Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas

Happy holidays and a blessed Christmas to all. Hopefully 2007 will be a peaceful and positive year (and I'll be a doctor by February, fingers crossed). Have a safe next couple of weeks and be back here in January for more thoughts and so forth here on my blog!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Update on the Disney DVDs

I finally got those Disney DVDs I was ranting about the other day. I actually called Amazon and requested a replacement, and the batch I got yesterday was the replacement. The first batch is being enjoyed by someone else, I guess. Thankfully, I received them finally, so I'm happy.

I must say that I really like the wildlife stories. Although I don't necessarily find animal stories fascinating, what is really great is how these things are put together. The music is absolutely fabulous, truly showing examples of "mickey mousing" (no pun intenden), a technique where the music is in sync with the action on the screen. It's great.

Today might be an application day, with the possibility of me completing 4 applications! Imagine me doing work!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Waiting on those DVDs

So Canada Post tracking suggests that the Disney DVDs I talked about last week have been delivered to my house.

The only problem is that they haven't.

Canada Post suggests that they were delivered yesterday, but I was home all day yesterday and there was no sign of them, no ring on the doorbell, no package at the door, nothing. So, where, may I ask, are my DVDs?

Sometimes there are strange little quirks with and Canada Post, where the tracking will say something like, "details submitted electronically to depot," and that day the package will arrive. But never the other way, where they claim that the package has been delivered and it hasn't. So I give Canada Post another day and then I'm calling them. I'm not particularly impressed.

We've had a few problems with our regular mail as well, but nothing like this, where something is claimed to actually be "delivered" when it most certainly is not.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ordered those Disney DVDs

Since I'm a total capitalist (it seems), I decided that I wanted to pick up the new Walt Disney Legacy Collection DVDs which feature a bunch of "True-Life Adventures," Disney nature shows. There are 4 full discs of these things, and I felt compelled to pick them up. I have enjoyed the Disney Treasures DVDs that have come out since 2001 or so, although I haven't actually watched all of them yet (there are 22 2-disc sets, as of this Christmas - that's 44 DVDs, around 88 hours probably). Point being, I ordered them. The future releases in the Legacy collection look fabulous, like a DVD of Oswald the rabbit, Mickey's predecessor, plus a Disneyland DVD, and also a DVD of the Salvador Dali-Disney collaboration, Destino. Anyway, Roy Disney, Walt's nephew, is the host on these DVDs.

Since I am a Disney shareholder, I guess I'm investing in a company that I own (1 share).

Same with Apple (2 shares).

That's all.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Two more applications out

A couple of applications sent out today, and so now four are gone with two more to go before Christmas. The excitement never ends.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

One step closer to a defense date

My external examiner has passed my thesis, which is good news. Unfortunately, scheduling problems will probably make a pre-Christmas defense impossible. So I am looking forward to a defense in early January.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The job search continues...

Two more applications went out today for positions in a couple of Canadian universities. Both are for jobs in music departments, one without any research requirement (a teaching-only non-tenure track position which looks alright) and another for an enticing position as a post-1950s specialist, with an emphasis in popular music. Here's hoping something comes up. I have my sights on a few more positions that I will be applying for in the next month and a half or so.

I'm plugging away at that Feist paper I mentioned previously. It's coming together well, I think.

I've been listening recently to Mute Math, dredg and Earthsuit (many thanks to M. in Ottawa for the first couple of suggestions).

There are a lot of things going on at A.'s work, which, coupled with my insecurity and the unknown future that we face, is making things difficult. I'll leave it at that. Thankfully we have faith in Christ, which we are relying on.

Any Atheists or those of other religious persuasion who might be offended or bothered by the last comment, feel free to ignore it. I've found that it isn't really easy to believe something, "to have faith that things are going to work out." It really isn't a "crutch," as many used to tell me when I was younger. It's hard to trust in God, for instance. It's something that I struggle with constantly. But, I guess, I choose to struggle with it.

Okay, religious rant over.

Monday, October 30, 2006

First paper proposal on Feist is out!

I've sent an interesting proposal for a paper to a conference in April of 2007, on Leslie Feist and Roland Barthes. It's a very difficult text (Barthes), and it's funny that I'm becoming a Barthesian scholar, of sorts. Anyway, I'm sure the paper could be interesting, discussing Feist's change of style from punk (with the band Placebo - the less popular one) to a softer style. This change was apparently due to a vocal injury (yes, injury rears its ugly head again - if you don't know what I mean, take a look at my MA thesis on Bowie and body modification, or read a chapter in my upcoming dissertation). So, that's out and hopefully I'll be speaking at that conference.

It's funny but I do think that Barthes is an interesting scholar. I didn't really get S/Z the first time I read through it, but after spending time with it in my final dissertation chapter, I think he really paints a vivid picture of what is happening at every little moment in reading a text. The Pleasure of the Text is also a difficult read, with lots of big words, but I think there are interesting points in there for figuring out how we derive pleasure from certain texts. Um, or whatever.

(the photo of Feist above is from her appearance in New York in the summer of 2006, that originally appeared on the website)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happily waiting (sort of)

Waiting to hear about when my defence date will be. I'm hoping that a date will be set sooner than later, since a few things are now riding on having that date. It is difficult to have so many unknowns in the air at one time. And it's not like things are going to get really clear in a week or two. The first opportunity for clarity will be in February when SSHRC publishes the competition results.

Thankfully, there are still things I need to be working on, although it is hard to work on them when I am discouraged. I have to write some paper proposals (almost done) for two conferences in 2007, and I am putting together some applications for a few positions here and there in universities. Those applications will be much better the minute I have a defense date. And they'll be even better when I actually defend.

On a lighter note, my family was here over the weekend for my cousin's wedding. The wedding itself was nice, and the family visit was also very enjoyable. My mother told me that she was reading my dissertation, which is nice. That's all the news for now.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Saints and things

I've been tagged by T.O. by one of these meme thingies. It's the first I've done, and I'm going to have trouble with it, so here goes.

If you were invited to a Halloween/All Saints Day Costume Party, which saint would you dress up as and why? (The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, is not an option.)

Although I don't really know many Saints (consider this a byproduct of my Evangelical Protestant upbringing), I might choose to be dressed as Saint Sebastian. Over at Wikipedia, Saint Sebastian is described as a martyr often depicted as tied to a post and shot through with arrows. On that same wikipedia page, there is a reference to a book by Chipp Kidd, in which a character is "expelled from Sunday Bible study for making a St. Sebastian toothpick holder in crafts." I would LOVE to have a Saint Sebastian toothpick holder.

Which saint or other person would accompany you to the party?

Maybe Robin Hood or someone with a quiver empty of arrows. Or maybe someone dressed as Oscar Wilde, since Seb is apparently considered the patron saint of homosexuals. There is speculation (according to wikipedia, anyway) that Sebastian himself was gay.

What famous quote would help others identify you?

Um . . . "I've been shot by arrows because I was nice to Christians being sent to their death for their beliefs, but I'm still alive and I'm going to be healed by another saint, but I'll be clubbed to death later on."

I'm really not good at this.

Describe your costume.


Which movie or film best depicts the life of this saint?

Apparently, V from the movie "V for Vendetta" has a painting of Saint Sebastian in the Shadow Gallery. Does that count?

What is your favorite book written about this saint or that he or she has written?

Dunno. Like I said, I'm not good at this, but I thought I would give it a go. Plus, someone near and dear to my heart was depicted in the same way as Saint Sebastian (see photo above).

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Postdoctoral applications away

SSHRC and FQRSC applications are in the mail as of today, a few days before the deadlines. Now we wait and pray that everything goes well. SSHRC announces the fellowship winners in February, and FQRSC announces winners in April. I am looking forward to working at a university, so I hope these things come through. As some of you who read my blog might know, there seems to be a real difficulty for those in the discipline of music to get one of these grants in recent years. Hopefully this changes this time around.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Stinky Pipe (and our stinky sink)

So we have the plumber here taking apart our sink and stuff, due to some problems with food and suds backing up into our sink, although we are very careful to not put anything in our drain. In looking for the blockage in the main pipe (which in turn causes ours to back up), the plumber noticed that the pipe leading to our sink was completely rusted, and needed to be replaced. I've posted a picture of our yuck-filled pipe. I'm sure he'll be here fixing it until well after 8pm.

My sister got a Mac mini today. It's much much faster than mine.

Monday, September 18, 2006

still working on my applications

It's interesting how when one is working on a short piece regarding future work it can be difficult to revise said piece. I received some very valuable feedback on my "program of work" (aka proposal) but I'm having trouble actually making changes. The good thing is that the changes are relatively minor (although when a piece is only a couple of pages, a minor change is major). So, in case you were wondering, I'm still working on it.

I did receive some great feedback regarding what I would do during my post-doc and who I would be working with. I'm terribly excited, although I'm not even done with the applications.

Has anyone heard about how Google can delete Adsense accounts immediately with little warning (and with questionable accusations of abuse) and thus take back the total monetary gain received through the life of the account (I suppose under the elusive $100 needed to actually receive the money) even if it was gained legally? If this happens for some reason (say that I inadvertantly reload my blog page too many times) and they delete an account, then Google and its advertisers have "rented" adspace on your page FOR FREE for months.

Just thought I would rant. Feel free to comment.

Also, I thought I would just put my 2 cents in. I haven't read the original academic presentation that the Pope gave at a German university last week, but I support him. I think that his apology for any inadvertant offense should be accepted. People offend others all the time, in areas of religion and culture, and our world would be a better place if all people accepted apologies and tried to live WITH others rather than AGAINST.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Sorry for the delay...

For those very few of you who actually read this little blog, I would like to apologize for my tardiness in getting another post out. I've been "working" on my proposal for the various postdoctoral funding agencies. And I'm not enjoying it. I guess I feel a bit of pressure when around $90,000 is riding on a 2 page single-spaced proposal on work that I haven't even started. Anyway, I have a couple of pages now and I'm just going to put in a paragraph regarding the university I'm wanting to attend for this, and then I'll send it off to my current supervisor to check over before I send it off to the professors in Ottawa to have a quick look-over.

Then I have to take a look at the applications again and start putting those together in earnest. And get in touch with the professors that might give me recommendations.

My sister and her husband are getting a mac mini (computer), much like my own, except a newer model. I'm actually jealous.

I've been listening to a lot of Mortal and Adam Again recently. A friend suggested that the music that we think is the best as we get older is the music we were listening to when we were 17. So, I was 17 in 1990-91. Well, his theory sort of holds up, but not quite. I like the music I was listening to just after this time. Although I was a huge Daniel Amos and Randy Stonehill fan in high school and that has stuck with me. There's nothing like Adam Again's Dig and Perfecta though.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

the morning after

So now that things have settled down, I'm still a bit uneasy. Not because I lost anything in that .rar overwriting episode - I didn't lose anything - but just because it's over now. I'm not done though. I still have my post-doc stuff to do, and I'm quite worried about that.

I am proud of my work, though. I think that my dissertation is an important foray into the nature of celebrity and a certain kind of star image, able to elicit desire by using certain strategies. And it leads nicely to future work on the voice and how one might approach its study theoretically (rather than simply using adjectives to describe a voice).

I've backed up my work on CD now (and putting it in a fire safe), and I've put it onto my USB key. So does anyone have any suggestions for FREE online storage which accepts more that a 10mb upload at a time? My dissertation weighs in at ~20mbs in total.

I'm thinking of buying an external HD as well - we'll see if this is worth it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

post-submission thoughts

Now that the paper has been handed in, I feel a bit better. It seems the strange things that happened to some of the files (corrections that didn't stick) had to do with some "rar" files that I had lying around, as backups for the dissertation. When these files were expanded by accident, they overwrote the existing files. Luckily this happened very late in the process of printing, but unfortunately I only realized what happened now.

So a few spelling mistakes in my appendices got through to the committee. And hopefully, post-defense, I can take a look at one of the printed copies to make sure that my "masters" here are correct before submitting a final copy to the school.

No big deal, really. But I guess I shouldn't have had those rar files hanging around, and for sure, the program shouldn't have overwritten the old files. That's just stupid.

So, really, it's the program's fault.

Anyway, everything's fine now.

Did I mention I'm done?


I'm submitting today. Everything is ready to go and I just have to sign some forms with my advisor, and hand in my 7 copies this afternoon.

Then I have to go to the dentist.

As for the printing process, it was smoother than I expected. Unfortunately, we had some page numbering problems (changes we made that didn't seem to stick - weird), and other corrections that didn't register. This morning, when I printed out a copy for myself, one of the photos didn't show up, so I had to fix that. When the final document is cleared post-defense, I'll have to go through it pretty completely to make sure that everything is right.

Anyway, now I wait for the defense, which should happen some time before Christmas.

Would anyone like to write a couple of post-doctoral fellowship applications for me?

Monday, July 31, 2006

I'm handing in another draft today

Well, I'm off to school to hand in a draft of the complete dissertation for my professor to take a look at. I'm hoping this is the last major revision, but I'm a bit worried with the additional pages that I've included. I think that 20 pages for a chapter might seem a bit short in the context of the other chapters, but, then again, I've stuck it in the middle of the dissertation, so it shouldn't stand out. The shorter chapter (essentially dealing with the celebrity in a non-mediated context - live performance - although some might argue that a concert is still mediated because the singer is singing through a microphone - whatever) follows, and is followed by, a strong chapter, so things should be okay.

I'm scared, though.

Too much on my plate right now. I HAVE to get going on my post-doc applications. Getting going is difficult when you have no idea how you're going to write the proposals for said applications.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Almost done

Well, 18 full pages later, I'm almost done this new "chapter." It's going to end up being maybe 20 or so pages (perhaps 21), so it'll be shorter than the other chapters, but it's also in between the longer ones, so it won't be as noticeable. It'll bring my page count up, and more importantly, it'll look at particular characteristics of Morrissey's live performance which "colour" his star image.

Once this stuff is put together, I have to get on my work on a proposal for post-doctoral work, involving a new theoretical approach to the singing voice, using the Canadian songstress Feist as a case.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Stuck on something again

Okay, so some of you might know that Morrissey often whips his microphone cord around like a crazy person when he is performing, as if he was whipping even himself. This might just be dancing, but does anyone know if there is anything out there about flailing around? In case anyone is wondering, he doesn't look particularly effeminate when he is doing this, so I'm not sure if it's a "camp" gesture or not. I guess it being an exaggerated gesture would put it into camp territory, but I just don't know.

So I'm stuck. I should just leave a couple of blank lines and keep going on the next thing, but I don't want to.

AAARGH! (frustration - or a pirate - nope, just frustration)

[image from the galleries]

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"pushing" vibrato

So, I'm not sure if anyone notices, but sometimes when someone sings, and they push a lot of air through their voice, they can force their vibrato. Actually, I think it's more of a succession of glottal stops or something. Anyway, Morrissey does this in concert. It sounds like a flutter, but it isn't his normal vibrato. He turns his normal vibrato off and then does this "glottal stop" thing, perhaps pushing more air through.

Maybe I'm not making sense, but does anyone else do this kind of thing? Any musicologists out there run into articles about this kind of vocal gesture? I would think not, since such a thing would be completely against bel canto singing style.

I've started talking about it by using Robert Walser's idea of electric guitar distortion, where power is pushed through an amplifier, basically causing it to fail, and thus distort the sound. For Walser, this is not actually a sign of failure, but rather of power and expression. So maybe this is what is happening with Morrissey, except that his voice doesn't crack or anything - he seems to be doing this himself, taking control over his normal vibrato with the glottal work.

What do you think?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

In case you were wondering...

If you would like to check out my website, you can. It's at:

I have to write another chapter for my dissertation. 212 pages isn't enough apparently. That's okay. I'm still planning to be done before September.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Back from my weekend away for Canada Day

I hope anyone who celebrated Canada Day had a nice one on Saturday. I was in front of the Parliament buildings when the Snowbirds (the Canadian Forces aerobatic team) did a fly-by. A tear literally came to my eye! It was great. I'm a sap for planes flying over my head in a display of patriotism!

I also had a very interesting conversation with some friends over the Pentecostal Church and its current views on moral issues and its current move toward inclusivity, favouring ministry to the community over perhaps "fire and brimstone"-type, or "call to holiness"-type preaching. We also discussed the lack of theological support at higher levels of the church, which probably leads to a lot of problems or incertainties when dealing with moral issues and so forth. I guess the Pentecostals aren't as "Biblically conservative" as I would have thought previously - and maybe I'm using the term incorrectly anyway.

So that was a bit of an eye-opener.

In other news, the dissertation revision is done and the draft has been delivered. Hopefully it is in good shape and there isn't much to do to it before submitting it to the department for reading.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Still working...

Well, after a fun weekend with a visit from my parents, sister and brother-in-law, plus little Giulietta, my beautiful niece, it's now time for me to do some work. I've been struggling over changes to my theory chapter on gender, spectacle and celebrity. Now I'm looking for stuff on crooning, since there are gender issues that are raised when a crooning singer is considered.

Anyone know anything about this?

Thanks again for all the comments from my visitors. I appreciate the input. Watch this space for more (although some of the religious comments that I've made in the last few days have been difficult for me, and just get me fired up).

By the way, although I am of Italian descent, I don't think I really appreciate the victory of the Italians over Australia yesterday in the World Cup. I've heard the various commentaries regarding the fairness of calling a penalty shot basically after extra time, but I still don't like it. Plus, in my neighbourhood, there was honking and carrying on for hours afterwards.

So, no, I'm not cheering for Italy. Just 'cuz. Go England!!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Wow, lots of visitors

Thank you for the wealth of response from my posting yesterday (and T.O.'s posting at her own site). I appreciate the insight that many provided in the comments section. I was afraid that things would get heated, but thankfully things were calm. Although, I feel that the debate has now moved to the similarities or differences between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican/Episcopalian Church.

My concerns are the differences between the less conventional, yet still mainstream, Protestant churches, like the Baptists, Pentecostals and so forth. I am also quite interested in the Biblically "conservative" churches, of which the two denominations I mentioned are a part. I'm not sure that I would include the United Church, or even recent movements within the Anglican Church as part of that group.

I think that this "conservative" group, which is not without its own problems (which I might talk about in another post), would have a lot of trouble with the Roman Catholic Church, not only because of theological differences (as was mentioned in yesterday's post) but also because of the role played by, not only a hierarchical system, but Tradition (with a big 'T').

Interestingly, the Pentecostal Church has some tradition, but because of its relative newness (100 years this year as a defined church, marking its beginning with the revivals at the Asuza Street Mission in California), we don't like to call it that. Nevertheless, they (we?) accept the Bible, although its construction happened a long time ago (before the Reformation). I guess you have to have a standard somewhere, and perhaps these Protestants feel that the assembly of the Bible was early enough to be "unscathed" by the "big-T" Tradition that ultimately caused the Reformation.

Maybe that's what they think. Again, my history might be suspect. Feel free to comment and correct me. Just don't be mean.

One more thing: recently, I have decided to be more involved in the Mass that I attend each week by kneeling during the consecration, something which I didn't do previously. In one community I was attending, we would stand during consecration due to the lack of kneelers, and I had no trouble with standing. Kneeling, I somehow have (or had) trouble with. So I would just sit. Now I've decided to kneel. I feel that perhaps I can kneel as a sign, not necessarily as an acknowledgement of the priest's actions, but rather out of worship and respect for Christ and his sacrifice. I take that time, while the priest speaks and recites Jesus' words, to pray and thank God for sending his Son, and for the shed blood of Christ which is my salvation.

So, in a sense, I am being open to the presence of Christ.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Theological musings

While I don't often get into theological conversations on this blog (or any real substantial musings, for that matter), I read T.O.'s blog this morning at it got me thinking (you can get there by following the link to the right to LAMLand).

She recounts a recent experience where a group of Protestant Christians asked her if she would feel comfortable with receiving communion with them during a short prayer time before a mutual class. As a practising Catholic, she declined.

I often feel like I need to qualify the "practising" part of "Catholic." As a Protestant Christian of the Evangelical and Charismatic nature (read "Pentecostal," -shudder-), in my mind a Catholic that doesn't practice is nothing. There are no Pentecostals who are non-practising, probably because you would never subscribe to that community if you didn't "have to."

Anyway, back to the discussion of communion. I've been going through a similar situation every Sunday when I attend Catholic Mass. I don't partake of the Eucharist because I have differing beliefs on its function (as a sacrament) and its form (as the body and blood of Christ).

By the way, for those Christians out there that might find my vocabulary lacking or irreverent, please forgive me. I haven't formally discussed issues of theology since around 1995, when I left my year of theological study in 1995. And I've been doing a lot of other stuff since then. Plus, I'm relatively new to Catholic theology.

One of the comments left on that other blog cited John 6 as a foundation for Eucharist as the body and blood of Christ, and its power. Someone once asked me how Pentecostals interpret Jesus' words at the last supper ("This is my body . . . this is my blood"). How then can the Pentecostals, who are so apparently Biblically "Conservative," not believe in the bodily presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and look at communion only as symbolic?

I can't answer that. It's true that Jesus makes a pretty clear point regarding his "body" and "blood" in John 6, and during that presentation of the bread and wine before his betrayal at the last supper. I still feel that there is a problem with the Catholic sense of eucharist as sacrament, and this probably comes from my upbringing, without ANY sacraments, in the sense of "grace-giving" actions.

My point (and I don't think I'm doing a good job at expressing much here) is that, if Catholics want a unified Church, which we pray for at every Mass, I'm not sure that it would be in the form some of them might want it to be. After years of separation, with some beliefs being particularly different, dialogue would force a kind of synthesis (let's pretent that Protestantism is Catholicism's antithesis).

Will there ever be that kind of dialogue? I doubt it; not before both sides (and, in truth, there are more than just 2 sides) understand that there are other true believers in Christ.

That's all. Feel free to comment, but don't be mad at me. I'm having too much trouble with revisions to one of my chapters, and I would rather not be yelled at.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Stanley Cup Champions!

Congratulations to the Carolina Hurricanes on winning the Stanley Cup in seven games against a very impressive Edmonton Oilers. Too bad that the Cup couldn't come back to Canada where it belongs. Good game, though.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

wet naps (or moist towelettes)

Those of you who know me know that I collect wet naps (or maybe you didn't know that - now you know). I found a great site that has a gallery of wet naps at I think this person has many hundreds of wet naps, while I'm in possession of just over 100 unique examples (different numbers on the back of wet naps count for me). This one shown here is a recent addition and quite possibly one of my favourites.

If anyone happens to have interesting moist towelettes and they want to send them to me, throw a comment to me!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Dune, the book and movie

I don't know if any of you know of Frank Herbert's science-fiction book _Dune_, but anyway, I really like it. I ordered the DVD of the Lynch-directed movie from and received it a few days ago. It seems that Universal used what are called DVD-18 for this title, which is a DVD that you have to flip over to see more movie or features. It's like sticking 2 dual-layer DVDs back to back. Well, it seems that this process is far from perfect. I sent mine back to Amazon after it was skipping in my player, and when I received the replacement this morning, it happens to skip as well. So it's going back. One more try and then I'll ask for my money back. It is a good movie, though, if not a bit weird (and ever so slightly dated).

As for my other work, I'm still trying to fix up one of my chapters for publication. Ugh!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Nelly Furtado's "Loose"

Well, it certainly is a departure from "Folklore" and I'm not sure if I appreciate the "urban" influence on this album. It's growing on me, though. Nelly (Furtado) is someone I always thought I would like to write about. She's the perfect studio performer. The times I've seen her perform live (on television), she's been terrible. But her studio work is fabulous.

My wife and I watched a clip of Morrissey from the Jools Holland show last night (he was on the show earlier this month) and he looks old, although not in a bad way. He is wearing a full suit, cufflinks and a bowtie, which is a new look for him. Interestingly, the music is very heavy, and Moz is extremely active, even in a tux.

Today I'm going to try to get one of my chapters in shape to send out to another journal for consideration. Hopefully something can be published. Here's to today!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Does anyone know how to do this? How do I put in links into my Blogger blog page? Why am I having so much trouble?

I think I'm a geek. I think I know a bit about computers and electronics. I enjoy this stuff. So why am I having trouble with Blogger? And something as simple as links and blogrolls?

By the way, those who might be interested in popular music, if you haven't heard of Leslie Feist (or just Feist), she's great. There's probably no way that you could escape from hearing the hit "Inside + Out" on the radio - that's her. I would like to do a postdoctoral fellowship on developing a theoretical framework to discuss the voice and its "allure." While many would look to Roland Barthes and his "grain of the voice," I would hope there would be a more elegant way of approaching the singing voice in particular, and what might be attractive about it. Or something.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Back from Congress and the Apple Store!

So I saw the new MacBooks and they are nice. Not sure if I'll pick one up (my accountant/wife has already severely limited my allowance).

As for Congress, it was probably one of the best conferences I have ever been to. I found out that SSHRC (the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) doesn't give out that many Post-Doctoral Fellowships, but that, if I can get one, the University of Ottawa would be happy to have me, come September 2007 (or earlier). I'm happy about this.

What I'm not happy about is the apparent saturation of popular music studies in Canadian universities, where some departments are simply allowing history survey courses in popular music (the ones that attract many many students) and thus are hiring sessional people to teach these. As for the expansion of musicology departments to include upper level seminars in popular music, um, it's not happening.

So here I am.

Tomorrow I'm going with V. to eat hot dogs, and maybe we'll stop by Best Buy to see if the MacBooks are out. I wouldn't mind seeing the black ones again. Before I go, dear readers, should we go to Walt Disney World in the fall? We have a chance. We just have to decide.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Getting ready to go to Congress 2006

I'm just putting the finishing touches on my paper for the Canadian University Music Society conference at York University next week, part of the big and mysterious Congress 2006 put up by SSHRC. I'm presenting on Tuesday morning. My paper is about Morrissey and his enigmatic character, and the song "Don't Make Fun of Daddy's Voice." Right now the paper is a bit too long, but I'll cut it down tonight.

I'm hoping that, at some point, between the conference and visiting my family in Hamilton, we'll be able to go to the Apple Store in Toronto (Eaton Centre, I guess). We're planning to go, but when things get busy, you never know what plan might have to be scrapped. I've only visited one Apple store in my life, the New York SoHo location, and I enjoyed it. I even bought stuff - a wired Apple keyboard and mouse. I would like to see the replacement for the iBook, the Macbook. Best Buy here in Montreal doesn't have any of them yet.

We saw "The DaVinci Code" last night. I'm not sure what the Church is so afraid of with this thing. It's pretty much a snooze-fest. It's not the worst movie I've seen (I liked Audrey Tautou's character) but it's about as good as the book. The book was more exciting.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Got my headset, plus another joke

I picked up a CyberAcoustics AC-840 usb headset and it seems to work fine with Skype. I called my parents and Anto called hers, and they can hear us fine, so now it's time to cancel our long distance plan for now.

I have a quick joke for you, dear reader. I read it on some joke site for cancer victims, and it states that it is a bit distasteful, but I think it's funny.

A doctor calls his patient and says, "I have some bad news for you. You have terminal cancer." The patient replies, "Oh. That's terrible." The doctor says, "Well, you also have alzheimer's." The patient replies, "Well, at least I won't die of cancer."

Get it?

Friday, May 19, 2006

usb headset or microphone?

I'm looking to take advantage of Skype and free calls to land lines until the end of the year, but my mini has no audio input or microphone, so I have to find a usb microphone or headset. I notice that Best Buy sells inexpensive headsets for the PS2 that are USB, but I'm not sure if they would work with a Macintosh. They also sell cheap bluetooth headsets (the logitech express is the one I was looking at) but I'm not sure if that's any good either. Anyway, if you have any suggestions, leave me a message. Thanks.

Oh, and happy birthday to Antonella on the 17th, and Julia and Carrie around this time too. And Happy Victoria Day (or Jour des Dollards or whatever it's called in Quebec).

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Macbooks are here!

So Apple released new MacBooks today, to replace the iBook. They look very nice except for the glossy screen, which I'm not sure I like. As some others have said, my failing eyes might not be able to take all the glare that might accompany a glossy screen. Otherwise, they're beautiful laptops and I wouldn't mind picking one up.

I'm working through my fifth and last chapter of my dissertation, but I need to go through the whole thing again, taking into account my supervisor's comments on the first three sections of the paper. I also need to revise my conclusions, and, since I'm presenting at a conference in 2 weeks, I need to write something new. If I want to include this new material, I might need to change the order of my chapters. This isn't that big of a deal, but I'm used to the order as it is and I'm afraid to change it.

I guess that's what happens, though. I wish someone would have told me that this process is difficult before I started.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

No Macbooks and another joke ...

From Mr. Kotter:

My Uncle Herman used to always fight with my Aunt Eunice, and she used to tell people, "I'm going to be dancing on his grave when he goes! I'm going to be dancing on his grave!" When Uncle Herman heard about this, he said, "I'm going to be buried at sea. Let her dance."

ooo-hoo hoo ha ha. That Gabe Kotter really is funny.

As for MacBooks, the rumour sites say they'll come out next week. This kind of rumour could go on forever.

(Click on my links)

Monday, May 08, 2006

new macbooks tomorrow?

For those of you who might care, there are rumours that Apple will be releasing new iBooks tomorrow, rebranded as MacBooks. As a past iBook owner, these computers hold a special place in my heart. Let's hope they look nice.

As for me, I'm struggling with my work today. I haven't done very much, but I need to get on this stuff to try to submit in a timely manner. I'm talking about my PhD dissertation, for those of you coming in late.

I'll post again tomorrow with a bit more insight, instead of these boring posts. I might even find a funny joke from Welcome Back, Kotter.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A friend from the past...

I got an email from a friend today that I haven't heard from in a while. Actually, I've heard from a couple of people recently that I haven't heard from in a long time. This was a surprise, though, because he found me by my website. And he called me "quite a scholar"! Nice. Anyway, Kev, nice to hear from you.

As for all you other people who know me and pass by this blog, leave comments or take a look at my website (the address is in another post below) and CLICK ON THE AD ABOVE AND DO SOME CLICKING WHILE YOU'RE THERE. Then I'll make money (not really a lot of money, but I want to see how much I can make).

Thursday, May 04, 2006


So I've added one of these adsense things to this blog, so now there is advertising on here. I thought, "Maybe I can make money from this and buy a new computer!" I'm not sure that will happen. Well, if you're here, why don't you click on the ad, and make sure you click around a bit when you get there, and make me some money? Thanks in advance!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Another joke...

As if I'm such a funny guy that I should be posting jokes on my blog.

From "Welcome Back, Kotter":

My aunt and uncle got a letter from my cousine Gertrude. She wrote,

"Dear mom and dad,

I'm having a great time at school, except that I fell last week and hurt my leg. I would have told you sooner, except that my doctor said it wasn't a big deal. I should be up and walking within a year ot two. And anyway, I have a nice friend who has been helping me out. His name is Tony and he is kind to me. We'll be getting married in July; he wanted to wait a bit longer, but now we have to get married. He's looking for a job and hopefully he'll get one soon.

Anyway, don't worry too much about me.


P.S. None of the things I said in this letter are true. It's just that I got a D in History and I thought I would put it in its proper perspective."

Oooh, hoo, hoo, ha ha ha. Funny stuff, that Mr. Kotter.

Visit my new website at:

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sorry for the absence . . .

Things have been crazy. My diss. is one big piece right now, and I'm working to make it ready for defense. It's very difficult, though. I'm speaking at the Canadian University Music Society conference in May at York, so if you're there, drop by and say hello.

I've been watching "Welcome Back, Kotter" on TV at lunchtime lately. It's a funny show.

That's all.