Saturday, April 24, 2010

9 Months Later.

No, I'm not talking about a pregnancy. And no, I'm not talking about 9 months since our wedding, although that was 9 months ago, which is hard to believe. I'm talking about our kittens. I was scrolling through some old blog posts recently, and came upon these two pictures:

I found the post particularly funny because in the comments, my mom pointed out how big they had gotten. I agreed, noting they were twice as big as they had been after their first vet appointment. Talk about perspective, though, as the kittens look much more like cats now. R was home recently and has a better sense of their size relative to full grown cats (his parents have two), but I keep looking at our little ones and realizing they've gotten so big! Case in point:

This is our "little" kitten Leela. I only call her little because she's so much smaller than her brother, Gizmo. Sometimes I wonder if she was the runt of the litter or if it's just that she's female and is therefore smaller. Personality-wise, she's much the same as she was as a small kitten, with a few surprises. She still doesn't like to be picked up and held, usually only standing such treatment for mere seconds before she vaults out of your arms and runs off. She's also much more of a hunter than Gizmo, who still attacks his toys right away while Leela waits and watches before going in. She's the acrobat of the two-we got a new weight machine recently and Leela climbs to the top "with the greatest of ease," seeming to pay no mind to the fact that she's eight feet in the air and balancing on a wire. I'm telling you, this kitten has a pair! She's fearless-turn on the vacuum and she still doesn't run off. I was cleaning house a couple of weeks ago and was cleaning the floor after having vacuumed. Gizmo was hiding under my desk for the entire morning, while Leela came to see what was going on in the cleaning department.

The big surprise with Leela, at least for me, is how much of a cuddlebug she is. This wasn't the case when she was smaller-she would often be off doing her own thing and maybe come sit with us, but Giz was the one doing all of the purring and snuggling. I'm not sure when this happened, but now Leela is the cat more likely to come snuggle-she's particularly fond of sitting on my lap (or R's) when we're watching TV and falling asleep. It's the sweetest thing (well, that and her yawns and stretches). She's also the shedder of the two. I expected Gizmo to be the one shedding hair everywhere, but it turns out I was wrong. No matter how many times I brush my girl, she always has several brushes full of hair to offer.

The biggest surprise, however, has been her recent decision to start rolling over on her back. I didn't know this, but R tells me that when cats do this it's a sign of trust. Leela has often been the "kneader" of the two-coming up to me when I'm lying on the couch reading and kneading my stomach while she purrs. I read online this is something kittens do with their mothers, so I guess that's good. But turning on their backs is supposed to be a big sign of trust, because it puts the cat in a completely vulnerable position. Gizmo has always been ok with this-I have pictures of the day we brought him home when I've got him lying on his back on my lap while I scratched his belly. He's recently started doing this funny flip-turn-upside-down thing and lying on his back while curling into an apostrophe for me to scratch his belly. But Leela has never let us do anything like this-when I hold her, it's never on her back. She hates that. But in the past couple of weeks she's started coming over to me on the couch, lying on her back, and waiting for tummy scratches. It makes my heart melt, for serious. The picture above is from one such tummy session (you can also kind of see the white patch on her stomach that she and her brother share). I would never have expected Leela to come and lay down for some tummy rubs, but she's full of surprises. She's the sweetie of the two.

Then there's our handsome boy Gizmo, who has started sitting like this lately. I guess it's a boy cat thing, but I think it's absolutely hilarious. I think he's actually much more similar to his little kitten self than his sister. He's very want-y, as R likes to put it (that's a reference to The Tick, for those who don't know). He's often found sitting by my side, jumping up and nipping at my elbow because he wants attention. This would be a whole lot cuter if his teeth weren't so sharp! He's also the loudest cat I've ever known-he still purrs often and loudly (again, Diesel would have been a good name). You just have to say his name and he's off. I guess this is a good thing, because it means he's happy. He's also a meow-er. Leela just chirps-I think I've only heard her meow once. But Gizmo will meow all of the time-and not at birds or things he sees outside of the window, but at his people. If I get home from work and go in the bedroom (where the kittens are not allowed), he'll sit outside of the door and meow until I come out to keep him company. He's also taken to meowing around 5:30 in the evenings, which is a full hour before they get their dinner. R thinks he picked this up from his parents' male cat, and Gizmo seems to think that being annoying for an hour is going to get him fed sooner. I don't know if he'll ever figure out that this method is not going to work. Probably not, but hope springs eternal, as the saying goes (in this case for Giz, that he'll get fed earlier, for me that he'll stop nipping at my elbows and crying for food for an hour). What's especially funny about his food begging is that he still has dry food in his bowl. We give them wet food in the evening, and so it's not that he's hungry really, just that he wants the good stuff.

The big change with Gizmo is that lately he's taken to snuggling with us less when we're watching TV or just sitting in the living room. He's content to be in the same room and sitting close by, he just doesn't necessarily want to be a lap cat. He'll literally follow R around when he gets home, and when R goes into his office to do some work, Gizmo will curl up on the floor and just sit near him. He's also extremely fond of a shoebox that sits in front of the window in the office, and I'll pull up the shade for the kittens to look out. Gizmo will curl up and sleep on the box. It's friggin' adorable (he's doing it right now, actually!).

They're both window cats. Leela has torn off bits of one of the blinds where they've gotten in her way. We'll replace those eventually, but she'll probably just tear them up again. They don't snuggle together as much anymore, but R thinks this is teenage angst and they'll go back to it (right now when they're in the bed together they start wrestling).

They're great pets, and we're both smitten with them. I've found myself at times really looking forward to getting home so that I can sit on the couch, read, and hang out with the kittens. They love it when I play the Wii, although Leela always tries to sit on my lap at those moments, which is particularly awkward when trying to wield a light saber. But such is life.

Anyway I just thought I'd post an update on our babies. They're awesome and hilarious and cute. Now it's time to do car/yard/house work before the rain sets in for several days.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Movie Review: The Young Victoria

I'm a sucker for a few things in life, one of which is romance and the other is history as its presented in popular culture. For example, I once wrote a paper examining the historicity of "The Archbishop" episode of Blackadder. Needless to say, it was a fun paper to write (and it got an A). I'm tickled when I watch The Tudors. So when I found myself walking past Redbox today at the grocery store and seeing that The Young Victoria was out on DVD, I jumped at the chance to see it (I had wanted to see it in theaters in the fall, but never got the chance). Knowing that R would most likely not want to watch this movie, Friday afternoon seemed like the perfect time to delve into the past.

I should be up front and say, however, that I haven't studied too much of Victorian Britain. My study of British history goes until about 1689--I can go to 1700 if you push it, but after that I'm lost. Between Henry VIII and James II I can rattle off monarchs and their reigns, etc., but before and after that things get a little hairy for me. Such is specialization. I was interested in seeing this movie, though, because I don't know much about Victoria and what little I do know involves her deep love for Prince Albert. Indeed, my popular culture knowledge of Victoria and Albert has been limited to their portrayal by Jim Broadbent (who, incidentally, portrays William IV in The Young Victoria) and Miriam Margolyes as Queen Victoria (another interesting tidbit-Miranda Richardson who plays Queenie in Blackadder Season 2 is the Duchess of Kent in The Young Victoria). So what did I think?

I loved this movie. I found it engaging and visually stunning (and I don't usually get excited about walking around old Victorian houses to look at couches). I think most folks think of Victoria as an older woman dressed in black, and of a society steeped in the Victorian "morality code," so to speak. This movie shows Victoria as a young woman as she steps into her role as Queen of England. The "bad guy" of the movie, John Clayborn, is made out to be positively evil. I mean, I really loathed this guy as I watched the movie, and he never does anything to redeem himself. The mother (Miranda Richardson) shows a more complex figure, one who seems to be in the pocket of Clayborn but at other times looks for reconciliation with her daughter. The Baroness and Victoria's relationship with her could, I think, have been brought out more, particularly as her eventual dismissal is a pivotal point in the early marriage of Victoria and Albert. What's very intriguing about Victoria in this movie, now that I think about it, is her isolation. We see her growing relationship with Albert, but she has no friends to speak of.
The story of the love between Albert and Victoria serves as the focal point of the film and is so beautiful. I had a smile on my face every time they were together. Rupert Friend and Emily Blunt did an amazing job portraying the young couple, and I was entranced as I watched the independent, headstrong young queen fall for the soft spoken prince.

The only real downside I found to the movie was a slight emptiness after the wedding. We do see the couple start to figure out how this marriage thing is going to work, but at that point there's only about 20 minutes left in the movie and I was left wondering where they were going to go. I think this movie could have done with another 30 minutes or more of post-wedding development. Then we could see how Albert figured out what his role would be, and how they emerged as the power couple they would be. Apparently the assassination attempt at the end is historically inaccurate, but as I didn't really know about it beforehand that didn't bother me too much. I guess now that I know, I would prefer that it had been more truthful but I'm not going to raise a stink about it.

One hint: read the Wikipedia entry for Victoria (or some other easy access short overview of her) before watching the movie. I paused a couple of times to read through the entry so that I would know who was who. Maybe that's just because I'm an American so I don't have all of this royalty business figured out (for example, Victoria was heiress to the crown after her uncle William IV, as opposed to her father). It helped me just get a general overview of things so that I could focus on the story.

Overall? Watch it if you love history, or if you love love stories (or both). It's a great film and definitely worth your time. The score is also wonderful-any excuse to listen to Handel's Zadok the Priest several times is a good one in my opinion!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Resurrectional Realities

I was finally able to figure out how to cut and paste from Word into the blog (I used to be able to do it, and then something changed to prevent me from doing so. Tip: if you're a Mac user and want to cut and paste from Word, paste into the "Edit HTML" option on your dashboard and that should solve the problem). So here's my sermon from this past Sunday. Revised Common Lectionary Year C, Easter 3.

“God of Glory, by the raising of your Son you have broken the chains of death and hell; fill your Church with faith and hope; for a new day has dawned and the way of life stands open in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.” Common Worship collect for Easter Day

Things were definitely different. This is the feeling I get when reading today’s Gospel lesson from John. Things were different—but how different was still to be figured out. In the resurrection appearances from Jesus that John describes, we get curious details about time that I hadn’t really noticed before these past few weeks. Jesus’s first appearance is to Mary Magdalene “early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark” (20:1). He then appears to the disciples “when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week” (20:19). As we heard last week, Thomas isn’t around and when he comes back to the group and they tell him Jesus has shown up, he won’t believe them. Then we are told “A week later the disciples were again in the house” (20:26). And finally, today we begin the Gospel reading with “After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias” (also known as the Sea of Galilee) (21:1).

So we have a full day between when Mary sees Jesus and when the disciples see him, a full week after that before Thomas sees Jesus (a week in which we assume the disciples were still in Jerusalem), and then “after these things,” an unknown amount of time when the disciples returned to Galilee. If you look at a map of the area, you would see that Bethsaida (where Peter, Andrew, and Philip were from) is not close to Jerusalem—in the geography of John’s Gospel, Jerusalem is about as far south as Jesus goes, while Bethsaida is about as far north. We’re encompassing the whole area Jesus travels in this Gospel by going from Jerusalem to Galilee. If we go back to the beginning of John’s Gospel, we find that the disciples were from areas around the Sea of Galilee (1:44). This means that at some point they decided it was time to return home.

I’m fascinated by these gaps in time—the gospel writer felt it was important to record them, yet we have no idea what goes on during these breaks. When Jesus was around, I imagine they were spending time with their teacher, learning and praying and talking and doing a lot of walking. But after Jesus’s horrific death and wondrous resurrection, the conversation must have changed. However, Jesus wasn’t around for these gaps in time—the details in the story come when Jesus is interacting with his disciples, and then he disappears again and we get the time gaps.

Here’s the question I’ve been pondering: what made the disciples decide it was time to go back to Galilee? They knew Jesus was resurrected—Thomas even believed by this point in time. We don’t have a record of Jesus telling the disciples to go home. At the end of last week’s reading, we get a short message from Jesus: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” and then the gospel writer tells us “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book” (20:29-30). So maybe he did tell them to go home, but my guess is that this was a decision the disciples came to on their own.

Most likely they weren’t really sure what else to do so they went home—but they continued to stay together as a group. Peter decides to go fishing—a fairly normal activity, it seems, even though John’s gospel never actually calls the disciples fishermen. They know enough, though, to go fishing at night, which I found out was actually the best time to fish on that part of the Sea of Galilee. They don’t have much luck, until Jesus shows up. New Testament scholar Raymond Brown points out that the disciples never catch a fish in the Gospels without Jesus’s help. Apparently some things have stayed the same.

So here are these disciples who know that Jesus is resurrected, yet they don’t know what to do with that information so they go back home and take up a normal activity. I’m not sure if they knew Jesus was even going to show up again, as Peter is extremely excited when they figure out it’s Jesus on the shore, and he swims 100 yards in to see him. And, as our collect for today says, Jesus makes himself known in the breaking of bread—in sharing a meal, which is something the disciples did quite often with their teacher.

All of this seems to be building up to something, but what? I’d never thought about it before, but there’s a real sense of being lost on the part of the disciples. They have no idea how life as we know it has changed now that Jesus is resurrected. Everything looks the same, tastes the same, sounds the same, and maybe even feels the same. But the fundamental underpinning of life—namely, death—had been completely overturned. Jesus defeated death. Death does not have the ultimate hold on our lives anymore. But what does this even mean?

We begin to get a glimpse of what it might mean for us in Jesus’s conversation with Peter. This is the only one-on-one conversation we get between these two in John after Peter’s denial of Christ. Jesus approaches Peter and calls him “Simon, son of John,” the exact same title he used when meeting Peter for the first time. Raymond Brown says this return to a formal address signals a possible challenge to the friendship between Jesus and Peter. And then Jesus goes a step further—he says Peter, do you love me? I can only imagine the incredible pain, sadness, and longing that took over this apostle as the one he denied looks him in the face and says, “do you love me?” This is the point of Peter’s deepest shame. His past actions would make the answer seem that it was no. He claimed he would lay down his life for Jesus and would follow him, and when the moment to do so came, he turned away and denied him (13:36-38). And now Jesus has to bring it back up again—there’s no “forgive and forget” here. To make things even worse Jesus asks the question three times, not only mirroring the three denials of Peter but also frustrating Peter as he tries to make Jesus know that he does indeed love him.

This conversation can show us how the resurrection changes everything in our lives. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams writes in his book, Resurrection: Interpreting the Easter Gospel, about how our normal interactions are based on the relationship of oppressor and oppressed. For all of us, we are a complex mix of people who oppress others and people who are oppressed by others and ourselves. This model of persecutor/victim or oppressor/oppressed is with us from the very beginning—before we even have a chance to understand it fully. There has only been one pure victim in history, one person who could make the choice to oppress and did not, one victim who fully understood the system—one who was not an oppressor but was only oppressed. That person is Jesus. In the conversation with Peter, we see the pure victim facing one of his closest friends, and one who oppressed him through denial. Peter is ashamed, and understandably so. I’m ashamed of myself when I hurt my friends and family—the thought of having to face that shame with Christ is almost agonizing. The reason for this is that I’m stuck in that idea of oppressor/oppressed. I’m functioning in an out-dated model, because the resurrection allows us to transcend the victim/persecutor relationship! It has been completely transformed. This does not mean that we “forgive and forget.” Rather, Williams writes that the transformation of our relationships is built upon our histories—even those that involve oppression, shame, and guilt (12). The real beauty of this is that our pasts and presents are not final. They are not the last word. The resurrection-JESUS-is the last Word!

Let’s think about this for a moment. Peter is the oppressor, and in today’s Gospel we see him speaking with Jesus one-on-one after his Resurrection. He faces his victim head on as Jesus ask,s “do you love me?” Peter is upset; Jesus has brought up the lowest thing he’s ever done, the most violent oppression he’s likely ever committed, and Peter has to answer. He doesn’t know how the resurrection has changed everything yet, and is stuck in the model of victim/persecutor, and all that comes with those relationships. Will Jesus be angry? Get even? Judge him? Berate him? But the resurrection transcends all of that—Jesus builds from Peter’s past and opens a place for the Gospel to take hold. What I find even more marvelous about this is that it’s not a one and done thing—it’s a process. “Feed.” “Tend.” “Follow.” These are verbs requiring continuous action.

The resurrection is for us a transformative process as it was for Peter, and as we heard today it would be for Paul as well. Jesus’s defeat of death in the resurrection changed everything about human existence—we are no longer tied to relationships based on oppression and a desperate struggle for life. Rather, we can transcend that and recognize the face of the risen Christ in one another and treat each other as such. We don’t have to fight against death anymore-Jesus already did that and won. We are called, instead, to live out a resurrectional reality in which we uphold Christ in one another, and overcome the bonds of this world that seek to drag us down, instead recognizing our bonds as brothers and sisters in Christ. This is part of the reason we renew our baptismal vows at the Great Vigil of Easter—to remind us that in the resurrection of Jesus “we are sealed by the Holy Spirit in baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever,” and what that commitment means. That mark that is put on our foreheads in baptism is something that no one can take away—even those with whom we disagree deeply. The mark of baptism overcomes our human fickleness, anxieties, and jealousies, and instead is a mark of the resurrection. We are sealed as people of the resurrection. The challenge for us now is to live that way. For Peter and Paul, their resurrectional realities would take them throughout the Mediterranean world, proclaiming the Good News. Where will it take us?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fail is a Four Letter Word.

Part of the (almost) daily adventure of my life is my commute. It's not something I particularly enjoy-56 miles in the car, or 1 hour 15 minutes depending on traffic, each way can get pretty old pretty fast. Some days the commute seems shorter than others, but it's part of my life and I try not to complain too much about it. The negatives to it are pretty huge: leaving a big carbon footprint, using tons of fuel, time spent driving when it could be spent doing more useful or exciting things... But the positives are pretty huge to: most importantly, a job (it's the closest I could find) at a place I love with people who are really great, having a house, and enforced time to sit and think or pray, which I would otherwise fill with reading, memorizing vocab, or any number of other things I "have" to get done. My daily drive is often a time when I can just think through things or notice the changing seasons or just talk to God. That's a plus.

But part of what comes with driving is the safety issue. R is a great car guy-he takes cars that just don't work anymore and makes them run beautifully. He got my car, Jack Sparrow, last summer for under 200 dollars. It had been sitting in some guy's garage for five years, but it's relatively rust free (which is huge in New England) and it runs well and I like it. So win-win. When he got the car driving again, he noticed a road noise that wasn't going on in his Subaru, or in the one I owned at the time. This was unique to this car. But it wasn't messing with the driving ability of the vehicle at all, so we both assumed it was the tires being slightly out of round from sitting for so long (although I think R did think it could be a suspension issue as well).

The tire-noise relationship was pretty much confirmed when I switched out the all-weathers for snow tires in December and the noise went away. Then in March I put the all-weathers back on, with the former rear tires going in the front, as you're supposed to do on Subaru's (some other cars involve changing sides too, but not on these cars). Well, the road noise was back and accompanied by a steering wheel jerking that I hadn't noticed in the fall. It had been getting progressively worse, in my mind, but I thought I was just being paranoid.

Until Sunday.

I was driving down the Mass Pike with R in the passenger seat on my way to work. It was about 7:30 in the morning (I like to get there before I have to teach Sunday School so I can collect myself) and traffic was thus pretty light, as it usually is on Sunday mornings. Driving in the right lane at about 65 mph all of a sudden we hear a loud pop, the front passenger side of the car lowers, R says "stop stop stop!" as I quickly pull into the emergency lane and come to a stop (this is the second time I've had to make an insane yet wonderfully executed emergency stop like this, the first time having been with R again in the passenger seat on the way home from work in the dark and rain when a huge truck ran me off the highway because he doesn't know how to check his mirrors...that was scary).

Here comes my favorite part of the whole event: R gets out of the car looks down and says "yep, looks like we lost the front wheel." I'm thinking to myself "holy sh$%! the whole front wheel? Wouldn't there have been sparks and flames or something?" Obviously he just meant the tire. The picture at the top is the epic fail blowout I had. There was a hunk of tire that fell off on the side of the highway and the steel band was broken and sticking out. I mean, this wasn't just a little blowout. It was huge. The tire was mangled like I've never seen a mangled tire before. Crazy.

Now, to be fair I could have handled all of this on my own just fine. I've known how to change a tire since I was a teenager and have done it often enough (for example, I change out my own all weathers to snow tires and vice-versa every year), so this wouldn't have been a big deal. But it would have been messy, and as I was in a skirt and clerical shirt (no collar though, as it was at the office) and still had to go do services at 10:30, R was very dashing and did all of the tire changing for me so I wouldn't have to get dirty. A state trooper pulled over and after making sure we were alright parked behind us so folks would get out of the right lane, as there's a slow done-change lane law in MA when there's an emergency vehicle (although after this experience I think it should be for all breakdowns, as there were some folks cutting it a little close, I felt, and we were obviously changing a tire).

Then we drove to the next plaza, which was only a mile away, R washed his hands, and we were off to work. He then went and got me four new tires, as we didn't know how old the rear two were, and it made sense to replace all four. R tells me that the steel band had broken sometime when the former owner had it, and that was the road noise. It got worse when the tires were put on the front, and finally gave out on Sunday-hence the huge bits of steel hanging out of the dead tire.

Needless to say, it wasn't a suspension issue. Thank God for light Sunday morning traffic. Thank God for driving in the right lane. Thank God for brakes that work. But most of all, Thank God for our safety. For serious, yo.

The other "epic fail" of the last week is my poison ivy. I wasn't allergic to this stuff as a kid, but somehow developed a sensitivity in the past few years. October 2008 I had a short bout with the stuff, and ended up having to get a steroid cream when it spread from my right wrist to my stomach. This time it went left ankle-left heel-right wrist-stomach-left ankle. Insane. And I can't figure out where it is-I know it's in the backyard, but as I've only gotten it in the fall and spring I think it's when it's either coming up (and therefore I'm not likely to see it immediately when doing yard work) or wilted (in which case I also wouldn't notice it), but either way the oils are still active and pesky. This time, after hoping for a week it would just go away but watching it spread, I had to get the oral prednisone to help out. I read online that poison ivy takes it out of you, but I didn't believe it. Now I do-at the doctor's office my blood pressure was a little high, and every time I've tried to work out this week it's been kind of tough. I seriously think it's the combo of the poison ivy all over me and the meds. Lame-o-la. But hopefully it will all be gone by the weekend (it seems to be clearing up already. Knock on wood).

In summary: tire blowout=fail. Poison ivy=fail.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Monday, April 05, 2010


So much for that "blogging several times a week thing," eh? Oh well. C'est la vie. And la vie has been quite busy for the past month. Where to begin? At some random point I guess. So I'll just categorize things as I go along:

Work: This is the main reason I've been out of the blogsphere for a while. No one warned me that while Lent is supposed to be a reflective, slower time for folks, it's insanity for those working in the church. There were several weeks when I saw R but a couple of times, and then it was to eat a late dinner and then call it a night. It was hectic, to say the least. But good-our "family" Lenten discipline was to stop going out to eat, aside from Sundays (which are feast days anyway so Lent doesn't really hold those days) when we eat lunch near church as otherwise we wouldn't eat until 3 PM, and I'm usually starving by the time we leave church. R looked as the finances and said we actually saved a bundle o' money through this discipline. Our plan is to keep it up, to a certain extent-we plan on going out for a date night once a month, but other than that chilling at home. This has been helped by the fact that we're now making our own pizza. We use the store-brand fresh or frozen wheat dough and go from there. It's actually way better than take out, and we've enjoyed the experience. I think we've also been more intentional about what we're cooking and planning our meals for the entire week. It's been great, all around. And now that it's about time for the grill to be in use almost every night, meal planning should be even easier!

Yesterday was Easter, the culmination of Holy Week which was busy on the one hand and not on the other. At 7:30 yesterday morning, after having slept in my office on Saturday night, the rector told me that I should perform the two baptisms, as I'd been working with the family and he didn't really know them. He then said I should just go ahead and celebrate too. This was at the 10:30 AM Easter service-the most highly attended service of the year, I'd venture to guess (more than at Christmas, but we have 3 services that night so folks are spread out). So I did my first baptisms yesterday! A 4 year old and his little sister, who was 11 days old (and ADORABLE). It was great : ) and definitely made my Easter!

Non-work wise things have been fine. I made my PhD decision and am super excited about it. I think it's the right place for me to be, and the visit I made was absolutely fantastic. I'll make a more official announcement once things are more official (the paperwork is getting started on their end this week) but hurray for that decision being made! I feel that I can move on and start getting excited about it. And start reviewing my Greek and French and making some headway in Latin this summer. Woot! I also want to get a paper I wrote last fall (2008) worked up for publication/conference paper presentation. Hopefully I'll be able to make that work.

As I said above, I haven't seen R too much in the past month. My Team in Training stuff is rolling along-I'm hoping donations will pick up a little soon (I'm sending out a reminder letter this week) as I have to reach my goal by May 4 or else I have to cough up the money on my own, which could pose a problem as I don't have that kind of money. Yikes. It freaks me out to think about, but my brother is going to have a concert in Iowa (at least, he's supposed to!) that will hopefully bring in some donations, and some folks at work are interested as well.

I've been doing some hiking on my own, as all of the team hikes in March were on days when I had work stuff I had to do. I hiked Mt. Wachusett two weeks ago, and today did a little on the Holyoke Range. My legs are going to feel today's hike tomorrow! I would normally have been able to go a little farther than I did today, but I was sick for a few days at the end of the week before last, and it took me a little while to recover fully from the allergy/cold/sinus thing. I'm just glad it's over, and hopefully that will be it for sinus crap this year!

Ummmm...yeah. That's all I've got on this end for the moment. The weather has been AWESOME lately-Easter was glorious! Mid-70s and sunny, which is a rarity for New England. Often it's gray and cold, but not this year! I think it might get into the 80s this week, which is bizarre but there you go. El Nino.

That's it for the moment. Hopefully I'll be more on top of this thing...