Monday, May 30, 2011


Unless you live in a Land Without ESPN, a state too despicable to even imagine, you have probably heard by now that Jim Tressel has resigned his position as head football coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Something about this makes me really, really sad.

Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't consider myself a Buckeye fan - my allegiance to the SEC is hardly a SECret, but I have been to the Horseshoe, and it's hard to not respect the ole' "O-H I-O" tradition - even if they did fall (HARD) to my conference of choice in consecutive National Championships and even if Wayne "Woodrow" Hayes did try to make a puree out of Charlie Bauman's voice box.

It's sad to me, though, because I thought Tressel was one of the good guys - a purported man of faith, the so-called "Vest" redeemed the red sweater look from the damage done it by Bobby Knight. Tressel seemed to be a class act, a cut above, and I cheered for him even when I cheered against his team.

My opinion slipped, though, when this scandal broke just before the Buck's 2010-2011 bowl game. That Tressel allowed the offending players to take the field shocked me. I expected him to be tough-on-crime, no-nonsense, hard-nosed. I expected him to expect the same character from his players that he seemed to demand from himself.

But as the bad news continued to break in Columbus, it became increasingly clear that, beneath his red, smooth and velvety shell, the head Buck was as nut-ty as the players who sold their memorabilia for free tattooes and, it turns out, maybe a Chrysler or two.

This just makes me so sad - and not just because these misguided kids chose Chryslers. I'm sad to be disappointed by another sports figure. Actually, after scandals involving Tiger Woods and ever how many professional baseball players took steroids (what's the number now?), I expect to be disappointed by sports figures. I don't, though, expect to be disappointed by the guys who pretended to be above board.

And, to me, that is just absolutely sad.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Under da' Sea

Jeremy's camera takes pictures underwater.


How have I lived this long without such capabilities?

Here are a few of my other favorite photos from a fantastic trip:

Lizzie Gray took this one.

Here's Lila's try at the same shot. I love them both.

Snappy shots

If there is one thing I miss since kissing Facebook goodbye, it's having a place to post my pictures.

On the one hand, it's a good thing - I'm not distracted on vacations by thoughts of, "I've got to go back to the room early, so I can post these! My friends ... most of whom I haven't seen in 16 years and wouldn't know if I saw them on the street ... are expecting them!" On the other hand, though, it's sad not to be able to read through the generally witty, miscellaneous comments posted below my family's snapshots.

That to say, please have a look at these family snapshots and leave some miscellaneous comments.

The "generally witty" part is COMPLETELY optional.

Click here to view these pictures larger

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What a wonderful WORLD!

We're supposed to go to EPCOT today.

For now, however, Lila is entering her twelfth hour of sleep - if she weren't snoring like a lumberjack, I'd think she was dead! - so I have a few minutes to post some of my favorite pics of what has already been a terrific trip.

Wish you were here!

Friday, May 6, 2011

"I'm Gonna Go to Disney World!"

On Monday, April the 25th, something happened - something I'd assumed was as likely to happen as my being selected for the next shuttle mission to the moon, something I've been cynically anticipating since Ohio State rejected me from their doctoral program (the FIRST time!), something whose many paper-intensive drafts were probably single-handedly responsible for the slaughter of several small woodland preserves.

On Monday, April the 25th, my dissertation was complete.

I haven't written about it yet, because a part of me still expects my advisor to call and say, "PSYCHE!" or "You should add a chapter on Cy Coleman" or "You know, Kristin, on second thought, the committee and I would prefer that you approach Fields's work through a semiotic lens. Let's start from scratch, shall we?"

"Um, no," I'd respectfully respond. "We shan't."

I haven't got time for any revisions, because Stultzie's got some celebrations planned. The fun begins this weekend and continues through a post graduation visit to Sea Island, which will, I found out this morning, include a sail on the vintage vessel Cloister Belle. If you thought I was excited when they announced that revival of "Damn Yankees" ...

But I digress.

Before we can celebrate Graduation Day, though, we must first celebrate Mother's Day. This year, I am especially grateful for my mother - and my father, too, for that matter. Without them, there would have been no dissertation, because there would have been no doctoral program.

When I was accepted to UGA, it was without any sort of departmental funding. "I can't go," I remember telling Daddy, as I held my acceptance letter in my hand. "I just can't afford it." "You have to go," he responded. "Your mom and I will help."

As it turned out - "help" was probably a bit of a misnomer, because I'm not very sure I did all that much to carry my weight. They selflessly, generously picked up my slack, and next Friday's graduation is due in toto to the grace of God and the help of my parents.

Knowing this, I decided to dedicate my dissertation - did I mention it's finished?! - to the ones who made it happen - my cheerleaders, my patrons, my parents.


Mom, you let me watch Annie every single day. You suffered through my childhood obsessions with musicals from The Sound of Music to The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band. You never complained – at least not that I knew of – when I’d tap dance on top of the coffee table or sang every lyric to every song Cole Porter ever wrote. In so doing, you birthed in me a passion that is, next to my faith, the greatest gift you ever gave me.

Daddy, you saw the shows and then took me to see them. You bankrolled our common addiction – providing airfare, hotel rooms, and show tickets for our many theatre-going trips to New York City (or, in the case of Karen Ziemba’s tour with Chicago, Nashville). You made a way for me to meet Bill McCutcheon. You celebrated my 21st birthday by taking me to the Tony Awards, and when I got the chance to go to grad school at UGA, you and Mom generously paid my way. As a result, the passion that Mom birthed, you nurtured [cue emotional explosion into song]:

'So I say thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing!
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing. Who can live without it?
I ask in all honesty, what would life be? Without a song or a dance,
What are we? So I say thank you for the music, for giving it to me.'
-- from Mamma Mia!

I dedicate this dissertation to the two of you, because I am so unspeakably grateful for your dedication to me. In other words, 'thank you for the music.'"

And now?


Thursday, May 5, 2011


I've never been so proud to be a Paladin.

Mom & Dad, now you know: THIS is what a $50,000 / year undergraduate education will get you.

Furman, I will never "forGET you..."

(Be sure you stay tuned through the end of the video, so you can catch new Furman prez Rod Smolla get his Cee Lo on)