Monday, June 30, 2008

Day Seven: Bittersweet Musings

Today was Dr. Hansen's last day at the Center. Although he officially retired a little over a month ago, he spent the past five weeks cleaning out his office. Art finished the task today and bid farewell to his COPH family. I had no idea today was going to be his final day and had a lump in my throat as I said goodbye. Thankfully, it is not final. We have our 40th anniversary celebration coming up in September, and Dr. Hansen will certainly have a role to play in that event. However, it saddens me to think his jovial self won't be around the center on a regular basis. It has truly been a honor to work under his direction for the past two years. I honor his commitment to excellence, his steadfast drive in furthering his historical passions, and his consistent direction. He may no longer be the director for the Center for Oral and Public History, but his 42 year legacy lives on as we continue the work he so faithfully dedicated his career to. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors, Dr. Hansen! Your future is bright with opportunity.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day Six: The Trials of Stubborness

Good news! I slept last night . . . finally. I'm still tired after several sleepless nights, but it was wonderful to actually rest.

Yesterday Mother and I went to Illuminations at Downtown Disney to check out their semi-annual sale. I also had a delightful 50% off coupon and thought it would be great to use it on the gorgeous willow branch sconce pictured above. I love wrought iron decor and and have wanted this particular item for some time. True I have no place to hang it at present, but I think of it as planning for the future! Anyway, I bought it and thought I would have no trouble carrying the massively oversize, cumbersome box to the car. Wrong! The store manager offered us a dolly and I declined, certain I could handle the situation. (that should have been my first clue) Suffice it to say, Mother and I took turns carrying it, then dragged it, then carried it again only to discover it didn't fit in the trunk. We tried the trunk multiple times, the back seat, put the seat down and tried again, all to no avail. We ended up calling Adam and having him pick me up in the van so I could transport my brilliant find home. But the story doesn't end there. I am extremely sore today, all thanks to my willow branch sconce. My shoulders, forearms, and back have discovered muscles they didn't know they had! I mean it hurts to lift my arm shoulder high let alone above my head!

The moral of the story: if you should decide to purchase something requiring packaging in a large, oversize, cumbersome box and the store employee offers you a dolly . . . I suggest you accept! Trust me, you will be very glad you did.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day Five: The Cat Needs to Sleep!

I completely intended for the posts about not sleeping would last one or two nights, be funny for me to re-read in about a week, and move on to another topic. The problem is last night was worse than the others. I suffered from a serious case of insomnia, and it was not fun, let me tell you. I don't know if it's unfamiliar animal noises, strange environment, sleeping arrangements, or what, but it's really getting old. Last vacation I slept in at least 4 different locations and had no problems at all. So once again, I need more than 4 hours of sleep tonight. :-/

Thesis Update: On a lighter note, I wrote my thesis abstract today. It is exactly 150 words, the limit imposed by the Masters Abstracts database. They should be happy! (I was stuck at 151 for a while until I found a word to eliminate.) Unless I am forgetting something, that was the last major task to complete before my defense. All that remains is preparing for the blessed event and articulating what the weaknesses are. I'm getting closer . . .

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day Four: Sleep Depravation

Only eight more nights. Only eight more nights. Yes, I am counting the days (and nights!) until I can be home for good. Until then, I would settle for a good nights sleep. Aside from the minor issue with oversleeping, I haven't had one good nights rest since Monday, and my body can really tell. Last night it was the cat who decided to parade through the house at all hours meowing, climbing onto the window sill behind me, etc. I mean it's dark for pete's sake. Go to sleep! But no, she had to have her say. So, I spent yet another night awake for hours. The couch is not working for a bed, and I'm going to investigate other options for this evening. Sore hips, pulled back muscles, and feeling cramped are not what the doctor ordered. I'll keep you posted on what I work out.

P.S. And here I thought sleepless nights were only for children. . .

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day Three: Oversleeping

Day three of my house sitting adventure got off to a very inauspicious beginning. On work mornings I typically get up at 6:30. I decided to keep the same schedule since I had a longer drive to work and more details to attend to in the morning. I went to bed early last night since I had been running on 3-4 hours of sleep from the night before. Needless to say, I was exhausted. I remember waking up several times during the night including at 3:00 am when the sprinklers went off. The next thing I know I heard the trash trucks outside and thought they were coming rather early. Thank God I checked my phone; it was 7:55!!! I had planned on leaving at 8:15! Guess who didn’t leave on time?

I flew around the house, did my hair in loose curls then up in a pony tail, and made sure the animals were well taken care of. Breakfast became something I could eat in the car and since I was already late, I stopped by Starbucks once I arrived in Fullerton. Figured I deserved a little treat. Nothing like a little adrenaline to kick start ones morning, though as those of you who know me well can attest to, I need time to wake up in the morning. This is not the way to do it. I finally started feeling more like myself around noontime, the same time cat allergies began wearing off.

I later discovered my phone reverted to the weekend alarm setting of 8:00 explaining the mix up. Guess who is going to double and triple check her alarm EVERY night!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day Two: A Different Sort of Adventure

Over the course of the next 10 nights I will be house sitting for a couple with two dogs and two cats. Oh my! This is only my second night and already I have confirmed what I already knew: I am not an animal person. I can do infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and up, but animals are a completely different ball game. It took until 11:45 to finally get one of the cats into the garage! (I fared better tonight) One thing I know: I CANNOT wait to sleep in my own bed again!

The dogs are currently dreaming happy dreams in sleep land giving me time to actually finish an essay . . .

Thesis Update: I postponed the abstract but need to get back to it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Step Two

Step one: print thesis for committee -- check
Step two: submit thesis to commitee -- check
Step three: finalize acknowledgements page -- check

My acknowledgements page has been finalized and proofed thanks to the help of my friend, Janet. Despite the pressure for a sneakpeek, I don't plan on unveiling it to the general public until I turn my thesis into the bookstore. :)

Step four: continue working on abstract and prep for defense.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Step One

Step One: Print thesis for committee.

Good news. Tomorrow I begin printing my thesis for my committee! Now, this is one of many one of many steps leading up to my defense and final printing, but I'm going to glory in each little victory. :)

Next on the agenda: Finalize acknowledgements page and write abstract.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I am beginning to see the light

Yesterday I combined all of my thesis chapters into ONE document!! So far the grand total is 116 pages, and I have yet to add the bibliography. I know I'm not at the finish line yet, but I am reveling in each step of accomplishment along the way.

Next Step: On Saturday, I will print 3 drafts for my committee members in preparation for my defense.

P.S. I decided that MS Word section breaks are fabulous!