…and approved.

That means I’ve done everything I need to do to receive the degree at the end of next month. One more conference next week, but this is the homestretch of a lot of things.

Got notice about final approval this morning. Want to see how we spent our day? (I mean, after a bunch of work and teaching-related emails, which I did not photo-document.)

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I took a blanket out to a natural area owned by my university. Boh licked all the different kinds of grass, and then basked, like this, in the sun. I started a book.

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And then I finished it on the porch, after stopping for my first soft-serve ice cream cone of the season.

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I made multiple trips to the library this evening to return books, because I’ll need to clear out my account before graduation. (But I did make a big pdf of everything I had checked out so I can go back to some of this stuff when it is time to begin the process of revising the dissertation into a book manuscript.)

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And then we did a little more lounging while listening to the new Mandolin Orange album, streaming here. (To be released next week.) I still have teaching work to do, but I’ll prep for tomorrow’s afternoon class in the morning. Knitting soon, I promise!

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a (quiet) day in the life (of boh).

Turns out I did a pretty good job of documenting Boh’s movements yesterday. Together they add up to a quiet, but accurate, portrait of a Saturday filled with dissertation polishing on the porch:

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We started with coffee and some reading. (I’m considering assigning this at the end of one of my classes this fall, so it counts as work, even though it is definitely “fun” work.)

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While I read and drank my coffee, Boh looked at his reflection in the porch window.

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And then he spent some time looking at me, like, hey, we’re ALMOST outside, can we just keep going?

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And then he settled down in the patch of sun under my favorite yellow table.

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And tried to get comfortable.

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He stayed here, in this patch of sun, for a few hours.

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It seems he was so comfortable there that he didn’t even move when I got up to make some lunch.

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Yesterday afternoon, we took a nice, long stroll with our friend R. Boh was very happy to see him; R. stays with Boh at the lake house sometimes when I travel for conferences and research. We walked all through one of my favorite neighborhoods, and ended up here, at the waterfalls that are quite close to town. I’ve never seen this waterfall rage so hard–must be a combination of quick melting and steady spring rain. Boh put his paws in the water.

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More porch working, and then I decided to make a big batch of popcorn. (Boh is just out of the frame. He loves popcorn–or rather, thinks he would love popcorn if I let him have any.) This batch is dusted with a mixture of curry powder, smoked paprika, salt, cinnamon, and cumin. Not sure where I got the ratios (they are just scribbled inside a cookbook now), but I like these spices on popcorn a lot.

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After a break (I just went back to the beginning of Orphan Black because the new season just started, so I’m appreciating anew how amazing Tatiana Maslany is in that show), back to work. Boh napped in what little space I was not hogging on the couch.

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And then, sleepy from our walk today, Boh played at being a lap dog.

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He doesn’t often curl up and stay like this for hours, but last night he found a comfortable spot and just settled in.

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He even let me get out my book.

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I figured we’d sit like this for a little while, and then all of a sudden I’d stayed up pretty late finishing the book while Boh snored. Coffee’s ready, so time to begin today’s version of all of this. Happy weekend, friends.

dr. rooster

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I’ve spent the week reading my dissertation.

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And today, I put on one version of my professor costume (I will never not call it that, K.), and headed to campus for my dissertation defense. And after a lovely, productive conversation about my work, and congratulations from my committee, I came home and crossed the defense off my list for good.

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And then a dear friend brought over beautiful flowers.

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Aren’t they lovely? They’re my first fresh flowers of spring. What a perfect day for them. I think it will take awhile for today’s milestone to really sink in, but hooray!

Signed,

Dr. Rooster

round and round.

Apologies for the radio silence over here, folks. It’s been a crazy week or so — getting that draft of a chunk of the first chapter of my dissertation “ready” for a departmental colloquium happening later this week, teaching, and even a research trip (which, happily, meant not just super busy days at the archive, but also time spent hanging out with Mick of Much-Adored).

The only pictures I’ve been taking lately have been of documents, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been knitting — and I’ve got significant progress on my Lilac Wine cowl to prove it. I thought the 1×1 rib of this pattern would be annoying to knit, but instead I’m finding it incredibly soothing. It goes slower than stockinette, of course, but I don’t think I mind!

Here it is on a pile of books I should read. (For scale.) I can’t believe it is already almost mid-April. More soon!

OWCH.

So, I went to bed last night sleepy after a good day of work and play. And then I woke up around 5 am — or rather, I think I went to roll over, and a not-so-pleasant twinge in my back woke me up. I think my hours of writing are catching up with me. Anyway, it took me forever to get myself out of bed and to the Advil. I was very sleepy, and muttering things like, “I need help. There’s no one here to help me” to myself. (Not helpful.) Poor Boh was very confused. The Advil helped me to get back to sleep, and when I actually got up, it became clear that while I was a bit more mobile than I’d been in the middle of a REM cycle, I was not doing a good job of turning my head to the right. OWCH.

Some stretching, some coffee, and a phone call to a massage therapist, and I’m feeling a little better. I’m functioning, but slowly. (And I’ve got an appointment for a massage.) If this is what 30 feels like, I don’t like it one bit. I’ve got a conference paper and a diss-chapter-chunk to finish up, both of which will likely progress more slowly now that my neck and back are in revolt. Boo. Allow me to distract you (and myself) with some pictures of very pretty fiber:

Floating Down (Hello Yarn Fiber Club, 75% BFL/25% Tussah Silk) singles on the bobbin.

A close-up, pre-soak.

Draped over my arm. Aren’t these colors lovely?

The whole thing, ready to air dry. I’ve got just over 400 yards of singles here, and I can’t wait to cast on something in it. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to take a few days off from yarn and fiber to let this twinge in my neck/back heal, but at least I can daydream about shawl and cowl patterns, right?

(almost) FO: hap blanket.

I’m on a roll. Yesterday, between writing the first paragraph of something that will be a draft of the first chapter of my dissertation (yay!), and attending a colloquium on campus, I bound off the hap blanket I started months ago as a wedding present for C and A, who got married at the end of November. I’m so happy with how this turned out. I even cuddled with it while watching Colbert!

I’m really happy with the size, pre-blocking, and I bet I’ll get another inch or so in length and width when I block out the feather and fan border. All that remains is to weave in the ends and give it a soak — which means, C and A, you should have it before it gets too hot in Florida…

No actual knits in this picture, but I snapped this because I’m wearing my new pashmina, which was the gift all of the bridesmaids received at M’s wedding last weekend. The color is lovely and surprisingly versatile, and the shawl is so soft.

And here’s my silly dog again. His friend Tango came over last night after I got home from campus, which meant he slept very deeply, and did not want to get out of bed this morning. Instead, he wanted a belly rub. I know, Boh. TGIF.

Time to get to work. Happy Friday to you!

resolved.

One of my resolutions for 2012 is to develop a writing practice. Writing a dissertation is really different from writing a colloquium paper, or a seminar paper, or a conference paper, or an article draft. I’m not going to sit down and crank this out in a couple of weeks, deadline looming. And even if I could do that, I certainly don’t want to. This is my primary job for the next few years, and I want to like doing it. Which means I need a rhythm, a routine. And now that I’m done with my fall semester and its accompanying whirlwind of research travel, it is time to get settled — and serious — about developing the habits I’d most like to have as a writer, teacher, and historian. And so far so good. I snapped this picture this afternoon, before beginning day 3 of plan write-every-day. Right now, the goal is to form the habit. I’m not necessarily writing the dissertation yet, but I’m writing about it, and thinking in a more dedicated and targeted way about my sources, my actors, and my argument(s). And it feels good to me. (Note to self: remember this feeling.)

Here’s another shot of the office, from the porch looking in. I took this because of the view I was enjoying looking out on Monday. See?

So lovely. I was too busy writing to capture today’s afternoon and early evening light, but it was beautiful — sort of like this, but with flurries of snow.

And because in theory, we all show up here because there is knitting, here’s what I wore to campus (first day back there since the end of August) today: my stripe study shawl, boots, leggings, a dress, and a slouchy sweater. It was nice to say hello to the folks in the office, chat with my chair, and cross a bunch of logistical things off my list. Hooray!

Time for dinner, some knitting, and a book.