Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Last weekend some friends of ours needed help with thier youth group overnight. So Steve and I packed up and traveled about an hour north, to The South.
Where I learned all about tobacco farmin' from a 45 year old woman who said when she was a child she couldn't wait to grow up so she could leave her small town, and yet she is still there.
Where high school boys still dress in a shirt and tie (usually with a sport coat on top) to attend church on Sunday
Where high school girls wear much too little a little too tight to go to church on Sundays, but it's all very fashionable dress.
Where Church is "what everyone does" (Except maybe dad. He'll stay home and smoke.)
Where I witnessed a man yelling "Run, Forest, Run" with a PERFECT Tom Hanks accent. (Now this wouldn't be super cool, exept it was the same accent the person always used.)
Where people kept asking me to "speak Minnesotan" because they thought it sounded so cool.
Here's a sample conversation.

"We knew some people from Wisconsin once. They had a great accent."
(Laura:) "Oh yeah, that's near where I'm from -- well, where in Wisconsin?"
(North Carolinian:) "I don't know, somewhere near a lake. Do you know where that is?"
(Laura:) "Um... which one? Wisconsin has several thousand. Minnesota has over 10,000."
[Later in that conversation:] "Do y'all have mountains in MN?"

VERY fun weekend. Great cultural experience. More cultural for Steve than me, as I at least had experience with teen agers. (And they are the same the country around.) Steve did GREAT though! I was quite proud of how well he held up.

Oh, and one last anticdote... (Steve's giving me an ugly look that says, "Quit typing, we've gotta go eat.")
We went to the lake with the youth group kids. I was EXCITED. LAKE! Sweet home Minnesota...
Then I realized that NC is built entirely on clay. That's no different on the lake front. Clay with water = uky mud. So in order to swim, you had to get REALLY dirty. Needless to say, neither of us swam.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Politics, History and Street Names

My friend Kim just noted on her blog that:
this is the only city where one can stand at the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Jefferson Davis Highway (Franklin St).
This corner she speaks of is at the very center of town, where bonfires are built by drunk undergrads when our basketball team wins big.

It seems history and politics are not without a sense of humor, and a sense of irony.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Sad News
Please pray for the following family (click on this newslink for more information). They are close friends of one of our close friends down here. They lost six of their nine children when a relative's house blew up over labor day in Michigan. The funeral was last weekend in Virginia. I come from a large family and could not begin to fathom loosing two thirds of my siblings in a weekend! How tragic.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

I Am Blogging On Another Site Now

I recently got the opportunity to join the SouthNow Blog which comments on politics, public policy and media issues in The South, and is associated with a program of the School Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC. This blog: http://www.southnow.org/blog/ is manned by a team of 7 writers, so the posts will be pretty regular.

This new blog is devoted far more to reporting than commentary, so I will likely still be posting my own ideas at The Science Of Choice. Also, any of my posts which are economics related I will cross-post there as well. So check it out.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Somehow Laura managed to post before me, and she is supposed to be at work. Thats what happens when your wife works for the state I suppose. Anyway, as she said, I passed both of my exams. I was so excited/nervous I couldn't tell whether I was holding two pieces of paper or one. I know that my self-worth should not be wrapped up in some tests, but lets face it: it was. So now I feel like my life over the last year was worth it. (This is not to say that my last year was bad, it was amazing, wonderful, spectacular, but that was for reasons which had little to do with the economics program.)

Thanks to everyone for all of the prayers and support over the last year.


Friday, September 02, 2005

Classes are going well, MY SISTER COMES INTO TOWN TODAY! (YEAH!!!) and the squirrels seem to have moved out.

That said, there are some areas in our person life which could be better. Incidently, did you know that you can super-heat water in a microwave? If you do so, when you take it out, it LOOKS innocent, no steam rising, no bubbles bursting, but as soon as you disrupt it (for example, peer into it and then put your finger in it to see if it's hot enough to make hot cocoa) it will explode, sending steam and scalding water everwhere. Now, if indeed you were peering into it, you'd quickly realize that your face was burning. This may lead to a disrupted work day, as all your coworkers (save the guy answering the phones) rush to "help" you. You may then find yourself in shock with your head in a bucket of cold water as you try to alleviate the burning sensation. After that you may find that a police officer and paramedic want all your vital signs, and are overly concerned about your vision. If your reflexes worked like they were supposed to (and for the hero in our story they did) the police officer and paramedic will be relieved to hear about the burning sensation on your eye lids. After which, you'll sign a form (do you know how hard it is to sign a form when your body is in shock and your hand is shaking uncontrollably?) and have your boss take you to the ER. On the way, you'll wonder why you ever moved to the south. The heat off the pavement and the heat in your bosses car will HURT LOTS. Once there you'll wait several hours, and finally be given strong drugs (mmm... drugs...) and some cream (basically over-the-counter antibiotic ointment) to alleviate the pain and prevent infection. By the time your boss drops you off at home (there's no WAY you'd go back to work on those drugs) you'll be in happy lala-land. Later that day your face will be less red and more purple, and your housemate may causally tell you that you look like you belong in a morgue. All because of a cup of water and the desire for some hot cocoa.

Not that this has happened to anyone I know.

Oh, look at the time! Gotta make an appointment with the burn clinic for a follow-up.

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