Thursday, October 12, 2006

An unraveling rug

There was a really interesting article in Slate today, called "Welcome to the Age of the MySpace Novel." The article was about the future of literature, and whether or not authors can survive in a culture as inundated with new media as we are. The authors posited that we are now living almost settingless lives. How can writing encompass the new reality that we live in?

A subtext of the article was the question of identity, a topic that very much interests me and one that I believe I will base my graduate study around. Identity formation has become a very chic topic in the past few decades, mainly because it seems to have become more complex as the world goes stronger. Whom do we identify with, and why? Am I a woman first, an American, a resident of DC, a Southerner? If I am asked to indentify with a woman from India or a man from Georgia, who will I pick? What makes that portion of my identity stronger than the other? And now we are forming new, even more nefarious identities. How many people go online and create a different persona? We have now added another dimension to our social interaction. And social interaction is crucial to identity. A person frequently doesn't associate herself wiht one group until another group is opposed to it. (Those of you familiar with Said's Orientalism will recognize this argument.) This flows into Butler's argument that by setting yourself against something, you are in fact helping to perpetuate it by helping to define it. But how does this all play out online? The rules are still there, but slightly different. It's like in space. Gravity exists, the rules still work up there, but nothing acts quite as you're used to. People have genuine relationships, real friendships online. People do have real interactions. I know that I feel it can be easier to open up in an electronic medium, because you don't have to see facial expressions. You are more seperated from the reactions. But you are also more vulnerable. Once you have typed something to someone, it's documented. Look at Foley. If he had only called pages? His case would be much different. Not only that, when you communicate electronically, you are limiting your ability to influence reactions to your words. How many bloggers have been incredibly frustrated by commenters who just don't get it? If you type something that was meant to be a joke, but the other person thinks is mean, you can't see their reaction and try and fix it. And they're more likely to misinterpret what you are saying as well. How is all this electronic communication going to effect the next generations?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cranky? Never...

So I've realized that my main problem with my job just might be the work. Well, not the main, but at least half of it. I HATE being an assistant. It grates at my soul. Everytime I even think it, a part of me goes, "Really? YOU? Are you serious?" But beyond the pride part, it's just boring. Make files, make trip arrangements, input data. This is all stuff I could have done right out of high school.

Between the job-hatred, the boyfriend gone, and the supreme heat of my apartment (Seriously. Yesterday it was 82 when I got home. They turned off the air and THEN it gets back up to 80.), I've developed a bit of crankiness. And it's so hot that I can't sleep, which only makes things worse, or cook anything. Which reminds me that I don't know what to eat for dinner. The only good thing about the heat is that it calms down Cassie, so she sleeps a lot more. SB does get home tomorrow, so at least two problems will be gone. (since he feeds me, too.)

With that said, I'm taking my crankiness and going home.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Bit of Yarn

Sigh. No more holiday weekends until Thanksgiving. (How weird is that?! I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving again.) I did totally go outside my budget this past week. And by outside, I mean I spent any money at all beyond the like $10 per day for food I'm allowed. See, here's my problem with severe budgeting. I do really well, until I explode and then I spend a ton of money. I'm currently logging into my credit card bill... Be afraid, be very afraid. Though I did support small artists at the Arts on the Avenue fair in Del Ray. And I got ideas for possible Christmas presents. Maybe. We'll see. And I do really like the pictures I got, even thoguh I was thinking of giving one to my brother and sister-in-law. Yeah, I changed my mind on that. And then I had to go to AC Moore because they were having a sale on knitting needles. I'm really surprised by the popularity of knitting these days. And then there was homespun yarn on sale, too, and while it's a bitch to knit, it looks so pretty. So I've started SB another scarf. When I told him about it (He's still out of pocket), he was kind of sulky, though. Actually, he was just sulky in general. He's sick and he got tired of the food and his room is crap, even though he is totally milking the per diem thing. CW is convinced that it's just because he misses me. Now, I'm not saying that he doesn't miss me. I'm just staying that he gets whiny even when he's with me if he doesn't feel well and is tired. Like on the ski trip, where he got mad the last day and blamed the snow for not being good to ski on. But yes. He wants me to finish his OTHER scarf (aka the scarf that will not die) first. Yeah right. I knit that thing on size 6 needles with WAY too many stitches. It takes forever just to do a row. I've been working on that since we started dating. (Ie nearly 4 years now.) Who knows if I'll ever finish it? And this one will be more versatile since it has flecks of gray and cream and brown. He can wear it with anything! And I got me some yarn in brown. Now I just need to chug a bottle of Chianti, and I can be like Jordan Baker . It'll be great...