Category Archives: musings

Going & Coming

My bags are packed,
I’m ready to go.
…I’m leavin’ on a jet plane,
Don’t know when I’ll be back again.

Landlady aside, I’ve said my last goodbyes.

Studying abroad is ending just as I’ve really found my stride–like suddenly the escalator I’ve been ascending has reversed its direction and, despite my best efforts and exertions, I’m descending again. Not back into a life less meaningful or joyful, but back into a life that has undoubtedly evolved in my absence, just as my absence has led to detectable changes in me.

The greatest part of this experience has most certainly been me. Meeting me, reacquainting myself with me, realizing that I like me for, well, me. Not for me as defined by my family or my friends or my surroundings. Me, in my head, listening to the person who needs me more than anyone else.

My first few days, fraught with emotion, were most necessary in coming to that conclusion. Because I had only myself, for once, and now for always.

I am resolved to treat my return as another study abroad opportunity. All too often, I fail to lose my breath as I walk through Polk Place or take for granted the people who actually want to spend time with me–even over-analytical, sentimental me. When I come back, I am planning Southern road trips and long, homemade dinners and moments of bliss so profound in their simplicity that I will, even if only for an iota, be able to live presently. And, again, I will remind myself:

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
– Kurt Vonnegut

In other news, I learned this morning that I won another contest courtesy of Twitter. This news is relevant because the prize will assist me in catering to my desire for all those “long, homemade dinners.” I won a Dutch oven, among other fun, meal-related accessories.

Sour tempered with sweet, as always.


Fantasy in Harsh Reality

I have to say it.

Women who wear burqas are my real-life dementors. Seeing a woman, or what I presume is a woman, clothed in such a way that robs her of her identity and self-determination not only bothers me, but it terrifies me. And it does, in fact, cause that same sinking, dreadful feeling, as though my very soul is threatened by her shroud.

What I desperately need is a rational explanation for why some women are compelled to answer for men’s immorality.

Does anyone know?

How You Know You’re Living Too Close to the North Pole

Sunrise is at 4:57 a.m.

Sunset is at 8:58 p.m.

For those of you who are not mathematically inclined, that sunlight scenario provides me with approximately 8 hours of darkness. Oh, earth, you oblate spheroid, you know not what you do as you continue to let the sun pull you every which way. I am trying to get a decent night’s sleep after working my butt off all day, yet you remain a pushover with your intense orbital devotion.

Meanwhile, I spent January through April developing a sun allergy where I get grossly sunburned instead of golden-tanned and must wear sunglasses at the slightest suggestion of sun. I’m sure you can appreciate the cruel irony of my allergy reaching an all-time high just as the sun reaches its all-time high this year.

And that’s how you know you’re living too close to the North Pole.

Either that, or I’m becoming a vampire, which means it won’t be long before I regress to a pathetic state of male dependence and entirely lose my ability to act.

Mr. Sun?

I know I should be grateful that I’m in London and all, but I’m going to take this opportunity to complain about how this weather makes me want to jump off Tower Bridge.

We haven’t reached 60 degrees (Fahrenheit, obviously) in several days. I’m becoming vitamin D deficient and I have to wear sunglasses at the slightest hint of sunshine, paradoxically suffering from lack of sun yet developing an allergy when it does appear.

I fear I must resort to a contemporary sun dance, of sorts. If only I had three cuddly dinosaurs and a sundry mix (pun intended) of poorly-dressed children to assist me.

A Big Plate of Butt-Kicking

Today I took advantage of one of the many free gym trials I have signed up for in preparation for France. (And in preparation for my subsequent physical recovery after eating too much in France.) Gyms here are expensive yet plentiful, so I’m going to a different one every few days until I exhaust my options and my body.

Having heard the hype surrounding Power Plates, I decided to try working out on one with a designated Power Plate specialist. In case you didn’t know, Madonna and J. Lo both own one, increasing their credibility and cost substantially. The machine is basically a giant, vibrating plate that is meant to force your muscles into doing 40x the work per exercise, which makes every movement count more, allegedly. It also helps your brain become violently reacquainted with your skull.

I think it works, based on how my muscles are aching right now, but I’ll have a full report tomorrow. I can definitely see these machines being useful in jump-starting a weight loss campaign, preparing for a wedding, or serving as fodder for comedians. I still think a better idea would be a power dinner plate, which burns calories off the food before consumption.

I am no closer to resembling either of these people.

In Two Months’ Time

It’s official. Exactly two months until I come home. Mark your calendars.

I don’t like to think about that day, so I won’t. Because it means leaving a world that I am only now beginning to appreciate and understand. And when I return to a world that I once understood (and still greatly appreciate), it will have changed, and my place in it will have changed, too. Maybe, hopefully, we’ve changed at the same rate and we still make sense together. Co-evolution.

It’s like in school, where every year we switched rooms and the chairs got a little bigger and the desks a little higher to accommodate us. My greatest fear is that my legs will no longer fit properly under the desk.

Or, worse still, that I can no longer reach the pencil sharpener.

Party of One

One week from now, I’ll be packing for Germany. Thank goodness, ’cause, boy, do I need a vacation. I refuse to think about the one paper I must finish and the other paper I must start/finish before then…

My laptop came back today. Besides the obvious hole in the box where somebody attempted to remove my computer without my permission, it seems to be in good health. Oh, and I no longer have Microsoft Office Suite. But other than that, perfect-o. So easy to write and footnote a paper without Word.

If you need me, I’ll be throwing a little pity party in my kitchen, where I’ll be stressing out and eating my feelings.

But I’m in London. So there’s that, at least.