Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chin Up, Hamlet

I know, I know, I haven't posted in a long time. I'm lazy. You all knew that already.

Let's see, lots of stuff happened since my last post. I went to ACLA at Harvard, which was pretty sweet. Got to see t and Brownsox and various others I haven't seen in forever. Drank the special Harvard ale they brew there, and got nice and drunk at John Harvard's Beer Hall. My paper didn't get laughed at (at least not to my face), so I've got that going for me.

Did a workshop on my dissertation chapter that I'm currently writing, which wasn't the train wreck I anticipated (given that half of it was a conference paper and the other half was ten pages I wrote in under a day's time). Went out for drinks afterwards with my advisor, TGD, the Dissertator, and Captain A, which was nice. My advisor let slip there that he can't watch women's figure skating, because he finds it too distracting. "Like porno on ice" were his exact words, I believe. Because he's awesome.

Saw Adventureland, but I was fairly drunk throughout, so no idea whether I liked it or not. It seemed ok.

Went to a talk this past week by one of the more famous Americanist scholars in the country, and my body conspired against me in practically every possible way. Roughly five minutes in, I got an eyelash under my contact lens. Then, after dealing with that, I started to nod off, even though I'd slept plenty the night before. Then, when I conquered my body's need to sleep, I started sneezing, and couldn't stop for about five minutes, which left me continuously blowing my nose throughout the rest of the talk. So I slunk out of the room with my tail between my legs right as the Q&A started, having no idea whatsoever what the actual talk was about. Cause that's how I roll.

Other than that, not too much going on. There's a general buildup of hatred and rage and weariness pervading the department at the moment, which is about normal for the end of spring semester. When all is said and done, the drunken revels to end the term should prove to be epic in proportion.

And if you're looking for some fun stuff to watch on tv to while away the hours of pain and misery, a few suggestions from what I've been doing these past weeks. First, "Better off Ted" is perhaps the funniest show I've seen in a long time (while I like "Chuck" more, I think "Ted" makes me laugh more consistently). It's from the same guys who brought us "Andy Richter Controls the Universe," if you watched that, and it's another corporate comedy. Last week's episode was probably the best thing I've seen this season. In it, the company replaced all motion detectors (that activated lights, elevators, water fountains, etc.) with a new system that worked by recognizing light bouncing off people's skin. Unfortunately, it couldn't detect black people (but it does recognize whites, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Jews). Thus, they had to hire white people to follow all the black people around, mirroring their movements to set off the sensors. But then, via affirmative action, they'd have to hire an equal number of black people, and then hire more white people to follow them around. And so on. Seriously, if you get a chance, you should check it out online. The pilot is good but not great, but it gets much better as the weeks go on.

Secondly, I just burned my way through "Slings and Arrows," which is a Canadian show about a Shakespeare troupe. (I know, right? Who knew Canada had tv?) It ran for three seasons in the early '00s, and is available via netflix. Each season is six 45 minute episodes long, and each one deals with their attempts to put on a new play. It's both wonderfully funny and dramatically well-acted, and should be seen by anyone with aspirations to either English Literature or the theatre. I could describe it more, but it'd be far too complicated. It'd be easier to just accept that I'm right, and rent it yourselves.

Ok, that's all for me for now. I'd like to promise regular updates again, but I'm not willing to commit to that right now. So at best, I'll promise to try.


mimo-chan said...

phil is my favorite on 'better off ted.' i also love the fake veridian commercials.

hip-e-chick64 said...

My best friend Susan's husband worked on "Better off Ted" - he's one of the background scientists in the lab! I agree, it's pretty funny.

"Slings and Arrows" is brilliant.