Friday, December 22, 2006
I Want To Be Home For Christmas
"I'd give anything to see
a little Christmas tree
And to hear, hear the laughter
of children playing in the snow
To kiss my baby, under the mistletoe.
But I can't promise my eyes this sight
unless they stop the fight.
'Cause I'm a prisoner of war
lying here in my cell, hoping
my family is well.
Wish they wouldn't worry so much about me,
just try to get us home, in time for the Christmas tree.
oh yeah, oh,
I want to see snowflakes fall
I want to see Santa Claus
Oh I want to hear jingle bells ring,
want to hear jingle bells ringing.
But I can't promise my eyes this sight
unless they stop the fight."
If I can't make it home in time
I know you'll be keeping my spirit bright
by wearing my name and trying to stop this fight
Ah, but I'd give anything to see you, the family... and that little Christmas tree."
I moved to London in June of 2001, fully intending that I would be there forever -- and if not forever, then a very long time. I found work fairly quickly (I won't say that I found good work quickly: I got a job as a bartender at a "western" eatery in Earl's Court called the Texas Lone Star. My job duties included pouring frozen margarita after frozen margarita (we were mad packed on the weekends) and trying not to choke on the irony that I'd left Wyoming all those years ago only to end up lulled into catatonia by the endless loops of Shania Twain on the Gloucester fucking Road in the heart of London fucking England. As you might imagine, I got that job because my American ass added a dash of verisimiltude to the whole farce of a theme (James Baldwin was right, you know: black people are never more American than when they are abroad), but my salty attitude almost got me fired on the regular -- and I was only there a few weeks! I just refused to take that job seriously. I was constitutionally incapable of appreciating the absurdity. I might have tried harder, but I was prevented from doing so by the clientele, who didn't even have the good sense to be British citizens. The customers were overwhelmingly Americans who were staying in hotels in the area (like the dude who's posted a comment at the link above) -- and I get being overwhelmed with homesickness and needing the comforts of home, but we're talking about business travellers and other vacationers who just couldn't be arsed to find a restaurant that didn't look like a
UPDATE: I started this post around Christmas, and I it was epic. Ultimately, I was trying to talk about the soul ache I had because my little brother had been deployed to Iraq and was spending Christmas over there and then I...well, anyway, he came home safely, praise God. So we'll just leave this sad little holiday post where it is, a'ight, family?
Monday, December 18, 2006
...okay, I gotta bust in here and say that I am still in Anodyne, which is why y'all discount motherfuckers are getting three discount posts today instead of none. And there is this dude* sitting at the back of the cafe who keeps looking at your girl -- and before you suck your teeth at my overwhelming arrogance, let me interject here and say that he is giving the side eye to everybody in here -- and then taking notes in a little notebook. Well, he was doing that for a couple of hours; he's now pulled out his iMac -- all the quicker, one imagines, to sculpt the masterpiece he is crafting from his observations of his fellow Anodyne patrons. Can I just say that I am desperate to know what he is writing over there? If that bitch goes to the bathroom, I am running across the room and stealing his notebook...
--and yet, so nostalgically random. I love that I have a vague memory of being in a 7th grade French class with someone and my brain files that under "People to turn to in case of linguistic emergency."
*confidential to Broc: you would be little Suzy for this dude, no lie. He is so your type I am losing my mind over here, working on ways to set you up with this strange man.
I haven't used my laptop for anything but home-based wifi piracy for so long, I'd forgotten that I had a couple of post drafts floating around on the hard drive. I found the following today while I was at Anodyne. I thought I had posted this already, but as it's clearly half-formed, perhaps I'm hallucinating. I wish I could remember what in the hell I was thinking about while I was writing it. I promise you that I was either just off the phone with Fergus or just about to call him.
"These Things Are True"
These things will never fail to crack me up:
Haggis McBaggis: I think this is the name of a store. I am laughing just typing that! Whew!
These songs always make me tear up, which is embarrassing if I am in public listening to my mp3 player:
“Fighter”: While I am mildly embarrassed about this, I don’t know why I should be. I have always loved a rousing personal empowerment anthem. Shit, I can listen to Bouncy ‘nem sing “Survivor” on repeat. When they talk about not trash talking someone after they did you wrong, because they were raised better than that? Come on! I love that, as ghetto fabulous as Beyonce can be, the sentiment of that song is actually very sophisticated. It takes a lot to not want to be just as ugly back to someone who has been ugly to you. Anyway, we’re talking about “Fighter” here, and the reason it makes me tear up is because I imagine I’m singing it to my dissertation. I’m pounding away on the computer singing like a damn fool and telling this bitchass magnum dorkus that with each letter I type I am learning a little bit faster, I’m a little bit smarter, a little stronger, and I’m ready to work a little bit harder. So thanks for making me a fighter. Woo!
** Quelle surprise! I found this antiquated mention of my dissertation as I was avoiding work on it for what is likely the very last time. I am in the midst of piping the final icing on this bitchcake and waving goodbye to it forever. I have to turn in the final revisions to my advisor this Friday, and then we are going to get drunk and probably screw some hoes.
Anyway, since my Lord and I will be celebrating our respective naissances next Monday, I thought that I would let all of you know what I'm really hoping for this holiday season. That's right, everybody: I want a d*ck in a box.*
* It's like somebody gave my boyfriend a microphone and a Color Me Badd suit. Seriously. Ask Bernie. This is precisely the kind of sentiment Doug would lay on me while drinking spiked eggnog and watching holiday porn. I mean, this is the same man who sleepily rolled over and called me "Little Booby Two Shoes" one night. Bless him.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
..but at some point, as I sat in front of my six-year-old laptop, reading bad erotic fiction online and eating leftover stuffing with a pair of dirty chopsticks, it occurred to me that perhaps this wasn't the life I dreamt about as a cock-eyed adolescent.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Yep, kids. Once again, it's time to start packing that ol' leaving trunk. May will be here sooner than any of us realize, and with the summer's arrival comes that all-too-common urge to vacate the fucking premises. So! Your host is seeking suggestions for places that I can eventually add to the "Town Without Pity" file I've compiled over the years. Send in your recommendations and warnings, and be sure to let me know why your idea deserves further thought.
Just so you know, the shortlist currently stands at (in no particular order):
somewhere in Hawaii
somewhere in Scotland
Dar es Salaam
somewhere in Arizona/New Mexico
Observant readers will note that one key locale is not on that list. Oh, children. How can I express my increasing fear of moving to L.A.? As much as I want to go and fall face first into a pool of hookers and blow, part of me is looking to go somewhere completely new, where I don't know anyone. You know how I roll. Always making it harder on myself than it needs to be.
Friday, November 03, 2006
But this post isn't about that. It's about Giancarlo Esposito,
who plays Esteban in the flick. Man, I had forgotten all about his fine self. I had a mad crush on him. I wonder what he's up to these days. Wikipedia has him working on that Vanessa Williams show, South Beach, but I think that got cancelled.
In other "You're Making Me Love You All Over Again" news, 10 points to Jason, who blew my mind with some Peter Schilling last night.
Let's enter the confessional, shall we?
Full disclosure: I love David Bowie's visionary autobiographical/allegorical "Major Tom,"(from the song "Space Oddity," obviously a riff on Kubrick and 2001: A Space Odyssey) but I loooooooooooooooooove Peter Schilling's rearticulation/expansion/revisioning/cheap rip-off from the early '80s. I realize that this makes all of my taste suspect. Whatever, haters.
German version (the best part of this is the message in the comment section that says "Dang, it took me 23 years to find out he was German?!" Um, could cheese this delicious come from anywhere but Germany? Please!
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Happy Halloween, chirren.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Any of you who've had the pleasure of meeting me in real life know that I cultivate a pretty cut-rate, discount, bootleg air of mystery. I like to think that I've got secrets. I kid myself that I'm an enigma. But the fact is, I'm transparent as all fuck and when pressed to actually present evidence of the slightest depth, I fold like a cheap shirt.
This was brought home to me in an odd way this evening, as I settled in for my nightly round of "I'm bored/I don't have a tv/It's too early for bed" internet piracy. Piracy, you see, because I am janking some unlucky fool's broadband at the moment. I keep promising to sign up for my own service, but mama is busy. And broke. And forgetful. Anyway
My internet stroll started with Christina Rosetti's Goblin Market, a poem I discovered as an undergrad and have loved ever since. I've toyed with the idea of adapting the story into a screenplay, but the epic fantasy I'm envisioning would need some Peter Jackson-type scrilla. At any rate, I poked around looking for some online criticism of the text, because -- well, my knowledge of proto-feminist critiques of Victorian marriage markets may not be all it should be, but lines like
She dropp'd a tear more rare than pearl,
Then suck'd their fruit globes fair or red:
Sweeter than honey from the rock,
Stronger than man-rejoicing wine,
Clearer than water flow'd that juice;
She never tasted such before,
How should it cloy with length of use?
She suck'd and suck'd and suck'd the more
Fruits which that unknown orchard bore;
She suck'd until her lips were sore...
beg some further study, y'all. It's a transcendant poem. The density and richness of the language carries an almost tangible weight.
But the point is, while looking for some cogent analysis of what that chick was doing sucking on strange men's fruit out in that bower one summer twilight, I was reminded of another macabre fantastique, The Pied Piper of Hamelin. I'm terribly, dreadfully, wonderfully captivated by the image of that lone child left outside the kingdom of fancy. I mean, while I can sympathize with the plight of the townspeople, whose greed provoked the piper's terrible seduction, I've always been more concerned with the child left behind, who must watch as all of his friends wander into some magic realm. And then...the door slams shut. The little lame boy is alone, and must return to his parents, carrying that horrible burden. In some versions of the story, the lame child is made lame by the piper himself, who cuts off the boys toes -- as an act of kindness, you see, so that the boy doesn't share the fate of his fellow children.
Apparently, theories abound as the actual historical facts regarding the "tragedy of Hamelin." If you are like me, you had no idea that something actually happened to the children in that small German town in the 13th century (in fact, I didn't even know that Hamelin/Hameln existed outside of fairy tales) -- the problem is, no one knows exactly what. Creepy. Happy Halloween, you sonsabitches. Anyway
While checking out various versions of the pied piper legend, I was forcibly reminded of China Mieville's much-lauded debut novel, King Rat, which is an extended riff on the pied piper story. This is notable for two reasons: 1) I have always meant to read some China Mieville, but have never got around to it because I have irrational dislike of people who, while younger than me, go on to achieve stunning artistic and commercial success in a field I claim as my own; 2) I keep forgetting. Nevertheless, from the time he appeared on the British SF scene, people have been riding China's jock like whoa; and I distinctly recall that, while I was in London and dating Oisin*, I campaigned endlessly for him to arrange for me to meet ol' China (I mean, young China: that bitch published King Rat when he was 26! Anyway).
As you may or may not recall, dear readers, Oisin was an editor at [publisher's name deleted] and, in a fit of generosity that characterized him all over, had once arranged for me to get in to a sold-out Iain Motherfucking Banks (my favorite SF author EVAH) reading at...well, I'm blanking on the name of the bookstore, but it was right across the street from The Borderline, which is the club where I went and saw Chris Whitley play tracks from his then current cd, Rocket House. And you should care about that, kids, because Chris passed away almost a year ago, and his passing marks the loss of a real gem. I would move on with an Anyway here, but I just don't have the heart...
Anyway, I kept asking Oisin to introduce me to China, but that wily little homebiscuit wisely intuited that I was only asking out of bitterness and guile...and possibly a little curiosity-tinged lust, as China Mieville is hot like fiyah
...so Oisin gave me his best Irish "bitch, please" and we kept it moving.
So I missed meeting Mr. Mieville, but I always tucked his name in the back of my mental file for future reference, see? It was a new experience for me, this having a male nemesis. Fergus knows what I talk about when I introduce the topic of my nemeses. So does Bernie, now that I think about it. In fact, all of y'all sonsabitches probably know what I am talking about, because I am perpetually spotting new ones whenever I am out. T-Rex knows what I am talking about. Some people just demand that you punch them. Most of my nemeses are in that "I have to punch you" category, but only because I'm a petty, small-minded woman who realizes the extent of her own limitations and has to resort to violence to solve problems. Bitch. Anyway
As I said before, I'm a jealous little dramatic loser, and people who are ambitious, successful, intelligent and attractive get on my cotdamn nerves. Fuck those winners. So you know I was not having it with China Mieville. Dude publishes his first book at 26, has been nominated for (and won) almost of the major SF prizes out there, and then goes on to do a motherfucking PhD in InternationaldamnRelations at the LondondamnSchoolofdamnEconomics (alma mater of ol' cat arse himself, another one of my icons -- well, the man who stands in front of one of my icons) and is a mover and shaker in leftwing politics?! Are you fucking kidding me?! I hate when someone else is living your life, but doing it better. You know what I'm saying? Like, they actually bother to get off their asses and do all the stuff you wish you could do. And they look good doing it. I hate those sonsabitches.
So, I'm reading a little blurb about King Rat, my first-male-nemesis' debut novel, and I see that further down the page, there is a link for a list Monsieur Mieville has written called "Fifty Fantasy and Science Fiction Works that Socialists Should Read." And Lord knows, my geek ass is always looking for a)reading recommendations, and b) something new to disagree with, so I headed over to that corner of the internets and sturm und drang, deus ex machina, achtung baby: the first book on his list is Iain Banks' Use of Weapons. Now, that's my favorite book by my favorite author. So you know China and I are in like Flynn now, right? And then homefries goes on to namecheck Octavia Butler. Man, I changed my mind about this dude. We are going to have to be best friends!
Ok, I did not mean for this post to get so long, or for it to be...well, essentially a testament to the ways in which I've allowed resentment and envy to make me crazy, but the message with which I started tonight's missive has now returned to center stage. It is this: apparently, I can only keep one or two things -- three, max -- circulating in my brain at any one time. Look at this post: everything all winds up leading me back to stuff I already know about or care about. It's as if I'm always meeting new people at a bar and finding out that they've dated a cousin of mine. Nothing I ever look at or experiece is its own autonomous thing, anymore.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Without intending to, I missed marking the one year annivesary of this 'ere blog. The Get Down has been getting down for about 14 months now. Amazing. I've been posting a lot less frequently recently, but you know I still love you, right baby? Come on, baby? Baby?
I also missed celebrating my first nappyversary. As y'all know, I stopped chemically straightening my hair last year right before the Portland Marathon. My back-to-birth thick, kinky, napptural 'do makes me happy every day. At the moment, I'm rocking bantu knots:
(and a couple of guns, too) most days. My students are scared shitless.
Finally, Tamara Dobson, aka Cleopatra Jones, passed last week. She was 6'2", a fierce and stunning woman, and an all-around bad motherfucker.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I am in so much pain right now. The entire right side of my face feels like someone kicked it. So, bitchassmuthafucka on the phone at the emergency dental clinic, please accept the above message from me, the person to whom you were so rude, dismissive, and unaccountably belligerent to on the phone this afternoon.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
So, anyway, I was prepared to side with the anonymous woman who comes in for a lot of abuse in Zed's comment section (I know I'm using this dude's first name like I know him, but it's the internet. Fuck it. I'm going for informality and brevity. Except by making this digression, I've wasted more space and more of your time) because I couldn't get past the first part of the story, where he decides that he was going to talk to her anyway, fuck her non-speaking ass (you have to read back a little bit on the dude's site for a little context here: the guy is locked into living in an undesirable area for awhile, and part of what makes it undesirable is the lack of black community) and I know that I've been that chick who's been reading on the bus/staring off into space/listening to music as I eat my lunch in a downtown park who responds monosyllabically to people trying to talk to me. The exchange usually goes one of two ways: either the person trying to insert themselves into my line-of-sight makes some kind of humorous comment about my unfriendliness and I will unfreeze long enough to confirm it, say something nice, and then move on; or they come out with some bullshit line like, "Come on, let's be friends. I just want to be friends. We can all use friends, girl." Well, yeah, we can, but your shady ass isn't standing there talking to my chest because you want someone you can watch football with, you lying fool. But that isn't
what Zed was after when he was trying to engage this random-soon-to-be-revealed-as-a-pigeon chick in conversation. As corny as it sounds, he just needed a short human-to-human connection. Which makes me wonder if I should be less quick with brush-offs in the future.
Of course, I won't be, because -- and I can't stress this to you enough, people -- I am mean. At any given moment, I am probably looking off into space plotting how to buy more twelve-sided die and Blade Runner memorabilia before I completely retire to a cave with a lifetime supply of Grey Goose and Korean revenge flicks. If you start talking to me, I guarantee you that you will wish you hadn't. You think it's bad that I don't talk to you? It would be infinitely worse if I did. You don't want to hear anything I have to say. Trust.
But anyway, the point is that, ultimately, Zed's "I'm Not on the Debate Team" girl was ridiculous. Turns out she was running him all the time, but just wanted to be sure that he had paper/prestige/power. Ah, there she goes, making it even worse for us non-public-speaking Crabby Patties.
*You know this shit is theoretical, because -- well, I said it at the beginning. I don't like people, and I don't talk to strangers and yes, that means I won't make new friends but the cotdamn bus is full, anyway. I'll die a lonely, misanthropic old lady, and I'll choke on bile while the rest of you chuckleheads get together and live full, loving lives. I get it, ok? I've said my piece and I've made my peace.
Monday, August 07, 2006
I'm updating today for no other reason than that I am stuck (well, stuck isn't really the word, as I could leave, technically. But I'm just too lazy right now. I am about 1 block away from where I need to be for an appointment with my new landlord at 730 pm, and I don't feel like going anywhere, even though I'm bored, bored, bored) here in my office and the early-evening heat is making me fucking delirious and I.Can't.Move.
I'm chilling in the first of my two new offices (two positions this term = two separate offices) and feeling vaguely hopeful about the next few months. I've managed to secure employment, housing, and a steady caffeine source, so things for the academic year 2006-2007 should be golden. Still no luck on the transportation front, however. I'm looking into getting one of these:a Yaris. Any of y'all reading this have any experience with these bad boys? For 11K, I'm not expecting foot massages and big crack rocks, but I don't want to be rolling around in a jackass roller skate, either.
Things on the writing front are progressing nicely, as I've got two pahdnahs keeping me motivated. In this corner: Stone Cold, who is working on a killer screenplay of his own, despite his crippling mental deficiencies! In this corner, T-bone, who is about to make me famous with her proximity to greatness! Both of them can play the Crockett to my Tubbs any day.
Oh yeah, I saw Miami Vice. It was all right. Really. But in that patented Michael Mann half-light, I kept mistaking Colin Farrell for Tim McGraw. In fact, at several points in that movie I felt as if I was watching Tim McGraw and Eddie Murphy in [I Feel Like I've Been Watching This Movie For] 48 Hours.
I also saw Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Ok, when Will Ferrell (hmmmm -- looks like it was an "all Farrell/Ferrell" movie weekend for me) starts praying to the "little baby Jesus, because he likes that Jesus better"? I fell out. So good.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Why did it take this long for the rest of America to realize that Mel Gibson is loco caliente? Right around The Passion of the Christ I started to suspect that all was not right beyond the Thunderdome, and now his sugar-titted crazy is on display for the world to see. Delicious. Seriously, y'all: look at that picture. That's some Tom DeLay mugging right there.
Why am I suddenly in love [again] with Busta Rhymes? It must be that "I Love My Chick" video, because you know that Gabrielle Union is my nemesis! Kidding! I love that chick, too, Busta!
I'm feeling all warm for Mr. Rhymes right now. The explanation has everything to do with those tats, I believe. Dudes with tattoos are my kryptonite.
Why was I so concerned about whether Tony Bourdain got out of Beirut safely? I don't know this cat, and I don't even watch his show that regularly! I just feel so protective of fellow smokers. Even though I don't smoke anymore, people like Bourdain who are unabashed nic-fiends are my heroes. I couldn't care less about his culinary skills.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
How many bloggers have used that title in the past few weeks? Too damn many! Don't they know that's my joint! Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty, indeed.
Anyway, I have been thinking about lots of stuff lately, kids, but it's been too damn hot for me to think coherently about any of it, so I decided to make this another of my celebrated blogroll posts. And by "celebrated" I mean "tried to do once before and then that post disappeared -- ain't that some shit?"
So, without further ado, here's what I've been reading on the regular lately. Sometimes I feel like these people are brothers from another mother/sisters from another mister, but then, there are also those who will say something that makes me confused as hell. For the most part, though, I love reading about people's personal lives -- because I'm nosy like that -- and I am equally fascinated with people whose opinions differ from mine so radically. But yeah, for the most part, I just cosign posts from the following bloggers-of-note:
I should mention that I don't know any of these people in RL, and as far as I know, none of them read my blog. I've commented on a few of their sites, but I'm about one thousand percent less visible in the black blogosphere than they are. I am the Homeboys in Outer Space to their Girlfriends, both in terms of mainstream popularity and visibility.
Babee Munkees and Clams: Knockout Zed is livin' just enough for the city, but is steadily trying to move up and move out. "Forthright" doesn't even begin to capture how brutally honest this dude is; I think that if I were a friend of his, I would constantly be trying to escalate a neverending battle of wits, only to wind up in the corner mumbling some version of "please, Hammer -- don't hurt 'em."
Nappy Diatribe: Daily Views, Pop Culture, Rants and News: Another blogging brother who can't/won't fake the funk. He is constantly calling somebody out -- usually hip hop fans with lamentably pedestrian tastes. Read this to see how often someone can sum up an encounter with: "I punched that fool in the throat."
The Life and Times of a Habitual Line-Stepper: I just discovered this spot, but I have to check it out at least once a day for the kid in this dude's avatar. It kills me every single time.
The Adventures of Chubby Chocolate: I can't think of a better -- or funnier -- introduction to her blog than this, which is a hypothetical diatribe from one of her The Adventures of Chubby Chocolate: BAD FENCES">neighbors. So good. As corny as it sounds, I love how free-spririted CC is. Plus, I can empathize with parents/parent's friends wanting to know if you've decided to "go gay" because you're not married by the ripe old age of 30.
Caterpillar to Butterfly: Come on: y'all know that I've got an irrational love for black Brits. This chick is a journalist and runner and is pretty fierce. The post about her grandmother and her pancake makeup were priceless.
She's Just Not Feeling You: A thing of beauty. Check her recent posts on conforming in corporate America (another topic that the site I plug below does extremely well) and the whole "Sam and Becky" series. So good. So wise, sista.
Cocoa Girl on the Job: I didn't know that Cocoa was a midwestern transplant (in fact, I think she's from MN. And since there aren't but 10 of us in the state at one time, I wonder if I ever knew her during my first tenure here on the tundra) because her NY game is so tight. As George Michael would say (although given his recent remarks about his cruising arrest, I don't think we should listen to him anymore), Cocoa is "absolutely flawless."
*interestingly, I commented on her site today, because I disagreed with certain statements that were getting used. But see?! That's what I'm talking about: grown folks talking! For some reason, I love getting involved in these kinds of discussions internetically (I know that's not a word, so don't even trip); in RL I'd just yell until everyone agreed with me!
Crunk and Disorderly: I just...I can't...I love this site so cotdamn much I can't even explain it. Even when the comment section gets overrun by 14 year old knucklehead stans, Fresh (owner and proprietor) keeps things rolling with the best in celebrity gossip and talk. I am at this site daily/hourly/every ten minutes. Fergus knows what I am talking about.
Fun fact! My first troll (see previous post) found me through C&D! Hey, bitch!
It's Like Butta, Baby: not only is she stunning, she's a fierce editor and an excellent writer. Plus, she's got freckles. I love black people with freckles. She's got a fantastic sequence of links, and if it weren't for her, I wouldn't know that B.E.T. Uncut was no longer with us.
And finally, the WCBH: The West Coast Blogging Hotties are, as a group, some of the most consistently hilarious, thought-provoking, pop culture-savvy, reppin' for the people folks I've found in the past year. I am incredibly envious of a couple of them (Supa Sister, Sangin' Diva, and Tia Style) all of whom are around my age --maybe a few years older/younger -- but whose lives are incomparably cooler than mine. Tia, for instance, is responsible for this.
That should be more than enough to get you started. Next week: how Four Four changed my life!
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
And speaking of getting pregnant and other drastic body changes that make you feel like shit in the summertime, I quit smoking again. As you may or may not know -- and may or may not care -- I quit last year around this time (16 July 2005, to be precise) and my lazyass bitchass nodisciplineass didn't even make it a full year without those cancer sticks, y'all. In my defense: my defense. Literally. I had to finish a dissertation and defend it, bitches. For the prosecution: life itself, which sucks its teeth, rolls its eyes, and mumbles, "suck it up, ho. I'm hard now, I was hard yesterday, and I'll be hard tomorrow. Don't walk with a crutch that will wind up tripping you."
I still have not found a [semi][permanent] place to live. I've been cohabiting with the boys now for about...4 months? It's ridiculous. The other day, I climbed out of [what is not] my bed and walked straight into a wall of "Check Yourself." I was like, "what in the fuck am I still doing here?! This is not my house!" Of course, I don't have a house. Because I never have time to go look for one. Nevertheless, I am on a mission. New digs by August, yo. Yeah, I said August. Can you believe that's not even a full month away, now? Where did my summer go? And where's the summer body I promised myself?
And speaking of summer bodies, the only other thing you need to know is that I've come over all Ripley (Ellen Ripley that is, not The Talented Mr.)
and have made some promises to myself that involve being more powerful, more fierce, more confrontational, and more indestructible through the end of 2006. Because you remember the winning motto of the year, right? Actually, I don't either. But let's pretend that the winning motto is: Suck No Dicks in 2006. I'm obviously talking metaphorical dicks here, kids. You can suck all the literal penii you can fit in your ...ok, "going Ripley" is also going to mean no more stupidass jokes. So I'm not even going to finish what I was going to say.
on edit: I just got my first trolling anonymous message! Bitches, I've arrived!
Thursday, June 22, 2006
It's been a long time
I shouldn't have left you
Without a dope beat to step to (step to..step to...step to)
Ok, I know that I've been a straight ghost lately, but now that *someone* (probably my loud ass) alerted the neighbors to the fact that I was pirating their wifi like a damn modern-day Blackbeard, I can't hook up at the house anymore. I either post from campus or from Anodyne (coffeeshop where I used to work/eat for free/pick up tricks) or I don't post at all. And since I rarely feel like hiking to campus these days, and I don't feel like paying for a cup of coffee just so I can sit somewhere and update your lazy behinds (don't people just call a sister to talk, anymore? Kidding! Everyone knows I hate to talk on the phone), I've been pretty incognegro these days. Have no fear, kids. I'm back, I'm in charge, and I'm here to reassure that things are all good in the 'hood.
First: I applied for, interviewed at, and accepted a position here. Come September, I'll be the latest ho on the block in the American Studies department. It's an adjunct gig (read: non-tenure track), but it's going to look effing fabulous on my CV. Coupled with the administrative position I'm trying to work on the side, I should have my professional development on lock. This will make things a lot easier once I finally blow to L.A. Which is now going to happen in summer '07, rather than summer '06. What can I say? It was a crazy opportunity, and I felt like I needed to acknowledge the universe's providence in this. I have got mounting debt like a third world nation, kids. Mama's gotta go for hers.
Second: I've been busting my ass on the plantation for the last month or so...and let me tell you something. Customer service is cute when you're 25 and just hustling for beer and weed money. It's not so savory when you're 31 and just trying to avoid complete indigence. I have to fight not to take people to the cross when I get a little extra bourgeois attitude as I serve up lattes and quiche (I'm back to the waitstaff hustle); while it shouldn't matter that I have a degree and impending monster authority* as a professor at a prestigious liberal arts school, I have to admit, sometimes I want to grab people by the throat and be like "who the fuck do you think you're talking to?! I'm not just some nucca off the street." But the fact is, those uptight, high maintenance, indulged and privileged fools shouldn't talk to anyone in the ways that they do -- not even just some nucca off the street. Ridiculous. Believe that on my last day, I will be schooling some people as I hand over their iced entitlements.
* yeah, right
Three: I had a lovely visit this month from the boy. He was only in town for a few days, so we ate, talked, drank, and got maniacally busy. He's sprung, I'm happy, and all's well in Oz. Cue my Bonnie-and-Clyde safebuster from around the way and a million years ago to pop up out of the lust woodwork and let me know he's going to be in town next month. Lord, help your child not to jump his ass when I see him.
Four: I smell bacon.
(That last bit is for Fergus, who loves Kevin Bacon fiercely. Pretend that there's a funny picture of Kevin Bacon right here. Blogger is being a right c*nt and won't let me post pictures at the mo.Actually, maybe Blogger knows what it's doing; have you seen KB lately? He's looking increasingly like a middle-aged lesbian, for real)
Five: Shout out to The Mighty Aphrodite, whose son is going through some soap opera-style rapid aging, because I think that little knucklehead is already one. Crazy.
And with that, I've run out of stuff to tell you. I'm sure I'll have more soon, though. Until then --
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
|You Are a Boston Creme Donut|
You have a tough exterior. No one wants to mess with you.
But on the inside, you're a total pushover and completely soft.
You're a traditionalist, and you don't change easily.
You're likely to eat the same doughnut every morning, and pout if it's sold out.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Monday, May 15, 2006
So, I defended on Thursday. I don't want to hear any crap from you bitches about how I should have posted news to that effect IMMEDIATEDAMNLY, because I was in shock for all of Thursday afternoon, was busy all day Friday (partially with graduation, where I saw my peoples getting hooded and degreed and ...accoladed and shit, and on Saturday/Sunday I was too busy introducing my ass to the couch to give a tinker's damn about posting. And you know what, y'all? I've got an imprimatur of authority and a chalice of gravitas just ready for your ass, so whatever. I'm a doctor now -- well, I'm someone with a PhD, but I won't be referring to myself as a doctor* because it sets up needless confusion when I have to explain that I don't have a medical degree and so all of those prescriptions I wrote are worthless -- and I can update my blog whenever I damn well please!
Also, there are going to be major changes over here at The Get Down. In many ways, the crackhead ramblings with which I gifted you poor suckers over the last nine months propelled the writing of the dissertation. But now that that process is largely finished (the final final revisions still need to be completed; the entire work also has to be correctly formatted so that it can be bound), I want to move on to bigger, better things. To that end, over the next few months, I will be eliminating the separate pages over that The Let Down and Ambition Adams. Don't cry for me, Argentina: those two blogs, which were always meant to be addenda and afterthoughts, will now assume their rightful places as subsections on this heah blog. But that's going to take some restructurin' and some fancy html-in'. In case you were worried that my schizophrenic nature will be ill-served by the one blog, however, never fear. I will be debuting new content over at what will be the public face of Ambition Adams Enterprises (confused yet?): Ebony Is The New Black. You'll see. It will all come together.
* this is a lie
Thursday, May 04, 2006
My dissertation defense is ONE WEEK, yo! The time for pointing out administrative obstacles is PAST! What the fuck?!
I just got an email from the Graduate School informing me that I have a course listed on my degree program form (ENGL 8240: The Public And Private in Shakespeare, in case you care) for which I took an incomplete, and if I want to proceed to the defense, I must either have this course stricken from my degree program (requires a petition, natch) or have the instructor assess a grade.
To give you some sense of how "what the fuck?" this is, consider the following:
1. I took that course in my first year of graduate school -- that is, the 1996-97 scholastic year. Now, I remember taking that class, and I remember the paper I was going to write for that class.* I also remember that the reason I didn't finish that paper was because I got very, very sick at the tail end of my first year, and actually wound up going to the hospital, losing a bunch of weight, generally flaking out on schoolwork. I always intended to finish and turn in that paper, but man, the time for that shit is past. I wouldn't even know where in the world to find Dr. Haley to deliver it. Plus, FYI: my defense is in a week. I'm not writing any more bullshit papers, people! Isn't that the fucking point of finishing?! When will I actually be finished?!
2. You would think that, with all the hoops you have to jump through to even get this far (of the "you can't file this form until you file this form -- but you can only get that form once this sequence of forms has been shit out by the rare Crackalacka bird of Johnston Hall and anyway, you're never getting out of here, ho" variety), how is it that no one noticed that I had to take care of this until, you know, right now? I was finished with my course work 3 years ago (5, if you don't count the occasional and non-required dissertation-writing seminar I took to help me get my diss written). How about signing off on some shit as we go, people!
Anyway, I'm back to campus tomorrow to have Mowitt sign the form, and then pray that the DGS is around so he can sign it, and then...I'm sure something else will come up before next Thursday.
* It was to be a consideration of Caliban's entry into language (in The Tempest, Prospero and his daughter ...oh, blah blah blah, I don't even want to get into it. Suffice it to say, he and his daughter teach Caliban to speak, thus provoking great lines like "“You taught me language; and my profit on’t is, I know how to curse.") being his initiation into both public discourse (culture and civilisation) as well as his development of a private self. That is, he did not exist prior to his Lacanian utterance. Eh? Eh? Come on! That shit is dope! I was mixing in all kinds of intro-to-theory bs there, and what's more, I actually knew what I was talking about.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Remember when that guy tried to holla at me on the bus by telling me that I looked like a "thicker Mary J. Blige"? And I was like, brother, how in the fuck is that a compliment?
I have had my share of backofthebus proposals, from the guy who jerked off in the seat in front of me to the guy who jerked off in the seat across from me to the guy who grabbed my ass as I got up to disembark to the...well, you get the point. But today's winner of the "Boldest Nucca" award goes to the ballsy fool at the Chicago-Lake transit station. The bus I was riding downtown had stopped to pick up and discharge passengers, and this joker tapped on my window and smiled at me and then motioned for me to get off the bus -- presumably so that he could continue his wooing. Ain't that some shit? I'm going somewhere, and I'm pissed off already because I'm taking the damn bus to get there, but I'm supposed to stop what I'm doing so that you can...what? And it wasn't a good-natured kind of "hey, pretty lady! Why don't step off the bus so I can talk to you?" kind of gesture; it was astrident kind of "GET OFF THE BUS" kind of wave. It was like someone telling you to pull your wallet out of your purse so that they can rob you more easily.
And finally, I'm under no delusions (I think) about my hotness or lack thereof, but seriously. When a dude who looks like that thinks that he can compel me to get off the bus by sheer will alone, that is the day I give up on life.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Harlan Ellison is not dead. Just so you know.
We witnessed the passing of some bright spirits in the last few months, and barring the passing of Chris Whitley, none received any mention here; to be honest, I wasn't entirely sure that I was capable of composing panegyrics sufficient to explain why there should have been a national damn day of mourning when Chris died, or when Buck Owens passed (y'all, I am so thoroughly, completely, utterly through with explaining my abiding love for some classic C&W. You can either choose to incorporate it into your world views or you can, as my boy Luda is wont to say, roll out) or when Wicked Wilson Pickett shuffled off this mortal coil. I have frozen lattices of memory with each of those artists at a particular nexus, and one of the things that I will always thank Hiller for is putting Whitley track after Whitley track on his discount PartyPeople mix tapes until I.finally.got.it. And then I developed my own obsession and the next thing you knew, I was listening... lip deep in my own narotic prayer and seeing Chris in London, in Minneapolis, in Portland, and once, tantalizingly, almost in Charlotte, North Carolina.
I just don't have the words to express what those artists represent to my no-longer-young self.
But I am finally going to take some time to say some words about my girl, Octavia Butler. I managed to be ahead of the social curve for once and hear about an event in time to actually attend it, and so, about five years ago, Fergus and I went to hear her read and answer questions at the downtown branch of the Minneapolis Public Library. She was a commanding presence then, as ever, and although I did not bother to manufacture a question just for the chance to have her look straight at me, I almost wish I had done.
Do yourself a favor, and go read Kindred, and then read the Xenogenesis series, and then read Wild Seed, and then go back and read Kindred again, and then thank God that that irascible ass Harlan Ellison helped get her published.
Butler was one of handful of black SF authors, and one of only two that I read consistently (Sam Delaney being the other). Her work is stark and unsettling and deep. Tales to stop the blood, indeed.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
1. Dorthe damntrollbaby Troeften --- THE GOOD!
This picayune little hotstepper waded through a very, very "dirty" version of the American body culture chapter (if you don't know what I'm talking about by now, it is far too late to get started. Dammit, I'm turning this thing in on Friday, asshole!) and offered some incredibly useful commentary. This is all the more noteworthy given Trollbaby Troeften's recent successful defense. Trust me, people: if and when I walk out of that dissertation defense with a newly-minted degree in my grubby hands, I'm shaking the dust from this place off my cloak and getting up outta here. I don't have the kind of patience or generosity it takes to give a crap about someone else's dissertation. I barely give a crap about mine. So, for being a better person than I am in all ways except one (I have a half-assed blog! Beat that!), you get the coveted photo spot in today's blog post. I couldn't find a picture of you, so I found a picture of some other "Dorthe" out there. It makes me laugh. As do you.
2. My mothereffing broke-down, cracked-up, baked bean teeth -- THE BAD!
Years of going without dental insurance have finally caught up with me, my lovelies. They look all right, but beneath that [reasonably] white exterior lies painful, worrying trouble. I've been having difficulties with one or two teeth on the left side for a little while now, but never had the chance to go take care of it...because you know what makes health problems go away? Ignoring them. Anyway, there is something seriously, seriously wrong with those teeth now. I can't chew on that side anymore; in fact, that whole side of my face hurts when I eat. On the up side, I will be eating a lot less until this is resolved. Weight loss through excruciating mouth pain!
3. Mark howcouldyouletmedownthisway Lamarr -- THE TRIFE!
Apparently, Mark Lamarr has lost his damn mind. Now, he had been bumped off the list of my British boyfriends for Chiwetel Ejifor a couple of months ago when I finally got around to watching Serenity, but still. Dang, Mark!
Not the Lamarr-ying Kind
He shares the Most Odious And Unfunny 'Comedian' In Britain trophy with David Walliams. It can only be ankle-faced slick-haired unlaugh Mark Lamarr.
When he was on the Shooting Stars tour, he developed a serious crush on one of the young female stage management crew.
One evening before the show, she had to up to his dressing room. She walked in to find him sat stroking his erect c*ck, which was sticking out of his fly.
He said, "When are you gonna sit on this, then?"
A girl at a messageboard I frequent posted that information because she knows that love[d] Mark Lamarr's chain-smoking ass.
Listen, I can handle someone being sleazy. And I for damn sure can handle someone being kinky. But I can not handle someone being ridicudamnlous. I don't care how much I like someone -- if I walk into a room where they are sitting around polishing the chrome, I'm going to kick it and run.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
I've been spending a lot of time avoiding my dissertation/hooding out online lately, and let me ask y'all a question. When did "she looks like a man!" "that's a dude!" "Bitch a tranny" or whatever variation become the insult du jour? Am I crazy or is this new? We can only blame Austin Powers a little bit for this "that's a man, baby!" phenomenon, I think. Putting on my bootleg academic hat for a minute, let me say that I have real problems with this -- probably because I hear it primarily directed at black women (granted, I've been spending a lot of time at www.crunktastical.blogspot.com and www.hotghettomess.com lately, actively looking for H.A.M, but still..does this seem new to other people, too? Is it simply due to, I don't know, the increased visibility of actual transgendered/transvetic people? Am I overthinking this? Probably. This dissertation has broken my brain for real.
Anyway, I'll tell you why this seems weak to me. The posters over at Fresh's site (which is so amazing it has to be the whole reason the internet was invented) who said that Hoopz (of Flavor of Love "fame", who was shown shaking like a...um, not a saltshaker...maybe a mostly empty jar of Mrs. Dash) had a "hard ass jawbone" (tm Mochapeach)and looked like "fucking transformer" (tm brownchik) or Optimus Prime (ninjagrrl) were clowning her and being funny. Just calling her a man because you think she's ugly...is it that deep, people? Yeah, I've had a lot of coffee today. What? What?! Try harder, people!
Monday, April 03, 2006
Hey, y'all. I'm coming to you from the third floor of Wilson library, where the theses are thick and dusty, just like these braids that I need to take up out of my head. Ha! Just kidding. I'm getting much better at hooking my shit up, never fear. And even if I wasn't, rest assured that the last thing I will do -- as raggedy as my look has gotten since leaving Portland -- is rock some nasty ol' braids. I can not handle that. I mean, I know that's some big talk coming from a woman who is committed to wearing the baggiest scrubs and tiniest tees that she can find, but I think you will agree that there is something inherently funny about "wack tshirts on a big body chick." C'mon. Rah Digga said it, not me. At least, I think that's what she said.
And speaking of the hood rat messiah, I want to offer a discount panegyric on what just might be the most amazing movie every committed to celluloid, The Player's Club. I think it might have been Ice Cube's directorial debut, and you can tell. But it's got that special charm, like one of your cousin's shifty friends that is always trying to run game but is funny as hell.
Saturday morning I was prepared to leave the house at 10 to walk to campus and spend the day working. You know, investing in my future. But y'all know that cable tv is my kryptonite. I am powerless before it. So when I saw that USA network was showing The Player's Club that morning (and I'm sorry, but why are they showing that grown ass movie at 10 on a Saturday morning? Have times changed so much that Saturday morning is not still prime kid's viewing time? How is a movie about strippers and hos and brutal sexual assault ok for a weekend morning? And, forgive me while I get all Homie D. Clown on you, but don't tell me that a movie that showed that much ass, but starred white women, would have been shown on basic cable before watershed hours. Do not even front like that's the case. I could not believe how much black ass I saw. And titty, too! They can't have edited that thing for tv at all -- oh, except to partially halfway not-even-trying obscure the cursing. The only problem is, that movie is wall-to-wall "motherfucker." If you take out all the "motherfuckers," the script would have been three pages long. So anyway, I was disturbed by the fact that someone in the USA programming department considers The Player's Club to be on the order of a National Geographic special, and just let the titties go. Um, and also, in the online guide description, it was listed as "COMEDY-DRAMA." Now, don't get me wrong, because Bernie Mac and Anthony Johnson are funny like whoa in this movie. But you know what? Again -- I don't think a movie with a horrifying and graphic sexual assault gets to be called a "comedy drama." That's just me. You can have all the I saw damn Kings of Comedy in there if you want to. I don't care.
Ah, The Player's Club...a movie that's bold enough to suggest that, despite all the glaring and aggressive indications to the contrary (Diamond has a stalker who follows her home, Ebony goes to strip a party where she is the only woman amongst a group of thuggish dudes, Luke motherfuckin' Skywalker brings his crazy ass in to the club one night) a woman's real enemy is a predatory female. Ok, hello, sister. If you are buying that bullshit, you have more problems than you think you do. I mean...
ok, let me stop right here to say that, even though it doesn't seem like it, I love this movie. I'm just telling you why I shouldn't love this movie. It's like how I have to admit in the quiet of a darkened room that I almost prefer Aliens to Alien, even though the politics are way shadier and even though I am Ridley Scott's bitch normally...
So, anyway, the story, briefly, is this. Lisa Raye (Da Brat's sister, apparently. What?!) plays a young single mother trying to work, go to college, and raise her son. While working her job at a shoe store one day, ZZ Top come in and give her a makeover -- I mean, she meets two of the hoodiest hoodrats ever, Ronnie and Tricks, who tell her to "use what [she] got to get what she want." Fast forward 4 years later, and "Diamond" is now working with Ronnie and Tricks at The Player's Club, dancing and generally being the stripper with a heart of gold. Oh, and did I mention that she's a journalism major? That is important to remember, because during the film's coda, when Diamond's voiceover clues us in to everyone's whereabouts, she ends by saying "...and as for me, well, you watch the news, don't you?" She is intimating that she has a job as a newscaster, but if you have seen this movie, you know how ludicrous it is that Lisa Damn Raye, with her corny ass blac-cent got a job reading the news anywhere -- even BET, which is where we are supposed to believe she is working. Still, time for confession #2: I love Lisa Raye. I don't know why, and I wish I didn't. But there is something about her that makes me laugh. Much like this brokedown movie!
Anyway, back to the plot: Diamond is doing fine, hustling and schooling and generally making that money not letting it make her (that's one of the many cheesy nuggets of "street wisdom" this movie gives you free of charge!). Cue the entrance of her dumbass cousin, Ebony, and while I hate that the fool in this movie shares my name, I am going out on a limb to say that it could have been worse. Ebony's country tail just wants to make some money and be like her "glamorous" cousin. She starts dancing at the club...
ok, I need to note here that one of the things I was pleased about is the look of the women they got to play the dancers in this movie; there's a real difference in the look of the women who dance in high-end clubs and lower-end clubs, and there's a big difference between the kinds of bodies in white clubs and black clubs. Corny little Ebony, with her tiny tatas but Tinkerbell hips would not get a job at Jiggles. But she would get one at Leroy's. You understand what I'm saying. It would have been very easy for them to get some of those cookie cutter Black Barbies for this movie, but they didn't. In this instance, low budget = accuracy!
...blah blah blah, Ronnie and Tricks reveal themselves to be evil backstabbing hos (and in Ronnie's case, an aggressive and cartoonish and fake-o L!E!S!B!I!A!N) and Diamond gets taken advantage of, Ebony gets taken advantage of, Bernie Mac goes for a couple rides in car trunks, and generally, this movie sends every kind of wrong message it is possible to send. If you want to get into it with me and hear my full assessment, feel free to email me. I'm not going to prolong this post any more than I have, but I will say this: despite all its many faults, I love this movie way more than I should. It might be because it has--
1)a wheelchair-bound villain who has to be wheeled -- slowly -- through the club to shoot it up...and yet, people are still acting crazy and running away and I'm thinking, couldn't you just run behind his chair? The turning radius on those things is not that great.
2) It's got John Amos. Damn, damn, damn!
3) Jamie Foxx (as club DJ, Blue) introducing Tricks: "Comin' to the stage now is a woman who's been in the game since Kunta Kente was big ballin' and shot callin'. They say tricks are for kids and she got four of them mother fuckers! Let's give it up for Tricks!"
Don't act like you didn't laugh at that.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Remember our conversation of a few weeks ago, in which I told you tired motherfuckas to get in line and start acting right, in the hopes of being added to the list of luminaries in my dissertation acknowledgments?! Well, check this out: I just peeped my own name in someone's list of "these worthie folke tryed and true." Can you believe that? Ha! In your faces! In! Your! Faces!
FYI, the project I'm being credited with helping shepherd to completion belongs to the amazing ass Marcela Kostihova, whose thesis, entitled Political Bardolatries: Shakespeare Appropriations in the Post-socialist Czech Republic, benefited in no discernable way from my tired, trite, and trivial comments. But bless her heart: I bet sweet old Marcela included me because she didn't want my name to be the only one left out (we were in a dissertation seminar together in the spring of '03. That's right. I said '03).
In other news, I see that some shysters and hucksters are still employing the ol' Courier New Gambit, in which you [exponentially] increase your page count by printing your work in some version of the Courier font, rather than the more traditional Times New Roman. If this is not making any sense to you, you have either never been the sort of student who cheated in this way (and bravo to your overachieving ass, Tracey Flick) or you have been out of school for so long you didn't know that the Microsoft Office suite has more than one publishable font. To wit: my dissertation is currently about 154 pages in TNR; in Courier New I'm cracking two volumes with a weighty 220. That's a tome, losers. That's a magnum opus. That's cheating like whoa.
Guess who's seriously thinking about it?
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
When you see me coming,
Better step aside.
A lot of men didn't.
A lot of men died.
Yeah...it's looking like a May defense, kids. May! I ask you!
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
I ran into my friend, Dan, in the grad student computer lab today. I've been skittish about going to certain places on campus, because the monkey people are so very, very young these days. I feel as if everyone is looking at me and wondering why my old ass is carting around that beat down backpack and pretending to be a student. I'm also more than a little nervous that I will run into a former student, who will stop me and ask why I'm still here. As I was talking to Dan, I broke down how it had just occurred to me that a freshman student who took my Intro to Modern Fiction class in 1997 could very well have finished their B.A. and be finishing their own Ph.D in the very near future. I am coming up on the national average, kids: 10 years. Jeeeeeeez.
Anyway, talking to Dan (who defended and walked in December) was like talking to the little devil that sits on your shoulder and tells you to go ahead and run over those damn pedestrians because those punks need to be taught a lesson.
Dan: If you had to turn in your dissertation this weekend, how long would the draft be?
Ebony: I don't know. Around 150 pages, I guess?
Dan: Dude, you're done. Quit writing.
Ebony: So...how do you feel? Do you feel that kind of huge relief a-
Dan: I don't feel any different. At all. Seriously. I thought I would. But I.Feel.No.Different.
Dan: So, I know you're busy writing and everything, but you and me and Melanie should hang out, socialize...
Ebony: Yeah, let's go get a beer.
As I said, Dan walked in December. What I mean is, he attended commencement and was hooded (presumably by his advisor). I've gone back and forth over the past few years. I vacillate between wanting to walk to revel in the pomp and circumstance and acknowledge the end of all this drama. But an increasingly larger part of me just doesn't care about that particular waymarker anymore. If I can just finish and get out of here, that should be enough. Plus, doctoral robes are expensive, yo.
But I think that, yeah -- I'll probably walk.
Explanation of doctoral hooding here (from MSU):Ok, I'm starting to get excited again.
And a picture of the U of M's Centenary Ph.D Gown here: pretty...and 629$
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
At the same time, I'll often pull down one of the more impressive of the recent crop (I'm trying to limit myself to people I know; and for the most part, my friends were a little tardy in getting these things together. The class of '96 was not the most...ambitious of scholars. We were/are, however, the best looking. There are some real monkey people on campus these days) and flip through a chapter or two and think to myself: I could produce something like this. I just need to apply myself. If I am going to have some collection of pages tightly bound in black and with my name stamped on the spine sitting on these shelves for the next several years (at least until they run out of space upstairs and the 2006 theses get rotated down into sub-basement storage) then that shit better be worth some future hypothetical loser thumbing through it.
At any rate, the best thing about looking through old theses is the acknowledgment section. I'm sure that there are others like me out there, who read books from the outside in -- acknowledgments and index first, then textmeat second -- right? Because it often reveals quite a lot about the approach or biases or unseen connections that you will find in the text proper. I began doing this not long after coming to graduate school, when I realized that the professors I came into contact with every day were people with reputations/interests/work outside of ENGL 8011: Introduction to Literary Theory. At some point, I developed this ludicrous parochialism in re: professors I knew. For instance: having done work in whiteness studies, I knew how important someone like David Roediger was, so I unconsciously but immediately dismissed any book on white [American] masculinity that didn't list him in the index. I became more aware of the scope of certain fields but at the same time became very territorial. I still look for my advisor's name in the acknowledgements section of books produced by academics I know studied under him. This is the bougie girl's version of "I don't eat everybody's potato salad." In academe, as in life, you got to come correct. In the words of JT Money, you better tell me who you wit'.
Hell, I even do this with fiction. After Oisin and I started hanging, I started scanning recent sf (primarily UK imprints, I'll admit) for expressions of gratitude for his superb editing skills. When I found one (in Salt, I believe, by Adam Roberts), I almost felt like I was getting a shout out.
I'm excited to pen my own acknowledgments page(s). Having skimmed others, I can now say with some certainty that you need to think long and hard about who you allude to obliquely, and who you call out by name. I can tell you right now, if I had finished this thing on time, some punk asses who don't deserve the breath they are breathing right now might have been immortalized in black and white. As it is, the only person I know that I'll include is Orlando.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Y'all, I am hot like fi-yuh lately. Taking meetings, making meetings. Selling and telling. I'm up in your a$$ like whoa, and you know it.
This dissertation shit...when you get down to the wire? It's nothing. The drama evaporates. Because you know that you have to finish. Because you know that you will finish.
I am not going to be another sad non-matriculating Negro Ph.D! I can't have Jermaine and Tai show me up. And I have a feeling John Wright might seek me out and put a bullet in me for bringing down the race if I didn't get this thing done and dusted. So anyway, I'm looking to have a completed draft by 15 March. I know that's way later than I had planned. Hell, there were periods when I thought that, if I didn't defend by February 28, I was just going to call it quits. But my committee is good, my writing is good, I am good.
L.A., can you hear me? I'm coming for ya, baby.
Monday, February 27, 2006
I'm coming back to you live from the MSP. My broke, tired, scrubs-wearin', still-no-defense-datin' ass got in yesterday morning. So far, I'm staying with the boys; I'll be moving on to a) the farm; b) Tai's house; and c) Sienna's basement in short order. I had to save Tai's place for later because her daughter is too damn cute and I would spend zero time finishing these revisions and 100 percent of the time braiding her hair.
More later, from this dollar store laptop as I find more dollar store wifi hotspots.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
I'm feeling these sites lately:
2. Roshini's Hair Journal and How-To
3. Diaspora Hair Care
So far, so good. Still happy to be nappy; still rocking my kinks. As someone who has had nearly continuous chemical processing masking the natural texture of my hair for...close to two decades, it's been surprisingly easy to resist the urge to go Dark & Lovely. I'm sorry, but it's no longer Just For Me. I'm sure you understand. But don't get me wrong -- I love the way my sisters wear their hair, from fly weaves to sleek, slender 'locks, to healthy perms. I even have some affection for those crackhead scrunchy ponytails with one dry inch of defiant hair poking out the back.
I've got the hair in braids right now as I decide exactly how it wants to wear itself, but I'm in no rush. Despite the criminal amounts of rain we've gotten this winter, Jan/Feb in the PDX is no joke: the air is drydrydry. My hair can't take too much. Not yet. I've got to coddle it. Baby it. Tell it I love it. But most of all, I gots to keep this shit covered and protect it for a minute.
Friday, January 27, 2006
Sunday, January 22, 2006
The first in a series of guest lectures designed with you, my reader, in mind.
Ambition Adams' Shit to Get You Straight
#1. Wear scrubs. All the time. There's almost no personal grooming issue or hangover-related eye bags that don't take on new meaning if the people with whom you come into contact think that you are an exhausted doctor or nurse or -- better yet -- dedicated and disciplined young medical student. I practically live in scrubs now.
This only counts if you wear traditional scrubs. None of that cutesy patterned bullshit. You can bag armfuls of the old blues 'n' greens at your local Goodwill for about 3 bucks a shot. Or, if you are lucky enough to have a Goodwill outlet, where they sell clothes by the damn POUND, you can completely revamp your wardrobe and garner a little much needed (if ill-deserved) respect for about 10 bucks.
--Ambition Adams, figuring this shit out, so your broke ass don't have to--
More info on today's guest lecturer can be found here.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
I'm addicted to the BBC.
This goes way beyond the anglophilia of my youth, when I'd stay indoors and watch painfully unfunny British sitcoms (or rather, funny maybe the first time around, but progressively less so on subsequent viewings and yes I'm looking at you Are You Being Served?) or try on a "Cockernee" accent (ok, I want you to imagine that kids, because if you think a ten year old black girl trying to be James Spader is funny, you can only imagine how truly awesome it must have been for people watching me attempt to be Eric Idle. And if you're saying to yourself "but Eric Idle is not a Cockney" then you are beginning to get a sense of the fractured way I consumed UK culture. But whatever, man. You don't know me!)
So, anyway, I spend 9 hours a day pulling levers and stamping forms and disconnecting vaccuum tubes and answering calls at the Ministry of Information and it would all be absolutely unbearable if it were not for BBC Radio. I have my headphones on all day, and woe betide the a-hole who interrupts me when I'm listening to Lord Peter Wimsey finesse a case or Jonathan Ross expound on old ladies' bras or Armando Iannucci skewer some ludicrous phenomena on The Charm Offensive.
I listen to radio dramas. I listen to comedies that used to be on the television but have been remade for radio. I listen to panel games. I listen to history shows. I listen to scientific shows. I listen to talk shows, documentaries, call-ins, one-offs, long-running series, and interviews.
I can't stop myself. Furthermore, I don't want to. The last time I poked my head out and listened to the background noise at work, I heard someone say "It's weird, isn't it? How you can have the same birthstone as someone, but have a different astrological sign?"
I also listen to Car Talk, This American Life, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (better than the later podcasts available on Guardian Unlimited, which are largely a retread to my mind, but anyway, you can download those here) and the occasional T.D. Jakes sermonette here. If you are fixing your mouth to say something about that, don't even go there because I don't want to hear it. Jesus and I got it on lock, so just relax.
If, however, you want to talk to me about the weirdly unsettling megachurch phenomenon, the conscription of black clergy into neo-conservative power plays, or just what in the world is going on with some of [black] gospel music's biggest stars (somebody please explain Donnie McClurkin to me), then please do speak your peace, because I do want to hear about that.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Not 24 hours after I told Orlando that I was getting rid of my car because I couldn't afford to fix one more thing on it, some fuckah broke in through the passenger side window and stole the stereo.
No worries, though. I'm having White Jimmy come out and effect some repairs.