Month: August 2005

thoughts on possession and ownership

recently i was at a party, and someone i know introduced me to someone new as, “this is my english teacher.” this is not particularly strange to me, since i’ve been an english teacher for much of the time since approximately 1992, when i had my first teaching position.

two evenings ago, while walking around maastricht, i pointed out a shop and said, “and that’s my hair person’s shop.”

i am very self-centered. i talk about myself a lot. i connect events in other people’s lives to mine. everything in my world (note use of possessive again) is mine or relates to me. if i were on one of my rants about personal responsibility and my own philosophy of life, this entry would be a lot more of that. i’m not. i’m just commenting on how strange it is to be referred to as “my anything” by people. my friend, my wife, my lover, my ex, my girlfriend, my acquaintance, my sister, my coworker, my daughter, etc etc etc.

“this is sharon.” no explanation. i’m going to start doing that with other people, when i remember, and see what happens to conversation. without possessing the people i’m introducing.

on another note, i asked dick if he had an non-native english speaker’s perspective on why “how come?” means the same as “why?” he explained that it translates exactly in dutch (yes, with the same sounds, actually) and is like, “how comes that to be?” which, now that i didn’t think of it, makes perfect sense. or, as kristi’s shirt says, “it seems so easy to recognize…”

favorite sounds and smells

hello, friends (including anyone reading this anonymously)…

i was reading a series of articles in the utne reader about sounds and noise pollution, etc. a column on the side of one of the articles listed some of the favorite sounds of people on the utne staff. personally, i’m more interested in smells. i have always loved smells, especially how they trigger memories, like when i first walked into jj’s apartment in minneapolis, when matt brought me there to meet him for the first time, and my god, it smelled like the rooms and apartments of friends from centralia and olympia… the coffee, the books, the music stuff all over… i don’t know what makes that exact smell, but i love it. i love the smell of pierre cardin cologne, especially if it’s really old, and lingering in the smell of an old, much read book. i love the smell of cinnamon. and cat fur. and lots of other things…

anyway, what i’m wanting is this: some of my friends’/acquaintances’ favorite sounds and smells. you can post them as comments or email them to me privately, if they’re private. whichever. anyway, i’d like that. thanks.

visitors coming

well, matt had just left for aikido and i’d just put in the first episode of zim for a little doom singing, when the phone rang. when matt was at summer darkness in utrecht a couple of weekends ago, he met and hung out with 3 americans (?) from a band called the azoic. he invited them to stay with us if they wanted while they’re touring around europe. anyway, they’re due in an hour or so. unless my directions here really fuck them up, which isn’t unlikely, since i couldn’t remember how to describe the way here. i’ve been having similar problems all day today. feeling a bit jet-lagged still, and today has felt a bit surreal that way. and i can’t seem to sleep much, but it’s all i want. ugh.

well, maybe i should go and unclean the house a bit. since i haven’t been sleeping much, the house is ridiculously clean, and i think that sometimes that is a bit freaky to people. maybe i should muss it up! heh. too much trouble. i’ll probably just continue moping around and trying to decide if i should start a new book or finish one of the ones i’m in the middle of. i’m in the mood for some junk reading, but i think i’m all out of fresh ones. i could re-read something, i suppose. the attic is full of boxes of books i haven’t seen in a long time.

well, i am back in maastricht, and finally feeling up to spending a little time updating things here. and reading everyone else’s journals, but only if they come up on the first 25 entries of my friends list. so, sorry if i’ve missed anything important.

i had an interesting return to the netherlands. i got myself checked into my flights from minneapolis with no problems: 2 pieces of checked luggage, one carry-on. got upgraded to first class FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY ENTIRE LIFE for the flight from minneapolis to detroit. yay! went through security, no problem. bought and ate some sour patch kids. yay. then first class was boarded, and i got on. then we were offloaded, due to a giant rip being found in one of the wings. then a couple of hours while we waited for a new plane. boarded again. then delayed in take-off.

missed connecting flight from detroit to amsterdam due to delays. was put in a hotel for the night, with food voucher coupons for dinner, breakfast and lunch the next day, with a new flight time for the following evening. i have never been more glad of packing a change of underwear, shirt and all my toiletries. last time this happened, i had nothing. a book and a bottle of water. i also got vouchers for $125 off later flights, and some air miles! score.

interesting fact: if your flight is delayed because of weather, rather than mechanical problems, northwest airlines DOES NOT compensate you in any way, or provide a hotel room. can you believe that? i was in line getting all my goodies and overheard others being very upset that they weren’t. i think that’s really wrong. it’s not their fault that they were delayed for weather, any more than it was my fault that i was delayed for mechanical problems.

anyway, the following day, i checked out at noon, and headed to the airport for my 5 hour wait until my flight time. heh heh.

if anyone remembers that i was complaining about a missing knife after my road trip, well, good news: it was found.

bad news: by the security people at the airport, when i was going back in. oops. heh heh. this was actually pretty funny, because they were really short staffed, so before they had a chance to go through my bag, i had ample time to be chatting with the ones who were searching other people. i was really relaxed because i had so much free time, and besides, also knew i didn’t have anything worth searching in my bag. i thought. so i was chatting them up, and having a good time. when finally someone came to search the bag, he asked me if there was anything sharp, and i said that somewhere there was a pair of tweezers, but i didn’t think they counted. then he mentioned that the xray had shown something that looked like a knife. and i said, “oh! was it about THIS long? excellent!! i’ve been looking ALL OVER for that! but i don’t think it can be in here. i completely emptied it looking for it.”

he said, “no, it was clear as day in the xray, so i have to search it.” i said, “no problem! i’m happy if it’s been found; that was driving me nuts!” and he looked at me funny and said, “this isn’t a good thing; you could be fined. or jailed.”

“oh, you’re right,” i said, a bit chagrined, then, “but at least the mystery would be solved!!”

so he searched, through everything, twice. didn’t find it. took out the toiletry bag. searched it, twice again. nothing. put it through the xray again. searched again. still couldn’t find it. put it all in pieces through the xray. searched again. found it, in the toiletry bag.

the woman i’d been chatting with before pleasantly escorted me back to deal with rechecking it in my check-in bags. 2 hours later, i was back through security, no problems this time.

i have three possible reasons why i was lucky enough not to be fined or jailed. one, i was already relaxed and chatty with everyone right at the beginning, two, i was genuinely excited to have had my knife found, and three, that the guy who searched also looked and looked in the same places before finding it. he must have believed i’d really looked, since he had as well, without finding it. i don’t exactly have an xray machine at home. mixture of all three, perhaps? anyway, very lucky.

so, after getting through security after the second try, i had just enough time to pick up some lunch and get to where i was supposed to board. only to be delayed by broken air conditioning on the plane. and then again for some small mechanical reason, then by some paperwork, apparently. anyway, we finally were airborne, but the flight was nearly empty, yay! so i had my own seats all to myself, and those personal video screens where you get to choose your own movies. yay! so i didn’t sleep; i watched movies instead. all night. and missed my flight from amsterdam to brussels, which i was happy about because then maybe i could talk them into letting me off at amsterdam.

they wouldn’t. so i called matt and he told me to go try at another transfer desk. so i did, all in dutch! yay me! and this time, the very nice lady helped me out. and told me where to wait for my luggage, but that it might take a while, which i didn’t mind.

about an hour later, i went to check with the baggage people and ask about how long i should wait until i got worried. they said another hour, so i went back an hour later, and a very nice guy there said, “why wait around? we can just say it was lost, and courier it to you later!” so i got to go home without having to lug my bags. and caught the train right away with no wait. yay! that was all very nice. one bag came in the next day, and the other the day after. same courier both times.

it was weird not being met at either the airport or the train station, by anyone, but as matt says, we didn’t know where you were getting in or when by that time! and he’s right.

and that’s the story of how i got home.

charlie and the chocolate factory, redux.

i just went and saw charlie and the chocolate factory for the second time. i will always be a huge fan of the first one, but wow wow wow.

did i hear from mel or someone else that the squirrels are real? and really trained? craziness.

i also stuffed myself full of vietnamese eggrolls, which i shall soon be sad to not be able to eat. after last night’s tex-mex extravaganza, i’m feeling a bit overfed. much like augustus gloop. heh.

i also picked up my own copy of napoleon dynamite at best buy. i think i will need to send a copy to both of my brothers, too. heh heh. other movie acquisitions include a copy of the new live-action cutey honey, compliments of mel and dwain, who, knowing my adoration of cutey honey, felt that i deserved their copy, and they’ll get a new one. yay!

i’m feeling the need to purchase music as well, but didn’t have my list on me while driving past best buy today, so did the movie thing instead. it was a great moment in sharon consumerism, really. i usually avoid best buy, but i was “shopping,” having already gone to el burrito for mexican food supplies, and hmong abc for a few books. i was thinking about hitting the indian food store on central for some instant palak paneer, but decided to drive past the source instead, and ended up at best buy. didn’t stop at the source at all. don’t need any new games or comic books. had to convince myself of that fact while riding past. eek. when sharon consumerism is bad, it’s bad.

right. i’m babbling, and a cat is awaiting my attention, none too patiently.

13 days and 4,338 miles later…

well. here i am back in st. paul. interesting to find the feigal-stickle clan gone. they are at the cabin. i think it’s damn funny how determined minnesotans are to call their lake homes “cabins.” they’re cabins like a yacht is a rowboat. anyway, i find them not here. and really, that’s for the best. i am SICK TO DEATH of people. ok, small talk, really.

if one more middle aged, t-shirt and baseball cap wearing, yuppy in a station wagon with child seat in the back makes a stupid comment about how much nicer it must be for me riding now that it’s cooled off, i’m going to stab him in his fucking playstation belly. no, moron, it’s not actually nicer. i’m freezing my ass off. when it’s hot, i’m going very very fast. i hardly notice. when it’s cold, i wear all my clothes under my jacket, and i’m still cold, and i’m all stiff both with cold and too many layers, which makes my body hurt. so, no… it’s not nicer. i’m not happy at all.

i can’t find my good knife. no, i haven’t lost the cool spyderco one that hangs around my neck, nor the two itty bitty ones my dad and brother gave me. but i lost the actual useful one. the one that makes me feel like a bad ass. no, as you may recall, it’s not big either, but i know how to use it. 🙂

the last couple of days have been rotten. did i mention that??? everything after the top of logan pass in glacier national park was rotten. pretty much. i mean, there were good moments, but they didn’t last.

border crossing was the worst. i will save that for another time. apparently, flickr tells me i can’t upload anymore photos without paying for an upgrade. so perhaps i’ll wait and see if matt can help me with adding photos without using flickr. it sure was easy with flickr. too bad. but i’m cheap, and don’t want to pay.

not that border crossing had any pictures. and i’m wondering if that’s where i lost my knife. but the guy there said all my knives were still there, and i guess i believed him. anyway…

since there are lots of things to share about this trip, i will do it as i’m in the mood to. that means they won’t be in any particular order. just whenever i feel like typing for a little while.

drank margaritas tonight at bar abilene with mel and dwain. said hi to luke and jonny. remembered what it’s like to be around friends, after a couple of days of horridness. did i mention all the white people in eastern montana and north dakota are horrid???

they are. i’ll explain later. the story has to do with the oregon trail. trust me.

montana… and glacier national park


last night, lynn joined me for a night at symes hot springs hotel in hot springs, montana. it was a good time, and we soaked in the waters a lot. it was super cool that she was able to join me! (hi, lynn… i’ll know you will read this! i hope your drive home was pleasant!)

waking up really sucks sometimes, but fortunately they have an espresso bar at the symes, so i indulged right away before getting on the road. at the moment, i am about to start the going to the sun road through glacier national park.

this area of montana (if you ignore ugly cities like kalispell and columbia falls) is absolutely beautiful. the ride has been fantastic. it makes me want to buy land in elmo, overlooking flathead lake, which is gorgeous. matt, that’s where we were taking all those pictures last time.

the people at the welcome to canada stand here think i should be allowed into and out of canada, but to check with the u.s. customs people at the border before entering. so, if i manage to find internet, my next post may be from canada.

i don’t have time to check my email, so …

matt, if you read this, i love you!! see you in a couple of days. and could you call your folks and tell them i should be in by friday night? thanks.

living it up in the pacific northwest

well, it’s been a good couple of days. i’m at my friend lynn’s apartment in seattle now. i should be sleeping, but i’m clearly not. the computer was here, and i felt i should use it while i can.

yesterday, after hanging out with family for the morning and early afternoon, i went up to see nathan in olympia. we went first for pizza, which was delicious, although the gas i had all night and the next morning afterwards from all the roasted garlic was horrendous. hell, i just showered and put on my pajamas a few minutes ago, and my pajamas still smell like fart. nasty.

after pizza, we went for beers and had a great time chatting in… um, i’ve forgotten the name of the bar (and the pizza place). damn. nathan, if you actually read this, you could supply the information in a comment. then, deciding we’d been talking music and movies for a while and needed to listen/watch, we went back to his place. we stopped for beer and candy on the way home.

included in weirdnesses: talking to voices from the past on the phone. i am NOT good at talking on the phone, but it was sure cool to speak with chris schluter, chris lytle and erik felch. it’s been a FUCK OF A LONG TIME. and to hear news of some of the other people who make up so many of my major teenage memories. what if we all really get back in touch? that’d be really fantastic.

nathan showed me sealab 2021 and napoleon dynamite. both very cool. and i loved all the geek rap (mc chris, etc.) and also the… crap, i really liked it… neat covers of old movie theme songs. and kompressor. very very cool.

finally could barely keep my eyes open.

today, noon, headed up to seattle. poor dusty, was SO sleepy when i got here. we went for YUMMY mexican food, then took the bus into capitol hill. we had a great time wandering around, and i showed him where lynn and i used to live on 12th and yesler. but the sun eventually got to me, and we went back to his place, where i completely zonked out for a while. dusty finally had to revive me from my sun-induced stupor with some rallying games of tetris and then… a back rub! damn, i needed that! (super thanks again, dusty!!)

also, he played some mc paul d… (shit, forgot again) for me. nathan, take note, if you read: dusty also likes weird ass geek rap. he also needs friends in the seattle area. cool guy, great taste in music, unfortunately living with boring roommate in fucking bellevue. know anyone to hook him up with, interest-wise?

around 9pm, lynn called, ready to roll. i headed to her place, and she and ryan and i went for coffee (decaf for me… i NEED to sleep). it is great to be here.

dusty, if you can do lunch tomorrow at around 1pm, lynn and i will join you. she’s busy until about then, so i thought i’d hit the market until lunchtime, and invited her along. i’ll call you in the morning too. i only mention this here because i know you’re probably up all night messing around on the internet, and might actually read it.

tomorrow night i’ll be at alicia’s. tuesday morning i head for hot springs, montana. YAY!!! relaxing sulphur water so nice and hot, under a huge, star-filled sky!!

until later…