Sunday, July 01, 2007

Questions, Unasked and Answered

More unasked-but-answered Q&As, until Blogmeridian askes me some. Kind of an addendum to this post.

1. What books are you reading right now?

Michael Frayn's Headlong, Steven Brust and Emma Bull's Freedom's Necessity (thanks Dynamic Law Prof!), and for some college-era nostalgia (I'm back at my parents' house until after the 4th), David Riesman's The Lonely Crowd.

2. What are you good at?

Some days, writing (mostly academic and more rarely, creative); reading quickly; understanding (legal) arguments (making cogent ones is a different matter); taking care of children; simple cooking and moderately difficult baking.

3. What have you (almost) entirely given up on?

Post-modern, deconstructionist critical theory; identity politics; singing well; being certain of anything (hence parenthetical "almost").

4. What are you on the way to giving up on?

Publishing both of the articles I wrote this year. Only one will make it to that stage (being the one that is actually good enough, and "novel, interseting, and useful" enough), and it's not the one I (or you) would expect. But such is life and the pendulum shift from decent to craptastic. Also, I may give up on learning how to ride a bike before the age of 30.

5. What books do you suspect you'll never read?

I have yet to get through: Samuel Richardson's Clarissa, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Ishiguro's The Unconsoled, and all three volumes of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. I can't get over my dislike of the first; the second is something too attached in memory to my first love; the third is not as enjoyable as it is maddening; and the last is something that I think must be in Heaven's library--so many die without finishing it.

6. Major-undertaking books you'd actually consider tackling?

Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga; Joyce Carol Oates' The Wanderer trilogy; all of Faulkner's Yoknaptawpha books; Trollope's Palliser novels; John Dos Passos U.S.A. trilogy; everything ever written by Dickens; and a repeat of that summer of love '96 in which I read all of the major novels by Dostoevsky and Tolstoy (but this time I would add Gogol).

7. Classic albums you're embarassed that you don't own?

Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde; Elvis Costello's My Aim is True; Marvin Gaye's What's Going On?; The Beatles' The White Album and Abbey Road. Those who know my mailing address are welcome to send me copies and any other albums you think are necessary to send to a girl too poor to buy music, and too musically uneducated growing up to know better than to buy "greatest hits" compilations (knife-twister: I am totally uneducated in classic punk too).

8. Soundtrack of Your Life?

"California Stars" by Wilco, "Mushaboom" by Feist, "Just Like Honey" by Jesus and Mary Chain.

9. How has the blog changed your life?

It's circulated my name out in my field (and advertised my work); it's brought me in contact with scholars across the nation; and I've met some incredible people (online and through my travels)--and made some really good friends.

10. Guilty summer pleasures?

Watching bad movies (kablooie action, dumb romantic comedy); spending hours reading through entire years-long archives of new favorite blogs (that I've just caught onto); crushes; daily 10-email exchanges with HLP or TC about a current literary or life obsession; taking too many naps.