elirrina: (astronomy)
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: (kaylee)
More news in cooking adventures: success! Xanthan gum did indeed keep this batch of chocolate chip cookies that I made with gluten-free flour mix from melting all over the place like the last batch. So, yay!

Nadia: Sarah had an exciting time baking a few days ago.
me: My cookies melted.
Shaun: ... How?
me: I'm not really sure, but I think I know how to fix it. Anyway, this batch is pretty deformed.
Shaun: Yeah... Those... look like, um, mutant cookies.
me: Yep, like I said, deformed. They still taste good though. I already fed a bunch of them to my friends at the movie night.
Shaun: Need help eating these ones?

I finally got around to starting my independent study on bibles moralisées. At least, I've read one major article and have compiled a decent bibliography that will be added to and annotated over the summer. Now I need to get cracking on that and studying German.

So far I've seen two summer movies!

1. Robin Hood. Obviously I had to go see this, and I enjoyed immensely, although not as a Robin Hood film - I thought it was enjoyable as a costume-very-vaguely-historical-story-with-fun-costumes. I must say I was very amused by the incorporation of the Magna Carta concept. One of the medievalists that I know from conferences had a funny take on the opening weekend numbers on her facebook- "Hello, film company! The reason your numbers were low on opening weekend was because most of your target audience was at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, MI!"

2. I finally got around to seeing Iron Man 2 today, and I enjoyed that one immensely as well.

I also want to see The Last Airbender, How to Train Your Dragon, and possibly Inception - the trailers for that one look pretty interesting. I'm sure there are more, but I can't remember them at the moment. Happily for my grad-student budget, movies are cheaper during the week, and some of them might end up at the dollar theatre.

In the meantime, it's really hot and humid. Go figure, it's Florida. While I cannot wait to move away (if I ever finish my PhD), I do appreciate the closeness of beaches! My friends and I have lined up a trip to the state park on the island for Memorial Day Monday!
elirrina: (astronomy)
I had my presentation on my Gerald of Wales illustrated manuscript today, and it went swimmingly! So that's two down, one to go - next week it's the one for my Christine de Pizan course. So for the rest of the week I need to whip up a presentation for that one and start turning my Renaissance and medieval presentations into actual papers. Ones that can be turned in without disgracing myself, preferably.

I cannot wait for summer. I'm going to paint, and finish up some of the knitting projects, and rip up a blouse that I made ages ago and fix it. It's from a bought pattern that's based on a Chinese design, and I just don't like having things around my neck, so the collar has got to come off and the neckline is going to have to go a bit wider. Then I'll actually wear it more, which is the point. The fabric is this really pretty blue with dragonflies (yay fabric store! I miss you!)

Also I'll have time to study Latin and German (in case I fail the German reading test this term, which is entirely possible since I haven't had any time to study. Maybe I'll get lucky and pass).

In the meantime, everything is blooming here, which is gorgeous, and there's pollen everywhere, which is horrifying. Especially how after it rains (that needs to happen more) the pools of water look like radioactive green liquid has spilled everywhere. I have to admit that I do like the spring/fall weather down here, but I still intend on moving back north (if I can find a job!) once I finish grad school. Which is going to be a while. Sigh. But! Summer soon! Last summer was pretty amazing. Hopefully I'll get the same job again (mindless, but I'm not going to complain!), and I do have two conferences to attend, so that should be exciting.

EDIT: Oh and my flatmate is planning to conduct experiments on our spoons this summer, because we still have no idea how she managed to blow up those other three. This is what she plots while she thinks about papers. I plot sewing and painting projects, but I am all in favor of exploding spoon experiments FOR SCIENCE.
elirrina: (kaylee)
Woo! I'm going (slightly more) north to visit my grandfather and assorted cousins, and I'll get to visit a friend on the way!
elirrina: (read!)
My friend Beth talked me into going to the midnight Harry Potter premiere last night, so that was fun. She went by the theater around 8pm to pick up our (pre-bought) tickets, in case of crowds later.

Beth (on the phone): I'm at the mall getting our tickets. Just so you know. There are already a bunch of people here wandering around in graduation robes with sticks. It's awesome. Also, they said that all 12 showings are sold out.

So we went over early, anticipating costumed crowds and excitement. Instead, there were lots of happy, mostly early-twenties-aged people in street clothes wandering about, and no lines. Of course, neither of us dressed up, so we shouldn't really complain, but still! (We had a camera and everything!) However, the film was a lot of fun, and there were a few really good costumed movie-goers, and now I've been to a film premiere. (And then I slept in on purpose and went to work late, which is fine because they don't care when I show up).

:)

May. 1st, 2009 10:13 pm
elirrina: (ad astra)
My family is all arriving, tomorrow is graduation (I think I'll hide something to read in the sleeves of my gown), and then off to the beach until Wednesday, when I start work!

mood: Photobucket pleased

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