Apr. 14th, 2012

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Broadcasting live from the heart of Grading Country, it's The Merin Minute, reporting on any and all things me-related! Today's top stories:

Teaching: is done! Both classes wrote final exams this week. Now to deal with the heaps of frantically-scrawled booklets, containing occasional gems of insight and lots of hazardous waste material ("Fritz Lang's Waltz with Bashir." I kid you not.)

Research: is beginning! I'm presenting at the Film Studies Association of Canada conference, held during Canada's massive week-long humanities Congress in May. My paper: "Digital Dreams and the Nostalgia for Cinema in Hugo and Paprika." Looking forward to this one!
I'll also likely be lecturing this summer at Wako University (Japan), in Ueno Toshiya's seminar on A Thousand Plateaus by Deleuze and Guattari. I hope to talk about the Body without Organs and "kyara" or character bodies (possibly in early shounen-ai manga/anime, possibly Hatsune Miku.) It sounds exciting, but I'm nervous about the cost of this summer's Japan research plans, in financial and emotional terms.

Anime: Apollon SQUEEEEE! The first episode of Watanabe Shinichiro's new series Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope) actually made me squee out loud. In retrospect, I get the feeling I'm being hooked by a formulaic narrative and typed characters: delicate classical music student Nishimi Kaoru transfers to a new school in backwater Kyushu, where impulsive, jazz-loving bad-boy Kawabuchi Sentarou takes a sudden liking to him. Kaoru is fascinated in return by Sentarou's "drumming." I see the bait there, Watanabe. But I like it, so I'll let the hook sink in and trust you to pull me somewhere good. Also, new music/jazz covers by Yoko Kanno, yay!

Personal: Feeling very "up-and-down" this month: content one day, overwhelmed by anxiety the next. Changes in schedule always upset me, even "positive" changes like the end of term. Still, I'm trying to be gentle and give myself more down-time. I'm drawing again, and writing fiction. Nothing I'd show the world, but it makes me happy.

Blog: Really thinking of switching to Dreamwidth, but see above about the anxiety-provoking effects of change. Any advice on how to switch over easily?

And that was your Merin-Minute. Tune in next time for another exciting installment!

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