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Showing posts from 2005

Not as young as I used to be...

This drive has nearly killed me...these T-towns are way too far apart.

A Holly, Jolly Christmas.

Well, today, my mom and I baked until we could not bake anymore. We made bourbon balls, cookies, fudge, and some other candy as well. I am totally exhausted! We had a goood time...but, honestly, I see now why people order stuff out of catalogs.

Other than that, all of my Christmas shopping is done. I babysat the other night and spent much time catching up with the kids and learning how to play games on the Nintendo Gamecube. I tried my best at Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but I think I am not so great at it. Anyway, it was a lot of fun. The kids have not changed a bit (other than the usual physical changes!), and I had a great time.

Well, because it is the holidays, posts will be limited....more later....

WHHHHYYYYYYYY???

Why do some students make life difficult?? I can't understand why simple concepts are hard to follow. Oh well. Such is life. And, as usual, I have tons of students with A's in the class. Totally not a reflection of the true grade. Instead, it is merely a byproduct of the new "teaching methods" we use in freshman comp now. In other words, you can keep writing your papers over and over again until you make an A. There is no incentive to work hard on it the first time. Ugh. This happens every semester. So frustrating. And, then, you have students who really deserve the A, and get it, but so do others who don't. GRRRR...I feel like I did when I was averaging grades in LS 501 last fall.
So, other than that, I am waiting for a student to turn in a paper via e-mail so that I can turn these grades in to the registrar. I am a bit restless. Additionally, while waiting for students to turn in papers at Starbuck's this morning, I overheard some girl talking about the fa…

One of those days...

Ugh. I have felt about two steps behind everyone else all day long today! I have been meeting with students, and I am exhausted. Some turned in everything BUT a revised essay which is the point of the portfolio project...something they were told in class and individually. What is the point? Anyway, most have done well, but the few who didn't really sunk themselves.

So, now I am indulging in a little glass of Pinot Noir.

I didn't have much time to read today, so I still don't have any final comments on the Anne Rice book. I did get to a point in the novel mentioning crucifixion and it is very strange to read...anyway, I like it much better now than I did in the beginning.

Other than that, I am just grading like crazy. Anyone else have any news???

It's Happening Again

Well, either I am totally exhausted from the semester or I have some kind of sleeping disease. The tiredness and all started back up two days ago. I forced myself to stay awake yesterday, but today, I couldn't. Anyway, decided to do something about it today (granted, something unhealthy) and bought some drinks loaded with caffine...well, not too loaded. I didn't buy any of that energy drink stuff. I tried one of those on my way back to Tampa after visiting the folks...and, well, it just tastes like cold medicine and it didn't do a thing for me.

I don't really know what I want to do tonight. I have been reading Anne Rice's new novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. I didn't care for it at first...something about the narrative voice wasn't complete at first. However, I am getting into it now. Also, I was hesitant to read about a religious figure. I always find that the books and movies that discuss religion are concerned with presenting kodak moments or else w…

Lovin' My Latte

I have to say that my absolute favorite thing about the holidays is the Starbucks Gingerbread Latte. I could drink it year round, and I am probably the only person asking in May if there is any leftover gingerbread syrup at the Starbucks counter. I have had some that were not made wonderfully, but most of the time it is made to perfection. I had the best one ever yesterday at the USF library Starbucks. The girl that made it deserves an award!
Anyway, as I finish up all of my finals, I must perpare my mind to grade. I hate grading. Sometimes, no matter how much time I put into it, it just seems arbitrary. And, the way the departments work these days, grades are weighed so that they don't really reflect anything of importance. Oh well. I am too tired to care at this point.

The next best thing about the holidays is that the ABC Family network plays Harry Potter a lot! I am watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone tonight. It is so funny to see how much those kids have chan…

"Champ is alright with you, darling?"

'Tis the season...and I feel that I must pay homage to my favorite TV show ever: Absolutely Fabulous (AbFab). Yes, kiddies, I like it even better in some ways than Dallas. But, we must not really compare apples and oranges, my friends. I must say that my favorite episodes were in the earlier seasons; however, some of the more recent episodes are equally funny.
If you have never seen AbFab, I order you to rent it today!!! Start with the early seasons. Some of the best episodes take place in Morocco and France...


Fondue?(...watch the episode and you will understand!)
Anyway, I felt that it was essential to promote my favorite show!!!

Also...

Today, I have been reading and reading, trying to prepare for a take-home final I need to complete. I think I will work on it tomorrow. Then, I need to clean and perpare myself to grade LOTS of portfolios that belong to my students. I am not really looking forward to that right now. In fact, I may need to take a hint from Patsy in AbFab...

Let My People Go.

Well, tonight I had my last class of the semester, and it seemed like it would never end. We finished discussing the novel before we even had our break at 7:15. However, the professor (who is very nice, I promise) came back and waxed philosophical about Dickens for and hour and 15 minutes. We were all astonished. Eventually, we started watching him play with his hair (very long hair) and at one point it actually stood straight up. This led to much stiffled giggling (it really is cute) and concerted efforts to pay attention. It was exhausting.
I also taught my last classes of the semester today. Well, I really didn't teach today because it was just a "take care of business" kind of class where everyone turned things in before the finals period.

Other than that, I am getting ready to indulge in more mindless entertainment. Will let you know how that goes...

Things I Want to Do During the Holidays.

Well, as my brain slowly slips out of academic mode, I am trying to think of all of the fun things I want to do during the holidays!

1. I HAVE to see the new Harry Potter movie. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Firs is my favorite book so far...

2. I want to read a non-school book...maybe a few.

3. I want to have coffee at my little table at Bad Ass Coffee in T-town.

4. I must play with Casey for at least 30 minutes uninterrupted.

5. And, Casey must have a bath. Not exactly fun, but satisfying (to me, at least! No more bad smelling dog).

6. My parents and I have to watch a lot fun holiday movies...Love Actually (my favorite, for obvious reasons), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, When Harry Met Sally (New Year's Scene), etc.

7-infinity....open for discussion.


Today, I did accomplish writing an outline for my 18th cent. paper. Additionally, I found all of the passages I intend to analyze. So, now all that is left is to actually write the paper!
I am also trying to catch up on some …

Eyes Wide Open

Okay, so I had extreme fatigue over the weekend and could not get enough sleep. Then, last night, I could not sleep at all. What is up with that??? And, to top it off, I am not even tired today. I mean, I was up until 2:30, after which I dozed on and off for a very short while until I finally gave up around 5 a.m. UGH. My body is, at last, rejecting my busy schedule.

Nothing of interest (well, to anyone reading this) happened today. I think my last presentation went well (on Frances Burney). Now, I just have to fine tune my ideas so that I can actually write the paper.

I think that tonight, after all of the work I have done for the last few days, I will totally indulge in some visual entertainment. Should it be Dallas? A Hugh Grant movie? Oh, and speaking of Dallas, season 4, the one in which you discover "Who Shot J.R.?" will be out January 24. I am countin' down the days. However, the Tampa Tribune ruined it for me several weeks ago, during the anniversary of the episode…

Wow...these folks are nuts. Check this out...

First of all, why would anyone steal from the Salvation Army folks? If this isn't karma coming to bite you in the ass, I don't know what is...

http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2005/12/5/132367.html

And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact, be the first steps of a journey...(from Lemony Snicket)

The wisdom that can be found in "children's" books...

Okay, well, today was better. I didn't feel bad, but I was pretty tired by the end of the day. Maybe it was just a 48 hour kind of thing. Anyway, on a better note, I think I have finally decided on a thesis for my paper due in the 18th cent. lit class. I have been thinking about it (literally) all day...it finally came to me around 6:30. Now, my brain hurts.

Other than that, I did take some time out (probably what led to my discovery) to watch the movie Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events ( http://www.unfortunateeventsmovie.com/main_flash.html ). It was very interesting. I can't say that I LOVED it. I did love the books. I borrowed them from a little boy that I babysit occasionally. Those books are so dark and contain a lot of really interesting ideas. I don't think the movie was able to adequately convey all of those ideas. Still, the artistry was perfect. It was just like I imagined it.…

Illness update

Feeling much better...but I guess that I should be considering how much I have slept! Anyway, maybe it is over.

What do I have???

Ugh... I feel completely awful today. I don't know what ails me. I am so tired (this has gone on for three days!!!) and I think I actually have a fever now. I never sleep during the day, but for the last two days, I have taken a three hour nap each day. When I left Border's this morning, my legs felt as weak as they did when I used to run really long training runs. I CANNOT get sick right now. I have so much work to do...At least, I probably don't have consumption...so I can fully disassociate myself with the Victorians.

Other than that, I feel that today's rant must also discuss my agitation with Tampa drivers. No wonder there are so many bad accidents and pedestrians killed. These folks just cannot wait and they don't care if they kill you in the process. Yesterday and today I completely lost patience with them, resulting in my coming home earlier than expected from my daily trip to Borders or Barnes and Noble. All I want is a short, quiet drive to the bookstore. …

I don't want to play with you anyway.

Okay. I have to use this space to rant for a bit. I REALLY hate it when students sign up for an appointment to see me and then don't show up. It is so irresponsible...and such a pathetic form of rejection considering that my class is probably the least stressful of any class that they take.

I also dislike people (who shall remain nameless) who send out important departmental notices ONE week before class ends asking for documents from students who had no idea they were responsible for submitting such documents. Yes, I am annoyed. This always happens. I like organization....in fact, I live by it in my professional life (although you could not tell by looking at my random stack of books for research). Still, I know which books I need at the time...and I don't ask someone else to find them for me. Ugh. Anyway, that is all.

On a happier note, I am almost finished with my first semester of the PhD program. This, of course, means that I still have a long way to go; but, one semester …

Ms. Jolie, could I please have your arms?

I just bought the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I saw it in the theater and LOVED it. So, I decided to make yet another DVD purchase (Jessica, you know I have a sickness). Anyway, I took a break from grading papers earlier this evening and decided to watch it. It was just as good as I remembered it, and I am envious of Angelina Jolie's arms. I wonder how much she works out...obviously, I don't have that kind of will. Admittedly, I trained for a marathon and did run a 23 mile training run (after which I became so ill that I could no longer run the marathon that took place two weeks later...). So, I know that I have it in me to stick to some kind of training routine. HOWEVER...right now, the only training I am doing is flipping the pages of my books.
There really isn't anything new to report. I had a great Thanksgiving (and a great weekend before the holiday with Jess and Jeff!!!). Now, I am just looking forward to a Christmas break filled with pleasure reading while sitting at…

'Tis the Season...but Casey is cute year round!

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Hi, everyone. Well, the photo is a little old, but Casey is still the most adorable elf in the world. My hair may not be that blonde anymore (ahhh....chemicals) but at least I know how to pick the men in my life! Casey is my main squeeze.

"This place is the rendezvous of the diseased"

--Matt Bramble, in The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker


This has to be one of the funniest novels I have ever read! This character is an old aristocrat and a hypochondriac. The novel is epistolary (i.e. all letters) and he is constantly writing to his personal physician, lamenting his illnesses...whatever it they are...and also his annoyance at the people in the spa town of Bath, England. Matt Bramble hates Bath because, well, I think "because," he is around genuinely sick people who don't have dignified illnesses such as the headache or gout. Anyway, he goes on and on about the smells of Bath and the wretched people there, and basically ends one of the letters to the doctor with the quote used in the title of today's blog.

The fact that the novel is told through letters got me thinking about blogs. Really, blogs are a story through letters. I always feel uncomfortable reading other people's letters/diaries/journals...so, what are we doing with blogs? It is public wr…

Brain Dead

I can't go on...my brain is toast...not even good multigrain toast...I am done.

If I have to read one more chapter of Bleak House (and I do), I may spontaneously combust (just like Mr. Krook). In fact, I still can't get over the whole spontaneous combustion thing. It just happens. I still am not sure why, but maybe I have to finish the book first. I hope I have enough energy to do that. Actually, the book isn't bad. I am just so exhausted right now that I can't think anymore.

Today was a nice day, though. The sky was cloudless and it was just cool enough to put the windows up. I stayed in most of the day, except for a brief detour to Wal-Mart. My VCR broke...and, I haven't replaced all of my movies on tape with new DVD versions...so, I still need a VCR. I found a VCR-DVD player on sale and happily purchased it. I am not sure what to make of it now...it plays so well compared to the last one! Who knew that the VCR would play an entire movie without shutting off?

Well…

Wilma: Any excuse for a party will do!

Okay. I am alive and well. Wilma was just a windy event for us here in Tampa. My parents are visiting and we just used the time indoors to enjoy the evils of drink. When dad and I went to get pizza last night, dad noticed a liquor store next door to Pizza Hut. He left me and came back with a bottle of Maker's Mark (everyone must drink Maker's Mark...I am an ambassador, you know...). Then, he left me again, and came back with beer. We really don't drink a lot, but this is their vacation...and I am totally stressed from school...so we had a good time. We ended up not touching the Maker's Mark last night, but dad drank some beer and mom and I polished off a great bottle of wine. I will save the Maker's Mark for later! (I can't wait to get my ambassador bottle in three years!!!!)

Anyway, all is well here. My neighbors have been amazingly quiet (knock on wood). Mom and I have been cooking and shopping a little. Other than that, all is quiet.

More strange happenings....

Okay. Today I was sitting outside of the campus library, scrolling through my missed call log on the cell phone, when the strangest thing happened.... In the distance, I could hear someone humming "Chariots of Fire". I didn't think much of it, but then it got louder and louder. Soon, this guy was shuffling toward me. His head was shaved and he was balancing a half-full bottle of water on his head....all the while, humming "Chariots of Fire". Now, I have never been one to laugh in someone's face, but I could not help myself this time. I tried to exit gracefully, but that was impossible. I collapsed in laughter as I walked away (well, a mental collapse, anyway!). He kept shuffling along and I went to Java City in the business building. About an hour later, as I was sitting on a bench outside of the A&S building, I heard it again. He shuffled by me once more, but kept going. The guy across from me completely lost control and laughed. That got me started as…

Wilma...GO AWAY!!!

Well, because I don't own any property to board up, I decided to use my blog as a site to post my message to the storm. My favorite part of hurricane coverage is the selection of "message shots"--you know, the little messages people paint onto wood covering up their windows...I love those. I tried to think of something witty, but I could not think of any good "W" words. My brain is fried. So, "Wilma...GO AWAY!!!" is the best that I can do at the moment.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Other than that, I have been working like crazy trying to finish midterm grades for my students. Also, I am working on a paper and two projects....ugh. I need a nap. I have thought about doubling up on the Tylenol PM, but that would put me out for days...and I am such a cheap drunk.

Well, everyone take care. Here's hoping Wilma stays way south of here!

Hair Crimping: Just Say NO.

I saw a girl with crimped hair today...I know that people went crazy for that after Howard the Duck around 87-89...but, it never looked good then and it sure does not look good now. It was sensory overload for me. I saw her as I exited the A&S building--then, immediately after coming off of the shock of that, I passed the AIDS Awareness table...a table with various assortments of free safe-sex accessories.

These were not run-of-the-mill items...in fact, I think they may have picked them up somewhere further down Dale Mabry (a LONG street in Tampa that encompasses EVERYTHING...There is something for everyone.). I found the assortment eye-catching; and, while I did not partake in the free safe-sex accessories, I spent some time looking at them...thinking that U of A would have only supplied the most boring of these items. I have to find out where they get their funding.

Tampa Bay Community Network...not all it promised.

Well, last night was a complete bust on Tampa Bay Community Network. The shows were not nearly as exciting as they were two weeks ago. Instead, I decided to watch some of my own DVDs.

Yesterday afternoon, my friend, Anne, brought over her new puppy. She named the puppy Bailey (after the cream and the Haagen Dazs ice cream drink!)...and she is the cutest puppy I have ever seen! (Aside from my Casey, of course.) She was so clean when Anne brought her over to visit. However, by the time she left, after rolling around in the dirt, she needed a bath. Just a warning: when you come to visit me you may be completely normal--but you will return home a ruffian.

Anyway, it is a little too early here to find anything interesting to say. I will try to update tonight.

I'm back, Miss Katie.

Hey, girl! Thanks for the message...I have been totally busy and this midterm is killing me. I am busy writing lots of little papers and preparing lots of little presentations. Oh, how full my life is.

Anyway, now to today's post:

I have been working all day, but I decided to drive over to Borders for a cup o' Borders Blend. On the way, I passed a woman's car with the bumper sticker: "Go ahead...I'm just reloading."

This sticker is actually quite appropriate for Florida. We have a law here that basically allows you to kill anyone (even if they aren't on your property) if that person presents a threat to your safety. We are now called the new wild west. Now, while I could appreciate the introduction of some cowboys to this scenario, I am not really for random shooting. However, good old Jeb Bush thinks that this is a neat plan. I guess I need to learn how to shoot.

Other than that, I am totally brain dead. I wish I could think of something interesting to say. …

What to say???

Well, today has been one of those rushing around kind of days. In fact, the entire weekend leading up to today has been like that. And, I have been working steadily on a paper, trying to finish it before Thursday...and I found out that it isn't due for another two weeks. I am ahead of the game in that class, but so far behind in others. All of the calendar days start blending together.

I have been grading papers for most of the day, and then I went to my 18th cent. lit. class this afternoon. I love that class. I knew almost nothing about the period until I enrolled, but it is fascinating. And, our professor, Dr. Runge, is FABULOUS. She is so interested in and excited about what she teaches...it is contagious.

I am not sure I am the contagious sort of teacher in composition! I am not sure it is all that possible. But, I do have some great students this semester. Their papers are average, as far as freshman papers go, but the ideas inside of the the disorganization are excellent. Now.…

Olivia Rules

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I haven't added any of my Olivia Newton-John photos! This one isn't the greatest one I have, but because my scanner is not co-operating with my computer, this one will have to do! Anyway, I realized I needed to pay homage to my favorite singer. If anyone is interested, there is a great fan club site: http://www.onlyolivia.com

If you aren't a fan, you should ask yourself, "Have you never been mellow?"

I Have Seen It All...

Oh, my. I think that I have discovered the worst show in the history of television. And, yet, it is like a bad train wreck...you just can't pull your eyes away from the freak show. This program, I guess it is called "It's My Show," is on Tampa Bay Community Television. Usually, this station only shows things like educational programs or city council meetings. I suppose you could say this show was educational, um, in a bad way...I still can't figure it out... Basically, the show is just a freespeak (the only word I can come up with that mirrors what it reminded me of...which was free writing) or stream of consciousness kind of thing. Don't get the impression that it is artistic! It is just really bad. (Melanie and I need to replace them. At least we always had a show theme in mind!) Here is the link...but it does not do it justice: http://www.its-my-show.com/ .
Anyway, the host is a woman named Robyn. The co-host tonight was another girl. The last 25+ minutes …

Very Wrong

Well, last night I had a total panic attack about the job market. After talking to my parents (i.e. my rocks in life), I felt better. However, I still wasn't in the best frame of mind...so, I fell as low as one can get. No, I did not descend into the pit of drug and alcohol abuse (all of that starts because of graduate school...I know that now). I did something much worse....

I watched the E! True Hollywood Story: Cheech and Chong.

Good God...how low can you get? I mean, that is definitely the sign of a dead brain. By this morning, I was still confused about it.

Anyway, today I am a bit better. I finalized all the details for my new, expensive Florida car insurance. However, I do have to say that Geico rocks. They really are the best...and I LOVE the commercials. My favorite is the one featuring Speed Racer. If you have not seen it (and if you have media player), you can access it at: http://www.advertisementave.com/tv/ad.asp?adid=609 . I always laugh.

Other than that, I have bee…

"Weird" Art

Anyone from around Tampa will know about the MOSI exhibit called Bodies ( http://www.mosi.org/ ). Basically, some guy figured out how to plasticize real cadavers so that we can all share in the illuminating experience of seeing our internal organs still inside of a preserved human. Fascinating as this is, there is a huge controversy surrounding the exhibit. The bodies come from Asia and the original inhabitants of the bodies never gave their consent to be on display, sparking a whole ethical argument about the show. Anyway, I have not been...I had enough of that kind of deal when I went to Guanajuato, Mexico, and saw the real mummies ( http://www.questconnect.org/mexico_mummy_photos.htm ). This is the kind of thing I just don't need to see again...even though no internal organs were visible in Guanajuato. Anyway, I asked my students if they had seen the exhibit. One said she had, but it was really just a freak show sort of experience because her little brother wanted to see it for…

Oranges Everywhere

Everyone knows my fascination with oranges, so this blog is about my love for them. First of all, the only good thing about getting a new car tag is that I have oranges on it! Right now, scarily enough, the sky is orange....not good because we are having a really bad storm right now. It looks really strange and scary.

Anyway, for those who don't know about my fascination, I will lay it out for you. I have always loved oranges. However, my love took the form of obsession when I went to Kissimmee, Florida, once and saw the fabulous Orange World ( http://www.roadsideamerica.com/salad/orange.html ). I was very excited to see a place totally devoted to my favorite fruit. However, when I went inside, I was totally disappointed. The place smelled really bad and the only thing even sort of orange were some sad oranges outside in molding crates.

All the way back to Tuscaloosa, I planned. My dream is to take over Orange World, create a fantasy world for orange lovers. For example, I wanted…

Official Florida Resident, but just call me Miss Ellie

Well, I didn't get arrested or pulled over this morning, so that was a relief. It turns out that if I had not brought my car I would not have been able to get anything done. So much for the jerk that answered the phones at the non-emergency number this weekend. He was so rude! Anyway, all is well. I sat in a bit room with a lot of really interesting people, got my tag, drove several miles away and got my new license, and came home to relax.

Okay...now on to the really embarrassing stuff. (Katie, you will appreciate this...by the way, I really want to see the Dr. Phil that is on tomorrow. I have class and will miss it...you have to tell me about it if you read this in time!) Anyway, I guess the first step in recovery is admitting that you have a problem...so, here it is:

I AM ADDICTED TO BAD 80s TELEVISION...SPECIFICALLY, DALLAS.

There, it is out.

I can't help it. I have seasons 1 through 3 on DVD and I am so totally a Ewing by proxy. I haven't finished the third season yet. I…

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do....

Well...some idiot stole my Alabama license tag off of my car. So, I have been stranded here all weekend until I can go get a new tag tomorrow. I had to get a new Florida tag anyway, but damn. And, the whole situation with the police department and reporting the theft has been an experience. First of all, they won't send an officer out to make a report...it has to be done by phone and only Monday through Friday. Okay...this is Florida, right? The state that houses thousands of sexual predators and kidnappers? Sure, someone probably just wanted to add my tag to their collection...but, worst case scenario, it could be halfway across the US by now on some criminal's car. Lovely. And, because the police won't even call me until tomorrow to file an official report, if something happens involving my tag, it will come back to me because it has not been entered into the national database as stolen. Brilliant. Crime does not stop on the weekends, my fellow citizens. It has been infu…

The eyes are the first things to go...

At least in this grad. program. I have been reading non-stop for four days...today, I finally gave up for a while. I am totally exhausted! I am caught up in the Dickens course, but I am a little behind in reading Vanity Fair. So, I will have to catch up Wednesday. Ugh...only the third week and already I need a vacation!

Other than that, I have been busy helping my students access their blogs. We have an ongoing blog project that should be interesting. Some are already showing distinct online personalities.

I wish I had more to add for today's post. There really isn't that much happening in my world at the moment! Maybe after tomorrow I will have some news to add! Until then, take care!

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Hello, all! Greetings from sunny Tampa, once again. The weather is great today...not too hot because we have a breeze. Also, my crazy upstairs neighbors haven't made any noise (yet) or fought (yet). It is a banner day.

Now...for the mundane details of my life...

This morning, I went to an awesome Publix. It is pretty far away, but they have everything. I also returned the movies I borrowed from the library. (A note to all my library friends out there: the New Tampa Regional Library is insane! It is just a branch library (but close to me). However, while they have lots of new materials, the organization sucks...Looks like somebody skipped Dr. MacCall's class one too many times. I swear, nonfiction and fiction are mixed together, CD audio books are all over the place, and the children's poetry section is mixed in with the adult literature/poetry section. I am still trying to get over it. There are lots of movies (DVD) unlike Tuscaloosa Public Library, but the organization suc…

Living in Tampa...

Well, it has been forever since the last post (and, yes, Heath, I promise to post a photo soon!!). :) Things are great here in Tampa. I am totally exhausted these days. School started up again last week and all is well there. I really like my students this semester and my classes (the ones that I take) are great as well. Recently, in the Victorian Lit. class, we read Wuthering Heights...that is the most wonderful book. I think that if you read it and don't get it that you have never really been in love. Now we are reading Vanity Fair. It is good as well, but I am only 200 pages into it (several more hundred to go!).

As far as Tampa is concerned, I am still trying to find my way around. The USF campus is so busy that I have to get there very early if I want to find a place to park (parking is terrible). Other than that, I have found lots of good places to go for fun. The city's downtown is not that far away from where I live. So far, the heat has been tolerable...not great, b…

Postin' Again...and Below the Root

Well, I am two classes away from finishing the MLIS degree!! Yea. After tomorrow night, I am officially a nonstudent until August. What will I do??? I can think of a few things!

So far, nothing all that new to report. I did make an interesting discovery on the internet, though. For two years, I have been searching for any kind of reference to this computer game I played years ago when we had an Apple IIE. (See this link: http://www.the-underdogs.org/game.php?id=113) could never remember the name of it...I could only remember that the character lived in a tree, climbed vines, gathered food, and went underground. Anyway, I finally found out the name the other night: Below the Root!!!I loved that game...and apparently so did a lot of people...even more so now because no one can find it anywhere. There is a place to download it, but I will try that later. The thing about the game was that it sucked you into this fantasy world created by Zilpha Keatly Snyder (the author of Below the Root--t…

More Fun With Books...and On the Road Again

Well, after the reading list changed again, I decided to switch classes again...So, I started reading a really interesting book written in the 1700s, PAMELA. The book is basically about a young servant girl seduced by the master of the house. Very risque and fun. Anyway, I got about halfway through when the summer session at UA began. So, now, I am reading really fun books (thrillers, mysteries, etc.). We have to read a book from every genre...and, did everyone know about the Adult Westerns out there? Very interesting indeed...

Other than that, my friend Melissa and I have started running again. It is hell starting up again and getting up so early...but, it is worth it.

Moving day is approaching and I still have so much to do. It is amazing how much useless stuff one accumulates.

Well, more later. Everyone e-mail me soon!!!

Updatin' the Update

There really is not too much new that I can tell everyone! I am not reading "The Egoist" anymore because my reading list for that class is in a constant state of change...

I did see a really interesting movie. I watched "Girl With a Pearl Earring". It was really good, but I am still wondering about it a little bit.

After deciding against reading "The Egoist," I began to read a "for fun" book. Right now, I am reading "The Time Traveler's Wife". So far, I really like it. I am sure I will have something more to say about it...there are some provocative moments created just within the first few pages.

Well....more later...when I actually have something interesting to say. :)

Seduced by My Scanner

I am in a campus lab, trying to scan in photos from the infamous trip to Florida...and it will not work. I am mesmerized by pop-ups and buttons, clicking until my brain is fried. So, I will have to attempt the photo thing later.

Other than that, nothing new to report, really. I could bombard everyone with useless information...such as: I just finished a really interesting biography about Alexander Hamilton. See link: Alexander Hamilton: American

I always knew that he looked interesting on the $10 bill. We all know the story of the duel, but he had a great wit as well. (Early in the book there is a hilarious comment about the "trouble" taken on with a virgin wife.)

Other than that, I am just beginning to read from the enormous reading list I have for the fall...first up: The Egoist. Not sure about this one...usually am not a fan of 17th/18th century lit. I am taking two Victorian lit courses, so that makes me happy. One is a Charles Dickens seminar. The other is just a survey...…

Future Floridian

Well, I survived my trip to USF...found a place to live...bought furniture...all is well. (I hope!) My new place (will move in mid-Aug.) looks great. I also really enjoyed touring the USF campus. Everyone was so nice down there and my friend, Ann, was a huge help. I never would have found my way around without her!

Meanwhile, the thoughts of moving so far away are overwhelming! There is so much to do and the drive is sooooo long. Still, I have to do it and it will be for the best.

While we were down there, I saw Treasure Island beach...only one word can describe it: Amazing. It is huge and beautiful. Note to self: only go on week days during the off season!

Well, hopefully, I will have more coherent thoughts later....am totally exhausted.

Lovin' My Friends at Southern Living

Today I finally had a chance to visit with my good friends up at Southern Progress/Southern Living. (For those who don't know me all that well, I worked for two years at the magazine...) Anyway, I saw my lovely friends, Karen and Nancy (who I also babysit for on occasion!!!). I also saw my partner in crime, the man I could always count on to be as silly as I was (playing with Ice Punch Ed, pretending to be in a James Bond movie in the halls, and laughing ...softly of course...during muffin meetings), Chris! Much love to them all. They are truly the best SL has to offer...along with my friend Gary Ford, of course!...but Gary, since getting married a while back, is conspicuously absent these days.

Other than that, things have been very dull around here. I began the packing process two days ago...and, well, ...I abandoned it today because it stressed me out too much!

On another note, poor Anthony Federov left American Idol tonight. Of course, we must all cheer on Bo Bice...I like Car…

COPS--Tuscaloosa Style

I saw something yesterday that I had never seen before...

My father and I met for coffee at Books-a-Million. We were having a very interesting conversation about teaching styles when suddenly this Toyota Camry (circa 1990) pulled up outside of the cafe. I saw some movement in the car, but I couldn't tell what was going on. Then, the car rolled forward, stopped, and rolled forward again. All the while, I could see movement in the car. (We were sitting right next to the window.) Then, this man, who was sitting outside, came into Joe Mugg's and said that someone should call the police because the two people in the car were fighting. The lady behind the counter didn't want to do anything, and I kept looking at her and then again at the car. A few seconds later, the guy, who was on the passenger side, jumped out of the car, ran around to the driver's side, and forced his girlfriend out of the car, slamming her on the ground. They struggled a moment, she got away, and, then, …

Last Call

Well, tonight I attended my final dinner party with the UA English department folks. It was a great time, filled with food and drinks and great conversation...though I won't bore anyone with all of the details. The party took place at Alex Sartwell's home (a close friend of my friend Carol Adams). He has a lovely old home in the historic district here in Tuscaloosa. His kitchen is amazing...as is the rest of the house. It has so many great little details. I love old homes.

In other news, I am adapting quite well to having a lot of free time. Today, I slept in and then Melanie and I drove to Helena (home of Bo Bice on American Idol). Melanie wanted to look for some new beads (she makes really cool stuff). Helena is a cute town near Hoover in Birmingham. We had a time finding it because we got directions from someone who should not be giving out directions.

Well, enough for now as I am sleepy from champagne. One of the ladies at the party is from France and we celebrated the fact…

Jesus Appears in Cottondale

He was in a long white robe and carried a Bible. He certainly looked the part; and, while I am all for expression of belief, it did bother me that he did not have any shoes on his feet...but he had drawn a little crowd so I guess his work for the day is done.

Otherwise, nothing much to report. It is so nice to actually have time on my hands to write on the blog...I give an exam in about 45 minutes to my freshman English 102 class. I am so sick of grading.

More later....
And, "Mr. Grant," I dedicate "Cryin'" to you (to make up for the lack of Aerosmith).

Just a few more days...

And I will be finished teaching at Alabama! I have to admit that I am happy to be leaving this campus. It is time for a change.

Nothing new is happening to me these days. I am grading all of the time and I will be grading all of this weekend (grades for my students are due by Tuesday).

Today was my father's birthday...so we celebrated Cinco de Mayo style at Los Tarascos.


On a bit of a sad note, I must announce that I will not be going to England this summer, which I find incredibly depressing. But, considering that I will be an out-of-state student next year, I think that I should save as much as possible.

In other news, my friend Katie went to Talladega over the weekend...and she had a great time! My friend Melanie had her graduation party over the weekend as well. We had a great time and I will be posting a photo soon. She looks fabulous, but I look like a ghost...I need some serious beach time, involving a few beers and some tanning lotion. Anyway, it is the last recent photo of…

Justification For Those Who Wish to Have the Last Name "Grant"

You are just wonderful the way you are. Still, you should use the accent now and then...and the fascination with the Grants...well, they make me laugh...like someone else I know. It is very sexy. :)

Music? I did have Aerosmith down once. True, I did not have other bands down (and we know who those are...)...Go back to that page: my reason for not including certain musicians or other music is because every word I use creates a link...to another blog...and, well, I really didn't want everyone linking up to my blog as well. It is the internet... I must not be too personal.

Until next time....

Tomorrow is the last day for Pepsi I-tunes!!

Total: I won my last one today...9 songs!!!! I am so excited.

The game ends tomorrow. I just have a good eye for the right bottles. I have only purchased three that were not winners!

Anyway, things are picking up in speed here. My students will be turning in research papers soon...and I have several to write myself.

I am still waiting to find out details about my trip to London this summer...am having problems reaching anyone at the home school I will be traveling with in July. Oh well. I guess I will get there eventually!

Spring Break Is Here....

Yeah...sure. And, I have to go to an out of town class this first weekend of my spring break...and take a midterm...and write two term papers during the next week...and complete my reading list for Young Adult services...and........


Okay, will completely stop complaining now and get used to the fact (completely this time) that I have no life, that this condition is not likely to change, and that I will end up living in a library for the next five years (at least). But that is okay...because I am not bitter.

Anyway, there is not much to discuss right now. I am constantly making "to do" lists and getting half of it done before I realize that I skipped several important things along the way. I am convinced that I will be freaking out in about a month from complete exhaustion.

Living it up at The University of Alabama...

After finally getting an acceptance letter for a PhD program, I have finally started to relax a little. This, of course, is a bad thing because I have so much to do right now!!! I really can't wait for the spring holidays...but I have so much to do.

In any case, last night I had a wonderful evening with my friend Kelly. She invited me to accompany her to the UA Law School ball. Great chance to dress up and live it up at a U of A event. We ate at Evangeline's and then attended the ball at the Tuscaloosa Country Club. I haven't been out there in a while...and, at 10 pm, it was a real treat trying to find the place.

Other than that, I really don't have any news. Life is too overwhelming at the moment! Maybe once I finally calm down and get a plan together for my life over the next four to six years, I will feel better. I am already having panic attacks about my dissertation committee...and I don't even know who will be on it yet!

Love,
Stressed Out Susie

I-tunes update...

Six songs!!! I love Pepsi...and I am bouncing off the walls.

Pepsi Is My New Best Friend...

Diet, of course.

I believe that caffeine is generally a bad thing...unless it allows me to obtain free music. Never one to win anything (especially under soft drink caps), I have now won four (4!!!) free songs from I-tunes. I am so excited. Just thought that now would be a perfect opportunity to shamelessly plug both companies. After all, the drinks are bottled in Birmingham and I love Apple computers! And, with lack of funds these days, it seems like a free song is just the thing to perk me up. I am a HUGE fan of I-tunes. It is my music source of choice.

Other than that, nothing much is happening these days. I am looking for lots of free things to do when I go to London...so, if anyone out there has any ideas, please let me know. (Does anyone have any ideas about good walks to go on in London??)

Well, everyone take care! More later, after I download all of my free music!!!

Greetings!!

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This is my very first posting to the blog...so, everyone please be patient with me! I am not even sure how I will use this blog for the next few months. I didn't want to begin it until I arrived overseas this summer...however, with my limited knowledge of technology, I thought I should begin now. In any case, I will be sending frequent updates over the summer.

Right now, I am still trying to finish the library/research program. I am completely exhuasted taking four classes and teaching three, but I will make it! I keep remembering that I have great plans for the summer!

Well, enough for now. More later...

Susie