Time seems to be moving really fast lately, and while I’m trying to fit lots of Alaskan fun in before September, I do sometimes like to think ahead, and imagine where I’ll be in the fall. When I get into that mood, I like to head on over to Craigslist, and check out apartments. Just to browse, but also to torture myself, because when I inevitably find the perfect apartment, I know it’ll be rented by the time I’m ready to move (at which point I’ll be forced to live in a hovel, with roommates *shudder*. I’m really over this living-with-people thing). It’s a fun game, in a heartbreaking way, especially because I now know what Baltimore neighborhoods are nice, and have things I would want close by (grocery store within walking distance, nice park to run in, Quaker Meeting, contra dance- man, my old neighborhood ruled). A practical person might point out that I could better use this time and energy to find another roommate in Anchorage, since that’s an issue that I’ll have to address in the next month, but it’s less fun, so I’m mostly ignoring it, crossing that bridge when I come to it, etc. I have put out some feelers, but it’s hard to really invest too much energy into something so irritating. Instead, I’ll fantasize about how awesome things will be in the fall, when I’m back on the East Coast, living by myself (plus a kitten). Is it unrealistic to assume all of my issues will vanish, based on a change of address (despite the fact that I know I had issues the entire time I lived back East)? Probably! But that’s ok. When I remember the problems I had in Maryland (terrible romantic choices, harpy roommates, sweltering heat), I think of how much they caused me to grow (maybe not the heat part, but I’ve come to accept that air conditioning is not a sign of weakness), and I feel like I am better equipped to handle them now. Besides, Carbon Leaf is never going to come to Alaska, so I might as well move somewhere I know there’s good live music.
I am so ready for the weekend. I had planned on spending tomorrow climbing some mountain, but instead I’m volunteering at the Fetish Ball, so I’ll probably just go to yoga (I need to pull a costume together. The theme is School of Hard Knocks, so of course I’ll be going as the school nurse), and hike on Sunday. I only just decided to volunteer (it’s being put on my the local AIDS organization, where I volunteer, so I’ve heard lots about it, but none of my friends were interested in going), but now I’m excited. I think it’ll be an interesting scene, and volunteering takes the pressure off of just going by myself and feeling awkward (it also makes the costume feel more normal, which I’m hoping will decrease the self-consciousness factor).
I got a letter from a friend today, and while he’s terrible at putting things out in the open, and taking responsibility, he finally said the six words I’ve been waiting almost our entire relationship to hear- “You’re awesome, and I’m a fuckhead”. Truer words were never spoken.
I was supposed to work today, but another nurse stole my shift, so instead I’m eating pancakes, shoveling snow, doing yoga, and job searching. Most of the time I like my job, but when you cry for half an hour after a coworker acts like an entitled bully and ruins your weekend plans, it makes you think that something might not be right.
It’s been warm and nice in Anchorage recently, but last night we got buried in snow. I hate to say it, but I think this is how it’s going to be until May- warm, then snow. It’s pretty, and I don’t mind it since there’s more daylight, but I hope we get some Spring weather at some point.
I’ve been thinking that my upcoming new chapter requires a new blog, and so I’m moving to Nursing the North. It’ll pretty much be more of what I wrote here, but with Alaskan adventures!
Apartment hunting is the pits. I have to say, after spending the night sweating to death in my over-priced, un-air conditioned apartment last night that I am not good at finding places to live. My friends had great apartments, with fireplaces (not working ones, but even a decorative fireplace is nice), and hardwood floors, and sun rooms, and patios, and they didn’t pay much more rent than me, but I don’t know how to find that kind of place.
I’ve been trying to think of qualities to look for in an apartment to help me with my search. It needs to allow pets, and even though I don’t know when I’ll be getting a dog, it has to allow for both cats and dogs, just in case. I’d really like a place where I could line-dry my laundry (this might not happen, but it makes sheets smell so good! I’ve been drying stuff out on my fire escape, but I feel like that evokes the morning after a wedding night in medieval times, and that’s kinda gross. Also, sometimes things blow away and fall into the parking lot behind my building, which defeats the purpose of washing them in the first place), and for that matter, I’d like a place that comes with a washer and dryer so I don’t have to obsess over quarters. I’d like a fireplace (fortunately, they seem to be pretty common in Alaska- even the less-nice places I’ve seen at least have the gas ones), and a decent-sized kitchen. I think those are all reasonable qualities to look for, but I don’t know how to find that kind of place.
This morning while I was waiting for my friend so we could go to the market I noticed a baby bird on the lawn in front of my building.
There are lots of cute kinds of babies, but birds aren’t one of them. It was scrawny-looking, and hopping around, awkwardly trying to fly, and I half-wondered if it was even supposed to be out of the nest. It looked big enough, but I didn’t think it would be able to fly long or high enough to get back on the roof. There was a grown-up (starling? I think they were starlings) watching though, and soon another swooped down and gave it a worm, and they hopped around together. It was pretty sweet until they wandered into the street, and then I got nervous. There were cars! They were walking in the middle of Charles St. with a baby! I was kind of freaking out, and convinced that a car would come and squash the baby bird, and there would be nothing the parents could do about it because they don’t have arms and so can’t pick up their babies. How do non-human mothers manage? Some can pick them up in their mouths, but what do birds do? It seems very stressful- I really rely on my hands, and I’m not even responsible for someone else’s life.
Step 1: Buy TOMS online, despite not having any money. Just do it. Everyone at school has TOMS, and they’re perfect for contra dancing. Dancing in boots means having to wear pants, and it’s too hot for that. Get a darker color than last time though, because canvas-colored TOMS show dirt instantly. Black ones have buffalos on the inside! It’s a sign!
Step 2: Have a schedule that keeps you out of the house all day, and causes you to miss the delivery guy the first two times he comes.
Step 3: Look up where the UPS store is to see if it would be possible to pick up the package.
Step 4: Realize that it’s insanely far away. Swear. Curse not having a car. Curse the decision to buy shoes when you don’t have any money. Curse the UPS people for coming at stupid times and having a far-away location.
Step 5: Skip school. Plan on having the package magically come in the morning and making it to class late.
Step 6: Waste the whole freaking day being stuck at home waiting for the doorbell to ring.
The doorbell never rang. I’m not sure if the delivery person rang the wrong bell, or didn’t ring the bell and just expected me to wait on the stoop, but I never heard it, and now my TOMS are stuck at the UPS store, and my feet are bare. I missed two classes, and a workout class that I really wanted to attend and I have nothing to show for it. It’s very aggravating.
Today I’m social-ed out. If I had a car I’d love to drive out to a hiking spot and spend the whole day by myself in the quiet. Because I don’t have a car I’ll probably just walk over to Druid Hill Park and hang out there, but that should also achieve my goal, because more than anything I just need to spend some time by myself.
I went to two parties last night, and while they were both interesting, they were also incredibly draining. It started with a barbeque with some classmates (though not my usual crowd), and then somehow I ended up at an art show in a basement surrounded by hipster art students drinking wine out of jars. Everyone I encountered last night was nice (if not necessarily my type), and I even had a good time, but now I’m done in. There was some talk last night about going to the Spring Fair on campus today, but I emphatically don’t want to do that, especially not with the people who made these plans, because I don’t know them very well, and I don’t have it in me to get to know them. It’s a rare thing for me, but I don’t want attention, and I really don’t want people to flirt with me. I’ve gotten too much of that recently, and it freaks me out, and makes me feel like I’m cold inside when I can’t respond to them in the way they want. I can give the right impression, but I can’t actually meet them halfway, and it’s distressing. I want to be open to new people, but I’m kind of just…not. At least not right now. I wish I had a dog to keep me company today- people are too much, but a dog would be just the right amount of interaction.
Because it’s Spring Fair there were fireworks on campus Thursday night, and because I can’t resist fireworks I dragged my friends away from their homework to check it out with me. I was actually really impressed by the display- it wasn’t some teeny little sparklers event- they went all out. Fireworks are legal in Maryland, so I suppose it’s probably a higher bar than what I’m used to, but I was impressed. It was 100% worth abandoning my schoolwork for a couple of hours, even though I then had to stay up until almost 1:00 in order to accomplish everything I had to do. Granted, most of what I had to do was baking- it’s standard practice to bring food for the clinical floor on our last day, and I also wanted to bake for my instructor.
I haven’t been feeling terribly inspired lately, and so I actually bought brownie mix to just throw something together. I misread the box though, and actually followed the recipe for brownie cookies. In an attempt to not feel like I was totally phoning in my contribution I decided to use browned butter instead of oil, two eggs instead of one, and lightly sprinkled them with sea salt. It worked too well though, because they were a hit, and when people asked for my recipe I had to sheepishly admit they came from a box.
I also made a loaf of cheese bread, which I think turned out well (I didn’t try it, but it made my apartment smell like heaven. Delicious, cheesy heaven). I sort of followed this recipe, but I also made it my own with replacements and substitutions. Instead of using cheddar cheese I used Manchego, and I used more than it called for- I joked that I used a 1:1 cheese to bread ratio, but I did use about as much cheese as flour. I didn’t have any fresh herbs, so I just tossed in some dried thyme, I used half a head of fresh garlic instead of 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and yogurt instead of milk (because I didn’t have any milk). It was fun to play around a little, and I’d like to make another loaf for myself to see if it’s any good. Normally I don’t try new recipes when I’m making food as a gift, but none of my tried-and-trues appealed, and I’m glad I got to experiment.
I can’t throw a frisbee. I’ve known it since my freshman year of college when I went on an Outing Club hike and gave a girl a black eye when the disc I had meant to send across the circle flew into the face of the person next to me instead. I’m not sure I’ve thrown one since then, up until today. Today when it was just too beautiful to stay inside and study for a moment longer my friends and I took a frisbee break, and it was great. My friends are outdoorsy types, so they pretty much grew up playing frisbee, and have all been on Ultimate teams, and can do all kinds of fancy things that are really intimidating to novices, but my friend Alex very sweetly offered to teach me to throw, and so gave me a little frisbee clinic. I’m still not good, and I broke two nails (which I always find funny- it’s such a high-maintenance kind of injury), but I had a ball. Throwing, and especially catching is incredibly gratifying. I was actually ok by the end, though we never joined the others, and now I want to play more. I want to play catch, and Ultimate, and be outside, on the grass, in the sun with my friends. (I especially want to do it if my friend Sam will take his shirt off again, because he did today, and it was quite a sight. That boy is built, and even though he’s my buddy, and I’m not attracted to him it’s still a nice view.)
I’d like to have a bonfire. School is never-ending crazy, and even though this week is finals we’re just jumping into the next semester without any break, so I don’t know when there will be time to go camp, but a bonfire should be do-able. I’d like to roast marshmallows, and get smoke smell in my hair.
“He’ll be coming and going” he had said. “One day you’ll see him and another you won’t. He doesn’t like being tied down–and of course he has other countries to attend to. It’s quite all right. He’ll often drop in. Only you mustn’t press him. He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”