Thursday, December 28, 2006


time to pack. time to get on a plane. time for travel into the unknown. my first time to cross the atlantic. flying into the night and arriving with the dawn in a new country where at least some of my ancestry lies. i've done the research, made a car rental. gathered a pile of books to read, and an empty journal. now it's time to just experience what unfolds--rain or wind, solitude or serendipitous encounters, pubs or open spaces.

i don't really feel mentally prepared, or even excited yet. i'm still quite anxious. let me pack my bags, then perhaps i'll feel ready.

Monday, December 25, 2006


...and peace.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

solitary saturday

a walk in the rain last night (while talking on the phone) was nice. a dead phone this morning, and finding that i need to buy a new one is not so nice.

in the solitude that this situation has granted me, i am organizing my photo files and working on getting some photos framed (getting the glass spotless is hard!).

this photo was taken in a friend's kitchen (anybody recognize it?). more to come.

Friday, December 22, 2006

one day left

one day of school left. things are going really well, except for the dream last night which contained nightmares about my test being wayyyy too hard for the students (and them rebelling), and a swirly amazing visual of clouds in the most amazing tempest, running towards us as we watched in fear and fascination. as a result, i'm up before 5.

this photo was taken out the window of a taxi in lima, peru. for some reason, i love it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


at the corner deli, a guy with a reflective vest is loading up on snacks. i ask, and sure enough, he's gearing up for an all-night 14 hour shift working construction on route 18.

"stay in school", he says, with a look that conveys the fatigue, long, cold hours, and hard work.

"i'm done with school", i say. "i've got the cushy job, teaching, but i'm sick of it." (feeling like a spoiled brat, complaining...)

in the parking lot i pass him on my way out to the car. he's in a huge truck. as i walk by, he asks "do your students act up in class?"

"yeah." i guess he realized we have something in common.

"i'm over 60 men, and they don't behave either. they don't give me any respect."

wow. i just don't find that suprising at all. but it would suck majorly to have to be in charge of them. the guy looks really tired, lines under his eyes.

"do you hate your job?" i ask.

"yeah, i do.... what do you think is wrong with young people today?"

uhhh..."i think once people stopped believing in god, nothing matters anymore."

"yeah, they need to start going to church again."

"well, i don't go to church, but i believe in god. it means that things happen for a reason, there is a reason for everything."

as i walk away, he calls after me, "say a prayer for me."

i turn and face him. "i will."

"my name is timmie."

"ok timmie. good night."

i walk slowly back to my car. i vow to say a prayer for all the timmies trapped in soul-destroying jobs, but especially this one.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


i had a rather nightmarish morning with a sick feeling in my stomach that the trip to ireland would be a disaster & all would fail and i'd hide in the airport.

cracked eggs into a frying pan, got one whose white was greenish tinged. more evidence.

having a pleasant roommate is helpful when this darkness descends. sometimes all you need is another human to say normal, unremarkable yet sane things. i'm glad i have her.

tried going to a church service, but it was too hyper and praise and hip. i prefer small groups, living room-sized. however, only the pastor seemed over the top. the audience seemed normal & cool. the entire congregation were young adults. i was recommended this place as a cure for my single blues.

i bought a yellow raincoat for ireland. i bought frames & hung 4 prints in my place. i'm pleased with how they look. i bought some christmas presents and am starting to conjure up some christmas spirit.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

a verse

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (James 1:17)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

progress report

signed up for ceramics this spring. what i really need is practice. the fact that i can have unlimited use of the kiln and the glazes for the teeny tiny price tag of $100 for the entire semester is unbelievable [faculty tuition waver rocks!]. my only cost is clay.

i want to work on finding a style, a groove. then maybe one day, one day, i can try to sell some at a coffee shop or art fair. i don't feel like i will ever achieve flawless wheel technique. i don't really want to either--i'm too impatient. i'd rather work on it meditatively but embrace the imperfection.

as far as the search, the quest...

there are classes i'd like to take next summer in building skills. after my sister is successfully hitched, i may dive headfirst into that. i'm not sure exactly where that is heading--making tables, a log-cabin, or what. but when i discovered this place in vermont, i was enthralled and relieved. someone understands this urge...and they've got it right.

there are all these other things...philosophy...father l. gave me a course on cd about the history of ethics...and it's's opened up a lot for me. i need to crack some books but for now it keeps rolling through my mind as i drive.

photography--i ordered prints of some of my good photos to see how good they looked in large format. i almost never order prints--high time that changed.

i'm debating with myself whether to give hitchhiking a try while in ireland. the car rental is unbelievably expensive. i could spent $300-$800 depending. i know, it's going to be cold, rainy, and hitchhiking is dangerous. just sounds so real, so in touch with the actual reality of the place.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

my cooking revolution and fried eggplant

At the end of the summer I spent some time reading an italian cookbook that has significantly changed the way I think about food. It taught me that good food doesn't have to be complicated--in fact, complicated gets in the way of experiencing nature's gifts the way they were created.

Never being a person to embrace the middle ground, I went to my fridge and took out everything (well almost--i saved the ketchup and the chocolate ice-cream syrup for old-times sake) that had ingredients i couldn't decipher. No more fake modified starches, preservatives, blah blah into my body. This makes shopping for insta-food basically impossible. All the snack foods and pre-packaged meals are full of this stuff.

So--I cook more. But the recipes I cook are simpler. I started keeping track of some good recipes on another blog. It's "eating simply", and it's linked at right.

Anyway, Viana LaPlace's "Unplugged Kitchen" changed my thinking on a whole lot more than just cooking--she presented a vision to me of a more old fashioned, slow, sensual way of preparing and enjoying food.

Fried Eggplant:

some bread got stale: I food processed it into crumbs. If that's too over the top for you, just buy some crumbs. But FYI--check how many incomprehensible ingredients are listed.

-wash an eggplant.
-cut 1/2 inch thick slices.
-beat 2 eggs into a bowl with a fork.
-put crumbs, spices, salt, and pepper into another bowl. (suggested spices: oregano, sage, thyme--i really had no idea...)
-put olive oil into a frying pan & heat (but not too hot--don't let it smoke)
-dip slices into egg, coating both sides, then into crumb mixture, coating both sides.
-put in the pan.
-turn after a bit. don't burn them (like i did).
-when the outside of the slice is crisp and the inside seems soft when tested with a fork, or when the slice is cooked golden brown, put the slice on a plate w/ a napkin for the grease. you get to eat greasy today.
-let the slices cool, don't burn your tongue (like i did).
-use the slices to make an eggplant sandwich for school the next day. mmmm. or a midnight snack.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

saturday in new york

i went with a new friend to the japan society (a block away from the UN, and across the street from dag hammarskjold park) to see this ceramics exhibit. it was fabulous. apparently japan is the new ceramics center. there was a lot of that was not only genius, but i actually really liked it. highly recommended. admission $10.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Humpbacks

Listen, whatever it is you try
to do with your life, nothing will ever dazzle you
like the dreams of your body,

its spirit
longing to fly while the dead-weight bones

toss their dark mane and hurry
back into the fields of glittering fire

where everything,
even the great whale,
throbs with song.
- Mary Oliver
[via Whiskey River]