Thursday, September 27, 2007

Archive Series: Locus #6/STL #49

This is a format I might want to revive. I like this piece.

Title: Eleven for 3/24/2006

1. 43folders and Lifehacker. I check these "productivity 'pR0n," sites (don't ask) daily. Among the strategic systems (deriving from business management's "Getting Things Done") and tactical modifications there must be something to let me vanquish all the projects I have going and still have time to be culture blogger and hardcore reader. Or so I believe. There are religious ramifications to this cult-like phenomenon I'm sure, but suffice it to say I waste a lot of time reading about how to be more efficient.
2. I got into this when preparing for a computer lab open house. We made a handout of some cool free web apps, with some pedagogical rationale thrown in. This site allows you, the researcher, to peek into the web surfing of others. Once you find a site of interest, you tag it for personal use and then can see what other sites have been tagged in the same way. A vibrant example of the social construction of knowledge.
3. wikis: and speaking of the social construction of knowledge... I'm fitfully revising a paper on using wikis in the classroom as a sort of "text shop" while I'm gearing up for a wiki-based assignment. You'll hear more about this.

next nerdiest
4. Alan Moore: the subject of the wiki-based assignment will be this eccentric magician's Watchmen. I'm re-reading that classic with more pleasure than the first time through. I read V for Vendetta last week in preparation for the dumbed down movie.
5. Legion of Super Heros ("LSH"): In the 31st century, an intergalatic band of super powered teens fight the power of old fogey-dom. The latest in a series of mostly woe-begone "reboot" of a long-running comic book franchise. I loved the dramatic Keith Giffen/ Paul Levitz version from the mid 80's, though my understanding is that subsequent versions fell into the sandtrap of grim and gritty. This version taps into the desire for nostalgia by actually depicting that nostalgia, though at a remove of an additional thousand years.
6. Seven Soldiers of Victory: Maybe the ultimate challenge for a comics writer. Grant Morrison wrote 7 4-issue miniseries on existing C-list characters. Each mini-series is self contained, as is each issue to a degree, but the recurring motifs and characters among the series tell an epic tale (I'm taking this on faith since I'm only half-way through.) This story uses the seriality and multipliciy of the comic book universes as a strength rather than a weakness. It's awesome.

least nerdiest
7. Great Fire of London by Jacques Roubaud. Roubaud is a member of the Oulipo, a group of writers who use self-imposed limitations and procedures to create literature. I haven't figured out the constraints of this book about the loss of the author's wife and the independent life of memory, but it's one of those books (like Cortazar's Hopscotch) which require you to skip from the main narrative to "interpolations" and "bifurcations" in the back. I'll repost on it after I finish.
8. Bob Grenier: This poet is an important fellow traveler of the language poets. I love his Sentences, a box of 3x5 cards which contains poems like

a port to a green


the snow with snow


previously leaves were red

My favorite poem right now is


9. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins: Rabbit Fur Coat. I wouldn't have bought this for myself since I've never been impressed by Rilo Kelly, but the songs, ranging from alt trad country to alt Nashville (and recorded in alt Omaha) really grab me. I especially like the title track.
10. Freaks and Geeks: The least nerdiest thing I'm into this week is a TV show called "Freaks and Geeks." Help me! I had one of those great unintentional marathons last weekend with this show. It's pitch perfect as a period piece, and Linda Cardellini's facial reactions are extraordinary. My favorite episode is the one where it seems that Lindsey is giving up on freakdom and going back to the Matheletes. Though you know this would help her get into a good college, you can't help but think she could be throwing her life away. It's a great great show that I'm in the midst of watching again, so maybe you'll hear about it next week.

staff of life

11. Bread crumb eggs: Encrumb your day old bread in the blender and leave it in a bowl on the counter. When hungry, heat some olive oil in a frying pan, scatter the bread crumbs on top and wait for a quiet sizzle. Crack your eggs on top of them, salt and pepper as normal. When you flip them, they'll be covered with a crust of crumbs (oh, and any herbs you put in as well). Plate the eggs and splash some balsamic vinegar in the pan and scrape this along with remaining crumbs on top.