Tuesday, October 30, 2007

News clip about Kevin Smith's film "Dogma"

This is old, but funny. Many fans of Kevin Smith films have heard the story recounting Smith joining the protestors in New Jersey, with the protestors completely oblivious to his presence. According to the story, Smith's sign says "Dogma is dogs**t" (read the slang word for excrement there).

When I met Smith in August of 1999, with my wife (then just my bestest friend), I asked him whether my girlfriend who is a practicing Catholic would be offending by the film. He responded that he felt the film was "pro-faith," and that she shouldn't be offended at all.

Neither of us were offended. It's a comedy film after all. I was more perturbed by the universalist rants within the film, as well as the recitation of the "recession of faith" after announcements. I can only assume that Smith meant "profession of faith," except that an early screenplay states "recession," so it seems this was deliberate.

There is a great article that I just stumbled upon about the theology of the movie here. And, if you haven't seen the movie, you should (note that it is rated as Restricted, and that there is quite a bit of swearing and crude joking in the film).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Back from Gatineau

Buy, these blog postings only get more exciting, don't they?

My wife and I had a nice time at the Association for the Study of Canada conference this past weekend. I had the pleasure of being on the same train with one of the professors that was on my defense committee. We had a great conversation, covering The Smiths, Joy Division (and the new movie directed by Anton Corbjin) and academia and the job market.

I heard a bunch of papers that were quite interesting; Feist's name was mentioned quite a few times. My supervisor was at my presentation and he felt that my paper was good. He mentioned that I was "onto something." I'm happy about that.

Now I have to focus on some rewriting of one of my chapters for possible publication (I AM a broken record!!).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Off to Gatineau tomorrow

I'll be presenting at my first conference post-PhD on Sunday. The conference starts tomorrow in Gatineau (what the locals used to call "Hull," right across the river from Ottawa). So, early tomorrow, I'm off to Ottawa by train and then on to Hull for the first day of the conference of the Association for the Study of Canada, an association I haven't been associated with before (haha).

I'm presenting my paper on Feist's problematic Canadian-ness, although I've cut down a paper that was short of 30 pages down to 8 (I'm speaking for 15 minutes), so I'm not sure how great the paper will be. I suppose that it will be interesting to be among colleagues that I don't really know. Will Straw and Darin Barney, two of the professors who were on my doctoral defense committee (Will was my supervisor), are speaking tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to that.

Here's a picture of me, all happy-like, riding the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, once known as the WEDway Peoplemover, at the Magic Kindom at Walt Disney World. I look happy, no?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We're back

After a nice trip, we're back at home and (almost) back into the swing of things. I'm preparing for a conference this coming weekend and I'm looking at a few more possible jobs. My wife and I were both impressed upon our visit to Celebration, Florida, a planned community established in the mid-1990s by the Disney Company (see picture below).

Look at those ducks crossing the street. If you were wondering, the building with the tower is a bank. There is a university in Celebration, but it is a satellite campus for business administration only (Stetson University - main campus in DeLand, north of Orlando).

We also toyed with the idea of becoming Disney Cast Members (workers at the Walt Disney Company), something we might actually consider doing if nothing works out. We haven't really looked into it seriously, so right now it's just something in the back of our minds.

Anyway, happy to be back home, but not happy to be back facing our real world difficulties.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Really soon now!!

The mail came...

No letter or documents. So, I've emailed my letter writer with instructions about sending a letter straight to the funding agency, and I've called the travel agent about the documents.

I've gone to the post office and I've put the application for funding into the mail.

Upon my return, there were the travel documents in my mailbox.

SO WE HAVE THE DOCUMENTS (which weren't as important as I thought, but at least we have them). And the person writing my reference letter will hopefully come through for me in a pinch.

Wow. This has been a stressfull few days. Now maybe my wife and I can have a well deserved rest.

Oh, and we also got the Studio 60 DVDs in the mail, but the postman misdelivered it to the people upstairs. No reference letter there though.

Today's the day

As per the ticker, 19 hours, 54 minutes, 47 seconds and counting until we board on a plane headed for sunny (with a few clouds in the coming days) Florida.

No mail yet, but it's only 10am. I just hope that, with the rain here, the postman doesn't decide to take the day off. That would not be good.

I'll make sure to update after the mail comes.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I am the proud owner of an Alliance bill used in the movie "Serenity," signed by Mal (Nathan Fillion) himself!



Things are terrible here right now. We're off on a nice vacation in 2 days (actually, 1 day, 16 hours, 48 minutes), but we have yet to receive our travel documents from our travel agent. They were mailed by "Global Priority Mail" last Tuesday. Our travel agent said they would arrive in the next 6 business days. So, discounting Monday, today is DAY 6. Where the heck is that envelope?

Reasons to make all arrangements yourself.

Also, I'm almost ready to submit my postdoctoral fellowship application for the Quebec funding body, but I'm waiting for one last reference letter, which was apparently mailed from Ottawa last week. Four business days is the standard, so if the letter was mailed on Friday, tomorrow is DAY 4.

So, I suppose I need to expect both packages tomorrow. For my own information, the mail came in today at around 1pm.

Plus, I'm not feeling good. If I was stressed during my doctoral defense, or during the summer with the employment waiting game, this week tops them all.

Why should I have to be stressed before a vacation?!

Now, to those who say, "Why be stressed about something you can't control?", I say, WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON??!!

If things are not going smoothly, I'm not going to just be calm and say, "Well, I have no control over it so I'm fine."

That's just not the case. It is not a "fine" situation.

Thankfully, we're going on vacation (and hopefully, if we don't get those documents, the people at Orlando accept our reservation number).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007