So far the most fun part of moving has been setting up my new “living room.” There’s just something about getting a fresh start with organizing my bookshelves that leaves me feeling all giggly and excited!
If we’ve been friends for any significant amount of time you are most likely already familiar with my love of organizing and list-making. If we haven’t known each other long, or we have but you were too distracted by my ferrets to notice, no worries; consider this your crash course.
Living Room, View 1: Desk
- Red: Philosophy
- Pink: Education
- Orange: Writing
- Yellow: Crossword Puzzles
- Green: Journals, notebooks, stationary
- Dark Blue: Dream dictionaries and theory
- Light Blue: Dictionaries
- Dark Purple: Language, style guides
- Light Purple: Grammar textbooks, poetry/ prose collections/ reviews
White Circles (L to R)
- A picture of Jenny K. and me after a performance of The Actor’s Nightmare at Carroll University. We played Sarah and Ellen, though Lord knows I can’t remember who was who any more.
- A ceramic piggy bank I got at an Irish fair with my high school boyfriend; Susan, the talking Aflac duck I got from one of their reps peddling their wares at a former job. I got her for answering a question correctly. When I answered a second question correctly the rep offered me a larger duck. *pfft* As if I could part with Susan!
- A seashell my friend Sarah M. brought back for me in high school from her family’s vacation to Florida, during which her appendix burst. Whoops!
- The Orrefors candle holders my great-grandma Ruth brought over with her from Sweden. My parents passed them down to me last Christmas.
- A picture of the ladies of The Actor’s Nightmare: Jenny K. (Sarah? Ellen?), Mariya G. (director), Kate G. (Meg), me.
- A flower-covered woven thing I wore on my head for the Ophelia costume I wore to a party at Corey R.’s house in high school.
Living Room, View 2: Bookshelves
- Red: Fiction, literature study
- Pink: Poets and poetry
- Orange: Sociology, miscellaneous non-fiction, politics
- Yellow: Gender studies; CDs
- Dark Green: Remodeling, house styles, interior decorating; a gigantic dictionary
- Light Green: DVDs
- Dark Blue: Fiction
- Light Blue: Arty things
- Purple: Videos (The rest are inside the cabinet below.)
White Circles (L to R)
- Votive candle holders I got from my Uncle Steve years ago. He also gave me a decorative bag of scented, orange votives to go with them, which I’ve hesitated to burn since he passed away last December. I know they’re just candles, but it feels strange to think of using up something that cannot be replaced.
- A baby walrus on its mother’s back. This ceramic beauty has been in my collection for over twenty years now. It set me back a whole buck at the local dollar store on a shopping trip with my Mimi when I was about seven years old. I don’t know what prompted me to buy it, though the interest I would later develop in The Beatles certainly made room for it.
- A long dead lighting instrument I grabbed (with Scott B.’s permission!) from the upper storage space at Carroll University during a work day. I have two of them, actually. I like to think about all the exciting moments they lit up, all the stories that are never retold the same way twice, all the effort and laughter and tears. I won’t keep them forever, but I’ll keep them for now. They’ve seen so much. More than you or I ever will.
- A stuffed pig my mom received from a student ten or so years ago. Somehow I ended up with it.
- My senior year of high school our theatre department attended a theatre workshop at Wisconsin Lutheran College. One of the available sessions dealt with mask-making and masked performance. I hadn’t planned to take that class, so my attendance turned out to be one of those “happy accidents.” I believe Deborah Solomon-Phillips led that session. Every part of the exercise taught me something. I settle the mask onto my face every couple of years to see if it still fits. It does, but only on the outside.
- A light saber from a friend and former employer, Jennifer C. Yes, everyone at work had one. Yes, we had battles with them when we were done having Koosh wars and playing hide and seek.
Living Room, View 3: Couches
- Red: Miscellaneous books
- Pink: Photo albums
- Orange: Records
White Circles (L to R)
- A picture of Jenny K. and I at the Carroll Players’ annual Theatre Banquet her junior and my senior year. She has always been just the cutest stinkin’ thing. Love that girl.
- Somehow I ended up with two of Jennifer’s light sabers…
- A wire basket of dried flowers from Donna D. Ah, but from which show, which show…
- A purple Ao Po’i table runner I bought with Christie H. at a shop in Itauguá (though it may’ve been elsewhere; those last few days are a bit of a blur!) during my trip to Paraguay this past January.
- A picture of Amanda H., Brent J., and me at the Blood Center on September 11, 2001. Everyone wanted to do something helpful, something positive, something proactive… but what? The lines at the center were long. We were put on a waiting list and told to come back hours later, which we did. They couldn’t tap my first elbow, so they bandaged it up and moved on to the other one. After drawing a pint of my spaghetti sauce blood they bandaged up that elbow, too, leaving me unable to bend my arms. You can’t see it in this zoomed out image, but in the picture Amanda is holding up my juice for me so I can drink from the straw.
- A turtle candle Jessica C. gave me for my birthday some time during high school; a Speech Meet trophy for first place in Humorous Interpretation.
Is there anything one can possibly do on a computer that feels more mentally fulfilling than completing a detailed list?! Ahh… Refreshing as an ice-cold lemonade after a summertime lawn mowing!
I, uh– I haven’t ever actually mowed an entire lawn…
The bedroom still looks like it was attacked by sea monsters despondent over their banishment to land. But never fear, Nerdfighters: Further bookshelf pictures will make their way up here as soon as I’m done hanging up all my clothes and sorting my non-fiction!
I don’t remember much of what I wanted for Christmas when I was a kid. I’m sure “pony” made the list at least once or twice, along with “castle with a moat,” “Rainbow Brite,” and “roll-top desk.”
What I do remember is tossing in freebies every few lines or so. These were small, cheap items intended to offset the grandness of ponies and castles. Things I didn’t even want. Things I’d never even seen. “A keychane that looks like a lollpop.” “Sope shaped like fishes.”
You get the idea.
As I grew older and developed a fondness for list-making of any sort, my Christmas Wish List started appearing earlier and earlier in the year. It now appeared in an Excel spreadsheet complete with categories, sub-categories, color coding, and item specifications (e.g. size, preferred color, quantity desired, stores where said items could be purchased). My lists were truly awesome, a guarantee I make based in part on the hope that none of them have survived the years to prove me wrong.
But these days? Oh Lord. These days I don’t know what to say when asked what I want. I think it’s because I hate the thought of real people with real financial needs funneling their hard earned cash into cushioning my relatively easy existence with festive mugs, novelty scarves, and Barnes & Noble gift cards. Especially when…
- I already have way more than I can handle of the kind of stuff that tends to make it into shopping carts circa gift-giving times (See: The Quintessence of My Superfluity). My apartment simply can’t handle the addition of many more nouns.
- I have a list as long as my arm of charities and missionaries who have an infinitely greater need for the twenty bucks you’ve set aside to buy me Santa-shaped candles.
- I’d so much rather shop at Half Price Books.
Yet the asking continues. And who am I to reply “Meh, nothing really” when the question is coming from folks who find happiness in giving? I enjoy giving gifts myself, so I get that feeling! What’s a girl to do? A girl’s to tell it like it is, methinks. So you wanna buy me something? Here. Here’s what I want this year…
- A haircut
- A visit to the chiropractor (with x-rays)
- Laminated place mats “for the ferrets” (10)
- Garment bag
- New windshield
- Lambrusco (Lo Duca; red; 3 bottles)
- “Robin Hood: Men In Tights” dvd
- Oil change
- Gift cards to Pet World (because the boys need to eat), Pick N Save (because I need to eat), Walmart (because The Man needs to eat), and Half Price Books
- Peace on earth, etc. etc.
Place mats for weasel poop?? *sigh* I miss the days of asking for CDs (with pricing from Musicland and Sam Goody), boots from dELiA’s, and jeans with sizes in the single digits!
How ‘bout you? What makes your “Grown-Up Christmas Wish List” this year? And what’s the craziest thing you ever asked for and actually received?
*Clockwork trains. We’ll look like a squadron of spitfires…
A week from today my mom and I will be driving to my grandma’s (Mimi’s) house in Chicago before Mim’s and my flight on Saturday to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Excited as I am about the trip, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when I think about how much I have left to do before we leave. I’ve gotten a lot of things done already, except that so much of it is stuff y’can’t see, so sometimes it feels like I’ve accomplished approximately zilch. But I can live with that. ;)
Among the things I’ve gotten done so far that you can’t see are attending a new church here in Waukesha, El Buen Samaritano, to work on my Spanish. My comprehension is SO much better than I had hoped it would be seeing as I haven’t used it in 6 years nor studied it in 9. Whoops! But speaking? Wharbargl… It is hard… and I am le tired… I first learned about the church when Aaron and I met the pastor, Rosa, at an event in Frame Park about a month ago. I’d hoped to attend every Sunday until our departure, but missed one week for a wedding, and another week to attend Elmbrook to hear Jill Briscoe speak. It’s been great to go when I’ve been able, though. Such a warm congregation.
Among the things I’ve gotten done so far that you can see are finding some great children’s books to leave with the mission, and picking up a few meds ‘n’ things for distribution. Nowhere near the quantities we’ll ultimately need, but Mimi’s the one fielding that part of the trip, thank goodness. I’m just the nOOb trying to find small OTC medicines to cram into every available space in my suitcase. ;)
(And thank you SO MUCH to everyone who’s donated goods, time, and financial assistance toward this trip. I’ll take as many pics as I can so hopefully you’ll get to see some of those goods in use!)
As for the books- sad to say but a few will undoubtedly not make the trip. They’re just so stinkin’ heavy! It’s possible to pay extra for luggage over the weight limit, and for taking extra bags, but with all the medicine Mimi has gathered we’re already at the ultimate baggage limit. While that is actually great news because it means we’re taking along as much medical aid as we’re physically able to carry, it’s also a tough reality for me to face on a personal level. The need for books, for education in general, is just so great. And as education and reading are so close to my own heart I want so much to be able to get involved in some way in connecting those things with people who need them.
There’s always the mail, though. And donations to existing education-oriented groups. And additional trips… ;)
To give you a taste of what it takes (me, anyway) to get ready to spend a month volunteering with medical clinics in the Western Hemisphere’s 2nd poorest country (after Haiti), here’s a snippet of what’s left on the ol’ To-Do lists…
HONDURAS TO-DO LIST
Write: testimony, 2-3 devotions, update red journal from Mimi
Email: Pastora Rosa, Laurie, Mimi’s peeps at MC (“about me”), Old Dave
Shopping: lightweight tops, capris, dresses (2), shorts, watch, netbook, netbook case and sleeve, heavy-duty sunscreen
Books/Research: Finish “Intermediate Spanish” book, attend EBS for Spanish review, taking blood pressure, field pharmacy organization tips, maps
Pharmacy: pack OTC meds, print 360 labels, downsize packaging on purchased meds
Paperwork: Confirm passport is still good; make copies for mom, Mimi, suitcase
Pack: books; meds; netbook (cord, mouse, case); camera (charger, memory cards); cell (charger); clothes (shorts, capris, dresses, light tops, jeans, swimsuit, scrubs); shoes (walking, dress); toiletries (sunscreen, bug spray)
PERSONAL TO-DO LIST
Write: Blog update about trip (books, meds, basic itinerary), thank you to M.K.
Email: Jerry W. re: health ins, Marcy R. re: SHE IS BEAUTIFUL, Mark S. re: German dialect tapes
Shopping: David’s birthday present, apt keys for mom ‘n’ dad
Ferrets: baths, razor talons snipped, wash cage/misc, transfer to mom & dad’s house, buy more food
Apartment: laundry, clean kitchen & bathrooms
Job Search: reschedule/attend Remployment class; update resume/job site profiles; resume to dad to submit for me with list of potential employers
Online: Change Facebook password and give to Becca R., cancel Blockbuster, arrange for bill payment
Call: Bank re: using card abroad, Cell carrier re: int’l usage rates
Fax: Student loan deferment forms
UPCOMING EVENTS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE
7/23: 8 pm “Hair” at Sunset Playhouse
7/25: 11am Church, birthday lunch
7/26: 3 pm RTW audition (1:30 arrive early to read the stinkin’ script first!!)
7/30: 9 am Drive to Chicago with mom
7/31: 5 am Fly to Houston> Tegucigalpa…
I don’t know where I’d be if not for Aaron and the fam. They’ve not only graciously agreed to stop by my place to pick up my mail and check on my apartment while I’m gone (Lord knows the only things of value in it are my netbook and passport and those’re coming with me…), but my folks have also agreed to watch the weasels for the entire duration of the trip. Yippee!! The boys are very excited to stay with their cousin, Patches, and to show their Mimi how good they are at using their litter boxes at least 60% of the time…
And just like that it’s 5:35 pm. Time to get crackin’ on crossing a few more items off the ol’ list before heading to Sunset Playhouse tonight to see their production of Hair. (Pics should be available on their Flickr account soon.) Everybody’s raving about this show, and I’m not surprised in the least!
Beads, flowers, freedom, happiness everyone!