Monday, January 31, 2005

for MJW
So, you fucked John Donne.
Wasn't very nice of you.
He was betrothed to God, you know,
a diet of worms for you!
So, you fucked John Keats.
He's got the sickness, you know.
You took precautions, you say.
So, you fucked him anyway.
John Donne, John Keats,
John Guevara, John Wong,
John Kennedy, Johnny John-John.
The beautiful, the wreckless, the strong.
Poor thang, you had no self-worth then,
you fucked them all for a song.
Marilyn Chin

      >> 10:36 PM

Monday, January 24, 2005

A Red Wheelbarrow
Rest and look at this goddamned wheelbarrow. Whatever
It is. Dogs and crocodiles, sunlamps. Not
For their significance.
For their significant. For being human
The signs escape you. You, who aren't very bright
Are a signal for them. Not,
I mean, the dogs and crocodiles, sunlamps. Not
Their significance.
Jack Spicer

      >> 12:01 PM

[Corporate Americans]:

It was a nice speech, but I tend to agree with American Prospect editor Michael Tomasky's argument that in order to effectively fight this battle we need to better understand that it is self-interest rather than liberal notions of collective responsibility and community that is driving American society. Tomasky has so far attended to just one pillar of the Ownership Society agenda Social Security. He says that instead of denying that there is a Social Security crisis, we should focus on the benefit cuts that privatization would no doubt entail. It's a good argument; the Congressional Budget Office found that beginning in 2013 and for most of the next 50 years, total benefits under the most likely projected Bush plan would be lower for every age group starting with those born in the 1950s.

It probably is self-interest that drives American society, even with notions of collective responsibility. Maybe I'm just an idealist to think that there can be some cultural work done to shift people's understandings of social and personal wealth to encompass or center on collective well-being and taking care of others.

      >> 10:42 AM

Friday, January 21, 2005

[Bookslut] writes:

It turns out that the "Books for Babies" program is not structured like the "Toys for Guns" programs, so if you show up with babies, you can not exchange them for books. Completely blows my weekend plans.

. . .

More fodder for my dissertation: [American Dragon].

Dragon up! Jake Long is your average 13-year-old kid, who just so happens to be a powerful and magical dragon! While learning to master his mad dragon skills (with the help of Grandpa and Fu Dog), it's Jake's destiny to protect all of the magical creatures in New York City from some seriously bad dudes.

It's a cartoon about a Chinese American boy who finds out he's descended from dragons but just wants to skateboard. Or something like that.

      >> 4:53 PM

Thursday, January 20, 2005

There's something about loss that is always about love, too. Loss is what you feel when you lose something you really love. It's really difficult now to get along. I know I'm going to be okay in the long run, but it doesn't make the immediate sadness any less poignant. Nor does it make getting things done any easier. So many papers to grade, so many papers to write. And all to be done within the next two weeks.

Looking through some of the archives of this blog to recapture a sense of wonder about writing, I'm amazed by how distant the writing persona I took on a few years ago seems.

Overheard outside: "I didn't take a shower until five in the afternoon yesterday!"

The sense of the person writing the entries is one that I don't recognize. It's as if I have become estranged from the self that I once wrote.

This is the sticky substance of my discomfort -- that there is something universal about people's need to seek love. I like hooks's vision of this utopian world of love, care, respect, etc. But I think that mobilizing essential needs and personalities is always problematic. In fact, hooks criticizes popular conceptions of gendered-beliefs about love (as in John Gray's bestselling work, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) as detrimental to the actualization of her vision of love. However, she sees these popular conceptions simply as wrong (and her understanding as right), not that they, as essentialized beliefs of gender-qualities, create meaning that devastates and demoralizes.

Today, spurred by dissertation non-writing woes and my attendance at a job talk, I have been lamenting that I have nothing engaging or critical to say about what I read, hear, and see.

Indeed, many of Felix's actions are conventionally morally corrupt (stealing a car, having sex with a man not his boyfriend, etc.), but I think the film presents these actions in a way that emphasizes their intimacy-creating possibilities. He steals the car to impress his "little brother," to share an experience with him. He shares a passionate affair with his "cousin." He is taken under the care of his "grandmother." And he helps out and bickers with his "sister." These ways of interacting with people, the film suggests, are not fixed by some sort of outer structure of familial relations. Instead, we make them through the actions we choose.

Is there more to my life today than pictures of my dog?

And in each movement, she exudes the signs of the detective who knows what she's going to find. She will only see what confirms her suspicions, what confirms her outlandish ideas of what what gay men are, do, represent . . . of what I am.

      >> 6:54 PM

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Woo hoo! Can't wait for the [Fantastic Four] movie.
My new desktop with Johnny Storm/Human Torch.

      >> 5:34 PM

The only thing good about today was green socks.

      >> 5:28 PM

Can't. Stay. Sitting. Up.

      >> 5:51 AM

Monday, January 17, 2005

I seem to have caught my second cold/sinus infection of the year already. The last few days have been very unproductive as I have slept most of the days away in a stupor. This afternoon, after sleeping in all morning, I watched the first couple episodes of [V, the Original TV Miniseries.] It's every bit as fascinating as Rob and I remembered it to be. This time around, though, I find it incredibly interesting for all the tensions it tries to work out about gender roles, race relations, racial uplift, urban decay, remembering the Holocaust, Nazi-like fascism and propaganda, and so on beyond the alien encounter story. I'm noticing all these little things, too, that I don't remember seeing -- like the commentary on Mexican illegal immigrants, resistance cells as a strategy of combat (apparently the miniseries also begins in El Salvador with Mike videotaping the civil war there), and the weird obsession with science/scientists and popular mistrust of them.

      >> 3:33 PM

I was trying to teach Giles to read from this mat today.

The Dog, Day 751: My captors continue to torment me with bizarre rubber squeek toys. They eat lavish meals in my presence while I am forced to subsist on dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of eventual escape... that, and the satisfaction I get from occasionally ruining some piece of furniture. I fear I may be going insane.

      >> 1:06 AM

Friday, January 14, 2005

I think it's official. I'm dog crazy.

      >> 5:02 PM

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Who's a scary 31.6-lb grumpy terror?

      >> 8:36 PM

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Well, the Women's Studies program didn't accept my "Critical Sex" course proposal, but at least they asked me to teach a "Gender and Popular Culture" course. Now I am looking for another home for my sex course. Must. Teach.

And thank goodness for Blackboard, the on-line course tool. Since I lost all my data when I killed my computer last month, I also lost the syllabus for my composition course. Luckily, I posted copies on the course site from previous years.

      >> 4:57 PM

Later, the drummers were recorded, and they gave the music a rough, grainy texture, a propulsive drive. But they weighed on Björk's conscience; they violated the strictly vocal concept that she had set up, and they seemed too obvious a move for a tourist from the north. "I don't want to be colonial, culinary," she told me. "My brain says no, but my heart says yes."

      >> 10:40 AM

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Why didn't I think of this?

N is for Neville who died of ennui.

      >> 1:21 PM

I am such a sell out. I just submitted a course proposal called "Critical Sex."

      >> 10:33 AM

Monday, January 03, 2005

Hmmm. Still trying to put together a course proposal/syllabus for a course in Women's Studies to teach next year. I've mostly put together a syllabus on gender socialization and racialization in American popular music, but I don't think I'm actually interested in teaching such a course. It approaches the study of pop music as a site for analysis of gender and racial production on the part of both listeners and musicians, paying attention to how the business and technologies of music circulation determine such productions. I wanted to use Asian American listeners and musicians as an interesting twist to the consideration of gender and race in musical styles and the meaning of cultural belonging (i.e., beyond black and white, what does it mean for a male Asian American artist to take up a musical style like hip hop?). Now I'm thinking about putting together a course proposal for a course on gendered citizenship practices, but I don't know much about this field of work.

      >> 10:57 PM

Sunday, January 02, 2005

OMG! Wah! [Writing is so hard!]

      >> 3:05 PM

I'm sitting here in my sun room working on an overdue abstract for this [Rethinking Reception] conference. I've decided deadlines are for wimps! And I am loving my sunny sun room. Most of the apartment is dark and shaded since we are hidden behind woods and the rest of the building. But this sun room manages to catch some light at least a few hours of the day. It is quite a gorgeous day today, too. I did a little typing on the porch outside Rob's mom's place earlier today. We went over for brunch. There's nothing like being fed delicious food.

After I finish off this abstract, I have to finish throwing together some pages of my first dissertation chapter for my writing group. It's not going to be nearly as polished as I had wanted, but at least I've started writing! Quite an accomplishment, I must say.

      >> 12:50 PM

[Young evangelicals in land of liberals]:

On Thursday, the young conventioneers heard the Oakland group S.I.S.T.E.M. (Saved Individuals Sharing Their Evolving Mentalities) witness to them in hip- hop. As the young men mugged in front of four big screens on the massive convention center stage, they looked and sounded like most other rappers -- except for their lyrics:
"I heard somebody say that Christians can't party/
And get they groove on without being naughty/
Well I don't smoke no weed or sip Bacardi/
But God's love keep me high 'til I die like Chris Farley."
"That gave me chills," said Oscar Catiggay, a 16-year-old Monterey High School student. "I never heard that (Christian hip-hop) before."
. . .
He then outlined a four-week process for how the young Christians could pull their friends into the fold. At the club's first meeting, each student should focus on one non-Christian friend who they want to pray for. Over the next three weeks, Childress urged them to "get involved in that person's life."
"Go get a Coke with them. Talk about what's going on in their life," he said. "Maybe their parents are breaking up. Talk about how you felt when that happened to you."
By the fourth, or "hook" week, the students should bring them to the club. Make it low-key. "Play some cool music, you know, not anything cheesy," he said. "It's just hang-out time."
If that goes well, the students should try to connect their friend with their youth pastor. Hopefully, the nonbeliever will soon commit their life to Christ -- and then begin "hooking" their own friends into the group.

Evangelicals are creepy. I went to a prayer meeting once with two Chinese American guys who "picked me up" on UC Berkeley's campus one summer. I think it was the summer after my first year of college. I was taking a math course at Berkeley and wandered around by myself a lot. These two guys approached me, very friendly-like, and talked to me. We had coffee. And they talked to me about the importance of Christ. And they invited me to this Friday night meeting. And I said sure. And they picked me up that Friday and drove me to the meeting. And people were being baptized on stage. And there was a lot of swaying to "inspirational" music with arms in air. I felt out of place.

I spent most of yesterday, the first day of the year, asleep. I have some sort of head congestion and extreme fatigue.

      >> 8:33 AM

Saturday, January 01, 2005

[Badger badger badger.]

Happy new year!

      >> 1:42 PM