My livejournal has a fun new layout! 

I found and applied this layout in lieu of doing many other more productive activities, such as researching my prospectus, cleaning my bathroom, going grocery shopping, or making a dentist appointment.  Although I think I might need a new dentist, because it is far too easy to get an appointment.  Why isn’t she busier?  Is it because of the tropical bird wallpaper in the waiting room?  Are potential patients turned off by this wallpaper?  Because I have to admit, if I had known about the wallpaper before my first appointment, I may have reconsidered, despite the fact that I was in excrutiating pain.  I would have bought another box of popsicles to numb the gums and found a dentist who decorates her walls in muted, soothing tones.

Prospectus work is advancing, and I may have had a dissertation topic breakthrough this weekend.  I’m a little afraid to talk about this breakthrough, as I’ve found that such moments are vulnerable and brittle and scared of the light.  When I look at them carefully they start to chuckle.  Quietly, at first.  But soon the laughter grows, followed by an uncomfortable silence.  And then the idea leers at me and with a sarcastic smirk mutters, “You can’t be serious about me.  I am ridiculous.  You will not get a job teaching deep frying at McDonald’s with a dissertation about me.”

So no talking about particulars.  I will reveal, however, that I’m reading up specifically on publishers that specialized in children’s literature in the nineteenth century, hoping that I will find some information on their mission statements or something equivalent.  The most recent article I’ve come across on this topic included this sentence:

[T]o compress a century of publishing for children into limited space seems a difficult assignment and I have, therefore, decided to concentrate on Victoria’s Day, defining that as the first forty-two years of her long life, from the year of her birth in 1819 to the death of Prince Albert, her consort, in 1861.

This is an older article, written before the current surge in children’s literature criticism, and I should be forgiving.  But this sentence bothers me on many levels.  First (and the author notes this), such a time frame completely leaves out a few of the most important publishers of children’s literature.  But also, wtf?  Why does “Victoria’s Day” have to end when Albert dies?  And what exactly does Albert’s death have to do with the publication of children’s literature?

I haven’t finished the article.  I’m hoping I’m judging too soon.

In other carrots news:

I have a new cell phone.  I think it was about time, since when I have the Verizon salesman the phone I’ve been using, he noted that it is a fossil.  Which it is.  My new cell phone is so thin compared to my mammoth fossil phone!  And it’s shiny and new!

And its alarm will be waking me up early tomorrow morning so I can finish up the Autumn 2007 issue of SEL.  So I’m going to bed.


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