Monday, December 28, 2009

This Christmas

Pajamas at breakfast, the feel of a rug under bare feet, the "snuggle right in" feeling, board games on cold nights, driving under an overpass during a storm, dinner with laughter, snow on tree branches, gold-edged pages, attic junk, pasta with proscuitto and tomatoes, Mozart performances at midnight, feeling witty, confident and devastatingly feminine.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

The smell of old books, gold-edged dictionaries, writing at sunrise, woods, mountains, hiking, daydreaming, being barefoot, wearing skirts/sun dresses, sunshine, painting, picnicking, cooking, campfires, cloud-watching, tree-climbing, kite-flying, exploring, good conversation, comfortable silence, swing dancing, road trips, railroad tracks, the month of October.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Live in the Sunshine, Drink the Wild Air

I belong in St. Louis. I love its people, culture, history, accessibility to the arts and opportunity for new experiences. To me, this is home. But, I can only stand cement, brick, steel and glass for so long. I need to retreat to the woods. I need the smell and feel of Missouri clay beneath my feet. I need to feel renewed. I need to be a little wild.

What I love most about this city: The woods are a mere 30 minutes away; the nearest park is only 3.

Monday, November 2, 2009

7:29:53 am

She woke expectantly in the small moment just before the alarm clock radio began its chorus and her arm windmilled toward the impending sound. Maria held up the weight of her sleep-heavy head with her wrists, rubbing her eyes and brows before taking in the first full breath of the day. Tension began in the small muscles of her toes, filling up her body with movement and heat until her spine bridged up to a sitting position, encouraged by a yawn that lifted her upwards and filled her chest with the humming air-conditioned air. She unsheeted herself, exposing the warmth of her legs to the black around her. Her bare feet met the stain-stiff carpet and shuffled across, arms outstretched in inquisition. She grabbed the wall and palmed the stucco, pressing a bit harder to let the small cement ranges scrape her hands with warmth. She placed and thumbed the light switch to ‘ON’ as she squinched her eyes pointlessly and tightly, knuckling them until useful. Regaining her sight, she smirked at her reflection in the vanity: her pillowed face creased in unnatural, now-rigid wrinkles; her hair was a tangle of last night's curls and champagne-inspired copulation. She cast down her eyes and turned on the steady stream, tossing the washcloth into the shell-shaped sink. She rubbed her cheeks and pushed back her tresses, cleaning the creases of her eyes and sniffling over the steam. Fishing the hot cloth out of the basin, Maria unwrapped a thin bar of soap from its logoed envelope and worked them together with slightly stinging hands until sudsy and light.

To be continued...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Like Wednesdays Best

Firstly, the aforementioned "boyfriend" is Brian Gregory May, he is positively wonderful and has been for the past 16 months. Don't be fooled by my fuming rant; after all this time, he still makes me blush.In other news:
I interviewed for my dream job just yesterday at the St. Louis Public Library for the position of Young Adult Services Provider. This is the first interview for a job which I feel I'm not "throwing myself" at. I'm fully qualified and entirely enthused.

In the words of my good friend, John: "Hang on to that feeling. Even if it doesn't work out, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you should be proud." I am very proud of myself, but I have a funny feeling that gaining full-time employment would feel even better.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies and a Cold Glass of Milk

Recap of my day:
1. Get called this morning at 7:48am to be told that they don't need me at work today. Still have to go to work to pick up a hair clip that was made for me by a co-worker to wear at a wedding this upcoming Sunday.
2. Wake up at approximately 10am, make breakfast.
3. Discover that my phone will not allow me to receive or send text messages.
4. Get call from sister at noon asking about aforementioned phone issue. Asks if I want to accompany her to the Art Museum. I agree to go if she will run by my work.
5. Go to Art Museum with sister, get slightly lost. Good times are had.
6. Drive by work to pick up hair clip. Creator originally said she would make item for free. Now is asking for $10 and writes so on the box.
7. Pick up take-out with sister, eat at home while watching the Discovery Channel.
8. Try out wedding ensemble, feel really good in it.
9. Mom comes home from work, doesn't complain. Great.
10. Get ready to leave for a showcase at UMSL in which my boyfriend is playing.
11. Get to the Shrewsbury MetroLink Station a little after 6pm.
12. Purchase ticket, train leaves as I am doing so.
13. Have to wait for the next train for 40 minutes because of "minor delays", it's cold.
14. Finally leave at 6:40, worry if I will make it in time or not to see showcase.
15. Transfer from Blue Line to Red Line.
16. Arrive at UMSL North Station at 7:20pm. Unsure of where the Student Center is on campus.
17. Find the Student Center, do not know where the showcase is being held.
18. Find the showcase which has barely just begun. Relieved.
19. Boyfriend approaches upset because he thought I might have been hurt when the reality was that I was unable to tell him that I had arrived. Note: See phone problems.
20. Boyfriend sits with me for 2 acts after he performs and then disappears for the rest of the showcase.
21. Boyfriend invites me to sit with them once he returns an hour later.
22. Boyfriend and friends are drinking mixed drinks which, I assume, were poured when they "disappeared".
23. Showcase ends.
24. Drop off bassist at his house around 10pm. I sit in car to stay warm while they talk outside. Listen to some choral music.
25. Decide that we do not wish to go to a party tonight, but I do want to spend more time with my boyfriend.
26. Cannot go to boyfriend's house because boyfriend is incapacitated.
27. Call friends to see if they are still at a planned get-together in South St. Louis. Discover that they are not hanging out in South St. Louis, but are in Fenton instead. Was not informed.
28. Get dropped off at house at 11pm, feeling somewhat disappointed in how the evening has turned out.
29. Say so to boyfriend, keeps driver for 30 minutes because of having to repeat myself and explain that it's okay.
30. Currently eating chocolate chip cookies with a cold glass of milk.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"What are you going to be when you grow up?"

120 applications, 2 failed job interviews and 5 months of part-time employment has me nauseous with uncertainty. Hence, I finally decided to bite the "I-already-have-so-much-money-in-loans" bullet and plan to enroll in graduate school to become what I have always wanted to be: a Librarian. Here goes everything.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Open Books for Open Minds

Here's to the authors who wrote the truth so eloquently that someone, somewhere was afraid that others would become enlightened too. I fully intend on reading every work; ">" indicates that I have done so already. I have some catching up to do.

Celebrate Banned Book Week!
September 26−October 3, 2009
"Observed during the last week of September each year since 1982."

Top 100 Banned Books in America:
> 1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
> 2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
> 4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
> 5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses by James Joyce
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
> 8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
9. 1984 by George Orwell
> 10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
> 12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
> 13. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
> 15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
> 17. Animal Farm by George Orwell
> 18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
> 19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
21. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
22. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
23. Their Eyes are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
> 24. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
26. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
29. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
31. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
32. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
33. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
> 34. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
35. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
37. The World According to Garp by John Irving
38. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
> 39. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
40. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
41. Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
42. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
43. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
44. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
45. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
46. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
> 47. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
48. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
49. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
> 50. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
51. My Antonia by Willa Cather
52. Howards End by E. M. Forster
53. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
54. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
55. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
56. Jazz by Toni Morrison
57. Sophie's Choice by William Styron
58. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
59. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
> 60. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
> 61. A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor
62. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
63. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
64. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
65. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
66. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
67. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
68. Light in August by William Faulkner
69. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
70. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
71. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
72. A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
73. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
74. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
75. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
76. Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
77. In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
78. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
79. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
80. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
81. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
82. White Noise by Don DeLillo
83. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
84. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
85. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
86. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
87. The Bostonians by Henry James
88. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
89. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
90. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
91. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
92. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
93. The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
94. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
95. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
96. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
97. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
98. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster
99. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
100. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mia Nonna

My Grandpa has a cardboard box of memories-- pictures of my beautiful Grandma throughout her life. It became apparent a year ago that, while he was far more susceptible to the disease, she was showing signs of Alzheimer's. Miraculously, she still remembers our names and our memories. She has been on hospice for the past 3 weeks. Grandma has stopped eating, Grandpa can't stop crying.

My family invited him to dinner tonight. We talked about memories at their old house on Robert Ave., the hobbies that he wants to start up again, the hundreds of bells she collected that we plan to give away at her funeral so that everyone can have something to remember her by. Right before he left, he said,, "I know she's still here, but I still miss her everyday and I still hug my pillow every night. I just hope she feels the same."

In a strange way, I want that.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Home Sweet St. Louis

Finally home and semi-rested from the 23 hour ride back from Wyoming. Simply readjusting to the amenities of having easy access to food, light that isn't hand-held and a place to sleep more than a blue foam pad's worth above the ground.

I miss the mountains.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Adventure Awaits Beyond Horrible Kansas

After weeks of planning, a day of grocery shopping and a night of miraculously packing everything into the car, I finally find myself sitting on a couch with less than 5 hours before we take off for the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming. Contentment at its best.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fill in the Blanks

"Post-graduate life is sort of disappointing. Apparently, two college degrees are only good enough to get you a job ________... but that's really my own fault. Aside from that, I drink a lot of ________ and ________."
  • Marty: at a gas station, pbr, listen to Bob Dylan records
  • Amber: in retail, Schlafly, read a book or watch the Discovery Channel
  • Joey: at Kmart, A&W, overwork myself in grad school
  • Amanda: at Victoria's Secret, wine, watch the home shopping network
  • Lindsey: at another crappy restaurant, gin and tonics, cry myself to sleep
  • Erica: stocking shelves (if that last interview went ok), $3 Walmart wine, make things out of yarn or play Majong
Sounds about right.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

College in a Laundry Basket

I finally emptied my backpack today.

I spread its contents out on my bedroom floor and began to sort through, as I do at the end of every semester, neatly stacking all of the things I couldn't part with and tossing the others into a pile for recycling. This pile was sorted into and joined the other 7 semesters' keepers. And, there it was: 4 years in a white laundry basket.

What next?

Saturday, August 8, 2009