Friday, July 29, 2005


Sunk in couch.

      >> 10:23 AM

The intellectual, to venture a definition, articulates concepts, commitments, and visions that legitimate and/or contest the way that we live now. [. . . ] Certainly this work of intellectual articulation is eclectic. It requires, among other tasks, elucidation/elaboration/contestation of received and current ideas; the examination of prevailing practices, beliefs, and institutions in relation to stated principles and as indicators of unstated motivations; an engagement with the multiple traditions which traverse contemporary cultures and influence individual agents; and continuing efforts to bring intellectual discourse to bear within a polity which features a plurality of discourses. (John McGowan, "Intellectual Work Today," in Profession: Conversations on the Future of Literary and Cultural Studies)

      >> 9:59 AM

[Grad school is cheating!]

      >> 8:46 AM

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Over at [tommyjournal], Tommy writes:

Which war do these people want me to believe is my war too? Exactly what response to Iran's injustices do they want me to support?
It's bad enough that the Bush administration is using the notion of being at war (against terrorism, not "against Muslim religious fanatics" as Sullivan said) as a means of rallying support for a range of ambitious interventions. With how many different objectives have been conflated under the rubric of the (singular) "war", it's just dopey for a blogger to say that "this" is my war, too.

This is exactly what is so troubling about things today. The Bush administration has been remarkably adept, somehow, at spinning a war with amorphous targets and goals into a catch-all authorization of violence against anyone they deem in the way. Rather than seeing the administration as the center of this catch-all-ness, though, it is this weird constellation of people -- journalists, individuals, etc. -- who keep articulating different concerns to "the war on terror" that makes it all keep going. I wonder what else people can do to get everyone to stop and think besides noting the sloppiness with which the Bush war becomes "our war too."

I got a call from [Amnesty International] yesterday about renewing my membership (lapsed for at least a few years now). And I agreed to send them some money because if nothing else, I think the fact that Amnesty has called out the United States as a human rights violator in the way it has detained without charge or trial unknown numbers of people at [Guantánamo]. Plus, the on-going use of tortue without any real checks is very disturbing.

      >> 10:36 AM

So I ended up in a filing frenzy yesterday afternoon. At work on Tuesday, I did massive re-organizing of the files for published books from the past three years. I guess I didn't get rid of all my filing and organizing energy. I got photocopied articles filed into my empty filing cabinet along with course materials from my undergraduate days and some bills and other paperwork dealing with finances and such. One of these days I will be organized!

Yesterday I also read an essay by Gary Lemons, a professor I sort of know through my ex. The essay was in the edited collection [Race in the College Classroom], and it helped me realize why I once found bell hooks to be such a provocative writer (though now she repeats herself too much and doesn't offer anything really insightful). I actually worked at [Eugene Lang College] for a school year and ran into Gary a few times. He was known for very emotional classes in which students cried and once threw chairs in anger. In any case, Gary's work is very much in line with hooks's in terms of pushing individuals towards greater self-awareness of racialization and oppression as a way to transform larger social forces and structures. I think Gary's work is much more effective, though, rooted in classroom workshops and engaging students by way of getting them to write their own memoirs of race. The kind of work that bell hooks does in writing critical memoirs is useful (when I said I'm against memoirs, I was somewhat overstating the case), but it is most useful as a project to be undertaken by many people. Reading someone else's critical memoir (what Gary calls "auto(race)critography") can be helpful, but is not nearly as transformative as writing and sharing one's own.

Oh, and yesterday, Giles was very good at the vet. It helps that he loves people. He didn't squirm or anything when he got his shots, even though the evil vet made him bleed, and then charged me $100 for the visit.

Now at work. Maybe I'll get to do more filing here today.

      >> 9:30 AM

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The question is, "How do you prevent monkey butt?"

The answer is, "[BeadRider]."

      >> 2:37 PM

Yay for sleep! Finally up after a marathon sleeping session. The previous night I did not really make it to bed for more than a couple of hours on account of that time-sucking on-line game I've been stupid enough to start playing. I feel so much better now that I've slept. Yesterday was zombie day. I also managed to drop my wallet in the parking lot of my apartment complex on my way home. Luckily, my neighbor picked it up and returned it to me at my apartment. I hadn't even noticed I didn't have my wallet. Eep.

Today is my day off from work which means I've lined up an unrealistic series of tasks to accomplish. Actually, I think I'm getting a bit better about planning. Here's the list as I would LIKE it to be, and then I've crossed off things that I know I will have to put off until Friday morning:
  1. Eat breakfast.
  2. Walk with dog for at least half an hour.
  3. Go to gym and make like the Hulk (grr argh smash smash).
  4. Get car tested for emissions.
  5. Make quick trip with dog to campus to:
    • clean off office desk,
    • say hello to people in office,
    • read the chapter of a book due yesterday at the library, and
    • return library books.
  6. Take dog to vet for vaccinations.
  7. Stop by Women's Studies to work on library.
  8. Start reading Garrett Stewart's book on phonotexts and make notes for dissertation.
  9. Write five pages of dissertation chapter.
Ok. So maybe I'm still not being totally realistic. But at least there are a couple of things I'm just not going to try doing today! Also, the dissertation stuff really should start off my day, eh? Argh.

      >> 6:14 AM

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Holy yum. I just had a [Häagen-Dazs Brownie Bar]. It is so yummy. I also had my first [MoonPie] this week. Not so yummy. I needed to try it, though, after coming across it many times in books and movies. It seems to be a well-known American culture item that most people have tried. The most recent mention of it for me was in Lisa Yee's young adult book [Millicent Min, Girl Genius], a novel structured around the girl's diary entries. The book was eh. It was such the usual story about an intellectual, "rational" genius who realizes she doesn't know squat about social things and friendships and that she has a lot to learn from non-geniuses, too. For once, I'd like to see a novel or movie about a genius who isn't emotionally stunted. Please. Or really more importantly, I'd like to see more stuff that challenges social norms rather than brings outsiders in. Millicent gets grudgingly acknowledged by the cool kids on the volleyball team, for example, over the course of the book as she learns how to play volleyball instead of analyze it. Sure, I'd like people to be able to do things and play games adequately if not well, but this book structures the acceptance narrative such that Millicent comes to a greater sense of herself by fitting into what other people consider good. Instead, what if we take the girl genius's ideas of good and ideals and propagated them through her high school such that other people accepted her qualities as good?

      >> 4:48 PM

I'm trying to read bell hooks's Where We Stand: class matters. It's really doing nothing for me, in large part because it is really a memoir, and I'm against memoirs. The book really should be titled, "Where I Stand: class matters to me, bell hooks." I used to really be into [bell hooks]. My graduate school application letter to UNC's English program, in fact, discussed her book Remembered Rapture: the writer at work. (Yes, I wrote a sappy, life-of-the-mind type application essay.) And my first seminar paper turned master's thesis was spurred in part by her book All About Love: new visions, though I was writing on a novel by Lawrence Chua called Gold by the Inch, because I was interested in late-twentieth century (re-)conceptions of love as an ethical force and relation, especially one American critics hoped would counter the evils of money and late capitalism/neocolonialism, even if they despaired it as an illusory cure. Anyways, I'm less than halfway through Where We Stand, but I have to finish it because I'm in this mood where I want to get things DONE even if they're not the most useful or important. Grrrr. I think around when she published Rememberd Rapture shortly after Wounds of Passion: a writing life, when she was repeating herself almost verbatim not just within books but also across books (she was publishing a book or two a year! except 1998 -- what happened that year, Gloria?), was when she became less interesting. And more recently, when she really began to imagine herself as a career writer, someone who makes a living from writing rather than teaching, she has become less insightful and more prone to observational pedantry.

      >> 8:53 AM

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Krikey. I just spent the last five hours updating my c.v. It took me a long time to get it to look right visually. I do like how it turned out, though Rob seemed unimpressed with the right-justified headers. I hope it's not too confusing to other people. I also like how I put under "Publications" a few things that I am supposedly submitting in the next month to journals and such. Ha. Now to bed.

      >> 11:53 PM

Garg! I hate spiders and mosquito-type things!!! I walked into three spider webs and got at least two bug bites on my calves in our morning work just now. The things I do for my dog....

      >> 8:46 AM

Friday, July 22, 2005

[Synchronized Human-Dog Dancing!] Giles, Rob, and I are starting training tomorrow. (See especially "The Gladiator" clip -- excellent. Link via Better Fangs :F?)

      >> 5:25 PM

Cool university name: [Slippery Rock University].

      >> 3:14 PM

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Today, Kazumasa made himself goggles
and danced with his pet mechanical squirrel again.

      >> 3:27 PM

Last night, my gnome mage Kazumasa danced with
his pet mechanical squirrel that he made all by himself.

      >> 12:35 PM

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Yay Giles!

      >> 6:58 PM

If any of you academic-y types are interested in this conference [GlobalQueeries], let me know. I'm planning on submitting a paper proposal and would love to be able to put together a panel to submit.

      >> 8:33 AM

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Ok. So just back from a matinee of [F4]. Alone. Because I couldn't convince anyone to see it with me. Not even my boyfriend. And it was pretty bad. But it was worth it for Chris Evans hotness. I even liked his hetero goofiness. In the sequel, they should totally have him and The Thing have a homosexual affair.

      >> 3:06 PM

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Things I'm thinking:
  1. It'd probably be cool to be part of a salon.
  2. It's still hot and humid here.
  3. I should look into non-visually-based communities.
  4. That scene in Buffy when dark Willow absorbs the words of books through her skin and her hair changes colors?
  5. If I were a dog, would Giles like me?
  6. Thinking?

      >> 7:22 PM

A dog.

      >> 3:34 PM

Friday, July 15, 2005

I need to write this down somewhere more official, but I'm excited that I've made a breakthrough in my dissertation. For the last few months, I've been struggling with how to talk about "sound" in my dissertation. I needed some sort of critical vocabulary to analyze the units and valences of sound I think are important in cultural criticism, and I sure as hell wasn't going to come up with one myself. But over the last week, I've come across both a theoretical approach to and a critical tradition for analyzing non-linguistic or extra-linguistic sounds in word arts like poetry and the materiality of those sounds as captured, transmitted, and otherwise affected by different technologies. This makes me so happy. Now I have something to link up my interest in this extra-linguistic register of meaning in cultural productions with the criticism that tends to focus on the meaning of words.

      >> 8:48 AM

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I am so bored at work. I just purchased on-line through [UC Press's web site]:
  1. Garrett Stewart, Reading Voices: Literature and the Phonotext (1990)
  2. Traise Yamamoto, Masking Selves, Making Subjects: Japanese American Women, Identity, and the Body (1999)
  3. Nadine Hubbs, Queer Composition of America's Sound: Gay Modernists, American Music, and National Identity (2004)
  4. Karen J. Leong, The China Mystique: Pearl S. Buck, Anna May Wong, Mayling Soong, and the Transformation of American Orientalism (2005)
  5. Cynthia Kadohata, In the Heart of the Valley of Love (1997)
  6. Judy Wu, Doctor Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: Life of a Wartime Celebrity (2005)
And yesterday, on my day off, I went to the bookstore and bought two or three books. The worst part is the only one I can remember off the top of my head is Miranda Joseph's Against the Romance of Community (Minnesota, 2002). How sad am I?

And yesterday, I checked out three books from the library, and all three of them had accompanying CDs. How cool is that?

      >> 3:00 PM

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

[It's not ducks!]

      >> 7:42 AM

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Giles watched me eat oatmeal this morning.

      >> 8:10 AM

Monday, July 11, 2005

Where in the world have you been hiding? Really you were perfect...

I've been listening to and watching the movie version of The Phantom of the Opera fairly constantly over the last few days. Really, how did music live before this musical? (I know, I should be shot for my music tastes.)

This past week has been one of those in which I have no idea why I post anything on this blog. The London bombings were numbing, and it's not like I have anything to say about it or even think it's important for bloggers around the world to post their laments. And then, coupled with that event, I heard about the sex offender who had kept a well-read blog about his continuing battles with his desires to abduct and molest children before he finally signed off, noting that he was succumbing again to these desires. And then he made the news, kidnapping, killing, and molesting some children. What does it mean when his blog was "popular," a forum for his struggle with harmful desires? It's really all just very depressing.

      >> 11:52 AM

This came across a listserv, and I thought I'd pass it on any fellow quasians interested in exhibiting their lives on the newly branded LOGO station:

*****LOGO - the new LGBT network from MTV Networks and Viacom-is seeking people from the LGBT API community for a new documentary project...They are hoping to find and show real stories to illustrate what it means to be LGBT and of Asian & Pacific Island descent in today's society. If you are willing to be on camera, They want to hear your story. Please email at: logoasian@mtvstaff.com*
*Be sure to include your name, age, and full contact information in your note (address, phone, e-mail, and best times to reach you). Tell us as much as you can about what your story is and what would happen if our cameras documented your life.

I might send them a note myself, though "what would happen" if their cameras came into my life is they'd see me sleeping, walking my dog, telling my dog to be quiet when he barks at squirrels taunting him outside my window, reading, playing WoW, interning at Duke Press, and sleeping some more. Nothing gay or fabulous about this life.

      >> 10:06 AM

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

[Sonya Thomas is: Competitive Eating's "The Black Widow!"]:

3. HOW DO MEN FEEL ABOUT LOSING TO YOU -- A FEMALE? Some men are very gracious, and accept it, now that I have been eating professionally for almost 2 years. But it's difficult for some male egos to accept defeat by a member of the opposite sex, especially a little one like me. It's a blow to their pride. I understand this perfectly ... I don't like to lose either. But the best professionals in any sport quickly learn a cardinal rule--NEVER underestimate the competition. I learned that quickly, and that has helped me be relatively successful.

Where does one even start? Competitive eating? "Eating professionally"?

      >> 12:58 PM

Yesterday, I thought I was just sad for no apparent reason, or if anything, I was sad because I printed out so many rejection letters at the Press and logged in so many unpromising book proposals. But today, as I sat down to read some more of Michael Cunningham's Specimen Days, which I started at lunch yesterday, I realized that this novel has a powerful, melancholic feel to it. The first forty pages at least sustain this sense of melancholy and everyday grime. Rather odd how Cunningham can take Whitman's poetry and make the words seem so incredibly sad. The main character Lucas cites Whitman's words frequently, as if compelled. But it is the weird stasis of the other characters, after the death of Lucas's brother, that holds everything in this moment of sadness. I think it has seeped into my days.

Yesterday, I made the mistake of starting to play World of Warcraft, that infernal game that has enraptured my boyfriend for the last month. I ended up playing it for five hours last night, finally removing myself from the computer at 1:30 am to go to bed. I think Giles is going to be very upset with us. When I sat down at Rob's computer at the beginning of that stretch of time, with Rob standing over my shoulder to tell me how to set up a character, Giles came up, put his paws on my lap, and gave me this indignant look, as if to say, "Not you, too!"

Three days ago, I finished Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. It was okay -- engaging as an adventure story but not something I would consider reading again or thinking about much in depth. I think one reason it's popular amongst the book-reading public is that Kostova makes Dracula a bibliophile. I just can't get into the whole history-as-archaeology thing, the uncovering of truth as some sort of mystery puzzle unweighted by historiographical intervention. Also, I'm not sure why people are so intrigued by these mysteries in texts and the idea of mortal danger attached to uncovering some secret. People die whenever some ambitious researcher finds something he shouldn't. Isn't that the conceit of The Da Vinci Code? I haven't read that novel, but I think I'll just wait for the movie. I think there's also another novel about an ancient text and its secrets co-written by Princeton graduates (about Princeton students who crack the ancient code, but only after people die trying to uncover the secrets). But seriously, do people really get off on the thought that histories and texts from five centuries ago are still jealously guarded by secret cults? And that it matters if they are?

And now I am off to my questing.

      >> 8:24 AM

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Someone should totally do a cover of Exposé's hit ["I Wish the Phone Would Ring"] but make it a song about getting e-mail instead. My inbox is so lonely.

      >> 12:57 PM

Monday, July 04, 2005

I am going to write up a proposal for a presentation at this conference [Sound Effects] in Scotland next July. Scotland! I've never been to Scotland. This presentation might actually be a part of my dissertation, too.

I have decided to eat a Klondike bar instead of go to the gym. This seems to be the decision I have been making frequently lately. I am trying to get my jogging endurance up to fifteen minutes on the treadmill. Currently, I can hold out for about ten to twelve minutes. Plus, I would like to run faster than the people walking on the treadmills by me.

Also, happiness is a five hundred dollar check I received from the university sponsoring the conference in Canada I attended in April. Yay for grant funding and travel reimbursement!

      >> 4:37 PM

Sunday, July 03, 2005

I <3 [robot emotion comics].

      >> 3:38 PM

If there were any doubt that I have a weird attachment to the animated rock group [Gorillaz], doubt no more because:

When they came up with the idea for Gorillaz, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett wrote a manifesto. It fit on a single sheet of paper, but they've since lost it and wish they could remember what it said.
HEWLETT: Yeah, I'm much more at home with Daffy Duck than I am with a real person.

Manifestoes rule. Ducks rule.

      >> 3:31 PM

Ah, the pleasures of getting to the airport pre-dawn.

      >> 2:37 PM