Some of you would prefer incremental updates to these large ones (cough Nils, cough) and that’s completely OK, but that just does not seem to be happening right now. I’ve been away from my main computer for about 10 days now, which means I had to sync up a bunch of phone pictures and other householdy type things in order to get up to speed again. There are many journal-like life things to mention, though, right now. I will proceed with your permission.
Weather has been crazy. We left for spring break in a snow storm, the biggest of the season, with over a foot of snow blanketing most of the Twin Cities. I spent the first evening back clearing the most snow I had seen on the driveway in a long time. I was thankful for the snowblower, but the wind kept changing in ways that I do not usually have to deal with. See, one usually tosses up some snow before plowing in order to determine the direction the wind is blowing. This way, airborn snow does not cover areas already cleared. In some freak eddy-swirl effect, the wind continued to switch during plowing, covering me in white powder, making me look as if I had freezer burn on one side of my body. By Easter this past weekend we had beautiful weather, all of the snow melted and gone - it was 62 degrees today. Stepping outside for the first time this year without feeling that chill of cold air, smelling the top layers of earth thawing in preparation for Spring, listening to the birds sing louder and longer than before.
We shopped for furniture, too. Our search for a leather couch is nearly over, one to replace our 23+ year old (in good condition, mind you) model. We are searching for a chair as well, and during this search, I saw some of the ugliest chairs in my life. The people who buy these things have got to be blind. While we will eventually buy a mirror to go above the couch, I saw this really really cool piece of art, and couldn’t resist taking a picture with the camera phone.
My insatiable tendency to take pictures has made me realize it is time to buy a digital camera. The phone camera is great for snapshots (you will see some classics below), but I love as much resolution as I can get for desktop pictures and photo manipulation. Nothing is more fun than making a smart crop and some fine adjustments to make a good picture great. I will be getting a Canon Powershot S70 as a part birthday, part “Alex pays money” present. It is a life-capturing tool I have wanted for years and years.
Two stand-out movies this break were Beauty and the Beast (shut up) and Danny Deckchair. I would link to them at imdb.com, but you can look them up yourself if you are really that curious. Danny Deckchair was even better than I expected (and my parents had recommended it highly, getting my hopes up) - Mykala and I both enjoyed it. It was sincere without being sappy - I hadn’t seen a movie that gave messages that stuck to your ribs about life in a long time. During Beauty and the Beast, Mykala looked up at me and suddenly said “don’t move, hand me your camera.” Staring straight ahead, I reached down, and handed her the camera. “What is it?” I asked. “Just a second,” she replied, carefully aiming the clamshell phone at my head. I had the perfect outline of a heart on my forehead. Bizarre. Modern artists have nothing on me. (Speaking of which, here’s a link to an article about a guy who, for his art project, took his pieces to four big New York musueums and glued them to the walls, complete with their own descriptive plaques. As of this writing, two were still up.)
If the above is filed under “accidental success” the following must be filed under “absolute failure.” I had my rear-end frickin’ handed to me in the most wicked Scrabble loss I have ever witnessed as player or observer. Mykala: 270 odd points, Alex: 150 something. She was consistently spelling huge words from the outset, but the heartbreaker was ‘auditors’ (on the right). You see, while she crossed a triple word score, she also used all seven (7) tiles, eliciting the 50 point bonus for doing so. It was all over but the counting after that.
Oh oh, we also visited the Science Museum of Minnesota. Musical steps: still fun. Astronaut ice cream (in neopolitan and bar form): very excellent. But seriously, the place is very cool and a good place for a date … maybe not a first date (unless you are both really loving the sciences), but a splendid way to spend an afternoon. Chinasaurus exhibit lesson: many dinosaurs were basically big spines with gargantuan necks, small heads, and large legs who ate all the plant material they could find.
Easter was at my house. We got an official Easter Lily (“tree”)! If we humans can smell their blossoms from far away, I bet the insects they are met for just go completely nuts when these things bloom. My impression of the general bug thought process: “LILY BLOOMING LILY BLOOMING LILY BLOOMING LILY BLOOMING LILY BLOOMING GOOD LORD LILY BLOOMING.”
That said, Easter was good family fun - but with the diseases and health problems people in my extended family are getting, it has started to make me think. And the thinking really all came to a point the evening of Easter during clean up. I am at this point in my life where I have begun to think about the past and the future simultaneously. It’s a blessing a burden. I am not frightened of the future, nor living in the past, but getting a sense for how these all fit together can be an unneeded dose of perspective. I realize that one day I will be having Easter at my own house, I will be the generation between the grandparents and the children - it makes me light headed and sober at the same time.
There was one other thing going through my head that Easter evening: living life. I have started to take note of the way people live their lives. So many different roads to happiness that I have been aware of, but have never really thought about. People are single, they are coupled, they are divorced. People swim, sail, chase technology, cut to the basics, drive, collect, cook, bike, write, volunteer, teach, perform - so many different passions drive them. People have two children, they have ten, some move all about, some stay close to where they always have called home. Some coach little league, and some parent at a distance. In retirement, some people travel, some people stay put, some gamble, and some search for meaning with the loss of their mate. No, I do not want to try it all, but I would like a shot at being happy with someone. I see fuzzy images of myself in the future, living happy and full.
Am I happy now? Of course, certainly, definitely, yes. But the predictable rhythms of college life lure one into introspective contemplation of the future beyond tuition bills and caf food. Thoughts of your own? Leave ‘em, I’d love to hear. Oh, and congratulations if you read everything, I’ll give you a cookie sometime.
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