Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Moving right along

This blog has been static for so long, I'm just going to consign it to the archives. Time to start over with a clean slate.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Why, oh why... I encountering so many students who can neither spell nor construct a simple declarative sentence? On several of these papers, I cannot even comment on the content of the argument because I'm forced to clear up the following mysteries of writing:

  • The word 'their' is the possessive of 'they,' while the word 'there' is generally either a noun or an adverb and is not the possessive form of anything. The band did not under any circumstances "get there big break in Boston."
  • Traditionally in the English language, capital letters are used at the start of sentences, and not for emphasis within a sentence (Aerosmith may have been great, but they were not Great).
  • Complete sentences are required in research papers. "As well as using different instruments." is not a complete sentence.
  • The clause "a part of" indicates that the item before the clause was contained in the item after the clause. The phrase "apart of" means (if anything) the opposite.
  • If you are writing about a band, and feel compelled misspell the names of the band members, please do so consistently throughout your paper.
A few of the papers were just plain unreadable. Joe is taking much glee from giggling at the vein over my left eye that has started popping.


Monday, November 27, 2006


In honor of the recently-passed holiday, a list of things (some more mundane than others) for which I am thankful:

  • Family and friends - Thanksgiving has, for many years now, been a much bigger deal in my family than Christmas. However, owing to my class schedule (which went into the evening on Wednesday), we have not been able to make the trip to Maryland for the last two years. Although this is somewhat sad in itself, it saves us some of the manic driving around that we've done in the past (5 states in 10 days anyone?) and it means we got to spend the holiday with some good friends who were also in town. Cooking, while a bit stressful, is far less so than driving, and something I've been able to do a lot less lately. Lots of yummy food, visiting with friends, some calls to the family, and we got to sleep in our own bed. We're saving the big trip for Christmas, when there's more time.
  • Good food - Although we ate a fair bit more Kroger-food on this particular day than we have been, I've been most grateful for the local farmers who have provided us with good produce all summer, pumpkins, organic lamb, fantastic heritage turkeys, and (most recently) six free-range chickens. We have no room in the fridge or freezer, so we'd better get creative quick. Anyhow, I've really loved knowing exactly where my food came from, and what went into producing it. For that, I thank our local farmers.
  • Only two more days of Intro, ever - Petty, maybe, but a serious load off my mind. My last presentation was last week, and it went well (and I even had a brief moment of bonding from the Professor Who Shall Not Be Named), but I cannot wait until this little boot camp experience is over.
  • A healthy pregnancy - I am just past the halfway point, and everything has gone swimmingly. Minimal morning sickness, my brief bout with low blood pressure seems to have passed (as had the wicked cold), and the baby is wiggling around and kicking. The ultrasound this morning showed everybody healthy, and my AFP Tetra screening came back negative. If I can figure out how to sleep properly, we'll be golden.
  • A healthy cat - It's kind of amazing that Hardee, at 15+ years of age, is still in the pink of health. Chattier than ever, prone to walking on our heads in the morning, and aside from a thyroid pill every day and a diet change, she shows no signs of aging at all. Our vet always sounds stunned.
So, one more week of classes, work on the thesis, then papers and exams to grade. After that I get to work on the baby's room and Joe and I (with any luck) get a short vacation before the next holiday.

garden progress: Oh, please - it's December ferpetessake!
house progress: Dresser repainted (thanks to Gillian and Joe) and upstairs, and Joe cleaned out about half the garage.
what's for dinner? Leftovers, naturally. Our friend Julia invented a tasty-sounding recipe for sweet potatoes cooked with pork and onions. Yummm.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

A passing

RIP, Ed Bradley. A tremendously underrated journalist, and a class act.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Attention, all parties, candidates, and pollsters

I have voted. You are too late. Please stop calling me.

That is all.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Stop the madness

Moments ago, as I was grading papers, I received a call, which turned out to be a recorded call from the Democratic party urging me to vote tomorrow. Before I had a chance to hang up, I got a call on the other line. Thinking it might be Joe calling to go to lunch, I switched lines.

It was another recorded call - this one from Zack Space, the Dem candidate for Congress from our district.

I was dying to figure out how I could connect the two recordings and just have them yammer away at each other for a while.

garden progress: Bupkus. Luckily, it is November so this is considered acceptable.
house progress: Well, the list keeps getting longer. That's progress of a sort, right?
what's for dinner? Chicken and Italian Sausage casserole, and most likely Brussels sprouts.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Well that's a plus...

Note: this post was originally begun on August 11, but was not posted until now for reasons that will soon become patently obvious. Also, those of you who are concerned about Too Much Information may wish to skip straight to the bottom.

Many months ago, Joe and I started trying (again - long story) to have a baby.

Three weeks ago, my Ob/Gyn informed me that I was only ovulating every other month (not in May, yes in June, not in July, etc.), and that when I was the eggs were not viable. As a result, my likelihood of conceiving a child without medical assistance was not good, and he recommended Clomid. After the initial shock wore off several days later, Joe and I decided we'd give it a try, but not until after he'd had a check-up and I'd grilled my doctor about all the possible side-effects.

Four days ago, I realized I was 4 days late. In all the to-do about not being able to conceive, I'd completely forgotten when I was due. Confused, I bought a three-pack of home pregnancy tests, carefully dodging a guy I knew as I went to the Kroger checkout. Home, take the test, occupy time with attempting to repair a downspout while checking the clock constantly.

Two minutes later, a definite plus-sign on the test.

The next morning, I took a second test, and Joe and I waited for the results together, although we didn't need to wait long. The plus sign appeared after only a few seconds this time. I stopped to take a blood test at the doctor's office on my way to work, just because it seemed so implausible.

By Wednesday, it was official.

I am pregnant.

Moreover, I was pregnant when I sat in the doctor's office being told that I wasn't likely to get pregnant. Which means I was also pregnant when I had that drink, and when I sucked down caffiene trying to get home from ball games awake at 3am ... oops. Luckily, I've been reassured that everything is pretty well-protected at this stage of the game, and as long as I steer clear from here on out everything should be fine.

Doesn't give one much faith in the medical profession (not that I ever had much), but I'm pretty pleased with my ability to overcome the naysaying.

As of right now, I am 5 weeks pregnant, or at least that's the best estimate. The baby is about the size (and shape) of a sea monkey, but it has started developing internal organs already. Sometime this week, its heart will divide into chambers and begin to pump blood.

So, to sum up for the squeamish, I'm pregnant, due end of April, and somewhere between thrilled and terrified. Joe periodically gets this sort of dazed look on his face and says "Eep!" Each of us has had one substantial freak-out, but the first round seems to be passing. I'm certain there will be more.

And very soon, I will have two hearts. Which may be about the most poetic way to describe this whole business.

Since writing this initially, I have gained not only an extra heart, but an extra liver, spleen, and appendix. Yes, it's a totally pointless organ, but the appendix is one of the first to show up on the scene. Odd In exchange for this bounty, I have given up my regular sleep schedule and the ability to wear a belt. I'm not showing yet, but my waistline is non-existent so it's just a matter of time. It's public news at school, and so far everyone is taking it well, even if I do occasionally feel like a walking sideshow. All in all, pretty nice.

garden progress: Put in a makeshift raised bed (it's just interlocking pieces of 1x10, slotted together Lincoln-Logs style), and finally got my Brussels sprouts seedlings and a bunch of mums in the ground. I am hoping the former have enough time to bear fruit.
house progress: Making a list of everything that Really Needs To Be Done Soon. It is Massive.
what's for dinner? Well, on the night I first wrote this post, it was WillyBob's barbecue. Best Q in Ohio (which I know sounds like a paradox) and it rocks. Tonight it's a whole lot more mundane - leftovers, and maybe some homemade baba ganoush. It's "clean out the fridge" night.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Y'know those filters you can put over your license plate to make it harder to read? They usually come in translucent blue or black, although I have seen them in red.

Yesterday I saw a car with one of those things over a vanity plate.

Either he's unclear on the concept, or I am.

garden progress: We sort of got a raised bed built, although it needs adjusting before it'll be ready to fill. The Brussels sprouts have been thinned and planted in small pots.
house progress: We are just barely keeping ahead of the kitchen.
what's for dinner? Not sure, but it will most likely involve tomatoes.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Miss Ethel Williams is Still Waiting

A little under a year ago, her house was demolished.

About four months ago, she became a presidential photo-op.

She's not angry, and she still has faith, but she's still waiting.


Lives of the Saints, Trivia Edition

Mere moments ago, in the midst of work on the RIdIM project, trying to catalog a particular work by Francesco Solimena, I ran across this bit of information about St. Cecilia:

Patronage: Academy of Music, Rome, Albi France, composers, martyrs, music, musicians, musical instrument makers, archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska, poets, singers

Omaha gets its own patron saint?

garden progress: Brussels sprouts seeds started, but we still need to put in the new bed where they will be set in a few weeks.
house progress: Untold volumes of laundry done.
what's for dinner? Most likely homemade chicken noodle soup, since I've had an itch to make some and we are swimming in chickens.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

I brought this on myself

The beginning of this summer was wet. Wet, wet, wet. On July 15, significant portions of Princeton Valley Farm were under water, the Kokosing had been flirting with going over its banks for over a week, and there has been flooding all over Ohio.

Then I finally got around to repairing the leak in our rain barrel, and re-routing the gutter to feed into it. Since I got everything set back up, it's been blazing hot, high humidity, and nary a drop of rain.

Sorry everyone. If we don't get a break in this heat over the weekend, I'll take it down again.

garden progress: minimal.
house progress: cleaning.
what's for dinner? leftovers.