Thursday, August 26, 2010

No title today; I can't see a unifying theme in my thoughts.

So I've settled into a long visit with my family here in Hometown.  It's always a little hard to be a guest/child in the house, when I've long been accustomed to living on my own and having everything tailored to my tastes and desires.  I don't even have drawer space for all my socks now.  Sigh.  I can live with it, though, because my airfare to Research City has been booked and confirmed, so I can look forward to starting my research promptly.  (Or, in other words, to not hanging around indefinitely in Hometown while waiting for bureaucratic authorization — a very unpleasant experience I already have under my belt.)

I'm a little nervous about how I'm going to proceed with this year's round of job applications, since Dr. Awesome has just gone abroad for a year (...or more?).  Zi is a little hard to corner at the best of times, and now zi is distressingly far away, making it functionally impossible to stalk hir.  Although zi is, historically, very good at sending off letters of reference, it remains to be seen how attentive zi will be to such matters when nothing more than good will binds hir to me.  I'm actually entertaining the possibility of substituting another professor altogether for Awesome, even though Awesome has by far the most comprehensive understanding of my research of anyone in my former department.  I simply don't yet know how to weigh the varying merits of someone friendly and reliably accessible versus someone thoroughly familiar with all the scholarly and theoretical concerns of my work but very far away and potentially distractable.  Have my readers anything to suggest in this regard?  I really should send out my requests for referee letters now, so I'm going to have to come to some sort of answer in this matter pretty fast.

Meanwhile, I have lots of publications to develop, and this morning I have done none of them.  For some reason, while in the first flush of my coffee high, I shunned all productive efforts in favor of downloading music.  Want to know a dirty, dirty, secret?  Here's the first song I bought:

And, because I'm a strange creature, I followed that up with the new album by the Unthanks.  (I admit, although I should know better than to buy into dichotomies of high/low culture, a part of me felt like I had to compensate for buying a dance-hall track.)  Check out what seems to be an emerging breakout single from the album — of all things, a song based on a real-life 170-year-old testimony of a child laborer taken by English labor reformers:

Maybe the caffeine has reached a mellowing point that will allow me to concentrate on work, instead of rummaging through online mp3 sales.  Maybe.

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