Happy Day-After-Birthday, Evan!

Hee! My new nephew, Evan John, is now nearly a full day old. He was born on 3/24/09 at 11:50 p.m.

At a whopping 9 lbs., 3 oz and 20 inches long.

Congratulations, Brad & Becky! You're a big sister, Miss Kallie!

Pleasant surprise

So, I haven't updated here much because New Orleans has been . . . well, an adjustment. Let's just say that the rumors of its being like stepping into another culture are not unfounded and I didn't want this blog to turn into a rant-fest. But today I am giddy with delight:

Two days ago it was 78 degrees here, making me force myself -- yet again -- try to believe that it really was December and winter, despite all the green, the plants, the still-blooming flowers and the fact that I was too-warm in my light black trench coat.

Today we awoke to light snow, glistening and sticking with a light cover to the green, to the grass, to the plants, everything. I had to run out and bring all our herbs, plants, and flowers in, but it was worth it to see the rare sight. It is the first snow to fall here since Christmas 2004, and that was the first time since 1989. It won't last long, but at least it now doesn't feel so strange to be trying to complete our holiday shopping!

A happy snow day to you-all!

Reporting In . . .

Oh, all right. I supposed I should let friends know what is going on (most of the family already knows).

I accepted a postdoctoral position at Tulane University in New Orleans in April. Had more interviews and campus visits in May and June. Decided that Texas was completely uninhabitable for the_overqual and me, and that Puerto Rico would not work for the_overqual's career prospects (he was whining something about not being able to speak the language ;) ). Decided that parts of PA -- alas, not the notable city parts (would love Philly) -- weren't quite worth follow-up interviews. Regretted having to say "no" to a beach in Florida, but Tulane is a good school and it is early in my academic career.

So, we decided that Tulane would definitely be It, at least for a year or two, and I told my current employer in June. I have been busily working and starting the whole moving process ever since. the_overqual and I just got back from a frantic trip to New Orleans to secure housing (success! success!). We will have a travertine shower, a claw-footed bath, a countertop stove separate from the oven, and an oncologist, her husband, and their 2 small children living above us, the only other tenants in a very large house.

We're getting excited. :)

And -- despite the scariness of Bourbon Street -- we are growing more fond of New Orleans. It will be very difficult to leave DC as we love it here and have come to think of it as home, but we were both feeling much more this time that New Orleans will be "do-able." When we first visited, back in April, we saw much of the desolation along with much of what seems to be typical Southern appreciation for decay. This trip we could comprehend better some of the beauty of the decay, and noted a lot of the construction that was taking place, and that a lot had taken place since we'd visited three months previously. It was clear to us (well, to me at least, but I think to the_overqual, too) that the city is re-building. Slowly, and it still has a long way to go, but it is re-building and it does have much beauty to it, especially in the Uptown, University, and Garden District areas in which we will spend the vast majority of our time (I know, I know, those are the affluent areas that really didn't flood . . .).


On another note, I just spoke with my mother and discovered that a tornado and straight-line winds struck my small hometown area (New Trier/Hampton) in Minnesota this past Thursday. All of my relatives escaped unscathed, outside of lots of tree damage, crop damage, some damage to structures (significantly damaged sheds, and one aunt and uncle with a tree that fell on the house but didn't -- thankfully -- cause much damage to the house), and the inconvenience of a lack of electricity. I'm glad everyone is okay. It sounds like my grandparents were a bit shaken, but that is understandable -- I'm a bit shaken, and it is days afterward! A tornado hit my college my junior year, and even before then I was terrified of them (so much so that, both before and after, tornadoes feature[d] commonly in my nightmares). One of my first questions in New Orleans in April was "how common are tornadoes here?". Hurricanes at least you can predict and evacuate for. One of my strongest irritations out here is that tornadoes are getting more common, and the region really doesn't have a good warning system in place (i.e., no sirens). But, thankfully, MN does have a good siren system.

Last weekend . . .

We had much in the way of family in town, all of them here to support me as I attended my hooding ceremony and commencement, and then actually picked up my degree!

My dad was beaming much of the time, my mom cried through all the ceremonies, and my grandma boasted to everyone she met. My brother and his lovely wife flew out for the hooding to wish me well (which thrilled me -- it was the first time my brother has visited me in DC), and my uncle made the trek and put up with us all to wish me well, too. Hee . . . it was wonderful. I think the_overqual's parents and brother were pretty happy for me, too. Having my family here made the weekend for me: I think the only thing that could have made it more complete would have been if my sister, my niece, and my other grandparents could have made it . . . but y'know, we must be happy with what we have, and I have a very loving family.

It all even started to sink in a little bit at the commencement. I was too nervous at the hooding (what with the having to walk across the stage and all), but getting to sit at the front of the crowd at commencement gave me much time to reflect . . .

Hope this memorial day is proving tranquilly reflective for you.

Nummy . . .

Ginger scones make me very happy.

Spending significant weekend time doing work for my day job does not, however, make me very happy.

Mission Accomplished? No.

Today I was supposed to put together the paper I am presenting at a conference in Chicago next weekend, but I can't find one of the articles I need (I was sure I had it somewhere around here!), and Georgetown suddenly has all of its copies of the Children's Literature Association Quarterly suddenly unavailable, so my only options are a trip to the University of Maryland or interlibrary loan. Since I can't guarantee that ILL will send me the article fast enough, I get to trek to UMD tomorrow night. Ah, well. It just means putting together the paper over the next few weeknights. Much of it is based on my dissertation's final chapter, and it should only be about 5 single-spaced pages long, so it shouldn't be too daunting. I hope. The challenge usually is keeping it short enough.

I did do a few search-related things and updated my contributor's note for the Edwardian childhood book collection. That's something, right?

My hairstylist also redeemed herself yesterday, which was a relief.