Wednesday, July 30, 2008


We spent a few days in Oregon over the weekend. We didn't have a particular reason for going; I just like it there. It was fabulous, as always.

We stayed in the Willamette* Valley, at my aunt's house, which was full of good food and lovely people. On Friday we drove out to Newport, on the coast, and spent the day at the ocean. Oregon State University has a marine science center there, complete with petting tank. Really. Here's me, petting a baby skate:

Peach wasn't so sure about the whole fish-petting idea. She petted the anemones, but declined touching the starfish - "It looks pokey." Everything else in the tank was moving, and she was not OK with that.

The aquarium gift shop had a poster on display which, in retrospect, I probably should have bought. How often do I find a poster with my actual name on it?

The kids loved the beach, and would fain have played in the ocean all day and all night.
But since the water temperature is around 38°, we made them come out after an hour or so.

The cousins I played with as a child now have children of their own, who are about the same ages as my children. Peach is still figuring out how extended family relationships work, and hasn't quite wrapped her head around the fact that her aunts and uncles are her parents' sisters and brothers. Under the circumstances, I didn't think it would be useful or efficient to try to explain how the various people she met were related to her, so I just told her the kids were her "cousins." Although it doesn't look like it in this picture, she is having quite a good time.

Link and Peach traveled surprisingly well, and we made the trip there and back without incident. (OK, there was one little incident. Words you never want to hear from the back seat of the rental car as you're heading up I-5 on your way to the airport: "I'm throwing up now.") Link is big enough now to carry his own clothes in his backpack and tote his booster seat as well. Peach's backpack wasn't big enough for all her clothes, so she carried a toy duck in it instead. Here we are buying tickets for the train in Portland:

It was a really nice trip. We had no internet access for five days, and we didn't even bring our computers with us. There was nothing I could do about my thesis, so I just didn't think about it. I read cheap detective novels and watched "Jeopardy" and ate as much as I wanted and never had to cook. I really didn't want to come back.

* It's pronounced will-AM-it, if you were wondering.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

OT (but I couldn't resist)

With college football season fast approaching, all sorts of media outlets are ramping up their coverage of the sport. [Query: why doesn't my spell check like the word "ramping"?] The various NCAA FBS leagues are currently holding "media days," wherein they make their coaches, and some players, available to the media for interviews and questions. All of this brings great joy to my heart, not only because I'm a fan of college football, but also because it leads to some truly fabulous quotes like the following ones, which I swear I am not making up:

- During Big 12 media days on Tuesday, Kansas State Coach Ron Prince had this to say about his starting quarterback, Josh Freeman: "The future is in front of him." Good place for it, if you ask me.

- Also during Big 12 media days, Colorado defensive tackle George Hypolite (go ahead, click the link to see his picture) explained to the media that the topic of his honors thesis is "the interrogation of African-American masculinity through a social constructionist, decolonial, feminist gaze." If you understood that, you are probably an English major, although he, astonishingly, is not. Bonus points if you figured out that his paper is about himself.

For the record, I found both quotes at The Quad, the NYT's college sports blog.

Friday, July 18, 2008

excellent headline of the day

In the college football section of the website, there is currently a headline which reads, "Player's Death Worsened by Stress."

I have questions. Did the stress somehow make him even deader? Or was the quality of the death experience worsened by the stress? Did the stress downgrade his death from merely tragic to horrible? I read the article, but it did not satisfactorily answer my questions.

Yes, I'm working on my thesis. Quit bugging me.