elirrina: (Default)
2015-09-05 11:44 pm

Friendlies

Photobucket

I'm transitioning this to somewhat-friends-locked, at least for some things for now. Please let me know if you're friending me and would like me to friend you back!
elirrina: (hair)
2013-08-14 01:28 pm

Starting up the (school) year again

I've been working on drafts of my dissertation chapters all summer at my parents', since I didn't have anywhere to come back to after London, and now I'm moving back into town with a new flatmate and getting ready for TAing two classes in the fall and teaching one in the spring. I had a three-day drive back from Kansas, and now I'm very nearly finished unpacking!

I'm on a medieval list-serv, so I get lots of conference calls for papers, and I just got a pretty fascinating one for next year's International Congress in Kalamazoo: the Societas Daemonetica is having a "Hell Studies" session, and the theme this year is "Jailbreaking Hell," and it's going to be about hell's boundaries, hellmouths, and "figures who pass through (and around) its gates." Nothing to do with my topic, but hellmouths are pretty interesting in medieval art, so it would be fascinating session to attend if I have a good reason to attend Kalamazoo next year.

Florida being Florida, it just started pouring outside, while simultaneously being brightly sunny. I think I had gotten myself to forget what the humidity here is really like. I am enjoying seeing everyone again, though.
elirrina: (Marian)
2013-05-22 10:56 pm

Yay, Star Trek! Also, I am back in the States again

Wow, I haven't updated this in a long time.

1. I made it back to the States and am visiting my parents for the greater part of the summer, in between traveling to see family and weddings. My parents' town is not London with all its entertaining distraction, so I should get a lot of writing on my dissertation done, in theory.

2. Kalamazoo & the International Congress on Medieval Studies happened! My paper went really well, and I might get to publish it! Also, I got kidnapped periodically by my professor to meet people, and also to discuss what I have been doing for the past year (I'm on target, apparently, hurrah!). And scholars that I quoted in my paper attended my session and liked my talk, so that was really exciting.

3. After returning from the conference, I got to actually unpack, because my dad's intern who had been staying with my parents moved into her own apartment, in preparation for her upcoming marriage at the end of the month. I suspect the next week and a half are going to be busy, since my parents are both involved.

4. We had friends with adorable 14-month-old twin boys who like to get into everything visiting this past (extended) weekend! I think everything breakable has been returned to its original location.

5. My parents and I went to see Star Trek tonight! We've been watching the series(es) since I was 5, apparently. I didn't realize the tradition went back that far, but Saturday night was always pizza and Star Trek night. We enjoyed the movie very much! And Mickey Smith joined Star Fleet in Future-London! One more excellent bingo connection!
elirrina: (tea)
2012-09-23 11:14 pm

art fairs, meerkats, and prayers

My mother reminded me that I should actually write down and keep track of interesting things I notice around London, in addition to telling them to her. SO here we go:

It rained all day and felt very British. That's not a real observation, but this is- the flats at the study centre have central heating, but, as was the case in Ukraine and Russia, you don't get the benefit of that until the building turns the heat on. We don't get heat until October, and it's in the 50s. I live in a flat that's in what used to be the Mews, and I'm on a corner, so I don't have windows, just skylights. So there's never much sun, and what does make it into the flat doesn't help with the heating. As a result, everyone is freezing.

I went to Covent Garden yesterday to wander around the market stalls. There's an arts and crafts fair every weekend, and I'm thinking I may end up buying a pendant with dried flowers in it next time I go. There are also a bunch of street performers, and I saw one in front of St. Paul's Covent Garden who started off on the ground, managed to get a lace-less tennis racket up around his waist, and then got onto a 7-ft unicycle to pull it the rest of the way up and over his head, purposefully partially dislocating one of his shoulders in the process. Ick.

Speaking of entertainment, I don't understand British commercials at all. However, I do like the adverts with a bizarre Russian meerkat. I think it's for some sort of insurance company, and if you use their service, you collect meerkat dolls? It's strangely endearing. I do like this advert, though - the program assistants do as well.

I've been to church here twice so far, and both times, they've prayed for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, specifically regarding the invasion of their privacy. What interests me is that they haven't prayed for the Queen, the rest of the royal family, or the rest of the government. However it is rather nice that everyone seems to think the invasion of privacy is unacceptable - my mother thinks American audiences would expect something like that, rather than censure it.

The PAs and I have been watching London movies the last few days- Sherlock Holmes, because we knew we'd been to a few places where it was filmed - we didn't have any luck picking them out though. We decided we need to have a Sherlock Holmes tour now. Then The Mummy for fun, but also to get to The Mummy Returns, which we watched today, because they have to fight mummies in the British Museum and on a double-decker bus, which is all in our neighbourhood.

Speaking of the British Museum, I went there (again) on Friday afternoon and looked at the Egyptian and Chinese wings, and then looked around the Enlightenment room, which is set up like a kunstkammer. I found a fake mermaid from Japan on display: half dried monkey and half dried fish put together. Now S has decided she needs to go look at it. I also ran into the Lindow Man corner in the Roman Britain rooms. I went to find the Anglo-Saxon wing, and they'd moved it since the last time I was there - apparently it's being expanded, so only the highlights like the best of the Sutton Hoo hoard are on display.
elirrina: (waterfall)
2012-07-08 10:10 pm

Surprise!

Yesterday I went to my friend J's flat for what I understood to be a belated Independence Day party where a group was going to watch the musical "1776." When J opened her door and let me in, a bunch of my friends, sitting on the various couches, all yelled, "SURPRISE!"

me: I- wait- I'm... not surprised that you're all here?
J: We have English food!
me: Okay...
E: I was afraid I wasn't going to make it here before you!
me: But- I saw you- I was right behind you in the parking lot...
E: I know!
me: I'm so confused. What am I surprised about?
K: You're going away!
me: Oh. OH! Thank you!...?
J: We're still watching "1776."
me: Okay.

Then the group all continued to look at me as I awkwardly took my sandals off so I could come in properly, so I decided I needed a cup of tea, which broke things up and then we could all start eating the "English" food. I'm not sure where they came up with the menu, but there were open faced sandwiches with cucumbers and shrimp and some sort of sauce, lemon bars, crackers with egg salad, and snickerdoodles. J had bought English breakfast tea and pulled out all the other types she had, so I guess that was legitimizing English factor.

I was surprised that J had managed to invite art historians and people from my church small group, since she goes to a different church - our overlap is swing dancing. But she had met J (a guy from art history) at a party last week, and she already knew B (a guy who goes to my small group and also swing dances). So she was resourceful.

We also discussed the relative inappropriateness of the party theme.
me: So... we're having tea and "English food," and we're watching "1776"?
J: Yeah, I couldn't find another time, so I figured we should just combine the parties! I got J to invite the art historians, and B invited your church people, but then he's not coming because he has to go to the beach. I think.
me: Doesn't he hate the beach?
J: That's what I thought too.

And then F played the song "No Place Like London" from "Sweeney Todd" in an effort to deter me from leaving.

So then at church this evening, H and C (a married couple from my small group) wanted to know how the party was, since they hadn't been able to come. H at first thought it was my birthday, but knew that was wrong, while C thought the party meant that I was leaving immediately. I had to explain that no, J decided that she just needed to have the party now because she wouldn't be around when I actually left.

I also saw B, who wanted to know how the party was, discuss the irony of combining a going-away-to-London-for-a-year party with watching "1776," and explain his beach trip.
B: My co-advisor is back in town, and decided we should have a barbecue. At the beach.
me: And you hate the beach.
B: I do hate the beach! Also, I feel like I've lost 18 hours since he's been back in town! It may not actually be related to the fact that he's back- things may just be getting busier, but I'm going to blame it on him, because now I have to go to weekly meetings. Which are good. But still meetings. And he made us go to the beach.

I'm actually pretty well packed. This whole process is just being somewhat complicated by the fact that I'm going to visit family in Oregon for ten days, starting at the end of the week. In getting ready for the trip, I've been looking at the e-books available from the library, since then I could just take my nook along. I've come to the conclusion that at least half of the sci-fi/fantasy books available electronically are about vampires.
elirrina: (luna)
2011-11-07 10:42 am

Which wizard was it, again?

I talked to my parents yesterday. Near the end of the conversation, they told me that they were going to be watching this week's "Masterpiece" on PBS.

Dad: It looks really good.
Mom: Bill Nighy is in it, and Ralph Fiennes, and Rachel Weisz, and Gandalf. Or is it Dumbledore?
Dad: I can't remember.
Mom: Neither can I. Gandalf or Dumbledore is in it.
me: Sounds fun.

I love how everyone else gets their proper name, but not those two.

For your edification: I checked this morning, it's Dumbledore (in "Page Eight"). My mother said it was really good, and the PBS website has it up online, so I'll probably watch that this evening.
elirrina: (Default)
2011-08-25 11:34 pm

birthdays, brunch, and David Bowie

Tonight at small group we had cake for Erin and Bryan, who have birthdays this weekend. We started clapping after we sang for them, but Bryan started waving his hands around. "Wait! Hold your applause! There's more! That is, it's on Sunday, there's brunch at the cafe, and it's going to happen at 10:30!"
"What is, brunch?"
"Yes! And also, the chef looks like David Bowie, so maybe there'll be some singing."
Erin got a word in- "Like, Labyrinth singing?"
"No, no."
"So it's not Labyrinth David Bowie?" Jessica asked.
"No, it's like... It's like Prestige David Bowie, who no one recognizes as David Bowie."
"Ah, Tesla David Bowie," I clarified.
"Exactly," answered Bryan. "Although he doesn't sing in that. Hopefully he will on Sunday. So, 10:30. Be there."
"Also," Erin interjected, "I was hoping for a St. George trip... So, get up early, go to the first church service, brunch, apparently with David Bowie, then the beach...?"

Most of us go to the 5pm service and several people are involved in it in one way or another, so the beach part might need rescheduling. Anyway, brunch ought to be interesting. All of this reminded me that when I had been on campus for a teaching conference earlier today, I saw a guy doing the ball rolling trick from Labyrinth with what appeared to be a red stress ball.
elirrina: (kaylee)
2011-08-13 12:28 am

Dueling musical mixes

A while back, my father told me that he wanted me to make a mixed cd for him. "I want it to be about evil women! And how they're always tricking men!" So he brainstormed a bit, and I tried to think of a few songs he could use too.

So far the list looks like this:
"Witchy Woman," the Eagles
"Spooky," Classics IV
"She's a Man Eater," Hall & Oats
"Poison Ivy," The Coasters
"Maneater," Nelly Furtado (my contribution)
"Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress," The Hollies (also mine)
"The Female of the Species," Space (mine again)
"Black Magic Woman," Santana

I think I need to add "Lemon Tree," by Peter, Paul, and Mary. The mix is still a work in progress.

Naturally my mother heard about this, and now she wants a mix about evil men. Dad's reaction was "No! You shouldn't make it for her! She might start singing the songs around the house!"

I could think of a lot more songs about evil men, especially folk songs, but her list looks like this so far:
"The Red Corvette," John McCutcheon
"Mercy," Duffy
"It's My Party," Lesley Gore (Mom: "The boyfriend in that song is so bad!")
"Lipstick on Your Collar," Connie Francis
"Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps," Doris Day (mine)
"Goodbye Earl," the Dixie Chicks (also mine)
"Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?," The Lovin' Spoonful

I think Mom is still brainstorming. Dad doesn't really listen to music unless he's doing something around the house like taking apart the dish washer, which he apparently did yesterday, or cleaning. So Mom has the advantage in that respect, since she likes it when my brother and I recommend new music.
elirrina: (read!)
2011-08-01 06:19 pm

In which my brother tries to ascend the ladder of supervillany

My brother's girlfriend won airline tickets at some sort of work function, so they decided to go to Portland for a week. One of their activities today (and probably tomorrow, and possibly the next day at various points) was to go to Powell's City of Books. Which he texted me about.

brother: In the rare book room...
me: Ooh, how rare? What does that mean? And is Portland sushi different? Don't buy pages that have been taken out of manuscripts! That's immoral!
brother: This was a many-star sushi restaurant, so it was great. And I am in this room looking exclusively for individual manuscript pages.
me: Yum yum! Nooo! That is like upper-level super-villany!
brother: I am even buying complete manuscripts and then tearing them up to resell in pieces.
me: Zomg, I may have to disown you.
brother: LOL, you can't; you're not the paterfamilias.
me: That's what you think - older sisters have special powers.
brother: Sorry- I missed this because I was relishing the sound of carefully ripped paper.
elirrina: (poor Jane)
2011-06-05 10:04 pm
Entry tags:

Skyping with Mom and Dad

I generally call my parents on Sundays, and occasionally we use skype so we can do the video chat thing. That was what we did today (until the thunderstorm knocked my power out). When the video came up today, they were sitting in front of a window, so all I could see was their back-lit sillhouettes.

Mom: Oh, we need to move!
Dad: No! We can be mysterious shadow people!
Mom: Let's move to the other side of the table.
Dad: NO! Sarah likes us being mysterious!
Mom: Come on!

Dad then picked up the computer, and I had a dramatic view up at his face while he was walking around.

Dad: I'm going outside (with the computer)!
Mom: Get back here!

Then he started adjusting the computer so it was edging Mom out of the picture.

Mom: Hey!
Dad: What!
Mom: I see what you're doing!
Dad: Sarah wants to look at me more.
Mom: He's been like this all day.
elirrina: (kaylee)
2011-06-05 10:09 am

Thanksgiving! ...in June!

I go swing dancing on Friday nights with the university club, and it's fantastic. Consequently I usually end up staying up past my bedtime, given that my summer schedule means that I have to work Saturday mornings. But those members of the club who stay 'til the end of the night (around 11pm) usually go out to get something to eat after dancing. This week it was frozen yogurt.

While we were sitting around talking, N told us that she had inherited a frozen turkey from our friend S when he moved to Chicago. Setting aside the bogglement that S had bought a large frozen turkey, presumably a year in advance, N explained that she didn't really have space to keep it, and would we be interested in having a Thanksgiving dinner, preferably tomorrow or Sunday, since she was thawing the turkey? The response was a resounding, if moderately flabbergasted, yes.

So a bunch of people I know from various activities (as well as people I hadn't yet met) showed up at N's house with Thanksgiving-y side dishes last night, and it was delicious. After that we watched "Strictly Ballroom," since the swing dancers had been discussing dance movies earlier. Then of course, we all felt like dancing, but it was late, so that will just have wait.
elirrina: (fox)
2011-06-03 08:25 am
Entry tags:

ring, ring

My mobile phone is set to a tone that sounds like a telephone bell ringing. Thus,

Ca: Sarah, while you were away your phone rang. I mean, I think it was yours. It sounded like a real phone!
me: Yep, that's mine.

at small group-
phone: *ring!*
me: Oh, sorry!
Chris: Your phone actually rings?!?
me: *grin*
elirrina: (Marian)
2010-12-11 09:25 pm

I finally got around to seeing The Secret of Kells, and I'm sure this will come as a great shock, but it is now one of my new favorite movies.



Special Collections has a gorgeous facsimile of the Book of Kells, it's full size and has everything reproduced, including the holes where moths ate through the membrane.

Next semester I'll probably get to go back to spending half of my time Special Collections - I only got to go in a few times this term for tangential research and the librarians say they miss me.



Now that everything is turned in and I finished helping Dr. J grade finals, I'm going to sit down and paint before I head home.
elirrina: (TSH)
2010-11-28 11:00 pm

Advent!

I'm coordinating Christmas presents for my parents with my brother and his girlfriend.
Consequently:

phone: Hello, you've reached the mailbox of...
me: Hmmmmm.
text: Ethan! Call meeeee!!! Re: secret Christmas things and plots for world domination.
Shortly-
phone: ring ring!
Ethan: You had me at world domination.

In other news: Advent started today! That means more candles and Christmas carols in church!
elirrina: (Default)
2010-08-29 09:57 pm

Actually, you're right...

For this to make sense, it would be helpful to remember that my father works with international students, and that he and my mother will be going to various countries in Asia in a few months. He's going to be part of a wedding in Hong Kong for two of his old students, and then they're going to visit lots of other people.

Me: Hi Dad, I'm in Target.
Dad: You called Mom's phone first! Why don't you ever call me first?
Me: I thought Mom would know the answer to my question. I'll call you first next time, how's that?
Dad: I bet that I know the answer to your question!
Me: Okay, look I need a pencil case because I bought a new backpack and I don't like the pencil cases in Target. Where should I go to get one?
Dad: JAPAN! They make the best pencil cases!
Me: ...Actually, I think you're right...
Dad: Did I tell you that Mom's getting a Kindle?
Me: But I'm not in Japan! Where should I go look?
Dad: You should steal one from one of your Japanese friends.
Me: I don't have any!
Dad: WHY NOT.
Me: Because there aren't any in the art history grad student contingent right now! And I'm not working with internationals!
Mom, yelling in the background: You should go to Office Depot! They have school supplies on sale now!
Dad: She says to go to Office Depot.
Me: I heard.
Dad: You can get a temporary pencil case from Office Depot. I'll bring you a REAL one back from Japan! But it'll probably have Hello Kitties on it.
Me: Well I would hope so!
Dad: Mom is really into Hello Kitties right now.
Me: You are such a liar.
Dad: (to my mother) We should get you a case for your Kindle in Japan too! Actually, maybe we should get you a Kindle-type thing there instead of here.
Mom, yelling in the background: No, we wanted to put guidebooks on it, remember?
Me: So, I'm going to hang up and go to Office Depot now, okay?
Dad: Okay, but I'll find you a better pencil case in Japan!
Me: I know.
Dad: Do you want a pencil box, or a soft case?
Me: Well, I was looking for a soft one, but I'll leave it up to you.
Dad: Okay, but that's the only thing I'm bringing back for you.
Me: Whatever. Last week we decided that you were just going to give me things that your students had already given to you and then tell me that you'd gotten them for me. Remember?
Dad: Hahahaha!

And then I related that story to my brother later.

Brother: Actually, I think I agree with him.
Me: I know, right? I'm curious to see what he brings back.
elirrina: (astronomy)
2010-08-10 12:10 am

The yellow teapot wishes you eternal life (Visiting my Parents)

My trip to visit my parents went great, and now I'm back in Florida, where I am supposed to be studying German. I really will study tomorrow. My independent study work is all turned in, and I should be meeting with my adviser to discuss dissertation topics sometime in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, I think I need to go to the beach once more before classes start, providing that it's still oil-free. I'll have to look into that.

On to vacation!

My father works with international students at the university. Basically, he does what the University wishes it could do, but hasn't got time or money for, consequently everyone loves him. He organizes conversation partners, English classes and culture classes, and lots of social events for the international students. During the first week of classes he organizes a tour around town: volunteers drive carloads of students along a path that my dad has organized, and tell them about the city. The tour ends on campus where there is a free-garage-sale-furniture-etc-giveaway. People donate all sorts of things that students need, which then get set up in a parking lot on campus, and then given away.

This means that there is a lot of furniture-moving going on in the weeks beforehand. Which is what I got to do frequently over my break, including the morning of my first day home. Also, one of my dad's interns moved, so we helped out with that too.

My father also likes to make grandiose proclamations about how my brother and I will be inheriting. Who inherits depends on his mood: sometimes it's me, because I am the eldest, sometimes it's my brother, because he's the son. Currently it's me, at least as of last week. A few years ago my brother and I pointed out to our dad that there really isn't that much to inherit. He was momentarily fazed, but got over it.

So I informed my brother that I'm inheriting again, and then my parents actually decided that they need to update their will. I guess my brother and I are still being left to our maternal grandparents, who are dead, and we're too old for guardians now anyway.

This decision was precipitated by the fact that my parents are going to Asia this fall to visit some of my dad's old students. I believe the plan is to visit China (Beijing and Shanghai, and possibly other cities), Hong Kong, Taiwan, (South) Korea, and possibly Japan. I'm envious. My father is apprehensive.

He doesn't really like to travel, neither does my brother, but my mother and I love it. Dad had to be bullied into visiting Italy with me, but ended up really loving Florence. While at home this time, my mother came across a scarf that I'd brought with me - I usually wear it or something like it into church because services are always soooo cold during the summer, with all the air-conditioning.

Mom: This is pretty! Where's it from?
me: Florence - we got it from the same place where we bought your scarf.
Dad: Yes! WE'VE been to ITALY.
Mom: I KNOW. When are you taking me?
Dad: But! I'm taking you to Asia!
Mom: HM.

In random news, my dad, who, by the way, is ordained as a pastor, and is an elder at church, sporadically likes to talk about his past lives. (Not that he actually believes in reincarnation...) This time around he saw an advert for Shark Week and decided that he'd been a shark in one of his previous lives. His usual favorite past life is when he was the Mother Superior from Sound of Music, and sang "Climb Every Mountain." He also asked me to be on the lookout for his past lives from the Middle Ages as I look through medieval manuscripts and literature.

I learned that my mother is against mixing battery brands. Dad apparently wanted to just put two random batteries into a light that he'd bought for one of his interns, but my mother said he couldn't.

Dad: But they're both batteries! Same voltage!
Mom: I don't care! It doesn't work! I don't like it! Just use two from that new package you bought!

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I have a serious tea collection. It's getting a bit out of hand. I had to re-organize that part of the pantry when I got home. But my parents have an even larger tea collection, because my dad's students like to bring him tea from their provinces and so on. Also: really pretty teacups and teapots.

One of them, a yellow teapot, gets used a lot. My dad had a bunch of students over for a breakfast-and-lunch-planning session; I sat in for the meal parts, during which the yellow teapot was being used. It has four circles on the sides, with Chinese characters in them, and I wanted to know what they meant, and realized that this would be a perfect time to find out. According to one of the girls, the characters mean "10,000," "life," "happiness," and "none," which translates to a message along the lines of wishing you eternal life, and is one of the standard phrases used when addressing the emperor or your elders. (Something like "May you have life and happiness without end").

On the way back to Florida, I called my parents when I'd stop to take breaks. At one point my mother told me about the latest gift that they'd recieved:
Mom: Guess what we were given? More tea! We didn't have enough already!
She didn't say what type it was. Hopefully more jasmine; that's one of my favorites.
elirrina: (bear)
2010-07-03 01:00 am

So much for that

When I taught high school history, I tried to make sure that my students were absolutely clear on one topic (amongst many): trying to take over the world is a really bad idea, especially if it involves invading Russia in the process.

Apparently my brother disagrees. (Although he probably agrees with me about Russia).

brother: I have reached the four-minion level! So... much... power!!1!
me: Haha, next up... THE WORLD!! (cue evil laugh).
brother: MmmmWAHAhahahaha, HAHAhahahaaaaa
me: You know, if you turned evil I would feel really conflicted because I would feel duty-bound to oppose. But... It's you, so yeah...
brother: Heh, well the world can hope that I don't acquire super powers, since we know which way I would go.
me: Aw MAN... You make my sisterly job and attempt at being a force for good in the world so hard!!! Also, it may be a good thing that you didn't go through with the poli-sci major...
brother: Yes. I would not have broken the law, but I would have bent it so far that you'd need to check its dental records.
me: SIGH.

(Hahaha! He's a graphic designer).

mood: Photobucket mild consternation, Photobucket bordering on dispproval
elirrina: (Appa! (Last Airbender))
2010-06-30 01:07 pm

craftiness

I got around to finishing one of my knitting projects last night, thus pictures. I think I'll have to take some better ones when it's not a dark and rainy day.

Photobucket

Photobucket

The head isn't quite right - I think I'd adjust the pattern before putting my notes up on ravelry, but I'm generally pleased. Here is what I was working from, also see my appropriate icon.

Right now it's hanging out with my Dalek. Next I think I want to try a cute Totoro pattern that I saw on ravelry. You know, in between finishing the cardigan I'm making for myself and the arm warmers that I'm making for my flatmate. (Also, I'm rather pleased with how that travel-fabric-pillow that I made a few years ago turned out; I think that was the second time I'd made piping).

Photobucket
elirrina: (Default)
2010-06-29 10:46 pm

My father and facebook

Both of my parents are on facebook, which is not an issue for me. Actually, a whole lot of my rather large (extended) family is on facebook.

My father works with international students at the university. Naturally, most of his students are on facebook, so he decided he should be on it as well. I was looking at my dad's profile this evening, and thought, "you know, I bet he has more facebook friends than me. Let me check." He does. It makes me laugh, even though I totally expected this. He even has more than my brother, which I do consider impressive, since my brother is ridiculously social. (Shocker, he takes after my dad despite any protests he may make).

This all reminded me of conversations that I had with him a while ago when he was first getting set up.

Dad: People keep friending me! And then they post things on my wall! What am I supposed to do with this?

Dad: Just so you know, I have facebook set to my default page on the internet now, so I remember to look at it. Students keep writing on my wall! And I feel like I shouldn't ignore them!


I'm not sure if it's still his default, but I imagine that he likes hearing from his students who have gone back to their home countries or gotten jobs in different parts of the States.

(Also, a link on his wall led me to the web page that he set up for his students and American volunteers. I'm in one of the photos, despite my pointing out that I'm not one of his students. Hahaha!
Dad: Did you go see my website? Did you see your picture? It's a good picture of you!)
elirrina: (bear)
2010-06-29 03:10 pm

Oh, hi there ALLIGATORS

I switched up my work schedule last week so that I could take Saturday off to go on a river canoeing trip with some of the people from the Sunday night Soup Group that I attend (soup, then book discussion, usually theology-related). Tangentially, the couple who organizes the group is about my parents' age, and have me over to their place for holidays when I'm in town instead of visiting my parents. I love them!

So, prior to the actual trip, I had my weekly phone conversation with my parents and told them about this river trip. Initially, they thought it sounded great. Then, as always happens in discussions about Florida with my parents, my father brought up alligators. Would there be alligators in this river? Well, I wasn't sure, but thought that it was possible. By the end of the conversation, my father decided that this trip was a terrible idea.

I thought he was half-joking.

Turns out, he wasn't.

The day of the river trip, we left town at 8:15am, arrived at the river at 9, and started canoeing. It was a really nice day for it, very sunny, but also, of course, very hot. However, we left around 12:30 in order to avoid the daily afternoon storm, so it worked out well. The river is spring-fed, so it's pretty chilly, and very clear. We went upstream a bit to see one of the spring openings, and that's a bit disconcerting - you can see the bottom of the river for most of the time, when you're not in the midst of river weed patches. But over the springs, the bottom just drops away into a deep, dark hole; I think Steve said it goes down at least 80 feet. Christy, who I was paddling with, is afraid of heights, and I'm not to fond of them either (which is a bit odd, considering I routinely dream about flying, never about falling). She says that she knows that water is coming UP out of the hole, but she always feels like if she was in the water, she'd be pulled DOWN.

We stopped for a snack/very early lunch at an inlet about a mile down the river, where there were two platforms fixed up near the opening of another spring. I jumped in and bobbed around a bit over the area where I could see the bottom; the water was refreshing after the canoeing, but very cold!

For the actual canoeing, it was a lot of fun to look around, there were a bunch of assorted birds, lots of turtles (I love turtles), and you could see the fish under the canoes. Less pleasantly, you could also see EYES peering at you out of the river weeds near the banks. There were one or two baby alligators sunning themselves on logs. Christy and I estimated that one alligator was something like 5 feet long, judging by what we could see from its head. That's pretty small for an alligator, but it IS pretty much my height, and although I'm sure that the river is generally safe (apparently it's one of the best for canoeing in the country), seeing all the alligators at close range was rather uncomfortable all the same.

NOTE: there were no alligators in the inlet where we swam. At least, none that I could see. I stayed close to the canoes.

Anyway, it was fun, I wasn't eaten, and I called my dad afterwards to let him know that I was still alive. Then I called my mother, who was visiting some of my aunts and told her that I was still alive, which is when I found out that my father actually had been seriously afraid for my safety, regarding alligators.

So in conclusion: it was a pretty river, and a good trip, but I haven't really decided if I would do it again, or canoe on other rivers where alligators live.

I like swimming better than canoeing, and I like oceans and lakes better than rivers anyway.