The most wonderful time of the year…

I moved to Georgia for warmer weather.1  Most of the time, it’s worked out OK for me, and it’s generally warmer here than in Kentucky. In fact, it snowed in Lexington, Kentucky last week (and has snowed A LOT there this year), so I’m glad that I missed that. However, for at least the past four weeks, I’ve sort of believed that it was Spring here in Georgia. Since this wasn’t actually the case, it has been sorely disappointing for me pretty much every time I’ve walked outside.


Until yesterday! Yesterday, the temperatures ventured into the 80’s, and today was the same. And so, I’m wearing skirts, and have pretty much instituted my all-skirts/dresses-all-the-time policy. It’s not that I really dislike long pants (or shorts for that matter), it’s just I prefer to wear skirts and dresses. In hot weather, skirts and dresses are cooler, and really, this is what populates my closet.

In addition to freeing my legs from the tyranny of pants this week, I’m wearing blue every day BECAUSE THE FINAL FOUR. Believe it or not, I have enough (Kentucky) blue clothing and t-shirts to make this happen until the game Saturday. And I’m totally prepared to do laundry to re-up for the championship game, should the need arise. Go Cats.


1. Relatively warmer weather. It’s not like Lexington, Kentucky is the frozen tundra or anything, but when I began looking for grad schools, I knew I wanted at least “warmer” weather. I much prefer oppressive heat to being cold. To each her own, eh?

Early bird

I’m currently applying for dissertation fellowships. That is, I’m jumping through hoops to ask random organizations to give me money so I can finish my research and write my dissertation. Generally, these fellowships grant around $20,000 for an academic year, and also cover university tuition and fees, and maybe some conference travel. I appreciate that the idea is totally awesome, but applying for these things is relatively onerous, and the likelihood that I will be awarded one is realistically quite slim.

The requirements for these applications is what you would expect: writing samples, descriptions of the project, a c.v., personal statements, something that yells about how much the research perfectly aligns with the mission of the granting organization, etc. However, thus far, the most difficult task has been an 800 character dissertation abstract. I was completely fine with a thirty page writing sample, but explaining my entire-yet-to-written dissertation in 800 characters (including spaces)?!? I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say it was one of the most difficult paragraphs I’ve ever had to write.

I have heard that applying for academic jobs is a full-time job in and of itself, and I’m guessing this fellowship thing is quite similar. I’m applying for five different awards right now, and in the Spring, I will apply for one from the Graduate School. This post is simply to acknowledge that even though I’m a professional procrastinator, sometimes I can get it together and not wait until the very last minute.

I just submitted application #2 even though the deadline is 5:00 p.m., central time, November 15, 2012. THAT’S THURSDAY and it’s ONLY TUESDAY. Be appropriately impressed, please.

There are two reasons I finished this today.

1. This application has been incredibly frustrating, and I was more than ready to stop thinking about it. Plus, the deadline for #3 is quickly approaching.

2. The Kentucky-Duke basketball game tonight. I wanted to watch this game without distraction, and be free to freak out and over-invest without other things to worry about. And yes, this game is in Atlanta, and yes, I considered MANY times buying tickets. But my budget and schedule just couldn’t handle it this time (also, not counting any proverbial chickens, but the Final Four is also in Atlanta…).

It’s all about priorities, folks. Go CATS!

Celebrate #8!!!

I can’t let today go by without saying something about this–Kentucky won! Kentucky won! Last night, the men’s basketball team from the University of Kentucky won the school’s eighth NCAA national championship. The Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Kansas Jayhawks and if you know anything about Kentucky, well, this is A Really Big Deal.

Big Blue Nation is kind of absurd, and at times ridiculous, just as any devoted sports fan base tends to be (although I’m pretty sure BBN takes it to the next level). But it’s also fun and highly entertaining to associate with an entity that succeeds. Further, as a dislocated Kentuckian, Kentucky basketball sort of works as a placeholder for home, family, and friends. It has come to stand for memories, such as basketball ones–The Shot,* ’96, and ’98, but more importantly related ones, like celebrating with friends and watching games with family.

Let’s be clear though, I am a fan of Kentucky Basketball and I sincerely want them to win every single time they play. By a lot.

So watching the end of the game and hearing “My Old Kentucky Home” playing in the background was extra special last night. Obviously, to conflate my feelings of nostalgia, community, and entertainment with commercialism, I plan to buy at least two different championship shirts. And maybe a coffee mug. And the DVD.


*I have to give a shout-out to one of my Dear College Friends. Her facebook status read as follows after the game: “Hey UPS….maybe you can use your ‘logistics’ to get my NCAA Champs t-shirt here in a hurry so I can start wearing it. PS – You can stop running that commercial now, thanks.” Easily one of my most favorite things ever.

Resolve Schmesolve

Last year and this year have been the least exciting New Year’s Eves for me that I can remember. My memory has gotten pretty bad in the old age, so perhaps this is selective. Nevertheless, last year I was recovering from the flu and spent the evening on my parent’s couch, and this year I mostly spent the day driving (at least earlier in the day I watched Kentucky beat Lousiville AGAIN in basketball, Go CATS!).

I have always loved New Year’s Eve because it’s such a festive time, plus it’s a great excuse for a party and time to hang out with friends. Perhaps when January 1 isn’t on a weekend again, I shall resume the practice of fun NYE events.

In the mean time, this is traditionally the time when folks like to make resolutions. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary 2nd edition that’s on my MacBook, a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” I’ve made very few “New Year’s Resolutions” in my life, and I really think the idea of “New Year’s Resolutions” is kinda dumb, as one can resolve to do just about anything at any given time. Nevertheless, I have a few things on my radar right now, each of varying import and in no particular order:

  • Read more. Yes, I know that everyone (always) has this on their list. But two summers ago, I was preparing for comps, which means I was reading like it was my job… actually, I guess it kind of was my job. Since then, I’ve slacked off horribly on ALL reading. I enjoy reading and I also NEED to read as I write the dissertation. It’s likely possible I’m only listing this because I have recently decided I must would like to have a Kindle Touch.
  • Be healthy. Again, not an exceptional goal, but I’m getting old. In fact, I’m feeling a bit of anxiety about my upcoming sort-of-milestone-ish birthday. I’m not big on exercising and I’m horribly lazy when it comes to feeding myself (and usually end up eating poorly), but I recognize the fact that I should probably do better on both of those counts.
  • Keep up with the one-year Bible reading plan. This will be the fourth year I’ve done this, er, well, I suppose the 3.75th time, since I basically dropped the plan in November and December of this past year (travel and holidays did me in). I thought about finishing out the reading in one fell swoop, but that sort of defeats the purpose of a daily plan, eh?
  • Dress up more. In what could be tagged a #firstworldpain, I have a lot of fancy dresses in my closet that haven’t been worn very much. If I show up to staff meeting or your basketball game in a formal, just know I’m trying to work my way through these dresses.*
  • Manage my time better. This past semester was really wild for me in a variety of ways. It was the first time in recent memory that I wasn’t ridiculously crazy busy, and in retrospect, I don’t think I did very well with that. I know that I got things done and actually Wrote the Prospectus, but I don’t think I’d like to repeat that semester again.
  • Find a way to serve in the community. While I serve and give time at my church, I’m not involved in anything out in the community. I’ve got a couple of things in mind, but I’d like to get going with this sooner rather than later. I think this could also help with the previous item.
  • Have people over for meals/socializing. This is something I love to do, but the whole PhD thing has really gotten in the way of that. So… who wants to come over? 🙂

Nothing surprising, but that’s what I’m thinking about for 2012. And in the interest of accountability and all that, I’ll update how I’m doing on one or more of these things the first week of every month.**

Perhaps we can all learn from the little duckies…

Happy New Year, y’all!

*Invitations to formal events are welcome. Or should I volunteer to chaperone prom or something?!?

**Or until it’s too embarrassing to bring up again.

Happiness! Fun! Rejoicing!

Reasons for happiness, fun, and rejoicing:

  • I just emailed a real, live, complete draft of the prospectus to Advisor (it included chapter projections!). We’ll call this version the Rough Draft and see what happens.
  • I have two friends from college coming to visit me this weekend. I think they’re awesome and I can’t wait to spend time with them. They are driving this way, even as I type. Safe travels, friends!
  • COLLEGE BASKETBALL IS HERE! Kentucky plays their first regular season game tonight (even if there is a little bad news)!

Rejoice amain!

And since Former Tennis Instructor & Roommate/Guitar Player/Soon-to-be Therapist is hanging out with me today, she very smartly suggested I post a song by the Raconteurs since I’m seeing them on Sunday.

I love this video. It’s not exactly the Raconteurs, but it’s one of their best songs re-worked as a bluegrass-y tune.

Here’s the original, just in case you missed that version. And we just realized there’s a fabulous guitar slide in this song (around 2:54). I’ve never noticed it before, but now it just makes this song that much more awesome. Seriously, happy Friday, y’all!