Friday, October 2, 2009

"...It's the final countdown..."

You know I love quoting music lyrics--even in my daily conversations with people--and the above snippet from 80s hair-metal band, Europe, fits my motivations for the next few months. As silly as that song was/is, with the quirky synth line and hairspray and spandex, I find that most people know that song. It refuses to die, and the lead lyric (above) is more fun sung than spoken every time. AND, the song found a new life in the short-lived TV series "Arrested Development," (the best TV ever, for real) as the background music for Gob's ill-fated magic shows. I'm giggling as I think about it. May have to pull out those DVDs later.

Ok, so I'm digressing already. Coffee's kicking in.

Anyway, my trip to Wisconsin over the weekend was exactly what I needed to feel the push and urgency of this Diss project...the never-ending Diss....until NOW. Holy canoli do I have a lot of work to do, but I soaked up some academic ju-ju by meeting with old friends, wandering about the beautiful campus, working in the Wisconsin Historical Society (which has A LOT of interesting Buffalo materials that our fine archives here in The Buff do not possess) and discussing a reasonable plan of final deadlines with my adWiser. She is a realistic person, and told me straight that this is a big, huge, weighty amount of work that I've proposed for myself. But, those of you that know me understand how wonderfully I work with deadlines, so GAME ON.

What I enjoyed most about the weekend, besides seeing some of my old buddies, was being able to finally articulate my project to those that asked about it, and feeling that I have a handle on it. I've been working on this thing for freakin' ever it seems (ok, this is the third year, which is a reasonable amount of time for diss work for a crazybusy person like myself) and I see that its presence and subsequent completion marks a concrete "end," but is really only the beginning. What lies beyond the Diss defense (so far scheduled for May...fingers crossed) is an expanse of possibilities that is probably the MAIN factor behind my renewed optimism and motivation. This project sits on my shoulders like a colossal albatross, squashing the potential to engage in other projects (or money-making efforts) and blocking the view toward the horizon. Time to unwrap it and lift the weight. Heave-ho.

I will probably start using this blog to write about non-Diss stuff as a way to get the brain flowing before whatever is on deck for the day. I've been whining and bemoaning this thing too often here, but.....these things happen. Thanks for hanging in there. I teach interesting classes at my college gig, and they often spawn more questions for me than those that I pose to my students. Which is a good thing. I find cultural events often puzzling, surprising and exhilarating. This forum may be where I ponder them, hit "publish post" and move on. Small nuggets of musicological whoo-ha. Hope you are ready.

I am!

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