Saturday, May 31, 2003

Rocking out to [Jason Mraz]. Coolest last name, ever.

      >> 9:10 PM

Friday, May 30, 2003

I can't believe a week's passed already...

I'm up trying to put together a syllabus for a course I'm slated to teach in the fall. I was supposed to e-mail it to the chair of the department yesterday....

Buffy paper remains unwritten. I fear next week as I set off for the conference in Pittsburgh, I will still be struggling to put some thoughts down on paper. It's just that I don't believe any of the things I'm thinking or have jotted down (including what I wrote in the paper proposal I submitted)....

I've been swimming at the gym all this week. I'd forgotten how annoying chlorine is in drying out and irritating skin and in making hair frizzy....

I got my hair cut this week and trimmed the facial hair....

Me again.

      >> 11:42 PM

What's wrong with [this picture]?

      >> 11:38 PM

Thursday, May 29, 2003

There's this tv ad for [Juicy Juice]... I have to find it. It's perfect. The tag-line is something like, "10% is not enough. We don't settle for just 10%." They're referring to the juice content of their drink, of course, but just think of how great this ad would be as part of a homosexuality promotion campaign...

The thunder and lightning have arrived outside. Yay!

      >> 2:58 PM

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Krikey. I joined a gym today to use the pool this summer. Mistake? Maybe. In other news, I must learn to play the guitar this summer.

      >> 9:54 PM

Blah blah blah.

Beep beep beep.

      >> 11:37 AM

Friday, May 23, 2003

Ah ha ha! [Pot-head cows?]

      >> 2:40 PM

Say hello to my fridge.

      >> 9:49 AM

Thursday, May 22, 2003

The Press is having a memorial service for a recently deceased editor. It's solemn, quiet. I'm probably the only one not at the service just a few rooms down. I'm in a sort of awkward position. I didn't really get a chance to know her. Should I attend the service? Someone also sort of needs to stay at the front desk to take care of a book purchase...

Okay, just taken care of. The man who came in to buy a book rang the doorbell like five times before coming in the door (even though the door was unlocked). He was loud and grumpy. I finally had to tell him we were having a memorial service so he should perhaps not be so loud and not ask to use the phone and not complain about the parking ticket he got.

It's very rainy and dreary outside. Just my kind of weather.

      >> 3:30 PM

[Incident at Yale Law School.] My sister called me about this last night and then I saw it mentioned on the local news. There was a clip of Mayor DeStefano stating repeatedly that this was nothing more that what it was. Huh? Well, duh. It was really kind of funny how he kept repeating in the vaguest way that "this" was nothing more than what "it" was, though. I couldn't help but laugh.

      >> 11:52 AM

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Hee. Fun at [ibiblio.org]. The text is simple and rather standard --

Our Apologies
Part of ibiblio's collection is unavailable due to extended maintenance. The /pub directory will be restored as soon as possible. In the meantime, please explore a mirror, as a large portion of the content on /pub is mirrored elsewhere. Thank you for understanding.

-- but the words are linked to fun images. Gotta love the folks at ibiblio.

Whoops, update: [Go here for the linky words.]

      >> 3:35 PM


Trees, trees, trees.

A tree and a building on campus.


Coker Arboretum. Mmm.

Education and enjoyment.

Squirrel in arboretum.

Sun peeking through trees in arboretum.

Flowers in arboretum.

Stone wall around arboretum.

Parking meters.


Magnolia blossom?

No parking in trees, please.

Auto spin.

Bright red contraption.

Brooks Hall. Dedicated twice. (It burned down once.)

      >> 9:42 AM

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Hee. The editor-in-chief just walked by whistling "We're Off to See the Wizard."

My god. I've been posting such inanities lately. And not even wild, wacky ones. Just boring ones. Pictures of beautiful day in Chapel Hill forthcoming.

      >> 2:02 PM


Recall that identity is a teleological narrative as used in a politics of identity, one that posits a common origin and looks toward a common destiny. It is in that sense assimilative, as difference must be elided to foreground resemblance. Another way to understand that elision is to recognize it as constituting the amnesia necessary to sustain a sense of stable identity. -- Kandice Chuh in Imagine Otherwise: On Asian Americanist Critique

      >> 1:20 PM

[RICKY!!!!!!] WE <3 U!!!!!

      >> 1:08 PM

Monday, May 19, 2003

My new mantra is -- A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT.

      >> 1:06 PM

Friday, May 16, 2003

I'm going wacky bonkers with boredom here at work. Pthbt.

      >> 3:45 PM

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Allergies are killing me. Maybe it's dust kicked up from moving things around. Rob and I switched the bedroom and the study. The bedroom was the brightest room in the apartment; since Rob sleeps during the day (yes, he is a vampire), it made more sense to have the bed in a darker room. In any case, it was a change. We left my four loaded bookcases where they were (now the bedroom). The new bedroom's really quite cozy: a wall lined with books (they absorb sound, too), a bed, some dressers, and a television on the window ledge. Now the new study is brighter, more open -- it's the larger room -- maybe I'll actually do some work in here during the day.

      >> 11:39 PM


      >> 3:31 PM

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

The phone I tend at work.

Fun postage metering machine I ply.

What a pretty day outside.

Don't even think about it.

University trash only.

Hula crosswalking.


      >> 5:28 PM

Monday, May 12, 2003

Window blinds are mesmerizing.

Blank white walls are cool, too.

      >> 7:20 AM

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Buy me.


No comment.

      >> 8:52 PM

Saturday, May 10, 2003

After talking to my sister on the phone earlier today about Iris Chang, I remembered another response I had to her talk. My sister heard some of the TotN interview and thought that Chang sounded rather like she believed becoming American was automatically a great thing. Chang seems very much to idealize being "American," meaning just like white people in America. There isn't much of a sense of how the injustices that befall Chinese Americans might be structurally dependent on the exclusion of certain peoples, that the project of becoming "white," is one of becoming unmarked racially, but always at the expense of other racially outcast. Chang said some things about interracial relationships, marriages, and children, for example, that suggested that their existence is evidence of acceptance of Chinese Americans. While that might be true, such a statement is really fraught with many assumptions about the validity of assimilating into a white mainstream, about how racial difference might get recuperated in ways that reinforce dominant paradigms of (white) racial superiority.

Happy birthday to my mom!

      >> 6:17 PM

Friday, May 09, 2003

So lazy am I. I was going to write up some thoughts about a reading Iris Chang gave yesterday at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham. But now I don't even know if I have anything (interesting) to say. I still have to listen to the [Talk of the Nation] clip of an interview she did on Wednesday.

Lessee... Yeah, I wasn't overawed by her little reading/talk. Her book, The Chinese in America, didn't seem particularly novel as a historical project, though if it becomes a bestseller and lots of people read it in this country, that could do a lot to bring the history of Chinese Americans to the forefront of American consciousness. She has this argument that Chinese immigrants/Americans have a cyclical relationship to mainstream America -- running from acceptance as honorary whites to vilification as foreign spies.

The Q&A was not suprising to me, though still perhaps depressing. There were two strains of questions:

(1) Questions about China/Japan (rather than Chinese Americans or America). Somewhat understandably, Chang's earlier bestselling work, The Rape of Nanking, was about Japanese invasion of China and the atrocities they committed there. But of course, given her current book's project of re-imagining China within America's borders, thinking about how that always-assumed connection between Chinese immigrants/descendents and China has governed mainstream treatment of Chinese Americans, it was depressing to see how so many in the audience didn't seem to understand the difference.

(2) Comments by first-generation Chinese immigrants about the critical stance Chang takes towards the American government and its history of excluding Chinese Americans variously from politics, citizenship, enfranchisement, etc. These audience members asked of American-born Chang whether she had ever "lived in China," arguing that things are much worse, more oppressive, in China than in America. And this is where I thought Chang was most impressive -- in how she handled these questions and comments. She didn't deny that political oppression is tremendous in China and even in Nationalist Taiwan, but she argued that the American freedoms and civil liberties that we enjoy must constantly be fought for and protected. She referred repeatedly to the current state of affairs, to the Bush administration's steady erosion of civil liberties in the fight against terror. It's just so odd to me that people seem to think "America" should never be criticized, as if it is perfect. And even if these people don't think America is perfect, even if they would acknowledge historical injustices perpetrated by the government, they want to argue that because America is "better" than countries like China in regards to the people, we should therefore forgive and forget, focus only on the future. Very troubling, I say. I cringed when she trotted out the adage about the importance of history, learning from our mistakes so as not to repeat them, but in response to these people who wanted simply to forget past treatment of Chinese Americans since things are better for them here than in China, it was really appropriate. Oh, and I liked her take on Bill Moyers's documentary on Chinese Americans -- she thinks that it's great overall, but has a tendency to paint the history of Chinese Americans as a progressively happier and better one, as if America hasn't continually taken down Chinese Americans a notch or two whenever it was beneficial to national projects (security, etc.). She noted importantly that before 9/11, China was certainly being groomed by the American government and others to be the next "big bad." (Think of the Wen Ho Lee case, the political contributions scandal, the spy plane incident...)

      >> 3:52 PM

Thursday, May 08, 2003

<work rant, cont'd>So this woman just came in to drop off something for one of our editors. I remember that she had come by a few weeks back. She was also very annoying. One of these pompous, I-am-so-important persons. She, too, had a book proposal. And she was adamant that she see someone right away. Mind you, she just walked in off the street without an appointment or even an idea of which editor she would need to approach. I tried to explain to her that the editors prefer a written proposal, but she wouldn't hear it. She kept saying, "I don't think you understand . . . " and rambled on about the importance of her book proposal. I wanted to throttle her. Again with the condescension, as if I wasn't giving her what she wanted because I was too stupid to understand the importance of things. I just passed her on to one of the editors, and luckily he was completely understanding about how some people are just so full of themselves. As if cornering an editor in person would really help her to get the book published if the editor didn't think it merited publishing.</work rant, cont'd>

      >> 12:52 PM

<work rant>Argh. I could never pursue a career dealing with people in a customer-service type relationship. (Teachers have all the power.) I don't generally deal with people at my receptionist job -- just pass along phone calls to the appropriate persons and let people know when they have walk-in visitors. This afternoon, though, I fielded a call from the most annoying man in the whole wide world. He wanted to submit a manuscript proposal and really thought he knew everything already. He wanted to get the name of an editor to whom he could address his proposal. He kept saying that he had "friends" who had books coming out with the Press and wanted to find out who their editors were (why doesn't he just ask them?); but when I looked in our database, I couldn't find his "friends'" names. Every time I tried to explain to him the Press's submission guidelines, he would say something really rude and dismissive, like I didn't know what was going on and god why does he have to deal with a peon like me. See, that's what I really hate about positions like this, when you can't respond to jerks appropriately and you have to maintain a sense of civility even when (especially) they don't. And of course the stupidest thing is that if he knew what he were doing, then it wouldn't be such a problem getting the response he wanted. One of the things that's difficult about this job really is just terminology. Authors and the general public understand the terms used in academic publishing in different ways. Sometimes, as with this freak, when I'm trying to get someone to explain exactly what they mean by their terms, they just assume that I'm stupid when in fact I'm trying to figure out what they want because they're using a term incorrectly or vaguely. He was so condescending to me that eventually I just gave him the name of a random acquisitions editor without trying to figure out what subject area his manuscript project fell in. He would say, "Good," in this very annoying way (like saying, see it wasn't so hard to understand what I wanted, was it?) every time I gave him some information that he deemed worthy. Of course, he didn't actually find out anything new. He might as well just have sent in the manuscript proposal blind for all the effort he put into listening to me when I was trying to explain what he needed to include. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</work rant>

      >> 12:34 PM

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Late afternoon.


      >> 7:56 PM

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

A very favorable review of X2: [Paradigm X].

X-Men was one of my favorite comics to read as a young'un because it tries to deal with the conflict between groups of people in all its complications. It was great to see mutants as heroes, carefully drawn to resonate with oppressed groups like African Americans and homosexuals, pitted against a hysterical mainstream society whose unwarranted fears only help to generate more confusion and violence.

      >> 3:45 PM

Wow. Time flies. Have I mentioned I'm done with the semester? With coursework? (No more classes to take EVER?)

It's been nice these past few days just to relax. I caught X2 in the theater on Saturday. It was alright. At least that's what I like to say to Rob to see him react in shock. He loved it. I liked it a lot. It was fun. But once you start thinking about it, it kinda loses some of its surface charms. My major criticism is that they tried to do too much in the movie, tried to take up too many plots. The thing is, if you don't know the X-Men storylines, you probably wouldn't notice half the things that were happening.

I've got to buckle down and start doing some major work. Lots of books to read. Papers to write. Lesson plans for teaching... But first up is a conference paper on Buffy. It's going to be a fun summer, I tell ya.

      >> 2:58 PM

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Note to self: I don't really like [Milky Way Bars] nor [Butterfingers] so stop buying them. Gar.

      >> 2:09 PM

Oh. Tuesday after I heard that I didn't get a summer research grant for studying Chang and Eng Bunker, I opted from some retail therapy and bought a new [cell phone].* If only buying stuff could bring actual happiness . . .

* At least I wasn't simply splurging . . . I was going to get a new battery for my old phone, but it would've cost more to buy the battery than to get the new phone while signing another contract with the service provider.

      >> 2:04 PM

Oh. My. God. Everything is kicking my ass. And my semester was supposed to end with a dramatic sigh of relief yesterday. But I'm still cobbling together rather haphazardly an annotated bibliography project and thinking about a syllabus for a course I'm slated to teach in the fall on social theory and cultural diversity in the International Studies program. Augh.

      >> 1:57 PM