Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

30 April 2007


So, I only have a YouTube account because my friend Ashley () has a YouTube account (which is pretty much why I joined LJ lo these many years ago, as well). But I'm only on YouTube to watch Ashley's videos. I can't figure out how to get the videos on my RSS feed so that I can watch the videos whenever there's a new one the way I normally read my favorite blogs, so instead I just check YouTube every once in a while (okay, like three times a day) to see if my friend has posted a new video. But, because I'm only on YouTube to see her videos, whenever I go to my homepage, it says "You have no favorites" in giant letters and below that, it says:


Thanks, YouTube, thanks. I appreciate that information. It's good to know. YouTube is mean.

29 April 2007


Finished Mrs. Dalloway this evening. I loved it so much. It's a cubist exploration of these amazing, wonderful people and their quiet, almost imperceptible pain and their observations about one another, so accurate, or so wildly improbable. It's an unbelievably, indescribably good book. It hurts to finish it, to have to put it down. Here's a section from near to the end. Clarissa is in a quiet room, one door away from her bustling success of a party, thinking about one of the other characters (whom she never met):
But this young man had killed himself—had he plunged holding his treasure? "If it were now to die, 'twere now to be most happy," she had said to herself once, coming down in white.
Or there were the poets and thinkers. Suppose he had had that passion, and had gone to Sir William Bradshaw, a great doctor yet to her obscurely evil, without sex or lust, extremely polite to women, but capable of some indescribable outrage—forcing your soul, that was it—if this young man had gone to him, and Sir William had impressed him, like that, with his power, might he not then have said (indeed she felt it now), Life is made intolerable; they make life intolerable, men like that?
Then (she had felt it only this morning) there was the terror; the overwhelming incapacity, one's parents giving it into one's hands, this life, to be lived to the end, to be walked with serenely; there was in the depths of her heart an awful fear. Even now, quite often if Richard had not been there reading the
Times, so that she could crouch like a bird and gradually revive, send roaring up that immeasurable delight, rubbing stick to stick, one thing with another, she must have perished. But that young man had killed himself.
I want to share one more sequence. This one is a series of observations made by Peter Walsh (I love this character) after he arrives at Clarissa's party:
And now Clarissa escorted her Prime Minister down the room, prancing, sparkling, with the stateliness of her grey gair. She wore ear-rings, and a silver-green mermaid's dress. Lolloping on the waves and braiding her tresses she seemed, having that gift still; to be; to exist; to sum it all up in the moment as she passed; turned, caught her scarf in some other woman's dress, unhitched it, laughed, all with the most perfect ease and air of a creature floating in its element. But age had brushed her; even as a mermaid might behold in her glass the setting sun on some very clear evening over the waves. There was a breath of tenderness; her severity, her prudery, her woodenness were all warmed through now, and she had about her as she said good-bye to the thick gold-laced man who was doing his best, and good luck to him, to look important, an inexpressible dignity; an exquisite cordiality; as if she wished the whole world well, and must now, being on the very verge and rim of things, take her leave. So she made him think. (But he was not in love.)
You must read this book!


Everybody riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiise!

That last note courtesy of Elaine Stritch. I'm listening to Company, if you can't tell.
This morning afternoon I woke up at 1:00p. I think it's been about a year since I did that. But I have nothing that I have to do and yesterday I smoked, and didn't get home until 3:00a, so there you have it. I'm healing from all of those days of not getting enough sleep because I was up late reading about the medieval theatre. Thank god I'm done with that. I'm done with all of my grading too. I finished all of that yesterday, so I'm more or less free.

I watched François Truffaut's La Nuit Américaine (Day for Night) a couple days ago, by the way, and I absolutely loved it. It's a zany comedy about making a film and it is completely, totally charming. Truffaut himself even plays the director of the film. I loved it. Jacqueline Bisset stars along with Valentina Cortese, Nathalie Baye (who is gorgeous in the film) and Jean-Pierre Léaud (from the Antoine Doinel films). It's great.

I also saw The Ruling Class, which I pretty much hated. It's a black comedy, satiric kind of thing from 1972 with Peter O'Toole. It's supposed to be very very funny and it is ever once in a while, but I was mostly just irritated by the whole thing. Firstly, it's about an hour too long (it clocks in at 154 minutes). But my problem was the central character, who's a nutcase. You know I have trouble watching films about people who don't act rationally. I don't know what it is, but I have real difficulty sitting around watching somebody act like a jackass for two and a half hours. I don't like Forrest Gump and I didn't care for Being There, which I know the entire world loves, but these things aren't my cup of tea. I have a lot of trouble investing in a complete idiot, no matter how pointed the satire in the movie is.

28 April 2007

Mrs. Dalloway

I'm reading Mrs. Dalloway now that I have free time. I'm going to spend the summer reading all sorts of things I've wanted to read for a long time. I'm going to read lots of scholarship (mostly queer theory, in the hopes that I can think of a thesis topic—dear God let me think of a thesis topic!) and lots of plays and at least two or three novels. So yesterday I read the Cherríe Moraga play The Heart of the Earth: a Popul Vuh Story and today I started Mrs. Dalloway. I'm about halfway done with it and I am in love with this book. Here's a passage I thought I'd share
Well, I've had my fun; I've had it, he thought, looking up at the swinging baskets of pale geraniums. And it was smashed to atoms—his fun, for it was half made up, as he knew very well; invented, this escapade with the girl; made up, as one makes up the better part of life, he thought—making oneself up; making her up; creating an exquisite amusement, and something more. But odd it was, and quite true; all this one could never share—it smashed to atoms.
I am in love with this character Peter Walsh. I think he's incredible. Clarissa Dalloway is, of course, an intricate, wonderful creation, as well. This is a fabulous book and so quick a read. I can't wait to finish it tomorrow.

27 April 2007

Humorous Quotations

These were compiled by Amy, one of my fellow MAs. She wrote stuff down that she thought was funny starting very early in the year. I have reprinted her list with her permission:

"That's the day all the grandmothers choose to die." Beth, 9/5

"Can we burn some sage in here?" Ryan, referring to our office, 9/7

"I don't know about that pink t-shirt" Mary Karen, in response to Aaron being a boy, 9/20

Julie: "Mary Karen, I can't focus here."
MK: "That's the state of the world" 10/12

Mary Karen: "Some motherly advice: this is a wooden floor. If you need to move your chair, pick it up, move it, put it down again. Otherwise, you will be condemned to refinishing wooden floors in the first circle of Hell."
Jaime D: "I don't remember that in Dante."
Mary Karen: "If Dante had wooden floors, I'm sure he would have included it." 10/24

"I'm not giving up on Marx!" Aaron, 11/8

"They're not going to let me teach alone anymore." Mary Karen, 11/9

"I had to try and explain Hamletmachine to him over the phone . . . it was NOT a good time" Jamie K, 11/9

"Mary Karen, you're dead to me." Julie, after MK mentions Faust, 11/22

Jamie D: "It's one of the latest plays in Bush-bashing!"
MK: "ooooh! I hope you're including a text for me!" 12/7

Natalya: "It's a long, extended fellatio extravaganza"
Aaron: "Oh, it's a classic!" 1/29

Lyn the undergrad: "There are SO many handicapped spots on the first floor of the garage!"
Carrie: "I know, I'm in utopia!" 3/1

"When I say a big party, I mean in the kitchen." Jamie G., 4/26


Today is the birthday of Pulitzer prize-winner August Wilson, whose first play was Jitney (1982), and who wrote a cycle of plays about the black experience in the United States. The cycle includes ten plays, each of which represents a single decade of the Twentieth century. The most recent plays have been King Hedley II, about the 1980s, Gem of the Ocean, about the 1900s, and Radio Golf, about the 1990s. Wilson died in 2005. The plays have yet to be published in an anthology. As usual, I think the Library of America should be on top of that. (Do you hear me, Library of America?)

And I recently watched Cecil B. De Mille's The Ten Commandments which was campy and fun. I thought it was going to be more fun than it actually was, but it was pretty hilarious all the same. John Derek is really hot and he runs around shirtless throughout the film. And I have to say, Yul Brynner (also shirtless most of the time) is really hot as well. Anne Baxter is pretty ludicrous in the film, and the movie itself is totally absurd. The titular commandments finally make an appearance during the fourth hour of the movie, and the rest of the movie is pretty much your standard biopic, except that it's about a character about whom we know almost nothing. I thought the movie was kinda racist. It's definitely anti-Semitic, but I also think it's got a strong Orientalist sentiment running through it. I don't know. It's flashy and silly and anachronistic at times. There was stuff in the movie that I had forgotten was in the Bible. Plus, I had always thought Moses' wife Zipporah (was that her name?) was black. For some reason I had that in my head as a child. In this movie she is most certainly not black. Anyway, I had never seen it, so I thought it was about time.

School is out. I have a little work to do before I'm done: final grades for the students and such. And I also have some meetings with faculty before I call it quits for the year. But it feels like this year has flown by. And suddenly the city is deserted. It's kinda crazy. I have to write a post about being friends with undergrads, too. It's so... precarious, I guess I should call it.

25 April 2007


I finished my Aristotle/Sophocles paper. I think it's mostly a mess: a mishmash of several ideas that barely—just barely—coalesces into a conclusion that I'm sure someone smarter made long before I did. But it really doesn't matter. I'm turning it in anyway. And it's the last thing I really had to do before the end of the year. Tomorrow we have our area review meetings. Mine is at 2:00p. And then Thursday my Intro to Theatre class is getting their final at 7:30a (!) After that at around 3:00p, I am to present my Aristotle paper to the History I class (zzz). And after that, I am done.

No boy updates.

I am tired. But I am also excited I will have time to do fun things, at least for a little while. And I'm going to Los Angeles soooo soon.

21 April 2007

I Refuse to Work

My paper on Aristotle/Sophocles lies unfinished in the files of my computer. I've written about three pages and I need about fifteen more, but am I working? Oh, no. Absolutement no.

Julie and I are throwing a party tonight and that's all I have the energy for today. I went to the grocery early this morning (I had to stock up on gin) and I've been cleaning the house for the last two hours. And I just. don't. want. to write. this. paper.

Much love,

19 April 2007

Unwise Purchases

This is a poem by George Bilgere from his collection Haywire.

Unwise Purchases

They sit around the house
not doing much of anything: the boxed set
of the complete works of Verdi, unopened.
The complete Proust, unread:

The French-cut silk shirts
which hang like expensive ghosts in the closet
and make me look exactly
like the kind of middle-aged man
who would wear a French-cut silk shirt:

The reflector telescope I thought would unlock
the mysteries of the heavens
but which I only used once or twice
to try to find something heavenly
in the windows of the high-rise down the road,
and which now stares disconsolately at the ceiling
when it could be examining the Crab Nebula:

The 30-day course in Spanish
whose text I never opened,
whose dozen cassette tapes remain unplayed,

save for Tape One, where I never learned
whether the suave American
conversing with a sultry-sounding desk clerk
at a Madrid hotel about the possibility
of obtaining a room
actually managed to check in.

I like to think
that one thing led to another between them
and that by Tape Six or so
they're happily married
and raising a bilingual child in Seville or Terra Haute.

But I'll never know.
Suddenly I realize
I have constructed the perfect home
for a sexy, Spanish-speaking astronomer
who reads Proust while listening to Italian arias,

and I wonder if somewhere in this teeming city
there lives a woman with, say,
a fencing foil gathering dust in the corner
near her unused easel, a rainbow of oil paints
drying in their tubes

on the table where the violin
she bought on a whim
lies entombed in the permanent darkness
of its locked case
next to the abandoned chess set,

a woman who has always dreamed of becoming
the kind of woman the man I've always dreamed of becoming
has always dreamed of meeting.

And while the two of them discuss star clusters
and Cézanne, while they fence delicately
in Castilian Spanish to the strains of Rigoletto,

she and I will stand in the steamy kitchen,
fixing up a little risotto,
enjoying a modest cabernet,
while talking over a day so ordinary
as to seem miraculous.

18 April 2007

Regina Spektor Is the Only Thing Helping Me Get Through

That "recently read books" section on my blogs is looking very neglected. Maybe I ought to read a whole book sometime soon. I only ever get to read little chapters and such lately. Can summer start yet?

I am grading papers right now. I think everyone in my class went to see Tallahassee Community College's production of A Chorus Line. I am so sick of hearing about it I might scream.

Touch Me

This is from the Musical Theatre Cabaret that the undergrads at FSU put on. The song is from the new musical Spring Awakening.

Aren't they awesome? This was so cool live. I can't even tell you.


Dear god,
I know it's been a while, and I know I don't believe in you anymore. But I want this semester to be over. Please help.

I have another 30 papers to grade
And a 20-page final paper to write (still)
And we're throwing a party on Saturday (masochistic, I know, but everyone will be leaving right after classes are out and we want to say goodbye)

Oh yeah, and I'm not doing any of my real work because I'm busy reading about medieval pageant wagons for the York cycle plays, a topic about which I care nothing.

17 April 2007

A Room of One's Own

So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters... But to sacrifice a hair of the head of your vision, a shade of its color, in deference to some Headmaster with a silver pot in his hand or to some professor with a measuring rod up his sleeve, is the most abject treachery.

This summer I am reading some more Virginia Woolf. At least that's the plan. If you haven't read To the Lighthouse, you really ought to pick that up.

16 April 2007

Race & Gender, I Guess, Is as Good a Title as Any for this Entry

I finished my paper for Race & Gender today. It's a 15-pager about the mammy icon and Tony Kushner's Caroline, or Change. It's pretty good, I guess. I dunno. Roomie is proofreading it (and hopefully coming up with suggestions on how to make it better) as we speak.

And there's a boy who I have a crush on. I asked him out for coffee and he said yes. We sat and talked for about two hours this afternoon. I don't really have time to be trying to date anyone right now (school will be all the way out in two weeks' time and I have another giant fucking research paper to write) and he, like everyone else, will be leaving for the summer, so my timing sucks, but still... it's inexplicable, really. And I am so nervous with him (or at least I was today) that I am not my usual charming and funny self. I feel like a square with this one.

In other news, I had a fantastic conversation with my brother where he convinced me to spend more money. I really should be on here blogging more often, and I'm sorry that I have been neglecting this space, but I feel so under the gun right now what with school about to end and all that. I do apologize. I will be back soon.

Also, I will post my Giovanni review soon.

And I didn't tell you all that I got a text message from the gentleman friend. Remember him? It's been almost a month and a half. I wonder why he bothered?

10 April 2007

On Pause

I'm still here. I just have no time.
Of the four giant projects I need to finish before April 25th, I have so far finished two. There is so much to do before school ends!
I will try to resume proper movie reviews at the beginning of May. And I will post pictures of The New Musical Project as soon as I have some.

02 April 2007

Picture Share

I took this picture a couple days ago. This is the Popeyes across the street from the North side of campus. Wow.

01 April 2007

Don Giovanni

FSU is pretty fucking awesome. I went to see Mozart's Don Giovanni last night, and the production was really stunning. I am afraid I'll never be won over by Mozart—I just don't get the appeal—but FSU's opera students are totally fabulous and the show looked so cool! They did it like it was a piece of 1940s film noir.

That's all. I have a paper (or four) to write.