Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Answers! Part 1

So, the doctor says its viral, and yes, I've been sick for two weeks, but I can expect to be sick for another two. What I really need, she said, is a week of rest. Ha!

And herewith, answers to your delicious questions! Part 1, because, Holy Moley, there were a lot of questions! May your curiosity momentarily be sated!

Kidlicious wants to know: "What do you like to do if you're not blogging, taking care of your daughter, knitting or reading... ?"

Honestly? Lately, that would be blowing my nose, getting dizzy, and sitting on the kitchen floor until Pynchon tells me just to take the night-time drugs and go to bed already.

Motherbumper next asked, "You've probably already told this story a gazillion times but I really do want to know: are you huge Jane Sibery fan or how/why did you select your blog name?"

I did write about this! When no one was reading! So it's okay if you don't remember. I like Jane Siberry, and own the 'Best of' CD, but Mimi was a childhood nickname, and the pun was too much to pass up. I like obscure song reference, mostly 80s, which is why I'm so sad no one picked up on the Smiths reference in my ask-a-question post--the title is a lyric from their song 'Ask me.'

Debbie says, "I'm curious how you got to where you are in your profession. What led you there, and how was the journey?"

Totally happenstance! I'm an English professor who teaches computers: I wanted to be a computer science professor for a long time, but the totally male-skewed classes in high school turned me right off. Then during my BA I dated a multimedia guy and took some classes and got a job at a university computer lab. Then from that I got a teaching gig, and did some web page coding, then a research position during my MA, and that set me up for my PhD work in cultural studies of technology looking at, among other things, why computing has a culture that turned me off in high school as too 'male.'

I love it.

I'm an assistant professor in my fourth/third year on the tenure track (my year off with Munchkin is a 'stop' year on the clock, but I actually started work here in 2004).

Beck, who like me is from the boonies, lays it on the line: "Okay: Do you ever miss Northern Ontario? What book should I read next? How did you name your daughter?"

Slow down, Beck! Yowza. Yes, I miss it. I miss the crispness of winter, it's abominable whiteness against the deep black night sky. I miss the trees. I miss that weird Northern Ontario accent. I miss casual franglais conversations. I miss my parents. You should read Pamela next--I just did, and it's a total hoot. Munchkin is named for my maternal grandmother, and I shoulda thought it through a little better

bubandpie is nearly bursting: "How is the house-hunting going? You need to send me MLS listings for the EXACT houses you're looking at because I'm nosy! (I've been searching [name of my town] listings for you, but I haven't found anything yet. Also because I'm nosy and like to look at everyone's cabinets and paint colours.)"

Gah! Keep looking! But don't tell me! Condo bastards have signed the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, but retain the right to back out for any whim at all, without penalty, up to and including February 29. So I'm studiously avoiding the listings. What if my New Perfect House is there, and I can't even in good conscience make my agent bring me there? AHHHHHHH!

ewe are here is concerned about neighbourhood harmony: "Oh, and are your neighbors still speaking to you, you know, since you held out, did some research, and got the best must-sell-out deal on the block?"

Yes! They are really great people--they told us they figured we'd get more, because, well, at our stage of life we need it more, and they are the first to acknowledge that we have a bigger lot and more square footage and such. We got about 20K more than them--really not that much more, considering.

Jenifer asks a good one: "Hmmn. If you were not a teacher/professor what would you be doing?" And, similarly, "If you could pick a dream job, anything, what would it be?"

I would probably be doing some sort of multimedia/electronic text computer industry something or other. BORING! But my dream job? That's easy. I've got two: professional closet organizer, or crowd-wrangler for movie productions. I'm very very good at both of these things, and they bring me joy!

Mike D. aks, "What is your favorite color, and has it always been your favorite color?"

Hi Mike! Nice to see you ... Oh my God. You know, I totally don't even know. Is that a colour I like to look at? Or to wear? Or to paint the walls or dress my baby in? I guess the colours I'm most partial to are a lime green and a bright acqua. These have been in the top ten since at least high school, and that was, um, 20 years ago.

Kittenpie stopped barfing long enough to get all serious on me: "What exactly do you teach, and give three titles that you consider the base reading in your field."

This question terrified me and sent me into a tailspin of intellectual self-doubt. I teach a lot of things, but the canned answer is that it's mostly media theory and history, cultural studies of technology, and multimedia theory and design. If you wanted to read some stuff that I think made me the thinker I am, then I'd suggest Sandy Stone's The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Machine Age, and Donna Haraway's Simians, Cyborgs, and Women, and probably Lev Manovich's The Language of New Media. It is just KILLING me to name three titles. KILLING ME.

Omaha Mama sets me to dreaming: "If you could go on a trip, anywhere, this weekend...where would you go? Who would go with you?"

This might sound weird, but I think I would go to Montreal with Pynchon ... and my sister. I love hanging out with the two of them together, and my sister sorely needs a break just to do something for herself. Pynchon arranged for her to come last weekend to go out for Birthday Supper with he and I and it was so nice. I miss hanging out with my sister, and seeing my husband in a date or fun setting. Sigh.

the new girl loved this q/a thing so much, she did it too, but before she left, she dropped the bomb on me: "What is one thing that you've learned about yourself as a result of becoming a mother?"

That I'm still me: I'm no more patient, I'm no less sleepy, no more insightful, but no less funny. Motherhood is very much a new state, and one that challenged me to the core, but the mother that emerged? Is a lot like the woman I was going in.

Kait said, "What ONE thing would you tell me to experience before graduating college and entering the "real" world? (I'm always hearing people talk about things they would have done - but now it's "too late...")"

Hi Kait! Nice to meet you! One thing? Become who you are: you'll never have so much time or opportunity to focus on getting to know yourself as you will at college. So far as particular 'things' go? It's never too late, really, not if you take the time to figure out who you really are on the inside, what you really want, and the path you need to take to get from here to there. The real world should be, if you do this right, even better than college, not the beginning of the end. IMHO.

But you seem to have this totally under control, anyway. Hats off to you!

Oh, and sleep in a lot. The real world is not so gentle on matters pertaining to schedules.

crazymumma expostulates: "Every time I click over to your space I start singing a song by Jane Siberry in my head (you know the one haha). Are you an eighties kinda gal?"

Hell yeah, baby!

Kyla asks: "Do you totally miss me?"

Of course. I don't even want to ASK you if you're going to BlogHer this year, because if you aren't, I'm going to cry. WAH!

Oh, The Joys is looking for trouble. She wants to know, "What got you in the most trouble growing up?"

Sarcasm, laziness, and a near total disregard for due dates of all kinds.

Patti wonders, "As a university prof, what advice would you give about going back to school for a different degree (Sociology), while still working very full-time, and maintaining sanity?"

Take it one course at a time, and remember, you're in it to learn--if you're not enjoying it, it's probably not the right time. You should talk to Kyla! She's kicking ass and taking names. The good news is that returning students often do much better than what we call 'traditional' college students, who don't have the time-management skills, the life experience, and the multitasking pragmatism of people who've lived life on the outside, as it were. Good luck!

Oh yeah. Start the big assignments as sooooooon as you get them. Spread the work out, because it always takes longer than it takes.

If you made it this far, you deserve to see what Munchkin looks like when she has a 90 minute tantrum after her bath and won't consent to a diaper. Obviously, she looks hungry and pants-less:


alejna said...

I totally got the Smiths song reference, but was too lazy and/or busy at the time to leave a comment. (Actually, it got the song stuck in my head. Once again now. But I don't mind. It's a great song. And Kirsty MacColl sings backup in it.) Oh, and also, I couldn't think up a question.

This was fun to see both people's questions and your answers.

Laziness and disregard for due dates still get me in trouble. As does a general tendency for procrastination. Which is what I'm doing right now.

cinnamon gurl said...

Wow, most excellent questions AND answers. I can't even pick a fave, but

I'm no more patient, I'm no less sleepy, no more insightful, but no less funny. Motherhood is very much a new state, and one that challenged me to the core, but the mother that emerged? Is a lot like the woman I was going in.


Oh, and sleep in a lot. The real world is not so gentle on matters pertaining to schedules.

are way at the top.

I think I want to go to BlogHer too. How are you getting there? Wanna travel together?

motherbumper said...

Pretty cute for a pantless tantrum thrower... actually she looks deadly cute, it's a kind of a "I'll take you on" stare.

Great answers and holy heck, great questions! I'm glad I had the Mimi on the Beach confirmed (go 80s! Now I have Rise Up stuck in my head).

Beck said...

Ha - I scanned through this quickly, worried that I'd forgotten to ask you questions.
I TOTALLY have that Northern Ontario accent, although without the atrocious grammar. And you TOTALLY have the same virus that I do, since I am STILL SICK too. We'll live.

Beck said...

Oh, and I also got the Smiths reference, of course. I used to plan on marrying Morrissey, remember?

Kyla said...

Good thing that highchair is waterproof and washable. ;)

She looks quite content after a 90 minute tantrum. That always amazes me. I think if I were to shout and flail for that long, I'd just pass right out...but these kiddos can handle it and then run off to play!

Very fun! And YES, I am going to BlogHer. We are using some of our tax refund to accommodate it. YAY!

bubandpie said...

Ah, that explains it! I've been waiting on tenterhooks for the obligatory angst-filled house-hunting posts. Guess we'll just schedule those for March.

kittenpie said...

I love this. I am totally doing this. And sorry, didn't mean to send you into a tailspin!

BOSSY said...

That was a most excellent Q&A. And hiney shot.

NotSoSage said...

Good god. Major changes afoot. I'm so out of touch! Send me an e-mail to catch me up, pretty pleeeaassee?

Um...when you're feeling better, of course.

ewe are here said...

I love these q/a 's... I'm going to do one very soon... for my 300th post celebration I think. :-)

ewe are here said...

Oh, and my Ramekin would agree with Munchkin that pants are overrated.


Jenifer said...

These answers were great! I hope it was fun answering all those questions. Thanks for the update about the house...few more weeks...few more weeks.

crazymumma said...

I had to go and look up expostulate.

Karen said...

those are the same things I got in trouble for.
I hope you have all recovered from the 90 minute tantrum. Usually, I ended up thirsty.

the new girl said...

Very good!
Sorry I was so impatient. I didn't know that you were sick.

And the girl looks so--happy there.

I can't believe that there was a tantrum preceding...

Oh, The Joys said...

Dude. I was looking for details. Tell me a story!

slouching mom said...

good stuff. i would have asked you whether you are going to blogher. (cuz i am.)

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for the high chair tray -- it lets a lady remain somewhat demure and very cute.

I still want to see that purse. And I need hairstyling tips. Thanks.

THE DON said...

I came,
I looked,
I loved what I saw.
Keep up the good work.
P.S. Please drop a comment on my blog.
Thanks, all welcome

nomotherearth said...

Damn, I meant to ask a question, but my lazy brain forgot. Great answers!

Mimi said...

Pynchon here... what are we waiting for. Let's a book a weekend trip for 3 by train to historic Montreal. We could get me a scalped ticket to UFC and you and your sista could get your drink on while I watch grown men beat the crap out of each other. Ain't love grand. xo