Monday, March 15, 2010

together apart

ah, the best laid plans... Yesterday, Joel's flight out of Dublin was delayed by over 6 hours leading to an unplanned overnight stay in Chicago in an airport hotel courtesy of American Airlines. he's hopefully flying back to Nashville as i type. he has a class starting in an hour. he's either got a stand-by ticket for the first flight out this morning or he's now frustratedly stuck waiting for the next. or indeed the next. i'm starting to see the value of having a mobile phone. (neither of us do.)

[UPDATED: he not only got a seat on the 7am flight, it landed 10 minutes early, he got his luggage and then a cab, showed the driver some back street short cuts to avoid rush hour traffic, reached the classroom with seconds to spare and delivered his first lecture on time. at 0910. most people (i.e. me) would have believed it impossible and gone ahead and just cancelled class. Joel is not most people.]

all to say, after an early start yesterday we found ourselves hanging out in Dublin airport for the morning and chose smiles over tears, grateful for an extra bit of time together. lots of nice chat ensued.

our plan is that he'll will be back here at the end of May. and we're hoping to have all of June and July and a good bit of August together with a brief gap in the middle when he'll likely be taking a research trip to Germany. i'm still trying to decide if i'm going to join him there. i'll be right of the middle of writing my thesis. the opportunity is pretty tempting if it didn't interrupt my work flow. but that seems like a big ask. that said, i'm exploring a text that is deeply concerned with Nazism. we visited Kilmainham Gaol on Saturday and it proved unexpectedly but delightfully helpful to find myself in the very kind of architecture that inspired Foucault's theories. (i'll be drawing on his ideas of the internalised surveillance of the Panopticon in the thesis.) it brought the theory to life. the same might be true of going to Germany. so i have to think that through.

regardless, i'm so looking forward to the summer. this past week was nothing short of lovely. with a load of grading to do, Joel had to work while he was here and I cooked and made copious pots of tea. in the summer the tables will be turned and Joel's plan is to keep me fed and watered, and create a space where i don't need to think about anything but my writing. 
it's been lovely having a week where i didn't feel any sense of dislocation. it was blissful and we relished the togetherness and the foretaste of the summer to come.

had a very nice 24 hours up north too. Joel loved meeting the tuesday crew and we had a very lovely time with Shirley and fam and we were blessed to stay with Jayne. all in all - brilliant trip with very enjoyable train journeys there and back.

this is my second reading week without classes. i did actually end up doing some work last week while Joel graded, despite giving myself permission to do none. that said, reading Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and reading Spiegelman's Maus feels like the best kind of work. today i plan to finish both. and it was a pleasure for us both to work in one another's company. 

we had some nice little trips into the city, and my parentals took us out for a very amazing dinner to officially mark and celebrate our engagement at one of my favourite restaurants. and Joel got to meet my step-sister and one of my step-brothers. so it was all full of bonding and getting to know the neighbourhood.

the rest of this week will be spent getting my library in order, creating some kind of draft work plan for the next 11 weeks and also working on one of several papers due in over the spring/summer. which means getting back to some theoretical reading and analysis. (with a copy of From Hell sitting on the coffee table waiting to be read, that's all going to take some discipline.) but i do hope to also spend some time on some thesis related art work.

right, better get some reading done...

be well. 



  1. How odd! I just commented on Maus above, and my daughter is recently very interested in comics after receiving an Archie comic from a "treasure chest" bin at her school library. She spotted Understanding Comics on our bookshelf and pulled it out. It has been sitting on the dining room table for days now, as she keeps going back to read parts of it. It was such an eye-opening book for me.

  2. currently reading "Reading Comics" by Douglas Wolk. worth a look if you liked "Understanding Comics". i stopped reading it, went back and read McCloud to get the context. now getting back into it. it's interesting stuff.
    i thought McCloud was flawed in places but i enjoyed highlighting the bits i wanted to come back to later by colouring in the panels. most fun i've had studying in a long time. :)

  3. "joel is not most people".
    i love this sentence.

    smiling at this post.