Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Five: Goodbye Summer

1. So I'm back in Madison. I've actually been back for about three weeks. I've just been super-lazy and unmotivated since I've been back. I've mostly been sleeping, watching reruns on television, binging at the bookstore, rebonding with Rowen, and spending time with friends.

2. I've also been attempting to relearn how to sew. And realizing that I absolutely, positively cannot do anything that requires a straight line. I can't draw a straight line. I can't cut a straight line. And I certainly can't sew a straight line.

My sewing experiment was spurred by my friend, C. She wanted a particular type of skirt but couldn't find what she wanted (a dilemma I know all too well). She has done some sewing---made her own slip covers for her couch---so I suggested that she make the skirt she wants. Then I foolishly suggested that we could both make skirts.

So far, I've managed to make a pattern and cut the fabric. But I can't get myself to attempt fitting and sewing the skirt. I did a couple of practice pieces with some fabric I bought a year ago to make dish towels. The practice pieces were a disaster. But C. is coming over this afternoon so that we can finish our skirts.

3. As I'm sure you are all aware, this week was the Democratic National Convention. I feel like I should care about the convention. I should have watched the major speeches, at least. But I just don't care. Perhaps I'm overly cynical, but I really don't get excited about a bunch of politicians delivering empty rhetoric. Nothing they say is going to change my mind about how I'm going to vote or how I feel on the issues that are important to me (most of which are being ignored during this election cycle, so I'm even less inclined to care).

I'm going to vote for Obama, but not because I think he'll make a good president. I just think he'll do less damage than McCain. And one issue I do care very deeply about is a woman's right to choose what happens to her body, so I definitely don't want McCain appointing as many as three new Supreme Court justices.

4. To prove I'm not entirely a cynic: I've been reading Cormac McCarthy's "The Road." And I keep wondering why postapocalyptic imaginings are always so negative. And, okay, the existence of a postapocalyptic world means that we've had an apocalypse, which is generally not a good thing (although some days I think the world could use a do-over). But why do postapocalyptic stories (almost) always imagine "good" or "moral" people as the minority in a world overtaken by cruel, violent gangs? Is this tendency indicative of a generally cynical, pessimistic view of the world (i.e., that immorality, cruelty, and violence are already overtaking morality, kindness, and compassion)? Is it an egotism on the part of the author and audience? We're supposed to identify with the moral heroes standing against overwhelming forces of evil; we the few are better than them the many. Or is it just a function of entertainment (i.e., a need for dramatic tension, suspense, conflict)?

Can anyone recommend an optimistic postapocalyptic work?

5. And finally, some happy, wonderful, fantastic news: I'm going to be an aunt!

I've actually known about this for a couple of months, but my sister wanted to wait until the end of the first trimester before we spread the news far and wide. The baby is due in early March. I'm so excited. I've already started knitting baby stuff!

Hope everyone enjoys the long weekend. I'm back to classes on Tuesday. This term is going to be crazy---four classes plus working on grant proposals, field statements for my dissertation, a conference paper, . . . . I think I'll go hide under the covers now.