sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 31, 2005

35 down, 15 to go
posted by soe 3:45 pm

Traveling lends itself to thinking more about travel. I occupied my time on the plane flight to Tucson last week with the thought of the states I have not yet visited. The number is dwindling:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota*
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee*
  • Texas*

As you can see, I have a southern swath that needs to be taken care of sometime soon. Luckily the next eight months’ traveling schedule has me slated to visit Texas and Louisiana. San Antonio and New Orleans have long been on my list of places I’d like to see.

And other states on the list offer other gems. Tennessee has Nashville and Montana and Idaho have beautiful national parks. But can someone offer me an incentive to visit Mississippi or Minnesota or Oklahoma? I’m sure there are some, but none springs immediately to mind.

Now if only someone would schedule a conference I needed to attend in Hawaii…

*Airport layovers haven’t been included as official visits, since I never actually left the building. (States that I drove through but that offered no reason to get out of the car have been counted.)

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pumpkins, ghosts, and clowns
posted by soe 11:12 am


I have always enjoyed Halloween as a holiday. Really it’s a hedonistic sort of celebration. It requires no reflection, no penance, no guilt. Just candy and costumes and mystery.

My first Halloween costume was a black cat (my only store-bought costume). Subsequently, I went as a clown, a fairy, a postal carrier, a hippie, a gypsy, a cowgirl, and as a sprite. The year I was a sprite was my sophomore year in college, the last year I actually went trick-or-treating. Three friends and I went out into the neighborhoods surrounding campus in the pouring rain. It was such fun — and when we returned to the dorm, we were absolutely drenched. A perfect way to conclude one’s trick-or-treating days, methinks.

But next year I’m dressing up again. I even know what I’m going to be. But I’m not telling…

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October 29, 2005

happy birthday, mum!
posted by soe 11:51 pm

Today is Mum’s birthday.

Mum is an amazing woman. Wherever she sees a breach, she steps into it. When my Brownie troop needed a new leader, she stepped up and took on a group of first-graders. By the time we hit third grade our troop had grown from six or so girls to about forty and Mum had to recruit a number of other moms as assistants.

She also is an inspiration, going down to Washington without knowing anyone other than my dad and volunteering for the Clinton inauguration committee. She turned that opportunity into an eight-year volunteer gig as well as a full-time paying job (actually, a couple of them). She met a ton of famous people and got to witness a number of cool moments at the White House and at the Vice President’s house, in addition to making a lifetime’s worth of memories.

Mum doesn’t see that this as remotely extraordinary, but the rest of us know how very much it is. We lack her organization and her chutzpah and her ability to throw herself into a task fully.

And when she’s not serving as a role model to the rest of us, she’s busy belting out the tunes, coaxing sun-loving plants to grow in the shade, planning her next deck-building project, and keeping us all afloat, no matter how far away we’ve swum.

Happy birthday, Mum! It was nice to celebrate with you!

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October 28, 2005

one more trip
posted by soe 12:24 pm

This weekend will mark the fifth trip I have taken in six weeks — the UK, Pittsburgh, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Connecticut. I am tired. I don’t know how my folks managed a weekly commute of 600+ miles over the 14 years they did it.

I am looking forward to the three uninterrupted weeks I’ll be at home starting Monday and leading up to Thanksgiving. I’ll need to spend some time at home cleaning up the mess there following the flood-mandated remodeling. But there also will be time for reading and knitting and visiting with friends and movie watching and catching up on the tv shows Rudi has diligently been taping for me in my absence. We already have our tickets to see the new Harry Potter movie when it opens in a few weeks, and I can’t begin to say how excited I am at the prospect of it.

But before then, there’s one more trip ahead of me. Wish me luck…

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October 27, 2005

warm, cool, and old friends
posted by soe 4:23 pm

Three beautiful things from the last week:

1) 85 degrees and sunny weather in Tucson for the three days I was there. It was nice to wear shorts one last time this year.

2) October shouldn’t be that warm, so it was nice to come home to golden leaves on the lawns and a nip in the air.

3) Min and I knew each other through mutual friends in college, where she was a couple years ahead of me. We had managed, for the most part, to stay in touch through the years, but time and distance make that challenging and we’d managed to lose track of each other in the last year or so. So it was nice when we made plans to meet up while I was visiting town. I think we both were a little worried that we’d changed since we’d last seen each other (we’re guessing it’s been about seven years) and that we wouldn’t recognize one another. But instead we did and I had a lovely time reminiscing and catching up and getting to know her better. Maybe the next time I come to Tucson will be a little bit more relaxed and I’ll have more opportunities for visiting.

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wordpress is being weird
posted by soe 9:10 am

My blog refused to give me permission to post the previous entry last night, presumably because it objected to the final sentence of the post,

“In the meantime,
I’m going to
up with a cat.”

It apparently objects to that one word, in particular. How weird. I don’t know why. But it forbid me to use it.

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