Wednesday, July 25, 2012

senor macho solo

Author's note: I'm way too lazy to do this, but I bet if I took the time to check, I'd discover that 30 Rock gets referenced more often than any other popular culture item on this blog. Today's title, which should read Señor Macho Solo, refers to the title of an episode and also, more importantly, to the fact that this weekend *I* am Señor(ita) Macho Solo. 

Much like the title of this post, this photo is apropos of nothing except that I like it.

For the first time in very close to two years, I am alone in the apartment. At night. While I have occasionally traveled for conferences, since we've moved to DC Ross hasn't taken a trip without me. This weekend, though, he's in Chicago visiting his parents and grandparents. I can't get off work, since I work with kids and there's nobody to substitute for me, so I am here by myself. It's funny... much as I love Ross' company, I also tend to really love time by myself, so I was really looking forward to this weekend. But now that he's actually gone and it's gotten dark, it feels totally weird. It's been such a long time since I've been here alone for longer than a work day that I've forgotten how quiet the house is without him. I sure like that guy.

Fortunately I have a few things to keep me occupied, including a mile-long list of things to do, a stack of books I've been needing to read, about 500 French flash cards, and a Creature, who I think will be foregoing her usual sleeping-in-the-bathroom routine tonight to cuddle with me instead.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

a wish list

As I have undoubtedly mentioned before, my birthday is my favorite day of the year. I know how that sounds, and I don't care. One of my favorite parts of my birthday is crafting a wishlist ahead of time. I know how that sounds, too, but the thing is that I don't expect everything, or even anything, from my list. Making a wish list is an exercise in pure daydreaming, and there's something really delightful about that. Here are some of the things on my list.

1. A bag (not a backpack!) large enough to fit my laptop and books in and nice enough that I can bring it into my classroom. I'm pretty sure grown-ups don't carry backpacks unless they're hiking. This bag is from Moop and is ridiculously expensive beautiful expensive.

2. In the same vein, I'm on the prowl for clothes that I can wear to teach that are not jeans, but also not too fussy. Something sort of like the above.

3. As I've said before, Flight of the Conchords = Happiness. I already have the first album, and I'm pretty sure the second would just double the pleasure AND the fun.

4. I recently was able to experience a Baltimore tradition, lemon sucked through a peppermint stick. It was sweet, tart, and sticky. It was everything summer should be. For my birthday I would like to recreate this experience (major barrier: finding appropriately thick peppermint sticks. They're available online, but for a hefty shipping fee).

5. This birthday calendar from Linda and Harriett. A long-time staple on the ol' birthday list. 

6. Finally, for this list at least, we come to the iPad. I am extremely proud of the fact that in our house there is a carefully maintained line between needs and wants (even if I complain about it sometimes). So even though I'd like to claim the iPad as a need - it would be extremely convenient to be able to bring something smaller than the laptop back and forth to class, and there are a ton of apps that are extremely useful for scholarly, PhD-types such as myself - I can't quite bring myself to do it. The iPad is a want, albeit a lovely, useful, elegantly designed one. And that's why it's perfect for the birthday list.

Thanks for letting me share! In case you're curious, the rest of my birthday list (as well as last year's) can be found here. Happy July!

Monday, July 2, 2012

our moonrise kingdom

Suggested soundtrack for this post: Francois Hardy's Le Temps De L'Amour

Have you seen Moonrise Kingdom yet? I hope so, because it's absolutely lovely, and because the title of this post will make a lot more sense if you have. 

The weekend before last Ross and I went on our first camping trip of the year, to Tuckahoe State Park on Maryland's eastern shore. This is Creature on the camping box; I'm pretty sure she didn't want us to leave (the fact that she pooped everywhere while we were gone makes me even more sure of that, but that's a different story). 

I've wanted to go to Tuckahoe for a long time because of its 60 acres of flooded forest. It did not disappoint.

Our canoe rental was only $15 for two hours, and the ranger made it pretty clear that we could stretch that as we wanted. This is a Great Blue Heron and a turtle in the same shot. We saw hundreds of turtles, some small enough to fit in my palm, some the size of dinner plates. 

This is a beaver, who could not have cared less that we were there. We got within three or four feet, and he still didn't swim away or even really acknowledge us. Beaver don't give a s***.

Ross' sharp eyes caught some of our beaver friend's handiwork.

We only saw one other boat the whole time we were on the water. It was a fishing boat helmed by two old guys. If I were writing a short story about this, they would maybe represent the spirit of the river (subtly, of course). That's why I don't write short stories anymore.

This is our Moonrise Kingdom. 

This is Ross. He's whittling a polar bear.

The next day we decided to go to the beach. This is our super delicious breakfast cooked on our super reliable and portable camp stove (thanks John and Diana!).

This is the beach! It's a little hard to tell from this picture, but beaches in Maryland are insanely crowded. I'm from Orange County and I've never seen crowds like this. It was also 90 degrees, which was amazing.

After a completely decadent day on the beach, we stopped in Lewes, Delaware, which now rivals Shepherdstown, WV for the coveted "My-Favorite-Town-on-the-East-Coast" award. Shepherdstown has more vegan restaurants and crunchy folks, but Lewes is smaller and quieter and has the single most elegant bookstore I've ever seen. 

After another night of sleeping out, campfires, whittling and reading, we came home. It was one of the best weekends ever, and it felt just. like. this: