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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Renaissance: DONE!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

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"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Renaissance: DONE!

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alex eek
I just finished my paper and my final discussion post for my Renaissance class! Earlier today, I turned in the annotated bibliography. Yes, for those of you keeping score at home, that is with one week and six days to spare. I will have to participate in this week's discussion, and I still have to revise my paper, but the heavy lifting for that class is finished.
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For the Ancient World class, I still have one paper (8-10 pages, comparing ancient Hindu and ancient Greek cosmogonies) and two discussions left to write. I have some sources for the paper already from stuff I've written for other classes or just gathered in my travels because it was interesting. (Creation myths are something I never get tired of, so I keep stuff when I find it.) By the end of the week--the work week--except for ongoing discussions, I could be done that class as well.

I'm beyond relieved. This has been a difficult semester, not only because the workload has been intense but because my brain and body have been rebelling against me at every turn. So this feels like a triumph in excess of the usual Hermione bullshit y'all listen to here about my grades and misery with some of my less gung-ho classmates. (I don't think I've complained about them here once this semester, which is probably the first time and a definite improvement over past semesters. Trust that it hasn't been because they haven't given me anything to complain about!)

As I noted yesterday, I took today off from work to get school stuff done. It rained all day. Starting this afternoon, the weather radio alarm went off several times for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, but nothing near us, thankfully, aside from a tornado watch for Carroll County. A tornado watch means that conditions exist where a tornado could form; a tornado warning means that a funnel cloud or rotational movement has been detected and you better get your ass underground or in a secure location sooner rather than later. The tornado watch today went something like this:

Weather Radio: DINGLEDINGLEDINGLEDINGLEDINGLEDINGLE!!! (that's my best impersonation of what it sounds like when the alarm goes off)

Bobby and Dawn: *perk up ears*

Weather Radio: The National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia has issued a tornado watch until 8 PM for the following counties in central Maryland ...

Bobby and Dawn: *hold breath*

Weather Radio: Carroll ...

Bobby: Fuck.

Dawn: *laughing* Leading the pack, as always, here in Carroll County!

One of Bobby's former coworkers lives here in Manchester, and when we first moved here, he told us we were moving to the Tornado Alley of Maryland. I don't know if that's scientifically defensible or anecdotal, but it does feel that way. We have had a tornado touch down since we've lived here; it destroyed the home of one of my students when I was student teaching. The worst was one afternoon/evening last year when the tornado activity was crazy in Carroll County; we got four--four!--tornado warnings that day. We got quite practiced with gathering the dogs, the weather radio, and going into the basement to wait it out. Driving home from work that afternoon, the sky had been that horrible, sickly green that means something is brewing.

One of the four--four!--tornado warnings went like this:

Weather Radio: DINGLEDINGLEDINGLEDINGLEDINGLEDINGLE!!! The National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia has issued a tornado warning for the following locations in central Maryland.
. . .

Just Manchester. They couldn't even throw in Lineboro and Miller--neighboring towns in the same zip code--to make us feel less alone. Talk about feeling like you have a target on your back!

The funny thing is that, despite the warning, we didn't get a drop of rain or a bit of wind; it stayed sunny outside. Just goes to show that the weather around here is fucking crazy and the weatherpeople don't know what to make of it a lot of the time. I'd rather them warn us, though, and spend a half-hour in the basement for no reason than to get caught by very unpleasant surprise.

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • Congrats on turning in your paper and the discussion post! :D

    Creation myths are always interesting - I'm particularly fond of Mesoamerican ones. (Granted, I'm particularly fond of almost anything focused on the Olmecs or Aztecs or anyone else in that region anymore).

    Tornados...I used to be fine with them. Ever since last spring, however, I have an overwhelming fear at the mere hint of one. I'd much rather have the warnings too.
    • I love creation myths. I did a whole mini-unit on creation myths this past year with my world literature class. (Unfortunately they weren't enthusiastic about it or mythology--or really anything related to English--but it gave me a good excuse to read and research creation myths in my spare time!) American mythology is my weakness in general, I'm sorry to say. ._. That's an area I plan to work on over the summer for next year's course.

      Btw, I have a great book of creation myths in PDF form; if ever you want a copy, just let me know!

      Tornadoes have scared the bejesus out of me since I was a kid. And I live in Maryland where the danger is not nearly so high as in your neck of the woods; most of our funnel clouds never touch the ground and break up pretty much as soon as they do. This spring ... yes, that was terrifying. I honestly have trouble wrapping my brain around it. :^(
  • Congrats to you! You work so hard.

    OMG! Our weather sucked today also. I soaked in downpours twice. No tornado warnings I heard of, but the usual coastal flooding and rip tide warnings (not that I had any thoughts of the beach--although Laura had wanted to go yesterday, but it was ridiculously inappropriate--wet and chilly!). I need to check the weather for tomorrow now, because I am taking Alex to school tomorrow.

    Next time you go on Tumblr will you make sure you are connected to me there (if you want to be)? I accidentally unfollowed and re-followed you there earlier and then I could not find you on my followers list. If you never were there do not worry about it. I have no idea how you manage your Tumblr contacts. I do know you look at my posts!
    • The weather was better today; I hope the same was true of you! It was actually quite beautiful out, although now (I'm sitting outside!) it is getting windy and maybe looking like rain is brewing. A tornado in a city scares the hell out of me. I know it happens--apparently one touched down yesterday in Baltimore near the marine terminal--but I can't even imagine what that would look/be like. Where would you take cover in a tall building? This is my ignorance of living my whole life in a single family homes with basements; even living in a third-floor apartment made me nervous with regard to tornadoes.

      I am definitely following you on Tumblr and definitely want to be! :) You're one of the first people I added. I add back everyone who adds me, but I would have added you regardless! Tumblr and I are still in the honeymoon phase; I haven't even ignored anyone yet. ;) And it did help get me through my bibliography and paper. I got an add notice from you yesterday and figured you accidentally unfollowed me, but I just checked, and you're definitely on my follow list and your posts are showing up in my feed so all should be good.
  • Awesome! I love that feeling of work-done relief, and you deserve it!

    I guess that's probably the rain and storms we got yesterday morning. No idea if there were warnings or not, I dozed in that blissful half-aware, 6 a.m. thunderstorm state. I love storms.

    We had a tornado warning a few weeks ago that went something like: "Huh, lightning off to the west. Let's check the radar. Tornado warning! Wait, what?" Never saw a watch.
    • It is an awesome feeling! I came home today and realized, "I don't have to work on anything! I can totally just dick around for the next two hours! Even four hours, if I want!"

      (Of course, I'm going to catch up on some SWG stuff and do at least a little on my Ancient World paper, but I plan on goofing off a lot too. ;)

      We have a weather radio, so no surprise warnings for us. Although the alarm can be startling when the sky is sunny and yet there's a thunderstorm warning in effect ...
  • Congrats! Done is Good, as we used to say at my college.
  • Awesome!

    (And OMG, comparative cosmogonies, that sounds like a fun essay!)
    • I'm definitely looking forward to this one! And it's the easiest of the semester (we had six papers for this class), and the one I've been looking forward to all semester. I've known my topic since getting the syllabus the first week.
  • Yay, well done, you! The topic of the paper sounds fantastic, too. Time to relax a little now...
    • YES. :D I'm looking forward to moments of doing nothing of importance. I was fooling around on the Internet during my break today and got that old familiar guilty feeling before realizing, "Hey! I actually have nothing to be guilty about!"
  • Hooray for being done with assignments! I don't envy you your papers at all, but the paper on ancient Hindu and Greek cosmogonies does sound really interesting. I hope the research is fun!

    How often do you have to worry about tornados? That sounds... intimidating.
    • I love writing papers, but this semester was intense, as both classes required multiple written assignments; Ancient World required six full-blown research papers. So I'm a bit ready to give writing papers a break! :D

      We get tornado watches/warnings a couple times a year here. Most of our tornadoes are small; few touch down and those that do tend to peter out pretty quickly and without doing much damage. What we experience is nothing like what goes down in the Midwestern U.S. at times. One of my best friends is from Illinois and remembers, growing up, multiple tornadoes touching down in a single night. No thanks!
  • Congrats on your paper!

    Tornados… I'm scared of them, partly because my parents refuse to buy a weather radio because "you have to leave it on 24/7 and they constantly go off just to say that everything's fine" and "it'll warn for everything in the listening area, and will therefore warn for things that don't apply to us." Dad and I sleep with fans on during the summer and Mom slept through a hurricane. I fear we won't hear the sirens going off.
    • Tornadoes are something that have frightened me since I was a kid. When I was young, one touched down near our house and tore up a swatch of trees near a road we'd often drive, and I was forever convinced that the next would whisk us away. I used to plan in my mind how I'd gather all of our animals if a tornado warning came.

      I guess it depends on where you live, but our weather radio doesn't go off much, and you can set it to alert you only for specific counties. I guess that depends, too, on your local NWS and how they do alerts. Ours has only gone off at night a few times, although we've certainly had days where it goes off every hour or two during the day and early evening. But those days, it is very much warranted (like the four tornado warnings last year). Then we'll have months where it doesn't go off at all.

      Could you get a small portable one just for yourself, for your own peace of mind? I seem to recall that our first weather radio looked like a walkie talkie and was really, really inexpensive.
  • Congratulations on the papers. What relief!

    The weather has turned into a threatening topic all over the world:no tornadoes here but lots of tropical downpours that cause severe flooding and -this being an underdeveloped country - many casualties that could have prevented. For instance, just now, mid-June should be one of the coldest months and it's around 22°C! A storm must surely come sooner rather than later with all the related concerns :(
    • It is horrible and, you're right, a worldwide phenomenon; where you are in the world just determines what kind of awful severe weather you get. I'll take the occasional tornado warning over wildfires and droughts and floods and hurricanes ... although we've had an instance of tropical weather already this year: Tropical Storm Andrea, downgraded to a tropical depression just before coming ashore. Here in western Maryland, we hardly saw much from it, but it's just not normal for us to get tropical weather like this. It was a rare event when I was a kid, as were the tornadoes; now we have a couple a year throughout the state, it seems. Half of our "snow days" this year were actually "hurricane days."

      The sad thing is that it is the underdeveloped countries that suffer the worst from it. And my country that is actively resisting action that could forestall it. *embarrassed* :(
  • Congratulations on getting done with the Renaissance!
    I hope the rest goes smoothly.
    • Thank you! :) It should. This will probably be the easiest paper I have to write this semester--it's a perfect final assignment! :)
  • Congrats on finishing all that. I'm in continual awe of all you do, teaching, going to grad school and running SWG (which I'm sure is not all).
    Btw, and speaking of SWG, I just tried accessing it, in a number of different ways, and keep getting an error message saying it can't access the page. I'm hoping all is well.
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