31 August 2007

so i've been trying to think of a word. one word to describe how i felt five minutes into the T ride into boston two weeks ago. lust occurred to me, but while lust captures the strong desire of the feeling, it's too superficial. maybe need. because there are things missing in my life that i think i could find there. which also made me think of longing. but even that doesn't really capture the comfort of the feeling. which takes me to

belonging. because all it took was sitting on the T, riding towards the city, to feel right. like i was back in a place that fit. the funny thing is that i didn't live there long--less than a year. and i wasn't happy for two-thirds of the time i was there. but even when i was unhappy, boston felt good. like a home waiting for me to build it. a place that spoke to me and where i could exist without fighting to find myself.

someday i hope one of the many colleges and universities there will have a job for me. and then i'll move back and live just far enough from work that i have to ride the T. so i can start my day with a brisk walk and half an hour of reading. and i'll walk to 90% of my destinations. and my world will be full of history and trees without having to search them out. and while i know that a place can't guarantee happiness, i also know that being somewhere that fits can make building happiness a little bit easier.

thanks to my sister for making a six-hour roundtrip drive in a day so i could get a little taste of boston.

30 August 2007

tonight i went to a movie. alone. (honestly, why do people refuse to go to a movie alone? it can be a social outing. but in the end, it's sitting in a theater watching a film. where's the need to have someone sitting next to you while you do it?)

i sat down in the middle of a preview. it was a bit violent. and then watched four or five more previews, all of which were violent. i was particularly disturbed by the preview for a new kevin bacon pic called death sentence, which opens tomorrow. all about a man who sees his son get killed in a gas station, identifies the killer, and then--when the killer gets off cause the case against him is too weak--takes matters into his own hands by killing his son's killer himself. which in turn starts a gang war, only it's just against him not against another gang (one man against all that is evil; it's like the quintessential american story in some ways). what bothered me so much about it was the way it justified a normal person turning into a crazy-eyed, butched-up, super-killer (three hyphens in a row; pretty nice, huh?) in the name of vigilante justice.

now, i wasn't really surprised by the violent previews. i was there to see the bourne ultimatum, after all (yes, i do actually go to the theater to see action flicks). but as i watched all the murder and mayhem on the screen during the previews, i wondered to myself why it is we go see such violence over and over.

well i got my answer when i left the theater after the movie...

i walked out of the theater energized. got in my little honda civic and the minute i was behind the wheel, shifting gears as i headed down macarthur towards home, i just knew that if necessary i could slam the car into reverse, spin wildly out of control only to reassert control in order to weave through head-on traffic. or drive my car at high speeds off a roof, jump out, trick a few people into shooting each other rather than me, steal a police car, and survive a deadly crash. just so i could jump off...well, i suppose i won't spoil the ending for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

and i don't even have all that much testosterone in my system.
so here's the reader's digest version of my last month (longer bits about some of this to come):

a week spent with family. 15 to 20 people staying with us. wall-to-wall sleeping arrangements. lots of laughter and fun.

a niece being stung by a sting ray complete with a trip to the life guard station and an infection that developed a week later.

late nights talking.

flying cross-country with my sister, brother-in-law and their two girls. M and B sharing the seat next to me on the plane to watch a movie.

rescuing a small frog from sure death by lawn mower.

delicious desserts from mrs. london's in saratoga springs.

babysitting so J & R could celebrate their anniversary. complete with "pat pat" and playing with friends.

a picnic in a park complete with visiting (and surreptitiously feeding) the ducks, riding the carousel (twice), and making wishes in the pond.

exploring the hyde collection (a local art treasure only about 20 minutes from J & R's house), where we fell in love with works by degas, rubens, picasso, rembrandt, among others.

discovering rock hill bakehouse cafe, home of the best chicken salad sandwich i've ever eaten. and, to top it all off, the best cookies i've ever eaten. (and then there was the boylan's diet creme soda--so tasty). have i mentioned that i love bakeries?

a day trip to boston, with stops in concord, at the isabella stewart gardner museum, faneuil hall, the north end, and harvard square.

a roadtrip south to visit our brother and his wife and family.

two days in deep creek, maryland, full of fun and rainstorms.

an excursion to fallingwater. which confirmed to me frank lloyd wright's absolute genius.

a couple of days in virginia with children playing and action movies.

finally finishing a school project that i let hang over my head for way too long...

a horse and buggy ride through saratoga springs on an absolutely gorgeous summer night.

a meandering drive through glens falls in an effort to retrace our steps to the rock hill bakehouse only to be thwarted when we got there and discovered they were inexplicably closed for the day.

a long trip home to the tune of wilco in anticipation of their concert (which i went to last night).

and throughout it all, lots of laughter and conversation and beautiful little children.

29 August 2007

after living out of a suitcase for seven-plus weeks, i came home last night. and it was perfectly lovely sleeping in my own bed (no more twin beds, air mattresses, futons [though that particular futon is more comfortable than most of the beds i've slept in], or back-breaking hide-a-beds). i've had lots of adventures in the last three weeks. i thought i'd take the time to post from my sister's house while i was gone, but when it came right down to it i was either writing the project i needed to write to finish my last course (yay!) or playing with my family. so the blog (and the guest posting at fMh) have been ignored. i'll be catching up in the next few days. art, food, architecture, darling nieces and nephews, and tripping alarms. not to mention nearly tripping over my own two feet in the middle of a street in front of on-coming traffic, which (naturally) resulted in near-hysterical laughter.

i'm glad to be home (though i miss J&R and their beautiful girls already).

11 August 2007

in june, i went to the mormon women's rocky mountain retreat (i think that's what it was called) with caroline and brooke. while we were there i not only ate the best carrot cake i've ever encountered (i really should have gotten that recipe), i also met fMh Lisa who was there to talk about the beginnings and evolution of feminist Mormon housewives, which she started in 2004. lisa's a riot (as were her blogging buddies, who were also at the retreat). and i love what she's done with fMh. when she invited me to guest blog on fMh a few weeks ago, i happily agreed. i've started my stint blogging over there. i imagine it will continue for a few weeks. if you're interested, please check it out.