Monthly Archives: April 2011

You will meet a tall dark stranger…

I’ve always thought of myself as a fairly skeptical person – after all, it’s my job as a researcher to treat things as having value only when that value can be proven (or reasonably deduced). So I was surprised at myself when I agreed to undergo a tarot reading recently; because abrogating my tendency towards self-analysis, in favour of what I would normally regard as an arbitrary pseudo-science, is not something that fits in with my desire to find logical, ‘correct’ answers to life’s problems.

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Filed under Identity, Reviews

Throwing the Book!

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for returning to our scheduled programming. I have a long list of Seriously Serious Subjects to post about in the near future, but I’m embracing a bit of levity tonight – as in, good cheer, not floating (sadly) – because I’ve got a bar of chocolate and some colouring books. So, I’m treating you all to one of my famous and somewhat arbitrary lists… keep your hands off my chocolate! Tonight’s topic, inspired by the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to read a lot of fiction lately, is: literature’s most annoying characters. Not the villains, necessarily, or the most hateful; but the ones who make you want to throw the book across the room in sheer frustration at their stupidity, stubbornness and/or ignorance. Presenting, in no particular order,  Fiction’s Most Peevish Protagonists…

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Filed under Fiction, Lists, Reviews

On Miró and Meaning: A Review

Blue II - Joan Miró (1961) © Successió Miró

I recently saw the new Miró retrospective at the Tate Modern in London (for free, thanks to a friend who works there – thank you S!). Despite the exhibition focusing on an artist whose work – 20th century Surrealism – couldn’t be further from my own research on 18th century engravings, I couldn’t help but be struck by the fact that Miró’s oeuvre essentially raises the same questions that I am trying to work through in my thesis. Namely, from where or what the ‘meaning’ in an image is derived, and how does the process of interpreting that meaning work for the individual viewer?

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Filed under Art, PhD, Reviews

Velo City

Because I totally look like this on my bike.

I’m as sick as any of you, my loyal crew, of writing and hearing about depression and anxiety. So today, in the spirit of Looking On The Bright Side, I’m going to talk about something that cheers me up: cycling!

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Filed under Cycling, Feminism

Hot Dead Dudes

I seem to be somewhat addicted to list-making recently. Keeping with the theme of light-hearted posts, I present to you a list of my top historical crushes, or Hot Dead Dudes. Arbitrary and ever-so-slightly shallow, a list of HDD is a must for any heteronormative female history nerd. And remember, ladies – dead dudes can’t dump you!

#1 Camille Desmoulins (1760-1794)

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Filed under Art, History, Lists

Do oranges feel pain?

Technically, I started this blog with the intention of writing insightful mini-essays on art, culture and the odd bit of omphaloskepsis* to keep my loyal minions educated and entertained. That said, I don’t really feel like writing anything personal or profound at the moment, primarily because I don’t like to write things out until I’ve really processed them in my mind. There’s a lot of extraneous crap going on at the moment in Owl of Derision’s nest (owls have nests, right?), and I’d rather not inflict it upon you until I’ve dealt with all the emotional angst and can filter my thoughts through my normal medium of deadpan verbosity. So today, a treat for you all. Instead of an essay with Big Words, I present to you a List Of Things I Enjoy For Whatever Reason (LOTIEFWR). Like the ragged and malnourished inhabitants of a Victorian workhouse after being allowed a dollop of  jam on their gruel to celebrate the Royal Jubilee, you will undoubtedly regard this as a rare and exquisite experience, to be remembered every night as you lie, fitfully dreaming, on your plank-and-straw mattress in the draughty garret.

Hmm. I digress. Without further ado (apart from pausing to say ‘Without further ado’), my LOTIEFWR:

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