Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Students gave final presentations today. Despite numerous technology problems, they all eventually happened! Now I just have to grade all of their papers by Friday so they can give me even better papers to grade next Wednesday.

The dissertation seminar that I have been coordinating has had its final meeting postponed from tomorrow to next Tuesday, so that's a thing I don't have to do tomorrow.

All was going pretty well until someone decided that publicly scolding me on a listserv for not doing something I never agreed to do was a great way to end her day. Just as I was about to go to bed, I am instead seething with useless anger. I am actually shaking right now, but that could be because we've had a sudden cold snap between when I left this morning and when I came home tonight, and I still have no heat.

All I want to do is go to bed and listen to the glorious howling of the uncharacteristically fierce and persistent wind storm that tried to steal my earrings when I walked home from the bus stop this evening. Instead, maybe I will punch the wall, mutter under my breath, and then go to bed and listen to the throbbing of the vein in my temple.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Food, food, food, food, food

I arrived in NY on Wednesday night. I spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday overeating for pretty much all of the hours I was awake. Today I ate a reasonable quantity of food and my stomach is now clamoring for MOAR DESSERT.

Holidays, why do you taunt me with three days of unlimited desserts and then punish me with one night of no dessert!? My life is a swirling eddy of despair, as Dorothy Zbornak hyperbolically declared when a leaky faucet was keeping her awake.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

At the moment, yes. Last Thursday a woman was shot and killed 2 miles from my apartment. On the same night, another woman was shot at and missed in an attempted the park at the end of my block. The same as-yet-unidentified man is suspected in both shootings.

In the past month, three men have been assaulted and robbed within a 2.5-mile radius of my apartment, all to the south and west of here.

Both women were transgender; all three men were gay.

Tonight I had a lovely evening of Darjeeling cocktails and games with friends at their apartment, but I had to ask one of them to stop drinking her cocktail early so she could later drive me home the 1.1-mile distance to my apartment—three out of the five assaults took place on the route from their apartment to mine.

I HATE feeling unsafe. Normally, I feel confident and safe in any setting. Most people who have talked to me about "bad neighborhoods" have been middle-class white people who just can't handle being surrounded by people of color from any class lower than upper. In this case, however, there has been a recent spate of very violent attacks against queer people (two white, two black, one Latino) very near where I live. I am afraid to be out at night alone.

 I guess I can now understand what most women in this country feel most of the time. At least after dark. I can't say I enjoy the empathy.

Good Times

Ever since I discovered a YouTube user named LaughVids, I've been getting really into sitcoms from the 1970s. Right now I want to start watching Good Times, but I can't get past the incredibly grating minstrel-y caricature of a stereotype that is Jimmie Walker's J. J. Evans to really enjoy the fabulous acting of Esther Rolle as Florida Evans and the adorableness of little Ralph Carter as Michael Evans. I've watched three episodes (gritting my teeth through Walker's scenes) and decided that if I had been about ten to twelve years old when the show was on the air I would have been completely in love with the character of Michael. He's the elementary-school boyfriend every baby gay deserves.

If I can stomach J. J., I'll watch more of the show, but if I can't, I may try to watch All in the Family. I hear it's an important show, but so far every time I try to watch it my ears bleed at the sounds of Caroll O' Connor and Jean Stapleton's incredibly piercing voices. Can the '70s come with earplugs?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sid Melton

This is, I believe, the fifth Golden Girls funeral I've acknowledged here. Two weeks ago, Sid Melton, nĂ© Sidney Meltzer, died of pneumonia at the age of 94. To be honest, I had no idea he was still alive. It hadn't occurred to me that despite playing Bea Arthur's father on Golden Girls, he was actually only a few years older than her—he played her long-dead father in flashbacks. I think my favorite Sid Melton moment on the show, though, was the one episode he was in when he wasn't playing Salvadore Petrillo, "What a Difference a Date Makes." Dorothy goes on a date to a totally inexplicable medieval restaurant, with a roving minstrel singing a slowed down "Gilligan's Island" theme and accompanying himself on a completely not-medieval guitar. Melton played the waiter, who introduces himself with the line, "Good evening, my lord. Good evening, my lady. My name is Don and I'll be your fool for the entire evening."

No, I didn't look that up; yes, I know lots of Golden Girls lines by heart.

Don offers the diners a choice of pheasant or wild boar, admitting that the pheasant is actually just chicken. They drink grog and diet grog while they wait for their pheasant, and as the conversation becomes more and more romantic, Don interrupts by shaking a jester's belled scepter between them and beginning a joke, "Two knights and a rabbi walk into a bar," which Dorothy interrupts by grabbing his scepter and hurling it away. That's all we see of Don the fool. Dorothy remains completely unfazed by the waiter who looks just like her dead father.

In my last Golden Girls obituary I asserted that Betty White was the only one left of the recurring cast of the show. That is truer now than it was then, with Estelle, Rue, Bea, Harold, Herb, and now Sid gone, though it actually isn't entirely accurate even now. We still have Debra Engle, Lynnie Green and, somewhat surprisingly, Bill Dana, who played Blanche's daughter Rebecca, young Dorothy, and Dorothy's grandfather/Uncle Angelo, respectively. I hope not to memorialize any of them any time soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm still here

I've been letting this blog languish for a while. I have also been letting the dissertation languish. Today I got back into the diss, so it seemed appropriate to also get back into the blog.

Goal: a full-length draft of Chapter 4 by Thursday, first body section of Chapter 3 by Friday

Goal: a blog post that could not fit into a tweet by Monday, probably about the conference I just attended last week/weekend.

For those of you who are in Los Angeles, I'll be playing baroque cello in a free concert on Friday night; let me know if you want details! For those of you who are in New York, I'll be there in a week. For those of you who are in one of those strange places that is neither NY nor LA, let's figure out when we can see each other; I miss you.