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March 31, 2006

currently pondering

The fuzzy lines between print and manuscript culture in the seventeenth century.

This is very interesting, and I haven't found much literature on it--though a few important books. Could be my "bad researching skills" (see post few months back).

File under wish I had more time to blog about this

Yesterday morning on NPR they had a brief story about how Csections are up in the U.S., because women like the ease of scheduling their births and avoiding long labors. I realize the issue is complicated. My personal opinions are against that attitude toward Csections as unnecessarily putting the baby at risk. I think it's an irresponsible use of Csections, which I think should be viewed as emergency/life-and-death situation procedures. Anyway.

The thing I was disappointed in, though, was NPR's slightly nonchalant/slightly in favor of this attitude toward Csections. Choosing to interview women who chose that route based on faulty information they received: like vaginal delivery will give you gall bladder problems. (?)

Recovery from giving birth is no picnic without surgery. I can't imagine a Csection would improve things on that account. I can't even imagine what recovering from being shot in the back with big long needle is like (considering I was a total wimp when it came to getting over my pre-college tetanus shot). Any more added onto what I was recovery from (induced labor and stitches from an episiotomy) just seems awful.

So lots of personal bias in this post. Not enough time to siphon through it and read around a bit on what NPR was up with. (totally confusing sentence. sorry)

March 30, 2006

Tangible realities

Somehow actually having purchased a plane ticket for Lousiana is far more motivating than the amorphous "trip to Louisiana sometime in the future".

I feel zingy!!!

And today I feel like I have direction for the Stupid Thesis.

March 29, 2006

Ellis's first swing

It's pretty much impossible to get anything done when Ellis is awake and in my sole care. So, rather than attempt the impossible, I just took Ellis to the park this afternoon for a little bit. It's been such a cold, dreary spring, that today's warm sunshine was welcome. The last time we were at the park, he was a little baby snuggled in the Bjorn. But today he was a big boy and got to try the swing the first time. I knew he would love it, and he did. He thought it was the best! He was waving his arms and legs and signing "more" (which is pretty much his all-purpose sign for everything).

Watch the movie! (880kb; 30 secs) Unfortunately, I didn't get him when he was signing 'more' and waving his arms and legs, but this is still pretty cute, I think.

in case you forgot to get me an iPod for C'mas

My birthday is coming up on Monday.

Gift certificates to Starbucks or Amazon would be an adequate substitute.

Time to un-pimp sie Auto

Thank you, Haley for posting a link to these. I knew they had to be on the internet somewhere.

I present the Funniest Commercials Ever: VW strikes again: Un-Pimp My Ride. The new VW commercials parodying a hiphop pimp my ride thing. Only it's a German guy in a white coat (German engineering in da Haus, ja) and they are unpimping the Autos. (Representing Deutschland!) These are genius!

March 28, 2006

Psst!


98v(hand)
Originally uploaded by Jeannette's Thesis.
Wanna see a little bit ofwhat I'm working on?

Dday approacheth

D for Draft, that is. I'm hoping to have a full first draft of my thesis done by the end of the week. So far, not so good. I have absolutely zero motivation. I'm trying to keep the trip to Louisiana as the carrot in front of me, but even that is losing its zing.

I always feel better after I've written for a couple of hours. But it is like pulling teeth to sit down for those couple of hours. And, if you knew me when I was little, I HATED pulling my teeth out. I would wait until they were practically falling out and driving my mom crazy.

I did have a good research day at the library last Saturday, so we'll see what kind of position that puts me in for this week's write-a-thon.

Let's see, I think I need more coffee.... :-P

Catch ya later, folks.

March 27, 2006

Mommy Persecution


Before we got kicked out
Originally uploaded by katiek2.

My wonderful, talented artist friend katiek (and mom of two extraordinaire) got kicked out of a public exhibit at the High Museum in Atlanta. The reason? no kids allowed. Apparently, the artist, who was there, doesn't like kids.

What's up with that!?!?

That's her pic of her two kids at the exhibit before they got kicked out. (seriously, who could kick out Josiah and Eden!? Aren't they the cutest!?)

I'm just trying to find a category in my head to fit this in, but it's not working.
It's really a travesty.

I feel like if I were more political science-y I could say some insightful things about culture and society, but right now, I just feel the need to highlight this craziness!

March 25, 2006

Quarterly report

I noticed a big change after Ellis turned 3 months, then 6 months, now I see it again since he's turned 9 months. He's changing so much. I see so much more comprehension, ability in fine and gross motor skills, interest in things. It's so fun!

I think he obeyed for the first time the other day. I've been signing "no" every time he gets near the heater (wh. probably wouldn't hurt him anyway), and the other day he looked at me, looked at it, looked at me (signing "no"), and turned away. And he has been doing this since. I couldn't believe it!! Yay!

He ate cheese for the first time this week: nice Wisconsin Havarti from a friend's farm.

March 23, 2006

that's a first

I just got Chinese spam in my email.

I don't even know what's advertising.

March 22, 2006

if you want to learn French

...and can swing a couple of months in the summer in the south of France, I highly recommend this place--L'Institut d'Études Françaises pour Étudiants Étrangers (or French Institute for Foreign Students) in Aix-en-Provence. I went here for the June and July intensive terms in the summer of 1999, between years 3 and 4 out of 5 in college. I went from zero knowledge to being able to carry on a half-way decent conversation on a variety of topics, and being able to sort of the read the newspaper...in two months. It was intensive, but really great!

I was reminded of this school last night when I was talking to an ethnomusicology grad student who is going to Marseille to study n. African music and wanted to get a bit more solid in French.

When I went there, they didn't have a website or email. I googled it last night and found the website. It was a wonderful place; I really cherish my time there.

p.s. I went for the summer terms, but they do have normal school year terms, too. :)

March 21, 2006

Campus visit=success

I'm in love with this department. I knew I liked it. I knew that there were a lot of things that I found attractive. But after sitting in faculty offices, chilling with the students, and going to class (yea, a pretty straightforward visit), I've gone from like to love. This is where I belong! The environment is perfect. But I'm still on the waiting list. The DGS was very positive about my application, and it sounds like they really want me to be there. But I must still wait.

Wow. What a journey this has been. I was remembering the fear and trepidation with which I began the whole grad school process four years ago (yes, four. ugh). How inadequate I felt. Then shock at how overadequate I was for my dept. Then gleaning the strengths and trying to ameliorate the weaknesses. The loneliness of being nearly the only grad student in my field. And then, this epiphanic moment last fall that I could start new somewhere else. Even though I was only comps and a diss proposal away from being ABD. Definitely a gutsy leap. I'm glad I made it, though. Even if the waiting list doesn't turn up with a position for me, I'm glad I made that leap. I think I had gotten what I could from my dept. And much as I dearly love and miss the people there, I think it was time to move on.

I sat in the office of an older scholar this morning--one whose name is a fixture in the field, who is beginning to think retirement before too many more years, who has seen this discipline grow. The kind who still wears a tie and jacket and offers to take my coat (yes, I'm wearing a coat in March. :P) and hang it on a hanger. He is, by no means, old-fashioned. The love for his work and for his students exudes from his demeanor and every word. His screen saver had the simple command scrolling across, "Haydn: Finish!" I asked him what one of his favorite courses to teach was, and he said that it was the one that sort of introduces the discipline. He talked about helping his students find their individual scholarly voice, how his role was merely facilitator, how satisfying it is to see each students speaking with their own voice.

Behind my eyes I could feel the sting of tears starting to form, and my face ached from my beaming smile. He articulated something that has been the struggle of my past few years. I'm struggling to find that voice. I have sat in my professor's offices and talked about historiographical angst, and they tell me not to think too hard about it. But what I've been meaning is that very thing. I don't know what my voice is, and I don't have the vocabulary to articulate that. I see shadows of direction and am unsure how to get there. This, I think, has been the source of my angst in recent years, and it never occurred to me! Even though I believe that historical writing is essentially subjective, I never thought what it might mean for me to be the subject through which it is siphoned. It was a beautiful conversation, and had I stayed in his office much longer, I think I really would have cried.

I could go on about all the things I liked. But I think I want that conversation to be the lasting image I carry away from the day. In short, I hope I have a place here someday. If not next fall, perhaps sometime in the future.

March 20, 2006

Wistful thinking

I'm so glad this seminar is happening again:

V Seminario Internazionale Estivo Jacopo da Bologna - 5th International Summer Seminar Jacopo da Bologna - Cambridge 2006

I went two years ago when it was on Machaut and in Italy.

IMO, this way this seminar is set up is the way graduate education should be. A concentrated topic with an assortment of experts teaching, each representing a different facet. The class is small and the setting friendly and intimate, with lengthy shared meal times to solidify relationships. (Food always makes life better.) As each faculty member presents his/her facet the picture begins to take shape. They interact together, inviting the students to join in. It's like what you get read an article and read the footnotes with it. Except it's in real life and for the benefit of the students who are encouraged to share their ideas in the conversation.

The graduate students just soak it in. There's not the pressure to become "mini-me" professors. If you have an idea, you're encouraged to bring it up and we all talk about it. It's a safe place to not know things, because everyone is there to learn, including the professors.

The European setting made it an exciting experience for me. As languages were flying around the room during class and across the table, you got the sense that the world of scholarship was so much bigger. The different questions and perspectives made it such a wonderful experience.

It's just too bad it's only a week. ....and so far away.

March 18, 2006

Ooof. So how I'm feeling.

Great post by New Kid on the Hallway: Writer's block - a trip down memory lane.

I'm about 3000 words behind. Feeling out of touch, distracted, and hating myself! I have like two weeks left to get in a decent, defendable draft.

Unfortunately, New Kid's advice #1 about climbing out of block (DO NOT ISOLATE YOURSELF) is not something I've done to myself. My institution is 1200 miles away, and my advisor, much as I love him, isn't exactly chatting it up over email at the moment; I guess there's more than me to worry about on his end. I will say every time I see the area code of my institution pop up on my phone or a new message popped up in the inbox devoted to emails from my institution, I'm filled with dread. Somebody is going to be mad at me for not being more on top of it.

I'm reading. Thinking. Not writing. And I'm not the type of writer that will all of a sudden sit down and write 20 pages after weeks of percolating. I write very slowly. I'm hte type that makes 5 cups of coffee and has 10 snacks. Plus there's life and boy to distract at the moment, too.

Anyway, I appreciated this post.

March 16, 2006

Happy 9 Months!

Ellis turned 9 months yesterday. On the Ides of March.

He's growing and changing so much everyday that it's hard to keep up in my head all he is doing.

He's almost crawling properly on hands and knees. Still sort of a crawl-scooch.
He impulsively pulls himself up on things. If he so much as stirs in bed, he reaches out and pulls himself up in the crib, blearily half-asleep.
He's still sign-babbling.
He's trying to get toys to do things. Like light up when you hit a button.
He's blowing zerberts properly know, with his tongue sticking out. Drool spluttering everywhere.

He eats tons. Last month we started goat's milk yogurt, and that was a big hit. Today he ate Cheerios for the first time. He's still working on the pincer grasp, but it's coming. He managed to get a few in his mouth.

He's starting to look more like a little boy, but he's still my baby.

Sleep is getting better. We usually have one good nap (1 1/2 hrs to 2 hrs) and one bad nap (1/2 hr) a day. He wakes up once or twice at night. He goes to bed without too much hassle around 7 and stays asleep for a good long while. The downer is that sometimes he wakes up around 4 or 5 am for an hour or more. Which pretty much negates the previous good night's sleep. Hmmm.

He manages pretty well with his hearing aid. He doesn't bother about it at all. Doesn't tug or grab at it. At his last hearing test, the audiologist seemed to think that he was picking up sounds at around 70 decibels, still loud, but good. I think some sound is getting through, but it's not like a light-switch.

hey, ma, what's for lunch?

Every time I make a new installment of sweet potatoes, I think the jars all lined up are so pretty. Two humongus organic sweet potatoes, cooked in chicken/vegetable broth, seasoned with freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon, and paprika, and pureed.

The jars are from Ikea. Perfect baby food jars. 5 oz glass jars with screw-on lids. I fill them not quite full and stick the whole jar in the freezer; avoiding the ice-cube tray hassle.

insert existential questions, momentary lapse of the brain

I just got the schedule for my Official Visit to the Fab Local Univ to Which I Really Want to Go But I'm On the Waiting List. A full day ahead. I'm not sure if I've left Ellis for that long, but I think he'll be fine. It'll just be a new record of separation. You spend all that time bonding during pregnancy and newborn and then when you have the bond, you have to spend the rest of the time pushing away. Harumph. Anyway... so my visit.

It looks fun. Bigger than I expected. I just thought I'd have coffee with a couple of people, sit in on the class that I wanted to go to, and call it a day, but it's a bit more and includes one-on-one faculty interviews, which kind of freaks me out a bit. I visited a scholar friend of mine on Monday and she gave me some great pointers on the manuscript I'm studying for my thesis. But sitting there talking to her I realized how out of the groove I am. I just feel foggy headed, brain lapsed.

I'm afraid I'll sit down and wonder "now what is it I'm doing? why am I here?" When I'm not part of the daily in and out of the school year, I feel a little out of touch with reality. I think I'll need a personal pep rally before I go. Talk to all my scholar buddies on the phone the night before. Reread my personal statement (a rare moment of clarity whilst I toil away in the dark). Reread my folder of Inspiring Articles.

I used to long for not being tied down with classes and teaching, just to write and nothing else, but now I see that the greener grass isn't so green after all, because those things started my engine, kept my machine grinding, even if I felt rushed for time. It's hard to keep moving when i'm all alone in my head.

March 14, 2006

move over, Alex Ross

Fellow music department alumna, Funke is writing for the masses: Classical Music on Suite 101. She's got great insight into classical music and its broader intellectual context. And she gets paid by the hit. So be sure to visit her page!! (I'm looking forward to many of years of reading Funke rather than Alex Ross.)

March 13, 2006

Ellis outside on a warm spring afternoon

March 8, 2006

first date with quinoa

It's vegetarian/seafood week at our house. I'm really liking it. Tonight I made quinoa for the first time following this recipe. I served it as a side to salmon. It was very tasty.

Zesty Quinoa with Broccoli & Cashews (except i used asparagus and roasted pine nuts, because that's what i had; i also added more broth in order to get the asparagus to cook) This is a great recipe to have on hand for vegetarian/vegan cooking.

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a high-protein, gluten-free ancient grain that cooks much like rice and has a texture similar to couscous.

Serves 4-5

* 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
* 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned or chopped
* 1/2 cup vegetable broth
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 2 TB lemon juice
* 1/2 cup quinoa
* 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
* 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces Fresh ground black pepper to taste
* 1/2 cup roasted cashew pieces
* 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, vegetable stock, wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil.

Stir in the quinoa and salt. Reduce heat, and simmer covered about 20 minutes. Add the broccoli on top and simmer an additional 5 to 6 minutes.

Remove from heat, toss gently until combined. Add ground pepper and additional salt, if desired, to taste.

Garnish with cashews and scallions before serving.

Like a Polyptych

Come un polittico

Come un polittico che si apre
E dentro c'è la storia
Ma si apre ogni tanto
Solo nelle occasioni,
Fuori invece è monocromo
Grigio per tutti i giorni,
La sensazione di non essere più in grado,
Di non saper più ricordare
Contemporaneamente
Tutta la sua esistenza,
Come la storia che c'è dentro il polittico
E non si vede,
Gli dava l'affanno del non-essere-stato,
Quando invece sapeva era stato,
Del non avere letto o mai avuto.
La sensazione insomma di star per cominciare
A non ricordare più tutto come prima,
Mentre il vento capriccioso
Corteggiava come amante
I pioppi giovani
Fino a farli fremere.

by Franco Buffoni

Translation:

Like a Polyptych


Like a polyptych that's opened up
And the story's there inside
But it's opened every so often
Only on special occasions,
Outside on the contrary it's monochrome
Gray every day,
The feeling of not being able any more,
No longer capable of recalling
Simultaneously
The whole of his existence,
Like the story there inside the polyptych
That no one sees,
Gave him the anxiety of not-having-been
When on the contrary he knew he'd been,
Of not having read or never having had.
The feeling in short of being about to start
No longer recalling everything as before,
While the whimsical wind
Like a lover
Courted the young poplars
Till it made them quiver.

© Translation: 2002, Franco Buffoni
From: The Shadow of Mount Rosa
Publisher: Gradiva Publications, New York, 2002
ISBN: 1-892021-14-5
Translated by Michael Palma

March 7, 2006

helping Mommy


March 6, 2006

just a little statue

I don't normally watch the Oscars, because I've normally not seen any of the nominations. Last night was no exception. I had seen ZERO of any nominations (except for Harry Potter, but they only got on nom. so that hardly counts). But I did watch the Oscars when invited to do so with friends.

So I may as well weigh in with the rest of the 5 billion Americans blogging the Oscars this morning.

First, what was UP with what those screenplay writers for Brokeback Mtn were WEARING!? I had to hide my eyes it was so awful!!! I have never seen a less flattering, aesthetically unpleasing dress on a woman. I nearly barfed. And blue jeans were not cool, sorry dude.

Second, majorly disappointed with best picture nominations, especially when I started to realize what else was out there. And, Crash? Well, it seemed like a decent movie, but not best picture quality. It seemed to lack, well, subtlety.

Third, I'm intrigued by the domesticization of "pimp." There was a time when no decent person with manners would say this word. It stands for a horrible occupation. But now it is a mainstream word. "Pimp my Ride" and all that. Cable tv has brought this word into decent society as cool and maverick. Now "pimp" gets an Oscar.

Fourth, movies i want to see after watching the Oscars: The Constant Gardener, Capote, and Walk the Line (but I've been wanting to see that--I love Reese!).

March 4, 2006

Fennel Vegetable Stir Fry with Nut Rice

Fennel Vegetable Stir Fry with Nut Rice

Fennel Vegetable Stir Fry with Nut Rice
Ingredients (use vegan versions):

* 3 tablespoons coconut or almond oil
* 1 medium white or yellow onion
* 3 - 4 stocks bok choy (including green tops)
* 1 red pepper
* 1 large carrot
* broccoli
* mushrooms
* 1 16 oz. package firm tofu (optional)
* 2 teaspoons fennel seed
* 1/2 cup slivered almonds or whole pine nuts
* 2 - 3 cups cooked rice (I prefer basmati, but you can use whatever you like)
* salt
* pepper
* 2 large cloves garlic

Directions:

Tofu can be fried (do before anything else) or tossed into stir fry with out previous cooking. I've also made this many times with no tofu and it is still good. Coarsely chop onion and mince garlic. Slice bok choy stocks into bite size pieces, coarsely chop green tops. Slice and/or chop the rest of the veggies any way you prefer.

Heat 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet or wok. Add 1 teaspoon fennel seed until is begins to sizzle. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, add garlic toss a few times with spoon.

Begin cooking vegetables from hardest to softest: bok choy stocks (save green tops for later) for 1 minute; add carrot and cook for 1 minute; red pepper 1 minute; broccoli 1 minute; etc. - Repeat with all the vegetables except for bok choy greens (they will go in later with the tofu) Add a dash of salt while cooking - it really brings out the flavor of the veggies.

Transfer veggies to bowl and put 1 tablespoon oil in skillet/wok over medium heat. Add nuts and begin to toss while cooking. As nuts begin to turn golden color, add 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed. Let nuts "overcook" to a dark brown - it's okay to have some black nuts as it adds flavor. Once the nuts are done, add cooked rice to skillet/wok and mix in oil, nuts, and fennel. Add dash of salt to rice mixture and let cook for a couple of minutes while stirring. Transfer to serving bowl.

Heat veggies back up and add tofu - cook until heated through. Add bok choy green tops just at end, cook until wilted. Salt and pepper to taste, serve over rice.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes

quinoa tabbouleh

I'm doing a food overhaul. New recipe search and all that. So I'm going to archive a few here that I want to keep in mind but won't use this moment.

I'm so intrigued by quinoa.

QUINOA TABBOULEH

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Salad Grains
1 c Quinoa
1 14.5-oz can vegetable broth
2 tb Pine nuts
8 Cherry tomatoes, each cut
Into eighths
2 Green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c Finely chopped parsley
1 tb Finely chopped mint
1 tb Finely chopped cilantro
4 tb Fresh lemon juice
2 tb Olive oil
1/4 ts Salt

1. Put the quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse well with water. (This will
remove the bitter coating of the quinoa.) Drain well.
2. Put into a large nonstick skillet and toast 3 minutes. Add the
vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to
medium-low, and cook 12 minutes. Drain well. Spread onto a paper-towel
lined baking sheet or plate and let sit about 5 minutes to absorb excess
liquid. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Put the pine nuts into a small skillet and place over medium heat.
Time 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, and remove from the heat.
Let finishing toasting in the hot skillet.
4. Combine the quinoa, pine nuts, tomatoes, green onions, parsley, mint
and cilantro. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a small jar.
Pour over the salad, mixing well. Refrigerate; bring the salad to room
temperature before serving.

March 3, 2006

Homer and Ellis


March 2, 2006

another tale from this installment of Research Adventures

Have you ever heard of Questia?

It is an online library of books and journals, full-text, online, for a modest subscription price. Thousands. I stumbled on it through a Google search for something else, and I was shocked at the search results it provided. Like stuff that was actually relevant!!!! (It's really nice working with books that are digitized, too, because of searching capabilities.) You can search, save things, generate citations.

I have never heard of this service before. It doesn't seem to be institutionally connected (which could be a post in itself, probably), and it seems so...user-friendly. I'm shaking a little, because I don't know what to make of it. Somebody tell me you've heard of this before?!

March 1, 2006

i kid you not

jeannette --
[adjective]:

Pretentiously academian

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at QuizGalaxy.com
diber --
[adjective]:

Permanently high

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at QuizGalaxy.com

music, Ellis, Mardi Gras

I've been meaning to blog various sundry things, but I think I'll just blitz by them with a nod for the sake of time.

First, here's a fun music cognition test from the Univ. of Newcastle upon Tyne (via Household Opera). It involves listening to pairs of tunes and deciding whether they are the same or different.

I don't read the NY Times regularly, so I'm always grateful when particular articles get pointed out...esp this one about L'homme armé masses (?!?!?!?!)...how's that for a bit of pop musicology?

YOU are a Renaissance composer. You have been asked to compose a setting of the Latin Mass, a text that begins "Kyrie eleison" ("Lord, have mercy") and ends "Dona nobis pacem" ("Grant us peace"). You scratch your lice-bitten scalp, tap your quill against the lectern. How to start?

A ditty has been running through your head: DUM-da DUM-da DA DA DA. Catchy. Rich in musical matter: ascending fourths, descending fifths. Tailor made for counterpoint. And maybe, just maybe, if you use it as the basis for your Mass, the Lord will have mercy and drive it out of your head, now and forever, amen.

Halfway through the Sanctus, you're going great guns. You've even used the tune in a canon (to the words "peace on earth"), which should earn you some admiring glances when you walk into the local musician's hangout, the Armed Man.

The Armed Man? That, of course, is the name of the tune: "L'Homme armé." And now, only now, you remember the words:

L'homme, l'homme, l'homme armé,
L'homme armé, l'homme armé doibt on doubter, doibt on doubter.
On a fait partout crier
Que chascun se viegne armer
D'un haubregon de fer.

The armed man,
The armed man must be feared.
Everywhere it is proclaimed
That everyone must arm himself
With a coat of mail.

Hardly the right sort of tune to be using for a Mass, is it? Well, maybe no one will notice.

You dip your nib, scratch harder, just above your left ear — got him!

COULD this really be how it happened?

Aaaah. What we've all been asking...

Later Eisenberg asks:

Who, exactly, is the Armed Man?

That, indeed, is the million dollar question.

It's not a bad article.
____________

Ellis made what could be considered his first sign last weekend: more. He's not really using it to communicate "more." I think it's just an easy sign to make. He knows he's doing something important, and it makes him super excited, which is super exciting for us to watch. He really is getting into his signing time dvd's, too, waving his hands around trying to do what they're doing and looking at us for reinforcement/encouragement. He's so ADORABLE!!!

___________________

I wanted to say something about Mardi Gras yesterday, but I didn't. I didn't really know what to say. It was a hard day for me, because it was a focal point of all my emotions about New Orleans. I miss our life there; sure it was time for it to end, but still...I left a part of me there. Plus, grief over the hurricane, and emotion about Mardi Gras actually happening.

And then frustration about how the news handled it. Somebody suggeseted I watch Mardi Gras coverage on TV, thinking it might make me feel better. Even though, I thought that that was a pretty lame idea, I was suckered into watching CNN for a tiny bit. Bad idea. First, they kept making all these racially divided polls--e.g. "should we have Mardi Gras?" "how should we celebrate Mardi Gras?". It just seemed so...cheap. Plus, I don't see how making those kinds of polls is going to help the hurt and frustration surrounding race in that city. If anything it only reinforces it! Argh. Then, CNN's coverage of Mardi Gras was pretty much limited to the tourists on Bourbon Street. Bless them for their monetary contribution to the city, but that is not what Mardi Gras is all about. There's something about how the city rallies together for the celebration--it's better than Christmas. It is a time of happiness and joy. I don't think I can explain it, and CNN totally missed the boat.

Yesterday's being Mardi Gras made me remember what I loved about the city and made me mourn how we lived when we lived there, which is part of the process of moving.