Sunday, January 23, 2005

Midnight rambler.

Yup. it's one of those general catching up blog entries; Or, What I did on my Weekend.

Friday: I went and got my tires rotated at R&M since it had been 5,000 miles since their last shift. One long walk; lots of errands. Discovered that Ray Bans have discontinued their black plastic frames. what would Elvis Costello say (think the famous My Aim is True publicity shot)? Finished cleaning house for Saturday night's pokerfest. Also late email started an up-and-down weekend, as I was not selected for the Seattle EMP conference: I'll withhold judgement about what really happened until I see the full conference schedule as unveiled. Looking back at the nine selectors, I did notice one or two who have publicly dissed as insignificant my chosen artist.

here's the letter (nice and well done for its genre):

Dear George,

[Alas, it must be told. Nine people with votes.]

We're sorry to have to tell you that we won't be able to accommodate your
proposal for the 2005 Pop Conference. This year's submissions hit an
all-time high and we have had to say no to some very intriguing work just to
keep some semblance of structure to the event.

Please also bear in mind that every year people who have been with us
previously get turned down and people who were turned down previously get
accepted. Different program committees (this one had nine people) have
different mindsets and issues of balance are always challenging for this
gathering in particular, given its hybrid academic/non-academic nature. We'd
ask you to not be discouraged and to try again next year if the theme
interests you.

If you are still planning to come to Seattle in April, let us know at once:
our next task is to fill in moderator slots and we would be happy to
consider putting you in one.

Either way, thank you very much for submitting your proposal. Even the work
that isn't accepted in a given year teaches the committee members a
tremendous amount about this crazy quilt of a field.?

Eric Weisbard and Ann Powers

I think I'll keep my 600 bucks for plane fare and just try again the next time the topic seems to suit me.

On a more positive note, have been getting in touch with old friends via e-mail. My blog is now linked to the URY alumni page and had multiple British visitors. Touched base with old friends/former student the Barchases (she's now a Asst. prof in English at UT Austin; he's a McKinsey consultant working with a client in B'ham). With any luck we'll get together in Starkvegas laster this week. Also back in touch with JGN (he was a first year grad student when I was a senior at fair Haravrd and we sat next to each other in Anglo-Saxon class--yes I was a major league nerd (hey no jokes about the past tense, o.k.). anyway he's another once-upon-a-time tenure track Shakespeare guy and big indie rock fan (wrote a lot about the local Columbus scene during his time there--has a massive collection of Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments material on his hard drive). Here's a link to his pictures of Cambridge after last night's blizzard.

Saturday: A long day loungin' around house wiht slightly upset stomach, setting up card game (especially counting out right amount of chips from my CEO's new World Championship of Poker collection augmented by my age old plastic chips). We dined on terrine of roasted red pepper and asiago, wensleydale with cranberries, stilton with lemon, Cajun smoked sausage and polish Keilbasa with assorted mustards (the hits were Roasted Garlic, Maragrita, and Sun Dried Roasted tomato--all Stonewall Kitchen), various single malts, horse tranq martinis, and scoops and salsa plus Grace's 7 layer Mexican dip. Entertainment for the evening was: The Arcade Fire, Funeral, Pavement, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins disc one, Stax: We'll Play the Blues for You, The Libertines, Superchunk, Tossing Seeds singles collection, The Talking Heads, The Name of this Band is . . . . After last month's big "money" debacle, we all ended pretty even; I was down big early, went back up, had one bad hand near the end and "lost" $1.20. I think the big wnner was up a total of $5. Now that's a friendly neighborhood low stakes poker game. Wind was wild enough that it blew one table on its side and both umbrelals out of their sockets on back patio. I have closed them up for the winter now.

I finished cleaning up on the stroke of one. Just in time to catch a new Austin City Limits with 30 minutes performances by modest Mouse and Guided by Vocies. Maybe it was just me bu the lighting seemed all wrong for both shows, like not enough. MM were as I usually perceive them, good at what they do but that's soemthing that has never really grabbed my attention. GBV veered between self-parody and majesty, at one point Bob was lsurring his words so bad you thought you might actually see him pass out and Doug Guillard had to step in briefly on one song and sing a verse. He rallied for closing number "Gald Girls" and the audience seemed to have loved it. The post-show interview bit was far too short but then I'd have given GBV the whole hour. It was interetsing to hear Bob wax nostalgic about what if anything GBV's achievement and place in the pantheon was.

Sunday: Won't get much above freezing today, so I'm gonna stay inside and work on writing projects, organize the 2004 tax files, and see if my on-line students have any questions (traditionally Sunday is seen as an off-day but since I just returned their first "essays" Friday, I gave them until 6 pm today to ask any specific questions about their papers or my comments. Then it's plop in front of the firepace and watch some football.

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