Today’s loot:

  1. Li-Young Lee, The City in Which I Love You
  2. Ed-Bok Lee, Real Karaoke People
  3. Nathaniel Mackey, Splay Anthem
  4. David Treuer, Native American Fiction

The first two I picked up since I am probably going to position myself to some extent as a specialist in Asian American poetry. Ed-Bok Lee is also a local writer and might be willing to be enticed to do a reading for one of my classes in the future. The third book is the National Book Award winner in poetry this year, and one of my dissertation committee members speaks very highly of Mackey’s work in general. The fourth book is also by a local writer. I figure since one of the other projects I am planning on undertaking is a rapprochement of Asian American and Native American literary studies, I might as well start reading widely in Native American literature (beyond Leslie Marmon Silko and Sherman Alexie, heh). Also, Treuer is hot, and I want to meet hot writers.

The University of Minnesota’s bookstore is big, but I’m realizing that its stock is still geared more towards a general reading public rather than an academic one. Even UNC’s much smaller Bullshead Books has a more substantial selection of academic books. This makes me sad.


I finished grading and compiling semester grades a couple hours ago! This is a most excellent feeling. Mr. Frog is taking a shower, and then we will go out to dinner to celebrate. I still have to hang out in my office a few hours each day for the rest of the week to give my students a chance to pick up their folders before they leave for home. I will spend those hours either watching movies on my computer or reading.

Yesterday I rented the following movies from Home Video, the oh-so-cleverly-named video store nearby (Tuesday is $2/movie rental night for 2-5 movies):

  • The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
  • Aeon Flux
  • 2046
  • Brothers of the Head

Mr. Frog and I watched the first one last night. It was not very good. Or maybe I just totally don’t understand movies where the guys compete and fight over a girl who willingly is the prize to be won. The last movie is about conjoined twins who head a punk band. I am so totally going to watch it and then finally get around to writing that paper about conjoined twins as figures of contemporary anxieties about bodily integrity and the limits of individuality in movies (also the Polish brothers’ Twin Falls Idaho) and fiction (Darin Strauss’s Chang and Eng and Mark Slouka’s God’s Fool). Interestingly, both movies feature the conjoined twins as performing musicians…

I also realized yesterday that my school library has a copy of John Kerkering’s The Poetics of National and Racial Identity. Perhaps I will check that out and read it as something to argue against in my dissertation. (He also thinks about sound and race but is a disciple, I think, of Walter Benn Michaels so comes to very different conclusions about the value of considering racial difference and culture. I might be totally wrong about what he does in the book project, but this is what I remember from a journal article excerpted from the book.)


Which Sesame Street Muppet’s Dark Secret Are You?

Bert & Ernie’s Gay Love Affair

Look, everyone knows you two are lovebirds. Why not do the brave thing and admit it to the world? The times are kinder nowadays. There may be the odd ultraconservative bigwig or overprotective mom, but so what? Piss on ’em. Come on out of the closet. It’s ok.
Take this quiz!


I think I have a bulimic puppy. I woke up this morning at 6 to the sound of vomitting in the bedroom. I turned on the light, and there was Giles sniffing some thrown-up stuff (bile-ish chunks of his food, mmm, tasty) on the floor. He’s done this two or three other times in the past couple of years. I’m not sure what it is. He doesn’t seem particularly troubled or otherwise sick.

Oh wells. We went for a walk around the block in the drizzle. I washed some dishes. And now I’m eating some tasty steamed custard buns and drinking spicy masala chai.


The best response to Lindsay Lohan’s e-mail of sadness I’ve read is by Dr. Crazy who explains why America’s collective laughing at Lohan’s illiteracy masks bigger problems:

And let’s get something straight, America: Lindsay may not be able to spell, or to write in complete sentences, or to have a coherent or logical structure to a piece of writing. But as somebody who teaches writing to students about Lindsay’s age, I’m here to tell you: your kids can’t do those things either! Lindsay’s problem is not that she’s a starlet and that her mother emphasized fame over education, because if that is her problem, America, then how do you explain all of the non-starlets whom I encounter who write in the exact same fashion before I get my hands on them – and sometimes even after I get my hands on them?


From an article about NYC parks and dogs:

Exercising dogs off-leash provides some benefits to human health. Off-leash exercise can calm anxiety in animals and reduce the likelihood of dog bites and other aggressive behavior. In addition, dog owners can experience better mental health by socializing with others and improved physical health by exercising alongside their dogs. Off-leash hours can make parks safer for all people who use them by bringing more people into the parks off-peak hours. (emphasis mine)

Ah yes, the mental health of socialization.


It occurs to me that maybe I should include the picture of attack Giles on future syllabuses and note that he has been trained to attack students on command.

. . .

How cold is it? Why, it’s so cold that, at 4 pm, I put some frozen food purchased at the store in the trunk of my car, and when I finally got home at 8:30 pm, the food was still frozen solid. That’s how cold it is.


I wish I read Japanese so I could understand what this page about Honda Dog says. DOGS AND CARS! WHEE!!! (hat tip to tommyjournal)

Also, “Honda unveils vehicle designed for dogs.”

And “Dog-friendly car takes a bow-wow,” explains, “While some drivers may suspect Honda has gone barking mad, others see the innovations as reflecting the importance of dogs in changing demographics. For many a dog is the most common passenger.”


I’ve been getting literally hundreds of a particular kind of spam message. The “From” line always consists of a name, both first and last name. The “Subject” line reads, “it’s me *first name*.” None of the messages contain names of people I know. I think it’s creepy that the collective mind of the internets is trying to psych me out to read the message this way.

Also, I wish my students would change the subject line of e-mails when they respond to an earlier message of mine with a new message. Like, this week, students have been e-mailing me for conference meeting times. But they’ve just been replying to my last message with the subject line “photo volunteer found.” Total disconnect.

I also wish people would talk about things in the order in which they suggest they will. Like, if a blog post lists three things, “A, B, C,” doesn’t it makes sense to talk about item A, then item B, and finally item C?

I’m complaining about trivial things because grading sucks.