Friday, May 17, 2013

If it's Friday, it must be Florida...and everything new is old again.

In my world, the weekend is Sunday/Monday. In my world, I do errands on the way home from work. I climb three flights to my apartment, and crash, generally watching Bones or Frasier re-runs on DVD. In my world, I drive my car 30 minutes to work, 30 minutes home. In my world, I spend my day at a desk surrounded by things that belong to me or to the library, and I can go to the bathroom or get a drink of water at my leisure. I can even have a drink on my desk. I have the internet on in the background at all times, so that I can quickly check Twitter or email, and/or listen to Pandora internet radio.

In this new temporary world, my weekend is Saturday/Sunday. I live on the tenth floor. I ride an elevator down to the lobby or up to my apartment, which is not a glorified studio, it *is* a studio. Everything is right here. I have a balcony and when I look outside, I can only see the parking lot or trees, or the hospital a few miles away. I cannot see the street. The microwave is different. The freezer is TINY, no room to buy frozen foods. My freezer holds frozen broccoli, exactly two freezer pops, one ice cube tray, and can only fit the small one serving Haagen-Daaz ice cream. I ate the second and last one last night.

In my temporary world, I have access to an amazing Christian music radio station. This morning I got to listen to an in-studio TWO hour interview/chat with Amy Grant, listening to her tell the stories behind each track on her new album. I am eating dinner at home tonight so that I can buy her new album when I go to Target tomorrow. I take the bus to campus, which means there have been days when I haven’t even gone ANYWHERE in my car. Wednesday was the first time I put gas in my car since May 3.

It is wonderful to be in Florida, doing research using children’s books. My pet peeves? having to ring a doorbell every time I come back from the bathroom? The fact that I can't have a glass of water (any water) next to me as I work? I can only have these things on the table where I research: my notebook, a pencil, my camera, my phone, and four books at a time. These are small inconveniences that I will soon forget once I return to my world in Pittsburgh, where I don’t have daily access to chapbooks made for children in 1843. Signed copies of Maurice Sendak books. Conversations with people who care deeply about saving and talking about these things.

It’s one of those “on the one hand, on the other hand” situations, until  you run out of hands. I am here to research. If I can do some fun things, see some people, that is icing on an already rich (but hard working) cake. I am using my vacation time to enrich my life. This fellowship is meant to be a stepping stone to whatever my next step is in life.

I was incredibly homesick until yesterday. A switch flipped and this morning, I thought, I am *so* incredibly blessed to be here, now. But it’s still lonely. But I've been lonely before. That is one of the few "not new" things about this adventure.

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-19, KJV)

I am trying to aim myself in that general direction. Every once in a while, it shines through.

Friday, May 10, 2013

TGIF (Friday); TGIF (Florida)

Went to lunch with the curator (SA) of the Baldwin collection and my faculty adviser (JC), who is in the English Dept, with a focus on Children's Lit. (Swoon.)

Today, twice was outside when the bells rang, they ring at the 15 minute intervals of the hour. Also, got a picture of a bird. My first picture of an animal (fauna) to balance out all the pictures of plants (flora). 

Today was the first day that I actually had personal conversations with people, as opposed to professional ones. And I got to go with SA to the Library West, where we found a few books I wanted for my project and then browsed the DVDs. They are in the order of purchase, so TOTALLY RANDOM. I picked up a copy of "Sense and Sensibility, b/c *what a great movie,* right? Also, 2 episodes of "The Prisoner" which SA says is amazing. Also, "Pan's Labyrinth," which might make me sob uncontrollably. Oh, and the documentary on the Dixie Chicks, called "Shut up and sing." I adore them.

Right now, I am listening to my "Girl from Ipanema" station on Pandora. It calms me down. I lived in Belem du Para for the first two years of my life while my dad was the Consul General, and my first word(s)? were in Portuguese. The house boy adored me. I love hearing stories about that stuff, who doesn't love hearing they were an adorable baby, and adored?

I miss the Book Nook at work, where I get my daily decaf for $1.00 and talk to the volunteers, who love hearing about my life. They are like having at least 5 extra Grandmas, since there is a different volunteer each day I work. SN said when her sister was in college, there was a guide for off-campus students called "where to find free coffee on campus." I don't know that there is a coffee area at the Baldwin. I guess that's to find out next week.

Goal this weekend: to make real macaroni and cheese, in the oven. NOM. (My freezer is teeny tiny, so buying frozen dinners at Trader Joe's seems silly. Although SN did say they probably won't go bad if you put them in the fridge. Still, I want to bake. Baked macaroni came to me like a vision as I walked to the bus. There goes my stomach, time for pita chips and hummus. Trader Joe's, you save me. (Not more than JC, but you know what I mean.)

Keys: SA, curator. JC, faculty member at UF, SN, my BFF, JC, Jesus Christ.