Cait and Mz. T for that one.

At school now. No class for another hour and a half or so. No desire to mark student papers which are to be returned on Friday. Slight desire to read Joshua Meyrowitz's No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Media On Social Behavior. I have to write a response to it and I was thinking about MMORPGs.

Guess I should go, you know, do something. The Spark thinks I'm a man, by the way.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

it's just not practical

I think that in ten years, when I look back at The Great Grad School Adventure, particularly if it ends up being only my MA, there are two things that I will remember learning from the experience. I'll only talk about one now, and maybe make the idea into a different blog post someday when I'm not really having much to say.

So the first thing that I have learned this year is that marks are arbitrary. Completely and totally. Actually, they are neither completely nor totally arbitrary, but there is some elements of those. I say this having just marked five papers tonight for my TA class, my head still full of the difficult negotiation between excellence in ideas and clarity in writing, and how serious mispelling the main characters name throughout the entire paper really is, anyway.

I guess this is also borne out of my experience here. My marks have been good this year, but I find myself wondering if that is because they have to be. I wrote a response to the Radway piece that I talk about below (and I was am quite proud of it) about why the public is eager to have someone make their reading choices for them (and what it means that we are). My prof looked it over and assigned me a mark of B+ (78-79 for the numerically inclined). A B+ is not a bad grade, per se, but it isn't a good one--and I had been so happy with my response.

Then in class my prof mentioned that he had forgotten to tell us that he doesn't give As. ...Oh. He wants us to focus on improving our writing and stuff like that, which is great--god knows I need it. But if you don't give As, doesn't a B+ become, essentially, an A by default?

It made me feel better about the B+, anyway, and he gave me good feedback on my writing. Still lots to ponder, though. Critical pedagogy is so interesting to me.