Sunday, April 29, 2007

There's a new Jane Eyre movie, put out by Masterpiece Theater. The little girl from the movie Chronicles of Narnia plays the younger Jane. I have no idea who the other people are, but it's pretty good. Gloomy house, foggy moors, and an Irish wolfhound--can't go wrong with that!
It's a lot of work to find a place that will take a pet, and not charge an obscene amount of money! I scoured the newspapers, we drove the neighborhoods, and got countless numbers. 90% of them did not allow pets. Jon would ask "Would you allow a cat?" There would a long pause on the other end, and they would say "No." Their pet policy is a guard against dogs, we understand that. But the only thing Pope destroys is our own property, and we've managed to curtail about 99% of that behavior (he'll still scratch the back of the couch if he has excess energy).
Anyways, we may have found a place. It's off South Broadway, just past Virginia Avenue/Red Mile. South Broadway Park is an enclave of mostly Victorian-ish homes that have somehow avoided being torn down. We'll have roughly half the first floor of a large blue Victorian home. There's two bedrooms, and a large living room area with a fireplace and (my favorite) a floor-to-ceiling window in a reading nook-like enclave.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A couple weekends ago we went apartment hunting on a thoroughly wet Saturday. Heaven was gleefully dumping buckets of water. Jon and I reminisced about different hiking trips we've taken in which liberal amounts of water were involved.
My stories (slowly adding to them!) come nowhere near Jon's. He tells of hiking the Appalachian Trail when the trail was nothing more than a cheerful river. I think his worst one is when he went somewhere in Tennessee with his friend and it rained nonstop the entire time. If you can, imagine hiking in clothes thoroughly sopping wet in 50 degree weather. Shirt, pants, underwear, socks, boots, the whole shebang is so soaked that you can grab a fistful of shirt and squeeze out enough water to fill a Nalgene.
This isn't the worst part.
Now, imagine peeling all of this squelching mess off, warming up tolerably for the night. Come morning, though, you must put all of your soggy clothes (which have only dried to a clammy dampness) back on. The worst part of all is pulling on wet, cold socks and wet, cold shoes. Nothing freezes you up better than cold footwear.
Finals are next week. I have one more class after this, and then I will actually be done. It is both exhilarating and terrifying.

This means I have to start looking for a job. I've been keeping my eyes open for a long time, but so few things open up here in Kentucky it is frustrating. Jon and I agreed that if an opportunity opens up in another state (I'm checking Virginia and North Carolina postings regularly), we should move and take advantage of it. I hate the thought of leaving Kentucky, though.
I counted 3 baby birds on the sidewalk the other day. They lay as if asleep, enormous beaks a slash of yellow on their pink heads.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Autumn is starting to figure out that her hands are part of her--that she can actually (somewhat) control them. She had a hold of my finger and decided she wanted to taste it. She furrowed her brow in determination, trying to aim it to her mouth, going cross-eyed in her attempt. I sat there laughing, then realized I was watching the process of her brain neurons firing off new connections.

I tell Jenni she should file away all the 'embarassing' stuff Autumn does so she can tease her when she's a smart-alecky teenager. 1) She is in love with the Lamaze monkey suspended over her carrier. She will stare at it in a trance, smiling and making expressions. We wonder if there is some kind of conversation, one-sided or not, going on... 2) She drools. 3) She passes a lot of gas. 4) She dances to country music.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

When you can't think of terms like "boycott" or "resist", I think that's a sign you need to call it quits on your paper.

Hopefully this paper will turn out okay. The last time this professor asked us to write an essay, he made his requirements so vague that 98% of the class got papers back covered in red marks. Thankfully he realized his error and did not count it towards our overall grades.

For those of you dying to find out, the paper is about the serials crisis in scholarly publishing. Publishers in this field--the science, technology, and medical journals--make a 40% profit. Subscriptions to certain journals reach $30,000. Considering that publishers, particularly Elsevier, the one every librarian loves to hate, routinely raise their annual subscriptions by double digits, it's not hard to see why libraries are starting to fight back.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

"The meaning of and motivation for mall walking among older adults." Activities, adaptation, & aging 19:1 (1994).

The things one comes across in a library...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Abbi gave the 300 her stamp of approval. We were surprised at how, given that it is basically a graphic novel come to life, historically accurate the movie is overall. The Persian king was so impressed with the 300 (they killed 10,000-20,000 of his men) that he wrote down their deeds. Since the Spartans fight to the death, there would have been no record of this battle were it not for the king--highly unusual since history is comprised mostly of the accounts of the victors.
The gallows humor happened for real. A Persian really did say that their arrows would block out the sun, and a Spartan really did retort that they would fight in the shade.
I am reading:
The name of the wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
Dog years, by Mark Doty
Grave Matters, by someone
The history of the ancient world, by Susan Wise Bauer
Prayer, by Philip Yancey
Secrets in the dark, by Frederick Buechner

and I'm going to pick up:
Grace (eventually): further thoughts on faith, by Anne Lamott

Dog years is a memoir of a life with pets, rather intriguing. I think I will write one about the animals in my life so far. As I am the only one who will read it, I will feel free to pen eloquent, lengthy chapters.
Last Friday, there was a wall of darkness stretched across the interstate. The difference was night and day. I was driving in bright sunshine, and it was as if Saruman was perched on some hill nearby magicking a fey storm onto the road. I entered the roiling clouds and visibility was null. Snow roared everywhere--it was like some cosmic dandruff party. Then just as quickly as I entered the darkness of snow, I drove into bright sunshine again. The effect was uncanny.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

If you want a self-esteem boost, go find a baby. They look at you like you're the greatest thing on earth. Autumn is curious about everything, but once her gaze passes over your face, her eyes light up and she will stare at you in rapt adoration forever with a bubbly smile.

One time, I was walking down an aisle in the children's department at Joseph-Beth. There was a fat baby learning how to take her first awkward steps. She was staring at the ground in determination. Once I was close enough that my shoes entered her line of vision, she stopped with a fascinated, perplexed expression on her face. I watched as her eyes traveled up the length of my body, wondering what on earth it was about me that had captivated her so, and once her gaze reached my eyes, her face exploded in glee. She shrieked with joy ( I kid you not) and beamed such a delightful smile at me that nothing could stop the smile forming on my lips in return.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I'm reading the book "Grave matters: a journey through the modern funeral industry to a natural way of burial" by Mark Harris. (Yes Dwain, I know that makes me Victorian).

I'm only the first chapter in--it's making me think about something I've never really thought about before-- and I'm already wondering what the point of the modern funeral industry is considering that bodies will decompose regardless what we do.

Someone was buried on her rural property in a shroud and nothing more. I can't help but think how nice that sounds.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The weather has been so nice lately, I've been itching to go outside--go to a park or something. The itch gets particularly bad when I see people walking their dogs. That was a special daily ritual for Bear and I, and one I miss all the more now that he is gone.
Anyways, I said the other day, "I want to rent a dog and go play in the park."
Jon said, "What about Dwain's dog?"
"He's too much like a cat to count as a dog!"

Of course, we're prejudiced since we only saw him in the house, and witnessed only his house-behavior: perching on the back of a chair, huddling on Miah's lap, burrowing under the blanket.
So I got a ticket a couple weeks ago. There's a police officer that directs traffic in the mornings at a busy intersection at EKU. He motioned for cars in both lanes of my road to stop, which we did. He let the cars in the road perpendicular to our road start turning left and right while we waited. When I saw that there was going to be no one coming turning into the lane of the perpendicular road heading into EKU, I thought it would be okay for me to turn right. Nope. The police officer was kind and explained the situation to me when he pulled me over because I had no idea what I had done wrong.
My mistake, clearly. But now the charge on my record is "Eluding a police officer"! This brings with it a 6 month probation of my license, and traffic school. I hate how that looks--it makes it sound like I led the police on a high speed chase!
So there you go--I am a candidate for that show Cops.