Snow Blood and Coal
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
This may be the last time I post before I go to New Orleans, and unfortunately, it probably won't be a long one. I bought two new CDs today. String Cheese live in Las Vegas, 11-01-02, which is really really cool, and Under the Big Black Sun by X, which, like most X albums, is very good and a lot of fun. I've only listened to the first third of the Cheese album, but like all their live shows, it's excellent and worth everything I paid for it (it is a recording from the sound board, after all). I've listened to the whole of the X album, and it's also really neat. Quirkier than Los Angeles, I think, but every bit as good.
As for New Orleans, I'm really excited. I need to pack. I think it'll only be a carry on, which means I need to pack carefully. I definitely need the t-shirts and shot glasses I'm bringing my cousins, but beyond that, I'm not really sure what I'm bringing. I should check on the projected weather for New Orleans for next week...
Anyway, I'm off to pick up Sarah and take her out to dinner, so I'm going to go, and Happy New Years to all!
Monday, December 29, 2003
Cycles of Influence...
Alright, so today I got Cycles of Influence by Stephen Benson in the mail. This is the book for which I'm supposed to write a review for JFR. Thus far I've read about 70 pages of it, and it's pretty good. I don't know how I feel about that. On the one hand, I like reading interesting books and books by people with smart things to say. This is definitely that. On the other, I kind of feel like he's writing my master's thesis. He's doing it in a way that is very different from the way that I'm going to do it, but he's hitting on many of the same ideas. I was a bit uncomfortable with this at first. Now having read a bit over a fourth of the book, though, I think it might be a good thing. I think that it'll work well as something affirmative to which I can refer--a source that I can mention that theorizes folklore and literature right, but which does so with a different set of emphases and interests from my own. Anyway, I can't fight it. It's out there. So I may as well enjoy it...
Sunday, December 28, 2003
So I spent all of yesterday working out the bugs in the user system I designed for the Folklore Forum web site. The main problem was that I was unable to make the browser to go back to the page the user was at before he logged in. I solved this by adding a little function that keeps a log of every page that's opened during a given session, and another that allows you to go back x number of logged pages. There are some small problems with this. For one, it does not work when you're logging out because the session is destroyed before the browser can go back. For the most part, though, I think it's the best I'm going to do, and a miniscule repeat of code for the logout function is no big deal in my opinion.
Today (or maybe tomorrow, depending on how ambitious I feel, I'm going to start working on the comment system, which will be more complex than I originally thought. I originally envisioned comments not being threaded, and being only for the articles. I have a plan for how to do the notes and queries section with the same code and the same mySQL table, which I think will make things nice and efficient, although a bit more complex. I think that I'm also going to add information that allows for threading to the mySQL table. Not that I'm planning to write code to allow a threaded view right now, but if there's an outcry for it, It'll be nice to be able to add it with little hastle later...
Anyway, in other news, I have a package that I can't pick up because the office, which is usually open on sundays, is closed this sunday. I think that it's the book I'm supposed to review for JFR, but I guess I won't know until tomorrow.
Also, on the fermentation front, my beer is fermenting vigorously now (about time), at a relatively low temperature for ale. This is good. It'll keep esters to a minimum, which is what you want out of a scottish ale. I'm a little bit worried that it'll retain some of the aroma of the hops I used (which is out of character for a scottish ale), but bottle conditioning and a bit of aging should work that out. I'm actually also a bit worried that it won't be bitter enough. It didn't seem very bitter when I tasted the wort. But then again, it's hard to tell with all that really sweet malt, so we'll see when I rack it over to a secondary. If worst comes to worst, maybe I can boil some hops in a quart of water and add that to the wort. I've never heard of it being done before, but I've never heard of it failing either...
Saturday, December 27, 2003
The fermentation report.
I'm a little bit concerned that my beer hasn't started fermenting yet. I figure that I will give it until tomorrow, and if it's still not doing anything, I'm going to buy another vial of yeast and pitch it. I know that the people who work at my brewing supply store frown on that kind of thing (the yeast is there they say, and one only need give it a nudge), but in this case I'm not sure that I believe them. The Wyeast Scottish Ale Yeast Culture has been interminably slow since I got it, why should it change now that it's in the wort? I think that if I pitch another vial, it'll be the White Labs Edinburgh strain in the pitchable tube. I know that pitchable tubes are reliable...
Friday, December 26, 2003
Alright. So today, I brewed. It went really well. When I was finished and took a sample for the hydrometer, and it came out, when I corrected for temperature, around 1.070, which means that my beer will end up around 6.7 percent alcohol by volume. Pretty much where I wanted it to be. The right amount, I think, for a wee heavy. It's great. It smells gorgeous like a mixture of roastiness and peat smokedness. It's about the color of chocolate, sarah says. I would characterize it as a bit lighter than mahogany. Either way, the point is that it's beautiful, and it's done, and hopefully, it'll start the bubbling soon.
In other news, I did a bunch of web site work today. I finished putting together a user system, although that's going to need some minor revisions, I think. I also started on a comment system. I'm trying to decide whether comments on articles should appear in a popup window or not. I'm thinking popup, though, in case people want to quote the article in their comments. This is a web site for scholars, after all, and scholars are notorious for the quoting thing... Oh well. We'll see.
Anyway, off for some Buffy on DVD, then some good old CSI.
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Jingle bells and all that crap.
Aight. So I made Christmas dinner for Sarah tonight. I made roast duck stuffed with apples, prunes, and onions. I made it almost exactly like I make turkey, although it came out very differently, being a duck and all. It was very good, but I think it might be the last duck we have for a long time. It's really too rich. I also bought some Icecream and eggnog. Sarah liked the icecream (it was Godiva vanilla with chocolate and caramel hearts), but I had forgotten that she didn't like eggnog. I think that she should struggle through it to humor me (I am doing this christmas stuff for her, after all), but no. She left it on the coffee table in front of the TV. In all, however, I think that it's a successful Christmas dinner... Later on, we might go look at lights, but I don't know. It's already ten o'clock...
We have peat!
I just got the rest of my brewing supplies, and boy do they smell amazing. The peated malt may be one of the most beautiful things that I've ever put to my nose. This is going to be the best beer ever...
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Alright. I have a complete draft of my review of Beautiful Angiola and I think that it's pretty good. It covers almost everything that I wanted to talk about, and it comes in at 825 words. Not bad at all. It's still a little bit choppy, I feel like I'm sort of going from issue to issue with not a whole lot of connection, but it addresses everything that somebody should know before they buy the book, I think, so maybe there's nothing wrong with that. The big problem is that my last paragraph starts "The brief biography on the flap of this book" in the same tone that I talk about the tales and the notes, so reading it, you have the impression that I am critiquing the "about the author" section. I'm not, and it soon becomes clear that I'm not, but it's sort of jarring for a minute there. I figure that I'll clean it up tonight and forget about it. It's good enough to go out I think, and I do need to start on the other two academic projects that I have for the break. Oh well.
Now, to do laundry. I'm going to go run around outside in a pair of shorts because I'm washing all my pants. Nothing wrong with that. It is 34 degrees out and only snowing a little, after all...
Updates, updates, lovely lovely updates...
I feel like I haven't updated in a couple of days. I guess that this is what happens on vacations when you sleep too much and don't do a whole lot that's interesting, except reading and web site work. Well that's what I did yesterday. I read a bunch of Quicksilver and then started writing a user system for Folklore Forum. Progress on the user system is not going as quickly as I'd like, unfortunately, mostly because I have to write all of these checks so that there can't be two users with the same username, or wrong passwords, or usernames and passwords with illegal characters, etc. It's really kind of annoying how many factors can lead to having to do a membership form over again... oh well...
Anyway, today, I'm kind of waiting for the call from the brewing supply store so that I can go pick up my yeast, peated malt, hops, and maybe some carapils for added body, but I'm not sure about that. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think probably not... Hopefully, it'll all come in today and I can go pick it up when Sarah comes home from work. I'd go myself, except that I'd have to walk and it's raining, and I'm probably going to buy a couple of cases of bottles, and walking with cases of bottles in addition to brewing supplies will suck.
Hopefully, I'll also finish my book review today. I didn't even look at it yesterday, but I did a little bit of thinking about it, and I think that I know how to make it flow. I think that there needs to be a paragraph about interesting translation features in there. I don't know if I've written about this here, but the book (Beautiful Angiola) is not exactly a translation of Sicilianiche Märchen. Zipes took the tales as they appear in that book, as well as versions in Sicilian (I think from Gonzenbach's notes, but I'm not sure), and did the translation from both sources. So it's kind of like creating a whole new book with related, but original, material. I think that it's pretty cool...
Monday, December 22, 2003
Very quick update before I sleep.
Alright, this afternoon and this evening, I wrote most of the code for the new folklore forum. The web site now displays a list of issues, allows the user to view the table of contents of any issue online, allows the user to read articles, and allows the user to view information about the author of each article. And what's more, I did it all in just over 100 lines of code. Very nice, I think. It looks like it's going to run pretty fast... All that's really left to do is make some decisions about how to implement users, and then implement users and comments. Users will take some time because I have to decide whether I want them to sign in every time they comment, or sign in once and have the run of the sight. I also need to decide between sessions and cookies (I'm leaning toward sessions, but I fear that I need to figure out how to save and restore them, lest users have to sign in every time they view the sight). I have a feeling that these details aren't going to be terribly important. The only reason I'm making a user system at all is to deter trolls... Oh well. Until tomorrow.
Saturday, December 20, 2003
One other thing...
This is apparently a night for doing a lot of writing...
So Untying the Not, the new String Cheese Incident album which initially was sort of disappointing, has really grown on me. I've been listening to it exclusively for a couple of days now, and if you don't expect more of the same old brilliance from SCI, you find that this album is brilliant in its own way. There's a lot of Pink Floyd in there, some Emerson Lake and Palmer, lots of electronica, and a lot of the old SCI sound. In a lot of ways it's like SCI doing their own Kid A. It's something completely different, totally immersive, and really cool. I think that from being luke warm three days ago, I would upgrade my rating of this album and say that it's a must-listen. The caveat is that it's a must listen over and over, because for SCI fans out there, it starts off mediocre and just grows and grows.
Alright. I'm begining to lose coherence, so perhaps it's time for bed.
Writing and reading and writing (what else do I do?)...
Alright. So I'm about a fourth of the way done with my review of Beautiful Angiola, which means, basically, that I've written an introduction. I think that it's a pretty good introduction, but still, it's just an introduction.
I also read back through my Mickey Mouse LSD paper, trying to figure out what to do with it. I remember having made some edits, but apparently I either took them back out or somehow otherwise lost them, because they're gone. No matter. I figure that it should only take a couple of days to make the necessary additions to the paper. I'll start reading about tattoos and stickers tomorrow, and probably write something on monday. No biggie. This is really a fun, short, sweet little article. The only thing that's still bothering me is the blue star. I figure that I'll present a couple of possibilities for what it could mean (including the blue star houses possibility), and let the readers decide for themselves. Both safe and intellectually honest.
For your viewing pleasure...
For your viewing pleasure, I thought that I would post a couple of pictures that I took a couple of weeks ago of the first major snowfall of the year...
It's really very pleasant, except for slipping on the ice and such.
Fish heads fish heads...
Two or three brief things, I think, then I have stuff to do...
First, Sarah bought the first five seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD for herself for Christmas, and we've been watching them pretty much non-stop. We're now on the third episode of the second season, and wow, watching them in order really makes a difference. Definitely cooler when you can see the progression of the characters... The second season isn't as good as the first yet, but it's pretty damned good. I can't wait to get to the bits of the second season that I haven't seen at all. I know that there are a bunch of episodes in there that I haven't seen, so hopefully, they'll come up soon.
Also, Quicksilver. If anybody likes Neil Stevenson, physics, mathematics, seventeenth and eighteenth century intellectual history, etc., I definitely recommend this book. I'm a bit over a hundred pages in, and it's so damned cool. I thought it was going to be a direct followup to Cryptonomicon, but you don't have to have read it, it turns out. If I were going to say it was most like any of his other books, I'd, in fact, probably say Diamond Age, only much much better...
Finally, book review. I need to write it. Stay tuned.
Friday, December 19, 2003
I just made what may be the most gorgeous loaf of banana bread that has ever come out of my oven. I didn't have enough white sugar, so I substituted some brown, and I didn't have kahlua, so I used rum, and man does it smell good. Still haven't tasted it, but if there is nothing unforseen, it should taste like caribbean gorgeousness. Oh yeah, no nuts, but both chocolate shavings and chocolate chips. mmm...
Stuff and Today...
Alright. So I finished Beautiful Angiola (finally), and I'm about ready to start thinking about the review. I figure that I'll need to do a couple of hours of reading through Zipes' other work, and then I'll be ready to start writing something. I'm still worried about the form that it's going to take, how long it should be, etc. I think that I'll look at some JAF book reviews before I get going. Seems like the smart thing to do. Maybe I can find a review of a collection of tales and use that form / talk about the same kinds of issues at the same length. I figure that emulation is always the best way to learn.
In other news, I got my copy of Passing the Time in Ballymenone in the mail today, and if all goes well (if I manage to read everything else I need to read this break), I'll hopefully be able to get a head start reading it before next semester...
Finally (for this post, I think), I've started thinking about the Folklore Forum web site again. Hopefully, sometime soon I'll get back to working on that, finish up the administration application, and start on the site itself. The PHP code for the site shouldn't be to complicated (the most complicated thing will be the user system), but it'll actually need to look good, which means lots of style sheets, which is something with which I'm a little out of practice.
Anyway, dinner for me perhaps...
Thursday, December 18, 2003
Why do birds suddenly appear...
Alright. Saw Return of the King last night. Good, but not as good as the first two, I think. Then again, I think I need to see it again, because the asshole high schoolers next to me were yelling at the screen and playing with their cell phones the whole damned time, so I think I missed a bunch of stuff. I won't post specifics about the movie because people haven't seen it yet, but lets just say that there are parts where you want to quote Star Wars...
Then today, I just hung out and did some reading. I read about fifty pages of Beautiful Angiola. Almost done with that. And I started reading Quicksilver by Neil Stevenson, which starts off really good. So far we've met Isaac Newton and Ben Franklin as children, and we've heard something about a German kid who I think is going to turn out to be Herder. Very interesting, very interesting. Enoch Root wasn't my favorite character in Cryptonomicon, but he seems a lot more interesting in this. Oh yeah, and I also got an email from the Journal of Folklore Research today. They want me to review Cycles of Influence by Stephen Benson and they're mailing me the book, so there's one more thing to read this break.
Tomorrow, the goal is to finish and write the review of Beautiful Angiola. That will involve going back over Zipes' translation of Kinder und Hausmarchen, but that should be fun anyway. It'll also involve reading through a bunch of other book reviews, it occurs to me, because I have no concept of how one of these things is written. I guess it's high time for me to learn. Fun.
Then over the weekend, I want to start revising my LSD paper. I know the bulk of what I want to add to it. Mostly just three paragraphs--one about people's emotional investment in the legend, and two about the significance of stickers verses tattoos. I also need to rewrite my last section (on the significance of blue stars and Bart Simpson tattoos). That should be the most challenging part, I think, because now that I've found out that most people associate gold stars with an A and blue stars with a B, I have no idea what they mean. My biggest lead right now is that in Alexandria Virginia, there are what is known as Blue Star houses, which are safe places in residential neighborhoods where kids can go if they're being pursued. But that feels like a long shot to me, unless I find out that it's more widespread than that (like up the whole East Coast). If anybody has any ideas, don't hesitate to let me know...
But anyway, the time has come for me to go and read. I think that I'm going to read Angiola because I feel guilty reading fiction right now. Which reminds me, I need to read something by Ferdinand Braudel... Oh well...
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Untying the Not.
I just got the new SCI album, Untying the Not, and I don't know quite how to feel about it. It's really good, but it's so different from the String Cheese Incident sound that I really love--the bluegrass jamband thing. They're much more toward rock and blues than they used to be, and that's really disappointing. This album starts off with one of my favorite of their songs, Wake Up, but they slow it down and mess with it in such a way that it sounds like a blues anthem. It's still great, but not as great... Oh well. Still a good album and definitely worth listening to.
The Preachy Way of the Samurai.
Well, yesterday, Sarah and I went to see The Way of the Samurai, and to our surprise, it was pretty good. I think that for a movie of its type, it was the best movie that it could be. The problem with the movie, however, came any time a character opened his mouth. Whoever wrote this thing clearly has an anti-American imperialist agenda, which I respect, but EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER was a mouthpiece for that agenda. There's the Japanese businessman who is duped into thinking that the Western ways are better, the American Ambassador who wants to further pull the wool over the eyes of the Japanese, the American Colonel who believes that the Japanese are savages and only there to be exploited by him, and that anybody who sympathizes with them hates their own race, the Samuri who want to protect the old ways and the Japanese people from westernization, and the American Captain who finds his own culture deplorable and as a result, decides to jump ship and become Japanese. And they all have very long speeches detailing their positions. The only non-despicable Westerner aside from the Captain is a British Linguist (read Folklorist) who came to Japan to protect British interests and developed an interest in Japanese culture. If we were to portray him realistically, he would be as despicable as any of them, viewing the Japanese as Savages to be studied, but he is a necessary plot device, and therefore, we must sympathize with him...
The thing is, though, that the movie isn't really anti-imperialist (in fact, I don't think that an American movie could be). It looks at Japanese culture and takes the 19th century Romantic view that the old ways are better, and that the opressive oligarchy that the Samuri seem to have is superior to the oppressive capitalist constitutional monarchy that the westernizers want. Thus, the people who follow the old ways, in an attempt to make them look sympathetic, are patronized and simplified, and really basically turned into European peasants. Their religion is present, but it is also pretty much ignored. The captain, writing in his diary, says something about how he is not a church-going man, but that there is something spiritual about these noble people. In the eyes of the movie, basically, they seem to be noble savages with no real religion, just a spirituality. Further, the movie assumes that the religion that it does not portray is not thoroughly connected to what it means to be Samurai. The story is of a Westerner who becomes a Samurai, which to me, just doesn't seem possible. From the little I know about it, the so-called code of the Samurai is so integrally connected with Japanese religion and the ideology associated with it that an American--church-going or not--with a Western Christian ideology could not just waltz in and say "now I'm a Japanese Warrior." It's like saying that a Muslim or a Jew could have become a Feudal Lord in medieval Europe. The system is built in such a way that it just could not happen.
Anyway, but I rant. Today, we're going to Indianapolis, hang out, go to dinner, then go to see The Return Of The King, which will be infinitely better than what we saw last night, although, I fear, no less about imperialism...
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Done. This time with everything. I just printed out my bibliography / paper, weighing in at 26 pages. Now I'm going to go and turn it in, go to lunch, maybe swing back by the folklore building and say thanks to Henry for the good semester, go to the grocery, maybe run by Butler Winery and see if they have my yeast and malt, then come home. If the gods are good, maybe I'll end up brewing tonight, but no matter, I will soon. Yay! Then tomorrow is Return of the King! Yay! Then it's back to work writing book reviews and finally revising the LSD article.
Monday, December 15, 2003
If it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, best not to trust it.
This morning, I turned in the two papers I finished over the weekend, and then headed to the library to turn in the third. I ended up driving because the sidewalks are slippery between my place and the university, so I parked about four blocks from the library, on university property, where they take better care not to have somebody's mommie or daddie sue them. But anyway, that's not the point. After working for about three hours, I went down to the caffeteria to have lunch, and much to my surprise, I found that they were selling fruit cups with fresh strawberry and kiwi. Well. I thought that it seemed a bit out of season, but if they got something good, I may as well have some. So I bought a fruit cup and ate it and it was excellent, but almost as soon as I got up to leave, I started feeling terrible like my insides were burning up. That cut my library visit short, I'd wager, so I came home, was miserable for about two hours, and now I'm starting to feel better, although still a little bit like I did before. When I got home, I tried to take some tums, only to find that there was only one left, and Sarah had taken the new bottle with her to work. The one helped a little bit, and between that, some bland pasta, and a lot of water, things are getting better. Oh well. Better go finish my 516 paper before I have to go to this party thing tonight. If I'm not feeling better, I'm just going to go, say hello, and return home, I think.
Sunday, December 14, 2003
I was right.
So I was right. The snow that was so white and pristine yesterday was a dirty icy mess by this morning. More than once, walking down the street, I almost slipped and fell because the snow got compacted into ice before it got cleared. I'm a little bit concerned about bringing my computer to school tomorrow, but I don't see what choice I have...
Alright, two down, one more to go, and that last one doesn't have much more to go. I just finished both my dialogue for F545 (myth) and my paper for F501. Yay! Now all I have left is the bibliography and paper for Henry's class (F516) and I'm free. What's more, I already have a draft of the paper for him, and I'm about 80 percent done with the biblio. I figure that tomorrow I'll turn in the two finished papers, head straight to the library, finish my biblio, come home, and have everything finished by Tuesday. I know that the biblio isn't due until wednesday, but it'll be nice to be finished ahead of time. Oh! And I can't forget. Monday night there's a get-together for my F501 class that I must attend. I can't forget about that... Maybe I'll have to finish the bibliography Tuesday morning instead of Monday night. Nuts.
Paper update, other stuff (maybe)...
Alright. So I'm about done writing the dialogue that is going to be my myth paper, and now (although the instructions say nothing about this), I am in the process of annotating it. I am providing citations in endnotes for most of what I have coming out of my characters' mouths, along with brief quotes from the sections of their works where I got my information. I'm done with this annotation process for Malinowski and about half way done with Freud. I still have to do Müller, which will be significantly harder considering that I don't really know that much about him, and haven't read that much of his work. Mostly, I'll be citing from Dundes' headnote in International Folkloristics and from Dorson's article "The Eclipse of Solar Mythology." Not bad places from which to cite, but certainly not primary sources. Anyway, I think that this thing is pretty good for something that I whipped up in 48 hours, so I'm not too worried.
In other news, the snow that blanketed us last night is still around, although the apartment authorities have dug out the walkways, which is kind of nice. Sarah drove to work this morning, which worried me a little bit, but I haven't gotten any hysterical calls, either from her or from Barnes and Noble, so I figure that she made it alright.
There's no food in the house, which is really annoying. Last night we ordered dinner in from Mancino's and today for lunch I made some pasta with oil and garlic, but for the most part, there's nothing to be had. Hopefully I finish everything by Tuesday morning so that in the afternoon we can go to the grocery. It'll be so nice to a) be done, and b) have food again. Oh what a happy day that will be.
Well, I guess that's it. No more to update. Now back to writing.
Saturday, December 13, 2003
Well, it's snowed more this evening than it has since I've been here. I guess that the winter season is really upon us. I took some neat pictures that I hope come out, and Sarah and I went for a walk around the apartment complex. It's very nice, very pleasant, but as soon as it starts to warm up a little bit, this is going to be one hell of a grand slushy mess. Yuck.
I've decided on the topic of my second myth paper (which I have to write today and tomorrow, because it's due monday before noon):
3. Construct a dialog (using time-travel if necessary) between any three thinkers considered in this course. The dialog should be thoughtful, original (i.e., no quotation of the texts we have read), and plausible.
It should be fun and kind of easy, and exactly the sort of creative thing that I've been thinking I need as a break from all the rest of what I've done this semester. I think that my three characters are going to be Freud, William Bascom, and either Malinowski, Barthes, or William Jones. I think that Jones would be really interesting and a lot of fun. Alternately, I think that Müller, Frazer, and Malinowski would be an interesting combination, but I think that that would be a one gag paper ("Fieldwork!" "God Forbid!" "Fieldwork!" "God Forbid!" "Solar Mythology!" "You Schmuck!" etc.) So we'll see. If it turns out to be funny, I may post exerpts here. Again, we'll see.
Anyway, going out to lunch at the Runcible Spoon, and then off to write, so goodbye cruel world!
Friday, December 12, 2003
Carbonate the finer things in life!
Hey! I just finished my 501 paper, and boy am I relieved. One down, one more to go (not including my F516 paper, which is sort of down, but not really, but it's not do on monday so who really cares anyway... but I do think that it's as much to go as it is down... Oh I don't know.). I think that it's not bad. I awoke this morning and did a bunch of work on the middle of the paper, added a bunch of sources, etc., and it's definitely better than I thought it would turn out. It ain't good, but it ain't terrible either, as they say.
In other news, I just spent a wee bit over sixty dollars on used books through amazon, ordering six of the seven that I need for my ethnography class next semester. I almost ordered the seventh (Boas' The Central Eskimo) but I'm not convinced that there are enough copies floating around that it'll make the final syllabus next semester. So I'll hold off on that and buy it in the IU book store if I need to. Yuk. IU book store... But yeah. It turns out that I'm developing quite the collection of folklore books this year. So far, I think thart I doubled what I started with, and I started with quite a few...
Thursday, December 11, 2003
Paper writing and other stuff.
Well, it's not good, but my F501 paper is nearly done. I'm probably going to finish a draft before I go to class this afternoon, then come home and do some final editing. This morning, actually, I managed to cut a bit over a page out of the thing. Got rid of one paragraph and a bit more than half of another. I'd say that that's some positive progress. I still wouldn't call it a tight paper, but it definitely hangs together better than it did before. I think that there's no way to write a really tight paper about my topic, so as long as it hangs together, I'll be happy...
In other news... ah hell, there is no other news. I go to school, I come home, I write, I sleep, and that's really it. Suck for me. Fortunately, I'll turn in two of these papers on monday, and maybe the third one on tuesday afternoon (wednesday morning at the latest), and then it's off to Return of the King for me! Yay!
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Alright. So now I have a whole draft of my F516 paper and 9 out of 12 pages of my F501 paper. The problem with the F501 paper isn't going to be not having enought to write, though, but having too much. It's a funny paper, it is. There are only going to be six or eight works cited, but I have a whole lot to say of my own... Weird and unlike my usual papers...
Anyway, back to writing for a bit, then to bed. Some of us have class in the morning *groan*.
I had a pretty good day yesterday. I had a very interesting morning in my Teaching Folklore class and learned how teaching assistants are picked in the department. Our professor asked us if we thought that the class would help us get an assistantship. We were all quiet, looking uncertain for a moment, and then he burst out "NO!" Kind of disappointing but not unsurprising I think. It does kind of suck, however, that the course description implies that it does help. Oh well.
Then I went to the library and worked on my bibliography for a while--only 20 items left to annotate! Go me!
Finally, there was the last F516 (Henry Glassie's class) of the year. That was a lot of fun. He talked about folklore and the meaning of art, and how he thinks that the next wave of theoretical innovation is going to come not from people in the academy, but the people that folklorists go out and study. He takes a very activist attitude to folklore that kind of scares me, but while he's talking about it, you can't help but think it admirable... The problem with activism in folklore (or the academy in general)) is that if we look back at the politics of folklore and myth study, it's so closely related to racism and institutional racism like Naziism (or even, to a certain extent, Jim Crow in the U.S.). Now what Glassie is calling for is a liberal activism, but doing that is really opening a can of worms that has the potential to become very problematic very quickly.
Anyway, no class today, so I'm going to stay in and finish my F501 paper (hopefully) and my paper for F516 (most likely). That'll be a lot of accomplishment for the day, and then I can go and concentrate on the myth paper, which really needs help in the form it's in now. I have six pages, but I might just have to scrap them and start again. We'll see. First things first...
Sunday, December 07, 2003
A lot of tripe...
Alright. So blogger has been down most of the day, so I haven't yet had a chance to post... here we go.
So last time I was at the grocery store, I found some canned menudo. I really like menudo and don't know how to make it, so I thought "why not" and bought it. Well last night I made it, and boy, worst menudo ever. Sarah and I had a couple of bites each, and it was all we could handle. We ended up pouring it down the garbage disposal which, by the way, still doesn't smell quite right. Yuck.
Then today, I got up, sulked for a couple of hours, and then started writing. I have about 5 pages of my Folklore F501 paper now, and I figure that I have about six pages, including my re-transcription of one of the jokes in Deep Down in the Jungle left to go. I'm a little bit concerned because at the half-way point of the paper, I've only used two sources, and those are the books that I'm writing the paper on. I guess that that's acceptable since I've been writing critiques of their transcription methods, but still... The next section might make up for it, though. I'm going to go through what Toelken and Hymes have to say about ethnopoetics, and maybe bring in Dennis Tedlock too. I figure that I might also bring in Muhawi and Jansen too, maybe to introduce what I'm going to do. Then eventually I'll figure out how to work in Zipes and I'll be all good. Still not too many sources sited, but not bad, not bad.
Oh well... off to write.
Thursday, December 04, 2003
Tracing the course of my research...
For my Folklore F516 course, the project for the semester, as everybody reading my blog probably knows, was to compile a bibliography, and based on that, to write a research proposal. When he told us what to write, he said to be casual about it, to cover the state of scholarship on the topic, what is not addressed in the scholarship, and how our research topic fits into the existing scholarship.
So I've done this bibliography that I think is definitely not my best work--its about sixty items--and thusfar, I've written about seven pages (out of 12 or 13) about the state of research and all of that. Henry (Prof. Glassie) told me not to worry about it too much, that pretty much whatever I had would be fine, and I think that I'm not worrying about it so much because I think it will be other than fine, but rather because I have these two other papers that I don't want to deal with and I need something to be neurotic about. I got back my first paper in F501 and did really (surprisingly) well on it, so I shouldn't be worried about the second one. With the paper for the myth class, though, I feel like I need to prove myself to Prof. Schrempp, and so that one is going to have to be good. Bla. I think I'm a little bit stressed so I'm rambling.
And to top it all off, what did I do tonight? Not work. I watched CSI then ER like I do every thursday night I can. Maybe I can write a page or two before I go to sleep tonight, and tomorrow, I think I'll skip the folklore happy-hour to come home and work. If only I wasn't so lazy in the evenings, I could be done with at least one of these papers rather than having all three in various states of completion...
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
I wasn't going to write today.
I wasn't going to write an entry today, but instead, I will write one and I'll be breif.
I started writing my paper for Henry's class. The Bibliography isn't done, but it's done enough to do this.
I got the car washed.
I made good meat balls for dinner (and lots of them. we should have meat balls for days).
I'm a little bit worried about getting everything done by the deadline, but I'm feeling a little bit more optimistic than I have been. Maybe it's because the semester is ending and I'll have time to read books I want to read again... and revise my LSD paper... and work on the Forum web site... and go visit sofiya in philly (hopefully, maybe after new years?)... and see my family in new orleans... and write a couple of book reviews... and catch up with some berkeley people whom I haven't heard from in a while...
yeah. It's going to be a busy winter break...
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
So I've spent the past day and a half working on my bibliography for my F516 class, and it's coming along pretty well. I've not annotated 21 of my 58 entries, and I'm well on my way to doing at least 10 more tomorrow. Tonight, I think that I'm going to go back through the online databases and try to find some more citations that are centered more in Europe. What I have is mostly articles about smithing in West Africa, but what I am interested in is superstitions about iron in the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe. I figure that I'll give things a quick search and see what I can find up there. Worst comes to worst, I just take what I can get and make it a bibliography about smithing in West Africa. That wouldn't be so bad. It'd be a story to tell in the long-ass paper I have to write about my bibliography experience and what I'd like to do with my new-found data... I have to admit, I'm a little bit worried about getting this done...
In other news, blogspot.com was acting funny this morning, so I couldn't post earlier. I had stuff to talk about, but now it's all escaped me. To lunch!
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