Wednesday, February 28, 2007

everybody's favourite cripple

erg. have become badly-animated-robot-girl again. my knee hurts and the physio said i am constructed all wrong and will never run a marathon and will probably drop dead in a week from tendons-on-funny-angle-itis. or something along those lines. . . *wallows in self-pity*

i spent three hours in my office thus:
people kept dropping in and fetching me coffee and meds and things, which was quite fun, actually. but i walk so slowly by the time i got home a little snow drift had built up on my backpack. yes, and the snow! purty. but cold. but purty.

all the uni offers for this year are coming in. most of my friends will be scattering around north america in august, which means i'll be able to do some kickarse couch-hopping. they have exciting well-paid offers to exciting universities - very inspiring.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

my own work, however

check out this wild manuscript! it was produced in the late 15th, early 16th century, maybe, and is "a collection of unidentified texts in an unidentified langauge in unbroken cipher." (_the medieval book_, shailor 105) apart from the fact that *nobody* has been able to work out what the hell it's about, there are these strange drawings of naked women playing in pipes all through one section of the manuscript.

it's fabulous. yay for the middle ages!

bah to marking

you know what i hate about marking? (apart from the fact that it's time-consuming and soul-destroying.) it kills all the fun stuff, like talking about poetry or thinking about ways to consolidate ideas or talking to humans or making brainstorms with pretty textas.

i choose to blame the system.

Monday, February 26, 2007

more snow

it's just a light cover, see:

but apparently it's all of two degrees up here, so cross fingers.

i'd like an excuse to wag my french class. the flashcards are mocking me.


so much snow! what a lovely surprise.

also reduces outfit complexity. the coat of fabulouness it is. what fun!

Sunday, February 25, 2007


i dreamt the city was being terrorised by a evil kangaroo/werewolf hybrid. it was okay though, cos buffy was there to save me.

my subconscious is so derivative.

i have found the holy land!

it was in vancouver all this time!

p showed me a new way to walk to res. it involves walking along rooftops. a bit nippy but the views are fantastic.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

the world is a good place to be

i was wandering down commerical drive, going to do my grocery shopping, empty milk bottles in backpack, "the be good tanyas" on my ipod, when I bumped into n. she took me round for hot chocolate at her house, which is a lovely big hippie house with spices in jars and three kinds of milk, none cow-based. i met her housemates, including the one year old. it's been ages since i got to play with a baby. he was a friendly bubbly kid in furry overalls.

then i was walking back through the gentle rain, thinking what a nice place the world is and how good it is to live in vancouver, and i went past a florists. i went in and look what i found!
i had a nice chat to the florists, explained about wattle and how to spell it (funny to hear yr own accent echoed), then went and bought up masses of fruit and some leeks and more milk in nice square glass bottles.

now i have to get going on this assignment. i have kangaroo paw! it all smells so good. i miss the smell of gumtrees.

Friday, February 23, 2007


it's snowing! it's snowing! or, it was snowing, and now it's thickly hail/snow/raining. very purty.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


ubc is kinda pretty. it's out on a penisula on the other side of town with park around. there was lots of this sort of thing:

but why does the english department always have the ugliest building?

i spent sixteen million years in their libraries and found all sorts of wonderful things for this assignment, including a big colour book called "the ancient books of ireland" which has lots of pretty pictures. turns out the holes in that manuscript aren't from the cow but from over-zealous rubbing out by a later scribe. there ya go.

i have also been reading translations of the stories in the manuscript. pre-christian irish myths are kinda icky. vis:

[Cet says to Conall] "If Anluan were in the house he would offer you yet another contest. It is a pity for us that he is not in the house."

"He is though," said Conall, taking the head of Anluan from his belt, and hurling it at the breast of his opponent with such violence that a gush of blood burst through Cet's lips.

this is my cultural heritage? ew.

after the library going i went for a wander down the beach. i had a paddle - the water was tremendously cold - and found a patch of sand to practise my handstands. very speccy with the snowy mountains rising above the sea. there were a few little kids wearing padded jackets puddling in the rock pools.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

i do not love google

i have finally succumbed to the evils of the grotesque googleblogger beast. i resent this very much.

and in other random news:

it snowed yesterday! just a teensy bit, but now the mountains are covered in a light dusting and the main run on grouse looks mighty fine.

i have become addicted to vegemite toast. displaced nostalgia or vitamin b deficiency? you decide.

also, i got a interlibrary loan card thingy, cos i'm going on a research trip to UBC tomorrow to rummage round their medieval section, and look what it says on the card!

i'm faculty! bugger this doctoral business! you may all call me dr. gtg from now on.

chinese new year

okay, so this happened on sunday, but it took me a while to get round to uploading the vid, blah blah. damn demanding public!

i headed down with FLQ and her boy, who is visiting this week, and we caught the last half of the parade down the main drag in china town. it was very cool. i especially loved the dragons. we had a good front view and could see the young people swapping in and out of the dragon costumes and holding their lower backs. some of them were doing some speccy acrobalance stuff.

i remember going to a chinese new year's parade when i was small, but the only bit i remember really is the dragons eating cabbages tied to the shop verandahs. we missed that this time, but i did see a cabbage hanging up.

there's a long chinese history in vancouver, from the gold rush to the people labouring on the canada pacific highway.

think that's all i had to say. it was sunny.

this is the dragons. about 30sec.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

and i love being a grad student

this is what i'm reading at the moment. that and an enormous stack of photocopied derrida extracts i'm pretending don't exist. . .

i love elizabeth honey

Saturday, February 17, 2007

in the same theme

here's a website on which you can hear phrases in irish gaelic:

medieval manuscript

how cool is this??? i suggest clicking on it to make it big so you can admire the detail. it is a page from Lebor na hUidre: the Book of the Dun Cow, from the 11th - 12th C. it's in old and middle irish, with some marginalia in early modern irish. eee! see those holes down the bottom there - i suspect they're from holes in the cow. ew. . .

swiped from

Friday, February 16, 2007

hide the cockroach is too well hidden

the cockroach is now hiding waaaay off the main page of the blog. oh no! please help find the cockroach!

quickly - before it is lost forever in greek (?) mythology!

dept dinner

we had the english department dinner last night. rather good fun. we all dressed up and ate nice food and drank a lot of wine. it was supposed to be a faculty-grad student mingling thing, which didn't quite pan out, but we did get to play with the small children of the faculty.

then we went off to the railway club and saw some interesting folky/rocky musos, including carolyn mark, who was a bit cool. i think the railway club should be my new hangout. it is hip and funky and sort of deconstructed. and it has a little segregated verandah for the smokers, which is entertaining. (have it mentioned the no smoking indoors thing? oh how i love it.)

feeling a little the worse for wear now, and just got back from a session on how to get a job in colleges, which are kinda like TAFEs. cardboard box, blah blah. though i may have some marking work lined up for fall, which would be nice.

must do study. *must*


1. i have been getting quite a few spambots commenting so now when you want to comment you have to do a little puzzle first. sorry for the inconvenience.

2. blogger has become increasingly insistent that i switch over to the new google-owned blogger. now, excited as i am about google's long electronic profile on my ISP and now being able to add my blogged information to all my google searches and everything i email to ppl with google accounts. . .

yeah, i like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person, but this system does smell. haven't decided what to do yet. feedback welcome.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

misrule rules!

big hi to judith ridge and her visitors!


i highly recommend sleeping through the night. i feel, what's that word? . . . sane.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

oh no! king harold got one in the eye!


we were looking at the norman conquest today. got a bit over involved.

got to apply my picturebook theory in medieval seminar. we were talking about grosteques in the margins of texts and how they related to the written text and how that changed the reading. i was saying that when one reads a picturebook first you look at the picture, then read the text, then look at the picture at again, getting more meaning each time you bounce between them. and how it's more interesting when the picture and text don't match up. (none of this is my own orginal ideas, btw. no footnotes on a blog.) it was interesting trying to apply this to a book of hours - the latin prayers decorated by pictures of little hairy men riding elephants and poking camels with long spears.

also useful as we were, as usual, discussing the tension between oral culture and written culture (and the overlap - do you hear a little voice in your head when you read this? and is it my voice or yours?), and one usually reads picturebooks aloud.

my medieval prof is cool. today we were playing "grill the australian" and i had to explain what lamingtons and pavlova are. his daughter read _possum magic_ at school. then we played "grill the american" (he is from the US) and i found out about "barbeque" and "biscuits". actually, i've had "biscuits" before. they're very like scones. we had them with butter and honey, hot from the oven.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


wheee! i like lecturing. and i think the audience enjoyed it too. ooo, i got one of those little clip-on microphones with a battery pack at the waist and had a powerpoint pres and all. i also used the opportunity to smuggle in a little feminist content, which was very satisfying. and i was chatting during the tutorial with some of my bright students and they liked it too and were all "why did you think that and couldn't it be this and you need to slow down cos i couldn't write it all down" and yay! it was much too short (didn't plan that very well) so i asked for questions and got a few good ones, and not all of them were from my friends! only about half. . .

the end love gtg

ps. this is one of the pics from my powerpoint thingy. it represents an artist's relationship with her animals.

check this out

y'know how i said they've filmed all sorts of creepy stuff on this campus? here is battlestar galactica, c/o caroline and her brother. my office is up in the right hand corner and that's the pond the kiddywinks play hockey on when it's cold enough.

except for the alien spaceships, of course. . .

Monday, February 12, 2007

fabulon weekend

i saw this spoken word artist (ivan coyote):

and this musician (cara luft):

and made a fabulon pizza and watched buffy (interesting watching buffy with j cos he wrote his first book on it and could say all the lines before the actors did. the wine made it okay.)

and i discovered who the thumperupstairs is! i have a class with her. doooooooom. think i shall have to overcome my conflict-avoider soul and say something. i went to bed at 2am last night, she got up at 4am to go the loo then got up for good at 8am, then my alarm went off at 10am. not in the best shape today. . .

lecture nearly finished, marking likewise. wish me luck!

“Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

Sunday, February 11, 2007


i've been trying to get a vid of a squirrel for ages. i love the way they move - all flowing like a wave. this doesn't show that terribly well, but still demonstrates the cuteness of yr average squirrel.


i rode a bike! i rode a bike for the first time in six months! damn i've missed it. it was this glorious warm(ish) evening, with ppl barbequing and drumming on their front steps and i whizzed round the back streets near the drive. also i didn't die, which was totally exciting. i remembered about getting doored (learnt that the hard way before i left) and stopped and thought before every intersection: "so i go round the roundabout anti-clock-wise and give way to the left. okay. let's go."

(image stolen from lots of other nice piccies too)

Friday, February 09, 2007

lift your knee, katy

anti-procrastination self-talk:

now, gtg, imagine you're facing a room full of 200 eighteen year olds and a bunch of your mates sitting up the back. what are you going to say?

random photos

went to a session today about getting academic jobs. the carboard box in alice springs is looking better all the time. tell gecko girl i'm on my way!

so here are some random photos for you. these are medieval monks making a book:

this is what the parental unit are doing to my plants while i'm away:

and this is me being a wannabe subcultural hipster (oh, and virg): that's my "thought is free" t-shirt. hmm. this isn't mean to be a hyperlink. bother.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

avoid plot summary - what are you arguing here?

i have been procrastinating like a mad thing over this lecture i'm supposed to be writing for tuesday. pretty soon i'm gonna have to pull the plug on the ol' interweb for a couple of hours and really do some work. the thesen poem below this entry is one i am lecturing on. i particularly like the end.

which reminds me - is there anybody in the audience still on dialup? when g+b move into the 21st century i'm thinking of returning to a one-month-at-a-time view, to make navigating easier. but i know my blog is pretty image-heavy for dialup. speak now or forever hold your peace.

did an interesting exercise with my students this morning, getting them to punctuate a long run-on poem and talk about the interpretative difference the old "period" can make. considering some literary graf to extend this discussion. we shall see.

exhuasting-wed was very good, as usual. _transgender studies reader_ got some good discussion going, and winifred gave a very good presentation. (can you tell i've been marking? everything is "good". pretty soon i'll start making my own marginal notes: "interesting idea - expand", "relate this to the text", "how does this further your argument?" . . . dooooom) we were talking about the history of trans-studies, like early 20th C sexology texts, and then feminist responses to the early transgender movement/theory. i got to tell stories about sheila jeffreys and feel special and melbourne-ish.

our medieval class started late cos there was a distinguished scholar guy giving a lecture on medieval stuff. my favourite bit was about the green children of woolpit, which were "two strange children who reportedly appeared in the village of Woolpit in Suffolk, United Kingdom in the 12th century." (thankyou, wikipedia - "this is not an academic source") um, they were dragged out a ditch one day, and had green skin and only ate beans and no-one knew where they came from. distinguished scholar had a theory that it was cos they ate raw broad beans and had a rare-ish genetic defect.

so we didn't get to spend much time on the old english riddles, but all got far too excited about them, big nerds that we are. we were learning about the vikings ransacking all of england and the resurection of literate culture in the late 9th C by king alfred. he decided to teach people to write in english, rather than latin, which was a huge deal.

i'm beginning to think i don't paraphrase information terribly well. anybody wanna do some group work? i have coloured textas.

"Animals" by Sharon Thesen

When I come out of the bathroom
animals are waiting in the hall
and when I settle down to read
an animal comes between me
and my book and when I put on
a fancy dinner, a few animals
are under the table staring at the guests,
and when I mail a letter
or go to the Safeway there’s always
an animal tagging along
or crying left at home and when I get
home from work animals leap joyously
around my old red car so I feel like
an avatar with flowers & presents all over
her body, and when I dance around
the kitchen at night wild & feeling
lovely as Margie Gillis, the animals
try to dance too, they stagger on
back legs and open their mouths, pink
and black and fanged, and I take their paws
in my hands and bend toward them,
happy and full of love.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Nemnao hy sylfe

here is an old english riddle for you (in translation). correct guesses receive a raccoon postcard.

This air bears little creatures
high over the hill-slopes. Black! they are black,
dressed in dark clothing. They travel in flocks,
singing loudly, liberal with their songs.
Their haunts are wooded cliffs, yet they sometimes
come to the houses of men. They name themselves.

le marron cafard est caché

grot is the Big Winner (see tuchfrau's blog for the fast n furious australiana themed race to the nerve test, and grot's victory speech). here is the world's cutest cockroach:

and just cos it's been a while, y'know:p.s. remember - if anybody else sends me photos of their doogs i will put them up too. this means you, crin and steph! i know you're out there. . . aren't you?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I twitch and I salivate like with myxomatosis

between the thumperupstairs and the dripping tap and the fridge buzzing and occasional building works outside i think i might be going insane. i twitch and mutter at the ceiling.

all the french grammar suddenly exploded on monday - what *is* an auxillary? or a radical? and why am i being tested on past tense verbs when we haven't learnt them yet? - plus we were translating bits of foucault, which was, obviously, impossible. so bah to all that.

reading an entirely untelligible medieval grammatica (having a shot at the latin, and getting slightly less out of it than from the english translations) and marking a lot. but we're doing the transgender studies reader in my feminist theory class tomorrow, which i'm looking forward to. my exhuasting wednesday last week was particularly good. we had a very lively discussion in the morning on veiling, FGM and trafficking in women, all nice straightforward topics, you know, then in the medieval class we ended up having this intensely abstract discussion about writing, reading, oral and literate culture, memory and authorship. it was a a level of abstract that i'm sure is banned in several states of america. it was *great*.

masses of work coming up. i have a medieval assignment due, another french test and have volunteered to give a lecture to the first years about poetry. mostly good exciting things. the prof gave a lecture today called "fun with puncuation!" it was too.

met up with a couple of academics to get advice on existential crisis. i think i might go live in a cardboard box somewhere and eat rice. it's the best solution.

winifred gave me a packet of timtams today (she found them in a local supermarket! caloo calay!) and i taught her how to do a timtamslam. a very agreeable exchange. she says it is perfectly normal to have a second-semester-of-your-MA crisis and this time last year they were taking it in turns to stop each other jumping off the balcony. but last winter it rained for sixty days and sixty nights. i am just whining a lot. and swimming. both productive in their own ways.

i think that's all i have to whine about.

i have a pretty skirt.

it is pretty.

Monday, February 05, 2007

dude, i have so much bitterness

next time i'm not taking any essays that aren't stapled. and if they misspell my name they lose marks.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

study as apocalypse

i forgot!

there were two other exciting tourist-style things about the trip to victoria (apart from the fact that i have now been to victoria and melbourne without leaving the northern hemisphere) - smudge and i were totally close to america. when we went down to catch the ferry we were about ten minutes drive away from the border. it was bizarre and scary. i mean, i have met lots of lovely americans here - one of the people we were hanging round victoria with was an ex-pat and two of my profs this semester are americans, but america as an entity still scares me. (NY is not america, everybody tells me). plus how weird are national boundaries? the idea that we could drive for ten minutes, spend half an hour being hassled by border officials (only a short time as white) and be in a different country? with different money? very odd. realised i've never crossed a land border, which is a very australian thing, i think. might be doing a day trip to seattle some time.

the other, less exciting thing was that i got to use an ice-scraper. haha. you keep it in yr car and use on the windows on winter mornings. this was a mini west coast version. my friends from central canada have a great big one with an ice-scraper on the end and a brush along the handle to sweep away the snow.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

talk to imaginary spooky!

"Shut up! Shut up! Die in that plane crash already!"
"Sorry!! We'll be more quiet now!!"
"It will frighten you our quietness!!"

vancouver island

yesterday i went on a day trip to vancouver island. i went with a couple who have been involved in most of the gatherings i've mentioned but haven't gifted with a nickname, for some reason, so i shall now christen them smudge and puck. that being the names of their cats. gosh i have a gift for invention. *anyway*. puck was going to a bare naked ladies concert so we went over too, and spent the day touristing. i heard that vancouver island is the size of england. don't know if that's true. anyway, it's very beautiful, with lots of national parks and small snow capped mountains in the middle. we caught the ferry over, which took an hour and a half, the last bit weaving through little forested islands.

puck grew up on vancouver island, so we met up with one of his old school friends and got a tour of victoria, the main city on the island. it is hte capital of the province of british columbia. this is their parliamentary buildings:
it's an older city than vancouver (i think cos vancouver got burnt down a couple of times) and has lovely old architecture. apparently it's crawling with tourists in summer. we did some shopping (lots of funky little shops, kinda like brunnie st) and had some seriously good food.

speaking of which, eleanor and i made pizza on thurs night. it was fab. she made the sauce:

and i did the base (or "crust" - my vocab is still extending). not one of my best, but we only let it rise one-episode-of-buffy long:
smudge came round and helped us eat it.

that's about it for my news. i was hoping to go to a big slam poetry championship tonight but they've sold out and i don't fancy standing round in the rain on the off-chance one of the pass holders will fail to turn up. so that's a bit of a bugger, but gives me lots more time to catch up on all the masses of work i have.

yes, it's raining again, but my, what lovely weather we had for our trip! sunny and perfect.

ferry to victoria

Thursday, February 01, 2007

this is just getting silly now

look what i just got through child_lit. this does not help the existential crisis.
wanna go to chicago for christmas? it's near the lakes. we could duck over to
toronto or something. . .

not that they'd probably take me. but anyway.

yea gods.

MLA 2007
CFP: Children and Political Activism

Inspired by the work of Susan Bartoletti's Kids on Strike and Growing
up in Coal Country , this panel seeks submissions examining children's texts
(fictional, non-fictional, photographic, etc.) depicting children
taking political action and/or texts that are designed to inspire child
readers to take up direct political action.

These texts--marketed to children--might include representations of
radical children demanding their rights or fighting for particular causes.

Abstract Deadline: 1 March 2007
Send 1-2 page abstracts or 8-page papers to: