Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Baby Names

DQ recently informed me she had a baby in her belly. I asked her what she planned to name her baby. Her answer: "Not-Nice Baby." There are times in both of my pregnancies when I wanted to name my offspring that very thing.

And for those of you who have never seen it, Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The cool bus

Another benefit of the recent move: we spent a glorious evening a while ago having dinner at a garden cafe and listening to the sounds of a friend's jazz band. Wonderful. For several reasons. a) the food was nice, b) the weather was lovely, c) the music was terrific, and d) it was like a very strange, very small, very band-centric high school reunion.

I had attended HS with two of the ensemble's members. One, I've kept up with consistently (seeing at various parties over breaks during college, and occasional holiday party when I was visiting my parents, plus periodic emails. He came to my wedding and gave me a random yet fabulous gift.) And one I haven't seen since I was in college. But both are great folks who were influential in my youth. So I expected it would be nice to see them again.

What I didn't expect was running into their "groupies," which are several OTHER people I went to school with. Particularly, the "cool kids."

K'wait: when I was a sophomore (3 year high school system back then), the week before school started, we had band camp. This was a week of 12-hour rehearsal days. We met everyone. We learned tons of new stuff. We were in awe. And we were especially in awe of those big huge seniors who knew what they were doing, and were quite relaxed and groovy about the whole thing.

Two of the big wigs were the trumpet soloists for the field show. I mean, they're seniors, they're cool, AND they're the best musicians! That combined with the drum major, and it was the "in crowd" (in a nobody-but-K-lyn-and-Corndog-will-understand kind of way). When we went on band trips, the major goal was getting on the "cool bus," defined by whatever bus these guys were on. If you were on the cool bus, you were privy to all the best jokes, stories, and music for the entire trip. If you were on a lesser bus, it sucked to be you.

So there I was at the garden cafe, thirty-something years old, and back on the cool bus. It felt weird. It felt nice.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I [Heart] the Pacific Time Zone!

Elle and I agreed to exchange chapters, and set yesterday as our deadline. Thank goodness Elle is as understanding of deadlines as I am! I got the following message from her Wednesday afternoon:

by 11:59 right?

To which I responded:

11:59 my time?

To which she responded:

oh, most definitely.

I'll have you know, we BOTH met our deadlines. Rock on.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My WHAT?!?

This, from the tail end of a quick phone conversation with V so I could get back to writing:

V: Well, good luck with your paper.

Q: My PAPER?!?

V: Sorry! Sorry, I'm still trapped in college. Sorry.

Q: Oh, this is totally going on the blog.

V: Well, it's about time. I've been trying to get mentioned for a while now.

Taking Advantage

Once upon a time, I moved to the Northeast. We anticipated living there for about five years. After 8 months, financial prospects were not as positive as they had been, and we were (professionally, socially, and climate-ly) unhappy. We returned to the South after a year. I don't regret my move there, but I do regret that since we did not know we'd be leaving so soon, we did not take advantage of all the great stuff up there.

Fast forward to this most recent move. Add into the mix that we've had a beautiful summer and the rainy season is fast approaching. And that I have no job. And that Spouse has random days off here and there. Total: we've been taking advantage of our location to do all the things you're supposed to do when you live in Cascadia: go hiking, go caving, see waterfalls, visit volcanoes, etc.

Here is the Drama Queen, who did much better on her first major hike than we expected. She wanted to carry a pack. She wanted to LEAD us. She wanted to be the TRAIL BLAZER! Of course, as we neared the top, she wanted to be carried.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Itchy and Scratchy Show!

There are moments when I love my son more than life itself...

And then there are the moments when he throws sawdust down my bra.

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New Week, New Goals

1. On Wednesday, I have a deadline to turn in Chapter 6 to a really wonderful and brilliant scholar and I will in turn read what she's been working on.

2. On Wednesday, I have a soft deadline to turn in the whole draft to my non-academic readers.

3. On Friday afternoon, I lose childcare for more than a week, so anything that needs to get done, better get done by Friday!!! Which leads us to...

4. By the end of the month, I must turn in a short article to a journal editor. don't think it's very good, but it is out there.

5. By the end of the month, I really hope to have two of my three encyclopedia articles done, too.

6. By the end of the month, I have sample syllabi due to a guy who thinks he might actually hire me.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Snakes on a Plane

So, do you want to see it?

a) hell yes! It's M-F snakes on a M-F plane!
b) hell no! It's M-F snakes on a M-F plane!
c) yes, but that involves a babysitter, which is just difficult. I'll wait until video.
d) no, I'd rather employ the phrase in my lexicon.
e) I've been living under a rock and I don't know what you're talking about.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Happiness is...

sitting at my computer in flannel jammie pants.

It is 60 degrees here right now. Suck on that, Texas!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Status Update

Chugging along at full speed. I lost a committee member this week, so my first priority is to replace him and get a timetable set with the committee on when I plan to turn in my full draft, and when we might tentative plan the defense. [Ok, it's freaking me out just to write that!]

This week's goals:
  • Get a new committee member. I have a list of three good options. Let's hope one says yes. Got my first choice! Whew!
  • Finish chapter 1 edits and read through the whole chapter to make sure it flows. -- rearranged some of it and it sounds ok! I think.
  • Keep going on chapter 6 edits. -- almost done with them! Adding some context today and finishing up the last section. We'll be a go by Wednesday.
  • Conclusion? Go back to major secondary sources to fill out some of my concluding remarks.
  • Whole draft to my non-academic readers.
-- let's make that Wednesday, too.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Going Native

This one's for all the Cascadians out there...

The Wild Boy is making leaps and bounds verbally, adding new words to his repertoire almost daily. Since we introduced him to juice and water, he's had to change his reference of all beverages as "cup" or "baba" into demanding specific beverages.

His word for Milk? Mook.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Things that make you go hmmm...

Do you think the driver realized the irony of putting the following two bumper stickers on his car?

  • Gun Control is a Steady Hand
  • Bush/Cheney 04

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  • Friday, August 11, 2006

    Go Eagles!

    When I walk the kids home from school, we pass a flag outside one of our neighbors' homes that reads, "Go Beavers." Not too rare in our neck of Cascadia to see a Beavers flag. DQ asked me what the flag said. So now whenever we pass it, she says, "Go Beavers go!"

    Since this would dismay her grandparents, both alums of the rival University of Oregon, I had to teach her "Go Ducks Go!" too. Then she started extrapolating... Go Moose! Go Zebras! Go Rhinos!

    Then, at breakfast this morning, "Go Turtles!" Her daddy quickly corrected her. "We never say Go Turtles, honey."

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Resistance is Useless!

    I can put off unpleasant tasks for as long as I want, but eventually they need to be done. Today, I finally did the topic sentence exercise for Chapter 2. This involved highlighting every paragraph's topic sentence, making sure it clearly identified what the paragraph was about, making sure the subsequent sentences actually related to the topic sentence, and then seeing if said paragraphs were arranged in a logical manner (um, they weren't.)

    Surprisingly, it only took an hour or so, and the results read very nicely! Advisor really knows what she's talking about (dammit, I knew that, didn't I?)

    Progress is being made:
  • chapter 2 and 3 edits from Second Reader are done!
  • topic sentence exercise for chapter 2 is done!
  • chapter 1 edits from Second Reader are started!
  • chapter 6 edits from Advisor are started!
  • Footnote check is started!

    Things I'm still avoiding:
  • editing my introduction
  • editing my conclusion
  • long list of source-checks, which involves going into town to the library. I'm thinking Thursday for that task.

    Goal: full draft to fabulous non-academics by next week. Full draft to Advisor (possibly committee?) by end of the month.

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  • Sunday, August 06, 2006

    Worst. Commercial. Ever.

    Has anybody seen this ad for Hummer where a mom is at the playground with her son, and another kid and mom cut in line at the slide, so the mom goes out and buys an H3? Truly, could the messaging in this commercial be any more egregious? Is the woman now planning to use her beast of an SUV to guarantee that her son will never be bullied at the playground again? Maybe she's planning to run over the other kid (or the other mother) with her new vehicle?

    Help me out. I'm trying to learn here.

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    Friday, August 04, 2006

    Catchy tune

    This post and song are dedicated to my college roomie...

    Ever hum a song all day and not recall why? That's happening today with Pearl Jam's "Can't Find a Better Man." Then it occurred to me. Today, I'm reading Manliness and Civilization by Gail Bederman. Duh.

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    Tuesday, August 01, 2006


    This week's diss-related post and to-do list has been hampered by sick kids. But I hope to be back on track tomorrow. Really. I won't just take the day as a "mental health holiday" and watch the World Series of Pop Culture and eat Kit-Kats.

    Damn, that sounds good...

    • The big news is that I have a conclusion. It's a shoddy, sloppy conclusion, but it is written. I have put it aside and will give it a more thorough look tomorrow.
    • I got another chapter back from Second Reader. I have begun edits on those. It is going ssssslllloooowwwwwllllyyyy. But it is going.
    • I have to tackle Chapter 6 at some point. It is a big mess.
    • I have lined up two fabulous-non-academics to read portions of the draft to see if things make sense. I want to get the draft to them by the end of next week. It doesn't have to be perfect*, but it has to be coherent.

    *It will never be perfect. C. Vann Woodward, I am not.

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    Just call her butter

    'Cause Elle is on a roll! While I'm here whining about my diss and my kids' plumbing (WB's got icky diapers, DQ's got a UTI. Joy.), over at Elle's site, some seriously good questions are being asked. Check it out.

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