Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School

This past weekend was all about happily updating my syllabus for my composition/research class with "music, youth, and economy" as the overall topic. As I told my mom: this is the best part, because I get to fantasize about how great this semester will be, how my next crop of students will be eager to learn from me, and how I'll be an awesome teacher. And then the punchline: "Until my fantasy crashes against the cliffs of reality." There is a little bit of truth in that punchline. You could argue that I hit that cliff today, when a) the first of my classrooms was hot as a sauna, b) I found out that the campus bookstore was out of the main book for this course, and c) I still don't have my own office space. But then, a) if the classroom is still hot on Wednesday, I'll teach under a tree somewhere outside, b) I made PDFs of the required reading, and I'll keep doing that until the bookstore gets its shit together, and c) I mainly use the communal office space anyway, since that's where the printer, the copy machine, and my mailbox are. Onward!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dopamine Flood

I recall writing how at some point circa 1987 I had an epiphany that there was no longer room for Madonna in my music world. That's actually pretty accurate, and it had to do with hearing Suzanne Vega. Suzanne and Madonna tended to cancel one another in teenage record collections in 1980s, as anecdotal evidence suggests.

So yeah, I never listened to Madonna Ciccone's albums after True Blue.

Dopamine remembers that album--it always remembers early-to-mid 80s pop. I'm listening to True Blue now, as it rains so hard that there's a flash flood warning, and I'm cleaning the room that's Nick's and my bedroom and also my office. Tomorrow I start teaching again.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Latest Tesla Craze

It's about the fact that he never got rich as much about his inventions. In the 21st century, Tesla gets reinvented as Edison for and of the 99%. Discuss. Thanks to Sven Clem Cvek Šubrak for this link. Or: the fascination with Steve Jobs dies with the man, but Tesla lives on.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Food Food

Today I bit into a piece of bread with mystery meat pate of Croatian provenance. (Pure nostalgia food that I brought home from a recent visit to Cleveland. I could find this pate in Chicago, but I don't tend to go looking for it. It always waits for me in my brother and sis-in-law's house in the most rock'n'roll city in Ohio.) While eating this delicacy, I was watching a video clip from the campiest Yugoslav horror comedy of the 1980s, Strangler vs. Strangler. Why that film was not recognized in Cannes or by the US Academy of Moving Pictures (or whatever the Oscar thing is called) I will never know. According to the IMDB, it did get some love at the Chicago International Film Festival, in that it was shown there in 1985. While watching the said clip, I managed to hurt my jaw, some joint up there on the upper right side where the jaw meets the skull.

That made me think about my poor choice to eat a big piece of white bread made out of genetically manipulated wheat, I'm sure, with the salty, non-nutritious nostalgia pate spread on it.

A few hours later, I was getting hungry again, but this time I felt the urge to eat some fish. Off to Pete's on my trusty old bike. Once there, I couldn't decide between salmon and tilapia fillets. Got both.

Once home, I proceeded to fry up that salmon (a half-pounder, enough for two servings, 4 bucks, can't beat that), later ate half of it with a side of grits mixed with goat cheese and topped with boiled (really briefly) arugula. But before all that, I cut of up one of tilapia fillets into little cubes and ordered it to marinate in my freshly squeezed lime juice. It obeyed, what else.

Jalapeno peppers fought back, as if they were not happy to join diced tomatoes, onions, and chopped cilantro along with lime-juice-treated tilapia for my ceviche. They, the jalapenos, kept biting, leaving their capsaicin in the pores of my skin. It's still here. But guess what. It feels kind of good. Just a good, warm, tingling sensation.

Baby, baby, close your eyes now...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Live at Quenchers

Vedran shot these on 8/10 at Quenchers and posted them on youtube.

"Up on the El"


To Vedran and the rest of the friends who made it: many thanks!

Some Conceptual Changes

I will go ahead and begin using this blog not just for random musings, but for announcements as well--to announce a show or a publication or a reading. I believe people can sign up to follow this blog by e-mail pretty easily. That means they'll get my spam only if they really want to take the time to sign up. That's only fair, isn't it?