Laid up in bed, I blew through Carl Wilson’s Let’s Talk About Love, a book about standards of taste that uses Celine Dion as a test-case for the examination of aesthetics, judgement, and the finicky nature of trying to get people to like what we like. After that, I worked my way through some Pierre Bourdieu and his ideas of capital and conversion. I find it fascinating that we can convert social and cultural capital into economic capital, and even more fascinating that we have yet to discover the most efficient methods of such conversions.
Woke up early and spent the day reading Chronicles by Bob Dylan. An interesting book at times, it essentially reads like a list of every human whom Bob Dylan ever met (or heard about, or even knew existed). The book could have easily been called, “Attendance.” Other than that, I flew a little under the weather and stayed there.
Wade through barrels of candy that flow without ceases,
that cascade and threaten to dash me to pieces.
Unbelievable people weeping for unimportant reasons,
“You don’t carry dried tomatoes? Oh I absolutely need them!”
Sorry lady, you’ll have to drive down the street, then
Take a left at I-Don’t-Care and right off the deep end.
Finally home, zone out and phone people who know how I’m feeling.
Soon I’m sleeping, creeping through a dream without believing
That everything I’m seeing could actually be exeesting.
Shot to campus to hold office hours. A few hours later and I was back at my apartment, napping like a fiend and taking in some new media I recently acquired. Not much else, got a little work done here and a little work done there.
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go, where candy and nuts roam free, and the wild frontiers of snackery are always available for the next sugar-duster who seeks to make his mark.
Or, I spent another day at the BB slinging candied goods to customers who are getting markedly nervous about the Halloween and Christmas seasons. So much to buy, buy, buy, buy! Of course, after work I slipped into a sedated state and forgot my relation to anything in time and space.
Mindworlds and the Boundaries of the Human drove itself into the tiniest compartments of thought concerning dreams and their economic effect on the body and society. I also collected my students’ research proposals, grocery-shopped for the first time since I moved, and cooked for myself for the first time since the move. It is taking a slow, methodical course, but I am slipping into the comatic anxiety that is graduate school.
Day 189. Culture Studies and Critical Theory felt a little confused about culture as defined and limited by Adorno, Horkheimer, and Marcuse. I survived the morning and spent the afternoon writing letters to my family. Suddenly, an angel knocked on my door, and as trumpets hailed its arrival the winged one installed internet in my apartment. I crawled out from under my rock, squinted at the sunlight, and evolved by a few centuries. Back to work, back to work.
Silence of the Lambs, Total Recall, Predator, District 9, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Clerks 2: a non-stop movie marathon provided the background entertainment for my writing letters to home. I’ve seen each of the movies before, so they were good picks insofar as I didn’t need to pay that much attention to the film. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe I’m a slave to the sedative power of film; either way, it was a solid ten hours. Followed the writing and watching with a trip to the Art Gallery of Hamilton, which is featuring some very cool pieces from their permanent collection.
This is the first Thanksgiving weekend for which I could not travel home to see family. They understand as well as I do, but it still adds to the depression to know that my life has finally become so wrapped up in education and work that I must make sacrifices in areas once held sacred. Still, I’d rather experience this sort of adversity than forever wonder if I am strong enough to survive.
Day five of my experiment in illness and sleep deprivation began at 430 a.m., when my boss picked me up and we shot to work for another delivery. Knocked the day out with little issue, then wrapped up the evening with some light reading and a couple naps. I think I might have actually learned a valuable lesson about time management, but we will see how the next week unfolds.