28 November 2007

On random bits

So I guess I have a few random thoughts to throw out there and try to hash out. Feel free to help, those of you who have not given up on my blog:

THOUGHT THE FIRST: I have a silly e-crush on some blogger named editorgirl. Apparently a friend of Amanda's, she has a nice blog with a creative name and interesting and regular posts. In my estimation, she's an attractive writer--that is to say, she writes attractively. Whatever that means. Silly e-crush.

THOUGHT THE SECOND: My friend Erin asked me last night how much longer I have in my MA program here at George Mason. Usually when people ask that, I give a nebulous answer akin to the Israelite "40 years" approximation. But I actually thought it out last night and realized that if I keep my current pace, I have five more semesters, including the Spring 2008 semester that starts in January. So that's two and a half more years. If I take one course during the summer for the rest of my MA program, that eliminates one semester, making it an even two years left. That would make for a grand total of three years in the MA history program at GMU. I can manage that.

But what next? Perhaps I'm a little ahead of myself, but I've been thinking already about where to go for my Ph.D. I'm assuming, first of all, that two more years of juggling full-time work with part-time school won't make me swear off academia forever. I'm assuming that I'll have been wise in those two years and saved and invested enough to be able to plausibly quit my job and be a full-time doctoral candidate. And I'm assuming that Ph.D programs will want me.

Just to throw this out there (that's what this post is all about, after all), I think that the ideal place for me right now is Rutgers University's American Studies Ph.D program. It'll be just like a history program, really, with the path I would take. And Rutgers Newark has, get this, the Institute of Jazz Studies, which, according to their website, is "the largest and most comprehensive library and archive of jazz and jazz-related materials in the world." Guh.

So I'd do a doctorate in American Studies where I could interdiscipline myself in 20th century American history with some cultural and musical studies. Throw in a little early-to-mid-20th century literature, and I'd be golden. You could all call me Doctor Jazz.

THOUGHT THE THIRD: I finally got my license plates last night from the dealership up in Silver Spring. I didn't know they weren't going to let me choose my license plate design. I mean, I didn't want to spell anything fancy or anything like that, but they gave me the plain old white plates, when I would have prefered the ship. The ship!

So anyway, the real issue here is a matter of obsessive compulsion. When I was a lad, my mom and I would play a game where we'd make words out of the letters on license plates of other cars on the road. The only rule was that you had to maintain the order of the letters. You got extra points if you could find two words: one that started with the initial letter in the series, and one where the initial letter was not the first letter of the word. For example, if the letters on the plate were HTL, you would say "hotel" and then "shuttle" for the bonus.

My license plate letters are KFF. I'm having some trouble making words. The best I've come up with so far is "kickoff," but you all know I'm not really a football fan.

17 comments:

JKC said...

Bravo on keeping it alive.

I. With all that steamy kissing talk, it's no wonder you fell for her.

II. Congrats on having a tentative plan/goal for the next episode of your life. The Jazz Institute looks pretty sweet. And good luck on all that investing.

III. I'd say Kerfuffle. Or (Kris) Kristofferson.

The Shark said...

Or you could name your car "Kiff," and train it to tell people about your sexy disease.

Amanda Dambrink said...

IT LIVES! Beautiful.

editorgirl is the kind of person that makes me wonder, "How the heck do I get so lucky as to associate with someone this cool?"

Also, holy smokes! that Rutgers program looks like it'd be perfect. Did I tell you about the essay I'm writing for Trent Hickman's class on American lit from 1965 to the present? I'm writing about the form of Ragtime and the form of Ragtime (the latter instance referring to E.L. Doctorow's book of fictive nonfiction). We'll have to talk about jazz and literature sometime, because I've been thinking a lot about the essay form and parallels with jazz form and I have some questions for you.

Also, you should take some time off at the end of January and come to the AWP conference with me in NYC. E.L. Doctorow, Billy Collins, Philip Lopate, Cynthia Ozick, and other fantastic writers will be there. That invitation actually goes to to all who read this (rather lengthy and overly parenthetical) post, because man, it's awesome to hear great writers talk about their writing, isn't it??

I can't compete with kerfuffle. But I will say, "yeah, D. Todd Christofferson."

The Shark said...

Will Jan & Stan Berenstein be there?

JKC said...

I'll go if R.L. Stein is there.

JKC said...

Amanda,

I like your Ragtime paper idea. I remember that discussion when I took that class. Something about the melding of classical European forms with African rhythms and American improvisation, no? Anyway, I like the paper idea. Could I read it when it's done?

JKC said...

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot.

Christopher Robin.

The Shark said...

Yeah, Batman and Robin.

JKC, your R.L. Stein reference made me uncontrollably burst out laughing in my cubicle -- I had to goofily stifle myself before too many people noticed.

JKC said...

I'm glad to hear it, Shark.

Yeah, Robin Hood; yeah, Boyz in the Hood; yeah, Vienna Boys Choir.

editorgirl said...

I fully support e-crushes. And Ragtime. . . although I suppose that's a discussion for Amanda.

Asian Keng said...

I too could not beat kerfuffle. I humbly bow my head in awe... but i did come up with the Kaiser Family Foundation. Hey, we live in DC, the central hub of acronyms...

And how cool do you have to be to merit an e-crush merely from blogs and writing alone? I am e-nvious (okay that didn't even merit a sympathy laugh but I'm keeping it posted online anyway.)

Amanda Dambrink said...

Sure I'll let you read the paper, jkc.

And yeah, Vienna sausages.

Warren said...

I forgot about Hipster Girl. We need one of those music things on salsanight.

The Shark said...

Yeah, Costco Polish sausage.

mmmmm.....

Scott said...

You should get your Ph.D. if only to be able to be called "Dr. Jazz". That would be cool! For some reason it makes me think of Dr. Teeth from the Muppets.

The Shark said...

I take back what I said in an earlier post of yours. This blog DOTH stink indeed!

Kimberly said...

Hey, I found your blog through friend,The Shark (he left a comment on my blog). Just wanted to let you know that it was very nice meeting you last weekend and let's just say that hopefully you are putting your "Bruce Willis" hypothiesis to good use. ;)

You can check out my blog if you would like. I just posted pictures from the party (sadly I didn't get any pictures of you, though).