rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
That's right, Rebecca is having three Thanksgiving dinners this year. The first one was at work last Friday. One of my managers bought a ham, another one fried a turkey, and the rest of us brought side dishes, drinks, and desserts. I made crescent rolls, and they were a little slice of heaven when you cut them in half and put some turkey in them. Everything was so good, and the leftovers lasted for a few days. My next two Thanksgiving dinners will be at Mom's house (on Wednesday, because Sara has to work on Thursday) and at CJ & Company's on Thanksgiving. I am just trying NOT to think about what time I have to be at work on Black Friday morning. Ugh.

After work today, "Briana" and I went to the rec center in the town where she lives. She's out of school all week for the Thanksgiving holidays (damn, there's one thing Rebecca misses about being in school!) and we played basketball, ping-pong, and video games with each other and other kids there. Things are still kinda hard -- we went to the rec center only after I suggested a number of other things for us to do and she turned them down -- but they seem to be getting better now, although that might just be because I've lowered my expectations. :\

Anyway, from the rec center, we walked to the library (she lives in a very small town) where I found a CD called The Real and Complete Jewish Holidays and Festivals. It has so many great songs, and I'll probably burn a copy or two to donate to temple. I hope I can use it for some of my religious school lessons, too. The weather today was so beautiful and autumn-y, I sure hope it lasts. Briana and I even saw a few fall-colored leaves while we were walking, which we don't get much of this far south.

Only 17 DAYS LEFT until Rebecca serves as a lay leader at temple! And I'm still so nervous. God help me -- literally.
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
Sara and I had a little early birthday celebration for me yesterday. The weather was perfect, and we were both off and able to sleep in -- hallelujah! She treated me to burritos for lunch, and I baked brownies. We packed it all up, drove to the temple, and ate outside in the courtyard, underneath the beautiful sukkah! Sara also gave me a beautiful silver mezuzah as a birthday present.


At my birthday lunch under the sukkah -- fun times!

From there, we walked (yes, walked! but it wasn't far and the weather was so nice and cool) to the downtown art gallery. There was an exhibition there by Bennett Sewell, who makes incredible sculptures of animals (mostly dogs) out of regular household items, like a space heater, utensils, light bulbs, etc. It was a very cool show and a very great day.

And tonight, there were two more things to be excited about: Liam Neeson on Inside the Actors Studio (the first decent guest they'd had in some time) and a new NCIS! I wasn't loving this one, though.


A mostly unhappy recap of 10x02 "Recovery" )
rebecca_in_blue: (red riding hood)
The High Holy Days can be stressful (especially when the Season 10 premiere of NCIS falls on Yom Kippur -- ugh!) but they can also make Rebecca very thankful to be Jewish. Rosh Hashanah meant a lot to me this year. In a way, it makes more sense to have a new year now, instead of in January, which I think is leftover from being a kid and always starting a new school year in the fall. And it doesn't hurt that the weather is infinitely nicer now than it ever is in January. Anyway, I'm thankful to have an opportunity to celebrate another new year and another fresh start, and I'm trying to make the most of it. So far, I've stuck to my goal to ride my bike more, and it's making a great difference in my mood. I hope to get in as much bike-riding as I can before winter.

And now, a recap of the last few days. )

Two little things: I got my hands on a big orange plastic bag at work, and I immediately cut it down into plarn! I can't wait to crochet it into my blanket. And on the suggestion of a new coworker, I tried cooking Velveeta Cheese Hamburger Helper instead of regular Hamburger Helper (which I eat for dinner about once a week) and it was so good.

FIVE ... DAYS ... LEFT UNTIL SEASON 10 OF NCIS!
rebecca_in_blue: (worried eyes)
Lately we've been having our air conditioner on during the day and our heater on at night. Last night, I woke up twice -- once to crank the heater up because I was cold, then again to turn it down and open a window because I was so hot! Ugh! But November is always pretty up-and-down in Louisiana, so I guess I should be used to it.

Tomorrow is my last day of freedom before heading back to work, and ugh, I really cannot bear the thought of going back to the salt mines on Monday. Here's a little recap of my staycation:

On Thursday night, we all got together for lasagna dinner at Grandma's new house. Her doctor has diagnosed her with spinal stenosis (I think) and she's had to start walking with a cane. After that, Sara and I stayed out late visiting with Athena. I'm so glad I got to see her, because the last time she was in town, I had to work and hardly got to see her at all.

On Friday, I spent most of the day baking, frosting, and decorating about fifty cupcakes while watching a Criminal Minds marathon, pausing only to bike to the grocery store for more muffin cups. Then I got dressed up, did my hair in a new style that actually looked okay, and took them all to temple, where we were having ... a bar mitzvah! We had a bat mitzvah at our temple back in May, but I didn't go for a few reasons. (I had to work, I wasn't a Jew yet, and I didn't really know the family. This family has been super-nice and welcoming to me.) The bar mitzvah boy did so well -- like I would know the difference if he screwed up -- and the reception afterwards was delicious! Unfortunately, my cupcakes were not as popular as I'd hoped. Oh, well.

Today I went to Torah study in the morning (talmud torah: the mitzvah of Jewish learning, and the single most important mitzvot of them all), ran some errands in the afternoon, and saw a local theater production of "The Diary of Anne Frank" that I just got back from (zikaron: the mitzvah of remembrance). I've always known a lot about Anne Frank -- I did three school projects on her back in middle school -- but I was unprepared for how much seeing the play would effect me. Maybe because I'm Jewish now. Maybe because seeing people act it out right in front of me made it so much more real than the book and movies. Either way, I was bawling through the last two scenes, and I do not cry easily -- unlike my mom, who was suspiciously dry-eyed the entire time. It was almost like watching a horror move, only scarier because you know what's coming, and you know that it all really happened.

It Is Raining on the House of Anne Frank
By Linda Pastan
{I bought Good Poems for Hard Times on our last trip to Houston and opened it at random for the first time to this poem.}

It is raining on the house
of Anne Frank
and on the tourists
herded together under the shadow
of their umbrellas,
on the perfectly silent
tourists who would rather be
somewhere else
but who wait here on stairs
so steep they must rise
to some occasion
high in the empty loft,
in the quaint toilet,
in the skeleton
of a kitchen
or on the map --
each of its arrows
a barb of wire --
with all the dates, the expulsions,
the forbidding shapes
of continents.
And across Amsterdam it is raining
on the Van Gogh Museum
where we will hurry next
to see how someone else
could find the pure
center of light
within the dark circle
of demons.
rebecca_in_blue: (raised eyebrows)
Most of October has been warm as summer, but a few days ago, a cool-almost-cold front came in. (The nights are too cold for Sable. You can imagine the fun Rebecca has dragging him outside in the mornings and evenings.) This is one of the problems with living in the south: you never know what the weather will be like on Halloween. Sometimes it's warm, sometimes cool, and few times cold. When I was a kid, this drove me CRAZY! Imagine trying to plan a Halloween costume when you have no idea what the weather will be like. (Then add constantly wheezing and never having anyone understand you, which young Rebecca also had to deal with.) Now, I haven't worn a Halloween costume in years and kinda miss it.

There's a thorny but otherwise beautiful, big lemon tree right outside my temple. (It was planted by a Hebrew class for Tu Bish'vat many years ago.) It's full of big yellow lemons now, but tragically, they taste piney and bitter, as is the case with just about all homegrown lemons except Grandma's. Can you imagine what torture it is for lemon-loving Rebecca to see all those lemons and know they're no good? It was too much work to transplant Grandma's lemon tree when she moved, so over the weekend, I snuck into the backyard of her old house and picked several lemons off the tree. They are so juicy and delicious! Yum! I will be going back when the rest of them are ripe.

We had a loooong, boring meeting at work yesterday evening. That was NO fun, but I did notice that the lady from corporate had a very Hebrew name and a necklace with a hamsa on it. I have to admit, I was a little excited by this.


98% of candy goes to the youngest 2% in America! Occupy Halloween!
rebecca_in_blue: (raised eyebrows)
For the last few years, I seriously get so depressed on my birthday. I feel old enough already, and when I have to add one year onto that, I feel like I might as well stick one foot in the grave. Today I saw an old lady in a denim dress, with a bow in her long, solid-white hair, and it made me shudder. Ugh. I really, really hope I'll be lucky enough to age like Grandma.

So in an effort to make this birthday a more positive experience, I'm doing another Thankful Thursday. A few things I'm thankful for this week:

~ Hallelujah, my new debit card arrived! Finally!

~ This weather! It's a bit too chilly for me at night, but the days are so nice and cool. Perfect weather for sleeping with your window open and bike-riding! I've biked to work twice this week, and plan to do it again tomorrow. We don't get any fall foliage down here, but lots of my neighbors have Halloween decorations up, and I like biking around and seeing them. One of the things I love about this neighborhood.

~ I'm always grateful that I don't live with my mom anymore, but that goes triple at this time of year. When I biked over the other day, you could hear the high school marching band at practice and the football coach shouting orders through a loudspeaker on her front lawn (and probably inside her house too). Then there's the stadium lights and football traffic to deal with on game nights. I am so, so thankful that I don't have to deal with that anymore.

~ On Tuesday, after NCIS, Sara took me out to dinner for my birthday! We went to a local pizzeria that's been here forever but where we'd never been before. We had a thin-crust with mozzarella, pepperoni, oregano, and parmesan, and it was delicious. Then we went to the frozen yogurt place. Sara is addicted to the original tart flavor. I don't have a favorite flavor, but my favorite topping is marshmallow cream. Then we browsed around in the bookstore. I found greeting cards for Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah!

~ On Wednesday morning, I dropped some stuff off at the recycling truck in the grocery store parking lot. I happened to be wearing my NCIS shirt (that Sara gave me for my birthday last year), and when the guy loading the truck saw me coming, he said, "Watchya got for me, Abs?" IT MADE MY DAY!

~ Today, I woke up early enough to get breakfast from Wendy's (much more to my own amazement than anyone else's) and went out for dinner with Mom and Sara. I had sweet potato fries and a pulled pork sandwich with pecans, carmelized onions, and carrots. It was a little strange, but very good.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs, February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011

rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)
Today has been such a soggy blue Monday - and I don't mean the weather (which is hot and dry). I meant to ride my bike to work this morning, but I was just too tired. I do hope to bike out to the cemetery this evening, though. Tomorrow morning I'm headed to temple to practice the Torah blessing. I have to cant it at the Rosh Hashanah morning service on Thursday, so this will likely be my last practice session. I can recite pretty big chunks of the liturgy in Hebrew, but we don't usually have a Torah reading, so I didn't really know the blessing before now. Here's what I have to say:


Somebody asked me what I wanted for my birthday. Here's what I came up with:
~ The Secret Garden (1949)
~ Plain Beautiful: The Life of Peggy Ann Garner, by Sandra Grabman
~ A gift card to Wal-Mart or Target

~ A mezuzah. You can find mezuzahs in every style, size, and color imagineable online. I'd like one small, easy to hang, and colorful (but it can't clash with blue, which is the color of our door). I almost bought one at the gift shop in the Baton Rouge synagogue, but they couldn't take credit cards and I didn't have enough cash.
~ A new necklace chain for my Star of David. The chain I have it on now is not holding up well. What I'd really like is a black cord with silver beads like the one seen here (although obviously mine would have a different pendant). It's the same kind of chain that Adam wore for years, for those of you who know him.
~ A Jewish bumper sticker. Something funny but not offensive. My Jewish grandparents hinted that they might buy me a mezuzah or a bumper sticker when they're in Boston for the High Holy Days. Of course, when I told Mr. G I wanted a Jewish bumper sticker, he said, "Why? So people will slit your tires?"

Remember when I posted last week that I'd stepped on a rusty nail? A few days later, as I was going to bed, I noticed a
red line growing up my ankle, and for a minute I thought it might very well be the end of Rebecca. So I opened the cut back up with some tweezers, dug around in it and cleaned it out (OW!) and fortunately, the red line disappeared.

I never got around to baking pumpkin bread this weekend, but I did watch The Time Traveler's Wife, which I stole borrowed from work. I don't have access to RedBox until I get a new debit card - which is taking forever - so I'm trying to find child actress movies where I can. It was much better than I'd expected. I also attended my first havdalah and selichot services on Saturday evening. Diane and Mr. and Mrs. D threw them together at the last minute, but you'd never've known. They were very, very beautiful and somber. I think I'm going to enjoy the High Holy Days.

It's only September, but we've already put the Christmas stationary out at work! Ugh!
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
The days are getting shorter now, which is the one thing I hate about fall! I'm going to miss riding my bike to and from temple while the sun is still out. My bike-all-you can experiment is still on, although I wasn't as successful with it this week. Rainy weather and earlier evenings put a crunch in my biking time, but I'm still saving a little money on gas, which is necessary in the wake of getting Muse Watson repaired.

The High Holy Days are fast approaching. They kick off this Saturday with Selichot. This year is my first High Holy Days as an official Jew, so I'm kinda nervous about it. This has to be the busiest, most festive time of year for the Jewish people. Within the next few weeks, I'll be making pumpkin bread for the dessert oneg after Rosh Hashanah, reciting the Torah blessing in front of everyone at the Rosh Hashanah second-day service, and making devilled eggs and helping make salad for the break-the-fast meal after Yom Kippur! Plus, my birthday falls smack in the middle of the High Holy Days this year! (At least it doesn't fall on Yom Kippur. This has happened before.)

And as if I'm not busy enough, just for the heck of it, I lost my debit card! What a Sara thing to do. Yesterday I had to scrimp together four bucks in change to put gas in Muse Watson because of it, and this morning I had to bike to the bank and order a new card. I've never managed to lose a debit card before and am so disgusted with myself. Are you serious, Rebecca?

In other Jew news, we had some new faces at Torah study last Saturday, so Rabbi W had us all introduce and say a little about ourselves. As it turned out, everyone there except one person had been raised in a different faith and converted/was in the process of converting to Judaism. The only one of us who'd been raised Jewish was the rabbi! Someone said something like, "I thought I would be the odd man out, because I was raised Catholic, but you're the odd man out, Rabbi, because you were raised Jewish!" Rabbi W cracked up so hard. He has a very welcoming, open-door policy. He's even convinced two women in our congregation who took up practicing Judaism when they married their husbands decades ago and have been living as Jews all this time, to formally convert with a beit din and mikvah.

I've discovered one of my coworkers is also obsessed with NCIS, although not to the same degree that I am. Over the weekend, we drilled each other with questions about the show (he asked super-easy stuff like, "How did Kate die? Where's Ziva from?"). I kicked his butt! He obviously didn't know that Sara likes to turn on USA when they're showing NCIS reruns and say, "Rebecca can name this episode in one freeze-frame!" Well, there are only three subjects that I'll claim to be an expert on: JM Barrie, child actresses, and NCIS.

Which brings us to the most exciting news of all, of course: Season 9 of NCIS premieres ... TOMORROW!

rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
Thanks to Tropical Storm Lee, it was windy and rainy all day Saturday and Sunday. Ugh. But Athena was in town this weekend for Labor Day, and as soon as I got off work on Sunday, I flew over to her parents' house to see her. She has started addressing me as "my Jewish cousin," which I don't mind, because I figure it's payback for a lifetime of me calling her "you Mormon." I stayed over there really late, and Athena and I went out for frozen yogurt at a new place that's just opened. They have sixteen different flavors of soft-serve, and every single topping you can imagine (sauces, sprinkles, candies, cookies, berries, fruits, nuts, marshmallows, cereals, and even crushed Pop-Tarts). I will be going back.

After Lee blew over, cool weather finally arrived - hallelujah! Today I woke up to divinely sunny blue skies and cool breezes. I figured it was a crime to be inside on a day like this, so I sat down in the shade with a good book (The Girl in the Green Raincoat) and then went bike-riding. I've also been able to start sleeping with my window open again! Hooray!

Only 15 DAYS LEFT until the Season 9 premiere of NCIS!

Happy Labor Day!

rebecca_in_blue: (raised eyebrows)

I love these two photos so much. I'm so happy that I was able to get them both, even though I wish they were more uniform. These trees are just a few blocks away, and I ride my bike past them regularly.

It's not easy to find the four seasons here in Louisiana, but you can if you look.


I took this one on a bike ride last March. The trees were in full-bloom (they're Bradford Pear Trees, I think?) and so beautiful that I almost crashed my bike staring at them. Very "White Way of Delight," even if it is a little blurry.


I took this one on Christmas Eve. We never get fall foliage down here, so I was super excited when I saw this (and almost crashed my bike again). There's a little sunflare in this one because it was so bright that day.

rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)

A jack-o-lantern pumpkin carved by our downstairs neighbors. It's supposed to be throwing up (took me a minute to figure that out). Gross, but creative.


rebecca_in_blue: (worried eyes)

I went for a bike ride on Saturday evening – loving this fall weather while it lasts – and stopped by Grandma's house for something to eat. My cousin Eva is staying there while her parents are out-of-town. She and I watched some NCIS and played Speed, a card game that Athena and I used to play religiously when we were her age. I remember giving Athena a Peanuts deck of cards for her birthday one year, which we thought was the be-all, end-all of cool.

Eva said she loves walking at night but never gets to do it because no one ever wants to go with her. I said she should have been born into my family. (Just kidding, I would never wish that on her. But between us, we do everything at night – walking, running laps, bike riding, etc.) It took us forever to convince our crazy grandma to let us go, but I took Eva on a walk to my old high school. It was already dark, even though it wasn't that late, and lots of houses in the neighborhood had Halloween-colored lights and glow-in-the-dark skeletons strung up. We ran all over the campus, climbing up the bleachers, peering in windows at the classrooms, and ducking down to hide whenever a car drove by. I felt kinda stupid, but it was fun. Eva tripped and cut her hand at one point, and when we got home, she told Grandma she'd been in a knife fight.

It felt so strange seeing the school at night like that. I couldn't stop thinking about the four years of my life spent there, the person I was then, and all the things I learned – most of which, except for the French classes, I've now forgotten. In fact, I wrote the Paul Simon lyric “When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school / It's a wonder I can think at all” in a big Sharpie marker across the front of the zipper binder I used for my junior and senior years. It's even stranger to think that I graduated from there over seven years ago. Damn.

I found out today that yesterday night, around the time Eva and I were running around, my Grandma's longtime neighbor passed away. “Ain't it funny how the night moves / When you just don't seem to have as much to lose?”

rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)

In Catholicism, St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost items. St. Jude, however, is the patron saint of lost causes, which is fitting because Jude can take a sad song and make it better. (Proof that I know as much about about religilous stuff as certain people who keep bringing up that time I asked my theology teacher what the "Book of P-Salms" and the "Trinity" were. I can't help it if I was raised heathen.) But who's the patron saint of defrocking child-molesting priests instead of transferring them to a different parish, Pope Benedict?

Cool weather has finally arrived! I was actually able to sleep with my window open last night, which almost made me do a happy little dance, and when I walked Sable this afternoon, the day was so beautiful that neither of us wanted to come back inside. Football season has arrived too, and I am still so grateful that we don't live with Mom anymore. The traffic, noise, and (worst of all) stadium lights are not things we miss.

I visited the cemetery yesterday to take some pictures for Find-a-Grave and found a very sad-looking dog. You could see her ribs. I talked to her for a long time, but she absolutely would not let me get near her. Whatever she was hiding from, at least she had the sense to go to the cemetery, which was huge, totally deserted of people, and very shady and cool.

We had a Code Adam at work today, for the first time in the nearly two years that I've worked there! A really young girl (about three) wandered off and her absent-minded dad didn't notice right away. I can only imagine what would've happened if Boss Man had been there ("We have a Code Adam, people! This is when heroes are made! And we're going to find that child if we have to go to the ends of the earth!") but New Manager was on-duty, and he didn't know exactly how to handle the situation. Stockers were searching the restrooms, the receiving docks, behind the shelves, etc. until Rebecca finally thought to look outside and found Missing Kid chilling in the parking lot with an older lady who'd called the police and was trying to get the kid to tell her her name. She had some words for that dad. But all's well that ends well, I guess.

rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)

After years of constantly losing them, finding them, losing them, and finding them again, I seem to have finally lost my glasses. As in, for good. I still can't really believe it, because after being lost, dropped, sat on, stepped on, etc. for so long, I thought those glasses could survive anything. I've been wearing my contacts almost exclusively, so it's not a huge deal. The only time I really miss them is when I walk Sable before bed, because I don't want to bother putting them in just for that, but I'm a wuss and don't like going outside at night without being able to see well.

Eva's birthday was yesterday; she turned 13. I did some calculating and figured out that by the time she turns 20, my aunt and uncle will have had at least one teenage daughter for almost twenty. Solid. Years.

I finally finished reading Shutter Island and watched the movie, but I still haven't started Mockingjay (the final book of the Hunger Games trilogy, just released last week) yet. I think Sara and I are each waiting for the other one to buy a copy. And Athena is waiting for either of us to buy it. But for some reason, I'm not as anxious to read this one as I was with the second book, Catching Fire. Maybe because it's the last book and I don't want it to be over. Or maybe because the bad-fanfiction ending of Harry Potter scarred me for life. *shudder*

I'm so glad fall is (almost) here. Fall is the best season for bike riding, and I hope to enjoy as much of it as I can before winter sets in, because winter is the fucking worst season for it. To quote my calendar of Emily Dickinson poetry (I used to absolutely hate her stuff, but for some reason, she's grown on me in recent years):
     And thus, without a Wing
     Or service of a Keel
     Our Summer made her light escape
     Into the Beautiful

 
Best of all, fall means the Season 8 premiere of NCIS is closer! than! ever!

rebecca_in_blue: (stiff shoulders)
Sara and I saw Paranormal Activity over the weekend, and damn, it was scary. Though fortunately it hasn't caused me much sleeplessness. Luckily I have a big fierce dog to proctect me from any demons.

The weather has really gotten cooler this week, and it seems like everyone I know has been talking about how damn nice it is. And it is nice during the day, when the sun is out, but at night, it gets so cold that as soon as Sable and I step out for a walk, I start with, "Aren't you cold, Sable? Don't you want to go in yet?" I went bike riding this weekend, and with weather like this, it might be one of the last times I get on that bike this year. Especially after Daylight Saving Time is over. And it's not even November yet. Damn cold weather.

Things I will never like: When you wake up at night to this weird wheezy, raspy sound and you wonder, "What the hell is that noise?" Then you realize, it's the sound of you breathing.
rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)

I used to have a file of poems about October, and there were some pretty lovely verses in it, one of my favorites being: "Suns and skies and clouds of June / And flowers of June together / Ye cannot rival for one hour / October's bright blue weather." But lately I had begun to wonder whether all those poems lied to me, because last week was almost nonstop rain and washed-out gray skies -- bleh. But this week the sun finally came out! I think of it as Mother Nature's birthday gift to me. Today Sable and I went for a nice afternoon walk around the block, admired the neighborhood Halloween decorations, met a very sweet poodle who lives in the corner house, and tried to make friends with the black cat who lives down the street (she is gradually letting us get closer to her, but she hasn't let me pet her; she seems more scared of me than of Sable).

I got a lot of great gifts for my birthday, among them three movies with child actresses (Pan's Labyrinth, Paper Moon, Phoebe in Wonderland); a set of salt and pepper shakers shaped like a pumpkin and a squash; a can of mace (from Ben -- wtf?); and... my old eighth-grade reading textbook! I also bought some things for myself, using up the last of my work gift card: another poly-expanding file (I love those -- they're so great for organizing shit); photo frame magnets; and some dirt-cheap pens and pen case that are actually pretty nice. Sara was making fun of how geeky I am: "Oh boy, you guys, a file folder! Pens in a pen case! And an old reading textbook! This is the best birthday ever, you guys!" Me: "Shut up!"

Last night we watched Paper Moon, which was the first time I'd seen it since I watched it on YouTube in France. The special features on it were pretty cool and interesting. I've always wondered about the hat that Tatum O'Neal wears throughout, and it was created around one specific scene (where Addie hides $600 in her hat band while she and Moses are in jail).
rebecca_in_blue: (subtle)

Fall has always been my favorite season. I love the smell of fall, I love the Halloween decorations, and for some reason, even the football games -- and I've never liked football -- are kind of comforting now. At least, now that we live several blocks away from my old high school, and not across the street from it (one of the many things that I don't miss about living with Mom). The traffic and the stadium lights were horrible at her house on game nights, but from our apartment, the distant sounds of the game are nice to listen to when I'm walking Sable at night. When I walked him this morning, it was almost cold. Soon it'll be pecan season too; I see so many branches full of pecans when I'm on my bike, but they're not ripe yet. I can't wait till it's time to make pecan pie muffins again.

I've set two new ringtones on my cell phone. One is the Emerald City March from Return to Oz, just for when Sara calls me, and one is the theme music to Law & Order: SVU, for when everyone else calls me. I really need to set a ringtone just for Mom, but I haven't decided what yet. I went to her house for dinner last night, and today at work I had to keep running to the bathroom.

I really, really want to "sprinkle the table with buttons and bran" for my birthday party (a la the coolest line from the awesome musical number in Phoebe in Wonderland; don't ask me why), but the only person I know who keeps spare buttons around is Grandma, and I would be sprinkling them on her table, and Sara say she already thinks I'm crazy enough, which is true. Maybe I can do it on our table here.

rebecca_in_blue: (subtle)

The days are getting shorter now, and I've started riding my bike at night. The streets look so different in the dark, and it makes me notice things that I never notice during the day. Smells seem to be stronger at night (I guess because there isn't as much to distract you from them) and all the flowers in our neighborhood are like a heady perfume. I love riding past the houses with their windows lit, they look so cozy and peaceful. Tonight I saw two front yards that still had sprinklers running in them, and they were really beautiful. The water shone in the streetlights and the drops were like beads on a shiny beaded necklace.

I love how I feel when I'm out riding my bike. I love the way my legs move when I pedal, "wallowing up the sidewalk," as Anne Sexton once put it. It makes me feel powerful, for some reason, and lately I've been thinking that I need to take that feeling with me when I go on job interviews. I have another one tomorrow morning, and I've also found a temporary job in the mall (it probably won't last more than a few days, but it's better than nothing).

Mom was in town last weekend, and she insisted on celebrating my birthday while she was here. I won't go into details, but I will say that it was even worse than what happened last year, and it ended with Mom telling me and Sara to "get out of my house now." Grandma and Aunt Carla want to take me out to dinner on my actual birthday, which I'm really looking forward to.

rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)

Sara and I went shopping last night and I decided to treat myself to Kroger-brand pickles and Lay's potato chips. And predictably, when I came out of the bathroom later, I said to her, "I just don't know what I was thinking, buying pickles and potato chips at the same time. Why didn't you stop me?" But she was too happy that I had set up my own file on Adam's Nintendo DS to care.

Some relatives from Alabama arrived in town today. I spent the afternoon at Grandma's house helping her get ready for them. She has been cooking up a storm for them: gumbo, egg salad, crawfish pie, and shrimp lasagna (which I'd never even heard of before today). My cousin, his wife, and their daughter will be visiting at her house until Sunday or Monday, depending on where Hurricane Gustav goes. My cousin said that at least this hurricane has a bad-ass name. My aunt said, as a joke, that they're holding Masses in Cameron Parish and praying for it to hit New Orleans. Of course Grandma thought she was being serious and was horrified.

Our streetlights are working again! The streetlights for our entire block went out for about a week, but they finally came back on yesterday. For a while there street looked extremely gloomy and God-forsaken whenever you drove past it at night.

I can smell fall coming when I ride my bike now. I love it, fall has always been my favorite season.

rebecca_in_blue: (worried eyes)

Last weekend was beautiful here – blue skies, and the trees around the school were flaming orange and red. I went for a little walk on Sunday and took some pictures, and I'm glad I did, because the weather was horrible this weekend. On Friday there was a heavy rainstorm that washed all the pretty leaves off the trees, and it was so windy that many of them blew right inside the school. The commons area inside the main entrance was so covered with leaves that I should have taken a picture of it before the cleaning ladies sweeped it up. Nathalie (who says she's our "replacement mother" while we're here) asked us later if the storm had scared us, and I told her no because in Louisiana we have hurricanes every day. She believed me!

And since then, the weather has been cloudy and very windy. I've been able to hear the wind roaring outside my window almost 24/7. It reminds me of the sound the wind made during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but it's different; more than anything it reminds me of the first line of a very cheesy Celine Dion song. Anyway, the unfortunate thing is that Nathalie has given us assistants a bike to share, and I wanted to go for a ride this weekend, but with this weather all I did was be lazy. Fortunately I think that's all the other assistants did too, so I don't feel quite so bad.

For those of you who don't know, on Friday the shit hit the fan with regards to Rebecca's phone bill. Apparently the Singulair representative we spoke with before we left was a great big liar, and now I basically don't have a phone anymore. It was depressing to think that I wouldn't be able to talk to Sara anymore, but Rebecca's new motto is, "When life gives you problems, eat goat cheese," so I had a goat cheese pizza for dinner Friday night and felt better about everything. Later Sara and I figured out how to chat to each other online. I kept laughing and banging my hand on the table the entire time, which got me a lot of weird looks from the other assistants.

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rebecca_in_blue

March 2013

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