Saturday, February 27, 2010

follow the leader

Tonight I have decided to avoid anatomy and work stuff, and just relax. The stress that I've been feeling lately is because I've been pushing myself too hard. I slept for a long time today and that helped a bit. I think I'm on the verge of getting sick and I want to prevent it, if possible.

Good things:
1. Chocolate-chip waffles with cherries tomorrow morning
2. Watching Sunday Morning with a cup of coffee
3. Organizing work/school stuff
4. Going out to get some work done (Bean Hollow, maybe?)

I've been watching videos on TED, including Jamie Oliver's speech. It's a great website with a lot of food for thought. I'm looking forward to watching Ken Robinson's talk on how schools kill creativity. After teaching for a few years, I'd have to agree to a certain extent.


Not exactly literature, but...

I got two fortune cookies at Pei Wei last night (I eat one before dinner and one after). Interesting, considering the stuff that is going on right now:

 "To be mature is to accept imperfections."


"The simplest answer is to act."

Knitted fortune cookie photo here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

five senses friday

 "Long Limb" by Andrew Wyeth

I haven't updated in some time. Mostly because I've been very busy. I'm taking a class that consumes whatever free time I have after teaching and grading. I'm also making some important (and difficult) decisions. I'm trying not to complain since they're my choices, but still.

This week:

Hearing: A songbird outside my window. Is Spring coming? Really?
Tasting: Jelly Belly conversation beans from my mom, hopefully Pei-Wei Korean Tofu tonight.
Feeling: Stress, Patagonia Monster fuzzy jacket
Hearing: Really good "This American Life" podcasts.
Smelling: Strong coffee.

A literary thought to finish this work week:

"You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least."
--Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

endless snow

Another blizzard roared through Maryland today. I haven't heard totals for my area, but looking outside, it's over a foot. This is in addition to the three feet from the weekend.
I am off for the entire week, until next Tuesday. It's nice. I have heat and power, so I'm more fortunate than most. Just a little cabin fever. The "Five Senses Friday" this week will be devoted to the sounds, sights, feelings, tastings, and smells of these storms.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

up late

The sunset after the storm

This is late for me, but I had a friend over for dinner and I've been snowed in for the past few days. The Baltimore/Washington metro area received over two feet of snow over the weekend. My city has 33.8 inches, and we are expecting ten to twenty inches (quite a range) over the next couple of days. School has been canceled for today and tomorrow and we will probably be out Wednesday. It is a possibility that we will be out the rest of the week.

I am fortunate because I have not lost power. I also live near a supermarket, so I was able to get out (barely) and pick up some food for the next few days. The plows have been out in force but there is so much snow. More snow than I have ever seen at one time. The piles on the side of the road are over 6 feet high in some places. The off/on ramps in most areas are barely passable and the roads are covered in ice. Poor Maryland---this state is struggling to keep up and clear before the next storm.

I went snowshoeing today at the golf course across the street. It was beautiful and eerily quiet. At one point, I thought that if something were to happen to me, no one would know. That scared me a little bit.

I have been studying and trying to get some work done. As for my students, I have emailed them but many are without power. I'm not sure when I will be returning to work--maybe next week? It's hard not to know.


TJ shoveling, Saturday


A little poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse at the garden's end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed in a tumultuous privacy of storm.

Friday, February 5, 2010

five senses friday

Tasting: Trattoria pizza on an early release day

Hearing: The "quiet" cycle on my 1980s washer and dryer

Seeing: The blizzard outside...

Feeling: Warm, woolen socks and down comforters

Smelling: Comfort food in the Crock-Pot

Hunkering down for the storm. 20-30 inches expected for the Baltimore-Washington area. I've got my shovel, lots of good food, Scrabble, some wine, and TJ. Should be a good weekend!

Photo: A snowball fight in Logan Circle. (Nikki Kahn/Post),

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

morning light


Snow day in Maryland today. The trees are all covered and the plow is backing up outside. I love waking early to the early morning sunlight. It is worth missing an extra hour of sleep to sit in my chair, read, and drink a cup of coffee as the light shifts throughout the room.

The light today is weak, produced by a sun that can barely get through the clouds. I am looking forward to a leisurely day: new glasses, anatomy homework, grading at Starbucks.

Winter, according to Hemingway, in A Moveable Feast:

"You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would be spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen."