Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A random collection of mini-posts; Or, why I'm not blogging much and what I'm doing to try to make up for it

Tossing the job search into the mix of dissertation, teaching, Ong Collection, house husband, and graduate student who still learning how to say no, I'm not finding much time to blog or read other blogs, though I did catch up on some blog reading as I ate my lunch today.

If you read regularly, you know I don't blog the personal or mundane much, but:

Last week my wife and I decided we were not going to overcome the hard-packed Missouri clay in which our backyard lawn tried to eek out its difficult existence, and we rented a roto-tiller and ripped the hell out of the yard. I then covered the tilled clay with sand left over from when we put in a patio, and roto-tilled the sand into the clay so we've now got something resembling soil. We then put down and raked new grass seed that should do well in the conditions we have, and covered it all with hay.

Brendan of the Digital Sextant was in town for a conference this weekend and we met for lunch on Sunday and had lots of good conversation.

We donated to our local public radio station today so we're once again members in good standing.

The new season of South Park starts this Wednesday. My wife went to high school with Matt Stone (they didn't know each other), and both Matt Stone and Trey Parker were at the University of Colorado when we were, and a friend tried to convince me to go to the auditions they held for Alferd Packer: The Musical. I didn't. Any way, I've been watching South Park since it began and, occasionally, they still toss in Boulder jokes.

I was unable to resist buying and reading Terry Pratchett's Thud! but I have, so far, kept myself from buying and reading Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys (I think it's because Thud! is a much shorter and quicker read). I did, however, see MirrorMask the first week it opened.

I've decided that when I go to rework my MLA 2005 presentation into an article, it needs to stop being "Holt's Who's Afraid of Beowulf? and Pratchett's The Last Hero: Comedic Fantasy and the Reception of Old Norse Literature" and become "Conan and the Victorians: Heroic Fantasy and the 19th-Century Reception of Old Norse Literature" (yes, the title is intentionally echoing Andrew Wawn's The Vikings and the Victorians: Inventing the Old North in 19th-Century Britain). But before I get to that, I'll probably finish off "Memory and the Art of Database," “Technology is not a Genre: Media Dynamics and the Historical Perspective" (I'm still not happy with this title), "“Ruminations on Medieval Memoria: Memory, MOO, and Composition," and "'Swa begnornodon Geata leode': Beowulf as Traumatic Memory.” But I need to finish the dissertation first, and with the pieces for Constructing Nations, Reconstructing Myth beginning to trickle in and all of them due in June, I expect my first post-dissertation project should be editing the collection. More on this later. I haven't talked about it much because I haven't wanted to jinx it, but it's real and its awesome, and our magical, efficient European publisher expects to have it out in early 2007 if we have it to them early fall 2006.

And, lastly, when my wife and I went to see MirrorMask, we finally visited and ate at St. Louis' famous Blueberry Hill. Knowing that we'll be leaving St. Louis in the next year or two, we've been thinking about what we haven't yet done here, like go to one of Chuck Berry's monthly performances at Blueberry Hill.

And as a teaser, I promise to post my dissertation abstract once I finalize the version I'll be sending out with my applications.

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