Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I never could get the hang of Tuesdays.

It's almost Thanksgiving, so I have a short week of classes and work, meaning that this time I would *not* skip out on Hydrology in favor of trying to get other things done, as has been the case so often this semester. (I'm looking at you, Biometeorology labs!)
For some reason, my boy and I woke up stupidly early and couldn't get back to sleep. There was also a radio playing somewhere in the house at that exact level where I could hear the song just enough to pay attention to it and stay awake. Unwillingly. So I woke up boy, we did something else for a while and then fell back into blessed slumber.
I was sure that catching the bus wouldn't be a problem. It generally isn't when the highway is so close and there are loads of buses going downtown.

Someone had something else in mind for me today.

Between two missed express buses (with much cursing) and a mechanical failure of the bus I did catch, I ended up walking towards the final bus stop on the way home with a blond lady who wore a light blue coat and a fluffy knitted pink hat. We ended up at the same bus stop, checked the time, and headed in to the local cafe for coffee to wait for the next one since this particular route runs every half-hour.

I tried a latte with flavored with white chocolate and almond today--I usually go for dark chocolate and roasty, caramely flavors. I think it suited today well.

R. and I ended up chatting once the bus finally came--she's a grad student at the U, working with bacteria that make oils and ester waxes, with a potential for biodiesel too. It sounds really interesting and seems to suit her biology and genetics background well.

What really got me was the rest of her story and how willing she seemed to help me out. I suppose we both go to the U, and are interested in somewhat similar things. She's even familiar with the professor who taught the Bioremediation class I took a year ago. The best part is the advice she gave: that even though my parents are pushing that I go to grad school, it's best now to figure out what I really want to do and do it. If going to grad school will make me happy and I have a burning desire to learn more about a certain field, that's the time to apply and get in. R. spent a few years working after getting her master's, and even then she waited tables after graduation. Once she figured out what she wanted to do, it was back to grad school and now she's happy to be back on campus.

It was really great to hear things from a new perspective. I admit I'm not entirely sure what to do after my current job runs out (ideas about teaching English in Japan become more and more enticing) and I know that I've been burning out as far as academics for the last year, easy.

R. also mentioned that she wished she had had someone to be a mentor when she was fresh out of her undergrad experience. I'm glad she feels the need to give back to someone who needs it. I must be sure to do the same for someone else down the road. Gifts like this don't come lightly.

So that's how I met a new friend today.

I walked home grinning. I thanked Whoever was/is watching out for me today, thought back to my earlier frustration at the first bus stop on the highway and said, "Fine, I'll shut up now!"

Monday, November 8, 2010

May I never lose my sense of wonder.

I think this is why I am Pagan.
If there's a way to blend Peter Pan
and Redwall
and wandering in that little stretch of pine woods out by the elementary school
and pretending I'm really a Native American with a real bow
and learning how to pet a cat nicely and feel her purr
and see the colors of sunset making everything glow and look new

seeing the Milky Way stretch out above you and feel that awe-full sense of perspective

curling up on a cold night, grateful for a hot dinner and plenty of blankets to keep the warmth in

seeing a flat expanse of snow under gray skies and trying so hard to remember midsummer's heat sinking into your bones and how fiercely green the world is then

knowing that someday, your matter--molecules and atoms--will be lost and recombined into something else. Some part of me was once a velociraptor.