Sunday, October 21, 2007

American Gods in Rock City

"Would you believe that all the gods that people have ever imagined are still with us today?...And that there are new gods out there, gods of computers and telephones and whatever, and that they all seem to think there isn't room for both of them in the world. And that some kind of war is likely." (pg. 308) After three years of Ron insisting that I read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, I finally picked it up. He was right about it - I didn't want to put it down once I started it.

Even stranger, the climax of the novel takes place at Rock City! So wierd that I just read this after going there and blogging about it a week ago. Gaiman describes it just right:

Rock City begins as an ornamental garden on a mountainside: its visitors walk a path that takes them through rocks, over rocks, between rocks. They throw corn into a deer enclosure, cross a hanging bridge and peer out through a quarter-a-throw binoculars at a view that promises them seven states on the rare sunny days when the air is perfectly clear. And from there, like a drop into some strange hell, the path takes the visitors, millions upon millions of them every year, down into caverns, where they stare at black-lit dolls arranged into nursery-rhyme and fairy-tale diaromas. When they leave, they leave bemused, uncertain of why they came, of what they have seen, of whether they had a good time or not. (pg. 380)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mr. Moustachio

Here's a photo of my fabulous fake moustache that I wore on our campus fall festival day for my role as carnival barker to lure students into our library booth. I got some wierd looks from some of the preppy kids and some street cred from the theater students. Kudos must be given to Ashleigh who gave me the moustache after she made it last year for a class project. It just makes me happy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Oh! So inspiring!

One of the joys of sitting at the reference desk is that when it is slow I treat myself to reading the new Art journals. I came across an article titled "House of the Hand-made" on the artist Nathalie Lete from Paris in the October 2007 volume of American Craft. Oh my Lord! This woman's work is so amazing - colorful, fun, ironic. Not only that but she can do everything. She's got paintings, handmade books, wool rugs, quilts, ceramics, dolls.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday Rest

Yesterday I presented at the SEWHA Conference - Southeast World History Association. It my first time presenting the research from my history thesis and the first time that I've ever presented at a professional conference. It went as well as it could have other than that my mouth got really dry from nerves and I wasn't quite as articulate as I could've been. I had been dreading the Q&A session in case somebody asked me about theory or brought up work by a historian that I wasn't familiar with, but instead all of the questions were just about more of the content. I'm really happy that I was able to speak to it all confidently. Now I'll have to really start to consider submitting an article for a journal.

Today though is the only day that I have nothing planned for at least the next 20 days. I'm trying not to be depressed about it and just enjoy it. Ron and I are going to walk over to get a tea and sit around in the sun for a bit. Then I'm going to work on a project for work and then hopefully start to plan out a quilt project. Ashleigh challenged Nora, Dorothy and I to create a nine square quilt in the next 2-3 weeks. We're all pretty excited to have an assignment. And I'm feeling pretty inspired to come up with something that is just for fun and doesn't need to have a purpose. I'm going to try my hand at hand-quilting and hopefully come up with something a little more creative than I've done in the past.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Girl's Camping - Part 2: Rock City

Last Saturday, we took a day trip from the state park and our camping site to go to see Rock City. Little Ashley had been there before when she was 7 and remembered it being totally amazing and the rest of us were pretty psyched to see some cool rock formations and a good mountain view. The drive there was gorgeous but we feared for our lives at a couple of hairpin turns up the mountain.

I don't even know what to say about Rock City. It was totally amazing and totally bizarre. Definitely not what I expected. I suppose that I thought that it was a woodsy hiking trail like where we were camping with a lot of rock formations, but in reality it's this wierd, totally sanitized, theme park version of that...with a strange number of gnomes. It's probably the kitschiest place that I've been - possibly ever. I walked around in awe, stunned by the sounds of polka music piped through fake rock speakers sitting on top of real rocks. But by far the best part of the entire experience was heading into the Fairyland Cavern. You go underground and follow a dark trail leading past a number of vignettes on either side based on either fairy tales or totally random scenes of garden gnomes. Stranger still they are painted with neon paint and lit with black lights. But the dolls in the scenes are definitely not cute. In fact, they are downright creepy. I definitely saw a 4 year old little girl in front of us cry with fright and refuse to look at them.

I've included some pictures, but honestly they just can't do it justice. If you're ever within a drive of Chattanooga, TN make sure to check this place out and then drive away quickly and never go back.

Girl's Camping - Part 1: Cloudland Canyon

Last weekend we celebrated our first annual all-girl's camping trip to Cloudland Canyon State Park in northwest Georgia. A long drive, but totally worth it to get up into the mountains and get some fresh air. We definitely got lucky with the weather since rain was forecasted, but next year I think we'll have to go later in October to actually to get to feel some brisk fall air and see the colors changing.

The park was really beautiful with some pretty amazing hiking. The tent sites were really pretty private and the facilities were really clean. With the exception of the gypsy family that camped across the trail from us and played recordings of chickens squawking and smoked in the bathroom, we were left totally undisturbed. Highlights of the weekend included the people who came with me, s'mores, knitting around the fire, and Mad Libs.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Taken to Task

I've been held accountable for my poor blogging habits by Andrea. Fair enough. I can't even argue the point. I've been awful about it. Here's a quick synopsis of life for the past two months:

I visited Andrea in Tampa for a weekend. Work has gotten really busy because it's fall semester. I've been volunteering on archives projects at the historical society on Saturdays. Dorothy moved into Savannah. The cats had to go to the vet for check-ups. The car had a series of repairs. I'm preparing to deliver a paper at a conference next week. It was Ron's birthday. It was my birthday. I made a quilt. My mom and aunt came for a visit. And tomorrow I'm leaving for a camping trip!

I'd like to say that being busy is an excuse, but in reality they are all things that I could've blogged about. That said I've been tired! And now that I'm just getting older (fully into my 30s now) you know I just run out of steam sometimes.

I resolve to come back from this camping trip refreshed and with things to talk about and photos to post online.

p.s. Go see "Eastern Promises" because it's really really good and you get to see Viggo Mortenson naked and covered in tattoos.