Friday, April 21, 2006

There have been absolutely no good movies. With no big movies like LoTR to look forward to, even as each successive one was slightly less good, my year feels so incomplete...

It's been raining all day. I could sense it, even inside my little library cocoon smack dab in the midst of the windowless, cubicle maze. My knee was twinging. How odd that our bodies can react to something that we can't "see".

With summer on its plodding humditity-soaked way, I lopped 6+ inches off my hair on Wednesday. That always feels good. The hairstylist is always overly cautious: "Well... are you ready?.." and makes a big deal about wielding scissors while holding a long lock of hair. And all I care about is getting it all off! Everyone at work thinks it looks wonderful (even though I know Grandma prefers rapunzel-length hair--sorry Grandma!).

Last day of class is next Wednesday. I have to give a presentation with another girl on the metadata scheme of the VRA Core Categories. I hate it when the attention is on me. It doesn't make me quiver in fear, just embarrassed. Isn't that silly. It's not like I'm briefing the President on the state of things.

Looking ahead to summer, with its open-ness (no summer classes because nothing was available that would be remotely helpful), is like running through a meadow on a mountaintop: I'm free! It's such an alien thought that there will come a day when I will not have to worry about schoolwork or project deadlines.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The husband of one of my friends is quite against celebrating holidays of any kind, because he feels the celebration detracts from "the reason of the season", so to speak. He hurt her feelings when he stared at the Easter basket she lovingly assembled for him and said, "I don't want that. Easter isn't about Easter bunnies and candy."
She laid into him with a lecture that celebrations of holidays are good things, that they encourage children's imaginations and give them hope. It made me think: kids don't fully grasp the meaning of holidays, but they will notice how much care you put into making some days more special than others. Someday that will translate into some food for thought as they start to comprehend exactly why particular days are celebrated.

Last night Sue had us paint eggs, and she gave us baskets with jelly beans and peeps. It was quite enjoyable. Jenni and I, being more "artsy", tried to get creative with colors, with the result of some eggs looking like they'd been dunked in mud. Sue, on the other hand, fastidiously soaked each and every one of her eggs in one color each and they all turned out marvelously bright. It's like a rainbow in a box.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Why I like hiking:
1) I can pretend I am a hobbit on a journey
2) It makes up for my childhood distaste of sports.
3) I can walk to the grocery store a mile away and carry back 15 pounds of groceries without breaking sweat.
4) I learn that some periods of material discomfort (wet, cold, etc.) are quite manageable--nothing compares to that most basic feeling of being warm as when you've been hiking in windy rain in 50 degrees.
5) I can survey a range of big hills with a knowing, distant look, a la John Muir and Daniel Boone
6) Gooey pizza and crisp beer never taste as good as when you've just stepped off the trail after a 15 mile hike. Actually, just about any kind of cooked food, for that matter.
7) Hiking is mind-clearing, like a good sneeze that clears your sinuses
8) Sleeping outside makes you see things in nature that you've never noticed before.
9) It's okay to get dirty. A little bit of grit in your coffee is character-building.
10) I get to be outside.

Things I don't like about hiking:
1) It can make me cry.
2) It can knock my toenails off.
3) I have to wear tapered pants, which make my bottom half look like a middle-aged frumpy cat lady.
4) You realize how small you are when you are stuck on an exposed ledge with a lightning storm howling your way.
5) When the birds welcome the morning, I get an ache to be outdoors--like Legolas and the seagulls. Not fun when you're stuck inside on a listless day.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I watched a DVD about the Appalachian Trail a couple nights ago. At one point, they focused on hikers' feet and the brutal pounding they get on the trail. Peeling blisters, raw heels, fungus-infected soles, and black toenails. They focused in on the black toenails just as the hiker flicked his big toenail off. That was obviously done for stage effect.
Every time I've gone hiking, my toenails have taken a beating. I invariably end up losing some, particularly my big toenails. It's the descents, the constant scrunching of your toes against the front of your shoes, as you pick your way down the trail, adjusting to the new center of gravity your backpack has given you.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Jon's progressing along the trail at a good clip. He called from the Walasi-Yee Center in northern Georgia last night to say all was well and he wasn't being chewed to a bloody pulp by a black bear.
To keep pace with him, if only imaginatively, I've started reading Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. Bryson never fails to draw out a chuckle. A critic said he could make even dryer lint funny.
Right now, he's just completed the first day and is ready to die--to just be one with the lichen on the rock for a very long time. It makes me think back to when I first started hiking with Jon. Jon, bless his heart, always overestimated my abilities and took me to places with lots of steep climbing. I would always grow sullen about 1/2 of the way up, then downright mad 2/3 up, then for the last 1/3 of the climb, I would be weeping like a lost child, my limbs quivering on top of stumbling feet.
Howl's Moving Castle was a delight to watch. I don't normally like anime--watching it is like entering the head of a 21st century Napoleon Dynamite. Instead of "liger" and "tion", he would be creating anime.
Christian Bale was the voice of Howl, and he did that quite nicely. He has that odd quality of speaking quietly, yet making himself heard across the room. All the girls at work have a crush on him, so I guess that includes me. I even liked him in Batman, however flawed that movie was.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Spring can be stealthy. Blink and the world erupts in color. One day it was raining. I could notice a distinct difference in the pastures between the morning and afternoon--the grass was green. It was like learning the definition of the color green.

Behold the lion cut. Mojo had this done once, not for looks but because his fur was so matted.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Why does the hair on Pope freely leave his body in copious amounts--aloft on the wind, it flits aimlessly around the house--yet when we brush him, the amount we manage to get would be disdained by a bird as worthy nest building material?

I'm writing a paper on the VRA Core Categories, a metadata scheme that visual resources curators can use to describe their collections of art slides/digital images, as well as the original art works themselves. I keep thinking: "What's the point of writing this? No one cares. It won't be published." But Jon reminds me that the point of writing papers is to educate yourself, not others. So there.

I've been reading "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief" on my breaks at work. I don't usually enjoy fantasy infused with pop-culture--it's just too self-conscious--but this isn't so bad. It's lazy summer reading material, which is why I must have picked it up, considering that the Joseph-Beth building is entering its annual sauna season. It's about a boy who discovers he's a demi-god (like Hercules) and must go on a quest to find out who stole Zeus's master lightning bolt before Zeus zaps him out of existence. Sure.