Sunday, January 07, 2007

Hoopsa boyaboy hoopsa!

No, this isn't a Ulysses post, but it is about hoops. It's that time of the year again.

This time of the year:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Women's basketball season. Yesterday, three ( THREE!) women's basketball games were on national tv. We skipped the first one (Kentucky vs. OSU) caught the tail end of the second one (where number one ranked Maryland kicked Michigan State's ass by about a million points), and then had friends over for the third one: UConn vs., you guessed it, Tennessee. It was a great, great, great game, but I don't know sports' lingo, and I also don't think sports' talk makes for great blogging, so I won't say much more about that. But really, if you aren't watching women's basketball, you should. It's the right thing to do.

Then, last night GF and I went to one of my school's women's basketball games. I had three players in my intro. to women's studies class last quarter, and when I admitted what a huge Lady Vols fan I am they told me, in no uncertain terms, that I had a responsibility to be THEIR fans. I wasn't really up for that, because our team has a male coach and, well, I don't really like men, or male coaches, but they told me about how he is completely committed to women's sports and that he only hires female assistant coaches, so that he can train them and send them out into the world to be the kick-ass female coaches, and told me, as well, that our entire athletics program is headed by a woman. That, and the fact that our women's team, which is nationally ranked, gets far, far less attention and funding than our crappy men's team, which isn't ranked, and our players are all strong students, some of whom now want to be women's studies majors, pushed me to buy tickets.

So last night GF and I dragged ourselves out of our house and into the not-so-chilly night and went to the big game against a team from that one state with all the cheese, and had a surprisingly great time. I say surprisingly because I am not, actually, a sporty dyke. I'm way more a campy queen. Really, I promise. Or as Djuna Barnes might put it, "I'm not a sporty dyke, I just love Pat Summitt."

Sitting there in the brightly-lit, packed auditorium, amidst lots and lots of what I can only assume are alumni families (I didn't recognize any other faculty members or any students) many of which had elementary aged daughters in brightly-colored shirts with our coach's name on them, meaning they had been to one of his summer camps, we realized how negative our world-view has been these past few years. When a fun night out is sitting in a darkened movie theater or in a darkened bar or, or . . . or when I can't even think of anything we've done socially in the past year that didn't have to do with drinking and/or sitting in the dark, maybe a dose of flourescently-lit, ten-dollars-a-ticket simpleness is in order. Especially when it's all about girl-power.

It was oddly comforting to be in such a happy, wholesome place. And I know that's not representative of the world, and I know that I teach at a pretty posh, solidly middle class university, with alumni who are happy because they're privileged and well-fed and well-paid. I know that these things should make me feel cynical, but last night I didn't want to. Our team didn't win, but the game was really close and my students played well, with even more aggression and fire than I had seen on the tv earlier that day. So I'm thinking it might be time to get out to family-friendly places a little more.

But don't worry, I'm not going over to the light side. Maybe I'll pack a flask, or at least mutter lines from Valley of the Dolls under my breath, just to make sure I keep in touch with my inner-queen. Yeah, I can just see it. Here's me, pushing the pre-teen basketball camp girls to the side as I lurch drunkenly out of the bathroom. "Get outta my way. I gotta man waiting for me."

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Friday, January 05, 2007

Checking In

Hello dahlinks,
I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday season. Except all you lucky people who got to go to MLA and won't stop talking about how amazing it was. Enough, already! Way to turn a blah Philly MLA into something fabulous. Promise me this whole bloggers-at-the-big-convention thing won't burn out by next year when it's here in Chicago, okay?

Because I'm on the quarter system, my winter break started a few days before Thanksgiving and ended this week. On paper, that means six glorious weeks of sleeping in, writing at my leisure, reading, watching tv, and not talking to anyone between the ages of 18-22. In reality, I spent the first couple of weeks right where I had spent the preceding couple of months: in my office, at my desk, ticking through list after list of tasks. But I did end up getting a lot of writing done, including a tiny assigned piece on my author which led me to a really amazing discovery:

You know how I never write on this blog, but when I do it's to explain that, once again, I've revisioned my monograph? Well, mostly what I do is run away from the obvious book that I need to write, because if I don't, and someone else does, I'll never forgive myself. Well, writing the tiny piece on my author led me back into her ample bosom, made me remember what it feels like to really, really, really know a body of work, and helped me realize that I've let enough time pass so that I'm not sick to death of her very name. Which means that all the work I did this past year on an ambitious monograph about a whole genre of author (of which she is a part), all the semi-abstract theorizing I've done about this kind of author can fruitfully be applied specifically to The Author I Really, Really Need to Write a Book About Or I'll Never Forgive Myself and about whom I have written hundreds and hundreds of pages, all tucked away into Someday Files, which is to say:

I'm sitting on a draft of a goddamn, actual, bonafide manuscript. Right now. And it's not my dissertation, which is an impossible and unsaveable mess. It's a new book. But it's a mostly-written book, people. Which is handy, because at the last few conferences I went to, people kept asking me when my book on The Author I Really, Really Need to Write a Book About Or I'll Never Forgive Myself was coming out. So while last year my super-ambitous New Year's Resolution was to memorize "Curfew Shall Not Ring Tonight" (still have two stanzas left to go), this year my resolution is to complete the revisions on this book, and get the damn thing on its way to the remainder bins.

Oh, and also, during this break, I discovered my new, very favorite vegetable: celeriac. The texture of a potato, the taste of celery. Amazing.

And also, (because I just slipped this into a list a few posts ago, and didn't let on how totally excited and blown away I am by this) that article I wrote this summer, in one frantic, feverish month? It got accepted. Oh yeah. It got accepted into a HUGELY fancy, hot shit journal, one which I NEVER in a million years would have expected to publish in.

Oh, and tv-wise, it's all about Dexter, my friends. I was cranky for the first five or so episodes, thinking "here's a fancy, cable version of CSI, big deal," and thinking that the show couldn't be that amazing if I could predict every plot twist before it happened. But then I realized they had just been slowly tightening the noose and by episode seven I was in way over my head. Good stuff.

Happy New Year, all my loved blog-friends. I promise to try to play better this year. It's just that I have such a hard time determining what is and isn't post-worthy, but even when you don't hear from me, know that I am faithfully lurking on your blogs and loving keeping up with you.