I'm really sorry I haven't written in so long -- I did have net access the last week, but it was of a very fragile sort, and so I was doing only the minimum. The rest of today and some of tomorrow I plan to be on-line catching up, then I'll probably be mostly off again 'til Saturday when I get home. You know what a relief it is to come home after you've been travelling for a while? It must show what a geek I am that the biggest frustration about travelling for me is not having my desktop computer and a reliable connection.
I don't know where to start covering the last week or so. I could give you a blow-by-blow, I suppose, but I think that would be tedious. Maybe just highlights so far, hmmm?
- Took the red-eye to Connecticut. Always feels vaguely surreal when I
travel like that -- only a few hours in the air, but it's just hitting
night when you leave, and definitely morning when you arrive. It's more
disconcerting than travelling around the world, I think. It's just so
implausible, the way time works when you're travelling from the U.S. to
Sri Lanka, for example, that you enter a sort of fugue state, where
anything can happen. Or I do, at any rate. Little weirdnesses are
weirder than big weirdnesses, is, I suppose, the conclusion. The sunrise
at JFK airport was tremendously stunning. A sky filled with cirrus
clouds, endless ribbons of white, and the sunrise lighting each separate
ribbon in reds and golds. I just stood there and watched it for a while.
I *highly* resented the guy who kept trying to talk me into taking his
unlicensed cab, for twice as much as I was going to pay for CT limo..
- My mom had made my favorite curry when I'd arrived -- well, maybe not
my favorite, but my favorite of hers, a beef and potato curry that I don't
even try to make anymore because it never comes out like hers. People
around me think I'm a pretty good cook. Hah! That's 'cause they've never
tasted my mother's cooking. And yes, I'm biased, but *other* good cooks
talk about how good my mom's cooking is. Give me twenty more years to
practice, and maybe I'll be as good. Maybe.
- There was a lot of computer franticness and stress that ended up in my
renting a computer from some very nice people in Yalesville, which I'm not
going to bother detailing. I wouldn't have mentioned it at all, except
that a) it took up a lot of my attention for some days and b) these were
the nicest store people I've dealt with in a long time. Really went out
of their way to be helpful to poor panicked me. I'd tell you the name of
their store, but I don't remember it.
- On Thursday morning, we drove to my aunt's place. Now, I don't know
what you imagine when I say aunt, but it's probably nothing like the
actuality. Priya is the youngest of nine children (my mother is the
oldest), and she's only 1.5 years older than me. She's been married for a
few years (and has the most romantic marriage story of anyone I know or
have heard of in real life -- she acutally eloped!) and has gotten all
respectable on me, but we raised some hell together when we were younger.
She had put out quite the traditional spread (for 30+ relatives), and done
all sorts of artistic things (like hand-painting little candleholders for
each setting, which we got to take away as souvenirs). Really lovely.
- The food was killer. My pumpkin bread went over pretty well (it's
actually a recipe I got off the net -- try going to Yahoo and looking for
recipes), and Priya had made all the traditional stuff (turkey, stuffing,
sweet potatoes baked with brown sugar, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pies,
etc), and *also* had some curries and other delightful extras (some
brought by guests). I didn't overeat too badly, but I wanted to. :-)
- I got to spend time with my sisters and some of the cousins, which was
great. The house was packed, and then people trickled away bit by bit.
It actually worked really well. It was fun catching up with everyone --
did I mention that Mirna got into medical school at UConn? Yeeha! And
one of my cousins is now a freshman at U Chicago! (Smart girl. :-) Made
me a bit homesick for Hyde Park, actually, talking to her.
- Had brunch with Todd and Debby, of
mouthorgan fame. They took me to
a wonderful diner, the S&S, I think was the name, and then we went back to
their place and I met the less-shy of their cats, the formidable Inu, and
hung out and talked for a while. Could have talked to them for hours. If
I hadn't had to work, would have gotten together the next day for dinner.
Oh well -- next time I'm in town.
- I was working throughout all this, btw. Deadline for Palladium
project. Still, was nice having little kids running around while I
worked. They taught me how to yo-yo.
- Eventually got back to CT,
spent the night, and yesterday took the train to New York. I almost
wished it had been a longer train ride. I love trains. Some day I'd
really like to take Amtrak across the country. Get a sleeper car. Have
sex on the train. Eat in the dining car. Watch sunrises and sunsets.
Read a lot of books. Walk up and down the swaying cars. My only
complaint would be that (unlike the trains in Sri Lanka), they won't let
you sit in the doorway and dangle your legs out of the train as it climbs
up mountains. I love the rhythm of the train -- the steadiness of it. To
sit in the dining car with a cup of tea and watch the sun rising over
rolling hills -- ah, that would be blissful. Going up and down the
Western Coast would also be good. Maybe when I go to visit Lisette in
L.A. next year, I'll take the train instead of flying. We'll see.
- Arrived at Elissa and Bryan's place. I think I've mentioned them,
yes? Bryan, mathematician from Chicago? Dated very very briefly?
Elissa, roommate for a while? Kev and I set them up? Well, maybe not.
They're doing well, in any case -- Bryan's teaching math at some
university here (and yes, I should know which one, but I don't remember),
and Elissa is teaching developmentally disabled children. She just got
her New York certification in the mail yesterday, actually -- she passed
her tests! Woohoo!
- We had turkey for dinner. Why? Their grocery store gave 'em a free turkey. So Bryan cooked his first turkey (he's a good cook -- he can even make candy! And he's the one who first taught me how to make sushi) and stuffing (Pepperidge Farm ready-made, but it was good!), and we opened a can of cranberry sauce, and he had some leftover pumpkin pie, and it was all very spiffy. Did a lot of gossiping. Took a nice long walk after dinner, wandered around Brooklyn.
Heather's father died a few days ago. She's flown back to Indiana to be with her family. He's been ill for a while, but we thought he was getting better. Instead, he died rather suddenly. I never met him -- I know very little about him, really. But she's having a very rough time, poor chica. Those of you who read her journal may want to send her mail. At the very least, think good thoughts for her, okay? Say a prayer if you believe. She's pagan, and while I'm agnostic, I can't believe that prayers would hurt. She's had a rough year in a lot of ways, and then to have this happen...
I never know what to say at times like this.