Sunday, September 17, 2006

few & far between

i remember in high school when i would launch myself with unnerving ease into fits of adolescent despair that were only slightly self-aggrandized i found tremendous solace in 10,000 maniacs' song lyrics. what can i say, it was the mid-nineties in the suburbs of los angeles, and besides frantic journal writing and cavorting with the other drama geeks there wasn't much else i could turn to, besides musical comedy, but we'll leave that for another time.

in any event, my musical tastes have grown and expanded over the years, but i've never even wanted to leave behind its roots in the pithy reflective nature of the softer side of what was then emergent alt-rock. i can quite easily lapse into a time warped melancholy--or exuberant glee, depending--when i tap into some of those songs and lyrics.

this morning, as i wax over-analytical over my morning cup of coffee, it's 10,000 maniacs' "few & far between" from their album our time in eden that best reflects how i feel. it's times like these when i revert back to a point when other people seemed to be able to say it better.

"for now my hands are tied/i'm a body frozen/i'm a will that's paralyzed"

it's not the happiest place i can be right now, but it's perversely comforting. even the title fits aptly, although the context is somewhat skewed. (ed: holy crap, is "skewed" even a real word?) i'm looking forward to skipping back to track two on the same disc to find brighter comfort in "these are days." it's there. i just have to get to it.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

now what?

on my last full day in minnesota i helped the little one i was visiting add the obnoxious inquiry "now what?" to her rapidly expanding vocabulary. "now what? now what? now what?" she asked all afternoon, and we did our best to provide answers.

when i got home from my trip i called all the usual suspects to let them know i'd arrived safely. of course, the inevitable question arose, "now what?"

well, now i enjoy the last two and half weeks of my vacation, methinks. now i prep my syllabus for my two sections of freshman english. now i catch up on sleep, reading, cooking, baking, and my all-important grouping of televised entertainment i so deeply cherish. now i kiss the darling boy any chance i can get. now i try to correct the weird body clock mess of going ahead two time zones but keeping an early-to-bed and early-to-rise schedule while there, then returning home back two time zones and finding myself asleep before the end of prime time. now i run errands, tidy messes, and plan for the upcoming period of ten plus weeks when my time is not entirely my own. now i think about packing lunches and parking permits and hiring paperwork. now i water my plants. now i contemplate doing yoga or pilates or finally joining the gym to help shed the burden of a very long weekend of very bad eating. now i tap back into the local food scene and get to regular posting on LAist.

okay, so it's not anything of much consequence to anyone but me, but at least i know where i'm going and what i'm doing. and it's good to know, because when faced with the "now what?" i can answer, since i know what's what.

and that's that.


Friday, September 01, 2006

"leafy" in the land of 10,000 lakes

greetings from minnesota!

i've journeyed to the fringes of minneapolis in order to share in the fabulous company of my fabulous friend laurie, her fabulous hubby, and their fabulous just-about-to-turn two daughter, who segued from calling me "grandma" the first day i was here to calling me her best approximation to my first name, which comes out sounding like "leafy." i'm a-okay with that, since just about anything beats being called at grandma at the tender age of twenty nine. it's bad enough well-meaning waiters and salespeople have taken to calling me "ma'am."

aside from some funky ass-backwards jet lag (tired early in the day, despite moving ahead two zones), i am having an absolutely lovely time here, taking in the smaller city charm of the twin cities, and visiting with dear people i see far too infrequently. i've eaten a walleye sandwich, found my cherished frango mints at marshall field's (or macy's as of next week), and have the grandeur and fried-foods extravaganza of the state fair to look forward to this long weekend. (as an aside, i have determined that the secret to midwestern cuisine is to deep fry everything in sight, which brings a certain appeal to residency in the region, as i picture long winters with only heart-attack inducing food treats and the boredom-beating and warmth-bringing activity of humping to pass the frigid winter months.) for now, while its still summer, i'm happy to stroll about under the big blue skies and, come the day at the fair, nibble all manner of food served on a stick.

of course, all indulgences must come to an end; while my trip ends on tuesday, my summer vacation has finally been granted a terminus: come the end of the month i will begin my first gainful employment since getting my master's. i am now an official, legitimate, honest-to-goodness english 101 teacher at my dear alma mater. so i've got a lot to look forward to, from the next few days as "leafy" in the land of 10,000 lakes to the fall quarter as the authority on writing essays to a couple of rooms full of freshmen. as it's rumored they say here in minnesota, that's real good.


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