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Showing posts from September, 2012

Practicing Icelandic

One of my fellow graduate students at UC Berkeley is from Germany, and she lived in Iceland for a year while learning Swedish (as far as I understand it). She has recently asked me if I could start speaking Icelandic with her when we are in the office together. I don't really consider myself an appropriate person to help anyone improve their Icelandic, but at least lately I've been getting lots of pointers from my friend Unnar, so I consider myself a bit better off than I was.

Dissertation update

I was having a great week getting revisions done on chapter 3 of my dissertation, where I am presenting my best case for why saga scholars have totally missed the mark on a huge and important part of saga narrative as it would have been received by the original recipient audience. Call me crazy, but I cannot shake the feeling that to make the sagas speak to any modern literary concerns, without first completely understanding what they did in their original milieu is, well, honestly, disrespectful. So I am trying to make strides to rectify that.

So I was a bit stressed out when I received a text from my brother Thursday night informing me he was coming up to see me for the weekend. I had planned on this being a writing weekend, that is to say during the time when my son was with his father. But I could not refuse my brother, who has moved most of his stuff up to my apartment, and we are currently looking around for a new place to live.

I must say it is a LOT harder than you might imagi…

Quite unbelievable

This morning I was driving over to Palmer's house, listening to the news. They had a report about the unbelievable backlog at the Oakland Police department for processing forensic evidence. There are over 2000 samples unexamined, and a $400,000 grant they just received will barely make a dent in the problem.

I thought how bizarre it is that in the state where all the CSI shows are shot and produced--and which generate a huge amount of income for the studios--that there should be so little revenue in the State coffers to do the real-life CSI investigating that needs to be done in California. There has been enough fake crime-solving in Hollywood to last 40 years, I would say.

Of course my first thought was to go back to my continual gripe about Proposition 13, but I must say I have decided California's state budget problem is a lot more complicated than that. There are so many contributing factors that have brought about its death, it gets hard to pinpoint cause from effect.

At …