Monday, October 25, 2004

[The Spirit of Ironic Tee Shirts]

      >> 7:21 AM

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Hi from Nashville! I'm at the East of California Asian American Studies conference. I'm up in an hour to talk about bringing non-Asian American students into the Asian American Studies classroom. I have no answers. Only questions. My life is a never-ending search for fun.

      >> 7:55 AM

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

['Assistance dog' designation opens doors for pooches]:

Topper is not alone. By last week, San Francisco had issued 658 tags for assistance dogs -- a number that reflects a big jump since a 2002 ruling by a state regulatory agency that gave people troubled by psychological and emotional problems the right to keep companion dogs and to exercise the legal benefits that go along with it.
Service dogs traditionally have been paired with the visually and hearing impaired, and people using wheelchairs. Now, however, more are helping people who are depressed or anxious and who rely on canine companionship to help them cope.

Hmmm.... Must move to SF. Must get Giles registered as assistance dog....

      >> 12:03 AM

Monday, October 18, 2004

My weekend cold has settled in my voicebox. It's funny because when I speak, I sound like my computer when it/he (Bruce) reads text out loud. My words wobble unsteadily out of my mouth, syllables indiscriminately swallowed by the clot in my throat. I stopped by the pharmacy to pick up some [guaifenesin] to help clear things up. I hope by tomorrow to be able to speak again.

      >> 7:54 PM

Yay! [Whedon fans for John Kerry and John Edwards.]

      >> 6:24 AM

Sunday, October 17, 2004

[Without a Doubt]:

The Delaware senator was, in fact, hearing what Bush's top deputies -- from cabinet members like Paul O'Neill, Christine Todd Whitman and Colin Powell to generals fighting in Iraq -- have been told for years when they requested explanations for many of the president's decisions, policies that often seemed to collide with accepted facts. The president would say that he relied on his ''gut'' or his ''instinct'' to guide the ship of state, and then he ''prayed over it.'' The old pro Bartlett, a deliberative, fact-based wonk, is finally hearing a tune that has been hummed quietly by evangelicals (so as not to trouble the secular) for years as they gazed upon President George W. Bush. This evangelical group -- the core of the energetic ''base'' that may well usher Bush to victory -- believes that their leader is a messenger from God. And in the first presidential debate, many Americans heard the discursive John Kerry succinctly raise, for the first time, the issue of Bush's certainty -- the issue being, as Kerry put it, that ''you can be certain and be wrong.''


      >> 1:35 PM

Giles played with a cat in the tennis courts today.

      >> 11:21 AM

I've been sick since fall break started. :( I get all nostalgic when I'm sick and lying around in bed. So I went to the store and got myself [Super Mario Bros.] on the Gameboy Advance, the old classic Nintendo game. Yay.

      >> 9:51 AM

Thursday, October 14, 2004

On the way into my classroom yesterday morning, I caught out of the corner of my eye a flyer announcing a reading by [Ruth Ozeki] in town. I'm going to try to catch the reading though I'm more in the mood for being lazy. Plus, Rob is off work today and as much as I love readings/talks, it's not so much the kind of thing I like to do with him. (I am nevertheless dragging him to the reading, though, rather than going to it without him and therefore not seeing much of him the one day this week he's had off.)

      >> 3:51 PM

OMG we're all going to become cyborgs! [Implantable Medical ID Approved by FDA]:

Doctors would scan patients like cans of soup at a grocery store. Instead of the price, the patient's medical record would pop up on a computer screen. Emergency room doctors could scan unconscious car accident victims to check their blood type and medications and make sure they have no drug allergies. Surgeons could scan patients in the operating room to guard against cutting into the wrong person. Chips could be implanted in Alzheimer's patients in case they get lost.
Mexico's attorney general announced in July that he had one of the devices injected into his arm, as had about 160 of his lieutenants, to control access to high-security offices. In bars in Amsterdam and Barcelona, patrons can have the chips implanted to allow them to enter exclusive areas and keep track of their tabs.

Then again, Giles has a similar kind of chip implanted in him already. Wouldn't want doggy to run away and not be returned.

      >> 2:08 AM

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

So cute!

Baby panda. From [SFGate.com].

      >> 12:12 AM

Monday, October 11, 2004

I feel like I am totally forgetting to do something right now.....

      >> 3:22 PM

That whole Dred Scott reference Bush made during the second debate? Random? Or was there some [method] to his [madness]?

      >> 8:36 AM

Sunday, October 10, 2004

      >> 6:53 PM

I seem to be in a baking mood. I made something like a baked ziti for lunch. Now I'm just waiting for Rob to get home from driving mom and Jerry to the airport to start eating....

We might go to the lake this afternoon with puppy. It will be marvelous.

In the meantime, I am skimming [Mixed Race America and the Law] as research for a paper on legislating queer sexualities through Asian America. (And no, this project doesn't figure into my dissertation. Bad me.)

      >> 1:32 PM

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Ugh. So hungry. What am I having for dinner tonight?

I've been immersed a bit in the soundtrack for and the documentary "making of" [Miss Saigon] since we are in my class talking about the controversies that arose around the Broadway show's representations of Asians as well as other discussions about the place of Asian Americans in Broadway theater and the uptake of Miss Saigon by various Asian American communities. It's been years since I've listened to the musical though in high school I was quite infatuated with the drama of the story. And of course, Lea Salonga's voice is brilliant in a way that no one else's is.

      >> 7:27 PM

Friday, October 08, 2004

I think my dog throws up when I don't pay him enough attention. Is that some form of dog anorexia?

The images on my web site might be unviewable to some now because I took the drastic step to alter the [.htaccess file] in my root directly to prevent hotlinking. It's like spam protection -- to keep away the unwanteds, sometimes you have to sacrifice the wanteds. :( But I came across a site about swapping out hotlinked images using [an I love Britney image] as an example. Ha.

      >> 5:38 PM

Thursday, October 07, 2004

It's almost the weekend. Make yourself some lemon squares:

1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons lemon peel, shredded
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

powdered sugar

1. To make the crust, in a medium bowl, beat butter. Add sugar; beat until combined. Beat in flour till crumbly. Press mixture into bottom of ungreased 8X8X2 baking pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes or just until golden.

2. For filling, combine eggs, sugar, flour, lemon peel & juice, and baking powder. Beat 2 minutes until combined.

3. Pour filling onto baked layer. Bake 20 minutes more until lightly browned around edges and center is set. Cool on wire rack.

4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares. Makes 20 scrumptious, lemony delights.

      >> 10:15 PM

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The Guglhupf cafe rocks my world.

      >> 12:39 PM

Couldn't sleep again last night. Kept getting up to send off an e-mail, write down a thought, find a knick-knack I didn't want to forget to take with me today. Now I'm going to be tired and discombobulated again all day. It might not look pretty in my classroom as I stumble through basic speech (announcements, questions for discussion, etc.).

Giles is going off to doggy day care today. Yes, I am a total yuppie SOB. I can't believe I'm taking him to doggy day care, either. I didn't even know there was such a thing a few months ago, frankly. We hope this means we'll get some of our own work done today....

      >> 6:49 AM

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

My dinner tonight, because I am lazy, is a plate of crackers, cheese, and a pear. When is my personal chef getting here?

Giles thinks the crackers are for him.

      >> 7:28 PM

Because of last night's worrying-insomnia, I am now suffering from a horrible headache. Something's got me down, too, and it's manifested itself in a mini-book buying spree. Purchased today: Maxine Hong Kingston's Fifth Book of Peace, Susan Choi's American Woman, and Laura Kipnis's Against Love: A Polemic. I'm trying to prepare for tomorrow's class discussion of Gertrude Stein's "Melanctha," but can't focus through the pain. :(

I'm trying to get together some people I've met over the past year at conferences to submit panel proposals for the upcoming [AAAS conference] in April 2005. I really hope we can get our panels accepted because I would love to get some feedback on my work from other Asian Americanists.

      >> 5:41 PM

Sometimes, but only sometimes, this is how I feel about writing away into the void, unread, on this page:

The reason he had the radio on was that whenever he stopped typing, he heard someone else nearby tapping, tapping at a typewriter, a typing through the night. Yes, it was there, steady but not mechanical. Not furnace or pipes or adding machine or teletype or timer. Not an echo. Now and again, the noise did hesitate, as if for thought, then a few word-length taps. An intelligence was coming up with words. Someone else, not a poet with pencil or fountain pen but a workhorse big-novel writer, was staying up, probably done composing already and typing out fair copy. It should be a companionable noise, a jazz challenge to which he could blow out the window his answering jazz. But, no, it's an expensive electric machine-gun typewriter aiming at him, gunning for him, a clerk typist, he hoped, a secretary, he hoped. A schoolteacher cutting mimeo stencils. A cookbook writer. A guidebook-for-tourists writer. Madam Dim Sum, Madam Chinoiserie, Madam Orientalia knocking out horsey cocky locky astrology, Horatio Algiers Wong--he heard the typing leave him behind. (Maxine Hong Kingston, Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book)

But only sometimes.

      >> 8:41 AM

One of those moments, awake but unable to stay awake, worries suspending me between states as I desperately want to go to sleep but feel like I must stay up and do more work....

I've a cup of instant mocha in front of me; it's woken me up a bit. Now I'm trying to clean up my table so that I can see some order in my thoughts and this week's work.

[Least likely.] Is there anyone left who hasn't been targeted as a voter for this upcoming election? In all this push to register more voters and get everyone to the polls, there still seems to be a paucity of information about the candidates up for election and the issues up for decisions. Am I just looking in all the wrong places? Why is it so hard for me to figure out what I am actually voting on in November? :(

      >> 1:19 AM

Monday, October 04, 2004

Hmmm. The piles of paper and books around my computer seem to have grown. I will never get control of them as I always hope. Oh well.

Tonight I went to see gender theorist/performance artist Kate Bornstein in her kick-off performance for coming out week on campus. She was wonderful and funny. At times, her "message" veered much towards motivational speaker speak (as she self-mockingly acknowledged), but ultimately she has a great approach to questioning gender constantly. Unlike some other transexual speakers, she isn't content to proclaim how great it was to become "she" after so many years in the "wrong" male body. Instead, she insisted that gender has been for her a constant bugbear that she is now realizing must be constantly disowned rather than made coherent on one's own body.

      >> 10:19 PM

Sunday, October 03, 2004

[Ha ha.] Aaron McGruder calls out Bush as a moron. He's so right that people keep denying this very disturbing and obvious fact. What's up with Aaron Brown's response, "OK. That's a different thing. Let's say he is not articulate. And I think they would concede he's not the most articulate guy on the planet. It doesn't mean he doesn't have convictions. It doesn't mean he believes in some things. It doesn't necessarily mean he's wrong. It just means he can't express himself"??

      >> 8:02 PM

The exciting news is that the bakery [Guglhupf] has opened up a cafe. The sad news is that their hours are still quite limited. I am totally going to hang out there and have different, fresh pastries all the time. Now I just have to figure out where I can go NOW to get something yummy. I wish I lived somewhere with more bakeries and cafes that opened past 4 pm. :(

PS Is it wrong that I'm thinking about putting in an application to work retail at the Bakery/Cafe because the owner [Hartmut] is hot and so German? (I think I just spoke to him on the phone when I called about their cafe hours.) Witness:

      >> 3:25 PM

I am currently trying to track down information on this November's ballot. It's odd how difficult it is to find the sample ballot and information on all the candidates. If anyone knows of some clearinghouse web site containing this information, please let me know. I am able to pull up some information (pretty much who is running for what office) from my [state board of elections], but they don't have any information on the candidates -- such as prepared statements -- readily available....

      >> 12:43 PM

Saturday, October 02, 2004

I almost got the children's book [Walter the Farting Dog] at the store yesterday but refrained when I realized how many books I have (too many!). Instead, I spent $75 on four research-related books. Sigh. One looks quite interesting, at least judging by its title: [Urban Triage: Race and the Fictions of Multiculturalism] by James Kyung-Jin Lee.

Drawing on the fields of literary criticism, public policy, sociology, and journalism, Lee deftly assesses the success with which these multicultural fictions engaged in the debates over these issues and the extent to which they may actually have alienated the very communities that their creators purported to represent.

This description from the web site suggests that the book points at a very common approach to thinking about fiction by writers of color and its relationship to their "communities" (in scare quotes because that word was a red flag during my prospectus meeting a couple days ago). That approach is to interrogate the gap between the writer and the community which s/he purports to represent. My dissertation project tries to take a step away from negotiating that relationship by insisting on the fact that literary (and other) scholars also bear a certain relationship to that "community" or "culture" via their primary texts. Moreover, that relationship is determined not just by genre, form, cultural contexts of circulation, and so on if we consider how people take up novels or popular music or so on, but is determined also by disciplinary protocols, the history of the university as an institution of higher learning, and the specificities of institionalization of various interdisicplinary programs (in my case, Asian American Studies). I think the only way to study the kinds of claims scholars make about culture via cultural productions (poetry, novels, popular music, television cartoons, etc.) is to do a comparative project drawing out and comparing how those different cultural productions as sites of inquiry do affect the kinds of claims scholars make about culture. This is all still very vague, as my committee kept saying. I have to work out the details to see if it is a feasible (or even interesting) argument.

Today is [North Carolina Pride]. Yes, you might be wondering, isn't Pride usually in June? A few years ago, the organizers of the state-wide North Carolina Pride events decided that there would be a bigger crowd in the Durham-Chapel Hill-Raleigh area during the school year. The sad reality is that many students who help swell the ranks of the parade are not out to their families and therefore cannot make the trip out to the Triangle area during the summer. And I suppose many out faculty/staff might also take off for the summer and therefore not be around. Plus, it's just too damned hot and humid during the height of summer to be outside marching and all. I might make it over to the parade this afternoon for a stroll with Giles dog.

      >> 8:23 AM

Friday, October 01, 2004

[Smile, damnit.] I have the opposite problem of smiling by default, thereby leading everyone to think I am an acquiescent pushover.

      >> 6:44 PM

[Electronic paper.] Cool.

      >> 5:45 PM

[Area Codes, Now Divorced from Their Areas]:

In this era of mobile telecommunications, calls now connect people, not places. Cellular phones, changing governmental regulations and new Internet technology have torn area codes from geography, allowing people to have phone numbers with area codes distant from where they live. Though not new, the trend has kicked up a pitched debate among a colorful collection of technological pundits, telephone historians and Web preachers who specialize in the topic.

I've thought a bit about the unmooring of area codes from geographical locations at the beginning of each semester while compiling class lists of names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers. Many of my students' numbers are of outside the local calling area. Makes you think.

      >> 2:34 PM