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February 2005
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April 2005

well, why not?

Today, after what will probably be a lengthy stop at the library, I'll start my return to Columbus. I have plotted a roundabout course that takes me through a fair piece of countryside before I get to the Interstate. I mean, the weather is nice, the car is rented, the Diva is elsewhere. Might as well see what it looks like once you get off of the beaten path.

If that weren't enough, my path will take me through the better part of Ohio's Licking County, which contains the Licking River. I am much to amused by this to resist the opportunity. Wonder if anyone has Licking souvenirs?


Let me mention again how much I loooooove hotels, especially hotels like the one that I am in. And, yes, it is as lovely as it looks. The room itself is laid-out like your standard Hampton Inn/Comfort Inn, but the trappings are excellent. And they seem to really like pillows here. There are 11 on the bed, of various shapes and sizes. The staff could not be nicer, there is free wireless and a coffee bar in the lobby. For about $10 more than the generic hotels up the road. And, no, I'm not trying to sound like a commercial, but it is an enjoyable place to stay.

You can tell I don't get out much.

Apparently, this hotel is the place to be in Parkersburg. All of the lawyers congregate in the bar after work since we're right down from the courthouse/police dept/etc. Also in the lounge tonight was a young female film producer who had a bunch of actors parading through to sign contracts. I get the feeling that this is a large project, given the detail in the contracts, which I overheard because she read most of it aloud to said actors. I meant to catch her during a break and ask what the project was, but she never really had a break.

Then I struck out to find dinner, which I found, at a fairly non-descript Mexican place, which was just down the street from another fairly non-descript Mexican place. Who knew a small West Virginia town could support more than one Mexican eatery, much less two in a span of a mile. Both were hopping, tho, and staffed by actual Spanish speaking people. The food was only OK, sadly, but one can't have everything.

Getting a surprising amount done. Wandered about today and talked to some folks that I needed to talk to. Tomorrow, I dig into the death certificates and gather info on the city itself. I interviewed the County Commissioner today -- who I also am distantly related to -- and he gave me some great leads on where to find old pictures and the like. He also seems to be a Civil War buff and Parkerburg, like Knoxville, was a city that refused to take a side during the Civil War and housed both Union and Confederate troops. Parkersburg reminds me quite a bit of Knoxville -- it's a little smaller and has a more active downtown. Other than that, tho, it is strikingly simliar.

Apropos of nothing, a small chickadee/sparrow-like bird followed me through the Albany airport. Wonder if it could smell the trail mix in my bag. It pecked around me for a bit after I sat down, then went off to find someone with birdseed stuffed pockets. Just struck me as odd, to be followed by a bird in an airport. Wonder if there's one (or more) in each terminal, put there as conversation pieces.

more cuteness

We've taken to listening to Elvis Costello (the best Elvis, in my book) during the Diva's bath time. It's a greatest hits album, one that I could listen to until the grooves wear out, metaphorically, since it's a CD. Anyway, during her bath tonight, the Diva looked at me at the appropriate time and asked "What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?" I nearly died with delight and laughed. Then she asked again. And again. Then looked at me and enunciated each word -- "No, Ma, What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?"
"Nothing, really, sweetie," I said, once I pegged on to the fact that she was asking a legitimate question rather than simply singing along. "It's a rhetorical device."
She then gave me the look, the one that will soon be replaced by rolling her eyes and sighing, once she figures out how to do that. Once she masters the eye-roll, we are doomed.

winter's last gasp, one hopes

Last night, after a blissful week full of temps just barely high enough to melt the snow, we received four more inches of the stuff. Again, it's pretty and there is no silence like a falling snow silence, but enough already. Bring on the spring.

In Austin, summer (all ten months of it) was absolutely dreadful. There were a few good days, but they were usually over-ridden by the punishing heat.

In Knoxville, spring and fall were the amazing times, full of gorgeous plants and blissful weather. Winter wasn't bad, but oh so gray because there was no snow to cover up all of the dormant plants. I think that's partially what made the spring so great -- one day it would be brown, the next green and pink and white and yellow. Summer was hot. Still pretty, but muggy and sauna-like.

Here, spring sucks. It's the month or two of mud before everything blooms -- and it never quite settles in. One day it's 20, the next 50. Then one day it's suddenly summer, which is absolutely stunning. As is fall. As is winter, if you like the starkness of months and months of snow, which I do. But spring? Eh. It's like the year's adolescence, that gawky period before you get to something you enjoy.

Here endeth today's meditation on weather.

Last note: Stephanie a.k.a. "The Yarn Harlot" has written a book. Knitter's Review liked it, which is good enough for me. And, if you know what's good for you, it's good enough for you as well.

pondering and a link

I once again find myself wondering how three people, one of whom is still under four feet tall, manage to produce so much freaking laundry. Sheesh. Nice thing is, tho, I can write while each cycle cycles.

Also, I haven't really been following the Michael Jackson coverage simply because I don't care. However, Slate now has my favorite Slate writer Seth Stevenson covering the trial this week, so I'll have to read that. From Monday's report:

Let me explain just how strung out and godawful Michael looks:

One evening, several years ago, I swallowed two Vicodin in the midst of getting deeply drunk. Then I woke up in my bathtub. I'd passed out while trying to pee, and my fall had snapped the soapdish clean off the shower wall. After staggering to my feet, I caught a wobbly glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror.

I looked better than Michael looks this morning.

How can you resist?

Must go fold. Perhaps I shall spindle and mutilate as well.

other places have more exciting content

First, there's the Comics Curmudgeon , who has become a daily read for me. And I implore him to give Get Fuzzy time to grow on him. Of course, I think it's one off my faves simply because I live with Bucky.

Second, my friend Matt has a blog. It is very Matt-like. He has more opinions than I do and is better at expressing them than I am.

Third, Attachment Parenting writer Katie Allison Granju blogs about a scary-wacky woman in Shelbyville who makes me really, really glad that the Hub and I don't believe in raising "fine, Christian children," especially since, in her world, that means you have to "wail the tar out of" them. You really must read the full column to believe it. And I do believe that this woman both exists and is parrionate about her choices.

Lastly, Harmony over at Fonticulus has written the definitive list on on what I want to say to family/friends who read my blog. Rather than simply recreate her brilliance, I'll link. The only difference between us may be that I'm not quite as fond of fart jokes. Other than that, it's close. (And this link was stolen from Ann Douglas' Mother of All Blogs.

And, yes, I don't have an original thought in my head today. Sad but true.