The More Things Change . . .

October 10, 2010

This afternoon I sat on my couch, writing a paper and watching the Braves playoff game. It gave me pause to reflect on constants. I think throughout life, one always has constants–people, places, things that one keeps coming back to no matter how life might otherwise change.

Though I consider myself a White Sox fan first and foremost, the fact is that I did not grow up a Sox fan. I grew up a Braves fan. It is my dad’s favorite team so thus it was mine as well. Though I know I went to a Sox game as a child, I have no memory of that, but I do have many memories of going to Braves games. Sitting on the couch this afternoon, watching the Braves play had a sort of timelessness to me. Bobby Cox’s retirement once the Braves’ season ends marks the end of an era, but I think Braves games will always conjure up memories of my childhood. In that sense, they will always be a constant in my life.

The afternoon also gave me a sense of deja vu. Though the team is different this time, I couldn’t help but flash back to my freshman year of college, when I spent October writing papers and watching the Sox on their way to becoming World Champions.

In other news, the past week was crazy busy. I worked extra hours on Friday. After nine hours of reading student papers, I was dreading working on my own this weekend. I felt a bit panicked because one of the papers I have due next week is a comparative book review and I hadn’t even finished reading the second book yet.

I came home Friday night from work and felt too exhausted to do homework. I went to bed super early for me–10 pm. That actually worked out really well because I woke up at 6 the next morning. I finished reading the rest of the book (about 100 pages), made pizza crust, went to the gym, had a phone date with Alyssa, and wrote all of my paper that’s due Monday night. All I can say about that is thank goodness for NCIS marathons on USA. I wish there was some way I could wake up at 6 everyday, but my schedule just wouldn’t allow it.

Today has been fairly productive as well, though I didn’t get started until much later. I went to church and the grocery store, made bean & rice burgers and sandwich rolls, went to the gym, and wrote 2/3 of my paper due Wednesday. I likely could have finished it all tonight, but I was starting to get really sick of looking at it so I’ll finish it up in the morning before work, then wait until Tuesday to revise so I can come at it with fresh eyes. I’d like to thank my Mentalist dvds for getting me through another marathon writing session.

I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures from last weekend.

Lincoln’s Home

This house is down the road from Lincoln’s. I really want it!


Armchair Travel

April 19, 2010

As you may have noticed, I put this blog on hiatus last week. A lot has been going on lately and I decided I didn’t need blogging on top of everything else. That said, I don’t want to stop blogging. I am just not going to try to force it if I’m not in the mood. So there may not be new posts everyday, but I will still update.

I love to travel. It is something that I want to do a lot more. Spending 5 weeks in the UK two years ago only whetted my appetite.

Recently I have discovered the joys of armchair travel. While no substitute for the real thing, it is a good alternative if you’re not quite in a position to travel the world yet. It is also a good use of time because reading travel guides and exploring websites can teach you about different places and give you an idea of where you want to go and what you want to do there. Not too long ago I read an excellent travel guide to Rome and I followed it up by visiting websites for places the guide mentioned. Now I have some idea of what it will take for me to visit Rome and what I want to do while I’m there. When I do reach a point when I can travel there, half the planning is already done.

The Capitol

October 9, 2009

I wrapped up my trip to DC last weekend with a walk around the Capitol. It was a lovely Sunday afternoon: the sun was out and the temperature was in the 70s.


As you can see, the sky was very blue. So lovely!


National Gallery of Art

October 7, 2009

I had a fabulous weekend in DC. I spent Friday afternoon at the National Gallery of Art. I had only been there once before and very briefly so this time I was able to take my time and see more. A few of my favorite paintings:

Monet 5

Van Gogh 4


Old World Wisconsin

September 29, 2009

Last week I tagged along on my sisters’ field trip to Old World Wisconsin. It is one of the largest (maybe even the largest?) living history museum in the country. All of the homes and buildings they have are original and have been moved there from various locations around Wisconsin.

I liked walking the grounds and seeing the houses, of course. However, I have decided that I prefer museums over the whole living history experience. My problem with Old World Wisconsin is that there was absolutely no signage in any of the buildings to give the history of it. One is supposed to learn from the actors at each location as he or she brings history alive. Besides the fact that I prefer reading over listening to a 20 minute presentation about what went on in the general store (I’m betting it wasn’t much different than what went on in the other half a dozen general stores I’ve seen), some of the actors are better than others at providing historical information.

As someone who works in local history, I know that it can be difficult to find out specific information about specific people, but I felt like too many of the actors at Old World Wisconsin spent most of the time just giving generalizations of the period–all things I’ve known since I was about 8 years old. (Yes, I am aware that most people read a lot less than I do and I acknowledge there are probably plenty of people who are hearing these things for the first time.)

When I visit an historical location, I really like to get to know the specific history of what I’m seeing so I wish there had been more of that. There was one old man who was terrific. When I arrived at the house he was working that day he told me all about the man who had lived there. It was fascinating and made the whole trip worth while. I have found that old guys are usually the best storytellers at historical locations.

Harmony Town Hall German-style home

George Washington

September 22, 2009

So anyone who knows me in the slightest knows I am an enormous fan of George Washington. He definitely was the best president ever and I am pretty sure it’s all gone downhill since him. I seem to have developed the ability to find him wherever I travel. So far my collection of George Washington statue pictures is rather small, but I am confident it will grow over time.

london_trip 2 6_20 175My first G.W. picture. This one is outside the National Gallery in London. He actually stands on soil imported from Virginia, since he swore he would not set foot in England.

5.7.09 026George and I in Hillsdale, MI

100_4121And my latest acquisition, G.W. in Chicago, IL

Day 31

June 27, 2008

June 26

Went to London for the third and final time today. I took the Oxford Tube coach service. Only 12 pounds round-trip.

Traffic was bad in the city, something having to do with Nelson Mandela’s birthday. I got off at a stop sooner than I had intended because it would have taken another 45 minutes to reach it. I then took the Underground to Charing Cross. Once there, I bought a sandwich at Subway and took it over to Trafalgar Square. I ate there, then headed into the National Gallery. I had a wonderful time there and saw all but the 2 or 3 rooms that were closed for the day.

Then I took the Underground to Hyde Park Corner and saw the Wellington Arch and then visited Apsley House.

After that I took the Underground to Harrod’s. I walked around the food hall. I bought two scones for 40 p each and then I had a lemonade float with vanilla ice cream at the gelato place.

After that I went up to the first floor and walked around there. It was a little overwhelming.

Then I took the Underground to King’s Cross and took a picture of Platform 9 and 3/4. I then took the Underground back to Victoria, where I walked around and tried to figure out where my bus stop was.