Tuesday, June 20, 2006

homecoming queen

i'm back from a few days of taking some hearty bites out of the big apple.

i'm back and i'm trying my darndest to settle in amidst the turbulence of a life that for now is a bit in flux thanks to graduating, new jobs, jet lag, impending visitors, the chaos that is the darling boy's and my "operation enormous bookcases" project, and a myriad of other factors.

i'm back and i'm having fun thinking of all the things i want to say i did in new york that i didn't actually do, because people always seem a little disappointed when i say "oh we pretty much just wandered around, shopped, ate amazing food, and took loads of pictures." (eg. saying instead that we saw: "statue of liberty, a broadway show, times square, ellis island, rainbow room, empire state building, the sex and the city bus tour, bloomingdale's, carriage ride around central park, tavern on the green, the bronx zoo, the united nations, ground zero, or grand central station," despite the fact that we didn't even come near any of those things.

i'm back and i can say that we ate some amazing food (highlights: tom collichio's craft, homemade pasta at ballato, magnolia cupcakes, hot dogs, korean table top bbq, and the sweet potato fries at cowgirl). we also rocked the shops of soho, rode the wonder wheel at coney island, logged some serious subway mileage on our metro cards, and wandered the expanse of the brooklyn botanic gardens.

i'm back and i can also say that, man, do i need to go grocery shopping!

i'm back and i don't miss the humidity, but i do miss the subway, the corner deli (we called ours "the bagel") and buying clothes made by the tiny fingers of impoverished orphans in third world countries and sold for dirt cheap at H & M.

i'm back. and i really missed you.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006


The Program
Originally uploaded by sassylittlepunkin.
on friday i gathered with about seven or eight of my close friends and another eight hundred and ninety two close strangers in ugly black robes and funny hats in honor of commencement. and, well, we commenced. it was a pretty decent event, with the usual pomp and circumstance, mass chaos, crowds, speeches, and periods of prolonged hurry up and waiting. i'd spent the morning bunkered down in the english department enduring the pain and tedium of english 101 portfolio grading, took a rest and re-dress trip home with foxy in tow, and then was back to campus for the hoopla of grad.

the highlight of the event, among other wondrous things like having my family there, getting two enormous bouquets of roses, posing for pictures, being hooded by the chair of the english department, and sharing the experience with my friends, was definitely after the ceremony, when i was chatting on the walkway with my friend and her visiting parents, when someone came past shouting "sassy little punkin! i read your blog!" i have no idea who she was, but may i take this opportunity to say "hello!" and "thanks!" and "wow, that was surreal!" it was so weird to be recognized, and it was a total first (that's ever been vocalized, at least.)

after grad came all sorts of celebrations that stretched on for days. first was my very own garden party hosted by my mom and step dad, which had glowing lanterns, amazing hors d'oerves, my cake from hansen's bakery, and the surprise of brownies made using katharine hepburn's own recipe. (oh, for those out of the loop, my thesis was a novella based on kh's life.) saturday was foxy's sushi party at our favorite sushi place, azami, and then i had dinner at the water grill down town with my dad and step mom who came in from toronto to share in the celebration. monday was another reason to celebrate, when a fellow ta earned his phd, prompting a bunch of us to hoist some pints at good old lucky baldwin's in his honor.

so i've commenced. just what, i'm not sure.

i've felt lost for so many reasons over the past few days, mostly because i now have no thesis or degree to bitch about, a new-ish job to start in a few weeks (a six week gig teaching writing), and have been doing things way off the radar of my usual routine. i keep getting asked "so now what?" and the short answer is: "i'm getting cable and a new tv!" and that's about where i leave it.

speaking of leaving it, i'm on the red eye to nyc tomorrow night for a little celebratory trip.

oh, and incidentally, my thesis defense was a blast. no, seriously. i thoroughly enjoyed it. and i just happened to have been awarded my master's with distinction.

so there.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

great stuff on the big day

yesterday i was all anxiety and wobbly chin and fetal positioned on the filthy couch in my campus office, pulling sad and scaredy faces for anyone who'd bother to ask how i was doing. admittedly i was worried that would carry over to today--the big day of the defense for my thesis--but i lucked out and have had a small but stellar pre-defense day. i've seen a new commercial for the mysterious and household inside-joked product called head on, had a "we've arrived, we're pooped, we'll see you tomorrow!" call from my dad and step-mom fresh off the plane from toronto, a couple of status check calls from beloved gal pals bunny and foxy, a much needed chit-chatty visit (complete with fennel and sunflower) from the darling boy, the uplifting sounds of herbert's album scale to get ready by, an awesome phone call to the water grill where i'll be having one installment of the great master's degree celebration 2006 and where i've fallen in love with the darling hostess who took my reservation, and i've managed to coordinate an outfit that allows me to wear my new jcrew flipflops that have a beach scene on them.

in less than two hours i'll be a master's in english-creative writing. look out, world!


later on... (since blogger wasn't working earlier, dammit)

forgive the shouting, but:


the defense was a blast. the feedback was amazing. the work on the project has only just begun.

what a day!

i'm now officially a master of creative writing.



Sunday, June 04, 2006

the things left behind

i went to see my beloved pal and stylist yesterday for a hairdo upgrade in honor of friday's graduation, or more specifically, the post graduation cocktail party. since our friendship's roots are in my improvising past, it was only natural that i get a sort of status check on what she was up to in that realm, and a little 411 on some old pals. turns out another pair got hitched--the bride having been once upon a time someone i thought was a dear and close friend to me. i guess if you have to find out over a year later that nuptials were said and you weren't invited to watch, well, so much for the dear and close friend theory.

this left me smarting just a tad, a little indignant, thinking, "hey, what'd i do wrong?" out loud to my stylist i said: "well, i guess life happens without me around."

i suppose we all have things we've left behind. this week, when we'd begun to reassemble our living room after the great redo of 2006, housemate angel bunny mentioned that once upon a time she'd had to leave all the books she owned behind in san francisco. me, i've never left a book behind anywhere my whole life. i carry them from place to place. it's usually people and communities and relationships that get left, and i carry the memories. sometimes they're fantastically warm memories spiked with laughter and big smiles and hugs, and sometimes they sting, like the emails i re-read this morning from about three years ago, when my life made a very perceptible shift from what i knew then to what i had to go through to get to where i am now.

don't get me wrong. where i am now is where i am supposed to be, and where i want to be, too. i look at those words someone once wrote me, words carefully chosen that succinctly evaluated me, tore me down, and put me in my place. at the time i was outraged. now i wish i could hit reply and say to them: "well, you're right. and thanks." but i'm not going to. i can't. when you've gone so far forward there's just no sense in going back.

the person i am now doesn't miss who i was then, but misses the people i used to know. i miss improvising, and wish that i could do the impossible and rewind time so that the 2006 me could have a go at the 2002 life.

but that wouldn't get me anywhere.

what i left behind when my life moved were a bunch of really cool people. they were inspiring, fun, and great teachers and mentors. some of them were intimidating, distant, and standoffish. i thought so many of them were my friends, but as it turns out, few are. so i sit in my redone living room, on this june sunday in 2006, and i use the internets to see just where some of them are now. they're all over town, doing shows and classes and gigs and all the improvising stuff i thought i was all about three years ago. until i got called on it. so this is me, hitting reply, saying: "well, you're right. thanks." it wasn't for me, after all. and if i really missed improv so much, couldn't i go back to it? sure. if it was improv that i wanted. i don't think it is. i think it's what it represented to me. and that part of my life is over. its job is done. and i'm the better now for it, hard lessons and all.

what i am about now, the work, the play, the people i'm surrounded by--they are for me. the 2002 me would be floundering in my 2006 shoes, shy and uncertain and insecure. way over her head. and even on days when i'm feeling a little lost, i have a parcel of people--friends--who help me stay afloat.

well, whadda ya know? every one else's life happens without me. i'm just glad mine doesn't.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

counting down

14 days until i arrive in NYC for a quick trip
8 days until graduation and my little celebratory garden party
6 days until my family arrives from two canadian cities
6 days until my thesis defense
4 days until i give my final to my english 101 students, which means my last day of teaching
1 day until i deliver my full thesis to my panel members
2 hours until my new couches arrive
20 minutes until my lunch (thai food, yum!) gets here

judging by the numbers, i'm a mix of hungry, excited, terrified, nervous, and ecstatic. i'm not sure if i want to holler out "hurry up already!" or "stop! stop!"


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