College Visits

We were on the west coast visiting colleges this week. Every information session and tour makes that school sound like the best place on the planet. Compared to being a grownup, I suppose, any college is fantastic. This is the second (and last) time we’ve been through this process and both times it’s provoked existential angst about my own college choice.

Back in those days, we made our college selections based on the flimsiest of reasons, with next to no research. Looking at five schools this week (and this is only the very beginning), I can’t help thinking I’d have had a better experience at pretty much any of them than at the school I attended. Sure, there are people I wouldn’t have met, but I probably could have been happier overall without the excessive Greek influence and the southern preppy culture. I was a girl from the soybean fields of the midwest. What did I know from debutantes? I spent four years muddling through, without ever considering any other options. I probably should have transferred, or gotten involved in more campus activities or sought out a mentor or somehow gotten more out of the experience. Would that I could do it all over again.

It’s true:  “Youth is wasted on the young.” (George Bernard Shaw)

Um, it might be too late for bandaids…

Somebody in my house brought this home today, and it struck me as an ironic juxtaposition of concepts, so I had to blog about it. It’s a plastic holder for bandaids. With advertising. From a hospice. Of course the first thing that struck me was, “isn’t it a bit too late for bandaids when you’re choosing a hospice?” Or is it that each time you cut your finger you should have this memento mori? Or what exactly is the logic behind choosing this as an advertising medium? I can imagine the meeting where the marketing team was browsing the tchotchke catalog. “Let’s see, hospice frisbees, hospice thumb drives, hospice golf visors…YES! Bandaid holders!”

More Snow? Seriously?

I have read Orhan Pamuk’s novel My Name is Red, but I have not read Snow. I have had it on my “books to read” list for quite some time, but now I think I will cross it off. My impression about the book is that the presence of snow is pervasive, even oppressive. I think I don’t need to read it now because I’m living it.

Yesterday afternoon we finished clearing the three downed trees from the middle of the driveway that the last storm deposited. Now the piles of tree limbs along the sides of the yard are being covered with another layer of snow. The guys who were supposed to haul them all away a week ago didn’t come this morning as planned because of the freezing rain. They couldn’t clear the trees last week because they were glued to the driveway by the ice. They said they’d come tomorrow, but I think they won’t come because of the weather. We might be living in a tree graveyard until May.

An occasional snow is fine, even exciting, but if I wanted this much I would live in Minnesota, not Virginia.

Reading at a Torrid Pace

My Shelfari account informs me I’ve read 6 books this year, which is outpacing my measly output (or would that be input?) of 37 books for the entire year of 2009. I must say I have been making more of an effort to make time for reading, and three big blizzards so far this winter have helped. I’m in two book clubs, which limits the number of books I get to choose for myself, but I compensate by pulling books from my gigantic “not yet read” pile in between. In addition, I am constantly getting books from my writing group. I used to get a lot of books from BookMooch, but that has slowed down considerably. I’ve apparently exhausted the supply of books I want to read from what’s available for mooching.

NaNoWriMo 2009


Well, I survived another November writing marathon. I was Municipal Liaison this year, charged with organizing write-ins and other events for all the local WriMos. This was our first year as an independent region, so we were very excited to have 100 people sign up. There were probably 10-15 of those who participated in our in-person events, but others tweeted their word counts to our Twitter account and were fans on Facebook. I wasn’t excited about my 50,000 words this year, mainly because I had a family emergency that took up most of October which meant no time to plan what I was going to write about.

That’s part of the deal, though. On November 1 you just start writing, so I did. I’m sure there will be some usable verbiage in that file, but I’m too busy to look back at it now. I’ve still got to edit last year’s NaNo Novel, which I think has a lot of potential.