Monday, April 18, 2005

The Sultan of Brunei

I heard on the news this morning that the human brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 23.


I’ll be about a month away from 24 when I return to the states…expect to see a fully developed woman that knows exactly what she wants to do with her life. Or maybe just expect to see me with a nice tan.

This weekend was wonderful.

Friday night we went out with Nick to four different bars.

The first too loud.
The second too smokey.
The third too late (it closed at 2am)
And the fourth just right

Just right meaning the only place that’s open 24 hours and close by

Sure it’s dark, dodgy, underground, you’re the only girl in the place, and the five other people in the bar decide they need to pick the one pool table that you’re sitting by, requiring you to move out of the way for every other shot…

But good company and conversation can supersede all of that.

We made a pact to meet up in DC for 4th of July, 2006

Nick said this is the most important step…the time, once we get back to our normal lives, which will solidify the friendship. And I agree.

The time is quickly coming, when we won’t be able to have one of those nights

I take solace in the fact that this person will be a part of my life from this point on- Nick will be one of my first calls, in celebration, and in tragedy, he will be at my wedding and in my children’s lives

What a blessing to find that at all
But in Australia…so far from home…lucky country…grateful girl

Saturday we went to the travel agent to sort out our Thailand travel plans because it turns out that the 15 day trip in Northern Thailand that we wanted to do was cancelled due to lack of interest (because of the tsunami)

So we had to rework a few things in order to still make it to Darwin on the 15th to meet up with Nick.

We are now taking a shorter, 8 day tour through Northern Thailand.
We’ll be in Thailand a total of ten days, and we’ll get to do all of the things included in the other trip, it’ll just be at a faster pace.

We got an amazing deal on our flight, considering that most of the flights to Bangkok right now are going for only a little less than flights to L.A.

Travel Agent: Of course you’ll have a short layover in Brunei.

Jeff and I: Oh, really? Hmmm. Ok. Brunei. That sounds fine.
PAUSE I'm sorry, where exactly is Brunei?

I am excited and relieved to have it planned out and the reservations booked. We’re set with all of our travel plans until we get down to Melbourne in mid July. We still have to decide about Tasmania or New Zealand...but we have plenty of time for that.

I’ll post the details about our Australia trip in a few days…which also sounds unreal

Other highlights of the weekend:

Sean sent me a package and it had to be quarantined by Australian Customs…now they’re trying to charge me $50 for a “quarantine fee”

Did he send me live chickens, you ask?

And unless the Australian Government has an intense fear of an outbreak of beautiful verse, I don’t believe it was the book of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poetry either.

My bets are on the canister of chai tea that came along with the book and letter.
Honestly though, $50?

It looks like I’ll be paying that “quarantine fee” about the same time that I pay those parking tickets issued by the University of Wisconsin

All those naysayers who claimed I wouldn’t be able to graduate are probably the same ones saying I won’t be able to leave the country… arbitrary and unsubstantiated fee paying fools!

I just walked over to the post office to pick up the mail for our office and the smell immediately brought me back to a specific time in grade school.

We’re sitting on the floor; it’s close to the end of the school year
The LaGrange and the LaGrange Park librarians are there to speak with us about the summer programs they will be offering

The dueling librarians
Fighting for your patronage of the free public libraries

“This summer we’re all going to be astronauts…exploring distant galaxies as we delve further into our summer reading list…Every book you read gets you one planetary step closer to becoming Captain of your very own Spaceship”

“Since we were astronauts last year, this year we’re going to be deep sea divers…exploring the mysteries of the sea, uncovering treasures that went down with pirate ships, learning about dolphins and whales and all the other amazing animals that call the ocean their home…”

“Well instead of having to track your own progress on your own measley little note card, we’ll of course have our entire solar system mapped out on the back wall…whenever you finish a book you can move your shuttle to the next space station!”

These ladies were hard core when it came to getting the kiddies signed up with their summer reading programs and wouldn’t hesitate to take cheap shots at one another.

I loved it.

Blatant competition for the young minds of the neighbourhood…and let me tell you, I went to sleep that night dreadfully torn between which library I wanted.

Jeff was telling a story the other night about college.

A very specific moment in his college experience that he loves…he said he’s holding on tightly to those kinds of memories because he fears that those four years of his life will someday turn into the general handful of “college” memories instead of all these specific and amazing little moments that made up his life there.

I’m afraid of that with all of my memories.

Then I commented on something amazing that seems to happen to your mind when you’re away from home, detached from the familiar, when you can’t take it all for granted

My mind starts recalling things that I haven’t thought of in years…stories that are pointless to the average listener (ex: Library story) but that mean something to me.

“Childhood” with a few key memories turns into “Let me tell you about this random time that I got so mad at Julie I smacked her with a bag of potato chips and they went flying everywhere!”

It’s not just the main memories that are recalled anymore…all the little things begin to come to the surface

Boring for the listener (Poor Jeff) but it’s one of my favourite things

There’s beauty in the in betweens of life…it may be the mind’s equivalent of recalling what you had for dinner 6 months ago, but I appreciate it nonetheless.


At 6:36 AM, Anonymous Nick said...

My cup runneth over...


At 10:00 AM, Blogger Amy Boyd said...

Brunei looks pretty amazing, even though it's just a lay over. My vote is for Tasmania... just because it's sounds cool. I'm really looking forward to hearing about this trip and seeing all your pictures. You'll have great bedtime stories to tell your kids!!

At 7:42 PM, Blogger Kasey said...

Q: What is the difference between a Librarian and a large pizza?

A: A large pizza can feed a family of four.

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Jess said...

Us Western Springs folk only had one library and so you had to be a cowboy even if you really wanted to be a pirate walking the plank. Brunei, sounds familiar, but no idea where it is, do they have sherpas?
We are all moved in and wierd noises have begun and now Stan is telling me he's going out of town - great so I can sit and be driven mad by strange sounds thinking someone has broken in and is lurking in one of our non-existent closest ready to kill me. But having laundry not needing quarters makes up for it. We have some over enthusiastic neighbors two doors down who will soon be moving in with our immediate next door neighbor as they finish a house two blocks away, seems way too neighborly to me but we'll monitor the status. In regards to what side dish you can bring when you come, this is tricky due to Stan's dislike of all condiments ("The best refridgerator door is an empty one" - Stan) because most sides (coleslaw, potato salad, egg salad, pasta salad) usally require a dressing - therefore I promote you to sultan of appetizers. God speed and see you and the bag of nacho chips with guac in August.
Happy Anniversery and hope the Phsyco symphony is more romantic than it sounds.

ps- You'll be able to get way better Chai in Thailand and Brunei that won't cost $50 - fascist post offices!


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