Welcome to te penultimate day of this week-long excursion into the summer work schedule of academics – or, really, one academic. Â Me. Â If you’ve come this far, I’ll presume you’ve read the earlier entries (links at end of this piece). Â If you haven’t, the whole thing starts back on Saturday. Â You might begin there. Â Or find something more interesting to do with your time. Â I wouldn’t be offended if you did. Â Heck, (unless you tell me) I wouldn’t even know.
Thursday, 17 May 2012
12:00 – 12:55 a.m.Â Prepared for bed, checked Facebook & posted yesterday’s post. Â Also posted it to Twitter. Â Read all of Daniel Clowes’ Wilson. (I’ve fallen behind on my Clowes reading! Â This came out in 2010!) Each time I teach my graphic novel class, I seem to assign a different Clowes: Ice HavenÂ one year, Ghost WorldÂ another. Â Will it be WilsonÂ this year? Â Not sure. Â I like it for some of the same reasons I like (and taught) Ice Haven. Â It filters serious narrative themes through the format of a gag-driven comic strip. Â The tension between form and content works really well. Â I find Wilson’s misanthropy to be funny, though I suspect most of my students will be less amused – the humor depends, to some degree, upon life experience. Â However, this is true of many of the works they read in that class Â So. Â Wilson? Â Ice Haven? Â Ghost World? Â Something else? Will decide soon.
12:55 – 4:30 a.m.Â Asleep! Â I got to bed a little earlier. Â Excellent. Â Here’s a good end-of-day song – Fats Waller’s “The Jitterbug Waltz.”
4:30 – 4:50 am. Â Awake. Â Got up, added some items to tomorrow’s to-do list. Â Tried to clear my mind. Â Perhaps I should have posted this song (“Tired of Sleeping”).
4:50 – 7:30 am. Â Asleep.
7:30 – 7:50 am. Â Up, ate breakfast, read email, responded to comments on Facebook wall.
7:50 -Â 8:50 am. Â Business correspondence. Â Also, briefly checked in to Twitter, discovered a surprising number (3!) of retweets of yesterday’s chronicle. Â Krauss and Johnson’s The Carrot SeedÂ is on Anita Silvey’s Almanac today. Â Hooray! Â Also read Margalit Fox’s NYTÂ obit for Jean Craighead George. Â So, subtract 10 minutes from the “work” component of this slice of time, if you like. Â (A lot of Twitter is, for me, work-related. Â But it isn’t all work-related. Â I mean, I’m not writing about “Weird Al” Yankovic. Â Well, except when I am.)
8:50 – 9:20 am. Â Car swap with Karin (since we share a car, and since my left hand’s still not quite up to working the brake on the bike). Â Also retrieved books from office that I need for the comics-and-picture-books piece.
9:20 – 9:45 am. Â Prepared to mail a couple of packages (quite easy, since USPS on-line enables you to print out the labels at home). Â Put them in mailbox for pick-up.
9:45 – 11:05 am. Â To Manhattan Running Co. for lightweight windbreaker. Â Then, to gym (which is right next door), where I exercised for 45 mins.
11:05 – 11:20 am. Â Drove home, drank water, checked email (latter two not during the drive, obviously).
11:20 – 11: 50 am. Â Shower + shave + dress = me, (more or less) presentable to public.
11:50 am – 12:40 pm. Â Created codicil for will, modifying first article (Beneficiaries). Â Gist of the change is that, should Karin predecease me, then instead of bequeathing all to my father, mother, and sister, I bequeath all to my niece Emily Calame. Â (Obviously, if Karin outlives me, then nothing changes.) Â Need to have Karin review this & then sign it before witnesses. Â Also did some business-related correspondence.
Followed up again with Eric. Â Until I receive required info. from Fantagraphics, I’m unable to pursueÂ Complete BarnabyÂ tasks for which I volunteered. Â I realize, of course, that the publisher is working on many books and not just this one. Â Still, though: bring outÂ Complete Barnaby Vol. 1Â (Fantagraphics, fall 2012?) andÂ Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple, Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s LiteratureÂ (UP Mississippi, Sept. 2012) at the same time, and you have cross-promotional opportunities. Â BothÂ publishers stand to sell more books. Â An investment of time in this project now would pay dividends in the future, I’m sure of it. Â I may fail in this endeavor, but I need at least to keep trying.
12:40 – 1:10 pm. Â Read that Donna Summer has died. Â The first songs of hers I remember hearing were “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.” Â Toot-toot, ahhh, beep-beep! Â Broke for lunch. Â During lunch, began rereading Bill Moebius’s classic “Introduction to Picturebook Codes” (in connection with my comics-picture-books essay).
1:10 – 3:50 pm. Â Finished rereading Moebius, and wove him into the essay. Â Also did other editing, re-read some of op de Beeck’s Suspended Animation (which I highly recommend), and developed a new paragraph around her “mode of production” definition (for the picture book). Â Re-read Charles Hatfield’s “Defining Comics in the Classroom; or, The Pros and Cons of Unfixability” (in Tabachnick’s Teaching the Graphic Novel), and Perry Nodelman’s brilliant close-reading of John Burningham’s Mr. Gumpy’s OutingÂ in “Decoding the images: How picture books work” (Understanding Children’s Literature, edited by Peter Hunt).
3:50 – 4:05 pm. Â Email, including response to Eric, who still awaits BarnabyÂ info.,… thus preventing me from helping move this project forward. Â Though I will continue to try to make a fall release possible, I suspect that the planned synergy between the Johnson-Krauss bio. and Barnaby Vol. 1 will not occur. Â And that’s a HUGE lost opportunity.
4:05 – 4:15 pm. Â Email, and conferred with Karin re: picking her up and heading to bank (which is actually a credit union).
4:15 – 4:25 pm. Â Guitar break. Â Abandoned “Dancing in the Dark” (Springsteen, not Astaire) after a few bars because of the B-major barre chord (bothers left hand, which is slow in its recovery). Â Played “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” (written by Nick Lowe, first performed by Brinsley Schwarz, made famous by Elvis Costello) and “Love Train” (the O’Jays).
4:25 – 4:50 pm. Â Picked up Karin, went to bank (credit union), returned home. Â Most of that time was spent waiting at the credit union.
4:50 – 5:10 pm. Â Brought in mail, read email, wrote email to Jeff Smith’s assistant. Â Had expected to receive images by now; had hoped to be able to submit them (and thus the entire Moby DickÂ / BoneÂ article, co-written with my friend Jennifer Hughes) this week. Â It’s all done,… save for those. Â And the journal’s website wants me to submit everything at the same time.
5:10 – 5:30 pm. Â Started adding literary works cited to works cited of comics-and-picture-books essay. Â Have I listed the title? Â In case not, the current title is “Same Genus, Different Species?: Comics and Picture Books.”
5:30 – 6:30 pm. Miscellaneous stuff, including printing out codicil & bringing it over (along with a CD I’m loaning Jerry) to Deborah Murray & Jerry Dees, so that they can witness my signing it and affix their signatures, too. Â Wrote family to inform them of this legal change — which, as noted above, only takes effect if Karin predeceases me or if, say, a plane we are both on goes down over the Atlantic. Â (Yes, I think about these things. Oh, I’m a barrel of laughs in an airplane, let me tell ya.)
6:30 – 7:50 pm. Â Read Going BovineÂ to Karin during dinner prep. Â During dinner, we watched the Stephen Colbert portion of a recent Jimmy FallonÂ program, and then talked about work, and looked at who is playing at Nashville’s Ryman auditorium (’cause Karin’s on their mailing list).
7:50 – 8:00 pm. Â Professional correspondence — which, as I’ve noted on earlier days, is always partly personal (because most of my professional correspondents are also friends!).
8:00 – 9:45 pm. Â Finished that bibliography for the comics-and-picture-books essay. Â Tedious! Â Answered an email or two.
9:45 – 10:25 pm. Â Checked into Facebook, & read interesting things. Â I should have made plans to attend Hillary Chute’s comics extravaganza in Chicago this weekend. Â The roster of participants is truly stunning: Barry, Bechdel, Brunetti, Burns, Clowes, Crumb, Gloeckner, Kachor, Sacco, Seth, Spiegelman, Ware. And that’s not even a full list. Incredible. Â The whole thing will be streaming on the conference website, starting tomorrow. Â Gonna tune in, catch some of it, at least. Â Also, enjoyed Robert Krulwich’s post on Richard Feynman, which includes this embedded video.
10:25 – 11:05 pm. Added section headers to the comics-and-picture-books essay. Â Revised, edited. Â Re-read portions of Perry Nodelman’s Words About PicturesÂ – Chapter 7, especially.
11:05 – 11:20 pm. Â Discussed travel plans with Karin.
11:20 – 12:00 pm. Â Worked more on comics-and-picture-books essay. Â Maybe it’s done now? Â It’s certainly better than it was last night at this time.
Total work time: 8 hours, 45 minutes.
For the song of the day, how about Pizzicato 5’s “Sweet Thursday”? Â This appears to be a fan-made video, below.
What does the term “glutton for punishment” mean? I’m glad you ask. In your case, it would mean reading more blog posts on this same theme.
- The full “What Do Professors Do All Summer?” series (May 2012):Â Saturday,Â Sunday,Â Monday,Â Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, & Summertime, and the Living Is BusyÂ (the final post).
- The full “What Do Professors Do All Day?” series (Feb. 2011):Â Saturday,Â Sunday,Â Monday,Â Tuesday,Â Wednesday,Â Thursday,Â Friday, &Â What Do Professors Do All Week?Â (the final post).
- Other posts taggedÂ Academe,Â Advice, orÂ Autobiography.