Monday, September 15, 2008

Homeward! (Again)

On Thursday I fly to Amsterdam, there to meet my dear friends Luise and Famke, and catch up on the year or so that has passed since we last saw each other. From there we're to board a train for Brussels, where our lovely Palestinian friend Shadi is throwing a big party to celebrate his marriage to a yet unknown Belgian girl. The party is in some tiny Belgian village an hour or so outside Brussels, and promises to be yet another of those sought-after "how did my life bring me here?" moments that I like so much. There will be posting of pictures, I promise.

I get back on Sunday morning, spend the day packing and head back to the States first thing Monday morning for two weeks. Two reasons for this visit: 1) The annual family clambake. Not to be missed. And 2) Miss Kati Griess, of Isla de Lesbos Latinas fame, is bringing her lovely wife Esther (a brand new recipient of a ten year tourist visa) to Cleveland for the first time. Again, not to be missed.

For now, I am surviving the days. I am unbearably homesick! Must be because it's fall and I'm desperate for apple picking, Amish country, and carving pumpkins. And crisp air. And piles of leaves. And hot apple cider. And long walks. And fires in the fireplace. Oh, nostalgia.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I've been feeling a little down lately

Mainly, things have been rough with David. There has been much discord in our little flat. I even spent the night away with a friend last week (Though it wasn't all that dramatic, since he drove me there and all. But still, I didn't speak to him in the car.), but when I showed up at work the next day at 7:30, he was standing outside the deli smoking a cigarette and saying he was sorry. Then he worked in the deli, apron and all, for an hour to make up for it. We seem to have a pattern of A) David saying something stupid, B) Me getting upset, C) Both of us shouting and/or loudly ignoring each other, D) David apologizing and doing something very, very nice. Last night it was cleaning the apartment. The ENTIRE apartment. I sat and watched television, and didn't even notice at first what he was doing, until I saw him on his knees scrubbing the toilet. Without any kind of pleading or nagging on my part. At all. He just up and did it. I walked around and the place was spotless, and he was vacuuming the floor and sweating and looking pleased with himself. I nearly cried. A man has never, never done something like that for me. Flowers, yes (though he got me those too at one point), little gifties, yes, a variety of aimed-to-melt-an-ice-princess compliments, yes. But cleaning my house? Just, you know, because? A first for me.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm lazy

So basically I've just been enjoying myself at the festival and haven't bothered to share. But it's over now, culminating in last night's amazing fireworks display over the castle, dutifully attended by young David and myself in the company of two other hip, fashionable young couples. I brought some wine in a plastic bottle. It was lovely.

Festival highlights:

  • Free comedy. What else can I say?

  • Matthew Bourne's modern ballet take on "The Portrait of Dorian Gay"--oops, I mean Gray. Homosexual ballet sex, serial killers, strobe lights--what's not to like? 

  • Hemingway's Havana, already described.

  • Sketch comedy trio the Penny Dreadfuls in "Aeneas Faversham Forever," a Victorian murder mystery comedy. They gave us free decks of cards!

  • David's friend Laura Lindo's play for children, which she wrote and directed, about two children in hospital:the Blue Boy getting a heart transplant, and the Pink Boy who gives him the heart. Wonderful. Makes me want to write plays.

  • Children of Cambodia, a group of children from the streets of Cambodia who are learning the nearly lost arts of Cambodian folk dance.

  • Seeing Jasper Fforde, an amazing writer, at the Book Club, asking a question, and having him look me in the eye for five minutes while he answered it. Felt SO important.

  • Drinking in the big outdoor Spiegeltent with friends.

  • Mrs. Napuk, who took me to see a million things and is always good company.

Festival Lowlights:

  • The guy in the bar who said I was "nice," and asked where I was from, adding "and don't say America." I said America, and he told me to fuck off. Being slightly drunk, I asked him why he would hate everyone from a country just because he hates George Bush. He looked uncomfortable (I think he realized he'd been an asshole but was too Scottish to back down), and his friend looked really apologetic. So I said "I'm Jewish too, now there's two reasons to hate me," wished them a nice evening, and left with my round of drinks. There was some crying. But Laura Lindo offered to beat them up, and that made me feel much better. 

  • Actually, I think that's the only bad thing. What can I say, I LOVE the Festival.

So sad that it's over. I'm back to work now, although with less hours. I've been reading books on an almost nonstop basis, and writing some as well. There's still the rain to contend with, but I'm holding my own against that at the moment.