Intro form

jstallcup at juno.com jstallcup at juno.com
Sun Dec 12 19:59:57 EST 2004


Name: Jackie Stallcup

Living in: Ontario California (which is just outside of Los Angeles.  I
live on one side of LA and work on the other)

Age: 37--just barely--November 30th, which does make me a Sagittarius. 
I'm tall and thin and love to ride, so I suppose that fits.  I also tend
to have a big mouth and the tendency to say stupid things without
thinking, though I have managed to curb that since my teenage years.  I
was told by a boyfriend once, rather wonderingly, that having no tact and
a big mouth were attributes of Sags, and he just couldn't believe this
about me.  This shows you how delusional he was. (Shudder!)  Luckily I
escaped him and his sick desire to consider me perfect, which of course
no one could live up to and which lead to serious relationship problems
(gag, double shudder, why am I telling you this?)  That was a very long
time ago now--when I was 18.

Of course, there are plenty of other signs that I have attributes of as
well, as with every other person on the planet.  I had the rather
embarassing experience in a class I was teaching once of having a class
full of students agreeing with me that certain things were hoaxes and
frauds (can't remember what, now), but then when I said astrology, this
one poor girl's face just fell and she said, "but, no, wait, astrology IS
true--it really does work."  Talk about one of those moments when you
just don't know what to say.  I think I said, "Uhhh.  Uhh.  Um, I'm sorry
to disillusion you, but it doesn't."  It was not one of my finer teaching
moments

What I do when not playing here: Teach.  I'm an Assistant Professor at
California State University, Northridge, in the English department.  Some
of you who have been here a while will remember my two attempts to teach
DWJ books.  So far, I haven't figured out how to do that well, yet.  But
I will try again!  My areas of speciality: children's and young adult
literatures.  American lit to 1900.  Restoration and the 18th century.

Bonus:  I have to drive 65 miles one way to work.  When I take the train
(which I do as often as I can), it takes me a round trip total of 5.5-6
hours to commute.  Do I have the longest commute, by either measure?

And didn't we have an oldest car contest, once when we were doing intros?
 Mine is a 1978 Datsun 280Z wtih 416,000 miles (two engines, three
transmissions).  My husband's is a 1967 VW Squareback (unknown number of
miles).  Anyone have older cars?

Married/partnered/?: Very. Wade, a poet, artist and 7th grade English
teacher, and I have been together for nearly 15 years (anniversary in
January), and married for nearly 7.  Still love-doves.

Offspring (human variety): Nope.  

Offspring (non-human): Five cats:  Professor, Skipper, Ginger, [there was
a Mary Ann, once--anyone guess where their names come from?], Mitzi, and
Emma (aka Evil Emma, because she is.).  A dog:  Barkley (Australian
Shepard).  Two horses:  Jaime and Chief (both Thoroughbreds from the
track).  

First DWJ/when: _Dogsbody_ when I was in middle school.  But for some
reason, that did not turn me on to all other dwj.  It wasn't until I
picked up a copy of Charmed Life, with the comment "Love Harry?  Try
Diana" or whatever it was, that I got hooked.  And yet my reaction was
odd--when I read Charmed Life, I expected to be comforted and I also
expected the sequels to go further with Cat's story. (That is, I expected
Harry Potter, at some level).  Obviously, neither of those expectations
were met--but I have decided that that is what I love about dwj's work. 
It's disturbing, but not upsetting (I have decided that I don't like
upsetting books.)  Her books don't upset me, but they leave me
unsettled...  which is good.  

Odd little note about Dogsbody:  I read it at the same time that I read
Fluke, by James Herbert, which has a similar concept:  man reborn as dog,
must fix big problem.  But for years afterward, I could NOT remember the
title or author of Fluke, and everytime I would search for it based on
the story, up would pop Dogsbody.  This annoyed me seriously, and may
have lead to my not reading more dwj--it was like I couldn't get away
from this darned book, which was not the one I was looking for!  Then I
just happened across Fluke in one of those spinning racks at a books
store and the problem was solved.  I never got around to rereading Fluke,
but I did start reading dwj.

Favourite DWJ (Why am I doing this to myself?!): Fire and Hemlock, Dark
Lord of Derkholm, Lives of Christopher Chant, Deep Secret, Merlin
Conspiracy

Least favourite DWJ: Time of the Ghost disturbed me so badly that I would
have put that one here, but I just reread it recently and realized that
part of the disturbance was that I read it far from home when I needed
comfort, and it obviously doesn't offer that!  It was much better on a
second read.  Other than that, I don't think I have a "least favorite." 
Maybe Witch Week--all those nasty kids that remind me way too much of
middle school.  

Other favourite authors/books: Joan Aiken, Louisa May Alcott, LM
Montgomery, Dav Pilkey (I'm currently writing a scholarly article on
Captain Underpants--I LOVE my job!), Connie Willis, Phillip Pullman,
Keith Robertson (Henry Reed, Inc.), Louise Fitzhugh, Arthur C. Clarke
(non fiction), Oliver Sacks, Bill Bryson, Dorothy Gilman, Tolkien, The
Princess Diaries, Tove Jansson, Frank Gilbreth and Ernestine Carey (not
just Cheaper by the Dozen, but also the sequels and other books that they
have written, together and separately--well, I haven't read EC's yet, but
they are on my shelf, waiting for me).  I liked Good Omens, but
separately, Gaiman and Pratchett aren't doing much for me.  I'm trying
though!  Douglas Adams.

Music: alternative mostly.  Some punk, though mostly the older stuff that
isn't too harsh.  I had the fun experience of teaching the Sex Pistols
once (I tell you, my job is a blast!).  The Clash.  Pink Floyd, Cake. 
Social Distortion...  Actually, come to think of it, I've taught songs
from all of those bands except Social D.

Favourite movies: Shrek (I and II), Singing in the Rain, Oklahoma, The
Big Easy, Matrix, Blade Runner, (I was teaching a course in
utopias/dystopias, including Blade Runner along with Do Androids Dream of
Electric Sheep when Matrix came out.  Perfect timing!)  Bowfinger (a
seriously underrated movie--I think Eddie Murphy should have gotten an
Oscar for it!  My favorite story about Bowfinger:  After seeing the
movie, my friend says, "Well, that was pretty good, but I think they
should have gotten someone who looked more like Eddie Murphy to play his
brother." She wouldn't believe that that WAS Eddie Murphy!)

Favourite TV: I was going to say that I don't watch TV, but I see that
someone listed Monty Python.  I LOVE Monty Python.  Our "big gift" last
Christmas was the entire set of DVDs.  It took us until October to get
through them all and we have just started them over again.  

Currently reading: I am currently struggling with American Gods.  If I
remember correctly, it was recommended here?  And I trust your opinions,
so I am reading it.  But what someone said recently about "horror" made
me realize why I'm not thrilled with it.  I'm not hating it, but I'm also
not motivated to read it quickly.  I liked Long Dark Teatime of the Soul
(Adams) better. 

I liked Neverwhere well enough, except for the horrifying bits. 

I'm also trying to read Terry Pratchett, as I have a student who is doing
a Master's thesis on Pratchett, but his discworld books are just not... I
don't know... making me jump up and down with enthusiasm.  

But I am very happy that I took the list's advice on Connie Willis.  I
loved To Say Nothing of the Dog, particularly after reading Three Men and
A Boat, and I just finished Lincoln's Dreams--very sad, but very moving. 
I've been reading some of her short stories and enjoying them very much. 
Bellwether is interesting--I thought it was kind of ho-hum as I was
reading it, but by the end, I realized that it is in fact, really, really
good.  

As I am not very motivated to read American Gods, I am currently working
through my backlog of magazines:  Discover, Skeptical Inquirer, and the
New Yorker.

I have also been reading Failure is Not An Option, which is an account of
the development of Mission Control, and covers the space program from
instead Mission Control (as opposed to the astronauts perspective).  Not
exactly riveting, but a very good read in many places.  I love to learn
about the space program.  In fact, I'm thinking about purchasing From the
Earth to the Moon, which is a multipart documentary about space
flight--has anyone seen it?  Is it worth $115?

Jackie
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