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a meme either invented by or simply enacted by [livejournal.com profile] hermette

1) A song that makes you sing along in the car even though you're stopped at the traffic lights and the other drivers think you're bonkers

So I usually get the lyrics wrong in all songs and my roommate wouldn't believe me that I was right about "take a bite of my heart tonight" for ages

2) Your favourite Christmas song

I'm not even lying. I even dig that it gets so super stuck in my head that I sortakinda want to die.

3) A song that reminds you of your OTP

About a dozen fandoms I feel really attached to can be fit into Laura Marling songs.
//I think he thinks it makes me weak
it only ever makes me strong.
I've got this friend who sounds just like him,
he's the man I'd leave you for, the man that I just adore like you.

Also. This one. It reminds me of all the fandoms I love most. Obviously, DW especially. Because of this vid. I love fanvids for this song.
//I can ride my bike with no handlebars, no handlebars.//

4) The first song (or a song off the first album) you bought with your own money

No lie. Still love it like WHOA.

5) The most-played song on your iPod

No embedding for the actual video (you should totally watch it though, it's brilliant)....this song is fricking perfect. I actually love everything Paolo Nutini has ever touched and he makes up most of the top ten most played songs on my ipod. But seriously. There is nothing wrong with this song. And the more I hear it/think about it, the more I love it.
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In case there is anyone who, like me, did not know there was a cast album for David Tennant and Catherine Tate's Much Ado About Nothing, there is.

No, really:

In other news, I have a computer again. That means I have to honest-to-goodness work on my prospectus again. Which means that I am in a low-level panic at all times again. Only more so.

I'm just gonna go listen to David Tennant and Catherine Tate sing again.
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Apparently a group of friends of mine has been making "biography" mixes--collections of songs that "defined" them when they were younger. I found out about it in the pool--where all great things happen MYGODITISSOHOT--and now I'm having trouble sleeping in the humidity of DEATH. So I'm pondering.

Meredith Brooks - Bitch
Savage Garden - I Want You
No Doubt - Underneath It All
Newsies - Carrying the Banner
Little Mermaid - Part of your World
Les Miserables - On My Own
Raggedy Ann and Andy - The Camel's Blues
Brandy - I Wanna Be Down
TLC - Waterfalls
Spice Girls - Wannabe
Mya - My Love is Like Whoa

Now, before you lose all respect for me....no, nevermind. Go ahead and lose the respect. I was just going to admit that I frequently quote that last one. If you were to, say, ask me how I felt about burgers, it wouldn't surprise anyone if I responded that my love was indeed like whoa. And--re:Savage Garden--"chick-a-cherry cola" is the bestest of best alliterations. You know it.

And anyone who doesn't know The Camel's Blues should change that IMMEDIATELY.

Anybody want to share songs that "defined" you in your youth (misspent or otherwise)?
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I expect to have my ass handed to me on Friday in an action-packed day of meetings about my pre-prospectus. THEREFORE. I am focusing on the positive: I have a trip to Denmark to meet my sister's in-laws this summer to plan (and re-new my passport for because the bugger just insists on expiring a couple weeks before we leave), I have a mountain of home-made ice-cream to convince other people to help me eat, and I have a "reading practices" interview to conduct over cornish pasties (which I must teach myself to make) tonight instead of going to the crappy prospective students party. So. Everything is looking up.


I desperately want these things....and they give me joy:
clothes clothes clothes bookshelf...like duck-duck-goose but...different )

Also, some hilarity I stumbled upon this week:

Also. This blog of 50 Inexplicable Black & White Photos gave me a good three hours of head-scratching last night. Check it:

Lastly, my new favorite thing EVER:
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So me and my ukulele, Buttercup, have been making progress. I stopped playing for a bit because my little brother made fun of us over Christmas break...but I have recently come to the conclusion that Buttercup and I simply do not care if we are not proper musicians. Lots of lovely people are not proper musicians.

Me and my ukulele...and the Tennessee Waltz. )
Suck on that, bro!

ALSO. Has everyone seen the short film starring Andrew Garfield? YOU MUST. GO NOW.

☆ I think this may be one of the best short films I've ever seen. I was totally fooled by the saccharine-sweet romance at the beginning. I almost closed the browser when it suddenly became so very fascinating. I don't know if I would call this a tragedy, a love story, or a comedy. It could be any of those and about a million other options all at the same time.

The rest of my waffle about this film contains spoilers. Sorry. I couldn't help it. )

It's on Youtube in three parts too. Here's the first one:

PLEASE let me know what you think of this film--I'm endlessly intrigued by it. And Andrew Garfield is, of course, brilliant in it.
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So I've been putting off grading all day. It's now quarter-to-eight and I really ought to at least start. What have I been doing with my time, you may well ask. I have been making a New Jersey mixCD for my ex-roommate.


I'm calling it New Jersey (only the strong survive).

1. Belle & Sebastian – Jersey’s Where It’s At
2. Naughty By Nature feat. Queen Latifah – Sleepin’ On Jersey
3. Stuckey & Murray – Garden State of Love
4. Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
5. Bobby Long – Jersey City
6. Dionne Warwick – I Say A Little Prayer
7. Robert Lee – Jersey City
8. Bobby Rydell – Wildwood Days
9. Yo La Tengo – Night Falls on Hoboken
10. Cobra Starship – Being From Jersey Means Never Having To Say Sorry
11. Frank Sinatra – My Way
12. Emma Beaton & Nic Gareiss – Jersey City
13. Erykah Badu feat. everybody – Love Of My Life Worldwide
14. Bon Jovi – It’s My Life
15. Tiffany & Rocco – Jersey Girl
16. Lesley Gore – It’s My Party
17. The B-52’s – Roam
18. Mark Winter & Ellen Winter – Proud To Be In New Jersey

And because it's worth seeing, here is the music video for track #3.

Now, I have a lot of pride in my home state....but some of that is legit criticism. The hair we must own, I'm the first to admit that. But we also gave you ("you" being "the world") Old Blue Eyes and Queen Latifah. So. It evens out.
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I've been really enjoying the bag meme going around so I thought I may as well join in.

Bag Meme )

Also. I don't know if I've mentioned it but I make a LOT of mixCDs. For anybody who will take them. I take challenges from friends ("the ocean," "pavement," and "the weather" are all Missions Accomplished) and my current challenge....dum dum DUH dum...is "songs in English with only a line or two in another language." It is MUCH harder than I thought it would be.

The playlist so far.... )

If anyone else has suggestions, I'm open to them. Or if anyone would like me to upload the mix, I can do that too. I have technology skillz.
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So I am in this trend of incredibly soul-crushingly sad films. It started with the NTLive production of King Lear....then Another Year....then, yesterday, Blue Valentine. Guys, this was supposed to be my Spring Break. I've been told people find Spring Breaks to be fun and whimsical....this has not been the case for me.

Some thoughts on the films I've been seeing... )
I have, of course, been solemn and a tad melancholy since this onslaught of sad films began. I didn't intend it originally. It just sort of happened that Blue Valentine showed up at the same time as Another Year at local indie arthouse cinemas.

It does mean the couple of friends who I shanghaied into watching Another Year and King Lear resolutely refused to join me for Blue Valentine and have sworn an oath to always check the summaries of films I suggest before agreeing to anything in the future.

On top of all this, I just finished reading Hard Times. I ration my Dickens out carefully....the day I finish the last one will be a truly sad day for me. I love my Dickens. So it was sad to tick another one off the list anyway but....DON'T KEEP READING IF YOU WANT AN UNSPOILED PLOT WHEN YOU READ THE BOOK EVENTUALLY WHICH YOU OBVIOUSLY SHOULD DO....there's a killer couple of chapters near the end of the third book. And. Yeah. I'm a Victorianist, right, so I'm no stranger to crying into my books. (God, when I read Ruth the first time I was actually in a cafe and I had to run to a bathroom for a good cry.) So. Book 3, Chapter 6. Be warned. And keep your tissues nearby.

MY POINT. I HAVE A POINT. My point is that I need cheering up. GUESS WHO I LOOKED TO FOR HAPPINESS?

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So my roommate--the delightful lady who seems to enjoy as eclectic an assortment of things diverting as I do--and I spent a good two hours looking through youtube for old 90's music videos. (This was prompted by the NPR radio podcast called All Songs Considered telling me that the 90's are back--yay!--and proceeding to dedicate a whole podcast to their favs from the decade.) And my lovely roomie asked me to make her a CD--I make many CDs for people, often based around challenge themes like "weather" or "coffee"--of 90's music.

It has been mightily difficult. I ended up having to make two because of the sheer quantity I had. The funny part was finding a pattern to divide them by--it turned out to be "sad/angry" and "catchy." Does this summarize that decade's music? Methinks it doth...

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Apparently my adviser--who is also the only other Victorianist's adviser as well, and he's a lovely hipster type who puts a lot of effort into trying to seem like he's not putting a lot of effort into anything--so yeah, my adviser told him, point blank, "I'll be surprised if you pass prelims."


Nobody--NOBODY has failed prelims at this school in, like, a decade. It never happens. Why is she going all Mr. Hyde on this poor little hipster? I have a feeling I've been getting Dr. Jekyll all along and he's been getting Mr. Hyde and, while I am glad for my time with Jekyll, I am totally terrified of her turning in the middle of the exam.

Also. The only guy on my committee has this face. His face is always saying to me, "Did you really mean to say/do/think/be as stupid a thing as you just did?" I think it really is just how his face is. I ran into him in the hall and said, "Did you get the e-mail about the room assignment for the exam?" and he made the face at me. So. Probably not a reaction to me actually being stupid like a block of wood in his opinion and more to do with how his face is. I try to ignore his face in meetings. It's hard, though, cuz it's his face.

So. Prelims concerns: Mr. Hyde-Adviser and That Dude's Face. Oh, and, you know, allllll of the nineteenth-century.

Now, because I have been nattering on about prelims ad nauseum or WEEKS, have a fun thing:

And another one:

And lastly:
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So I have the teensiest communist streak in my philosophical make-up--comes from being raised by former hippies (though mine are the adorably dorky kind...my dad once "organized" a protest while in grad school...he drew maps. And made helpful signs. I mean. You're supposed to inspire chaos when you're "organizing" a riot, not..you know...organize)--and I have always loved the way social networking sites like mySpace, livejournal, and youtube have just taken control of promoting small-fry musicians. Way to stick it to the man.

Or...you know...not. But you know what I mean.

Anyhooz...my latest find! Is! Lacey Gage.

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(PS -- That vid is from last year but THIS YEAR, they're giving away their new Christmas album if you donate a book to The Richmond Book Drive. Pomplamoose is love!)

((PPS -- When I just typed "Pomplamoose is love," it reminded me of "Soilent Green is people!" and that is an entirely different kettle of fish and ought not to be associated with Pomplamoose. Pomplamoose is people, yes, but mostly they are love.))
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I am STILL not done. This just goes to show that I read Emma Dilemma too many times as a child. (There's a line somewhere near the beginning that says, "Emma liked lists" and describes all the places she hides her lists. So. Let's blame that.)

5 Songs That Threaten Violence But, Hey, No One Ever Accused Me of Being Sensible )

Yep. I did that.

Now I'm gonna go wrestle the school's library for the Nov. 28, 1878 New York Tribune that they claim not to own.
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Back from Thanksgiving and, apparently, not done with lists yet...still looking for suggestions for what to make a list of next.

Top Five Songs about Friendship )

Now, I should go back to reading Contending Forces for class tomorrow or A Yankee in Meiji Japan for prelims or grading papers for Tuesday...anybody want to lay odds on me not doing any of those things?

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It's fairly common knowledge that I'm an insomniac. I've had it under control for months but I slept till 3PM the other day and now I'm wonked. So. MOAR LISTS.

Top Ten Love Songs
Honesty time...I am no Taylor Swift fan so this is not happy-rainbows-marriage-is-obviously-the-only-ending kind of love songs.

Pack up loneliness, hello tenderness... )

Maybe I'll tackle top ten female role models on television tomorrow...instead of grading papers.
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I was reminded (by having to go into campus by 8:30AM yesterday to sign up for a slot to teach next semester) that I have to choose my course topic by Oct. 29th and my texts by Nov. 5. I had all sorts of ideas for the topic that I was batting back and forth (Shifting Perspectives, History and Literature, etc...) but I have decided to go with.... Bromance. That's my topic.

thinking out loud about my Bromance texts... )
But enough about my class for next semester.

On another note, I had a student come to my office hours earlier this week. She's an interesting student....she wants to improve her writing, it is so very clear, but she doesn't understand that I can't wave my magic wand and just make her better. She said at one point, "so we've done two papers now. Do you want to tell me what patterns of mistakes you've found in my writing?"

It's such a good impulse, right, to be thinking of patterns of mistakes. But, really. Come on. I spend HOURS writing those comments all over your papers. THAT'S where you'll find what I think about your essay. And I can't just give you a thing like, "you need to use a quote in the second sentence of every paragraph" or something. That's not how writing works. It's definitely not how TEACHING works.

I gave a speech (a lot like Frank Chimero's post about having ideas) about how writing is hard but it pays off. She told me her parents would love me because I'm making writing ("and other stuff like that" I think meant "art in general") sound horrible. Did I? I thought I was describing the best part of art. Who would want to read a book that was churned out in an hour? We love The Mill on the Floss (I mean, those that DO love it...Dammit, Jim! I'm a Victorianist!) because George Eliot tore her soul in half to write it. Look at Keats's "This Living Hand" and tell me that didn't wring out everything he had to write.

And then...somewhere in the second hour (this was at least a THREE HOUR CONVERSATION), after we'd talked about how she thought Lady Gaga was "a bad person" because she wears lingerie and the poor are selfish to demand that the rich help them in any way...the student brought up Ayn Rand.

This was both the high and low point. Because I could die happy tomorrow if I could convince ONE PERSON to leave the Ayn Rand school of thought. I am totally serious about that. ONE PERSON and a double-decker bus death tomorrow WOULD be a heavenly way to die.

OMG I am totally just blabbering on. HAVE A MUSIC VIDEO.
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I am leaving at the ass-crack of dawn (read: "7:00 AM" for hyperbolic-free version) for the LONGEST train trip to get to a conference. There will be a four hour layover in Chicago just cuz Amtrak loves me like that.

Then...on Friday...I am doing my very first paper presentation. I waver between being deathly afraid of absurd things (not wearing pants accidentally, misquoting someone who turns out to be in the audience and pissed, that sort of thing) and madly excited. That, and my insomnia has come back. So. Mostly, I am perplexed by the insanity wandering around inside my head.

So. Best case scenario: this turns into the Best Conference of Ever and I am thrilled by everything that happens for the next four days. Worst case scenario: I forget to wear clothes while reading the paper and someone yells at me.

There are, I'm sure, plenty of more reasonable expectations to be had but I haven't had more than a few hours sleep each night for, like, a week or something and I seem to be stuck in hyperbole mode.

I leave you with this completely tangential and unrelated question: how badass is the lady in this music video on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being Starbuck?
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So now I'm 26. That happened.

Also, I am beginning to think that I have dug myself a fairly deep hole with this summer of faffing about (and not reading nearly as much as I ought to have done) as far as prelims are concerned. SIGH. The problem is that I've reached this point where all the things I read--since they're so narrowly focused--are beginning to sound alike. It's like, yes, translation is hard to theorize but that was said in 700AD. MUST you repeat it in every book, article, novel, poem, etc. to mention translation from now till the end of time? Because I do not want. So I'm avoiding reading for prelims. That's stupid, I agree, but I'm doing it anyway.

Also, in case anyone missed it, there was a segment of pure genius on The Daily Show last night. Staten Island is the only borough in NYC that hasn't supplied a supreme court justice and Wyatt Cenac goes to see if he can find the most qualified candidate available.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Staten Island Supreme Court Justice
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Also, I have a music rec. If you don't know Pomplamoose, I suggest you start with their cover of Don't Wanna Miss A Thing. It's a song I have never been entirely fond of but I am re-evaluating that opinion based on the awesomeness of the cover.
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My dad--dad of dads, you all WISH you had my dad--actually believed me when I said I wanted to learn the ukulele and has sent me one for my birthday. WHAT. I am the luckiest girl of ever. And I have all sorts of dreams of folksy-adorability and hanging around grassy fields with my new uke in tow and serenading passers-by. The World won't know what hit it.

For the moment, though, I had to put it away because (a) it's the middle of the night now and nobody wants to hear how well I play the C and the G chord anymore and (b) my fingers hurt from all my playtime. Oh, right, and I only have a half-assed lesson plan for tomorrow. La-di-da, as Diane Keaton once said.

I am plan to be just like Julia Nunes...except for, you know, being different. And much less talented.

Not related to the ukulele at all (except in my mind because the banjo is #2 on my list of Instruments I Might Take The Time To Learn One Day When Grad School Releases the Death Grip It Has On The Gonads I Don't Have)...I would like to take a moment to point anyone and everyone who might drop by towards Lauren O'Connell's version of Oh Death. She does a fantastic job with it.
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I am the type of person to buy a Special Notebook for every new class (whether I'm the teacher or the student) and, for my Detective Fiction/Comp class....I bought a notebook from Urban Outfitters that says "Put on your fancy pants."

The cashier was like, "Oh, are you a high school student?" (which never even happened when I WAS a HS student so I assume he was doing what I used to when I was the cashier at IHOP--flatter the customer so they don't yell at you about their money) and I was like, "No, I'm teaching." And he's like, "teaching high school?" and when I tell him I'll be teaching at the university, he boggled at me. And, yes, I conveniently left out the fact that I'm a grad student so, yes, I'm mad young for teaching at a college. But....duuude.

I begin teaching Baby's First Course next Tuesday. I am so all kinds of thrilled I can't even say. But my head keeps spinning through uber-romanticized versions of what it will be instead of making rational predictions. I'm like, "What if they all stand on their chairs and recite O captain my captain at the end of the first day instead of waiting till the end of the course? What am I gonna do then?" And then I have to sit my brain down for a Talk. There will be no chair standing. I feel like that should be my new mantra.

There will be no chair standing.

PS - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. WHAT. Why so perfect? Why can't I BE THERE TOO?


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