Can you believe it? Winter break has finally arrived!
I've been trying to take it easy. A possible second cold may be coming - my glands are swollen without explanation, so I'm trying to nap it off in the hopes of a fluke. I never get more than one cold a semester, especially when the first one happens so late to begin with (how can I catch another cold when I just got over the one from November? Well, let's hope it's a really good fluke.
Due to the looming vacation in a few days, I may not be able to blog again until the new year. So here's what's been going on lately. Boy, December is full of events!
Home Away From Home
|Her father's clever way to add Piper to the fridge.|
When the semester ends, I have a tradition of visiting my best friend in Lakeland. That small town is full of nostalgia; I had spent all four of my undergrad years at school there and every little inch of it (it seems) holds some kind of memory.
After college, my friend ended staying there, getting a job, then later marrying and having her first child.
The baby is new - and last Saturday, I met little Piper for the first time.
I'm not shy about my feelings towards kids: they scare me. I get really uncomfortable around them, I don't know how to act, and that makes for a lot of squirming and awkwardness... on my part. But there's something different about meeting youngins that belong to family and friends. I fell in love with Piper when I first saw her. Like her parents, she radiates calm (and at only a few months old too - wow!). She has big, luminous eyes like her mother and chubby cheeks like her father. She also likes to fart and laugh about it. Piper snatched my fingers up in a vise-grip and even sneakily took my bracelet with her during a quick diaper change.
My friend and I snacked on blue chips while enjoying the bright morning. We reminisced, as we always do, about our college lives - it's strange to think that, here we are, finally away from the dorms and sticky mosquito weather on campus. All the while, Piper happily stared at us with her intense gaze. I cracked a smile and she laughed.
The kitchen fridge was covered in words. I wandered into the room with it's little window overlooking the backyard, the "Bless This Cook" apron draped over the cleaning bottle, and the spices all lined up on a shelf like soldiers. There were poems all over the fridge, small chunks of phrases, but still just enough unused words for me to make my mark:
|Weird and obscure? Check.|
So. Who hasn't heard the news about New Fantasyland? Over the pat few years, Disney has worked on expanding Fantasyland to include actual castles, more rides, and Princess-themed restaurants and entertainment.
When I went yesterday, only half of New Fantasyland was open, so I'm afraid I don't have too much to report. I went on The Little Mermaid
ride - it was beautiful. The line itself is great too, though, because the interior is designed to look like Ariel's treasure cave. While waiting on line, you can help tiny animated crabs clean up the place after another storm blew through and messed up the treasure (at least, that's what animatronic Scuttle claims when you're far enough in line to see him).
You board sea shells against a painted sunset backdrop (very, very pretty) and watch as the movie flies by in a flurry of animatronic moments. My shell got stuck at the scene where Eric and Ariel are about to almost-kiss in the boat - the workmanship on ride, down to those tiny details, are truly marvelous.
1000 Figment Fans
Guys, it's been two years
since I joined Figment (and, uh, since Figment.com came into being). It's been such a long journey.
I remember finishing my first semester in graduate school, utterly frazzled by teaching for the first time and still getting used to the hectic lifestyle of higher education. As I unearthed myself from a pile of grading, Figment.com glowed - bright and squeaky-new - like an oasis. I knew that Figment would allow me to have fun with my writing and to experiment, outside of workshop, with the kinds of plots and structures that I wanted.
was born and very slowly, I began to make friends and read some fantastic work by other talented writers on the site.
But never did I think, way back then, that I would ever reach a thousand followers.
I remember celebrating one hundred followers - readers who liked my work enough to keep track of me - and the feeling that comes with gaining more readers never gets old. I'm honored and thankful to have so many lovely readers.
With that said, 1,004 fans, I'll do my best to continue spinning strange stories for you. Hold on tight.
The Next Installment of Lookout
Last week, the new issue of Tripod Cat
If you've been keeping up, you've already listened to part one of my serial, Lookout
. You've been introduced to the seaside town of Helium and quiet, eagle-eyed Lorelei who won the summer job of being strapped to a cloud as a lookout for the beach.
In this new installment, you'll be introduced to Sculley, a wind-peddler who has arrived in Helium with his uncle for a mysterious purpose. And he's a bit of a ladies' man (that's what he'd like you to think).
All issues of Tripod Cat
are free; you can listen to them (and both installments of Lookout
) via iTunes
Winter Vacation Plans
With all these exciting events still swirling around in my head, it's hard to keep track what's to come: family vacation. The thing is, we don't really go anywhere during winter break. Disney is always a must, but other than that, we usually sleep in late and recover from the semester's stresses, including preparing for the next semester to come. I know that sounds boring (besides the Disney part), but it's been the standard for a few years now.
This year is different.
On Thursday morning, we're going to pack out suitcases in the car and head out for a two-week whirlwind adventure: we'll be in Miami to meet cousins and admire the Art Deco buildings, then off to St. Augustine to climb a lighthouse and search for ghosts on a tour. Lastly, we'll be back at good old Disney, exploring this year's holiday decorations at the hotels, drinking more LeFou's Brew, and exploring the Boardwalk's nightlife for the first time.
With that said, I still don't have a fancy phone. I'll be taking photographs, but my posts will have to wait until I get back. When I find Wi-Fi along the way, I'll do my best to check in!
If I can't reach you in time, make sure you have a Merry Christmas and a relaxing, exhilarating break!