"For most of history, Anonymous was a woman." Virginia Woolf

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mobile since August 13, 2007My last blog was a little disorganized and I didn't really take the time with it that I usually do when writing a blog.

Mobile since August 13, 2007

Big thanks to Tyler and James for helping me get my stuff out of the UHaul and into the house. Your help was very much appreciated. And of course, moving day had to be eventful somehow*. Well, it was no hurricane but it was a torrential downpour that started about five minutes after the UHaul pulled into the parking lot next to the townhouse. I have never moved in a torrential downpour before, but let me tell you, it was not a lot of fun. And because I am just that lucky, the rain stopped approximately five minutes after the UHaul pulled away from the townhouse.

*Note: The first time I moved to Mobile: July 2, 2005, my roommate had a nervous breakdown from which he has yet to fully recover and Mobile County went through "mandatory evacuation" for Hurricane Dennis and I had to leave like two days later. Two months later, when I convinced my landlord to let me break my lease at the house, I moved into an apartment at Lafayette Square. My parents drove off with the Uhaul at approximately 4 p.m., by 10 a.m. the next morning I had lost power due to Hurricane Katrina and got to experience my first hurricane with little to no supplies.

It is unbelievably good to be back in school. I cannot express in words how happy I am so just think of it as a glow. I am all aglow. My nine hours this semester are: Comparative Nationalism with Mara Kozelsky, 20th Century US History with John Turner, and Major European Thinkers with Michael Monheit. Comparative Nationalism will probably turn out to be my favorite class this semester simply because of the subject matter. My major research paper will probably be Irish Nationalism and Gender, focusing on the involvement of women in the IRA and the independent groups they formed in response to the sexism they experienced within the larger nationalist organizations. US History involves a lot of small assignments which I do not enjoy as much as larger research projects, but we are talking a lot about religion in the US, which is a important subject to me and the other graduate teaching assistants are also taking it so there is a lot of camaraderie. Major European Thinkers will probably be my most challenging class because my history education has been fairly light on theory and this is more or less a philosophy course. My research paper will probably end up being on Simone de Beauvoir because of her work on feminism.

The teaching assistantship is turning out to be a lot of fun. It is a wonderful opportunity to make friends in the department and to get a new perspective on the department. It helps when I work with such kickin' people. On Saturday afternoon, I attended a speaking engagement organized by Feminists for Progress, the on-campus feminist group. The speaker was the Alabama president of the National Organization of Women. She spoke in hopes of inspiring a reorganization and rebuilding of the Mobile chapter. I will probably end up joining both the Mobile NOW chapter and the on campus group. Since both will be/are relatively new organizations, there is a lot of potential for growth and flexibility, a good chance for me to get my feet wet.

Outlook is pretty optimistic at the moment. Just have a good feeling about my direction in life. I do not feel as restless as I have been feeling for the past fifteen months or so which says something because I have been close to jumpin' ship many a day and saying to hell with all of my plans. But I am finally in a stable situation where I am doing something I love, I am around people I like,  and the work I am doing is leading me to better things. What I need to do now is to maintain my focus on school, work on building and maintaining healthy friendships, and be more consistent with my work out routine (which should and optimistically will involve): aerobic exercise 3-5 days a week, yoga/pilates at least 2 days a week, weights at least 2 days a week, which will lead me to where I want to be physically.

Perhaps it is my general optimism that leads me to this. After 16 months of being single, I think I am in a position mentally and emotionally to actually begin and maintain a good relationship. That being said, I do not think I will be jumping into anything carelessly, but the idea of a relationship does not send me running for the hills anymore and being emotionally involved with another person does not seem quite as intimidating as it did a year ago. So anything could happen.

Last night was BeerFest in Mobile. It was a lot of fun. Had quite a bit of good beer, cannot say I actually had a bad sample. BrewFest in Birmingham this summer had a better selection of beers but I wish I had gone to the night session instead of the afternoon session. And speaking of beer festivals, there is another festival in Pensacola on September 15th. The biggest advantage to this festival over BrewFest and BeerFest is that Florida does not have the same restrictive beer laws that Alabama does so there will be a selection of beers available to try that I have not had the opportunity to try yet. Additionally, several homebrewers' organizations will be there with their beers, so the variety is potentially endless and there is a good chance there will be beers available at this beer festival that are not offered at any other time during the year. So, just saying, it would be a unique experience to say the least, particularly for an Alabama resident who loves beer.

The Keys to Your Heart
You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.

In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.

You'd like to your lover to think you are loyal and faithful... that you'll never change.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was ruthless, cold-blooded, and sarcastic.

Your ideal relationship is open. Both of you can talk about everything... no secrets.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.

In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.

Friday, August 24, 2007

LifeSo I'm pretty happy with the way things are going right now. I've been having trouble sleeping lately, but you know why? Because I'm so anxious for the next day to be here so I can live it that I don't want to have to deal with that boring little thing called sleep. That's a pretty vast change from the way I felt about sleep say... three months ago.

This semester is going to be a bitch. The nine hours I'm taking in school aren't going to be easy and I've never had these professors before so I'm up for testing and trials. Still, I am more optimistic about the future than I have been in quite some time. The classes I'm taking are pretty interesting. 20th century US History, Comparative Nationalism, and Major European Thinkers. Not sure what I'll do in my US History class but I think my research paper in Comp Nat'l will be on women's activism and identity within Irish Nationalism. GoogleBooks and WorldCat pull up some pretty good books so if I can either get them through ILL or amazon/alibris for cheap, I'll be pretty happy.

Another good thing. Beer Fest. Excited about it. Going downtown with several members of the history department. Should prove to be fun and more than a little interesting.

And.. the Alabama NOW president is speaking at the UU Fellowship tomorrow at 2pm. I plan on going, think it will be good for me to meet the USA Feminists for Progress. See what kind of group they have going.

Think I'll get started on my readings for next week or finish cataloguing my books on GoodReads. Will report fully on BeerFest sometime Sunday.