Sunday, August 14, 2005

Travelling to Texas

I am here sitting in our hotel room in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Dad’s on the phone with Mom, who claims to have been sitting by the phone waiting for our call, though we don’t quite believe her. Last night we stayed in Blanding, Utah, and this morning we went to church there. That means we got a later start today, and then we went to both Four Corners monument and Monument Valley. Dad was pretty excited about the latter of these, as there were apparently some great westerns filmed there. His favorite of those is She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, a John Ford film starring John Wayne. We stopped several times to take pictures. We were hoping to make it to Tucumcari, New Mexico, tonight, but with our late start, we decided that was just a bit too far. Tomorrow we will be going through Amarillo on our way to Denton, where I will be installed in a hotel for the rest of the week to wait for Erin and Margo to show up. On Friday we will then move into our new apartment. I just hope I don’t get bored to death waiting for that day.

My dissertation

I haven’t written much during the summer, as I’ve mostly been very busy with other things. I sent off my dissertation last Thursday, which was a great feeling. I felt like there should be someone there taking my picture at the post office while I handed it over.

I had the devil of a time of it getting my dissertation printed in the first place, actually. I had forgotten until Thursday morning that it had to be printed and handed in on A4 paper. A4 is the standard letter-size paper throughout Europe, but we don’t use it here in the States. I knew before I left England that it would have to be printed on A4 paper, but I didn’t think it would be a big deal. And, unfortunately, I had forgotten about that detail until Thursday. I called around to a few places to find out if anyone sold A4 (which they don’t), and got hold of someone at Falls Printing who suggested that I print it on 11x14 paper and then cut it down the right size (A4 is about 8.3 by 11.7 inches). When I got to the place, though, I talked to someone completely different who said it was really odd to want 11x14 paper, which it is. She cut some paper for me, though, probably close to 1,000 sheets of it, and gave it to me for free, referring me to Zip Print a few streets over to get it printed. Zip Print was unable to print it, though they tried diligently, and it was there that I had the inspiration to use a standard legal size paper, 85.x14, and then cut *that* down. The folks at Zip Print sent to someone at a place called Beta Graphics, telling me that he could do it if anyone could. So I tried him. His office was supposed to be just a few streets over again, but when I got there I found that he had moved. So I found his new location, clear on the other side of town. But no one was there. So I sat on the curb and called his number on Mom’s cell phone. I got him fairly easily, but it turned out that he was on vacation in Reno, Nevada, until Tuesday. Of course, I needed the job done by the next day at the latest. He suggested I try Eagle Press, so I headed over there. Happily, the folks at Eagle Press were able to get it taken care of for me. Sheesh, though! I sure wish I had thought about that particular complication much earlier. Although I guess I’m mostly just glad that I remembered it at all, and didn’t try sending it on 8.5x11 paper — that would have been a much bigger mess in the end.

Going to storage

The only other terribly important thing that happened since coming home from England actually happened during the first week. I went down to the family storage unit to get some things out of there and found that my big metal trunk, which was stuffed with my possessions, had been leaked into and several of my things were both water-logged and mildewy. I had to throw away several of my books, including my Holladay lexicon of the Hebrew Bible, my Hebrew grammar, and my cherished American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. I was seriously bummed! In fact, I was so upset about my American Heritage that I almost cried about it if I thought too long. A large part of my attachment to that particular dictionary was that it was a gift from my parents when I graduated from high school, so there will never really be another like it. Luckily, though, most of my other books were just fine, including my actual Hebrew Bible — I’d much rather have to replace my lexicon and grammar than the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia.

Well, I suppose that’s about it for now. Dad and I are watching an old western on TV, and I’m feeling pretty tired, so I’d better go to sleep now. In any case, it’s certainly time to get dressed for bed. I’ll let you all know when I get to Denton ... provided, that is, that there is wireless internet access in that hotel.