Quentin's Weeknotes 6/8/190-6/14/19

This week:

  • I listened to this two part interview with Steve Albini and Ian Mackaye. It was a phenomenally rich conversation, with the first part being basically historical, about their respective histories in punk rock and independent music, and the second part being more philosophical, with their thoughts about the internet, criticism, and community. What came through for me is that they are great friends, mutually admiring, and that part of what brings them together is their fierce commitment to humanistic and ethical art-making. What was also neat was to hear their points of difference, with Albini being more analytical and empiricist and Mackaye being more direct and rationalist.
  • I finished reading Grady Hendrix' Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror fiction. It was a fun, easy read, and made so by the amazing covers of these novels, reprinted theiein, and by Hendrix's humorous ironic prose, filled both with genuine love and snark for the outrageous books that made up the horror boom of the late 20th century.

Quentin's Weeknotes 6/1/19-6/7/19

This Week:

  • I listened to a new podcast, entitled This Land. Hosted by Indigenous (Cherokee) Activist and author Rebecca Nagle, it chronicles the background of an upcoming supreme court case that will determine whether half of Oklahoma is Tribal land. The basis is a murder and the question of federal jurisdiction, but the heart of the issue is treaty law, and the extent to which Indigenous groups are sovereign nations whose rights under treaty must be acknowledged. Check it out!
  • I helped my folks get the website of their antique shop looking shipshape. Czech Village Antiques is a great, multi-dealer store in the heart of Czech Village in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Stop by if you're in town.
  • I finished reading the third volume of Nnedi Okorofor's Binti trilogy. The easiest (but sort of misleading) tagline would be "African Harry Potter in Space", but it's really a thoughtful meditation on tradition and change, intercultural agreement and strife, and building community. Also, there are Jellyfish Aliens and flying interplanetary fish. 
  • I attended the New York Archives Conference and gave a co-authored paper (with Shelley Wallace) on archives and archaeology. I wish I coud've stayed longer as it was quite an interesting group of folks.

Quentin's Weeknotes 5/25/19-5/31/19

This Week:

  • For some reason I kept thinking about Joshua Casteel. I have a copy of Letters from Abu Ghraib, which he wrote during his time as an interrogator (after the torture scandal broke). I wound myself wishing someone had written out his full story, and then lo, and behold, discovered that someone had. The Priest of Abu Ghraib is absolutely worth your time, as is "Letters from Abu Ghraib," which I was delighted to learn is out in a second edition.
  • I watched the Perfection. I wanted to like it. There's a really excellent feminist revenge movie lurking inside this poorly written and incoherently goofy film (Alison Williams is attacked multiple times in the movie and nobody notices she was wearing a wig the whole time?).
  • My family spent a bunch of time getting our yard and garden shipshape. We are doing some major replanting and re-organizing this year, and it was quite a chore. I used a stump-grinder for the first time, which was one of the most simultaneously tiring and satisfying experiences I've ever had with machinery.

Quentin's Weeknotes 5/18/19-5/24/19

This week (well, actually last week):

The capitalists won’t like it, but they didn’t like the weekend either. The weekend was won by a powerful movement of working people asserting that the time of their lives should belong to them, not to those who would wring them dry for profit.

  • I finalized my notes from my recently-completed Collections Management class and organized them to teach it again, better, next year. I also cleaned out the old paint room at the Yager Museum, which was delightfully satisfying.

Quentin's Weeknotes 5/11/19-5/17/19

This Week:

  • I finished watching Under the Skin, also known as the Scarlet Johansen alien movie. It was weird and sort of poetic, but also with not much beyond what's on the surface (ironic, given the title). 

    via GIPHY

  • I finished teaching my Collections Management class. This semester, my students did projects where they created a concordance between old and new numbering systems, researched the provenance of some mysterious prints, and prepared a selection of objects to go on exhibit, respectively. Along the way we learned about basic artifact handling, dipped our toes into Museum database management, washed and waxed a piece of outdoor sculpture, and watched a clip from an important piece of Museum film scholarship.
  • I celebrated my son's sixth birthday. Six was a good year for me, filled with new friends, new things to learn, and new experiences, and I hope it will be for him too.