Friday, October 23, 2009

Agriculture Day and October, the Thinning of the Veil

This morning I finally worked one of the two farm share shifts for our local veggie co-op that we had originally scheduled for early August before the manure struck the air-moving device. It was a really wonderful day for it--perfect autumn weather. There were about 9 or 10 people, some of whom have been working weekly or daily for their share (there are various options.) I picked spinach, chard, spring onions, and soybeans. Also pulled up a lot of plastic mulch, in the course of which I found a teensy little groggy salamander. I thought it was a strange black-and-red worm at first, then a baby snake, then I saw the tiny legs and realized what it was. I would have liked Limelet to have been there so he could see it.

I chatted with a German woman, who is a midwife, about the thing everyone notices when they move here (meaning the US, not Pennsylvania in particular)--you have to use a car to get anywhere (for the most part), and also about citizenship issues. There was also a trio of young female friends there, two of whom so did not fit my stereotype of hippie farm co-op types at all, but there they were. At break time they were discussing potential Halloween costumes, and explained that they were planning to "sexify" something normally not sexy at all. Which I found pretty humorous and subversive considering that's pretty much the theme of most commercial women's costumes anyway. One had settled on being a sexy plumber.

The topic drifted to other costumes while I eavesdropped someone else's conversation about moussaka recipes (too bad I dislike eggplant/aubergines). I heard the young women discussing the possibility of being Willy Wonka--the Gene Wilder version, not Johnny Depp--as well as the difficulty of finding good couples' costume ideas. At which I suggested that someone should be a sexy Willy Wonka. Another one of the young women later mentioned that she and her boyfriend were planning to see Hall & Oates live soon, as they were both obsessed with the retro band. I wondered aloud why they weren't dressing as H&O, but she said that it would cause conflict, because both would want to be Oates--though perhaps they could go as Oates and Oates...ah, to be young again, when others don't fault you for doing really, really silly things.

Once home, I took a nap for an hour or so, as I'd been up since 4:30 a.m. (asthma, not Limelet issues.) I suddenly awoke from a very deep sleep, hearing Limelet's voice outside on the porch. He was talking with my mother, who had fetched him from daycare, and they didn't have a key to get in. I jumped up and ran downstairs and flung open the door, then stood there shaking with sleepiness as I remembered that my mother died several years ago, and in any case didn't live around here. The weirdest part was that it didn't seem weird--it seemed completely natural and everyday. Would that it were.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


When did Lipsmackers stop flavoring their products? I used to love their watermelon one as well as Dr Pepper. Usually ate most of it by December 26.
I recently bought Limelet a Dr Pepper one, because he always wants to use/eat my lipstick. It had a wonderful soda scent (as I remembered it) and no pigment, as I was hoping. But it also had no taste or sweetness at all! What the heck is the point? Did they take it out because kids were eating it or something?

Friday, October 09, 2009


I have a Paypal debit card, and I really wish I could use it (with my "allowance").  Unfortunately, TheLimey already has our bank account linked up with his Paypal account (that he needs for various overseas errands), so I can't add funds from our bank. Only one Paypal account allowed per bank account.  I understand there are security issues here, but if there are two bank account owners, shouldn't it be okay to have (their) two Paypal accounts associated with it?
Now, just don't get me started about Amazon.  Sheesh.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Yet Again, I'm Official (An Anticlimax)

UPS delivered my PhD diploma. Now I can shower.

Although for some reason the printer capitalized the "l" in the middle of one of my last names. Although with the fancy lettering, it's not undecorative. It now looks kind of nonspecifically Asian, the way people pronounced my name when I visited Hawaii.

Since I didn't have a scanner available at the time I sent the application, I can't look at a copy to see how I filled it out that they would misread it that way. Since the form specified "fill it out EXACTLY as you want it," I was very careful about it, and I'm already a stickler for that sort of thing, I really believe I probably did fill it out right and they misread it. Probably just too dang many names overall and they got confused. Why? Just take it one at a time, like any other kind of reading!

I kind of don't care right now; I don't know if that will change. There are plenty of people who don't even have a diploma in their current name(s) since they got married and whatnot.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

One Last Gouge

Ever since I defended my dissertation, I've been getting messages of the "Okay, now you're really, really done. No, this time I mean it" variety from individuals, departments, and the institution itself. This culminated over the summer with several letters from the registrar saying things like "YOU HAVE FULFILLED ALL THE REQIREMENTS FOR THE PhD" and later "You will be receiving a diploma at the end of the semester" and then "You will be receiving your diploma, like, months after the semester is actually over." Honestly. Could they draw it out any more? It's been a year and three quarters since I defended and was supposedly allowed to call myself "Doctor."

Today I got a robot phone call from UPS saying they will be delivering a package from Records and Registration tomorrow, signature required This will finally, finally, be the diploma*. While it is unlikely that I'll be able to attend the graduation ceremony itself from out of state, I at least wanted the regalia for attending future events as other faculty do. I called the official university bookstore to find out about getting said regalia.

Since so few PhDs are granted there, I had to speak to three different people before I found someone who had any answers, and he still had to go look it up. What it is, is that most graduating students rent their outfits for a hundred-odd dollars, but one can also purchase them. The "hood" and "tam" (oh, great...a tam) would be about seventyish dollars to purchase, and the gown (sit down) hundred fifty dollars.

So, guess what? I'm not buying that gown. Nosirree. My theory is that the education accessories mill realizes that after years of getting money from PhD students, they are about to leave, so now is the last chance to get anything. Make it expensive!

The clerk did mention that most faculty simply rent a basic black PhD gown for events, anyway, and wear the purchased headgear with it. So there ya go.

For photos, I can probably just photoshop photos of my body graduating from undergrad, but with my current head in the PhD headgear, since my undergrad and grad schools had the same school colors. Yep.

I'll look a lot thinner, too.

*Yes, this is an assumption, which practically begs heaven for some horrible mishap.