Friday, July 21, 2006

Jon and I aren't going back to Asheville any time soon. The free spirit, hippie-ish atmosphere was a little much for us. What was particularly annoying was the number of "beggars" we encountered. Some guy came up to Jon and asked him to buy him a beer. Another guy, a well-dressed skater covered in expensive jewelry, asked us for change.
I don't know why I found that so annoying, almost to the point of being insulted. I could only think of the true homeless people I've encountered here in Lexington, who truly could use some help.

Jon's friend presented a short history of Asheville. Back in the heyday of the "back to the land" movement, hippies moved to the mountains of North Carolina, wanting to encounter mountain culture and live off the land. Well, they found out that mountain culture didn't fit their romantic ideals, and that living off the land was hard, so they all went to Asheville.

Asheville had some neat craft stores that I would definitely like to visit again: Earth Guild, Purl's Yarn Emporium, and Chevron Bead Trading Post. They also had a neat little restaurant, Rosetta's, which served vegan fare that was quite good. I'm not sold on tofu (my flavorbuds weren't sure what to think of tofu, so they thought of chicken while I was eating it, which somehow grossed me out because the texture of tofu is quite different). I also couldn't help but wonder how my fellow diners would feel if they knew Jon and I were planning to raise meat goats.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I have discovered a delightful BBC series that allows me to indulge in my childhood fantasy of living in castles and wandering through the Highlands. Monarch of the Glen tells the story of the MacDonalds and their adventures in trying to maintain their estate. It's worth watching just for the scenery alone.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Jon and I have discovered two delicious restaurants lately.

Ali Baba's, a Mediterranean grocery off Southland Dr., across from Good Foods, has a little cafe in the back that serves Shikh kebabs and other Mediterranean foods at a very affordable price. The food is almost comparable to Oasis. The servers there are very nice. I know that's odd to note, but one feels like it's an old-time cafe where everyone knows each other well.

Fusion Cafe is a new Vietnamese restaurant that opened on Versailles road (the neon yellow building can't be missed). They have some ununsual food items (like raw beef and tripe), but their grilled meats are very good. The sauce they use to marinate the meat is fabulous. Next time we go, I'm going to try one of their soups (if I can force myself to forgo their grilled beef dish).

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Prissy passed away last week. Sue's cat was a gorgeous Maine Coon with wide amber eyes offset by her dark brown mass of fur. She was a very quiet cat, preferring to watch and not be seen. I could hold her, though; she would purr happily, nestling into the crook of my neck, dainty paw outstretched on my shoulder.
Sue let me "adopt" Prissy while we lived on State Street, and she would come sometimes to sleep on my bed. Having missed Muffy and Bear while I as at college, I couldn't describe my delight at having a cat once again.
Why do pets affect us so? I suppose they have a way of looking at you, seeing just you without the trappings of prejudice or preconcieved ideas, accepting you and expecting no more, no less.

"That cat [Samantha] is in love with me, but to say that it's 'mutual' doesn't begin to describe anything. I'm totally irrational about her. She and I are scandal." -Helen Gurley Brown

Last Thursday night we went to the Lincoln County fair to watch their goat show and pick the brain of Bill Zaspel, a goat farmer who attends the Edwards' church in Crab Orchard.
Seeing all the goats reminded me of why I want to work with them: they are so inquisitive! When I was meeting a buck (they can weigh up to 300 lbs), he returned my gaze calmly, cocking his head to get a better view of me around the bars of his pen. It's not the same as looking at cows, who just stare blandly back. Goats gaze at you, and you can see that they are thinking about you, sizing you up.
The younger ones were extremely curious, clambering up the side of their pens for a whiff of your hand, proffering their heads for a good scratch, looking up into your eyes and baaing their vociferious opinions.
We left feeling more confident about our wish to have goats. The Zaspels invited us to come for the kidding on their farm in September and October, so we'll get some hands-on experience (at the very least watching the process).

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

It is muggy. So muggy you can see the fat air molecules crowding the sky, weighing the earth down.

I had a small delight today on an otherwise tortuous walk to campus--the drive up the president's lawn struck me with memories of my evening rambles with Bear through the local park. The trees hung over the drive, trailing curtains of ivy and casting a cool shadow on the ground. I suppose the groundskeepers haven't been through for a while--the presidents' lawn had the look of a city park gone slightly wild, like Aldeen park back home.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Strange dreams haunting us today

I had the oddest dream last week. It started out with me in a movie, playing Arwen. Legolas and Arwen were falling in love with each other (Lord of the Rings was out of the picture, I guess).
Then, all of a sudden, it switches to real life, and I was getting married to Legolas. The whole elvish host was there, overwhelming the church with their ethereal beauty. I can distinctly remember peering out the door and spying Elrond up front, standing peacefully with a small smile on his face, next to Legolas. Then I looked down and, to my mortifying horror, saw that I was wearing nappy blue jeans and one of my faded black shirts. "I can't go out there like this!" I cried, and my friends (I believe it was Sue, Jenny, and my cousins) were all trying to reassure me: "It's okay, Laura! It's okay! He can see your true beauty!"
That feeling of overwhelming embarrassment and awe stuck with me when I woke up. It reminded me of the sensations Orual, the narrator of Till We Have Faces, experiences as she is about to come face to face with the God of the Mountain.
I think I dreamt this because I was wondering one day why, if faeries are so beautiful and so different (and superior) from mortals, do they steal away humans? There are tales of faerie kings whisking away a girl to be his bride, and of children disappearing from their cradles. My question wasn't answered, obviously.
Feel free to laugh at this--I have been retelling this story with delight and having a good laugh over it with my friends!