Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Five

1. I met with my "adviser" on Tuesday.

He thinks my current paper would be a "really, really good" plan B paper (not a thesis) with very little work. However, I would then need to present a 24-item reading list in the field of what I consider American Studies and present it to my committee. Then, I would have to basically take comp exams over it (three questions from my committee with three days to write/respond), and defend both the paper and my exam to my committee by December.

I don't know that I am familiar enough with any 24 readings to do this by December. Thoughts? It is "open book," but to do this at the level required I would need to be very, very familiar with these readings. I have about 15 items I feel that comfortable with, but that is it.

The other option is to continue with The Thesis. He is mostly pretty happy with it, actually. My analysis/synthesis section would have to be substantial, which I think it will be.

I think I have a better chance of wrapping up The Thesis, though I am not at all opposed to a Plan B. finish.

I am to email him today with some thoughts on my analysis section and potential reading list and we are meeting again on Tuesday to hash it out.


2. Last night, A. and I made lamb chops for the first time. We seared them over high heat and then moved the pan into a super hot oven for 10 minutes. It was smoky (as was expected).

What wasn't expected was the dogs reactions. Before A. and I could discern any smoke, the dogs both started acting super nervous, fidgety and scared. We let them outside. A bit later the smoke detectors when off and it took a while to get them to stop screeching. The dogs were still outside for this.

I went to let the dogs in and they both skidded to a stop at the threshold. Their noses were sniffing and were wiggling in overdrive. They REFUSED to enter the house.

We finally coaxed Buster back in with the promise of treats two hours later, but Belle refused. She refused ever invitation, and slept outside. She still wouldn't come in this morning. When she finally did come in, she was literally walking so close to A. that she was touching him at all times.  She curled up with me for a bit. She was shaking the whole time. I have NEVER seen Belle shake before. Never.

We totally, utterly tramautized our dogs while making dinner.

But the chops turned out fantastic.

But I still feel horrible!

3. I feel even worse because this afternoon I am dropping them off to the kennel and that freaks them the fuck out for a good week after we've picked them up. 

4. It is kind of hard to feel excited for my trip to Portland knowing the dogs are miserable. I am trying to keep perspective on this, but I am stupidly empathetic with the dogs, so who knows.

5. I can't believe Gretchen got to advance on Project Runway. Team Mondo forever!

Happy Friday to you!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mindless Monday Morning Babble

So, I am trying not to worry about what my "Adviser" is going to say tomorrow, because it will not help the result in any way. He will tell me what he wants and I will have to deal with it, regardless of whether it is rewriting the entire Thesis or not. If it involves divining what the fuck he really means in his comments, I have another professor in my department lined up to help me decipher his notes. (Really, I do.)

Do you 'spose I will have to rewrite the whole damn thing?

God, I hope he just keeps in mind I NEED TO FINISH. No one is going to read this pile of BS. It will have no impact on "Adviser's" career or reputation in the slightest. It will mean more to his colleagues that he enabled me to finish than any of the actual words in the stupid document. No one is going to unearth this thing to see what kind of content was created under his "supervision." No one gives a damn. It is just a moving hoop in the total bullshit world of academia.




I have to get up at 3:00 a.m on Saturday so that I am on the road by 4:00 a.m. to make my 9:00 a.m. flight out of Denver to Portland.

I really, really, miss living three miles from Ronald Regan National Airport in DC/Arlington. Before I lived outside of Wyoming, it used to be totally normal to have a three-hour drive to any major airport. That is just par for the course when living in Wyoming. But after living five minutes away from a convenient, small airport, the trek to Denver feels positively uncivilized.

3:00 A.M. PEOPLE.


What has me most nervous is being on the road at this time. It is when all the critters, and by critters I mean 700-pound elk, are on the road.


Do you suppose I could operate a log spitter by myself? I am going to have to help out considerably more this fall in the firewood department if we are going to be ready to go by the first (major) snowfall.

I think the most challenging part will be keeping up with the split wood and not getting buried in it.


I made homemade bread yesterday for the first time in months. It is too hot to bake in the summer. (I also miss having AC and baking with abandon in the summer. Oh, DC. How I miss some things about you.)

The house smelled soooo good. I think I successfully substituted the sugar in the recipe with agave nectar. It isn't quite as sweet as usual, but I prefer it that way.

I can't wait to have a sandwich for dinner tonight! Yummy!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Five

1. I wore my Big Girl Panties all week.

I am terrified of needles. My imagination just goes too far when I think about the needle puncturing my skin, piercing through the different layers and densities if tissue and into my skinny vein. I am convinced that there is weird suctioning going on when in fact, it is just the force of my heartbeat pushing blood into the tube, but still. Skinny, weird suctioning of a needle in my vein! What if it sucks up the other side of my vein INTO the needle?!?!?

I am not kidding. I missed my calling as an artist for X-Files or one of the many CSI shows.

On Tuesday, I got my flu shot, all by myself. I am less worried about suctioning with shots than I am about the whole piercing thing and fluids being forced into muscle tissue. Dear God.

Usually, I am embarrassed to admit, my co-workers escort my wussy ass to make sure I do not chicken out and hide in a hallway. This year, everyone was out of the office when shots were being offered, so I went by myself. I did not even freak out! I know! My heart did not race! It is like I am a grown up woman who can slap away irrational fears or something.

Then, yesterday, I got my blood drawn for a blood chem test. And I only broke out into a small sweat! My heart did not really race. I did not hyperventilate or pass out. And unlike the last time I had my blood drawn, I did not lose my hearing in my left ear as my system went into Super Anxiety Mode. Amazing! A co-worker did go with me and we got our blood drawn at the same time. She told everyone how proud she was of me. I am so ridiculous.

I have always hated needles. I passed out when I got my MMR shot for college. I cried for days when I got, what -- five stitches, when I had two small moles removed. I was a fucking mess during the procedure, and cried for about three days everytime I thought about the stitches. They were at my waist, and I was certain my skin would stretch and then pull the stitches out and ohmygodIamgoingtobarfrightnow.

Maybe I need to amend that sentence up there? Maybe I used to be terrified of needles, but now I just have the normal dislike of being poked and prodded. Huh. I mean, I did pretty damn good when I got my eyebrow stitched up a few months ago, and I never once freaked out about the stitches while they were in.

I think I need to go shopping for a new size of Crazy Pants!

2. I had my annual wellness physical a week or so ago. The PA gave me three recommendations/reminders:

a. Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.
b. Keep wearing my seat belt all the time.
c. Wear a helmet in the shower.

3. A.’s hunting partner called last night and had to cancel this weekend’s hunt. A. is really bummed out. I am bummed because that means he really will have to go hunting next weekend, the last weekend of the season, and can’t join me in Portland for my friend’s wedding. I know quite a few people going to the wedding, and I actually enjoy running around a new city, exploring it on my own. But, still. It would be nice to have A. there. A. has not met any of these friends, and I feel like something is missing. The groom and another couple of guys at the wedding were a big part of my life in college, and I’d like them all to know each other.

4. I am going to read fun books, have drinks with a friend, and knit this weekend. All of this “having a life” sort of stuff is going to come to a screeching halt once I meet with my “Adviser” next Tuesday to discuss the next steps in the completion of The Thesis.

I am pretty fucking grumpy about this. Especially because it coincides with the baseball playoffs. This is yet another reason why I handed it in in August! I wouldn’t have minded missing the Rockies tank.

5. I think I am also going to bake some bread and try my hand at apple pie. It has been in the 70s and 80s for the past two weeks, and I loved it. However, Autumn arrived today and I will try to make the best of the chill in the air.

What are you doing to welcome/make peace with Fall?

Happy Friday to you!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I think Bill is An Asshole and Has Bad Hair

Well, hello there.

It seems, since turning in The Thesis, I have relaxed. So much so, that I could not put in the energy to write a blog post.

Nothing interesting is going on, anyway. I have done little more than read four of the Sookie Stackhouse vampire mysteries and watched the first two episodes of True Blood.  I hated the character Bill immediately, in both the books and the show. The opening credits to the show are fucking brilliant. These stories have been the perfect escape from all the stress I carried on my shoulders until I turned in The Thesis..


Do you recall that my adviser said he would get back to me in two weeks upon receipt of The Thesis? I turned in my thesis on August 31.

I got an email from him today, October 5, saying he just started reading it.

The good news is that he thinks it is a significant improvement from my previous draft. The bad news is, he has not yet read the shit new sections I threw together on August 31.

Regardless, we are meeting next Tuesday to discuss if I still want to graduate by December. “Because if so, we need to talk.” Talk about what? How it is October 5 and graduation is December 4? How it sure would be nice to have three months to revise and edit The Thesis instead of two? That this is going to be a tight God-damned deadline?

Boy, I sure wish I could have had this talk mid-September!

I am fuming, but ready to move on.


I am trying to lose weight for the first time in my life. I have lost 5 pounds, maybe. I am still tracking calories and stuff on Sparkpeople, and have started tracking workouts, too.

I miss being 20 and having a metabolism that was sky-high.


I am going to Portland in a couple of weeks for a dear friend’s wedding. I am anxious to meet his bride; I hope we like each other. It will totally break my heart if we don’t.

Other than visiting and purchasing a couple of delights from Voodoo Doughnut, I have not made plans. Andy will most likely be hunting (he made a commitment to a friend before we got the wedding invite) so I will be prancing around the city on my own. Too bad; we could have eloped at a doughnut shop. That is about the only wedding I think I can truly get behind! I am, however, actually quite excited about the idea of a little adventure, all to myself.

Any suggestions as to what I simply must see or do while there?


I missed you guys.