Friday, May 21, 2010
Today, we are leaving for Spain, so I probably will not update the blog for the next week and a half. Twelve days away will be great (except for twelve days away from Knightley, which is just hard). I will be off exploring Moorish fortresses, relaxing on a beach, and driving through the Sierras.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
When this guy talks about naming names and taking no prisoners, you better believe it. Because after all, that is when in his commercial he is modeling his rifle.
Look, I haven't been very political lately. The fact is, since I have lived in DC, I figure that the whole lot of those politicians are the worst kind of human beings. However, I can't help but get the feeling that we are dialing up the notch on crazy these days. I think that the recent primary elections have shown that the person that can shout the loudest and be the most alarmist is the person who is going to be elected. It doesn't bode well for the future.
If alarmist and angry are the criteria for political office these days, then Dale Peterson is a sho-in. Certifiably. And since I can't hope for thoughtful, responsible government, I might as well go for entertainment. Anyone who can make a political commercial this spectacularly entertaining should at least be interesting to watch from a detatched, unaffected point of view. I will just pretend that the $5 billion dollars this guy may be spending has nothing to do with me.
After all, in regard to politics these days, I firmly believe that it is better to laugh than to weep.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
By this time tomorrow, hopefully, I will be an aunt to a healthy baby boy delivered by my sister.
By this time on Saturday, hopefully, I will be in Spain.
By this time on June 13, hopefully, I will have met little Harry in Texas.
By this time on June 20th, hopefully, David and I will have found a house in North Carolina that we want to buy (assuming, of course, that he isn't completely sick of having to spend 12 days straight with me in Spain, and that we have found a house on the two planned trips we have to North Carolina).
By this time on July 1, hopefully, I will be happily spending the first evening after beginning my new job at Carolina.
By this time on July 16, 2012, hopefully, I will not just be an aunt, but also a mother.
I can plan for all of these, save one.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Tomorrow, Knightley and I are heading down to Charlotte to see Grammy.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I really don't remember falling in love all that much
I know I must have fallen in love once because I quit biting
I see the old photographs and I am smiling and I'm sure quite
When I was a freshman in college, Suz copied the above poem from the New Yorker magazine and gave it to me around Valentines Day. I thought about it last night when I wrote about my mix tapes that included somber Billie Holiday tunes (followed up by the Beastie Boys "Brass Monkey" or the immortal "Don't Go There" because that is what a mix tape is supposed to be). I rummaged around to find where I had saved it and thought to myself, what could possibly have possessed two eighteen year old girls to save this poem? Whatever it was, I think Suz was already wiser then and could sense that this poem would be more understood a dozen or more years later, in retrospect. And now, perhaps that is the case, if for no other reason than that I have now baked corn bread and several lemon pies, although never have boiled a ham.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
In Stone Town, there is the Tembo House Hotel. Granted, it may not be as luxurious as the Zanzibar Serena Lodge where we took a 2:00 am swam with those celebratory Harvard MBA students that fell in love with Suzanne and I after one evening spent dancing at the Garage Club. However, the Tembo House Hotel was where my romantic notions of Zanzibar first took shape, as I was openly teased for discussing the possibility of romantic trysts on the balconies overlooking the Indian Ocean. These sentimental notions led me to skipping around Stonetown after two British university students, Johnny and Harry, flirting more than I ever did in my real non-Zanzibar life. That is what the Tembo did to me. As poor students, even the modestly priced Tembo was out of our price range, but some of our more gainfully employed travel companions were able to afford it enough to let us hang around every now and again. On the night that the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed, Suz and I temporarily forgot our worries with a lovely dinner at the Tembo House Restaurant. And for all of those reasons, when I return to Zanzibar Stone Town I will stay in the Tembo House Hotel which will hopefully still look something like this:
Considering a beach retreat takes somewhat more deliberation. I know that now there is even a Fairmont resort that sits along the Zanzibar coastline with all of the new development that has taken shape since I visited. However, when I think about a place to sit on the beach, this is the picture that comes into my mind:
If I want that beach, only one place will do and that is Matemwe, where these pictures were taken. I don't know if these days, it is as deserted as it was back then when I danced up its shores and wrote bold declarations in its sands. I do know that the Matemwe Bungalows existed back then, although now I think they are part of a larger development called the Matemwe Lodge Retreat. On the day that we visited Matemwe (we didn't stay there), I remarked in my personal journal, "Off shore I could see Mnemba Island, home to the resort where I sure would want to spend some time with someone special." Sure, that was an incredibly cheesy sentiment, but it still holds true that if I could plan a trip to Zanzibar right now, it would still include a few nights at the Mnemba Island Lodge (Where rates start at the oh so reasonable $1,100 per night. Clearly you can see why this did not fit into my poor student itinerary, but rather my romantic, dream vacation itinerary).
Here I am - full of my romantic intentions wading in the waters at Matemwe:
When we were staying in that house, we thought it was pretty fancy. Not only did it have a tin roof and western style toilet bathroom, but we had a TV that had grainy reception of CNN International. It made the house the village hotspot for the young children who wanted to watch TV, and it also served us well in informing us about the US embassy bombings that took place while we were there. Without it, we would have been completely clueless.
Monday, May 10, 2010
I have been accused of playing the part of Debbie Downer more than once. Sure, I might have gone off on blood diamonds more than a few times back in the day as Debbie may have done. It appears that as times change, even though I think of myself as significantly less serious, as it turns out, Debbie Downer and I still talk about the same things - a worrisome lack of symmetry, waking up 300 times at night, and the significance of the Gulf Oil Spill.
Debbie, I get it. I really do.
Friday, May 07, 2010
That dog makes me smile in ways that are the best possible remedies for a stressful week.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
I am a person who has had many lifelong dreams, some more realistic than others. I was never going to be a member of the New York City Ballet, but living in North Carolina, one way or another seemed much more realistic. When I was a child, I had my house picked out. It was situated on the corner of Sharon Road and Sharon Lane in Charlotte, NC. Grammy would give me semi-annual updates concerning the state of my house. I learned about when the lawn was brown or when it was the showcase Symphony Guild home. The specific reality of owning that home is not the reality, nor is it likely to become one. After all, I am not moving to Charlotte, but Chapel Hill.
I never applied to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I grew up feeling like I bled Tarheel blue, and yet never applied to attend. My mom went there long before I came along, and for graduate school, Sarah followed in her footsteps. Sarah moved to Boston to do her post doc, and missed Carolina so much she had to go back. I always felt like, at some point in time, my chance to live in Chapel Hill would come along too.
It happened really fast. I am quite content with my job at Georgetown, so I never thought that I would leave it this quickly. Then one day, sometime in March, I saw a job posting for the exact job that I thought that I would want next, and it just so happened that it was posted as a position at UNC. I thought that I would be mad at myself if I didn't apply, because I would always wonder what would have happened. So I applied. I didn't expect to get an interview, because I figured that people with much more experience than me would also apply, because who wouldn't want to live in Chapel Hill? Approximately one month later, I head they were checking my references. I was shocked and couldn't believe that they were considering me. A few days later, I received a phone call. They wanted to schedule an interview. I jumped and committed to the first day they mentioned as a possible interview date. I drove down to Chapel Hill. I really liked the people and the library. I started thinking to myself how great it would be to move there. We could buy a house with a yard for Knightley. We could live in a fantastic school district for if we ever have children. We could say goodbye to DC twenty four hour traffic. Two days after my interview, I was offered the job.
This is a hard move to contemplate. When I left New York, I just wanted to be close to David, so I was very motivated to leave. When I left Seattle, I just wanted to be out of that place. Here is the thing - I like DC. We have good friends here and more who are moving here. And yet, I feel so strongly that Chapel Hill is the right place to be. Yes, I will be able to live in the same town as Sarah, be near to Grammy, and even four hours closer to my parents. All of those things feel great, but what really convinced me is that I want to live in a place that feels like a home. I want to live somewhere that feels like it could be a hometown for my children. I want to live somewhere where I feel grown-up and away from the status-conscious world of ambition and egocentricity. I feel like Chapel Hill is that place. The people there are smart, well-educated, and yet lack the pomp and circumstance of their well-educated neighbors to the north. Most people there can attend a pig-pickin' or a play, and all without the affectation of self-importance. I feel like Goldilocks searching out for a place to put down roots, and every place so far has been too cold. I feel very strongly that Chapel Hill could be just right.