Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Topic: the Weather (or I'm hot! Are you hot? it's hot!)

I'm in Atlanta and the blog is way overdue for a post. Sadly, I am in the local library which has given me thirty minutes in which to check in on my life online. (mom has dial-up -- very sad). However, the library, due to the Patriot Act, will not let me check out books on my mother's card. They will also not let me check out books because I'm not local (ha! and my first job was working at this library when I was 16). Since I did not bring many good books with me in order to keep my baggage weight down (currently 47.5 pounds), I am unhappy and find mself reading mysteries that my mother has lying around. My mother reads some sick stuff.

Anyhoo, it's hot here... and smoggy. I went to Dave and Buster's with my family yesterday and when we walked outside, it just about knocked us down. The "air quality" is also very poor -- dangerous for the very young, the very old, those with respiratory diseases and people like me who smoke a lot. This is the number one reason I think will not move back to this city. Let's put some better public transportation, people.

Yes, boring post but some previews to keep your warm -- Alaska wrap-up, including a hilarious rendition of moi in a vaguely sporty situation; celebrity sighting in first class from JFK to LAX, and a review of the Dark Knight which I saw Friday night (I'm sure that most of you geeky people out there have seen it already but bear in mind, I was watching it after living and breathing pop culture for three weeks. I was in high academic mode and I could not fully "geek" out without Gene there). And perhaps I'll have the details of my interview from last weekend. No, no news yet.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Shoot Me Now -- Or Wait Until We Get Home?

I've been stressing out all week over the logistics of something I thought I should have been able to do and then I just found out that it's not going to happen (nope, still flying home this weekend for a different situation). I'm sorry to be so vague but I have to keep names out of it for obvious reasons. I have to say that my reaction to the news surprised me because I felt so defeated.

Fortunately, to raise my spirits, I have been thinking about the film I saw last night in Santa Monica -- Mongol, the sensitive coming-of-age story of a future world raider. It's the first of a trilogy so I'm on the edge of my seat to find out what happens next. Cinematography was great and the costumes were tres cool. Plot a little thin although I liked his foil in the movie. I went with Kate's pal who has been the most awesome hostess. On Sunday we went tourist, by going to Hollywood and down the walk of fame and the Chinese Theatre and plenty of buildings dedicated to Scientology. I know you, too, would have been tempted by the exhibit on the life of L. Ron Hubbard. I successfully resisted. We also went to Amoeba records and there, too, I resisted purchasing anything (given that my luggage already almost weighed the limit at 48 lbs, I didn't want to tempt fate. Plus I have been in the "let's give things away" mode for the last month.

Class has been going extremely well and I say this not even because I confided in my students that I had a blog because I don't think it will hold their interest long enough to find it. The true blog confession was in theme with our subject for today -- public, private, and virtual space. I had given them an essay about how truly evil (no, really) DisneyLand and DisneyWorld is and they were quite up in arms. By the end of the session, I got a few "the author's right but does she have to be so mean about it?" I think I'll show them Simpsons in Itchy and ScratchyLand:

Marge: what are you doing in jail?
Homer: I'm a political prisoner!
Marge: How are you a political prisoner?
Homer: I kicked a giant mouse in the butt, do I have to draw you a diagram?

Anyway, took the kids on a "field trip" where we examined public spaces on campus. Though it had been cool in the morning (and then cool in the evening), we seemed to have selected an hour in the afternoon where the sun was especially bright and there was no shade. I got doubly sunburned. By the time we had to head back across campus, it was like the Bataan death march. Poor kids!

Speaking of weather, I think I actually felt a few sprinkles of rain as it quickly evaporated in the air. It does rain in LA!

Then I had a delightful dinner where I talked to someone who must have read every Faulkner novel a couple times. (he could place all the obscenely funny scenes that I could remember). Then we then diverted to discussing Werner Herzog films which made me very happy.

And since I don't have TV to distract me, I have had many songs stuck in my head during the day. For a few mornings straight, I had the theme from Working Girl (that Melanie Griffith/Harrison Ford flick) which I have no idea where it came from. I also had some contemporary rap music and finally, blissfully, the Ramone's Blitzkrieg Bop and the theme from the Banana Splits. I feel comforted by the juxtaposition of these last two.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Long Story but...

I'm flying to Connecticut this weekend and then back to California on Sunday. Anybody up for a dinner Saturday night? Or a ride to the Hartford airport on Sunday afternoon?

I'll give you the skinny later. But I guess it's good news, and not an emergency...

And I'm this freakin' close to being a "real" frequent flier with the privileges of such. I have to stop flying.