Monday, December 22, 2008

Cemetery Sunday

Ran around the Kenisco Cemetery in Valhalla, NY on Sunday with Adam.

I love Cemeteries. Always have.

They have a beauty to them. Something about being so somber and quiet.

And I'm a sucker for attractive architectural details, and cemeteries are chock full of those.

All weird and pseudo neo-classical, or wacky faux egyptian. 

I particularly adore the Pere LaChaise cemetery in Paris, which I visited with Peter ages ago. You can't tell from the virtual tour so much. But walking around that cemetary is like being in a village full of teensy houses. They're all mausoleums of course though.

It was no Pere LaChaise, but the Kenisco one was nice.

We tried to wander around but it was SO cold that we just drove about. There are lots of little roundabouts. We kept going in little circles. Which was easy in our little VW Rabbit.

Of course, I knew that someone or somebody important was going to be there that I hadn't researched before we went. Lo and Behold. I went to their website. People whose graves or memorials I wish I had looked for include Danny Kaye and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

But hey. It was lovely all the same.

It still had cute little tiny houses. 

And somewhere in there was a pyramid, but we never did get close to it. I want to go back when it's not ten degrees outside and actually get close to some of these monuments.

A lot of them have those little stained glass windows behind fancy ironwork doors. 

I love the little houses! Can you tell?



Thursday, December 18, 2008



Who knew?

So far this week (engagement week as I've been calling it in my head) almost none of my friends or family have been particularly surprised that I proposed. Some may even be said to have been 'congratulatory'.

But not a one of my friends or family seemed super surprised. (Though I can't blame them too much, I've been asking questions and dropping nervous hints to everyone but him for weeks).

My theory is that most of 'my people' know that I like to do things my way. I have a tendency to be a bit stubborn sometimes, and I like to fight for freedom and individuality all the time (on my own terms of course). So to one of my friends or coworkers, it comes as little to no surprise that I would propose.



A woman.


Doesn't surprise them.

Apparently it doesn't work that way for everyone.

It's very interesting.

My taller half has been getting a lot of flak for not being the one to propose. And I'm really surprised. Apparently it's still very strange and appalling for a woman to propose.

Now wait a minute.

How long has the country been fighting for same sex marriage? (not always winning but still?)

How long have women been able to vote?

How long have we had the right to choose?

How long have we been able to get fancy powerful jobs (like the president of Ithaca College of past years, Peggy Williams)?

How long have we been able to wear pants? Have a career? Pursue our happiness and ours alone?

How long has it been since we've had 'A Room of Ones Own'?

And yet.

And yet, we can't propose?

I'm honestly astounded.

Turns out quite a lot of 'his people' have been very negative.

I really feel flabbergasted.

Not really angry or upset, but really just astonished.

I mean, Really?


Come on. Half the country voted for Obama. We're getting equal racial rights slowly. I still want equal female rights too! Let's not drop one ball for the other.

I want it all! Rights for all!

And let me tell you. I don't feel bad. Or wrong, or anything.

I'm proud to have proposed, and to be engaged, by my own hand.

It's a promise. A promise between us.

And I don't 'need a ring too' as some people have suggested.

WE have a ring!

A promise ring!

Why promise twice?!

We're gonna both have rings when we get married.


Help me out folks.

What is the deal????

Where is this weird stuff coming from? All these feelings from people? Equality? Where is it? I thought I had it!

And I really want to know. From people who agree that it's weird that I did it. That it's weird that I proposed.

Why? Why is it weird?

I mean. If we were lesbians trying to get married, I'd at least be a little more prepared for everyone looking at us funny.

I'm spoiled as a short white female in a heterosexual relationship, I know I am. I have a lot of freedoms and liberty that some of my friends would be envious to have. So of course, having a lot of privilege, even a small amount of discrimination chafes more than it should I suppose.

But I still don't understand.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


So. It's here. I'm engaged!

Monday night I proposed on the walk home with Adam.

He said yes!

I know I'm so wily doing it, me being the woman and all. But I want it, and I decided to go for it! Though I can't take full responsibility for being cool and a fully modern woman.

At one point while discussing marriage, Adam did suggest it some months ago.

But either way!


This is us from over the summer. See how cute he is?!

How insane!

I went to say something about 'my boyfriend' today and stumbled over my words. He's 'my fiancee' now.

I'm really just tired and overwhelmed or I'd write more story about how it all went down.



Sunday, December 14, 2008

Soft trees

The Boodely got me going on soft trees last year, but this year I'm actually making them! See little Pippi from Kitlane for a sense of scale. They're all close to four inches tall. Two of them are up at my etsy shop for sale. Cheap!

More soon.


Friday, December 12, 2008


Feeling a bit random and eclectic in my thoughts today.

Someone in the other room just yelled 'Swedish Fish!'


I had a funny moment today, looking up from my book on the elevated train over the bridge.

"Soon this will be a memory."

In exactly one week I will be taking quite possibly my last trips on the J, M, Z train during that hour, at that time of the morning. Maybe ever, at any time of day.

It's weird when you can actually feel the winds of change, blowing over you, about to suck you in.

It may be my own choice to enter into such weirdness and throw myself out of whack, but it's still weird and hard to manage.

Liberating and stifling all at once.

I can look back at the times of major change in my life. Sometimes I remember the last time I did something or saw something unique to my life at the time. Sometimes the last time I did something wasn't memorable.

I don't remember my last ride on a double decker bus in London, even though I rode them every day for six months practically.

I don't remember my last day of college particularly.

I don't remember how I felt the first or last time I took a greyhound bus.

But I do remember-

the day I left Maryland to go to college.

the day my cat died.

the day my little brother was born, all the way down to the details of going to the hospital that night.

the first day I realized that my mother wasn't omniscient and godlike.

the night I realized that I was in love with my current partner.

It's funny how change is sometimes this large, overpowering thing.

And sometimes it just happens. It's just another day in your life. Just another moment washed away in the sea of moments you experience every day and couldn't possibly log in your memory.

I guess I won't really know how this goes until it's over. But right now it feels huge and overpowering.

And good.

I'm anxious, but feeling positive for the future. I'm looking forward to the wave washing over me and taking me somewhere new.


Friday, December 5, 2008


Feeling funny again while travelling on the train lately. 

Having weird dreams.

Last night I was on a train, looking at the scenery. And there were huge scoops out of the ground. Big deep holes. It was scary. Adam told me in my dream that they were for salt mines, or maybe for subway tunnels. I don't remember. Later I dreamed about high schools and zombies and people getting upset at each other as society broke down.


I would blame my anxiety on my entire world changing this month and next, but everyone at work and home is a bit edgy and having trouble sleeping too, so maybe it's the weather or the stars or something.


Travelling into Manhattan in the morning (which I go through to get to South Williamsburg, Brooklyn) is different lately. I approach on an angle on the train, and the train turns, so I get a good north-looking-south view of Manhattan right before we cross the East River. 

Today it looked like we live and work on the top of the world.

The sky was a pure, clean and clear blue. Dotted with full and creamy, clumpy, puffy white white clouds.

It looked like all these tall, pokey buildings were poking up into the sky, into the ceiling of the world. Up into the heavens.

I don't really have any good pictures of Manhattan, strangely. I've been here over three years. This photo though, does do my feelings about it a bit of justice. It captures a bit of the blue and clouds and wonder I feel when I turn certain corners in the city.

I guess I've never been much for photos of people. Most of my photos are of architecture or sky or animals or weird inanimate objects. And when I see Manhattan in my minds eye, it's not about the people. It's about the shapes towering and walking in the sky.

I picked up some more Ursula K LeGuin at the library. God I love libraries. I like to own books too, don't get me wrong. But libraries are free. And text and worlds and love and life being free is so important. I believe strongly that even if you have your own special books at home, they only live by being read. And that there's nothing sadder than shelves full of books who will never be read again. If you have your own books you must read them, or lend them, or pass them on. They shouldn't stay and turn to dust without being read.

So I picked up more Ursula K LeGuin. And she always puts me in a bit of a mood. She brings out the inner shaman, the inner strong woman in me. It's hard to describe, but when I read her fiction, especially her short fiction that is less sci-fi and more pseduo-cultural-anthropological I just get in a bit of a mood.

It's sort of good. And sort of odd. 

I feel poetic. I feel as though it's easier to access my psyche, my inner words are no longer hiding from me. They spring to mind unbidden.

This morning poetry jumped to mind as we turned that corner and I saw Manhattan. Saw the fingers of everyone reaching into the sky. Saw the dreams and hopes and worries and fears and cares embodied by these sky scrapers. Sky reachers. Sky takers.

It's unspeakably strange to go from just moving and breathing and living to looking up at the city and feeling poetry. Being poetry.

It's too hard.

I realized the other day, with a start, that my favorite author is not HPL. I had thought he was for the longest time. Thought he was my author-savior. My permanent fixture. "Favorite Author". And then, with a start, I knew it wasn't him anymore. 

If I had to choose one author whose works I could take to the moon, or a desert island, or wherever it is, it would be her. 

I could live in her works forever.

HPL, though truly awesome in his power to take me to weird and interesting places, will never be able to capture the human soul the way that LeGuin can. 

And that's why she's my favorite. 

I wish I could meet her.