Saturday, February 20, 2010

Evening in the Life

I've got a bedside notebook with burgeoning pages of half-baked ideas and the beginnings of some blog posts.

This evening, like many evenings this month, I am attempting to round out one of those entries so I can publish it here. There is a small human next to me (the kind who shares half my genes) asking me to look through some book of developing fetus pictures (!) and find the photo that looks like "a tap-dancing alien." We just finished a rock-out session to Bob Marley and various 80s bands. We've been fighting fevers and stupid pre-school-incubated colds for a couple weeks now, and we think it's time for winter to get the hell out of here.

I just finished the last of my applications to graduate programs last week. I am probably going to go to DePaul University, which requires my presence in the city only two days a week. I think I can handle that. And I would like it better than being wind-burnt in DeKalb at NIU.

I just read some of my best bud's recent posts -- she has been having blog anxiety too. We're not posting because we get excited about an idea and by the time it gets typed up it looks stupid to us. Her posts are not stupid, but charming and funny -- and often autobiographical, which I sometimes used to shy away from in my own writing. I'm inspired not to "shy" now. Since school's done I can't help being a little more introspective than usual, and while I continue some critical sorts of activities and reading outside of the "institution," I suppose now that the apps are done I should seize upon this time to figure shit out. Or just chill out!

Here's some of the titles and/or descriptions of what's to come, and I plan to post'em up even if they are stupid. Got nothin' to lose now!

"The Tuscany Craze" or "Name that Paint Swatch"
Exploring how marketing, retail, capitalistic enterprises in general, use manipulative product names and descriptions that spin off into the most senseless trends.

a good segue to...

Something on model homes. They're creepy, unrealistic, sparsely sprinkled with useless stuff that no one puts in their house (bowl full of rustic balls, anyone? I antiqued them myself...), and they speak only to a certain "market segment" or family type. (In the early days of model homes that seemed like it was the nuclear family, but it's something even stranger now.) And now I can't stop cracking up at the balls.

"No More Monkeys"
Again I'm mad at trends. I've been keeping track of how often "monkey" or "monkeys" shows up in titles, website names, internet memes, people's avatars, commercials... it's annoying, and pretty meaningless. Like people's pretend love for pirates. Someone already took care of that one.

"Terrestrial Projections and the Imagination"
Sounds fancy. It's about maps and the experience of them. And I like an excuse to make preposterous, preponderous titles. Like this next one.

"He was a Good Egg: Julius Goldman and the fall of the Egg City Empire"
The story of Egg City, from the historical perspective and from the perspective of looking back at abandoned people-made things. A chance to do a photo essay with my own "work."

Writing and the Body
I've always done a lot of writing-on-writing and I commonly end up using sexually charged metaphors, especially for writing that is dear to me. In my post on Virginia Woolf (one of my dearest writers) I took this so far as to compare men's and women's different styles of humor to their (respective) genitals! While I usually don't get so literal about how the sexes write, and try to remain in the realm of metaphor, I know Helene Cixous and others have written on the female body's almost physical connection to the way women express themselves. I don't buy all of it, but I want to read some more of it and see if it sheds any light on my writing-on-writing tendencies toward the erotic (and sometimes bawdy). It's not as simple as women giving birth to novels or anything like that. Though Barthes has a funny take on that kind of thinking in his "Novels and Children." I guess since I've earned my stripes I can write now!

There's a few more ideas, but these are good to get up here where I can see them and they can nag at me (or any of you can nag at me if you want to read them soon -- Egg City's got a few requests in already!)

I hope (I can only hope...) to finish the map stuff tonight, after the cat is saved from premature death-by-torture and the other small creature is tucked away upstairs for the night. See you later.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I publish all the comments, the good, the bad and the ugly. Unless I have no idea what you're saying. If you want to email me (with only good I hope), I'm at rbyrd [at] niu [dot] edu.