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I’ve been slimed!

No wait, that’s memed, which appears to be rather different. Sort of. Abby tagged me for an “about you” style meme. I have a bit of time this morning, so here goes!

The rules as I know them:

“The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.”

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

Ten years ago in May I had just defended my PhD dissertation at Duke University, on long-term vegetation change in a Connecticut forest (degree in ecology, specializing in plant communities and vegetation dynamics, with a side of landscape ecology). Finishing was a great relief, and not just because I’d been in school my entire life (the usual, plus 10 years of college and graduate education). I switched advisors and projects two years into the PhD, and consequently lost most of my funding. I worked very hard for very little money, and managed to finish in two more years. I couldn’t have afforded any more time!

So ten years ago, at an age when many people have jobs, houses, families, I was finally graduating!

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?

As it happens, I’m on vacation today, so my to-do list is rather unorthodox. But really, wouldn’t you rather hear about this than “do laundry, pay bills, work on manuscript”?

This was yesterday’s project:
Nick and armor sign

An Austrian armor exhibit is in Cleveland through the end of May, so Nick got a birthday adventure. (He’s very excited!) I dutifully looked at all the armor, but spent a lot of time taking notes on an actual 16th-century tent set up in the exhibit hall. (Let’s just say I’d pay a lot for fifteen minutes with a ruler and magnifying glass, plus a look at the inside!) The armor was very pretty and all, but there was fabric there! I also took a stroll through the botanical gardens while Nick took more notes on the armor. I miss having a formal garden available to stroll/sit/think/work in. If I lived in Cleveland, it would be hard to drag me out of the gardens!

Having already had breakfast and coffee (and showered!) and taken care of one time-critical item online, the list now involves: 1. answer meme questions while lounging around waiting for museums to open (is it cheating to use a meme to answer itself???). 2. Go look at Triceratops and other cool things at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. 3. Throw everything back into a bag and check out of the lovely converted mansion / bed and breakfast we spent the past two night in.

Glidden House

4. Drive home. Hopefully. This may be a bit more adventurous than planned. We stopped at a fast food place just inside Ohio to get something to drink. Got back in the car, turned key. Click. No reassuring sound of starter engaging, or even trying. Try again. Click. Click. Click. No starter. Battery is fine, but something is not connecting somewhere. Wiggle all the wires. Nope, nothing. Click. Click. Click. Call AAA, resign ourselves for a long wait.

Settle down with the new sock project. Sitting on the trunk, in the parking lot, in the sun and wind with my knitting did get me a few odd looks. Got only a couple rows before nice young man in towtruck shows up (fast service! I was quite impressed, having spent many hours waiting for AAA before). Yup, not the battery. The six-month old starter is already going. I’ve been through more starters on this car… It’s apparently got a bad spot, so now we get the “starts when it feels like it” stage of starter decline, until I can get it into the shop. The towtruck guy showed us where to bang on the starter with the jack handle to get it to start – potentially very useful information if it hits the bad spot again while heading home. (And I have a lot of driving to do this weekend, and no chance to get it to the shop before next week – wish me luck!!!)

5. After getting home, reassure dog and cat that we really do love them, and become covered in fur and dog slime.

6. (Extra bonus item since I cheated earlier.) Put together final class list for an SCA event I’m running the arts and sciences stuff for this weekend. I’m teaching, but doing intro fingerloop braiding, which I could do in my sleep as long as I remember to bring string, so no prep work for my own stuff.

3. Snacks I enjoy?

It’s very appropriate for Abby to have tagged me for this meme. I have a long-time addiction to wasabi thingies – peas, peanuts, whatever (Nuts Online is my major supplier, just be warned that the wasabi soybeans are incredibly salty). So when I saw wasabi almonds on her blog, I just had to try them. Damn you Abby!!!

I also like wasabi popcorn, and eat quite a bit of it as work snacks. Put a couple tablespoons of popcorn in a brown paper bag (lunch size), and fold the top over a few times, very firmly. Put in the microwave for 82 seconds (if your microwave is exactly like mine). Spray with butter-like substance (much easier to spray popcorn, especially at work), and sprinkle with wasabi.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire?

Establish a non-profit research foundation that gives small grants to non-traditional researchers. You’d have to write a short proposal, but would not have to have university affiliation. Interested in Peruvian textiles and need to go to Peru? Studying medieval bookmarkers and need to visit a bunch of collections? Here’s a few thousand dollars, and incidentally some professional credibility by way of formal association with the research foundation.

People who receive grants would have to come to the annual (biennial) research symposium and present their work (travel costs paid as part of the grant), and publish in the symposium proceedings. Getting together with other researchers is very important, and not always available to amateurs.


5. Places I have lived?

Ann Arbor, Michigan
Hubbard Lake, Michigan (bonus points to anyone who knows where that is without asking Google)
New London, Connecticut (Connecticut College)
State College, Pennsylvania (Penn State)
Durham, North Carolina (Duke University)
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Las Cruces, New Mexico
State College, Pennsylvania.

I’ve now been in State College for six years, two longer than I’ve lived anywhere since I moved out of my parents’ house. I own a house, and hope to stay for a while.

Alternatively, since I’m in the SCA:
Shire of Nithgaard, Principality of AEthelmearc, East Kingdom
Barony of Windmaster’s Hill, Atlantia
Shire of Nahrun Kabirun, Outlands
Shire of Nithgaard, Kingdom of AEthelmearc

The last task is to name some more people, but the dinosaurs are calling me! I’ll have to get back to that.

1 Comment on “I’ve been slimed!”

  1. #1 Tamie
    on May 22nd, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    1) why do we want to read lists of answers to questions about someone’s life? but then why do we read blogs anyway? (ah yes, to see how the socks are coming along — but then I have my new blue pair. aaahhh. so perhaps it is because the day is still not finished? hmmm)
    2)was he cute?? (the tow truck guy, not the dinosaur)
    3) the cat was NOT neglected and the dog was NOT abused. but he thinks you left ’cause you hate him. I am telling you, he is pathetic without his people around!
    4)wasabi is icky — stop typing it all over my screens. ick.
    5) oh yeah, welcome home. hope Nick had a blast!