Sorry for the long absence, ya'll. I was doing so well at posting regularly in the fall and then....nothing for two months.
In those two months, we spent two weeks in Albuquerque over Christmas, and almost a week in New Orleans, Louisiana, at a conference. Doug came along to the conference too and hung out with friends while I spent my days listening to research talks with my four stellar undergrad companions.
Mostly I've been putting my nose to the grindstone, trying to get a bunch of papers out over the first portion of this year, and due the conference it's taken awhile to adjust to the craziness of this semester. Not to mention that even though I'm teaching two classes I've taught before, I'm always updating and trying to improve the student's learning, which means more prep work than I would like. But still, things are trucking along nicely.
Until now we haven't had a ton of things to post about, because we haven't been doing a whole lot out of the norm (working, watching TV, trying to see all the Oscar movies, etc.), but it is winter in Walmart Country, and thus worth spending a bit of time talking about the weather.
The weather here is really quite lovely and mild during the winter (the summers are soppy drippy gross hot). Highs in the 40s and 50s, lows in the 20s and 30s, very little snow or rain. Similar to Albuquerque winter weather, actually, but without the dryness.
"Nice winter" actually translates to "complete freak out when snow might fall." Granted, this region got hit with a couple of big storms a few years ago that resulted in the University shutting down for over a week and many power outages. Also, it's below freezing at night and above freezing during the day, so when it snows/rains and then hardens into ice, navigating the hills on car or on foot can be pretty tricky. And, of course, they don't have the salt and dirt and general "winter machinery" to move the snow around like the northern cities do. Still, though, this town freaks out when a storm hits.
Earlier this week we had a snowstorm the likes of which Chicago would scoff at and Minneapolis would barely even notice. Here, though? Classes were cancelled in the afternoon into the next morning, University offices were shut down, and everywhere we went people said "Stay warm!" The last part was particularly amusing to me, as it's been much colder here this winter. I guess people just lump "snow and freezing rain" into "it must be cold out." Throughout all of this, I was at work on time, enjoying the lack of activity in the hallways, and happy to wear my winter boots one day this year. The snow was gone within a day, though there is a leafy, dirty snowman a couple of blocks away that is still standing.