No classes today--specifically, no yoga class, and the class only meets twice more. I'm going to miss it. Theories of Perception only meets once more, and that one I'm really going to miss; that goes double for Seeing Narrative, which meets twice more. What'm I going to do without them all? Find something else, I suppose.

But the question that's been eating at me is: what do I do once this year's up (besides the Apollo book, for which the contract is supposedly on the way)? My classes are making me understand my own aesthetic positions as a critic pretty clearly, and they're giving me a lot of insight into how picture-stories get made, which is what I wanted from them. But one of the aesthetic positions they're developing is that what I ought to do is never write another word of criticism, and devote myself to art practice. Which would potentially make sense if there were any kinds of art practice I was especially good at, which there aren't. (There are some I enjoy for sure, but the same critical facility I keep honing tells me that I'm at best a hobbyist in them.) More of this later, I'm sure.

Another (and probably more interesting) line of thinking I've been coming back to is: how come there's no such thing as art-theory training for pop musicians? I'm not talking about music theory as we know it, or instrumental technique; I mean thinking on a theoretical level about what makes people enjoy listening to things, what the baseline assumptions of listening to music are and how they can be picked up and shaken around in a pop-music context... that kind of thing. Filmmakers get it, writers get it...

I'm enjoying what I suspect will be the last few carefree hours before the merciless crunch of early December hits: papers for both my credit classes, big piece for the Chicago Reader, DBC stuff to be dealt with, holiday cards, various meetings, etc. Today my preferred method of delaying was cooking for tomorrow's Thanksgiving feast: tzimmes, blanched asparagus with a Korean-influenced dressing, chana dal with cucumber, curried red cabbage with cranberry juice. And I finished up a new mix CD, which as usual I'll trade a copy of to anyone who's got something interesting and non-musical to offer in return. Best thing on it, I keep thinking, is Melt-Banana's Road Runner-speed cover of Toots & the Maytals' "Monkey Man."



previously ask for advice