Coffee Table Declarations
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Ah, it's that special time of year again - the holidays have begun. Of course, my family never celebrates holidays on the holiday anymore, the theory being, no one wants to drive on a holiday. So Thanksgiving I went to my parents' house and the three of us had frozen pizza before I left to see a movie with a friend.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving for us. Family gatherings always fill me with nervous apprehension so this time I spent some time quietly knitting in an empty room until my mom compared me to an old lady. It used to help me to have my boyfriend with me for these occasions but now of course, I'm on my own.

And speaking of the holidays, my Swiss roommate was horrified to hear of turducken - or whatever it's called. She found it insultingly undignified and really, she's right. Is there any need for that much poultry in one meal?

The other night we were watching tv when that Coke commercial came on with the polar bears and penguins sharing a Coke together. I wasn't paying much attention when suddenly my Swiss roommate declared, "Oh my God. Did they just show polar bears and penguins together? How ridiculous - the two would never meet! Polar bears live in the North Pole and penguins live in the South Pole. Do they think we are stupid or something?" My other roommate and I looked confused. "What? Polar bears and penguins don't live together drinking Coca Cola?" Then my roommate speculated that maybe the point of the commercial was that Coke brings these distant animals together. "No, you're over thinking it," I said, "they just don't think anyone will know better." So what does this say about our commercialized American minds? We won't notice such inaccuracy? Well now we will, won't we? Do they think we're stupid or something? But you know, it is a really cute commercial.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
I'm so sick of centipedes. In the eight months we have lived in this apartment I saw a centipede in the tub, one roommate had one in her bedroom and saw one in the hallway, and the other roommate, the science-lover, captured the largest centipede I've ever seen in an empty salsa container after it was spotted casually hanging out in the kitchen. "How fantastic!" she exclaimed, "my first centipede!" She captured him (her? it?) for the purpose of admiring the fascinating creature of nature but I told her there was no way I was sleeping if she left it in the house. I suspected it would be able to chew it's way through the salsa container. So she brought it to work for a little show and tell with her scientific coworkers.

Last night my centipede sightings total reached one more. This time I was looking for something in my bedroom, moved something on the floor and out scurried a centipede. I was horrified. I mean, my bedroom? Is nothing sacred? Acting on instinct I grabbed a nearby boot and smacked it down hard. Then I pressed down and slid the boot around a little, just to be sure. Then I piled other shoes onto the boot and ran to find my science roommate.

I stood in the hall outside my room while my roommate picked up the boot. Even with myopia and from that distance I could still see an oblong brown smear on the sole of the boot. "Well, you have quite a mess here," my roommate remarked. I handed her tissues and kept my eyes closed. All the while she congratulated me on having the presence of mind to smack the beast with a boot. It was a good shot too, centipedes move so fast and that one was running at close to the speed of light.

It took a while to relax because I would be willing to bet there are more centipedes not far away and that we just don't see them too often because of how fast they move. I guess there are worse things to have in my bedroom than a centipede or two. They are better than burglers for example, or ax-weilding psychopaths. They are better than brain-eating zombies, vampires, aliens, ghosts... no, on second thought, I'd rather have ghosts.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
One thing I really like about living in the Boston area is the historical aspect. I had the opportunity recently to do a volunteer event at a church in one of the many historically significant locales nearby. The event was not church related nor was it history related and was a very rewarding event in and of itself.

As an added bonus, at the end of the event, the volunteer coordinator took us for a tour of the church, explaining how it was the church of the Adams family - no, not the Addams family, I'm talking about the colonial presidents John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams. The church regularly gives tours for that very reason and charges money but we got to tour for free.

In the basement we entered a dark hallway with stone walls and cement floors and off to the side, a doorway with a wrought iron gate. Peeking through I could see some large stone shapes in a small room. "Wow, what's in there?" I asked. Matter of factly, the volunteer lady replied, "John Adams." What?? "You're kidding!" I remarked. But she was not kidding and she opened the wrought iron gate and led us into the Adams mosuleum. The large stone shapes were four tombs - John, his wife Abigail, their son John Quincy and his wife.

I was completely floored by the whole thing but I was most impressed to be in the presence of Abigail. I recently finished reading "Founding Mothers" and therefore know quite a bit about this amazing, courageous woman. As I was telling all this to the volunteer lady, recalling how Abigail stayed behind while her husband was off dealing with the revolution and how she alone was left to defend family and homestead, I looked down and noticed my hand resting on the top of her tomb. I had chills to say the least - there I was recounting the details of a two hundred year old historical figure with my hand resting on the cool rough stone of her tomb. It was almost as if she was in the room with me. A very surreal experience all around. So you see, volunteer work can pay off in more ways than you might expect.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Recently we had a huge party at my apartment. The place was packed so full we had to open windows to cool off. I only knew a handful of people and the rest were collective friends of my roommates, or friends of friends.

At one point my roommate asked me to take some pictures for her and I became a wandering photographer, approaching strangers and asking them to pose. It was really fun and I got some great shots.

The best pictures by far are the ones I took of my bat balloon. My bat balloon was just floating around by himself at the supermarket when we went to stock up on party supplies. One look and I had to have him. He is one of those shiny balloons that stay up for days. His face is huge and his wings are tiny and he is ever so cheerful, two little fangs poking out from his wide smile.

I brought him home and left him in the living room for the party. At first I was just taking pictures of people with him but as the night progressed I photographed him admiring some flowers, eating the dip I made, flirting with pretty ladies, and imbibing plenty of wine. He had a great time really, perhaps more than a bat balloon should. My roommates thought I was insane but I don't mind. In fact as type this, he is across the room, floating gently to and fro and grinning at me with his large happy face.
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