Thursday, January 7, 2010

Maybe it's not nostalgia. Maybe I'm just happy.

I heart orchids a lot. I wasn't a "what's your favorite flower?" type until I stopped to actually look closely and well at orchids. This came, if I remember correctly, after I read the first volume of Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, a novel in which orchids figured prominently. I read the novel, incidentally, because when I was in high school, writers in the Wall Street Journal kept calling things "Proustian" and I wanted to be in on the joke. Weird, that chain of causality—I like orchids because I used to be a fervent WSJ enthusiast.

Daniel and I went down to San Diego last week, partially to help with our church's homeless ministry because our pastor was worried enough people wouldn't show up, and partially to actually enjoy the city in which we spend so much time doing things besides enjoying (like working ten jobs, in my case. I updated my résumé this week and discovered that I had ten active positions last semester, nine of which were paid. I don't quite believe it myself, so I am going to list them here: editor in chief of campus creative arts journal, copy editor of campus newspaper, intern for literary agent, library assistant, teacher's assistant, co-editor with freelance proofreader, on-campus university press assistant, dissertation editor, freelance manuscript editor, transcription editor).

All that work was spread out, though, so I think I stayed between 25 and 40 hours a week. Oh, and don't worry, I kept my grades up.

Balboa Park was our only planned destination. Daniel had never seen the Rembrandt in the Timken (the last time we went, it had been displaced for a kimono exhibit), so we paid St. Bartholemew his due attention and then lingered in the botanical garden next door.

Outside was a bush full of munching caterpillars and a glistening cocoon with miniature gold beads. Gorgeous.

Running through my head this entire time was the Driftwood (of my ten jobs, the one that plagued me the most over the break). My advisor called me almost every day (including on Christmas) with updates and issues that needed to be resolved so that we could go to print. I couldn't do the edits from home because I didn't have a Mac, or an acquaintance who would let me borrow a Mac for 30 minutes, and it was these measly 30 minutes that were holding up production. My layout editor was getting married that week, but my advisor encouraged me to get a hold of her. I tentatively emailed her under his instruction, and she called me back, busy but willing to help. I told her I'd be in the area that day and would be willing to find her wherever she was so that I could enter the edits quickly and be out of her hair. But she never answered while we were down there, and I don't blame her.

For Christmas, I found for Daniel the pictured jeans. He hadn't owned a pair since he was (shhh) nine, so I made like commenter 21 on the Freakonomics blog post about what to get an economist and headed to Target. I even tried them on to make sure they were comfortable (which was his major complaint about the category of clothing, and not a completely unfounded one, it turns out. Spandex blends for females abound, but males are entrenched firmly in 100% cotton territory). I'm considering contacting all of our mutual friends in advance and telling them to pretend like they don't notice when he wears them, to prove to him that jeans are normal and not conspicuous and they look really good on you and you're not capitulating to social norms, I promise;).

Another in the great tradition of Daniel-trying-to-take-the-camera-away-from-me-because-he-doesn't-like-pictures pictures.

We shared lunch at Con Pane in Point Loma, continuing unintentionally to recreate our first quasi-date, sans bicycles. The people who told me Con Pane had really good sandwiches weren't lying. I already knew the focaccia was fantastic. Then Daniel, sweet, understanding Daniel, seeing how increasingly crestfallen I was becoming the longer my layout editor didn't call me back and the greater the prospect became that I would have to drive down to San Diego the next week to make just 30 minutes of edits, suggested we drive up the hill onto campus to see if we couldn't find a computer with a compatible program. So we did, and we didn't, and I was dejected. But then, Daniel thought of a solution. I could download a 30-day Windows compatible version of the program I needed onto my laptop, make the edits, and overnight the flash drive. Much, much happier, with the prospect of a solution in sight, I suggested we head over to OB.

We walked along the tide pools south of the pier and watched the surfers in the frigid water take the towering winter waves. We also saw a brilliant sunset. All sunsets are categorically wonderful, of course, but I favor the more orangey-blue ones over the pinky-purple ones (unless it's Valentine's Day, in which case the latter is entirely appropriate).

The afterglow reflected in the tide pools as we walked back. And then we headed downtown to meet our pastor and hand out sandwiches and water bottles to people on the streets, and we learned more about the strategic considerations of "the problem of the homeless," who, as our pastor wrote in the Union-Tribune last month, are neither a problem nor homeless.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas at home. Insta-nostalgia part II.

The Sunday before Christmas, we went to see the twins in their youth group Christmas play. Shannon is the third wise man from the left.

It was a series of skits ingeniously titled "Sunday Night Live." Dad made a cameo appearance as Charlie Brown, but it was so quick I couldn't snap a picture in time.

After the church candlelight service Christmas Eve, we had a wonderful feast.

The four of us decided to open our pajamas Christmas Eve so that we could wear them in the morning (we had picked them out on Black Friday).

We had been watching a ton of backlogged SNL skits online that week, so we had to reenact the surprise Christmas. Shannon was highly entertaining, of course.

Sweet action shot.

I don't know why, but yes.

Merry Christmas Eve.

Because of our recently acquired ginormous couch, we had to house the tree in the corner. There are a lot of presents when seven people give each other gifts.

We lined up and worked methodically through the stack.

Aww, look at the line of Forever 21 hats. Forever 21 became an anchor store in the Hemet Mall this year (I know; random, right?) so we got our share of cute and bright accessories.

Hehe. Possibly my favorite picture from the day. When we were at the dollar store (I love the dollar store), I stuck a couple of items in my mom's basket (I like to make her life easier, haha). This was the perfect addition to my pedicure collection (ha). The best part is the typo, though. I hope this callous remover will be gentle with my calluses.

Because Rachel got me a cute dress and Angelica got me cute shoes and Grandma gave me her cute necklace, Angelica tried to teach me to swing dance. All the cuteness in the world couldn't help me move coordinately.

Dad was ready to be green all over the place with his presents.

After the flurry, we gathered on the couch and I played school counselor and created a list of potential college majors for the twins. Now that's a true Christmas present.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

December at school. Insta-nostalgia.

Sad that so many ephemeral thoughts that I would have captured had I been regularly blogging this semester have dissipated into the aether. Actually, it's probably for the best. I'm trying to get the hang of this whole public sphere/private sphere thing. Here's a sentiment I can share with anyone who will listen: This is the view I had from my bed this fall, a view that will soon be radically different. Well, maybe not radically, as college-aged females all tend to shop at Target, but I will have two new roommates for the spring. Yes, I'm that girl. One of my roommates is moving off-campus, and the other is studying abroad in Spain. Amazingly, two more people have agreed to live with me.

Daniel and I did a fair number of Christmasy things in the craziness of the last two weeks of the semester. One night, we drove a couple of blocks into Point Loma and strolled Garrison St., a spectacular display complemented by the city lights skirting the edges of the view.

Less beautiful but just as arresting was eyelashes baby Jesus.

During finals week, we studied in the best Starbucks downtown (it has an unparalleled loft that looks out over the Gaslamp Quarter). Its only detraction was the neglect of the subjunctive clause in one of the promotional holiday signs, a problem that can be chalked up to corporate, obviously.

We went ice skating in Horton Plaza as well. I have no shame in saying that I'm a natural. It was a little crowded (though not nearly to the extent that it was a couple of weeks prior, when Angelica and I went to the PLNU Ugly Sweater Ice Skating event and the place was flooded with our hipster peers), but at night under the city lights, it was totally worth it.