Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Chris Abani on TED

If you haven't seen the TED talks, watch this now. It's Chris Abani, an African writer talking about his experiences in Nigerian prison and growing up with his British mother in Africa. Only watch out if you have mascara on. I love it when men are feminists.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Climbing Cats

This summer I'm staying in a rather nice townhouse or row-house type of place with some roommates. Beorn is away learning his new trade so I'm staying with roommates. Our kitties have been staying inside, but there is a lovely courtyard type backyard. The problem? The princess likes to climb. The courtyard has a sort of trellis or pergola over it, made out of wood. The cat can climb straight up six feet and then get onto the top of the pergola. Then she wanders around on the top rails and sometimes disappears. My fear is that she will see something interesting in someone else's courtyard and jump down. This evening BOK followed her up to the top. Since he weighs twice as much I was somewhat concerned that he might not be able to get down or might hurt himself. Now I have a nice big scratch on my arm. He wasn't too confindent in my ability to safely hold him while standing on a step ladder. I had to forcibly drag him down. Damn cats!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Dr. Horrible

Just paid $4 for a "season pass" to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along, Joss Whedon's latest project. What a bargain!

FYI, I also paid $5 to This American Life, as I listen to their podcast all the time.

I can't wait till I can just pay for the media I like rather than paying $60 a month for a bazillion cable channels I don't watch. If I have to pay $60 I would rather it all went to support quality programming.


Nellie McKay at TED

If you have never heard of TED, you are missing out. Start here, with Nellie McKay singing "Feminists." For some reason it won't let me embed the video.

In other news Breena and Beorn had a great time at the beach. It's been years since I went body surfing. I love the ocean.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

A break from Academia

Since I graduated (yay!) I have been filling my life up with getting ready for our move in the fall and avoiding any academically oriented work. Since this blog is often about my struggles with academia, I have been avoiding posting here. But that's just silly! Kitties and I are all settled in to our summer gigs. We are sharing a largish townhouse with two roommates, who are also somewhat crunchy, so it works out well.

Beorn survived his first three weeks of field school, but just barely. Monday of the second week they were directed to hack through some vegetation to get to a survey point, only no one had brought gloves. Guess what happened next? About a third of the class ended up with poison oak! Beorn had it pretty bad and so was miserable and rightly pissed about it. Beorn is a computer geek, not an outdoorsy type and grew up in the Midwest, so wasn't familiar (enough) with poison oak. That stuff can be really tricky, it grows in so many different forms and vines itself into the growth of other shrubs and trees that it can be easy to miss. Frankly it never occured to me that the field school organizers wouldn't have it together enough to help him ID poison oak, that kind of seems like lesson one in these parts.

Luckily he is mostly through it now and we are enjoying his break. Field school starts again on Monday. Until then we are relaxing and heading to the beach for the weekend. I'm trying to get in as many min-vacations as I can this summer. We rarely have enough money saved to take trips and it can be difficult to get Beorn interested in leaving his comfy home and computer. Other than our honeymoon I can't remember the last time that we have taken a vacation. I do take days off here or there, but those are more like mental health days and involve catching up on laundry or lying in bed with a migraine.

Don't worry though, our regular schedule of complaints and bitching about how much academia sucks and how crazy everyone is will return in September. Just kidding, I'm very hopeful about my new program.