Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Love. This. Site.

Just found a really funny website: Some E-cards. You guys, these things are hilarious. It's like the guy from Married to the Sea decided to make awkward, inappropriate, absolutely wonderful e-cards. ;)

The one above
is my current favorite, but that has been changing by the minute. Go enjoy them all!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Too Cute

No idea what's going on in that little head of his, but how cute is my nephew here? :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Being a Productive Member of Society

My sleep schedule is all screwed up, you guys. I guess this is what comes of having class only two days a week & never before 2pm. I keep promising myself to get up at a reasonable hour, like 8 or 9. Then, I end up staying up late for whatever silly reason & sleeping in until noon!

Last night/this morning, I tried to get to bed by 1am. 9am - 1am = 8 hours of sleep. Perfect, right? However, I didn't actually crawl into bed until 1:45, then spent about 15 minutes using my phone's calculator to figure out my budget for the semester, then spent about an hour worrying about my dating life. Yup - finally fell asleep at 3am.

When my alarm went off at 9, I was not feeling rested at all. Fell back asleep & dragged myself up at 12:45. :( I walked down to the sandwich shop for lunch & felt even worse about getting up late. The temperature was a balmy 37, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I felt like a lazy schlub. ;)

Here's hoping I'll have better luck tomorrow!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne!"

What did you guys do on Friday night? Me, I made my grad school friends celebrate an old Scottish custom with me. ;)

Burns Night is a celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns. Scots and ex-pats host "Burns Suppers" during the week of January 25th to honor & remember the "Bard of Scotland." It's a fun holiday and one that I've always wanted to observe. So, this year, I remembered in time & invited friends to the Coat of Arms, a British pub in Portsmouth.
My GSBB & I started off with a supper of haggis (vegetarian was all the shop had, which completely defeats the purpose, but beggars can't be choosers), carrot & parsnip mash, and potatoes w/ bacon & cheese. The traditional Burns Supper is haggis, neeps (turnips), and tatties (potatoes), so we did a pretty decent imitation. Above is us enjoying our meal, and yes, that's the can for the veggie haggis balanced on my beer bottle. ;)

Then, we picked up some friends w/o cars from campus & brought them to my house for a dessert of cranachan. You might remember this as the traditional dessert that I made for Thanksgiving this year after enjoying on Skye in March.

Me enjoying my cranachan w/ raspberries

Some of the girls at the Coat

Cameron's popular w/ the ladies

See what I mean? ;)

Me & the GSBB's older brother

Once we hit the pub, I tried to keep up the Scottish theme. I brought a postcard shaped like a haggis, a book of Scottish folk songs, some Celtic temporary tattoos, a version of Peter Rabbit translated into Scots (which people got a huge kick out of), and some whisky-flavored condoms that were a present from my Scottish friend David years ago. I also shared a poem I wrote awhile ago about Edinburgh. Enjoy! ;)

Like maself, ye ken the Athens o' the north,
where green are the Meadows and blue is the Forth.
The lads are all braw there, or so I've been told.
Although when the wind blows, their wee men get cold.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hmmm . . .

I've been pondering something, you guys. For awhile now, I've considered moving all of my old blog's posts onto this one to preserve them. I used to post on a Friendster blog before coming over here to Blogger and I don't want to lose those posts. However, I'm a sucker for chronology & not rewriting history, so I'd feel compelled to post all of my old stuff in its proper place: December '05 through March '06.

Is this a totally weird idea or does it make sense to some of you?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Easily Pleased

It's true - I'm easy to please. I was back on campus today for the first time in a month & discovered something new. They opened a coffee bar in the library! It's like my wildest dreams have come true: coffee & books. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Half of Me

Last week, I finished a collection of short stories by Alistair MacLeod. I'd read his book No Great Mischief two summers ago. While in New York, I found this collection, called Island, at a bookshop near my friend's apartment & immediately snapped it up.

No Great Mischief made me cry & Island got me pretty close. I actually wish I'd had the chance to write this post after I finished the book, when I was all wistful & misty-eyed & close to the moment. However, life, as always, got in the way & I'm writing about it now.

In the past, I've written about how much Prince Edward Island means to me. I just checked & I've written 21 posts (this included) about PEI in the time I'd had this blog. Since my total number of posts is around 330, that's a pretty decent number.

Much of MacLeod's work is about Cape Breton Island, but the populations & landscapes of the two places are very similar. Both were populated by Scottish immigrants in the 18th, 19th & 20th centuries and both have leaned heavily on fishing as a way of life for many years. These two elements undergird many of MacLeod's stories & enhance their resonance with me.

I've been spending summers on PEI since 1982, i.e. every summer of my life. I've always been in love with the Island & very, very happy during my time there. Throughout MacLeod's work, there are the memories of dogs and salt water and boats and lobster traps and buoys and lighthouses and sandy roads and Scotland and family and history and a sense of place. These things are exactly what I've experienced on PEI & the honest, yet profound way that he writes about them sometimes takes my breath away.

My first love was a boy from PEI. Well, in truth, my first love was probably PEI itself, but T. came along pretty early in my life, too. I met him when I was thirteen (nearly fourteen years ago!) & I was smitten from day one. I always saw myself marrying an Island boy. It occurs to me now that I must have hoped that a boy from the Island would understand how I felt about dogs and salt water and all the rest, that he would understand better than someone from the city or from the States.

In my daily life, I surround myself with reminders of the Island. In my bedroom, I have a large map of my township (Beach Point) & its environs over the mantel and a 8x10 photo of the view from our cottage on the wall near my bed. In my office, I have a small print of a PEI scene, a map of "shipwrecks & lighthouses of PEI," and an aerial photo of our cottage & its environs (that I took myself!). I stay in pretty regular contact with my friends from the Island, though most of them are living out in Calgary now.

The picture above (also in my Blogger profile) is a somewhat odd photo of me. It's basically just half of my body, sitting on a beer cooler at the beach at night. You can see the sand beside me & the black summer night beyond. I love this picture because I appreciate the reminder that half of me is
always on the Island, sitting on a rock by the lighthouse, gazing out to sea. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

NYC & DC Photos

I'm proud to present my photos from NYC & DC. They're really not as exciting as that intro made them sound, but oh well. ;)
Belvedere Castle in Central Park

The Hall of Northwest Indians at the Museum of Natural History

The Apple store on 5th avenue

Busy afternoon at the Met

Mosaic from the entrance to a Babylonian temple

The gorgeous ceiling of the Met's main staircase

The Capitol building in sunlight

And moonlight

Carl Yastrzemski's batting helment, circa 1970. On display in the "Treasures of American History" exhibit, now @ the National Air & Space Museum

My best friend's doggie Vixen :)

If you want, you can view the rest here.
I spent more than I had hoped, but definitely far less than I could have. In the end, I had a lovely time visiting friends, touring museums, and eating & drinking far too much. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bad Deal

Item 1: I am home safely from my trip. Will post photos tomorrow. :)

Item 2: Per the above cartoon, I love Married to the Sea today even more than usual. ;)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's Late

and my bus to DC leaves in about 12 hours. Hence, this will be quick. :) And links will be added when I'm home next week. ;)

Had a good time since I posted last. Dinner with a dear study abroad friend on Sunday night (Camels and Chocolate), then drinks with the best friend & some of her law school friends at a nearby bar.

I spent part of Monday walking through Central Park & roaming around the Museum of Natural History. Stayed in Monday night instead of going to see a high school friend's band play. It was just too far away & no one was feeling up for it.

Tuesday, it was 66 degrees out! The best friend & I took her dog on a two-hour walk through Riverside Park, ending with a trip to Pinkberry for yummy frozen yogurt. Then, we & two of her friends had reservations for a 10pm show at a jazz club nearby. Lovely dinner, accompanied by sangria, red wine, and some nice jazz. Proceeded to have drinks at three more bars before heading home around 4:30am.

Today, I had lunch downtown with the high school friend with the band, then spent a few hours at the Met. Rounded things off with dinner & drinks with one of the best friend's boarding school friends at a little wine & panini bar in the West Village.

Off to DC tomorrow! Will try to post if I can. If not, I'll be home in Portsmouth on Tuesday, so I can update then. :)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

New York is Nutty

OK, I'm on my third day in New York & it's just as nutty as I remember. ;) I got in Thursday around 6:30pm, then spent the evening at Wine & Roses and Dive 75.

Friday - we were lazy to the nth degree & spend the day reading, eating & drinking red wine (this is what my best friend & I tend to do on vacation, btw).

Saturday, we were a bit better. We took the pup for a walk in Central Park in the afternoon, then went out at night. MObar at the Mandarin Oriental, Stone Rose, then some Irish pub in the 80s.

At said Irish pub, a number of odd things happened. #1 - I got hit on by a guy pretending to be English. I was just drunk enough & the bar was just loud enough for me to believe it for awhile. #2 - It turned out that his friend, who was cute but very short, was actually the one who wanted to talk to me. There were other odd things this group did & said, but this is a family show, folks. So odd that my best friend jokingly posited that they were a traveling circus troupe. ;)

Anyways, I've got three more full days here & then I head down to DC. Tonight, I'm having dinner with a study abroad friend down by Columbus Circle, then we're seeing a high school friend's band play tomorrow night. Busy, busy. Will try to update at some point! :)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

And I'm Off!

View Larger Map

Tomorrow @ noon, I'd off on my grand East Coast Tour! :) I'll be taking the bus from Portsmouth to New York, staying for a week, then heading down to DC for a few days. Back to NYC on the 14th, then home to Portsmouth on the 15th.

I'll try to take some good pictures & update from the road. If not, however, I hope you all have a great fortnight. ;)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Pics

Hope that you're all reasonably recovered from your various New Year's celebrations. I had a really good time on my first New Year's in Portsmouth. :)
The view out my office window these days

The view out my office window during the Portsmouth fireworks

My GSBB, new buddy Nicole, and I pre-gaming with champagne

Tucked in a corner @ Fat Belly's, our chosen "midnight location"

Goofiness, circa 1am

My favorite photo. It's blurry, but so were we by that point. ;)