Thursday, November 18, 2010

We've been a bit sickly...

Sad to say, but I have succumbed to illness already this winter season. Last week, my throat started hurting, I had laryngitis for a day, then the sniffles and sinus pressure slowly built. I just tried to deal with it and do all my work (luckily, my students had their presentations these past couple of weeks, so that helped!). On Tuesday, Adam started to feel a tickle in his throat and, by Wednesday, he was so sick tat he couldn't go in to work. (And he was smart enough to realize that if I gave it to him, he must be contagious too....I feel like a Typhoid Mary.) I took a half-day off work yesterday, too, and we both rested. I think we're on the upswing, and Harry Potter tonight should help immensely! :)

My weirdest symptom, though, has been dizziness. The sinus pressure went away a few days ago, but I still get dizzy spells and some nausea. (No, I'm not pregnant.) If anyone has a suggestion on how to get rid of the dizziness, let me know. More sleep is what I'm banking on!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Why Oh Why....

Sometimes, I'm just amazed by what I care about and how it impacts my life.

Take football:

In high school, I had a crush on the kicker, but that never went anywhere (I was in the band, was a geek, and was way too thin and shy). At games, when not playing my clarinet when we scored or desperately trying not to be too anti-social, I read. Yep, I had a book (sometimes two), in the stands and read. Ah, 'twas fun.

In college, Saturdays were devoted to relaxing, doing sorority activities, or studying. Did I ever watch College football? Um, negative on that one, ghostrider. I went to one Hanover College football game (we were Division III, I think), and that was just because my friends were going.

While getting my Masters and while in Baltimore, I didn't pay any attention to football. Occasionally, friends would mention a Terrapins game or my family would discuss the Purdue--Indiana rivalry or the Wabash--Depauw rivalry.

When I moved to Alabama for my doctoral program, though, everything changed. When I got accepted, my dad joked that I was going to be teaching a lazy football player who would get kicked off the team due to grades, and then I would be the most-hated teacher on campus. That never happened, fyi. But I found myself drawn in by the crowds (and the wins...I like bandwagons a bunch) and the excitement. I knew the game (I knew that a long, LONG time ago--you can still understand basic rules whilst reading a book--and I'm good at multi-tasking). However, for the first time, I WANTED wins. And I WANTED to know more, and feel more, for Bama.

Although I met my husband at some friends' party, I got to know him better at football games. And I love that he knows so much about football and is so eager to share tidbits of information, if I so choose to want them. I love that football can energize me. After my first attempt at comps, when nothing could console me, Alabama beat Florida in the SEC Championship....and I LOVED it. And I LOVED seeing Tebow cry. It didn't make the comps news any better, but having my football team win made everything seem a bit easier to handle. Before my second attempt at comps, I watched the highlight + inspirational music for the football team; I figured it could help propel me to the level that I wanted to be at. Unbeknowest to me, I was already at that level. That said, though, football was a motivating factor that I never thought I'd ever use. Crazy stuff, eh?

And so I wonder...I wonder as I wander through life...and I wonder where I'll wander and what will be wending my way through. Why I wander, though, what will I care about and how will I care. In my silly teenage years, I never would have imagined a husband like Adam (he was a JOCK, for goodness sake! and I was a band geek! and a regular geek!!). Nor would I have imagined a dog like Mr. Oliver (he's so freaking cute and crazy). And I'm so happy, so motivated, so delightfully amazed with how much I care about them. It's wonderful and spectacular, and I'm so glad that I never knew how excellent it could be to have them as my family.

I can't wait to find out what else I will care about in the future. So, thanks, football, for making me understand just how crazy the possibilities might be. And, even though Bama lost tonight, they didn't lose my love. Adam and Oliver, too, could never lose my love. So I can't wait to find out what else will never lose my love. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rally for Sanity/Fear

On 10/30/10, Adam and I went over to D.C. for the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Rally for Sanity and/or Fear. Wow, it was so much fun! I have definite political views, yes, but the thing I dislike most about politics is how darn negative and critical people can be. I know that I'm not alone in disliking the negativity in political campaigns or the ludicrous statements sometimes made by politicians, BUT it was SO WONDERFUL to be surrounded by 214,999 (approx.) people who felt the same way that I do about the current political landscape. "Just relax and be happy you're alive" was, I think, the general sentiment of the day. And it suited me quite well!! :)

So, here's how the day happened. Adam and I got up, left the house a bit after 8 a.m. and drove to DC. We made great time (I say "we," but Adam did the driving while I did the slumbering) until we reached the outskirts of DC. We had planned to park at the metro stop of West Falls Church (one of the last stops on the orange lines, and a place where Adam had parked before). About 10 miles before our exit for West Falls, traffic slowed considerably and we realized that there was a massive traffic jam in the Vienna/Fairfax exit area. We passed that jam, and then started to realize exactly how massive this rally was going to be. The Vienna/Fairfax metro stop is where the orange line begins...and all of those people would be crowding into the metro. When the metro reached later stops (like West Fells), there might not be any room! Yikes! But we persevered! Onward, Copeland soldiers!

We got to West Fells and saw a huge line stretching out of the metro. After we parked the car, I stood in the back of the line, while Adam went to investigate the situation. The line wasn't to get onto the metro; it was to purchase metro passes. Adam kind of joined a line closer to the front (interpret that as you will), and texted me to let me know that I could come up and wait for him. Yay for less waiting! more action! crowd confusion!

The crowd waiting for metro tickets: The line stretched through the tunnel and was just getting longer and longer....
I tried to take a picture of Adam (my metro ticket hero!), but the crowd moved. :)
After Adam purchased our metro day-passes, we headed to the metro, and it wasn't too crowded (yet) on the waiting platform. It was a bit people-heavy, but we were near the front, and everyone was jovially chit-chatting; twas pleasant. Then...the first metro came! As it pulled into the station, there seemed to be people squished into every nook and cranny. Yes, the metro was packed in Vienna and there seemed to be no room. But we were determined to squeeze onto the train. The metro stopped, the doors opened, and there was a nice old man in a motorized scooter in the metro. Adam, bless his heart, froze. And a few people scrambled around us and squeezed into the few openings left in that metro car. The doors shut, and I told Adam that we just had to jump on the next one and not be fazed by anything. (I can be grumpy sometimes.) He agreed with me, but our back-up plan was to take the metro going to other way, get on the metro at Vienna and then we'd be in prime position to get to DC. But, we decided to wait for one more metro car. When it pulled up, we crammed ourselves in there! Thank goodness that we're fairly fit people because we were jammed in there like electrons in an inert gas. (Haha! The periodic table wins again!)

I couldn't take any pictures on the metro, but many amusing things happened--and many, many more people managed to cram onto the car. (One girl even squatted in the teeny tiny space between the legs of some random man!) However, everyone was super-nice and very excited for the Rally, so that was just lovely.

We were going to meet a few friends before the Rally, but the crowds slowed us considerably, so we decided to meet up later. Adam and I exited the metro at about 11:56 a.m. (the rally was noon to 3 p.m.), and we joined the massive crowd right around 7th street. We pushed through the crowds a bit (with no real idea where we were going) until we just decided to sit down in the middle of 7th and enjoy the music (the Roots!).

the rallying couple

An ambulance came through, though, so we left our impromptu spot and went near the Air&Space Museum for the rest of the rally. We did show off our cute signs:

My inspiration: Zoolander, the best movie ever!
Adam's inspiration: Gameday signs

The Rally was amazing, though we did have difficulty hearing some of the acts. (Our friends filled us in on the whole action later, and Comedy Central's feed and clips are pretty fun to watch.) We really enjoyed hearing the Colbert/Stewart "America" song, and Stewart's heartfelt words at the end were just great. However, what we loved most was the SIGNS! The crazy, wacky, hilarious, random SIGNS (and the funny costumed people). It was just an extraordinary atmosphere, so here are some of our favorite signs (in no particular order):

Keep Fear Alive stormtrooper
the I Could Be Wrong guy
What do we want? Moderation! (in a reasonable timeframe...)
This says Palin/Voldemort 2012 (heeheehee)
is this the line for Justin Bieber tickets?
FYI: (according to this person) the three @$$e$ of evil are Palin, Beck, and the Tea Party
self-explanatory (and self-referential)
We saw Judas on the metro later on...but here's Jesus!
self-explanatory (and good)
it's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice....SO TRUE!
Muggles for Sanity!
Muggles for Tolerance!
Our favorite LOST sign!

Post-Rally, we saw a van with Assif Mandi and John Oliver (of "The Daily Show").

Also, post-Rally, we enjoyed an excellent dinner with friends! Overall, it was a fantastic day...and we got back to Harrisonburg before 9 p.m.--but it felt like midnight. We're old! But we're glad to be alive and sane and fearful (when necessary)! :)

a picture of the crowd with a rainbow!!
and one American flag for inspiration...