Archive for September, 2008

More Conferences On The Horizon
 

So one conference down, and now it looks like 2 more ahead. The last night of this past conference I had a woman come up to me and ask me to please submit to present the paper I did there at a regional conference in March. Also she thought I should enter it in the student paper competition there. That made me feel tons better about the paper and the presentation after the whole snafu that happened. I am thinking about submitting the paper to present, or a re-tooled version, but not as part of the contest. I fully expect to have defended the dissertation by then, so I won’t really be a student anymore.

Upon checking my email when I got home I found an email about the conference in HotLanta (Atlanta) in April. It’s information about the session my advisor and I are presenting in, basically all the paper abstracts. After reading them over I realized I’m going to have to go because this session, which is actually a symposium at the meetings, looks to be important. Plus I’m willing to bet the organizers plan to publish all the papers in some kind of journal with the year, so I won’t want to miss it.

Who Farted?
 

So I arrive home today after a 3 hour drive and immediately after walking in the door and crinkle my nose saying “God what smells.” I proceed to do a quick doggie mess check, but all is clean. This leaves the usual suspects . . .

1) The cat pans. 5 cats and if it was up to the BF the pans would be cleaned only before the trash goes out. This is one of the biggest reasons cats will not be replaced when they start going to kitty heaven.

2) The dirty dishes and dog food cans in the sink, as well as something in the garbage. This house is old school, having neither a dish washer nor a garbage disposal.

3) The dogs. In this case I just had them groomed, so I know it wasn’t them stinking up the place. However the sheets on all the couches need to be cleaned.

Needless to say as usual, I spent awhile cleaning the house up. Then I just started to think, what if our house always smells like this and I never notice cause I’m here? When I go away and come back my nose is desensitised and that’s when I smell the stink.

God I need to hire that housekeeper!

Headed Home Tomorrow
 

I leave West Virginia and head back home tomorrow. I can’t wait to be back in my own house and bed. I was bedridden a good part of today with a migraine. It was a combination of a lot of things, a drink last night, a lack of food (this place offers 3 meals a day and that’s it, I don’t eat that way), a hard ass bed and a really hot room, which led to a terrible nights sleep.

The paper yesterday went okay. A woman in the audience had an issue with a term I used as she felt it was out dated, and went on a little speech tirade about why I shouldn’t use it. I replied saying I had used the term as it was what had been used in the past and I was actually showing how in this case the use of said term was wrong. She said that didn’t come across well enough. Thankfully I have had tons of people come up to me telling me the paper was fine, they really enjoyed it, that my points were clear, not to worry.

The weather here has been so-so. It is like a tropical jungle where we are actually, which is in a forest kind of in the middle of nowhere. That’s not true, there is a town nearby, but this place isn’t in town. The sun came out today for a bit, but would often run back into clouds to hide. I wanted to take pictures, but ended up sleeping a lot to try and get rid of this migraine. It’s pretty much gone, but could rebound.

Hopefully it will be nice enough tomorrow that I can not only get photos, but maybe some on the drive home. If I was a civil war buff I’d go to Antietam, which is right around the corner. However I have seen enough civil war battlefields as is. I did drive by a civil war cemetery which weather permitting I’ll probably stop in tomorrow.

Leaving In A Midday Car To West Virginia
 

So first some good news. I am not presenting until 4:30 tomorrow, which means I get to sleep in! I was thinking I would have to wake up at 5am and make a 3 hour drive to West Virginia. Nope! I can leave around 10am now.

From the photos of this place, there are TV’s in the room and they have internet! Okay it’s via a cable and only in rooms, no wireless. It’s better than nothing.

The bad news . . . The BF is sick and I’m trying hard not to get sick. Last thing I need is to wake up tomorrow sick! Cellphone coverage at this place is apparently nill. The AT&T map claims they get good coverage, the people at the place say only in certain spots. Also there will be no 3G coverage, which means crappy internet on the iPhone.

Currently my paper and power point presentation are done, but my paper goes over my allotted time by 2 minutes. I have to factor in another 2 minutes to discuss any power point slides, so I’m sitting here trying to cut or summarizes parts of my paper. Grrr! I’m probably going to have to hope someone doesn’t show up, or others don’t use all their time up.

Finally, the place I’m staying requires a bit of walking through the woods to get from the lodge, to the dining hall, to the conference center. The BF is teasing me that this sounds like camp. While I have no issue with the walking or the camp, it looks like it’s going to be raining all weekend. Walking in the rain I’m not too thrilled about.

Anyway, I’ll be taking the camera, hopefully I’ll get some pretty photos!

Alanis Rocked
 

Last night was the Alanis concert. This was the 5th Alanis concert I’d been to, and ranks her up there with Madonna as the only other artist I have seen in concert so much. She’s also one that I will continue to keep seeing every time she tours. I was 7th row center, maybe 15 feet from her. It was awesome, as was the show. Easily her best concert since her first “Jagged Little Pill” tour years ago. If she’s coming to your town and you like Alanis, you have to see this show! Here are two photos I snapped with my phone, obviously not the best. The spot light made it impossible to get her face, and when she was moving around she came out blurry. Anyways, go see this show!



Travelin
 

I’m on the move this week. I drove home to Virginia today, as tomorrow is the big Alanis concert. I can’t wait! Before I get there though I’m stuck writing my conference paper. I wrote the outline yesterday, only to realize everything I wanted to say I had already written in various chapters for the dissertation. So I just started cutting and pasting, thinking it would be easy to blend it all together. Well that’s what I thought, it’s taking me longer than I had anticipated. Really I should have anticipated that, as finishing school has taken me longer than I ever expected.

The paper will soon be done, then I’ll have to cut 2-3 pages to fit into the 20 minutes I get to present it. I’ll also obsess over it and phrasing as usual. On Friday I travel to West Virginia, where bright an early Friday morning I give the paper, leaving the rest of the weekend to relax and enjoy the conference. Yeah right! I plan to use being in the wilderness and the probable lack of internet and television (kill me now) to put a lot of the dissertation chapters together to turn in.

There is some other school related news, which I’ve been reluctant to blog about out of fear of jinxing it. However if you read the “tweets” in the side bar or the shoutbox, you probably know what has gone on. I had an interview at a local university for the adjunct job I sent my CV in for to teach the course they needed an instructor for. Honestly I didn’t think I had a shot at it, so imagine my surprise when they told me they were going to recommend me to the university for the job! Now it’s still not a done deal, the university has to approve, the class has to actually get filled so they won’t cancel it (already been there once) and I have to go sign papers and such. But so far it’s looking good. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Getting Into the Spirit Tree!
 

Boo-Scary Movies
 

With October, and Halloween, just around the corner; I find myself turning to scary movies more than usual. I just watched two which I really enjoyed, enough to recommend.

The first is a Japanese horror movie called “Voice,” which of course means it’s subtitled. The movie is about a student who is the “star” of the choir and is killed one night by a spirit while practicing after school for a concert. She becomes a ghost herself and must uncover the mystery as to who killed her and why. Throughout the movie clues are dropped and mystery unravels, with several twists and turns. The title refers not only to the girl’s singing voice, but the belief that a spirit is no longer able to communicate with the living if forgotten by them, which causes the spirit to lose it’s voice. The movie was very original in my opinion, which of course means someone in Hollywood has probably bought the rights for a remake. Unlike most recent Japanese and Asian horror films, it doesn’t rely on some creepy white girl with long stringy hair as the ghost. In this case the ghost is mostly a shadow. Two thumbs up for this one.

The second film is also foreign, this time French. I picked up “Belphagor: The Phantom of the Louvre” from my local Blockbuster. I admit, part of the draw was that it stared Julie Christie, who rose to fame in the “Emmanuelle” movies. These used to be shown on Skinamax all the time when I was little. This is actually a remake of two previous film adaptations, both which are from a book written almost 100 years ago. It’s the story of an Egyptian mummy which was found, but then lost in the warehouses of the Louvre. Upon finding it and beginning an investigation, they wake the spirit of the mummy, who is on a quest and possesses humans to do his bidding. The movie is part ghost story and part mystery. This most recent adaptation to film borrows clips from a made for TV version that aired in France in the 1960s, which apparently was one of the most memorable and watched mini-series in the country. Unfortunately the original is not available on DVD, nor is a 1920s silent version of the film. Still, I really enjoyed this film, save for the end which I thought was a tad rushed and hooky. Still, two thumbs up. Not scary at all, but very entertaining.

The Post In Which I Manage To Post
 

So I’m writing a post to update everyone on the funness that my life currently is. I am on a deadline to get my dissertation written by the end of this year, so my days consist mainly of writing. I take breaks to get up and walk around, go across the street to the farm, but I have to keep my procrastinating to a minimum at all times. Okay as best as I can! I don’t even turn the TV on till 8pm, not that anything is on to watch yet. I usually have Pandora Radio or Last.FM on my browser playing music while I work, as silence will drive me mad.

I am sure I will be insane by the end of the year.

I did distract myself somewhat this weekend with cleaning the house. It was overdue, and the next few weekends I will not be here. Next weekend I head home for an Alanis concert. The following weekend I’m at a conference. The weekend after that I might possibly be going home to Virginia yet again for a family get together. That last one I’ll decide on that week depending on how much work I’ve gotten done. Needless to say I expect the house to be a wreck by time I return home full time to it, so I’m making sure it’s spotless before I leave!

Is It Halloween Yet?
 

So this weekend I made my way to the Halloween Superstore, one of about ten thousand in the area, to see what decorations were out. Oh I wanted everything and eventually had to leave the store empty handed to avoid an insane bill.

Well I went back today and was very good. I bought some large fake rats and crows to put on my porch banister, as well as a fake cemetery fence to put up on one side of the yard. On the opposite side I’ll put all the gravestones from last year. I also bought new spiderweb stuff for the bushes. We still have red LED lights in them from Christmas, so assuming they still work, I might see how they look underneath the spiderwebs. It might look too silly to use. There are still one or two things I want as well, but I plan to set up what I have and then decide what, if anything, to fill in with.

I also got my Halloween costume, which is going to be hot. I’m going to be partying with friends this year, and I am gunna be outrageous. The plan was to be a cross-dressing serial killer. I have a red wig, so I was going to use that and then get a Michael Meyer’s jumpsuit/costume and fake boobs. I was also planning to slash the costume up so the boobs peaked out the front, as well as showing some serious skin all over, even some hiney cheek just for my friends! I would finish it up with fake blood in the exposed areas.

Well I got the fake boobs, which look great, and the costume, which unfortunately is fairly cheap. It looks fine enough, and I was not about to buy real coveralls, but it’s polyester and THIN. When I say thin, I mean it weighs nothing. Given we are going to be outside, I am thinking depending on the temperature how much skin gets shown might have to be revised. Therefore I’m not slashing it up till the day of, because I might end up having to wear it over a shirt and shorts (you don’t want to know what I was originally planning to wear under it) and will need to slash accordingly.

Oh, every serial killer needs a weapon. You’ll have to wait for the photos for that reveal. It’s the best part of the whole ensemble!