Saturday, February 25, 2006

Excited Ramblings of a Mid-winter Break Lover

I've rollerskated at the Roxy, finished the thought-provoking book (that I want everyone to read) Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks, and started a book of short stories by Yann Martel. I've met a guy who is a manufacturer of fake plants (did you know this was a job?). I've stayed out past 3 a.m. on two nights, slept in almost every morning, and (through circumstances that I won't go into here) measured my in volume per bathroom-session.

I have discovered a newfound inability to open drink containers: last night one of the waiters at Porta Bella had to open my Pepsi for me and this morning I mutilated a Tropicana Orange Mango juice carton just trying to get one sip. I have completed my first Sudoku puzzle. I've become addicted to a new television series that is, thankfully, on DVD. And in that television series I learned that Gloria Steinem once worked undercover as a Playboy bunny, which reminded me about how much I am intrigued and astounded by her imagination, thoughfulness, and intensity in living. (Hence the new phrase my roommate and I utter when appropriate: What Would Gloria Steinem Do?...note to self, must get bracelets made...)

I have stood outside in single-digit degree weather at two in the morning eating hot dogs with friends from work. I have caught up on all my laundry. I met my old roommate for lunch in Park Slope, where I ate a great burger, laughed for two hours straight, and picked up two boxes I had left behind when I moved back in April. I have barely held in my giddiness at discovering that the two boxes are filled with books that another friend who worked at an independent bookstore gave me when I was too crazed in my first months of teaching to even peek in to see what treasures were hidden within. I have laughed at the fact that one of those books is filled with Japanese haiku which are written in Japanese characters, then in Japanese that I can pronounce, then translated into English. My favorite is by a poet named Gyotai:

Haru kaze ni
Osaruru bijo no
Ikari kana!

This translates into:

By the spring breezes
The beautiful girl is pushed
What indignity!

If you change the words "spring breezes" to "winter icy winds," then I'm convinced this poem was about me while I was walking around yesterday. And while I have the urge to share more of the haiku from this hysterical find in the box of books I didn't even know I missed, I will end with one last tidbit of my incredibly relaxing week. Last night, I bet a bartender $100 that I could guess the singer of the song he was playing, jokingly told my roommate that it was William Shatner, then found out I was right. (I didn't get $100, but I did get a plate of cheese, which made me happy because no one else was serving food at 2:30 in the morning in Long Island City.)

I asked my roommate if we could freeze time so we could prolong the enjoyment of vacation, and though she said yes, I've noticed that the clock keeps ticking...

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