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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Thursday, October 7th, 2004

Time Event
10:53p
big ole update, and now to bed finally
Monday night:

Went to the library after Self-Defense class to research for my paper.

Went to the Campus Center for food for the first time all semester. Due to being under-staffed there was no milkshake making, so i got french fries but no chocolate milkshake which is what i really wanted. However, Laura's mom sent homemade chocolate chip cookies and Laura shares, so i had 3 and felt much better.

I heart talking to Emma, even though that was hours i should have been writing my paper.

We talked a lot about As You Like It. Bill Oram is convincing me that perhaps Rosalind really is madly in love with Orlando, but i don't particularly buy his argument that the play is about court vs. country (though it's certainly a pastoral play).

Emma talked about how plays, especially in Shakespeare's time, were meant to be performed, and if you need to do really close reading, if you can't see something in a viewing of a play, then perhaps you are stretching things.

In the versions Emma has seen, Rosalind is played cold (which is how i read her originally) and Orlando is an idiot (which is a legitimate reading, just not one i was particularly inclined to; i don't care much one way or the other about him, but i think he's a perfectly good guy who falls madly in love with this lady).

I totally reinterpret stuff in this play not just to make it gay but to make characters' actions/motivations make more sense to me. (I'm totally gonna end up rewriting this play, aren't it?)

Shakespeare was an imperfect human being, not a deity, not even a minor one.

Wednesday after class i was having breakfast with a woman in my class and a friend of hers who loves Rosalind and wrote a paper on her. She said that Rosalind wants a guy she can mold, control. I can see that. Rosalind still confuses me, though. In class we were talking about the other couples, and when Phebe is cutting Silvius down for his over the top professions of love, Rosalind jumps in and bitches her out because she sympathizes with Silvius' over-thetop feelings. That's how Bill explained it anyway, and that made sense to be as i've been being converted to the plausibility of the "Yes Rosalind really does fall passionately in love with Orlando" reading of the text. (Though that's not how it's going to be when i rewrite the play.) But then she basically plays Phebe to Orlando's Silvius when she's next with him. Is this her projecting and trying to quell that irrationality within herself?

Wednesday during class, Bill talked about how Silvius' love for Phebe is articulated as holy reverence etc. and i thought "Silvius chastely worships her and Phebe goes off to be a dyke. Their marriage will work after all." Their coupling was the one i was least pleased with, so i was happy to have come up with a satisfying fanwank

Thursday:

C. L. Barber's essay on the Saturnalian Pattern in Shakespeare's Festive Comedy is a load of bullshit.

Also, i wanna stab this one girl in my class. Her Blackboard postings are not unintelligent, but i very much get the feeling of "No, there is no gay here, it is just a game about love, not about gender play, stop forcing your modern fancies with gayness and realistic character motivation onto the divine Shakespeare and stick with the text."

I was telling Emma about this later Thursday night and showing her the posts and realized i could actually articulately argue against what she said (and was also struck by what a pretentious bitch she came off as), so after Emma left to go to bed i returned to Blackboard. I was reminded of the weekend spent arguing about the Olga Broumas and Anne Sexton Little Red Riding Hood poems on Blackboard last semester (which was one of my high points of the semester).

I also got to defend my contention that Barber is full of shit, though Collyn did remind me of an interesting point Barber brought up, about the comedies being not so much about topsy-turvy-ness but about, as he says, "movement between poles of restraint and release in everybody's experience," which makes me look at the comedies in a new way.

In chatting with Emma it also occured to me: "I'm a boy and she's my 'sister' " -- hello Abraham and Sarah. See, see, Celia and Rosalind really were lovers ;)

Tuesday:

Up early to return my reserve books. Not as early as i intended, actually, because i hit the Off button on my alarm while still mostly asleep, but given how late i went to bed and the fact that i didn't have class until 10:30, was still earlier than i would have been up otherwise.

I really enjoy that i can listen to the lecture at my UMass class while writing fic at the same time. About 600 words of my "original fic." Difficult to make the banter between the two characters not sound like the banter between me and my friends. Coming up with names for the characters would be good, too.

We got a list of suggested topics for my Brave New Worlds class.
With the permission of your section instructor, you may do a creative project such as a short story, long poem, screenplay, or hologram ballet. Creative work is acceptable for either the midterm or final, but not for both. No macramé, conceptual art, collage, body painting, or scarification.
The midterm is a 7 page paper and we can use any of the suggested topics or make up one of our own. We can also write about novels we haven't done in class, though obviously they'll be suspicious if we choose to write on novels that were on the syllabus in past years. Some of the suggested ones looked kinda interesting, and i've had thoughts about other issues raised by the books, but nothing felt very compelling.

"In all of the novels we have read, the dystopian societies are patriarchal. Is this mere co-incidence, or is male dominance a necessary ingredient of totalitarianism? Choose any two novels and speculate about gender and power."

I read that one to Emma and she started telling me about The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge (which i haven't read) and we got talking about the original Hans Christian Andersen tale and Narnia and yeah, i think i have a paper topic that i'm very excited about. Woot.

Most of this week there hasn't been anything i wanna eat at any of the houses. My dad e-mailed me a few days ago. "It occurs to me that we should have food stocked for you when you get here. My underactive imagination thinks of orange juice, milk, shells and cheese, corn, and crinkle-cut french fries. Anything else?" He later e-mailed: "I also stocked up on raisin bran and hot chocolate." Um, except for Amy's [they have a weight loss success stories section on their website? ew] veggie burgers, that about covers it.

I put off doing laundry because i knew there was gonna be a fire drill and wanted to be fully dressed. (Though i actually wouldn't have been all that much colder in my jammies.) Seems like half the campus had their scheduled fire drill tonight. Scheduled means donuts. I ate 5 chocolate munchkins and then started on the powdered cinnamon ones, of which i didn't keep count. Hey, don't look at me like that; i've been under-nourished. I really like Emily Cox and, as with so many people, would like to hang out with her more.

If i trust that you're going to be responsible, i'll buy you alcohol; i don't think drinking age laws are a terribly great thing. Provided people are educated and responsible, i believe in allowing them to live their lives as they please. (And as long as they're not harming anyone else, people really should be free to live their lives as they please even if they're stupid and irresponsible. Saving people from themselves is a very iffy proposition. I may believe i can improve your life, but i shouldn't be allowed to force those "improvements" on you.)

While i was still having munchkins and chatting with Emily and Laura, Emma came down to get tea and yeah. And we wonder why i'm never on AIM? (Note: I almost always have the GroupWise client up, so if you want me to sign on, just e-mail me.)

Yeah, i suck at being motivated to do work, unless i really care about the material, so hopefully i'll survive grad school. (Assuming, of course, that i ever get in.) I don't wanna jump through other people's hoops, just wanna do my own thing. Maybe i really should just get a desk job and do my own thing in the evenings. ::sighs::

Wednesday afternoon people were already bitching about the cold. Now, lack of heat in the dorms, okay i understand that being a problem, and there is that nasty transition from warm to chill weather, but it hadn't even begun to border on freezing yet, so if you're just talking about walking to class when the temps are in the 40s, then hush. Though as my computer and i worked into the wee hours of the morning as Wednesday turned into Thursday, we both noted without fondness the distinct lack of heat in my room.
From: Priority News
Date: Monday - October 4, 2004 12:53 PM
Subject: Campus Heat

GOOD NEWS ! THE HEAT IS ON IT'S WAY !!

The Heating Plant started the boilers Sunday, October 3rd and is now in the process of charging the steam distributin system. This process takes several days because of the extensive size of the network.

If you are experiencing heat related problems after Thursday, October 7th, please contact Physical Plant Customer Service at Extension 2400

Thank You
I appreciate that in their eagerness to relay this information to us they didn't bother proofreading at all. ::rolls eyes::

I enjoy wearing short-sleeves but will take the worst winter has to offer over the hot and humid misery of New England summers.
My dad: There are some sick people in this world.

Around here the tv weatherpeople also do the "foliage report." I heard one of them say yesterday morning, "Unfortunately, it's still green in the Boston area."

Me quoting Sarah W-W: "These are the days when decay begins, when the dying becomes intense. But they're days of glory; fierce optimism in red and gold against the slowly chilling wind."

My dad: I think of all those 19th century novels where people glowed brilliantly as they died of tuberculosis.

If I had a choice, I'd decline both.
Sounds like i missed nothing having skipped the VP debate. I'm not even gonna bother looking for a transcript.
8:08. "Bored now. May I play with the puppy?"

8:09. Sorry about that last entry. Once again, Vampire Willow somehow took over the blog.

-VodkaPundit (who's on Mountain Time)
See also: rhipowered's Debate in a Nutshell. And antheia was even more succinct:
Cheney: They're just plain inexperienced, and indecisive.
Edwards: Yes, but he's Satan! No really, I can see the tail!
Wednesday:

I say some smart things in my Dead Sea Scrolls paper, but my mental abilities were definitely deteriorating as night turned into morning.

The material for my Dead Sea Scrolls class is really dense. I'm really glad to have someone mediating between me and the text (particularly when we're talking about the relationship of the Dead Sea Scrolls to the New Testament -- which is far more interesting to me than the archaeological aspects) and as always there's the basic fact that doing something in a class means i'll actually do the readings instead of adding them to my list of "things i should/want to read/see/research at some point."

Did i mention Bill called my Shakespeare paper "a promising draft"? That made me feel better, though i still have to do a rewrite for the Wednesday we get back from break, since what we handed in was only a first draft.

Work was so slow, in part because lots of people were at a Staff Appreciation thingy for much of the afternoon. I got about 20 chapters of Exodus read.

On Monday the battle with the copy machine and its toner needs finally came to a close when Stacey realized that to feed the machine you also have to pull out a tab in the toner cartridge itself to open it up. We went back and forth for a while about how to phrase the memo i was to send out to the staff, mostly about what to call the plastic tab thingy. Stacey finally figured out that the official term was "trap door" and i worded the memo as follows. If the copier needs toner, please make sure when feeding it that you have opened the "trap door" not only in the machine but in the toner container itself. (When feeding the toner you should have two plastic tabs pulled out.) When i came in on Wednesday i saw her reply: very clear. nice job! Aww :)

Having breakfast after my 9am class messes up my hunger schedule -- i'm not very hungry during lunch but then my stomach's eating itself around 3 in the afternoon. And i think my metabolism or whatever really does just work better on a grazing schedule than a 3 square meals a day schedule. There was a pizza party at the President's house, so i had cold pizza, soda, and 3 ice cream treats. I saw Friedman people, which was good. I knelt down on the grass to eat and chat and oh, the grass was damp and i got grass stains on the jeans i just washed the previous night. Sigh.

Procuring code numbers to have my GRE scores sent. Remind me again why Duke is one of my top choices? Not that it doesn't look like a good program, but it seems like i don't have much correspondence with people there, so i'm confused as to how it got to be in my top 3.

There are a couple PhD in Communications programs that look like i could do what i wanna do (UIowa and Illinois-Urbana), but would my chances of being able to teach what i wanna teach be severely hindered by such a PhD? Given the odds of my getting a professorship at all does it even matter?

I was really awake and functional all day even though i only got about 2 hours of sleep. I went to bed around 10 and woke up around midnight, dazed and coughing. Got up for real around 9:30 in the morning since i did in fact have class. Definitely sick. Blech.

Thursday:

Real food for lunch! Fake burgers, rice, broccoli, orange slices, hot chocolate, ice cream treats for dessert. I was very excited.

I bought rum for friends (and thus wandered the entire liquor store and learned where everything is located before finally finding the rum) and was wearing one of my nice lizard t-shirts and chatted with the nice guy at the register for a while about the Southwest (he lived there for a few years and plans to retire there).

At dinner tonight the topic of discussion was growing up with farms, particularly chickens. Emma commented on what nasty creatures chickens are and said that's one reason she doesn't feel bad eating them. "So cannibalism would be okay if we just ate the mean people?" i asked. She agreed. Susan M.: "Note to self: Don't get on Emma's bad side."

Went to After Juliet (written by Sharman Macdonald) -- the playreading Kate was in. Was very good. Apparently the Drama Studio in Springfield is doing a full production of it in March.

Shortly before going to said playreading i got a phone call from my brother. "Did you get my e-mail?" "Um, no." "How important is it that i pick you up instead of you taking the bus home?" "Not very." He has a paper to write tonight and the SAT Saturday morning, so he would like to crash Friday after school. Fair enough. And taking the bus is really no problem.

Chatted with Emma tonight. She kept wondering about stuff and i'd Google it. Googling for the Superman who got shot during filming we found this amusing collection of image captions. (We got the answer -- George Reeves, 1959 -- from a piece linked in the cached version.) I also showed her the Orlando Bloom got engaged news article, which included in a sidebar "Orlando made to wear chest wig". There was also a link to DigitalSpy:Gaydar which i'm bookmarking and from which i learned who the gay Simpsons character was.

Have been skimming the flist but only skimming and no commenting. Will catch up for real, um, eventually.

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