I'm in the thick of mastering conjugation, and find myself tongue-tied when it comes to adding the appropriate suffixes to switch tenses. Sometimes my Arabic sounds more like Japanese. Verbs. Who needs 'em?
New news: Congrats to Fuente!!, who filed her Master's thesis a few days ago! I'm so proud of you!
Old news: It took us three hours (one, two, three) to cross the border dividing Jordan and Israel. Approximate distance = a quarter mile. K. and I could probably crawl a quarter mile in less than three hours. Perhaps if we'd crawled, the Israeli officials would've taken pity on us and moved the process along.
Also in the issue is Garth Greenwell's always deft column, "To a Green Thought." Fall's installment finds Greenwell engaging with the likes of Donne, high school students, classical music, Helen Vendler and Dionysus, among others.
Still hoping to find an hour or so to post about our trip to Jerusalem. In the meantime, here's a photo from the international diplomatic bazaar we attended this afternoon. The annual event benefits Marbaratt Um Al-Hussein Orphanage, and is a fantastic way to engage with the international community in Jordan.
Upon arrival, we headed immediately to the world dining hall. After feasting on noodle dishes and spring rolls from Thailand and Brunei, K. topped off lunch with "halo-halo," a Filipino dessert that combines shaved ice and milk with boiled sweet beans and fruit. This is what the icy goodness looks like before it's mixed.
Four days in Jerusalem. Stated simply: Walk. Walk. Walk. Eat. Walk. Walk. Explore above ground. Explore below ground. Walk. Sleep. Wake. Repeat.
10:30 or so in Amman. The sounds of street noise and fireworks. So tired, I'm thinking (mostly) in fragments. K.'s unwinding between football and XBox. Jabber's curled in a ball. Hope to recount our trip via installments over the next several days.
Why are costumes for women so slutty? I'm no shrinking violent, but come on!
In eighth grade, I attended my first boy-girl party. My mother worked for weeks to make me the perfect Halloween frock: a bluebird, complete with orange tights and over-sized felt feet. Its sac-like body reached half way down the leg where it cinched bloomer-like just above the knee. Both beak and eyes attached to baseball hat pulled tightly over my face.
When I arrived at the shindig, Little Red Riding Hood and Ginger (from Gilligan's Island) greeted me at the door. I looked around. The boys stared. One even laughed. While the rest of the girls in my class were clad in leopard print catsuits and decorated unitards that showed off their training bras and legs, I flopped around the room overstuffed and shapeless. For most of the night, I watched my crush chase after Alice in Wonderland. When a group of us finally locked ourselves in a back room to play spin-the-bottle, B.C. mocked me for not knowing the right way to hold hands with a boy. Jerk.
I have an idea for October 31 (we'll be hitting a party here in Amman), but worry everyone and their mother-in-law will go for a similar look this year. What I wouldn't give for that bluebird now and its feet of orange felt!
I moved from a southern town that hosts an annual Hog Fest to a city where it's almost impossible to find pork. More than two months in, here's what's happened / happening:
I joined a women-only gym where windows in front of the treadmills reveal the crowded jabals of Amman; where, for some, post-workout "transformation" means not just slimming or strengthening the body but also covering it before returning outdoors.
Today, per my instructor's request, I switched Arabic classes. I've traded 8:00 am sessions for longer afternoon meetings. While the level upgrade is a blessing (better to be at the bottom and challenged to work harder), the time poses a problem. I'll need discipline to get up, get going, stay productive.
Meanwhile, K. is as productive as it gets. The man works, works, works, takes a breather, and then works. Part of my job is to help him set limits. As a reward for all his weekend hours and evening meetings, we're taking a few days to travel. Jabber will stay at home with a sitter. The poor puppy hasn't been away from both of us for more than a day. I predict a hunger strike, and lots of sighing and moaning.
Last weekend, we hit the dance floor at a huge fall party. Three of my toes are still numb. I kid you not. I shook it, and shook it, and then boogied down some more. Thanks to K.D. who provided the perfect little black dress. Tough to believe I've been raiding that girl's closet for 20 years!
If this post seems less energized or distracted, here's why: my maternal grandmother -- who's 92 and lives alone out in the country -- recently suffered a small stroke. Thankfully, she's out of the hospital. I'm worried, sad, etc., but mostly I wish I could be with her. I also want to be with my mom, who's spending a lot of time doing her best to manage the situation. Times like these, it's tough to be away.