Sunday, July 08, 2007

RBOC: Stopgap Edition

It's been two weeks since I've posted anything, and I'm about to leave for another week, so I want to get something up here, just 'cause, you know, I know you all miss me so much. But really, a lot's been going on and I want to get some of it down.

  • Finished up June by going to a fantastic mini-conference on activism, pedagogy and cultural studies. It's just 18 people, more a works-in-progress symposium than anything. But the intellectual energy is very exciting. My co-editor and I presented a draft of some pages of our introduction that were both well received, and thoroughly critiqued. We've got a lot of work to do on those pages, but they're really taking shape.
  • We also looked over the proposal with our series editor, who is increasingly enthusiastic about the project. Hopefully, a full proposal will be ready move on up the ladder in a month or so.
  • The trip also coincided with a trip to visit many wonderful friends--I had dropped off Rambunctious with my folks for the long weekend (even though he was sick--more on that), and Willow and Imperia went to stay with friends in the same area as the symposium. So we got to spend some good time with a lot of different people.
  • We also got to have a fantastic meal at a great restaurant whose chef was named a best chef by Food and Wine a couple of years ago. Great meal, great company.
  • On the drive home, along a very rural stretch of Interstate, I noticed several lit road signs with the phrase "Terror Tips" and an 800 number. Why? I ask. What are the odds that someone is going to be driving along a stretch of highway where there's nothing but hills and woods for miles (not even a mobile phone tower), and think, "Hunh, I do have a tip on a terrorist, and it slipped my mind until just this moment!" This sort of thing strikes me as the worst kind of spectacle of fear. blecch.
  • Been doing some good reading lately: finished Angela Carter's Wise Children on Willow's enthusiastic recommendation, and finished (by audiobook--cheating, but I'll likely read it on paper very soon) Arundhati Roy's amazing The God of Small Things. I just got an iPod for my recent birthday, so I also got John Hodgman's funny, droll The Areas of My Expertise. In addition to reading for the collection (which will soon include Foucault's The Archaeology of Knowledge and The Order of Things), I'll also be finishing up new reading for the Commonwealth lit class, including Heart of Darkness (for the bajillionth time) and Coetzee's Disgrace. Sadly, I'm leaning toward cutting Rushdie's Midnight's Children because it's just too big. I'll use some of his short stories instead.
  • We've just had a visit from our wonderful friend who I would call Gracefully Overworked Prof, but the initials for that name are GOP and she'd shudder. So instead I will call her Queen of the Archives, because she (like many of her competitors who may be reading this), has spent much of this summer assiduously transcribing manuscripts across various London sites. QotA is a wonderful guest, because she a) loves hanging out with our kids enough that we only barely feel guilty making her hang out with them, b) is always good for conversation on virtually any topic, and c) got me, for my birthday, the makings of a damn fine Pimm's cup, which, as I've just found out, is a smashing British mixed drink involving Pimm's, Lemonade and fruit (In our case, lemon, lime, mint and cucumber). God bless you QotA!
  • Now that QotA is back home, we are preparing to depart for the centerpiece of our summer: a week on the West Coast for Willow's brother's wedding, on the campus of Prestigious-University-whose-mascot-is-NOT-a-bird-but-rather-a-color-or-perhaps-a-pine-tree. Rambunctious and Imperia are ring-bearer and flower child respectively, and are as excited about that as they are about their first flight. One that will last five hours each way, not counting travel time to the airport and waiting time in the airport. Did I mention that they're three and a half? Did I mention that we aren't half as excited as they are?
  • Roger Federer just won his fifth Wimbledon, and while he is hardly my favorite male tennis player, man, that guy is amazing. He and Nadal both made some shots today that I simply don't understand the physics of. So hats off to Roger. Also to 17-year-old American Donald Young who won his second juniors Grand Slam Title and has been hailed for two or three years now as the future of American Men's Tennis. Likely makes the present of American Men's Tennis feel bloody great. But still I'm excited to get to see him play before too long.
  • 15 pounds since May 1. Prompted me to get a fabulous new suit for the wedding.
  • Finally, I must mention that Willow's first story since she returned to writing a couple of years ago has just been published, and we're waiting on another that has also been accepted. In other COMPLETELY UNRELATED NEWS, check out this fantastic story.


Sisyphus said...

Congrats on the conference and gradual progress on the book (er, collection?)!

Have fun up at the Junior Farm! Be sure to wander around the sculpture garden as it is very pretty as well as the entrance to the Gates of Hell. I don't know that part of the area too well but there should be some fabulous restaurants nearby ---- especially if you define "nearby" very liberally.

I love Angela Carter, though I haven't read that one, and also loved GoST --- beautiful writing, and an ending that made me go, "what?"

And I know you will rock an absolutely fabulous new suit.

Nels said...

Hey, I've tagged you over at my blog for a meme!