we like lists: list # 16: five things going on with me

I did this once before - turns out it was about a year ago - and although not many people participated, it made for good conversation and helped me get caught up with some friends. So why not? I still prefer posting about my life here as opposed to Facebook. From last year's post:
This list will answer the burning question: What's up? What's happening in your life? Doing anything interesting? Enjoying doing something mundane? Reading a good book? Working in your garden? Suffering from the heat? Tell us! Elaborate as much or little as you'd like.
We'll limit this to five, but less than five is OK.

1. My mom's annual visit is this week; she arrives tomorrow and leaves Friday. I always try to make her visit special - cook a nice dinner, do stuff she'll enjoy, have foods she loves in the house. She is very easy to please, and super appreciative, so it's a pleasure to make the effort.

Would you believe this woman turned 81 this year? This photo is from 2010.

2. I'm loving going to War Resisters meetings this summer. During the last school term, especially after I added my library job, I had to stop attending meetings, and was only marginally active by email, and attended some large events. It feels awful to sacrifice what I care about most! And it's also isolating, as meetings (and the post-meeting pub) is a big chunk of my social life. So it's great to be back this summer... and I will again have to drop it come September.

3. Speaking of September, here's a newflash: I'm not completely dreading school this year! That's a nice change. Knowing it's my last year is making it much easier to face. Plus - a huge plus - all my classes should be relevant to my new career. In the fall I'm taking "Children's Cultural Texts" with a great instructor I had last year for the children's digital games workshop, and "Public Library Advocacy," with an instructor who is a famous former public librarian and administrator, and teaches people how to advocate for libraries in their communities. In the winter, I'll have "Graphic Novels and Comic Books in the Library" and "Issues in Chidren's and Young Adults' Services". And then I will be done.

4. And speaking of being done... This is way far in advance, but I'll share anyway, since it's so present in my mind. I am planning a trip to celebrate finishing my degree. I love planning trips - for me it's part of the excitement of travel - so I'm having a great time thinking about this one, no matter that it's 10 months away! We'll start out in London (the "other London") to visit some friends, including a close friend who we haven't seen since she relocated in 1999. Then we'll spend a few days in Paris, because I've decided that every trip to Europe should include a visit to Paris. (Our last time in both London and Paris was 1998.) Then we'll take an overnight train from Paris to Barcelona, and spend the rest of the time in Spain. I'm not sure how long we'll have in Spain, but at least 10 days, maybe more. So far, Barcelona, Bilboa, and Roman ruins are the main targets.

Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain

5. Over the weekend, I read this excellent feature about Springsteen in The New Yorker. We weren't planning on seeing him on this tour, but now I feel I must. I've seen Bruce many, many times, beginning in 1978 and most recently in 2007. Now he's playing one night in Toronto and one night in Hamilton, and who knows if or when I will ever have the opportunity to see him again.

Your turn!


James Redekop said...

1) Lori just bought me an Ibanez SR500 bass guitar.

2) We're one shy of 200 geocaches found, and will probably make that landmark tomorrow.

3) Lori & I will be going on the Not The End Of The World Cruise in December.

Not much else, actually. Right now, we're squirreling all our spare cash away for #3...

laura k said...

Sounds great, James. I didn't know you play bass.

James Redekop said...

I don't. That's why it qualifies as #1 on the list.

Lori's trying to learn guitar, she wants me to participate, I used to play cello... So there we are. :)

laura k said...

I don't. That's why it qualifies as #1 on the list.

As I suspected. :)

I admire Lori's (and your) willingness to jump into new projects. I am so hesitant, always obsessed with how I will make time for something new, and what I will drop to create more time.

James Redekop said...

So my goal for the end of August is to be able to play through Pink Floyd's "Money" on the new bass. We'll see how that goes. ;)

allan said...

1. I am shopping a book proposal.

2. I am reading Stephen King's books in order of publication. I am on #16 right now.

3. I am exasperated (and have been for almost four months) at the Red Sox's season.

laura k said...

3. I am exasperated (and have been for almost four months) at the Red Sox's season.

I was going to include --

6. The 2012 Red Sox suck.

-- but decided against it

Stephanie said...

1. David and I are just starting to dip our toes into the waters of Netflix and online streaming.There is really so little time for tv thet the idea of being able to choose exactly what you want to see when you have that time is delightful. Also have signed on to Tek Saavy Broadband internet and voip telephone services. (now I just need to figure out if I need the ROKU or other streaming device...

2. rediscovering my passion for swimming(!!) and especially the blissful sleep that comes after an evening swim.

3. coding data with the intention of submitting my thesis in September (or early October.

Oh and I must add this SEGOVIA!!! :D

laura k said...

Hooray for swimming! There is nothing that makes me feel more completely relaxed and loose than a good swim. Sadly, I can't swim all summer (!) because of the Y day camp - the pool is over-run and LOUD. The community centre pools never seem to work for me. Where do you swim?

Data coding... thesis submission... oh boy.

Re Netflix, lots of people just physically connect their computer to their TV with a cable, showing whatever is on their computer on their TV. That's the least expensive route. A Roku alleviates the need to give up one of your computers or to be plugging and unplugging cables every time you want to watch something. And it's a one-time purchase, not a monthly fee. But for your purposes, not strictly necessary. We have baseball to think of, you know. :)

Stephanie said...

Yes, swimming is my mediation, my therapy, my zen!!

I understand the difficulty with community pools. I have been eyeing those (outdoor) pools around us that offer times for lane swimming, otherwise, i have been rather lucky to use my sister's pool. In the winter we are limited to the campus rec centre. Swimming is one of the things I love the most about our annual back-country camping vacations. I can swim most of the day (and I do) when we are not changing sites (when we are paddling and portaging). This camping trip always reminds me that being at the water is what I miss most about living in London (thus not living on one of the Great Lakes). As a child I swam every day of the summer since we always lived within walking distance of Lake Huron.

Jere said...

Mine's also water themed.

1. I decided last summer I wanted to become a surfer. Like with most things, I aimed really high only to set myself up for disappointment, considering I'd never surfed before. But this time I decided to go the more sensible route of actually taking steps to reach the goal. So I got a boogie board. Days later I found out that my friend who now lives down near DC also got a boogie board. So we decided we're both gonna be surfers eventually, ending with a trip to Hawaii in 2016 or so. In the meantime, we've set up two weekend visits this month, one where I go down to Cape May to board with him, and one where he comes up to Narragansett to board with me. We've been watching Endless Summer to get in the mood.

2. Kim and I have a huge lake right near our house, and we finally got a cheap inflatable boat yesterday and took it for a drive. I realized my left arm just refuses to do the rowing motion properly. I'll get the hang of it. Until then, we'll just be doing a lot of donuts.

3. My cousin has a (real) boat and took us out tubing. I didn't do any tubing, I just sat on the boat as we pulled the tube behind us, but I realized it's a whole subculture I've missed out on. Being the driver is a skill in itself, as he/she creates different types of wave-challenges for the tuber to take on. Like if he steers left and just holds the wheel there, it creates a wave where the tube goes along on the edge of it at a 45-degree angle. It feels like everything is still as there is speed but no acceleration. You might as well be on a stationary boat, looking out at two kids laying across an angled round table. And then the driver turns the wheel the other way and everything goes haywire, the kids hanging on for dear life as they go careening back over the wake. The moment they fall off is so violent, but the kids get right back on and ask for a new 20-minute death ride. (Thumbs up means faster--never once did they give a thumbs down.) Supposedly they also have water skis and knee boards, which I said I'm gonna try next time I visit them--hey, I'll be a surfer by then, so it should be a piece of cake.

johngoldfine said...

1. Off to Iceland Saturday for five days of riding (horses).

2. Neighbor just came down the road with a Chihuahua on a leash, my dogs ran over, she made inviting squeaky & kissy noises. I'm thinking, 'Will you f'chrissake yell at them and do them a kindness and me a favor and not lead them any further into temptation, y'fucking nitwit.' I was so angry all I could actually manage to squeeze out was, 'We try to keep them off the road.'

3. The Summer of the Weed. I have never weeded so much. Will Late Blight take my tomatoes again? They look great today. But they looked great a year ago today, and then one morning in August I woke up and...all gone.

4. God bless Youtube. I'm reading Alex Stone's 'Fooling Houdini' and Youtube is absolutely necessary so that I can see the magic tricks he is describing.

5. Still working on puppy training Patrick the Poodle. What I'm realizing is that knowing a little about dogs does not guarantee knowing very much at all about this dog. They are not fungible. Attention must be paid.

laura k said...

Stephanie, that sounds so good. I was a very poor swimmer as a child, I discovered the real joy of swimming in NYC, needing exercise that wouldn't kill my joints. The Y has a beautiful pool, right next door to the library where I work, 10 minutes from home. And one day I'm told I'll be out of school and can enjoy it on a regular basis again.

laura k said...

Like with most things, I aimed really high only to set myself up for disappointment, considering I'd never surfed before. But this time I decided to go the more sensible route of actually taking steps to reach the goal.

Uh-oh Jere, sounds like maturity might be making an appearance. Good luck with the surfing!

When we used to go upstate NY with our dogs, there were signs everywhere for "Tube the Esopus", that being the Esopus Creek. We never did it, because of the dogs, although our little Clyde would have enjoyed sitting in a tube.

laura k said...

Yet another great internety thing. I've also read books where the internet was a huge help in my understanding.

We have our first ripe tomatoes this week, four beauties, just in time for Mom Visit. They're the only ones, though. Nothing else even has a blush.

Late Blight sounds very upsetting.

Jere said...

"The Summer of the Weed. I have never weeded so much."

Gotcha ;)

L: I take it the creek tubing was the other kind, where you are on the tube independently and let the creek take you, as opposed to the pulled-from-boat style that I was doing. I have done the creek style--in upstate NY! On a Cooperstown trip as a kid. I remember worrying that I'd fall through the tube, until I saw they all had a little slab of wood in the middle/hole. I wonder if that was the Esopus! It is kind of on the way, and it appears to be a popular tubing spot so maybe....

laura k said...

Jere, yeah, this was the floating down the creek thing, either bouncing over semi-rapids, or furiously hand-paddling trying to propel yourself in the shallow still water of August.

If you went tubing on a trip to Cooperstown, it may well have been the Esopus! Good old Rt. 28, Phoenicia New York.

Amy said...

1. My extended family is on the Cape this week: parents, brother, children and grandson as well as favorite cousins. So instead of being early to post on a list site, I am late! Having a great time with everyone.

2. Well, I WILL say it. The Red Sox suck this season.

3. My birthday is next Sunday, and it's a big one. Turning to this next decade has really made me think about mortality and how I want to spend my "golden years."

4. I am dreading the return to school in just two weeks. I always dread the end of our idyllic Cape summers, but this year especially. In part, it's the age thing (see above), but it's also the state of legal education that makes the thought of the academic year particularly depressing.

5. I have had an amazing summer---lots of time outside, in the water, reading what I want to read and not what I have to read, being with people I love, being in a place I love. All is good, except # 2 and #4 above. :)

Amy said...

Allan, I have only read one Stephen King book, and I have no idea what number it would be on a chronological list, but I really enjoyed 11/22/63. Not my usual type of novel, but I found it fascinating and absorbing.

allan said...


High 50s, low 60s? It's aways off!

laura k said...

Amy, so glad to hear from you! I knew you had to be away or you would have been first (or second to Goldfine) to comment on this thread. Everything sounds good... except for the dread. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Amy said...

Thanks, Laura. Hope you are enjoying your visit with your mom! I am busy with the family, but slowly catching up with everything else when I can.