Thursday, December 18, 2008


David and I will be heading to Indiana tomorrow after he gets out of school. Please say prayers for us because it is a looooonnnggg drive (800 miles) and we'll be going through a lot of snow. In fact, a huge storm is supposed to start just south of us around the time we are going to leave. Perfect.

But we are excited to go home and see everyone even though we won't be bearing as many gifts as we would like. Sigh. I've been listening to and singing Nappy Roots' "Po' Folks" a lot lately, especially the chorus: "All my life been po'/ but it really don't matter no mo'". David told me to stop because we aren't poor and we've never been poor. True, but it's so catchy that I can't stop singing it.

Anyway, it will be fun to see everyone! I think we'll be home late the 20th or early the 21st.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Job Search

I was talking to David last night about the kinds of jobs I would be good at. Here's a bit of the conversation-

Monica: Do you think there are still cartographers around? I love looking at maps. They're so much fun. I could draw maps.

David: Yeah, there are still cartographers. Stuff always needs to be mapped. I don't think you would really like being a cartographer though.

Monica: Why, because it involves math and working with computers and stuff like that?

David: Pretty much, yeah.

Monica: Yeah, I wouldn't like that. Maybe I could just be the person who draws sea monsters in the oceans.

David: You would be good at that.

So if you know of any map companies that need a sea monster artist, let me know.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I fear my time as a Lady of Leisure is almost up. Gas and electric are way expensive up here and we've just been getting by for over the past month. No fun. So I'm now searching for all kinds of jobs and will pretty much have to take the first one that is offered to me. Please pray that I can get a job fast! I don't want to paint a bleak picture, but I really, really need a job. Oh well, being a LoL was fun while it lasted.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Little Crafty

Here's what I made this weekend.

(I hope the tails look like tails and not other appendages. HA!)

On Friday, Martha Stewart had this lady on her show who taught us how to make stuffed animals out of gloves and socks. I immediately knew I wanted to try this. It was so fun to make these and really, really cheap. I went to the Dollar Tree and bought a 2 pack of kids' gloves, so 50 cents each for the material. Then I bought a huge bag of buttons for $1.50, and a large bag of polyfill for $2.00. I already had all the needle and thread, and I went to work. I hand sewed these because I find hand sewing relaxing, but if you use a sewing machine, you could whip these things out in no time. Since David and I are pretty poor right now, I'm thinking these will be Christmas gifts for all the little kids on our list. The website gives directions for the dog and the bunny. The pictures above are just my prototypes. Once you see what the animals are really supposed to look like, you'll think that these guys are pretty deformed, but it's a start. Next time, I'm going to use bigger gloves and a couple of different techniques. I've heard there's an elephant you can make out of socks, but the pattern isn't on the Internet. I might have to break down and buy the "Sock and Glove" book when we have some spare cash. Oh, and Scout has adopted the rabbit as her new "murder toy". I've hidden it in a couple different places, but she always finds it and proceeds to inflict flesh wounds. She really wants to kill the rabbit but she ignores the dog. Weird.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I was looking through some saved stuff on our camera today and came across some pictures of our neighborhood in Cincinnati. I meant to post these a long time ago. I like living in Potsdam, but I sure do miss living in Clifton and Cincinnati as a whole. We'll probably stay in NY for 3-5 years. After that, we have our eyes on Cincinnati, Indy, or Chicago. I think Cincinnati is our top pick right now. Anyway, here are some pics of our totally awesome old neighborhood of Clifton. All these businesses were right on our street.

This was our apartment building. Take a close look and try to guess which balcony was ours.

Our library

Hippie stores 1,2, and 3

Our theater.


Mediterranean foods and hookah store.

Skyline Chili- a Cincinnati fave.

There are so many more awesome business pics I could show, but I want everyone to see all the cool houses in our neighborhood.

We lived in the gaslight district. That's our street sign behind the light.

Clifton was definitely a neat place to live.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Taste the Rainbow... of Shaving Cream

There is this one commercial that has been equally intriguing me and driving me nuts lately. David says I need to take a couple of deep breaths and let it go, but I can't. Here's part of the ad.

This isn't the part that's driving me crazy (Damn YouTube for not having the whole thing). Just before this, the announcer tells everyone that there are seven great flavors of Barbasol. Flavors? I'm intrigued because the commercial shows that the meaning of "flavor" is expanding to something beyond taste. "Flavor" is now starting to mean variety, type, kind, etc. The commercial is at least a couple years old, and I know this usage of "flavor" isn't exactly new either. When I worked at Osco, my co-workers would always talk about stocking different "flavors" of nail polish, dish soap, cleaning products, and other inedible items. I never joined my co-workers in this usage for one simple reason- it absolutely turned my stomach. I didn't want to think about drinking "Autumn Berry" nail polish.

When the Barbasol commercial comes on, I have a fit because I am forced to think about eating shaving cream- usually in a custard cup with a spoon or plopped on an ice cream cone like soft serve. And then I go upstairs, stand in the bathroom, look at David's Barbasol can, and think, hmmm... what would "Soothing Aloe" taste like? Or better yet, what would the flavors "Sensitive Skin" "Extra Protection" and "Therapeutic" taste like? I'm really curious about "Therapeutic." I have a feeling they'll all taste like soap- and I do know what that tastes like. My parents never punished me that way; I just wanted to see what the big deal was about after watching A Christmas Story.

Anyway... I wonder how many people use "flavor" to mean variety. And just as important, how far does the usage extend? Different varieties of liquids or scented materials make sense to me, perhaps because of my Osco experience. But I can't imagine asking for a different flavor of book, CD, or clothing, at least, not in the same way with the same exact meaning.

So keep an eye out for the Barbasol commercial, and try not to eat any shaving cream.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Just Terrible

I am saddened to say that someone set fire to our church, St. Mary's, here in Potsdam. Thankfully, the damage was limited to the altar, where the fire started, but there is some smoke damage too.

It really tears me up. I feel so terrible for our pastor, Fr. Garry. He is a hard working priest dedicated to the church. Just last week he was excited to tell us he was sending off our stained glass windows to be refurbished for the first time in 108 years. And now this.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fall's Over

Here are the views from our front and back porches.

I think we got 5-8 inches. I'm not sure though because no one will say on the news. At least you can tell that we have good snow clearing crews. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The French Connection

I'm really liking Potsdam so far. I never thought of myself as a person who adjusts easily, but I adored living in Cincinnati, I love Potsdam, and I loved Lafayette too. Maybe most places are agreeable to me. Lafayette is definitely number one in the friends and family category, and that is why it's great. However, it squarely comes in third as far as aesthetics, activities, smell, city planning, and zoning. And I might fall out of love with Potsdam really fast- It's going to be 25 tomorrow night and there's a 40% chance of snow on Saturday.

One thing that is just crazy-cool is all the French we hear in in this county. We are about an hour from Quebec, so we get french radio stations and Canadian TV. Oh, also our weatherman has the cutest French accent- he sounds just like this Chinese-French guy I knew at Purdue. I've only heard a handful of people speaking French in stores here, but when we go 20 miles north to Massena for fancy things like Taco Bell and a mall, tons of people are speaking French. Potsdam High's entire foreign language department consists a Latin teacher (I hear he's cute), a Spanish teacher, and two French teachers. I first thought that having two French teachers was overdoing it a tad, but now I understand why the school has them.

Since we're so far North, I've also seen a lot of Canadian political ads, and I even watched part of a Canadian presidential debate. They have three debates like us, but one of them has to be completely in French, and trust me, all the candidates have different proficiency levels in French. As you might have guessed, the ones that sucked at French were the most fun to watch. Here's what I understood from that debate about the candidates: there's Steven Harper, the prime minister, and people think he's too close to Bush; then there's some French guy that everyone thinks is crazy, a lady who never stops talking about the environment, and a bald guy with a mustache. And all four of them are ALWAYS talking about the Kyoto Protocol. I've barely heard McCain or Obama touch Kyoto.

One more thing about Canada- They have a lot of different medical stuff. Just yesterday on CTV I saw an advertisement for a colon cancer home screening kit. I can only imagine the type of sample one has to collect to screen themselves for colon cancer. Gross.

Now for quick tidbit updates-

Tidbit 1- Scout gave me a pretty good injury yesterday. I was cooking dinner and Scout hopped up on the oven hood without me seeing. Well I looked up, and she KNOWS she's not supposed to be up there, so when she saw me, she got startled and fell off the hood. As she was falling to the floor,she stuck her claws out and caught my thumb. But it wasn't just any part of my thumb- it was the very tender crevice between the side of the nail and the beginning of the skin (think of the part when you would get a hangnail). And she ripped a deep, long, vertical gash in that tender area. It bled so much and was so deep that it made me sick to my stomach. I am so tempted to post a picture but I won't.

Tidbit 2- David took me to dinner here for my birthday. I had a pork shank that was so good I wanted to pick it up and eat it Henry VIII-style. For dessert I had two freshly made pumpkin spice donuts with maple glaze and mulled hot cider. And OMG, I've been craving those donuts and cider ever since. The part that impressed me most is that neither the donuts or the cider were too sweet. The donuts were so pumpkinny and the cider was nice and tart. Anyway, my birthday dinner was amazing.

Tidbit 3- Someone just stole our recycling. No joke. We put out lots of cans and bottles in our blue bin, and someone just came and stole them. They left the plastic and the paper. It's weird, but I wanted to tell him not to steal our recycling. But what was I going to say? "Hey! That's our friggin' garbage, buddy! You can't have it because we're getting rid of it!" Probably not. And I know he's going to take our cans and bottles to the same place we intended them to go, but he's going to make a profit. This shouldn't bother me but it kind of does.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lake Placid

We went to Lake Placid and the surrounding area yesterday to see all the fabulous fall colors. We live in a really beautiful area. I decided to make this trip part of my birthday week celebration. My 27th birthday is on Wednesday.

Most of our pictures came from the ski resort where the 1980 Winter Olympics were held. We took a ski lift about 3,000 feet up Whiteface Mountain. It was so beautiful that I wasn't surprised to see a couple getting married up there during our visit. We hiked around for a couple of hours and then rode back down. It was such a neat way to see all the fall colors in the Adirondacks.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Business Card

I should probably get a job.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Never Reading Again

David and I did something yesterday that I never thought we would do- we got cable. We didn't get the big, fancy HD cable, or even the moderately fancy 80 channel cable. Instead, we got the poor man's 10 channel, $11 a month cable. Whene I ordered it from Time Warner two weeks ago the lady on the phone said, "Basic cable? You realize that if we come out again in a month to upgrade your cable we'll have to charge you a second installation fee." I guess this sort of thing happens a lot. I told her basic was fine. Our channels include ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, TBS, PBS, and CBC. Oh, and we also get the TV guide channel. I can only assume we get this channel to show us all the great TV we're missing and convince us to call immediately for a cable upgrade.

After the cable man left, I decided that some brain rotting veg time was in order. I mean, I'm out of college and don't have a job. Why do I ever need to read again? Well, in addition to all the channels already mentioned, I found that our signal picks up some free channels that have already switched over to HD. Most interesting is the Discovery Health channel. I'm sure the channel's mission statement says that it is trying to promote interest in all the wonders of medicine. However, if one watches this channel for, oh say, three hours straight, one will find that this channel is dedicated to incurable medical maladies, pregnancy complications, and obscure diseases. This channel is like the perfect storm of entertainment for any hypochondriac, and like any other horrific and compelling situation, I COULD NOT LOOK AWAY. In one show I got to see a baby born with a head shaped like a three leaf clover, a woman almost die of hemorrhaging after giving birth, and a baby born addicted to crack. Shortly after, I determined that I'm never having children. And yes, all these situations were terrible, and I don't want to make light of it. I cried, cringed, and almost puked during this show. I turned the channel a couple of times telling myself that I could NEVER AGAIN watch this channel. And yet.... I always found myself stopping on it again. Tomorrow, Discovery Health is running a show about a man who grows a tree bark like substance on his body. They call him Treeman. And I will not watch... maybe. No, I have to stop watching, seriously. I already asked David if he thought I had blood clots near my ankles yesterday. I asked because I did not rationally put together that wearing heels all day sometimes causes people's ankles to hurt.

So as you can see, cable is already making me dumber, but if you need more evidence, here it is. We were watching the news last night and a smoking cessation commercial came on. It featured a tortoise and hare reminding people that they should slowly and patiently try to quit smoking. As the turtle was flopping around in the weird way that turtles walk, I turned to David and said, "It's really sad about turtles." He asked what I was talking about. I went on to explain that turtles were like the handicapped of the animal kingdom. They walk around really slowly because the shape of their body prevents them from walking like a normal animal. "Yeah, but they have a big shell to protect them," he said. I reminded David that the shell is what makes them slower and they wouldn't need that big shell for protection if they could walk and run like normal, able bodied animals. All he responded with is " 'It's really sad about turtles' ...that's one for the books." I'm glad I didn't tell him that I thought the commercial would have been much funnier had the turtle been smoking a cigarette.

The main reason we got cable was to watch the news. At least that was the reason we agreed upon. In actuality the reasons are I get bored during the day and I really, really want to watch college football. I'm so excited about watching football tomorrow. Oh, and I'm kidding about never reading. I just took a break from reading Moby Dick to read David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day. I don't know why, but I can't read more than 10 pages of Moby Dick without falling asleep. It's really funny and well written (maybe that's an understatement) but it puts me to sleep. So I'll be able to tell you what I think of it when I finish in about a year or two.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Toga, Toga, Toga!

David is going to show his Latin club students how to make togas today, so last night we practiced making him a toga. We had so much fun!! His students will be making their togas out of old bedsheets, but we bought about 15 feet of material to make a deluxe toga for David. After all, the magister should look like he knows what he's doing. After cutting the material into a semi-circle shape, I used hemming tape to put some reddish-purple stripes on the toga and on a white T-shirt to imitate a tunica laticlavia and toga praetexta. Doesn't he look senatorial?

I think David is going for the Augustus pose here, but I always pictured him as more of a Hadrain kind of guy.

Note Hadrian's cute beard and curly hair.

I have to admit that the toga isn't entirely accurate, and that bothers me a little more than it should, as David told me last night. But we had fun and I can always do more work to it later. David wants me to make a stola and palla for myself next. Then we can go to Halloween and costume parties as Romans! Plus, we live on a block with three fraternity houses, so we'll always be ready to crash toga parties as well.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Rainy, Rainy, Rainy Day

We finally have the internet. I thought the guy was supposed to come yesterday, but it was actually today. I don't have pictures of Potsdam to post yet because I've been kind of lazy lately. I'm still getting used to the fact that I have nothing to do but vacuum a little and make dinner. Actually, it might surprise some of you to know that I am still employed by Cincinnati State. The writing center has retained me as an online writing tutor. Any students who are taking online English classes have access to online tutoring. I have one class to tutor, which means students who want help will send me an attachment of their paper and I'll comment on it and send it back to them. I can tutor these papers in my pajamas with a cup of coffee on the desk if I want. This will be very little work-- like about 1/50th of what I did all last year, so I think I can handle it. Anyway, Ill be sure to take some pictures of Potsdam as soon as we get some dry weather, which might be next June. Haha. No, it'll be sooner than that, I promise.

I'm listening to Pandora now after going without for more than a week. All I have to say is that I was listening to a lot of depressing music last semester. Here's a sample of my stations: Elliott Smith, Cat Power, Amalgamated Sons of Rest, and the like. No wonder I was so bummed out, or maybe the music was just reflection of the mood I was already in. Now I want some good happy music to listen to, but that is sometimes a tall order with inde music. And speaking of happy, I've certainly noticed a change in my mood, and David has been saying things like "Gee, you're in a good mood" about three times a day. I'm still crawling out into the sunshine to be sure, but I'm so much happier. The constant headache behind my eyeballs has gone away, my right thumb has stopped twitching uncontrollably, I've eased up on clenching my teeth at night (evidenced by the fact that my mouth hurts less in the morning) and the throbbing tension in my neck and shoulder blades is loosening. I'm still afraid I have two or three terminal illnesses, but I never expected all my stress issues to go away overnight.

We miss all our pals in Cincinnati and Lafayette. If we didn't get a chance to say goodbye in person it is because the move was rather hectic and hurried because of several unforeseen, uncontrollable, and tragic circumstances. We don't have any friends here yet, but I suppose that will come, although it may come a little more slowly since the town is small, but I'm not really worried about it for now.

I've made dinner for the past four nights. That matches how many times I made dinner the entire time we lived in Cincinnati. So, I'm pretty much feeling like Donna Stone on the "Donna Reed Show" right now, a show I always secretly admired and despised for the laughable perfection of the Stone family matriarch. Oh, how I love Donna Reed in all her roles, but that is an entire blog post in itself.

I'm also reading non-composition material again. Thanks be to God. Now I'm off to buy flavored coffee, two avocados, and some cans of soup.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


We're here. David starts teaching on Tuesday. I'm posting from the library, but our internet will be hooked up on the 8th. I hate posting from the library so I'll probably write again once we have the internet in our apartment.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Moving Schedule

Packing is coming right along. It's really helpful to live a block away from a grocery store because we can get all the boxes we need. I hope to be done packing by Thursday night. Here's the schedule.

Thursday- My last real day at work. Finish packing.

Friday around 11:00 am- leave for Lafayette to say my goodbyes.

3:00- Hang out w/ family until 6:30.

Go to friends' baby's baptism at 7:00.

Hang out with friends all night.

Saturday- Meet my new nephew, see as many people as possible, tell them goodbye and that I will miss them dearly.

Sunday- Go to mass at St. Boniface, hang out w/ my family, eat dinner with my Aunt Barb, and go back to Cincinnati.

Monday- See as many Cincinnati friends as possible and tell them we'll miss them dearly.

Tuesday- Repeat. Load up moving truck that night.

Wednesday early morning- Watch Dad and David move all the heavy stuff I couldn't help lift from the night before.

Wednesday late morning/early afternoon- Set off on our 12 hour drive to Potsdam.

Thursday- Move in all our stuff, start our new lives.

Thanks for all the prayers from everyone. I have no doubt they played a huge role in us going where we are going. The move is far and we will live in a pretty isolated place, but I think this is where we are supposed to be.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Goodbye Cincinnati...

And hello Potsdam, New York. That's right, David took a Latin teaching position, and he and I will be moving to up up up up upstate New York in a little over two weeks. I mean way upstate. We'll be about less than an hour from the Canadian border and two hours away from Montreal. This news came at the eleventh hour, too. We were actually ready to send in our signed contracts, transcripts, apostilles, etc to South Korea TOMORROW MORNING!!!! In fact, when I woke up today I was only thinking about going to Korea and had almost given up entirely on New York. And while Korea would have been a hell of an adventure, New York is clearly the more stable option. Plus, we've been told that David's school takes trips to Europe just about every year, so our traveling days are not over.

Anyhow, Potsdam seems pretty cool. Even though the it is only 10,000 citizens strong, there are two colleges in the town and two others within a 15 mile radius. So David will be teaching a bunch of professors' kids. I've never been to Potsdam, but I'm imagining it's somewhere between Twin Peaks and Corner Gas. We're going up there to look for apartments (or houses!) this weekend, so I'll get to confirm my mental images.

We'll miss Cincinnati lots. All of my students complain about this town, but I loved our time here. We met some fantastic people and lived in the coolest neighborhood ever!!!! I'll do a tribute to Clifton in the next couple of days so all of you can see where we lived.

Anyhow, that's all for now.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Still Waiting...

Well, we are still waiting and the pressure is really getting to the both of us, but I thought I should at least tell you what we know. Most of you have either called or written to ask why such a sudden change, so I guess I'll start with that. I'm giving you the nitty-gritty, frazzled, poorly written version.

I'm not happy at my job. That doesn't mean I don't like teaching. I do. I just don't like it under the current circumstances. So I was ready to quit.

David wasn't happy in his program. That doesn't mean he didn't like UC. He did. What he didn't like is being trained to be a researcher. He could never really convince himself that what he was doing was important or meaningful. Yes, writing a paper on a completely esoteric subject might get you accolades in from a some academic types, but who does it help? How does constantly nit-picking at another scholar's work or doing research on a topic that 99.998 percent of the population has never even heard of stack up in the big scheme of things? I once asked this question to a friend back home. He said it was all about finding truth with a big T. I guess we'll leave that to the philosophers and theologians for now. David was successful in the first year of his program. His grades were great and he wrote some awesome papers, but he would rather teach and only teach. He does not want to keep up with other people's articles and publish on things he can't take seriously for a living, and that's basically what being a classics professor would get him. But teaching languages to real live students is something he does find meaning in and is something he would love to do for a living.

We came to work related crossroads at about the same time. I wanted a break, David wanted me to quit (for my sanity and his) and he also wanted to quit. This of course meant that we needed to find something to keep us in the red and fast.

That's how we arrived at moving, but how did we come up with options such as Mississippi, New York, Virginia, South Korea, and Indianapolis (I purposely left this one out of the original list. Sorry!)? David applied for Latin teaching position for the US locations and we both applied to English teaching positions in South Korea. I want to give you more information, but I also want to wait until a deal is finalized. I'll say this: our decision is down to one school in the United States and one school in South Korea. I would say I'll let you know on Monday, but these things have a way of getting pushed back. Right now my brain is frazzled from worry and anticipation. Just keep praying for us.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

News, News, News

Well, so much has happened since I last posted. I quit my job. My last day is August 22nd. And speaking of quitting, David is quitting his PhD program. Oh, and then there's the fact that by this time next month we'll probably be living in New York, Virginia, Mississippi, or South Korea. Whew! There's a slim chance that we'll stay in Cincinnati, but that chance is growing slimmer by the hour. We should know everything by Tuesday or Wednesday of this coming week. Say some prayers for us! David will be traveling quite a bit over the next couple of days, and we've got a lot of stuff to do in a very short amount of time!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Too Much Work

This is a post just to let you know that I probably won't be posting very often or soon, for that matter. I'm trying to get two new classes up off the ground and manage the writing center. None of this comes naturally to me. I have finished Crime and Punishment and initially wanted to blog about it, but I don't have enough time. My outlook on the world, my job, etc, is a little bleak right now, but I've never been happy, at peace, or even in a mild state of contentment for long. I guess this is my natural temperament. I'll post again when I can and when I feel like I have something worthwhile to say.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


David and I are leaving for Florida today and we'll be back Sunday. And yes, this trip was planned and not spur of the moment. Our friend Matt is getting married. I'm not particularly fond of Florida for a couple of reasons. I was forced to spend every family vacation there as a child because my grandparents lived there. I dearly love my grandparents, God rest their souls, but Florida is too humid, too swampy, and way way way too hot. My ideal temperature ranges from 65-80, and not a tick above. I don't even like beaches and I hate swimming in open bodies of water. But anyway, off to Florida we go, and it'll be nice to be at Matt's wedding and get a couple of days off of work.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Year of Paul

Happy year of Saint Paul!! We as Catholics are taking a year to commemorate the 2,000th anniversary of Paul's birth. Let us reflect closely on his life, words, and actions this entire year.

Ora pro nobis.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


David already posted these on Facebook, but I promised I'd put them here too.

I like this one because you can see how close we got to the falls and actually got wet from it.
One of our friends remarked that we don't look very happy in these pictures. I don't think that's necessarily true. We had a great time, but neither of us like looking really cheesed out for the camera. I got this non-smiling trait honest from my dad. He hates pictures. We only had one family portrait and that was for the church directory, and we didn't buy any copies of it.

Here's another picture of us at Niagara. David grew his mustache out all crazy, but you can tell that we aren't smiling because we're afraid the camera will steal our souls. Or at least I look scared in this one. David looks kind of arrogant.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Niagara Falls

Hey all! I just wanted to let everyone know that David and I will be leaving for Niagara Falls tomorrow and we will be back Thursday night or Friday morning. We kind of decided to do this about two hours ago. Luckily for us, they had perfect hotel packages for the middle of the week. For two nights we get a king size bed, free breakfasts, vouchers for the hotel's casino, and a free dinner all for $300 bucks. And we're only a block away from the falls. Not bad considering we just hatched this plan today and we'll be at the falls tomorrow. This is especially good because I thought any chance of a trip this summer was lost when I decided to manage the writing center and teach two new classes*. But I have this week off, and we decided to do something with it!

Anyway, I hope to have pictures for everyone by Friday afternoon. Say a prayer for us that we get there and back safely!

*Sorry to Anne and Peter. We truly didn't think we were going to be able to do anything this summer and only decided to do this a short while ago.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer Reading

I've wanted to make a real post for about about a week now, but the term is ending and everything is getting quite hectic, so a short one will have to do.

I've started my summer reading list and I've even added a "Currently Reading" tab on the side of this blog. My list is entitled "Books I Should Have Read Before Now". I guess it isn't even a real list per se because I'm only thinking about one book in advance. But it has made me question what "Books I Should Have Read Before Now" means. I get a nagging feeling every time I see these books and a sense of guilt to go along with it. That's how I know I should have read them by now, but why? Does it make me less of a human because I haven't read all of Catch 22? Does it make me less of an English teacher? Less of an English major? I don't think so, and yet the guilt persists. I'm not even sure I believe in the list that I created. People should read books that they like. There shouldn't be a sense of responsibility and duty in reading for pleasure. But here I am. Maybe that's how we know what makes up the literary canon- the feeling we get in the pit of our stomach when we see a certain book that we haven't read. "Oh, I feel like I'm going to puke every time I see Moby Dick on the shelf. I suppose I should get around to reading it." Or maybe that's just me.

I do have to say though that I have liked every book on the list that I've forced myself to read. Next up is Crime and Punishment, which David has been telling me to read for the past year because it always seems to come up in our conversations. Well, there it is. I'll be airing my dirty little secrets all summer long on the side of my blog. Are there any brave souls out there who would be willing to post a comment about a book they "should have read by now" ?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A New Vice

This is David looking professorial. Notice the goatee and crooked pipe.

Yes, David is smoking a pipe now. I'm not thrilled about the actual smoking part, but I think the pipe is pretty cool. He says he wants to get a churchwarden pipe next because they "keep the smoke out of your face while reading and the long pipe gives the smoke a chance to cool before it hits your mouth." Yeah, that and they look like something wizards and hobbits use. The actual pipe collecting hobby is one that I support. There are some fantastic looking pipes out there. David actually owns more pipes than he has smoked at this point. I bought a pipe for a quarter at a garage sale a year ago because I thought it would be cool to use as a prop or something. Then yesterday he bought the one you see in the picture and a corncob pipe. The corncob pipe is claaaaasy.

We went to a specialty smoke shop and the old man who owned the place introduced us to the ways of pipe smoking. Actually, I think he followed us around to make sure we weren't going to steal something. But he gave David helpful little tips along the way, like "the ladies love the smell of 'very cherry' pipe tobacco" and so on.

Anyhow, just a little David update for all of you.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Whirling Dervish

So I watched the Preakness Stakes a couple of weeks ago with the Schafers and friends. I was skeptical about watching because I'm still on the fence about horses. Yeah, after 26 years I still haven't made up my mind about them. My friend Kristin would discontinue our friendship if she heard me say that. She's horse crazy. Anyway, horses are odd animals. On one hand, they are these huge, strong, majestic animals who were worth as much or more than humans in the days before cars. On the other hand, they are skittish, inbred, prone to all sorts of disease, and need to be shot if they break their ankle. Weird.

A couple of minutes before the Preakness started, I leaned over and asked Theresa Mills what she would name her racehorse, you know, if she had the extra millions of dollars required to buy one. I love racehorse names because they are always off the wall and usually a couple of words long. And they never have to make sense. Well, I forget what she said because I'm selfish and self-centered, but (surprise, surprise) I do remember what I said. I told her I would name my horse Whirling Dervish. And here it is a couple of weeks later and I still love that name. Whirling Dervish. But then I started thinking about more racehorse names, and before I knew it, I had come up with a handful of new names that would be perfect for any thoroughbred racehorse. So here they are in no particular order-

1. Fortinbras Smith

2. Class Action Lawsuit

3. Oedipus at Colonus

4. Pass the Gravy

5. Grendel's Mom

6. Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (all one name)

7. Undocumented Worker

8. The Check's in the Mail

9. Gallipoli

10. Cleveland Shuffle (My Aunt Barb taught me what this one means over the weekend)

11. Roscommon Row (like a fight, not the motion required to move a boat)

12. Sokrates Johnson (a nod to Bill and Ted)

13. How's About That?

14. Dreadnought

15. Smog in the Noggin (admittedly lifted from the new Indiana Jones movie)

There they are. I think I got the right combination of literary figures, city and region names, war imagery, common sayings, alliteration, and off the wall stuff. Whirling Dervish is still my favorite, but Class Action Lawsuit is a close second. So, what would you name your racehorse(s)? Leave a comment and let me know.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Too Cool for Two Years

May 20th, 2006

May 20th, 2008

In two years...

Two degrees
Two cats
Too much debt
Too much weight
To Europe
To Cincinnati
Tu me amas
Tu me servavisti

Nemo Nisi Mors...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So, this is it. Teach, tutor, tutor, teach. And when I get home, I grade and then go to sleep. Speaking of grading, I need to go do about four solid hours of it. If you never hear from me again, I've overdosed on definition papers.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

So I Lied

Flannery seemed to be back to her old self in a little more than a day, so we decided to go to the SPCA yesterday and just peek at the new kittens. We just happened to find the cutest two month old little girl.

This is Scout-

Flannery was a little, hmmm, pissed off at first. She went back and forth between attempted murder and bouts of sulking all day yesterday. But Flannery really did need a friend and she quickly realized that. She still kind of swats at Scout (with her claws in) just to let her know who's boss, but they've also been playing, eating, and sleeping together all day today.

And in the course of a day I went from saying how small Flannery is (she is actually a small cat) to remarking that she looks like a huge panther in comparison to Scout. And right now, as I type, my little Scout is taking a nap on my lap and making all kinds of funny movements.

In other news, my students urged me to try goetta, a Cincinnati-German concoction of ground pork, oatmeal, and onions. Everyone I've talked to in Cincinnati goes crazy for this stuff. I bought some at the store today, fried it up and ate it. I feel like I'm going to vomit. It was really greasy. I'm going to give it another shot, but my first taste of Cincinnati cuisine was less than I hoped for. I guess there's always Skyline chili.