Thursday, June 28, 2012

drug-induced rant

Discovery of the day: in a parallel universe the pharmacist lady just became responsible for the conception of my first child.

Explanation: y'all, I'm sick. And I never get sick, but I slept in the same bed as a coughing sick French girl last week and Saturday morning upon waking up, lo and behold, swollen lymph nodes. Normally this is the worst of it, thanks to a good immune system, but here I am five days later on the edge of death.

So I sucked it up last night after a rough previous night and lots of insisting on the part of Doamna Flori and went to the pharmacy. What I left with was a lifetime supply of amoxicillin and other goodies. However, since I've never been able to get antibiotics without a prescription I decided to read about it on the internet and make sure I was taking what I needed to be.

Turns out amoxicillin can cancel the effects of oral contraceptives! Heyo! Now of course that is in all ways irrelevant for me but the pharmacist never asked me anything about it and I'm reading it everywhere. It'd be one thing if I were an eighty year old man but I'm twenty-three and a girl. Maybe I'm just used to being given the third degree by American doctors--then again, maybe on the other hand if you can get stuff like this without a prescription here it's your job to make sure it's not going to counteract anything else you're taking. (I'm currently singing the STIM song...)

The short of it is that I don't like taking medicine and the only time ever ever do is times like now. This is partly why. Other than that, it always makes me feel really funny. What I'm taking now is supposedly non-drowsy but I've been weird and dizzy all day. Walking up the hill I live on earlier today I felt like I was just going to tip over the whole time. I have a crazy story from the last time I took Benadryl. Buh feel like I'm on drugs.

Seriously I have no idea how to end this post. I guess it's high time I just quit typing (oh snap).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


"I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express, but since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily in words what the pure music would have done better."
--William Faulkner

Friday, June 15, 2012

the circus: a balcony, the sky, -ward words & dinosaurs

Our proprietara has come from Canada and it's been nothing short of a circus these last days, people in and out of the apartment all the time, Doamna Flori staying to talk for hours--and by the way, she has a favorite word, one we hear every third sentence: dracu and all its various forms :)) For those who don't know, it's kind of like hell but a little more versatile. She's decided she wants the balcony to be properly enclosed (instead of having frosted windows we can't see out but that let all the heat/cold in), which is wonderful for us. When the first guys came to demolish everything to make way for the new, I got to see Romanian 'negotiating' and getting things done at its finest, including lots of Doamna Flori's favorite words and her brother-in-law yelling at the workers' boss on their phone.

I ended up leaving while they were working on things and by the time I got back it was done, everything above the waist completely gone. Because our apartment is south-facing and we get direct light from 11 am nearly until the sun goes down between 9:30 and 10, and it's been hot and cloudless all week, walking into that room felt like standing at the helm of the Dawn Treader. All that light, nothing but sky so it felt like sailing off the edge of the world.

It starts to cool down after 8 so I've been spending my evenings out here, a towel on dirty rough concrete and feet propped against the side of the balcony. And all that sky. I'm really under it--not looking up at a cut of it between buildings, but under enough of it that I can see how it curves, the clouds bending at the edges like a snow globe. And up here on the fifth floor you can listen better.

When I get back a week from now, none of it will be here. There will be a roof and lots of windows--good for looking outward but not also upward--I want to look outward and upward! To reach with all these -ward words, onward, inward and especially downward where I forget to look, where I find the man with one blue eye, the other cataract and milky, a sidewalk full of reasons for lifting my own eyes toward the sky, hope in the form of the son of a poor carpenter, riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. Hosanna, indeed. You see?

And so. When I return, it'll be enclosed, but especially nice in the winter, I think. Now, and then too, I am thankful for this sky, the cool quiet air as it settles into twilight, all the blocs in a blue-purple glow. That said, it's been less romantic at night. It's too hot to sleep any way but with the door wide open, and so now that the balcony has nothing above it, I'm convinced someone's gonna rappel from the roof and bust into my living/bedroom. But more than that--I'm just gonna say this, don't judge me:

I can't help but notice that I'm at the perfect height and the door's the perfect width for a t-rex to stick his head in. I keep dreaming about dinosaurs, which of course is hardly unusual, Jurassic Park being my favorite movie as a kid. I guess tonight, then, is the last chance for potentially being devoured.

And that sky, which is just about done with its business of transition now. Time for the stars, a different ship, suddenly an image from Amistad, the stars wheeling around a fixed point, Cinque looking for east, pointing homeward.

Monday, June 11, 2012

funny video en espanol

For those of you who speak Spanish:

Saw this today, via here. It's hysterical, but also really sad because it's true.

The best part is in the beginning after the guy is saying it's hard to live in this world because he knows he's in the world, not of it, and that he doesn't want to be "contaminated" by those things, he sees the "la mejor del mundo" on the milk carton and freaks out.

And when he rebukes the switch. So ridiculous.

So to steal my girl Alicia's joke, Lord let this blog be pleasing to you!

Sunday, June 10, 2012



This is what's up.

Friday, June 8, 2012


I bought my ticket back to the States last night--a round trip ticket, putting me in North Carolina for four weeks and St. Louis for another. I can't even begin to describe how excited I am to be going back, to smelling salt in the air and being with people I know, who know me. And Cheetos, ranch dressing and stuffed crust pizza.

Yesterday I was skyping with a guy who was on the team with us when we went to Romania that first time in 2009. He's on staff now too, in the States, and talking to him reminded me of something that happened in Brasov toward the end of the trip. We were eating lunch in the city center and the waitress who brought me my ice cream put a little American flag in it. And this guy yelled
America! when he saw it and I got all awkward and annoyed and told him to hush, that people would know we were Americans. Of course they already did, big group speaking English and wearing tennis shoes. And I was all about being quiet, blending in, that sort of thing. And not that I'm not now, but in a way I never thought I'd be, I feel sort of like my friend shouting out because I am going home, and the US, North Carolina is surely that place.

(Note: this being immediately post hiking on the mountain for two weeks and rolling down a mountain in a minibus, not only was I super tired, super dark and super skinny, all I wanted for lunch was ice cream and soda so that's what I ordered. Sadly you can't see the little flag they gave me.)

The other day it occurred to me that Wilmington is the only place I've ever lived that I didn't get the urge to move on from after a certain amount of time. That's not exactly true, because there was a natural ending, a natural transition into something new. But it's been true of every other place I've lived. After a while I start to get restless and I'm ready for something new. Sometimes I hated the place I was living, sometimes I liked it; it usually didn't make a difference. But in Wilmington--while I still can't see myself going back and settling permanently there--it was home. Coming back to the pines, coming back to a place where there was and is true knowing--other people of you and you of other people.

Something else is true, too, though. I realize while thinking of going back home that if it's not true of this city, then it's true of Romania, that I love this country. This hasn't changed. I've got some big things to pray about this summer, the sort of decision with a clear want but not a clear should, no sure direction. What do I do? (It just occurred to me writing this that it probably sounds like I'm talking about whether or not to stay in Romania... nope, that's not it, not yet anyway.) Anyway, the question remains, one I'm sometimes whispering, sometimes shouting to my Father.

But there is this verse, this constant, steady truth: "But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you." (Psalm 39:7) It's a question, a challenging one, as much as a statement, one sending threads through everything else as I work through this theme of home. That word, that idea, but also something more tangible, more so even than a house or a city or a country.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

typical romanian day

1. Trying on a pair of pants at the second hand store (to cut into shorts), the lady guarding the changing booth stuck her head in the curtain and struck up a conversation with me while I changing.

Romanca: "Are they good? Do they fit?"
Sarawr the Dinosaur: "Yeeees... I think so."

Pause. Assume the conversation is over. Kind of turn around and remove pants.

Romanca: "Oooooh I love your little stars!"

Pause. Wonder if there are stars on the pants. Turn and look at her and wonder if anyone else besides her can see me in my underwear. It suddenly occurs to me that she's talking about my sweaty heathen tattoo.

Sarawr the Dinosaur: "Oh, yeah. Thanks."
Romanca: "Did it hurt? I've never seen one like that! It's so great!"

Don't have the heart to tell her I usually wish I hadn't gotten it. Conversation continues. Dressing resumes.

Sarawr the Dinosaur, fully clothed: "Okay, well have a great day. I think I'll buy these."
Romanca, also fully clothed, to colleague: "Fraaaaate, did you see that girl's stars?"

I'm still wondering.

2. Waiting at the post office the other day, hoping I don't get yelled at again by scary post office window lady (I did, but everything worked out in the end), I look up and see this sign about what to do when an earthquake hits:

Keep yo calm down, people.

3. Just now on the way to the store, I hear a guy making hyena noises and a yappy little dog going crazy. Upon rounding the corner and further inspection, I see a tiny old lady (to whom the yappy dog belongs and is attached, via leash) beating a teenager with her cane. He is on a set of stairs with his legs up fending her off so from what I can tell she is beating the bottoms of his feet. The hyena sounds are coming from one of his several friends standing around laughing at him.

Epic grandma win.

Level: day in Romania: normal.