Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Crawled into bed at 4am this morning, after a heckuva day and a helluva week. Some highlights. . .

In the last week, I

• bungled the verbal section of the GRE by not answering a question (the very thing I taught my GMAT students at the Princeton Review never to do!)

• found out that a 'high' math score isn't really all that high when expressed as a percentile (who said that numbers never lie?)

• shared a goodly number of pitchers of Summit Winter Ale and plenty of French fries with the fine folks who stopped by the Nook to say 'adios' (here're a few pictures and more below)

• packed up all my worldly goods -- after which two angels appeared in the form of my parents not only to store them, but unload them as well

• savored some favorite foods/places courtesy of some favorite people: Galactic Pizza's amazing 'pizza with a conscience' with Marilaurice; Hell's Kitchen with Paul & Wayde; Cafe Latté's fantastic chicken salsa chili (twice!) with Keith & Jess & Heather; Holy Land's preposterously profuse vegetarian platter with Steph & Jared; a chocolate raspberry malt as an appetizer with Mookie & King Alli at St Clair Broiler; the squash soup and tres leches cupcake at Cupcake with Rhonda and her daughters Chloe & Kylie; the tomato brie scramble at Longfellow Grill with Matt, Anna, Sarah, Mary, Paul, Becky & Daniel; and St John's Johnny bread and classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting at Kent & Trisha's with parents in rare comedic form and Trisha wishing she could ban the word 'pouch'

• received not one but two blessings at St Stephens -- one at choir practice and one from the 11:15 community, plus a very kind 'prayer of the people' from Matt

• declared that packing for 6 months is not appreciably different from packing for 1 year, which is not really that different than packing for life

• discovered that repacking can make things smaller but alas not lighter (who can I blame for this? Newton? The Conservation of Mass? God?)

• pulled what I hope and pray is my last 'all-nighter' -- packing and moving and cleaning and recycling and breaking down the cardboard boxes that have been driving my beloved housemate Melissa crazy since I moved in

• learned from Mookie what it's like to be early for a flight (does everybody really do all that waiting around every time you fly somewhere?)

• relished, yet again, the anti-airplane-fatigue effects of earplugs and a liter or two of water

• decided that it's OK to be addicted to Sudoku puzzles even if you're not actually all that quick at them

• lined my cherished water bottle with vomit after the second landing of a rough redirected flight (I think my body was just, well, sick and tired of my shenanigans -- I'd been awake for over 30 hours at that point)

• thanked (ad nauseum, naturally) the hostess of an airport restaurant for sending said cherished water bottle through their industrial dishwasher

• made lil' brother Kent reprise his celebrated role as executive assistant (though this time it wasn't international finance but rather taking dictation for an e-mail to a Peruvian priest)

• used real silverware on an airplane and plastic silverware at a semi-schmancy sit-down restaurant -- but was so out of it that I couldn't decide if it was ironic or just odd

• realized that landing at 3:00am after a day chock full of delays is not appreciably different from landing at the scheduled time of 11:39pm -- except that the passport control lines are shorter

• haggled for my first cab in Peru -- an experience not unlike the unrelenting joke with merchants in Egypt ("that price is just fine -- if you're paying in English pounds!")

• marveled -- when it comes to my speaking español -- that someone who knew so little could forget so much

• remembered the all-is-right-with-the-world feeling that comes from being called a diminutive nickname by a bespectacled little abuelita who fidgets with her apron when she tells you it's not a problem that you don't eat red meat

• sipped my first cup of Coca tea (mate de coca, technically) -- how does it taste, you ask? Like the next 6 months . . .

(Um, yeah -- this is lot of pictures with me in them. Sorry! Can I blame the very thoughtful and kind photographer, Keith?)


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