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    Sobriquet 39.12

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008
    I really haven't much to report this evening. Transcription, as always, is a pretty straight-forward activity, certainly not one worth documenting in any great detail. You take handwritten notes and text that you've either highlighted or underlined and type it into a Word document. That's basically it.

    I do tend to enjoy transcription, though, if only because it is a completely non-cerebral activity, one that serves as a break from the more demanding efforts preceding and following it. I love the fact that I can work--and feel productive--while listening to music. When writing, I find, I prefer to work in silence or, at the very least, the near-silence of me in a room, alone, with my tinnitus and a few humming electronic devices. So, listening to the Distillers, Social Distortion, and T.S.O.L. has been a real treat.

    One of the reasons I have been maintaining a relatively light workload these past few days is because I want to wait until after I speak with my adviser on Thursday before I make any decisions about what to do next. Obviously, if my dissertation changes direction and I end up writing exclusively on J.M. Coetzee, I will want to re-think things and, in all likelihood, (re)read several texts. Regardless, this little break has been surprisingly refreshing and I imagine moving ahead with the dissertation will not be quite as disagreeable to me as starting the project was. At least now I feel like I have some sense of my ability to write dissertation-quality work.

    Before I sign off for the evening, I want mention something that has been bothering me for the past few days, ever since I read Thomas Walz's "Crones, Dirty Old Men, Sexy Seniors: Representations of the Sexuality of Older Persons." As Walz was preparing his essay, he interviewed two elderly individuals--one of each gender--regarding their sex lives, both of whom had had marriages lasting several decades. What bothers me is that both the man and the woman Walz interviewed report having had multiple extra-marital sexual relationships despite having relatively satisfying unions with their respective partners. I mean, I am not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, but I do rather like the idea of long-term monogamous relationships. The idea of choosing to forgo sexual relationships with anyone other than one's partner is, in many ways, a beautiful gesture. Obviously, when disease or violence or some other disruptive force interferes, this mightn't be possible or even appealing, but in supposedly healthy, satisfying relationships...damn! Maybe it just taps into that human fear of being hurt or abandoned, but, still, I'd rather not think that Phillip Roth is quite as right about marriage as he seems to be. I realize that a two-person survey is extremely narrow in scope and probably does not represent the entire world, but it bugs me nonetheless. I guess no one likes the idea of their grandparents cheating on one another out of boredom...

    In other news, I am starting a punk blog to have a little fun and keep Sobriquet close to its roots. Check it out if you're interested.

    For tomorrow: Transcription again.

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