Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving

Two days before yesterday my Dad had surgery. Since he had his last episode they wanted to look around in his arteries and see if it would be possible to place a stent where the restriction that caused him his first stroke is. It's a somewhat risky operation, and I was praying really hard the morning they did it. The surgeon ended up deciding it was still to fragile and they didn't place the stent, so while that's unfortunate, I'm thankful he made it through for the time being.

The day before yesterday I interviewed my Aunt Beverly. I'm having to interview two people over the age of 75 for my social research class. It ended up being really good. Just the interview went for almost two hours and I learned a lot of things about her family (and mine also). She is really an amazing person. She and her husband now travel all over the world and are involved in all kinds of community service projects. I just hope that if I live that long I'll be something like that. So regardless of what kind of grade I get on the project, I'm glad I got to talk to her.

Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving at my Uncle Tom and Aunt Linda's house. It's really just down the road from us, and just across the street from my Grandparents house where we would more traditionally celebrate it. Did I ever mention on here that my Aunt and Uncle have an awesome house? It used to be a fabric store called the Strawberry Patch that my Grandma ran. Back they it was just a single room long building with a basement and a tiny upstairs. When my cousins moved to the hill when I was seven or eight they moved in there (after a short stint in the house that I now live myself) and added on the upstairs of the Strawberry Patch building. Then, two years ago or so, my Uncle started building this huge four story addition that more than doubled the size of the building. It's all beautifully done, and with the combined length of the two buildings (which he left open all the way) you easily put a couple bowling allies in the downstairs!

So anyways, it was a good Thanksgiving. I have lots of papers that I need to work on and seem to have almost no motivation to do so. I also need another senior citizen interview. That should happen though....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

On the Age Old Art of Mousetrapping (And Videoing It!)

For the last couple months there have been a lot of mice moving into my house. I would occasionally see one run up the staircase or disappear into a hole in the bathroom wall. I could also hear them chewing in the walls at night, which could be kind of unnerving. I was trying to just ignore them, but last week, they climbed up onto my sink and pooped all over my toothbrush. I decided it was time to take action. I set out just one mouse trap. Within a few minutes it had caught a mouse. I set it again, and caught another, and again, and caught a third. Now, I have always kind of wondered what it actually looks like when this happens, and now, being reasonably assured that it would happen, I set up a camera. Here is the result:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pizza & Fancy Women of Easy Virtue

Yesterday was pretty long. I only have one class on Thursdays, in the morning, but I had told some people that I would come to Social Science Club, which is at 4:00PM. So after my class got out at 11:30, I had to hang out in town for almost five hours. I ate some pizza and was able to get some good research done for big papers for two of my classes; Mesoamerican Anthropology and Rural Sociology. The book I found for the Meso class was really a bit of a life saver too. I'm writing my paper on syncretism (the mixture of two religions in a culture) and until now hadn't been able to find that much in the way of literature directly about it.

At SS club we ate pizza (good) and watched this really long documentary on the Austin Dam disaster (not so good). It was actually interesting, just... long. One part was pretty funny (although it wasn't intended to be). They were discussing different aspects of the town, and apparently there had been a brothel there, the occupants of which one of the old people interviewed referred to as "Fancy women of easy virtue".

I had intended to go home after this, but Nicole had really wanted me to come to Navigators (Patrick was playing some rather nontraditional instruments: think accordion). Also, Bill and Emily invited me to a party at their place starting around ten, which is just about when Navs gets out. Since the movie ran so long, I decided to go. So I ended up spending two and a half more hours in town with nothing to do.

Navs was good, and I hung out for almost an hour afterwords. I then went to Bill and Emily's, which was fun. They made some really good punch (and pizza), and we watched The Orphanage (not to be confused with The Orphan). It was Spanish, so we watched it with subtitles. I have to say it was much better than I thought it would be (I generally have pretty low expectations for horror movies).

So, when the day was through, I had been in Mansfield from 10am that morning to about 1am the next morning, and eaten pizza like three times... which is ok.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Great All-American Freakout

Classes have been going decently this past week. Social Research got really intense (that is, more 'really intense' than it has been) but I completed and mailed the survey I had been working on, so that is a big milestone.

Last night I saw Anberlin, Taking Back Sunday and The All-American Rejects live in concert at Mansfield. It was fun. Anberlin and Taking Back Sunday were both pretty good. The All-American Rejects show was seriously perverted though... anyhow it was an experience.












It's that time of year again when all the leaves have fallen and everything is gray (or white this morning as it snowed last night on my way home). If you look hard while your driving along through, particularly through swampy areas, you're likely to see a splotch of red color, and likely as not, it's swamp berries. I went on a walk with my Mom the day before yesterday, and we walked into our neighbors swamp and picked some to decorate with:


















Last winter I didn't have any heat in my house save for some little electric space heaters which didn't do the job when it got really cold. This year, my Dad decided to install a Czech biomass furnace, the Verner, that we sold for a while at ThisWarmHouse. The contractors have been here every morning for the last few days, which means I haven't been able to sleep in at all, since they are working right here. To add insult to injury, they didn't show up until about two weeks after my Dad said they were going to. In order to fix a pipe that was frozen in the storage space beside my room, all the stuff that was stored in it was emptied into my room... and since they didn't come for two weeks, all this junk has been covering my room for almost three weeks now. But at any rate, I'm thankful that they are doing it now, and that I'll have heat this year!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Saving Daylight and Killing Time

Well... you know, I don't really believe in Halloween, and I haven't actually done dressed up or done anything to celebrate it since I was about five years old (when I dressed up as a chef or cowboy or pumpkin or all of those things). The other night though, I was invited to a halloween party with some people from my department at school, and I decided to go, at least to hang out with them. I ended up dressing up as Neo... the star of one of my favorite movies of all time:





























We ended up playing monopoly. It was the first time in a long time that I've done that, and as usual, we didn't finish. Still, it took a few hours, and I didn't make it home until about three in the morning, which was not fun... but I had a good time, so that was cool.

Last night was the time change (if you didn't realize that, the congratulations, you just gained an hour!). I was kind of exited that I was going to sleep an extra hour, but then, I stayed up past midnight, and all my clocks now change automatically (I forgot they do that). So basically, my alarm woke me up at 9:00am... and I was exited because I figured that since I hadn't set it back it would really be 8 when I went over to the house... but alas... it changed automatically and when I thought I had gone to bed at midnight, it was really 1:00am old time, and when I thought I was waking up at 8 new time, I was really waking up at 9 new time, and ten old time... that was frustrating, and kind of stupid on my part, all despite the fact that it was really almost completely meaningless.

So, did you do anything for a Halloween this year?

Did you sleep an extra hour last night, or stay up an extra hour (like me)?

Leave me a comment about it. (if you feel like it of course)