Current headache:

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Trying to figure out the proper way to reference/ cite a film still within the body of my thesis. The MLA Handbook implies you include it in the body of the text: “Place tables and illustrations as close as possible to the parts of the text to which they relate” (118). Whereas the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing frankly states that “[i]llustrative visual materials should not be imbedded in the text files or the manuscript” (150). Also, there is no mention about spacing of the caption, spacing around the illustration, or citing it within the body text in either source.

And THIS is why I find the MLA style antiquated and frustrating.

I just want to have an image from a film and say, “LOOK. LOOK AT THIS HERE. NOW I DISSECT THIS IMAGE. SEE? DO YOU SEE?” It shouldn’t be this damn hard.

Monday Morning Moaning

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I should tell you about my wonderful trip to England (OH THE HISTORY!). But I’m going to talk about computers for a minute, mine specifically, since it’s what I’m using to write this. This may or may not interest you whatsoever. WHATEVER I AM NOT YOUR MONKEY.

Ahem.

So, I’m a Mac girl. Devoted. Not to the “I have an Apple tattoo and cried of Steve Job’s death” degree, but I love their products. Luckily, so is work–we’re a Mac house. This is all good.

Since the whole migration to iCloud, I’ve been having mega super issues with my MobileMe account–which is what iCloud is replacing. I didn’t upgrade to iCloud because you have to be running Lion, the newest software, to be able to. And I had been holding off on upgrading for one reason–the custom database program we use at work only just barely limps along in Snow Leopard. I think it was built for the original OSX. I mean, YEARS OLD. I think whoever made it died or something. And nobody has been able to find a database program that works the way we need it to. (Mind you, we are a VERY specialized industry.) And finding a replacement database program has not been the owner’s priority at all, because what we had worked.

So, over the weekend, tired of the constant password error messages (THANKS FOR BREAKING MY SHIT, APPLE), I said fuck it and downloaded Lion. And it’s puuuurrrty. And fast. And shiny. And it fixed my password errors. And now I can use the cloud. And it generally makes me happy.

But, guess what no longer works… yep, the database. The stupid stinking antiquated gotta-have-it-to-do-my-job database.

Here’s where I get crankypants about it. When I started my job, I think 6 years ago, it came with a computer–an old (even then) iMac. About 4 days into my job, it died. And I said at the time, “I can just use my laptop until you figure something out.”

I’ve been using my laptop (well, two different ones, actually) ever since. It’s my computer. It has all my personal information. My boss did not buy it, nor does he pay to maintain it. (Except in the sense that he signs my paycheck, I guess.)  The only software he has purchased that is on my machine is said antiquated database and the CAD program we use for drafting (because at $1800 I sure as hell wasn’t buying it).

And I expect that when I go in and point out that MY laptop THAT I OWN AND BOUGHT no longer works with the database because I upgraded to the CURRENT, NOT OBSOLETE OS ON MY OWN MACHINE, that he is going to tell me to just restore from my Time Machine backup to Snow Leopard.

And… I kind of have a problem with that. It’s my machine. I should be able to have what I want on it. I never signed up for providing my own computer for work. My coworker used to have a company-provided computer, but it was ruined in the flood last year and never replaced, so he is also using his laptop. He’s in the same pickle as me–unable to upgrade because of the database.

Ultimately, the database needs to be replaced, but like I said, it’s very specific needs we have–Filemaker Pro won’t really cut it. But where I work we are allergic to change, and I know not to expect that will ever happen.

So, I am trying to enjoy Lion while I have it, because I expect I will have to go backwards and be out the $30 I spent upgrading.

Oh, Lion. It was nice while I knew ya.

Impending travel.

My husband’s family is really wonderful. His mom is the kindest soul, his dad is fiercely intelligent with a sneaky sense of humor and an overdeveloped appreciation for the ridiculous, and his sister S is the most wonderful girl. Had Hubs and I never dated, I still think S and I would be wonderful friends, but now that she’s my sister-in-law, she is particularly stuck with me.

And so, when we all were joking about taking a family trip to England, I didn’t think much about it, because I come from a family in which “vacation” meant “drive to the mountains to see the trees in the fall and then drive home in the same day, having only stopped for lunch.” Which, in their defense, we were a) poor, and b) had a farm full of animals whose appetites did NOT take vacation.

So, somehow, magically, this trip has come together, and now we will be headed to London mid-October for a full 8 days.

I cannot express my excitement about this in words.

The motherland! From whence my language came! The Tower! Westminster Abbey and Poet’s Corner! Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeare, and the Globe! The British Museum, V&A, and the Tate! Stonehenge! Bath and the Roman baths! THE HISTORY! (Like Eddie Izzard says, where the history comes from.)

 

(And, also, the Doctor Who experience, which S and I will geekily partake in while everyone else rolls their eyes at us.)

The only other place I’ve visited outside the US was Costa Rica, which was beautiful and all, but both Hubs (actually, then-Boyfriend) and I were both beset with a plague the entirety of our trip. I mean, if you’re going to be sick, that’s not a bad place, but we mostly laid around the pool and moaned. Not a lot of culture soaked up. And I am embarrassed about my lack of travel, but, in my defense, I have seen a lot more of the US than most folks. Still though, it’s a big world, and I want to see all of it I can.

I’m also exceedingly excited about seeing stuff that’s just mindbogglingly old. In Boston, the first time I visited the Paul Revere House, which was built in 1680 or so, and that was mindscrambling for me, a girl from the South, where nothing is over 200 years old and a house built in 1930 seems positively ancient. So I look forward to the brainfreeze that comes from being confronted with buildings that were around before people even knew North America existed.

Anyone have any advice about excellent things I shouldn’t miss?

For larfs.

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Because I am in the mood, and my thesis prospectus was approved, and this gives me a happy, here’s the first paragraph of said prospectus. (This may disapparate at any moment. Oh, Capriciousness!)

Steeped in collision and disjuncture; connoting both the grisly and the fantastic; combining the aberrant and the quotidian: the modern construct of the grotesque synthesizes contradictions. Encoded in the notion of the grotesque is a crucial ambivalence; the reader (or, in this case, viewer) is pulled between the incongruous notions of horror and comedy, the tendency toward both empathy and revulsion, and the disharmonious simultaneity of both delight and dread. Though related to and often coexisting alongside literary modes such as satire and parody, the grotesque insinuates itself further into narrative fabrics than its cousins by creating this cohabitation of the absurd and the monstrous within a realistic framework that subverts and expands our conception of what is real. This is a crucial notion for modern conceptions of the grotesque; the grotesque exists not within the realm of fantasy and dreams, but is instead grounded in our own reality, where it gains its power by illuminating the contradictory structure of the world with its concomitant comedic and monstrous nature. When such elements are not sublimated through the filter of fantasy, the grotesque is shown to be an inextricable part of our world. As Philip Thomson notes, the grotesque becomes a way of depicting reality in a manner that provides a fresh perspective, illuminating the strange and unsettling elements of the world that exist around us rather than relegating these discomfiting aspects to the realm of the fantastic (n.p.).

And then I go on to discuss the films of Sofia Coppola. Natch.