24 December 2012

Scene from a Wal-Mart

My little brother and I braved the Wal-Mart crowds this morning. Dave decided he would do some Christmas shopping (with my money - a typical tween) while we were out. We wandered throughout the store, negotiating via text what gifts would be bought and for whom. Dave's on the autistic spectrum and while his ability to read and comprehend is high, he chooses not to use his verbal skills. Hence, the texting.

He managed to find a book for Craig, a set of board books and some toy cars for Steven, and another small set of cars for his cousin before arriving in the toy aisle and focusing in on Spiderman action figure sets. He quickly shoved two of them in the cart.

Who are these for? I typed into my phone. Dave read and quickly typed back, People.

Which people? I volleyed back.

It's a gift for me. GIFT FOR ME.

Emphasis in original.

Happiest of holiday wishes, peeps.

21 December 2012

A Love Letter to the Library


My local library saved my life. In the midst of the tsunami that was my parents' divorce, it was a safe haven. I would walk to the library after school, commandeer a table, and work on my homework until the library closed at seven, after which I would make the hour walk home. At the time, my mom had decided to move in with my now stepfather (who I adore nowadays) and we shared his small house, four kids sharing one room. With no room to move in our personal things, the house never felt like home. The library was where I healed, where I wrote college entrance essays, where I lost myself in the words of Cheever and Ferber and Fitzgerald. 


It seems fortuitous, then, that STL's Central Library made its' debut just as I arrived here. And by debut, I mean how it looks after quite a bit of cosmetic surgery. At one hundred years old, the building was apparently showing its' age. Nearly two years of renovations and it's now open to the public as of the 9th of December. I only had time to run in, return a book and an audio book, snap a few pictures, and leave, but man. It's a beautiful building. There were goosebumps. I think there would be goosebumps even if you weren't a book nerd. The attention to detail is amazing - the people of this city obviously love their library to finance such an undertaking. Now if only I could convince them to send out emails two days before my books are due... so many late fees. Let's not talk about it, shall we? 

I may have, out of habit, found my way to the poetry section where I located Edna. There's something about Edna being wherever I am that is... I don't know... settling, even in the strangest of new contexts. See? Book nerd. 

So, yeah. New old library. This is a good town. 

18 December 2012

At the Close


I've survived my first semester. Grades are in, my classes are wrapped up, and my first semester as an assistant prof is done. It was far from perfect, but not a complete mess either. It was, as they say, what it was. Next semester, it will be better.


I'm normally a flurry of activity at the close of the semester, shuffling off to guest rooms of my friends and family for the holidays, but I've lingered a bit longer this year. It's been really lovely, a chance to breath, decompress, take in the city at Christmastime. And St. Louis loves Christmas. On the way home last night, I wandered through City Garden, all lit up for the season. It's an impressive collection of art, though I honestly cared less about the art than the lights. Short attention span, sparkly things. You know the drill. 


See? Lights. Lots of them. People can say a lot of things about this city, but they put on a good show. After four months here, I'm not surprised, quite honestly. It's proven itself to be a good place to live, despite all the bad press it gets. 


Still lots of things left to do before I head home for the holidays. Papers to be written, things to be organized, but it's nice to have the time and space to do just that. Not that I don't wish I were sitting at Clara's table, drinking peppermint tea; in fact, I'd like to take permanent residence there. Rather, I know I will be there soon enough. 

Also: I've been underwhelmed with new holiday music this season, though this song has lodged itself inside my head. Given the events of recent days, it takes on new meaning. 

Oh! And a GIF! Globes from the Garden, by far the most awesome thing there.


04 December 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Seventy degrees? Seriously, St. Louis? In December? I'm going to kindly request that you stop. It's silly. 

It's the last week of classes! I have, in other words, almost survived! There's a lot of grading and a final to give next week, but LAST WEEK OF CLASSES. (So excited.) 

In celebration, I spent a good deal of my evening yesterday at the mall, attempting to holiday shop... three hours later, I had enjoyed a cup fo TeaVana youthberry-orange somethingorother, a baked good from Panera, and had looped the mall twice. On all three levels. Without a single gift purchased. 

I've forgotten how to holiday shop. 

And I'm strangely okay with it. 

It is, however, problematic and the holiday is coming. The goose is getting fat. Yadda, yadda, yadda. 

The new plan: books. I'm going to head to my local independent and buy some of my favorite reads from the past year and that will comprise my gift giving this year. What that list is, I'm unsure. Thinking, thinking, thinking. 

And off to work. 

In sixty degree weather. Seriously?