quarter century, take I

A hint of things to come-- I know I am remiss in updating, but hopefully this photo is worth it!

My 25th birthday is today, and we had a fabulous, 50s-themed party last night with the whole gang. 

Here is me:

Retro Me!


oh, what a day

So today was -- as we have heard so often -- a watershed day.  I began it at 5:20 am, woken up by Josh, who shouted something about my civic duty.  After a shower and throwing on clothes that look relatively nice, we headed out the door, as polls here in Virginia open at 6am.  

6:05 am we walked up to our polling place, and there was already a parking lot full of cars, and a line out the door.  Yikes!

walking in the door

You may notice that, from this view, you can see the lines of alphabetical nature that we are standing in the A-G line.  You may also notice that my name begins with an H.   Josh noticed from the beginning, and only told me 10 minutes later.  Fortunately, there was no one really in line, so I was able to switch without much incident.

Inside were more lines:

turning the corner

But that's ok!  It's democracy in action!  Also, we only waited in line for an hour.   Here is my view looking back into the gym, waiting for Josh:

looking back in

All around a success!  After work & class, we headed out to watch the returns.

It was fantastic.   There was so much energy with everyone so excited, and it was great to go somewhere where everyone was all together, this community of believers, if you will, all joined in rapture, watching the screens.   Perhaps especially meaningful because this is the first campaign I feel that I have been invested in from the primaries on.  

I know that that is what you're supposed to do, but I was a bit lukewarm in 00 and [Just kidding, I turned 18 in 2001! -Ed.] 04 and waited until the end to really make a decision, while this election I followed it pretty darn closely from early on.  I had a vested interest, and it was -- although exhausting -- incredibly satisfying.   I feel that I did my civic duty, and stood up and showed that people do care.  Young people care.  They vote!  I voted!

I'm just so very pleased.  I loved Obama's speech (and McCain's as well, actually) and I love that the main idea is action and change.   Not to mention hope.  I hope people still cling to these issues tomorrow, and know that they can be involved and change things.  

I have hope.


fascinating thoughts

Fascinating piece from an article I'm reading for class:

"This engendering of reading constructed a female reader (of novels in particular) lost in the realm of imagination.  Instead of subjecting her reading to reason and virtue, she was thought to enjoy dangerous illusions through identification with the fictional world."

-Stephan K. Schindler
in The Critic as Pornographer: Male Fantasies of Female Reading in Eighteenth-Century Germany (no, really!)

In other news, lovely Hannah was in town for the weekend, which meant lots of attempts at getting work done, but more happy time with friends.  Also, we barbequed today, as it was nice enough (60s) to cook outside, though not nice enough to eat outside.  

This week brings busy times, including an Election Night Slumber Party, which I'm sure will result in good times by all, but of course, all I can think of is the Election Night in Mad Men, so I will sit, sad that I not dressed nearly as well as Joan, nor being asked to dance by Paul Kinsey. (See here) Regardless!  I'm excited. 


things I love about DC

Today, in my quest to go to Arlington Cemetery for work, I got lost twice in Northeast attempting to find Rock Creek Parkway, and ended up accidentally driving through the Zoo.   Then I found it, actually rather accidentally, but fortunately, because it really is a lovely drive.  

There are parts of DC that I really like.  This is now one of them.  The trees were yellow-green-golden, and while driving it's twisting turning in a ravine with massive bridges spanning it, arches and old fashioned architecture.  Beautiful.  The road passes under the Kennedy Center, which reminded me of another of my favorite things, which is the terrace of the Kennedy Center.  It's so lovely, with the view of the Potomac and Teddy Roosevelt Island, and particularly in the right weather, it's just bliss.  The last time I was there was after the Jake Armerding show, and I could stare out at the view.

Hopefully I'll have photos soon, because they look beautiful.


quick update because I am tired and want to sleep

Wow, I am a terrible blogger recently.  Here is why:  I am in school.  It is far busier than I thought, and the mere fact that I am up at midnight-thirty, a fact which would normally not make me blink, is making me blink with sleepiness, and not to mention sadness at the fact that I have 3 fiction books but I am too tired to read any of them. 

All is well -- I gave a presentation that got good marks all around (though we have not yet received the actual marks, we are confident that we felt we presented a good product)

So it's been a very busy week/month(s).  Phew.  At least the weekend is coming up, but I am working at Arlington House for 8 hours this weekend, hopefully sewing a lot.  It means that I will have to refresh myself on antebellum / American Civil War era fashion (let's say late 1850s) which I am pretty good at, but have been confounded by stays and stomachers and robes à l'anglaise. 

...and now, to bed.  It is late, I must sleep, and possibly attempt to read un petit peu.  Oh, that reminds me, I have to choose an article to translate from Diderot's Encyclopédie.


lots of comics

So these past two weekends, I embraced my (not so) inner nerd, and went to two comic conventions.  Technically, the Baltimore Comic Con and SPX, the Small Press Expo.  Personally, I preferred the latter, but that's because even at BCC, I spent most of the time with the independent comic artists, and that is all SPX is!  Fantastic. 

I ended up meeting creators of some of my favorite comics, including Kate Beaton, David Malki!, Dresden Codak, Danielle Corsetto, A Softer World and some fabulous artists that I bought art from: Dave Perillo, Jonathan Case, David Peterson and a few others.  Wonderful.  Also I picked up a billion posters of DC Comic characters (free) a ring like the Flash, and things like that but I liked meeting all the artists better.  

As a result, I loved SPX.  It was funky, a younger crowd, less crowded, more tattoos, and everyone was totally sweet.  I had big long discussions with people about 18th century comics and things like that, and got Claire a sketch by Kate Beaton, whose history comics we both adore.

Here is all my swag!  If you click on the image, it'll take you to where I've put notes on what exactly things are.  Just know that they are all fabulous.

swaggy swag swag

The Mos Eisley picture -- which I love -- is now in my bathroom (which, incidentally, I am remodeling and photos will come shortly) and I am debating where to put the ROM SPACE KNIGHT (the Wraith Brides one) poster, as well as the Softer World print (far right).  We'll see. 

Phew!  Back to work.  I have been drowning (slowly) in reading, but so far it is all going well.  


one year ago.

How strange it is to realize that today is my one-year anniversary of leaving my last job. It's strange and surreal, and today was rainy and strange anyway, so I suppose it added to it. I can't believe another year -- this time, my 24th -- has passed by, and how much it has been a time in the wilderness and purification by fire.

I started blogging.
I went to Twelfth Night.
I learned how to sew.
I learned how to live on my own.
I learned to be alone.
I learned to love Battlestar Galactica.
I was home for the holidays.
I got a new temporary job.
I went hiking.
I conquered hikes that had conquered me.
I went to the Family Reunion.
I saw old friends.
I ate lots of BBQ.
I line danced, and swung danced.
I travelled.
I biked.
I went to a beach.
I drove a convertible.
I lived alone for 2 weeks.
I went to Class.
I applied to grad school.
I got into grad school.
I read gothic fiction.
I fell in love with DC.
I met new friends.
I moved.
I read.
I cried.
I prayed.
I hoped.
I dreamt.
I learned.

Maybe this doesn't seem like much, but this year has been literally life-changing. It has meant the world to me, and has changed me so much that I'm not sure I recognize myself from a year ago. I've grown so much, in my way of looking at the world, and particularly my faith -- that "ever present help in trouble." It's hard to describe. I thought, in fact, that I would post an eloquent discussion of my changes, but I don't know if it's the place for that. I rather like how it's turned out.

Well, early in the morning, 'bout the break of day
I ask the Lord, "Help me find the way!"
Help me find the way to the promised land--
This lonely body needs a helping hand
I ask the Lord to help me please find the way.


bask in my stick figure skills!


Please note: the amount to read may in fact be to scale (although only one article for tomorrow!)


the house on top of the hill

Today was my first day of orientation -- I am volunteering for school -- at Arlington House, the home of Robert E. Lee.  It is, as you would expect, in the middle of Arlington National Cemetery -- at the top of the hill, in fact.   I'd never been to Arlington before (house or cemetery) so it was an experience.  I hiked all the way to the top (well, stairs) and it was a sobering experience -- of course the path winds through the different sections of graves, and you can't help but read them as you go along.  Titles... names... wars... they all begin to blend together, and in a sobering way.  

The view from the top is utterly indescribable -- a view across the Potomac, and able to see most of the monuments as well as most of downtown.  As today was a clear day, you could see everything.  That being said, this view through faux marble/sandstone pillars also includes the Kennedy eternal flame, and a flag that is almost perennially at half mast -- or at least whenever burials are happening, which, as you can imagine, is quite a bit.  It checks you.   I'm not sure why.  I'm not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that it has taken me 2 1/2 years to make it to Arlington.   The fact that, even though I was there, I still could not bring myself to find graves of astronauts that I admired.   

I loved the house.  Everyone there is wonderful, and they gave me a behind-the-scenes tour, but I walk out and there is the cemetery.  I suppose it just makes you think, but the real point is I left thinking.  Quiet.  Thinking... and that's I think the most coherent I'll ever be about this, so with that: Fin.


if you give a museum studies major a case...

...she'll make a fake art exhibit.  Which is exactly what I did at lunch. 

I took army men, put glitter on parts of them, found a glass case at my desk, and wrote up copy about the exhibit.  Enjoy! 

Close up on one of the soldiers:

close up, soldier 3

The entire installation - note the army man on top, with no glitter, clearly the "outsider" looking in.

assault on masculinity (glitter)

...and finally, the copy.  I made it up, tongue firmly in cheek of course.  Make sure you click on it to read it fully!  Fantastic.  

the copy


hanna blocks our road

So today, as some readers may know, is when Tropical Storm Hanna makes her way through the DC area.   Because of this (and the pouring rain) Josh and I decided to adventure.  It was then that we noticed that our street had been closed off.  

We sat and watched cars driving down the road and then suddenly realizing there was a) a torrential flood and b) a cone in the middle of the road and c) caution tape.  It was fantastic, but, curiosity piqued, we ventured further.  Later, we wandered up to where a bridge crosses the creek -- we cross there to get to the Metro -- and the creek was incredibly wide and fast.  Unreal. 

This is looking down the hill (thankfully) from our house.  The creek on one side of the road has overflowed over the road leading into the creek on the other side.

this is why we can't cross our street

Here is the waterfall from the road into the creek.  You can't really tell how high or how fast the water is here, but take our word for it:


Here is the physical proof that we were there - we are standing in some of the "shallower" waters -- which, being said, it was ankle-to-knee deep in the middle of the road, but don't worry Mom, not where it was fast nor very close to any edges.

josh in the street

my feet in the depths

I also hasten to add while it is not evident in these photos, it was pouring the whole time.  We got pretty soaked.  That being said, it was absolutely worth it.


first day of school

Well, yesterday was my first day of school at American.   Here it is, in roughly photographic chronological order.

All in all a great time.  I'm excited, but it is strange to go to a campus where you know literally no-one.  Ok, my cousin Jacqui goes to American, but this happens to be the semester that she's abroad in Rome.    I happen to know quite a few people that have gone to American, but none that are students now.

That being said, I give three hearty cheers for departmental orientations.  I met some cool people, and managed to mention that I liked 18th c. fashion to the professor who is studying 18th c. women's fashion as an indicator of roles between society and gender.  Yes!  Too bad I can't take her class. 

The classes I do have, however, are matching up to be great.  I've had, so far, Enlightenment, which is quite a bit of primary source material, and Historian's Craft, which is basically a course on historiography (the history of studying history -- i.e. studying interpretations of events, biases, etc).  My Public History Seminar is tomorrow (today) and I actually have reading to do -- yikes -- but I must mention one more thing before I go. 

This was a footnote (!) in my syllabus for Enlightenment.  Fabulous.  Click on it to see a bigger size. 

footnote of amazing

In all seriousness, though, I'm so excited. 


one month ago

I haven't posted in a while, but I think part of it is due to the fact that I can't get our trip out of my mind.   I can't believe that a month ago, I was here: 

buttes at monument valley

climbing through the valley

dead horse point - sunset I

That's Monument Valley, Arches National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park.


adventures back in time

I realized I hadn't posted about my recent trip to Chelsea Plantation for a friend's going-away party (she is moving to Egypt!).   Chelsea -- or the house at least -- dates to 1709, with an addition a few years later.  Currently, it sits on 700 (!) acres on the Mattaponi River, though that is downsized from probably about 5000.   What's fascinating about Chelsea is that clearly it's an 18th century plantation that was lived in throughout the years, because it has additions: a boathouse, gazebo, greenhouse, pool - that all date to the 1930s and 40s.

These are all tucked away around the grounds -- the back of the house is a maze of overgrown boxwood that left about 8 inches of room to walk through.   Since it had rained, every time we walked through, drips of water from the boxwood leaves left trails across our dresses.   We explored the boxwood, which hides people quite well -- and found tiny cottages to live in, statues, and a croquet lawn.

back of the house

Further on the property, there is a gazebo by the water, and quite possibly the most Atonement-esque element, was the 1930s spring-fed swimming pool.  Beautiful.  Right above the water.  Clear.  12' deep.  Diving board.  I can barely express how delicious it was to dive in.  

Of course, we had been told about the pool previously, and I was excited, as I had a retro-ish swimsuit to wear, but, of course I forgot it.  Fortunately, I had brought a halter top polka dot dress that already feels like a swimsuit, so we pinned up the sides so it fell to the tops of my thighs, and it looked like a retro suit.  It felt fabulous and ever-so-apropos for the pool.

pool of dreams!

From there, we moved down to the river, where there was a boathouse that was looking worse for wear due to hurricane Isabel.  A dock led down almost to the doors, but the hurricane had wiped out the last 5 feet (it seemed like something out of a Myst game), so we slipped into the (surprisingly warm) water and swam into the depths of the boathouse.  We scrambled back up onto the decks, which looked haphazardly stacked at strange angles inside, and looked out the windows that no longer had their bottom panes.   Heaven.

the boathouse

After the sun set, we ran through the boxwood and towards the abandoned greenhouse, overgrown and dark and mysterious.  It was magical.  Darkened sky, quiet, and etherial.  I'd give anything to go back.

For more photos - interestingly, pre-hurricane - look here.  Beautiful.


don't panic

I must admit, I have been remiss in posting -- especially considering I have so many photos from our voyages through Utah, but time has gotten away from me.  Also, I just realized I haven't discussed Chelsea -- all in good time. 

But now is just something simple.   It's turning out to be an interesting time of year -- for the most part, because I am headed back to school, but have yet to fully realize it.  Of course, filling out loan paperwork and realizing you haven't yet bought books (but have bought new pens and notebooks!) does bring it into sharper focus, but for the most part, I remain unaware. 

Today's mail brought a difficulty -- a miscommunication, that I will resolve tomorrow, but a scary miscommunication nonetheless.  Money related (the scariest kind of miscommunication).  I won't get into it, but suffice to say that it was unsettling.   I'm alone in the house now, as all three of my housemates are in the Outer Banks (not all together), and so I walked over to the couch and sat down, and started to pray. 

I looked up, and in the middle of the coffee table, was this: 

don't panic

Wow.   I think it's rather neat when messages come in unexpected ways -- though I've never had it come via mug


a brief summary of events

Well, I have been away from the blogosphere, but now I'm back!  In the past few weeks, I went through Christian Science Class Instruction, which, in a nutshell, is an intensive two week class that teaches the basics of being a Christian Science practitioner.  It's long to explain, but there's a good explanation here, and this article explains the basics of a healing practice -- or just ask me any questions if you see me.

What was lovely -- apart from Class itself -- was the chance to spend two weeks, alone, in lovely St. Petersburg, Florida.  

This was my backyard:


There were these beautiful big banyan trees downtown. I biked down there a few times, then got a hold of a VW Beetle Convertible, and my speed increased dramatically.


On a beautiful day, I sat on this grass and stared up at the sky for ages.

where I sit

The neat thing about St. Pete is that it looks, in certain sections that I frequented, like a cross between Hawai'i and Balboa Island.  All the docks for boats, the wide sidewalks and edges over the water, all made me miss Balboa summers something fierce.  That, accompanied with the palm trees (of course there are palms in Balboa too) and the light humidity made me miss Hawai'i.

sunnier view of the harbor

I met this kid while biking along the Balboa section.  He pointed out a shark to me in the distant bay, told me how I could tell it was a shark, showed me the fish that he'd caught, took a heart out of the fish to show me, and then demonstrated how the dorsal fin on a Pinfish works (hinged!).  It was absolutely fantastic.

penfish & fisherman

evening on the bay

For the whole shebang of Floridian photographs, go to my flickr set.


my pilgrimage

Yesterday marked a high point in my life-- that fulfilling of a Childhood Dream to visit Cape Canaveral.   Starting in approximately 5th grade (release date of Apollo 13: June 15, 1995), I became absolutely obsessed with the early space program, devouring every book I could find and drawing diagrams of Command-Service Modules, LEMs, Saturn V rockets, and lists of astronauts on a particular green binder.  

This love has always been bubbling along since then-- through other obsessions, it has remained-- and nourished every once in a while.  A new documentary ("In the Shadow of the Moon") a new book ("Moondust"-- absolutely wonderful, incidentally), or a friend (Josh) that shared my love so much that he brought me back oven mitts shaped like astronaut gloves.  I got him an inflatable Saturn V.

So of course, my trip to Cape Canaveral was not just a trip.  It was a pilgrimage.  

As a result of this being a bit of a historic trip, this is a long post.  Consider yourself warned.  I've linked to some of my photos, but the rest are here.  

My main goal was to visit the historic launching pads.  Apollo 1, for some inexplicable reason, has always had a tight hold on me, and I came with the almost express purpose of visiting Pad 34.  That was where, during a routine check the day before the launch, a fire swept through the full-oxygen environment of the Command Module, and killed the 3 astronauts inside: Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee.   Grissom had been one of the "Mercury 7," and the second American in space, and was one of the prime candidates for the first walk on the moon.  White had been the first American to walk in space, and this was Chaffee's first mission.

Of course, this event sent shockwaves--that is, of course, putting it lightly-- through NASA, and caused a total (safer) redesign of the hatch, a new nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere, less flammable velcro, insulated wires, and more.  What boggles my mind is that it was difficult to find even a mention of this at the Kennedy Space Center.  Frankly, it was difficult to find Apollo or previous missions.  

What saddens me is that those are the missions that are truly on the bleeding edge, always innovating and reaching further towards the moon.  I realize now we are in a time of complacency, because we have no Cold-War competitor like the USSR that is capable of overtaking us in a new Space Race, and perhaps that is why we should look back still.  There was complacency after we had landed on the moon, and now that seems implausible; we had landed on the moon, a feat that we have not yet repeated, and yet America was bored.  America is bored now, not because the Shuttle missions couldn't be interesting, but because the focus is on ant farms and science projects that have no foreseeable future as theories for lunar bases and life on Mars are thrown about, but have looming budget cuts and a disinterested government to compete with.

But I digress.  It was Mercury, Gemini and Apollo that originally captured our imaginations, and it is those missions that are relegated to off-site museums and hidden exhibits, in the shadow of Shuttle Launch Simulators and space-themed eateries.

There is, in theory, a "Apollo / Saturn V Center" on the premises.  It does, amazingly, contain the original Firing Room for Apollo -- the desks in Florida where they monitored the spaceship prior to liftoff and give the official go/no-go for launch.  They even simulate a launch, turning on all the bells and whistles that make it come to life--- complete with rattling windows in the back, presumably, to simulate what it would sound like were a Saturn V lifting off nearby. 

However, as I walked out from that room, after taking copious amounts of photographs, I was expecting to be confronted with an extensive exhibit on the Apollo program.  Instead, I walked into a long hall the length of a Saturn V, with the eponymous rocket hanging above, the space decorated in cartoonish primary colors and smelling of french fries from the "Moon Rock Café" located at somewhere around the second stage.  In truth, the Apollo / Saturn V Center was little more than a glorified café/giftshop, with large versions of Apollo patches hanging from the ceiling, to use up dead space.  It was, in truth, profoundly disappointing.

In such a state, I returned to the main Visitor's Center, with the intent to visit a few more things.  The gift shop was on the way, and I poked my head in, only to be boggled by the sheer amount of things that can be only termed "space kitsch."   Slogans like "Failure is Not an Option" (never actually said) and "Let's do Launch" are emblazoned on everything from shot glasses to mousepads, and in ways that are in no means aesthetically pleasing, but look amateurish at best. 

Fortunately, as I left, things began to take a turn for the better.  I went to the Rocket Garden, which is a collection of old rockets, and not, to my friend Becky's dismay, an actual garden.  It's got Mercury/Redstone, a Gemini/Titan, and all sorts of neat early space rockets. 

At the back of the Rocket Garden was a building labelled Early Space in a new-Tomorrowland (I mean that in not the best of ways) font, with a Gemini capsule attached.   I headed back; it looked closed.  It was, however, open, and where all of the information about Mercury, Gemini and, to some extent, Apollo, had been relegated.   The exhibit was o-k.  Some neat space-age-era lunchboxes and playing cards and things like that, which I think are just fantastic, but not much to my recollection in the way of artifacts.  

Then, I turned the corner.   There, sitting in front of me, alone, behind glass, was Mission Control for the Mercury missions.  Mission.  Control.   I can't express how cool this was.   (This room!) Tiny Mercury capsule on the map, to chart the progress of orbital missions, Bakelite phones, all the switches and dials and computing power that is probably in a programmable wristwatch.  

The slight damper on this was in order to tell the story of Mercury Mission Control, the museum had a film with a woman who I'm sure was called "zany" that went back into Mission Control and spent 5 minutes being confused by assorted titles of stations in Mission Control.  I hasten to add that the positions are not that complicated, and the titles -- conveniently -- usually describe the job.  I rarely say this, but as a woman, and in particular, a woman fascinated by the space program, I was aghast and actually quite offended.  It came off as if these "complicated" areas of early NASA were too complicated for a woman, let alone a modern woman to comprehend.   I'm sure it remains alienating to children as well, who are then convinced that such things are too complicated and then turn all their attention to IMAX, which I'm sure delivers information in succint, bite-sized, boring chunks. 

So I left. 

I headed off Merritt Island (technically what that part of "the Cape" is called), west towards the "Astronaut Hall of Fame."  I still argue it is perhaps the dumbest name for a site, and I would have driven by, had Josh not insisted that I stop in.  

This was what I had wanted the Visitor's Center to be like.  I walked in, and the first step in the exhibit is an open copy of a first edition of Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon.  Illustrated!  Also Buck Rogers, and all sorts of olde-tyme texts and images that showed how people thought we would go to the moon. 

The next room had banners of all the Mercury 7 astronauts, and as I turned around, I saw a Mercury suit -- recognizable for the most part due to its uncanny similarity to my Mercury Astronaut GI JOE (who knew?) -- and looked closer, realized it was Gus Grissom's.   That is how this museum began.  

There was a timeline that kept you abreast of NASA events, panels that showed the different astronaut pools (Original 7, New 9, &c), LOTS of artifacts, and the whole time they have speakers overhead with newsreels from the specific years, spelling out what else is going on in America when these men are flying into space.  Fantastic!  Also:  Apollo 14 CM.  Neat.  A beautiful memorial hallway for Apollo 1, with a quote from Grissom that I had never seen before:
If we die, we want people to accept it.  We are in a risky business and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program.  The conquest of space is worth the risk of life. 

From there, I walked around, and since I was the only one (basically) in the museum, spent 10 minutes in a mock-up of a Mercury capsule (clearly not made for anyone with hips) and just stared at the instrumentation.   Apollo had always been the most interesting for me, but it was here, on my back, jammed into a seat staring at dials, that I finally had closure.  Even if the rest of the Center was terrible, this moment was worth it-- sitting there, knowing that you are in the same position, thinking about the same things:  the wonders of life, and the next steps in the exploration of space.   I didn't ever want to leave.

this is me in a mercury capsule



Well, I've been in Orlando, FL for the past few days and this is the first chance I've really got to post.   I'm here at a convention, and yesterday, post-exhibition and during-thunderstorm, we decided to head to Disney World.  

This is us in the parking lot, realizing what it would take to endure the rain:
disney parking

Fantasyland becomes Poncholand

Tiki Room's waterfall is supplemented by the waterfalls from the roof...!

...and finally,  a view of the Main Street, USA train station:
main street, take 2

It was, even with all the rain, an absolutely wonderful time.  We saw fireworks and a parade with a deliciously handsome Prince Charming, and it was just a day filled with happiness. 


off into the horizon!


This photograph has absolutely nothing to do with anything, except that it was Tom's birthday, so Becky made him a cake, which the boys then decorated with sprinkles and miniature WWII soldiers and tanks.   It makes me giggle.

That being said, today -- as I am writing late, as I pack (late, as usual) -- is my last day of work, and first day of my month of travels.  Expect updates, as I have goals of visiting Cape Canaveral and taking all kinds of photographs while hiking through Utah! 


the perfect saturday

perfect saturday night

My roommate loaned me her record player and LPs for the night.  Fantastic.  I've got Simon & Garfunkle on (though not when the photograph was taken), and I miss my record player.  But that's ok: I've got this one for now.  Happy.


photos lost, photos found

avignon street
I just found an old digital camera, that I had forgotten I had.  Out of curiosity, I wondered if any pictures were still on it -- and I found 200+ photos of the end of my study abroad in France, and the beginning of the trip to Belgium!  (Where the other half of the Belgium-Germany-France trip went, I haven't the foggiest)

Some of the treasures I've found...

casa americain
On the street in Avignon

curving away
Amphitheater in Nîmes - I saw a bullfight here.

maison carrée
Maison Carrée in Nîmes -- an old temple to Jupiter

lovely view
Châteauneuf-de-Pape.  The popes' summer home, now vineyards.

tower in bruges
Hodge-podge of buildings in Bruges.

windmill, up

These make me happy, though it makes me absolutely long to travel again.

my flickr set has all of them


"with all the intensity of a summer storm"

I've decided that perhaps nothing is more ominous and deliciously visceral as hearing the low murmerings of thunder in the distant and waiting, as it grows louder--closer-- stronger until--- 

Now, it is just the pause before the downpour, the anticipation of drenching rains, the slight breeze through the leaves--flashes of lightning but still no rain.  

And now-- stronger breezes, louder rumblings, ----and the break!  Rain comes pouring down, in waves, tossed and turned by the wind, thunder louder, above our heads -- everyone is seeking shelter, and---

--I look out, from my now rain-soaked window, into the green grass, listen to the constant stream of water onto the ground.  Quiet.


growing strong

growing near the window

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be gree; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." 
--Jeremiah 17:7-8

Wow.   More of my thoughts on this later, but let's just say it's rather comforting.


rooms I have loved.

So I as I look around my room and see this (see right) ...it is a mite depressing.  There is quite a bit to do.  But forgive me, I have just finished 3 days of moving.  Three, because I only end up in the general vicinity of home at 7:30 pm, utterly exhausted.  Somehow (actually, with help), everything is moved. 

It got me thinking of memorable rooms of yore, and since I have moved every 6-9 months for the past 4 years (No, really.) I have quite a few rooms to remember.   Here, there, everywhere. 

Some I never got around to photographing, some are not as exciting, but here is a bit of a retrospective, in what I hope is chronological order.

Lancaster University, Lancaster, England.  My first study abroad, and my first time having a room to myself in college.  Oh, my flatmates.  I loved them.

The Appleford, a Civil-War-era house on the Gettysburg College campus. I just loved the little details in the bathroom (all mine!) and I would take baths when it was raining in springtime...

Wolf House.  Junior & Senior year of Gettysburg, though this particular photo was taken Junior Year.  Ah, to live on the first floor of a c. 1873 Queen-Anne style house, especially when one gets to live in the Library of the house.   Quite possibly the most depressing years as a bibliophile -- O, to have so much space & yet so few books on hand!  

My first sublet, in Williamsburg.  My first time officially living on my own.  Scary (but worth every second).

My real apartment, that I shared with the inimitable Holly.  I loved it, it was cozy, we cooked food and sewed.  Ever so happy.

My sublet in Alexandria.  One of the most beautiful houses I have ever set foot in.  This was the bathroom.  There were fossils painted on the walls! 

This was the most recent apartment.  I don't really have photos, oddly, but I do like that I documented my wall of pretty homes.  It certainly brightened things up. 

And now, I am living in my little tiny room, eventually to move in with some wonderful friends.  But in the meantime -- and by that, I mean now -- I get to snuggle up with all my pillows & bison stuffed animal.   Behold how squishy it looks!  With that--I am off.  My pillow calls.