Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Odds and Ends

I think the different elevation (I'm at sea level here), or maybe my laziness in general, is starting to get to me. I slept for three hours this afternoon, after having a long, full night's sleep. I'm sleeping a lot lately. But right now I'm beyond awake. Chris and I are going to go out to a park and look at Mars through binoculars.

Song Playing: "Circle of Friends," Edie Brickell.

I'm currently reading In 1926: Living at the Edge of Time by Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht. So far, I'm finding his mode to be interesting -- he goes through a lot of the material culture of "1926," I guess in many different western countries, in order to give you a "feel" for the time. On the other hand, I find myself yelling at him whenever he discussing his reasonings: it was written in 1997, and he's at the height of discarding any "usefulness" of history. And he takes it really far. I understand that he's taking a purposely provocative stance, but my gut response is a wish to "troat" the guy. (To borrow a phrase from those kids on the Victoria ministry team -- essentially, it's to karate-chop the throat.) I think I'm usually too emotional when I do academic reading. I always play into the hands of those who are purposely writing provocatively. There's part of me that takes no grain of salt, and instead acts out my rage at the author by throwing the book across the room.

I also use that cathartic method (throwing books, stomping on them) when a book is written in impenetrable prose. A couple of tosses across the room and I understand everything much better. I think I feel like I'm beating the book into submission.

And there you go: the emotional academic. I use catharsis to keep me from having this emotionalism seep into my actual work. I'm sometimes the same way when I'm marking. I kind of yell at the paper for a second, and then I walk away and give a balanced review.

I'd better get going. Tomorrow sounds like it's going to be fun. The ministry kids are going home on the weekend, and so we're having a bunch of people over for a fondue party! It's funny, after all these years of fonduing with girls' group, how non-threatening a fondue party is. I instantly have plans and recipes, and know what to tell people to bring. For those who don't know my background, I look very impressive. (Thank you, Becca! I plan to wow them with your cheese fondue!)

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