Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another "Start"

There is so much to say about Zihuatanejo that I won't say anything now. Later, Zach and I will upload some photos and perhaps we'll narrate our travels with these. We had a wonderful excursion though, and across our six flights, I became attached to Bill Bryson, the hilarious, oddly comforting travel writer and ex-patriot.

At about day three in Zihuatanejo, I decided that it was time to change this situation at the house. Since AmeriCorps doesn't pay me a thing until mid November, I am getting a second evening and weekend job which will begin as soon as any shop, pub, or coffee joint asks me on. Fortified by my new "tan" and the purple earrings from my inlaws, I will do some serious job hunting down Broadway street tomorrow morning. Zach also has a suitable prospect, about which I am not at liberty to disclose any details.

The journey home from Mexico was ambitious all by itself. We stopped in LA, were whisked off to IN'N'Out by Zach's brother Kurtis, where Z and I indulged ourselves with double cheeseburgers, fries, and shakes, the only part absent was the meat. Apparently I was starving because I thought our pasty buns and melted cheese tasty but Zach informed me otherwise. Then, after an all too brief period of catching up with Kurtis, we flew to Portland. In Portland, our hippie friend who went to school with Zach in Boston, picked us up and drove us to an all night crunchy coffee shop. After grilled cheese and grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and loads of gossip, the three of us explored downtown Portland on foot. I was mesmerized by the truly countless coffee shops, the abundant verdure, and one Episcopalian church. This church, called Trinity just like our favorite one in Boston, was spread out like a quad of a campus with two side wings extended like arms in a welcoming posture. Something about the layout of the church moved my mystically inclined self. Vanessa told us that the church hosts yoga and Buddhist spirituality classes. I'm not one that is moved by the open, fluid concept of a "spiritualness" that counteridentifies with organized religion and all things conventional. I think most of that is vacuous. But I stand in quiet wonder at mystics, I am compelled by Buddhist thought, and I believe meditation to be of great value, be it through yoga, taize, or prayer. Suffice it to say, the church impacted me, and I would love to walk there one early Thursday morning and say a solitary common prayer with a priest. I believe Portland is the US city for us.

Despite my love for Portland, it was a little less that wonderful spending the hours from 3:00 to 6:30 this morning on the airport floor. Fortunately, there were soft chairs and the security announcements only came on every 10 minutes. We even had about 20 minutes of quality cuddling- I'm sure to the disgust of the other airport night dwellers.

We finally arrived home late this morning to be greeting by my two most wonderful, most favorite dogs, Wesley and Seattle. If anything, I am grateful this day for friends and family who drive 20 miles to the airport to eat fast food with you, airport cuddles, churches that stay in your mind all day, and dogs that celebrate your return no matter how short your jaunt.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Littleton Haze

We've arrived in Denver, been greeted and welcomed by my family, and now have only to settle into a much quieter life of work, saving, and awaiting direction.

Wednesday we went to the farmers market in Littleton, Yum!, and visited the littleton YMCA.

Thursday we went to the post office and the DMV, where, after waiting two hours I failed my vision test with my glasses on and Zach failed to have enough identification because his present license is from Texas.

Friday was Laura's birthday! Happy birthday sister!

So far my interest list runs as follows:
Various Americorps and family shelter places of employment
Evening classes on teaching writing to college students, sign language, and oral renderings
Volunteering at the Colorado Puppy Rescue center as either a "puppy posse", an "adoption advocate", or a "puppy walker".
Attending yoga, pilates, swimming, and/or back strengthening classes with Zach at our local Y.
Scouting out farmers markets with Zach.
Training the new family dog, named- not by me- Seattle, not to climb on the counter top, open doors and trash cans, chew on the couch, greet people by handling various parts of them with his jowls, or jump circles trying to chase our other dog Wesley while taking a walk around the neighborhood.
Keeping in touch with my much loved Boston friends and former coworkers. It really amazes me that despite my bouts of unhappiness and hatred of the winter months, I made friends that I am loathe to lose and acquaintences that I will acutely miss. This is, of course, an encouragement to myself and all my other friends who are considering transition to go for it because there are wonderful human beings in all parts of the world. Boston means a great deal to me. I believe I doubled my self confidence through work and taking time off from academia. I increased my self sufficiency by using public transit and my own two feet to take me everywhere I needed or wanted to go. I gained a sense of what "neighborhood" means by living in a large city but exsisting in a small circle. I discovered, created, and allowed myself to become a "me" outside of my family and the friends I grew up with. I hope that now back at home again, I can keep this different person alive admist familiar family dynamics, so many cars, and the new unfamiliar streets.
Perhaps most significant, is the way that Zach and I came to depend upon each other entirely. So far away from our families in the great Northeast, we were isolated from influence and sometimes local support. I hope we can keep this intense bond strong and ever new in our life in Colorado.

Here's to another start, new friends, catching up with old friends, and another glimpse into the world of adult work.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Boston, New York, Tempe, Colorado

The past weeks have been something of a blur. Zach graduated on the 21st and his family (minus Austin) joined us for the occasion and the visit was fun and wonderful! Zach surprised everyone by graduating Magna! I'm so proud of my MTS graduate! And Dr. Walters gave the greatest, most inspiring graduation speech I've heard. He spoke of Jesus' temptations in the desert as symbollic of the temptations that dreamers face during their quest after the dream. How often do you enjoy a graduation ceremony?!

The night of graduation, my sister, Laura, made an apparently perilous trek by bus from New York to Boston. At the station in NY, she was accosted by a plain clothes police officer certain that she was a run-away. She refused to go with the officer until he produced two other officers in uniform who insisted that she follow them to call her parents. The fact that she had lost her cell phone and that she offered the number of her chaparone (she was on a senior class trip) didn't seem to help her story. Fortunately, after the officer terrified our dad- "This is Bob with the NYPD, do you have a daughter named Laura?"- she was able to take her bus and, hours later, arrived safely in Boston with a very adventurous story to tell.

We are going to Arizona in one week for the same sister's high school graduation. I am very stoked to see some old friends, and hit the old places, especially the one and only Changing Hands Bookstore- the very first new, used, and independent bookstore of my life.

One week after we return, we're flying to Denver and the unknown.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Yesterday was exactly six weeks from our date of departure! I'm feeling it coming!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

In the wake of Barbara

Our excursion to Washington DC was marvelous (minus the adventurous return trip). The talk/reading was very enjoyable. Barbara K. has a melodic, poised and perfectly accentless speaking voice (surprising as she is Kentuckyan). The talk, as well as my dips into her book, has left me far more aware of the food that I consume on a daily basis and the way that my food choices impact everyone from small farmers to the environment. Lest this become another one of those blogs, I won't go on with environmental jargon but will say that once again, Barbara has chosen a very important human issue and written about it with perspective, charisma, humor, and deep sincerity. When she signed our books, she was so personable and inviting that I ventured a nerdy comment about how I read her books in high school and was from Tempe AZ. She responded very graciously and even commented on Zach's excessively nerdy "Stop Mountaintop Removal" shirt. What a wonderful gift from my Zach.

We also lunched with Alex, our friend from Abilene who roomed with Zach across several undergraduate years. It was wonderful and as Alex said, a miracle- like meeting someone from a different life. I hope he will come visit us in Boston before we leave.

Yesterday I finished a book by Jane Goodall called _Reason for Hope_. I love that despite her scientific background, she is a mystic and a very faithfilled person. I hope that one day I will be as filled with peace as she is. Her book and story have inspired me not to give up on my hope of a meaningful career and a very deliberate life. Most men lead lives of quiet desperation. I doing my best to wait quietly and hopefully to hear what I must do.

Congratulations to Katie and Jeremiah. I know I've been waiting for this news for a long time. I wish you both happiness and fulfillment in one another. Blessings!

Friday, April 27, 2007

It's raining today

It's raining today. Oh so much. But I suppose I don't mind because I've rarely seen this kind of glowing green. I purchased a pair of shoes online yesterday of a similar color. The color is called "Tendril." I hope they live up to expectations.

Yesterday was my first genuinely good day at job 2. It's the day I turned in my three weeks notice as well. And it was the day that for the first time ever, my new haircut was called "chic". I don't even know for sure how to spell that word. It was also the day that I realized that my dream job cannot consist of devising busy work for others.

Today I realized: I love public libraries. I am lucky to work at Newton and with all my fellow "librarians". My work must include being "helpful" to others.

I checked out a book on Italian literature, another on Jose Saramago, and a third - 100 Years of Solitude. It's time I read something powerful again.

We're officially leaving Boston on June 19th at noon. The tickets are purchased, the plans are laid, the jobs have been informed, our lives are waiting. Now we must fill our minds, ears, mouths, and eyes with New England before we depart.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Semi-random jottings on a day in which the sun emerged.

I finished a book a few days ago called _White Noise_ and I continue to be mystified and enraptured by it. Since March I have been racing through novels as though my life depended upon them for meaning, entertainment, sanity and stimulation. But this week I am taking a break. I want this book to sink in. I am forcing myself to face the hours without the distraction of trying to slaughter self-imposed reading records and goals. It's actually quite difficult. Today I left home without a book on my person. On the subway and at Starbucks I felt defenseless against the people around me because I had no book in which to baracade myself. The ability to build up social walls around oneself is very important in a city, on trains, and on buses. I think it's what makes people tired and conversely, what makes people relax in the country.
In my unoccupied time, I have been thinking about a lot about friendship. There are friends who I no longer talk to. There are some friends who I no longer wish to talk to. (: And there are many friends I really really miss.
Speaking of which- I really appreciate Julie's latest blog.
I have also been considering my need to supplement my future in academia with a future in athletica. At work I had glorious images of Sarah the yoga instructer.

The sun came out today and gave my engine a jump.

I had coffee with a library student and book extraordinaire today. We made plans to have a night on the town next weekend.

Zach will be home shortly. We'll make some dinner. Talk about our days. Approach the night. He'll look forward to the comfort of sleep. I'll grow increasingly anxious about the loss of another poorly utilized day. He'll go to bed at midnight. I'll slip out of the room and sit on the couch until 2:00, planning and jotting and choosing ways to make my life meaningful. I'll finally write my turmoil down and in doing so, feel it melt away into sleepiness. Then I'll go back to bed and wake up tired again tomorrow.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Homecoming

Another cold, quite blustery, April day.

Zach and I celebrated by breaking our vegetarian meat-fast with delicious pork chops cooked with sweet potatoes, pineapples, and apples. It is obvious that our Veg- zealosity is easily swayed by any holiday that is traditionally associated with carnivorous festivities. In truth though, we rarely eat meat and we never do so at restaurants. Cage free and hormone free will benefit us if not the animals.

In other news- we have made a decision that amazingly enough hasn't really changed in the past two weeks. I am going to accept admission to PSU but defer it for a semester or maybe a year. In the meantime, before our lease expires on June 30, we will pack up our lives and move them to Denver where we will reside for an unknown time period in my parents newly furnished basement apartment. I feel a mixture of worry and happiness about this decision but a good amount of certainty. We've survived in this outrageously expensive place very admirably and I've adapted to New England life tolerably well. I certainly have friends and coworkers who I truly don't want to leave behind, (it is very hard to imagine starting over again in the people department). If you have people- why lose or leave them? But the same can be said for family. If you have family, don't lose them to strangerdom. I am very excited to reenter the daily lives of my sisters, parents, and my sweet Westley (dog). I'm relieved that I will be living just a city and 30 minutes away from my CU bound sis. I grew up very quickly the first time and am hopeful about rebonding with and contributing to my family.

I definitely worry about Zach though. I worry about being fair to him and to his family. And I definitely worry about losing our utterly blissful, self-centered life up here. It has been a struggle, but our isolation and independence from everyone we have strong ties to has made us everything to one another. Every dirty dish in our apartment, every piece of laundry, and every single picture on the wall attests to a life completely chosen by the two of us.

I really hope that Zach's brother will move to Denver as well. I know that Zach would love the family presence and the chance to just hang out with him.

Our plans basically consist of:
1. Saving money for the eventual move
2. Paying off some student loans
3. Attending a course each semester (me- Spanish at CU, Zach either Spanish or into courses to Urban Planning)
4. Trying to maintain a deliberate, independent lifestyle
5. Breathing in the love

Easter blessings to all.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Someone tell me, Portland or Denver? School or respite? After a very stressful, even teary day with public transit and unfriendly Brookliners I feel like going home to my parents and curling up under a roof that is paid for.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

My weekend off

Last week, a woman with whom I work at Newton lost her husband very suddenly. It continues to sadden and sober me. If I were to lose Zach, my entire present life would be lost. It's a horrible thought. On a different level, even thousands of miles away and with my childhood past, I can't imagine the devastation and emptiness of losing my father as this woman's two daughters have.

I am glad that everyone at work loves her so much, including many of the patrons, and that her daughters still live at home with her. I hope these things are comforting.

Last night Zach and I attended our first Italian Opera performed by the Boston Lyric Opera Company at the Shubert theatre in the Boylston theatre district. This event was the second of three installments of my Valentine's day gift to Zach. The opera was Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera and to our great surprise and delight, I really really enjoyed it. The English scrolled across screens beside the stage was very necessary and helpful. I am happy that as operas go, this one was simple and fairly lighthearted. I'm perfectly content with baby steps when it comes to classical music and opera.

I just finished Jhumpa Lahiri's _The Namesake_. It's excellent. I recommend it to all who loved the flawless quality of her storytelling in her short stories.

I also finsihed _Bel Canto_. Damn her prose is smooth! Reading her is like swimming elementary backstroke in a lightly rocking lake.

And finally, I have been trying to read another of Jose Saramago's novels with less luck. Judging from the simple but stunning prose found in _Blindness_, I am thinking of blaming _the Cave's_ less clear prose on it's translator. I guess I'll just have to learn Portuguese! (In my spare time of course.)

I rejoice that today and tomorrow I don't have to do a thing for the first day in 12 days!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

At the close of March

there are a few simple things on my mind.
1. Folk music is wonderful in the spring time. It is wonderful in the stacks of the Baker Old Class as well.
2. Audiobooks are a complex experience. I can't listen to serious works like _Mrs. Dalloway_ but I can listen to children's and young adult books. Audio will never beat good old paper and binding.
3. I was accepted to PSU and am pretty cas about it. Perhaps this is because I haven't heard about financial aid yet and it's hard to let go of Eugene and all of the wonderful library studies advice everyone has been giving me lately. On the other hand, I would love to be back in school studying my favorite things- books, and to be on the academic schedule take academic vacations!
4. I'm pretty sure I don't want to be an academic librarian. If I have to do research in English lit., I want it to be my own.
5. After living in frozen New England, my dream European countries are Portugal and Italy. I am definitely one for sunshine and warmth. Also, I think my extraordinarily long limbs are responsible for my not embracing sweater, scarf, and coat weather. Lots of clothes simply cannot contain my unwieldy limbs.
6. Horned melons are mosiac window panes packed into a skin.
7. Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Patchett, Philip Pullman, and Josh Ritter are helping me make it through.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A message from my little cubicle

Today is my second day back to work after our wonderful trip. During our long hours of travel on Monday Z and I were increasingly melancholy with anticipation of returning to the grind of an ill-suited program and a tiring work schedule. Today, my first day back at Harvard, I have been surprisingly upbeat. It could be my trusty IPOD, it could be the sunshine, or it could be the result of a week off. Whatever the case, I am facing the next 2-5 months with courage and somewhat resigned nonchalance. Soon this part of my life will be over. Am I getting the most out of it that I can?
By the way, as if I hadn't enough to do already, I almost let another librarian yesterday talk me into volunteering for the Readers' Advisory program at Newton. I think it would be fun and thought provoking, as well as a good experience for a future librarian of America.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Notes from Abroad the USA

I finally read the famous Paulo Coehlo's _The Alchemist_ on the two airplanes to Portland. The message of the novel probably could not have come at a better time, that is basically- saying yes! to happiness and discovering it in your very own way. Overall though, I must say that the book is basically a fable (easily read in 6 hours)and really not worth $14 (so I'm glad I merely checked it out.)

Eugene Oregon is the city of my desire. Peaceful, simple, terribly green, full of friendly gentle hippies. I love it I do. I love the bus; I love U of O; I love the houses; I love the bakery; I love love the library that has bilingual signs and children's events and a reference desk in fiction called "Reader's Advisory"; I love the green parks and the nearby mountains; I love the rows and rows and rows of bicycles on campus; I love the noon hour of quiet observed by meditators beneath a woven canopy next to the campus bookstore; I love the organic grocery store where dreadlocked cashiers applaud when you bring your own canvas bag. (Actually I don't love that part but I think it's amusing).

Portland is a retro 80's rock song. I get this impression from PSU's older, plainer, white tiled campus, and the "thrift" shop Buffalo Exchange, and the yummy international eatery strip. But I was absoultely dumbfounded by Powell's independent new and used bookstore. Ten minutes after we got there the ache in my arms from holding so many books told me it was time to leave. I found every single Kingsolver book ever written for under 9.00. I also found a first edition Bean Trees that I longed for with all my heart (since we're freaking going to meet her in two months and I could very well get it signed). But I was responsible and decided that having a hotel in Portland that night was important too and Barbara money was spent on a night's sleep and a shower.

I did love the Alphabet district neighborhood. It reminded me a bit of Brookline (MA) and San Francisco. I also am incredibly impressed by the huge forest and park reserves INSIDE Portland. That would be one big point for this green retro city that lies in the shadow of Seattle.

Today we are in Pullman/Moscow and enjoying an empty campus as it is spring break for U of Idaho and WSU. We ate at the best breakfast restaurant and last night we enjoyed wine, tea, and paninis at a perfect collegiate/grad studentesque coffee bar. I have really loved the feel of these two small cities, though I doubt that I will be accepted to WSU as they provide too much financial aid to accept many, especially a treasonous English major who wants to study enthnic literature under the guise of American Studies.

Tonight we will travel further down Zach's memory lane to his gorgeous hometown Coeur d'Alene.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Cities of Desire

Last night Zach, no doubt tired of my ranting uncertainties, wrote down a list of the potential cities of dwelling beginning next year. Then we each individually ranked them according to desirability of living apart from schools. Here's what we have.

Zach: Sarah
1. Portland 1. Tempe
2. Boston 2. Portland
3. Denver 3. Denver
4. Seattle 4. Seatle
5. Tempe 5. Tucson
6. Tucson 6. Eugene
7. Eugene 7. Boston
8. Pullman 8. Pullman

Mutually, our future looks like this:
1. Portland
2. Denver
3. Seattle
4. Tempe
5. Boston
6. Tucson
7. Eugene
8. Pullman

This only matters if neither of us are in school because Pullman is a likely place of study for me. In a week and a half we will visit Eugene, Portland, and Pullman and then perhaps we'll have a clearer picture!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I have decided.

Today in the staff lunch room at the Newton Free Library I decided upon a way of choosing my future profession. I will base my decision on an examination of 55 year old women who have chosen each profession using three main categories in order of increasing importance:
1. Hairsyle: whether or not there is a style and whether or not it has changed in the past 20 years.
2. Degree of retained awareness of contemporary clothing styles.
3. Desirability of the packed lunch!

In truth I have seriously been considering library school. Yesterday, after working at Baker library, I had decided against it for the time being. I knew that I needed to work with people rather than research materials or special collections a.k.a. very old, fragile paper products. But this morning, after working with my ESL student for our first serious lesson together, I was convinced that being a community or branch librarian who works with either ESL or bilingual collection development and bilingual public services was exactly what I wanted. I told my boss Gila about my "decision" and she first, was very encouraging, and second, asked me if that meant I wanted to get more experience by working Saturday. (: Right now, I am hesitant to make any sort of decision, especially one that would require another rushed application process. If I were to go to library school in the near future, however, it would not be in Boston.

I am very relieved that I seem to be getting over my monstrous cold. But, of course, now that I am getting well, Zach is coming down with a soar throat/head ache/congestion. It's oddly endearing to think of him sick in bed just like I was on Saturday... because now we really share everything!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I have an embarrassing confession. The models that pop up on finally got to me and I went to the Victoria's Secret website. They look so good with their sprayed on golden skin that I actually planned to a trip to Copley Square mall to splurge on some fancy sleepwear. I tell you though, the models look way more promising that the flimsy brightly colored stuff I found. I thought, there's no way I can fill this stuff or, in some cases, fit into this stuff. Afterwards, I happily/reluctantly dismissed the guilt-inducing store and went curtain shopping. Oh my... I bought curtains instead of underwear.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

My new "painting"

I am very content tonight, churning with possibilities and creative inspiration (which will probably sizzle down to nothing by Wednesday). With all of my free time and the services of Netflix and the NFL, I have been watching a number of excellent movies. In the past month I have added to my favorites:
1. Sylvia (Gwyneth Paltrow at her best I think)
2. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
3. Frida (Salma plays the role perfectly. I fell in love with Frida and Salma.)
4. Kramer vs. Kramer
5. Dead Again (A contemporary film noir directed by Kenneth, thrilling, fascinating, and brilliantly displaying those pre-divorce sparks with Emma. They're my favorite acting pair by far.)
6. Emma (I may like the film better than the book, as scandalous as that sounds. Again, Gwyneth Paltrow makes this one come to life.)
7. Born into Brothels
My creative inspiration comes from today's trip to the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum. I really think it's my favorite museum in the world. It's small, accessible, and largely unknown, but it has an amazing eclectic collection of artifacts and art pieces that include: 16th century french wooden cabinets, 13th century Italian Madonna paintings, 6th century Chinese astrological figurines, remnants of Julian-age statues, original paintings of Queen Mary I and Philip IV, paintings by Rembrant, ancient Japanese wallpaper, 17th century Mexican cathedral tiles, 18th century Persian tapestries, and a 6th century Roman sarcophagus. Most of the items are unlabeled, which, I think, makes them more mysterious and fascinating. The whole place is absolutely amazing considering that it was apparently all collected by Isabella herself. AND, there is a freaking indoor courtyard in the center of the house complete with a glass ceiling, a living garden, and Roman statues. She must have been one hell of a rich and traveled woman. The house has remained largely unchanged for the past 80 years with the furniture and art pieces arranged as she had them. I wish so much that my sister Laura could've seen it. It was so fantastic that I bought a painting/poster copy of one of her paintings and it is the source of my inspiration.Tomorrow I plan on going curtain fabric shopping and frame hunting with my Zach. My hope is that this large replica is going to enliven the wintery apartment and add a touch of Isabella-style intrigue.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Coconut Fudge

I only have a short time in which to write about this horribly disgusting makes-you-want-to-take-the-first-train-to-Tempe day. The began with a not so bad couple of inches of snow but quickly turned (twice) to rain and then snow again, to the detriment of myself and my fellow pedestrians (not to mention my long second toe). I also began my second job today and really there's not much to say. In fact, it was so tedious that I sort of wonder if the day actually happened at all. But I was very excited to meet a librarian wearing an apron! So Julie, if you want to wear an apron and be a librarian you could look into the book binding and repair business in the line of special collections. I'm sure you could dress it up with a colorful apron and that snazzy hair.
I wish I were in Arizona and I wish I were in school.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Today I was offered a job at the Harvard Baker library today working in Historical Collections as a Public Assistant, in other- smaller- words, a page, student worker, or a temp. I accepted and will start next week. I must say goodbye to bi-monthly four day weekends and the everyother day work week. I'm a real grown up now. My NFL boss, Gila says that it will be quite an opportunity to see another more prestigous side of library science. I am often attracted to academia, and the view from under the high brow... but I am also dedicated to public service, socialized government institutions, and public education. Maybe a mixture of Newton Public and Harvard Business libraries will challenge both self-perceptions. This morning, before I heard from the library, I sent in a letter to the YMCA inquiring after a swimming instructor position. I think I would have loved teaching people and little people to learn to swim. Maybe summer would have felt closer too. I am a bit worried about spending all my days in libraries but hopefully Harvard's ridiculously beautiful windows will compensate for a lack of open air.
On another encouraging and scary note, the literacy coordinator of NFL matched me up with an Iranian woman who speaks English competently but needs help writing. Like I said, scary and intimidating, but maybe this is a start towards something meaningful.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Camarones de la Diabla en el Invierno de nuestro descontento

This past week has been very busy but remained very dull. I worked like a mad librarian all weekend and the weedled away my days of (M and W) out of sheer fatigue. We did find the most perfect restaurant in Boston. Actually, it's in Southie, it's Mexican, and it's possitively heavenly. I adore any restaurant that can serve a dish with 5 different chilis, banana, and dark Aztec chocolate for under $20. Of course, we didn't get the $20 dish, but settled for veggie fajitas, spicy spicy shrimp cooked in garlic, butter, and Yucaton green chili sauce, and glasses of Sangria (my fav.). I have never felt such love for a restaurant (though I think in part this love is due to a tender wave of nostalgia for Arizona. Sadly, my delicate hubby seems to be allergic to red wine and was forced to retire early while I read terrifying short stories by my new delight- Joyce Carol Oates. Consequentially I am sitting in our lonely little living room with every window locked, every blind drawn, and every light on.
In the way of other news, my suspicion that I would hate, abhor, and despise real winter has been confirmed repeatedly. I am simply not cut out for it. All I want to do is stay home in my blankets, watch movies about Mexico, read books about the Southwest, and order spicy Mexican food. But instead I have to go to work, to grocery stores, and to the post office to mail applications. I agree with Julie when she writes of longing for breezy summer dresses... Oh for June.
We are making a trip this bitter season to the Pacific Northwest and our potential future home. We'll spend a week between Seattle, Portland, Eugene, and Pullman. I can't wait!!!
In the mean time, I will cuddle up to my scruffy valentine and dream of sunburns and swimming pools.

Monday, January 22, 2007

You get what you get...

Yesterday I had the best birthday in several years. The night before Zach and I somehow ended up sleeping from 6pm until 1 am! When we got up we did dishes, cleaned up a bit, and watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I knew it was my favorite HP book but had forgotten how wonderful number 3 is!!! Then we went back to sleep and woke up at 10. Zach drove me to the south end, where I was given a 90 minute heavenly massage by a yogaesque massage therapist named Brooke. That night we went to the best Mexican restaurant in Boston with Oregonians Vanessa and Ian (it was delicious) and I was presented with a lovely pale green hand made scarf. Then we met Stephanie (my library major friend who is also from Oregon) and her boyfriend Jason downtown, where we had drinks and watched the football game. Stephanie presented me with The Collosus, a small book of giant poems by Sylvia Plath. This was wonderful because I am currently haunted by her. If anyone hasn't seen the Gwenyth Paltrow movie, Sylvia, he or she simply must. It is amazing.
All in all a wonderful day. My best present by far was a pair of tickets to a lecture and booksigning by Barbara Kingsolver in Washington D.C. Can you believe my thoughtful, efficacious husband? I was pretty speechless.
I have to interject the cuteness that is in front of me. There is a little girl at the table next to me, about four years old, with short curly hair, wearing a black leotard and stretch pants with colored stars on them. Right now she's eating pizza and pouring parmesian cheese into her mouth and just a moment ago she was chanting, "You get what you get and you don't have a fit. You get what you get and you don't get upset!" (:

Friday, January 19, 2007

I profess

Dr. Weathers is a very personable, kind man, a dedicated professor, and best of all very amusing. I can't say how much I appreciate personability in the world of professors. I myself plan on being a terrifying professor, the kind who gets her house egged after finals week. It may seem unpleasant now, but that is simply what I'll have to do to distinguish myself. It is unlikely that I could ever be as popular or grandiose as Bill Rankin, my vocabulary is far too small to be Dr. Weathers (although I suppose that is ammendable), and I'm just too one dimensional to be Dr. Morris.
At Simmons I had a magnificent professor for Postcolonial literature named Dr. Pamela Bromberg. She is brilliant in her field, tenacious as hell, and I have heard talented in music and gardening. She brought wine, apples, and Irish cheddar cheese to our last day of class. She scared us all to death with this piercing stare and mock-encouraging smile, and yet I call her magnificent. Thus she is my personal professorial image.
In all seriousness, I think ACU has far more than its share of caring, personable professors. I really miss them and will always consider myself fortunate to have been taught by them.
All this talk of professors almost made me forget to write what I intended to upon beginning. I'm thinking of going to library school. My biggest fear (not really but sort of) has been that I would become "the librarian." The female librarian in my perception of our culture's image is spinsterly, poorly dressed, and of a somewhat sour disposition. Yesterday I checked out a book called "A Lion in the Library" which features just such a librarian. She is dressed in grey, and wears a bun, glasses, and a very stern expression.
But lately, from where I stand at the circulation desk, these very odd older women are so powerful! Anytime we circulation staff don't know something we send patrons "to Reference." All circulation does is push books around and maintain patron accounts. Reference has a world of information at their fingertips! A whole world I tell you!
I've started searching for items on my own rather than sending people to reference and they treat you so much better when they think that you know more than they do. It's a really good feeling.!!! (:
Still, I see these people during lunch breaks. They eat cottage cheese and pickled vegetables. They don't really talk to each other. They are so very peculiar. Do I want that kind of life? Do I want to be the family "librarian?" Zach's family would always think I was weird and hopelessly nerdy. Even my mom said that being a librarian sounds endlessly boring. Even my very literary sister doesn't like libraries.
Sigh. My sole comfort in facing my possible destiny is Julie's description of librarians in red dresses and aprons. Maybe I can be that kind. Oh, and also the fact that Zach calls my librarian-like demeanor sexy.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

A fresh breath

Yesterday Zach and I returned from a whimsical trip to Niagara Falls. No kidding. Zach skipped into the living roomat midnight on Friday night to tell me that he practically stole tickets for 9 am the next morning. So we found ourselves in one of the four Days Inns in the quirky, kinda creepy Canadian Las Vegas. It was very clear the January isn't tourist season on account of the gloomy sky, dead trees, and absence of humans, but apparently the roaring Frankenstein that sits on top of the Burger King (holding a burger no less) doesn't know that because it talks to the empty streets through all hours of the night and morning. The place really did look like it came from a Stephen King novel with all of its weird 80's amusement park shops.
I'm also sorry to say that my first reaction to the falls was, "Oh. That's Niagara falls?" Yes, then the plastic monsters on the shop roofs made a little more sense.
However, on our second day we paid the reduced winter price of 9.95 Canadian to take the elevator down into the cliffs under the falls. It really was beautiful and frightening and majestic. Some interesting facts:
1. 20% of the World's fresh water passes through the falls.
2. Native American legend tells of Lelawala, a beautiful maid betrothed by her father to a brave she despised. Rather than marry, Lelawala chose to sacrifice herself to her true love He-No, the Thunder God, who dwelt in a cave behind the Horseshoe Falls. She paddled her canoe into the swift current of the Niagara River and was swept over the brink. He-No caught her as she plummeted, and together their spirits are said to live forever in the Thunder God's sanctuary behind the Falls. (Wikipedia)
3. In 1901, a 61 year old teacher and widow named Annie Edison Tyler was the first to survive a barrel ride over the falls. She was accompanied by her cat. Although both survived unharmed, she emerged from her barrel and said, "No one should ever try that again." Despite her warning and today's $10,000 fine for attempting the falls, people raise the money, take the ride, go to the hospital, and pay the fine.
The fact that I was initially so little impressed by the sight of the astounding geographic phenomenon just goes to show what a geographically amazing continent we live on. My exposure to the rugged, high altitude, mountainous terrain of the western USA made the falls seem, well, short. And I haven't even seen South America!
Aside from the weird city and the short, fat waterfalls, the weekend was like a mini honeymoon. We celebrated our one year wedding anniversary (a week late), ate fabulous Indian food, and made indulgently idealistic plans. After a stressful, tense week, I felt so blessed and in love with Zach, who is truly so much more of a perfect, generous, and good hearted partner than I could have asked for.
On that note of gratitude, I can really say I am becoming content with this state of not being in school.
My goal is to read a book per week until our move.
For the week of January 8 I read Barbara Kingsolver's "the Poisonwood Bible." After this novel Kingsolver is my greatest living hero and perhaps my prototypical human being.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Tomorrow Massachusetts will inaugurate our state's first ever African American governor and our country's second ever African American elected governor, Deval Patrick. It is such a shock that history is made in 2007, and because it is such a shock, it must be celebrated by all citizens.