Thursday, March 29, 2007

Half a league, half a league, half a league onward

Thanks (I think?) to Claire for pointing this out. What did I expect, really, from a site called

Still, I guess it's seasonal.

New Game for People

No, this one isn't about the kitty, though I did get her a brush today--she loves it!

This is a rendition of a game Rob and I used to play in the car: "Babe Or Not Babe," aka "Hot Or Not Hot." Note that registering an opinion on someone of a gender not usually your preference is fine, and will not be taken to mean you're gay/straight/whatever. It's just a silly way to pass the time.

Ok, I'll go first.


Babe, in a strange sort of way. I can't explain it.

Now it's your turn.

Yes, your turn. Go ahead, comment!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Well, Pullman is Excited...

...about the film adaptation of his book The Golden Compass. Maybe we shouldn't all be so worried--but I am, anyway. Thanks to Sophie, who sent me this link to an interview with him about the film. And if you haven't read his His Dark Materials trilogy, go do that RIGHT NOW.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

You Know You're Not Living in the 'Hood When... look out the window, and not six feet away are two tourists, standing in the ground cover, taking photos of the gaslight in front of the house. Bold, they are! If I'd had my camera handy, I'd have taken a picture of them!

Here, anyway, is the gaslight in question:

Today I opened as many of the windows as we have screens for, and Maddie got to have some nice cat tv--though she didn't seem as fascinated by the tourists as I did.

The Book I'm Not Reading: Althusser's "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses"
...and I still haven't finished the conclusion to my MACSEM paper...soon, soon....

Hard-Won Progress

For anyone who's keeping track...I'm in Conclusion Land!

(Which is, alas, entirely different from Jumping To Conclusions Day....)

Monday, March 26, 2007


Ok, I figure I'm probably now 97% burned out: I can't even get it up to write about trad!

(Maybe someday this blog won't always be about me being busy and procrastinating....)

In other news, Maddie is eating on her own now--and there was much rejoicing in the land! She's still somewhat snotty, but is improving rapidly--enough that now she really puts up a fight during kitty meds time.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


I just took another silly time-wasting quiz that confirmed what I already knew:

You Are 92% Burned Out

You are extremely burned out.
You work too hard, and you're not getting the results you deserve.
It's time for a life change, as soon as you can manage it.
You're giving away most of your energy to something you don't even enjoy.


Lancelot Link Revisited

Thanks to Claire for sending me this article from 2003.

Long live Lance Link, Secret Chimp.

The Book I'm Not Reading = The Paper I'm Not Writing.

A Much-Needed Dose of Silliness

After Civilization IV crashed on me this evening, I decided to while away the rest of the evening on YouTube, pretending I don't have reams of work to do. But it's Saturday night, after all, and even a mule needs a carrot.

And oh! What a carrot!

I found several episodes of one of my all-time favorite TV shows, "Mind Your Language," a gem from the late 70s on English television that made its way to the PBS lineup briefly in oh, maybe 1982 or so.

After a bit of that, I decided to see if anyone has transferred another show from the same era to YouTube--"The Bounder." Apparently not, but I did find this. It's top of silly, for sure:

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Jehovah's Witnesses Strike Again

Apparently cats are evil. Maybe some Jehovah's Witness cursed Maddie. Here's a hilarious site about all the reasons cats are evil, including these:

"Cats practice many unclean habits not befitting a Christian household: coughing up fur balls, licking inappropriate body areas on their own bodies (inappropriate handling) and even, in some cases, on the bodies of their human owners (wrongful motive?), urination on the floor, vocal and blatant promiscuity (unknown to any other species, all others being endowed with Godly chastity and decorum) and widespread sexual misconduct without the benefit or sanctity of holy matrimony, even orgiastic practices, substance abuse of catnip (an intoxicating herb) which produces conditions akin to drunkenness, stealing food from the table, producing ungodly sounds, excessive playfulness and the employment of devices not known to have been used by Jesus, the conducting of its unholy business under the cover of the darkness of night, and so on. What sort of example does this give our young ones endeavoring to faithfully serve Jehovah?"

So let me get this straight: cats are evil because they have extramarital sex? Does that mean I could save a cat's soul by wedding her to another cat and only letting them have sex with each other? What about neutered cats? The logic fails there. I mean, poor Maddie isn't having any sex at all! In fact, for all I know, she's probably a virgin.

Ok, yeah, she does have a small catnip habit, but it's only very small!

And about this business of "employment of devices not known to have been used by Jesus"...ok, I'll grant that Jesus probably didn't use a catbox, but then, he didn't use aftershave or a coil mattress or doorknobs either....

Ok, enough fun procrastinatory ranting for me....

RIP Albert Baez

(this from the Chicago Sun-Times website)

Professor, father of Joan Baez

March 23, 2007
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Albert V. Baez, father of folk singers Joan Baez and the late Mimi Farina, died Tuesday. He was 94.

Mr. Baez died of natural causes at an elder-care facility, the San Mateo County coroner's office said.

''Whether known as 'professor,' 'Al,' 'Abo' or 'Popsy,' he was known above all as a warm and gentle person,'' the Baez family said in a statement. ''In all aspects of his life, he combined personal and professional roles as scientist, environmentalist, teacher and humanitarian. In doing so, he nurtured and conveyed values representing mankind at its best.''

Born in Puebla, Mexico, and reared in New York City, Mr. Baez was a distinguished academic with a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Drew University, a master's in math from Syracuse University and a doctorate in physics from Stanford University. He taught physics at several universities, including Stanford.

In 1951, he worked for the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, moving with his family to Iraq, where he directed the UNESCO mission there and worked as a professor of physics at Baghdad University.

A Quaker, Mr. Baez was an active supporter of Bread & Roses, a nonprofit that brings free entertainment to hospitals, youth facilities, prisons and other institutions.

The group was founded by Farina, who died of cancer in 2001. AP

Let's Fighting Love

Sometimes this gets in my head.

The song is from South Park, but the visuals aren't.

Cat Food and Amoxicillin: the New Look for Spring

As those of you who talked to me yesterday already know, J and I have a sick kitty--poor Maddie has a bad head cold. We took her to the vet Wednesday morning, got some kitty meds, and as she's an older cat, the vet told us we have to be especially careful to make sure she eats at least a little something. That wasn't a big deal on Wednesday, as Maddie thought she was in kitty heaven when the vet pulled out some wet food to give her there in the office--but for some reason, her appetite for stinky cat food waned yesterday and hasn't returned today. I think it's because she can't really smell much; she also wasn't interested in catnip.

So what that means is that in addition to giving her the bright pink amoxicillin liquid (which smells like bubble gum and which she HATES with a growling passion), we also have to try to get her to eat. Last night I had an idea that maybe she'd lick it off my hands more quickly than eat it from her bowl, but that only resulted in me wearing more of the cat food than Maddie ate! Ditto the meds, but the vet assured us they take that into consideration with the dosage.

The only therapeutic activity she doesn't seem to mind is hanging out with us when we take showers!

I can't wait until this kitty is back to normal! She's clearly feeling better--she's much more spirited than she was on Wednesday--but the not eating is worrisome. Not getting sneezed on will also be a grand change!

Speaking of which--the vet thinks we can help her chronic sneezing with L-lysine, an amino acid that's supposed to be good for mucus membranes. That is, once we can get her to eat!

In other news, this weekend I have to write a conference paper for next weekend (MACSEM in Williamsburg, VA)

In the meantime, for those of you in academia, here's a fun website for checking up on who gets hired for which jobs....

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

GK Tries Again

(Apologies once again for reposting a link from Rob's blog!)

This from attempts to explain himself at the bottom of what I find another questionable piece of work, though I believe he didn't mean to say he's "indifferent to militance." Must be nice, to be in so safe a position not to have to worry about white supremists, paramilitaries, drug traffickers, gay bashers, or any of the myriad other kinds of violence and/or hate that much of the world's population has to deal with on an everyday basis....

But he should worry about his cartoonist.

In the immortal (misquoted) words of Hee Haw: "You made [sic] another, and PBBBB! you was gone."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

If You See One Where People Are Swimming....

Now that Rob has clued me in about how to embed YouTube videos, y'all might be seeing a great deal more of them. Like this one, my all-time favorite Monty Python sketch:

In other news, Maddie the cat has a horrid headcold that's not going away, so off to the vet with her tomorrow morning. It'll be interesting to see what the vet's office here in Yuppieland is like (but hey, I'm not complaining in the least...hell, now we live in a neighborhood where the milk isn't spoiled in the stores...).

Oh Danny Boy, Oh Boy Oh Boy

Thanks to Lauren for pointing me toward this:

Monday, March 19, 2007

J and I just found out that our papers got accepted to FTM9 (aka Feminist Theory and Music 9). So I'll be taking my paper about Edna St. Vincent Millay's music for her play The Lamp and the Bell up to Montreal in June. Woo hoo! Go, us!

Lake Woebegone Dumbass

Apologies to those of you who check Rob' blog, too, but for those of you who haven't already seen Garrison Keillor's bullshit in Salon and Dan Savage's rightfully irate reply, check 'em out. As Rob would say, Keillor is dead to me--except that he was never alive to me in the first place. I almost always found Prairie Home Companion tedious, dull, and too self-absorbed.

What I wonder is--what does he think about lesbian parents? Certainly the flamboyant dresser stereotype doesn't exist...but I'm sure he'd have something to say about kids and softball injuries, or something. Geez. What a dumbass.

GK made an apology, and I just read it. How totally lame. The comments are pretty depressing, too--if I didn't know better, I'd run off to write a column on the cluelessness of straight people. But I do know better, and so should have Garrison Keillor. If he was trying for satire, it sure didn't work, and (as someone in one of the comments wrote) dredging up old stereotypes does more harm than good.

Ok--enough soapbox. Now back to transcribing the conversation Jenny & I had last night about getting Maddie stoned on catnip for my linguistic anthropology assignment....

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Return of the [non]Native

We're back home now, after an intermittently relaxing spring break down South--lots of fun, lots of drama, and lots of work now hanging over my head. But no regrets, except that we don't have another week of vacation!


Friday night the Blue Ridge Irish Music School had its annual Paddy's Day fundraiser at Gravity Lounge. It was a blast as always. The kids did a great job performing, and the evening was made more special because it was singer Philippa Balestrieri's last public performance with the trad ensemble before she goes to Oxford for college. All the kids have come a long way since I left Charlottesville in 2004, and several of them (Marie Borgman, Fiona Balestrieri, and Carleigh Nesbitt) have formed their own band, Pixy-Led, and I think they'll be playing at Gravity Lounge sometime soon, with Marina Madden as the warm-up act (she's doing a lot of songwriting these days, under the tutelage of Devon Sproule). I think both Pixy-Led and Marina have MySpace music pages, but I haven't had time to find them. The dancing looked great, thanks to the efforts of Lori and Meg Madden (and, of course, the kids, who are awesome), and trad ensemble leader Cleek Schrey has shepherded the group through a lot of new material.

For the grand finale, we had a sort of Roaring Mary reunion. Rob Greenway (flute), Sara Read (fiddle), Cleek Schrey (piano), and I played a set of reels for Meg Madden's Cape Breton stepdance class's debut performance.

We all had a great time hanging out, sessioning, and talking shite after the concert, as well as collecting items won in the silent auction. The auction was a hoot--lots of good stuff, and it made a nice chunk of change for BRIMS. I had been pretty intent on winning a set of 3 azaleas for our backyard, and got them, despite some competition from Alex Caton and Patrick Olwell, who won the other set of azaleas. I gave Alex one as a consolation. I also attempted to nudge some bids up on other items--a ploy that backfired in one instance! I'm now the proud (??) owner of a chocolate-looking "man on a stick" green man garden thingy. It'll be nice in the backyard, but I didn't intend to come home with it. Oh, well--all for a good cause.

(I'm realizing this all sounds very formal for a group of people I and many of you know quite well...but since this is public, I'm feeling a little reticent about mentioning all the kids by name, especially the younger ones, and I know of several readers who aren't part of the C-ville/trad crowds.)

Anyway, lots of other highlights to talk about, but the schoolwork is calling!

The Book I'm Not Reading: Punk Productions: Unfinished Business by Stacy Thompson. So far, it seems abysmally written. Oh, well. Time to go read that sucker.

Only two more months (more or less) until the end of coursework!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Mwa ha ha ha ha

I should be in bed right now, but I couldn't resist drawing my first movie scene. Any guesses?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Wasted days and wasted hours's another way. I suck at guessing the movies, and it's a bit too heavy on the action films for my taste, but what a hoot!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Naming

At long last, the question "Have you named the kitty yet?" has become obsolete.

Meet Madonna--Maddie for short.

We celebrated the occasion by getting her stoned on the catnip Nicol gave her, whereupon Maddie looked even more pleased with herself than usual.

Monday, March 5, 2007

It's About Time

I woke up this morning at an ungodly hour to write a paper due at 2pm today. Unable to start writing immediately, it occurred to me to conduct one of my occasional Google searches for certain things that don't seem to have Internet presences. Mainly, I've been trying to find lore on that 70s show, "Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp." Before today, my searches turned up nothing, but now--! Lance Link has arrived (again)! (Complete with some scathing racist overtones toward Arabs and Asians, not to mention the overwhelming Cold War vibe....)

He's on YouTube now, too--here's a musical segment from the program.

Ok...back to the paper....

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Strangely good snack

At the suggestion of my acupuncturist, I have been trying to eat more celery. That's something of a hardship, because while I don't mind it in soups and such, I'm not in the least a fan of it raw, nor am I excited about it as a primary menu item.

Nevertheless, this afternoon I chopped up a little and stir-fried it with a handful of cashews and a dash of tamari. Good enough to eat, and good enough that J got up and made herself a serving (I'd offered to make enough for both, but I don't think either of us anticipated anything more than edible).

It's not a dish I'll make often for its own sake, most likely, but it worked nicely.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Not February Any More!

--and there was much rejoicing in the land! Tonight some of us went out to the Cubbyhole to celebrate the end of a rough week for everyone. I love that bar--lots of great memories there, and it's such a relaxed place. And I love a place where no one bats an eye if I use the men's room (relax, guys--it's a one-seater).

So--no drama today, and thank goodness for that! Tomorrow the work begins again, but for tonight, I'm off the hook.

The Book I'm Not Reading: George Yudice's The Expediency of Culture

Forward in All Directions

As of 12:58am, the grant is out of my hands and in the hands of the granting agency. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime, someone on the SEM listserv sent this article about institutional research boards--the bane of our existence in the humanities. Lots of paperwork to prove that we're not going to kill anyone by interviewing them. When I put in an application a few years ago to research Julia Clifford, I had to convince the board that it was imperative that I name my interviewees in the work. Imagine, writing about her and not being able to say that I talked to her son, her friends, her nieces. Luckily, they must have figured I was harmless enough--but the fact of the matter is that very few people in my department even know the IRB exists.

Hmmm, where did that rant come from? Guess I'd better go to bed so I can wake up tomorrow to read more linguistic anthropology!