North Korean Prison Camps
I’ve heard about the political prisoner camps in North Korea, and I have the novel, The Orphan Master’s Son, on my always expanding reading wishlist. However, today Nick sent me a tweet from the journalist, John Dickerson, that has taken my concern about these camps to a whole new level. In many ways we are all helpless to do much for these people, but we CAN educate ourselves and we...
The official arrival date for my first child approaches. She’s due March 4, which in reality means she could join us any day now. Until then, it’s a waiting game. It’s a strange and wondrous time. There are only a handful of events in the totality of your life when you can pinpoint to the exact moment a before and an after when everything irrevocably changes. I remember nearly...
Reading Club Post #1
My friend, Grey, and I are starting the new year with a small book club. And when I say small, I mean small: it’s a book club of two. Of course, perhaps it will become more than that through this blog, but I like the idea that Grey and I are responsible to each other as we dig into our readings a little bit. Our first reading was Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Good Squad. The book...
New Year's Wish
I know there are New Year’s resolutions, and this year I’ve noticed that it’s been popular to name them “intentions.” But what about wishes? Am I getting this confused with birthdays? In any case, I have one to share. I’ve been thinking about this past year, particularly how different things are right this moment at the start of 2012 than the beginning of...
Siri, you complete me.
After a long hiatus from the blog, I’m back. Please don’t think that I’ve not had any errant musings to share. Well, there was that dark time during my first trimester when I pretty much had no other thought except that I really really loved my bed. Now I find myself so backed up with trivial ramblings that I have no idea where to start. In honor of my husband, who I have...
Will the Ocean Live Only in Our Memory?
Last week a report on the state of the oceans was released based on inter-disciplinary assessment of marine scientists from around the world. The news isn’t good. We’re facing mass extinctions of marine life at a rate unprecedented in human history. From overfishing, to oil spills, to radiation dumping, we’ve treated our oceans like a giant human toilet with the expectation that...
Life, love, and dissertations
It’s been a month since my last post. Much of that time has been spent working on the dissertation (though much of that time also cannot be accounted for). I thought I was finished with the last chapter a couple of weeks ago, but I have since been in a crash course of feminist theory. It’s been fun. I mean that. One of my favorite experiences in life is stumbling upon a good book like...
Love in the Modern World
Two preliminary notes: 1) I figured out how to let people send questions, replies (though Tumblr limits this to people who have followed me for 2 weeks or who I follow), and even post their own responses. Feel free to participate in the blog! 2) I prepared an essay on this topic for a friend’s wedding. If you’re interested in reading my thoughts on this in slightly longer form,...
Running Into An Ex
I’ve just returned from the annual conference for my field — comparative literature. Conferences like this are a chance to work on ideas for publication, and to see what buzz words are in circulation (right now it’s “world literature” and “transnationalism”). It’s also a time when you catch up with people who you’ve known either from your home...
Stages of New Yorker Obsession
1) Total ignorance: You have no knowledge whatsoever of The New Yorker’s existence. 2) The glimmer: You’ve heard about something called The New Yorker and you know where New York is. You think this must be something like a guide for New Yorkers. 3) Reign of the Literati: You think The New Yorker must be a literary journal: “something to do with literature something.” 4)...
Of Gods and Men
It’s been quite a while since my last post. I was dedicating all my energies to drafting the final chapter of my dissertation, but then got taken down by a sinus infection. After that I traveled to New York to discuss an exciting new project and spend time with old friends. The trip was lovely, but truth be told, I’m feeling somewhat depressed about the state of the world right now....
Revolution in Egypt!
After two weeks of non-violent protests, and decades of murder and torture, Egyptian revolutionaries have toppled a repressive regime. Mubarak and his ruling party have given into the demands of the hundreds of thousands of protestors and given all authority over to the military. It is yet to be seen what the military will do with this power, whether they will give up significant amounts of their...
The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live as we think human...– Howard Zinn
January Books Read
One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to read more non-dissertation books. The goal is one book a week. It’s an ambitious project, made more difficult by all that needs to be read for the dissertation, not to mention trying to get through my weekly The New Yorker. January: 1 1/2 books read. I started out with a collection of essays by Woody Allen, Mere Anarchy. I really enjoy...
My husband has a boycrush
I’ve just been informed that we MUST go see 127 Hours. Turns out my husband has something of a boy crush on James Franco. Apparently it all started after he read an article about Franco in The New Yorker. The article was written just before Franco started his PhD in English, and just after he opened a show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA. In the spirit of Paul Auster and John...
On Friendship and Justin Jay
I’ve just returned home from a memorial weekend in San Diego for a dear friend from my law school days. He died very unexpectedly at the age of 33 from bacterial meningitis. Since hearing of his death I’ve been thinking of a lot of things, among them the strange nature of friendship. There are some friendships that seemed destined for forever but the relationship ...
Bonobo Handshake →
Found this great blog and book on one of my favorite podcasts, To the Best of Our Knowledge (look for the “Going Ape” episode). We share over 98% of our DNA with these marvelous creatures. Their society is ruled by women, they live in peace, and they truly know what Barry White meant by “Sexual Healing”: I think bonobos might be better people than we are.