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1. Number of books I have owned: I’d guess in the hundreds. Shockingly, I’ve never counted. Probably because I’d feel like I own an insufficient number if I did. Talk about complexes.

2. Last book I bought: I bought three at once – Walk Two Moons, Number the Stars, and The View From Saturday. I think. I might have bought something as a gift since then.

3. Last book I completed: the aforementioned Self Portrait: Trina Schart Hyman. The last full-length book was The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell.

4. Five (or more) books that mean a lot to me:
(not in order)
1. Pride and Prejudice
2. The Maggie B
3. the dictionary
4. Four Quartets
5. Psalms

5. What are you currently reading?
1. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Jonathan Safran Foer)
2. Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)
3. Brat Farrar (Josephine Tey)
4. The Midwife’s Apprentice (Karen Cushman)
5. The Common Reader (Virginia Woolf)
6. The New Yorker

6. To which 5 bloggers are you passing this on?

Whoever feels like it.

This kid cracks me up. Toni, are you jealous of her shoes? Posted by Picasa

Q rides in style in her Radio Flyer. Observe how she uses my purse as a pillow and her mom’s as a footrest. Posted by Picasa

I don’t think this looks like me, but I can’t figure out who else it would be. Posted by Picasa

I don’t think I’ll need to water while Katy’s gone. (This was Monday) Notice the flourishing tomato plant! Posted by Picasa

I dreamt that I overheard my mom say, quite casually, that she’d given birth to three boys before she had me. When I confronted her, very upset, she said that she had been very young and given them up for adoption.

I don’t know what was stranger about this dream – how painfully upset I was, or the fact that my dream-mother had three accidental pregnancies before the age of 23 (when she met my father).

The other day I was thinking about ways in which it would have been nice to have an older brother. But three? God help me. I’d make a horrible middle child.

I’m crossing my fingers that I won’t have to wear my uniform at all next week. Repeat after me, folks – business casual. I love my uniform, you know I do, but a week without it – beautiful. One day, tops. It will make the packing so much easier.

I’ve got pictures of the rain to post later. It was like our own little hurricane. But later – it’s past my bedtime.

I just read this Self Portrait (yeah, yeah, enough already with the Trina Schart Hyman, sorry) and I wish there were a picture of it because it’s fabulous. She talks about bicycling through Sweden when she was young: “The mist came up, and the lights in farmhouse windows came on. I knew then that I wanted to go home, but I had no home to go to – and that is what adventures are all about.” It’s illustrated, naturally, and quite fascinating.

It’s still raining. I might have to go for a walk.

What are you having for dinner? And why should I have the same thing?

The thing I like about blogs is how all the writers have stories. And they’re in the middle of them. And every time you check in, anything could have happened. Something big, or something boring, or a tiny thing that you relate to. And you never know until you get there.

I have this great desire to write a sparkling something. The kind of something where later I’ll look back and think “that was a lovely moment that I captured.” I have a feeling that is not what this will be. Those things always happen when you least expect it.

Time is stretching out in front of me strangely these days. All that end of summer stuff. Friends coming and going, life, death, blah blah etc. I’ll have the apartment to myself for a week, then I’ll be gone for almost a week. Katy and I really will be keeping up with each other on our blogs.

My week away is a combination business trip (doesn’t that make it sound classy?) and vacation. I’m going to something called “trace school.” It has nothing to do with pencils and tracing paper and everything to do with the job I don’t talk about. As luck would have it, this “business trip” is taking me very near where Lis owns a home. Did you know I’m friends with people who own homes? I am. Several. But I’ve never seen hers, even though she only lives 3 hours away.

Then Lis, Toni and I will fly to San Francisco together, all in a little row on the plane, and it will be 6:00 am and we will be very tired. And Laurel, hopefully taking her phone with her this time, will pick us up. And we will gab, and laugh, and eat lots of ice cream – all those things that college roommates are supposed to do when they reunite.

I have the house to myself now. And it’s raining, and I have a cup of coffee on the table next to me. And we engaged in a heroic fit of cleaning last night, so there are oodles of clean surfaces and stretches of floor unhindered by crumb or dust. Katy and I also did one of those closet cleanouts where half the stuff goes in the Goodwill bag and the other half is given to your roommate. I got a couple of skirts and Katy got a pair of black pants that I’ve never worn and don’t know why I bought. I need to run around and take some pictures. I’ll be back later. You can expect a lot more in the way of babbly posts from me, now that there’s no one around to talk to.

10 years ago: I was 14 and about to start high school. I don’t remember much else. I was trying to read Treasure Island. I was excited to start taking French. Yeah, life was exciting.

5 years ago: I was about to start my sophomore year of college. Hmm…I’d just broken up with a boyfriend, I’d done a lot of house-sitting over the summer, I’d started doing writing exercises with Bee, we made a lot of top 5 lists, I’d moved into the dorms early as a backup RA. Today I found out that Cody, who was a neighbor & friend in the dorms that year, died this spring. Right before she was about to graduate. She had cystic fibrosis and I knew from before I met her that she probably wouldn’t live past her 20s. But she went across the country to college anyway, and made friends, and threw herself into things. She was always in and out of the hospital. We would worry about her, but she never wanted peopel to know that she was sick. She had more energy than most people I know.

1 year ago: I lived in a different apartment in the same neighborhood. I worked at the same jobs, but a different schedule. Katy lived under the stairs instead of having her own room.

Yesterday: I made my weekly pilgrimage to the eye doctor (a story for another time). Got my third kind of trial contact lenses. Window shopped at the mall. Mourned the lack of solid white t-shirts. Worked. Came home and drank gin & tonic and watched Six Feet Under.

Tomorrow: I get to work at 8 am! But then I get off at 2! And have no plans for the afternoon at all!

5 snacks I enjoy: trail mix, chips & salsa & avocado, chocolate covered pretzels, popcorn with brewer’s yeast, artichoke dip.

5 bands/singers that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs: the Beatles, Dar Williams, John Vanderslice, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan (well, not most but a lot).

Things I would do with $100,000,000: pay off my student loans, buy a house, help out my parents, stop working full-time, take friends on a vacation.

5 locations I’d like to run away to: definitely the ocean – Irish coast, Greece, the Oregon coast; London, Vienna (I just read The Star of Kazan and Vienna sounds great – in the early 1900s, of course).

PS I wrote this on the 26th, so the whole “what I did yesterday thing” is outdated. In case anyone is keeping tabs on me.

August 2005

Flickr Photos