Paul Hester

I was completely surprsied to read on a blog this morning that Paul Hester, member of Split Enz and Crowded House, has been found dead in a park in Melbourne. ABC news (that's the Australian Broadcast Corp.) reports he went to walk his dogs and never came back. Very sad.

bumper sticker overload

On Church Street yesterday I saw a van with several dozen bumper stickers, all expressing political or social views opposite my own. There were so many I just had to keep reading - and commit them to memory for re-telling. A sampling:

Do you have a favorite yet?

a very good color website

I don't know who you are, Marianne, but your color website is fab-u-lous.

I spy

I'm sure there's a word for those amazing moments in life when things converge and make sense, whether it be an important thing like an exam or interview or a trivial thing like catching episodes of an old tv show in consecutive order, rendering a mysterious plot comprehensible. I have seen a total of 2.5 Bollywood movies and, randomly, the heroine in one was the road block to the main couple's true love in the other. And in Bride and Prejudice I am pretty sure I saw a big billboard for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in the background of a street scene - and in the pseudo blooper thing during the end credits they are dancing around with large heads from that same sign. And, thought it's silly, I felt like an insider, like I got at least a few of the in-jokes. And that feels good.

What makes you angry?

In a sort of reverse experience than the one in which David Sedaris has to tell his French class and sadistic teacher what he likes and dislikes (in Me Talk Pretty One Day, my favorite), I participated in a survey created by a Japanese high school student who is living with one of my co-workers. Her English is on the rough side, but she expressed that Japanese people think Americans don't ever get mad, and she wanted to know what made me mad. How do you explain that in words she'd understand? Mostly I get peeved at things rather than full-out angry, but I wasn't sure that was a distinction I could explain. John suggested "When people cut you off in traffic," but that's problem. I came up with "when someone hurts someone else's feelings" and "waiting for people who are more than five minutes late." I could have said "co-workers who quit without giving notice" and "curators who refuse to do work assigned to them" but then realized that there is a line bewteen answering a survey and just plain venting.

She also wanted to know what time I go to bed, whether I like sports, and how often I use my credit card. On at least two of those, I'm really going to skew her results. I can only imagine my country's international reputation on sports and credit spending - but bedtime? Are we perceived as puritanically early to bed, or Cops and Letterman night owls?

at last

Bride and Prejudice finally came to Champaign this weekend so we rushed right out to see it. Thoroughly charming and enjoyable. None of my clothing is appealing to me anymore - I want embroidered cottony tops and fun flipflops. In London. And an elephant.

Watching Taal will just have to do.

You must not have been looking very hard.

Far be it from me to quibble with NPR, but in this story Scott Simon said something about how the story of one man's search for a stolen Vermeers indicates how the number of really marvellous things in the world is finite. Au contraire! My favorite thing about weekend NPR is the range of programs that cover such an amazing diversity of things, things that make me want to run to my computer and find out more, to write my senators, to make a mental note to tell my friends. That's the whole reason I listen to NPR - and, really, the reason I have love working in museums - the world has a limitless supply of wonderful things.

it's always nice to be asked

I have just been invited to the conference, including banquet with ballroom dancing (!), for the folks with whom I worked on a small but very complicated exhibit. Which is great, becuase I'm interested in the conference and will get to hang out with my dad more (you can't even keep retired historians away from a scholarly gathering), and it's always lovely to be invited to things and feels v respectful and professional.

But.... It's never fun to be at a dance without a partner. I don't really fancy the idea of having to fumble through the foxtrot with aged classicists, or of sitting by myself and not even being asked by aged classicists. I'm slightly uncomfortable with the idea of dancing with my dad, and I've never once known my dad to dance in any way (although as a high schooler in the 50s and a frat member in the early 60s, surely he had to learn to walz somewhere?). I can't bring myself to ask John, who seldom dances and hates dressing up.

I do love ballroom dancing and even know a few, so in theory this should be fun. Is it immature to worry about these things? Would I be a better grown-up if I just went to the event and vowed to enjoy it no matter what? It's just so very hard to feel good about yourself when you're the youngest person, from an unrelated professional field, in a room of smart people who already know each other. Dancing just aggravates existing feelings of insecurity and not-fitting-in-nees.

On the other hand, maybe I'll meet the history geek of my dreams and have a whirlwind romance between and or something.

Please advise.

"her body is fat"

Last night Suzanne and I went to hear Paul Campos talk at the IPRH. He's the author of The Obesity Myth; Why America's Obsession with Weight is Hazardous to Your Health and wow, what a good speaker with such interesting and ultimately very useful points.

For example, our hysteria over America's obesity is a moral and social panic perpetuated mainly by very heavy white men and very thin upper-class white women who are projecting their obsessions and diseases onto our whole culture.

Cancer, strokes, and heart disease, the diseases that people point to as reasons for most of us who are in the 60-odd % of the population deemed overweight or obese, are in a steady decline while life expectancy is in a steady increase. So while we may be getting heavier, it's not having quite the dire effect people say.

It's easy to make people feel guilty about overconsumption and grossness and for some reason food overconsumption is what we're worried about right now, instead of irreversible ecological damage, gas guzzling, land misuse, etc.

Half of American girls have been on a diet by age ten.

The $50,000,000,000 (yes, billion is what he said) diet industry fails to produce the results it promises, thus creating more need for its servcies even though it fails.

Most people who start diets end up heavier than when they started. Whatever we're doing about weight isn't working.

Unfortuantely I didn't get a sense from this talk about what he thinks should happen instead. And I'm not clear on what "health" then means and entails. I need to read the book. Fascinating.

This posting title comes from something he said in the end, when mentioning that he does not allow his mother to say anything to his ten-year-old daughter about her weight, and I loved that when giving examples of dangerous language he used "fat" to describe a body, not a person. But of coruse, if we adopt that, where do we stop? My body is above average height? My hair is brunette?

I rambled about other stuff too. Wanna see?

April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 May 2006 June 2006 August 2006 October 2006 December 2006 February 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 September 2007 July 2008

projects, friends, etc.

  • I love Bollywood so much that I made a separate blog for it.
  • remember when I went to Australia?
  • when you take grad school too much to heart re: literature
  • when you take grad school too much to heart re: travels
  • The Trophy Wife
  • rock and roll lifestyle
  • Why God Why
  • Technically not a friend, as not a human, but still a place I love very much, so it counts: Massey College
  • credits

  • Blog design is based largely on Not That Ugly with some ideas from Firdamatic with some additional tweaking
  • Flickr rocks! Really.
  • Hurrah for Blogger
  • And for folks trying to library-ize blogs: Blogwise and Blogarama
  • Sorry this looks like poo in Firefox. I've no idea why.