Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I've looked at life from both sides now

Yeah, I know, it's been a while. There've been a lot of things getting in the way of coming up with something to post: hormones, finals, tying up last-minute details for the end of the school year. Hard to believe I'm a senior now! Still, there are a lot of things to experience before senior year commences. I can't skip through the entire summer now, can I?

At this point, I'm just waiting for the ball to drop and for everything to stir into motion. May 20 around 8:30 or 9 a.m. I'll be taking off, all things needed for the summer packed and prepared, for Penn State. I've already mapped out the route, as well as that from Penn State to Providence, R.I., where I'll be subletting a room on the first floor of a house of apartments. I'll be sharing the apartment with three other people, two girls and a guy, mostly graduate students. June 1 I move in there, and June 4 I start at The New Bedford Standard-Times. I received an e-mail recently from my editor there, who jokingly asked me if I owned a gun (apparently New Bedford isn't as safe as I'd suspected). We also have plans to do lunch the day I start, along with the paper's managing editor and possibly editor in chief.

Speaking of food, Aunt Mo and I have dinner plans at Symeon's for tomorrow evening -- a last ta-da before I leave. With hope, Grammy and I will be able to do lunch together Friday after I drive Aunt Mo to the train station. Her train to Buffalo leaves at 11:30 a.m. I almost wish I could join her, just to get back to the city I lived in all last summer. It grew on me. Maybe Providence and New Bedford will as well, though I'm sure I won't make as many friends with the other interns as well as I did last summer at The News. I'm not even sure there are any other interns at The Standard-Times. I sure hope there are, but the paper is a bit smaller than Buffalo's, so I guess we'll see. At any rate, it'll be a very exciting and wonderful experience. It's all so exciting and a little scary at the same time, as all foreign and new occurrences are.

But a short skip back in time is in order. My finals done and my stuff packed up, I treated Mom and Aunt Mo to lunch at the Faculty Dining Center exactly one week ago, bid junior year goodbye and came home for the first time in a couple months. I spent the day reorganizing my things and storing them. I won't need most of them this summer, so I anticipate everything will fit in my car. The apartment in Rhode Island is furnished, so I don't need that many cooking supplies (other than my ubiquitous espresso machine, of course).

The highlight of my one-and-a-half weeks at home took place last Sunday, on Mother's Day. I had had plans to spend the weekend in Buffalo, but decided against it after Mom explained the plans for Mother's Day. I bought four cards -- each for Mom, Aunt Mo, Grammy and Nana -- and got Mom a grill pan that fits on two coils on the stovetop. At Grammy and Grampy's -- where the get-together took place -- I grilled eggplant, green bell pepper, red onion, asparagus, summer squash and zucchini, and brought a potato salad with lemony vinaigrette I had prepared the day before. All was a hit, including Grammy's London broil, onion rings, garlic bread and sauteed mushrooms, as well as her dessert of strawberry shortcake. It was a fabulous and memorable get-together, with tears shed over sentimental cards and old letters my mom had written to Aunt Mo during her stint in Syracuse back in the early '70s. Michael was sadly unable to accompany us because he had to work (he's been doing a lot of that lately), but overall it was everything I love about family "parties": good food, conversation, company and, of course, wine. When I think back on my week and a half here, this will be what I remember most fondly.

Other than that, I've basically been relaxing here, watching Food Network, answering e-mails, preparing for Penn State and The Standard-Times, preparing meals for my family, making good use of my mom's liquor cabinet and working on my summer reading "project": Thomas Mann's "Der Zauberberg" ("The Magic Mountain") -- the German version. More than 900 pages of German prose by one of Germany's most prestigious and well-read authors -- it couldn't get any better. Now, if only Lillian Jackson Braun would come out with a new "Cat Who ..." book ...


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