Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Check out my dog-niece, a boxer puppy that my brother Ryan got just before Thanksgiving. He named her "Sugaree," which is apparently a Grateful Dead song. We've always been a cat family, but it didn't take long for her to win us all over.
Here she is with Ryan.
With Ryan again.
Sleeping in Jeff's arms.
Hanging with Kelsie.
With yours truly.
She even passed the test with my mom, the biggest challenge of all. Less than 5 minutes after this picture was taken, my mom was calling her "Oma's dog." Too funny.
And of course, I've got video.
This last video shows what happens when puppy meets cat and neither one saw it coming. Notice, by the way, how I get asked, "Did you step on her?" Real nice, folks.
First, there were the conferences...
Vogel and I at SSAWW in Philadelphia in October. This is the one decent photo I have from that conference.
Aaron and David at SAMLA in Atlanta in November. A couple of hotties, right?
Gretchen was at SAMLA, too, and we totally geeked out over her presence at the book displays. The above photo is a blurb she has on the back of this book.
And of course we had to get a photo of her just happening to notice her own book on sale.
Of course, it wasn't all about glamourous conferences and travel this semester. There was also, as I've complained about a lot on this blog, tons of freakin' work to do!
Not everyone was happy about all that work. Here are Bing and Wes doing their best to talk me into taking a break one night. This was in the middle of advising, as evidenced by the spring course schedule and catalog in the picture.
Bing's tactics got increasingly desparate that night. "If she won't stop, I'll just throw myself on the papers and look cute."
Again, it was a long semester!
But there were some fun moments, like the one below, from Allison's Halloween party.
Why yes, that is Little Red Riding Hood, Marie Antoinette, and a poor imitation of the Octomom.
The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, a day that I had been in my office on campus all day grading papers and reading applications, my friend Steph stopped by with her new acquisition, Cali. Pretty darn cute, right?
You can also check out this video on Cali and Bella, her new big sister, playing on the floor of my office. Please ignore my silly laughter--you can tell I was punchy and just thrilled for such an adorable distraction.
More good news: my dad had a heart procedure yesterday that (for once!) went amazingly well. He had to spend last night in the hospital, but should actually feel better once he gets home. Believe me, that is so not the usual pattern. And God bless the scientists/doctors who had made such amazing advancements in technology. Yesterday, his doctor was able to remove a blockage that had been untouchable and untreatable since 1989. That's 20 years. Amazing.
The cherry on top: tomorrow, I have a day of Christmas shopping and fun with Jane on the schedule.
I haven't said this for a while--haven't had the heart to in the middle of what has been a rough couple of months--but life seems pretty darn good right now and I feel quite blessed.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Holy crap, can you believe the ending of Dexter last night? So heartbreaking...so amazing.
Okay--back to work I go!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
But, catching my breath for a moment, here are the final tallies of work awaiting me--all needing to be completed by December 16:
1) Seventeen English 101 essays, each about 4 pages. This class started out with 20, so I lost three of them... I got these essays today and have already read through four of them. (It does by so unbelievably quickly when you don't have to comment on them!)
2) Ninety-nine English 204 exams (3 sections). This could be worse: each class started off with 35 students, so there could have been 105. I get two sections worth of these tomorrow and the other section on Monday morning.
3) Two short introductions for the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, one on Jesse Stuart's "Split Cherry Tree" and one on Rebecca Harding Davis's "Life in the Iron-Mills." These are, as I mentioned, supposed to be short (2-3 pages each) and I've got the research done. I just need to sit down and write them!
4) MLA interviews to plan. This is a minor thing--and there's a committee involved, but it's on my mind, so it's on the list.
5) One party to host at my house. The Sigma Tau Delta students want to have a holiday party at my house, so tomorrow's the day. Should be fun--but I've got to clean the house and all that before then, so I am putting this on the "work" list.
After that, it's a short trip home for Christmas, then off to MLA, then back to WV to finish up those syllabi for next semester!
As a reward for myself for getting work done, I might be taking some blogging breaks (breaks during which I blog!) to catch up a bit. I've got pictures from Thanksgiving, for instance, and pictures and videos of puppies! (Everyone loves puppies, right?)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Special thanks to David, who knew how I could get that image off of my cellphone and onto my computer. He's my tech go-to guy.
Friday, November 13, 2009
On a related note, as several of my friends know, I hate text messaging. Some of that is because I am so darn slow that it takes me 2o minutes to type a line. Some of it is because it costs me anywhere from 10 to 30 cents to send or receive messages and I don't like that I don't have choice about whether or not I want to receive them. But a whole lot of it is because I hate "text speak"--the abbreviations and general butchery it does to language. Similarly, I can't send emails without salutations and proper closing, much less without punctuation or capitalization. I know that I have issues...
Imagine my horror, by the way, when someone (I have no idea who!) taught my 60-something year old father to send text messages and he took to it a like a fish to water. I mean, he texts with the enthusiasm and frequency of a 17 year old girl. The other day, I got this message from him: "How r u". Seriously?
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
After that, you know you'll want to check out this collection of soldiers' dogs welcoming their owners home from overseas. (I've linked to one of them back in October 2008).
1) Awesome collection of photos, courtesy of The Big Picture, marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The before and after ones are pretty amazing.
2) Metaphors people use to describe their lives. Most days, I'll go with "a journey," although sometimes it feels like "a battle" (yes, I am being dramatic), and when I am teaching, a lot like "a performance."
3) A blog of bank robbery notes. This one is a bit addictive. And lord help me, some of these read like little found poems. I love how some are so short and simple (one simply says "$250,000"). Others are (perhaps not surprisingly) marked by some serious spelling/grammar mistakes. And who knew so many robbers were concerned about dye packs? Finally, gotta love how many of them say please or thank you.
4) Are the Dexter fans out there aware of these animated webisodes about our favorite serial killer's early adventures? Very cool.
5) Poor Dollhouse. It's probably too late to do anything to save this show, but that doesn't mean people won't try viral marketing campaigns.
6) In better Whedonesque news, check out what Nathan Fillion has to say about more Dr. Horrible.
Now the paper itself is done--has been for a very long time, but I need to make it a bit longer and want to make it more general-audience friendly (in other words, not just for a bunch of English PhDs). Plus, I've got a to make a powerpoint presentation, something I am not very good at doing. It's the aesthetics of the thing that always trip me up--mine never look as sleek or polished as I want them to look.
Anyway, I've got Poe on the brain, so figured I'd link to a couple of recent "Poe in the News" sites. Incidentally, I think I'll reference both of the stories in the beginning of my talk, since they speak to people's continuing fascination with Poe.
1) "Edgar Allan Poe Finally Getting Proper Burial." I found this one all sorts of creepy--and totally appropriate for Poe.
2) "Quoth the Raven: 'Baltimore.'" This recent NPR story discusses an exhibit of works inspired by Poe. Anyone up for a roadtrip to Baltimore to check it out?
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
2) Via Andrew Sullivan, a really cool chart that helps you understand cell size.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Here's the youtube clip (that is sure to vanish soon):
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Some guidelines: the book should appeal to lots of different groups (not just freshman, not just English-major types), should be in paperback (or at least an affordable hardcover), and should be no more than 300 pages. You can read about this year's book and the events we've held around it here.
Any suggestions, oh wonderful readers?
Thursday, October 15, 2009
It actually was a pretty easy process--time-consuming, I suppose, but not all that difficult since I've been saving and organizing all the materials from day one here at Shepherd. (That's a piece of advice to all my friends who are also in new academic jobs--be pack-rats! Save thank-you notes and emails, fliers with your name on them, write-ups in local papers, etc.)
Incidentally, I think part of the reason the process was relatively pain-free is because at UNCG, we were encouraged to create and constantly update our teaching portfolios. The pre-tenure portfolio is a lot like a teaching portfolio, but with sections about your scholarship and service, as well. Anyway, just another reason I am glad to have gotten my degrees at UNCG.
Now...back to work on that SSAWW paper!
Also, someone please explain to me why in the last week or so I agreed to A) serve as a reader for a manuscript submitted to a journal (I can't say which journal) and B) write two introductory essays for an anthology? I might never get out of this hole...but that's okay.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The Sigma Tau Delta students, who hosted Thursday night's keynote event, posing before anyone showed up.
Some of them wanted to take a "funny" picture. The rest just acted normal. This is the result.
Dr. Shurbutt giving Silas the 2009 Appalachian Heritage Award. The plaque has this wonderful quotation from Clay's Quilt: "He had spent his whole life listening to stories from the past, and now he had his own, and it was slowly building, chapter by chapter."
Silas talking about the winning story from the West Virginia Fiction Writer's competition. It works like this: a panel of judges (including yours truly) narrows the pool down to about 10 stories and then the writer-in-residence picks the winner and two runner ups. This year's winning story, "Ruined Water" by Natalie Sypolt, is an amazing story.
Silas giving his keynote, "The History of Every Country."
Silas answering questions.
Another question, this time from the President herself.
After the event, Silas posed for a picture with the STD students.
We read Parchment in my English 204 classes and out of 100 students in those three sections, I didn't hear a single "why did we have to read this?" at the end of our discussions. In fact, many students said something like, "I don't like reading [they say this to their English teachers all the time!], but this I really liked."
Anyway, I thought I might just paste in my opening remarks from the "Writing Life" event, held on Wednesday, September 30. (Yes, I was lucky enough to get to introduce Silas, who told me, "You can introduce me anywhere" when I got done. Swoon!) I'll admit that the text reads a bit hokey, but it was the best I could do during that extra busy week.
Welcome to tonight’s Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence event, “The Writing Life” with Silas House. We are in for a treat tonight. First, though, I’d like to thank the Shepherd University Foundation, the Friends of the Shepherdstown Public Library, and the West Virginia Humanities Council for sponsoring this event.
I picked up my first Silas House novel in May of 2008—Memorial Day weekend. The book was A Parchment of Leaves. It was a lovely day—the windows were open, a sweet breeze blew in, birds sang outside. I opened that book in the early afternoon and before I knew it, it has grown dark outside, singing birds replaced by singing crickets. And if you’ve read Parchment, you know how appropriate that setting was. And I read on and on and on. Eventually, I took a break, but got right back to that book the next day and finished it that next night. I was, simply put, captured by this book—moved by it, exhilarated by it, and wanted to read more. Since that time, I will confess: I can’t read enough Silas House and continue to be thrilled by his words.
Last November, I saw Silas read at the South Atlantic Modern Languages Association conference in
At that reading in
Monday, October 12, 2009
Woolson, who had a difficult life as a woman writing in the nineteenth century, wrote to Edmund Clarence Stedman in 1876: "'Why do literary women break down so...It almost seems as though only the unhappy women took to writing. The happiest women I have known have belonged to two classes; the devoted wives and mothers, and the successful flirts, whether married or single; such women never write'" (qtd. in Torsney 19). What a powerfully sad observation--and one often repeated by other women artists. I am reminded of that troubling section in Fanny Fern's Ruth Hall where the main character tells her daughter that she prays the child never ends up like her mother--a successful writer. "No happy woman ever writes," she thinks to herself.
Woolson's writing is full of such observations as again and again she acknowledges her own desire to write and be respected yet also notes how this separates her from other women--how it marks her as different. Torsney's Constance Fenimore Woolson: The Grief of Aristry covers this idea quite well and it worth a read if you are at all interested in Woolson.
Additionally, she writes again and again about the limitations she feels imposed on her--about what a woman should write about and just how she should handle her subject. For the most part, even if such choices kept down her sales figures, she wrote what she felt she had to, a courageous choice for a woman who was more or less financially dependent on selling her writing. Here's a heck of a passage from another letter: “‘I had rather be strong than beautiful, or even good, provided the good must be dull’” (qtd. in Pattee 132).
But it's not all sadness and gloom in Woolson's letters: check out this gem from a letter to Henry James, her good friend, written in February, 1882, in response to his Portrait of a Lady:
“How did you ever dare write a portrait of a lady? Fancy any woman’s attempting a portrait of a gentleman! Wouldn’t there be a storm of ridicule…For my own part, in my small writings, I never dare put down what men are thinking, but confine myself simply to what they do and say. For, long experience has taught me that whatever I suppose them to be thinking at any especial time, that is sure to be exactly what they are not thinking. What they are thinking, however, nobody but a ghost could know” (qtd. in Torsney 39).
I love this passage because it's both funny and biting, playful and serious, marks of the best kind of humor.
And one more--just because it gives me funny mental images--an excerpt from an 1875 letter: "'I hate Wordsworth. Yes, I really think I hate him. And the reason is because people keep flinging him at your head all the time'" (qtd. in Hubbell 725). Don't tell anyone, but that's kind of how I feel about Wallace Stevens (in part because I don't get him!).
Hubbell, Jay B. “Some New Letters of Constance Fenimore Woolson.” The
Pattee, Fred L. “Constance Fenimore Woolson and the South.”
Torsney, Cheryl B. Constance Fenimore Woolson: The Grief of Artistry.
Anyway, here are the three things that have been occupying me so far today:
1) Printing and organizing application materials for our two job searches. All of our materials (with the exception of reference files) are submitted online (official university procedure), but someone (me!) still has to print them out for colleagues who don't like to read online documents. It's a pain the neck and takes an incredible amount of time (hours and hours and hours), especially with my super-slow printer, but it is easier on the candidates this way and I am all about making things easier for the poor folks on the job market.
2) Working on my third-year review portfolio, due on October 15. It's not all that different from the teaching portfolio I put together while on the job market, although this one includes documentation of scholarship and service, too. It's coming along, but I have lots of question about formatting and stuff and no one to ask until Wednesday when we are back in session. I also think it's always a bit strange to put together what is essentially a binder all about how awesome I am (ha!) and how they ought to keep me around. I mean, I know you've got to do it, but it's a weird process.
3) Working on my paper on Constance Fenimore Woolson for SSAWW. I've been done with the research part of the project since the end of the summer, actually, but haven't taken the time to do the actual writing. It's all up in my head and everything, but I've got to just sit down and write the thing. And I am about to write another post about how cool she is...
Don't worry too much about me working through the break: I have scheduled myself to stop at 2:30 to run to Hagerstown to run about a thousand errands, with a healthy mixture of "fun" and "practical" tasks on the list.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I wasn't sure what to expect--I knew it had to be something small (since I couldn't see it from where I was) but not too small since they don't pay attention to really little things outside.
Well, here it was...
That's a pretty big mantis, right?
I put the watering can next to her so you could get an idea of her size. (I think it's a girl...don't know why...I think it's because in my mind, all the boy-mantises have had their heads removed by their mates. I know that's not accurate, but oh well.)
Check out Bing and Wes fighting a bit over the best viewing position.
Anyway, the preying mantis has made a few more appearances, although I haven't seen her in a week. I hope she comes back, though, as last weekend I saw her grab one of these sucker and eat it!
Take that, stink bug!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Cue another happy dance!
*the soundtrack: "The Air That I Breathe" by the Hollies. Not the best choice for a happy dance, but it's been in heavy rotation on my ipod since I downloaded it earlier this week (after seeing it on last week's episode of Fringe).
Thursday, October 1, 2009
1) It's midterms week. A week from tomorrow (at 9:00 a.m.), I'll have to have graded 100 ENGL 204 exams (complete with essay section) and 20 ENGL 101 papers and submitted midterm grades for all of my students. Now you might be thinking, "That's okay--knock out that grading this weekend." Ordinarily, that would work just fine, but not this weekend, as you'll see.
2) It's AHWIR week, which is awesome, but oh-so-time-consuming. I've been on campus every day this week for at least 12 hours straight.
3) We've got this going on on Saturday, all day Saturday, and it really might do me in. Never thought I'd be worrying about things like tracking down a registration table, printing name tags, etc. at this late date.
4) My parents are visiting this weekend--not to see me, but to crash at my place so they can visit with little sister and her fiance (and meet his parents). It's always nice to see my parents, but man, this couldn't come at a worse time.
5) And then there's this lovely cherry on top of the big bowl of stress-sundae: I've got a very nasty cold. No, not the flu...just a cold. But really...when I felt it coming on Monday night, I said, "Really, God? This week?"
It's been fun. I get home, eat dinner, collapse, and then start it all over again the next day. The only light at the end of the tunnel? For the first time ever, Shepherd is giving us a two-day Fall Break, October 12 and 13. So if I can just make it to October 9, the day the grades are due, I'll be okay.
(No time to even think about the other things on the horizon: the two search committees I am chairing, my third-year review portfolio--due on October 15, a conference I've got in a few weeks...)
Nevertheless, I might--for mental health breaks--still manage to do some catch-up link dump postings in the coming days.
Monday, September 28, 2009
A "thank-you note" of sorts for Aunt Shannon, from Bing and Wesley. Also worth noting: how quickly play turns into fighting for these two--play fighting, yes, but still...
They really like the new toy, Shannon. On Sunday morning, one of them had dragged it all the way upstairs and left it at the foot of the bed.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
1) A great new (to me) blog called "Letters of Note." Check out this one and try not to get choked up a bit. There are also lots of more famous notes, like this one.
2) Amazing video footage of a skier trapped in an avalanche and then rescued. Seriously--it's amazingly intense and, in the words of the person who posted it, "I don't think that you could've paid a Hollywood crew to stage something better. The fact that he could've been facing any 360 direction and yet he's looking right up into the sun-filled blue sky with that first full scoop away of the shovel is borderline spiritual."
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I love this clip and this advice, but if I was playing with this guy (especially with the triple letter blocking), I think I'd be fighting the urge to punch him in the face.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
In other Whedonverse news: the Buffy Baby is here! (And she even has a normal name, another reason to love SMG.)
"I think we're in the midst of a literacy revolution the likes of which we haven't seen since Greek civilization," she says. For Lunsford, technology isn't killing our ability to write. It's reviving it—and pushing our literacy in bold new directions.
The first thing she found is that young people today write far more than any generation before them. That's because so much socializing takes place online, and it almost always involves text. Of all the writing that the Stanford students did, a stunning 38 percent of it took place out of the classroom—life writing, as Lunsford calls it. Those Twitter updates and lists of 25 things about yourself add up.
It's almost hard to remember how big a paradigm shift this is. Before the Internet came along, most Americans never wrote anything, ever, that wasn't a school assignment. Unless they got a job that required producing text (like in law, advertising, or media), they'd leave school and virtually never construct a paragraph again.
But is this explosion of prose good, on a technical level? Yes. Lunsford's team found that the students were remarkably adept at what rhetoricians call kairos—assessing their audience and adapting their tone and technique to best get their point across. The modern world of online writing, particularly in chat and on discussion threads, is conversational and public, which makes it closer to the Greek tradition of argument than the asynchronous letter and essay writing of 50 years ago.
Perhaps this is why these days I seem to have fewer students who say "I don't like to write." At the same time, I am not sure about the idea that students are "adept at...assessing their audience and adapting their tone and technique" for different audiences. Maybe that's because I just got yet another one sentence, run-on sentence, salutation-free, punctuation-free, capital-letter-free email from a student. That stuff might be okay for a Facebook exchange between friends, but it sure annoys one's English teacher.
Still, it's nice to see a study about writing that is full of so much good news.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
2) Teaching after midnight? Seriously?
3) A pretty cool lesson about how math can be useful and interesting in the "real world." Here's a teaser: the express lane at checkout is NOT necessarily faster. (I could have told you that, but it's nice to have math backing me up.)
4) What do you think of colleges and universities scheduling a mid-day activity hour for meetings and such? At first blush, I gotta say I like the idea, since there are few things more hellish than trying to schedule a freakin' meeting. Another alternative: one of my friends teaches at a university that doesn't have Friday classes, so all the meetings and things are on Fridays. Not a bad solution, either, although this means classes meet (at most) twice a week and I do best with classes that meet three times a week. [If you work outside academia, you might consider this a really boring and unimportant question, but trust me--it matters. I have already had seven committee/organization meetings this week...]
5) Community premieres tonight and I am planning on watching, primarily because of my love for Joel McHale. As you may have heard, this show is already a bit controversial...
6) Finally, some GOOD news: UNCG has decided to renovate--not demolish--the historic quad. Fantastic choice, folks!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Nevertheless, this box was on the floor for all of 5 seconds before he jumped in it. On the plus side, it does go with the furniture just a bit more than the old one...
I did take a few, though, on our shopping trip. Jane, Kara (Jane's super-cool sister) and I hit Kohl's to get some essential clothing items for Jane, whose wardrobe took a real beating during her two years in Azerbaijan.
Lord knows why anyone thought I would be good at helping her find clothes (have you seen what I wear?), but she was very lucky to have Kara's help. Seriously--Kara could do this professionally. Watch out, Stacy and Clinton. I, on the other hand, did some very good putting things back on the racks and saying, "I like that a lot!"
Every once in a while, I would pretend to be a camera person from "What Not to Wear" and snap a picture.
Jane, arms overflowing with clothes. I know it's blurry, but doesn't she look thrilled to be back in the good old US of A?
Jane is always a good sport when I get a bit silly, so here she is posing for me in her possible "job interview outfit."
I told her that she looked like she doing the pregnant lady "this is my baby" pose, so we should try again.
She said, "Okay, I'll make 'serious face' now."
I think someone spent a bit too much time in a former Soviet state, because this looks like something out of a USSR propaganda poster--and I love it.
Nice outfit, though, right? And it must have worked, because word on the street is that the girl already has two job offers. Not bad after only 4 days back in the country. She rocks like that.
Monday, September 14, 2009
"Misgivings" by William Matthews
"Perhaps you'll tire of me," muses
my love, although she's like a great city
to me, or a park that finds new
ways to wear each flounce of light
and investiture of weather.
Soil doesn't tire of rain, I think,
but I know what she fears: plans warp,
planes explode, topsoil gets peeled away
by floods. And worse than what we can't
control is what we could; those drab
scuttled marriages we shed so
gratefully may auger we're on our owns
for good reason. "Hi, honey," chirps Dread
when I come through the door; "you're home."
Experience is a great teacher
of the value of experience,
its claustrophobic prudence,
its gloomy name-the-disasters-
in-advance charisma. Listen,
my wary one, it's far too late
to unlove each other. Instead let's cook
something elaborate and not
invite anyone to share it but eat it
all up very very slowly.
You can find audio here. Reminds me just a bit of this gem by Charles Simic.
But my big old crush on him really got going when he was in North and South. This mini-series was a huge hit in the Hanrahan household. Erin and I would re-watch the VHS copies we had of it (taped from the original broadcast). Heck, it's how I first learned so much about nineteenth-century America because let's face it, that mini-series covered everything--from the Mexican War to John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry to all the big battles of the Civil War. It was even my first introduction to the tragic mulatta trope, the subject of my first published article many years later. Sometimes when I am teaching the nineteenth century to my 204 students, I almost want to tell them, "Go watch North and South!" It's totally racy, too, and must have been a bit scandalous back in 1985. Check out this trailer from the third night of the first part of the mini-series. Good stuff.
For the record, I haven't seen the whole thing in years and years, although I did discover not too long ago that it's all on youtube and soon wasted about an hour watching the beginning. Yeah--it's not Ken Burn's style accurate, but it still rocks. And at the center of this epic (yup, that's right, I called it epic!) mini-series was the young, gorgeous, and charming Patrick Swayze as Orry Main. Hmmmm...maybe Patrick Swayze, therefore, is part of the reason I became a nineteenth-century Americanist.
And then...Dirty Dancing. Again, I was obsessed. When the movie first came to theatres, my parents insisted I was too young to see it. That was probably a good choice (although they did always let us watch the most gory horror films...) since I was just ten years old. But when it came out on VHS about a year later, all of the sudden, they decided I was old enough. I remember watching it at one of my first slumber parties, too. I had two posters from the movie, the soundtrack(s), and yes, a VHS copy. And I watched and rewatched it. I can still probably quote most of the script.
One of my favorite moments from this movie (and there are so many): the look Johnny Castle gives Baby at about 1:42 into this clip (youtube won't let me embed it) followed by that bitchin' jump off of the stage. It still gives the pre-teen girl in me flutters in the stomach.
And then...Ghost. Cried like a baby in that one, even enduring the awkwardness of seeing it in the theatre with my dad. (I was 13 by that point...not the right age to watch that pottery scene with your dad right next to you. Although, is there a right age to watch that scene with your dad next to you?)
Anyway, I've got lots of other Swayze stories to tell (like the time my brothers thought it would be funny to tease me by pausing Roadhouse at the point where Patrick's bare butt is on screen), but it's enough now to say that it's very sad to hear of his death. He was such a decent man who fought so hard against his disease. Rest in peace, Patrick.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
My mom and Kelsie outside Crystal Grottoes in Boonsboro, Maryland (about 15 minutes from my house). Visiting the Grottoes was a nice way to spend an hour or so. It's no Howe Caverns, which I remember vividly from my childhood, but it was still interesting and cool (literally) and our tour guide was excellent.
Below, a bunch of pictures from inside:
For dinner that night, we went to the Bavarian Inn and had a lovely dinner. You can read about the last time I was there here. The food was delicious, of course, but my favorite part of dinner was watching Kelsie develop a crush on our waiter, a Shepherd student who I know a bit from Sigma Tau Delta stuff. Girls got good taste--he is a cutie and he kept calling her "Miss" and "young lady," which she seemed to love. At one point, he asked if he could refill her almost-full water glass and she was like, "Sure!" and took a big gulp when he went off to get the pitcher.
A nice view of part of the Bavarian Inn.
The chalets overlooking the Potomac at the Bavarian Inn.