Very productive day today. Didn't end up skimming after all -- read through Robert Young's White Mythologies: Writing, History and the West. Somehow, every time I look at that book I think it's going to be about the Wild West -- cowboys and stuff, or at least Utah and stuff. But no, it's about the Occidental West, the European West. It's actually a nice, pretty clear, recap of most of these post-modern, post-structural major theorists I've been reading, summarizing their positions, putting them in relation to each other. I pretty much knew what he said, but it served as a good review, reading through it.
After that, I went to the Aveda store in the Hancock building to buy more hair goop, because I was out. It was a nice little break -- I let the Aveda lady put various make-up things on my face, and then let her convince me to try some other products of theirs. Aveda stuff is pricey, but smells nice. I use make-up so rarely that the stuff I bought will probably last me a very long time, so I don't feel as guilty about spending the money. Not quite as guilty, anyway. And at least I'll have foundation that actually matches my skin tone if I decide I need some make-up armor for my exam. (Which is somewhat doubtful -- I know quite a few women who seem to think of make-up as something like armor, but I still feel like it's more of a mask, most of the time.)
Oh, huge excitement! We must interrupt this journal to note that Minnesota has just scored a fabulous overtime goal, taking them to the play-offs! Congratulations, M'ris! I have a lingering fondness for Minnesotans from the time when Kirstie was living there and Kevin and I were driving up to St. Paul to visit her. So I was cheering for Minnesota all night (Kevin is something of a hockey fan, so there's been a lot of hockey in the background of my studying the last few nights), and the underdog Minnesota players worked so hard and were so determined -- yay, team! Good job! (Minnesota also stomped the Lakers in basketball tonight, so a big night for Minnesota. :-)
Okay, back to the subject. What was the subject? Oh, right. Make-up. Yah, enough about make-up. After the little Aveda expedition, I walked over to Borders and read a slim little book from my list, Bringing Out Roland Barthes, by D.A. Miller. Rather charming, actually -- a very personal reflection on Barthes as a gay man (and a gay man that the author had something of a crush on), mixed with some lit. crit. I liked his personal bits better than his lit. crit., but it was all fine. And very short. Hooray for very short books!
And then after that, started a *third* exam book, Alma Gottlieb and Philip Graham's extremely entertaining Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa, which I'm about halfway through now. Will probably finish it in the morning, as am getting tired. But if you're at all interested in some of the anthropology/writing/ethics stuff, I recommend this. There's no actual lit. crit. in it -- just two white people who lived in a small African village for fifteen months, trying their damnedest to be respectful and ethical, while trying to deal with all kinds of difficulties. Good writing too. Graham had published at least one story in The New Yorker at the time they went to Africa, and there's quite a lot about him having writer's block in those conditions :-). My committee clearly gave me this book as a reward for slogging through some of the other stuff (in fact, I think I vaguely remember them saying something along those lines about this book in my original exam list meeting).