Friday, November 30, 2007

Thanksgiving photo - growing tummy

Here is a picture of me that my mom took at "second Thanksgiving" - we spent Thanksgiving itself with Vlad's family and had basically another Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Saturday.

Meet my new wall Trey.

Look what I did all by myself. Another point towards being a grownup. And thanks to Tuscon Trekker and Tall Flamboyance for suggesting the color Trey. I'm going to paint the wall around the window a dusty pinkish tan, once I recover from this. It may be awhile. And the trim is Arizona Sun. I love the painting style in the southwestern homes. Note the crazy-eyed cat in the corner. This was taken with my new digital camera! Sparkling Squirrel should invent a new color called Elwaldino - what would that be?

Happy Birthday Jenny!

It seems like we are in birthday mode these days. So here's one more to celebrate. Have a wonderful day, Jenny! And I'm glad that my evil coral rant made you laugh.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Belated birthday wishes to Jennifer!

It must stink to have your birthday wrapped up in the holidays, because people like me always forget! But on the bright side, I guess you get to spend it with family you may not see regularly. Here's hoping Jennifer had an excellent day. Happy belated birthday!

Better late than never.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Goodbye Skinny Pants

It looks like I'm only going to get another week or two of wear out of my (not-really-very) skinny pants. No, I didn't completely over-indulge at Thanksgiving, although, I did eat cranberry walnut tart for breakfast (a practice I highly recommend). It's just that Ewaldina Cometh and at "8 weeks, 3 days" she's going to start my stomach pooching out before too long. She/he is due to arrive outside in the world in early July.

Happy Birthday Irene!

Happy Birthday to Irene!

Monday, November 26, 2007

less-materialistic xmas ideas

I thought I'd do something radical and donate to Heifer International rather than give xmas presents this year. I think my friends' kids would think it's cool, and my best friend I never see around xmas anyway and end up giving a present late, and another is just discovering ways to be more environmentally friendly so she might think it's cool. And my parents I never know what to get, so if I'm going to get something that flops anyway, at least some needy person will benefit. I'll get them a new game too though, gives us something new to do while sitting around the house. There was a PBS show about Heifer where they traced where the animals went. Ironic for a vegetarian to give the gift of animal food? They have a knitting basket - maybe this would be appropriate for the knitters donation?
This year, instead of another sweater that will end up in the closet unworn, why not honor Dad with a Knitting Basket -four wool-producing animals that will give new hope to families in need?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fun with names

Now that we know the baby's gender, we've starting thinking more seriously about names for her. The "short list" of names we're serious about is here, and I'd love to hear comments about those.

But we can only manage so much seriousness before we get silly. In addition to the "real" names, we keep coming up with names we would never actually use. Some of them are mythological or fictional names that we like, but would be difficult to grow up with. Galadriel. Eowyn. Kitiara. Persephone. Lorelei. Calliope. Galatea. Brigantia. Freya. Andraste. Trillian. Xena. Esmerelda.

My favorite silly names are not even people-names, but rather just sound pretty and have obscure meanings. Amygdala - a part of the brain responsible for processing emotions. Galladoria - a dungeon in an online roleplaying game. Penumbra - a half-shadow or the edge of a shadow. Elytra - the wing coverings of a beetle. Amaranth - a flowering plant named after a mythological Greek hunter, Amaranthus. Mandragora - the mandrake plant, or a type of familiar demon associated with the plant.

What would you name a kid if you didn't have to worry about teasing, mispronunciation, or general societal acceptability?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fitness update anyone?

How's the fitness going? If you're in Lawrence, better get your week's worth of walking in today and tomorrow! I took a 12 minute walk with a coworker - he's making it a habit so I might be joining him everyday. Let's all walk twice on Thursday! Also - anyone around this weekend to gather with other knitters in town? Tucson Trekker and I are going to arrange something. I'll email the group.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Baby update - it's a girl!

The ultrasound appointment yesterday went well, and it looks like we're having a girl! I'm delighted, since I had a slight preference in that direction (though if it turned out to be a boy, I'd probably convince myself that's what I wanted all along anyway). My husband is already plotting how to intimidate the first boy she brings home. I keep wondering what she'll look like - my money's on brown eyes and dark brown hair, but from her Swedish side there is the possibility that she could be a blue-eyed blonde. Will she be a shy quiet one, or a firecracker? Girly girl, or tomboy?

She is now 11 ounces - as my mom says, nearly the size of a can of Coke. Though some days I could swear that what I'm carrying around is a brick. Of lead.

The ultrasound now shows some very neat details other than the gender-specific ones - toes and fingers, the four chambers of the heart, little specks of kidneys.

Next week is week 20, which marks the halfway point. I know all too well that I should be patient and enjoy the luxury of sleeping through the night while I can, but I want it to be April already!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Scaling Paper

Looks like my scaling paper (the second chapter of my dissertation which in various other iterations has been rejected three times) is going to be published!!!

Grad student research paper woes

So - what do you do when you review a paper written by a grad student that looks like it was thrown together just to get something together? The throwing together part should have been done by the end of the summer. And the student complains about the project and to me seems like he's doing this just to jump through the hoops. It's a non-thesis project. And my boss is the advisor and is the one who tried (I think) to spur the student on to get stuff done. But now I'm editing the paper which is work to fulfill a grant that was over in Sept., so we have to get the paper together by the end of Dec. The paper is more like an outline of what to write. And I kept telling the student to keep track of all the data manipulations b/c they'll have to be documented - I doubt he has - it's not in the 'paper.' For every part I'm saying expand on this, and on the front wrote 'great start, I had to rewrite my 1st thesis draft too.' Criminy. If he at least didn't complain about everything it would be an easier pill to swallow that he struggles with writing. So I guess I can't do anything but say expand on this. How do you profs deal with students???

Monday, November 12, 2007

Leaf raking ponderings - catch them if you can

Doesn't it seem silly to have to catch all the leaves from a tree and move them elsewhere???? [regardless of where they go - compost or landfill (even worse)] Who thought of this and why??? The english royalty with their nice green monoculture grass yards kept by sheep? I mean - look at all the trees out there in residential neighborhoods - ALL those leaves from ALL those trees have to be caught. Well, I'm saying no to raking. Keeping my back yard in pristine grass is futile because of the dogs which made me explore breaking away from societal yard expectations. Now my yard feels and smells like a little forest with all the leaves from my 5 big trees. I love it! And the front yard - well if no one raked and no one kept unnatural grass but let it go to whatever goundcover creeps in on its own, then no one would be keeping up with each other in futile lawn care. What a waste of resources (oil for both lawnmowers and fertilizers). And it all comes back to how silly it seems to me to have to catch all those leaves from all those trees and move them to somewhere else.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Tiara Season

I just learned that Abby wore her tiara for her birthday last month. Way to go Abby, and happy birthday. Which also means that I've missed Cheryl's birthday. Happy Birthday candidate Cheryl!
We're approaching the densest birthday time here on GBKD. Jenny, Jennifer and Irene. . . time to polish your tiaras!
(Jan Erin, Feb Tus T, March Molly + Sal S, April Beth, May Cathy and mysef, no summer birthdays? Oct Cheryl [I hope, I'll feel really foolish if you tell me it's January] + Abby, Nov. Irene, Jennifer, Jenny).

For you Harry Potter fans who also like botany:

I never thought all that much about the type of wood that different wizards' wands were made of, but there are some interesting associations here.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

knitting update

So amongst all the teaching and insanity I have actually finished a baby blanket for my hubby's first cousin's new baby. Here's some pictures of the blanket which is the yarn color carousal but was being called "skittle barf" or "starburst barf" by all those that watched me knit it. It was about 2 feet by 3 feet. Anyone else have ideas on what to call this color. The parents and baby I've been told love the blanket. :-)

The pictures were taken with the blanket on my lap in the car with my cell phone so sorry about the quality.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Great coworkers and other things to be grateful for

I am seething over departmental politics at the moment, but I'm choosing not to write about them because 1) it wouldn't make sense without a huge backstory, 2) it would just make me angrier and 3) posting personal work junk is a bad idea, not to mention that you don't care about the tenure-track status of other professors in my department.

Instead, I am going to focus on what is great about my department. I work with a fabulous secretary who fills lots of roles. Besides doing secretarial stuff, she serves as intitutional memory, constantly rescues professors in jams, can be reliably counted on to notice new outfits or hairstyles, helps students willingly and always tells me that it looks like I'm loosing weight with sincerity.

Our department chair is sympathetic, practical, funny and very much available.

It's great to have two such women to work with. Who do you have a mutualistic work relationship with?

Monday, November 5, 2007

New Feature For Blogger

I don't know how long this feature has been available, but I just noticed that if you leave a comment to a blog post, there is a little box you can click to have comments written in response to a blog post e-mailed to your own e-mail.

Hope all is well for everyone.


Another Dollar for Hunger Alleviation

So I didn't meet my goal last week (only 340 out of 77,000 shy, but as I tell my students, you can't legally drink at 20 and 11 months-- not everything in life rounds up). Anyway, that's another dollar towards hunger relief.

How did everyone else do? What organizations are you rooting for? (I don't feel so bad missing my goal if I know that the money will go to one of your good causes).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Spooky Halloween Shot

OK, so I'm a little late...

Kingdom Animalia is 97% animals

I learned this from a quiz on which a student was asked to list a similarity and a difference between members of Kingdom Animalia and other groups. Difference for Kingdom Fungi "Kingdom Fungi includes mold. Kingdom Animalia is 97% animals." It happened on Monday and it is still making my week.

Making my day is that I am wearing new skinny pants. They are not, in fact, the skinny jeans that were in last year which would look horrible on my curvy body, but rather a pair of nice deep brown brushed cotton bootcut pants that are long enough and look good on me. I consider them skinny pants because I purchased them on sale last year when I was at my fattest for a future skinny me. I forgot about them for 11 months and put them on this morning and they fit well. Hooray!

What's giving you joy today?