Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Blizzard Wonders and Woes

So, have you ever heard the wind in that Louis Armstrong song "Zat you Santa Claus" ? Because that is what it sounds like outside my window right now.

Today, I left for work at quarter to 6 am and there was maybe a half of an inch to an inch of snow on the ground. Now, 18 hours later, there is close to what must be three feet. There are buried lumps of cars in our back driveway. My roommates and I were all released from work this morning so we could get home without incident (besides the awful traffic). And now we also have tomorrow off and maybe a delayed Friday. It is an early Christmas treat!

Unfortunately, though, the weather has closed the airport which ended up meaning that both of my roommates' Thursday evening flights were cancelled. So they were scrambling tonight to set up different plans - which turned up to being flying home on Christmas and on the 28th. It is truly disappointing and really puts a damper on what at first seemed to be a fun way to get out of work.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Spoiled for a day

Today I enjoyed the bliss of automobile transportation. I wore heels to work (without an extra pair of "walking" shoes). I ran an errand to the post office during lunch without spending all of it waiting for the bus. I left work when I wanted to without having to run. I listened to music loudly in the car while obnoxiously singing along. I played "stop...and go!" in the rush hour traffic.

It was simply delightful and I've been far too spoiled in just one day - I don't know if I'll ever be able to adjust back.

A thanks out to my roommate, Erin, who provided the means for such a treat.

And now, to bed. The bus comes awfully early tomorrow morning (and on one too many occasions, I've been seen all out sprinting to the bus stop a couple of blocks away).

Monday, December 04, 2006

Nothing really to post about except...

I met King James last Friday night. He decided to stop and talk to me while I was waiting for the bus and reading a book quite intently, in fact. He was a little upset about being kicked out and just needed a listening ear. He also wanted me to put in a good word for him when I met God even though I think he was a little disappointed that the book I was reading wasn't the Good Word. And then, before he walked on for the evening, he informed me that, in fact, he was an outlaw.

See? You learn new things all the time while taking public transportation - I didn't know King James was an outlaw - did you?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Winter Wonderland

I love Colorado -

it snowed all day today - I felt like a little kid again. While everyone was grumbling at work, I was secretly imagining going on a walk with the neighbor's dog as soon as I got home. Which I did. Edgar and I were running around in a local park all by our lonesomes (apparently no one else wanted to venture out into the snow - it was really coming down) - we were both a little crazy: Edgar rolling around and acting weird and me laughing and running around and acting weird. It was great.

Apparently, Colorado has quick weather - a guy who came into the office today told me how a couple of years ago it was 91 degrees one day and then only 36 hours later it started to snow and snowed a couple of inches! Now that is crazy!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

And the goodness keeps rolling in: another perk in the life of the working girl

So - after listing all the apparent perks to my job yesterday, I walked into the office today pretty content. Only to find out there was more in store for me. Apparently, today was Staff Appreciation Day in the world of the International Student and Scholars Services office (ISSS - one of two parts of my office). And I was invited along. So approximately at 10:30 this morning I found myself on one of those portable massage chairs where you lean forward getting a massage. Nice. Work just keeps getting better and better.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Perks of Work: the other side to the life of a working girl

1. Okay, so I work at the International House at Denver University which houses both the study abroad offices and the international student services offices. Plus, it is in an old sorority house so there is a lot of common space that people in the community use. So, this past week there was some dinner from which there was lots of leftovers. This means that I have been eating excellent Argentinian food for the past two lunches. And I guess that sort of thing happens a lot. Yum!

2. This past weekend I was invited by one of the international advisors to join her on a student retreat - so I found myself up in the mountains with some really cool people from all around the world. And I got to sit in on some great conversations about identity and culture and things that really made me think - it was glorious. I felt very affirmed in this job - and really alive after such great conversations.

3. I've already mentioned this in a previous post but it is too good to not say again: I have a sparkly little sticker on my DU id which allows me to ride anywhere at anytime on public transportation for free! (And soon DU will get a lightrail going straight to it - yes!)

4. Unlike my last job, where teachers were warning me to not smile until Christmas, in this job I'm encouraged to smile my little heart out.

5. I get to help lost looking students out and reassure them that they are indeed in the right place and we can indeed help them with what they need.

6. The staff is pretty awesome - already I have a great book on loan from one advisor - and there is another Calvin alum already in the office!

And finally, this isn't a perk but I think I'm getting a little more used to working all day long in such an office environment and getting up early and so am not nearly as exhausted now at the end of the day! Yes!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Life of the Working Girl

Here are signs that point to the life of a working girl (well, this working girl, anyways):

1. Obsessive (as my roommate Erin calls it) ironing of the next day's workshirt. Thank you Grandma for your lesson on how to iron a shirt.

2. Making lunch the night before as if I were in fourth grade again.

3. Complaining of sore feet yet still attempting to wear heels to work the next day.

4. Flashing a new Denver Univ. id with its metallic year-long bus pass sticker at the bus driver.

5. Getting up consistently at a time I haven't gotten up at since I did the paper route as a kid. (Actually, it's not that bad, I get up at 5:45 - but still.)

6. Seeing the sunrise shine through the capitol building in downtown Denver on my way to catch the light rail.

7. Riding the light rail - ahhhh.

8. Sporting a new chic watch - oh so stylish and helpful in catching one's bus on time.

9. Getting incredibly sleepy at 9:37 at night.

10. Reciting, "Good Afternoon/Morning, Office of Internationalization" over and over again until I'm sure I'm saying it in my sleep. (You try saying "internationalization" without slurring it or wanting to laugh at the end.)

11. Finally understanding why Wednesday is called "hump day" - thank goodness - the weekend is nigh!

Oop - better go make my lunch and head to bed.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Another Edgar in my life: And on talking to myself

So, I thought I had left all significant Edgars behind in Louisville. But apparently, it is not so. This last Saturday I was trying to make cookies for a friend and got home from the store only to find out that I still needed eggs and we were out. Now, although there are two grocery stores close by, I did not have time to walk back to one for eggs. So after stomping around the house for a bit, I realized that I should do the "old fashioned" thing of asking the neighbors. And that is how I met Edgar. Now, I did not even know our next door neighbors had a dog. But as Jeremy introduced me to his wife, Lois, and two young daughters, Abigail and Julia, he also was compelled to introduce me to the curious golden retriever galloping around the room with the fitting name of Edgar. And then Jeremy joked that I was welcome to walk Edgar any time I liked and was a little taken back by how excited I got. I mean, I had been telling the girls that I had to meet the neighbors so I could offer to walk their dogs and here was a neighbor who I didn't even know had a dog offering to let me do just that. Needless to say, Edgar and I went for a walk today. It was great - I'm able to walk around the neighborhood being nosy without feeling strange - in our neighborhood, at least, we see a lot of people walking around but always with a dog. So now I've joined their ranks - yes! Real Denverite-ion, here I come!

Edgar also kind of solves and increases a recent problem I've been having lately. Now, for those of you who have ever spent a substantial amount of time with me, you know that I have a weird habit of making strange noises randomly and occasionally (as some people say) talking to myself (I still assert that I'm talking in general, to whoever may be listening - so what if no one is technically in earshot...). Anyways, this past week, I've been learning my way around Denver as a result of a few interviews (read: I've been spending hours on public transportation) and I've realized that I have a disturbing tendency to talk to myself. Not talking in general. But actually talking to myself. Out loud. At the bus stop, on the way to the bus stop, as the bus pulls up. Luckily, I can stop myself once I'm in the direct presence of others. But motorists passing by can definitely see my mouth moving while I'm so obviously sitting by myself. And I can't help it - it just kind of helps to think things out, well, out loud. Once, I saw a guy doing the same thing as the bus pulled up. But then I noticed that once he got on the bus he didn't stop - he didn't try to do the whole "I'm a cool bus rider person who tries not to make eye connect much less talk to people who I didn't get on the bus with." And I couldn't blame him. Sometimes it is boring just sitting there thinking.

So back to Edgar. I realized that it is almost socially okay to talk to your dog. So I can talk to Edgar while we walk without feeling totally weird. And Edgar does this great thing where he looks back at me, all wonderingly, and then he slows down, like, "She talking to me. I better try to listen to what she's saying." Either that or he's used to having to slow down when the person with the leash starts talking for whatever reason. But it isn't totally okay to be rambling on and on to your dog although Edgar seems to invite speech. So.

And for those of you who actually read all of this - I will post some relevant news about my new life in Denver - I have an exciting job possibility - but need to save it until it actually becomes reality.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Still Alive...

and thriving - I guess. I'm in Denver now finally after a couple weeks of transition. Jobless but not homeless (not yet, that is) so that's good. Our neighborhood is awesome. And we have a hot tub. And I have the hugest room I've ever occupied. Come visit - there's room on my floor for at least twenty visitors (well, kind of packed in).

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Success: FINALLY.

I got to go swimming today. The pool is re-opened and so the 103 degree weather is no longer such a problem.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

One last hurrah in the Geo: Edgar remembered...

So, the program car, a little white Geo Metro, which we dubbed Edgar (I do not remember why) has left our community for greener pastures (i.e. it has been sold since there are no participants for next year - whether its pastures will be green or not - well...). But before Edgar left, I was able to put us all through one last hurrah together.

Last Sunday, I drove Edgar up to Paoli, IN for church so that I could go back early for a barbeque (normally I would have kept my stickshift ambitions to myself and just rode along with another person). But as it was, I needed to drive that little manual transmission in order to both see Keith become a member of the Mennonite Church and to go to a school staff barbeque back here in Louisville. So, on the drive up there Emily and Andi rode with me, as well as our visiting friend, Pete. Now Pete is a tall guy with long legs and him getting into the front seat of the Geo was a feat unto itself. And I, me being me, decided it was necessary to bring along a cup of coffee I had just brewed in the periculator (I've finally developed this great process of the perfect amount of espresso plus heated milk plus whisking a little foam into it). Anyways. It's hard enough to drive stick for only the sixth time in one's life and try to handle a full cup of coffee (which of course is not in a travel mug). So I gave the coffee-cup-holding responsibility to Pete.

And I'm doing fine, we're doing fine, the Geo's doing fine - maybe I took a corner or a speed bump a little too fast - but hey, it's fine. I'm about to merge onto the highway when I'm stopped by the last stoplight in my path... and it happens to be on a slight hill. Of course, I start going spasmotic - checking for and cursing any cars that look like they may attempt to pull up behind me. The light stays red forever. And then all of sudden it's green and I try valiently to go. But of course, I'm thinking too hard and too nervously about it and don't give poor Edgar enough gas. Thus commences the funniest experience in my recent life. Edgar takes us all on a bouncy ride that only goes for two or three feet but involves jerking drastically up and down and back into the seat. I glance over at Pete in these few seconds just in time to see half of the coffee in my cup fly straight into the air and then down again. All over Pete and the floor and dash of the Geo. I think Edgar eventually stalled - I waited through another long light (during which time I opened the car door and poured out the rest of my coffee - nice foam or not!) and this time gave Edgar plenty of gas. And go dog go - we went with no more major mishaps!

Monday, July 24, 2006

It's cooled down...

thank goodness!

Oh - and I drove the little stickshift Geo today without stalling or being very nervous about it! Hot dog.

And - finally - I took some pictures of one of the batiks I was making (and I'm still finishing one).

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Cruel Answer from the Universe to Yours Truly: refuted in my search for relief

So, those of you not in Kentucky, it has been hot lately. And it is going to continue to be hot. What gets me the most is the humidity. But I've been coping and planning little relief tactics - such as going swimming...

All day long at work I was plotting how I'd come home, pack up my bag, haul my bike out, and ride down to the swimming pool for which someone gave me free passes, and then all my hot, heat-worn self would lose itself in swimming nice cool laps.

I put my plan into action as soon as I came home. The fates seemed to be with me - no flat tires, it didn't seem that bad outside, even the railroad crossing was clear. So I braved the hot asphalt and inconsiderate motorists and made it to the pool .... only to find that ... THE POOL WAS COMPLETELY VOID OF WATER AND INSTEAD FILLED WITH NOXIOUS PAINT FUMES. Closed for the month. Every sweat-dripping part of me drooped. My hopes for cool relief were cruelly dashed against the rocks (or the hard concrete floor of the empty pool).

I may have looked a little bitter riding on my bike back to the apartment - what between the heat and the sharp sunshine and the cars and the asphalt. And I may have looked a little crazy muttering things and raising my eyebrows in occassional facial gestures. I was almost home and away from the major traffic and about to cross the railroads (three of them) once again when the gates went down. Being the law-abiding person that I am, I (stupidly) stopped and waited for the slow, slow, looonnnng train to pass. But hey, I had water and what a great time to take a break. Okay, almost past, just a little further - but then it started to slow down and pretty soon just one last car came to a complete stop in front of me.

Mmmm, hmmmm.

I biked down to the next crossing I came to, made some motorist mad by cutting him off, and finally, finally made it home.

I contemplated filling the tub with cold water and seeing if my imagination would let a little splashing around equal swimming laps ... but ended up just hosing off for a second. Now I'm sitting in a permanent feeling of dampness.

August 1 - I'll be there - ready to splash in.

You know it must be deliriously hot when I write this often on my blog.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Things I've Learned Recently:

1. Red chili peppers have a weird sort of potency. I cut one (from our garden!) up for our dinner yesterday and was careful to wash my hands afterwards. About fifteen minutes later my nose started to burn like I'd been blowing it raw for the past week because of a cold. Then sections of my fingers started to overheat. I had to hold an icecube to the bottom of my nose just to make it through dinner. Three hours after that, my fingers were still on and off again feeling inflamed. Five hours after I cut it up, I licked something off my thumb and tasted HOT CHILI! During the whole evening I must have washed my hands ten - twenty times. The next morning, despite having taken the precaution of using my pinkies (they seemed to be the least affected) to take out and put in my contacts, my eyes still stung strangely and I had to wash them out with contact solution. Then, a full 18 hours after my initial contact with the pepper, my fingers still were heating up and stinging everytime I got them wet. Good grief. Those suckers can just be decorative for all I care - either that, or I'm wearing plastic gloves the next time I attempt to use them for cooking.

2. If you'd like to pinpoint any ounce of fat you may have on some part of your body, simply ride an old bus down a road filled with gutters and potholes - I suggest the number 17 that goes down Jefferson St. to downtown. It really is a weird sensation to be jiggling and bouncing around. I almost started giggling on the bus but was able to keep my cool.

3. If you'd like your whole body to feel as though it cannot breathe and do not have access to fresh red chili peppers, try jogging at about 11 am on a sunny, hot, and extremely humid day. Results may take twenty minutes to fully activate - but boy, by the end, you'll be wondering if you're going to make it home or if you'll simply be found hours later passed out somewhere along the road, still red in the face and drenched in sweat.

4. Lying is a lot easier than I thought. How quickly an emphatic "yes" comes out of my mouth when I'm asked if I have a boyfriend by the guy sitting next to me on the bus. Not that everyone riding the bus deserves such dismissal ... I guess this is the attitude that has earned me the title of "ice princess" from one bus rider.

5. Finally, this isn't a recent discovery, but it pertains to today. If you'd like to save a couple bucks, find a friend or roommate who has always had the desire to cut hair but never the opportunity to enact such a desire and a pair of sharp scissors .... And voila! a beautiful haircut for free! (Thanks, Emily!)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jog

I said that recently and one of my roommates said he had never heard anyone actually say that. And now I can't remember what nursery rhyme I got it from...

Anyways, my trip home was so good - Alaska does the heart good. My cousin, Kristian, and my new cousin, Kiana's wedding was beautiful - fun and meaningful and just so good. Here is a picture I love from their ceremony with the hippy priest invoking the Trinity:

(well, shoot, I can't get it uploaded- MAN.- I'll try later.)

And I have some great pictures of Fairbanks (which is near the Artic Circle) at 2 in the morning in June - but my brother still needs to send them to me - as soon as he does, I'll post them (you non-Alaskans will be amazed).

The whole week was filled with spending the night at various family member's houses and having coffee with good friends and everything. It climaxed in a great late-birthday party for my mom where we sat out on the back porch and ate delicious ribs and drank wine that I brought back from Hungary two years ago and soaked up the Alaskan sun that had FINALLY come out after nearly a week of partly cloudiness.

I am bad at taking pictures (I didn't even bother to bring my camera home with me, knowing that I would essentially just be wasting luggage space) but Alaska is beautiful and I'll put my plug in once and for all: if you ever get the chance to visit, take it.

Now I'm back in Kentucky and back in the swing of summer school. And I'm looking forward to moving to Denver, Colorado with my roommates Andrea and Emily and my friend from college, Laura. BUT there is a lot I'm going to miss about ol' Louisville. I have come in contact with such love from people here (you know who you are!) and it makes my heart ache to leave.

Well, I'm done. I actually posted. I hope you are all doing well.

Oh - and here are the two pictures I actually did take while home of 11:30 pm out our front door in Anchorage - boy, I miss those long days:

Sunday, June 11, 2006


(I figure if I at least post the title, maybe I'll eventually write a whole posting ... )

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Last Day of School!

...except there is always summer school.

Graduation for the 8th graders was nice. The local newspaper wrote an article on the school and graduation.... and yeah - I'll finish this post later.


Pictures will eventually be posted here. It was a beautiful day. My horses did not win. My cat next year (if my roommates still let me get one!) will be named Barbaro after the winning horse (who was the favorite the day of the race and so of course I didn't bet on him). But it makes for a kind of cool cat name - sort of pirate-ish, you know?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

For Mary: Dawn at the Downs

This past Wednesday at quarter to 7 in the morning, Emily and Andi and I went to Churchill Downs to see the Derby horses warming up and training and such. We are all going to the Derby this Saturday, but from what we've come to understand, we'll be in the infield which equals not actually being able to see the horses racing (unless you get a spot by the high fence - topped by barbed wire to keep us crazies in the infield, well, in). SO: it was cool to be able to see the horses and pretend that I was sitting in the box seats at the edge of the track.

Gate 1

The Twin Spires
Brother Derek - the favorite (3 to 1) for this year's Derby

Coming around the bend

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Two weeks worth of firsts:

1. First off, two weeks ago, I experienced my first Easter service that involved streamers, confetti, and noisemakers at Jeff St. Baptist Church - it was so much fun that my roommates and I had trouble stopping ourselves from rejoicing.

2. My first time ever having Easter Monday off (three cheers for Catholic schools!).

3. My first extended period of time driving Edgar, the program's stickshift Geo. Andrea and I drove all the way to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the weekend - and got amazing gas mileage. I only stalled maybe once (with a quick recovery!).

4. Last weekend was the first time I had been back on Calvin's campus since I graduated - I attended the Festival of Faith and Writing (which was an excellent event and involves writers small and great talking about their craft - this year's authors included Marilynne Robinson, Salman Rushdie, Thomas Lynch, and the Pinkneys).

5. Last Monday evening I attended my first community action - it was for a affordable housing trust fund for metro Louisville - coordinated by CLOUT (). We all met in a church and cheered and clapped and did a call and response ("Knock. Knock." - "Open the door!") and held our breathes while two city councilmen committed their support (at least, I was on the edge of my seat). It was great.

6. Just this last Thursday evening I found myself standing in a pasture watching a herd of llamas gallop toward me for the first time in my life ... ever. My host family, the Jupins, picked me up unexpectedly after work and treated me such an experience at their friend's llama farm. Really, it was amazing and incredibly strange to watch. I think llamas have made it onto my list of animals to own at some point, along with goats, donkeys, cats, and a boxer dog.

Well, I think that's it. Although this next weekend I have one more big first coming up:

THE KENTUCKY DERBY! Which, from what I've heard, is going to be an experience. I also get Thursday and Friday off from school this week since this is Kentucky's biggest holiday. Yahooo!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Afternoon walks and ER visits: not what you're expecting

So this afternoon I was walking to the library taking my sweet time and slightly out of it. I stopped at the one crosswalk on my route and saw an older lady with a dusty pink coat on across the road from me, also waiting for the traffic to change. We passed each other in the middle of Southern Parkway and I went on to the library where I sat for an hour or so looking through books and magazines. Walking back I was just as slightly foggy in the brain, taking slow steps and thinking my own little thoughts. I get to the intersection again, press the crosswalk button, and look up to see a dusty pink coat standing across the road from me once again. Who knows if I've seen this lady ten times before, walking out in the neighborhood or whatever, but that coincidence was hard to ignore.

It reminds me of about a month ago when I found myself waiting in the ER with one of my housemates (due to an allergic reaction to antibiotics - don't worry - everything turned out well). We were discovering how un-urgent the ER actually seems to be. We joined the other patients in the waiting room who we soon presumed had been there for hours on account of how few (actually none) were called up to see a doctor. Stuck between the sound waves of some celebrity entertainment show and WWF, I picked up the bright blue book on the table next to me - Psalms and the New Testament - provided by the Gideons. I flipped through it enjoying the King James script, reading aloud verses to Andrea. And then I stumbled across a shalt in italics which seemed to break any sort of grammar rule I had ever learned about italics. It seemed the editor just decided to insert italics whenever he/she pleased. It was the strangest thing - I can't even come up with an example. Just think of the least likely word you'd stress in a sentence and italicize it. Added with the King James speech, it was pretty humorous to read aloud as well as totally disorienting.

What are coincidences then? Italicized moments strangely and absurdly inserted into our lives? Or something more - a new way to view the ordinary "hath"s and "the"s that walk through our lives?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

late night work and the beauty of books on tape

It is four in the morning and I've just finished a run of non-tiredness - that past tired, non-thinking state where my fingers moved to string pieces of the batik together without needing any instruction. It is four in the morning where posting on my blog seems quite easy - suddenly I have plenty to talk about which all seems important and charged with meaning.

But somewhere in my now slowing brain (seriously, I can almost hear even its directions for mechanical movements chugging to a stop), I know that my sudden blog-inspirations are the leftover effect of listening to a book on tape - on CD - to be precise. For the past four or so hours I've been listening to Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich being read to me by some female voice - whose presence within this sleep ridden apartment became so palpable that I started to visualize what this reader looked like (and also to confuse and merge her with the actual author). And just like those optical illusions where you stare at the Stars and Stripes in black, orange, and green for 60 seconds and then look at a blank wall and see white, blue, and red, her voice is left in my head resounding in a weird version with my own words. Currently I'm trying to flush it out with a little music.

I catch myself doing that a lot after reading for an extended period of time - feeling the thoughts in my head parroting the tone of the author. "I'll go to the bathroom now and then return to my drafty bedroom where the air conditioning is stirring..." and it goes on. Mundane thoughts that are not normally even allowed to be constructed into verbal forms, much less into full sentences, are suddenly canned with the author's voice and laden with italics. Good grief. At least it is slightly entertaining while it lasts. But like all optical illusions, the colors start to fade and my own thought patterns kick out such an intruder.

Nickel and Dimed, meanwhile, is an interesting read (or listen) about Ehrenreich's experimental "old school journalist" exploration into what it is like to try to survive as the U.S.'s working class poor do. While she describes her life as a waitress and then as a Merry Maid trying to make it by (pay rent, eat, not collapse from exhaustion), I become increasingly grateful for what a wonderful job I have. Teaching art for goodness' sake even though I had no previous experience doing this. At a school where all the teachers support each other. The return of my italicized thinking marks how deeply Ehrenreich had me in her grasp. I sat trying to finish up this art project and even started to thank the stars for the 8th grade girls who, although they may seem to plague my time at the school, really are a good group - and much more enjoyable to deal with than having to tackle a kitchen floor on my hands and knees (well, on most days). I've done that before - just once a week for a summer (at a bed and breakfast) - and have no desire to ever trade in the mop and its nice long handle for a rag.

But now that the last resounding Ehrenreich-induced thoughts have petered out of my head (and the fact that it will soon be dawn, not to mention that this blog is getting kind of long), I am going to go seek some sleep.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Spring Break!

One of the beautiful things about teaching is that I still get those breaks. This past week I've had a glorious time getting up late, working on art, eating junk, and in general bumming around. I'm still working on those batiks and finally (finally!) am done dyeing and ironing out all the wax. So today I'm to the very exciting part of assembling it all together like a puzzle with no rules (no edge pieces, no middle pieces, just pieces that can go anywhere). I'll post a picture when I'm done.

Besides art, I did something this week that I've wanted to do since I got here: I went to the Zoo. And I wasn't disappointed. I saw gorillas and rhinos and ringtailed lemurs for the first time in real life. I got to pet some goats and a donkey named Julie. I heard the loud cry of a peacock (holy cow!) and marveled at the wide face of an orangutan (so cool). Anyways, it capped off my spring break.

Oh - and this week has been sandwiched by trips to the basement! Last Sunday Maria was watching her show when it was interrupted forever by the weatherman, tracking a storm moving in. Pretty soon the sirens around us went off and we all went downstairs. I'm not used to all this tornado stuff so it was kind of fun, in a nothing-actually-happened kind of way. And then yesterday I was sitting on a front stoop watching a thunderstorm move in at the end of a hot day and journaling when all of a sudden marble sized hail started dropping from the sky and the sirens started going off again. So Maria and I (since we were the only ones home) went downstairs to the basement again - but soon came back up despite the fact that the sirens were still going for a bit. So now I've had enough experience with storms and tornado warnings for the fun novelty of it all to rub off. But (as I thought last Sunday while in the basement) at least now I have something to write about for my blog!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

St. Patty's Bash and Jamboree Supreme: sliced digits and pots upon pots of boiled cabbage

16 people (it was a lot). All around our table eating corned beef and cabbage (plus green jello and salad with "green goddess" dressing). Dyeing your beer green was optional (and proved to also stain teeth). Four burners glowing and two crock pots chugging away (and a batch of rolls in the oven). In the flurry of last minute cooking, I sliced away a part of the tip of my index finger (don't worry, I washed the cabbage off). Our friends, Ian and Kate, helped chop the rest of the onions and cabbage while I was bandaged up by "Dr." Keith (he had to put a lot of gauze on it so my finger looked a little like a cartoon character's bulbous finger).

It was a fine night. Andi colored in placemats, Maria sported her Guinness hat, and Keith looked decidedly dressed for the occassion. We all ate in a long banquet table and talked and stuffed ourselves. Ah. Then we split into various games of darts and Dutch Blitz as well as Try-to-See-How-Many-Leftovers-You-Can-Fit-in-the-Fridge.

I had some more leftovers today for lunch (cabbage is still coming out of our ears).

So, here are some pictures - enjoy!

Full banquet table!

Emily with perhaps a little too much St. Patty spirit?

Green Goddess! (and salad dressing - just kidding - that's Andi)

Risky dartboard maneuvers.
Cartoon finger.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

birthday bash: half-frosted cakes and decorated place mats

With a new year of my life starting, I finally decided: no more mass e-mails which I never actually get around to writing! No more feeling guilty about sending people long updates which they might not want! Now the power is in your hands - you may or may not check up on me as often or inoften as you like! So, to get started:

My birthday was great - my roommates kept making little references about it all day long
(i.e. I got into a car and it became the "birthday wagon" and giving me cool cards covered with goats or handdrawn birthday cakes). I came home to a gorgeous bunch of Gerber daisies waiting on the table for me - thanks to Mike and Abby. We all ate out at a Thai restaruant which was delicious and I received an awesomely decorated place mat with me and a goat on a Thai houseboat compliments of Andi. And then we went next door to Borders and bummed around (me in the children's picture books section).

To top it all off, we came home to Black Forest Cake which I enjoyed making (and eating) -
unfortunately, I was a little short on whipping cream so the cake was only half festooned with extra sugar.

Times are good!
Oh - and I started batiking this weekend - I'm excited to have several projects going for different people!

Well, I can't be too long winded - I'm going to go watch Monsoon Wedding.