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Beach Weekend

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Well, Reed and I spent a nice, relaxing weekend at Carolina Beach at his departmental retreat. Originally, I thought that I would be able to cross sea kayaking off my list during this weekend, but the time and cost factors didn’t add up this time around. Which is fine, since we should have plenty of opportunities to go back. After all, it is only about two hours away.

Reed had meetings to go to about half the time, but we had two free afternoons to play! Plus, on Saturday morning, I got to get out and drive around. I went to the Carolina Beach State Park to hike around and perhaps see some birds. Not much luck on either activity, though! I did hike the Flytrap trail (at least the parts that were open), but did not see any Venus Flytraps. That was probably because I quit dawdling on the trail once the mosquitos began feasting on me. I did see a few birds and some great spiders with giant spider webs. After that, I drove down to Fort Fisher, which is the most beautiful part of the area–it still has trees and vegetation, instead of rows and rows of three story beach houses.

Our first afternoon, we went to a beach store and bought cheap little boogie boards and extra sunscreen. Then it was off to the ocean! The waves were fun, after I actually got into the water and past the breakers a bit. There were plenty of surfers out–I don’t think I’ve ever been to a beach where there were people surfing, but everywhere I looked this weekend, there would be some people out sitting on their boards and catching a few waves. Fun! One really neat part was that when the large waves were coming toward you, if you looked at the top of the wave you could see schools of small silver fish swimming through. We also saw a little fish that was camouflaged to look like the seaweed it was floating with. I’d forgotten how tired playing in the water makes you, though! We decided that our next beach purchase will be an umbrella and some chairs so that we have a shady area to take a break. The weather was just right for the beach this weekend–it was plenty hot and the water felt nice and cool.

Yesterday, after Reed finished with his meeting, we went back down to Fort Fisher and drove out past the ferry station to the end of the island. People were wading and walking and fishing out in the shallows, and we got to see the ferry come in to the station. Then we went back down to the aquarium and walked around, learning about fish in the Cape Fear River and out in the ocean. It was a pretty nice little aquarium, just the right size for a rainy day. On our way out, we got a scoop of strawberry frozen yogurt at the concession stand to eat on our stroll back to the car. It was plenty hot outside, but that was just with the sun shining on you directly. When we were in the shade, it was lovely and we could have spent all day outside. Unfortunately, there is not a great deal of shade at the Fort Fisher embankments themselves, so we didn’t stop there this time around.

We drove back through downtown Wilmington, which was beautiful. There are huge, beautiful historic houses there, and it would be nice to stop in again and walk around taking pictures. Next time!

It was a good weekend, and we had a great time. I would have taken many more pictures, but my camera kept flashing at me on its screen. Grrr. [I will put them up later this afternoon.]

News Roundup

I was reading at (‘at’ because I am using my high school Spanish to do so, which means that I am picking out the meaning without knowing all the words) Reforma.com this evening, and came across the page in the link. It is the restaurant section of the paper (BBC said it was an influential daily on its factsheet page about Mexico), and the Brassica Santa Fe’s cuisine is listed as American. From what I can tell without using a translation service, they serve Prime Rib of Beef (that part is in English), salmon cooked on a cedar plank and served with polenta, and fish with something interesting. I just thought it was interesting to come across an “American” restaurant serving American cuisine, although why I don’t know. Are there soul food restaurants in other countries? What are they like? That would be something to experience. The reason I am reading ‘at’ Reforma is because I thought it might be interesting to try to build/remember some vocabulary. Speaking Spanish is on the adventure list, after all.

Also, in my real life, I was sworn-in today! Now it’s all official!

Hmm, maybe that looked bad.

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The News and Observer is reporting today that Prof. Chemerinsky will actually be the dean of UC-Irvine’s new law school. Perhaps this is because the only decent person willing to take the deanship at Irvine after this debacle was Chemerinsky. Really, apart from all the political hub-bub, who wants to do business with someone who signs a contract with you one day and within the week wants to withdraw? Especially on what is likely to be a big, nasty project to begin with (starting a new law school). Well, at least that is all straightened out now.

In other Triangle news, a horrible story about two people who starved their four-year-old to death. They were discovered in Durham, when the man went to the police because his step-son (it appears it really was his son) was ill. No joke, the child weighed 19 pounds and died the next day. If the story couldn’t get much creepier, the wife is 22 and the story claims they have been married six years…since she was 16 and her husband was 28. That sounds like a perfectly normal relationship, that only good could come from.

There is also an interesting story in the NY Times about a breast cancer “pre-vivor” and her decision to have a double mastectomy at the age of 33. She doesn’t have cancer–yet–but she does have a breast cancer gene that increases her risk of breast cancer to 60-90% as well as a very deadly form of ovarian cancer.

Of course, this gave me the opportunity to remind Reed that if I ever have to chop my breasts off, I’m not going to have reconstruction. Instead, I’m getting giant flower tattoos on my chest, so I can go topless at the beach and look like I’m wearing a bathing suit. Sort of like this lady, but totally different (I was going to say, “but without the chain or the squirrel or the bird or the moth, etc.”) (BTW, she is a tattoo artist also, and here is her site.) Reed thinks this ranks up there with “Hike the Appalachian Trail” for ridiculousness, and says you don’t have to have cancer to get a tattoo. Maybe so, but it is an interesting idea.

News Roundup

Yesterday, there really wasn’t any news I found interesting.

Today, however, we have a few interesting ones.

There is a particularly frightening one about high school football players and concussions in the NY TImes. Basically, high schools don’t do enough to protect their players from playing with concussions and high school players choose not to tell their coaches if they feel bad, so they can keep playing. There’s also a graphic describing the 50 high school players in the past 10 years who have died or suffered serious head injury during a game. What makes this even more interesting is how it might tie into the findings of brain damage in professional football players.

On a lighter sports note, another article notes that bocce is becoming a popular sport for young people. Bocce is pretty fun, and practically anyone can play. Woohoo!

In Raleigh news, the paper is keeping up with the Allison Quets saga. If, like me, you haven’t heard of Quets, she had pleaded guilty to international kidnapping for taking her twins to Canada while they were on visitation with her from their adoptive parents. It is a pretty twisty story–Quets is 49, had IVF to conceive twins on her own, and apparently had a very difficult pregnancy and recovery. When her twins were five weeks old, she began the adoption process to people who were somehow related to her sometime/onetime (?) boyfriend. Apparently, she was very unsure of what she wanted to do and has since appealed the adoption in Florida. (The adoptive parents live near Raleigh, which is why it is in the news here.) Anyway, Quets has a group of hyper-supportive people that say she was under duress when she signed the papers, loves her children, etc., etc. The thing is, most of what they say about her continues to paint a picture of an unstable person who probably would not make the best single parent. For instance:

An immaculate housekeeper, she found her cell never tidy enough for her, friends said. She turned to washing her jumpsuit in a toilet bowl. …

The best part about it all, to me, is that the adoptive family has said very, very little to the press and are keeping to themselves. It is rare to find people who are willing to bow out of a media circus.

Also, in the News & Observer , several parents have been suspended from attending their children’s soccer games because of their unsportsmanlike conduct. This is ridiculous. I wish they had printed the adults’ names, because these people deserve some public accountability. Wouldn’t you want to know that your co-worker has such poor judgment that they don’t even know how to act at a child’s soccer match? Not that you would be surprised, probably.

Oh, and it rained yesterday!

That’s all for now. Maybe I will get out of the house and do something interesting today, but don’t count on it.

News Roundup

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Until I have something interesting to say about my own life, I’m going to do a news roundup of interesting articles I come across.

Today, in the NY Times, there is an article about what a person learned about the “old Maryland” when she took a master gardening class. There is a master naturalist’s class at UGA that I would love to do, but I don’t think I’ve seen one here at NC State.

Also in the NY Times this week, is a story about, well several things. William James and his Varieties of Religious Experience, the Adirondack Loj, hiking up Mount Marcy. A new destination to ponder and a lodge, which like Miss TusconLizzie, I tend to gravitate towards.

Here in Raleigh, the news is about how Chemerinsky was denied the deanship at the new law school at UC-Irvine, possibly because of his liberal views. Apparently, one of the big donors ($20 million big) to the new law school is a big-time Republican which might tie into why Prof. Chemerinsky’s contract was rescinded less than a week after he had signed it.

And, we are in severe drought. I’m not going to link to any stories about that, because there are a half a dozen. We need some rain!

Too long

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Goodness, it has been forever since I have written anything. Mostly, it is because I have not been out adventuring, which has become the theme of my blog.

I am working on #75 (ancestors who came to the U.S.) here and there, with almost weekly trips to the state library downtown. And I have been crocheting, which is…not anywhere on my adventure list, of course. And job searching, haphazardly, which is not on the adventure list either–for obvious reasons, the most likely being that it is Not Much Fun. Next week will be fun, though, or at least productive! There will be the bridge-the-gap like program, and swearing-in, and Reed’s departmental retreat. Woohoo!

In other news, I have been shopping for work clothes and not having much luck. I think I am going to try to go to a new shopping mall/area/region/place every day for the rest of this week, because I need to scout out where the good stores are. Plus, if I don’t give myself assignments out of the house, not much gets done in the house either. Like job searching.

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