Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Off Season!

Hard work comes with rewards. Sure, some of those are rather ephemeral - you know, that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing you've done hard work well. That sort of thing. But there are tangible, quantifiable rewards, too.

For me, that means getting out of town for a little while. This semester has been extra-crispy and I need to regroup a bit. It's serendipity how everything all came together. I leave for the Southern regional popular culture conference tomorrow - FryDaddy's coming with me. I'll have two days to renew some friendships and take in what other people have been working on, and then I present on Saturday. (Joss Whedon's Dollhouse and its links to Ovid's Metamorphoses. I know it sounds odd, but trust me - it works.) Then we leave for the beach for several days of off-season sand and sun. (And hopefully starfish.) I'm hoping for some serious downtime.

It's safe to say that my version of downtime bears little to no resemblance to the hedonistic parades celebrated on MTV (which, by the way, never seems to actually play videos anymore, which makes me feel both sad and old). I'm hoping for sleeping past seven, an extra cup of coffee enjoyed on the porch swing with a hot Original Glazed from Krispy Kreme, and a movie in the middle of the day.

It might not sound like much, but to me it sounds like next door to heaven. And it's my vacation, so that's what really counts, I suppose!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Moving Toward Fall

It's fall today. Apple cider and pumpkin pie. Football games (although, as a Panthers fan, this could be a long, sorrowful season). A Crock-Pot with a pot roast. The promise of Halloween.

Sure, it was warm and sunny today - certainly still felt like summer. But the change of seasons is marked by either an equinox or a solstice. The equinoxes mean that the day and night are of equal length; that marks the start of spring and autumn. The solstices are the longest day (that starts summer) or the longest night (that starts winter). Today was the autumnal equinox, so summer is officially over. I think that's a good thing - summer's been swelteringly hot, my tomatoes never really took off the way I hoped, and Spooky has dug a series of holes deep enough to serve as a receptacle for punji sticks that I need to fill before I get careless and sprain an ankle.

Seems like my day should be a little more centered if the whole cosmos is in balance, but not so much. Things aren't totally out of whack - it's no Hopi Koyaanisqatsi - but things are not exactly balanced on Mockingbird's see-saw just at the moment.

Yet summer also had its moments of surprise and joy - and I daresay fall will, too.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Brave New Technical World!

I've been dealing with a number of technical issues - in fact, I'm not proud to report that I hung up on tech support in frustration. To be fair, that was after repeated spellings of my name in the International Radio Alphabet (you know, "Mike, Oscar, Charlie, Kilo . . .") and still not being understood! Sigh. And yes, my tech help was located somewhere in Delhi. I hate being a cliche.

But now, thanks to FryDaddy, I now have a printer/scanner/fruit juicer as well as a bona-fide wireless router. No longer is Mockingbird chained to her desk! It's a grand day in which I was able to retire the old system, which was about as technically advanced as two tin cans and a length of twine. The only downside I've seen so far is that Spooky is a bit confused - shouldn't I be sitting at the desk looking at that screen? Not carrying it to the sofa. Or the study. Or the dining room table.

Yay! Technology and a confused dog! It's been a good day.