Thursday, October 28, 2010

An hour of TV bliss...

So I'm not an Oprah fanatic, but I am so glad I remembered to DVR today's episode, featuring the cast of The Sound of Music. (I blogged about the episode when it was first announced.) It was the perfect way to unwind after a long day. Now I want to watch the whole movie. No time, though. I'll have to settle for listening to the soundtrack tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"For My Dog, Who Listens to All My Poems"

I am finally making progress on my SAMLA paper. I'm already thinking of one of the final steps before any conference: the multiple practice readings I'll perform for my always-captive-at-home audience, Bing and Wes. For as long as I've been going to conferences, this has been my ritual: a at least few days before the conference, I'll print out a copy of the paper, set the timer on the microwave, plop down on the kitchen floor and start reading. The oddness of this situation--I don't normally sit on the kitchen floor (and I don't know why I originally picked this location), and I don't often talk uninterrupted for 15-20 minutes to an invisible audience--always draws Bing and Wesley to the scene. They watch, pretty darn captivated, sometimes meowing at me as if to say, "Are you talking to us? 'Cause we're right here..."

So I am reminded of this poem by Cathy Smith Bowers, which Andrew Sullivan recently linked to on his blog.

How entranced, each time, she sits there,
her eyes, I swear,
filling with tears
at her master's

inimitable brilliance. It's
clear to me what's
bounding through her
head: The greatest,

yet, of all the generations!
My husband says
she's just waiting
for her rations.

Bing and Wes aren't quite this earnest (well, Wesley might be while Bing might just indeed be "waiting for his rations"), but God bless 'em, they really do seem to listen with something that looks a heck of a lot like interest and (sometimes) appreciation. Yes, I know that's not really what's going on, but it's awfully nice to imagine that it might be. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yeah, that's not a word...

I'm up in my office at 4:30 on a Sunday, after already having quite a busy day. I should be on my way home, but I thought, "Let me just send out that last email...that one that has to go to the whole department." So I wrote it, proofread it, made some brief changes, and was just about to hit send when I thought, "Hmmm, better make that subject heading a bit clearer. Let me add, 'Please announce to your students.'"

Should have done a bit more proofreading. "Accounce," one of the words I actually added, isn't a word at all, and spell-check doesn't check subject headings (why not, I wonder?). So there it is--flying towards the in-box of every English colleague on campus, with a glaring typo in the very first word.

Lovely. Just lovely. The moral of the story? Just go home.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

True story...

As I work on  my SAMLA paper, these words seem so very appropriate:

“To participate in the critical discourse on Hawthorne is to step into a fast-rushing stream, crowded with fishermen of varying orientations, all in hot pursuit of a specimen that, no matter how many times it is caught, always ends up back in the water. Thus the sport of Hawthorne criticism has its pleasures and short-lived rewards, but perhaps the most characteristic aspect of the catch has not been its flesh, but its slipperiness, the accompanying sense that the canonical ‘big one’ always gets away. Textually well-supported arguments, often diametrically opposed--we might want to call them studied and elaborate fish stories--are advanced with great regularity, but only seem to incite further discourse. The famously ambiguous Hawthorne has maintained his claim on critical attention by just this capacity of his work to sustain widely disparate readings.”

Seriously. Sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode. 

Onderdonk, Todd. “The Marble Mother: Hawthorne’s Iconographies of the Feminine.” Studies in American Fiction 31.1 (2003): 73-100. MLA International Bibliography. Web 26 April 2010.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So long, Freddy!

My dad emailed me yesterday to let me know that "Freddy Sez," a fixture at Yankee Stadium, has died. Sad news, indeed. Once he let my mom bang his pot with his spoon. (That sounds way dirtier than it should.) Anyway, it's been a year of big losses for the Yanks: Bob Sheppard, the Boss, and now Freddy. Here's hoping the boys in pinstripes can pull themselves together and get back into this series with Texas, as #28 would be a great tribute to these guys.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

TV Girl Power...

Two links that made me happy today, as I slogged through midterm grading:

1) It's the 25th anniversary of She-Ra. I still have my action figures in my parents' attic (who freely intermingled with my brother's He-Man figures). She-Ra rocked. She also inspired some of my earliest feminist thoughts, including this question: "How come He-Man can appear in 'very special' episodes of She-Ra, but she doesn't get to cross over to his show?" Seriously.

2) It's the 10th anniversary of the first episode of Gilmore Girls. I will admit that I didn't start watching this show until about the third season (and then frantically caught up one summer as I was dissertating), but what a show! I miss it still.