I occasionally joke that I am a woman without hobbies. To some extent, this is true–when asked what I do for fun at job interviews (or, you know, dates, if I want to pretend to be less weird), I have difficulty coming up with anything. I like to take naps and listen to music while staring into space.
But, as this weekend reminded me, the joke isn’t entirely true. I know this because I indulged in almost all of my hobbies this weekend. To wit:
Organizing things: Something in my soul finds it deeply soothing to fold my clothing into bundles, and so I did. Every piece of underwear and every t-shirt I own is now ranger rolled, and opening my dresser is now a profoundly soothing experience. Neuroses!
Eating food on patios: I wound up lunching at Tomatillos, ie the only tex-mex place in Atlanta that isn’t trying to do some misguided fusion thing. For $5, they will give you pinto beans and cheese on your choice of tortilla. They have an outdoor patio, and sangria–like the tacos–is $5. There is nothing in life that I like quite so much as that kind of food, and this is the only place in town that approaches anything in the midwest. The weather was nice, and my friend was hysterical, and afterwards we got to go to a used book shop that had both a VC Andrews and a PG Wodehouse novel available for a reasonable price. (Did I buy the Wodehouse so the clerk wouldn’t judge me? Maaaaybe.)
Despite the gloom-and-doom* of last week’s post, this week has been remarkably uneventful. Not good, not bad, just… there.
There were good things that happened: I weathered my first corporate function (a birthday party) without shaming myself too badly. I’m baking brownies in a cast iron skillet. I watched the last three episodes with the Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who and cried disgusting snot tears. I considered re-reading Ender’s Game, but decided not to on the grounds that I had already cried too much for one weekend, in the good, cathartic, prompted-by-TV kind of way.
(Seriously, though, readers: is there anything that could have predicted my anthropology degree quite so well as my absolute, shuddering sobs when I got to the “the aliens are only trying to save their babies, and the humans didn’t understand” twist at the end of that book? No. No there is not.)
After this past weekend, I can safely say this: when Honda civics break, they break with gusto.
I drive a hybrid Honda civic. It is a reliable car in a goofy color. I am fond of it, and it has not given me any problems in the last two years. However, when I left for work this past Sunday, I was greeted by a dead-as-a-doornail car.
This would be fine, except that all of the people I know who own cars were either a) at church (pious people got wheels, y’all), b) unlikely to own jumper cables, or c) my sleeping roommate. So, because I am an adult, I called my parents.
Because they love me, they jumped my car and–though the car seemed convinced that the parking brake was on–I got to work just fine. At work, I cleaned a bunch of tables and debated with my coworkers whether my constant exposure to Windex is responsable for the skin condition that is currently splitting my right palm open with dry skin and sadness.
I am back in Atlanta after spending a week in the hills (near where FDR died in the arms of his mistress) with some of the other folks in my scholarship program. Though I’m not totally sure what that particular retreat is supposed to accomplish other than making all of Emory’s merit aid recipients tremendously fat on southern food, I am in no way complaining. There was muscadine ice cream! And viking bocce!
It’s called kubb. No, really. It was insane, as games invented in cultures that don’t have balls are wont to be.
So on Friday, I had a cake party (aka “the cakening”). The story as to why this happened is long and boring (short version: I like actualizing stupid jokes!), but the results were adorable, as my friends were game enough to actually come to my apartment dressed as cakes. My friends are delightful.
Costumes included a pancake (a girl with a pan), a poundcake (with a scale), a golf-based Portal reference, an Occupy Cake protestor sporting a “down with cake/up with crepes” sandwich board, a pair of birthday cakes (birthday banners, balloons, and a glitter hat the remnants of which I cannot for the life of me vacuum out of the apartment carpet), two carrot cakes, two cupcakes, and (the most surprising duo of all) two beefcakes. My favorite costume was a girl who came dressed as a bun(d)t cake in a baseball uniform and a bat, mostly because another attendee noticed that she could also play the costume as “cake batter.”
This weekend, I got to party like it was 1899. (No, I didn’t go hang out with the Amish.) As part of my effort to Do More Things, I spent Saturday night at the Midsummer Night’s Steam bash put together by Atlanta’s local steampunk group–the Artifice Club–and my new favorite local startup, Scoutmob.
Given that the event flyer promised dancing, costumes, and a portion of the proceeds going towards the Atlanta Humane Society, I was in. Luckily, it turned out to be a totally delightful (if surreal) experience.
My friend and I were able to find the event by following the trail of folks in brown leather and corsets. There is a joke that steampunk is what happens when goths discover the color brown, and–though it’s not just that–there are certainly similarities. Off-the-shoulder white blouses and ballgowns certainly were present, and there were multiple folks in fairy wings. (Aren’t there always?) Continue reading →
So this weekend was my little sister’s birthday. It was celebrated, as all good family shindigs are, in a house in the hills. This particular hill house was in Helen, GA.
Helen, for those of you who are Not From Around Here, is best-known for its epic Oktoberfest and–during the slightly less beer-soaked rest of the year–an agressive attempt to stay on theme. (The theme being twee and German.) Helen is the sort of place that is horrifying if you’re between the ages of 14-18, and absolutely weirdly delightful if you’re not.
There’s just something about Ye Olde Fudge Shoppe (and its 18 rivals, the Slightly Less Olde Fudge Shoppes and the Look At Our Fudge Innovation, We Learned This in Europe Shoppe) that is delightful. It’s probably the man in lederhosen outside, strumming his tiny banjo and renting out his parrots to children. As long as you can overlook the Confederate kitten t-shirts (it happened, I swear to you), the whole town is a weird escape from anything approaching real life.
But Alpine Helen eventually wore me out, and it was then that I retreated to the hill cabin to drink.
This weekend marked the end of rural visits and the beginning of spring break, so it was somewhat obligatory that it be ridiculous. It started simply enough–a program friend suggested that, instead of going to the monthly ex-pat party (ridiculous in its own way) we go to the party that a fellow student’s host brother’s youth group was throwing to raise money for those unable to afford medical bills. We figured that if it was terrible, we could always cab over to the expat party nearby.
So, off we trekked in a couple of cabs. The group consisted of several program girls and a friend’s lone, male language partner (who, ironically, is actually from Chad and so does not speak Wolof). The language partner is good people–at pre-party drinks, he talked about not knowing what he wanted to do once he finishes law school, given that his parents already want him to settle down and get married. His mom wants grandkids. I made a Jewish mother joke, he laughed politely (if uncomprehendingly) and all was well.
Once we got to the party, the first of many confusing but delightful realizations was had–namely, that the party was being held on the top floor of a bakery. We said hello to the host brother (who promptly retreated with his program girlfriend for canoodling) and–since it was midnight and we were the first to arrive–set about interpretive dancing. Continue reading →