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Oh yeah, I think I forgot to tell you, innernet:  I passed my dissertation defense last Monday, and am now Dr. Red Zils, Ph.D. (The only person who calls me Dr. Anything is my mother, and she likes "Dr. Red" instead of "Dr. Zils").

Well, I didn't actually forget to tell you, but it felt so big that I didn't know how to box it into words that day. Then a day passed, and another, and I have been busy doing the Snoopy dance (accompanied by the mantra 'I did it! I did it! I did it!'), touring OurNation'sCapitol with my mother, eating great food with people I love, working on the minor revisions my committee asked for, jumping through paperwork hoops, interviewing for jobs via telephone, planning an on campus interview for a job in OrangeGrowingState, trying not to freeze to death in the garret, and generally living my same life.

Having a Ph.D. doesn't make me smarter, or faster, or richer (ha!). It doesn't make me a better person, or a more interesting one. And I am gleeful about it anyway - I wanted this so badly; I worked really hard to make it happen; and I accomplished my goal. That right there makes me happy and proud. I am glad I did it, even if this economy means I go home to work in the family business, instead of ever using my degree.

I'll be in Footballsburg one week out of every month from now until May, and probably wherever TDaC is the rest of the time (OurNation'sCapitol at the moment, OrangeGrowingState, probably, after that). I'm telecommuting for the job that pays me, working on three or four manuscripts with my advisor, and taking advantage of the flexibility to do so from places that make me happy. Please let me know if you are here or there or anywhere we might meet - I'd love to see you.

AERA Recap

Mar. 31st, 2008 06:05 pm
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Sunday - Street vendor soft pretzel, Thai curry (solo), authentic Chinese (mu shu is the food of the gods)

Monday - New York Deli, American Indian Corn Soup, cornbread

Tuesday - Indonesian, Indian Take-out
Wednesday - Italian Trattoria

Thursday - Cuban lunch and Turkish dinner

Friday - Ethiopian, Thai

Saturday -Amy's Bread
We saw the last three bouquet's of the day at the Macy's Flower Show.

We visited the MoMA design store, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the United Nations, the American Indian Community House, the Columbia University Campus ("I went to Columbia"), and, oh yeah, the conference.
I am home now and have the world's most cruel head cold. More later, when I can breathe again.
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Also, I seem to have a golden retriever superglued to my side.  I actually asked her out loud (yes, I talk to her. She knows a lot of words because of it too) last night, "Why are you being so neurotic?"  Then I realized that she has been accompanying me from room to room since I pulled the suitcases out of the attic yesterday.  Again: she is too smart for my own good.  Guess I can't blame her since about half the time she gets left, but I wish there was a way to say, "Chill - you are going too" in a way that she would get it.
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Good morning, world.  I am off to the airport and NYC.  I will have my cell, and will try to check email every so often. In the meantime, take care and be good!

Bon voyage!
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Last night, after dance class, RHeather, Fantastic Jen, and I went over to NuttyCrunchyHealthFoodStore (which RH manages), dropped beeswax candles into glass jars, set the jars in paper bags, and lit them.  The wind was raging, but we secured our makeshift luminaries as best we could, hugged one another tight, and went home.  When RH went out to clean up the remains today - at 3:30 pm, 17 hour after setting them up - two of the candles were still burning.
Tonight's dance class was our dress rehearsal for this weekend's (now cancelled) performance.  "Dress rehearsal" in the bellydance community translates, "skirts required, baggy tee-shirts acceptable" since we really just need make sure everyone's skirt behaves, rather than tangling up another dancer. We were awesome, and only had to stop and negotiate the "smacking points" a few times (Q. what do you get when you try to fit two belly dancers through the eye of the same needle at the same time? A. A smacking point). 

My favorite line from the evening: "Work the cute, girls! WORK THE CUTE."  "Work it, habibi" is a close second.

Meeting and dancing felt very healing. We did the Dancer's Prayer, in memory of Reema, at the beginning of class, ended with a group hug (which sounds trite but felt solemn and right), and clustered in the studio to listen to one another.  Another Tech instructor in the class lost one of her students from last semester, and is struggling, which I can relate to.  I hugged everyone tight, and am grateful to have this community of thoughtful, caring, joy-seeking women in my life.
I am going to dolittleville tomorrow, to stay with an online friend and get away from the madness for a couple of days.  Interestingly, I realized an Alaskan friend is there too, for work, so I may get a hug from home.  I am very ready to get a little respite from the oddness ot post-apocalyptic Blacksburg, and my empty days.  I know canceling school was the right thing to do for many people, but it has left gaping schedules for those of us who dont have family here, and too many empty hours are a not a help right now.
The hand is feeling better.  The girls thought my gauze-net hand wrap was dorky looking. Apparently I need to hit a Hot Topic for black meshy fingerless gloves, to up the cool quotient. I am hoping to be down to a big bandaid by our show - whenever it occurs, since the gaping hole in my hand looks so much better tonight.
I clicked over to to see if they had the full list of victims yet, and their main screen photo features the killer pointing a Glock (?) at the camera, very aggressively.  Essentially, he is shoving the gun in the viewer's face, and I immediately slapped my hand over the screen - I cannot take that right now. I think it is an obscene photo, and his whole packet should be examined by law enforcement but not released.  He would have loved this attention, and he doesn't deserve it.  Especially at a time like this, we should be focusing on the heroes, the sorrow, and what comes next, rather than acting out the express wishes of the deranged lunatic who wrecked it all.
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Am in Balmer.

People here are paranoid and there are no unsecured wireless networks, thus I am typing this on my cousin's husband's old computer. 

The baby is darling, his mother is well, the dogs are crazy, etc. I am trying to be a low maintenance houseguest, and mostly succeeding. 

Our only not-making-life-easier bit so far is that Kiska keeps eating the sick kitty's special tuna slurry. I want her to stop, but it is pureed tuna fish in a dish on the floor, so anytime I take my attention off Kis for a moment she disappears to slurp it down.  Hopefully the kitty will get some tomorrow, and Kiska will quit with the sneaking. (Note: yeah, I know. She is a dog.  And, don't tell her, but I secretly admire her deviousness.  She is so "Barbie's Dream Dog" in some ways, that having her act out reassures me she was not made by Mattel).

I am still happy about the job news, mad about the advisor, and unsure where I am living next year. 

I need to do my thesis stuff tomorrow.  Additional plans include vacuuming (notable mostly because I hate vacuuming and rarely do it at my own house), and whatever baby help I can manage.

It is really good to be with my cousin and outta Dodge.
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We are back in the Blue Ridge mountains - it was an uneventful, boring 12 hours of airport / airplane drive, then a late night drive home since I just wanted to wake up in my own bed.  Between the driving energy and the time difference, I didn't get to sleep 'til 4 am, and was up at 10:30 so  I am having a hard time getting in motion this morning.  I have everything out of the suitcases at least, and a plan to get through some errands and the resettling today. 

I gotta say, coming home to Elsewhere is always great.  I was amused this trip to find a men's electric shaver charging on the counter, next to a three foot edged sword (note: edged but not sharp, it's a dancer's sword).  The shaver belongs to the new roommate and the sword to the old one - it was just an interesting juxtaposition.  Kiska and Chewbacca-the-cat have met. It went well-ish - the cat ran and she chased him, but there was no aggression on either part.  She seems glad to be home too, and is eating one of Raven's rawhides.

RoommateHeather loves me enough to climb out of bed when I called late last night and plug in my electric space heater.  Thank goodness, since my wing of the house has been closed off for the last month and was still chilly, despite two hours of pre-heating.  I think I may need an electric blanket if I am going to keep from freezing to death... Maybe after I get my errands run today I will go find one.
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Made some phone calls today.

The lawn service (aka:  Marvin) is done mowing my lawn and will let me know how much I owe him tomorrow. I need to send him a check.

The electricity is no longer in my name.

I cant get renter's insurance until I figure out the address for otherHeather's house, but the agent will call me tomorrow to move on that.


Kiska has a reservation to ride in the airplane cabin when we fly east in August. 

She passed her therapy dog test in October, but being Delta registerred is not the same as being a service dog. I inquired about having her fly in the plane then and realized I could probably take advantage of the ticket agent's lack of understanding, but didnt want to do something ethically questionnable. 

Then, on this last trip, I took her all over Regan National Airport with no problem and the women at the customer service desk in Seattle urged me to take her on the plane (after seeing her in her vest and checking her ID).  Between those successes and my continuing worry that the airline is going to kill my dog by leaving her on the tarmac in the heat for hours during a delay, it seemd like time to take her onboard.  So, I called and made her a reservation. We will ride in the bulkhead row window seat, with her curled up at my feet.  I won't tow a roll-on suitcase: I will carry a laptop bag and a shoulderbag with Kiska's stuff.  Not having the dog crate will make travelling so much simpler, and I think she will fly like a champ.
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I am still packing school stuff, but have the clothes piece sorted. No one who has ever met me will be shocked to learn that I am going to be wearing exactly the same clothes to the conference I wore last year. I may mix it up and wear the gold pants on the second day and the black pants on the first day, but that is about it. I have to manage two very professional days and some evening things, which is a challenge for my closet. I need to buy some more clothes that fit the body I am currently inhabiting.

I have decided to check a suitcase, and thus take a bigger bag so I can check the research papers on my way home. All my clothes fit in a roll-on-sized bag, but getting back with the conference paraphenalia is always hard and I would like to let someone else haul these silly papers once they are graded. Waiting for luggage is always a pain, but being able to wander through the airport without it is very appealing.

I just went through my data and figured out which sets have to be dropped from the analyses to take care of the different kinds of correlations problem. It was suprisingly painless.

All I have left to do is balance my check book and pay bills, then it is off to sleep and then Dallas for me. This is definately a life in motion, but a fairly happy one.
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I just spent $50 mailing myself 40 lbs. of stuff (from here to there) - one large tote (which I cleverly zip-tied shut after drilling holes around the lid) and a therma-rest mattress (light, but way bulky).

Listing the contents of the tote, even in my head, makes me cackle like a hyena because, hello, weird life!

It has my workboots (Army regulation). My full-circle dance skirt. A heave duty carhartt jacket. A fringed velvet hipscarf. My rollerblades. Some wool socks. A bikini. Black high heels. Beads. Books. A folding dog crate.

Yeah. My life is so strange.


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