Monday, June 7, 2010

My next read...

I just started Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon today. I really admire her and love her novels, especially the Outlander series, of which this book is the last. AHHH! I hope it is as good as the rest of the series. I was telling my mom a few weeks ago that although I love the characters in these books and the story, I am ready for the series to complete itself because at some point the story becomes diluted and stretched too thin. It is not quite to that point but will be soon. The characters began at 23 years old and now they're in their upper 50's...after you turn 60, there is only so much adventure, craziness, intrigue, fighting, and bad luck your body can take, and they've already taken A LOT of that in the past 8 books...I'll be sad to see my favorite series go, but glad to see the protagonists actually get some rest. :).

My first summer read

I just finished an amazing book. It is a collection of stories, essays, and reflections by David James Duncan called My Story as Told by Water: Confessions, druidic rants, reflections, bird-watchings, fish-stalkings, visions, songs, and prayers refracting light, from living rivers, in the age of the industrial dark. Long title, I know. This man speaks right to my heart, although sometimes he is really out there. His essay on the 4 dams on the Snake River slowly driving the native fish to extinction makes me want to go there and call a strike on the dams until they are brought down. The truths he tells about mine projects and the toxins that are leached into waters where wildlife drink and children swim downstream makes my heart ache. The river I rafted on, The Animas, has been cleaned up a lot from the mine tailings dumped into it at one point, but even that amount does not compare to the waste and toxic materials in some rivers both in the US and around the world. It scares me to think about what our industrial world is doing both to us and to the natural world. We really are slowly killing ourselves and all other life around us.

This man is a ridiculously good writer and tells his point WELL. You can FEEL just how much he loves water and all the life it sustains. One of my favorite quotes is when he starts talking about home and what it can mean:

"One of the harsh but deep consolations of watching a loved home place slip away from you is that, without the loved home, you're suddenly naked enough to feel the blood, begging direction. To feel that inner begging: to me, that's being home. Who hasn't noticed, in their world wanderings, the way we sometimes slip into a mysterious niche, even in the most foreign of places, and find things so suddenly familiar that we feel inexplicably yet completely at home? The cause of this at-home-ness is a mystery. The sensation is no less certain for that." That sense of home, of place, that he talks about is something I have felt. I felt it when I was in Bozeman. I even felt it when I was in Durango to an extent. I got the feeling that I belonged to that place and felt completely content in my surroundings. Walking down the street felt right. I call Montana my heart's home for a reason. I even felt it at some points when I lived in Barcelona, because the streets and people began to feel like home, even though the city became too much for me as my time there ended. To summarize, I LOVE this book.

I already loved his novels that I read a few years ago, and after reading this book I am going to have to find everything else he has written and sample them all! I think I'll have to re-read The Brothers K and The River Why as well.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Don't let your dreams be dreams" - brilliant

I really like Sarah's blog title "Don't let your dreams be dreams". It's really true, and that is what I am going to try to live out in my life from now on. If I want something to happen, I am going to make it happen, not sit around and think about it and wish it might happen!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What am I doing??

I'm sitting here in my new bedroom in Manhattan, and I'm happy. I am happy because I am graduated (magna cum laude, b****es) and life is mine to do what ever I want. I am happy because I am not Lacey, who is downstairs working on a summer class project as I type this and talking about the hellish weeks of school ahead of her. I am happy because since school is over, stress has left my life (I haven't had a break-out on my face since school ended...the solution was that simple). I am happy because I have a full-time job at a busy restaurant where I should make some good money (as far as restaurants go), and I haven't had money to spare in a LONNNNNGGG time. I am happy because I have a big room and bathroom and closet all to myself with space for all my things and my photos and my sister's artwork; it's freakin fantastic. I can go for a walk when I want, I can read any book, I can eat when and what I want, I can do nothing if I want! So far, life is good.

Should I be worried about the fact that I am a server at a restaurant after just spending 4 very stressful, expensive years in college to get a degree in biology, dedicating lots of sweat and tears and hours of my time to? I could be, but I'm not. The job will come, and graduate school will come. I'm tired of tests and being judged by my gpa and volunteer work and leadership in organizations. I want to make some cash, spend time with friends, drink good wine, read good books, and see what I missed out on while I stayed up late studying bacterial division systems and territorial animal behavior and C4 photosynthesis. I'm pretty sure I missed out on a lot.

But, I am still uber-conflicted. I wonder if the choice I made to live in Manhattan for a year was the right choice. Did I think through my options enough, or am I just settling for this option because I have a few friends here and the town is friendly? I didn't want to stay in KC, even if the job opps were better. I didn't want to go home. But what I do want is to go west, and I didn't do that. My excuse was that jobs were too difficult to search for and relocating would be too hard to organize during school and I have no friends out there...

AKA I was scared to take that big step into the unknown. I want to live in the Rockies. It is my heart home, you know, that place where you always feel content and perfectly peaceful. Every time I visit I can't help but take a deep breath and smile because I know I am at home. David James Duncan describes it well in his autobiography that I am reading. "Who hasn't noticed, in their world wanderings, the way we sometimes slip into a mysterious niche, even in the most foreign of places, and find things so suddenly familiar that we feel inexplicably yet completely at home? The cause of this at-homeness is a mystery. The sensation is no less certain for that." I feel this when I am in the Rockies, and I felt it in Barcelona as well. I never felt it in Liberty, MO...So why haven't I been trying my hardest to get to my heart home and put my wandering self to rest??? Well, I'll blame it on the lack of monetary resources and being scared.

Now I kinda regret it (not taking that leap into the unknown). In my last post from last December I wrote about what I might do after college and mentioned my dream job: rafting. I have said this is my ultimate job for years, but always with a smile on my face like I knew it wouldn't happen. But why??? Why can't it happen?? I was in Durango, CO 2 weeks ago and went on a half-day rafting trip during the biology convention. First off, let me say that practically all the guides were men, and they were HOTT. But, that's off subject. What I want to say is that I asked about rafting and how to become one, and it involves a training session either during March or May and job placement is pretty much guaranteed if you pass and do well. Well, hell, I could do that! I console myself by knowing that in March of this year I had nowhere near $800 to spend on training so I wouldn't have done it even if I had known the details. But next year...I think next summer is my chance to get on board this great fun job opportunity because it is before grad school research and stress, and I don't have some salary job I have to stay in. It can be the chance to learn some new things, find out if I like guiding more than just riding rafts, and hang out with lots of fun, relaxed, and good-looking men. I don't like working or hanging out with women anyway; they just tend to bicker and see who can self-depreciate themselves the most.

I'm sort of jumbled, I went back and wrote more in some areas. That is why it doesn't flow too smoothly, but it's not a big deal! hasta luego