Friday, June 29, 2007


After the tenth time checking her blog's sitemeter that afternoon, Lizardbreath realized that she had no life.

Here's a bit of something:

Two things today, but I think I'll consolidate them down into one post. Firstly, I've realized that I haven't included any pictures of the subway. So I thought I would, especially for all of you folks in places where an effective mass transit system is only a vague sort of filmy dream. Like unicorns. I say this without scorn, because up until about a month ago I was mass-transit-deficient myself. So I still think the fact that I get to ride around on the subway daily is pretty dang cool. Yeah.

So in the spirit of sharing the coolness that is the MBTA, here's a picture of the station where I got on today to come back to my apartment. This is what it looks like before the train came in:

And here's what it looked like when the train arrived:

You can't really get a sense of it in the picture, but the Red Line trains are wonderfully long. And sleek. And pretty shiny too. Cool, eh?

And just because I know you wanted to see me with my back against a tiled wall down in the subway, here' picture of that:

Secondly, I wrote summat today in a little notebook I had with me at the time. Which was really serendipitous because otherwise I would have felt like I had wasted my time going up to Cambridge this afternoon. But this way I got to record a little moment of a nice day. So here you go:

I take a step out the doors of the Cambridge Public Library and the smell of honeysuckle just brushes me, like the memory of a dream upon waking.

Today has necessarily been a bit of a waste; I didn't get to the Cambridge City Hall before it closed (early at noon--curses) to turn in a resume for a job I'd like.

But I find that it's nice to sit here, little notebook in hand, under the shade of a tree, penning my thoughts down in blue ink, while honeysuckle somewhere still pours its fragrance on the air.

I hope your days have been as lovely!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I. Hate. Sweat.

Today my roommate and I took the commuter train up to Concord, where we originally intended to meander down to Walden Pond and spend some quality time with nature and the transcendentalists.

However, upon arriving in Concord, we decided to stop by and see Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where many of the famous literary Concord folks are buried. And we got lost in that thar graveyeard. For a really long time. And because the temperature was hovering somewhere in the high 80s and humidity was brewing somewhere around 90% (or so it felt) by the time we did finally find said famous literary folks we were pretty worn out and, like, seriously drenched. Because our bodies have not yet learned that sweating in a high humidity situation is Not Effective.

Afterwards we walked over to Orchard House, where we took a tour of the Alcott home and I fanned myself a great deal and affected nonchalance about my really wet shirt.

Then, because we decided that Walden Pond was just not an option (Because of weather. And our sore feet. And tired legs.) we decided to try to make the next train back to Boston. And just barely made it. Literally, they had to wait for us to board. Kind of funny, actually.


So...where was I going with this?

Ahyes. I despise my sweating self. Seriously. I wish my pores would get a clue. But until they do, I think I'll restrict myself entirely to air-conditioned areas any time the temperature is higher than, say, 79 or so. And I'm sure everyone around me will thank me for it too.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Why does delicious creamy goodness have to hurt so much?

Today, while trying to fill up the time between the tour we took of the Longfellow home and Institute, my roommate (an awesome gal) and I decided to stop by an ice cream parlor not far from one of the stops on the T.

I went in expecting to have to watch in benign envy as said roommate consumed some delicious-looking concoction or other. However, to my joy, we discovered that the parlor had a vanilla that had no added sugar. Needless to say, the consumption of said ice cream was a divine experience. You can witness my joy for yourself here:

Alas, my joy was shortlived. For behold, as soon as my digestive tract got hold of this delectable substance (and seriously--the stuff was delicious) it began to complain, at first with mild muttered words, but soon with threats and imprecations that should never have been said in a church, let alone in the presence of a Young Lady of Good Character (i.e. me).

So I've spent the past three hours or so trying to decide whether I regretted eating said ice cream or not. I've come to the conclusion that I don't regret eating it. But I don't think I'll ever do so again.

When brothers blog

I was going to wait until tomorrow to write about this, but I thought I'd do it now. When I'm awake. And not busy.

I just found out that my brother has a blog. And that he's funny (although I knew that already). And has a friend named Kassi.

How. Freaking. Cool. Is. That.

So I had to add it to my list of daily reads. Hope you don't mind, dear Opario.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

It is TIME.

Before heading out to DC to spend a week with Pam (a most excellent person), I took the train down to see Christian (also a most excellent person).

Here's a shot of the Boston South Station from whence I departed. I must admit: I love these boards. They're the cool ones that flip through all the possible destinations and times until it finally shows what they want it to show. Which means lots of clicking. And lots of feeling cool about traveling by train.

So, after about a seven-hour train ride (during which I visited the bathroom once and I just--I just couldn't use it--and I don't want to talk about it) he came and picked me up and then we began to partake of the Splendour that is Baltimore. (See how I use the British spelling? That makes it even more splendifourous.) Which means that I got to see the harbor (harbour?) and meander around near the water and (naturally) visit the enormous Barnes & Noble in what used to be an old...power plant? Was it? It used to be something, at least, and had these very large smoke stacks rising up through the store. Pretty cool, actually.

That evening we went to a birthday party for a friend of Christian's where I got to meet the gals with whom I'd be staying that night. They, too, are most excellent people. (Actually, the whole trip was filled with these really cool persons, which makes me kind of sad because, heck, I won't actually get to know most of them.) We partied until all hours of the morning (i.e. shortly after midnight) and then I spent a really quite restful night there. Nice.

The next morning I went to church with Christian, who just happened to be singing a musical number, which was, indeed, A Real Treat. After church we spent some time playing around on the piano and singing such favorites as The Pirate Song and The Farm Song and I listened to Christian play some very lovely piano music.

Then we were off to see more stuff, which included the DC Temple, this mountainous white building that rises out of the sharply green Maryland woods. It's the largest structure around and was actually larger than I had imagined it. Surprising. And vast. And just beautiful.

Anyway. So that evening we went on to Pam's place near DC where said Pam and I planned out our activity schedule for the next week. And also talked and had a really grand ol' time. Because Pam is just that cool.

Monday we went up to DC where I got to (and this part is so awesome it gives me shivers) go and get a reader's card for the Library of Congress. Yes. I'm talking about that ginormous collection of books centered in our nation's capital. Then we (get this) went inside one of the LoC buildings, flashed said reader's cards and got treated all special-like (because we were scholars, by gum--the reader's cards said so) and we went to this beautiful reading room where we had books brought to us and I just felt so cool and official-like I nearly fainted. Seriously, people.

After that we walked over by the Capitol (which also was far larger than I anticipated):

Went to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, where I saw another Chalicothere skeleton (so darn cool):

Then visited the National Archives, where I thought a lot about the weight of history. And also National Treasure.

On Tuesday, we visited Mount Vernon. It was wretched hot that day, so we spent a great deal of time dashing the sweat from our beleaguered brows and panting and drinking water. But we also got to see where George Washington had lived and where he died and I learned more about him than I had known before, all of which were Very Good Things.

Wednesday it was somewhat cooler (for which we gave many thanks) so we visited Arlington National Cemetery, where we saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (which was both a remarkable and surprisingly reverent experience), toured General Lee's home and did not take any pictures. For some reason it just didn't feel right at the time.

Then we went into the city again where we tried to go to Ford Theatre and found out it was closed for 18 months for renovations, went through the house where Lincoln had died (again, a surprisingly reverent experience) tried to see the White House and were very poorly directed to a spot very, very far away where we kind of got a glimpse of it:

Then we toured the Mall, which included seeing the World War II Memorial (vast and beautiful) along with the other war memorials, all of which were sobering, despite the inane comments and apparent lack of interest displayed by some of the other visitors (mainly the teenage ones).

Then we went up to the Lincoln Memorial, which was probably one of my favorite parts of the DC trip. I love the carving of Lincoln; somehow it seems fitting that he's seated, weary, human, when so many other statues of great men seem to be standing or straddling heavily muscled horses, grandiose and lifted far above where other men stand. I love Lincoln.

By that time, naturally enough, we were quite crispified because we had forgotten to obtain and apply sunscreen, so we pretty quickly made our way to the Washington Monument (amazing amazing and so, so huge) then went home.

Thursday was easy; we went to a local mall with a friend of Pam's (yet another awesome person) and tried on makeup (haha! So girly!) and then that evening we went on a Ghost Tour of Alexandria, a blastedly charming city just outside of DC where we learned the real origins of pink lemonade. Hahaha! Oh. I never knew Ghost Tours could be so entertaining.


Friday, we went back to Baltimore and met up with Christian again and visited Fort McHenry, which had many cannons, a large flag, and History. (It's the place where "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written, or at least the first bit of it.) Then we visited the harbor again, did the whole paddle-boat thing (see pic below--and no, I'm not in this one) because going to the National Aquarium was just too darn expensive, meandered around various shops and then ate a fabulous dinner in Little Italy. And then we played Clue at Christian's apartment. Because that's just what you do after a long day in Baltimore.

Saturday, we went to an open-air market and browsed around for a bit in the morning, then met more friends of Pam's for lunch (good land! Yet more awesome folks! One of whom (another MLS student, atcually) looked really remarkably like Rory Gilmore). Later on we toured a Masonic Temple, which was actually incredibly awesome.

(And yep--that's Pam on the steps there. Amazing girl.)

So, yeah. That was about it. On Sunday I went to church with Pam, then we came back to her apartment where we partook of the goodness that is Strictly Ballroom and West Side Story. And played Rummikub. Because that's just what you do after a long stay in DC.

And I also took this picture. Which shows just how lovely Pam is. And just how much I resemble Dick Van Dyke. Something about the chin. Honestly, people. I don't know why I try.

Monday I came back on the train, where I thought a lot, spent much time doing random things on my computer, watched The Neverending Story (which was really a lot worse than I remembered) and wrote ramblings about traveling and tried not to drink much water so I wouldn't have to even attempt a visit to the onboard bathroom.

And now I'm back. And I'm seriously done with this blog entry. Because it has taken, like, four hours to get all those pictures uploaded. Good. Grief.

Hope you enjoyed my travelogue. The End.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Greetings, my patient and worthy readers.

I'm so sorry to have kept you waiting for that long week and a half while I had a fantabulous time out in Baltimore & DC. Awesome. Awesome time.

However, I'm not going to give you a travelogue, at least not today. Instead, you get to read something I wrote today on the train coming back (you lucky people, you) that's mostly pretentious ramblings that I only half agree with but that kept me entertained enough to forget, for a few minutes, that my bum had gone completely numb from sitting on it so long.


Today, coming back on the train to Boston from the DC area, I saw a small house with white siding and large stones overlooking a meandering lake, almost a river. I noticed it, the sun flashed on the water and the scene was gone, almost before my brain had time to process the information my eyes had given it.

I’ve thought a bit about what it means to be in unfamiliar surroundings over this last week. The things I’ve seen have been both familiar and completely new, places I’ve seen a hundred times in photographs but never in real life: the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol Building, the White House.

I expected to feel somehow different as I walked up and touched the Washington Monument or saw my reflection in the Vietnam Memorial, stood on the bank of the Potomac, saw the sword George Washington had carried into battle. But I didn’t. The truth is that visiting new places just means that it will be you walking around in a place that’s still a place. I think I expected to feel almost as though I were watching a movie about myself, detachment strongly flavored with a sense of utter significance. There was no such feeling. It was me, sunburned and footsore, happy to be there, and still entirely in my own skin.

I wonder if sometimes the allure of exotic locations is just simply the fact that we’ve never been there; we’ve never smelled Tokyo smog or chafed our hands in a Moscow winter. Once we have, the place becomes something we own almost; the unfamiliar becomes familiar, mundane, and we move on to the next location, eagerly seeking something outside of ourselves that we can never have, because we are always the same people seeing it.

Maybe that’s why I love staring out of the window so much when I travel. Seeing the land from the train, I can only see brief glimpses of these beautiful places, homes of people I’ll never meet, rivers I’ll never wade through, grass that will never make my feet itch with its cool sharp blades. I can see white steeples on old churches and a hundred masts gathered together like Birnam Wood and the ghost of myself in the window wearing a green shirt, lips slightly pursed, regarding the landscape with shadowed eyes. And the land between where I’ve been and where I’m going is still mysterious, unknown, beautiful, and wholly unspoiled by my being in it at all.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

No time to dilly dally

Well, my dears, I'm off.

Off to see the great capital of our nation, that city ensconced safely on the banks of the Potomac, founded by the, well... by the Founding Fathers and populated by the politicians.

Yes. I'm going to DC.

And consequently, I'm not sure exactly when I'll be able to post again or what I'll be writing about (although I'm sure it'll be laden with angst of some kind; my recent efforts at labeling all my posts have produced a surprising number in which angst features prominently) but I'm sure it'll be interesting, if nothing else.

Or so I flatter myself.

However, it is about 1:20am right now and I need to get up by 7am in order to feel sufficiently non-stressed about getting places on time, so I must bid you adieu.

Good night, then. And pleasant dreams. And, like, all that stuff.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

What's the term for missing your nieces & nephews?

I'm sure one has to exist. And if not, I should make one up. Perhaps... "siblings' offspring deficiency?" Sounds appropriately scientific, right? Or not?

In any case, I'm feeling it. And just to make me feel better (or maybe slightly worse) I decided to go through my most recent pictures of said siblings' offspring. Here is one of my favorites:

In it, my nephew has on his 'So sorry, but were you quite aware that you are both a ridiculous and vaguely puzzling (yet strangely amusing) human being? And just what exactly are you doing with that intriguingly shiny box?' look, which I just love. Because he's both scornful and superlatively adorable.

And here's another one I love:

And. It's just because. So funny. And. Stuff.

I won't afflict you with more, I promise. I'll just keep on gazing at them one at a time while I have a few more of these intense missing-people type of episodes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

On a happier note,

My collarbones always surprise me. I'll look in the mirror to check that my necklace is on straight and they'll just jump out at me, flashing for attention, almost making me believe I've arrvied at last.

Wherein I express my angst

I'm feeling crabby today.

That said, I feel I should apologize in advance for what may become a ranty post. Because even crabby people can have manners, dang it. So. Sorry.

I'm not sure where this general feeling of irritability is coming from. Perhaps it's from the realization that the world simply does not provide enough quarters for me to do my laundry effectively and cheaply.

Or maybe it derives its origin from the stubborn resistance my computer has developed towards online videos. This prevents me from watching the new version of Persuasion multiple times per day. Which is probably good for me. And makes me cranky.

It could be that it comes from my body's apparent decision to sweat freely in 70 degree weather, simply because I'm walking briskly and there happens to be about 80% humidity and my pores, used to 80 degrees with 15% humidity, have decided to protest the whole thing by working way too much and thereby causing me to develop A Smell.

Then again, it might stem from my inability to really get out and do much to get a job, despite my knowledge of my too-rapidly dwindling savings and my imminent diving into thousands and thousands of dollars in debt, simply because I don't feel quite up to it, thank you. And also the thought of interviewing somewhere gives me the jibblies.

But what's worst of all, what really takes the cake, is that I cannot appease these sensations by diving into an enormous bowl of mint and chip ice cream.

And that, my dears, simply makes me want to turn my head to the wall and weep.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

But why bring zombies into your post-apocalyptic coolness?

I have a confession to make.

I like post-apocalyptic movies.

Maybe it's just that I like seeing familiar things like skyscrapers and school buses crumbling into dust in distant (or not too distant) futures; the juxtaposition with reality when you walk out of the movie theater is stunning. It's more than that, of course. Civilizations fall. Inevitably. I'm always curious to see what people have imagined for the fall of our own.

So, when I saw this trailer, I felt pretty excited. Until I read a blurb about it.

For crying out loud. The last man in the world thing is dang cool. However, having the other remaining humans turn into blood-lusting carnivores is just not. (And holy heck--what's up with that anyway? Are they supposed to be vampires? Zombies? I hate vampires. Almost as much as I hate zombies. Because they're lame.) It's too old hat. It's too much been done before.

The only problem is that, at this moment, I can't think of a better plot. So what would you do with the 'Last Man in the World' scenario? Besides doing that whole stupid human-to-monster thing?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Why I HATE applying for jobs:

First of all, it's a pain. You have to redo your resume & cover letter every time you go about applying for one and, frankly, there are just a few more things I would like to do rather than dredging up that old document and fiddling with it. Again. Plus, it stinks.

Also, I feel that in order to make a good impression I have to be all pushy about my qualifications. I have to say, in no uncertain terms, that I am fabulous (which I don't really believe all that firmly) that I can be the bestest employee ever (which nobody would believe all that firmly) and that I have all the skills and qualifications necessary to provide a wonderful experience both in the interview and during job training and for the duration of my employment at such and such a place.

Good. Land.

However, having said all that, it's also pretty satisfying to have submitted a couple of applications already today. I feel like I'm accomplishing something at least, which is more than I can say for my general actions over the past week and a half.

So. Go me.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A high tolerance for repetition

I've realized over the past...well, goodness. It's been almost exactly nine months, hasn't it? Anyway. I've realized over the past nine months or so that I have an extremely high tolerance for repetition in meals.

Allow me to explain.

Every morning for roughly the past nine months (although not quite that long--it took me a while to develop the meal) I have been eating the same thing for breakfast. With very little exception, (perhaps once a month or so), I eat an omelete made of eggs (obviously, people) beaten together with a generous helping of salsa (preferably fresh or very chunky--essentially just a convenient way to get tomatoes, onions and peppers all together at once). I have, until recently when I actually had to start paying for my own food, been adding cheese and Canadian bacon to said meal but I found that my finances (as well as limited fridge space) no longer accomodate such luxuries.

However, I have, since coming to Boston, found myself eating essentially the same thing at every meal, not just breakfast. And I really haven't minded all that much.

This has led me to conclude a couple of things about myself.

1. I am boring. Seriously, people. You cannot eat the same thing every day (and not minding it) without starting to get the lingering suspicion that you're just not that interesting an individual.

2. I am easy to please. I tend to like things and then continue liking them for a long time. I like spaghetti. I have liked it since I was in diapers (ask me about the spaghetti story sometime) and I still like it now and I especially like it when I make up this particular sauce and eat it with whole wheat noodles. I also like simple, cheap foods. I don't care what's in the hot dog or that it's a generic brand. I'm actually pretty much okay with eating most anything. Except seafood. So far.

3. I am a girl of routines. I think this is actually a product of my desire for efficiency rather than anything else. I love things to take as little effort as possible, so I arrange my life in order to accomodate this. If it means eating an omelete every morning because I know I can make it quickly and I know exactly which utensils I'll need and which ingredients and how long it will take, well, then I'll make an omelete instead of, say, a fruit salad with crepes, even if a fruit salad with crepes sounds a lot more interesting. And, like, delicious. (Man. That does sound good.)

Of course, all of this does not entirely preclude experimentation or variation; it just means that such things happen rarely and only when I have lots of energy and time. (And really, let's be honest, folks. Once you're past about eight years old those two things almost never come together.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some spaghetti noodles to boil.

Friday, June 08, 2007

A post with no pictures

Hey, guys.

I didn't take even one picture today.

Partly this was because I spent most of the day alternating between curling up with a book and checking things out online. In short, I was a blasted lazy bum all day long. But do I feel guilty about it?


Yes, actually.

You see, for me, just being here isn't going to be enough. I need to be here and feel like I'm contributing. And also supporting myself, at least nominally. And frankly, just sitting around comfortably while viewing long, long DVDs like Jane Eyre and the A&E Pride & Prejudice (which, sadly, were just not quite as good as I expected them to be) and eating an occasional (usually late) meal are just not enough to make me feel like I'm getting much done.

I did go for a walk this evening, but that's mainly because I noticed earlier (while carting my three 6.5 foot-long shelf-boxes down to the dumpster) that my legs were rather sore and prone to shaking and almost collapsing and I figured I just hadn't done enough moving around today. After walking for about an hour I decided that they were probably sore and shaky because I walked a whole heckuvalot yesterday and I was probably just making things worse by walking too much again (although I did find an awesomeish park that I think I'll visit again when I'm feeling less shaky).

I dunno why I feel like I need to write about this, but I just kind of want to say, "Sorry? For, like, being disappointing? And stuff?" Mostly maybe I'm just apologizing to myself. And promising myself that I'll do better next time and I'll get out and get a job and will stop being such a bum.

I can only hope.

Somebody pass the sweatpants, please.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Today I went on a little pilgramage to find the school I'll be attending in fall. I wanted to be sure I could get there easily from the subway and that I wouldn't get lost on the way.

Lucky for me, the school is only a relatively short trip from the T station (although it'll probably seem much further come winter when ice will cover every exposed surface).

Because I'm sure you all would be fascinated with what I saw, I took lots and lots of pictures. Here we go!

The above was taken while walking to the school. Simmons is located just south of the Back Bay Fens, a large park with a river running through it. (The park is on the left side of the road in the above picture.)

If you keep walking down this street, you come across this:

Lovely, eh? This is the main Simmons campus building (with a little GSLIS sign there to brighten your day). I didn't actually go inside this one, but I did go inside the one below:

This is the building that actually houses the GSLIS program, as you can see from the merry little banner hanging from it:

(Seriously--I kept seeing that motif everywhere!)

Anyway--as I said, I went inside this building and kind of self-consciously wandered down hallways and imagined of sitting in one of the many classrooms I saw, soaking in information, getting all librarianish. It was, as you might have guessed, perfectly lovely.

I love that I'm here now, but I feel rather eager to get started with my classwork and I get this slight feeling of impatience as I anticipate going through the next few months before classes actually start. However, I'm more than happy to be here. It's taken me a few days to kind of get my bearings, but now that I've been here a week, I feel much more comfortable here. It's starting to feel, if not like home quite yet, at least more like a place where I'm living, a place where I will enjoy myself immensely. (Even though I seriously felt like a tourist while I whipped out my camera every few steps so I could snatch a shot of an interesting building.)

And just so you can see where else I wandered today, I'll include some more pictures from my travels:

Above is the Museum of Fine Arts (which I saw on that eventful first Boston trip) and below you can see the home of the Boston Pops:

(Sorry that's rather a poor shot. Bleh.) After meandering even further up the street and onto some other streets I ran into the Christian Science Plaza. Good. Land. Check this church out:

I love domes. LOVE. THEM. And here's the rest of the plaza with the (very cool and soothing) reflecting pool that was all astir with ripples as I walked past:

Here's some more cool buildings I saw further up. I believe the first is Trinity Church, but I'm not sure what the second one is:

And then, joy of joys, guess what I walked up to (when I was about ready to head home because ohmygoodness my feet were just that sore)? Why, the Boston Public Library, of course! Which, you know, I simply couldn't pass up.

Here's the entrance at which

And here's the inside of the entrance (looking back down on it):

Yah. I know. Awesome. Here's a shot of one of the reading rooms (gorgeous, eh?):

And right in the middle of the library, you find this courtyard:

I. Loved. It.

And then (because my aforementioned feet were threatening to strike and run off without me) I came home.

I still haven't seen everything I'd like to yet, but I'm getting there. Oh, I'm getting there.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Handywoman McGee

I got a present delivered to me today.

It was a present I bought for myself!

And (lucky for me) I didn't even have to haul it upstairs. These rather buff delivery guys did it for me, which is a really good thing because I had trouble hauling the boxes in even from the hallway to my room. Yeesh.


After getting said presents to my room, I proceeded to assemble them. (This is where the 'handywoman' aspect comes in.) See here:

This job required instructions. And a hammer. And a screwdriver. Yah. How handy am I? (It was also lucky that my nice roommate had a hammer & screwdriver to lend to me because otherwise I would have had to march off to the store & purchase one of each, adding even more to the total cost of this merchandise.)

So, after much muttering and hitting my thumb (only once, thankyouverymuch) I managed to assemble my nice, tall bookshelf:

Of course, I actually ordered three bookshelves. And actually, I ordered three that had kind of an oak finish. They sent me two oak and one white. But frankly, I was so eager to have bookshelves (and the white didn't look all that bad) and felt so bad about the possibility of making those guys come back and carry the set of white shelves down only to come back up in a day or two with a set of oak shelves (phew!) I decided to just let it go. I hope...I hope that's ethical. Um.

Right. So, here are the two oak shelves:

And, just so yous can gaze at more pictures, I've decided to show you what they look like now that I've filled them with all my scads of books. (Aren't you just thrilled down to your socks?)

And the twain which are oaken:

And that is it. Frankly, I feel like I've been a busy little handywoman today. I even wore a kerchief all day because, while I like my haircut, it isn't necessarily conducive to pulling back in a convenient little ponytail.

But that doesn't matter.

What matters is that I weilded tools like a pro. I pounded nails; I twisted screw-type things. I...(lemme think here)...I put shelves on stuff.

Yay me! And tomorrow, who knows what wonders I will accomplish?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Developing a proper pedestrian attitude

I've noticed that, even just in the few days since arriving in the Boston area, my interactions with drivers and other pedestrians has altered somewhat.

I've been rather used to the whole auto mentality. When I'm behind a wheel, I go fast and I scorn other drivers and pedestrians who, as a rule, seem to be operating under some sort of death-wish principle. Weirdos.

But now I see things from the foot-bourne perspective: I own the road as a pedestrian. Cars must yield to me. (It's a Massachusetts state law, after all.) Of course, that doesn't prevent me from looking both ways as I'm about to cross a road, (the law wouldn't really keep me from getting crushed by an unwary or impatient ton of metal), but it does mean that I've been stepping out more boldly instead of hesitantly holding back at crosswalks if I notice a vehicle within oh, a mile or so of my present location.

In fact, I'm becoming a bold pedestrian.

Not all that bold, of course--I still pause until the little sign says "Walk" instead of "Don't Walk"--but I'm getting there. Maybe by the time my semester starts I'll be jaywalking all over the place and only just being missed by ginormous trucks and little red Volkswagen beetles.

Or maybe I'll just stick with the crosswalks and the nice "Walk" signals.

But I'll sure have a confident (impudent, even) attitude about the whole thing. Just see if I don't.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Rain and the aphrodisiac properties thereof:

Okay. So I don't really know all that much about aphrodisiacs, nor am I really sure that rain would qualify as one. (Frankly, feeling like a wet rat who also happens to be wearing muddy shoes does not generally put me in that kind of mood.)


I think it may have enhanced my experience at the local library today.

My roommate told me that our local library is actully just a short way off the route I take to the nearest grocery store. So, after the torrenting rain had mainly given up, leaving just this all-pervasive misty stuff, I decided to stop by on my way to procure food and laundry detergent.

The library is a wonderfully largeish building with a nice, open entrance area and huge comfortable-looking reading chairs. (I didn't actually try any out, as per my muddy shoes, but the appearance of said chairs was indeed enticing.)

Naturally, I had to find the juvenile collection, so I stared bewilderedly at a map for awhile until a kind lady at the information desk told me I looked confused and asked if she could help. I sheepishly explained that I was looking for the childrens' books and she helpfully pointed me downstairs where I walked straight dab into them. (Hurrah for helpful ladies behind library desks! How I hope to be one someday...)


So, I meandered into the Young Adult fiction section, where I checked name after name of some of my favorite authors. Looking over the shelves and pulling out a book now and then, I realized that I first met many of the books I love in settings such as this. I've pored over scores of volumes with laminated dust jackets and dewey decimal numbers printed in labels on the spine. I've stayed up late at night with already-tattered books that didn't belong to me, but ones I loved nevertheless.

I paced around for awhile, found the slightly younger section, looked around there, and at last went back out into the misty afternoon.

And I now know two very important things:

First, I have arrived. Having found the local library I now feel like I'm finally here. Once I'm able to procure myself a library card, I'll feel even more like I'm finally here.

Second, I want to read everything. (Well, I think I may skip the Goosebumps series, actually...) I could spend years and years of my life doing nothing but checking out five or so books at a time and devouring them cozied up in my comforter, sipping (sugar-free) hot chocolate. (And the rain just makes me feel more like doing that.)

I'm not going to have time, though. That's what makes me sad. There's all these books I own that I need to actually read. Then, there will be numerous textbooks and papers to write and information to study and once I've graduated there will be books I'll need to read to stay on top of the literature coming out, meetings to attend, people to assist.

But, my hope is that working in a library will afford me chances to sneak a book here and there for a little light pleasure-reading. Because really, isn't that what this all is about? And that, I've realized, will be lovely whether I have muddy shoes or not.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Why I am not One Who Dances:

So, last night I went swing dancing with my very nice roommate and a member of the ward who, as it happens, just graduated from the school I'll be attending in the fall. I asked mucho many questions and she answered them wonderfully.

Anyway--so we went to this church-type place that was much like an LDS cultural hall. There was a live band (Eight to the Bar) which was just--wow--fantabulous and there were tons and tons of people who--holy heck--really knew those swing dancing steps.

It would have been an awesome evening if just...

If I just...

(Oh I'm ashamed...)

If only I knew how to dance.

Because, you see, dancing is just Something I Don't Know How to Do, rather like speaking German or performing acts of higher math. (Haha! Performing acts of higher math! Yeah. It sounds like a crime or something.)

So I mostly sat on the side, tapping my foot (because seriously--the music was just so good that I couldn't stop) and smiling because all these very skilled dancing people were really quite enjoyable to watch.

And eventually, despite my decidedly Not Interested in Dancing Thanks pose (crossed legs, crossed arms, avoiding eye-contact, etc.) I did get asked to dance thrice by some very nice gentlemen (one twentysomething--I think he's in our ward, one probably-fifty-something and one probably-sixty-something) who were all kind enough not to scold me when I trod on their toes (I'm not kidding here) and messed up their moves and in short made a rather public disgrace of myself.

After which I sat down and tried not to think embarrassed thoughts.

But it was still a good evening and a good experience. In fact, I may go dancing again in a month or so and I'll be sure to get to the event in time to catch those oh-so-essential beginners' lessons I've heard about.

Wish me luck. And wish me less clumsy. Because, seriously, I am so going to need both.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Mastering the T, new comforters, and other reasons why I feel like a queen

Well, maybe 'mastering' is a little strong. But I did ride the T this afternoon. I rode it, in fact, to Bed Bath & Beyond, where I found this charming comforter set (well, at least I think it's charming):

Which I also managed to cart home on the T all by myself, thank you very much. (You may have noticed that previous pictures showed, to your dismay, that I only had sheets on this bed o' mine. Well, I'm no longer comforterless, thankagoodness.)

As I set up the comforter, all the while exclaiming to myself how happy I was with my choice (I kid you not--I really am that lame) our buzzer rang, so I dashed downstairs in my slippery flip-flops (the ones that have no traction) where I discovered a mail carrier with a heavy Bostonian accent was carting in 10 of my 16 boxes. Hurrah! He (in that wonderful Boston speech) explained that he was going to just leave a notice for me, but he thought that I probably didn't have a car (cah) and so he decided to go ahead & deliver them to me. Yay! (He also told me to take it easy when I told him I lived up on the 4th floor. Ohman. I was feeling a bit warm after hauling all them boxes up.)

So, now I only have to wait until the other 5 arrive. (One box of books came yesterday morning.)

Oh, and also, let me show you a picture I took of the subway line:

Trees. Trees everywhere. Even by the subway rails. I can hardly wait to do some more exploring!