Thursday, November 22, 2007


If I could, I would put this day in slow motion and live it again, savoring each sensation and every moment. The bites would last long enough to taste all the spices, smell every memory, and feel every grain of texture. I would have time to settle into the smell of everyone's hugs and feel loving arms around me for years at a time. My aunt's smiles and cousin's wildly gesticulated stories would stretch to fill me up, the snores and laughter and easiness would go on and on, and I could go back to my concrete cubicle feeling so full of love that it would buoy me up to winter break before real time had a chance to work me over.

Dinner was heavenly. It took nine chefs and three ovens to work the magic this year. As per tradition, all the men of the family arrived at my aunt/uncle's house early to make the delicious stuffing (the secrets of which are jealously guarded). The highlights of the evening included the smashed potatoes, green beans (stir-fried w/ mushrooms and almonds), corn pudding and stuffing. Also, the cranberries (served can shaped, the way they're supposed to be), artichoke dip, and rolls were delicious. The marshmallows on the sweet potatoes didn't catch fire this year, but turned a nice golden color (Lenny took a picture). And of course, there was plenty of groaning and grinning over the Derby pie, made by Emily and her friend Liz. For those of you not from Kentucky, Derby pie is a chocolate-pecan pie in a golden sugary crust. God laid it on the bluegrass on the 7th day to show his love for Kentucky.

After dinner, the men fell asleep in front of the TV (though if you ask them, they were all wide awake and engrossed in football, and definitely not snoring/drooling), and the ladies (+ Lenny) slumped back in our seats to sip coffee and share stories. Lot's of exciting/tragic/everyday/extraordinary Things have happened this year, and Plans are being laid.

In Other News:
-The Girls Are Back In Town! Scandal, pigging, and giggling will ensue.
- Daniel (my baby bro) is participating in this "no-shave November" business. He looks OLD.
-The Kids Table won the Awesome Award again this year, hands down. Grown-Up Table needs to step it up.
-Julie (my cousin) is still ridiculously ticklish.
-So am I.

Have you been outside tonight? It's a full moon, and everything's lit up, it's really beautiful. I'm gonna go for a walk after this, and I'll be thinking of you. (You=family and friends, people I love, and people I have yet to meet and love.) If you get the chance, I hope you look out at the same moon, and think of me too. Happy Thanksgiving, and goodnight!

Uncle Bob's Corn Pudding

1 can whole kernel corn
2 cans creamstyle corn
2 eggs
1 tsp each salt and pepper (to tast)
2 Tbs butter
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

pour into a casserole dish
bake at 350 for 1 hour
turn off the oven and let it sit in the oven to set up.

Monday, November 19, 2007

High Velocity Melons

Erin Eliza's life lessons of the week:
-Two loads of laundry cannot be compressed into one dryer. Nothing will get dry except your socks and nylons. 75 cents is a small price to pay for warm, dry, sweet-smelling cottons.
-Some sweaters you'd normally have to hand-wash may be machine washed if placed in a "delicate bag."
-Taking your bass/stool/music/bow/text books/purse across campus to keep in your room for the weekend is NOT worth it, unless you have a very good reason. It eats the room space, and then you have to worry about bothering your neighbors. Plus, what goes north must eventually go south again, meaning that, tonight or tomorrow, I must return dear Darcy and all his accessories to the Con.
-A double recipe of spice cookies makes a bagajillion cookies. And then some.
-When walking down stairs in strappy heels, do not take long boisterous strides. Delicately place your heel, then toe, on the stair in front of you, and move your other leg only when you are sure you're secure.
-On the great list of Hottest Things Ever, dancing the Tango ranks pretty damn high (right next to cadential 6-4 chords, cause those are hawt, and yeah, you can get a "hawt" for that).

My Tonks Point Count for the week (aka things I have fallen down/run into/spilled on myself/etc):
-Three flights of stairs (5 for a genuine slide and flailing backside landing, 2 each for tripping and catching myself, +3 for in-class tumblage, -2 for wearing strappy high heeled shoes on stair #2. Total=11 points)
-Coffee (3 each, +3 for repeated dribbling of the same cup, +2 for spilling on a white coat. Total=11)
-Tea (1 each for mugs, 5 for pot, -1 each for incidents in morning. Total=9)
-High velocity melon flinging onto Attractive Male Group Member (5 points. +2 for additional cottage cheese flecks, +2 for apparently hilarious look of horror. Total=9)
-Three door frame side-swipes (2 each. +2 for massive hip bruisage on bathroom stall lock, -1 for early morning. Total=7)
-Full body slam into inconveniently placed wall in dorm lobby (5, +1 each for Hipsters present, +3 for continuing to carry on conversation with Cute Guy. Total=10)
-Running into the same wall the next day (10)
Overall Total=66 Tonks Points.

Ok, I've gotta go, but there's more to come! Really. Eventually.

k, bye!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Blanket Forts

Remember when you were five and you and your little bro/sis/cousins made blanket forts out of furniture, pillows, heavy stuff and every blanket/quilt/afghan you could find in the house? And you would drape quilts over tables you'd turned sideways, and hold down corners with heavy books till the whole room was a giant circus tent and you had to army crawl through cotton tunnels to get to where you could sit up? Well if you just change that "when you were five" to 18, 19, and 21, and change "little cousins" to creative writing/computer science/religion/international studies/DnD majors, then you know exactly what has been going on in sci-fi lounge this weekend. I think Julia was the one who started it, but the blanket-fort tradition has been resurrected and embraced by residents of North, and I love it.

The best things about blanket forts:
-The way light goes through different quilt squares in different colors.
-wriggling through the tunnels on your stomach while trying not to pull your delicate shelter down around you.
-watching your friends wriggle through said tunnels.
-the coziness of a fleece-ceiling tent and pillow-blanket floors
-tickle wars
-poetry readings by flashlight
-sock feet

In other news, Stephen is not, in fact, a kangaroo rat. Which means eventually he must get up and empty his bladder.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A good night for flying

I've been terrible about posting recently. I know this. That's just what my weeks have been like. Anyway, I'm going to try and catch up now (believe it or not, I'm about to have a reasonably light week!), even though I've forgotten things. So this is the first of a rapid fire posting attack about my past couple weeks. Time travel to, uhhh, about two weekends ago...

I have five favorite places on campus. Three of them are in the Arboretum. A few blocks past South, through those nice neighborhoods, the arb encompasses two small ponds, several streams, at least two bridges (a fallen tree decorated with ribbon fungus layers and ferns, and a manmade flatbridge with the words "all good teenagers take off there close" graffitied in blue), a nice woodsy area for walks, a fire pit (with two beaten up lawn chairs facing off across the coals), and a bare hill surrounded by trees. As I'm walking down to the water, two signs make me smile every time:

No Public Parking Beyond This Point, Pedestrians Welcome.

No Parking, Dusk-Dawn.

Last Saturday night/Sunday morning, in the stillest part of the night, when sensible people were snoring and even the most determined insomniacs were slumping off to bed, our motley crew made it's cheerful pilgrimage to the Arboretum. There were seven of us, all Northerners (with a few honorary Langsta Ganstas that have been absorbed by the Lounge) walking through neighborhoods where the streetlamps lit up our breath and eager faces. The noises of life quieted to crunching leaves, soft voices, and the occasional burst of laughter. Julia and I hummed to ourselves, and sometimes traded in whispers and Looks broken by giggles. Mark zipped along beside on his bike, belting out 70s pop tunes, and Alyssa told us about her Llama book, as we made our meandering way to the Hill for poetry and stargazing.

When neighborhoods gave way to woods, the stillness was almost perfect. There was no wind, and in the suspension of movement and sound I felt the bite of cold air zing through my lungs. When we got to the edge of the reservoir I lagged behind. The water was glass, and in it a second set of stars lit up the world from below. Around the edges of the water, the silhouettes of leaf-bare trees stretched out their limbs. The world in starlight was made of gray, textured with gray. I leaned out over the edge of the water and narrowed my vision until I was sandwiched between the glittery blue-black worlds, and I spread my wool-encased fingers wide. It was a good night for flying.

We tottered around the edge of the water and through the woods, holding on to each other and relying on memory when sight escaped. Stephen, Rosemary, and Jeff were already settled in at the top, their flashlight a tiny pinprick in the black. I spread out a fleece blanket beside the others. It -popped- as it whipped the cold night air, and floated down to the grass. Each of us laid down our offerings in the center; Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Lord Byron, ee cummings, William Blake. I lay back on my blanket and let my bones flow into the ground while I looked up at the stars. There are so many stars to see in the Arb on a clear night.

The first shooting star took us by surprise. Those of us who saw it felt blessed, its silent arc of light burned in our minds after it faded. The next soft gasp was a wonderful coincidence. Two in just a few minutes! After that, the sharp intake of breath signaled our eyes to follow fingers without any need for explanation. I heard someone say recently that a couple Saturday night/Sunday mornings ago, there was a great meteor shower that you could see really well, 'cause it was so clear out. At the time, I knew it was magic.

That night I learned that:
Julia, Stephen and Rosemary are fantastic poets. They each read some of their original work, which ranged from cheeky to poignant, and I hope to hear more of them.
If you're cold for long enough, you forget you have a nose and the shivering stops.
Shakespearean sonnets become a lot more sexy when recited in whispers.

Back in the present: It's been raining on and off all day. Right now it's on. The sky is grumbling, and everything is dark. Doug, who lives in my dorm, is playing banjo somewhere in the distance. I hope he knows that at least one person is listening to him, and smiling.