I discovered this morning that my phone autocorrects "crap" to "veal."  As in I meant to tweet  "holy crap, the hospital elevator is working" and instead sent "holy veal, the hospital elevator is working."

We have been having entirely too much fun with this on Twitter.  And I had time to be on Twitter because it took me at least an hour to cancel my phone and internet service today.

In other news, we got the moving truck today and pretty much all the furniture and other stuff is on it courtesy of Tom and our friends Eric and Brian.  Yay!

For some reason though, our apartment still looks to be full of veal.

My stupid brain has decided getting dizzy when I bend over is super fun, which makes packing boxes way more entertaining.  If I see double, I should get a double to help out.  Or something.

Oreo is thoroughly traumatized and curled up next to me on my yoga mat (hard floor is hard).

Original plan had been to leave tomorrow but we're rethinking that and may leave on the 1st after all so we aren't quite so frantic.


Who Arted?

Tom packed several framed photos and labelled the box appropriately.
 He also packed a box containing Oreo's worst nightmare.
So, yeah.  Packing continues.
I have a ton of course notes and articles from grad school that I can't bring myself to toss.  All of it thoroughly disorganized.  I really need to go through that stuff at some point and scan and organize.  If I had started grad school just a few years later I might not have quite so many handwritten notes.  But much of it is likely to be very useful if I start teaching again.
And then there are the papers I wrote.  Shudder.


Zoologically Improbable and/or Terrifying to Small Children

Zoologically Improbable and/or Terrifying to Small Children : funny

This was the inspiration for my latest online avatar thingie.
Haaaayyyy, y'all

I think "taxiderpy" is my new favorite word. And should possibly become a category on Regretsy.

Saying Goodbye to the Galleries

I took some time today to go through the galleries to say goodbye.  Snapped quite a few photos too.

I threw together a slide show of some of the sillier things.


Hero of the Day

Whoever added their commentary to this poster in my old department.  (I swear it wasn't me, because I would TOTALLY take credit for it)


Building of the oriental institute in chicago.Image via WikipediaWhen I moved to Chicago for graduate school almost exactly 9 years ago, I thought I'd be leaving with a PhD and heading off to a junior professorship or a post-doc position.  I had wanted to come here to study Egyptology from about age 8 onward.  (Yes, I was a very nerdy child.  Shocking.)  I moved here alone - Tom was finishing his MA coursework in Mississippi and I adopted Oreo after I'd been in the city a few weeks.  I knew absolutely no one.  I was still pretty shy and awkward.  I think I spent a good portion of the first year wondering when they would figure out I wasn't nearly smart enough to be here and send me packing.

Fate intervened and so instead of the PhD and a job I'm leaving with my MA, my cane, a bunch of medication, and a pile of medical records.  And eleventy-zillion books.  I survived my first adviser melting down and leaving (and having to play a part in that by being honest about what was happening and not wanting to see it continue), giving up my first dissertation idea, spinning my wheels for a year or so getting ready for comps but having no idea what to do for a dissertation, finding a new topic, having an awesome job, going through the field season from hell, plagiarism, family issues, my health slowly declining, and then finally collapsing physically and mentally and never quite getting back to "normal."

I regret a bit not writing the dissertation, but not so much that I would jump at the chance to do so now.  I'm still not convinced the trade-off in stress would be worth it.
But I am also leaving with a wonderful husband, a much-loved dog, and some wonderful friendships and memories.  And some truly hilarious stories.  And a few horrifying ones.

This is truly weird.  I haven't been out of academia in 11 years.  o.O It will be very interesting to be mostly out of academia if only for a little while.  And to be somewhere where very few people knew me before I got so sick.

I'm hoping maybe this will make it easier for me to make a fresh start and really, really work on creating and crafting in a way that might turn into a business.  I'll have a better chance at adjunct positions too in a place that isn't super-saturated with colleges and universities.

It's still really strange to realize that I won't be within a short bus trip to one of the best research libraries in the US.  Or to a glorious museum collection from Egypt and Sudan and the ancient Middle East.  That we'll be somewhere we can see most of the stars and the sky isn't orange at night when it's cloudy.  No more parallel parking.  Air conditioning nearly everywhere.  Being back in a "car culture" instead of a "walking/biking/public transit culture."

In a week or so, I'll be off for my next big adventure.  And this time Tom and Oreo will be there from the start.  One of my best friends lives right where we'll be moving (and we will in fact be staying with her while we find our own place).  I think that will make it much better.  I'm older, possibly crabbier, and maybe slightly wiser.  I'm no longer frantically evaluating everything I do and say in fear one wrong step could be career ending.  I no longer think 16 or 18 or 20 hour days are normal or justified. I am less inclined to tolerate bullying directed at me or others. I've learned to knit and crochet and sew and spin.  I meditate.  I do yoga.  I have an even wider group of friends both "real" and "online."
I still can't believe it's been almost 9 years since I showed up late for my very first class (misjudged the time to walk) and wound up sitting in a window frame (there were no seats left) frantically taking notes on Middle Egyptian and hoping I wouldn't fall out of the window.



20 pxImage via WikipediaOne of the things we're excited about with the move to Mississippi is that I might be able to drive again. I quit driving about 3 years ago when my health had taken a pretty significant downturn. I was having major problems with balance and depth perception.  I felt foggy and sort of disconnected a lot of the time. I was having pretty significant involuntary movements that would probably be really bad to have while driving. I also was having major issues with sensory overload - lots of motion and noise tended to be really, really disorienting.  So, because I didn't feel safe and I didn't think it was a good idea to risk injuring or killing someone, I quit driving.

Now, I think I can safely experiment with driving short distances with someone else in the car to see how I do.  I still have days where I'm foggy and slightly out of it. Sensory overload is still a problem - it's one of the major reasons I now HATE malls and grocery stores during busy times.  And my migraines can create or enhance depth perception problems. Pain and fatigue are also a distraction.  Medication is also a major concern.  I can't take anything that might be impairing if I'm going to drive.

But, my depth perception has improved.  My balance has improved.  I don't have nearly as significant an issue with involuntary movements.  Traffic patterns in Mississippi will be far less intense.  There isn't quite so much noise and motion with traffic, bikers, pedestrians, trains, buses, and skyscrapers all at the same time.  It's easier to pull off most roads.  I won't have to parallel park. 

So, the strategy I'm developing is to drive slowly (and stay in the slow lane while doing so) and try to give myself a little more reaction time.  Avoid driving in bad weather.  Try to drive only during quiet times.  Make sure I know where I'm going. Make sure I have pain meds that aren't impairing with me.  Keep a snack of some kind  and water with me as both low blood sugar and dehydration can be major contributors to migraines and CFS symptoms.  Make sure I always have my phone with me in case I get somewhere but don't feel well enough to drive back home.  Don't force myself to drive if I feel like I shouldn't. 

I have also discovered recently that lying flat on my back on a bench or something similar helps a lot with the sort of brain foggy-floatiness that I sometimes get if I've been sitting up or standing too long.  

All of the possibly impairing daily meds I have I take at night before bed which should help immensely with that particular issue.  Everything else is to be taken as needed and I'll just need to be sure I don't take it when I'm planning to drive.

I think we'll start out with very short drives and increase distance over time to see how I do. I'm really hoping I can drive again at least a little bit.  I would make things so much easier.  I could run errands during the day so Tom wouldn't have to try to fit them in to his workday or weekend.  I'd be able to get out a bit more and possibly have a wider range of potential employment. 
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Tough Gals: Do They Still Exist?

Perhaps you could enlighten us, Ms Aloi, as to how you view orchards as you have an entire blog devoted to apple orchards. Seems kind of girly to me, but what the hell do I know? I mean I knit, crochet, sew, and enjoy a good cupcake, and like to be "pretty" now and then. And clearly those activities mean that I am insufficie­ntly "tough" especially when compared to the paragons of toughness one can view on the television once a week.

Never mind that I've been on 3 archaeolog­ical expedition­s to Sudan and Egypt. Or that I have faced disabling chronic illness that completely changed my life and work over the past few years. Never mind that I stump around with a cane to get where I need to go on days when I'd rather curl up in bed with whatever pain relievers I can find. Never mind that I have worked hard to keep my marriage happy and healthy for over 8 years.

I knit and that makes me girly.

You toss around ill conceived definition­s of what a woman should be and what constitute­s "toughness­."

Frankly, I think I'll happily stick with "girly." I'm not sure I want to be someone who fits your expectatio­ns or your definition of "awesomene­ss."
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


Oliver the Puffer fish

Oliver the Puffer fish
Originally uploaded by DesaBoneka
I haven't featured nifty stuff from Flickr on my blog recently, but this is adorable.


Dammit, George RR Martin

Molecular targets of clostridial neurotoxins (...Image via WikipediaI finished A Dance with Dragons two nights ago.  Mr. Martin needs to cut it the hell out with the cliff hanger endings, especially if he is going to take brazillions of years between installments.  This is not good for my patience.

Otherwise, um, we're fiddling with my thyroid dose again trying to find the sweet spot.  I'll have to get the lab work done after we've moved to see if we got it right or need to fiddle more.
I have had another round of Botox shots for migraine.  Took a bit longer to feel (or not feel?) the numbness and paralysis in my forehead.  Still getting migraines, but not quite so many.
I am in an ongoing odyssey of trying to get replacement CPAP supplies and possibly repair before we move.  I have been trying for a month actually, but referrals keep getting lost or not sent and it is seriously starting to piss me off.  I am sensitive enough to stress and extra activity even with the CPAP but sleeping without it (or without it operating properly) will make everything WAAAAYYYYY worse.  And increase the time for my recovery to baseline functionality.  So, weeks or months to recover from the move, etc., instead of days or weeks.

I am still tired and shaky and hurty and having sleep problems after overdoing the packing last week.  Grumble.  The whole moderation and pacing thing with CFS is a pain in the ass sometimes all the time.

Still packing.  I have a lot of yarn.  Way more than I thought.  Mostly single skeins of acrylic or acrylic blend intended for amigurumi.  So I should, like, make more amigurumi and stuff.  Derp.

I have set aside my emergency travel projects and stash and a pile of actual paper books in addition to my Kindle.  I may have done that even before setting aside the important papers that should be easily available.

Oreo has had a bath and is grumpily curled up on my lap in a blanket to keep warm.  He finds the packing deeply confusing and a bit frightening and so has been even more of my furry shadow than usual.


It's Not the Flight Suit, Dude

Tomorrow Is YesterdayImage via WikipediaPacking and watching Star Trek.  Tomorrow is Yesterday is on at the moment.  That's the one when they get flung back to the 1960s and beam an Air Force pilot aboard after the mess up his jet.

Anyway, Kirk shows the guy around and eventually says "that flight suit must be uncomfortable, why don't we get you a change of clothes..."

Pretty sure that was a come-on.


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I packed a bunch of boxes today.  Nearly all my fiction and all my fabric.


ZOMG They Have Tribbles Glued to Their Boobies

If you hadn't already guessed, I did some knitting and watching of Star Trek this evening when I wasn't being creeped out by IKEA catalogs.

The colors are even more garish in the remastered episode.  I think I may have gotten sympathetic hives. 

Shore Leave is another one of those "really, WTF?" episodes in terms of dialogue and interaction between members of the opposite sex.

Most painfully creepy moment:  McCoy telling the yeoman she should try on the princess dress because he'd like to see her in it.  While they're both on duty.  On a mission. 

Also, people must have really damn short attention spans in the 23rd Century.  Kirk sees a guy he was at Starfleet Academy with and just takes the time to get in a fistfight with him because, um, the other dude was Irish and kind of a dick.

Then he runs into an old girlfriend and is all googly eyed and mushy while at the same time he's loosing communications with the ship and the rest of the shore party. 

Sulu finds a handgun and is all "pow pow pow" (what the hell is the gun version of "pew pew pew"?)  Because that is ALWAYS what you want to do when you find a random weapon under a rock for no apparent reason. 

Serial Killers Shop at IKEA

You may commence betting on when I'll receive a take-down order in the comments.

But seriously, I like fabric painting and printing, especially on hand towels or tea towels or whatever, but this?  This is kind of creepy

All hex wrenches and no screws make Jack a dull boy.
It's on page 40 of the most recent catalog.

Also, Zemanta seems to think that multiple photos of menstrual pads are appropriate to this posting.  o.O



Casinos in BiloxiImage via WikipediaSo, we should be up for grand adventure soon.  Tom has gotten a job in Biloxi, MS as an archaeologist which is, you know, what he's trained for.  More money, equal or greater benefits and more opportunity for advancement.  So, YAY!!!!!

I know very little about local history and archaeology, but am really looking forward to hearing about stuff from Tom and exploring stuff myself.  I'm especially interested in colonial/cultural contact archaeology and history topics and there is a lot of history with various European powers and local tribes interacting, playing off each other, etc.  Very cool.  

I actually lived in Biloxi for a few years in my early teens - my family moved from Nevada when gaming was legalized.   We have friends in the area and before I got sick I was an adjunct instructor there for a summer.  So we already have a bit of a support system in place which will make the move easier, I think.

We're very happy but still a little in disbelief that we're actually moving.  We've been in Chicago a really long time.

Anyway, we will be moving at the end of the month.  Tom starts work the second week of September. 

We are hoping to find a rental close to Tom's office so there won't be a huge issue of commuting. 

Moving will be awesome - we should be able to get a place with central air and heating, a dishwasher, and washer/dryer hookups.  All of those things will make a lot of household chores much easier and climate control will probably help with some of my symptoms.

Depending on where we wind up we will probably have regular access to a pool and I'm really looking forward to that as another way to exercise and relieve pain.  

Tom will be able to get back into diving and be closer to some interesting dive locations. 

It will all be very exciting I'm sure.  I'm hoping after we get settled to get in touch with some of my contacts and see if I can get another part-time teaching position or something similar.  I'm also hoping that I'll be able to start driving again at least short distances in an environment that isn't nearly as challenging and hectic as Chicago traffic and parking, etc. 

Current plan is to pack up what we're taking either into a rental truck or one of the movable storage box thingies, move it down, stay with a friend for a while and look for a place to live longer term. 

We've already been sorting through things like clothes and books for things to donate or sell, so that process is already started.  I'm going to start boxing books and craft supplies soon.

Poor Oreo is going to have a stressful month, though.  He gets a bit nervous when we pack things either in boxes or suitcases.  "The den, the den is changing, OMG change!  Are you going to leave me behind?!?!?"  So, there will be extra doggy cuddling going on.  He's a good little traveler by ground or air though, so the actual moving won't be too bad. 

Given the return of the heatwave to Chicago I'm really not able to to think much past AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!  at the moment. 

Obviously, it gets super hot and humid on the coast too, but it somehow doesn't seem as bad there as in Chicago. 

Also, I have a smartphone now, so I can live blog things like "wow, we're driving past yet more soy bean fields!"  I know you will all be at the edge of your seats for that.

And Tom and I tend to manage to have surreal adventures during things like moving, so that should be entertaining. 
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