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. 


bright outdoors

I walked outside today, after being indoors packing for quite a while, and was struck at the brightness of the outside.  It was so bright, actually, that I didn't initially have a word to describe it. 

It was the brightness that happens at the end of a film, after a nuclear blast, when they open the door of the fallout shelter, and by God, it is a New Day, the first day of a newer, brighter, atomic future.

But that didn't do it justice.  It was the brightness that color Oz was to sepia Dorothy.


summer-time outings

sunset at the stadium
So as a welcome to Summer-time, a few of us headed off to a Washington Nationals game.  I can't remember the last time I've been to a baseball game, but let's get serious, we weren't there for the game.   Weather was great, seats were cheap with a great view, and the food (outsourced from local DC places) was delicious.  We very quickly resolved to make it a monthly (if not bi-weekly) outing.

Here Josh attempts to find something -- I think the velocity of a pop fly -- through geometry and / or  physics:

baseball calculations

Tom is very excited about baseball.  (Not really!)  The light was so pretty, though...

so very excited

The next day, I searched out where my Mom's cousins live, as I had a niggling feeling that it was close to where I'm currently temping.  As it turns out, it is not only close, but officially .4 miles away.  So I walked.  Meandered actually, as I am a fast walker and was afraid I would arrive too soon for supper.

Supper was delicious, and while I have no photos of the boys this time (see: Easter) I managed to play football, soccer, and read Marco 3 bedtime stories, while promising 2 more the next time I came 'round.  Susan said that she should have expected as much, as she sent a self-proclaimed lover of books to read stories... what she didn't count on is that I recognized the books from my childhood, and so was far too excited to read them again!  The official count was:  "The Little Island,"  "My Friend is Sad" (neither of which I had read before, but Island is beautifully illustrated) and "Put Me in the Zoo" (which I had), and I spotted "Each Peach Pear Plum," which I had no memory of until I spotted the cover.

What follows are some pictures of my walk to their house.  So pretty.

leafy walk

grass stairs

sidewalk roses



The weather has been beautiful recently, which means I am now entering my phase of missing working outdoors 40 hours a week.  Yes, it can be miserable (see: Virginia Summer) but Springtime and Fall are bliss. 

 Today was a beautiful day in DC, and as I walked to nearby family's house (right near work!) I realized how perfect for walking the weather was.  A lovely 60°, crisp enough to offset the heat from walking, and sunny.   So as a result, I started of thinking back to working at Williamsburg.  Even though the lovely weather is what you look forward to, it's the dreadful weather that you remember. 

I talked to Amy today about the day we worked during Tropical Storm Ernesto, and of course she remembers the whole day.  We spent most of it together, huddled underneath cloaks, trying to avoid puddles (and failing), making our way down the Duke of Gloucester street towards the shops where we were assigned that day.   Meanwhile, tree branches were falling around us. 

We made it to the Wig Shop, where I was assigned, and I realized quite quickly I was soaked through, and so took of layer upon layer until I was barefoot, wearing my chemise, stays, and bed gown.  

To those not intimately familiar with Early American Textiles, I was wearing a knee length cotton nightgown, a fully-boned corset ("stays"), and a woolen knee-length wrapper that vaguely resembles a bathrobe.  Colonially naked.  

All of my clothing at this point was strewn across the shop, along various ropes, as I lamented being chosen for the one shop that had a fireplace that didn't draw. 

Needless to say, it was a rather uneventful day for guests (total: 13) but we interpreters had fun.  The electricity went off, and we didn't realize it until a few hours later, and I trekked across the river that Duke of Gloucester had become to peek in the Millinery shop, and managed to find not only a fireplace, but soup and hot chocolate that they had heated up in the fireplace.  I watched my shoes steam slightly as they became slowly less damp, and wiggled my toes in my wet stocking feet while I sipped my soup. 

It sounds miserable, but I don't remember that.   It's filed under other outdoors days, full of fresh rainstorms, cool breezes, and blissful sunny days.  


quentin's ring

ring two

I've started to wear this ring again.  Around my neck, but I find myself absently fiddling with it throughout the day.  It's another remnant of Infernal Gaslamp, which I realize more and more (especially now that I'm reminiscing) was another great formative part of my life. 

I love the world, and I love that it's so tangible.  In the Circle, especially, we are taking this to new extremes and seeing documents as academic sources from days gone by, and having to treat it not as gospel, but as a possibly biased source.  The creation of history, in that strange meta way, is addictive. 

I have been added to the pantheon of saints in the Circle-universe.  In a small homage (or whatever you would call it) there is a St. Emily the Chatterer, who is known for building the greatest library in the world, then losing it all when she moved from Ivortown to Orryk.  

It is, I was told later, a reference to my pages upon pages of notes for Infernal Gaslamp, which I no longer have access to.  Not nearly as dramatic, as they are in storage, not destroyed, but I liked the comparison, which will nurse me through the times of having a meagre stash of pages.

As I like the ring.  I can't remember how I got ahold of it, but you'll have that.  Now, to sleep and prepare for tomorrow.  I'm excited.

"I thought the music mattered"

Today, spontaneously, I went to a rock concert.   I was invited to come with a group of friends, and, oddly enough, I went.  

Usually I'd be so tired from work that I wouldn't feel like social interaction but today, I headed out.  It was a tour of the front man of the band System of a Down, Serj Tankian.

It was great.  Unexpectedly great.  I forget about how many major formative experiences in my youth (hah!) were from live music.  I love it.  I love the communal nature of it, how everyone is there together for the same purpose, and I love that you can just let the music wash over you.  

Even though this was an act -- hard rock -- that I wouldn't dream of usually seeing, there's something about being there and letting the music take the lead. 

Someone lit a lighter during one of the songs -- I had forgotten how beautiful the æsthetic of a flame against all the shadows of heads and lights of the stage could be.  I think the blue-glow of phones is lovely (particularly when we were at the Hollywood Bowl's Sound of Music sing-a-long), but it had been so long since I had seen anyone actually use a lighter.  It was so bright and clear and that orange against the blue lights -- and only a flicker of it, as it was alone in the crowd.   Lovely.

Now, I'm home, and off to bed, after quite a ride.


forays into the æthernet

I'm not sure if everyone knows, but I've been invited to contribute to the lovely Steampunk blog, Brass Goggles.   I'm excited -- and my first post has just been posted, which you can read here.  It's on these amazing tiles that I saw at the RISD Alumni Art Sale.  Stunning.  I want the entire set...desperately.

Go visit the blog... there's a particularly neat post on pocketwatches that was posted today, too!


snakes & characters

what cheer, netop?

Well.  Today is the first day that I've actually been coherent enough to blog.   But what a day!   We met up and headed to the Nature Lab at RISD, where I'd been (briefly) before, but this time, we met up with Kate & Andrew, who work there, and were able to give us a full tour.  

We met Netop (above), an amelanistic (sherbet colored!) corn snake, who, for the first time in my life, made me want to own a snake.  We bonded. 

But first: the show last night.  This was Claire's final show for Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design [ risd ] and I was absolutely thrilled I got to pop up to Rhode Island to see!  

It consisted of 7 total artists, and while I knew a few and was familiar with their work, I was still blown away at their newest projects, or even looking at the art I'd seen a second time.  It was just so perfect.   The works all had these unintentional parallels, which were neat to follow, and it was great to be in that environment where everyone was so excited about the art. 

(I haven't posted lots of pictures of the art, because their websites do a much better job!  See bottom of the post!)


It makes me contemplative, and thinking back to my own senior year, when I had things pretty much nailed down in March.  I knew what I was going to do, and in retrospect, I worry I picked that too quickly.  But it's done nothing but benefit me, so I should be grateful for that path.  

Dad and I were talking to Claire's professor, Shanth -- who, incidentally, is amazing & we've sat in on classes that I still think about -- and he was talking about what he tells graduating seniors about where they should go.  The idea coincided with Dad's idea of "go where it's scary," with this thought of "go where you can grow."  I really liked that.  I like that idea of going to a place that you're still terrified of, but knowing that you'll find your feet, and the only way is up.   It's a good thing to keep in mind, especially with that on my horizon again. 

But back to RISD! 

The Nature Lab was great.  Kate fed chameleons, I hung out with a snake, we met turtles, saw doves, and ogled an albino Madagascar hissing cockroach.  Also, there is metric tons of taxidermy there, and it's just a great space.  Very Victorian Natural History Museum-y. 

nature lab, front desk
How beautiful is that?  

nature lab, shelves

beetle lovin'
Beetle Love Tank.  My favorite part.  

bonding with netop
More of me and Netop.

And finally, we went to one of Claire's classes on Character Design.  We love the professor -- see above: Shanth -- and just sat and watched.  It made me miss college (and relish that I'm going back!) and my mind is boggled by the fact of just so much creativity there.  

Claire made this orca for her protagonist, and her sketches later of it are quite possibly the most adorable thing ever.  

detachment (the easy kind)

For more pictures of the show, see my flickr album or Mom's post about it.

Also links to assorted artwork:  

bleary eyes dark skies

I am absolutely wiped.  Yet I am not in bed.  Why?  No actual reason.  Today was Claire's Senior Art Show (at her school, RISD)  As a result, I have multiple business cards, some mildly blurry photos, theoretically some more photos on Mom's camera, a full stomach (yummy scallops) and am rambling incoherently. 

Most likely, this is from only getting 4 hours of sleep in the past 24 hours.  I have no idea how others do it: I need -- cherish! -- my sleep.  So it is to dream-land I go. 

A more coherent update tomorrow, with photographs!


busy little bee flies away

Well, I've been busy as all get-out, and even today, with packing to do, presents to cushion, and a car at 5:07 am, I still managed to stay late in Georgetown, having a delicious dinner at this teeny french restaurant with my good friend Kara.  The weather today was absolutely pitch-perfect for eating outside (70s-ish?) and we were tucked in between two yellow-painted old brick walls under vines.  Gorgeous. 

That being said, it still takes me ages to get home, though I did manage to catch the very, very last bus from the Metro to my house.  Hooray!  However, this means I got in at 10:45 pm.

The important part is: I am home, though leaving for lovely Rhode Island in the morn.  

Posts to follow, probably including the following:
  • travel adventures
  • the significance (unintentional) eating of duck à l'orange & leaving at 5:07, which I will expound upon
  • my walk through Rock Creek Park, two times in two days
  • chess-boxing.  Yes.

Toodle-pip!  I'm off to bed.


figuring out the path

All things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his holy purpose.
 -Romans 8:28

Oddly enough, it's all falling together now.  I had a revelation in the shower the other day, which was quite profound, and I won't get into the entirety of it, but the main point was: Maybe this time was just to prepare you.

Wow.  This came like a thunderbolt at a time (in the shower, actually) when I was worried about money, funds, job, relationships -- in a word: everything.   This thought came to me -- one of calm, and the idea that my supply would be met, and that all of this time was not a waste: it was preparation for things to come. 

A few people have commented that they see the change in me, and I see the change in myself.  I'm not sure if I could actually put a name to it, but I know, in the deepest part of me, I have changed.  My faith has grown stronger, my spiritual sense more clear, and my trust in God more implicit.  

I have a job interview tomorrow.  I'm not nervous.  I might not get it, but for once I'm not worried.  In the past few days -- few hours! -- this demonstration of my path has unfolded so clearly before me that I know that if this is not the right step, the next one will appear.   I have heard the voice behind me saying "this is the way, walk ye in it." (Isaiah 30:21) and my path is clear.  

Who knows what my next step will be - and after this time in the wilderness, I do not presume to know what it will be! - but I am sure it will be exactly what I need, at exactly the right time. 

p.s. mom took this photo at the japanese gardens in s.f.  I love it.

acceptance is a wonderful thing

Well, I think that is rather self-explanatory.  I'm quite pleased, especially considering I had officially given up all hope of even hearing from American University (the sender of the abovementioned missive), let alone getting in.  

Well.  You only need one acceptance, as they (Mom) say. 

More information and some thoughts on "place" coming up... tomorrow, when I am less bleary-eyed.

But for now: Hooray!