Tuesday, October 31, 2006[Count Dogula.]
>> 11:16 AM
Monday, October 30, 2006
>> 11:44 PM
>> 7:13 AM
Sunday, October 29, 2006
>> 4:37 PM
Hanging out at Black Dog Cafe in downtown Saint Paul. I must ask if they allow dogs inside.
>> 1:46 PM
Saturday, October 28, 2006
>> 2:09 PM
Can I have some popcorn, too?
>> 1:34 PM
Friday, October 27, 2006
Find your own pose!
>> 10:32 PM
Giles is pooped from the dog park and has his eyes squeezed shut so tightly while he naps by my feet.
>> 3:17 PM
At the dog park doing research with Giles.
>> 2:11 PM
>> 9:09 AM
Thursday, October 26, 2006[Wizardly (a blog post about the magicians and history behind the movie and novel).]
>> 10:42 AM
Tuesday, October 24, 2006[Happiest] looking dog EVER.
>> 3:40 PM
I've been so moody lately. I haven't been able to do any work since getting back from the failed expedition to watch a movie.
>> 3:15 PM
I think today, after preparing for tomorrow's class, I will turn my attention to finishing Octavia Butler's Wild Seed. And then I think I might, if I have time, start [Roopali Mukherjee's The Racial Order of Things: Cultural Imaginaries of the Post-Soul Era], a book I picked up last week during my shopping spree.
>> 9:34 AM
Monday, October 23, 2006
Here I am at my school's library listening to student research presentations last Friday.
>> 5:53 PM
My students laugh at me when I walk into class in my poofy down jacket looking like a stuffed animal.
>> 3:28 PM
>> 1:01 PM
>> 12:58 PM
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Since then, I've been adrift in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, a novel I'm glad to be re-reading for class but am afraid will be completely incomprehensible to my students who can't even grasp the basic arguments of more clearly written non-fiction books like Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed. What will they make of a narrative without conventional plot or logic?
On Tuesday, Rob and I are planning on catching the movie The Prestige, which from commercials I take to be a movie about the showdown between Batman and Wolverine.
On Friday, I am going to hear [Thomas Glave] read at [The Loft].
The next two weeks are short teaching weeks for me -- this coming Friday is midterm break and the following is when I'm in Chicago for a seminar.
>> 7:27 PM
Giles looks over his shoulder.
Giles sits with pigeon-toes.
Giles has a shadow.
>> 11:49 AM
I'm finally in a happier mood, despite the complaint I just logged. Colds seem to make me neurochemically sad in addition to congested and all that other unfun stuff.
I finished grading a set of papers earlier this past week. The writing was horrible, and the grades by extension were lower than I had expected. I realized I had miscalculated students' understanding as well as writing experience. Now that I've gotten over the disappointment, I think I'm ready to take on the rest of the semester. I think the students are a little more attentive now, too, realizing they can't just coast by in this class. I'm happy that we're finally getting to the fun fiction portion of the class! We'd been reading mostly non-fiction stuff up to this point.
I've been catching up with friends these past few days, too, after going AWOL via e-mail and phone due to stress and sickness. It's nice.
>> 8:50 AM
Friday, October 20, 2006
I finally got the driver-side headlight on my car replaced. I've been going around town with only one eye for the past couple months. I had finally purchased a replacement bulb only to find that the old one was stuck, and I couldn't remove it myself (or with the help of friends). I stopped by the Jiffy Lube on the way home from work today. There was a really cute Vietnamese American guy working there. But this other guy -- burly and scruffy -- came up to help me. He replaced the bulb for free, too!
>> 6:07 PM
Thursday, October 19, 2006[Noah takes a photo of himself everyday for 6 years]. I like how the project captures the subtle changes of aging. I like how he keeps a neutral expression in each shot in a way that frustrates attempts to discern a life story in the series of photographs (is he happier certain years?). One thing some people wonder is whether or not these are actually pictures taken each day for 6 years.
When I imagined myself to be some kind of visual artist back in high school and for the first few years of college, I would do a self-portrait once a year around Christmas break. I liked the idea of tracking both how I changed from year to year and how my drawing/painting styles shifted. I only managed to keep it up for four or five years, though.
>> 11:00 AM
Wednesday, October 18, 2006[Tofurky Jurky].
>> 5:13 PM
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Busy past week: trekked to Minneapolis on the St. Thomas shuttle to chair a panel at a conference, hosted a high school friend visiting from California, caught a production of Ain't Misbehavin' at the amazing [Penumbra Theatre] in Saint Paul with faculty in my department, and finally did lots and lots of grading.
Tonight I have to look forward to re-reading Jamaica Kincaid's Lucy, admittedly not the longest novel ever, but it's still quite a lot to do in one sitting. Then I have to pull together a reading quiz for tomorrow's class. Headsplode.
>> 7:01 PM
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Discarded along a wall three blocks from home.
Geese have chased away the ducks at the pond.
>> 2:21 PM
>> 9:27 AM
Saturday, October 14, 2006
>> 2:59 PM
I just thought of an opening line for my dog presentation: Dogs, like cars, must be parked.
>> 10:15 AM
Friday, October 13, 2006
It's supposed to warm up to the 50s this weekend. The weather forecaster on last night's news told us to enjoy it. I love that I live in a place where 50 degree weather is cause for celebration. (Nyah nyah hermance. Okay, maybe I'll stop talking about the weather. Except. Wait. I think that's all Minnesotans do. Sorry.)
[BBC Weekly World News Quiz.] I only got three right. :( But I'm sure you can figure out which one I definitely got right.
>> 8:43 AM
Thursday, October 12, 2006[2006: a year of giving flowers]
In other news, I am sick as a dog.
>> 2:21 PM
>> 6:42 AM
>> 6:37 AM
>> 5:58 AM
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
>> 8:23 PM
>> 9:08 AM
I did manage to get a delicious pasta dinner in last night at [Broders Pasta Bar] before feeling really sick, though. (Parick -- sorry if you end up with a cold!)
I don't see any snowflakes out there yet, but the ground is a bit wet so we might have gotten some overnight.
>> 8:22 AM
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
>> 10:11 AM
>> 10:09 AM
I'm fascinated by dreams. In between my stint as a molecular biophysics and biochemistry major (it's what all the pre-meds were) and English, I flirted with becoming a psychology major. Then I realized that you still had to do labs and stuff and couldn't just sit around reading Freud and other stuff about dreams. (But luckily you could in literary studies.)
Last night I had a dream that I think was a combination of delayed processing of my siblings' visit a few weeks ago and yesterday's unfortunate mistake of confusing the names of my two Asian American students. I'm such a bad Asian Americanist! Anyways, in the dream, my sister (hi Zo!) and I were sitting in a coffee shop type place. I think Carlos might've been there as well but was reading a newspaper or something. Giles was wandering around, and at one point he was about to exit the doors. I had to call frantically for him. He came back and sat next to me. I hugged him. My sister and I thought a woman sitting nearby was Margaret Cho. Then the woman came over to say hello to Giles. We talked awhile. Once she came up, I realized she was not MC, but my sister kept saying things like, "I love your movies." And at first the woman, who apparently did some sort of movie stuff, was excited to be talking to someone who recognized her, but then eventually it came out that she was not MC and awkwardness ensued. It just occurs to me that this dream, in referencing MC, is probably also my subconscious telling me to get the hell back to working on my dissertation.
>> 8:24 AM
Monday, October 09, 2006
The incredible, expandable puppy.
>> 10:56 PM
It's supposed to snow on Wednesday.
>> 10:29 PM
Also, [French Bulldog Z].
>> 7:49 PM
I know I don't give the clearest directions, but my students sure are obstinately not understanding things....
>> 2:58 PM
Sunday, October 08, 2006
I'm now in my office doing some reading for class. I hope to grade a few papers as well before heading to a faculty soiree at 4 pm at my office neighbor's house. I took a mental health day yesterday and avoided any semblance of work (or more importantly, worrying about work). Instead, I ate at Andy's Garage, a diner in a converted gas station/garage space, and went to a [comic convention] with Parick. Then we stopped at the gay library where I checked out two movies -- [The Map of Love and Sex] and [Naked Fame]. I then watched the two movies back-to-back, the first with Rob and the second by myself. The first movie was very... ummm.... film student? It tried so hard to be profound. After about half an hour, I started a running commentary in a dead-pan voice saying, "The water is symbolic of drowning," and other pseudo-profound things. Rob joined in as well. The thing is the movie wasn't so bad overall; if only it weren't so hyper-self-aware (the lead character is a filmmaker) about what the film was shooting and doing. And the second movie was just so-so. Basically it was just an excuse to film shirtless porn stars for a non-X-rated movie and audience. Colton Ford needs better music to sing. And I say that as a fan of dance music.
>> 2:38 PM
>> 10:59 AM
Friday, October 06, 2006
It's beautiful out this full moon night, the winds rustling through the dried leaves on and beneath the outstretched limbs of towering tree silhouettes. The moon makes even streets without lamps glow with a peaceful kind of light.
For a half hour, Giles and I walked down these quiet sidewalks. We wandered along streets we generally bypass, taking turns whenever we saw the shadowy figures of other pedestrians approaching. In this way, we maintained a sense of solitude, the kind possible only in the muted presence of others seen behind brightly lit windows or in passing cars, heard in calm voices drifting from second floor balconies or in barks signaling our nearness.
The paralysis I was spiralling towards these past couple of days has settled into a detached contentment. After teaching my last class of the week this afternoon, I set out in search of Damien Rice's cd O, in part to fuel my obsession of the two songs "Cannonball" and "The Blower's Daughter," and in part to shake this hopelessness with some homeopathic musical therapy. I browsed through three stores' inventories before finding it, a marginally successful, older album from 2003, unloved among all the new releases and used albums of more popular artists that line record stores' shelves.
After a tasty dinner of home-cooked chili, I settled in to Andrew Holleran's Grief, a novel I picked up at the public library yesterday. O played in the background as I flipped through the book. Though its language seems largely stilted, I still find certain passages, as I've typed out below, resonant. And it's mood fits mine so perfectly -- a gentle kind of melancholy in search of something beautiful.
>> 10:14 PM
When my landlord was home in the evening, there was no need to leave. What is better than reading in the same room or same house with someone at night? Reading is an activity both communal and separate. The lighted lamps, the quiet, the knowledge that my landlord was downstairs, all made me happy: the two of us seemed to constitute a household then; that home for which everyone is looking. In truth, of course, I felt my status as a boarder all the more keenly at such moments. (Andrew Holleran, Grief)
>> 9:27 PM
His dog spent the long mornings and afternoons alone, in the study behind closed doors. One day, on an impulse, returning to my room after lunch, I opened the doors, and poked my head in to see how she was. She was lying on a discolored piece of carpet, curled up behind a chair against the wall--so used to being there she merely raised her head to regard me with her sad dark eyes, then lowered her face onto her paws again with a mournful expression, resuming a pose of infinite resignation. Not wishing to interfere, I withdrew from the room and closed the doors. She was not mine, after all--I'd been taking care of someone who had been, but this dog was my landlord's. Still I wondered how the dog could lie there all day--how she passed the hours--what concept of time, if any, she had, whether being left alone depressed her, or whether to a dog all things were simply phenomena the dog did not judge, things with no context, no past or future. (Andrew Holleran, Grief)
>> 8:46 PM
>> 7:25 PM
In the past few years, cities around the United States have increasingly established dog parks or runs within municipal borders. These cities’ investment in providing substantial pieces of fenced-in land for off-leash dog exercise suggests the presence of a public dog culture growing at the same time as private businesses are offering more options for doggy day cares, vacation kennels, and other luxury services. This presentation examines two aspects of the dog park phenomenon as public culture – (1) the discourse about costs and benefits of establishing dog parks and (2) social interactions within the space of dog parks.
In addressing the discourse about dog parks, I turn to newspaper coverage of them as well as minutes from city council meetings regarding the establishment of parks. These conversations revolve around issues of community, public safety, environmental waste, and neighborhood privacy as well as reasons for why dogs need plenty of space for exercise and obedience training. In addition to marking out divisions between dog owners and non-owners, these discussions create differing conceptions of what appropriate public space is – who owns it, what rules apply to that space, and where it should be located. By turning to this discourse, I suggest that debates over city land use offer one way to understand how dog owners shape public perceptions of appropriate co-existence with dogs.
Equally important in understanding the place of dog parks in contemporary public culture is thinking about how people and dogs make use of these spaces once they are established. The second part of this presentation briefly sketches out some dynamics of human-to-human interaction within dog parks in Durham, North Carolina, and St. Paul, Minnesota. More specifically, I examine how people perform their gender identities through their dogs. Drawing on the recent popularity of celebrity dog behaviorist Cesar Millan and his television show The Dog Whisperer, I argue that dog owners negotiate in complicated ways the dominance-submission paradigm of dealing with their dogs. Overlaying owners’ uneven uptake of this paradigm are other gendered performances regarding dog size, dog-to-dog aggression, and other dog behaviors. Such gender identity performances suggest the necessity of anchoring social interactions in gendered binaries, even when dealing with non-human companions such as dogs.
>> 3:35 PM
>> 1:20 PM
>> 12:19 AM
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Whee! Just got my St. Paul public library card! :) Books rule!
>> 6:02 PM
Singers who enunciate every consonant distinctly while talking are fun to listen to.
>> 1:18 PM
Wednesday, October 04, 2006[one review] says it's quite a bit heavy-handed about economic injustice.
I've been trying to drink water again these past couple of days. I suddenly realized that I've been very bad about drinking water for the past month or so. My daily intake of fluids is generally coffee, tea, and soda. (Hmm... perhaps this accounts for my occasional insomnia....)
I also need to get back to exercising soon. I jogged briefly a couple days ago with Giles. My knees hurt for awhile after but haven't been bad since. I'm sure another bout of jogging would hurt them a lot, though. I'll have to see what the pool situation is like on campus.
>> 6:15 PM
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Hmmm. At a discussion panel on this year's Common Text. Don't see any of my students around.
>> 3:40 PM
>> 1:03 PM
Giles scratches in yellow leaves.
Giles scratches in red leaves.
Bulldog goes to school.
Giles scratches to avoid seeming compliant when I ask him to sit.
Giles does not like it when we read at the coffee house.
Giles does not like sitting still.
>> 12:00 PM
Monday, October 02, 2006[Jocelyn Enriquez, "Only You," 1MB, WMA format]
>> 10:01 PM
>> 6:45 PM
I've finally put up some pictures on my door.
>> 2:59 PM
>> 8:35 AM
Sunday, October 01, 2006[web site], track 11 of his album, or a live performance clip [here]). Now I'm looking up various versions on YouTube. And I've discovered, to my greatest amusement, an [Enrique Iglesias] version, done only the way he can. ;)
>> 5:20 PM
Also, while searching for covers of Vienna Teng's songs, I discovered this genre of YouTube music video wherein people are putting together videos with images from anime or RPGs like Final Fantasy. Here's one for Fuel's "Hemorrhage" with images from [Final Fantasy IX].
>> 4:48 PM
>> 1:04 PM
>> 12:42 PM
atom site feed
asian american writers' workshop
the new york times
jon carroll @ sfgate
the village voice
let bygones be...
the old stuff