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: