The cyber check-in.

You know you’ve slipped, somehow, somewhere along the way, when you receive a voice mail message from your father imploring you to update your LiveJournal so he and your mother know whether or not you’re OK. Just in case anyone else out there has been concerned about my well-being, I’m stepping in to let you know I’m still here, still breathing.

I’m not really sure why I’ve been writing so little. It’s partially the start of the semester, which juts rudely into my procrastination time, what with working and all. But I’ve also been in something of a creative slump lately, perhaps because I’m retracing old steps through familiar literature for teaching purposes, or perhaps because Z’s away and I’m lonely, or (and I know you all thought of this already) perhaps it’s the Dish TV, and the TiVo, and the 60 episodes of Law & Order:SVU I have waiting for me when I get home each night—whatever it is, I’ve been reading (extracurricularly) less and writing less than I usually do.

So what have I not been telling you? Well, I have a new computer, which is disturbingly exciting. It’s a new iMac, purchased for my office with the start-up money that came with the job, and I went ahead and splurged on the good speakers, so things have been sounding damn good around here for the past few days. The iMac is sleek and shiny and clean and it smells like fresh plastic. I’m in iLove.

I think the teaching must be going okay, because today two of my students told me they didn’t want me to die before the next class. (They were concerned because I ate spinach yesterday, and apparently there’s some E. Coli thing going around by way of bagged spinach. I was moved.)

Off-campus, I’ve been spending some time with my new comrades at Drinking Liberally, a local organization that meets biweekly at the crossroads of sociality and political involvement.

And with my old friend Lost, Season 2 of which is finally out on DVD, and Season 3 of which is starting in a few weeks. In fact, in the interest of being able to purchase the DVD sets with professional moneys, I am crafting a course on “Castaways” that spans from The Tempest to Lost. I welcome suggestions for the syllabus.

That’s about all I’ve got for now. I’m working on a book review, but I’m still reading the second of two novels I’d like to review together—I’ll be back with that over the weekend.

17 thoughts on “The cyber check-in.

  1. I was just thinking about “nudging” you — it totally cracks me up, though, that your parents read your blog. Although I send my mom links to specific entries on a fairly regular basis, I’m pretty sure she couldn’t find it again if she tried 🙂

    I think the Dish, TiVo and L&O are important, and I fully understand you being busy.

    I too got the e Coli bagged spinach email (oh wait — you got concerned students. I got the spammish email).

    Good to see you!

    • I’m sorry, but you’ll have to read it again. It’s beyond my control. You’ll also get to read Coetzee’s Foe and possibly Spark’s Robinson, if that’s any consolation.

      Of course, you could just do as my students do and be conveniently ill for Defoe week.

      • …I wrote one of the best papers I ever wrote in college on Defoe. My teacher approached me about doing a Defoe thesis and I soured yet another professor-student relationship when I reacted as if she had flung hot tea in my face.

        Many apologies to the Defoe-lovin’ mommas out there. I salute you all. You are individuals of a singular nature.

      • My teacher approached me about doing a Defoe thesis and I soured yet another professor-student relationship when I reacted as if she had flung hot tea in my face.

        Oh I know THAT feeling. When my dear old professor (well, Professor Dr.phil Dr.theol Dr.h.c.) from transylvania with his austrian charm wanted to talk with me about me thesis, I started the talk with the words “I already have some ideas, but Andrew II. of Hungary is not one of them” he was so frustrated that he told me to go over there *pointing out of the window* if I didn’t like what he had to offer. That’s how I became an english instead of a history major. I just went to the Medieval Lit&Lang prof we had (previously from Chapel Hill) and tentatively asked what he’d think about fairy-folk in english arthurian romance. He answered with the question what I’d think about a job editing his arthuriana and working on the new edition of his Introduction to Middle English. Some nice years ensued 🙂

      • We are the few who truly appreciate the Enlighten – Romantic period as something to be appreciated (instead of either stuff to just try to talk about to get a degree because they – the person – suck, or just to ignore because they – the person – suck).



  2. I just got a copy of Ovid’s Metamorphosis Englished, Mythologized and Represented in Figures, by Sandys. SQUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.


    Yeah. I’m happy like a school girl. Blah! (Think of me like Tireseas after hitting snakes, changing sexies, then looking pretty in a skirt :D).

    Anyway, hooray.

  3. Syllabus suggestions…

    In the print department: I see above that the quintessential castaway novel, Robinson Crusoe, has already been mentioned. Other ideas that come to mind: a Stephen King short story called “Survivor Type” about the lengths a man goes to for something to eat after being stranded; Gulliver’s Travels; the Book of Jonah; The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

    In the motion picture/TV department: “Gilligan’s Island” of course; Swiss Family Robinson (the 1960 movie, not the TV series from the mid-70s); Forbidden Planet (The Tempest in space); “The Martian Chronicles” mini-series.

    That’s all off the top of my head. If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know.

    Good to hear from your corner of the world!

  4. LOL at your father complaining that you’re not journaling. 🙂

    Speaking of TV, I just discovered the series “House, M.D.” and went out and got the first season DVD. I have noticed it being a bit formulaic, but so far I am still enjoying it. I read somewhere that the cases or the show is inspired from Berton Roueche’s The Medical Detectives which I recall enjoying when I read it back in ’88.

  5. I am crafting a course on “Castaways” that spans from The Tempest to Lost. I welcome suggestions for the syllabus.

    The life and adventures of Peter Wilkins, a Cornishman, have always fascinated me, so you should definitely include it. Author is Robert Paltock. Oxford U Press 1990.

    This fantasy story of an English castaway and a remote race of humans has been overshadowed by its predecessors “Gulliver’s Travels” and “Robinson Crusoe” , but to Coleridge it was “a work of uncommon beauty”. This edition is based on the text of the first edition of 1751.

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