Wednesday, June 24

As Summer Was Just Beginning

I know I have been delinquent with my blog updates the past few weeks, but in my defense, I have been rather uninspired and there is not much going on at the moment. By this time, of course, summer has officially begun. Eric just began teaching his course on ancient Egyptian religion at UCLA and I will be wrapping up school group lessons tomorrow. (I have declared it an official day of celebration.) The summer months will still be busy, just with different kinds of distractions. Beginning next week I will have no teaching assignments on Wednesdays, which will give me the luxury of one day a week to research and prepare for upcoming projects. For example, I am preparing a course comparing nudity in the ancient Near East, Egypt, and Greece. Also, two special exhibitions are opening at the Villa this summer: The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani (July 16–October 5, 2009) and The Chimaera of Arezzo (July 16, 2009–February 8, 2010). I have about a month or so to study up on both of those exhibitions so I can be ready to present them to the public by the time they open. I am very much looking forward to both of these shows. They will both have an archaeological bent to them compared to other special exhibitions I have taught here, which will make them particularly fun for me.

In other news, we are now a two car family again. You will recall some months ago I reported that the engine of Eric's old beater overheated and seized, leaving him stranded on the 405 freeway. Since then he and I have been negotiating the use of our one remaining car as best as we could--and not doing half bad, all things considered. Anyhow, last week a friend of his bought a new car and very kindly sold his old one to Eric for a price he could afford. So we now have two cars again, and what a luxury it is! I will enjoy very much not making grocery trips on my day off with my little push cart and waiting on the bus in order to get around and get errands done.

With all that in mind, you could say things are going pretty well right now. We have no extraordinary plans for summer since we usually take our vacation in September, after Eric is done with his summer teaching. What we will be doing is taking advantage of the awesome SoCal summer weather, enjoying time with friends and family, and going to lots of summer movies. I have learned to make the most of my unusual work schedule and have got myself into the habit of seeing movies on Mondays, when everyone else is at work. It is a lot of fun to kick back with your soda and popcorn and see a movie in an almost deserted theater. Once you know how great it is without the crowds, it is almost disappointing to see a movie any other way. Also, at the end of the summer I plan on escaping the city for a visit home.

But, for now, there are miles to go so I had better get to it. Time to get busy learning the stories revealed by the golden graves of Vani.

Summertime in the Villa's Herb Garden

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