Thursday, September 8, 2011

Recent happenings and travels

Some downed trees and limbs only a block
away from my apartment.
Despite my efforts to update you all on recent occurrences, it seems I have failed to mention a few key things that have been happening to me and around me over the last couple of weeks.

First, earthquakes and hurricanes, oh my! I did indeed feel the earthquake that shook the entire east coast. The epicenter was about 40 miles away from Richmond and rattled my poor library building. There was no damage in the area, thankfully. Hurricane Irene, on the other hand, did inflict this poor city with some damage a few days later. There were downed trees and limbs everywhere and 75% of the Richmond area lost power. Somehow, my apartment did not lose power and neither my apartment nor car sustained any serious damage. A branch was threatening to break through my bedroom windows for a good half an hour, but thankfully we only got a nasty leak in the living room ceiling and nothing more. Suffice it to say, it was quite an eventful week here in Richmond!

This past weekend, I was able to enjoy a rare three day weekend on account of the library's generous observance of Labor Day. Originally, I thought that I would be visiting Pennsylvania that weekend to visit my family and new nephew, but that nephew of mine had other plans and was not born that weekend. Instead, the beau and I took a trip to Charlottesville to visit Monticello. I have never visited before (a fact very surprising to most of my Richmond friends), so I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. For some reason, whenever I previously heard about Thomas Jefferson and how he was skilled in X and Y and was a scholar of A, B, and C, I've always kind of just shrugged it off. I guess it's the skeptic in me. I figured it was an exaggeration. But being at Monticello, it's impossible to shrug these facts off and let your inner skeptic distort history. This guy was into everything. I also have to applaud the folks at Monticello for providing one of the best house tours I've been on. Being able to actually go into the rooms and not just poke your head into the doorways allowed for a more personal connection to be formed with the place and its inhabitants. My interest in Jefferson as been officially piqued and I hope to read a biography of him soon (and actually believe what they say about him ;-).

Before heading to my dad's for dinner on Labor Day, T and I did manage to get to Pony Pasture on the James River. I'm sad to say that it looks like I will not make it to the beach this year before it gets too cold (unless it heats up again during the end of September), but I am happy that I did make it to the river a number of times this year, something I haven't managed to do much since I've lived in Richmond. We enjoyed a short time sitting on a secluded, large rock with our feet in the water (trying to scare off the school of little fish that kept trying to nibble at our toes), reading our respective books (nothing like reading about knowledge management during a holiday weekend), and attempting to ignore the large, decomposing catfish that was stuck next to a rock about ten feet away from us (we didn't notice it until we had already settled down and it was a good enough spot for us to accept our unwelcome observer).

Last, I'll keep you updated on what I've been reading and watching lately. I finished up the Hobbit and barreled through the second book in the Cat Who series, The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern. I know, I know, it's a guilty pleasure of mine. I am now reading Eat, Pray, Love to help/fuel my wanderlust. It's unusual for me to be reading so many books during the semester, but I've been finding the time, so I'm milking it. I'm sure once the work on my thesis really starts, I will have precious little time to be pleasure reading. I'm slowly making my way through Arrested Development and Mad Men. I finished watching all three Swedish movie versions of Stieg Larsson's Millennium series. I'm interested to see how the American versions are going to compare. I also watched Steel Magnolias for the first time this week and naturally cried like a baby despite my resistance to shed a tear. Damn you, Sally Fields, and your skilled motherly acting.

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