Thursday, July 31, 2008

My new house

As decorated by my mother-in-law the previous owners. The rental company that managed it had pictures up on their website. It does not look nearly this nice now, the carpets are stained and the walls are really banged up. But it has enough bedrooms and two living spaces.

Staircase bookcase

So this is the house that we are buying. See that big peak over front door? I am thinking that could make a loft, for books. Or my sewing machine.

One of my professors had a party for the grad students. Her house was older, obviously, but had a really lovely cathedral ceiling and a loft library and a spiral staircase.

Anyway, remodeling plans are in the future. And first on my list may be the kitchen because it is tiny. Although book storage is an ongoing problem at my house...

But this might solve my problem. Look at all those books in that tiny otherwise-wasted space. I could so fill that up with books. Tonight, I mean. And it could lead up to the loft that I want to create. Although reading around about the process tells me that raising the ceilings might cost more than I want to spend (like $30-$40K).

Reckon I could build the staircase anyway? Maybe just to the attic. Hmmm.

Monday, July 28, 2008

George Carlin on Writing

George Carlin in an interview just a few days before he passed away.

Coming clean

I should come clean. The classes that I am taking this summer are fine. The professors have been very generous with the workload, and the subjects are really kind of interesting.

I am just so very tired of not being able to study what interests me.

American English was offered this summer, but not for us.

I keep hearing my classmates talk about the classes they have taken (such as a class on authorship!) that sound so interesting. And it is not as though I had chosen to take something else. I took what was offered.

Every single semester, I have taken what was offered. I made two choices in the entire program. Two. And one of those is going to cost me extra, since it is not required for graduation. But I need it on my transcript.

Oh, and I like my professors this summer. Shoot, I may ask one or both to be on my dissertation committee if something horrible, like a B, doesn't happen before the end of the semester.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A night of not-so-good food

We thought that we would try a new place. One we had never tried before. It has the all the outward signs of being pretty good, despite looking a bit like a dive. It was in Ghent, where the rent is high, the parking lot was not empty. People with accents were eating there. There was a lot of tobacco smoke, but they placed us in a non-smoking room. See why we thought it had potential? Oh, and it was cheap. It said it served Greek food. I like Greek food.

So, Leslie and I both ordered the lamb kabob. Leslie took about two bites and said it tasted funny. I gamely kept dipping mine in the yogurt sauce and kept eating. Was that a mistake.

Two tums, a dose of peptol, and a pepcid later, I am starting to feel vaguely human.


Copyright, yet again

Here is a chart, explicitly explaining when items enter the public domain.

Which is to say, everything that I am interested in working with will be available sometime after I am dead.

The work that I would really like to do, work with the collected folktales of the Ozarks, I really can't, unless I track down a copyright holder. Because the people who were telling the stories are, of course, dead, so I can't track them down and ask them to tell me. And besides, the stories are copyrighted by someone else. Frustrating, frustrating.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Today, we played, until it started raining. We ate brunch at Freemason Abbey, which is just gorgeous. The food is exellent. The service was perfect. The prices were not bad at all, and certainly were not bad for the level of service that we recieved. We indulged a bit, and had cheesecake for dessert. But we split one piece three ways, so it was less of an indulgance that it could have been. Oh, and that cheesecake? Brought in from New York.

The pictures, from top to bottom: 1. Leslie and me, in Freemason Abbey. 2. My plate from brunch. (salmon cake, on a bed of greens) 3. Leslie, me, and Mimi. 4. One of the Norfolk dolphins, with Freemason Abbey reflected in the glass.

We walked through the historic area today, which was beautiful. Parts of the old part of town still have their brick streets. Even the warehouses are pretty.
Of course, then it started to rain. Second day in a row that it did that. Yesterday, we went out to the botanical gardens, but were rained out of there, too. But we consoled ourselves in McArthur Mall.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Good god. Copyright again

The copyright discussion is not any more entertaining today than it was last time (or the time before) or even MSTA back in 2000.

So, on to an update.

First of all, my house sold. We signed papers on Saturday. There are inspection hoops to jump through, but it should be a done deal. Less money than I hoped for, but enough to move on.

I survived my trip to Virginia. The weather was mostly cooperative; only a 30 minute delay.
Leslie picked me up at the airport, and warned me that the rooms were bare-- the three hots and a cot were reduced to a stripped bed. No microwave, no sheets, no mini-fridge, no towels--- not even pillows for gosh's sake.

So I went to Target and Walmart and bought linens and pillows. And Leslie bought a mini-fridge. We got the fridge back to the dorm, and it had a huge dent in the side. She wanted to take it back on Monday, but white trash that I am, I talked her into waiting until the last day. No point in overly complicating things.

Project Runway starts its new season tomorrow. And do we have a television? Only in the lounge. How badly do I want to torment those poor foreign nationals to try to watch it?

I'll probably just catch the re-runs. Although, one of the designers is from Mabelvale. Mabelvale! How does a designer live in Mabelvale, Arkansas?

My classes are blah. They are not classes that I wanted to take. But they fulfill my residency requirement.

Back to class, I suppose.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What I have been reading...

Besides the textbooks, I mean. I have been reading Generation Y'all, written by the daughter of one my co-workers (one I like and visit with periodically). Like me, Emily had her first baby obscenely young. While I was married, instead of single, a lot of what she writes about seems really, really familiar. Mea was born when I was 21 & W was born when I was 23. I drug the kids across campus many days when I could not get a sitter & was too poor for daycare. The lack of stroller accessibility on campus does not appear to have changed. I am living, breathing proof that it is do-able to finish college with babies. Do-albe, but not easy.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Let's do the time warp again...

So I haven't written in what? Nearly a month? I guess it is really just a couple of weeks. I have started back to school-- headed off to PhD camp next week. Two weeks in Virginia, sans kids, so maybe I can catch up. Maybe I can even get ahead?

I am only a week in, and am so sick of my classes I could die. Truthfully, the main problem is the lack of relevance. One class is a reprise of what I took in the spring. While interesting, it does not really add anything to what I did then. The other will probably help with a grant I want help write for our writing center. Regardless, I had rather take something that will count toward graduation. Which neither of them do. I have already taken all my electives. So, all this summer does is let me fulfill my "on campus" requirement.

Okay, enough ranting.

My house is nearly done. I should post pictures.
It looks darling and we have two "second-lookers" scheduled this evening. I hope one of them makes an offer. I am so tired of picking up my house. I have threatened my children that if they use "real" cups instead of disposable ones, I will maim them. I am so tired of chasing after them to put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher. And yes, I do know that by doing that I am depriving them of learning to do it themselves. But I also know that shrieking like a banshee when potential buyers are driving up is not a way to sell a house, even though the children may learn a great lesson from it.

Todd and the kids went with dad to the Buffalo today. (We drove up to mom and dad's yesterday). They are out of the house and so it is peaceful.

In my old age (and having spent too much time painting lately), I have turned into a Muppephone. The "ow!" sound that escapes my body when I stand up is involuntary and really should fit into a Marvin Suggs rendition of Lady of Spain. Of course, Statler and Waldorf would probably boo me off the stage.