Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I picked vegetables - came inside - thought I had three of the larger tomatoes from the July 4 plants but could only find two - in the process of looking, dropped a few of the small grape tomatoes on the floor - scrambled to get them before Ande (who tried to play with one). Shared a nectarine with the dogs. Went in the bathroom. Heard Sophie's awful barking, she makes a terrible sound when she is trying to protect her dinner from Sam (we generally have to guard for her, since Sam is extremely competitive). Yelled shut up, came out of the bathroom. Saw that she had something, was worried that it was a nectarine pit (though I thought I was careful about throwing it out). She guiltily drops it to bark at me for threatening her, and I see it is a small red ball. Wonder where it came from, realize it is the missing tomato, which she proceeded to eat in between barks (and Sam kept his distance, but begged from me until I gave him a grape tomato).

Classes started yesterday! I am pretty much already back in the groove. Both went well. My online class started Monday and it is too big. Usually a lot of students drop in the beginning once they see what they are getting into, but that hasn't happened so far. Tomorrow I will have the first of my remaining class. On Friday we are going to the Chatham Fair. And then swimming this weekend! It's bittersweet, the end of summer.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I know it has been a while since I signed on, because the blogger dashboard is different tonight.

I got my grades done (I thought I had until 11:59 pm on the 21st...turns out that I was holding up the registrar from doing degree clearance for August graduates! Yikes! I am not sure if Lyme Disease has impacted my brain, or if the registrar was just hassling me). I failed two students and gave three D grades. I already had quite a go around with one of the students who failed. I suspect I will get some complaints, if not from another of those five then from one of the students who got C or B. There were quite a few A grades this summer also. That is the way summer is, students are either completely motivated, or total slackers.

I have three of my syllabi done, and the online class partially updated. I am always pushing deadlines, but this semester is ridiculous.

But I will get everything done tomorrow, and the weekend looks great for swimming. I am also going to plant spinach.

Last night we went to see Neil Diamond at the Times Union Center. (Note: it will always be the Knick Arena to me.) I am not a fan of his at all, in fact the only song that came to mind when I agreed to go was "Coming to America." (Turns out that was the encore.) We got the tickets for free, though, and who can say no to that? They were nosebleed, second row from the top, but even those go for $55 each. Apparently, when shows don't sell out, the unsold tickets are donated to charities, and become tax write-offs for the arena and entertainer. So that's how we got them.

It was a curious experience, watching the concert from so high up. I don't think I have ever sat so far away. It wasn't bad, actually, because it was not nearly as loud up there. And when you aren't a major fan, it is more comfortable to sit away from the groupies who were throwing underwear on the stage. Sometimes it was almost like being an observer, rather than a participant. The one drawback was that it was hot up there! It seemed that many people around me were afraid of heights. Despite my various phobias and neuroses, that isn't a problem of mine.

He played several songs from a new album (the standout was a song called "Pretty Amazing Grace,") and a lot of his old stuff. It turned out that I knew about three-quarters of them, for example "Sweet Caroline," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" (a song I have never liked, but then I am not a Streisand enthusiast, and most recently she generates memories of my last root canal - when the dentist was playing one of her albums and I thought I would go insane), and "Forever in Blue Jeans."

He spoke about his faith and his Brooklyn childhood. There was a big screen behind the stage with close ups of the band, or sometimes with pictures of his family, from when he was a kid, so binoculars were not necessary. It was somewhat generic (he didn't mention Albany) and he didn't do that much chatting. There was no political commentary, which was a welcome change from most concerts I attend. I can't say it transformed me into a fan who will run out and buy his albums, but it was a surprisingly enjoyable night.

I almost forgot! Ande got his first mouse. He was so proud that he puffed up to twice his size, but even at that, he is still much smaller than Edna. She supervised. It was kind of awful in a way (I can't even kill spiders or ants), but on the other hand, getting rid of (indoor, he will never be allowed to get critters outside) pests is a great thing about cats. Both dogs were either afraid or disgusted, I couldn't tell which. They do not seem to have any instincts.

There are parents who put "my child is an honor student" bumper stickers on their car. And then there's me, recording my cat's first successful hunt.

Finally: some interesting links on Lyme Disease / transmission from insects other than ticks here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yesterday, I got my hair cut and while I was waiting I read the least obnoxious magazine I could find. It was Redbook. Two articles really irritated me, so today I went to the website to see if I could post a comment and even though this one seems to have a comment option, I couldn't figure out how to do it.

So here goes: articles like this one on avoiding tickets encourage bad driving, traffic fatalities, corruption, scofflaw behavior, and give the impression that women are airheads. (But maybe Redbook readers are airheads.) You should be ashamed of yourself for publishing this irreponsible garbage, even in a fluffy magazine like Redbook.

This one does not seem to have a comment feature. Although it's another incredibly trite piece of writing, hats off to Kristy for getting at least somewhat healthier, but on what planet is a woman of her height (5'4") a size 10 at 150 pounds and a size 6 at 130 pounds? I call BS. Why wasn't that questioned by an editor? I am the same height as Kristy, and I have worn size 10 clothes since I reached adulthood. I weigh 130 right now, and can fit that size from ~125 (roomy) to ~135 (tight) pounds. I'd say someone at 150 pounds is closer to size 14. To wear a size 6, you would need to be ~110 pounds. This really makes me wonder about the veracity of the entire article.
After a busy weekend (Bob's 30 year HS reunion was Saturday), I finished the doxycycline on Tuesday. I hope it worked! Now begins the countdown to the end of summer session (tomorrow), grades (8/21) and the first day of classes (8/26). Despite the rain (and flooding on Monday), the garden is producing like mad.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

My summer class will be over on 8/15, grades are due 8/21, and then the fall semester starts 8/26. Ugh. I always dread it! But once classes start, I won't mind so much. Lots of work to do by then, though.

Harvesting lots of stuff from the garden. Tomatoes galore. Picked the first cucumber on Monday!

On Sunday we went to Oneonta. I think the last time we visited there was February 2007. Too long. We walked around downtown, drove around the campus, felt sad and old, and ate at Brooks'. On the way out we stopped at the Carrot Barn in Schoharie and got corn and beets.

This weekend is Bob's 30 year high school reunion, so it's another weekend on the road.