Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Masterpiece

We finished the float on time, and it held together in the rain that we had the ENTIRE day of the parade as well. Photos were put together into a PDF by a colleague and she gave me permission to have it up here.

The theme for the parade was "On the Road to the Swamp." We designed a float to be a road, complete with grass margins, lines and street signs, that lead to a swamp, where our Dean of Libraries was cooking up a cauldron of Kentucky Fried Wildcat. Behind her is a giant cookbook on a stump. Surrounding her were cooking paraphernalia, swamp critters and natural materials.

The umbrella and visqueen covered book pages were concessions to the rain that was expected. Thank goodness it was down to a drizzle for most of the actual parade. The hard rain came down during the hours of the morning when we were transporting and setting up the float. But using a good amount of the visqueen we were able to put the float together in the rain without everything turning totally into mush. A lot of our props were made of paper mache and covered in washable tempera paint, so it was pretty ruined by the end of the parade. But it lasted through the event, which was all we really needed.

The driving even went well. I didn't run into anything and the dean didn't fall off the float, even though she was insistent on standing the whole way. (Even after my strict lecture on safety and staying seated.) We had a giant stuffed gator in the passenger seat of the truck, but he was probably pretty hard to see. I know he made seeing really hard for me! I ended up moving him down out of the way as soon as the parade was through so that I could see.

All in all, it was a huge amount of work, but I think the crowds really liked it, and the libraries could really be proud of our accomplishment. I hope the libraries do it again next year. (I don't want to be in charge though!!)

Click to see photos on the PDF here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Let's hope the float floats

I did finish that paper on time if you're wondering. Actually I wrote one paper, and then decided on a different theme so wrote an entirely new paper too. Even turned it in a day early. Booyeah!

Now if I can just get my CSS file to work right for my other class. Garhhh!

At work, I've been working this week full tilt on the homecoming float. Today we picked up the trailer and set it up. We got tons done and it's really nearly complete. Tomorrow we just have to go out for a few hours to finalize a few things and wash the towing vehicle.

Friday will be the day from hell though. Have to be there at 7:15am and drive 10mph in a huge truck towing a 16 foot trailer hoping it doesn't all fall apart, for 6 miles. Then we get to the starting spot by 8:30am and have to attach all the parts of the float we're taking separately. The parade starts at noon so we'll have plenty of time to overheat and get exhausted. AND there's about an 80% chance of rain all day. Not even kidding.

It'll be on TV in Gainesville. I hope Tom can tape it for me. And I really hope our paper mache doesn't turn to mush before the start (or end) of the parade.

It looks great though. Really. I'm pretty proud of it. I'll get photos.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wherein I blabber on while trying to avoid writing my paper that is due Tuesday.

Thought I'd let you know I'm finally better. My stomach still isn't quite up to speed, but the fever was gone by Friday and I returned to work Monday. This week was incredibly busy though, both with grad school and with work. Beyond my normal work I'm chairing the Homecoming Float committee for the libraries. This will be the first year the libraries will have a float in the Homecoming Parade.

How did I become chair you might wonder? Simple. I was out for a doctor's appointment for the first meeting. And they elected me chair. Not even kidding.

But it's going to be great. Really. We've come up with a great design, secured a donated flatbed trailer that we'll pick up this Wednesday, and we've been working on all the parts of the float for about two weeks or so. Lots of paper mache is involved, so let's all hope that there is no rain on Friday!

Nicky and I went to the park today while Daddy was off at my inlaws' house taking care of horses and mowing. There were at least two birthday parties there, and tons of kids. Most looked to be about 5-6 years old. Nicky did great and had an absolute ball. I had planned to take him to the pool afterward, but it has closed for the season. Aw well. Next year.

I suppose I ought to start working on my first paper. It should be pretty easy. It's pathetically short (only 1000 words!) and can be on any topic that we've discussed up till now in the semester. Trimming it down to one topic is going to be the hardest part. Ok, really going to start now. Well, right after I check my twitters...and maybe check on my rss feeds...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Not dead, just full of crap

Well, it's not a pretty title, but it is accurate. I've been home for 3 days and will be out again tomorrow with the stomach flu. I finally went to the doctor today. Figured 3 days of a fever and er, fluid loss, probably warranted a visit. I swear that the doctor entered all my symptoms into a program (does Google make a medical version for my doctor?) and then picked my diagnosis from a list of choices given by the computer. Is this really the art of medicine these days?? He said it's Acute Gastroenteritis. Yeah, pretty much sounds like latin for "stomach flu." Lovely.

So during this enforced hiatus from work, for which I'll be giving up probably all of my carefully horded sick days, I've managed to stay current, mostly, with my grad school-work and keep one finger on the pulse at work. Not that I can do much more than send emails that may or may not be coherent, but at least I'm trying. What? Did people actually used to take off sick from work and NOT communicate with their coworkers and boss? What was that like?

On the Nicky front, he ran a good 24 hour fever last week. Little booger probably gave this to me actually. But he got over his fairly quick with not really any other symptoms. He spiked another little fever along with some sad little sick-boy cries on Sunday, but 30 minutes of cuddling with his daddy and some ibuprofen and he was running around fine. Jealous a little? Just maybe. Although admittedly I'd much rather me be sick than him. (Just not for so darn LONG!)

Hmm, enough of the poor me I'm sick whining? Yeah probably.

Ok, I'm putting up a little movie of my 2.5 year old READING a book to the camera. Yep, that's right. READING! Ok, well not the actual text maybe. But still. He opened the book, and kind of knew that there were words inside. And man, he just gets the emotional upheaval that Grover is feeling here. Check it out.

Here's the book:

Here's the reader:

And here he is, reading me his bedtime story.

Such fun!

Next up, I'm trying to catch him on camera doing his drive-thru impression. He squeezes himself into this little space between a chair and the hutch and pretends to take drive thru orders. All of which include "Large Diet Coke!" Um, maybe we have a drive thru addiction?