"Our most ancient metaphor says life is a journey. Memoir is travel writing, then, notes taken along the way, telling how things looked and what thoughts occurred. . . .This is the traveler who goes on foot, living the journey, taking on mountains, enduring deserts, marveling at the lush green places...as a pilgrim, seeking, wondering." -Patricia Hampl

August 28, 2004

Vamos a Peru!

originally uploaded by animox72.
It is so! Looking into airfare now, and trying to convice Amy to join me on the Inca trail in November.

It will be lovely to see Ms. Allison again, clad, for sure, in Alpaca threads up to her lovely little eyes. If you haven't already, please click the title of this post and be serenaded while you learn more about Peru.

I cannot wait to discover Machu Picchu, breathe in the Andean air, and meet some wonderful people.

Stay tuned for travel updates. . . my friend Orly just asked me to join her in the Czech Republic in the Spring. . . kindly send $20 to Monica's Travel Fund, via her quizzical parents.

Un Dia en el Mercado, Tlacolula: 1

aprons, Tlacolula market
Originally uploaded by animox72.

Durante nuestra vacaciones en Mexico (febrero, 2004), Tina, Amy, Allison y yo vistamos las ciudades Oaxaca y Puerto Escondido (y pasamos un noche en el capital, La Ciudad de Mexico, que se llaman 'La Ciudad').

Unos de mis experiencias favoritas es el dia pasamos en el mercado (al aire libre) en Tlacolula. Hay muchas personas que vendan varias cosas interesantes: telas pintorescas, tapizes y alfombras pintorescas, ropas pintorescas, frutas pintorescas! Encontramos cosas para la casa, vegetables, chapulines (fried grasshoppers), mole (sauce made with cocoa), chorizos (spicy sausages), tasajos (fried meats), cosas de plata y madera que eran construyen por manos, y amigos antiguos hablan por cada esquina. Era ninos en todas partes, viejos, y mujeres todos con tela tan vivida.

During our vacation in Mexico (February, 2004), Tina, Amy, Allison and I visited Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido (and spent one night in the capital, which they call "La Ciudad").

One of my favorite experiences was the day we spent in the open-air market in Tlacolula. People sell a variety of interesting things: colorful fabrics, colorful tapastries and rugs, colorful clothes, colorful fruit! We found household goods, vegetables, fried grasshoppers, mole sauce, sausages, meats, silver and wood items crafted by hand, and old friends talking in every corner. There were children everywhere, as well as the elderly, and women all wearing the most vivid colors.

Mios Fotos Favoritos de Mexico: 2

los mexicanos aqui comen mangos y pinas (pineapples) con salsas o especias picantes. gustemos un mango picante--era muy sabroso cuando teniamos mucho calor. tambien tratamos unas bebidas frescas, como el nectar de coco (coconut), dulces de pan como empenadas de leche, y tortillas de calabazin (zucchini flowers), salsa de tomatillas, y. . .cinco glases de mezcal (el alcohol de agave--como tequilla).

People here eat mangoes and pineapples with hot sauces or hot spices. We liked the spicy mango--tasty on such a hot day. We also tried fresh drinks, like coconut milk (right out of the coconut), fresh baked goods, like sweet empenadas, zucchini flower tortillas, tomatilla sauces. . .oh, and five glasses of mezcal (alcohol made from the agave plant, like tequilla).

Fotos Favoritos de Mexico: 3

market in Tlacolula
Originally uploaded by animox72.

en eso photo, dos mujeres estan trabajando como vendadores de pollo. ya era tan calor, pero sobre el fuego, era muy muy caliente. Los ame sus ropa brillante, los colores, y sus sonrisas.

Here, two women are selling roasted chicken. It was already so warm, but over the fire, it was incredibly hot. I loved their colorful brilliant clothes and their smiles.

August 27, 2004

al's last day in beantown

Originally uploaded by animox72.

How many parties? How many outings and what-will-you-wear nights and pub quiz nights and nights-on-the-town? How many breakfasts at Renee's, hikes, movies, plays, neighborhood walks? My favoritest cutie and seaside sister is departing for Pittsburgh, with a slight detour to Peru, where we'll meet in November (!). Ah, but it is the end of an era.

August 25, 2004

musical highlights of the vernal kind

Originally uploaded by animox72.
The Summer of '04 wasn't just about drag shows and baby vomit. It was a season of damn good music!

Concert season kicked off at the Fleet Center, where we sat close enough to Bowie to inebriate ourselves on coolness. Later, at the legendary Club Passim (a far tinier and more intimate venue), Mike and I shared front-row seats and listened to our favorite Bronx cowboy, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, spin his tales. Michelle Shocked also made an appearance at Passim in early Spring, and let us delight in her storytelling, singing, gueetar-pickin' and hootin'. (N.B.: Ramblin' Jack was one of the first people to bring Dylan into the spotlight, and actually drove Dylan--then known to Jack as "Bobbie"-- in a weathered, battered pickup truck to his first gig at Passim, which was then called Club 47.)

Though I only saw the first of his three shows in Boston this summer, to see Dylan in the midsize Avalon was a treat: he's now taken to the keyboard, and let his band rip loose some of the finest, smoothest, bad-ass guitar licks I've yet seen. Before long, the first weekend in August brought the Newport Folk Festival around again, and off again I went, same old blanket, same old cooler in hand. The lineup included Lucinda Williams, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Wilco, Doc Watson, Rufus Wainwright, and Steve Earle, et al), most of whom carried forth a most intelligent, engaging, and emphatic anti-war stance. To top August off, I had the fortune of landing a club-seat ticket to see the groove master and funkiest m.f. of all, Prince.

I drove through Burlington, Vermont during the weekend of the last Phish concert, ever--no easy pheat, considering that over 2,000 cars were illegally *parked* on the highway up to Coventry. (I did manage to get myself lost enough and wound up at the Canadian border customs office.) Phish music emanated from every shop on Church Street, and all the street buskers were doing their renditions of their phavorites, albeit with a tinge of sentiment. Signs hung everywhere that thanked the band for years and years of good memories.

Also, that kid across the street practiced his piano faithfully. Up here in the treehouse, I'd like to think I had the choicest house seat.

August 24, 2004

morning notes from the treehouse

Originally uploaded by animox72.
Just back from a tough spinning class, the coffee's brewin', the tunes are playin', toast is toastin', and the sky is a delicious blue.

I ran into a friend in Porter Square after class-- a fellow teacher I hadn't seen all summer, she, too, is departing Boston--for Spain. Two years ago, en route to a friend's house for dinner, in my car, we talked about how amazing it would be to take a sabbatical and travel. And here we are, discussing movers, packing, and the bittersweet so-longs.
"It's really happening," she said.

Begin, again

womanontheedge, originally uploaded by animox72.

For the first time since I can remember, I will not be entering a classroom in September. Continuous education through graduate school led to eight years of continuous teaching. Mechanically, I gravitate to "back-to-school" sale signs, keep an ear out for bargains on highlighters, correction tape, lined paper. My nature forces me to prepare, to organize my thoughts, as though I were about to walk again into room 347, and attempt to energize my listless, sweating students, stuffed into a too-small room with little air and the thrill of summer still in their limbs.
The beginning of school usually coincides with my spiritual new year, Rosh Hashana. For this reason, September is for me the most sacred time of year. The day before school begins is my New Year's Eve: it is a time to reflect, to set new goals, to be resolute. My most hallowed place to meditate is Walden Pond.
September is fast approaching: with it, a school year in which I won't be actively teaching, the high holidays, and the end of my lease in this lovely treehouse in Boston. I'm perched on the edge of August-- with some trepidation--and can't wait to see what lies beyond.

"Begin again," Grace Paley says. "You'll see."

August 23, 2004

the Hillers are moving

While Aaron and Staci are all settled in in their lovely home in Brighton, Monica is about to become a globetrekker, and Don and Nancy are making enormous life changes: moving to a brand-new home in Henrietta, and saying farewell to a beautiful home that served us well for about 30 years. We're sad to leave it, so this page is dedicated to the transitions --physical and emotional--that we're making between houses.

If you've been to our home on Danforth Crescent and would like to post a memory of a holiday, delectable dinner (or desert), barbeque, or life event in "this old house," please visit the page and post it, or email me and I'll post it on your behalf.

August 22, 2004

raison d'etre

Originally uploaded by animox72.
Ready Big World?

This blog page is a total experiment! (Hope you're patient.) If this works, it will become an online journal so that YOU, dear friends and family, can read about my adventures here and there. Feel free to post a comment or to email me with tales of your own goings-on!

a shout out to amy.

originally uploaded by animox72.
Artist, doula-in-training, and chef extraordinaire, Amy Cooper is solely responsible for inspiring my blog. Check out her stuff and send her some love.

allison makes up words, I laugh

at the villa_1
Originally uploaded by animox72.
So it occurs to me, while languidly sipping a sweet but unrelenting cosmo, that I really don't want to take the job in Cambridge.

Allison called it an epiphatini.

Everyone should have one.

(She also came up with a new contraption for big cats: purrdometers. I like pawdometers, but I guess that's more for beasts of all species.)