Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fragments of my day and au revoir

People, today I didn't like the way I looked:

It was another day where I stood inside my closet, practically begging my clothes to do the right thing and look magically put-together on me. I changed outfits three times, at least. I'd planned to wear a dress that I've owned for almost five years, but that recently has looked awful on me. I thought with my recent weight loss it would look good again, but ... ew. No. So then all my plans went to hell. All the cute outfits I had on the forefront of my mind were too warm (it hit 70 degrees today!) or waiting to be packed for Spain. But then I was running late for my tutoring session, so I just went with it...

Today was a nice way to say good-bye to Boston for the next week. You see, tonight is our last night here before we haul-ass to Philly tomorrow for a world premiere of one of my husband's pieces (other pieces will be played, too) and to New York on Sunday for the repeat concert and finally head out to the airport on Monday night for our few days in Madrid. We totally have people staying at our place, though, so THERE, thieves! Anyway, I tutored my two girls and then went off to a concert of new music at an art gallery, put on by some composition students who regard my husband as a minor god. One of his pieces was performed there, too. What can I say: he's a boss.

The rest of the day, both before and after the concert (it's almost 12:30 AM and my husband hasn't packed and I don't know when I'll be getting any sleep), has been devoted to trip preparations. I've printed out tickets, packed my suitcase, packed my carry-on, planned my outfits, etc., etc. But I was also able to do some fun things to make the trip experience a little classier. For example, we bought this luggage tag last weekend:

A Penguin Books luggage tag! The small store in Cambridge had two options and I hadn't read the other one, so I chose this one, which was also appropriate for travelling. To be honest, I haven't read On the Road. I'm obsessed with the Beats, but I can't really stand much of their writing - especially that of the "greats" - except for selected poetry by Ginsberg and, yes, Kerouac. My favorite Beat author, though, was one of the underdogs, Gregory Corso, whose poems are little gems. I recommend The Happy Birthday of Death, one of the most beautiful collections of poetry out there, in my opinion. The truth is, though, I know a lot of the Beats' biographies: I admire their lives, but not all of their output. Oh, well. The luggage tag is still adorable.

To make the experience even more fun, I decided to use this guy to type our information for the card inside the tag:

THAT's our new typewriter! And the luggage tag. And a glimpse of my green coffee table. And our rug. Isn't that a beautiful machine? It's really a work of art, but it's perfectly functional, as well. I had a lot of fun relearning how to type on a machine with real keys, typing such gems as "This is the coolest thing we've ever owned" and "I think I'm scaring the cat. How do you make exclamation points? Oh, yeah. !" Genius. Anyway, I look forward to using this machine more. My husband hopes that it'll get me to start writing seriously again (I'm really not kidding with the whole "I wanted to be a poet for years and years" thing). One thing I'd like to definitely do, though, is type out his favorite poem, one that I wrote for him when we first starting dating, and frame it for him. I love simple typed text - I think it looks so beautiful. 

(Oh, here's another picture of my typewriter - my new obsession - and the luggage tag. Because I'm a huge nerdwad:)


So that was a fun thirty minutes of my day. 

Another cool thing happened, which I'd hoped for, but didn't expect. My Etsy necklace arrived in the mail! It's smaller than I expected, but still lovely:

Oh, and for the record: I do not like talking about my politics or my personal religious beliefs (I'm nominally Greek Orthodox, but just to make a lot of Greeks happy), but I used to have many ties to the Muslim world at my university, both through my friends and my fellow students/colleagues. My senior thesis focused on a time in India when Islam was the dominant religion (I wrote on a Mughal emperor) and intellectually I'm quite attracted to the more mystical dimensions of Islam (speaking of which, that book - Mystical Dimensions of Islam - by Annemarie Schimmel is wonderful...all of her writing is. I'm on fire today with the book recommendations!). Long and the short of it is that I don't feel weird ordering/owning a necklace with Arabic script: on the contrary, I think it's beautiful and I can't wait to put it on as respectful shout-out for a much-maligned faith. 

Here's a close-up:

I love that detail.

Is it me or are all my pictures crooked? I totally straightened them on my computer. Maybe my hidden suspicion that I don't see straight is actually not an insane paranoia. That's fun.

Anyway, these are some photos of what's been going on in my day. Ugly outfit and bad hair day, gorgeous typewriter, and lovely necklace. Not a bad way to end a week and start a vacation.

So, folks, here's the nitty-gritty. I'm not packing my computer with me, so I won't be blogging till at least next Monday. I'll miss you all. I'll have limited internet access, so my blog-checking and commenting will also be quite low, although I'll try to do what I can. Have a great week and I'll catch you on the flip side!


  1. So much to comment on here!

    I'll keep it simple, HAVE FUN! You'll be missed but heck...your going to Madrid.

    Dude, it's going to be awesome.

  2. The necklace is beautifull, as is teh typewriter and the outfit is simple and chic. I read On the Road many moons ago, when a very unsuitable boyfriend recommended it.

  3. :) Wow, neat typewriter. I was hoping you'd post a photo of it!

  4. I've been wayyyyyyyyyy offline but:

    1. Love the new hair, you have the perfect face for it.
    2. Miss you.

  5. Your husband is a composer? That's the first I've heard of this.

    Love the luggage tag AND the typewriter, but I'm impatiently waiting for some of YOUR poetry.

  6. Have the best time!

    I'm really curious about your husband's compositions, because growing up with a professional musician father in Boston, I bet I know people who know him/have performed his work.

    And I now want a book luggage tag. My current ID method is to applique giant flowers to my suitcase. But that makes it hard to convince your boyfriend to carry your luggage for you...

  7. You know, honestly, I love this outfit! I'm such a sucker for neutral colors, so this is just awesome.

    And your artsy pictures are quite rad, too. :)

  8. Hello, I'm a fellow grad student in Cambridge. Can I ask which store in Cambridge you got the luggage tag from?

  9. Hi, Anonymous. The store is on Mass Ave, between Porter and Harvard; I just looked it up: it's called Joie de Vivre on 1792 Mass Ave. Happy hunting!

  10. Hi Chalkdust, I got two of them today from Joie de Vivre. Thanks! -Sean