Check out this awesome spider I found in my backyard! This lovely lady is a writin' spider (Supposedly if you mess up her web she will write your name in the new one, which is where the name comes from) AKA a black and yellow garden spider. There's actually two I've found so far, but this one is the bigger one- about 2 inches long. They are harmless to humans but like to kill mosquitoes, so she can definitely live here for now (every time I go out to the backyard if I don't douse myself in bug spray I get several bug bites- I'm working on pulling out all the crazy ivy back there so hopefully that'll cut down on all the bugs).
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but B and I have different last names. Apart from being a professional feminist (I've published in 2 feminist journals, so I think I can claim that title) and changing my name being against my deeply held beliefs that people shouldn't have to do things a certain way because of their gender, and the thought of changing my own name seeming super weird (like I'd be giving up my identity), I've actually begun to get some name recognition in my field -when I go to conferences people look at my name tag AND THEY KNOW WHO I AM AND HAVE READ SOME OF MY WORK!! Holy crap! So I didn't want to have to start over with that...building an academic reputation is hard enough as it is. Also, changing your name is a super huge pain in the ass, and I don't generally do things that are a pain in the ass when I don't necessarily agree with them to begin with (although having the same name might be nice, so I'm ambivalent about the whole thing). So I didn't change my last name when we got married.
In the northeast this was never an issue, but since moving down south it's like I've moved back in time 50 years..apparently no one in the south has ever heard of a married couple having 2 different names. My mortgage guy asked us if "we were *really* married" which I found incredibly rude because I had just told him we were married like 2 seconds before. Our home insurance/car insurance agent has now been informed on FOUR separate occasions that we have different last names, and yet when we needed proof of car insurance to get our drivers license yesterday she faxed over proof of insurance for "Abandoning and B Eden." B had to sweet talk the DOT into letting him get a license since they require proof of insurance, and it was technically not in his name. Luckily I brought our marriage license with us, and they were able to verify it was him by that + his birthday (which was listed on the proof of insurance).
Other southism (or maybe a "not a huge city-ism?")- when I'm walking Barkley, everyone driving by in their cars waves at us while passing! It is actually kinda annoying, cause I like walking and getting wrapped up in my head, and now I feel like I have to pay attention to all the cars that are passing to see if they wave to me, so that none of my neighbors feel like I'm slighting them.
People down here seem super nice in general. On Tuesday 3 of my new colleagues showed up to help us empty the last of our moving pods, and one brought over a bunch of freshly baked bread and muffins from the local bakery- and I'm meeting up with her again on Saturday morning to go check out the local farmer's market. We haven't really met anyone so far other than those colleagues and 2 of our neighbors. I seem to have chosen a very academic neighborhood, as at least two of our neighbors on our block are professors at the university I will be a professor at. Speaking of which, next week Monday I will officially have started my new job as an assistant professor of sociology! Monday I'm rearranging furniture and getting my computer set up in my newly-painted sage green office. Tuesday I hit the ground running, cause classes will be starting in 3 weeks and this semester I'm teaching two entirely new courses that I've never taught before- and all I have right now is a rough draft of a syllabus for each course. I like to prepare my lectures a few weeks in advance so that I'm always a few weeks ahead of my students- so I want to get at least the first 3 weeks of class prepped before classes start.