Sunday, May 11, 2008

In review: the perfect weekend.

An unexpectedly pleasant weekend. Or, I should say, a weekend I predicted would be nice (given this temporary absence of work and grading) but which then exceeded my prediction.
A run-down:

Friday, went to the job session hosted by Dara and Peter. It was really helpful; I have never (I'm ashamed to admit) been to Career Services, had no idea that they'd start files for us, send our dossiers to interested prospective employers, and so forth. (How did I not know this? I wondered later. So many things I need to learn.) Have begun jotting notes for an updated CV. Late afternoon, went to the bead store and picked up beads/wire for new projects. Spring projects in the palette of coral and turquoise. Watched "Sweet Land" with Eric. Cooked dinner, and accidentally watched, with E., the entire season one of Twin Peaks.
(We had not intended to watch the whole season, but the episodes were all run together - there was no option offered, in the root menu, of watching individual episodes.)

Saturday, went to the farmers' market and bought a mint plant, which I promptly repotted. Went to the gym for a slow, minor workout. Took a short walk with E., during which we came upon a tag sale - one of the vintage stores on Market St. is closing, and was selling most stuff for $1! (Some clothing items were $3.) Eric got two ties, and I got a miniature, forest-green teapot - it holds just one cup - and a purse fashioned after a creel. In total, we spent $4. Ate lunch, cleaned up, went to the laundromat and now all of my clothes are clean. Went grocery shopping for the week, though I bought less than normal since I'll be leaving for Minnesota on Thursday. Cooked dinner with Eric (kielbasa, tater tots, baked beans = Midwestern deliciousness), watched a rerun of the Real World. Drank a cold beer and made a necklace of 6mm turquoise colored beads with chips of coral at 1" intervals.

And today, E. and I made eggs and toast for breakfast, sat for a long time on the couch in the sunlight, looking at all the new potted plants, and talking about weddings we'd been to. I was spaced out on allergy medicine and reluctant to go to the gym, but I went anyway and felt good afterward. Had lunch (a hot dog, half a grapefruit) went to lay out in the field near my house. Had intended to start reading Lunch Poems but instead fell asleep in the sun. Went home and showered, read, cooked dinner with E. Am now reading (about halfway through) The Year of Magical Thinking and it is heartbreaking: in its accuracy and repetition.

Oh. I also read, during the course of Saturday, Meghan Daum's My Misspent Youth, which I really enjoyed, but from which few phrases/descriptions struck me. It was funny, to be sure, and poignant (the last essay, especially) (aside: I hate the word poignant), but not nearly to the level of Didion's writing. The only reason I draw this comparison is because Dan Wakefield's blurb for Daum heralds her as "A Joan Didion for the new millennium..."

What a shame that this weekend is almost over! Even in the absence of formal time constraints, I managed to get a lot accomplished, and a good variety.

If you haven't already, call your mom!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Evening plans.

James Tate is reading tonight(!), but before attending this event, E. and I are going to have a picnic on the lawn at UMass. (Which lawn, we're not yet sure. I'm not even familiar with all the knolls & grassy patches on campus and I think, in fact, that there are even picnic tables by Herter. So there's a good chance that we won't be sitting on the grass at all.) Picked up salami, cheese (sharp cheddar and Laughing Cow, for me), watermelon, and a mini mini chocolate cake. Some beers, which will have to languish in the fridge 'til later.

This weekend may = a strange calm before the storm. I'm done with my own classes, and my last day of teaching is Tuesday. Even then, I'll just be having a party for my students, so there's no need to lesson plan...Yikes! What to do with this sudden, brief, & lovely stretch of free time? Any suggestions for things to read, recipes to try, crafty-type projects?

Indeed: I may work on fixing an old necklace, making a new one, updating the scrapbook (which, like those beers, has languished: but for months). The bead store here relocated to a bigger/more out-of-the-way location, and I have yet to check it out.

Also, and totally unrelatedly, the aloe sprouts I transplanted last weekend don't seem to be doing well. (I successfully resisted the urge to use a sad-face emoticon. Congrats, right?) I thought their roots were long enough, but maybe not?

Friday, May 2, 2008


Happy belated Flunk Day to any Knox peeps who may remain in the readership! (Happy recovery, I guess I should say.) I hope the weather in Illinois was better than it is here, here being rainy and 45 degrees. Yesterday's email got me thinking about Flunk Days past - three, in all - and how singular & great the tradition is. I have spread the good word to those unfamiliar with the tradition, but the explanation bears repeating: Flunk Day is a day (undisclosed to the student body until 5 AM of the day itself) on which the Knox administrators cancel all classes and provide picnics/carnival-type amusements (foam pit, DJs, petting zoos, mechanical bulls, and so forth) for the Knox community. The students are awoken at dawn by a select group of upperclassmen ("friars"); at this point, heavy drinking commences. Most people prepare a Flunk Day stash of booze: because the holiday could be declared at any time, one must be prepared! Naturally, a certain amount of drama can/will happen on Flunk Day, but mostly, everyone is jovial & filled with goodwill.

Ahh, Flunk Day.

Sad news: Eric and I have to reschedule our birthday BBQ, planned for tomorrow. I don't understand how we had cloudless, high-80s days for the last two weeks of April, and now the weather is winter-like again. SUCK!