Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Time Suckage...

I've lately been caught up in two (well, three) things that have sucked my mind and my energy.

1) The presidential campaign - I'm a CNN/Poll Junkie and it must stop. I have already voted and I'm canvassing for Obama this weekend; I've done enough. I need to STOP obsessing (although his infomerical tonight was awesome. Damn, that man rocks).

2) Department crapola - I allow myself to be baited by spiteful annoying colleagues - we're doing curricular revision (the horror, the horror) and also dealing with potential budget cuts. I have to STOP obsessing.

3) I have tons of students this semester and I spend a lot of time prepping and grading. I have to STOP obsessing. I'm not fresh off the boat - I can wing a few classes - I know what I'm talking about.

So, in an effort to stave off the mental suckage, I'm giving myself 3 BLISSFUL DAYS of uninterrupted work on my book manuscript. It actually feels like I'm going on vacation. I'm all excited. I've set out my special sweatshirt and slippers; I've stocked up on Coke Zero and ginger peach teabags. I have enough halloween candy to overdose my entire band of job market gnomes (if only they knew where I hide the candy). TD is in Dutchmanlandia until the end of the week. I'm not teaching anymore this week either.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We are this many...

TD and I, that is.

Today is our 3rd Wedding Anniversary!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I spent a LOT of money...

...on table linens today. I agonized over this, but then decided to jump in and do it. There are few things that give me more domestic guilty pleasure than table linens and serving pieces. These are from Wiliams-Sonoma and some of my birthday money (thanks Medieval Mom) paid for...most of it. I got the longer table cloth and two sets of napkins because I want to be able to have more than 2 people over for a more formal dinner.

What I humbly request from the Blogosphere is 1) absolution for indulging my (as it turns out, expensive) fetish, and 2) tell me if you think they're pretty.

Here's a pic...

While I'm in the confessional mood, I also recently bought 6 of these chargers:

These were not as expensive, but they're still lovely.

Tell me, what guilty, pretty fetishes do you all have? How often do you indulge? I don't count shoes and handbags per se, especially if you have lots of different ones for different occasions. But, does anyone have a fetish for, say, red stilettos (that's a shout out to you, Flavia!)? I, for example, also have 3 different green purses. And I'd own 3 more if I could.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Birthday Plus 1

Okay! So, yesterday was my birthday. I have made it successfully through my Christ year - woohoo! I was a lovely day only slightly marred by the fact that I had to teach 2 classes and have office hours. HOWEVER, office hours were made lovely by my friend, L, bringing me a dozen of the most amazingly awesome cupcakes she made. These things were stellar - and immediately several of them were downed in the office. TD made me a spice Bundt cake and got champagne. And then Medieval Mom-in-law sent me flowers from the old country. Last night, 9 of us went to dinner at a nice Asian fusion place and there was much food consumed. And then more cake and cupcakes when we got home. And more champagne.

TD got me these slippers in green. My feets are addition, my friend J got me a baby hamburger press! I can now make perfectly-formed sliders for our grill. Food is better in miniature...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Furball Update

We were without internet all yesterday, otherwise I would have posted then. We heard back from the vet and got some results. FB#1's kidneys are just fine and it looks like he has "a little bit of early cardiac disease" - they need to do another thyroid test tomorrow because he's "in the gray zone for hyperthyroidism" which could be affecting the heart. An over-active thyroid would also explain the weight loss. So, it looks like we caught it way early and that we can very likely take care of the thyroid problem with medication and slow down any progression of the heart problem.

Whew! I'm SO glad - he's been his same-old self the past couple of days - appetite is just fine (which makes me blame the thyroid for the weightloss rather than a lack of appetite).

Has anyone's kitty ever had any thyroid problems? Thanks also for the lovely comments!! And Furball #1 thanks you too and asks that you send turkey and ham from now on instead of intangibles like blog comments...he's such a diva.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Furball Panic

Okay. Furball #1 has lost weight in the past 6 months and has a "heart murmur." He's actually lost about 1 pound in the last 6 months. Ugh. The vet didn't seem over-the-top alarmed, unlike me. They did an ultrasound and did blood work and urinalysis (I took them both in for their 6 month "wellness" check, so the blood and urinalysis were standard, the ultrasound wasn't). We'll get the results tomorrow. The vet seemed to think that if this was anything that it was the early stages of a heart problem. They're also doing a heartworm screening test. But she said that if it showed any heart issue that they would put him on a twice a week aspirin pill thingy. She then told me that one of her cats lived for 8 1/2 years on heart meds and that wasn't even what he ended up dying from. Okay, MW, breathe.

So, I brought him home (with his pathetic little shaved patches) and fussed over him and gave him some wet food, which he inhaled. I hope that he'll put on a little weight once we can get him feeling better. I'm just so worried - I fear that it's his kidneys and his heart. The FBs are only 10 - they're too young!!!

Anyway, this is a plea for 1) reassurance that we caught this early and that he'll be okay, and 2) any encouraging/heart-warming anecdotes.

I'm going to go give him a pet while he sleeps off his traumatizing day...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Care and Feeding of Magical Creatures

Here at Medieval Woman HQ, we're gearing up for a new year on the job market. This is the "money" year, the year it will all work out. Why, you ask? Because it will be my 5th consecutive year on the market - the first 3 in search of a t-t job, which I got and love, and the last two in search of a job with my mate. And I want to get sprogged up, so the clock is ticking. 5 years isn't a job search, it's a prison term.

The Job Market Gnomes have unionized recently (which is more than we were able to do in graduate school). They've renegotiated their contract to include a sauna and an unlimited supply of Hot Pockets. They have also refused to do dishes or clean the bathroom, but what the hell. I have a husband to do that. (I have my own set of domestic tasks, of course. There is no gendered division of labor at MW-HQ!).

My band of ninja warriors got fat over the summer - there just wasn't much for them to do. No students to menace, no administrators to threaten, no civil servants to bump off, no dictatorships of small countries to overthrow. So, instead, they sat on the couch eating Fritos and watching Crocodile Dundee I & II over and over again. Because that shit just never gets old, people! To get them back into shape, I've put "Jazzercise" and "Buns of Steel" on our Netflix list. And they're cutting back on the carbs.

However, this year, I was able to save up enough American Express points to get each of them their very own mini-SCUD missle. This in addition to their usual arsenal (flamethrowers, pepper spray, Chinese throwing stars, spitball guns, etc.), will make them formidable indeed!
"What was that, Uncooperative University? You didn't want to request a writing sample and dossier from MW? I think you should reconsider. No? (*barrage of spitballs and silly string*) How about now? If you're still going to be difficult, I'll have my lieutenant reformat all your computer hard drives and tickle you until you pass out. Thaaaat's what I thought. Her email is...."
Yes, it's going to be a veeeeeery successful year....

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I have figured it out!

How I'm going to grade over 300 exams this semester!

I'm 2/3 of the way through my longest set of first exams (62) and I'm using a new tactic. Each exam has 3 sections and, in the past, I've graded one section first on everyone's, and then the second, and so on. But when you're only halfway done with the first section, it can seem neverending. And then to run the entire way through 2 more times! So, I decided to break the exams into stacks of 20 and grade one stack a day completely for three days. And it's worked very well - I don't get as burnt out b/c the stacks are smaller. So, I'll finish the last 20 tomorrow and hand them back on Wednesday. Sweet.

All else is going extremely well - I had a "ladies lunch" on Thursday with a friend, LB, and a bunch of new women I'd not met; a couple of them in particular were fabulous - new friends! And then we went over to LB's house for brunch on Saturday with some other folks and it was equally fabulous. Tomorrow night we're having another couple over for dinner. I don't mean to sound like an annoying prig, but things here socially are so wonderful. And everyone gets along with everyone else - it's lovely not to live a compartmentalized life as we have before.

I didn't post anything about the Veep Debate earlier, but the one thing that cracked me up the most was when people said that Palin exceeded expectations and Biden met expectations. That's because no one expected her to do anything but stand glaze-eyed and drooling at the camera! So, she spoke in complete sentences about 40% of the time. They were the same sentences, though, over and over!

I cannot watch CNN anymore...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Whither the Crazy Student Tailz?

I just haven't had the craziness or the truly astonishing student hijinks this semester.

What gives? I like my students very much this semester (of course, there are always students I like) - and maybe I'm beginning to focus less on teaching and a bit more on my research and my intervention in the department. Maybe I'm getting all growed up?

But I really could use some colorful anecdotes (that hopefully don't involve me consuming sleeping pills by mistake) this semester.