Saturday, June 28, 2008


On Thursday I went down to Anaheim to see L who is here for the American Library Association's Annual Conference. The County and I both seem to have too many budget constraints to afford the full registration for me. So the happy compromise is that I will pay for gas down there and the County ponied up for exhibitor pass to see the exhibitions. But the main thing is for me to catch up with L whom I haven't seen since my 40th birthday in Vegas.

L also has family in Southern California so on Thursday night we had dinner with her cousin and his family. Of course, I was the tag along, but it was a wonderful evening. Stories whirled and swirled throughout the night. Stories of New York blizzards, orphanages in Kyrgyzstan, panhandlers in Vancouver and more. Friday was dinner with L's courtesy niece and more stories. The stories gently settled down on my soul and I realized that perhaps this is one of the reasons that I love traveling so much. Not only do I make my own stories but also I am enliven by the stories of others. I love hearing stories and I retell mine as well as others.

I have long thought that the stories I collect are a vital part of me. I always loved to hear the stories of my elder relatives. A story that I often reflect upon is Aunt Virgie's story. She and her sisters--also my great aunts--spent one summer picking cotton. In the hot dusty Oklahoma heat they picked till their fingers bled and picked until they thought they could pick no more but still there was more cotton. The fruits of their labors was 15 cents that they could keep for themselves. With their fifteen cents they bought lengths of calico fabric. In my mind I see a blue calico, I am not sure if I added that detail or if it was also Aunt Virgie's. My great grandmother, sewed the girls identical calico dresses. Aunt Virgie remarked that she could not have been more proud of a piece of clothing than she was of her simple, but extremely hard earned, calico dress. Thirty years later and twenty five after Aunt Virgie could share no more stories, I feel her with me whenever I see simple cotton dresses or a bole of cotton.

Stories are important to everyone but I wonder if for some of us they have more importance than others. I often feel that I should collect not only my stories and those of my family but also all the stories that make an impression on me. Perhaps, if I were not a pack mule in a past live, I was a storyteller. Maybe even I storytelling pack mule--who better to have stories after all?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Settling In

I have unpacked my last box and stowed away my last few things. Only a few items are left hanging out in my bedroom, that I am unsure about. How is it possible for someone who has moved all over the world multiple times to carry so much baggage? I am certain I was a pack mule in a previous life or perhaps I am just preparing for that role in the next. And the boxes of books! I thought I only had one or two boxes of books but then when I started collecting them from here and there in my apartment--enough to fill out 10 banker boxes to the brim--I remembered that when I told my mother books come with the profession she reversed my thoughts by saying that the profession comes with books. I have had my share of books much longer than I have been a librarian.
I have weeded a fair number of items for the Goodwill and the annual regional white elephant in December. But that still leaves me with a lot of stuff. As I was combing through my possessions one by one and trying to be tough with myself, I found myself thinking. Oh, that scarf I got in San Francisco to use at the park, and I wore it at the beach in Hawaii and so&so used it for the red dress run in Hiroshima--I can't get rid of this. It's so small when it's folded, it won't take up so much space. And so now, I have crammed boxes into my linen closet with not so much as slip of paper fitting between them. And then there are all the size 10 & 12 clothes that I adore and want to hang on to because I want to be able to wear my Laura Ashley again.
But with this new thyroid diagnosis, I wonder if I should be hopeful that once the medication kicks in and my levels become regulated if I will be able to trim some of the weight off or if as others have been telling me that it is near impossible to trim down with a thyroid condition. I will hang on to them with hope for a while longer. They might be some serious vintage wear by the time I can get into them again.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Summer Solstice

I love summer and the long long days and I love daylight savings time. I was really glad to finally come back to the mainland where there is daylight savings time. In Japan and Hawaii, I always wanted summer nights to last just a bit longer. And I really didn't appreciate the sun streaming into my window at 4:00 in the morning in Japan. I feel that those hours could have been much better spent.
When I was in Moscow after the Trans-Siberian train ride, we went to the Moscow circus and came out after 10:00--we were so amazed that it was still light outside and didn't have to worry about finding our way through unknown Moscow streets back to our hotel. Then when I went to Estonia, Urmas came over to the apartment one evening to take me sightseeing. I asked if we could see much at 10:30 at night and he just laughed. We had a wonderful time driving around the countryside checking out all the sights. It didn't get dark until well after midnight.
Enjoy the day and think about me as I still try to organize my apartment after the move.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Paying for Men... move me, that is. I have signed a lease and hired movers to move down the hill. I am happy that I will be able to walk to work. Yeah! I have never been much of a commuter. But the drawbacks are that I will have to pay $400 more a month in rent and actually all my stuff. I can only afford to hire the movers for 3 hours--an hour and a half of that will be drive time--so I will need to move most of the stuff on my own.

Oh, how I miss the big strapping military boys that moved me and C in Hawaii. Sadly, after years of having lots of men in my life, I have dwindled down to have absolutely none. I miss them on more than one level but right now I am thinking about that sofa, and fridge that I have to get moved. Librarianship is unfortunately not a career that screams "great job for men here". But we can't base our careers on the demographics of the likelyhood to meet men--but then again, maybe this is where I have gone wrong.

In the mean time, my bedroom is filled with boxes and I will start bringing stuff down next week to store in my office for a few days. Oh, the days when I was able to pack my belongings into two suitcases and boxes and go. Those are long gone as I have becomed attached to eating at tables and sleeping on beds as well as lounging on the sofa.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sex in the City Review

Mary and I met at 7:00 at the theater to buy tickets for the 8:45 show. We decided to go to Chili's for dinner. Dinner was fine and I had a Manhattan (since I don't like Cosmos) for the occasion. This was my first Manhattan and it had a bit of a bite to it. As I sipped I pondered that if I found a Manhattan to be strong what would an LA be? I decided as my second drink, a Lemon Drop, would be close enough--sugary, glamorous, & pretentious but packing a bit of a kick. By the time we left for the movie, I was quite glad that Mary was driving.

We found pretty good seats about 20 minutes before the movie started. When the lights dimmed, there was a cheer from the crowd. I didn't realize so many people had actually be waiting for the movie as much as I was. The crowd was pretty vocal throughout the movie which as interesting. It was almost like being home--a rather large home--with a lot of girlfriends over for movie night.

The movie didn't disappoint. It was as I expected it to be, only bigger, brighter and a much bigger budget. It was almost as if they took a full season's storyline and trimmed it down to a full length film. This isn't bad but I almost wished that I could have another season to see all the ups and downs of the relationships. But you take what you can get. I observed that the men had surprisingly little dialog but what can you do? We are talking about condensing 12 hours of story into 2 In the end, I was so happy when Carrie got to wear her Manolo's--this does not crash the story in any way. So if you get the chance, enjoy!

At 11:30, I was on my way home. I will happily buy the DVD when it comes out.