Friday, June 26, 2009

Well, I'm off.

I leave Boston today. This evening, to be precise, at approximately the same time a major thunderstorm system is supposed to get up and going. We'll see if I actually leave on time.

I have swept my room and dusted my furniture (and in the process gathered together a pile of dust bunnies that, combined, would probably equal a small child in weight--it's, er, been a long time since I've swept under my bed--eugh) and have packed my bags and am currently stuffed with food that I've been desperately cramming down in a vain attempt to eat up the last of my groceries. Alas.

And now I am waiting for the right time to go down to the T and hop onto the train, hauling my suitcases behind me and hoping against hope that they won't go over the weight limit and that the airlines will accept a backpack as a personal item. 'Cause I don't think I'll have room otherwise.

So, I'll update y'all later. Probably once I'm all through tripping around and have safely ensconced myself in my parents' basement.

I know you'll miss me.

See you on the other side!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

On bird poo and the threat of machines taking over the world

So, I woke up this morning and had to send a quick email, so I went into the living room where I keep my laptop (long story, but it involves my laptop's apparent refusal to speak at all with our apartment's wireless, thus necessitating plugging it directly into the router via ethernet cable and...actually, I guess that wasn't a really long story at all...) and discovered what appeared to be a smattering of bird poo over the laptop's cover.

Um, what?

Bird poo? On the laptop. Which was inside.


I do not comprehend it. I could not find a bird in our apartment; I can only guess how one got in (through the gap to the side of the window air conditioning unit, perhaps?) and then got out again (the same place, or maybe it simply was made of dark matter and thus didn't even interact with ordinary matter, except, of course, for its poop, which inexplicably was made of ordinary matter?) but somehow it did it. And left its mark so that we would know of its passing through our lives.

Um, yes.

Also, apparently my career is under threat from machines. Who could have guessed?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When I see them letters on the page, I just know I've done something good with my life.

I love the act of writing.

Now some of you may have misunderstood that last sentence. (It is not your fault of course; it's really due to the inherent ambiguity of language, in which words can mean more than one thing, or can have wide variations within one meaning.)

You probably thought I meant 'writing' as in the act of forming words into coherent sentences which then can be heard, read, or otherwise ingested by other persons nearby (or far away), who then decode the structure of the sentence and the definitions of the words in order to come up with some meaning (which the author may or may not have intended).

But I didn't mean that. (Thus, the decoding process failed. Silly you.) Although, I do admit that I enjoy forming sentences for decoding. It's one of my hobbies.

Nevertheless, the 'writing' to which I refer is the act of forming words on a page using a pen, pencil, stylus, paintbrush, or a particularly grubby finger. I love watching letters form in swoops and dashes as my hand moves, just touching the page there to dot the i, lifting the pen there to finish of the r, making a great loop to form the y.

There's something so satisfying about forming letters. And I'm not sure why. Although here is what I suspect:

Forming shapes is fun at any time, but forming shapes that mean something plugs, I believe, into our ancient human tradition of creating words from permanent marks made in clay or on papyrus. I think every time we cross a T or form a bold downward stroke for a D, we're reconnecting with those who first invented writing by tapping cuneiform script into clay, or with the ancient Egyptians, whose written language resembled art more than anything, or the Chinese with their countless characters, or the Greeks, or the Romans, or every other human who has held an instrument in hand and marked something so that their influence could be felt far from their immediate presence. We declare ourselves part of that tradition. Part of this ancient human family.

When I write by hand, I can also feel the passage of time more acutely. Time moves us along the atom-thin knife-edge of now, unstoppable as the future moves from far to near to now to past, all inexorably, and so so swiftly. For the most part, we ignore it, or at least, always facing forward into the immediate future as we are, we tend not to focus on the rushing-pastness of time. We're like passengers on a train (not an original image by any means, but apt) as it rushes endlessly forward. Normally, we peer forward at the track, or sometimes behind us at the things we've already seen. But the act of writing is like turning your head to look out the side window while the world whips past at an unbelievable pace. Forming letters, you see that once was blank page is now covered in marks. Marks you've made. And you're still making them, a stroke here, a dot there, a loop, all in motion, all churning the way from future to past.

Eh. Anyway. I haven't quite captured the sense of this, at least the way I feel it. But that's what writing is like. (The other kind of writing. Codification. You know.)

And why am I going on at length about something so inconsequential (sort of)? Because I have written approximately 15 mailing labels for the boxes I will ship out tomorrow. I wrote them with a sharpie. And I enjoyed it.

And that is all.

Friday, June 12, 2009

So, two weeks, eh?

I'm finally in a contemplative mood, whilst at the same time laden with my laptop 'cross my legs, and thus am currently experiencing the perfect blogging atmosphere. (Well, perhaps 'perfect' would also include a swarthy man dropping blueberries between my slightly parted lips while he somehow simultaneously strums his acoustic guitar while crooning a ballad he wrote just for me, but, that also might prove too mightily distracting for blogging purposes, and...I digress.)

So, hey. 'Sup.

I'm leaving Boston two weeks from today.

I'm taking a quick jaunt down to DC to go on a wee little road trip to the Carolinas with a marvelously wonderful friend of mine, and also to visit interesting places in our nation's capital. Like, um, the Holocaust Museum. Feeling a little weird about that now, but I'd still like to go...

And then I'm leaving the East. I'm vamoosing, sayonara-ing, signing off, shipping out, returning home from distant lands. I'm headed back to Utah, where the grass is (not as) green and the air is (thank HEAVEN) much drier, and the ground rises in these wonderful, tall, pointy things we like to call mountains.

Now that I have my diploma firmly in hand (seriously--I carry it around with me everywhere--I have a pocket sewed into my pant-leg for easy storage, although I'm thinking about comissioning someone to create a nice, round leather sheath that I can strap across my back like one of those sword-weilding-folk, enabling me to whip out that fancily-lettered piece of paper at the slightest provocation, like someone asking, "Can you tell me where--" "HAH!" I will reply, whipping my diploma from my back, "I am a LIBRARIAN. I can help you find ANYTHING.")

Er. Yes. Now that I have my diploma, and now that I also do NOT have more student loan money rolling into my bank account periodically, and now that my rent and grocery bills must rely on the meager earnings I am able to glean from my part-timing work, I have found it prudent to relocate myself to where the rent and my grocery bills will be non-existent. Namely: my parents' basement.

So, I will be thirty, with an advanced degree, and living across from my folks' laundry room.

And I've gotta say, I'm pretty much okay with that. Ask me again in four months or so, when I still don't have a job, and the student loan folks are getting that red-eyed, pointy-teeth look, but right now, I'm kind of happy about snuggling myself back into the nest. For a few months at least.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Something gross and something cool.

Two things to report today.

First of all, my body did something totally disgusting this morning. It was gross. It was absolute yecha sicko icky. And, naturally, it was also sort of cool. And definitely a bit of a relief. (I've been waiting for it to happen for ages, but why now of all times? Could my ear have been sweating?) But it was still pretty dang gross.

So I'm not going to tell you what it was. You'll just have to imagine. Given the clues above. Um.


But that wasn't the cool thing. That was the gross thing. This second thing was the cool thing.

Second thing: I found an utterly cool website today. A website that harbors pictures of unusual furniture. Which I find myself wanting to buy. Very very much.

Having a room full of this furniture would be a bit like living inside of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Except without the magic stuff. Which, I guess makes it marginally less awesome than it would be if the furniture were somehow infused with the ability to fly, or turn your best friend into an ottoman.

Now THAT would be cool.