Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tales from my father: Christmas tradition

My grandfather always told my father that dads were supposed to make memories and traditions for their children.

My grandfather was an amazing man who did just that for all of his children, and, furthermore, his grandchildren. My grandfather passed away on Dec. 22, 2002, and still every time Bing Crosby croons "White Christmas" on the radio, I think of Grandpa. But I don't remember if he really sounded like Bing. What I do remember is an open-mouthed laugh while sitting in his chair at his kitchen table, spinning stories about his youth and years gone by. I loved those stories.

The first thing that hit me when I found out that he died was remorse for not doing what I told him I was going to do. I never made it down to his house with a tape recorder. I have no guilt over not visiting him or spending time with him -- I did that quite often. But I always told him I wanted to record his stories, his voice. And now I don't remember what that voice sounded like. And I wanted to write those stories down for him, for his children who loved him, who still speak of him (as well as their mother) with admiration and love.

He died before I could record him. I do feel guilty for that, although I'm sure he doesn't hold it against me. I miss him. I miss his wit, humor, and those wonderful stories of stubborn ponies, and baseball, and going to watch movies. I miss my Grandma cutting into those stories with an aside or laughter. And while she passed away not long after he did, I'm glad I got to have them for so long.

So one of the things I want to do is record some of those stories as they come up in a timely manner. I have a thought of binding them together in a book to give to my father. Hopefully it will give way to that some day.

But since it is almost Christmas, I'd like to talk about one fabulous story that speaks highly of my grandfather's character. Christmas is a great time to think about my grandpa. Of course, it is near the anniversary of his death, but Christmas meant so much to my grandpa. He would sit in his basement on Christmas Eve with his children and grandchildren (and great-grandchildren) surrounding him, a huge smile on his face as he unwrapped presents. On Christmas, my grandpa was like a king.

My dad's family got their Christmas tree as well as presents from Santa. So the kids (7 of them!) would find the presents and tree in the morning. I can imagine how magical that would be -- go to bed one night and wake up the next morning to Christmas! Although it would make for a very tired mom and dad the next day, I'm sure.

Well, one Christmas, my grandfather went out Christmas Eve to find the tree (it was always a live tree) and was disgruntled at the choices he had left. For, since it was Christmas Eve, many of the good trees had already found their way home to be strung with lights and ornaments. Grandpa found himself looking at the misfit trees -- those trees that were a little bare, a little puny. Grandpa couldn't bear to present his children with a puny Christmas tree, so he did what a man with an extensive tool collection could do.

He bought two -- and fused them together into one.

Imagine that -- bringing home two trees and working to cut branches off one to drill into the other. Grandpa apparently really loved a full tree. Christmas Eve and it's cold, and he's putting together a live tree so his children will have a happy Christmas.

Now, THAT, is making memories.


My dad confirmed that I did indeed learn to hula hoop in a bar and grill. The bar and grill, called Toot's ( was located in Murfreesboro, TN. However, a little exploration of the web site shows that the restaurant now also has locations in Bowling Green, Ky., and Loveland, Ohio! So, dad, we might have to go while we're home for Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Passing time

I've been trying to write this post for about a half hour now, but I haven't been able to because I've been involved in a full-out frustrating battle of Minesweeper.

You know Minesweeper, it's that PC game where you click on little boxes and numbers come up telling you how many bombs touch the boxes. If you click on a bomb, then you die.

I am hopelessly addicted to Minesweeper. I have been for several years now. I was proud of the way I could navigate the expert level (although I usually only win once or twice a day) until I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and found that the narrator also loved Minesweeper. The catch? The narrator was autistic.

So perhaps my Minesweeper addiction is not "normal." However, it is a good way to pass time during the day.

There are many things I should be doing during the day. Laundry, cleaning, writing the great American novel. However, it is vacation, and I can't seem to get up to speed doing anything.

Some may recall that I had a similar problem in the summer, which was only exacerbated by the fact that I didn't have cable, and thus spent my time surfing the web and watching Dawson's Creek episodes on DVD. Well, now I have cable, but there isn't much on.

I usually flip between ABC Family, HGTV, and FoodNetwork, with some MTV2 thrown in (if there's an America's Next Top Model marathon!). I try to catch House Hunters on HGTV every day at noon, which is a fabulous show and allows me to live vicariously through people who can buy houses and move out of the apartments.

I often catch several things on ABC Family. I like Gilmore Girls and several other shows. Every so often I will catch part or all of an episode of Full House.

However, the past two days have been Happy Birthday to Stace in terms of Full House episodes! (My former students will recall learning the story arc through an episode of Full House. Or perhaps they won't recall -- it's hard to tell if they listen or not!) A couple of my most favorite episodes (and, yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds that I have favorite Full House episodes) have been playing.

So we got to see "Stephanie runs Joey's car into the kitchen because she thought the R on the gear shift stood for RADIO because 1. she is ridiculous and 2. Joey is a moron and left her watching his car, which had the keys in it. Danny gets mad because he just mopped and Steph tries to run away to Mexico to be a Mexican Hat Dancer" episode. Love it because it's so ridiculous!

Today's episode might be my favorite ever. "D.J. goes to school dance with Kevin, who is dwarfed by DJ's huge hair. Kevin feels inadequate -- probably as much because of the hair as because DJ knows everyone and he's admittedly 'not good at that stuff.' Kevin's friends loosen him up by giving him BEER! Then they spray DJ with beer when she tells them they are idiots. Jesse catches her with the beer and assumes she's been drinking it." Whoo-hoo! A message episode! Kids are very susceptable to peer pressure, after all. Kevin, that tool, admits to his 8th grade friends that he's nervous (yeah, right, like that would ever happen) and then offers DJ beer by saying, "It tastes terrible! You want some?" I'm not sure why I have such an affinity for this one -- perhaps because Danny says, "I don't know how to handle this!" which is totally unusual, because everyone knows between the three men, Danny always knows how to parent. They also need to figure out WHY DJ did it so they can figure out a way to HELP her. It all turns out okay in the end, of course, and DJ goes on without being punished because Kevin admits to Danny and Jesse that he was the one drinking and DJ tried to stop him. (Perhaps if Steph had been the subject of this Very Special Episode, she would have stayed off the meth in later life.)

Anyway, obviously I have been lazy these past two days. Perhaps watching TV isn't the best way to pass the time, but it is one way to do it. I also read a ton during the day, and just broke into a reserve box of books that were still packed because we don't have anymore shelf space for them.

Tomorrow is all business, as I have to pack and wrap Christmas presents!

How do you pass time when you have nothing hanging over your head?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Silliness --- a contest of strength and skill

This weekend I returned home to NKy for a good friend's bridal shower. Hal stayed in Bloomington so I could return at my leisure on Monday, and in case I got snowed in.

While home, my sister, her boyfriend, and I watched a movie together.

But before the movie, we engaged in a little competition with each other.

Who could jump rope the most times with my sister's scarf?

Let me tell you, there are few things I should be doing less than jumping rope. My knees pop and give out and I generally feel lots of pain in the legs from jumping around. However, I'm always up to a good challenge, so when sister's boyfriend, Pete, started jumping rope, I had to try to beat him.

And beat them I did! I jumped for a grand total of 13 hops before I got the scarf caught on my head. Of course, during the jumping, something popped in my ankle and I felt a hot, liquid pain shoot through my foot. But it's ok, because I won! And after I finished, I fell to the ground and couldn't get up for awhile.

Pete was disadvantaged because he is tall and so he had to duck to get the scarf to go over his head. Jennie was disadvantaged because she just simply wasn't very good. I was brilliant! And later, I even jumped 15 times!

I used to jump rope as a kid quite a bit. First of all, jumping rope was allegedly supposed to make my feet faster for sports -- and everyone knows I need all the extra speed I can get. Also, a group of professional jumpropers, or something, come to my school once and did all sorts of tricks, and I thought it was awesome. And on the playground, we often jumped rope and sang silly little songs. Sometimes we played in some sort of strange reverse limbo, in which we would jump over the rope as it got progressively higher. One thing I could never do, however, was double-dutch. I do not have the coordination for that.

However, jumping rope wasn't the thing I was best at. My talent was left for ... the HULA HOOP! I was amazing at hula hoop and once beat everyone in the second grade during Olympic Day at my school in the hula hooping contest (don't worry, I was also in second grade -- this wasn't last year or anything). I believe that there might be a story in which I was taught to hula hoop by a waitress in some bar and grill in some city -- Dad, you need to remind me of this story.

Along with the hoop and the rope, I often did the Skip It. For those of you unlucky enough to never have a Skip It, it was a plastic thing pictured here:
To work it, you put one foot in the looped end and then spun the thing around so the ball would run along the ground. Then you would jump over it with your other foot. The Skip It had a counter on the ball part so it counted how many times you were able to spin it around. It was amazing, and I spent many hours with it attached to my foot.
I suspect that I would lose a Skip It contest to Jennie and Pete simply because I have not the stamina to jump over it for that long. Hula Hoop might fare better for me, assuming I have not forgotten, in my old age, how to Hula. I suspect that I would, however, rise to the top!
So this leads me to a question:
What silly non-sport games did you engage in as a child (or recently)?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


The writing is finished. I have emailed it to myself. Now I will get ready to go to school and catch the bus.

Hal called and warned me (I sent it to him as well) that I spelled Media wrong. LOL -- that would have been a bad error. I sent it to him to print out in case I couldn't access it at school. That would definitely be my luck today.


Argenfargle is something my sister and I say when we are frustrated.

I was up until 3 a.m. last night getting most of my theory final finished. I saved the document. I left it on the screen as I was just going to come right back to it today.

I came back to it today and Word is not up. When I opened my final, I was missing work I had done from about 1 a.m. until 3 a.m. So a couple of pages. I have no idea what happened!

So this morning I have been rewriting parts of my theory paper. It is due at 5 and I should have it finished in plenty of time.

I will provide breaking news alerts as they come. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

17 hours

I have a little less than 17 hours until I turn in my final final for the semester. It is going relatively well. I'm in a good place and can probably even go to bed now if I want to. However, I will stay up and work on it a little bit more because I won't be able to sleep anyway.

Today I proctored my first exam for the 110 class. Now, our scheduled exam time is the LAST exam of the week -- 7:15-9:15 p.m. on Friday. Yuck. My professor is an incredibly nice man who understands that some students might not want to stay that long. So he applied for an received an alternative exam time this morning, which he offered in addition to the regular exam.

Now, we had about half the class show up. The kids were great, the exam went well.

Except that we seem to be missing a test.

You see, we (the professor and I) always lay the tests out on chairs before the kids come in. That way, we can stagger the tests if we want and have some control over where they sit. We did that this time, and staggered the tests at every other chair so no one would be sitting next to someone else.

At the beginning of the class, my professor walked up the stairs in the middle of the classroom and noticed that there seemed to be a chair in which no one was sitting that should have had an exam but didn't. So what were the possibilities?

1. We forgot to place an exam on the chair.
2. The exam fell of the chair and is wandering around on the floor.
3. Someone stole the exam.

We didn't see the test on the floor and the professor thought he put one on the chair. So we were left with option three.

What is the solution?

We searched 75 students' bags as they left the room.

No exam. But the kids were great. They were incredibly understanding. And I got to see all sorts of fabulous bags that the undergrads can afford. :)

We counted the exams when the class was over.

He had 166.

He ordered 165.

So we're not exactly sure what happened, other than an exam spontaneously budding, or perhaps the counter gave us an extra. We feel better about it now that we know we at least have as many as we're supposed to.

We shall see.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I did it!

Who says college students can't get certificates for perfect attendence. I have wanted one all my life, so I made myself one. :-D

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Shameless plug

On a side note, Hal has started a food blog! He is an incredible cook, if any of you have been lucky enough to partake in one of his meals. If you want to check it out, visit him at:

Last day

Tomorrow, assuming I make it to class, will be the first semester I have achieved perfect attendance! I am very excited about this, probably unduly so. Hopefully, I'm not jumping the gun and jinxing myself by writing this.

As you can probably guess, tomorrow is finally the last day of classes for the semester. I am all but done, having turned in 2 out of my 3 big research projects. I handed back 160 research papers today (dear sunrise_sets, if only you had written all 160 of them). I have to revise my J500 (research methods) project and turn it in on Monday. Tonight, we received our theory exam, which should amount to 10+ pages of pure comfort a joy, just to mark the season.

So now, with these two huge projects ahead of me, today is probably not the time to reflect upon the semester. I will subject you to that soon, I'm sure.

But hear this -- I have never been so wildly interested in everything that I've learned. My grad school experiences to this point -- law school and a stint at Xavier for a teaching class -- were not very good ones. (Of course, law school brought me Maria, Bryan, and Carrie -- and that was the best thing!) But here, I actually think I'm more excited now than I was when I walked in the door in August.

In August, I was so woefully uninformed. So clueless.

I can't wait to tell you all about this semester! But, for now, I should probably do a little bit of reading for 500 --- I'm mapping the blogosphere, people, and my literature review is lacking!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Crunch Time

Now that the lovely Thanksgiving break is over, it's time for the deadly final two weeks of school.

Tomorrow I will be turing in my first major research paper. This is for my theory class, which turned out to be pretty awesome. I am researching framing and looking at the way participants in a certain scandal framed the problems and solutions involved with the scandal. Tomorrow I will also be making a 10-minute presentation on this paper in my theory class, which should be heartily entertaining. The paper will be around 15 pages without my coding sheet.

Next Monday, I have my law paper due. In my law class, I am researching the effects of a certain case on the way colleges deal with censorship. The case, Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, decided that a principal can censor high school publications even at a public school, if the material does not fit into the educational pedagogy of the school. I think writing this paper will be fun. I was drawn to the case because when I was teaching, the ways we were censored, both in the student newspaper and the types of books we were allowed to teach, irritated me greatly. For example, I wanted to teach my favorite book ever, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (which I just reread last week. If you haven't read it, it's awesome!), but was not allowed because of the instances of rough language. (Even though other books we were allowed to teach had the same language.)

Next Tuesday, I will be presenting my study in my research methods class. I proposed a study comparing blogs on newspaper web sites by the newspaper's circulation.

Next Wednesday, I have to hand back 167 mini research papers that my J110 class turned into me right before Thanksgiving. I have, presently, 60 finished. So sometime in the next week, I have to grade 110 papers!

So, I'll be churching out some thousands of words between now and next Tuesday. Wish me luck! I'll try to post an update about my presentation tomorrow night.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Human Tetris

Thanksgiving was spent at my aunt Kim's house. My grandparents usually have it at their home, but they are getting ready to move into a new condo, so they have boxes everywhere. During the time period where we were all sitting around stuffed to the gills, my cousin and aunt started talking about a crazy game show they saw featured on Ellen.

We found a clip on youtube and I laughed so hard I cried. So I share it with you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A cornicopia of projects to complete

I love being home for Thanksgiving.

Hal and Layla and I rolled into my parents' driveway at about 6:30 yesterday, toting clothes, Layla's crate, and my mass of homework I need to accomplish over this long, supposedly relaxing, weekend.

On the agenda for me is 167 3-4 page "research" papers on celebrity journalism. I'm going to try to do 20-30 a day, which will allow me to have a good chunk done when I go back to school and all craziness erupts.

Also on the agenda is my theory paper, which is due on Wednesday, exactly one week from now. Oh dear, that's very soon. I'm going to try not to think about it until Friday so I can enjoy eating lots of food tomorrow. I also have a presentation on my theory paper on Wednesday of next week. Following that, I have my law paper due on Monday, Dec. 3. Then I have my methods paper due Tuesday, Dec 10. But I have a presentation on that paper on Dec. 4. It's going to be so much fun for the last couple weeks of school!

Anyway, I also made a pilgrimage to the haircutters. I love getting my hair cut, but I haven't wanted to find a new place in Bloomington. So I usually try to go when I'm home. I haven't had my hair cut since August, and I've been growing it out for some time. Today I did something I've wanted to do for years.

I donated my hair.

Hal has never seen me with short hair. My hair is officially short, and not all of it fits into a ponytail. I'm still getting used to it, and I'm sure washing it will be interesting tonight. I haven't had short hair since I was a freshman in college, which was 7 years ago. I will post some pics of the new do soon.

I hope you all have fantastic Thanksgivings!

Friday, November 16, 2007

He's a maverick

Today on the bus a guy got on with his headphones. (We have a lot of headphone users on the bus, probably to drown out BIGBLOODYTUMOR talk.)

Anyway, so this guy is BLASTING his music. And I'm sitting there, and I'm listening because, well, I'm a total eavesdropper. A smile spreads over my face.

He's listening to the theme song from Top Gun. Not "Highway to the Danger Zone" -- I totally understand listening to that -- but the actual, instrumental music from Top Gun. Which is, undoubtably, awesome.

On a side note, if I'm remembering correctly, Top Gun is the first movie we watched when we installed surround sound for the first time in our old house. The beginning of the movie, where "Highway to the Danger Zone" does play, literally shook the walls of our house. It's awesome to be able to feel your movies as well as hear them!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


From, which is the Cincinnati Enquirer's High School Sports blog:

Believe it or not ...

LEXINGTON -- Upon arriving at the state cross country meet today I heard the craziest (in fact the only crazy) cross country story I've ever heard. Apparently in last week's regional meet, Elizabethtown runner Emily Buck was run into by a deer. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader's Mike Fields, "she suffered some bruises but no serious injuries."

Buck ran in today's state meet without incident. I'm told the deer was a female, which I'm guessing led to at least one "Doe stops Buck" headline somewhere in the state.

posted by Ryan Ernst at 1:49 PM

Friday, November 2, 2007

Awesome: A Halloween story

On Halloween I was sitting in the undergraduate class I am an assistant for.

Suddenly, a noise straight out of Star Wars broke the relative quiet of the room (Professor was getting a video clip together to show everyone). It was the Chewbacca noise -- you know it. If you don't, it's required that you watch Star Wars and figure it out.

Our classroom, being an auditorium with 166 seats, has a front entrance and a back entrance. In from the back entrance comes a girl (I'm assuming, b/c this person had a long blond ponytail) wearing a Chewbacca costume and a mask! Following her was a stormtrooper. Then, in from the front door comes another stormtrooper! The two stormtroopers catch Chewy in the middle of the aisle and carry her out of the classroom.

We all turned to Professor. He looked at me and then the rest of the class.

"I don't know what that was," he said. "I didn't plan that."

Giggling begins.

How awesome is that?!

(There was an episode of Gilmore Girls when Rory's boyfriend Logan and his friends interrupt one of her Yale classes to put on a skit and embarrass Rory. I've always thought it would be awesome if that happened in one of my classes. And now it has!!)

Friday, October 26, 2007


Hal and I are officially homeless. We closed on our house today, and now we have no more months of two house payments! (Many months of paying back the debt and rebuilding our savings after we spent a lot to clear the house, but that's ok.)

So we are in the NKY this weekend staying with my parents.

Other good things -- all of my friends passed the Bar exam! They found out today! We will be celebrating tonight. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tales from the Bus

I love riding the bus.

IU's bus system makes it free for all students to ride the multitude of bus lines that go through town and campus. The bus I ride home drops me off less than five minutes from my apartment. So I ride the bus pretty often. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I ride home for lunch and then back for my office hour, AI class, and theory. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I ride it home for the day.

Most of the time, the bus is an incredibly pleasant experience. Most of the people on my bus are students, so it's not like riding a bus from downtown Cincinnati. Once, I did that and a woman who had lots of Princess Diana buttons on sat next to me and explained how Prince Charles killed Di. She was harmless, but it was still quite the experience.

However, today people seemed out of sorts. And the problem with people being out of sorts on the bus is that they are usually engaging in cell phone conversations. With inappropriate subjects. Loudly.

For example, tonight a young man was in a bit of a tiff with his mother, it appeared. She even hung up on him! This is after he yelled "Stay Calm!" several times. Not exactly something you want to share with 50 strangers.

But today's cell phone convo of the day was way more exciting than a fight with mom.

It appears that this sweet little undergrad's pet, Howard, was sick. The student, a girl, was talking to her mom on the phone telling her about how she needed to take Howard to the vet because it was getting bad. She said that if she couldn't afford it then she wouldn't be able to take him to the vet (presumably her mom asked how much it was going to cost and if she could afford it). I am horrified, thinking that this poor girl was going to lose her beloved pet because she couldn't take him to the vet.

So girl finally gets off the phone with mom and calls the vet. She needs to make an appointment for Howard, she tells them, and gives them her name (which I'm not repeating here because it's none of our businesses).

The problem with Howard, you see, is that he has a BIG BLOODY TUMOR on his leg. Ewwww. We get to hear about the BIG BLOODY TUMOR several times both on the phone to the vet and when she was talking to her mom. Other than that, Howard is doing well. He's eating normally.

And the best part?

Howard is not a dog or cat, as I feared.

Howard is a HAMSTER!

I didn't even know you could take a hamster to the vet. I know I tried to get mom to take my gerbil, Sugar, to the vet up the street, but apparently vets don't look at pets that have already died.

(Speaking of which, be not afraid, if Howard happened to kick the bucket before his appointment on Friday, his "mom" wouldn't have to pay for the appointment. Sweet relief.)

This is not to diminish Howard's life. I understand how attached people can get to even the smallest of pets. For example, my fish aquarium sophomore year got the disease Ick. Which was really awful, because it eats away at the fish until they don't have fins and just float around. It was terrible.

So this is, of course, not to make fun of Howard and his mom. I'm sure she was very concerned about Howard. I know I am, now.

But still, do you want to talk about BIG BLOODY TUMORS on the bus?

(P.S. -- I've had a spot of midterms, which is why I haven't been around. Hopefully I will be able to update here soon with good news about our house!)

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Math has never been my strong suit.

Well, I was in accelerated math all through high school, which ended after my junior year when I elected not to take a math my senior year. So I haven't had a real math class since 1999.

I did take approximately a month of elementary calculus in my first semester at UK. I dropped it when it became quite clear to me that I would probably fail if I stayed in. I still don't know what a derivative is. Unfortunately, without calc, I was supposed to go back and take college algebra. I decided to try to test out and just go straight into logic and statistics. I approached the math department, which sent me to the person in charge of the bypass exams --- MY CALC TEACHER!

He was amazingly nice and allowed me to bypass my bypass exam because of my time in calc. That was very exciting. So I took logic (not math, just like geometry proofs -- loved it) and then I took statistics. Which was ridiculous. My teacher was a lunatic, and very funny, but there was not much math done in the class.

So I really haven't been a math person in about 9 years.

Cue graduate school. Now, I am in a JOURNALISM program. There's very little math in journalism, not because there shouldn't be, but because the majority of us loathe math and avoid it. I mean, the business people do money math sometimes, but I tried never to do it.

Thus, I didn't expect this grad program to have much math. Now, I saw on the course list there was a little required class for PhD students called "quantitative methods for mass communications research" or something like that. But I'm not a PhD, so I wasn't going to worry about it.

Last night, we read a chapter that had more equations than I've seen in awhile! My intro to research methods class is currently looking at correlations and statistical probabilities. I had homework problems. I had to find a calculator with a square root! It was madness. It seems that I did get the problem correct, so that gives me some extra confidence. But then my teacher started saying something that sounded like:

"Social science researchers often look at correlations of .5 and say they're good. We then ask them to use the r-squared equation to determine the variance of the prediction."

I was very confused. I blurted out, "I'm sorry, I have no idea what that means."

Everyone started laughing. I think some of them were secretly glad I asked, though.

He explained and then told us that obviously some of the readings contained information about high-level statistics. He doesn't want us to be able to DO them (sigh of relief here), just to be AWARE of them. Thank goodness.

So, strong suit or not, it appears that I will have to do some math. It's no secret that I designed my research project to involve as little math as possible (although since I'm not really sure how to do my research project, that could change!). More on that later.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

High fashion

Today, it rained.

This is exciting because we haven't seen rain in a long time. And today, it poured.

The weather is important because today I saw some cases of high fashion. You see, this makes sense because today it was raining.

However, I have seen these things more than once on people since I've been at school.


That's right, plastic boots. With shorts. Or skirts or pants. In patterns or plain.

Now, again, galoshes in the rain make perfect sense. You don't want your feet to get cold. If you're wearing jeans, you can tuck them into the galosh and therefore not have water up to your knee.

And some of the galoshes are cute. Lady bugs, pink plaid, pink galoshes in general. Where in the world does one get galoshes?

But why in the world would you wear galoshes when it's NOT raining?

I know I haven't had cable for a couple of months, but I don't recall anything on the America's Next Top Model marathon I watched yesterday about galoshes. I don't remember seeing galoshes on the magazines in the grocery check-out line. Perhaps I simply live under a rock, but I had no idea that galoshes were in. Jellies came back a couple of years ago, yes. My freshmen all wore those brown fuzzy clog things last year (and I have a pair. They're comfortable, but they were indeed against the dress code. I didn't enforce it -- I would have had to give detention to dozens of girls). The flip flop, shoe of choice for America's college student, is still totally in (and still on boys. Sigh, I loathe flip flops on boys. And Hal wears them, too). Tennis shoes (some call them sneakers), yes.

But galoshes?

Need I remind you that it's been 100 degrees lately?

You're encasing your foot. In plastic. In 100-degree weather. Although it might be cute on the outside, can you imagine the nasty going on on the inside? Ewww. I shudder thinking about it.

So tell me, am I totally out of the loop? Are galoshes all the rage and I just had no clue?

Or am I right?

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Hal decided that since I'm making a couple extra dollars a month now with my TA job, we can finally afford to get cable.

And it actually makes sense to get it now. We held off during the summer when not much was on TV, but we have several shows that will be coming back soon and we need to get ready to watch.

Boston Legal. House. Jericho.

So on a brilliant Saturday morning, the cable man showed up and delivered us from DVD-land. It's good to have TV again. Although I had gotten used to watching all sorts of stuff without commercials. I think I saw a commercial for the MySims game on the Wii about 399 times yesterday. I must have that game; the Sims rock. Therefore, we must get a Wii. ;)

Hal and I were surprised to see Rachel Ray had her kitchen remodeled, and were relieved to see that the jerky guy is still a judge on Iron Chef. We watched some UK football (go Cats!) and I caught my very first episode of Ugly Betty (I liked it!).

Now the challenge is to stay focused when the idiot box is back in full swing.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Jeans in the mail --- Stacie demonstrates maturity.

Because I am now 25, I am incredibly more mature than I was at 24. Take Wednesday, for example, when I contained my giggles in law class. We were discussing Cohen v. California, which involved a young man entering a courthouse wearing a jacket which said "F--- the draft." (It was Vietnam.) So I got to listen to my professor, my classmates, and the lawyers (we listened to the oral arguments before the Supreme Court) say the F word all morning. It made me giggle. (On a side note, Cohen won, making the F-word one of the few constitutionally protected words -- at least when worn on a jacket.)

OK -- so maybe that's not the best example of my new-found maturity.

However, I shopped recently and demonstrated my maturity. I have a problem with jeans. I have always been hard on my clothes. When I was little, the biggest problems I had was wearing holes in the knees of all my pants. This happened due to the fact that I often liked to pretend I was a dog or fox and therefore would crawl around. While I don't do that anymore, I still have a problem with my jeans blowing holes in them, usually in the inner thigh region (blast! those soccer thighs!).

So I had worn through my most recent pair of jeans, which had been purchased at Old Navy. I decided that since I am a college student, jeans (and not just capri jeans) are incredibly important to have. After discussing this with Hal, we decided that I needed to buy a pair of jeans that would last longer than a year, which seems to be my breaking point. His idea was that I needed to spend more money than the $20 I usually spend on the pants to get something with more quality.

Now, those of you who know me know I'm not a label person. I could care less where my clothes come from. In fact, my jeans in high school often came from the Carrollton outlets. I had a pair once that cost $8. Sigh, the good ol' days.

So I asked around. If you are a girl, you know that pants are funny things. Sometimes they fit. Sometimes another pair in the same size do not fit. Sometimes they fit one day and not the next.

Upon the recommendation from one of my friends, I decided to look at - gasp! - Lane Bryant.

Now, Lane Bryant is a store for larger women. Said friend told me that she wasn't recommending it to me because she thought I was fat (perish the thought!) but because she randomly had a pair of jeans from LB and it is her favorite pair.

Because I am now mature, I was more concerned that the blasted things fit than I was about the idea that I was going into a store for larger women. I marched into the store and declared my largesse to the world.

What a fantastic experience! LB has a new line of jeans psychologically programmed to make you feel better about yourself. They are organized by color and then resized. I wear a 2! A TWO! I didn't wear a two when I was two. My Lord, I don't know what single digits on pant labels look like! I would buy all the jeans in the store that put me in a two! Fantastic! Even better, I was a two PETITE! I feel skinnier by the moment! Even though the petite just means I'm short, it also implies the sleek body of a supermodel. America's Next Top Model, here I come! If I continue to run/walk with Layla, sometime LB might not let me in the store because I will have exercised myself right out of their sizes. Oh day.

Of course, the store didn't stock very many twos. In fact, they only had one in the lighter color I wanted. Of course. They were also running a special.

Which is why I bought three pairs of jeans off the Internet. Originally $40 a pair, I got the three of them for $56, including shipping. I am an Internet shopping queen.

They came in the mail today, and wouldn't you know, they all fit! Of course, each of them fits a little differently, because that's apparently how girls' clothes roll.

But I now have jeans and will be able to look like a real college student again. I put them on after admiring the inside label in a sort of narcotic single-digit pants size haze. I never knew, ladies, what all the fuss was about. Even though this single digit is a hoax because in every other store I would still be in a double digit, I still feel amazed at my skinny mini-ness.

Then I will put out of my mind the pros and cons of being a two in LB as opposed to the horrific number I will see in a month when I get measured for a bridemaid's dress. I will, like a woman of supreme confidence and love for herself, befriend my body, even with all its quirks and annoyances. I will accept myself and envision myself not on America's Next Top Model, but the Dove Real Beauty campaign.

After all, that's what a mature person would do. Right?


Fridays are always interesting days over here in B-town. I don't have classes on Fridays, so I try to reserve the day to read my homework for the upcoming week.

This never happens.

Today, I woke up early to go to school for Pop with the Prof. In the class I AI/TA, the professor has designed a brilliant scheme to get to know some of the students in the 166-member class. He and I have held various hour-long sessions called Pop with the Prof, in which groups of four to 12 students hang out with us and eat cookies and drink soft drinks (they call it pop here, is that weird?). It's a great idea and I enjoy being able to meet some of the students instead of just looking out at the mass of them and seeing a conglomoration.

After PwtP, Hal and I went to lunch with Hal's officemate, Raj. We went for Falaffel sandwiches because I have never had one. As Raj said, It's like a meatball without meat. Which caused me to quote Rent, "With meatless balls.' 'Ewww.' 'It tastes the same.' 'If you close your eyes!' 'Is that it here?' 'Wine and beer!'" (It's frightening that I can do that.) To answer your questions, the sandwich was very yummy, and the main component was like a meatless meatball.

Now, finally at home, I should be doing some work on the take-home research methods test I have due on Tuesday, or reading what is sure to be piles of information for law and theory. I haven't done either, although I did start looking up some answers to my test. It seems that once Friday rolls around, I really decide that I'm too lazy to do what I know I should be doing, no matter how much I enjoy reading the studies and the law textbook. In fact, right now I could take a nap.

I will not. I will press on with the homework because I know that great is my reward if I do --- a Sunday of peace instead of reading!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

the cap's off the bottle

If you know me ridiculously well (as in, you're my family), you may have recognized at some point in time that while I am generally laid back, I have a couple of very anal idiosyncratic behaviors.

The one my family probably most makes fun of me for occurred often at the lunch table in the midst of making turkey clubs after church on Sundays. This doesn't happen at home as often anymore as we now employ the tradition of going out to breakfast/lunch after church with the extended family.

However, during these turkey lunches, and occasionally other meals, my family would often have at the table several 2-liter soft drinks. My siblings and parents often would pass these bottles around and do something that would just Drive. Me. Crazy.

They would leave the caps OFF the bottle!

During the meals, I would often be seen grabbing caps and bottles in order to reunite the two, enduring snickers from my siblings (read: Stephen), who would sometimes leave the caps off the bottles ON PURPOSE just to annoy me.

I have no idea where this comes from. It might be a valiant effort to keep the coke from going flat and having to pour it all down the drain. I'm not sure. Although, I also do this when I have bottles of water.

I am relating this story because tonight, Hal and I were sharing some Barq's Root Beer with our chicken quesadillas at dinner. He poured and then, you guessed it, LEFT THE CAP OFF THE BOTTLE!

Hal had no idea that this is a bothersome thing to me. We don't share 2-liters all that often, mostly because they often get flat before we can finish them. He was mystified at the idea that I cared enough about something so silly to get crazy about it. He is a CPA, which give him license to be anal-retentive, but as a weird "creative-type," I am messy and "whatever" by default. Except with bottle caps.

I am glad to know that even though we have been together 4 years on Tuesday, I still can surprise him! ;)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Joanna's wedding

This weekend, my first friend, Joanna, was married to Heath. Joanna and I met when we were three years old and my family moved two doors up from them. Joanna offered me some potato chips through the fence and I was ready to be her bff.
She and I were basically inseparable from the time we met til the time I moved away after second grade. People thought we were twins (we are almost exactly the same age, our birthdays -- hers Aug. 17 and mine Sept. 9 -- are very close. We were huge tomboys and played lots of hide and seek and war. We had many clubs and often were beat up by the boys in the neighborhood. We didn't care. Although she and I ended up taking wildly divergent paths through high school and college, we were the type of friends that didn't need to hang out all the time to be close. We talk every couple of months and it works. We also have the benefit of sharing our childhoods and our families.
She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and I was very honored and pleased to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.
Her wedding was very beautiful. She had a service at Blessed Sacrament at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8. They didn't have a full mass because Heath isn't Catholic.

Heath blubbered when Joanna walked down the aisle (they did not see each other before the service, and we spent lots of time before the ceremony making sure that Joanna was hidden from his view up in the choir loft. They had thoughtfull readings, including one read by Joanna's friend and boss, Dr. K. Joanna has been working for Dr. K for many years (he's in the first picture up at the top with Jo and Heath). He is a doctor who was rendered a quadrelplegic in a body surfing accident. Joanna, along with many other (coincidentally beautiful) girls, provide company and in home care for him. It was very moving watching him read.
It was great to see Joanna find a wonderful guy. Heath is incredibly nice and he is also the biggest man I have ever met. He played football at Ohio State. For comparison, Joanna is about 5'9" and she's wearing big shoes. :) He seemed so happy as she walked down the aisle; it was very touching to watch.
Gina and Billy (Jo's parents) put on a beautiful wedding and lovely reception, which was held at the Millenium Hotel in downtown Cincinnati.
I can post more pictures later, but I wanted to give some people who have been asking a little eye candy. Hal took all of these and did a very good job.
Next: OMG, I'm 25!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Pictures Part 2 -- my walk to campus

This first picture is a lie. It's not, in fact, on my walk to campus. However, these are the Sample Gates, and they're important because they are kind of the emblem for the university.

My walk through campus is pretty cool. As you can see, it's very outdoorsy. Now, these photos were taken in the evening, so the light is coming from the opposite direction, but you get the idea. The path I take leads me by a creek and through this patch of trees (picture immediately to my left on the left side of the path is a huge field where people often lay out or play frisbee and other collegy things). Across the creek, you see things like the picture above (with the steps). There are at least three bridges on my way to the J school -- some are wooden, like below, and the one closest to Ernie Pyle is this stone thing below. All of these pictures are taken as if I'm walking towards the J school, except for the stone bridge, which is taken facing away from the Jschool. It doesn't matter, though.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Pictures, part 1 --- the buildings

On Sunday I ran around campus for a couple of minutes to snap a few pictures of where I am everyday! Enjoy!

Ernie Pyle Hall is my destination! I LIVE in Ernie Pyle Hall. Although it doesn't have the impressive steps like the Grehan Journalism Building does at UK, it does have "Journalism" etched in stone above the door. Makes it hard to get rid of us, eh?

This is the ginormous student center. It's one of the biggest student centers in the nation. Attached to the student center is a hotel (picture right next to here!). This building is all behind the J school, taking up lots of room. The Student Center has a bowling alley, arcade, food places, computer labs, the bookstore, and many other rooms and meeting rooms.

The student center has gorgeous rooms like this one, where students hang out to study by the fire place. This is a very "Harry Potter" room. (And it's Sunday, so there aren't many people here.)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Easily Amused

Hal and I discovered this site when Jennie and Peter came to visit. Hal is ridiculously amused by it and plays it often to annoy me.

IU doesn't believe in the American holiday of Labor Day, so while the administration and support staff, like Hal, have the day off, the rest of us still have to go to class. It's very strange to think that everyone is going to be having fun on Monday, and I'm not even going to be home trying my best to avoid the fireworks. Hal, being the proud possessor of a three-day weekend, is heading to Lexington tomorrow to sing at Fr. Tom's 25th anniversary mass. I am staying here to read and do some laundry. Our new church is having a grad student cookout, too, so I will probably attend that and eat a hot dog.

Today we went to the 4th Street Festival. It is an arts and crafts festival on, you guessed it, 4th Street. There were some amazing things there, but not a whole lot we felt like affording. There were a lot of places that were selling cool art and clay objects as well as places that sold some beautiful jewelry. We also saw a desk Hal thought was awesome, but it was $2,500!!! We did buy a present for Joanna, who is getting married next weekend. While there, we ate at The Laughing Planet, which sells organic burritos. It is very yummy and relatively inexpensive.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On a side note

It really annoys me that when I have one comment, this thing says "1 comments." This offends my English teacher/copy editor sensibilities.

What the heck is theory, anyway?

Now, my recollections of time with the word theory come from middle school and the scientific method. Many things are hypothoses, but most of those don't become theory. We try to destroy a hypothosis to make it stronger, and only the very strong ones get to be come theory.

Or something like that.

This year, I do believe I will be encountering a whole other type of "theory." I am taking a class called "Theories of Mass Media Research: Macro-Social Level." After signing up for this class, I met with the professor.

"Hi," I said. "I was wondering if you could tell me about your class. I'm taking it, but I don't understand what the title means."

She is incredibly nice and told me that the class had a terrible title and assured me I would be just fine.

The class contains 13 boys and three girls. There are two masters students and 14 doctoral students in it. The syllabus contains the frigtening sentence: The examination will be similar to the type of questions you might be asked during qualifying examinations.

While we didn't do anything but go over the syllabus on Monday, that pesky word "theory" kept coming out. Now, I'm not sure what theory is. Is it a sentence, like "All good journalists have strange names like Scooby Ryan or Warren Wheat" (actual names)? Is it a short thing like "agenda setting," a tenet of journalism that Mike Farrell taught me in JOU 301? Is it a way of looking at text through a lense, like Tracy and I did in our ENG 320 class where she was Deconstruction and I was Psychoanalysis? Is it even a thing at all?

The way we were constructing sentences around the word it led me to believe that theory is a nebulous idea that floats above our heads until we gather it in our arms and staple it to our research paper. "We will be exploring theory..." rather than "We will explore a theory" or "the theory of..." Perhaps I'm being an English teacher here and being entirely too picky about articles, but there it is.

Tomorrow, I have to turn in a 2-page getting to know you paper about myself and my research interests. Interests are easy. I know what I'm interested in: media law, especially in terms of how Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier has affected journalism education; new media, including convergence and blogs and such; media and celebrity, although I'm not sure where I would go with that; and narrative journalism. All of these spring to mind immediately, so even if I don't go anywhere near these topics when it comes time for my thesis next year, I at least have a place to start.

But then there's the question: what type of research do you want to do? Are you a quantitative or qualitative person? I had to get Megan to explain it to me -- but I do know that quantitative involves numbers, and numbers are not my friend. Basically, I have no clue. To her credit, she did say that she knew some of us wouldn't know yet. I'm not sure by "not knowing" she means "don't know what the different forms of research are," however.

So it seems I have my work cut out for me in this class. We will be exploring theory. Whatever that means.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

a new job

This week has been long and crazy.

First of all, it's approximately 1,000 degrees. This temperature makes it very hard to dress for the day. As there is about a 10-minute walk from Hal's parking to my building, any effort I made to look professional ended up in a sweaty mess. Much discomfort and pony-tails ensued. On Thursday, I even walked home. The 25-minute trek lasted almost eight years, and when I walked through the door, I almost collapsed. It was ridiculous.

The craziest thing that happened this week was on Wednesday. Now, on both Monday and Tuesday I had some light orientation activities. Wednesday was completely bare because it was the day that the school was training its new AIs (which are TAs, but called something different, which is disconcerting because when I see that, I think of the Haley Joel Osment movie --- on a side note, whatever happened to good ol' Haley Joel? IMDB lists Haley Joel's next movie as called Home of the Giants, in which he plays a journalist(!). Maybe he can hook up with Lohan so she stops being crazy. He seems like a nice kid.)

Anyway, the school was training its AIs. I did not have to be at school because I am not an AI. However, I got up at about 10:30 and was surfing my various email accounts and blogs o' friends, and I decided to check my IU email. In my IU email I had received an unexpected email from the dean. The title was "Assistantship?" Seems as though one of the graduate assistants couldn't work her schedule with the class she was supposed to help out with, and the dean thought I would be a good person to take her place. Fabulous! A little more money for me to pocket, and a good experience to put on my CV at some point in time, especially since I want to teach.

So after seeing the email, I called the dean and affirmed that I would LOVE to be an assistant. I am going to be assisting with a class called J110 -- which is basically like Journalism 101. The prof is incredibly nice and funny, and his syllabus cracked me up all morning. I will be in charge of managing students who try to give excuses as well as grading 3 tests and a paper. The class has 160 students in it, so this is no small order, however. I also get to keep office hours.

I rushed to school and tried to catch at least a little bit of training. I did do that indeed. I also was able to make it for "Campus Climate" training (read: sensitivity training!) the next night.

The classes start Monday. My assistantship is on Monday and Wednesday, which will be my busiest days. My profs are starting to put their syllabi on line, and it looks like I'm going to have my work cut out for me. I'm glad I have only 9 hours.

I've gotten to talk more and more to the other students, which is nice. We had a cocktail and food party at the dean's house last night, which was incredibly nice of the dean. It was fun to talk to people -- our class has some incredibly diverse interests.

I've been really impressed with the way we have been welcomed and treated this week. We had a meeting with editors of local publications on Tuesday, and the editors were all incredibly welcoming and wanted us to work with them. I was pretty excited about all of that.

Hopefully, the excitement will continue when I start classes. We were talking last night about how on Monday it's real and it will be hard, after that, to leave. Because then you'd be "that girl." :) Hopefully, I won't be that girl!

Monday, August 20, 2007

The first glimpse...

After being here for almost an entire month, I finally met some of my classmates.

Today was the first day of orientation for masters students in the school of journalism. We started off the day by a breakfast. Apparently the breakfast, which included a nice spread of hot foods like eggs, hashbrowns, and meat, as well as cold foods like fruit and muffins, was a huge hit with the professors.

"I'd like to thank [the dean]" said one professor, "for the hot breakfast. I would like to recognize that breakfast is bigger than pastries!" It was pretty funny. After eating and mingling with the people at our respective tables, we went around the room and introduced ourselves.

I loathe standing up in front of a class and introducing myself. However, I did it and announced who I was and my schooling (as well as my 1/3 of a law degree!) and said I am terribly excited to be here because I've been in Bloomington for a month and know no one and I'm sick of talking to my husband. That got a good laugh out of everyone.

Our class is very diverse, with educational backgrounds varying from math to engineering to economics to journalism (of course). We have students from eight countries including China, Iraq, Kuwait, and the Ukraine. The fabulous girl who sat next to me had also finished her first year of law school. She is currently doing a dual degree, but is only taking journalism classes this semester. It was really good to actually talk to people and learn about the different opportunities in the program.

One of those opportunities involves a class in the spring about Ernie Pyle, a journalist whom the school is named after. The professor intends to teach about Ernie and then take the class overseas to see some of the places Ernie wrote about -- London, Normandy, and Paris in particular. I have no idea if I will end up taking this course, but I'm excited that there are classes like that being offered in my school.

After the breakfast, I scheduled my adviser's appointment and was able to finally register for classes. I am taking nine hours, which is full time for a graduate student in my program. I will be taking:
Introduction to Mass Media Research
Theory and Research: Macro-Social Level
The Press and the Constitution

I'm not sure about the Macro-Social class because I'm not really sure what that means, but I was assured that it should be a good and interesting class that would provide a good foundation for future classes. My meeting with the dean went really well. I was able to ask her some questions about things that I have been interested in and she did her best to give me candid answers. I really think she does a great job at being welcoming.

It looks like, barring any major catastrophe, I should be able to be finished with my masters by December of 08, so three semesters from now. Hopefully, that works out!

Friday, August 17, 2007


I should not be jogging.

After all, I'm out of shape, have two bad knees, and it's August (read: hot).

Once upon a time I was able to jog. As a matter of fact, I did so daily. See, I played soccer for most of my life. Junior year of high school, while I was still on JV, and coincidentally the last year of high school soccer I would play, my coach decided that we WOULD NOT BE OUT OF SHAPE! That thought, which is a good one, considering how much one runs during a soccer game, translated into approximately 4 miles of jogging before a 2-3 hour practice.

Junior year of high school, I was coming off my diagnosis of "severe patellar tendonitis" in my left knee, which was capped by falling down the stairs due to said knee giving out on me and bruising my quad (making it blow up to epic proportions). I still was able to run.

This is because I had a system --- I would run almost the whole lap (we did 6 laps of this trail) but I would also allow myself about 20 seconds to walk on one part of the trail, and I also walked up a small (about 20 feet or so) but steep hill. If I didn't walk up that small but steep hill, it would really hurt my aforementioned knee.

But I would make it. And that was really the last time I engaged in organized jogging.

Now, during college and more recently I would run on the eliptical machine, which was rather good for my bad left knee and, once I injured my right knee during indoor soccer during first semester senior year of college, much to the chagrin of my modern dance professor (but that's a story for another time), good for both knees. But I never really got into running outside again.

Well there was one time in the past year I ran, wearing knee braces on both knees, in my old neighborhood. My husband, who came home and saw me running down the street, didn't know it was me and thought, "That person looks terrible! They should not be running."

So I probably shouldn't be running. But lately I've been jogging. By lately, I mean the last three days. Layla and I have done a quick jaunt around a loop through my apartment complex. I have no idea how far it is, but I doubt it is even a mile. However, I have been jogging. Like high school, I have a system for where I walk (there is a little hill on this run that I definitely walk up), and I do okay. Unless Layla decides to sprint. Or wrap her leash around a telephone poll. Or decide she needs the bathroom. Those sorts of things. It's really good for Layla, who doesn't have the backyard she used to. She needs to get out and get some exercise. Judging from the way she reacts when we tell her we're going on a W-A-L-K, she enjoys it.

And actually, I feel pretty good. Jogging, even for the 15-20 minutes it takes us, has make my muscles ache a little, and that is always kind of a good feeling for a former "athlete." Hopefully, by writing this down, I will be able to continue to jog a couple of times a week. It also might help me get down to fighting weight --- although I'm not really sure what that means. I am much more understanding of getting down to "10th year reunion weight" or perhaps "bridesmaid dress weight." Luckily, I have three summers before my 10th year reunion. If not, I will probably continue to see this entry, embarrassed, as I feel slightly guilty for not living up to the jogging dream. Ah, guilt. I am Catholic, after all.

As for the why of jogging, I'm not sure what has come over me. It could have something to do with my aunt, who, at the age of less-than-60, endured a double bypass operation this week. It could be that I'm bored. Or it could be that the weather has eased out of the low 100s and into the more managable 90s. I just know that the other night I felt like running, and I'm trying to keep that feeling going for as long as possible. At least until I get my student ID and can go swim laps (much healthier for the knees) in the IU pool.

Until then, I will be the slow, limpy-looking one, jogging while the cute black dog barely trots beside me. Try not to run me over as I cross the street. I'm very heavy and might just dent your hood.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Movers, or how I pass my long days

The moving in has begun.

School starts on August 27, and therefore many students are moving into the city. We have had several people move into the empty apartments around us. It will be interesting, because before now, all of our neighbors seemed to be families. I know on either side of our townhouse we have families with adorable children.

Now, the college kids are coming. I actually met one today after he mistakingly tried to enter my house instead of his own. He was coming in the back and walked through our gate before he saw Layla (thankfully inside) and left. Of course, he left the gate open, so I had to go out and close it. He was slightly abashed and apologized. I told him it was no big deal, of course. However, Layla actually growled. She is very ferocious (she weighs 35 lbs., for goodness sakes).

I'm happy we're getting closer to school. It has been a long and somewhat lonely three weeks. Hal works during the day and since I know no one, I have been hanging out and watching many episodes of "Dawson's Creek" on DVD. I do indeed realize how sad that is. However, I have a complete collection of Dawson's DVDs and I intend to use them. Now is as good of a time as any, especially since we don't have cable.

You read that correctly. Stacie doesn't have Cable.

I haven't not had cable since I was approximately 5 years old. In fact, I am somewhat of a TV junkie (as evidenced by the Dawson's DVDs), enjoying the idiot box quite a lot. My lack of cable has become a point of honor to me -- Hal and I are really trying to save money because we have not yet sold our house, so we're making two house payments at this point. My lack of cable is my contribution to the cause. For as long as it takes. Although my sister was talking to me about a cool commercial the other day. I realized I really haven't seen a commercial in about a month. Crazy!

We will continue to hope we sell our house before "Jericho" comes back on. Because we'll have to get at least basic for that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

farmers market

Bloomington has a fabulous farmer's market on Saturdays down by city hall. The first weekend we were here, Hal and I headed over there, not sure of what we would find. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera to take pictures at the actual market.
We found lots of vegetables and some fruit, cheeses, honey, and maple syrup. I am terrified of syrup (except on waffles) and the man tried to give me a free sample in a little cup. I said no. Syrup is too sticky for me. There was also a man selling Elk meat and a huge line for sweet corn in husks.
However, I did think this bunch of basil was rather impressive. You can see how big it is. It only cost $1.50! That was a steal. We bought a bunch of vegetables and Hal made eggplant parmesan for dinner. It was incredibly yummy. Of course, the dinner only used about 4 leaves of Basil, so we have a huge chunk of it sitting in our refrigerator.
We will probably go back at some point in time, and I will try to remember to bring the camera with me that time!

Saturday, August 4, 2007


When I applied to graduate school, I didn't think I would be starting until the fall of 2008. Oddly enough, my application passed the admissions coordinator and the admissions committee without anyone noticing my requested start date.

So when they accepted me in May of 2007 with a start date of August '07, we didn't have a whole lot of time.

Hal (my husband) and I have relocated to Bloomington -- a small town in the midst of Indiana. About 2.5 hours from home, we have nestled into a little townhouse, a far cry from our bigger home we have yet to sell in Nky. He's switched jobs. I've lived without cable for the last two weeks. (my transition has been harder)

I formulated this blog so I can chronicle my shot at grad school. If people want to read along, that's all the better. Feel free to comment, I appreciate that.

Hal was the first one to name this blog. He called it buried the lead because he was looking for a snappy journalism term -- apropos for my upcoming graduate program. It means not putting the most important part of the story first, or maybe taking too long to get to what the story is about. I like it --- I tend to prefer writing detailed feature stories than snappy news stories. Hopefully, I'll be able to twist a column or two out of my adventures.