Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Ah, craziness. My usual practice on this blog when I have not updated for way too long is to simply give a quick list of the interesting things I have been up to in the meanwhile. So without further adieu:

Recently, I have:

1. Flown to the UK for a surprise visit to my significant other. The tickets were cheap, it was a long weekend, and the timing was right. It was a masterpiece of planning, if I do say so myself, requiring the assistance of both of Mary's roommates and several friends out here, who provided rides to and from airports, distractions, alibis, and general support. Mary was suitably surprised, and we had a lovely weekend.

2. Done my best imitation of a rock star, performing two gigs with a friend. He plays banjo and sings, I play guitar. The repertoire included some bluegrass numbers, an obscure but rockin' Elvis ballad ("Trying to Get to You"), and a George Michael cover ("Father Figure"). The occasion was Transgiving, a regular event in West Hollywood that is a showcase for the transgendered community. I was just backup, for the most part, but my friend Steph wowed the crowd with his swiveling hips. We plan to keep on playing together--I'm going to pick some additional songs that are more my style (I'm thinking a combination of Patti Smith, a few showtunes, maybe some Motown numbers), we've got a bassist in the department who wants to join in, and so all we really need to do real shows is a drummer. Well, and I need to break down and buy an actual guitar amp one of these days. I've got my eye on the Fender FM 212R. It feels really good to be performing again. I like to think that my teaching experience has given me slightly better stage presence, which is nice.

3. Worked. A lot. It is already the eighth week of the quarter, which means stacks of midterms to grade, and the looming specter of seminar papers to write. While giving a makeup midterm today I spent some quality research time on this quarter's project, which is an essay on Stravinsky's 1952 neoclassical classic The Rake's Progress. Lots of stuff out there, although the better scholarly work is in French. I can read it, but not very quickly. Somehow this absurdly ambitious project is also requiring me to become familiar with the entire field of aesthetics, from Kant to Bourdieu. Yikes. Very useful, very interesting, but yikes.

Wednesday I drive north for some much-needed relaxation in Napa Valley. Thank goodness.

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