Michael and I had a short escape along the Gulf of Mexico this weekend. My dear and longtime friend Karen and her husband Octavio generously let us stay at one of their condos. He and I did little more than drink margaritas, swim, eat fish sandwiches, lounge in the hammock and get sun. It was exactly what I needed and I think it suited him as well. If any of the pics are worthwhile, I’ll post them.
We made it a whirlwind trip and I even was able to see my Aunt Betty briefly on Friday morning. It’s been a year since I’ve seen her and she looks about 20 years younger than a lady of 80. After we left Pensacola, we made the short trip to the beach and proceeded to exhale for 2 days. There was a brief, but exciting alligator sighting. To me it’s a normal Florida event, but I think Michael enjoyed seeing one swim on past the condo we were at — it was certainly not excited to see us.
By Sunday we fought off the urge to try and stay another day and made it back to Atlanta in time to watch a very intense match of the World Cup with US almost defeating Portugal. It ended in a tie — but only barely. And today was back to business as usual. Sigh…
Clearly I got kittens. I only say that because my last post was that my catalogical clock was ticking and then you never heard from me again. Well, I got kittens. Two to be exact (Hushpuppy and Otis) and they have managed to suck the time and life right out of me. OK..OK. Alright already… I’m not going to sit here and blame my slackdom on two (not very) innocent creatures. No, they don’t like me to type. No, they don’t like me to sit quietly without them on me or biting me or cattacking me. But this is the year of NO EXCUSES in my world. So no excuses. The problem is me.
I’ve not written because I’m really happy and in a good place and even though I’ve been traveling and having blog worthy adventures — well, I’ve just not put it down on the screen and shared it beyond the cryptic impulses of Facebook. But today a long time friend of mine began blogging (for the first time I think) and it unhinged something in me. So here I am, saying way too late to you all “Happy New Year”.
Help me cling to the NO EXCUSES rule! I need some support. Oh! Maybe I’ll bore you all with kitty pictures soon!
So, it’s high kitten season in the South right now and the pictures and videos that have been sent to me lately have me thinking that it may be time for another little furry beast in mine and Carter’s life. I spoke at length about this with CK (Carter Kitty) and though he seems a bit resistant now, I think I can wear him down. Unfortunately, showing him video of the close-eyed, smush faced kittens did nothing to sell it to him. I’m still working on the marketing of the idea. Perhaps if they come in salmon flavor? No, I can see problems there too. Anyway, if I’m thinking it AND writing it, trust me, that means something may be happening soon.
It’s been over a month! There has been company (all of it fantastic). Cheryl, Michelle, Will, and Shane. Shelby came but stayed elsewhere. I ate, I shopped, I talked. For an introvert like me, it was still a great time and not even really an effort.
Work is a bit different. The learning commons (aka library) is being expanded (yay!) but that means that myself and the students are a bit displaced during the construction. It also has brought on the temporary office in the Academic Affairs suite which means my boss is right next door and definitely not letting me rest. So work is work. The students still keep it interesting. I still love my job. But let me say right now, I’m due a looonnnng vacation. If anyone stumbles on this from Westwood, please be warned.I’ll disappear but give warning and will return.
That’s my life. But not all of it. There are birds out (late night ones even) that seem to remind me there are trees around in this old town of mine. The cats are scratching from the heat. And I’ve heard my first cicada (or is it a very distressed cricket?) bzzing out in the plaza. Oh! And I have an opossum that likes to stroll in the courtyard once the heat has ebbed. In short, summertime in the city lends itself to the strange habits of forced nature. Personally, I sort of love it.
ALA is coming up. Hoping to see lots of librarian people there. Very excited. Lots to look forward to, but for now, a bit of sleep.
And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention helping nature post the oil catastrophe. Not only do I have a soft spot (read fierce love) for nature, but my years on the bay taught me there is nothing more lovely that the flight of pelicans etching and mirowing the coast. Here are a few links for you to consider:
Oil spill relief EDF
I’ve not researched these but do the leg work. If any of you are lucky enough to spare some change, consider it.
I’ll try not to be more than a month.
Well, as promised, the NC State Fair was good stuff. I ate half of a meaty, cheesy sandwich, I introduced Shelby to Kettle Corn, there were ribbon fries that we paid another vendor to cover in cheese, lovely floral displays and gardens, farm animals, chicken rooster madness, it was a great fair. But there was something that I was not prepared for — duck butt.
Apparently North Carolinians are into racing, who knew? And they hold a pig race at the fair. This may be the cutest event in the history of fairdom. Little piglets run around a loop with the promise of Cheetos driving them into a frenzy. The curly little tails, short legs, tiny squeals and cheering from children and adult onlookers. It was too much. And followed by billy goats and pot-bellied pigs. But then, the cream on top of it all, the duck race (or were they geese?). I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed as hard as I did at that moment (with an exception of one evening watching Twilight with Lori, Mendy and Heather). I think the neighboring children were concerned with my well-being. I can’t even describe what happened. Just know that duck butts waddling in slow pursuit of some cheesy crumbs put me over the edge. I’ve been pushed back into a childlike state and I really don’t want to recover from it.
I’ll get to the pictures from that visit and the farm soon enough.
Soulpancake is a fun site that tries to give voice to all of us out there in answering life’s big questions. If you’ve never checked it out, and you like to contemplate the depth of the well, then you should hop over there. (Thanks Shelby for introducing it to me.)
I am not an incredibly active participant. Occasionally I’ll answer a question. Today was one such day. They asked what are the top 5 things you miss. Since most of you do not Twitter me or Facebook me (or any of the other obnoxious, highly entertaining ways people communicate now) I thought I’d post mine here. But really do go and read some of the other answers. It’s nice and personal and somehow encouraging.
In no real order mine are:
- The feeling that everything was mysterious, connected and somewhat magical.
- Time away from technology.
- Guilt free swilling of coca-cola and eating hostess cupcakes.
- Mixed tapes, mohawks, leather jackets and the ability to appreciate punk (i.e being 16).
- My cat Skunk Ape.
Naturally I’ve lost people in my life who would make the list — namely my grandmother, grandfather and aunt — but there are others that miss them more and to put them in a list doesn’t seem fair to them. For the same reason Skunk Ape was almost excluded, but if I had to prioritize my list, she would be the number one thing I miss.
What would your top 5 be?
(Oh, and the series Northern Exposure almost made the list. )
Last weekend I had a lovely night out with the ladies. Deidra, Mendy, Debora and I congregated at Après Diem and then went to see a lovely movie, (500) Days of Summer, which was clever and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is charming and all in all it was a great evening. A perfect weekend (only made better by my dear friend Will coming to stay with me for his writing and reading whilst away week).
But something happened in the middle of it all. I was posed a question by my dear friend Mendy. “Why do you like Moby-Dick?” She asked. Seems simple enough. However, this is what struck me, no one has ever asked me that. Not only about MD, but about any of my strange passions. I had a Pimms cup, or 3 by the time she asked, so I may not have articulated it well. Then again, maybe it helped me get to the core of it.
So, here they are — a few reasons why I love a sort of unlovable book:
- The characters. Sure, they float around, they inconsistently appear and reappear, but they make their mark. They are ambigous, often, much like me and most people I know. They are flawed. Some of the most minor still reveal a key aspect of our consciousness. It is almost too much to absorb.
- The layers or fragments or pieces or whatever you want to think of them of the book. All the cetology, the bizarre, the bones and the slaughter, the false starts, the epilogue. This is a hodge podge of information, fiction, tales. What do you do with it all?
- The chase. I love the obsession. I love the obsessions juxtaposed with everything else. I especially love the madness and the way it drives everything in the end. you grow to hate it, you just want it over with. It’s pure delight.
- The sea, the land, the boat and everything they symbolize. Maybe it would just be easier for me to say the symbolism? This novel is rich in the way it can be mined for interpretation.
- And very specifically, the chapters that cover the mother and her calf are so intimate and removed (how does he do that?), the mystery and intrigue of the giant squid and I think, above all, the epilogue. It is one of the finest bits we can come to. It is the calm and reward.
- Not least of all, I had a phenomenal teacher. Dr. Marta Werner drove the class to this point of obsession. I’d never read Moby-Dick before. Honestly, I haven’t read it since (except to excavate some stuff for papers.) She wouldn’t let us rest with the obvious, she made us keep peeling back layers. In short, she drove us mad — and like Pip, I’ve never fully recovered.
Thanks for the question Mendy!