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31 May 2011

Look, Mom! No Cavities!! Sorta ...

Today was my annual trip to the dentist (yes, I know you are supposed to go every 6 months, but I barely remember to go once a year. Even with insurance ...), and, let me just say, I love my dentist. Dr. Barlow is this super-nice and congenial guy who is really laid back and comfortable. I never feel uncomfortable around him as I usually do with dentists. I started going to him last year after finally getting dental insurance and after about 7 years of not going to the dentist. (When you don't have dental insurance, a yearly cleaning is a luxury that a poor under-insured graduate student just can't afford.) I told him upfront that I hadn't had a cleaning in a long time, he was pretty cool about him. He didn't shame me for not getting regular cleanings or flossing on a regular basis (or at all). He encouraged me to be better about it, and I promised to (and admittedly failed). His cleanings and fillings are very gentle, and I never leave with sore gums and mouth.

My cleaning today was uneventful. I do have a small little "pot hole" (as Dr. Barlow calls it) that needs to be repaired. I also got a little bit of a scolding for not being better about flossing. He scolded me in the kindest, most helpful way possible. I have a spot on one of my teeth that will definitely need repairing in the next year if I don't take extremely diligent care of it. That means flossing and using special mouthwash every day.


I know that my teeth are extremely important and that mouth health is an indicator of overall health, but how does one remember to floss every day? Am I the only person out there who has such trouble flossing every day? What is the secret to accomplishing this? Because I really don't want to make my dentist mad when I go in in July to get my "pot hole" fixed.

30 May 2011

30 Day Photography Challenge

A fellow blogging friend will be taking part in a 30-day photography challenge, and, since I've been so bad about daily photography this month, I figure I'll participate as well! Maybe it will get me back on track.

If you are interested in participating, I encourage you to join in the fun! Maybe I'll even do weekly round-ups so everyone can share their pretty work!

28 May 2011

NC Life 365 - Day 111

Is it a bad thing that I am envious of my students' talents?

NC Life 365 - Day 110

Leis for the luau

NC Life 365 - Day 109

May has been a hard month for photography for me. Not sure what has happened, but I've taken very few photos and DEFINITELY not one a day. I'll be better in June.

Baby shower

24 May 2011

Blessings in the shape of a boy

The Boy graduated from Tulane with all the appropriate pomp and circumstance just a few short weeks ago. Sadly the economy is less exciting and The Boy has no job yet. He is definitely looking and looking hard, willing to take something out of his field of expertise as long as it is gainful employment. The hard part about that is that he now has five (six?) degrees which makes him over-qualified for a lot. But he's pretty great and keeps his head up. He's one of those people who doesn't get beaten down when things do go just how he wants. He's confident that things will work out however God plans. Unfortunately we don't know that plan so we just have to ride it out until that plan is revealed.

The great thing about him being unemployed is that he has moved in with me temporarily. Now, most of you know that I LOVE living alone and don't always share my space easily. He knows this as well. And he has been doing an amazing job of being respectful of my space as well as chipping in to the household in whatever way he can (since monetary contributions aren't his strong suit right now). He has been cooking fantastic meals for me (Sunday night's dinner was salmon, Israeli couscous with mango and pineapple, spinach and wine, of course!) and cleaning the house like crazy. Yesterday he washed all the windows (no more Bailey nose-prints!), cleaned and vacuumed all of the carpets, mopped and waxed the floors, dusted and cleaned all my pictures on the wall, and took care of The Beast all day. He essentially is doing all of the things that I never have time for because I am gone all day at work and too tired to do them when I get home.

Having him around is also pretty great because I am able to get back to my regular gym routine. In fact, now I can go straight to the gym after work and then home. Normally I have to go home after work, walk and feed the dog, and then leave for the gym at 7pm or so. Now I get home around 6 and can relax and hang out with The Boy and The Beast.

Aside from all the great things he is doing while I'm away at work, the best part about having him around is having him around. We've spent the majority of our relationship living at least 45 minutes apart. The whole time I live in the 'boro, he either lived in NY or in WS (which was about 45 minutes away, depending on traffic). After I moved to the Triangle, we were 90 minutes apart. Then he moved to NOLA which meant, yet again, we were HOURS apart. So we are pretty well versed in living apart and making things work. It takes effort and communication, but we make it work. It's nice to be able to see each other each and every day now. We can watch movies together, eat dinner together, talk face-to-face, go for walks with The Beast (if it isn't a million degrees out), and just be near each other. Even if it is just short term.

He's always been a blessing to me. Now it is just all the more evident.

What does it mean when you dream of land octopi ...

... in Ireland?

Here is my dream from last night. You tell me what hidden meaning I am supposed to find in it because I am at a total loss.

Quinn's Momma and I are in Ireland. Not in a hotel or anything but a house. I know this because we have the means to wash our clothes. But not in a modern way. In the bar of soap, washboard, and clothesline way. So we are washing some clothes and Quinn's Momma shakes out a blanket or something that had a lot of pockets in it (who knows where that dream image comes from), and, as she shakes it, a tiny octopus the size of a tennis ball pops out of the pocket. As soon as it hits the ground, it scurries into a shaded corner like a cockroach. I completely freak out (because, apparently, I'm afraid of octopi) and start screaming. It doesn't freak me out that an octopus is hanging out on dry land; it freaks me out that there is a creature running around the house. As we continue to shake out the blanket, more and more tiny octopi keep coming out. I continue to freak out, and Quinn's Momma is cool, calm, and collected (much like her real-life demeanor). All of the scurry off to dark spaces and corners, and I end up standing on a chair.

Somewhere around there, I wake up because I really have to pee. And I'm totally bewildered by this dream. Supposedly dreams have meaning, but, for the life of me, I can't seem to piece together any real meaning from this one.

I do not want this crawling around my house.
Even if it could actually survive for long periods outside of water. 

23 May 2011

The rapture that wasn't meant to be

So, the world didn't end on Saturday at 6pm. Not that I thought it was going to, but there was a group of crazy Protestants who thought it was going to. I'm not exactly sure where they got their information, but it certainly wasn't very convincing. At least not for me. But rapture or no rapture, I felt pretty confident given that I was at mass when it was supposed to happen. And I love that Father Dan made light of all this rapture nonsense during his homily. He got up to the podium after reading the Gospel and said, "I have good news and I've got bad news. The bad news is that the world is going to end in about 45 minutes. The good news is that you are in the right place." That got a solid laugh from the congregation.

All this rapture talk has also got me asking questions.

I've known from the get-go that these doomsday "predictions" were base-less, but it always amazing me that people actually make them in public. And what happens when those predictions are wrong (as they have been so far)? What do these prophets say then? Do they have some wicked good comeback and explanation about why they were wrong? Do they just adjust their dates and say their math was a little off?

Supposedly Saturday was exactly 7,000 years TO THE DAY of Noah's flood. I find that quite hard to swallow. The Bible that I read doesn't have dated entries, and, while some biblical scholars have "calculated" dates based on genealogy of the patriarchs, I'm not really swallowing that pill. I guess as a literature person, I view the Bible in a much more literary, allegorical, and figurative way and have no need to look at it through the lens of science and math. Given that and the fact that our accounting of days and months and years has changed repeatedly throughout history, I just can't believe that we are capable of calculating such a precise date and time.

And finally, I find it incredibly pompous and presumptuous to ignore this little passage from Matthew: "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone" (24:36). Hmmm ... well, I guess that nullifies all that has been said about this pending rapture. Why does God not tell us when it is going to happen? Because He doesn't want us to know. He doesn't want us to do some last minute CYA moves to prove our goodness and worthiness. He wants us to live a righteous life each and every day, regardless of when the rapture is supposed to start. 

In fact, we should live every day like the rapture is coming tomorrow. 

That's what I've learned from the rapture that wasn't. How about you?

While you're here, please vote for me!

17 May 2011

Before I die ...

Before I headed south and west to the Big Easy, one of my favorite colleagues tweeted about a pretty cool collaborative art piece in the Faubourg Marigny area of NOLA. It was a pretty cool concept and, despite being a semi-questionable neighborhood, it was worth the walk.

The boards had been cleaned since the original post, but the boards were beginning to fill up again. I wanted to add my two-cents, but the chalk was gone! Smashed and stolen form the piece. That clearly has happened before because there was more than one "before I die" statements that had to do with the "jerk who keeps stealing the chalk."

I was pretty impressed with the seriousness and maturity of the majority of the statements. Too often people take these opportunities to act like jerks. The people who had participated in this exhibit really had some interesting things to say.

I like this statement. Simple, but profound.

I, too, want to learn.  Everything.

I appreciate the "love my family" statement. Some people really struggle with this.
More than would like to admit, I'm sure. 

I was really struck by the "get clean" statement. The candor gave me pause. 

Pretty cool, huh?

Please vote for me while you're here. Thanks!

16 May 2011

Lightening storm at eye level

While flying into Charlotte on Saturday night, my plane was slightly diverted to avoid a system of bad weather. Never before had I seen a storm from any angle other than looking up. From the window of a plane, one can see the size and shape of a storm and it's pretty damn impressive. Thunder storms really are shaped like an anvil; they tower high above all of the other clouds. They are dark and ominous and scary. Well, this storm LET LOOSE while we were flying around it. The lightening was absolutely amazing. It was pink and white and red and blue ... I never knew lightening could look like that. It completely lit up the clouds. But it made no sound at all. Or, at least, I couldn't hear it over the roar of the plane.

It was absolutely TERRIFYING to watch. But, at the same time, absolutely AMAZING. I'd never seen a lightening storm from eye-level before, and it was truly one of the coolest things I've ever witnessed. About halfway through the storm, I remembered the video that I had watched a few days prior about a plane getting struck by lightening. I don't know if anyone was hurt then, but I'm definitely glad I was safe.

I searched in vain on YouTube for a video that captured what I saw. At least I have a vivid memory.

It was a pretty sweet way to cap off my NOLA trip.

NOLA Recap

The Boy graduated (for the 5th time) this weekend. Hopefully this is his last graduation for a while. And, by "for a while" I mean "forever." The weather in NOLA was gorgeous the entire time I was there, and we had a great time. (There will be a forthcoming post regarding the less-than-great aspect of the trip, i.e. family.)

It was sad to leave knowing that I won't be going back to visit anytime soon. It's been so wonderful to fly down there avery few weeks/months and eat good food, drink good drinks, and just enjoy all that NOLA has to offer.

And now, as with all my trips, some pictures to share. I honestly didn't take many this trip, but I'll share the few that I did take.

The stained glass at Immaculate Conception reflecting on the pews.

Immaculate Conception

Looking up at the Cathedral.

What time is it?

Summertime buds.

Cathedral on a clear day.

Joan of Arc

I'll miss this part of the Quarter.
The drunk people? Not so much.

Artistic security device.

Me and my boy.

The Causeway at sunset.

A bit o' bayou.

One last look at the Mighty Miss.

And I've finished composing my coffee table book reflecting back on my year "in" NOLA.

NC Life 365 - Day 108

Flying away one last time from NOLA as the sun begins to set over Pontchartrain.

Goodbye, NOLA

Thanks for voting for me!

NC Life 365 - Day 107

Captured NOLA corner

A vote for me, if you please?

NC Life 365 - Day 106

Bathing birdie

I'd love your vote if you have the time. 

NC Life 365 - Day 105

Looking up.
I'd be honored if you voted for me. :)

NC Life 365 - Day 104

Stained glass.

A vote? Thanks!

NC Life 365 - Day 103

A vote for me, if you please?

NC Life 365 - Day 102

This isn't really from my 102nd day, but I've been delinquent. Instead of starting over, I'm picking up where I left off.

My new orchid. $25 at Earthfare. Oh yeah.

While you're here, a vote for me? Please? Thanks!

Falling off the face of the earth

I've been a VERY bad blogger. My last real post was 15 days ago. I haven't posted (or taken) a picture of the day since the first of May. I have been busy and Blogger did go down for a few days (which I didn't even notice because I've been so bad), but that's no real excuse. I've just been lazy and disinterested. Which is no excuse. But it is what it is. I'll try to be better. In the meantime, some pretty entertaining posts are brewing. Like ...

- NOLA round-up pics
- Traumatic family vacation reflections
- Watching lightening storms form the air
- NC Life 365 updates

and much, much more!


Pinky swear.


Bailey, the not-so-vicious beast

A mourning dove just landed on the windowsill in my living room.

Bailey was relaxing in her chair.

When the dove landed, she looked over at it.

It began to coo.

She continued to look at it.

It continued to coo.

And it pranced along the windowsill.

And Bailey watched.

Without moving.

Or barking.

Or growling.

Just watching.

Some bird dog she is.

01 May 2011

NC Life 365 - Day 101

I wish I had a picture of Dalmatians today, but I don't. 

Inspirational graffiti 
A wonderfully simple message

Please vote for me while you're here. 


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