29 July 2008


That's the number of miles I will have traveled this summer to my various destinations. In a word, I'm tired. But the beauty of blogs is that I don't have to use just one word. Because I'm also full of new memories, I'm enriched, I made new friends (some of whom were my students!), I have new perspectives, I've laughed a lot, I tried new foods, I have lots of gorgeous pictures, I learned new phrases (tuanis!), and my passion for travel is as strong as ever. I know I still need to recap (and post pictures) from VA, San Fran, NYC, and Nicaragua, and I will... just not now. I have one more trip this weekend to my cousin's wedding in Chattanooga, TN (the miles of which have been added prematurely to the total above). Oh yeah, and I'm moving on Wednesday and Thursday before I leave on Friday morning. So, I'm still alive, just not up for full posts yet. Be back next week!

13 July 2008

Mad Men

Is anyone watching Mad Men? I'd heard about it, especially when it won the Golden Globe for best drama tv series, but I'd never actually seen it. The fact that it's on AMC can't help the show garner viewers - I feel like the only time people turn on AMC is to get their Katherine Hepburn fix and then move on to Bravo or Food Network or whatever it was they were watching before. But maybe because it's on AMC, it can take risks that it couldn't on network TV.
Anyway, I was on a flight from San Francisco to New York on Virgin America (which not as great as it's hyped to be, by the way) two weeks ago, and I watched the first two episodes during the in-flight entertainment. And that was it - I was hooked. As in, order-the-season-from-Amazon-the-next-day kind of hooked. Set in 1960, it revolves around the office of a Madison Avenue advertising firm. The writing is incredible, the nostalgia is fun without overlooking the faults of the period (plus the furniture is so hot!), and the characters are unbelievably complex, with all of the protagonists seriously flawed. The next season starts in late July, and now that I've caught up on Season 1, I'm really looking forward to it.

08 July 2008

Home Sweet Home

I'm back home from two more weeks spent on the road. It was a marathon trip, first to the DC area for my cousin's wedding, then to San Francisco for a conference, then to NYC to visit friends -- all consecutively. This summer my blog is being transformed into a travelogue of sorts, except that I'm much too tired to recount all of it right now, wonderful though it was (and I haven't uploaded my pictures - what's a travelogue without pictures?).
Instead, I'm just appreciating being home, at my parents' house, in my old bedroom, with all the familiar sights and sounds and smells that come along with it. Ordinarily, I might not be all that pleased with this living situation, even if it is just for the summer. But right before I left for my trip, my parents told my brothers and me that they are putting our house on the market this fall. After 24 years of familiarity, economic forces are thrusting my family into the unfamiliar.
I've run the gamut of emotions - from sadness, to nostalgia, to anger, and back through the circle again. It's amazing when you realize how many memories are tied to a specific place; perhaps even more amazing how much you take that place for granted until confronted with the possibility of it not being there anymore.
Every week, my pastor sends out an email, and I will confess, I don't always take the time to read it. But the week my parents told us about the house, his email was titled, "Coming Home," so of course, my interest was piqued. Here is a brief highlight...

For a few folks, “home” is the only place they’ve ever known...
But “home” is also the perfect metaphor for something that goes deeper than people and places. Frederick Buechner described “the home we knew and will always long for” and “the home we dream of finding and for which we also long.”

Does it still completely suck? Absolutely. Am I still sad, and frustrated, and a little bit bitter? Of course. And will the day we actually move be one of the hardest days of my life? Undoubtedly. Still, it was a much-needed reminder for me that home really is deeper than people and places... particularly places for me right now. Trying to imagine something like Christmas morning not in my house seems unfathomable, but at least the joy and meaning of Christmas will remain a constant.