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.