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The eeee! and I had a lovely and low-key Valentine's Day. We met friends for ice cream, made coq au vin and polenta for dinner (with pound cake and strawberries for dessert), and watched several first-season episodes of 30 Rock. Whee!

I have lots of work to do today, but yesterday was so wonderfully refreshing.

On Friday night we saw Coraline in 3D, which has the dubious distinction of being the only movie I've seen so far this year that passes the Bechdel test. Sigh. Anyway, it was quite good. I particularly loved the way the music added to the atmosphere of it. It's a great movie to watch on a rainy day (the way that Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a great movie to watch on a snowy day).

Despite going to a late-ish showing -- 7:30 p.m. -- there were a ton of kids in the theater. And once the movie started, they were all dead silent. I was really impressed by that.

Hope you're all having great weekends!


Mar. 11th, 2008 10:24 pm
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Things here are delightfully busy. We spent the weekend in L.A., and got to see lots of people -- the eeee!'s parents, friends of ours from grad school, and a good friend of mine from high school who was in a local production of The Mikado. We also got in some crucial shopping at H&M and the Wine House. Yay for inexpensive wine and inexpensive cute clothing! The sunset on the way home was also gorgeous -- we saw it from Eagle Rock (on the 134)*, and it was great, over the city and the ocean and the lights of the city. I definitely see why people love it here.

Then, last night, a high school friend of the eeee!'s was in town, and stayed with us, so we've finally broken in our guest room here. And to follow that up, some Peace Corps friends of the eeee! are coming up this weekend for a mini-reunion.

Anyway, yay for seeing all sorts of people! The slight problem, of course, is that none of these people live in Santa Barbara. But we're working on it.

In other news, the final exam for my class came very close to being a giant clusterfuck. But it was not, so I could take deep breaths and think about mass functions for a bit. And one week from today, I should have the grades** turned in and be DONE with my first quarter of teaching a big class. Yay!

*I say that like I know where it is. I don't. All I know is it's somewhere between Pasadena and Santa Barbara, but more on the Pasadena side of things. For some reason I can't wrap my head around the L.A. geography.

**Provided I figure out how to work in different curves from exams.
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This cartoon is so the eeee! and me:

Which of us is which is an exercise left to the reader.

(Also, I liked Monday's.)
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This has been a good weekend so far, except for football-related things:

  1. A high school friend of mine came to town yesterday (she was visiting her mother in L.A.). Hooray! We had a lot of fun just wandering around and hanging out -- not enough time to go to a winery or the Mission, unfortunately. Of my group of high school friends, I would not have necessarily guessed that she and I would have remained in close touch. We weren't particularly close in high school, and she got married and had kids right after college, while I . . . didn't. But we had a good time yesterday. Although, at one point, she asked me if I had made some crazy jello thing with gummy bears, or another silly snack, and I had to remind her that I don't have kids, and thus any crazy jello concoction I make is likely to have vodka in it.

  2. The eeee! and I have made a lot of progress in organizing our place, in anticipation of my parents coming in two weeks.

  3. My parents are coming in two weeks! Hooray! That should be lots of fun. Oh, I hope the weather is good.

  4. We watched American Dreamz on Friday night, which was very amusing. The timing of it was perfect, what with it being primary season and American Idol season. It was a ballsier satire than I expected -- especially playing the terrorist training camp for laughs -- so I really enjoyed it.

    We then watched L.A. Story last night, which I was less impressed with. Maybe because people have talked it up, or maybe I just don't like Steve Martin's writing, I don't know. And maybe I was expecting something more satirical.

  5. OMG Michigan hockey!!!!!

  6. Our washer is still not fixed, so we are still doing laundry at the laundromat. Argh. Luckily it's only three blocks away.

  7. A bunch of my cousins have suddenly joined Facebook, and have thus found my pictures (although I guess I would have emailed them eventually). And one of them wants to get prints of a few of them to frame and hang up in his house! I am especially flattered by this because I think him and his wife have the coolest house, and in general are among the most stylish of my cousins.

  8. I think I actually have to root for the Patriots in the Super Bowl. At least I am no longer surrounded by New England sports fans.

  9. Thank god this is a three-day weekend, because I have gotten nothing done this weekend. I am finally working on one of my thesis papers again, though, so progress is being made!
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Happy New Year, everyone! We are safely back from Burma, and it was an incredible and somewhat strange trip. Pictures and travelogue will be trickling onto Flickr over the next week or so, as I sort through the picturess and digest everything. (I was feeling fine by the time we arrived, by the way, and maybe it was because my immune system was totally up to date, but I didn't gt sick from any of the tasty, tasty food I had while in Burma.)

That's about it here, actually. I feel like I'm never going to get adjusted to the time zone again (wide awake at 1 a.m., wheee!), the news while we were gone was all very bad, and I'm a bit startled every time I remember that I'll be teaching on MONDAY.
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I'm in Santa Barbara now, and here's what I've learned in the past few days:

  1. I can never again mock the eeee! for his California upbringing, as he did an awesome job driving in the snow this weekend.
  2. The Chevy HHR really does handle well in the snow.
  3. The spline tool in Supermongo is quite painless.
  4. If you fill a 12"x15"x17" box entirely with books, it will be too heavy for Media Mail.
  5. Empty U-Hauls do not handle well in the snow.
  6. The falafel at La Shish is terrible. All I ask is for my falafel to be freshly deep-fried! How hard is that?
  7. My hiking boots are not waterproof.
  8. Our family motto really is, "On your feet, you lose your seat." I had jokingly said this to the eeee! during the family Christmas party, and told him to ask my mother for verification. So he asked her what the family motto was, and completely unbidden, she replied, "On your feet, you lose your seat." Ha! This is what happens when you have more cousins than chairs.
  9. I love tape guns! Wait, I already knew that -- I guess I was just reminded of it.
  10. After we landed in L.A. and were waiting to disembark the plane, the two little girls behind me (aged 4-5ish and 6-7ish) started talking to me. After listing off her favorite colors, the younger one told me she liked my hair -- specifically, she liked "how it's all sticking up." Awesome. Kudos, young girl who likes "pink and yellow and red and orange and black."
  11. I bring bad weather with me wherever I go. It's raining! I was promised sunshine. I want my money back.
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Today I finally swung by the old house and dropped off the giant folder of appliance manuals. It made a really satisfying THUMP against the porch. One thing down, fifteen thousand things left on the to-do list.

Tonight I'm going to my last hockey game at Yost (sniff!). And tonight is also my last grad student holiday party. This month I've been trying to cram in lunches and coffees and happy hours and whatever with my friends here before I leave. I've been here for 6 1/2 years, so it's been a long time since I've last done all the "lasts", and it's really kind of weird.

But moving on is good! And at the farmer's market today, the eeee! gave my name to the Obama booth as a volunteer. Hooray! (Not that he gave his own name, mind you -- he's still leaning towards Edwards, and he also figures that I'll drag him along anyways.) And while he was there, an older couple was getting voter registration forms -- they're Republicans, but changing their registration to Democrat to vote for Obama in the primary. Again, hooray!

Finally, when the eeee! gets in on Thursday night, the long-distance semester will be officially OVER. HOORAY!
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Things here are looking up. I spent way, way too many hours this weekend watching terrible football, but my weekend was otherwise relaxing and low-key. And work is going well -- I'm giving a short talk a week from today (eeek!), and it'll be a good dry run of the talk I'm giving at a bigger conference in two weeks.

I finally have data again, and I'm working on a series of papers that are really getting fleshed out. I need to bust my tail and get at least one of them submitted before I leave Ann Arbor (on December 17, HOLY FUCK LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS AWAY INSERT PANICKING HERE). But that's the paper related to the talk I'm giving, and it has a short author list, so there shouldn't be any big delays in pulling it all together.

I do panic a bit every time I think about how much prep work I still need to do for teaching in January. But one thing at a time. I can do this.

At least Thanksgiving is coming up, and I'm looking forward to hanging out with my family. It will be the first Thanksgiving the eeee! and I have spent apart, though, so that's a little strange.

This has been a strange semester, in general. This weekend I'm bringing dirty laundry home to my parents. (The laundry machine in my building is malfunctioning, and I'm too lazy and cheap to go to the laundromat.) And until this semester, I hadn't appreciated how great it was to have a dog, because it forced me to go outside everyday and see people and be part of a neighborhood. Sure, I've been out and about, but not with the adorable conversation-starter that is our dog. It's like I've regressed to being a first-year -- only interacting with astronomers, living alone, taking laundry to the parents, etc.

I am eating better and vacuuming more often than I was back then, so I suppose I've made some personal progress in the last six years. But what a weird way to find out.
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Things here are going well! I feel so much better today, so I can stop diagnosing myself with pneumonia and bronchitis and whooping cough and tuberculosis. I do still sound like crap, though. Which was entertaining, because I had the following exchange about a dozen times today:

Random Person: Oh my god, you sound awful! Are you okay?
Me: I feel great! You should have heard me yesterday . . . why are you slowly backing away from me?

Ah, good times. I will be taking it easy this weekend, to make sure I fully recover. (I can't remember the last time I had to stay home from work for three days, egad.) I am still going to hockey games, and the eeee! has asked me to please not yell. I will try! I can't promise anything, though.

It is really bizarre that on Sunday, when I was last, you know, with it, it was 50 F and sunny. It was a beautiful fall day! Today, I leave the apartment again, and it's snowing! WTF? It was just very odd for the seasons to practically change while I was sick.

I also talked to my dad tonight, which is always fun. And he confirmed the statistic that we know only five other Democratic families in my hometown (and it's not like we don't know lots of people). You all probably thought I was exaggerating, but I can list them.

Now I'm going to have some wine and cheese with The Office, and enjoy an evening that's devoid of violent coughing fits. Hooray! And I'm going to stop editing this entry now, really.
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I'm in Santa Barbara, and so far we've had a lovely weekend! Yesterday we rode our bikes down to the farmers' market to buy produce, took Doc to the beach where he fetched in the ocean, and had some friends over for a cookout. It was a delightful, delightful day.

Today we were thinking of hiking, but I'm coming down with a cold so who knows. We might also swing by the neighborhood bar to watch the Pats-Cowboys game.

The long-distance thing is sort of strange, and I know that once I'm in Santa Barbara full-time, it's not going to be all sunshine all the time. (Just most of the time!) But I do think we'll keep up with biking to the farmers' market, and with taking Doc to the beach nearly every weekend. I will definitely get used to this!
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[personal profile] lsugaralmond started a lovely meme of listing ten things that have made you happy recently. So, my ten things:

1. I made tasty, fresh salsa with my dinner tonight.

2. Hockey season has started! And we have awesome seats again this year. Yay!

3. I got a puck at the game tonight. Hooray! Granted, it's because it flew into the stands and hit my arm, but I now have an official Michigan puck!

4. I bought a pair of shoes today with a minimum of angst.

5. The eeee! and I are trying to avoid unneccessary chemicals, and use more environmentally-friendly cleansers. So when he had to deal with a slow-draining tub, instead of buying Drano, he bought a snake (which at $7.50 is cheaper than the Drano) and got rid of the clog that way. It works better than Drano, and no nasty chemicals. This makes me happy on several levels.

6. I'm reading Heat, by Bill Buford, and it's a lot of fun. I love nearly anything that gives me a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes, and adding Italian food into the mix is even better.

7. A bunch of us went out on Friday night to celebrate a grad student's recent wedding, and it was a really great time.

8. Seriously, the eeee! is awesome. I start talking about eliminating high-fructose corn syrup from our diet, and the next thing I know he's snaking drains.

9. I have recently decided that I quite like my nose. It's kind of big for my face, and is kind of bulbous at the tip (this picture best shows how darn big it gets at the tip. Or maybe this one is better. anyway), but it's unique, and if I think that my brother's nose suits him well, then why can't mine suit me?

I'm sorry. That's probably more than you ever wanted to know about my nose.

10. On Thursday, I leave for a trip to Santa Barbara. Okay, so that's in the future and maybe doesn't count, but hooray!

I tag everyone, because I like reading happy things. Yay!


Jul. 12th, 2007 10:55 pm
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Things here are good, but holy cow I'm exhausted.

I ended up having a private yoga lesson today, since I was the only person there. It was good, but now I am dead. DEAD. I really need to do yoga on the weekends, too. I just get self-conscious doing it in the apartment, because the eeee! hears me breathing ("What is wrong with you?") and the dog likes to plop down on the yoga mat and I have to move furniture around. Maybe I should go into work and do yoga in a conference room on the weekends.

I also have a telecon with some collaborators tomorrow, so I had to send them a draft of the paper I'm working on. Calling it a draft is a stretch -- it's really an outline with the basic results filled in. But I'm happy about it, because I rearranged the outline today, and now it's much better. The new outline flows better, sets up the results better, and so the writing is going better now.

Anyway, now I'm going to drop dead. But I have a good weekend ahead of me (I'm IN TOWN, oh my god) -- my academic brother defends tomorrow, I'm having brunch with [profile] kylegirl on Saturday, at some point I'll see the Harry Potter movie, and I'll have time to practice driving the stick. The last time I drove it (Sunday night on the way home from Ratatouille -- on real roads!) I didn't even burst into tears until we got home. So that's progress.


Jun. 16th, 2007 09:16 pm
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I have had the longest day -- we've spent the entire day sorting through stuff, determining what goes to the apartment and what goes to Santa Barbara, packing stuff for moving to the apartment, picking up a few kitchen supplies, etc. And on top of all that, the eeee! decided to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie tonight, as it's his last chance to bake here. So when I wasn't packing, I was in a very hot kitchen washing up canisters and the like.

Blah. But we have people helping us tomorrow, so moving to the apartment should go quickly.

On the bright side! I just finished Family Romance: A Love Story, by John Lanchester, and it was awesome. If I wasn't so tired, I'd have a whole entry about it.

Also, last night we got to play with a Wii for the first time with some friends. Wheee! That was lots of fun. And I have finally found a video game I'm good at -- I kicked everyone's ASS at boxing. I think it's because it's a game where exaggerated movements are a good thing, not a bad thing.

Now, as much as I'd like to enjoy some wine and The Riches (which we are about 5 episodes behind on), there's more packing ahead of me this evening.
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Things here are going quite well, despite all the residual stress:

  1. There is a most excellent thunderstorm outside right now! And it's not high winds or anything -- just lots of great thunder and lightning -- so I don't feel too guilty about enjoying it.

  2. I had an excellent weekend in Florida, visiting a good friend and her husband and their three-month-old daughter. My honorary niece is very cute! Also, I saw alligators.

  3. There have been two official viewings of the house! Not even counting the open house!

  4. Work is going fairly well -- I should have more data soon, and I'm also outlining a paper that will be Chapter Three of my thesis.

  5. I'm reading The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy, and I'm really enjoying it. I was warned that it was depressing, but after reading Sweetness in the Belly, by Camilla Gibb (which is also excellent), I have a pretty high tolerance for depressing books.

  6. My brother loved his birthday present! (I got him the three Pirates! In an Adventure with ________ books, plus the Communist Party t-shirt.

  7. I ordered the haiku t-shirt for myself, because it makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.

So things are pretty good! And I'm going to Santa Barbara this weekend, and I'm annoyed that the weather won't be any better than it will be in Ann Arbor.
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The first showing of our house is in less than a week. And, to make matters worse for the eeee!, I leave on Friday morning to visit a friend in Florida. (On the plus side, I expect I'll get more sleep in the apartment with a three-month-old than I will be getting in the next week.)

But our garage sale was a success! And we packed off lots of stuff to Salvation Army and the dump, and we've cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. We also found a billion little storage areas in the basement and attic, so we won't have to rent a storage locker for stuff -- our basement and attic both look spacious now. Now it's just more of the same -- cleaning, organizing, vacuuming, rearranging, repeat.

Meanwhile, what's a good hostess gift I can take on the plane for a couple with a three-month-old?
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We met with a realtor today, and she wants to put the house on the market next Friday. With an open house on the 29th.


We've gotten the house in pretty good shape, and don't need to do as much as I'd feared, but there's still assloads of cleaning and packing and selling at garage sales and replacing and storing that we have to do in the next week. Holy fuck.

Meanwhile, if any of you AA peeps are in the market for a futon or a TV/VCR combo, let me know!
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I signed up for Good reads, and I'm slowly adding my favorite books to it. As usual, I blame [profile] vja2.

We finished all the painting yesterday, thanks to my dad's help. I think my dad enjoyed helping us paint without having to deal with the prep or cleanup. It looks good, but there's nothing more discouraging than removing what feels like miles of tape and remembering that the previous owners didn't tape the woodwork when they painted. Sigh. But since we had planned on painting today, as well, it now feels a bit like a free day.

Meanwhile, I love it when it's the eeee!'s turn to go to the grocery store. As I was unpacking the groceries today, I picked up a bar of ghiradelli and asked, "What's this for?" He help up a package of strawberries in response. Ooooooh. By comparison, a typical impulse purchase by me is a bag of chips.

How often is there snow on the ground on Easter? I don't think our tulips are going to survive this cold spell (which is NEVER GOING TO END). Alas.
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Things here have been busy, so here goes:

1. We're painting this weekend! Not everything, and my dad's coming up to help us, so that will be good.

2. Doc got an ear laceration on Monday, which needed sutures. So when we're not home to keep an eye on him, he has to wear a cone so he doesn't scratch it. He is not particularly happy about it.

3. The NCAA hockey final is Michigan State vs. BC. I am so mad I could spit. I hate BC. I hate Michigan State. I could spend paragraphs talking about how I despise BC hockey, but instead I will link to Jack Johnson demolishing BC. That can't fully dull the pain that was Michigan hockey this year, though.

4. I finished Farthing, by Jo Walton, and really enjoyed it. The setting -- mid-twentieth century English countryside -- and genres -- alternate history and mystery -- really appealed to me. I also liked that it didn't try to be a grand epic about the alternate conclusion of WWII -- it focused on events at the personal level. I like alternate histories quite a bit, but most of them seem to be these mammoth tomes that I just don't have the patience for.

5. After the snow flurries yesterday and today, I'm starting to think that I may like living in Santa Barbara.

6. I have two weddings to go to soon -- one in May, and one in June -- and nothing to really wear to them. My initial trip to the mall was not successful, except at one point I tried on a cute polka-dotted wrap dress that actually fit. It's not dressy enough for the wedding and it's dressier than my normal wardrobe, but I can't stop thinking about it. It's so cute! But it was polka-dots! And I have no clue where I'd wear it! But do I go back and get it?

7. I've been very tired all week, despite getting nearly 8 hours of sleep/night. Maybe I'm getting too much sleep?
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I have finally recovered from my first AAS meeting. Whew! I got to see [profile] drspiff and [profile] aakepley again, along with other CWRU alums, and I also met [personal profile] astra_nomer and [profile] astrogeek. My talk went well, but I had no interviews or anything. It's early, though, and there's a conference next month that I'm looking towards -- I should have some real results by then, and maybe some interviews or something.

Other than that, things are good. We have bread baking in the oven, and it smells so good. And work is progressing for me (after months and months of writing analysis code, I actually got to do science yesterday!) and Michigan hockey is playing well and the eeee! has interviews and Doc is snuggling up with us and we're home on a weekend for the first time in forever and it's just nice and cozy here right now.
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I woke up yesterday morning with a raging sore throat, and I've been miserable ever since -- I went into work today to give my practice AAS talk, but that was it. It's frustrating, because there's so much stuff I wanted to get done before leaving for break, and if I'd just held out for TWO MORE DAYS . . . sigh. At least this way maybe I'll feel better by Christmas.

Meanwhile, at least it's cozy inside. And I like that we have excuses to light an Advent wreath at dinner and light Hannukah candles -- it's nice to be part of old traditions of celebrating light this time of year. (Maybe we could have a Yule log if we ever got the damn chimney cleaned!)

So I'm drinking lots of tea, and the eeee! and I are watching Elf, which so far is pretty cute. ("The gnomes drank too much . . .") There are worse ways to spend the first evening of winter.

March 2013



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