Showing posts from July, 2009

Warning: Mushy Anniversary Post

A year today, folks. A year we've been married.

I could do the traditional wedding day pic, but I don't have them on this computer. So instead I give you each of us in a dryer at a little laundry mat in Italy. Why? Because this seems like an aspect of marriage to me: a little cramped, a little silly, not always comfortable, but good grief it's fun.

Especially to be married to Sam. When we were doing laundry and waiting for the clothes to finish in the washer, I turned around and Sam was as you see him here, just to hear me giggle. And giggle I did. Then I climbed in one of my own.

Lately my insomnia has been raging, so I stayed up most of last night working on a video for Sam - an extremely amatuer compilation of a bunch of pictures from the last few years and "our song" - Fiona Apple's version of Across the Universe. (Did I ever think we'd have a song? No, no I didn't. It just sort of happened, honest.) I figure no one would be interested e…

We Become Delicate Boats

Several years ago, I watched Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. It doesn't happen in the book, but there's a scene in the movie where these villagers write the names of people they love on little paper boats and send them out onto a lake. The movie is good. That scene was incredible.

I thought maybe the boat thing was just in the movie. But I'm ignorant. Turns out it's a Buddhist ritual to remember the dead. It also turns out that a nearby cemetery participates. Sam and I went tonight.

We had no idea what to expect. As Sam said, "When it's called a Lantern Festival we should have expected a festival." There were hundreds of people gathered around this lake, eating picnics, listening to traditional music, surrounded by lanterns they had decorated for their loved ones. Sam and I neglected to bring a blanket, so we perched by a tree and ate our dinner--falafel wrap for me, cod wrap for Sam--from our favorite little healthy food place.

We got a lantern …

Since You're Dying to Know All About Deja's Eating Habits

I haven't wanted to say much about the vegan thing since I got home because I didn't want to jinx it. I knew I was going to have a junk food fling in Europe and boy did I ever. But I was also rather careful, got the smallest cups of gelato and threw them away when I didn't want anymore, ate vegetarian and tried my best to get as many veggies as possible, etc.

Vegan is the wrong word for what I am, anyway. I mean, it's sort of my goal and I like thinking of myself that way because it helps me steer clear of a lot of food that makes me feel lousy. But I'm not in it for the animals. And if I order veggies and don't ask for them butterless, hey, I don't care. I am pretty strictly vegetarian now. It makes me feel sick just thinking about eating meat. I can't handle the texture or something. I ordered a shrimp pasta dish one night in Italy because I really wanted everything else in it and I thought I could handle it. Oh no I couldn't. It didn&#…

On the Grass

I'm teaching right now. Sort of. I'm sitting on the grass with my students and they have their laptops open, writing. The sun's setting, light coming through the trees and bouncing off a big map of the school, so that every time I look up it blinds me. The students are lovely here, bent over their keyboards, young brows furrowed. Can I say their young brows are furrowed? They are.

It's not quite as romantic as it sounds. I mean, it's lovely out here, and the sun is well-deserved after an astonishingly gloomy summer. But I think I'm moving back into my depression, old friend. It's arrived fiercely in the last few days, leveled me. It feels shameful. I'm working on kicking it out the door, but who knows how long that could take.

The students and I have had a semi-painful discussion about poetry, in which I had to explain why it's not true that "there's no wrong answer." If you can't support it with the text, folks, it d…

One Picture

A cat in Monterosso, the town in Cinque Terre where we stayed. He was sitting patiently on the windowsill of a fancy seafood restaurant. On the counters just below him were mounds of prawns and squid and eel and floppy fish. He didn't seem to want to get in, just sniff deeply, remember such a world exists. Who can blame him?

Can you see the man in the window? We thought he looked like an aging Popeye.

I Am Buried

Got home Sunday at eight or so, having bickered all day. We're so not bicker-ers. We were tired and ready for non-vacation time.

I had to teach Monday afternoon. I thought my syllabus for the class was on my laptop. It wasn't. I thought it was perhaps on another laptop, which was in the shop. It wasn't. I learned this an hour before class started. Whoops.

Maybe the syllabus never existed. Maybe I'm out of my mind. Maybe all the gelato turned my brain to mucus. Ew.

Anyway, then I had jury duty. They didn't pick me, glory be.

Then I had to write the syllabus that perhaps never existed.

All this to say, Paris? I was in Paris? How very odd. This is a different world, a different life, and I haven't even unpacked yet. My pretty pink shoes are still wrapped in a scarf, tucked in my backpack. It's been too rainy here to wear them anyway.

But I do remember. Our very last night we rode the train into the city and wandered around, bickering, trying t…