Friday, March 24, 2006

Elvis Your Still the Best-actual quote

Alright, I know there's quite a few pics, but we've been very busy over the past two days, and I'm just giving the highlights. We drove pretty much all day yesterday, and stopped off in Cairo (pronounced Kay-ROE; Southerners) and at the Wickliffe Mounds in northern Kentucky. Both places were absolutely fascinating as historical sites. Cairo is the spot where the Ohio and Mississipi converge- Mark Twain wrote about visiting the city in some of his riverboat writings, and the Lewis and Clark expedition wintered there before embarking. Note my pontification stance- and the interested expression on R.Z's face - he says he enjoys my historical explanations.

Wickliffe Mounds also holds historical significance as a pre-historic Native American village site. I'm holding a drop spindle in my hands- a replica of the one in a nearby display case. They used the drop spindle to spin stinging nettle and the bark of cedar trees for weaving. I use mine to attempt to spin wool, but the tool from an ancient prehistorical site felt the same in my hands as the tool in my craft area- a powerful connection to women I've never met.

After arriving in Memphis, we went out to Beale St, home of the Blues, to hear wonderful live music, and eat ribs- the shot of RZ and I in one of the local juke joints.

Memphis has a state park within city limits- an interesting phenomenon for us dedicated urbanites. Whenever I go hiking, I always remember how much I love it, and how I should do it more often. RZ was the primary navigator, as he indicates through the traditional stance. All the wildflowers were in bloom, so it was an amazing hike, although very hilly.

Of course, we did visit the outside of Graceland- we're still debating if we're going to pay money to go inside. "Elvis Your Still the Best" on the sidewalk outside- our American school system at work.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


So, the weekend plans for the cottage kind of fell through, due to an excessive amount of family involvement- my stepfather's sister and her kids are there, and my stepfather is heading up as well.

However, our alternative plans have been working out really nicely. We're heading for Memphis, TN on a whirlwind roadtrip. We are in Salem, IL. Also, note the action shot of our hotel activities.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Com Ed is a manifestation of Satan-yes I'm sure

Method #102 for procrastinating on the dissertation: update blog. So, I promised myself I would definitely write my 1000 words today- It's been quite a while since I've actually made my writing goals consistently. So, here I am, waiting for my bath to fill, so I decided to update this blog.

The pic is of S.D. and I at the dying of the river- yes, the river is supposed to be emerald green. It took a while to get that way, though. The pic was taken by Mrs.D, S's mother- great lady, and a survivor of a knitting group brunch.

I've been very busy dealing with the utilities company this week, because they are manifestations of Satan. Sister Mary Jo was right (my CCD teacher, and a dedicated Marxist). As she always said, Satan would manifest through corporations, stomping on worker's rights, and spreading evil throughout the world (the Catholic church- gotta love them for being the first organization to introduce me to protest ideology).

Anyways, our power was shut off Thursday for the non-payment of the bill. No, we were not delibrating not paying- it turns out WE WERE PAYING OUR NEIGHBORS' BILL FOR TEN MONTHS. Com ed has us down as --41 as the address, even though our lease says --39. --39 is the neighbors, who never received a utility bill for any services, so Com Ed shut down our power for non-payment-and weren't going to turn it back on for THREE business days.

To make matters more complicated, my roommate has her major exam to receive her creds yesterday and today, so she's slightly stressed (understatement of the year). She took off for a hotel, and I tried to navigate Satan aka Com Ed on the next day. I spent the night at J & S's-thanks, gals!!!

But, in a lucky break, our next door neighbor is an attorney at one of the big law firms downtown that has just sued Com Ed. He had a list of the statutes that they violated in turning off the power on a day that was colder than freezing. As soon as I mentioned the magic words "attorney" and "Statute # blah blah blah," they came within a half hour and turned back on the power.

Long and short of it, we have paid all of our neighbors' utilities (including gas) for ten months. The gas bill was especially high, since they took no energy saving precautions. We were much more conservative, and turned down the heat when we noticed how high the bill was. The utilities companies are going to back-bill them, and we get credited for all the money we paid into the accounts. Hopefully, we will have a positive balance. Fun has been had by all!

So, that was my saga of the utilities companies and the Great Power Outage of 2006. Bath water has been drawn, so I'm off to take a bath and read a great book that's for the dissertation.

Friday, March 03, 2006

lessons from a (too) long convalescence

Alright, I admit; I'm a bad, bad blogger. For someone who basically makes a living writing, I must admit that I've been a slacker about updating a voluntary blog. In my own defence, I'm really boring right now. Lying around doing nothing 95% of the day doesn't leave me with much to talk about. The absolutely worst part of it has been that I've only finished one, that's right, one project- a hat for R.

So, some lessons that I've learned during my four weeks of convalescence:
1. Doing nothing has its own inertia. When I'm lying in bed, and I'm too lazy to change the channel from Judge Judy, you know I have a problem...
2. Daytime television is actually addictive. Very addictive. Dr. Phil can be totally fascinating-really.
3. Cats really aren't trying to comfort the sick person by curling up and purring. They're really just bed-hopping kitty whores who love warmth.
4. Laundry and housework falls to the bottom of the list really quickly.
5. Thinking that I'm going to get a lot of work done on the diss and on the web pages...not gonna happen.
6. The kindness of strangers-ain't nothing compared to the kindness of friends, but boy, the cancer card can get you out of paying library fines!