three little things

First: It is too hot – no, not in the good way, and not with two Ts. Brisbane has apparently decided to do away with the season in between winter and summer entirely this year, and it doesn’t look like it will ever, ever rain again. I am writing up a storm, but in my heart of hearts I am dreaming of large swimming pools filled with freezing sparkling mineral water, and my inner child is whimpering.

Second: Shuffle mode is great for moments of joy and catharsis that hit you over the head while you’re walking around minding your own business. I’ve become quite enamoured with it, particularly as I have several gigs of mistagged or untagged music floating around on my iPod, and tend to hit the same old playlists if left to my own devices. Favourite sonic surprises this week:

1. Bright Eyes – Lover I Don’t Have to Love (which is good for defiantly stomping out the Ks from the bus stop to my office)
2. Leonard Cohen – That Don’t Make it Junk (which prompted a wistfully enigmatic smile – or possibly just a general aura of mental disturbance – on the 372 bus)
3. Brahms 4 (made me say “oh” and sit down quickly)

And third: Welcome home from your World Domination Tour, Mel!

for those seeking fashion advice

Since the comments on my previous post mostly said I should do whatever the hell I want with this blog, let me share this bit of irony (not really irony, but irony in the style of Alanis) with you.

Some deeply confused soul just arrived here via the Google search “what to wear out in the fortitude valley”, immediately followed by someone looking for a deportment seminar. I’m sorry to disappoint, but unless your ambitions run to slouching around with bad hair and minor variations on the jeans/trousers/black t-shirt theme, I suggest you ask one of the young folk. I may be able to help out with the witty repartee, however.

Also, based on recent experience I can offer the following: when you’re super-proud of getting over a cold in double-quick time, it is probably not a good idea to celebrate your recovery by spending most of the weekend going out in the fortitude valley, bubbling with said witty repartee until the wee small hours. ‘Cos colds have a way of coming back, with a vengeance.

this is one of those posts…

…in which the blogger notes his/her continued existence, notwithstanding long stretches of silence, and makes excuses to the readership. Like, life continues to be more interesting than the blog, i’m trying to finish a book chapter *about* blogging, and now that I’m past the information-sponge stage of PhD candidature (so I’ve stopped just collecting stuff, for now), and my blog has reached some kind of generic equilibrium and has stopped feeling organic and emergent, I’m a bit at sea as to what it should be *for*….

So, if you’re still reading (and many of you no longer are, judging by my stats logs), what direction should I take with this thing next? What’s most interesting – hearing about the tribulations and/or eureka moments of my phd progress (when there is some)? More lame jokes? More playlists? More bits out of what I’m reading? Feisty in-group arguments with other cultural studies people? I’m stuck, please help.

Damn it!!!!!!!!

It looks very much like someone else just published my honours thesis! I was getting around to it, honest. Bugger, bugger, bugger. No pun intended.

On the upside, I like that the Magnetic Fields have a song called The Death of Ferdinand Saussure. Past victims of “Introduction to Communication and Cultural Studies” at UQ must have it on their crying-into-my-cask-wine playlists, for sure. Although, I admit, getting the whole signifier/signified thing sorted out was an epiphanic moment for me as an undergrad. Poor beleaguered linguists, they really deserve more credit than they get.

Welcome back, brain

Now that my latest stint as degree-factory slave is over (for 2005 at least), I’m slowly finding my passion again…and most definitely feeling the full effects of the new media fatigue that has been haunting me all year – is this a problem for someone doing a PhD called Vernacular Creativity and New Media? I don’t think so, because it means I’m historicising more and better, and engaging with the cultural theory and cultural practices parts much more, in relation to a much more nuanced and catholic theory of technology, thank the gods for all of that. It may, however, be a problem for someone who is supposed to turn in a book chapter called ‘Blogging and Critical Literacies: Using Blogs as Formative Assessment’ in a matter of weeks. Ahem. [waves cheerfully to Axel].

So, I kinda wish I was going to be at the Writing Across Cultures conference with Ben, but am happy to be spending some time (without the pressure of giving a paper) at the Sites of Cosmopolitanism conference (cosmo for short, yo).

Also, I really really need a haircut, looking a little too David Cassidy at the moment. Self-flattering though the comparison may be.
David Cassidy and his hair

I drew a pig

With the trackpad, give me a break…apparently, the pig drawing says a whole lot about me. Like that I’m a good listener, a traditionalist, and have a great sex life. Duh.

But I cannot resist these internet quizzes and personality tests! God, someone save me from the memes. Someone other than trine, who constantly encourages others’ bad behaviour.

LifeWork Balance

hello, blog.

I don’t want to sound defensive, because I’m not, but I’m a bit busy with life at the moment, you know, things, and stuff. I’ve been keeping up a bit of socialising for you though, reading other people’s blogs and leaving comments, and I’ve been adding some new del.icio.us links pretty much every day, to keep you company. I know it seems disloyal, but once I’ve finished marking all my students’ blogs I promise to put in some quality time. Hope you understand. And please stop looking at me like that 😉

love
Jean

Musical Baton

Anne has passed the musical baton to me, so…

Total volume of music on my computer

I haven’t put much on the iBook, so: 1.6GB (pathetic). But the external hard drive with legacy MP3s from my desktop PC has in the region of 10GB (still pathetic). There is some of absolutely everything in there, trust me.

The last CDs I bought

I actually don’t buy many CDs for myself – people give them to me, and I give them to other people. The last two I was given were:

Damien Rice / O – the soundtrack to my life for the last few months
Ward / It Might Be Useful for Us to Know – which is fantastic and I am going to tell you why when I get round to it (promise!)

Song playing right now
The Slits – Typical Girls
(This is kind of only half cheating cos I wasn’t playing any music when I started this post, so deleted everything I had preprogrammed into party shuffle and this is what came up first – really)

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me

Only five? Geez…

Soft Cell – Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
Neil Diamond – Love on the Rocks
Damien Rice – Delicate The Blower’s Daughter
Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley’s version is magic too)
Ben Harper – Walk Away

[if I was trying harder to be cool, this list would have been very different – but it’s an honest and contextually appropriate list! At least it has thematic coherence, right?]

Next on the list: Christian, MC Gregg, Trine, Glen and Ben. In your blogs, ploise. Oh, but leave the permalink in comments here, kay?

[update] Geez, I wish Sigur Ros’s Staralfur had been playing while I wrote this post. It’s my New Favourite Song in the Whole World.

Out and about in Boston

I have copious session notes to blog from the conference, but I can’t cope with rewriting them right now (Axel, you are the master of conference blogging – I will have to just sit at your feet and learn). Plus, this is not really a laptops-out-during-sessions type crowd, and having an iBook makes you look even more like a pretentious geek.

But anyway, on my second night here I caught up with my friend Colin who I met at the OII last year. We started at this pub in Harvard, then we wandered through Boston’s mansion district, stopping for a fancy martini at the Oak Bar (Michelle, you are the best waitress ever), before mac’n’cheese and a beer at cafe delux (which was, indeed, delux) and finally catching the last two sets of a great trio of (I think) Berklee College of Music students at Wally’s cafe – a jazz bar that has been in the same family since the 1940s. Outside of Wally’s I was accosted by another Berklee student flogging a really quite awesome hip hop CD on which he goes by the name of Black Swan (no URL for this dude).

FYI, everything in Boston shuts at 1.00 am, and there is not really a street culture to speak of…but I feel I’ve been privileged to see the best of it.

Needless to say there is no hope for the sleep patterns to stabilise by the time I fly out tomorrow…

Thanks, Colin!