I can't even cope with how long it's been since I last posted. BOO me.
Spring break was amazing. And since I left early for WI and then returned to campus approximately 9 hours before classes started, it seemed like it lasted forever.
If you're interested in the details...
Weds: Event of the day was a free ticket. I woke up at 6 am and got myself to the airport way early, and then opted to stay even longer in order to get a free ticket voucher. But I figured that, for all the times that I've sat at airports waiting during blizzards for de-icing sessions, or wondering why my flight is mysteriously 2 hours delayed, or circling in the air waiting for a runway, that I should really go for a free ticket when I've got the chance. So I hung out in the SF airport, and later in the Chicago airport, where I cleverly drank a huge cup of tea right before boarding. No huge problems, and I arrived in Madison, where Andrew was expecting me, and my luggage was right there waiting for me. Such fun. We went home, and I watched OC episodes that I'd missed during finals craziness while Andrew rolled tons of sushi.
Thursday: It freaking snowed. But: Andrew brought home bread, and we satisified my intense craving for grilled cheese, with some AMAZING Amy's organic tomato bisque on the side (I brought two cans home with me in my suitcase. It was that good). Then it was off to the airport (which is like, 15 minutes away from Andrew's apartment), and we flew to NY.
Friday: City day! Ate bagels in Hastings, caught the train to NYC, and wandered around in the village all day. I got a free pair of contacts since I'd forgotten mine in Madison, and we found this wonderful Thai place (Isle on Bleeker) where we caught the lunch special. Their sink was amazing -- a washstand and a shell to catch extra soap. Saw the dogs playing in the park... so cute. I searched in vain for shoes at a number of stores, but did manage to secure a pashmina for $5. We just caught the train back and had dinner with Andrew's father at his favorite restaurant. Later, Jon and Jen arrived, and we had to tear Andrew away from watching "Conviction."
Sat: The four of us (Jon, Jen, Andrew, me) went to Mount Parnesse for brunch. But wait, it's closed! Crisis. So we went to Mont Olympus, which was nearby, and even SHINIER. Mirrors EVERYWHERE. I'm told that this is a representative Greek diner. Everything sparkled. Mirrors in the entry way and on the ceiling, silver embelishments, liquor bottles, glass... overload. Good challah french toast w/ strawberries, though.
Later, we had Andrew's grandparents' 60th anniversary party at this nice Italian restaurant. We had an enlightening conversation with Andrew's Grandma Hilda, who had ordered shrimp in a garlic sauce and had leftovers to take home -- shrimp not being kosher -- but keeps a kosher kitchen:
Grandma Hilda: I'll eat it on paper plates (explains how she keeps disposable dishware for just such occasions).
Andrew's brother: So what's more important, that you eat kosher, or that your kitchen is kosher?
Grandma Hilda: The kitchen of course.
We had another argument over whether or not there was actually garlic in the garlic wine sauce, which was solved (despite Grandma Hilda's protestations that she couldn't taste the garlic) when Andrew AND his brother sampled it, and pointed out large chunks of straight garlic.
After dinner, we went to Ann's for a lovely reception with yummy cake. Speech times and conversation, all that jazz.
Back at the house, it was our quality time over Law & Order and Mythbusters
Sun: Back to Mont Olympus for brunch, and then Jon and Jen had to leave. Andrew & I got ready to go (ie Andrew did tax and computer stuff with his Dad, while I packed our stuff), and then it was back to the airport. Had an awesome scrabble game (Andrew would have won if I didn't make him put a word somewhere else, but as it played I won by the swing tiles he had leftover at the end), and I wrote thank you letters. Had a quick stop, where we ate Subway for dinner (yum veggie delite), and then boarded a plane with a horribly annoying sports team that included a couple of girls who couldn't stop coughing. Normally this wouldn't be so bad, but during my finals induced madness, I actually watched the beginning of a HORRID 90's movie called Killing Moon. The premise is pretty straightforward: an engineered killer virus is loose on a plane, and it's wiping everyone out. The main symptom? COUGHING. And then blood spurts out of your eyes and/or mouth and nose and you're dead. So coughing on the plane not so cool.
Back in Madison, we had a hell of a time finding Andrew's car. Not that there were so many places to check in the little airport. I suddenly realized how cold it was... even compared to NY.
Mon: Shopping day! Hit State St., the mall, grocery store. Caught up on tv shows over mango curry.
Tues: I slept in while Andrew went to class. Worried about taxes. Andrew got back and tried to calm me down. Then we had a nice walk down to the lake, and spotted a muskrat swimming along the shore. We tried to follow him, but he ended up going beyond the dock without landing on the shore. Maybe the model battleship someone was playing with (remote control) scared him off. More shopping, & pesto for dinner.
Weds: Headed to New Glarus to see where they make the amazing Spotted Cow beer. Cool brewery. The Swiss town was closed, unfortunately, although we did get to sample a fairly good brownie at the bakery. Andrew drove us in the opposite direction with his amazing inner compass, so we actually saw the woods where we're going hiking this summer (and beyond). For dinner I orchestrated an enchilada making session -- yum! For dessert: Cold Stone, where I got my usual cake batter w/ yellow cake smooshed in & whipped cream. YUM.
Thurs: Slept in, and then when Andrew got back from class, we were off. Did some thrift storing... I found an Ann Taylor sweater (in petite small, no less!) for $2. Splurged (ie spent about $23) on a vintage looking top (ironic, right? bought that new, and the sweater vintage) & on-sale heels. Also: JEANS THAT FIT AT GAP. Which means that they were not on sale, because they always are out of my size in ankle by the time things go on sale. To reward Andrew for his amazing patience and assistance, I then got us Starbucks.
Fri: As the brunch place was already done serving breakfast at 11:30, Andrew and I did our own. Yummy cinnamon swirl french toast w/ fried apple. Then, believe it or not, I got my hair cut!!! Went to the trendy place Cha Cha where Andrew got his emo shag trimmed. The stylist was not happy with me: first for not having a hair style despite having stylish shoes & jeans (both of which he commented upon), and then for using sun-in. But I'd rather use sun-in than expose myself to carcinogenic coal tar (found in most hair dyes). Rather funny: he was having trouble combing through the ends, so we decided to just chop them off instead. He said he had a feeling it was going to be a really good haircut, and I was delighted. Shorter, and layers, and side bangs... and it's sooo easy to take care of. And my hair actually moves and seems happy and I can run my fingers through it again without getting caught in snags. And under $50 even with tip: not bad since I haven't had a professional cut in 3-4 years!
Later, I got to go out in public to test drive the look... Andrew's dept was doing its own admit week, so we went to the party. Very cool, re-met people, met others, and, most importantly, got to see Annie from MHC!!! We didn't stay too late, as we made brunch plans for the next morning.
Sat: Brunch with Annie at Lazy Jane's, which was awesome. And then some more thrift storing. Later, we watched Walk the Line (incredible, now am listening to Johnny Cash) and Andrew made more sushi. I'm having difficulties with meats, and didn't have an appetite for the smoked salmon, which I partly picked out. We did get some work done, and also had time to meet up with Andrew's friend John for cheesecake and coffee (or in my case, herbal tea at that hour). Back home, Andrew beat me at Trivial Pursuit, but I didn't care because I was having the best dark beer from New Glarus -- Bock.
Sun: Went to the Indian buffet for brunch (yummy, next time will go later in the day and eat more), and then watched Matchpoint at the AWESOME second run movie theater (2.75$ a movie -- we're going to be there all the time this summer). Matchpoint was amazing, greatly enjoyed it.
Later, watched tons of good tv, ate pasta, and cuddled. Very sad!
Mon: Breakfasting & walking by the lake despite the wind (people were actually windsurfing on the freaking lake, it was so windy) and lunching and a trip to Target to make sure Andrew had everything he needed and then to the airport. Ahh! I hate leaving. And of course somehow the airlines had managed to completely f! up their schedules, so flights were canceled (including the one I was supposed to be on, a fact which student universe cleverly didn't alert me to) and ridiculously delayed. I was on a flight that left around 7:30 pm, and was supposed to have left before 4 pm. Crazy. And there were NINE OF US. Nine! Plenty of space, which was nice.
In Chicago, I basically retraced my steps from F to C, passing by like 5 Starbucks in the process. The next flight was likewise empty, we nearly all had 3 seats to ourselves. So I stretched out, and was quite comfy, but couldn't fall asleep. Nerves? Being in a plane? The green tea I'd had earlier? The awesome music on my iPod that I couldn't possibly miss by falling asleep? Hard to say, but I didn't drift too far into sleep.
Got into SF late, and took the first van that was available... a bit pricey, but it's hard to be picky when it's 1 am and you've got class in 10 hours.
Anyway, classes have been going well -- it's crazy as usual figuring out what to take... Methods and Materials, Enigma of Victorianism ad hoc, Sublime and the Ugly, Postmodern Fiction, Medieval Survey, Explanation/ Interpretation... Think I'm going with Victorianism & Sublime, and hoping to TA for Masterpieces. Tuesday was busy -- after class I had to go grocery shopping, make dinner (pesto, yum), unpack, mop the floors, dust... Then it felt more like home again.
Weds, also crazy. Class at 10 am, then a nap at home & lunch, then back to campus till 5 pm, then taking the last admit to James's, Chinese food & party, then socializing with Sarah & co. till the wee hours. So fun! Met physicists, and a poli sci fifth year (awesome woman), and a fellow seven sister w/ a sister at MHC. Today was amazing. Moretti's lecture was perfect -- I loved actually learning rather than just having a round table discussion. MHC was all about discussion, and I'm realizing the benefits of playing the sponge. Then lunch, and it was time for Postmodernism -- another lecture, and they're reading V. I'd love to re-read it, but I'm thinking if anything I'll just audit the first couple of weeks. I know it's not going to be my subject area, but I do love Pynchon and DeLillo and I realized they're reading Canclini, theory which I worked with back in the day at MHC when I was writing on Castillo's So Far From God (amazing novel). But... everything else will be way helpful for me figuring out if I'm in the 19th century, and getting a handle on it.
After, I hung out with Jill & did the reading for our 19th century reading group. It was AMAZING. I had no idea how cool a reading group really could be. We had Indian take out, concocted a schedule (I get to investigate Goth/horror & Bram Stoker & help with Housman & the Invention of Love play & its references to Jerome K. Jerome (which I seem to forget how to pronounce!)) Can't wait!! I so so miss Stoppard. And I am so excited about really feeling like I have a better background in Victorianism. And what could be more awesome than hanging out with everything over dinner & discussing?
This was our "dessert": The BBC cartoon of Charles Dickens.