Showing posts from 2008

Normally, I wouldn't use Fox as a source, but....

I did it!!!

Their word count came to significantly lower than mine, so I had to add a lot of stuff last minute. It was a blast, though!

Trucking Along...

I am still a writing machine. The story still is stupid and crazy, but I am having fun. The semester is almost over (thank goodness!) and I am happy to see that I have about 20 students that I have taught before signed up for my class next semester. It will be fun to see familiar faces in the crowd! The bad news is that I teach so late in the day (4:30 and 6:00). I am not looking forward to that, but it is what it is. I tend to do better in the mornings, so it looks like my caffeine addiction will kick into overload next semester. (Yes...I kicked the habit for a while, but I am back on the wagon again.)

Anyway, I haven't posted in a long time so I thought I should say that I am still out there! I am really looking forward to Thanksgiving. I need turkey.

NaNoWriMo Day 2: I am a writing machine, people!

So far, so good! I am keeping up with the word count, having a blast, and enjoying my bad writing! The pressure is off because it is just for fun and to distract me from the stress of the doctoral work.

I must confess that I approached NaNoWriMo as unprofessionally as one could. I didn't start with an idea or an outline or anything. In fact, I sat in Barnes and Noble yesterday trying to come up with an idea. I just wanted it to be crazy and fun. So, here I am, writing my story as it spontaneously occurs to me (not my usual style) and it is actually pretty hilarious! I worked on it in pieces yesterday and finished up over word count after a healthy glass of wine. Today, it is actually going really fast. I have only been working for about 45 minutes and I am almost to my word limit for the day (they say in order to complete the 50,000 words by the end of the month one should write approximately 1667 words per day). So far, I have written 1045 today (approximately 2,100 yesterday). Y…


Starts Saturday!!!! Yea!!! We will see how it goes. I am a NaNoWriMo virgin. So, hopefully I will make it through!

Other than that, nothing much is going on. I am still working on my long reading list, taking an independent study, and hoping my students stay awake for our Early English literature course every Monday/Wednesday/Friday.

I hope someone out there is having an exciting life! Mine is too hectic.

Very troubling...: My Frontline Flea/Tick NON-Repellant Woes

For the second month in a row, my almost 13-year-old dog has been fighting (along with my help, of course) a flea problem. It isn't completely out of hand yet, but I am getting really frustrated.

Every month, for twelve years, we have been putting Frontline on Casey. It has always worked wonderfully and he has never had fleas. If a tick got on him, it died immediately.

However, starting back in August, I noticed flea dirt and fleas on poor Casey. I had just applied the Frontline two days earlier and was appalled when the vet told me it should have already killed the fleas. So, I ran to the drug store and bought some flea shampoo because I could not apply another dose of Frontline for three more weeks (the vet said I could do it every three weeks if necessary). The shampoo worked well and he seemed to do okay.

So, last Sunday, I administered another dose of Frontline (the third week). Tonight (not even one full week later) his legs are covered in flea dirt and there are fleas.
I used …


Mom has retired!!! We are all so happy!

Bottega Rocks...

and so does my friend, Katie G.!!! (Her blog is to the side, you guys!) I had a great time catching up with Katie and eating some absolutely fabulous food at B'ham's Bottega. Life is good!

Babylon A.D.: Quite possibly the most sexist movie made in the last 20 years.

Don't ask me how or why I ended up seeing this movie. It just sort of happened that it was the only thing playing at the time I ended up at the theater. I generally like SciFi...and, the movie could have been really cool...but it was completely insane. The sexism reeked. this century and in the future.

To get me out of my slump...

I just remembered NaNoWriMo:!!!

The premise is just crazy enough to appeal to me.

I have wanted to do this ever since I found out about it last year. It might seem like something stressful, but it is really just all in good fun. The "novel" can get as crazy as you want it. Anyway, I am perked up a bit now.

Feeling the PhD burn: Or, time for me to vent.

When I trained for the Mercedes Marathon in 2004, I remember everyone talking about how marathon runners eventually hit "the wall." I trained and trained, running/walking 12, 14, 18 miles. Nothing happened. Then, one day, my running partner, Linda, and I went on our longest run yet: 24 miles. While on this run, I hit "the wall." "The wall" is really just a mental barrier. Your mind says that you must stop everything and tries to convince you that you absolutely cannot go another step. (My body wanting to refuse another step came at about mile 22.) Anyway, though it felt like it was going to last forever, after about 3/4 of a mile, I broke through "the wall." Still, my body paid the price. Long distance running is fine for me up until a point. I do really well until about 18 miles. After 18 miles, though my legs will keep going, my body begins to react in strange ways and I become ill. So, that was the end of my marathon training.

Now, what does t…

Congrats to my super athletic cousin!

Congratulations, T! Although I still think it takes someone a bit crazy to swim in the Alcatraz Challenge, I admire you. For those who are wondering: my fabulous cousin, T. (Theron in the real world...but he will always be "t." to me) Wells, won 2nd place in the Alcatraz swim today!!! We are a fabulous family...even if you and Jeff are the only ones who are athletically inclined.

Julia London

Books-a-Million actually had an author signing today (though it wasn't very well advertised). Julia London, a fabulous historical romance author, came for a visit. It was great to meet her and I can't wait to read the new book!

Dallas...the Reunion...

A secret...

I am coming clean. For about four years, I have been addicted to the following game:

In fact, I am addicted to "SuperArcade." Whenever I just need to zone out, it is perfect. Anyway, for all of you who like mind-numbing activities, try the game. It is fun!

A link to my dad's song!!

Here it is:

He wrote it when he was 13/14 with his sister Jeanne! It is the second one, by the "Crazy Teens"!!


I miss Oxford.

The one day that I need the bus...

And it is not running! (The bus system on campus, I mean.) We can only park in our designated commuter zones (free for all commuter parking is no more). So, my zone is over near Ten Hoor....and I had to walk all the way to the Bryant Conference meet with someone who wasn't there....then walked all the way to Alabama sit for 45 walk all the way back to Bryant Conf. Center...and...well...who knows...because that is coming up in about fifteen minutes.

And it is very humid my hair looks like a freak show "do".

I am back!

Well, the trip is over! My plane was delayed last night in Atlanta due to bad weather. So, I didn't actually step foot in my house until around 1 a.m.

A mini run-down:

Day 1 (Thursday, July 24): Travel (BHM to ATL; ATL to London-Gatwick)

Day 2 (Friday, July 25): Arrive in London around 8:30; long line at customs/passport check; take bus to Oxford; check in at Magdalen College...

Photo: Magdalen College (part of it, anyway!)

(my room was on the first floor and opened up to the deer park!):
Photo: Deer outside of my window at the deer park!

Attend beginning sessions; sleep!

Day 3 (Saturday, July 26): Breakfast in Magdalen's Great Hall (dining hall); attended one session; presented my paper at 11:15 in the Daubeny Laboratory; lunch with Sylvia from Germany; sessions in the afternoon; feast in the Great Hall (awesome!):

Photo: Me next to the phone booth prior to the great feast!

Rowling autographed copies auctioned; lots of wine; sleep.

Day 4 (Sunday, July 27): Overslept and missed brea…

In Oxford....

Well, things are great! My paper presentation went really well and I am now staying at the hotel...which is much better. My rooms at Magdalen College were, well, a bit unclean. (Hey! A professor in his long robes just passed the window here!) Anyway, it is really crowded and hot. I have been on the Harry Potter trail and been in all of the filming locations at Christ Church. Today, I want to see the botanical gardens and a few other things. I meant to start earlier, but I got sidetracked in a book store...BIG surprise.

Well, I will update later!

The biggest egos???


I love how they were actually on a documentary the other morning. Documentary of what? Have they actually ever made a contribution? I also groaned when the girlfriend or wife of one of them said that "EVERY" girl had a picture of one of the two Coreys in her locker. I never did. I had posters of many teen sensations...but I can't stand either of the Coreys. UGH. I can't believe they get a show.


I may have to drink the pain away. Olivia asks: "Have you never been mellow?" And I say: Not until I repurchase my collection. OH. The pain! The Pain!

Still mourning my loss...

I am in a state of anguish. I want my CDs!!!!!

The Cruelest Moment

I washed my car today and, as I was cleaning out the back seat, there it WASN' huge folder of CDs. I have three CD cases in my car. Two are small and contain CDs that are more popular and up-to-date. The big folder, the one I have had forever, the one that houses my Olivia Newton-John collection, is not there. I have looked all over for it. It is no where to be found. So, either someone stole it or it magically disappeared.

I ask you: Who in the world (besides me) would want my ONJ collection? The rest of the music in that folder is old and not extremely popular as well. I mean, hell, if you tried to sell the discs for cash, you wouldn't get much. I am so upset.

One Month From Today...

I will leave for England!!! Yea!!! Of course, this also means that this time one month from today I will be in the process of long layovers, noisy planes, jet lag, and nervousness (I hate delivering papers in front of a crowd). But, alas, the paper portion will last no longer than 30 minutes out of my day and from then on it is Harry Potter craziness!!!! (At least through the weekend.) YEA!!! I plan to start a blog for my trip to post all kinds of funny photos; but, I may not have time to do that while I am there and it will just have to be a post-conference project...after coming back on the 31st, suffering long layovers, noisy planes, jet lag, etc...all over again.

One of the best books I have ever read...

The book:

Image: From Amazon

I just finished reading The Myth of You and Me: A Novel by Leah Stewart. It is an amazing story of friendship and loss. Definitely a woman's novel, the book chronicles the life of two girls that meet in middle school and remain friends until after college when something happens to split them up forever. Ultimately, it is about forgiveness; and, I think this book gives the first acceptable and satisfying definition of forgiveness that I have ever read. Strangely enough, I have had this book for about a year. There have been times I really wanted to read it, but decided not to do so. So, I picked it up late Friday night and I was hooked from the first page. Anyway, READ THIS BOOK!!!

Something that has puzzled me for years...

The scenario:
You are driving down a local road or highway and you see something in the road. As you get closer, you notice that it is a shoe, either a child's or an adult's.

Why is it that you always see a single shoe in the middle of the road? I have seen so many single shoes, not pairs, throughout my life and I always wonder how this happens so many times. I mean, wouldn't you notice that a shoe was missing? And how does it actually happen? Do people just randomly throw shoes out? Are they in the flatbed of a truck? Are people sticking their feet out of the window? I mean, occasionally, I see a pillow or a box--clearly items that fell off of a truck during a move or during transport...BUT ONE SHOE???



Pay attention. Stop the car. Pick up the shoe.

You get your complete footwear set back in your possession and I am happy because I am no longer perplexed.

Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

One of those days....again...

We all have them. You just have a hectic, crazy day for very mundane reasons. I hate these worse than the ones I have when there are good reasons. Anyway, not much is going on. I am working and reading a lot. My stack of library books totals 19. It makes me want to cry...mainly because it is all nonfiction/criticism...not fun novels!

The countdown is on for Oxford...

Sex and the City

Rating: A-

I saw Sex and the City: The Movie last night. Overall, I thought it was great. Of course, keeping in mind the interview with Sarah Jessica Parker (from Larry King three years ago), I knew how it would end. She said then that Carrie and Big (oh, sorry, John James Preston) had to end up together. So, that being said, some things were a little predictable. However, for the first time, the Carrie/Big storyline wasn't the one that enthralled me. I really thought the most powerful stories this time around were those of Miranda/Steve and Samantha/Smith. I wanted a little something more from Carrie and Big...a bit more depth or something...I felt like the scenario could have worked with a bit more resolution of it between Carrie and Big. Anyway, that is just my review. Also, some scenes seemed a bit forced, as if there was an attempt to recapture something that wasn't there, necessarily. "Carrie" makes it clear in the beginning that three years have passed and that…

You gotta love people...

Today, I was at Books-A-Million with my father. We were drinking a cup of coffee and this guy goes up to the cash register. He had just finished reading the newspaper or something because he was really worked up over some local news. Anyway, he is going on and on about it, rather loudly, and then just ends by saying: "Well, that is just the sort of thing that really winds my clock."

With that statement, he grabbed his coffee and marched out. I know it was one of those things where you just had to be there to really appreciate it, but it made my dad and I laugh and he suggested that I put it on the blog. So there it is. (!)

Some Quirks...

(Tagged by Katie G.)

Okay, so the goal is to write things about myself that are strange or that most people would not know or just things that reveal something about me...

1. I have always wanted to adopt a child. I think it started with my completely irrational fascination with the Cabbage Patch Kids. I memorized everything from each birth certificate and my parents bought me CPK's of all races. (Related to this: I actually miss babysitting!)

2. I absolutely freak out when I have to wait for any kind of news from doctors.

3. I cry when I read the cheesy sentimental parts of Dickens's novels...but only when I read them out loud. (Note: This is not very convenient when I am teaching Dickens.)

4. I am totally addicted to t.v. shows about the paranormal. And, it may sound stupid or irrational, but there are three people that I can sense will call me before they actually do.

5. I actually read (and enjoy) fan fiction. In fact, I read lots of nonliterary I also encourage my s…

Prince Caspian...

Totally rocked my world!!! It was an awesome movie! I really wasn't thrilled with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but this movie rocked. All must go and see it!

The First Sign...

I finished up my last class today!!! My course work in terms of sitting in a classroom is basically over! I still have a workshop to take next spring, but I am doing independent study/dissertation hours in the fall. It is the first sign that I am nearing dissertation time! It is a big moment. I have been in school for roughly two decades. I need a drink.

In spite of the "signs and wonders"...

This has just been one of those days. I mean, everything has been annoying or crazy or dramatic. My students in my usually active second class either didn't read or they refused to speak during class discussion (I think the spring fever has taken over), making me exhausted with the effort. There has been crazy tornado weather. Mom had an asthma attack. All is crazy. I hope next week will be better because it seems like I had a few of those days this week.

The other big news: I am off caffeine!!! YEA!!! Although this might have contributed to my crappy mood earlier this week, I actually feel good now.

Signs and Wonders....

Two really funny/bizarre things I have seen in the past two days:

1) A small plane flying with a Geico caveman banner flowing from the back. It was great! A dream come true for me...I love Geico!

2) My dad's weird "coffee mug" face on a napkin (see below):

This is for real! It actually happened naturally, as dad put the cup down on the napkin! He has been laughing over it and stuck it in the window for me to see when I got home from teaching today!

What is wrong with people???

Tonight, being the nerd that I am, I went to the local bookstore to get some reading done. Then, a group of teenagers came in who did and said things that were insane. The staff actually was so nice to them, making them free samples of drinks and all. Then, they were completely rude, loud, and obnoxious. They trashed the tables and left new magazines scattered everywhere. I thought they left around 9:15, but I found them running around the store in bare feet, acting like total idiots.

Of course, I know that my friends and I were obnoxious, too. But I can honestly say that we never trashed a place and we were over it by age 17.

I memorized their faces just in case they ever set foot in my classroom...

Feeling the Burn

We only have one day left in the month of March. This means that my life is moving into chaos/crunch mode. I have my usual end of semester papers to write and I will be grading like mad. However, sometime, I have to find the time to actually write my Harry Potter paper. I am taking some of it from a previous paper written for a film class last semester. However, it will need adapting to the purpose of the conference. Anyway, I am already stressed.

Meanwhile, not much else is happening. I am working at the magazine and really enjoying it. So far, things are going well. Other than that, I really don't have much to say. Hopefully, things will improve and I will feel motivated to write!

It really makes me happy...

When I run into a student that I really like who is still doing really well in her life!

Tonight, at Barnes and Noble, I saw a student I still keep in contact with via E-mail. She is super creative and smart and I am really proud of her for daring to be herself and being enthusiastic about things she finds important. If only all of my students would turn out like her!

Scroll Down and Check Me Out.

It is Leap Day AND...

My Half Birthday! It only comes once every four years for me! Yea!! Good times.

Casey Living It Up...

In the snow!!! Yes, these are the photos I should have posted long ago. Alas, they are here at last!

Here is Casey in the Snow:

Here is Casey sniffing Snow:

And here is Casey relaxing in his favorite weird position, post-snow activity:

The Publishing World, Darling

Well, I ended up getting my assistant editor job at the magazine! I am really excited about everything and look forward to working in the magazine business once again. The job is very part-time, but it is a much needed outlet!

Holy Crap

I just don't understand people who defend clearly WRONG points of view. I can't go into this because I don't want to put anyone's sense of privacy at risk; however, let's just say I spent the last hour and 1/2 defending human rights to a person who refuses to acknowledge them.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. On the other hand...

If it is, then make a change. This is really about a personal gripe. I took my dad to play a job last night. He plays this same job about once a month; and, for the past year, I have been the one to take him to it. Each time he plays, a particular couple shows up to dance. The man is about 6'4" and the woman is about 5'0". Anyway, they always get on the dance floor and do this strange mix of dancing...something between ballroom dancing and dirty dancing. The worst of it is that they have this one move they repeat about every 60-75 seconds (yes, I have timed it). The man will dip the woman, balancing her head on his forearm, almost playing her like a bass. It has always disturbed me because they are a bit sleazy. However, now it is just repulsive and pathetic. I want to personally pay for a dance teacher. Get new moves people!!!

Well, Susie...Your Gift For Valentine's Day is....

The Flu.

Yes, folks. I have it. One of my professors and I both came down with it the same day. We are some of the last hold outs, and we fought bravely. This is the first time I have felt semi-conscious today, so I thought I should get online and express my disgust.

The worst thing so far is the pain. My lower back and legs are in constant pain. I called the doctor as soon as the symptoms started and he put me on Tamiflu. So, I am taking that and trying to fight the urge to use much more Tylenol than is necessary. I am always super paranoid about mixing medications...and, yet, at this moment, I have reached a limit where I really don't care if I go into convulsions or have liver damage. The flu raged in and is winning the battle, people.

For those who don't keep up with the other blog...

My paper has been accepted at the Harry Potter conference (Accio) in Oxford, England!!!! YEA!!!

"The Moment of Truth"

So, last night the first episode of "The Moment of Truth" aired. I really don't like this show. I know some people like the idea, but I do think that some things just should not be said. I also think that some feelings that others in our lives would consider to be horrible are actually realistic or legitimate concerns. For example, last night, the man lost due to a question about whether or not he had touched women inappropriately on the job. Before that, he was asked would he be willing to start having babies with his wife or would rather wait because he was still unsure about how the marriage would work out. When he said he would like to have kids now (implying that the marriage was doubt-free), he failed the test. The wife looked crushed and would barely speak to him after he left the stage. If this is not scripted, I think that the premise of this show is hurtful to others. Of course, the wife would be devastated. The question makes her doubt herself and forces her t…

Happy Birthday...

Severus Snape!!! I will be eating a cupcake, watching HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and drinking a Hobgoblin ale in honor of the REAL hero!

Say it ain't so...

School starts tomorrow. Ugh.