Desert Time

Feb. 2nd, 2011 12:08 am
lathriel: (dancedancedance)
Note: I've noticed a pattern in my life: whenever I start to get depressed (usually in the winter) I find a way to travel relatively inexpensively to someplace exotic.

When I was younger, I heard rumors that if you were Jewish there was some program that would send you to "The Holy Land" for free for a 10 day tour. Then I heard that you only had to be half Jewish (which I am), but that it was only open for 18-23 year-olds. Then, this weekend, my cousin who is 26 and also a half-blood prince (har har har. For some reason 3 out of 4 sisters married Jewish men!) told me the offer is good until you're 27.

27!

Do you know what that means?

IT MEANS I'M GOING TO ISRAEL, COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, BEFORE I TURN 27.

True, I have to apply to the program and probably find a way to prove my half Jewishness, but I will do everything in my power to take advantage of this situation. Hello! Desert action? I'm there! Plus I've always felt way more connected to my Jewish heritage than my Episcopalian. I bet most of you had no idea my mother's side even WAS Episcopalian (at some point :p) for all I (don't) talk about it. And, in fact, the trips are geared more towards non-practicing Jews and half-Jews than anything, and have no agenda of conversion or anything, just education. So, again:

-Free, including flights, transportation, meals, lodging, and pretty much everything but souvenirs
-DESERT ACTION
-No preaching
-Adventure
-And in case you were wondering, very safe and nowhere near the Gaza Strip

This cheers me up tremendously for the time being.


lathriel: (eek)
Lando has been here just under a week, and he's fitting in just fine! The other cats were a little nervous at first, but they're getting along well now. He's so affectionate, so adorable... I will post pictures soon.

Friday night, Jared's best man Sean came out to visit from Auburn. We went to dinner at Pearl Street Brewery and then for a long walk around Delaware Park. The next day, we visited the South Park Botanical Gardens and the Our Lady of Victory Basilica down the road, and we even made a little trip to Forest Lawn cemetary. All in all a very touristy but adventurous day!

Sunday I co-hosted Zoe's bridal shower in the morning, which was a weird kind of fun because I was the youngest person there besides Zoe, who is actually a month older than me. Also, all of Zoe's family's friends are artists of the "Arteeeeest" variety, and are therefore very odd. But it was fun!

After that I headed home, packed up my stuff and my fiance, and stole him away to Canada for a surprise night's stay at the Fallsview Marriot, in a whirlpool suite! We had all kinds of fun running around Clifton Hill, doing more touristy things, eating overpriced but tasty food. We went to a "moving theater" where the seats jostle you around, following the pattern of the first person movement on the screen. It was epic fun, for 10 minutes. I've never heard Jared laugh so much- hell, I don't remember the last time I laughed that much! We were also quite waterlogged during our stay- we used the jacuzzi in our room, and later that night the pool and hot tub in the hotel spa. It was a lovely adventure.

When we came home yesterday, we got bagels and ate lunch, spaced out while petting/playing with the cats, and then headed out to the park across the street to lie on a blanket and look at some cook books so we could plan some meals for the week to come. We made dinner and watched Up - I'd never seen it before, but OH MY GOD WATCH IT!!! I don't like Disney usually, but this was an amazing and beautiful film. Made me a little teary eyed.

So, that was my weekend! I'm tired and sore now, but mentally I'm relaxed and happy as a clam, and so glad Jared and I got to spend a lot of quality time together this weekend.

Life is good :)
lathriel: (Ana and Trebor)
Ok, wrong season for that altered quote, but right whatevs.

What an odd weekend. Jared is here for good, though he still has a few car trips before he's completely moved-in. I think that's part of what is ungrounding about it- the not quite finished aspect of absolutely everything. Also, he's still waiting to hear from Heritage as to whether or not he got the job (cross you fingers plz!), and I know that's got to be rough for him- he's a Capricorn, and a dude, and if he's not being useful he feels useless. He's only been unemployed for 1 month since he was 15 years old though, so I think his ability to get and keep a job speaks for itself.

Anyway, what's awesome (besides everything) is that now that he's here it is SO MUCH EASIER to do just about EVERYTHING. Granted, it would have been easier months ago when most of the big decisions were being made (by me), but whateva, he's here now! The past week alone we've made appointments with various vendors, booked strings for the ceremony, a dj for the reception, picked out our wedding invitations, and made some crucial decisions about our wedding rings. Joy! :D I love it when things start to get done.

Tonight we are cake tasting, then I have to get shoes for my friend Zoe's wedding- I have a bridesmaid dress fitting tomorrow at 1:30, and must wear the shoes I'll be wearing for her wedding. I have no idea what color anyone else is wearing. Also tomorrow, we are starting swing dance lessons with my parents. This is a double hooray because Jared doesn't dance usually, but he wants to do this (!), and Zoe's wedding... well, she met her fiance at swing dance lessons. He was the INSTRUCTOR. So, pretty much, everyone at their wedding will be amazing swing dancers. It would be nice if Jared and I could at least rock-step by then ;D

Also also awesome, Jared is whisking me away to a secret place the weekend after my birthday! lol, the weekend after that is when I am secretly planning to whisk him away, so the end of May is blocked out. AND, also also also awesome, I'm finishing the edits on my freelance job tonight, so I'll have a sweet $500 in my pocket in a week or so. Meaning, I will be rollin' in It (it being cash moneys). (Ok, not really, but I feel like I am, and isn't that so much more important than actually rolling in it?)

So... what else? Not much I guess. It's just Monday :)

Have a great week everyone!
lathriel: (magdalene)
I had to post, even though I'm tired and want desperately to finish the scene I'm working on in The Hierophant, because today was one of those days that you hold in your heart as a brilliant source of joy during those long stretches of listless gray in a typical Buffalo winter. Originally, Sarah, Laura, and I were supposed to head out to Allegany State Park to explore the mountains (and potentially meet up with Hi Hat and his can-can line of deer on their hind legs) but we had forgotten about Oktoberfest in Ellicotville, so about half way there the traffic was so horrendous that we turned around. Instead of Allegany we decided to go to Griffis Sculpture Park which is an awesome place between just beyond Springville. We spent the day there, climbing things we probably shouldn't have, storming castles, rolling down hills, and posing inappropriately with certain (nude) sculptures.

Finally, as the sun began to go down we headed home (through more traffic, though slightly less horrendous). We stopped at Pizza Plant for an awesome dinner, and around nine o'clock we found ourselves walking in the dark towards the apple orchard by the nunnery, where this scene from "The Hierophant" takes place. There are a set of wide stone steps set into the side of the hill that the nunnery sits atop, and standing, about to descend, the lights from the gothic building behind us cast our shadows, long and imposing, over the grass at the bottom of the steps. Looking out over the orchard, we could see a thick blanket of mist close to the ground. The moon is almost full, so the entire orchard was lit up, silver black and blue.

In the orchard, we saw deer every where, in the mist, in the shadows, in the light from the nunnery shining through the trees. The skeletons of the apple trees, ruined by the October storm, played tricks in the dark, at once frail and broken, then transformed into mighty ruins. The moon was bright in the starless sky, and we could not help but pause and admire her. We talked about when we were young, trying to catch the mist, and how, no matter how fast you were, it always disappeared when you got closer to it. But if you paused and looked around, you would see that you were actually standing in the middle of the mist...

We moved to the bridge after a moment or two, and there the water moved like a ribbon of black glass beneath our feet, the moon reflected amidst the black joints of naked branches, making the water glisten in patches where the moonlight shone. We ventured to the meadow on the other side of the bridge, but right away we heard cars, saw the peaks of buildings, and knew there was no magic in that place. This exchange took place, and must be illustrated or filmed, I've decided:

Laura: "It's like we've entered the real world."
Sarah: "There's another world just over the bridge..."
Me: "Let's go back."

So we did, and it seemed as if the mist was gone. The moon was even brighter, more enchanting, the orchard more enticing. I'm not ashamed to say we frolicked, because it was a perfect day made for such things. Finally we headed back towards the nunnery, and when we turned around the mist was behind us, as if we really had been in another world, and just passed through the wall that separated it from reality...

So, yeah. It was a beautiful day, and an effing gorgeous night, full of inspiration and mischief. A gem to hold in my heart against the gray beast of February when it comes to swallow me up...

:)

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