Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I have a super-ego supervisor!

To write a PhD dissertation, you need to a supervisor, someone who will tell you to finish that goddam chapter by next week I don't care if you're teaching a full course load. Or to put down the Derrida, it's great but you can't use it for this. As with any decision that will impact the next three years of your quotidian life and the first five years of your career, it is easy to let anxiety take over and defer... Well today I approached a professor in the department, and he told me he would be "honoured" because my performance in his seminar thus far had been "impressive." And then he read my prospectus and really liked it and offered me tea and we chitty chatted about Bakunin and laughed at how Zizek has become such a Leninist of late.

Ich bin ein Americaner

What a difference a year makes. It feels like a holiday. I have been looking forward to it a lot, in a sentimental way, even though I have to take advantage of this time off to read about the paralogisms and antinomies for my oral comprehensive exam next week. Tomorrow I am going to a good friend's house for dinner. I already hit the stores for my contribution (two pies and four bottles of Prosecco, of course. Oops, I am drinking one now) and rolled my eyes at battling the holiday crowds. I'm gonna watch the parade and/or football. Four downs instead of three. Maybe I'll hit up J&R on Black Friday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We were talking about this in the cab the other night

New York is magic and it never gets old. I had to pass through Grand Central a few times in the last month, and I always end up staggering across the main concourse for a while, staring up at the ceiling, which is so high aloft that it doesn't move when you walk, and if you are not careful tears will drip into your ears. The Park, the Library, the Bridge - you can routinize these things but they never become mundane.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Very excited about my future again

So I neglected to mention last week that I had a bit of a coup. I am in a year-long seminar for people in my stage of the program (mid-forever), where the task is to pick a dissertation topic, and write a prospectus about it. Well, last week it was my turn to present my preliminary prospectus, and I "rocked the 'dome" - are you with me, Calgarians? If you're interested (if you want to know what ten years and $200k looks like) I have attached a copy.

Also attaching it because this analysis is going to bring contemporary political philosophy to its knees, and want to publicly assert that I had this idea first.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Missed connections

Hobo, why so many bags? What is in these bags? How do you get so many bags on the subway before STAND-CLEAR-OF-THE-CLOSING-DOORS-PLEASE-BINGBONG-CLICK? How do you carry them all around when you get off the subway without a shopping cart or a dolly? Why are some of the bags so dirty? Is there dirt in those bags? Because it smells like dirt. How come some of the bags aren't dirty though? How do you pack them so well that they stand up nicely like that?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's a two-way blog

I got a ton of emails after yesterday's misery post. You guys are the best and you make me smile.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Awwwwww ;)

Ugh. I can't blog because I am busy and miserable. More specifically, I'm not even noticing interesting things anymore such as to blog about. The week is nothing but a work cycle with no reprieve. And somewhere within that I have to fit in pulling my sideways wisdom teeth (my face is sore from my inner ear to my collarbone) and doctor's visits and can I just say how much I hate teaching this semester and I haven't washed my sheets in a year and a half and I keep getting fatter and look, I know I live a charmed life. This ain't no coal mine. I went to the dentist today (I hate my dentist, by the way) to pick up my x-rays to take them with me to the oral surgeon tomorrow (I found him on the internet!), and on my way in and out of the "Medical Arts Building" in downtown Brooklyn I held the door open for diabetics with gangrenous feet and fat middle-aged women with ovarian cancer (probably), and this is not that. So that's fine I get it, I'll shut up. Do or not not, there is no try. Riiiiight?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Being there

Being that* I have my finger on the pulse of the United States of New York, I will relate the post- election mood to you Canadians: everyone is ecstatic. As one person described it, it's reverse-9/11. People were cheering and screaming in the streets until well into the night, and today everyone is goofy-happy-on-the-verge-of-tears. Even the cynics, even my temporary visa holding friends. And being that I have an appropriately total cynicism towards the threat-backed Public Relations system that passes for politics in this country, but profound investment in peoples' right to run their own lives, I cannot help but feel excited too. Because one thing that is very different today is how black people feel about their relevance and empowerment as a community, and that matters immeasurably.

*this idiom has mysteriously become not only acceptable but ubiquitous since October of 2008 and I'm going with it