Monday, January 15, 2007

Aliveness Is Good, No Baseball Is Not

Seeing as it has been a month since I brought my terrifying baseball-mad thoughts to the page - er, screen, I thought that now that I'm back at school and spring training starts in a month, I finally had enough material to scare you all again. What to say? Well, after my last frazzled post, the week DID end, I flew home on December 15th, survived a number of minor scares, and enjoyed a full month of time off, reading, watching Lord of the Rings for the first time in two years, and shoveling snow. Whoo BOY, did I shovel a lot of snow. Colorado kindly noticed that New York hadn't gotten any snow and proceeded to oblige me with three blizzards in three weeks, one of which included an accident in front of our driveway (fortunately not involving us) a constant parade of shoveling, and having to rescue a visiting English family who were rather unused to our wacky weather. Not to mention trucking down our steep dirt road with my sister, attempting to tie it off with a rope due to the accident halfway up, with a neon pool toy to catch attention. At dusk. In a blizzard. Yeah.

Aside from that, I thoroughly enjoyed my Christmas break, but I flew back to New York yesterday - another ordeal, starting with my fucking suitcase being eleven pounds over the weight limit and charging me $50, which, as you may imagine, is bad. I'm still stiff as hell today from wrestling my suitcases up the hill to SLC - I flew into LaGuardia, took a bus to Grand Central, and caught the train to Bronxville from there. All public transit, just like a good New Yorker, but I took a car out to the airport directly when leaving and probably will again, just so I don't have to worry about transit time when I'm trying to catch a flight. Also, my three bags combined must weigh a hundred pounds, no exaggeration, and dragging them up the hill to SLC was sort of a pain. Actually, a literal pain, but what hey.

Still, I'm happy to be back. Bronxville really feels familiar and comfortable, and the first thing I said, upon stepping off the train into a cool and misty night, was, "OH, it's so nice to be home." After a long and frustrating day of traveling - my flight was delayed because of MORE snow in Denver and sat on the runway for over an hour getting de-iced - it was marvelous to get back to a place where I'm so happy. I fell into my new/old bed just past midnight (very early for me; I was exhausted) and slept like a rock.

Today, I bought my books for spring term and ran errands in Bronxville, buying toothpaste and shampoo and boring stuff like that. On the way back to campus, slugging a Frappuccino (I have a terrible coffee habit) I realized I was incredibly, deeply happy, and this is a good thing for me. I settled back into my old haunts like I'd never been gone, and I'm ready to think and work again - I'm eagerly anticipating my classes and have already figured out my conference projects for both Philosophy and Writing. I am... a nerd. A full-fledged one.

On the subject of writing, I wrote a very weird, but passably good, short story upon reading Paul Auster's Travels in the Scriptorium. My family, who can sometimes be critics - they don't necessarily think EVERYTHING I write is genius, and are usually right - thought it was extremely good, instead of passably, and talked me into submitting it to the New Yorker. I honestly don't think anything will come of it, and I'll probably add another rejection letter to my growing catalogue, but man, it would be a real feather in the cap, wouldn't it? It would be the most painless moneymaker in my life, and to finance my amazing spring break 2009 trip in Scotland, I'm going to need as much of the green stuff as possible.

Yeah, about that... While I was home, my parents dug out their slides from their 1985 trip to Scotland, and it. Is. So. Beautiful. I'm doing my junior year abroad in Oxford (another thing for which I can't wait) and during the six-week March break in between the Hilary and Trinity terms (Hilary term?! It's a sign, I tell you, a SIGN!) I'm going to Scotland. My family is Scots/English, my great-great grandfather was the steward of Traquair House (the longest inhabited house in Scotland) and I've always loved the country. I'm going to Iona (subject of my history conference project) Mull, the Orkneys, the Hebrides, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the Isle of Lewis. The last one is important because there's a B&B on it called Ceol-na-Mara, where my parents stayed in 1985, and they loved the proprietors. Due to the miracle of the Internet, we discovered that the place is still operating, and it would be an absolute kick to stay with the same people that the 'rents did - the owners, Les and Sally McDonald, are apparently some of the nicest people in the world. It would be sweet to show up with their old business card and a photo that my dad took of them, and go, "Remember these people? Well, I'm their kid."

But that's a little far in the future, and for the summer, I'm looking at something which will undoubtedly not surprise anyone - I want to get a job at Coors Field. I will honestly do whatever they want, whether it's mopping floors or (wo)manning booths, and that would also be a dream moneymaker. I mean, spending the entire summer at the baseball stadium, being there whenever the Rockies are, and watching games in person - and getting paid to do so, rather than paying? SWEET! The only problem I may encounter is not cheering, being professional, whatnot. Even if I don't get a job there, my sister and I are going to the 4-game Cardinals series in late May. We love the Redbirds, as you well know, and shall be there to cheer for them. In all else, we shall support the Rockies.

Also, speaking of which, when I was home, my dad dug out all the imaginary letters that my sisters and I wrote to baseball players when we were kids. He pretended to be the players that we wrote to, and answered our letters, which we always thought was cool even if we knew it was the man behind the curtain instead of the real thing. I was reading them - surprised to discover that I'd spelled everything correctly even if writing in large letters with purple marker - and just had to laugh, because if nothing else, it shows that baseball fanaticism is a long-threaded obsession in this family. I come by it honestly.

Well, nothing else to say for now. As baseball season gets nearer, naturally, the blog shall see more updating.

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