Well, That Was Fun

…And now I’m back in Madison.

After a few days of enjoying my family and being at home in Baltimore.

When did that happen?

So, yes, here I am, back on the couch and back on the grind. Chocolate milk and Milano cookies, most work still untouched.

To my credit, I did get some stuff done on my long (if you can call it that) weekend, mostly on planes. En route, I finished all the grading and comment writing. It helped that Southwest gives free drinks on Thanksgiving, and my flight had a stopover in Boston so I enjoyed that twice. I also finished a lab write-up and gave some serious thought to my production paper, my lesson plan, and final paper for British drama. I also actually finished a book, and started a second.

Being at home though…yeah. Lots of good, and some bad.

The good: my parents were surprisingly chill and laid back. Must be something in the water. I got to see a lot of family at Thanksgiving dinner in Chevy Chase, 19 of us in all, and managed to not over-eat all the delicious food. We went to the club and to Nautilus, always a good time. I had plenty of quality bonding time with my childhood bed. I also got a haircut which I like. The airports were both a breeze to get through, and I even had a travel companion coming back, a girl from Lutherville who is a junior and has 2 mutual Facebook friends with me.

The bad: well, for one thing, coming back. I think I spent the majority of the trip dreading returning, and the awful slog that will be December for me. How bad is it? I just put down a cookie, typed a few words, got another, took a bite, and put it down in the exact same spot. MENTAL STATE.

Probably the absolute worst thing though was being around my uncle. This is possibly one of the saddest cases of “why, God, why” I’ve ever encountered. He’s been traveling down the slippery slope of dementia, and it’s gotten really, really bad. My grandmother who had textbook Alzheimer’s was happy most of the time, unaware but adaptable, and always polite. She was also on anti-depressants, which definitely made a difference. My uncle, who was once full of life and energy and good humor, has pretty much devolved into an infant. Thanksgiving dinner was particularly difficult for us, with plenty of crying and whining and yelling to go around, but I can only imagine how hard it must be for him to control himself. At shul on Saturday, he threw a plate of food to the floor in despair. I know that he is most likely harmless, but it’s so upsetting and depressing to see just how unaware he has become, and how he no longer has control over his inner belligerence. It’s scary to think that you or I might be like that someday.

Also, I was sneezing, dripping, and tearing up all weekend, and miraculously, I’m better now. I think my parents’ house might have mold in it or something.

Anyway. There will be good quality content here soon, I promise.


Georgia on My Mind

Morning morning morning from Atlanta, Georgia. I’m sitting at the airport waiting to board my flight in about 20 minutes or so, but I wanted to get in another post from the Peach State.

I woke up at 6 this morning to order my uber from Kennesaw to the airport. Avery and Janna were pretty much dead asleep in the living room, so I snuck out quietly. I did whisper a quick goodbye to Avery and heard a “bye” back, although it could have been Janna or the cat or a ghost or imagination. Anyway, I allowed myself 2 hours to get to the airport, and fortunately it took only 45 minutes, and getting through security took only about 25 minutes, so I was in the terminal before 8:00 for my 10:30 am flight. And after a delicious breakfast I’m at the gate. 

Yesterday was probably one of the most fun and uplifting experiences I’ve ever had. We got up at 10 am to catch a ride with Becca to the Temple in Atlanta for their final rehearsal. The Temple was built in 1867 and is the oldest synagogue in Georgia. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and the actual shooting location for Driving Miss Daisy. It was most definitely filled with the spirits of congregants past, including Leo and Lucille Frank, whose wedding photo is featured on the wall. I watched the first hour or two of rehearsal, then took a walk, came back, and sat in the dressing room finishing a paper until showtime. I sat with Avery’s friend Jennifer for the incredible 2 hour concert performance in the front row of a packed house. The performance deserves its own post so I’ll skip it for now. Afterwards, there was a talkback with the cast and director. One of the audience members revealed that she was friends with Lucille Frank as well as acquainted with Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, you know just like you do.

After the show we went back to the house with Avery’s friends Avery (yes, another Avery but a male Avery), Becca, and Janna to change and to Kroger to buy some drinks to take to the cast party.

The cast party was at the apartment of some of the cast members. It was fun to drink a little and pretend to be an undergrad for a little while with the cast. Everyone was so nice. The night ended with a little craziness, but we all got home safely at around 12:30 am, and I stayed up talking and jamming with Avery, Avery, and Janna for another two hours.

Here’s hoping I get back to Madison with enough time to get ready for class. It really was a perfect weekend getaway, and I hope to return in the spring. I am still in disbelief that I managed to pull it off almost flawlessly and enjoy the last bit of 60 degree weather I’ll experience until May. Avery and her friends are such warm and welcoming people, showing me true southern hospitality.

See y’all sooner rather than later. 


Like Eating a Southern Cloud

Well hello there everyone!

I made it to Atlanta yesterday, and even though it took almost as long to get from the airport to Kennesaw as it did from Madison to Atlanta, it’s been so worth it. 

It’s so great to see Avery again. Her house is beautiful and her roommate is graciously allowing me to use her bedroom while she is in Savannah. We caught up last night and watched The Darjeeling Limited. 

Today we started off with cinnamon rolls and biscuits at Mountain Biscuit. It was like eating a southern cloud. Then we went to an art workshop, after which we went to Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield, Mary Phagan’s Grave in Marietta, and the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta. Finally, we met up with her friends and cast mates Janna and Becca for a KOSHER Latin American dinner in Sandy Spring.

Now we are back at the house in Kennesaw watching The Labyrinth.

Tomorrow is the show. I’m so excited. 


a random morning

Despite emptying my plate of academic home fries, it has been reloaded this week with emotional mashed potatoes. So thanks for sticking around. And if you were waiting for an update, here it is.

With all the ups and downs I’ve been through this past week, it’s been hard to think of something fun or interesting to post about. It feels like these last few days have been a monochromatic blur, of wake up, do all my stuff I need to do, usually being late or just under the wire, grabbing coffee and food when I can, collapsing on the bed or couch, catching up with the parental units or any news from the day, attempting to do some reading or work before going back to sleep (usually too late) and do it all again the next day.

But this morning was a little different, mostly because I read random by debbie tucker green for British Drama class today. I’ll someday get around to doing a Flip the Script on it, but even though it was just 50 pages, it really profoundly affected me. At the beginning, I was annoyed with green, but by the end, I was having thoughts I didn’t think I’d have, and just felt…spent. Not in a bad way, just in a world-weary way, putting myself in the shoes of the characters. I mean, yes, my problems are not nearly as big as what happens in random, but to me, my issues are what I have to deal with each day, me, and only me; just because it’s not gun violence or knife attacks doesn’t mean the tough moments of my life are not real – even if they are more in line with the personal/emotional/mental than about physical safety.

After today’s discussion of random, we were assigned to pair up and tell each other about our mornings, from waking up until this point; while one person would tell the narrative, the other would write as quickly as they could, capturing the relevant moments to create the narrative, and then vice versa. Arielle and I were partners, and it proved to be a more telling exercise than I’d first thought it would be.

I will not be sharing Arielle’s morning here, and unfortunately, I did not ask Arielle to give me what she wrote about my morning, but it went a little something like…

“woke up at 4:15, went back to sleep, woke up again at 8, talked to parents on the phone, hung up, went back to sleep, woke up again at 9:00, contemplated not going to class today, do i really want to get out of bed, face the world of judgement, no one’s judging me here, but i should get up, i really don’t want to rush, want a healthy start to the day…but i guess that’s not happening. time to get up, face the elements, feet on the carpet, walk to the bathroom, turn on the shower, wait for the water to warm up, put in contacts, the blurry world becomes clear, get in the shower, wash my dirty self, prepare for class, go to class.”

And that was my morning, debbie tucker green style.

After hearing it read aloud to the whole class, I felt like I had just crossed a line, tipped my hand too much. I felt like I wanted to swallow myself, and in an unusual moment, I did something that I have never done before: stuck my right hand in my mouth and bit down gently on the four fingers I fit in there.

I left class feeling more down than before, and dreading the rest of the day, starting with the weekly TA meeting. I got to the meeting 10 minutes early, and was the first one there. Jo showed up about 5 minutes later, and as soon as she asked me what was the matter, the blubbery mess me bubbled to the surface. My head started to shake, and I could feel my tear ducts filling up. Just at the moment they were about to overflow the banks, everyone else came in. I don’t know how I did it – I didn’t even rub my eyes – I just blinked, and the tears receded from whence they came, and I wasn’t sad anymore.

Well, not on the verge of tears, but…my tears retreating into my face.

That’s something that’s never happened to be before.


We’ll Always Have Paris

I would be remiss to let this weekend pass without reflecting on the events of the past few days in Paris.

I’ve never been to France, but I desperately want to go someday. I want to feel like I will be safe when I go, but something like this is incredibly scary. But it’s ironic, my parents always tell me that India and Africa are oh-so-dangerous places, yet we are seeing catastrophes happen in Madrid, London, and now Paris.

This is not a fluke. This is real life. Terror can strike anywhere, at any time, and the fact that it happened in Paris just makes it even more apparent that we need to reexamine how we live, and the messages we transmit to the world.