24 August, 2011

My Grand Return, Dedicated to Vilja Johnson

Yesterday I was chatting with the abovementioned college friend about the fact that I have not blogged in a while. Yes, there has been the odd post, but I actually wrote those over six months ago and scheduled their release ahead of time. Haha tricked you. Anyway.

I was explaining to her that I feel it’s very important for me to keep blogging while I student teach (starting in a few short weeks WTF), because the memories and experiences of my first “real” year of teaching will be invaluable in the future. On the other hand, I articulated to Vilja, I do so much writing in grad school it’s the last thing I feel like doing for fun. I already express myself so thoroughly in my schoolwork that I don’t feel much of a need for self-expression outside of it.

Then Vilja said, quote, “Nooooo!!! Funny stories!!!!”

Dammit, she’s right. This blog is for the funny stories! So I dedicate any funny stories I write in the next few weeks to you, V. Luckily for her and maybe you as well, my recent "summer vacation" was excellent fodder for the same.

Funny Story Number 1: I am upstaged by a natural disaster

Some/a few of you may know that over the weekend, I went to New York City for a friend’s wedding. It was a beautiful weekend filled with friends, puppets (I saw Avenue Q AND the Jim Henson exhibit at the MOTMI … amazing) and visiting the ancestral island of the Wu Tang Clan. Overall, a wonderful five-day break from school. However, if I could do it all again, I probably would come home two days early instead of midnight the night before. I’m boarding the plane on the plane to Seattle right now, and something tells me that I am going to be very, very tired at my 9AM class tomorrow.

The only two things that you need to know for this story, however, is that I was staying with my cousin in Brooklyn and that the Brooklyn Bridge is currently undergoing some maintenance construction.

Oh! One other thing that is important to know for this story is that I have a thing for being hydrated, and love my water bottle as if it were my own dear child. I left it at a friend’s house last weekend and it was like a part of me was gone.

Okay, exposition over. Here we go.

Scene: Sunday. My cousin and I were walking across the Brooklyn Bridge (which is gorgeous, by the way). The construction obstructed certain parts of the view, but it was a lovely walk nonetheless.

While we were walking, I asked my cousin, “So, why are they doing construction on the bridge? Are they earthquake proofing it or something?”

“Oh no,” she said, with ironic foreshadowing. “New York doesn’t have earthquakes.”

Scene: Monday night. Said cousin and I walk to a tortilla factory/restaurant in Brooklyn and get tacos. It is a super authentic, hole-in-the-wall, INCREDIBLY delicious, cash-only taco extravaganza. Every taco I eat in the future will be compared to those. Then we went home, ate ice cream and watched The Daily Show. Crazy New York party time.

Scene: Tuesday afternoon. I am packing and realize with a minor amount of panic that my water bottle is missing. I look in all the usual places, to no avail. Then I remember I had it at the table with me at the taco place the previous evening, and concluded I must have left it there.

Walking around Brooklyn is awesome, by the way. Reminds me of Sesame Street (or maybe Sesame Street reminds me of Brooklyn?). I get to the taco place, stand in line for a minute and ask if anyone found a pink water bottle on the tables last night. Then I remember that one of the charming, authentic aspects of this taco place is: nobody speaks English. We even wrote our orders in Spanish the previous evening.

I really, REALLY need to learn Spanish, you guys.

Anyway, using hand gestures and repeating the word “water” a lot, I ask if anybody turned in a water bottle the previous night. The woman there said something about a little boy, pointed at her eye a couple of times, and we both looked at each other totally confused.

Just then, the East Coast Earthquake hit.

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, so earthquakes don’t particularly faze me. But for all the proprietors and patrons of this establishment, who had presumably never been in an earthquake before, a 5.8 was legitimate cause for FREAKING THE HELL OUT. Everybody there started yelling, calling friends and relatives on their cell phones, asking if everybody else had felt it, etc. It was then that I realized I had lost the room. I was probably not getting my water bottle back, even if they did have it.

In a very George Costanza-like moment, while all this was going down, I asked if the woman wouldn’t mind, pretty pretty please, checking to see if they had my water bottle. She walked next door and came back a few minutes later, empty-handed, but I am positive it was to talk with the neighbors about the earthquake, and not for any other reason.

So this week I am going to buy a new water bottle. The end.

14 August, 2011

The kind of woman I want to be is:

"The woman of the future, who is really being born today, will be a woman completely free of guilt for creating and for self-development. She will be a woman in harmony with her own strength, not necessarily called masculine or eccentric or something unnatural. I imagine she will be very tranquil about her strength and her serenity, a woman who will know how to talk to children and to the men who sometimes fear her... The woman of the future will never try to live vicariously through the man, and urge and push him to despair, to fulfill something that she should really be doing herself. So that is my first image -- she is not aggressive, she is serene, she is sure, she is confident, she is able to develop her skills, she is able to ask for space for herself."
Anais Nin, 1976, quoted in this article.
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