Friday, April 13, 2012


Rope Poster
I just watched Rope. I don't use this blog that much and I don't feel like writing a ton about it now, but Rope is a fascinating movie. After a few film classes, this movie stands out to me for the way it embodies (and of course there's a dead body) philosophy and theory in a way that few other movies do. The ending reminding me of Germany Year Zero, which if you've seen Germany Year Zero, you'll know it doesn't end well.

On another note, if I can drag myself out of bed tomorrow there's a panel discussion on F for Fake at UCR tomorrow an the English Departments conference.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Police report

Living in Riverside, we often get disturbing police reports about robbings and shootings.
This one is a little different though. While nothing will beat BYU's police beat, this one is amusing in it's own California way.

To: UCR Community
Re: Coyote Sighting

On 08/06/11 at 5:33pm UCPD officers were dispatched to 3400 block of Avocado St. in the UCR Canyon Crest Family Housing area regarding a coyote that growled at an 8-year old boy. The boy's father reported that the coyote was still on the patio and was not leaving.

When the officers arrived, the coyote ran away southbound towards Linden St. Officers followed the coyote until it ran out of Family Housing.

There have been several other coyote sightings in the area in the past few weeks. UCR Housing has contracted with an animal control service to attempt to humanely trap coyotes in the area. If you are encountered by a coyote that appears to be aggressive please call UCPD at 951-827-5222.

Below are some safety tips to keep in mind:

Do not feed any wild animals such as raccoons or deer, which encourages coyotes as well.

Keep cats indoors at all times.

Keep your dog on a leash.

Do not leave cat or dog food outside.

Keep all garbage containers closed and inaccessible. Adding ammonia or pepper spray to trash can discourage rummaging by coyotes and other wildlife.

Do not let pets out at night unless accompanied by a person.

Do not feed coyotes! Avoid overflowing bird feeders and open compost bins.

Obey leash laws. Small dogs on the loose are attractive prey for coyotes, especially at night.

Cats? Keep them inside, along with pet food bowls.

In dry climates, even a water bowl can draw coyotes.

Do not invite coyotes to build dens next to (or under) your home: Seal crawl spaces, close sheds and thin brushy areas.

Even if you love seeing coyotes, do not let them know it. If a coyote visits your yard, wave your arms, shout, spray it with a hose. Be a threat!

Description of coyotes

They have grayish, yellowish, brownish fur on the top and whitish fur underneath. They have large ears that look like triangles and a long narrow muzzle. They look a bit like a wolf, but the most important difference is when they run; a dog runs with the tail up, a wolf runs with it's tail straight out but the coyote runs with its tail down. That is one way you can tell it's a coyote

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A (brief) Review of the New York Times article "Why Criticism Matters"

Why Criticism Matters

The thing I found most interesting about this article, is that in takes into account ways that the internet is changing our profession. The times they are a changin'! While I don't necessarily agree with all of what it says, I think we need to be mindful of the paradigm shifts that happen with changes in society and technology. I think it's worth considering what we are doing when we say we are literary critics or doing literary criticism.

I haven't done any serious study of "mass communication" or mass like phenomenons, but they are part of our profession with or without the internet. Personally, I feel simply clicking like on a literary work, isn't a valid measure of how good or important a work is.
One of our most important jobs is to read not just the canon, but the works that are neglected, forgotten. To read contemporary fiction, to see where it's going. We may or may not convince people of their importance, but we can do our part to hear the voices that are marginalized, forgotten by the world, and even by our colleagues in ivory towers.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I haven't blogged for awhile so here's a quick update. I'm taking a film and feminism class (the movies are...well...interesting....), a Mario Vargas LLosa class, and a Spanish Vanguard class. I was supposed to be in a contemporay Andean Literature class, but with the nobel prize and my professor's somewhat healthy obsession with MVL as he likes to call him, we are reading contemporary novels by Llosa. I have to say, I really enjoyed (I hate you Zizek for ruining that word..but alas) the book, though as any of you that have read one of his books know, there are parts that are very difficult to read. It's about Roger Casement, an Irishman, who investigates the actions of the rubber companies in Congo and later Peru. It's hard to read about what happened, knowing it's based on history. It really broke apart some of the stereotypes I had formed about Vargas Llosa.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recent Ph. D Readings

Cool graphic, pending.
So I'm getting distracted. But I wanted to let my fellow hispanists know about an amazing book, La muerte de Alec. It's a Columbian novel by Jaramillo and it's got some cool pseudo-Borgesian detective things going on. If you get a chance, it's a quick read.
In other news, I just read El lugar sin lĂ­mites. After overcoming my initial shock, I really enjoyed the novel.
And now I need to stop getting distracted and finish reading El falso cuaderno de Narciso Espejo. Ciao for now.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ultimate Frisbee

In case you didn't see this on my wife's facebook page, I thought I'd share the laughs (It's by the lead singer of Nerf Herder, Parry Gripp).

Monday, March 8, 2010

The uncanny valley

So yes, I freely admit I listen to NPR. My wife thinks it's boring, but even she may admit that this is fascinating. I was listening to a discussion of the uncanny valley and thought it would interest my fellow post-human scholars. It talks about the uncanny valley and the problems of animating people who are too realistic (or who have creepy eyes). You can read or listen to it here.

And for those of you who enjoy the story from a slightly different angle, enjoy this cool bonus link!