Monday, August 30, 2010

Out of the Blue

Austin and I attended a friend's birthday outing on Saturday night and, while we were at dinner, I got a text and found out our sister-in-law would be in town the next day (she's a pilot so scheduling can be wacky). We hadn't seen Carrie since her wedding to Austin's brother in CA last November so it was very cool to find out she'd be laying over in the ATX.

We took Carrie and her co-pilot (First Officer? Captain? Major-General-Colonel? I have no idea of the term) downtown for tapas. The food was really good- the fried balls of goat cheese in honey sprinkled with lavender were an amazing new favorite. If you're a feature guest of the Hotel LundeRoy, be prepared for us to haul you out for tapas and ply you with fancy fried cheese! Anyway, it was a good time and we were so glad we got to see our SiL for a bit. The photo is from Austin's phone and in the night light of the city, I kinda look more bronzed than I really am.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ahh, Friday...

Some stuff from this week:
  • I started two of the three courses that I'll be taking this semester and they seemed good. My ed class is interesting and my Spanish Linguistics class has a comforting, old-school feel and the professor reminds me of my beloved old profs from my Master's program. I start my third class on Tuesday.
  • I taught my first of two classes and, for the first time in awhile, I've got a section where everyone has had Spanish at some point. They were great! Very motivated and eager to get beyond the basics. Tuesday I teach my second section which is a graduate course and they are usually wonderful too.
  • Austin worked a lot and intensely this week, maybe I should only post when he doesn't. Blah. Poor guy.
  • The office is halfway done and should be completed after this weekend. Now I'll be trying my office set-up in the guest room.
  • Happy hour last night was good but bittersweet and I'll miss my friend. She is taking her cat all the way back to Spain and the poor little fellow has been doped up and makes up her carry-on luggage.
  • We are completely uninspired for cooking; please post your (healthy) ideas in comments if you feel like it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Today was the first day of fall semester and what is very likely my last semester of coursework. The prospect of actually be doing with classes is very exciting but bittersweet since I love being a student. I am, however, looking forward to working on my dissertation and eventually hitting the job market.

I went to my office early to get some administrative tasks wrapped up and take care of some brief meetings and some compliance training. Then it was off to my first class, Psychology of Teachers and Teaching, which seems like it's going to be really good. Our prof is giving us guidelines of what to read but allowing us to find any literature surrounding class topics so we can tailor the class to our interest areas.

Tomorrow I have my Spanish linguistics course and then teach in the evening. After, I'll be heading to happy hour to send off a fantastic friend who is going back home to Spain. She's the type of friend I know I'll be in touch with semi-regularly and could call and say "Oh hi I'm in Madrid, want company today?" (not that I would DO that). Her party will be a nice end to the compressed back to school week.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Good Bye, Old Paint

Austin's trial period of having his office in the guest room is over and he failed to reject the null hypothesis (grad school humor, awww yeah). He very scientifically determined that the location of the room did not have any impact on the heat generation and it was, in fact, the equipment. I'm not kidding about the science thing either; if you know him you won't be surprised to hear that he took regular temperature measurements, checked the wattage on his computer gear, and compiled the data in a spreadsheet. I really need to get the "Talk Nerdy to Me" t-shirt!

Given that the office location wasn't the issue but his desk was moved out, we decided to tackle the painting of the office. It was badly needed since the flat white color had lots of bright white patches from the previous owners' wall hangings and lots of dirty areas near the light switch from wear and tear. The color is Waterscape by Behr and of course no photo I post will do it justice but think a relaxing, slatey gray. We did half the walls this weekend and will move my desk then finish it next weekend.

Other than that, it was a normal weekend: lounging, reading, admiring our handsome cat, relaxing, and a little bit of cooking. Wednesday, I start classes and I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekend Update

I just finished my last week of teaching and spent Thursday and Friday doing individual oral finals. I have a few more to go on Monday as well as a stack of language and culture portfolios to wade through. While classes were winding down, I also was moved to a new office and it is great. I have a Real Door and a Window. Yes me, a lowly grad student, it's amazing. I'm in a suite with my former officemates so I've still got company but we can work quietly when we need to and talk and cheer each other on at other times (I am lucky to have cool 'mates).

I'll have about a week and a half off before the fall semester begins but I'll be revising my course, reworking my syllabus, and working on that little project called a dissertation proposal (aka the first three chapters!). This may be my last semester of taking credits, we'll see how the requirements and credits work out when I apply to take dissertation credits. I cannot believe how fast this has gone; I even missed our two year Texiversary, August 1!

Before classes take off again I'll also be working on a few projects around the house. I'd like to refinish the toy box my dad made me when I was a little tyke and use it as a storage piece in the guest room. I'm also redecorating the bathroom (or really decorating it since we never did much with it other than replace a faucet and towel racks). Austin is doing a trial period with his office set up in what is currently the guest/Stinky's room. He has the front room as his office and it has a large window so it gets really warm during the day. If he finds the guestroom (which has a small window and gets no direct sun) is significantly cooler, we'll be swapping both rooms and repainting.

Other than that, we're laying low and dealing with our worst weather of the year. It's hot but we're still ok with sunshine and bright blue skies and heat indexes as the trade off for not having winter and snow and wind chill factors.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Home Again

We got home from CO last Sunday night and hit the ground running with the work week. It was a good but long week for us so we spent this weekend trying to balance productivity (work, yard work, errands) with leisure (cooking for fun, pleasure reading, Austin gaming). I got a new laptop on Friday evening, much in need of one that didn't freeze by having more than one application open at a time, and Austin has been helping me set it up.

Nothing too exciting to report, just getting back into our routine and enjoying sleeping in our own bed again. The photo is of our purple sage that occasionally bursts into purple blossoms; we heard it means it is going to rain but that doesn't seem to be true. Still, it's really pretty and our neighborhood is full of them. Having about 11 of the 12 months full of color and life has been great.