What I Did on my Summer Vacation

Whoa.  A month away from blogging.  I feel as if I should have some really good excuse.  [I don’t.]  Instead, I have a bulleted list of what I’ve been doing instead.  Think of it as a shorthand take on the classic back-to-school essay topic.

  • I’ve been out to Redlands, CA, home of my alma mater, and spent a delightful weekend arguing with brilliant people about how best to read J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace.
  • I incidentally discovered that the exterior summer shots in The Rules of Attraction were shot at said alma mater.  This is ironic, given my sick fascination (shared with some students.  They know who they are!) with all things Bret Easton Ellis.  Less so with James Van der Beek and his enormous noggin.
  • I spent about a week in fabulous Las Vegas.  This is less exotic and exciting than it sounds, as I grew up there and so it feels a bit like returning to Mayberry.  I did, however, get a chance to visit the Neon Boneyard,  which is the coolest social history project I know.  I have many pictures.  A future blog post may be a bit like your grandparents’ slideshows of Yellowstone.
  • I painted the interior of my house.  A lot.  You know the callus that you have where you hold a pen (assuming that people still hold pens)?  Mine is now twice as big, because I hold a paintbrush the same way.
  • I started reading for my fall classes.  With a little trepidation, I chose a book that I had read as a graduate student–Richard Powers’ Galatea 2.2.  The first time through, as a 25 year old, I was utterly unable to get past the protagonist’s chauvinism, and I gave my poor, long suffering professor (later my dissertation director) no end of trouble about it.  This time through, of course, I think it’s brilliant.  Raise your hand, all of you who think I’m about to get it from my students in the fall?

Somewhere in there, there was also a fabulous pesto, a Marxist reading group, research on rape narratives, beginning the final Harry Potter novel, programming a new cell phone, etc.  But that about covers my month off.  Now begins the frantic lead up to the start of classes at the end of August.  On your mark, get set…

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