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The Bell Tolls

I'm waking up every day with heart-pounding anxiety. Not even morning dancing is helping, but now I'm listening to Annie Lennox's cover of "Whiter Shade of Pale," and it's calming me down a little.

Prelims start tomorrow at 8 a.m.

It's going to be okay, right? At this point I'm trying to focus on my upcoming tour of Indiana. On the morning of 16 August, I'm emailing in my last exam and driving off to Bloomington. I'll also be stopping in Lafayette for a day or two and hope to see at least three friends while there.

Morning Minutiae

I love surprising my friends with little, unexpected things that they'll find touching, that will make them happy. The Chicklettes, for example, loved the photographs I sent to my old friend Charges. Yesterday I found another such surprise--a letter from one of my good friends who has two children, the older of whom is six, or will be six soon. She wrote the letter on March 25, 1998, when she was pregnant with the older child. She was filled with joy, talking about how much she loved it when the baby kicked and moved, the changes in her body, buying maternity clothes for the first time, picking out names, wondering if it would be a boy or girl but being sure it was a boy (she was right). I immediately made a photocopy of the letter to zip off into the mail to her. Knowing her, she'll sniffle a bit when she reads it :), and hopefully she'll read it to her son one day. I can't wait for her to get it. has a good collection of old video game sounds.

Diana Krall is playing here August 11, and I can't believe I'm about to once again shell out the cash for that ticket, but the show is well worth it.

Dcr. and Ds., and Country Ham

At the 4th of July barbecue I attended yesterday, peals of laughter erupted as we talked about taking prelims, passing prelims, and being ABD. One guy joked, "Yeah, there should be a title for someone who's ABD. Something between Mr. and Dr." We decided it would be "Dicter." I don't know what abbreviation would be appropriate. Dcr.? A woman who goes by Ms. would then become "Ds.," pronounced "Dizz." (I like to spell that with two z's.)

Can I just tell you how cool Krista is? She asked me if I wanted her to grab any southern food for me when she and Mister Boyfriend make the move up here. I requested a slice of country ham, but I hope she doesn't go to any trouble to get it. :o

Patriotism and the 4th

I don't have a good 4th of July post for you, but Ginmar does.

Scott's Thesis

Scott has just posted his thesis, “We Other Christians”: Gays, Lesbians, and Spaces of Protest
in the Episcopal Church
. The abstract:

With the Episcopal Church’s recent election of openly-gay bishop Gene Robinson and its
blessing of same-sex unions, the intersection of gays and lesbians and faith-based spaces has
become a flashpoint in the ongoing movement for recognition of the rights of gays and
lesbians. However, the geographic literature has very little to say about gays and lesbians in
faith-based spaces, especially mainstream faith-based spaces. In this paper, I analyze openended
surveys conducted with gay and lesbian members of the Episcopal Church to ascertain
why these "other Christians" choose to remain in these sometimes hostile spaces instead of
the more friendly space of gay and lesbian-oriented churches (like the Metropolitan
Community Church). I analyze to what extent these members are creating thirdspaces of
protest and what their responses tell us about identity and the spaces that both shape and are
shaped by these identities. Also, the paper concerns itself with poststructuralist criticisms of
essentialist models of identity and space and examines those criticisms in the context of the
half-closet, the phenomenon where a queer body is both in and out of the closet at any given
time and at any given place. In the end, this research presents models of identity and space
that challenge our traditional views of these two concepts and questions whether these
understandings can be applied outside the subdiscipline of queer geography to the broader
discipline of human geography itself.

Awesome, Scott! You did it! :) Now to wait anxiously for Krista's.

Hats for Friends, and Babies of Friends

A couple of days ago, I finished the hat I was knitting for a friend of mine. I had intended to do the whole thing in seed stitch, but it was taking up too much yarn, so I decided to switch to stockinette. The result:

Reality Check

As you know, I've been brooding recently. I still don't feel great, but your comments have gone a long way toward cheering me up. My good friend Andrea gave me some more advice that I'd like to pass on. She said it when we were at the Pilot House, my favorite restaurant in my hometown. They have delicious New Orleans-style food, and I was having blackened swordfish with Pontchartrain sauce. It was good enough to affect me on a deep emotional level, and--of course--I was waxing wistful. Back in December, I ate some of the gumbo at the Pilot House, and it hit me: I want to be closer to home. I was telling Andrea this, and she told me I was idealizing home. She then uttered the following, and wrote it down a couple of days later so I'd have it:

Thanks, Andrea. :) You always know what to say.

Random Musings

I had a strange dream the other night, which I describe at Jenny's since she posted about a dream too.

Started knitting a hat last night for a friend. It's dark blue merino chunky wool yarn, in seed stitch. I can't send it to him until September, but I think he'll like it when he gets it. I put a little piece of the yarn in my most recent letter to him.

I wonder how much money it's costing the University of Minnesota to run UThink on Movable Type. With UThink, every student at the university is able to have as many blogs as he or she likes--one for each class he or she is taking, and a few personal ones too. There are nearly 50,000 students on the Twin Cities campus, and I wasn't able to find an exact number for the faculty. That's a lot of blogs...

Update: I meant to say in this post that I can't wait for Ginmar to get back home. I want to have a big party for her. Well, at least a "let's see how big a party I can have in a 464-square-foot studio" party. :)

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