Gexx in Knoxville

This blog is about Gexx, in Knoxville

101 in 1001 Day 454

Posted by Gexx on August 4, 2009

I have 46 days until my 500 day deadline, so let’s see what I’ve done and what I should be working on!

3. Meet with my Thesis Advisor at least 3 times a semester
I have met with my advisor 3 times already this summer. Let’s see if I can keep this up for the fall semester!

10. Change my mortgage payment to automatic withdrawal
COMPLETED! Finally!!

16. Keep going to doctor
I went this spring!

22. Do yoga … alone

29. Host 3 Dinners/Parties/Dinner Parties
I hosted two this summer, which brings my total up to four out of three. Therefor this one is COMPLETED! I had M’s party at my house, and I had Claire and Jim over for dinner one night

45. See 3 plays/ballets/operas
M and I saw Midsummer’s Night Dream on Market Square

47. Go to the movies 5 times
M and I have seen Up, Wolverine, and Battle for Terra which brings my movie count to five of five, and it is COMPLETED!

50. Attend 4 fests or festivals
M and I have gone to Belle Chere, bringing this count to two of four

65. Go to a music venue outside of Knoxville
Since we went to Belle Chere, this one is COMPLETED!

84. Grow tomato plants
That one is laugh, I have gigantic tomato plants this year!

85. Keep Lavender alive for the winter
86. Keep Rosemary alive for the winter

I have started both of these this summer.

92a. Get rid of 101 objects through donation/ sale/ giving
This one is COMPLETED and then some! My friend Claire’s sis-in-law just graduated and needed some stuff for her new apartment, so I took advantage of that to find a new home for some of my redundant kitchen goods.

93 – I still haven’t figured out what this is anymore. It *was* something with my now ex. It wasn’t quite pinned down, but whatever. I’ll work on coming up with this.


So, technically I still have 71 tasks to complete, even though 18 are completed.  In two months I’ll be going through and seeing which are reasonable to restart, and which are no longer applicable or approriate.  I see myself exploring some more grains (I have amaranth in the cabinet).  I guess I also need to sit down and complete some book reviews.  Also, my car payments should be done by the end of the year (YAAAY!), and when I get my student loan I will replace my roof.


Posted in no. 03, no. 16, no. 22, no. 29, no. 45, no. 47, no. 50, no. 65, no. 84, no. 92a, no. 93 | 1 Comment »

The In-laws

Posted by Gexx on July 28, 2009

(Up-date: wines chosen)

Before anyone hyperventilates, I’m not married. But M’s parents are coming into town this weekend. Apparently I’m the only person in the entirety of Knoxville whose parents don’t just decide to show up for a weekend every few months.

His parents have taken us out so many times, and I feel like such a mooch. So I offered to make dinner on Saturday. I asked M what they liked, in hopes of some guidance. “They’ll appreciate whatever you make for them. They’re like me: they don’t really care what they eat.” Gee, thanks. I was hoping for something like “Mom likes spicy food and chicken. Dad doesn’t really like broccoli.” I mean, for my parents “Mom likes tomatoes and tries to eat lean protiens, Dad likes spicy stuff and Alfredo sauce and carrot cake, Mom’s fave dish is linguine with red clam sauce. Both really like seafood or a good steak.”

So I am on a mission to find something good, fresh, unintimidating (upon pressing the question they’re meat+3 and casserole kind of people), and doesn’t require a crazy amount of prep work (we would like to do something that day). I also don’t want to heat up my house, because my poor little wall unit will struggle enough with 4 people and two hyperactive felines. I also want to have some nice wines to pair with them (awesome pairing app here if you’re ever questioning). So here is the menu as it stands:

Appetizer: Yellow Tomato Brucchetta, Mozzerella cheese
App Wine: 2007 Frascati (Roma) from Regillo

Meal: Paella (chicken, sausage, mussels/clams, scallops/shrimp) on the grill
Side: grilled veggies (squash, carrots)
Salad: fresh greens w some sort of vinaigrette
Meal Wine: 2007 Grenache/Syrah from In Fine, 2008 Organic Domaine dela Petite Cassagne; 2007 Chardonnay from Angeline

Dessert: Grilled Peaches with HD Honeybee Vanilla Ice Cream
Dessert Wine: prob won’t do wine, but I’m contemplating Limoncello with Vinho Verde

I have made Paella before, and it does require some in-house prep, but that won’t be too much. The Brucchetta topping can be made and marinating and then topped as they come in. The peaches can be tossed on as we clean up.

They’re not leaving hungry!

Posted in boys, cooking | 2 Comments »

Belle Chere and a busy Monday

Posted by Gexx on July 27, 2009

Saturday M and I trecked the two hours over to Asheville to go to Belle Chere, a “it’s a street-fair, not a music-fair” music festival. I’ve been wanting to go for years, but it always seemed to happen either when I was backcountry (aka: camping for work) or when I was broken up with and feeling like I didn’t want to do anything, stupid world!

We got to the shuttle at the mall about 1130, so we made it to the fair just after noon. I really wanted to see Christobel and the Jons, so we hustled past the delicious food smells, the cool vendors, and the crazy preachers to her stage. We caught the tale end of her act and promptly set about looking for some beer wristbands. Once they were secured I purchased a 22oz Magic Hat No9, an apricot flavored IPA, M wanted to try whatever was being sold for $1 so he ended up with some horrible something or other. With beers in hand, we wandered through lots of local vendors and stores.

M had never been to Asheville, so I wanted to show him lots of its downtown. We got truffles at the Chocolate Fetish (basil-pistachio, chai moon, and chocolate) with our beer, wandered through the Woolworth’s Walk where I discovered Sarah Faulkner’s works with our beer, answered questions for 2010 census swag with our beer, and were part of a pick-up drumming circle (we put the beer down for that).

There were four official stages, the drumming circle, a Karaoke set-up, and innumerable buskers, so music was always around us.

There were also some street preachers who were annoying. See, Asheville is a very liberal city for this area. It is very supportive of environmental groups, its LGBTQ community, non-christian religions, and hippy-love in general. So when the central park of Belle Chere which used to be used for drumming circles when I lived in Asheville for a bit, was being used by people with huge Fundy signs, I got upset. One sign said:

Fornicators, Drunkards, Homosexuals, Atheists, Monosexuals, Liars, Hypocrites, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Thieves, Porn Watchers, Mormons, Murderers, Jehovah Witnesses

Another person had a 10 foot tall sign listing more people going to hell. They were standing in the middle of the ampitheater where people sat just to get off their feet. They were yelling at the people, telling them that beer and masturbation and sex would send them to hell. They were saying that everyone there would go to hell and they were to save the participants.

Thankfully, the participants of Belle Chere weren’t cool with that (pic), standing up and shouting over the preachers and making their own signs.

Ashevlle accepts (LGBT)
Drunks Liars Fornicators (Butt Sex) God Haters, Homosexuals, Drugs, Porn! & YOU

Now, one thing that confused me is that one of the catagories of people needing saved were Monosexuals… o.O

After recieving my daily dose of other people’s clean laundry, we went and did lunch (with beer) as Salsa’s, my fave Asheville eatery. We go so stuffed there on the 3 salsa sampler (avacado tomatillo, banana curry, and fire-roasted tomato peanut) and the meal with it that we didn’t get to try any of the other awesome street food. Like the bengeits!

We wandered more, and between the thunderstorm, M got to try out some new Nintendo Wii games at a stand. I beat him, but his batteries were dieing.

The last stop of the day was to see Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band! They were really exciting and I was having fun, but we left about half way through because we still had a shuttle ride and a two hour drive home. As we hiked back to the shuttle, I stopped in at a vendor I was admiring at lunch. She had awesome skirts, and I ended up buying a green cotton one with leaves painted on it. She has an Etsy store with more cool stuff on it!

– get Ammo boxes from surplus store
– get wood, parts for shaker screens
– make 2 shaker screens
– talk to E about sending me paperwork, if I can borrow equipment for when I have volunteers
– send email to local pres association about state of work
– update 101 in 1001
– M’s meeting with real-estate people at 8PM (shower and look nice for that)
– update template or something (I *hate* the look of this blog and I don’t know CSS. please be patient)
– figure out what I’m doing with gexxcooksknoxville

Things I need to look for / buy for winter
-cold weather coat: my cordoroy and shearling one went missing suspiciously after a break-up, and my purple one is looking its 8 years old
-brown, dark green, purple, red sweater: mine are looking ragged

Posted in beer, i do have a life | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Strangers in the field

Posted by Gexx on July 24, 2009

Wow – so today is Friday and I don’t know what to do! I had scheduled today originally to go back out to the field because I didn’t think I would finish with the metal detector yesterday. However, I did finish. M and I worked very well as a team: I manned the metal detector and he flagged metal deposits and kept me on transect. I had originally marked 10m transects for STPs but I wanted to do the metal detector in 5 m sweeps. In the heavy woods it was really easy to loose my bearing, and compasses sometimes do odd stuff with metal detectors, so M walked the marked transects parallel to me.

We found a whole bunch of metal concentrations (surprise!) next to the road that leads to a metal processing area. One would almost think that things fell off the wagons 150 years ago. We also found an old pop-top beer can, so I postulate that “back then” people drank beer in the woods.

On our way back to the car from the site – because we park at a tourist area and hoof it from there – M and I were talking loudly. I don’t know if he realizes why I like to keep in conversation, but there are bears in the area. I don’t want to run into and surprise any. We’re talking about some personal bodily function stuff when some guy in a day-glo green shirt (which matches the underside of the leaves pretty well) pops up. He’s wondering what’s back in the woods, so I give him a quick elevator spiel. There’s no need to be secritive as the project has BEEN ON TV!!! and in the newspapers and the locals all know about it. But I still don’t want some random person wonder what all the crazy pinflags with cryptic markings are.

So – today I need to find something to do. I guess I should do another load of laundry (does it ever end?) and it wouldn’t hurt to clean the bathroom. I’ll be meeting with my plant dude, Greg, at the farmers market at about 3.30 so I need to make up my meal plan, which might involve cleaning my fridge up. The peaches we got last week have hit their peak so the few that aren’t done yet need to be eaten now or frozen for tarts later in the summer. I sorta also want to update my 101 in 1001, but it’s not the end of the world. And as it’s national Tequila day, I somehow foresee a meeting with the buddy Eric this evening at one Mexican restaurant or another… or maybe I could have the thing at *my house.* But I sorta want to stay in – and get to bed at a decent time – because tomorrow M and I are going to Belle Chere in Asheville!

Posted in archaeology, geeking out | Leave a Comment »

Documentary on Gender, and tomorrow’s plan

Posted by Gexx on July 22, 2009

Spike, author/illustrator of the awesome webcomic Templar, Arizona tweeted about a documentary, so I checked it out. It’s called “Dr. Money and the boy with no penis.” It’s about a boy who lost his penis in a circumcision accident. Dr. Money was a gender psychologist who decided that this boy should be raised as a girl. It’s somewhat interesting, at the beginning of the movie the subject (who as an adult identified as male) spoke about how he never liked being a girl, he “knew he was a boy” because he didn’t like dresses and dolls. While the documentary makes it sound pivitol, it sounds to me like a complaint of many of us non-girly girls. At the same time, it creates an interesting dialogue about gender identity, “nature/nurture”, and parental insistence. You should check it out.

So I got the metal detector today from my prof. I’ll be going out on Thursday, and I do sorta want to camp that night. So tomorrow I need to make sure I have it calibrated, get new batteries, and make sure that all of that is ready. Also, tomorrow I am going to get back on my 7AM wake up schedule with morning yoga.

Posted in archaeology, geeking out, media, sexual rights | Leave a Comment »

Why can’t girls have trucks? An arguement on the internet

Posted by Gexx on July 20, 2009

Ok, I find this somewhat amusing (and somewhat frustrating – because people don’t agree with me). But either way it’s not much of a big deal as I’m now not following the blog mentioned.

I had been following a recipe blog on my RSS feeder because the author focused on quick recipes she could make while still focusing on her young children. I love quick recipes for good food. I don’t have young children, but I do have the whole grad student thing and I don’t want to spend hours cooking. So that day, I check my RSS feed and notice that this blog has updated. I check on it and find that instead of a recipe the author has posted a craft for children with the title “Attention Parents of Truck Loving Boys.”

At that point I realize that unless something changes, I can’t follow the blog anymore. So I comment, admittedly not deferentially but very very briefly (one sentence), that it shouldn’t only be for boys, and remove the blog from my RSS reader. I expected that to be the end of it.

See, there is a huge issue when from birth we create a gender for our kids. It’s something that had been slowing down but in the mid/late 80s picked up more speed with the huge increase of consumer culture. Basically, if a company make a GIRL toy/onesy/room-decor-line and define it as that, the parent can’t reuse it if they then have a boy. So the company is guaranteeing repeat sales of everything.

If a parent buys into this, like my generation’s parents did, children are then told from an early age that girls are princesses, pastels, castles, and passiveness. Boys are told that they are bold primary colors, trucks, and aggresive sports. Continue this by the parent acting as if these products actually do define the child’s gender and eventually the child’s self. This limits the child.

Why can’t girls have trucks?

Like I said, I expected that to be the end of it. Since then I have noticed significantly increased traffic on this blog. So instead of not visiting the site again, I was curious and went to check it out.

The comment thread turned into taunting ad hominins. Oh well. I have better things to do than argue on the internet.

Things like:
-check under black plastic
-measure area for lumber
-buy lumber, landscape fabric
-pick up metal detector
-hit site
-get examples of site forms, customize
-build new container garden
-check tomatoes again
-harvest peppers
-update 101 in 1001
-make Jalapeno Cornbread

And to show how pissy I *can* be

-the only person of color is a hypersexalized gay stereotype
-all the women look “normal” and bland
-while the men are goofy and stand out so they have individuality

Posted in geeking out | Leave a Comment »

Measurements are finished!

Posted by Gexx on July 15, 2009

Yesterday was one of the last times I’ll need to make the 3-4 hour trip to my site and the 3-4 hour trip back because I won’t need the total station (surveying equipment). I need to go out of my way about 1.5-2 hours to get that equipment.

Yesterday M and I grabbed the total station and went to the site, expecting the discovered “mistake” to take all day and then some. Instead, we went through the site and found two points that did not line up for one reason or another. Additionally, the compass I used yesterday, a military compass, states that my grid is neither +20 deg or -20 deg off mag north. Instead it is ON mag north with a variance of +-2 deg from the different datums I used. I needed 5 datums for a 100m x 60m area because of the crazy vegetation (curse you Rhododendrons!!) I think that my other compass, a more simple one, may be off some. What’s really cool is that where I am is the area of 0 declination. Woot! One less thing to calculate. So the next thing to do is get a metal detector, go over the site to see if any metal (specifically ferrous) readings show up, and then I get to dig STPs at each of the 60 points that I set out over the course of the last 6 weeks.

Then I get to start on the lower level, but I’m waiting to hear from the old boss if he can come out and remove some of the big trees that have fallen over the site, threatening to damage extant structures! NOOO!

Posted in archaeology, work | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Environmental Justice – TVA Coal Ash Spill is getting national attention… FINALLY

Posted by Gexx on July 11, 2009

A few days before Christmas, a retaining wall at a TVA coal ash containment site collapsed and dumped 1,100,000,000 (that is in the BILLIONS!) of gallons of coal ash into the Tennessee River (that’s 100x the number of gallons of oil in the Exxon Valdeze spill). This huge mass of coal ash flooded nearby houses with coal ash sludge.

The original disaster was covered by national news services. The aftermath on the families, however, has not been. Families cannot afford to move out of the contaminated environment. This is playing out as many environmental justice issues do – the economically limited citizens are told by the rich corporations, companies, and agencies responsible for the disaster that nothing is wrong, when the coal ash, containing murcury and selenium has permeated the waterways and the air. Local residents are facing a large increase of illness. Because of new (more lax) air quality standards, the local air quality is “acceptable.”

National news services are now picking up the Environmental (in)Justice because Erin Brockovich is stepping in.


Posted in geeking out, picture | Leave a Comment »

Two movies I want to see this summer

Posted by Gexx on July 10, 2009

Food, Inc – a documentary on corporate agriculture and the many products that we have come to call “food”

Ponyo – a Studio Ghibli release about a goldfish named Ponyo who wants to be human

Posted in i do have a life, media | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Gexx on July 10, 2009

M thought I was done with the chicken idea after I saw his mom’s greenhouse extension on her shed. She made a frame out of lumber and then covered it with clear courrugated plastic. It’s pretty cool, and I think I want to do that, and my friend J (whose ancient black lab I am watching) is going to help me set up a beehive behind my shed (away from next-door 4 year olds) so the bees can help pollinate my fruit trees and make honey.

This is my thinking on honey and why i fits as the appropriate sweetner in my current PhoodPhilosophy:

Sucernut/WhiteSugar/BrownSugar/Molasses are all made from sugar cane which, in addition to whatever processing is done, must travel far to my foodshed.

Agave syrup must travel far to my foodshed.

Maple Syrup must travel far to my foodshed (normally) and requires a large amount of energy to process.

Sweeteners are right out!

Stevia seems to be a good idea, but I want to see where it goes. I think I will raise some next year, though.

But honey does not travel far. Local honey is actually good for you. Also, the bees that I care for will assist in my gardens and my fruit trees, and in any local gardens. I don’t consider beekeeping as animal exploitation.

So back to the chickens. M calls me to the porch with “the Rooster has chicks!” I don’t see the Rooster, but I hear him every morning (reminder: currently chickens are illegal in our area, and roosters will continue to be not allowed after the Knoxville Chicken bills get passed).

At that point, I start wondering how soon I can convert my shed into a chicken coop. M realizes the mistake he made!

Posted in garden, geeking out, house | Leave a Comment »