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Dale Bigsby

Photo, squirrel name, and office window credits go to my coworker Jessica. Post title inspired by this Facebook group and NKOTB.

Meet Dale Bigsby. He is the squirrel that likes to hang out by Jessica’s office. Summer days at work are super busy, but not so busy that I can’t go across the hall on occasion to say hello to Dale. Or Tank to his friends. I still call him Dale. Sometimes Mr. Bigsby. We are merely work acquaintances, but I hope that by the end of the summer, we will be on nickname basis.

When I walked in this afternoon, he was in his usual repose position:

Dale Bigsby 2

Dale Bigsby is all of us in this Texas heat.

But he heard us talking about what a cute little one he was, and then he had to get up and check us out. Then he looked like he was about to chase a bird, but upon hearing our counsel (that he probably wouldn’t catch it because birds can fly and he cannot), he decided that continuing his busy schedule of lying down was a wiser course of action.

I feel like this squirrel understands me.

Stay tuned for updates on what I am certain will be a riveting adventure in our budding interspecies friendship.

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0727131510

July was the month of long-time friends.  I attended my 20th (!!!) high school reunion, so I got to catch up with who-is-where-and-doing-what and meet their kids (I repeat – !!!).  I had dinner with a few people I hadn’t talked to in a while, even though they live right here in town, and I had some friends over for margaritas and build-your-own nachos.  I saw my friend Michelle, who is stateside for a couple of months before she heads back to China.  I had dinner last night with two of my former roommates Sharon and Margat and their kids. I said farewell to my friend Tomomi who moved back to Japan.

Good friends.  Good times.

General Highlights:

I applied and interviewed for a full-time teaching position at the school where I teach, but it went to another candidate.  It did me the favor of thinking about what I like about what I do and what I want to change about it for the classes that I do have, even if I’m still teaching in a part-time capacity.  So while it was not the outcome for which I was hoping the most, it’s still okay.

I love wearing pearls.

I also love Ravelin’s black pepper and prosciutto loaf.

Denton.  Just all of it.  I’m so in love with this town in the summertime.

My Maggie is engaged!  Yay!

And I love finishing summer conferences!  I will be back in my building next Monday!

Books:

I loved The Paris Wife.  I read it, then I promptly watched Midnight in Paris and bought A Moveable Feast.  I just wasn’t ready to stop hearing this story.

I also read Snapper and The Cookbook Collector, both of which I enjoyed.  I got a solid kick in the pants from You Are A Writer, so I wrote a lot this month as well.

My favorite book of the month, however, was Bread and Wine.  In fact, this might be my favorite book of the year so far.  Food-infused memoirs are my best book friends, and this one resonated with pain and joy and life and abundance and…I just want to read it over and over again and buy it for everyone I know.

I have started so many books (ten, in fact) that I hope to finish within the next couple of weeks, so I’m sure I’ll have something to say about them.  A little Neruda, a little memoir, and some Blood, Bones, and Butter.

TV/Movies:

I started Season 5 of Doctor Who.  I know Matt Smith is the Doctor, and he’s good at it, and he brings his own special something to the role.  But did anyone else just keep waiting for the moment when he turned back into David Tennant?  No?  Just me, then?  Okay.  Never mind.  I’ll just be over here, wearing my “I ❤ David Tennant” sandwich board.

Then She Found Me was a cute movie.  I also heart Colin Firth.

Then I stopped watching Dr. Who because, again – why bother when there’s no David Tennant? – but also because someone sent me this video, forcing me to immediately go back and re-watch all of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  Such a good show.

And I know this is not a TV show or anything, but the Hump Day camel is my dad’s favorite commercial.  You should see how he acts when it comes on.

Food:

Breakfast quinoa, specifically with good maple syrup and blueberries, is pretty much my favorite thing right now.  It’s so delicious.

This cobbler was a big hit with Michelle, Tammy, and Matt.  It was a big hit with me, too.  I love peach cobbler, especially with peaches from Mom and Dad’s trees.  Also…bourbon.

July always seems to be pie month (observe from back in the day).  I made three different pies this month – strawberry rhubarb with gin in the crust, blueberry pie, and icebox lemonade-coconut milk pie, which turned out a little weird but still good, on account-a the coconut.

Pampered Chef’s Raspberry Habanero Sauce as a salad dressing.  I can’t even…I’m getting teary just thinking about how amazing this was.  I can hook you up if you want to experience it for yourself.

And the Twitter just informed me of something else I need to make immediately.  Homemade honeycomb, dipped in chocolate!?!?  WHAT?!?!?! I NEED IT!!!

The Intrawebs:

Clearly, this month I’ve gone  from occasionally seeing Joy the Baker repinned on Pinterest to following everything she does online.  I’m going to have to take up running again.  Maybe kickboxing, as I can do that inside and thus avoid risking heat stroke.  At any rate, something will have to be done to counteract this sudden spike in calories.

In other late-to-the-party news, I love Feminist Taylor Swift.

And I have loved Grumpy Cat since the beginning.  But this one makes me laugh and laugh.  And laugh and laugh.  And…well, you get it.

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This video – Geek Girls and the Doubleclicks – Nothing to Prove *nods*

Blog Love:

The blogosphere was on fire this month.  If you missed them, go.  Read.

Esther Emery – Lament

Sarah Bessey – In Which I Thank the Duchess of Cambridge

Sarah Bessey – In Which I choose to be a feminist in the way that Jesus would be a feminist

Abby Norman – The Fix That Won’t (four part series – do yourself a favor and read them all)

Kelley Nikondeha via A Deeper Story – Her Dreads

Rachel Held Evans – Why I Can’t Stay Angry

Adam McHugh via Preston Yancey’s An Everlasting Meal and a Moveable Feast series – Blood from a Stone

Preston Yancey – When This is About Insecurity and Writing Books

Addie Zierman – One Small Change series

Jessica Stein – Eucharist

Hilary Sherratt – Dear Hilary: Honor is not in a Tan LIne

Leigh Kramer – Nashville Doesn’t Love Me

I’m sure I’ll run across ten more that I loved so much.  If you wrote one of these posts, thank you.  You made my month.

So, that was a lot.  It was a good month.  It was a good month for others, too.  Read what they’re into at Leigh Kramer’s blog.

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The Lazy Person’s Way to Blog

Fifty Questions Meme, stolen from Noel:

1. Do you like blue cheese?
GROSS.  I mean…no, thank you.

2. Have you ever smoked a cigarette?
Yes.

3. Do you own a gun?
No.

4. What flavour do you add to your drink at Sonic?
Vanilla to Coke (it tastes like a Coke float, but without all the subsequent cramping from my lactose intolerance), or cherry and vanilla to Diet Dr. Pepper (i.e., crack)

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
Sometimes. Usually, I’m nervous about the thing that drove me to the doctor in the first place (the ailment, not my car – just to be clear), but not the doctor visit itself. I’m super nervous about the dentist, though. Every time. HATE.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
My official answer is that they are a gross, disgusting food.  My actual answer?  While I fully admit that a hot dog is a gross food, and I do not want to talk about what’s in one, I will enjoy that bad boy on occasion. Sausage usually weirds me out, with its gristle.  But hot dogs?  Okay!

7. Favourite Christmas Song?
Hark the Herald Angels Sing

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Coffee. But let’s not limit it to mornings.

9. Can you do push ups?
I can do one. Then I have to go lie down for an hour. And maybe have a glass of wine.

10. What’s your favourite meal?
Antipasti. Give me a nice loaf of bread, some goat cheese, some prosciutto, a simple bean salad or slightly wilted greens, maybe some hummus or baba ganoush (sp?), a nice bottle of wine (or four), and some friends to share it with, and I could eat that meal for every meal for the rest of my life.

11. What’s your favourite piece of jewellery?
I don’t wear it often, but I really love the necklace my sister gave me a couple of years ago.

12. Favourite hobby?
Reading

13. Do you work with people who idolise you?
I wouldn’t say I’m their IDOL. Maybe a cool big sister (or an aunt.  Wow, I’m old). They like me well enough. They help me out a lot, and I reward them with snacks.  It’s a symbiosis.

14. Do you have A.D.D?
No.

15. What’s one trait that you dislike about yourself?
I am easily annoyed, especially around lots of people. It makes it hard to enjoy parties without medication. And by medication, I do mean tequila.

16. Middle name?

Suzanne

17. Name 3 thoughts at this moment.
1. Of all the TVs in all the world, you had to watch soap operas on the one in my lobby.
2. Is it Friday yet?
3. “Baby arugula in the deep blue sea…”  All.  Day.  Long.

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday:
1. Lunch (salad with fried chicken. And sweet tea. I know. Shut up.)
2. Coffee at the NCTC coffee cart
3. Yoga shorts (VS, I wish I could quit you)

20. Current worry right now?
That my gastrointestinal issues might be more than lactose intolerance. Right now, WebMD has me convinced that I clearly have stomach cancer.

21. Current hate right now?
This book I’m reading – “A Queer Thing Happened to America.”  It’s part of my “read things written by people with whom you disagree” goal.   What a terrible idea that was.  I mean, it’s not a terrible idea.  It’s a good idea.  But it’s like arguing constantly.  Alone.  Which just makes me sound crazy.

22. Favourite place to be?
On a beach with nothing to do but read

23. How did you bring in New Years?
I…have no idea. That’s going to bug me all day.

24. Where would you like to go?
Overall, I would like to visit everywhere in Europe and South America. I am also mapping out several road trips (one heading east, one heading west).

25. Name three people who will complete this?
No. I’m too tired.  Also, three people might not even read this.

26. Whose answer do you want to read the most?
If you do it, I will read it.  Today is just that slow.  I mean, I am totally interested.

27. What colour shirt are you wearing?
Easter egg blue

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
No. Too slippery. I have a funny/sad story about that. Suffice it to say, the punch line is this – I rolled over to change sides and kept on going…right onto the floor.

29. Can you whistle?
Sort of. I think my whistle is more annoying than most. Maybe because it’s just closer to me, so it seems more annoying to me.

30. Favourite colour(s)?
Orange. And red. And green (to wear…also, go UNT!). And yellow (but not to wear, because it makes me look dead)

31. Would you be a pirate?
Only if Johnny Depp agrees to come along.

32. What songs do you sing in the shower?
Mostly jazz standards. You’re welcome, neighbors.

33. Favourite girl’s name?
Georgia

34. Favourite boy’s name?
No real favorites. I have never met a Sam I didn’t like, so I’m fond of that one. I also like Nick (although I have met a few Nicks that acted like the thing their name rhymes with). If I ever lose my mind and decide to have children (or, more likely, lose my birth control and have one accidentally), and the child doesn’t have the good sense to turn out to be a girl named Georgia, but rather a boy, I would probably name him Simon or Marvin or something slightly nerdy, because I love names like that.

35. What’s in your pocket right now?
No pockets, so nothing.

36. Last thing that made you laugh?
The trip down memory lane that is The Llama Song.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbPDKHXWlLQ You’re welcome, everyone.

37. Best bed sheets as a child?
Holly Hobby. I loved her. I told her so every night before I went to sleep. This was an early sign. I think my parents kept hoping I’d grow out of treating fictional characters as if they’re real. Nope. Hey, Mom and Dad – at least I have a job.

38. Worst injury you’ve ever had?
Knee injury when I fell crossing the street. I maintain that the street was uneven; my friend Hunter maintains that it was my beer-induced equilibrium (or lack thereof) that was uneven. Either way, I had to drop out of what was to be my glorious return to running races and wear a huge brace for six months. But at least I didn’t have to have surgery.

39. Do you love where you live?
Sort of. I love Denton. I don’t love the weather. But I love the town. I don’t so much love living in an apartment, but I am saving up to put a down payment on a house in a few years.

40. How many TVs do you have in your house?
One

41. Who is your loudest friend?
Michelle. She is in graduate school in China and comes back for a couple of months every year to visit.  She has this ridiculous, awesome laugh.

42. How many dogs do you have?
None. I really enjoy dogs, though. In other people’s houses.

43. Does someone have a crush on you?
If they do, they’re awfully secretive about it, which is useless to me.

45. What is your favourite book?
I always say Why Girls are Weird is my favorite. It’s the one I perform the most when I’m tipsy enough to believe that everyone present *NEEDS* to hear me read aloud to them. But I have so many favorites, I can’t really choose.

46. What is your favourite candy?
Skittles

47. What is your favourite sports team?
Something hockey. Dallas, I guess. I’m clearly a big fan. Or the Olympic swim team. Because…well, do I really have to explain?

48. What song do you want played at your funeral?
‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus and Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead – back to back.

49. What were you doing 12 AM last night?
Trying to sleep

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning?
“no no no No No NO NO Do not want! Shut up, alarm!” Then, “mmm..coffee. Do want. I will get up after all.”

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