Sunday, November 28, 2010

it's a new day

Well, it will be by the time I post this, anyway. It's nearly midnight. I just finished and posted my four-page essay prospectus to Blackboard, and it feels pretty good. I still have 60 pages of essay to write in about two and-a-half weeks and the bulk of Christmas to construct, and I'm still working a job that gets progressively more stressful, but I'm significantly less panicky. Granted, that might be because Ross is sleeping next to me, and nothing says "it's all going to be okay" better than a person (or pet... I'm not particular) that you love sleeping next to you. Also, some super friendly notes from Colleen and Kathayoon helped, too. Anyway, here's a thoughtful rabbit (I beg your pardon... thoughtful hare) from the National Gallery Sculpture Garden for your week. Hope it's a good one.

Friday, November 26, 2010

this is what panic looks like

Panic sits in a ratty old robe in front of the computer thinking about how it has 60 pages of work due in three weeks and isn't that terrifying? and how is it going to get done as well as Christmas shopping? and oh-gosh oh-gosh and help.

Somebody (this girl) just looked at her calendar and realized she has to work a full week longer than anticipated, ergo leaving her less time to write, ergo panic.

Happy Black Friday. I'm off to breathe into a paper bag for a while.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

give thanks

Photo from here. It was the best nature photo I could come up with on short notice.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends. Apologies for the short post... I wanted to write something longer, something poetical and grateful and profound, but I have a headache from baking for eight hours (!!!) yesterday (it was so worth it) and I'm going to bed. I hope you had a wonderful day... we did. Love.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

animal friends i miss

Blurg. I was lying in bed last night when I realized I'd already missed a day of lovely planet posting. It was a busy day, although more because of some other things that came up than because of all the research I was doing. Again I say unto you, blurg.

Anyway, I thought I'd kick off day 2.5 of Thanksgiving week by acknowledging some of the non-human animal friends that I miss (don't worry, human-humans... I miss you, too). These animals were like my coworkers for four years, and I miss their furry, scaly, and feathery faces.

Happy Thanksgiving to everybody (human and non-human alike) at the Oregon Zoo. Oh, and good luck to the Turkey Trotters! Um, run fast.

Monday, November 22, 2010


For day one of the week of Thanks-for-the-Earth-Giving (better name suggestions would be mightily appreciated), I thought I'd share some of my favorite farmporn. When their powers combine, these two farming blogs make me want to quit graduate school, buy some chickens, and move to the Carolinas. Oh, for a reduced carbon footprint and dirt under my nails. Enjoy.

Photo from Ashley's blog

First up, Ashley English's blog Small Measure. Ashley and her husband raise chickens, bees, and now a baby on a farm in North Carolina. Ashley has also written a series of gorgeous books which I deeply want. It would be weird to ask for Home Dairy or Keeping Bees for Christmas... wouldn't it?

Photo from Jenna's blog

Next, and fairly new to me, is Jenna Woginrich's Cold Antler Farm blog. Jenna also has some books which I want and have no use for, and she recently posted a thought-provoking article on why she decided to start eating meat again after a decade-long abstention (scroll down to Thursday, November 18, if you're interested). Basically, she argues that eating local, grass-fed, free-range meat is going to be the most effective way (more effective than vegetarianism) of sticking it to the factory farming industry. Interesting. Here's my trouble, though... I would love to have a farm with chickens and pigs and all sorts of living things, but I don't think I could ever have an animal butchered. Nope.

As a side note: If I seem more obsessed with animals than usual, it's because I'm deep in research for a paper on animals in early modern travel writing. It's good stuff.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

for the beauty of the earth

Still from Earth, the movie. Also, I guess, the place.

We sang my very very favorite ever hymn ever in church today. You may know it, in fact:

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

This Thanksgiving (and yes, I know it's not actually the day yet), I'm particularly grateful for the immeasurably beautiful planet on which we live. I'm grateful for the air we breathe, the water we drink, and especially for the plants and animals that enrich our lives. To that end, I'm going to try to post something celebratory about our world and wildness every day this week. Try is, of course, the operative word, but I really will. Promise. Because even though it's a cliche, and even though I hate turkey and other traditional Thanksgiving foods, and even though the holiday is historically suspicious, at best, we really do have so much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving Week, friends.

Friday, November 19, 2010

check out daisy, she's a proper cow

So I often hesitate when I'm deciding whether or not to include videos on this blog. I admit, I sometimes roll my eyes when other bloggers post videos. I mean, seriously? Who has that kind of time? But I didn't hesitate for a second with this... it's an advertisement (an advert, if you will) for Yeo Valley, an organic farm in England. Friends will already recognize two of my very very favorite things right there. I spent some time on Yeo Valley's website, and as far as I can tell, they practice what they preach/rap. I'm sold. Seriously, guys... make the time. It's worth it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

apartment, part 2

So our apartment is way up a flight of stairs. We have this tiny entryway (below), and then you go upstairs to the big open room. Creature loves our stairs. We love our green cabinet (in which we keep shoes), which Ross carried a full mile from the Georgetown Flea Market. Yeah, that's right. Suck on that, fancy design blogs.

Our living space, like I said, is one big room. I love it. We have white walls, which, bizarrely, makes everything else seem more colorful. Go figure.

This is the couch where you will sleep when you come visit us.

Yeah, I'm totally kidding. We have an air mattress. But you really should come visit us. Just sayin'.

For previous apartment pictures, see here.


Sorry, guys. I hate it when I fail to post for a while. But we have been really busy around here (hence the blurry, life-is-moving-too-fast photo). I promise to do better. In the meantime, and in no special order, here's a bullet point list of what we've been up to for your Wednesday.
  • A little while ago I started working at an after-school program for kids in an underserved community. It's a little overwhelming (and could not possibly be more different than the zoo), but mostly rewarding. In the process, I'm relearning middle school algebra and geometry, so that's cool.
  • Ross' job satisfaction continues to steadily increase, so that's good. He's a bridge designer for the Maryland State Highway Administration (in case you didn't know). When he says that I picture beautiful bridges over water, but it turns out that overpasses are bridges, too. There's no real glamour in life.
  • We miss our friends a lot and think about you all the time. I'm sorry I don't call more often... Because of the time difference, it turns out that the most convenient time for me to call the west coast is also the time when I'm commuting. So I'm still working on that.
  • Even though I'm terrible at blogging about them, Ross and I have had some excellent adventures. Highlights include: A camping trip in West Virginia; a trip to the Eastern shore; the Jon Stewart rally; and lots of exploration of DC museums (and gift shops: no purchases yet, though).
  • After some deliberation, we've decided to stay here for the holidays this year. But we're hoping to make a Portland/Sacramento trip in the spring some time. Because we miss you all (see above).
  • There's a kid crossing the street who looks just like my nephew, Max, only a little less cute, obviously. Heartbreak.
  • I've decided to specialize in medieval and early modern literature, which is kind of exciting, right? I'm excited, anyway.
  • I'm good. Ross is good. Creature is good. We're a happy family.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

sistah sistah

Bestest favoritest sister friends
Dear Cassidy,

So you're 21. Um, yikes.

Cassidy plus dolphin... when we were little she was obsessed with Keiko the orca

No, seriously. It's kind of freaking me out. Remember last year, when you turned 20? I was kind of weirded out then, but this is weirder.

All the cool people in this picture are wearing sun glasses

I think this is the part where I talk about how super proud of you I am, how smart and fabulous you are.

Cassidy with Grammy, another smart and fabulous woman.

And it's true: you are smart and fabulous and I'm super-duper proud of you.


I also miss your pretty face, like, an awful awful lot. I wish I could be with you on your birthday. I'd take you out to eat and probably embarrass you at some point. That's how we roll.

Cassidy with cousin Afton (or, as we like to call her around here, mini-Katie)

Anyway, lady lady, I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday in a public fashion. You're kind of the best.

Bringing sexy back since 1989
Happy birthday, sweet sister of mine.

Love you lots and lots,