- There is a bird outside, perhaps a mockingbird given the variety in his/her song, that is singing away like it’s the first day of spring. Except it’s midnight. Could someone please tell him to go to sleep so I can? Otherwise, I would BE asleep instead of down here writing a post.
- I didn’t blog the American Idol results because I forgot it was a two-hour show so I was fifteen minutes late and didn’t feel like rewinding and didn’t feel like blogging from the middle, and didn’t really have that much to say about it anyway. Il Divo is cute. Kelly Clarkson is awesome. Jack Black rocks and Ben Stiller…doesn’t. Yay for 70 million votes and at least 30 million dollars donated. The surprise duet between Celine Dion and creepy holographic Elvis was lame. And making Jordin wait all the way to the end and think she’d been eliminated only to eliminate nobody? Mean. I mean, I’m glad nobody was eliminated, ESPECIALLY Jordin. But I felt tricked (both by the Elvis thing and the no elimination thing), and that didn’t make me happy.
- Hot Fuzz is incredibly good. GO SEE IT NOW. If you like a) cop movies and/or b) British comedy you will love it. And who doesn’t love at least one of those two things? I’m not even kidding. I haven’t laughed that hard since…okay, well I laughed that hard when I was just watching videos on Comedy Central.com.
- Speaking of which, note to self: Do not go on Comedy Central.com and expect to watch only one video. It doesn’t work that way. I say an hour and a half later.
- Avenue Montaigne is not quite as good as Hot Fuzz, and in a very much different way–French instead of British, for one thing, and quietly sweet instead of raucously funny and action-packed. But if you love Paris and ensemble casts, then you might like Avenue Montaigne.
- Everyone seems to think I’m a masochist for taking summer classes. But everyone I know here is taking summer classes, we’re all taking the same summer classes, and in my summer classes I get to read Woolf and Lawrence, and then learn French! And do it with cool, smart people! So it’s going to be awesome. Plus, I’m going to host movie-watching night every week, which will be awesome on even more levels (not the least of which will be motivation to keep my apartment clean).
- St. Louis people, strong-arm the theatre managers there to make sure they’re playing Black Book and Waitress during the two and a half week window I’m home in the middle of May. If I miss those two (especially Waitress), I’ll be pouty all summer.
- Have you guys seen the Ford Edge commercials directed by David Mamet? They’re the ones with the two guys who talk about the Edge being faster than a BMW and quieter than a Lexus? They’ve been running during American Idol pretty regularly, so you probably have. Anyway, I’m going to adopt the “True story? True story.” It’ll replace the Grey’s Anatomy “Seriously? Seriously.” This is the plan. However, Grey’s “seriouslys” have been in my vocabulary for like two years now, so switching might be more difficult than I foresee.
- Each bullet point is getting randomer and weirder. Perhaps it’s time to try sleep again. If the darned bird has realized that it’s FREAKIN’ MIDNIGHT and has also gone to sleep.
I just found out that one of my friends committed suicide on Thursday. I met her a few years ago on one of the Buffy fanboards, we roomed together in LA for a weekend, and she was really wonderful person–always had the right thing to say when I was down, or any of our friends needed help. She suffered from severe bipolar disorder which played havoc with her moods and self-image…I know she was miserable a lot of the time, but there were so many people who loved her. I really don’t know what to say or do, except pray for her family–she left a husband and a three-year-old son.
Haven’t said much of anything lately except American Idol stuff, and I don’t really have a good reason for that. (If I have a reason, it’s that I have too much time, and thus don’t need to use blogging as a procrastination tool.)
- I am taking two classes this semester instead of the four I had last semester; most grad students only take two, so this is normal.
- One class is on European Romanticism–basically a sort of comparative literature survey course, using texts and translations from England, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain, Norway, Hungary, Denmark, etc. The professor is a little intimidating just because he knows EVERYTHING about everything, and when you present on someone, he expects you to know EVERYTHING about them. (I present for the first time next Monday…so I will be researching today and tomorrow for that.) But he is also British, so there’s that. I like him a lot, but he really does KNOW EVERYTHING.
- The other class is on the Harlem Renaissance, and it’s actually more interesting than I was expecting. I’ve never read any of these writers (1910s-1920s black writers), and we’re getting a good interdisciplinary chunk of the contemporary politics, music, art, etc. as well as literature, which suits me perfectly. Of course, not knowing anything about any of the works meant that I kept my mouth shut when people were choosing presentation topics until the end, so I got poetry. *sigh* Oh well.
- I hate presentations. Grad classes are all presentations. What’s that about?
- But in comparison with last semester, when I wrote upwards of 80 pages of papers and assignments for class, this semester I only have something like 40 pages maximum to write. In European Romanticism, we have three papers, and he gave us 2000 words MAX. That’s like, six and a half pages. MAX. Score.
- Also, I am a research assistant this year, which is actually a good bit of fun, I think. The professor I work for is in the rhetoric and composition area, and I don’t want to talk much about her research because she’s doing a fairly large project right now for publication this summer or fall. But she’s working with multimodal writing…basically, using other methods of conveying information than your standard academic essay–pictures, video, interaction, etc. It’s fairly interesting, and is making me consider a lot of things I never thought about before.
- For part of the project, I’m transcribing interviews, and she gave me this transcription machine, which is sorta cool, in a old-tech sort of way. It plays the tape and you run it with your foot, so you don’t have to stop typing to run it back a bit or stop it playing while you catch up. Seems like we ought to be getting pretty close to good enough voice recognition technology, though, to render the whole manual transcription thing obsolete. Not that I mind. I enjoy typing and copying things. One thing that’s interesting though, is how automatically I translate the conversation into proper writing. I’m supposed to keep it pretty much as it is on the tape (though she said to leave out “ums” and stuff like that), but I also tend weed out “you know” and “like” and other interjections that I really want to leave in to show when the interviewee was hesitating or backtracking. It’s harder to type exactly what you hear than you would think!
- I drove down to Austin last Saturday pretty much exclusively to see Pan’s Labyrinth, and it was totally worth it. Probably the best movie I’ve seen from 2006. Although Brick is still a really close second. But if Pan’s Labyrinth is playing where you are, I suggest you go see it. But don’t take the kids. It may be a fantasy, and it may have a young girl as the protagonist, but it ain’t a kids’ movie. I’ll probably write more about it later.
- I just finished the second season of Grey’s Anatomy on DVD, and it BROKE ME. Now, to find the tape of this season…
- I’ve been reading David Bordwell and Kirstin Thompson’s blog pretty regularly (and if you’re interested in film studies, you should be too), and when I was working for my professor in her office the other day, I saw she had their textbook Film Art, which I’ve been wanting to read since I found their blog. And she let me borrow it! She’s pretty awesome.
- Apparently I’m not meant to get allergy shots down here. I went to start them today (after having been cleared by the doctor here a couple of weeks ago), and they had to call my allergist at home before giving me a shot because it’s been so long since I’ve had one, and they wouldn’t let me get one until I’d seen my doctor! At home! IN ST. LOUIS! Woulda been nice to know that when I was home at Christmas. Because I’m not planning to be back in St. Louis again until May. I don’t know why it was okay in November for me to get shots here without seeing my doctor at home, but it’s not now. Ah well. I’ve been fairly fine without them. Just annoying is all.
- Speaking of annoying. A few rules for cinema patrons, brought to you due to the two morons in front of me today. 1) Even if there’s only one other person in the theatre (i.e., me), you still shouldn’t treat the movie like your own private Mystery Science Theatre. 2) If you must talk to each other, don’t sit with a seat IN BETWEEN YOU, thus forcing you to use normal voices. Use your quiet voices. 3) Turn your cellphones OFF. Both of them. 4) And, if your cellphone does happen to ring, DO NOT ANSWER IT. 5) If you must answer it, STEP OUTSIDE and DO NOT CARRY ON A CONVERSATION IN THE THEATRE ON YOUR CELLPHONE. People complain about the state of moviegoing these days; sometimes it is the theatre’s fault. But more often, the reason going to theatres isn’t fun is because the audience is boorish. Sometimes audiences are great–first night audiences at fan favorites (like Lord of the Rings) are awesome, and generally art-house/indie audiences are enjoyable. But multiplex audiences are horrible and should be banned from ever leaving their own homes.
- I just upgraded to WordPress 2.1, and it now autosaves posts! Hell yeah.
“Home” is a weird concept right now. Is “home” my parents’ house, where I haven’t lived for three years? Is “home” my haphazard apartment at school, where I know I’ll only live for another year and three months? Is “home” my apartment in St. Louis, which is no longer my apartment? Not that any of that is really bothering me that much…I’m not much of a “home”-centric person anyway. All my stuff is at school, so I guess that’s home.
Anyway. That was random. Tired now, so bulleted update.
- Back in Texas.
- Slot-car section of highway south of Dallas (due to road construction) made even less fun by TORRENTIAL RAINS. I exaggerate, but not much.
- I had to almost randomly reassign books and DVDs to new genres in order to make all the new ones I bought and received over Christmas fit on my shelves. After being really good about not buying things over the past year, I sorta binged.
- XM Radio is the best Christmas gift ever. Made the trip down AWESOME. Except for the TORRENTIAL RAINS at the end.
- Cinematical is hiring a new blogger. It’s one of my favorite film blogs, and I would adore to write for it. But they’re looking for someone to be posting 2-3 times a day, and I’m pretty sure I can’t keep that pace up with school. Hopefully they’ll happen to need a new writer in about a year and a half, and I can apply then. ;)
- American Idol starts in like a week! I’ve stopped even pretending to be ashamed by my addiction to that show.
- Bed now. No. A bit more of Possession, then bed. I was reading it while eating dinner, and almost couldn’t tear myself away to start driving again. Yet, once I got home, did I immediately start reading it or gravitate to TV and internet? Sigh. What’s wrong with me?
Redeemer had a sort of a welcoming party for the RUF students today–various Redeemer families brought sandwiches and sides and gave lunch to all the students. I stayed for free lunch (hey, you don’t get that all the time!) and got to meet a lot more people, both Redeemer families and several students. Including one English student getting ready to graduate with his PhD who I hadn’t met on-campus yet, so that was nice. The first few weeks I slipped in and out without meeting too many people (they don’t have a Paul Jaeggi!), but it was really great to be able to sit and eat and chat with people for longer. I’m just not good at conversation where I don’t have anything to do with my hands, or can’t listen in to other conversations as the other people at the table talk.
Now I’m getting ready to head out to a picnic for the English Graduate Students to get to know some of them better. Today is also the first football game of the year, but I didn’t go to it. All the freshmen were really excited about it, though. And when I get back, more reading! Whee. As far as schoolwork goes, I’m fluctuating day by day on whether I can do it all, whether I can do it well, whether I should even be doing this…I still feel uncertain and unprepared compared with all the other graduate students, so I’m just trying to take it one day at a time and do my best on the current task. I can’t think beyond that right now, and the coming weeks, which are going to be more and more filled with ongoing papers and research? Really can’t think about them at all.