Let me just say that I’m exhausted.

I rarely stay up till midnight as I did last night, especially on a school night, and I’m terribly, terribly tired right now.


Part of it is the lack of sleep (thanks CATS for demanding that I still wake up at 5:30am).

Then there was the glass of champagne to celebrate the grand finale and the wine to go with the meal during the 2 1/2 hour episode (my plan to gulp big glasses of water between glasses of vino worked well, at first).  On top of that we ate lots of the delicious food that friends made (and that I finished off for lunch today–yum!).

And, there was all of the giggling over the Lost-themed Target commercials:

Was it all worth it?

Socially, yes. For the last few years each Lost night was a big event with friends, food, and philosophical/literary and dishy discussions during commercials, as well as the various screams directed at the television that happened with increasing frequency over the years.

But, really, why end what was so intriguing because it was, in addition to a soap opera, a philosophical science fiction drama as if we were watching, well, Party of Five with Matthew Fox as a much younger savior? What we got was pure soap opera, with only a weird dash of sci fi (embarrassingly echoing, in part,  the endings of Titanic and The Sixth Sense).

Not that I didn’t enjoy the sappy ending: I’ve spent years of my life with these characters and even a literature professor can get all warm and fuzzy at a happy ending, no matter how twisted.  But really: couldn’t we have had a little less of the hugging and kissing, and a little more of the philosophy of Lost?

I’m going to bed early tonight.

Calling All Lost Fans

If you watch Lost, you have GOT to read this blog: it’s side-splittingly funny.

Other bloggers are tad bit more serious about the show, yet still worthy of a read:

And then there is the feminist point of view, including the usual declarations of hotness (Sayid! Sawyer! Anyone BUT Jack!) and misogyny:

  • Feministe (once a week group discussion postings, usually by Thursday)

Then there’s the mother of all Lost websites:

And no, I didn’t spend hours today reading Lost blogs instead of working.  I print them out and cherish them over a glass of wine in the evening.

Added post post:  Wondering what to cook for your Lost parties? Wonder no more. Check out ProfHacker’s latest posting, with recipes!

Summertime Blogging

The Academic Blogosphere (the blogging world in which I live) seems to go on semi-hiatus once classes end—or at least once they end for you semester system schools. We on the quarter system are still plugging away for 2 more weeks. Interestingly, I’ve found few community college instructors who are bloggers (as is also true with the academic novel—there are few that focus on community college faculty and students—another interesting gap to explore).

But I’m finding that the relatively light blog-reading the last few days has allowed me to get more done. I’m also less writerly these days myself: I have a list of blog ideas, but little time or inclination to pursue them right now. Instead I’m doing the usual end of term/start of summer chores:

  • Reading research paper drafts—in fact, this activity should take every waking moment of the next week despite the high attrition in those classes. Most intriguing fact from this term’s papers: I have THREE papers on “evil” and one intriguing paper on women who choose to be exotic dancers.
  • Reading my online literature class’s weekly postings—this week, they are on Flannery O’Connor and Raymond Carver, two of my favorite writers, so I’m looking forward to reading their postings. Yet, unlike the research paper classes, this class has no attrition, so I have 40 postings and responses to look forward to….so far, they seem to be getting O’Connor’s wicked sense of humor (and, as always, critiquing the hapless grandmother in “A Good Man is Hard to Find”). So far, no one has taken me up on my prompt asking for an analysis of why “Everything That Rises Must Converge” appeared in the season finale of “Lost”.
  • Fine tuning the big speech I’m giving this weekend. I have the meat and bones nicely organized, but now I need to work on wording and delivery, and I should time myself, I suppose. Anyone know how long 1700 words should take to read in a New York-velocity accent?
  • Choosing textbooks for fall—yes, it’s ridiculously early to even think of such a thing, but I’m already a month late on my fall book orders.
  • Planning the summer vacation—this summer, it’s hubby’s turn to plan our vacation in August (itinerary, hotels, etc etc), but I suspect he’ll need a little pushing. Yes, I’m obviously the pushy one in this relationship….
  • Gearing up to teach two back to back online classes this summer—luckily, both are graduate level, small classes, focused on researched writing.
  • Training for two half ½ marathons in June
  • Assorted social gatherings every weekend for the next few weeks (funny how mostly introverted faculty start becoming social and extroverted as the term winds down). One gathering is a “Pure Romance” event: think Tupperware-type party with dildos and edible panties.
  • Still reading “light and uplifting” fiction each week in the endless task of finding a community read book. Has anyone read The Help by Kathryn Stockett? That was has been added to the list. Right now I’m reading Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout: a beautiful novel, not unlike Jewett’s The Country of Pointed Firs in terms of structure (each chapter focuses on a different character in this small Maine town), but so far, I wouldn’t call it “light” fiction.

I suspect in a few weeks, once the grades are submitted, the speech is done, and the gatherings are over that I will be able to do a few meaty blog postings. Till then, I’ll probably just do hit or miss links to interesting stories and sites, which I hope are at least mildly amusing (well, they are amusing to me, and perhaps that’s all that counts in the Daily Me world?).

Creepy Storytellers

lost-ben1_1238188564My husband has been giggling incessantly over Michael Emerson, who plays Benjamin Linus on our favorite addictive tv show Lost,  reading “Little Boy Blue” on Jimmy Fallon the other night.   Emerson takes just a few seconds to fall into character, and he nails it: diabolical Ben reading a children’s tale.

Hubby then asks the following question: Who is creepier? Emerson reading “Little Boy Blue” or Christopher Walken reading Goodnight, Moon on The Simpsons?211-walken150_embedded_prod_affiliate_138

Mad Men: Maddeningly Good TV

Readers who are also TV viewers tend to avoid bragging about being up on the latest American Idol season, but they have no problem discussing with strangers the intimate plot and character details of shows like The Wire or The Sopranos.  Adam Sternbergh writes about “Quality Show Fatigue” in the Dec. 8th, 2008 issue of New York Magazine: he just can’t bring himself to be caught in another obsessive need to watch another “quality show” on TV.

I’m a bit behind on my “good for you” cable television show viewing. So last night my s.o. and I watched the first two episodes of Mad Men (season 2 started summer 2008 and is not yet on dvd).  The précis is that it’s a show about the men who work in advertising, and the women who serve them, circa 1960.  So I immediately pictured a sort of thirtysomething (that  late 1980s tv show with two male characters (Michael Steadman and Elliot Weston) who work in advertising, though the show focused as much on their wives), but of course with more sex (since Mad Men is on cable).  Then my mind wandered to those other tv shows with male characters who worked in advertising: Bewitched (Darrin) and The Brady Bunch (Mr. Brady) (I know there were others—what were they?).  

The first two episodes were immediately engaging: don’t know if it was the acting (wonderfully understated) or the writing (quick dialogue, but not at, say, The West Wing speed), but I was instantly hooked.  What is most appalling, of course, is the blatant sexism that women endured in the workplace (and at home) in 1960 (before I was born, but not much).  Some of that sexism is still there in 1987 thirtysomething, but not to this degree. One of the “new girls” in the office, Peggy, is a fascinating character from Brooklyn: I suspect at this point that her Pollyanna act is indeed an act and I’m hoping to see her develop as a character (I’m deliberately ignoring any articles/blogs, etc about the show to maintain that “first run” feeling).   I gather than the main ad-guy’s wife will soon be a Stepford Wife, and that his girlfriend must be one of those women from the Beat generation anticipating and effectively out-doing the soon to be hippy girl (it is only 1960 in the series).  

I’m looking forward to watching more.  Of course Lost starts in two weeks and the Tudors’ last season is coming out on dvd next week: so much to watch, so little time. These “quality shows” are like the detective novels that academics feast on during down times:  they provide us with nearly literary quality characters, plots and dialogue but with a touch of sex, violence, or intrigue as sweetener.    High brow porn?