Research and Sunset

So today we presented our paper. The panel was in the first time slot of the morning, on the first day of the conference. And, our panel of 4 papers was full of AMAZING papers. All the papers had to do loosely with gender performativity online. Interesting papers about avatar character choice on Second Life, the post-partum depression on dooce.com, and about the idea of Facebook, careers, and “what your mom wouldn’t want to see” online. Then there was our paper, which was a literature review of current academic research on gendered blogging, gender bending and cyber relations. Ours was the only paper in the panel that wasn’t original research, but rather a survey of the current literature. So ours was a little out of place…but the presentation went well. We had great questions and conversations afterwards. Then we heard other fantastic panels of presentations. I am just amazed at the cool research in my discipline (Communication) and the wide range of topics and questions these researchers are tackling. It is cool.
Tonight, we had a welcome party on the deck, and this was our view…
At the party, I hung out with some grad students from Western Kentucky who were really cool. We had a great conversation about Facebook and the consequences, benefits, and cultural impact its having. So interesting to talk to others about the crazy thoughts in my head! Ha! Then the three of us went to a performance the conference put on. It was performance art, and was a one woman show, a monologue, which I think was quite autobiographical of the performer. It was funny, creative, shocking, and thought-provoking.
Then I took a little stroll along the beach, FINALY getting my toes in the sand and water.
Hopefuly tomorrow I can take a little time for myself to work out, and maybe catch a little sun.
Love from Florida…

OSCLG

OSCLG stands for the Organization for the Study of Society, Language and Gender. This conference brought me today to Tampa, FL for a conference.
Tomorrow me and a professor (Dr. Webb…read her blog here) are presented a paper of some research we did on gender on the Internet….gendered blogging, gender bending online, and cybersex (scandalous, right?). Then until Sunday, we are just enjoying our beautiful resort, the beach, and doing a little work (probably by the pool!).
So here are some pics from the first day of the trip…
The beautiful view from our wingseat on the flight here.


Our oceanview room’s view….
Dinner at an Italian place at the resort…yummy lobster tortellini with veggies (I only ate a little tortelini…trying to stay on diet!)

Wish me luck presenting tomorrow!


Memphis with Amanda

So I have a best friend, Amanda. We met four years ago (wow!…can’t believe its been that long!) at Centri-Kid Camp when we worked together doing ministry. We clicked and have been best friends ever since. There is one problem with this friendship: we live so far away! So we used to make bi-monthly road trips to see one another…but as life happened and we got jobs and grew up, visits are less frequent.

But we did get together this weekend in Memphis. Amanda brought along her boyfriend Nathan (who I had heard a lot about but never met- so it was great to meet him). We had so much fun!

We got there Friday and spent all night talking and laughing. Saturday we got up and walked around downtown. We stopped at the Peabody to see the marching of the ducks. They bring ducks into the fountain. This was just before the ducks came out.
Then we walked all over Beale Street and shopped and had the BEST BBQ in Memphis- Rendezvous. Broke the diet and had some ribs. Sooo worth it.

We drove over to Graceland and looked at it the free way- from the road.
Amanda and Nathan at Graceland.
On the way back to the hotel- we stopped at Sun Records- famous for being Elvis and Johnny Cash’s recording label.
Then we came back to the hotel to watch football. Amanda and I are SEC Football girls. We watched the Hogs v. Alabama game. The Hogs put up a good fight against such a top team, but we lost it in the 4th from a few mistakes. I think Amanda and I cheered so loud that the hotel must have gotten complaints about our yelling! ha!

Then we went back downtown and had sushi. This was us after dinner.
Then we went back, watched the Auburn game (they won- War Eagle!) then we played some games and went to sleep.

This morning, we went for brunch and had AMAZING crepes. This was mine- a mexican chicken crepe with chicken, cheese, salsa, and tomatoes and lettuce. Sooo good.

Then we walked to a park across from the hotel to see the riverfront. This was the happy couple….
And this is us…best friends (and we matched!). I love this girl so much and it was sooo wonderful to get to see her in the flesh instead of just talk to her on the phone.

Best friends are a gift from God for sure.


Almost Vacation

I took my week off and did an almost vacation. I went home for a few days (Ty had to stay here and work) and then we went to Dallas for the wedding of two very good college friends.

I didn’t take a ton of pics at home, but mom treated me for sure. We got pedicures, did a little shopping, took my cousins to the water park, played on the lake, and got some sun. It was wonderful to be home.

I also got to see a couple friends while I was home. Tuesday I had dinner with Rachael. She and I have been friends since freshman year and were roommates sophomore year. I love her to death. She just got the news that she will be doing the World Race, a mission opportunity where she will visit 11 countries in 11 months. She will be fundraising soon, so if you want to help this beautiful girl (inside and out) travel the world in Christ’s name, be on the lookout for that…I will share the info when I get it.

The next night, I met Sarajane for dinner. I forgot to take pics of us, but SJ and I are great friends and she was a bridesmaid in the wedding. (this was us before the wedding). We had a great time catching up.On my way home, the Creator blessed me with this beautiful sunset. I’m a sucker for sunsets, and God really outdid Himself on this one. I was so blessed by it.
Then Saturday, Ty and I headed to Dallas. His amazing mom (I couldn’t have custom ordered a better mom-in-law) worked for him for the last few hours on Saturday so we could get to Dallas in time for a little fun date night. We went here: Studio Movie Grill.
It is a movie theater with tables in front of your seats. You press a button on that little white coaster, it lights up, and a waiter comes to your table. You order food and drinks and eat while you watch the movie. It was neat! We saw the Expendables, which was the most manly movie I’ve ever seen. But the evening was fun.
Sunday, we slept in, got some lunch at Taco Cabana (a place our Texas friends always talk about, so we were excited to try it…it was pretty good), drove to a Dallas suburb to pick up some Jeep tires Ty found on Craigslist, then we hit the Grapevine Mills Mall for a little bit. It was dumb to go the weekend before school starts. It was crawling with kids, but it was fun.

Then we went to Liz and Michael’s wedding. This was us at the reception.
I got to see some friends…these three girls were in my house party. Kenley, me, Jessica, and Rachael. Love these girls!
The Tri Chis (our sorority/social club) sang the wedding song to Liz.
I was a little sweaty from dancing too much, but this was me and the BEAUTIFUL bride.
And this is my crazy husband and the groom. They were fraternity brothers.

It was a great weekend, and I’m back as TA training started today and goes all week. But I have some fun things planned for this week, including the first dinner party at our house! I can’t wait!