Royal Blue

Thoughts of a writer, wife, mother, PhD, sister, crafty chick, program coordinator, homeowner, culture vulture, bibliophile, and blogger.
Thursday, August 29, 2002

Today was one of the those days where everything feels wrong but nothing is wrong. Yucky.

I"m having a hard time gearing myself up for this camping weekend, mostly because I dread the long drive up and back.
I'm just going to try to be very Zen about it and stay in the moment as much as possible.

I don't want to come back Monday and feel totally exhausted. But I might.

Some good things happened today, so I don't know why I'm feeling so icky. And sooo tired.

Last summer when I felt so tired ALL the time like now, things got much better when I started exercising again. I've been "off" my exercise routine for a month now and need to get back to it. Maybe that explains it...

...or maybe I just need to sleep.


Wednesday, August 28, 2002
My 19-year-old Self

Today I walked through my old dorm (which is actually a living-learning center, so students live and take classes there--very cool). Students were moving in with their parents. Staff were roaming around in coordinated T-shirts. (Yes, I was an RA there, too, during my last two years of college).

I was having some flashbacks to my own moving in day in that place 17 years ago--yes 17 years, which seems unreal since the building has hardly changed.

I kept expecting to round a bend and see my 19-year-old self there, carrying in a plastic milk crate with books in it.

At 19, I was very excited about this sophomore year--I had just transferred from a small, private school in Ohio. Even at that age, I knew that I needed more in my life than a small private school could provide. I was thrilled at arriving at an innovative college within a large, well-respected university. I had managed to snag a suite with a bathroom that I shared with an odd woman named Kim Smith (we were both new and didn't get to pick a roommate). I decorated my room with stuffed rabbits wearing sunglasses, Monet posters and a Phil Collins postcard (sounds kinda teenagey, eh?) and she decorated her part of the suite with pages from a Russian newspaper. Yes, we were quite different.

I wanted to study the arts--all of them--and soak in all the opportunities at this school. The first semester was wonderful--I got asked out a lot (something that didn't happen to me in high school), I met friends who were serious about fun and serious about studying, like me, and I spent a total of 3 years living there and loving every minute of it (ok, we all tend to romanticize the past, and I know it wasn't all fun, but it was mostly fun).

So, going back to that building was wonderful, nostalgic, heart-tugging. It made me want to grab the new students by the shoulder and say something sappy like "Carpe Diem," but I didn't. They have enough emotional upheavel for one week.
Last Hurrah

This weekend is sort of the last hurrah of the summer. We're going camping on an island that is fairly remote.
Should be fun--my first time to do something like this.

Oh, we've camped before, but it's always been within 500 ft. of a shower in one of those camping sites where people pull up in their RVs with tvs and microwaves next to our little tent. I want to ask them, "Why do you even both to leave your driveway if you need to have all those amenities with you? What's the point of camping that way?"

The last time we went camping I was almost 6 months pregnant. Crawling out of the tent "door" was always kinda amusing (I had to crab walk) and sleeping on the ground was torture on my already strained back. We ended up buying a $2 inflatable pool raft that I could put my sleeping bag on and then I slept wonderfully on "air."

Anyway, this weekend we're going camping with Ed's sister.....and leaving Molly with Ed's parents up north at their summer home. I can't imagine camping with a toddler--yikes!

Ed and his sister grew up as hard-core campers (we're talking freeze-dried dinners) and I'm such a newbie. Should be interesting.

I'm looking forward to it, although part of me would prefer to stay home and clean out the garage, watch movies and enjoy our backyard as summer starts to fade....

Monday, August 26, 2002
Reality TV

Last night I stayed up late (11pm) to watch the HBO movie
Hysterical Blindness.

Uma Thurman was absolutely amazing in the role of the needy Jersey girl who is looking for love and acceptance.
Such a potentially cliche-ridden role (and movie) was turned into an amazing piece of film about vulnerability and
dealing (or not dealing) with llife's disappointments.

It made me think that it is the "reality TV" version of the movie Working Girl with Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford.
"Working Girl" was a total fairy tale about a "girl" making it in the big city by losing all her working class (hence, the ironic title) traits so she can sleep and cheat her way into the executive office suite.

"Hysterical Blindness" says more about self-delusion (the film uses visual blindness as a metaphor for inability to see one's self and the world clearly) and ambition and vulnerability than you'll find in all "Lifetime TV" movies put together (uh, I guess that isn't saying much).

But it's Uma Thurman's performance that makes this film exceptional. It's not her Jersey accent or feathered hair that makes it "real," but the way she totally inhabits her character's soul and bares it all for us to see. It also makes me think of Halle Berry's similar role in "Monster's Ball" and how she could've learned a thing or two from Uma.


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