Em ơi! #324: Marathon Misery

I know I’ve been posting little snippits concerning my marathon training.  Last week I didn’t do one for a very simple reason – I ran Monday, and then not again for the whole week.  Apparently, I’ve injured my foot, though the PA I saw didn’t actually give me a diagnosis other than it was “some muscle thing.”  (Thanks.)

Yesterday I did 7.3 mi, and the upshot is I need to keep taking time off until my foot is completely better.  I’m really upset about this, but there’s nothing to be done but wait.  I keep telling myself that I may yet make it to the marathon (though I probably won’t be BQing (i.e., Qualifying for the Boston marathon) – I haven’t run farther than 15 miles in one go in several weeks), and I can always run 26 miles any day I want to when my foot allows it.  But somehow that doesn’t make me feel much better.  In the meantime I’ve been biking, both on my regular bike and the spinning bike at the gym, which helps for calorie burn (a little), but just doesn’t make me happy the way running does.

So it’s rough.  I have to continue taking this one day at a time, which for someone who plans things like I do is painful.  My foot aches when the weather changes, makes strange clicking noises when I go down stairs, and sometimes feels better…only to start hurting again when I’ve gotten my hopes up.  Intellectually I know it’s just one marathon and there will be others…but I haven’t really come to terms with it yet.

This comic is filed under RC1220.M35 L86 2010, for Internal medicine — Special situations and conditions — Sports medicine — Medical and physiological aspects of special activities.  By activity, A-Z — Marathon running.

Summer 2010 Bibliography

It’s the last day of August, so here is a list of the articles and books I’ve read over the past three months.  Mostly, anyway – it doesn’t count the novel I wrote that I read twice (editing) or the two short stories of mine I also read for editing purposes.  I’ve organized them by place, since I was specifically researching certain countries.  Beyond that, there are a few themes you might note from the titles: sexuality, especially women’s sexuality; modernity and the supernatural; and place and modernity.  Looks like a lot of stuff about sexuality, though.  Huh.

I feel a little bad about not reading more fiction.  To be fair, the one novel I got through was 900 pages long (and I’d been reading it since winter – this only represents the last 500 pages or so).  Also my Vietnamese class took over my life.

It was a lot of fun putting this together.  It gave me a sense of progress and also helped me to keep my thoughts organized.  Maybe I’ll do another one for the autumn.

I haven’t included the DOIs for most of the papers, assuming that you can find the journals without too much trouble.  If you are having difficulties finding the things cited, drop a comment (or email) and I’ll help you out.  I also haven’t included very many comments (and certainly not scholarly comments) because my notes tend to be rambling and, to a certain extent, incoherent.  But if you want to discuss a certain paper, you can leave a comment.

Non-place specific

Oakes, Timothy.  “Place and the Paradox of Modernity.”  Annals of the Association of American Geographers 87.3 (Sept. 1997): 509-531.  Retrieved August 2010 from the web.  <http://www.jstor.org/stable/2564066>.

  • What is it Gertrude Stein wrote, “…it was as if a bell rang within me”?  I really enjoyed this paper.

Tuan, Yi-Fu.  “Language and the Making of Place: A Narrative-Descriptive Approach.”  Annals of the Association of American Geographers 81.4 (1991).  684-696.


Sotheary, Mey Son.  “My Sister.”  Virtual Lotus: Modern Fiction of Southeast Asia. Trans. Tomoko Okada, Vuth Reth, and Teri Shaffer Yamada.  Ed. Teri Shaffer Yamada.  Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002.  45-56.

  • Better in Khmai, or so I am told by those who read the language.  Takes an unusually tolerant stance for the region.


Sinn, Elizabeth.  “Women at Work: Chinese Brothel Keepers in Nineteenth-Century Hong Kong.”  Journal of Women’s History 19.3 (2007): 87-111. DOI: 10.1353/jowh.2007.0062.

  • This was a really fun paper.  I totally found it by accident, too — I was searching for papers on family business for my job.


Mills, Mary Beth.  “Attack of the Widow Ghosts: Gender, Death, and Modernity in Northeast Thailand.”  Bewitching Women, Pious Men: Gender and Body Politics in Southeast Asia. Aihwa Ong and Michael G. Peletz, eds.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.  244-273.

  • This was a great story.  My future cousin-in-law (is that a recognized kinship term?) thought this would make a great one-act play.  If I ever figure out how to write plays, I’m going to write it.

Muecke, Marjorie.  Female sexuality in Thai discourses about Maechii (“lay nuns”).  Culture, Health and Sexuality.  6.3 (May-June 2004): 221-238.

Thaweesit, Suchada.  “The Fluidity of Thai Women’s Gendered and Sexual Subjectiveness.”  Culture, Health & Sexuality.  6.3 (May-June 2004): 205-219.

Watarachanakool, Pornvipa.  “Science, Technology and the Supernatural in Contemporary Thai Novels.”  Manusya: Journal of Humanities.  9.1 (March 2006): 38-51.


Duong, Thu Huong.  “The Story of an Actress.”  Virtual Lotus: Modern Fiction of Southeast Asia. Trans. Bac Hoai Tran and Courtney Norris.  Ed. Teri Shaffer Yamada.  Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002.  298-320.

Khai, Hung.  “Anh Phải Sống.”  Anh Phải Sống. Hà Nội: Đời nay, 1934.  n.p.

  • Not the greatest story, but not too hard for beginning Vietnamese readers.  (By “beginning,” I really mean “advanced students who are beginning to read stories and novels in Vietnamese, I guess.)

Khai, Hung.  “You Must Live.”  Virtual Lotus: Modern Fiction of Southeast Asia. Trans.Bac Hoai Tran and Courtney Norris.  Ed. Teri Shaffer Yamada.  Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002.  278-283.

Khai, Hung.  “You Must Live.”  Trans. Truc Huy.  Saigon Online.  Retrieved 25 August 2010. <http://www.saigonline.com/truc_huy/khaihung.htm>

  • Not the greatest translation.  But then again, I wasn’t a huge fan of the story.

Nguyen, The Anh.  “The Vietnamization of the Cham Deity Po Nagar.”  Essays into Vietnamese Pasts. Eds. K. W. Taylor and John K. Whitmore.  Ithaca, N.Y. : Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1995.  42-50.

Quach, Trang.  “Femininity and sexual agency among young unmarried women in Hanoi.”  Culture, Health, and Sexuality.  10(Suppliment, June 2008): S151-S161.

Thu-Huong, Nguyen-Vo.  “History Interrupted: Life after Material Death in South Vietnamese and Diasporic Works of Fiction.”  Journal of Vietnamese Studies.  3.1 (2008): 1-35.


Anderson, Jourdan.  “Letter from Jourdan Anderson to His Former Master.”  Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery.  Leon F. Litwack, ed.  New York: Knopf, 1979.  Retrieved from the web 31 August 2010.  <http://us.history.wisc.edu/hist102/pdocs/anderson_letter.pdf>

Stephenson, Neil.  Quicksilver.  New York: William Morrow, 2003.

For those who have made it this far, here’s a fun song for the end of summer.  The video is quite avant garde, or less politely, it looks like a bunch of hipsters threw up on the set.  But the song is great: “Dog Days are Gone” by Florence and the Machine.

Em ơi! #323: Conspicuous Consumption, pt. 2

For those who didn’t get enough last week

So Freud was Austrian.  I mean, we all knew this, because he’s ALWAYS depicted with zis re-dik-u-lous achent, ja?  What I didn’t realize is that he died in 1939.  When the Nazis took over Germany, Freud’s books were among those they burned, and he famously quipped, “What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books.”  He had four sisters who died in the camps, and he eventually escaped to London with the assistance of a Nazi who had studied his work and was a fan.

The more you know.

I do think that the change in conception of personality is very interesting, in part because of what it makes possible in terms of mental illnesses – think about it, unless you believe that personality is malleable and influenced by environment and that people can have different personalities for different situations, you cannot believe in Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder.  That is not to give a judgment on whether it exists or not (I have read too much on both sides of the issue to feel comfortable making a definitive statement here), but just to point out that if you lived in a culture that had a more static view of personality, you would probably see DID in a rather different light.

It seems as though today we’ve come to some sort of truce between all these conflicting ideas – we see personality as static but also see ourselves as presenting different facets of it in different situations; we see people as driven by instincts and ruled by chemicals, but still insist on the ability of the mind/ethics to govern it all.  And we are more nervous and depressed than ever (which might have more than a little to do with our old friend advertising).  Whee!

I love reading history because whenever I am convinced that the world is falling apart and we’re all going to fucking die (this happens frequently; I’m a pessimist), I just remember that society has been wrestling with these issues for more than a hundred years, and we ain’t dead yet.


This comic’s call number is HC79.C63 L86 2010a.

Em ơi! #322: Conspicuous Consumption

I spent most of the week a few weeks ago reading the prelim exams of a woman who was proposing to write her Ph. D. in consumer science — her interests were similar to those in this comic, but different in that I am about four hundred times more cynical than she is about consumerism in general, and I don’t believe in buying things if I can help it.

A lot of the info in this comic comes from a book I’ve been reading called No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880-1920 by T. J. Jackson Lears.  I am not really a history person per se, but I really enjoy the description of the ideas — it knocks me out that you can actually pinpoint the time and mechanism at and by which our society became what it is.  You can probably tell that I enjoyed this, because there are so many words.  As I told some friends who were hanging around while I was inking it, I meant to edit it…and accidentally added more words.  I’ll be back next week to talk about another fascinating consequence of consumer culture.

This comic was really fun to draw.  For some reason, I loved drawing Mr. Chomsky, and Ford also came out well.  I also enjoy the last two panels.

This comic is filed under HC79.C63 L86 2010, for Economic history and conditions — Special topics, A-Z — Consumer demand.  Consumers.  Consumption.  For other, somewhat related comics, click here.

This week in running: Week eight

It was a week: 16-22 August

Monday: biked 17.1 miles, lifted (chest)

Tuesday: AM – 3.3 mi (9.1 min/mi)

PM – 4.4 mi (11.2 min/mi)

Biked 17.1 mi

Wednesday: 3×2 mi at MP with 1/2 mi recovery (total 7.3 mi, avg. 8.4 min/mi); biked 17.1 mi; lifted (biceps)

Thursday: AM – 3.3 mi (9.4 min/mi)

PM – 3.3 mi (10.4 min/mi)

Biked 17.0 mi

Friday: Biked 31.3 mi

Saturday: half marathon – 13.1 mi in 1:46:02 (8.1 min/mi) – 19th in my division.

Sunday: AM – ~6 mi in 1:00:14

PM – 4 mi (11 min/mi)

Total running: 44.7 miles in 6:56:05 (9.3 min/mi, slightly faster than last week)

Total biking: 99.6 miles (This is the largest number of miles I have ever biked in a week.  Yikes.)

My goals for the half marathon were a) do it in the Vibrams, and b) try to do it at marathon pace or better, to see if doing my marathon at that pace is tenable.  MP is 8:25, so I was well within the “or better” part – 8.1 is about 8:05.  It is clear that I’ll have to pay careful attention to pacing myself so I don’t go out too fast.  I used to run very consistent splits, but as I’ve gotten faster that has faded somewhat.  For example, my splits on Saturday ranged from 7:54 to 9:00 (at least!).  So I will have to watch myself.  My feet and calves are sore from running in the VFFs, but though I was worried toward the end that my feet were bleeding or something, I only had one major blister, which is pretty good.

I’ll try to post the before/after pictures from the half tomorrow; they’re quite droll.

Em ơi! #321: Staff Infection

Bryan asked, when I wrote the script for this comic, if the Dean would recognize herself.  I told him no, because I’ve changed her name, so she can’t find this.  And also, I’ve been introduced to her two or three times now, and I don’t think she knows who I am.

I would totally get a Ph.D.  if I had a way of justifying it, just because I am totally in love with the intellectual exercise of being an intellectual and reading interesting stuff and writing about it.  This is maybe the problem with not being single, I don’t feel like I can just go on getting degrees because I think they would be fun or interesting.  There has to be a (pragmatic) reason to do things.

In other news, I received my first piece of fan mail from someone who I’m not related to today.  (Or, you know, someone I’m friends with on facebook – an email from a random stranger).  All of a sudden I feel like a WRITER.  I should get these novel revisions done tout de suite.  Bryan and I also passed a lovely weekend vacation in Chicago, where we went to the Art Institute, ate a lot of food, and saw some of my favorite relatives.

This is filed under LD6115 .L86 2010, for (deep breath): Individual institutions–United States–Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin System–Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin, Madison–Curriculum–Graduate work and courses.

Em ơi! #320: Bears, bears, bears

Finally another comic.  This one files under QL795.B4 L86 2010, for Zoology — Animal behavior — Stories and anecdotes — Special.  By common name of animal, A-Z — Bears.  You can read some articles about the bears here and here.  It turns out black bears are pretty harmless (they like to eat fruit, not runners), and there haven’t been any mentions of them in the paper since the beginning of the summer, so I’m probably safe.

My favorite new classification is officially HQ76.965.B42, for The Family. Marriage. Woman–Human sexuality. Sex–Sexual minorities–Homosexuality. Lesbianism–Gay and lesbian culture–Special topics, A-Z–Bears. I just found it while I was looking the QL795 one up.  I will have to come up with something to file under that.

Continue reading “Em ơi! #320: Bears, bears, bears”

First published short story: When I Ruled the World

You can find it here, if you’re so inclined.  Though I have another one that got picked up first, the folks at Wilde Oats got their issue out faster.  It was fun to work with them, and I’m so chuffed to be a part of their zine.  Do take a moment and look over the other pieces they’ve selected for your enjoyment and edification.

Bibliographic citation:

Lupton, E. H.  “When I Ruled the World.”  Wilde Oats.  5 (August 2010): Retrieved from the internet 9 August 2010.  http://www.wildeoats.com/When-I-Ruled-The-World-by-EH-Lupton.

Maybe a new comic tomorrow, too!  I’m excited.

Em ơi! #319: Greek Prefixes Forever

1. For those interested, more on polyphasic sleep here and here.  The idea is that you sleep 20 minutes every four hours (e.g.) instead of 8 hours every 16 hours.  This is quite useful for those of us without enough time to accomplish things, but sadly, it doesn’t seem like it would work well in conjunction with my major hobby (i.e., marathon running, which can require being on one’s feet for 4+ hours).  I was not interested in it sufficiently during the last period of my life in which I could have implemented it (undergrad), so I’ve never tried it.  I really could have used the extra time this summer, but with the two-three week adjustment period being so painful, I couldn’t afford to undergo that and trust that my grades would stay up.  And since having more study/writing time was the whole point of the exercise, well…  My current system of going to bed at 22:00 (which usually means 22:45 or 23:00) and getting up at 6:00 is pretty tenable, but I don’t know that I could do it long-term.

It turns out, believe it or not, that running 5-7 miles per day (up to 16 on the weekend, like yesterday) and biking 17-18 miles per day (my normal commute) takes a lot of sleep to sustain.  Who knew?

2. This site is now accessible via http://pretensesoup.com.  Please update your bookmarks so that if I move to a new server, the transition will be smooth.

3. This comic is filed under RA786.L86 2010, for Public aspects of medicine — Public health.  Hygiene.  Preventative medicine — Personal health and hygiene — Sleep — General Works

4.  This comic was funnier when I began work on it two weeks ago.  But it is based on an actual conversation.

Em ơi! #318: My Vietnamese Class (year 3)

There were actually a couple of errors I figured out in the Vietnamese between the time I inked the damn thing and scanned  it.

Um.  But I’m getting much better.  This is about how I felt during the first two weeks of my course.  Week three, I actually started to be much better at listening comprehension.  This coming week is week four – we have our first final, and I’m providing myself with some fun new challenges.  We’ll see how it goes.

This is classified as:

PL4371.L86 2010

For (deep breath):

Languages of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania–Austroasiatic languages–Mon-Khmer (Mon-Anam) languages–Individual languages–Vietnamese. Annamese–General works

Oh man, that was complicated.  And I should have been in bed an hour and a half ago.

Fun fact: Vietnamese has the most speakers of any Austroasiatic language.  I didn’t know this – until recently I thought Vietnamese was Sino-Tibetan.  This means I know one Austroasiatic language, one Sino-Tibetan, one Semitic (sort of), one Romance, and one Germanic.  Hm.  Perhaps I should have taken Italian and Spanish instead of Hebrew and Chinese…