Wednesday, September 22, 2010
This is what fall looks like (in France, at least)
Everyone in the blogosphere (and oh how I hate that word) keeps talking about how "fall is in the air." Don't get me wrong: Autumn is my absolute favorite season E-VER, and I'm as eager for it as the next blogger. But come on, kids: I'll believe it when it's not 92 degrees outside (the forecast for Friday). Maybe I'll experience some fall in Portland on Saturday.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
EDIT: After posting the below Ross called me with an update.
I have to hand it to Ross: he did an exemplary job of packing up our house, fitting everything we owned into a tiny little pod, and doing it all with no small amount of organization. Good job, spouse. But, as is always the case with these situations, there are still some things I can't find. Here they are:
- kitchen sponges Ne'er to be seen again... who moves sponges, anyway?
- laundry hamper Still in OR, but that's ok, because I have my VERY OWN washer and dryer
- can opener This one really is buried in a box somewhere
- stereo FOUND
- hand soap To be bought
- laundry soap FOUND
- dishwasher soap Also to be bought
- Creature (just kidding, although don't think Ross didn't think about it) Still kidding about this
- Kitchen sponges
- Hand soap
- Dishwasher soap
There... wasn't that productive?
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
This is my backpack and my water bottle.
Note: The text says The Graduate Programs At GW. It was free.
This is how my backpack looks when I open it up. It's very, very heavy.
These are the things inside my backpack. The big blue book is very, very, very thick and full of early modern travel writing and criticism. Good times.
Note: The books vary, of course, but this is a fairly representative sample.
Second note: I took a ridiculously long time on Preview annotating this picture (twice), but both times Preview crashed when I hit save. Sorry for the lack of labeling.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Please imagine the above post title spoken in an extreme whine.
But seriously... Guys (and, in the vernacular, gals)? Can we talk frankly for a minute? Here's the thing - I'm worried I'm not up for this. Graduate school, I mean. It's not that I don't want to do it; I simply wonder if I'm up for it. Every class I feel blown out of the water by the sheer depressing intellect of my fellow students. The level of conversation is - not beyond me, quite, but much faster than me. I keep up, but not immediately. Does that make sense? By the time I've processed something someone has said and formulated a response the discussion has already veered off in a different direction. When I do speak I usually feel shot down - never unkindly, but shot down nonetheless. I spend a long time crafting written responses to readings only to feel after I've posted them that they're childish.
I have never felt this way before in my entire academic career and it's scaring me.
Anyway, I'm sorry. I promise not to make this blog into a LiveJournal (why is it that LiveJournal is synonymous with awkward emotional sharing, anyway? Is it because that's what we all did in college? Or was that just me?). I just needed to express some anxiety before going to bed. I hope you're well, wherever you are.* I miss you, friends.
*Maybe especially Mr. Chris who is just starting grad school in Corvallis. Let this be a cautionary tale, young man.**
**Just kidding. You'll be great, of course. Just like Miss Amanda.
The study rooms at the Gelman Library are supposed to be silent, and as far as talking goes, they really, really are. So here are some things I can hear instead:
The hissing of the air conditioner, which I would like to throw out the window (because of the cold, not the sound)
The clacking of keyboard keys
A pencil tapping an even rhythm on the table
A sigh and yawn
A quiet murmur of voices from the street, five floors down (although interestingly, no cars)
Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you: The Library, by Stomp
Monday, September 13, 2010
Marmion by Sir Walter Scott
The Travels of Sir John Mandeville by Who The Frack Knows?
Professing Literature: An Institutional History by Gerald Graff. Don't click to look inside.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This is not for class.
More interesting posts coming someday! Promise!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
The best part of my day was when I found two bags of the best tea ever hiding in my backpack.A not-best (although not worst, sadly) part of my day was when I discovered that all my pens and highlighters have disappeared. Pilfering niece and nephew or a grown-up protecting them from the former? Only time (as in, the time between now and tomorrow, when I get a chance to ask) will tell.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I was going to write about how the loneliness I'm experiencing while I'm here is completely different from any loneliness I've ever experienced before, seeing as how this loneliness stems from a clear and palpable absence (of Ross, friends, and cat). But instead of that, please enjoy these pictures of Star Trek in the Park, which Ross and I very much enjoyed in Portland on August 1st.
Spock looks wise.
This couple's clear enthusiasm for Star Trek is exceeded only by their enthusiasm for Ginger Snaps.
Khan (as in, The Wrath of Khan) has his way with Lieutenant McGivers (the episode was Space Seed, by the way. I highly recommend it for the camp-factor).
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
I finally got around to downloading my photos tonight, only to realize that I've taken very, very few photos since I've been here. This is just further proof of something I've been suspecting since I got here: I am a completely different person than I was before I got married. I used to be really awesome at doing things alone. Even when I was dating someone, I could still rock the old alone time. I traveled alone, I went to movies alone, and I took a lot of photos alone. And enjoyed it, too; in fact, I'm not even necessarily saying that doing all of those things with a spouse/partner is better than doing them solo. Just that I have apparently lost my capacity.
Anyway, I digress. For your viewing pleasure, here's some proof that I'm actually here:
1. I ran into this big white building one time.
2. It was being guarded (partially, not exclusively, although wouldn't THAT be hilarious) by these nice gentleman and horses, whom I caught in a pleasingly Norman Rockwell-esque moment.
3. And then one time I saw the Washington Monument, which is just as phallic in person as it looks on film.
4. So although GW's official mascot is The Colonials, its unofficial mascot is a hippopotamus because of this statue, which was given to the university as a gift by... someone very important, I'm sure. Legend is that hippos use to frolic in the Potomac, much to the delight of George and Martha Washington, whom you may have heard of.
5. This is the plaque that accompanies the hippo statue. It might also be my new motto. In fact, definitely.
Love and colonial urban legends,
P.S. Politics for beauty??
From The Travels of Sir John Mandeville
I've completely stolen the idea of this post from my dear friend, Amanda, who is pursuing a M.F.A. in Acting at Northern Illinois University. You got this, Miss Amanda. Anyway, I thought it'd be nice to give you an idea of what I'm actually working on, too. Note: Italicized sections are verbatim syllabus.
19th Century Seminar
This course looks at the careers of three canonical figures of the Romantic period: Jane Austen, Lord Byron, and Sir Walter Scott. It interrogates assumptions about Romantic-era literary and social history by considering how the productions of these authors respond to their historical moment and how they both perpetuate and challenge notions of 'Romanticism'. We will discuss cultural stereotypes and literary popularity within the context of historicist consciousness and trans-historical appeal.
Summary: Even though I'm not exactly sure what "trans-historical appeal" means, I'm super excited for this class. Jane Austen + Me = Double-plus good. Every time.
Becoming Indian in Early Modern Travel Writing
In this seminar, we will read a rich variety of early modern travel writing about Europeans and Indians in the Americas and Asia. Our primary goal will be to understand how early modern Europeans apprehended otherness, and the modern knowledge formations - anthropology, ethnography - that their writing engendered. We will also consider the literary forms - epic, romance, satire - to which these writers resorted in chronicling a wide variety of "Becomings-Indian."
Summary: Apparently, this class requires an absolute tidal wave of reading. I quote: "If you're hesitant about the prospect of tackling 150-200 pages of sometimes very dense early modern writing, theory, and criticism a week, this seminar may not be for you!" (My favorite part is the friendly exclamation mark) Still, though, I'm excited about this course. My professor is like a Monty Python character (and British, to boot!), so that's cool.And we get to read cool stuff, like The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, in which a person who may or may not have been real writes about monsters and, famously, men whose heads grow beneath their shoulders. His book was later used as a reference manual for Columbus (who's travels we're also reading) and Shakespeare (pretty sure it's referenced in Othello). Good times.
Introduction to Literary Theory
Yeah... this class doesn't have a description. It's a basic literary theory survey course, covering such topics as Structuralism, Psychoanalysis, Queer Theory, Postmodernity, and Historical Materialism. Every other person (except me, of course) in class has already taken a theory course in undergrad. Guess I have some catching up to do (this is a good place to imagine me speaking in a tone of unmistakable nervous hysteria)!
So that's my schedules, folks. Currently I have class Wednesday and Friday and am still looking for work. In other news, we move into our new place on the 16th (at least tentatively... I'm signing the lease on Tuesday). Go team, go!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Saw this StoryCorps video about Danny and Annie tonight and it reminded me of oh so many things: my grandparents; my step-brother and his husband, who were a joy to behold as they supported each other through a difficult time; various other friends and family members. But mostly, it reminded me of the way I feel about Ross. 'Cause you know what they say: Being married is like having a color television set--you never want to go back to black and white.