let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

This snow fell two weekends ago in Montpelier – 30 minutes north of Richmond.  Gorgeous, huh.

I promised myself that today I would put my computer away and spend the day cleaning, reading, doing Christmas stuff.  For example,  World of Mirth in Richmond is having a “stocking sale” … 20 percent off anything I can get into a stocking.  Doesn’t that sound fun?

This past semester, I earned the first B of my grad career, don’t know why exactly. Feels slightly arbitrary and punitive.  Leaves a bad taste, like the slight headache from a hangover.

I didn’t used to care about grades. I’ve always done well in school, but even as a kid I perceived that grades were a lousy measure of learning.  Somehow this streak of A’s in my grad career has made this B feel like a failure.

I’ll probably be grateful for the B once the sting subsides. The good news is that I’m almost finished taking classes for this PhD … won’t be long before having teachers assign grades as a measure for my work will vanish behind me like the wake behind a boat.


shopping online for zines

In the course of writing about comics, materiality and the Internet, I went looking for a zine shop and found one online. And the guy who started it to promote “all things print” still works with a friend at an independent press in Richmond, Virginia … sounds like it’s located a few blocks from my house.  So cool that there’s a Richmond connection.  

RVA article on Parcell Press

Parcell Press website

Spent some of my final oral history grant money on zines – with the vague idea that I’ll expand my comics / materiality / web research to be more about women and zines.  There’s a call for conference papers due Jan. 15 for the Virginia Humanities Conference on Women and Humanities.   I had planned to rework my paper on Emily Dickinson and the implications of the fascicles she made to contain her poetry, but I think I’d rather rework my stuff on mini-comics/zines v. web distribution.

from jesse james to blogging comics

I got back from DisneyWorld just in time to write two research papers for finals.

The first paper is on Jesse James as America’s archetypal Robin Hood … and the media technologies and strategies that put him there and keep him there.

The PBS show American Experiences did a one-hour show on Jesse James … a historical myth-buster, of course, but their website helped me understand how his experience as a teenage bushwhacker probably propelled him into his career as an outlaw.   Missouri bushwhackers were pro-Confederate guerrillas who operated behind the Union lines … American insurgents, I guess.  Hard to go back to pushing a plow after that sort of adrenaline rush – not to mention PTSD, long before it had initials.

I especially like the shooting gallery – done in Flash, with sound effects.

Now that the first paper is done – I’m back to comics & blogging.  I have about a day and a half to turn my ideas and research into a coherent 12-page research paper.  I hope I can do it without my head exploding.