Sunday, January 13, 2008

Count Down to the Spring Semester

I am recovering from being pretty sick on Friday and Saturday. So predictable isn’t it? MP1 and MP2 have gone back to their digs leaving me a nice sane house, but apparently took with them all the adrenaline that got me through my mom’s visit and their 3-week stays. Ugh. Tonight I’m all about reviewing things that were on my “to do over the break list.” Only two weeks before it's back to salt mines...

Still To Do
Write and submit conference abstract
Make hotel and plane reservations
Syllabus for grad seminar
Work on article ms.
Find rental on the coast, find rental on the coast, find rental on the coast....
Update the museum webpage and archives

Done, post-Jan. 1
Two more letters of recommendation.

Syllabi for my lower division course(s).

Back-o’-the-book blurb for the 3rd edition of a colleague’s book. I have new respect for blurb-writers. When the editor at Unnamed Press emailed to inquire if I would do this, I thought, “why not, how much work can that be? I’ve used and cited that book, and know it fairly well.” Ha. When I settled down to look the ms. over last week, I realized, “hell, I’ve got to find NEW words and ways of talking about how this book, which had great reviews (& blurbs) in its two prior iterations. Discussing new additions and revisions is clearly a strategy, but one still has to comment on the entire corpus. It was certainly more challenging than I had expected it to be. It took a couple days of reading and percolating and an entire morning of writing and editing, and writing and editing. On some levels, it’s all about a poetic economy of words. I’m sure there are pros who can crank this kind of verbiage out pronto (my dissertation advisor, for instance). I find that I am not one of them—at least, not at this stage of my career.

Mocked up the journal cover for a set of proceedings for which I am serving as inaugural editor. This was a LOC requirement per the next bullet.

Sent off the application for an ISSN.

Sent the authors
1. a style guide
2. reviewer comments
3. set of instructions and checklist for resubmission
4. drop-dead deadline for resubmission

Ordered new and old books that I need/want/gotta have
1. Beyond Red Power (Cobb & Fowler)
2. Indigenous Experience Today (Starn & de la Cadena)
3. Imperial Eyes (Mary Louise Pratt), the library will be thrilled to have their copy back.
4. The Predicament of Culture (Clifford), my copy went long, long ago, into the hands of a forgetful student.
5. Anthropology as Cultural Critique, 2nd edition (Marcus & Fischer). I never did buy the revised edition (and this way I can have one at home and one at office) and boy is it cheeeaaaaap now, which makes up for...
6. A very expensive journal – argh – that had better be worth the $$$.

Bought a new chair for the living room. This has been on the to-do list for at least 3 years. One of our favorite club chairs has been around since himself’s mom bought it back in Mill Valley, in the 1960s. It has already been reupholstered a couple times—once on my watch—but it is pretty broken down, so I bit the bullet the week after Xmas and went to Ethan Allen with my mom and MP1 in tow. We tried out at least a dozen chairs before I found the right one. I had sort of decided on a fabric in the store, but made an appt. to have the designer come out to the house, so I could see how the pattern read in situ. Not so well. Luckily, they had just acquired a new line of fabrics and I settled on a gorgeous paisley with really bold colors that will go well with all the stripes and solids in our living room. It has lots of black and red—surprise, surprise—but also introduces a gorgeous shade of green. Can’t wait to see how it turns out with all the ruching along the back and arms of the chair.

Took the Prius in for its 6-month service appointment. It has less than 2,000 miles on it, so they only changed the oil, no need for tire rotation. Still completely charmed by this car, I’m archiving all the gas receipts so I can tally the gas expenses after a full year of driving.

Caught up on lots of movies at home and theatre—two worth mentioning:

1. La Vie en Rose (5 star-excellent)
2. National Treasure II (just dumb), wherein the pre-Columbian Aztec city of gold (long-lost Cibola) is found in/under the Black Hills. This is such an insult to the Lakota that I just wanted to spit. It trivializes the notion of a sacred site and shows exactly how our society cannot conceive of a site as worth preserving/protecting unless it’s got commodity value. So here we go: Nick Cage’s treasure map leads to the Black Hills where, lo and behold, we learn there’s 'value' in those hills after all. Hmmm, so the Lakota have just been faking us out as to the reason why they are sacred? Or what? (This weirdness also seems to supports a subtext that is derivative of social Darwinism and unilineal evolution—hopefully the little kiddies who see this will be too unschooled to pick up on that.) Long and short of it: the script writers were on all the wrong drugs.

Managed to shop successfully with MP2 for some warm clothes and shoes to take back to UNT. I guess he had already had a taste of real winter there and seemed to get that flip-flops and sweatshirts were just not going to get him through a Texas winter.

Shipped him the clothes that wouldn’t fit in his suitcase.

FROZE to the bone this morning, while touring my city’s monthly under-the-freeway antique fair for about 3 hours. I was the low-spender in the bunch (a rarity to be sure), with a $5 purchase.


participant-observer said...

Wasn't National Treasure dumb--though still enjoyable. I did love those desks!
I also saw No Country for Old Men and it's just as scary as the book! An excellent movie.

Auto Ethnographer said...

Dr. Borneo also recommended NCfOM. I guess it's next on my list.