Hegemony in Vacationland

It’s that time of the year again: travel season.  Winter breaks, vacations, and family visits all provide a bevy of images for everyone to relate to, but for carefree air travelers it most certainly assures long lines at the airport just so you can get barefoot and fondled by those frisky TSA agents. After 9-11, the government crack down in the guise of National Security required that citizens get in the habit of wearing the equivalent of bedroom slippers to the airport or risk the grumbling of fellow passengers while shoes were unsnapped, unbuckled, unlaced, etc. before being put into … Continue reading Hegemony in Vacationland

Victoria’s Other Secret

Whenever I think back on my twenties, I clearly recall that one of the hallmarks of becoming a young woman was making the happy transition from sensible cotton bras and panties to dangerously delicious underthings made of shimmering satins replete with hooks and latches, hoochiepuckers and whatzits. New-found access to silky delectables ranging from push-up bras, lacy panties, garter belts, bustiers, corsets, and the mysteriously-named camiknicker redefined what it meant to “wear some decent underwear in case you got hit by a truck.”  In fact, attainable lingerie was such a fresh notion that prior to the hard marketing of lingerie … Continue reading Victoria’s Other Secret

You Can Never Be Thankful Enough

Happy Thanksgiving Eve… Yeah, you read it right.  Today is the official pre-winter version of Groundhog’s Day.  The way I understand it, if you can’t see your toes after dinner tomorrow, there should be at least six more weeks of excuses not to go to the gym.  Sounds legit to me. Meanwhile, I have been thinking a lot about the way that my Thanksgiving Experience has evolved over the years.  For instance, prior to my dive into the deep end of academia, I frequently used to prepare multi-course dinners for friends and family.  My menus have been variously themed to … Continue reading You Can Never Be Thankful Enough

Men in Kilts vs. Women in School

It’s already mid-October and here in Alaska that means shorter days with cooler temps across the state.  This is the time of the year when tourists and seasonals are finally gone, happily leaving us locals to our own devices.  Sweet.  More time to engage in the land without all of the stress of outsiders… You know what I’m saying: its about finally being able to walk around your house buck nekkid once the guests have departed.  Yeah, it’s just like that, minus the burning retinas. For the people of Sitka, however, it’s the annual Alaska Day celebration – a time … Continue reading Men in Kilts vs. Women in School

Passport Please

The notion of traveling abroad has always intrigued me, long before academe whistled me in… kind of like how the sirens lulled lonesome sailors to the rocks.  In my case, I had considered various branches of the military and even mulled over the consequences of setting the world on fire (think “global warming”) by posing as an — ew — missionary (I don’t even like that word) to spread some gospel-du-jour, just so I could get to other countries.  Obviously, since earth is still here, I did not assume the position (out of loyalty to the planet) and especially because … Continue reading Passport Please

When Good Cougar Dens Go Bad

How would you feel if you were just giddy as a school girl about living with a bunch of young’ns?  Yeah, me too.  I was both nervous and excited about returning to reside on campus this year.  I had survived  campus housing last year and although it wasn’t all that I had imagined, I had a decent housemate and managed to get a lot of work done over nine months.  I know you are wondering how it is that I was able to avoid getting into the sort of shenanigans that normally materialize in my presence, so here is where … Continue reading When Good Cougar Dens Go Bad

Academic Hoohaa

“For the completion of the life cycle, the famed firebird builds its funeral pyre.  After setting itself alight, it burns until nothing but ash remains. And from that ash and flame, the phoenix rises.” An iridescent phoenix rising out of ashes provides a powerful metaphor of second chances and hope.  Sadly, the reality of hauling my geriatric ass out of the trenches and into the halls of academia did not conjure the same effect.  It seems that the line between being a self-proclaimed spawned out old ho and a full-time university student is more blurry than than my recollections of … Continue reading Academic Hoohaa