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Archive for January, 2007

Blog Tag

Susan instigated a round of blog tag, and I am a sucker for games.

Blog tag: I have to reveal 5 things about myself that a casual reader would never know. Afterward, I have to tag 5 other people whose blog I enjoy reading.

1. I have a lifelong case of uncontrollable bedhead. My sisters used to refer to me as Medusa at the breakfast table because my hair was so wild it looked as if the strands were snakes zig-zagging around my scalp.

This is the only picture I could find that sort of demonstrates the phenomenon. Keep in mind that my hair was incredibly short at the time.

2. I have a phobia about my clothes shrinking in the dryer and air-dry everything I own.

3. When I feel scared when I’m walking by myself, I take out my phone and have fake conversations.

4. I detest continental breakfasts at hotels. I hate orange juice and all the pastries always look dry and gross. I avoid them at all costs.

5. Ever since I backpacked Europe in the summer of 2003, I’ve dreamed of opening up a hostel of my own.

This is a picture of the Wombats City Hostel in Vienna. It was one of my favorites. Yuka, my friend from Tokyo, and I shared a top bunk. It was crowded, but Vienna will always hold a special place in my heart after seeing the city with Yuka, Marcelo, and Luis.

I don’t read many blogs faithfully so I’m tagging:

Errol

Teddy

Hanna

and double tagging

Kate

Susan

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Forever in Blue

Last night I finished Forever in Blue. I would allow myself only to read a little bit each day to savor the final book in the series. I felt like I was back in the fourth grade trying to budget my Halloween candy to last until Christmas. Now that it’s over, I’m a little disappointed. I won’t ruin anything for those who haven’t picked it up yet, but I feel that the third book, Girls in Pants, had more substance, and the reader felt closer to the characters. In this latest book, I related more to Lena’s sister, Effie, than any of the girls in the sisterhood. The insanely close bond that Brashares creates is just too unrealistic for me to fully relate to. I can’t imagine such a friendship between four women in which no one ever competes with the others, no one gets jealous, and no one grows apart when they develop their own interests. I hope I don’t come across as too cynical, for I hope someday my own daughter has such friends, but at this point, I can’t wrap my mind around a friendship that is stronger than blood. I consider my closest girlfriends my two sisters, and the idea of siding with a friend over one of them truly boggles my mind. Of course, I have never been blessed with magic pants.

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Brashares in Tempe

Thanks to my fabulous friend and former professor, Ms. Barbara Nelson, I now am on top of the world and looking forward to meeting Ann Brashares later this month.  Check it out.  I hope one former English teacher and future librarian can join me.

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Paid Time Off

Last week I had from Saturday to Thursday off from all work; it was wonderful. On Saturday Errol and I left from Barnes and Noble, treats from the cafe in hand, on a trip north to Flagstaff. Once we arrived, the Lord men and I walked to downtown Flagstaff to a restaurant where Marc treated us to a delicious Italian supper. The next day we enjoyed the brisk weather once more by taking a walking tour of Flagstaff. Highlights of the walk included: Target, watching Marc fill humidifyers at NAU, Errol pointing out every brew pub, and receiving sores on my legs from new boots.

On the way home from Flag (as the locals call it), we stopped in Sedona for a lovely lunch at Errol’s favorite restaurant, Rene‘s. Sadly, when we opened the restaurant door, the hostess stated that they had closed ten minutes ago. Errol was rather disappointed, but we enjoyed our lunch at the Oak Creek Brewery.

Our exotic trip north was over, but we still had a great time at home. My favorite escapades of the week were Lois and my walks to the Scottsdale Civic Center Public Library. Some of you might know the love I have for this library, and it reached a whole new level on Wednesday when we picniced on the grounds directly behind the library. It was heavenly.

I love seeing postmen on bikes; it’s so urban.

That last one is for you, Mom. Spring will come–promise.

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Venice

Last night we went to supper and Casino Royale with Ian and Tyler. Besides the conditions of the AMC theater, I really enjoyed the latest Bond flick. It was much more than cars, guns, and sex. Near the end of the film, the setting moves to Venice. While many loved ones were not so thrilled about my impromptu visit to Europe in the summer of 2003, I realized it was because of this trip that I recognized Venice as soon as the camera showed its skyline–well before the camera revealed the city’s canals.

There is a scene in the movie that is set in Piazza San Marco. Seeing it on the big screen, my mind went to a memory I have there. Here is an excerpt from an email I sent home detailing my experience in this square:

I found a “cheap” internet cafe, and I see an email from Marcelo. He had come to Venice today not yesterday. Hmmm. He wants to meet at San Marco square at five. Now, I had just been to San Marco the day before and noticed there were about as many people as pigeons, and there were a lot of pigeons. Oh well, I thought. Things will work out, they always do. I get to San Marco. “Marcelo? Marcelo?” Why does everyone have to look just like Marcelo but not be him?! After 10-15 minutes of searching, it starts to rain. It is really too bad umbrellas aren’t as portable as let’s say, a pen. I found shelter under a basilica and waited for the rain to let up. Wait. Wait. Wait. The bell chimes six. Marcelo is going to think I didn’t read the email, and that I am not here! Oh, what to do! I really didn’t want to go to Naples tonight knowing Marcelo was in Venice, but I certainly did not want to repeat the night before’s escapade (you can have only so much luck). Oh anxiety!

Feeling very sad and wishing I had a friend, I see Marcelo walking in the distance. Praise God! Allelulia! Amen! I have never been so happy. Writing this now, it still boggles my mind we randomly ran into each other at that moment in front of the train station. I was so happy to see him. For the next half hour or so, Marcelo kept saying, “look at you!” and laughing because I was so, so happy.

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Outlander cont.

I finished Outlander this morning, and though I really enjoyed the story, I was so surprised with the decisions Claire, the main character, makes. I won’t spoil it for any potential readers, but I found it so odd that Claire never returns to the time period she was born in. I think this is the first instance I’ve encountered this in any time travel book or film. Can you imagine if Marty McFly did not return to Jennifer in 1985?

Outlander was very sexual as well as violent. Some of the torture narratives were very hard to read, and I was surprised at the gay rape at the conclusion of the novel. However, the scenes humanized the powerful men of the highlands of Scotland. My mother believes Shakespeare’s Iago to be the most evil man in literature; however, I now believe I have found Iago’s competition in Outlander’s antagonist, Captain Randall. Who knew a man could take so much pleasure in the harm of others? Randall is absolutely horrifying. The bond that Claire has with Randall is markedly strange.

Again, Outlander was an excellent read and a very good January pick for the Piper House’s Online Book Club.

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Lounging

Errol and I are about to leave Flagstaff after a very enjoyable stay here. I spent most of my time lounging around reading–an excellent way to vacation. I have a little under hundred pages left of Outlander, and I must finish before tomorrow when Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood is released. Errol has promised me a quick trip to Barnes &Noble as soon as we wake up tomorrow to snatch up a copy. I’m so excited!

Last night Marc rented Little Miss Sunshine, and we thought it was hilarious. We had tried to see this in the theater months ago when it opened. Poor Errol and Hanna had been waiting in line, and shortly after I got off work and walked to Camelview, the theater employees announced that Little Miss Sunshine had been sold out. We were disappointed, but I’m so glad we were able to watch it last night. I highly recommend it.

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