Friday, February 24, 2006

This Just In

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So I'm spending today buckling down and working in my office instead of taking off as soon as class is over, and I'm listening to WMFU on my office computer (thanks to a great lead from Bryan over at The Great Whatsit) and I'm stoked, because they play a nice and easy Dusty Springfield song. In fact, I'm feeling so pleased, that I almost blog about it. It would have been kind of a pointless blog, more of a Hey, my lady is on the radio, and they're not playing "Son of a Preacher Man," sort of thing, which might have led to a what-I'm-doing-now newsy blog. But I'm too lazy and I've really got to get these papers graded.

But then the DJ breaks in with some news. Not only are they making a bio-pic of Dusty's life, which has been talked about forever, with not much actually going forward, but Ang Lee is going to direct it. And Charlize Theron will play Dusty, with Kate Moss as one of her early lovers. The last I heard about this project, Kristin Chenowith, who played the lead in Wicked, was cast as Dusty, which made me a little uncomfortable, because I really hate the whole musical genre, especially the belting part and, having heard that Chenowith planned to sing the Dusty songs herself, I couldn't imagine that it wouldn't suck.

Charlize Theron, however, seems like a good choice, although with her perky little pug nose, she certainly doesn't look like Dusty. For one thing, I like that she's not shying away from lesbian roles, despite getting a lot of shit for playing so many. For another thing, I think it's kind of appropriate that a South African is playing Dusty, since she's been pretty wildly popular there, way more than in the U.S., at least, since she got deported in 1964 for refusing to play to segregated audiences. Also, I doubt Theron will try to cover Dusty's songs.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Delicate and Indisposed

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I can't believe I'm sick again. This is my second cold since the beginning of the year, and once again, I am totally immobilized by it. Just when I was getting my strength back, and back to at least an hour of hard cardio and an hour of seriously good weight lifting every other day (I was even using the 20 lb. weights for shoulder presses, chest flies and bicep/triceps, and back up to 90 lb. one legged leg presses, which might not seem like much, but really is, if you consider that I'm only about 5') BAM! back to bed.

I blame this in part on the gym, which is, after all, a hot, sweaty, petri dish, and probably not the best place to be exerting myself and taking huge gulping breaths. I also blame my students and colleagues, who, obviously, can't help breathing when they talk to me, or pass me in the hall, passing along their various germs and viruses. I also blame my new upstairs neighbors and their one year old, who clomp around at 6 every morning, prompting me to sleep with a fan on for the white noise. It was already too dry and hot in my radiator-heated apartment; with all that dry air flinging around the bedroom while I try to sleep, how could I help but catch another cold?

But mostly, I blame Sara Teasdale, the neuresthenic, famously delicate lyric poet who I've been writing about for the past several weeks. The more I try to figure out her version of idealized femininity, the more I seem to perform it. And so I sit here on a brilliantly sunny Sunday morning wrapped in blankets, listening to early, way-over-orchestrated Ray Charles, dreaming of princesses while I try to get my head into Teasdale's impossibly precious landscapes, tapping delicately at my laptop's keys, with a snowy-white siamese cat curled up in my lap, head resting on the warmth of the keyboard. And while I've always been reluctant to describe Amy Lowell as butch, she's looking tougher and tougher in her determined pursuit of, and ardent love for, beautiful women, compared with poor pitiful Sara, who, poem after poem, volume after mind-numbing volume, glories in weakness and unrequited love.

A Maiden

Oh if I were a velvet rose
Upon a red rose vine,
I'd climb to touch his window
And make his casement fine.

And if I were a bright-eyed bird
That twitters on the tree,
All day I'd sing my love for him
Til he should harken me.

But since I am a maiden
I go with downcast eyes,
And he will never hear my songs
That he has turned to sighs.

And since I am a maiden
My love will never know
That I could kiss him with a mouth
More red than roses blow.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo....

Happy Birthday, James Joyce. I can't help loving you, even though you didn't share your royalties from Ulysses with Sylvia Beach, after all the money she spent, and borrowed, to get your damn book published. You know you broke her, right? But you made me an English major, and a modernist, and you inspired me to write in books, and underline, and fold pages over, and memorize passages, and study Aquinas' theories of beauty. And you taught me about Kitty O'Shea.