Monday, May 30, 2005

It's hard to fry tofu in such a way as to have the perfect texture of crispiness without toughness. :(

      >> 8:34 PM

Sunday, May 29, 2005

It was overcast and slightly muggy at the dog park today. We were lonely in the small dog area, and no one came while we were there to play with us. I would've taken Giles over to the large dog area except there were too many kids over there. Giles does not like kids.

      >> 4:06 PM

Duck dreams. It used to be that the overriding lingering effect of my dreams was spatial. What I remembered from my dream mostly was how things were arranged -- the layout of a room, the placement of furniture, the feel of a city street, and so on. These days, what lingers instead is a weird sense of nostalgic loss. I often revisit old haunts, and there is a tiny bit of delight swirled in the dream, but the overwhelming sense is one of the unobtainable.

Dreams from this morning include wandering around Durham with a library science student acquaintence. Of course, it was really New Haven streets we were wandering on, and places I was pointing out to her were really in Asheville (like Malaprop's Books). But beyond what happened in the dream (we were just wandering around, after all), what was so utterly overpowering and overlaid was this sense of defeat. And it wasn't that I, in the dream, was unhappy or at a loss. We were perfectly happy walking around revisiting places I knew. But the dream itself, the consciousness viewing it, was unhappy.

      >> 10:29 AM

Saturday, May 28, 2005

[Starbucks and Music]:

"For us," says Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment, "it's always been about great music." He sounds like a press release when he speaks, especially when asked about selling more underground music: "We are expanding the genres and recognizing that our customers, who have given us permission to go beyond coffee, love music in a wide variety of genres..

I make an effort to get my coffee fixes at local coffee places. But I'm also not the type to avoid Starbucks completely (like I avoid evil, evil Chick-fil-a). Just the other day, after leaving a local coffee shop down the block when it closed for the corner Starbucks, I was noticing the music available for purchase by the cash register. Frankly, I just don't understand the entrepreneurial spirit, what drives people to make money by selling people more and more stuff (more and more exclusively).

      >> 4:19 PM

[MANIC GENDER DISASTER THING!] I so love 33mhz's phrases.

      >> 11:07 AM

Friday, May 27, 2005

Mull over [Meshell Ndegéocello's] ["Hot Night"] (mp3 file, 5.1MB).

      >> 9:44 PM

Ha ha. I should rename this page DOG IS WATCHING YOU.

I think I am going to settle into my comfy chair with [Batman: Hush, Vol. 1]. Then maybe I'll try to finish up Kafka's short story ["Investigations of a Dog"] and Joyce Carol Oates's [Sexy].

Reading! What a novelty!

      >> 9:30 PM

Just now, when I took Giles out quickly, a squirrel jumped off a second-floor bird feeder and almost landed on top of the dog.

      >> 4:20 PM

Ok. So new layout.

Probably won't last long because I'm not a fan of text over image backgrounds. Hard to read! But Giles insisted.

      >> 1:00 AM

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Ok, so I know it's, like, totally uninteresting to try to say that anything a non-white artist/cultural producer does is somehow a statement about racial difference in America. But even if we are to take a step back from a totally deterministic stance about how people of color are marked in America and how their work is therefore inescapably marked as well, we can still think it interesting to consider the racial place of artist and art.

One thing I'm interested in exploring in the future is the emergence of Asian American (mainly male Korean American) comic book artist in the mainstream comics by Marvel and DC and other companies. It seems at once odd and somehow fitting that there is a slew of Asian American artists, writers, and producers who now helm various well-known comics (including Batman and X-Men), and yet there seems little acknowledgement of such a fact. Is there something here? I'd like just to point to these artists when, for the most part, people claim that there is no such thing as Asian American art or no Asian American artists. And can we talk about this emergence without trying to claim somehow that the comic book form is particularly attractive to Asian Americans or that their illustrations are particularly Asian American?

Here are just a few of these artists I've noticed:

[Jim Lee]
[Jim Cheung]
[Sean Chen]
[Andy Park]
[Billy Tan]
[Frank Cho]
[Andy Lee]

      >> 7:58 PM

[Ecclesiastical imperialism?]

      >> 2:40 PM

Bah! I don't want to be at work. (Two more hours!) I'd rather be wandering around town [taking omg super secret spy photos].

      >> 2:25 PM

I spent a lot of time yesterday, while avoiding writing, saying that I missed my dog. He was living the high life at day care. Rob and I had the apartment to ourselves. It seemed empty.

      >> 2:17 PM

[Crosses burned in Durham]:

As police and firefighters were finishing their work there, a second cross burning was reported at 9:54 p.m. along South Roxboro Street, about a quarter-mile south of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. Someone had positioned the cross atop a large pile of dirt near an apartment complex construction site to the west of South Roxboro Street.

Hmmm. I live somewhat near the site of this second cross burning. Creepy. The local papers have been quoting local leaders saying how shocked they are that we aren't beyond this kind of racial intimidation. Doesn't seem so strange to me given what I've seen. I wonder if I've overhead things that white people say about blacks not in the company of black people and vice versa because I'm neither black nor white....

      >> 1:25 PM

Victory! This morning, my alarm went off at 7 am, and I promptly reset it for 8:01 am. (Slip of fingers, that extra minute.) At 8 am, I looked at the clock, realized I would be serenaded by the bleating of the clock in mere seconds, and reset the alarm for 9:01 am before it could go off. "I win!" I exclaimed. And Rob laughed. I was late to work this morning.

      >> 9:51 AM

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Some of these [postcard secrets] are really funny. Some are really frightening. It's amazing how much despair you can convey in a few well-chosen words and images....

      >> 3:02 PM

FUCK! You'd think that I would've noticed this by now, but today I am turning up blogs of all these poets I'm studying. Grrr. I need to work on dead writers.

      >> 2:32 PM

Sometimes, Giles wakes up in the middle of the night with barks caught in his throat. He jumps up from the bed and runs out into the living room, muffled barks *uff* *uff* trying to escape him. I wonder if he is waking up from nightmares or if he thinks he's heard something threatening outside.

      >> 11:42 AM

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

[Johnny Depp Starts Here by Murray Pomerance.] *spooge!*

      >> 6:30 AM

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I'm having homemade (slightly lumpy) dark chocolate pudding and some coffee because I don't want to read this book by John Lewis Gaddis called The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past. Bleargh. Stupid Yale professors.

A rare moment when Giles actually cuddled with me.

This is Rob quitting smoking.

Rob has been ignoring Giles and me today.

      >> 3:55 PM

#4. I am off to go see Othello. A lesbian production. Now I love me some Shakespeare. I also loves me some Lesbians. This has totally gotta rawk compared to seeing Menopause the Musical.


      >> 3:42 PM


      >> 2:25 PM

Saturday, May 21, 2005

I love [Kingdom of Loathing]. It's so cheeky.

      >> 5:45 PM

[Every time you use Comic Sans....]

      >> 7:46 AM

WTF? [Madonna as Alivera Kliza.]

Madonna has been turned from Material Girl to African coffee trader to help a campaign to boost fair trade.
The amazing transformation is the result of hours of work by digital artists to morph Madge into real-life coffee trader Alivera Kilza.

I don't understand this morphing thing, not that plastering the image of a "real" coffee trader, un-morphed, would necessarily be a better representation of the issues with world coffee trade, but why bother with digitally morphing Madonna?

      >> 7:13 AM

Holy crap! Have you seen the new [nickel]?

The head -- it's like, totally not centered. I just picked one of these up from my desk and was totally confused.

      >> 6:51 AM

Friday, May 20, 2005

I almost bought [Songs to Make Dogs Happy!] at the record store today. "WE ASKED THE ANIMALS! THIS IS WHAT THEY WANTED! 200 canines were queried as to their preferences in lyrical content and music type." Awesome. Listen to the real audio clips of the songs.

      >> 9:12 PM

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Received mailing from [NCLR] today. Does this mean I'm official?

      >> 6:21 PM

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

[Superman becomes Japanese!]

      >> 5:14 PM

[Drop that sock.] Yay dog obsession site!

      >> 4:49 PM

I believe that everyone should discover something new each day. For example, today, I discovered that tortillas catch on fire when toasted in a toaster oven.

      >> 4:41 PM

      >> 6:59 AM

Monday, May 16, 2005

I was about a half hour late to work today, but it was worth it to hang around a bit with Rob when he got home. It's nice to get ready while he's around. It's nice to talk, play with the dog, and generally just enjoy each other's presence.

At work, I've come across this wonderfully ambitious statement about a project which "explores the history of surgery over the past 6000 years from the neolithic period to the advent of scientific surgery in the 18th century." Heh. Can you tell this was not written by an historian?

      >> 9:51 AM

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Beach = fun. Everyone should have the opportunity to spend a day or two at the beach. Walking on sand barefoot is one of the most wonderful tactile sensations in the world.

      >> 10:40 PM

Saturday, May 14, 2005

[The New Grad School Food Pyramid.]

      >> 8:20 AM

Friday, May 13, 2005

My boyfriend makes the most wonderful fridge poetry.

      >> 8:45 AM

I don't think Giles likes it when I sing to (at?) him.

He is running around the apartment doing drive-by barkings at me right now.

      >> 7:08 AM

Thursday, May 12, 2005

[Fowl Play on Highway]. From Joe. Ducks rule. The article's a bit stupid, talking about ducklings as delinquent minors. Har har.

      >> 3:05 PM

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

OMG. When it rains, it pours. I couldn't find a single part-time job my first three summers here. Then I had a year-long gig at UNC Press and during that fourth summer turned down another part-time gig. And this summer, I've got two things going and a new offer to help out Women's Studies which would be fabulous. I'm checking now to see that this is definitely a paid thing, but if it is, I will totally have to do it. (Yeah, there is that pesky thing called writing my dissertation....)

The illustration at the top of this page on [vegan substitutions] is great.

      >> 11:18 PM

Rob is on the bed flipping through the dictionary for names for his soon-to-be-created (once his computer arrives and he sets it up for the game) RPG characters. He also says I've been in a cooking mood lately.

Strawberry cake fresh from the oven.

I must say I'm very unimpressed with how these pictures make food look -- probably a combination of low-res camera phone and fluorescent lighting in the kitchen. I'm having some ma-po-do-fu with rice and steamed bok choy for dinner.

      >> 6:59 PM

I'm sitting here in the lounge of the English department with my two favorite people in the world. We've just had our lunch and will now head back to the library to read and write together. Oh, this summer will be long. But writing we must do.

      >> 11:43 AM

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

OMG! [NOW 2005 - Arabs NY, prepare for love. "Sleeping with the Enemy" is a multi-media seduction. With paintings, for love.] I want to see this.

      >> 6:56 AM

Internet Research

Ha ha. Scadoodled from [33mhz].

      >> 6:50 AM

Wow. As a homebody, it was difficult to be away from home all day yesterday -- for over 12 hours! My dog missed me, too. And I think that Rob guy I live with missed me, too.

My brief end-of-semester vacation has ended. My Mellon seminar starts in a couple of hours. I still have to do the reading and prepare a 5 minute presentation on my dissertation. Ah, procrastination. How I treasure you.

In other news, I must find a copy of [Kafka's story "Investigations of a Dog"].

‘The Investigations of a Dog’ is narrated by an old hound who has dedicated his life to the subject which has, since their earliest days, preoccuped dog-kind: food. More exactly, inquiring into the origins of food.
Kafka’s dogs do not perceive either men or women – although, for the reader, there is no doubt that men and women are invisibly there and are the most likely source of the food. This blindness is one of the main eccentricities of Kafka’s view of the dog view of the world. Even more eccentric is that his dogs, so far as we are shown, have no dominating sense of smell. When they wish to communicate, they don’t sniff, they bark; when they water the ground, it is not to spread news of their sexiness, but to bring forth food.

      >> 6:31 AM

Monday, May 09, 2005

Having a laugh with your alternate universe self is great.

      >> 7:49 AM

Sunday, May 08, 2005

      >> 8:47 PM

Go, chef, go!!! My apartment is currently filled with smoke. I'm trying to make a lasagne. The sauce and stuff dripped from the casserole dish onto the bottom of the oven. And burned. And is generating more smoke than a few dribbles really should. A towel is covering the smoke detector. Fans and air filter are on. Windows open. *Cough.* Poor Giles ran under the bed and is hiding there now.

EDIT: 9:43 PM

It was actually quite good (the colors in the photo don't make it look too appetizing, though). I'm waiting a bit now to eat a yummy French Silk Chocolate pie. I ate too much of the lasagne and broccoli....

      >> 7:25 PM

You know what's even more fucked up than Fred Phelps and Co.? People like Spokane mayor [Jim West] who actively work on anti-gay agendas while having same-sex relations on the side.

During his career West has initiated legislation to outlaw sexual contact between consenting teenagers; supported a bill that would have barred gays and lesbians from working for schools, day care centers and some state agencies; voted to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman; and, as Senate majority leader, allowed a bill that would ban discrimination against gays and lesbians to die in committee without a hearing, and threatened to veto a measure extending benefits to domestic partners of city employees.

      >> 3:02 PM

      >> 1:24 PM

      >> 12:55 PM

Saturday, May 07, 2005

[This] is so fucked up. Phelps and crew are so going to burn in hell. The best part of all this, though, is how in The Laramie Project, there's this scene in which the characters turn their backs on the Phelps protesters with angel wings. Someone here should do the same.

      >> 8:47 PM

After my presentation at [AAAS] in LA a couple weeks ago, Traise Yamamoto mentioned that my work seems to run along the lines of her colleague Josh Kun's work. I just looked up his book, forthcoming at the end of this calendar year, called [Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America], and it does indeed look interesting.....

      >> 3:00 PM

Today is Free Comic Book Day at your local comic book store!

      >> 12:27 PM

Friday, May 06, 2005

By the way, [Kung Fu Hustle] was great. Go see it! It's got some good action sequences but is great really because of the humor and the shift in ethics about warrior life. (That is, if martial arts films, at least the ones imported to the US, usually are about vengeance or the triumph of good over evil by force -- even if the wise masters counsel non-violence, abstension from the use of force, and whatnot -- this movie offers a different sense of power and good.)

      >> 4:58 PM

Though the conference in Canada was a bit frustrating at first, it turned out to be wonderful at the end. ([P-muse] said the conference would be better once I gave my presentation, and he was right.) A number of people came up to me after my presentation and thanked me (?) for it. (Even Roy Miki, this amazing poet/critic/artist!) This is the first time people have actually thanked me for a presentation I gave. I'm taking it as a sign that I actually managed to get people to think about things. It's too bad that my presentation was during the second-to-last session on the last day of the conference, I guess.

One of the things that has me really intrigued by Canadian literature and literary studies is a different relationship between critics and creative writers. There seems to be much less of an antagonism between literary criticism and creative writing as compared to the weird way that US literary critics distance themselves a lot from creative writers. My presentation at this conference was on poet Fred Wah's book of critical essays Faking It in a book series called "Writers as Critics." In my presentation, I tried to raise questions about the relationship of criticism to creative writing as well as the idea of autoethnography as it might be articulated differently to criticism rather than fiction or poetry. And beyond that, I was interested in taking up Wah's stated suspicion of the expository essay form, trying to provoke critical inquiry without adhering to those generic standards.

I admit to a certain pretense in the formal essay because I find it a struggle to let logic and argument have control. For a variety of reasons, social and cultural, I want to undercut the hegemony of such forms.
The “Strangle” pieces here serve some of that desire to intervent and push at the boundaries of more intentional compositions. They are, to an extent, sealed from easy understanding in order to play out the possible and sustaining blur around book reviews and other gestures like the critical biotext “Was Eight.” I’ve used these sections as a way of keeping open my own thinking, by play, dissonance, and juxtaposition.

In any case, I met the editor of the series, Smaro Kamboureli, who was also one of the keynote speakers at the conference. She was very nice and offered to send me more books in the series. She was surprised that someone from North Carolina had found the book (published by a very small Canadian press).

I also met a spoken word artist and a dancer, both of whom are interested in academic cultural criticism, but want these other forms of critical commentary (spoken word and dance) to remain active participants in critical conversations rather than merely the objects with which critics make their claims. (I'm not particularly found of spoken word as a form; the cadences and general affect don't resonate with me at all.)

And my "big sister" Larissa Lai was at the conference as well. (We met at a conference in Taiwan; she jokes that I am her little brother.) She's a novelist currently working on a PhD in literature. I'm thinking about teaching her second novel Salt Fish Girl in my contemporary literature course next spring.

It took me a couple of days to recover from the trip to Canada. The day I returned, I slept for sixteen hours! Then I wrapped up some things on campus (submitted grades on the official grade rolls and signed up for a class to teach in the fall) and jumped in the car with Rob to visit his sister in Maryland. We just got back from there last night.

      >> 3:59 PM