Monday, November 29, 2010

Bliss doesn't look like you'd think it might...

It's Monday, and I'm at work on my 26th birthday. I have no real birthday plans, no party to go to. I have 2 dollars in my checking account. But I saw Travis this morning, if only for a few minutes and I have a bouquet of bright, colorful flowers on the table in my office; a gift from my in-laws. I've had dozens of birthday wishes from family and friends, and I'm looking forward to going home and having a supper of Thanksgiving leftovers, mulling over fresh holiday memories with loved ones, drinking rum, and having a bonfire in the middle of the living room with my roommate. (The plan is to pull out all of the candles we own and light them all at once. You have to be creative when you're too poor to have a fireplace.) And it's snowing on my birthday for the first time in years. It's shaping up to be a pretty good way to celebrate! And I don't think I'd do anything differently, after all.

Thanks everyone for birthday wishes, gifts, and love. Love to you all!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Introspective and Extrospective

So, when you discover what the root of your problems are, isn't it logical to pull up the root and get rid of it? What do you do when you realize that People are the root? Just plain old human nature? Sometimes they're well-intentioned and caring, but other times just thoughtless, self-serving, or even mean-spirited. You can't just root up humans and get rid of them, can you? When an old friend ignores you for a newer one, or when gossip is thoughtlessly spread, and it comes back full circle--can't you just retreat into yourself and away from society, and dispense with the whole mess altogether? Declare yourself to be neutral and isolated? Why can't you be a human Switzerland? Self-sufficient. Why did God make us to need other people? It would be so much easier to be a lone survivalist in the wilderness.

And what about when you realize, suddenly, shockingly, that you're a People too? That you, yes, YOU, as an individual, to the core, are not just an individual, but a part of the group, the People, and as such, you are also sometimes well-intentioned and caring, but also thoughtless, self-serving, or even, yes, even mean-spirited? You don't necessarily mean to be, but sometimes you just are. Because believe it or not, YOU are a flawed human being too.

What's the solution to the problem then?

You can try to be better, but you know you're gonna fuck up again, and everyone else is going to fuck up again, and again, and again. No matter how many times they/we/I get it right, it's also gonna go wrong. Does that give us enough reason to stop trying not to fuck up, at least too badly?

I know the answer to that last question, at least.

But sometimes you just really want to stop trying, and just go be a hermit, where no one is going to hurt you, and you can't hurt anyone else.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'm off in 1o minutes to a new adventure! I'm doing something I've always wanted to do...going to the Sturgis Rally on a motorcycle! Now, everyone knows I'm by no means a hard-core biker chick. (Or even moderately-solid-core). But as a former Nebraskan, and a neophyte South Dakotan, the Sturgis rally is an event I hear a lot about, and have always been curious to see. So I'm pretty excited to be going. Besides, the Black Hills are always a great place for a road trip, and I haven't yet spent a weekend with the boyfriend that I haven't enjoyed. So I'm pretty excited!

And prayers for safe travels never go amiss. Hint, hint.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I will write an ode to tea some day. Besides babies and horses it might be the most wonderful thing God put on earth. Just inhaling the scented steam while it steeps is soul-soothing. It's effects begin before you even take a sip. It's not the caffeine; it works with herbal teas too. It's like nirvana in a cup (Buddhism, not the band. Not that the band is bad, I just don't find them quite as calming).

Ok. The day can proceed again.

Friday, June 4, 2010


My garden is up! The tomatoes and cabbages and peppers I had planted from seedlings are looking well...the Roma even has baby green tomatoes on it. I'll have to watch it carefully though; the plant itself isn't very big, and as awesome as early tomatoes would be, I don't want them killing the plant before it can really start producing. The corn, and beans are about 2 inches tall...I swear, one day they weren't there, and the next I looked out my window to see thin rows of green in my garden. The peas are only just starting to poke out of the dirt. At least, that was last night. Then we got rain overnight, and now it's warm, so they'll probably be looking pretty good by the time I get home. The spinach is also just starting to peek out. There are a few cucumber plants about an inch or so high as well. I'm pretty excited; I'll have to post pictures one of these days!

The strawberries, however, are being preyed upon. Every time I see a hint of pink in the strawberry patch, I get hopeful...then I check them later to see how they are doing, and they've been eaten! Just the red bits...the culprit tends to pick out the red cheeks of the strawberry, and leave whatever is still green. I've caught both birds and squirrels cavorting in the patch, so I might have to see what I can do to put up some netting or something around them. Poor strawberries! Don't even have a chance to get ripe.

Debating on planting some butternut or acorn squash yet too. I think acorn.

Monday, May 24, 2010

First Time in a Long Time

I went fishing this weekend! I haven't been fishing since I was 16; that was the first year that I had to buy a fishing license, and I wanted to go snagging for paddlefish with my dad. So that would be the last time I'd been fishing, up until this weekend. The boyfriend got me a fishing pole, so I got a license, and off we went, to the Palisades along the Big Sioux River. It was a good time...I caught 3 bullheads, and he caught a couple as well, along with a smallmouth bass and a mud turtle...which we threw back. (Though I hear turtle tastes like chicken...)

I also got a couple of tomato plants, and a bunch of seeds to put in my garden. I'm so happy that my new place has a garden patch in the yard. There's a strawberry patch as well, with some of them already turning pink! It's very exciting. Planting corn, beans, peas, cucumbers, spinach, and basil, at least. My mom also gave me some tomato plants, a few cabbage plants, and some peppers. I said "Mom, I don't eat peppers. What am I going to do with them?" And she laughed and said, "well, maybe Sarah will eat them." I guess I can make salsa out of them, that would be good.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Era, definitely

It's been awhile, hasn't it? I'm enjoying my new job. Working at the Oral History Center at USD, if you missed that memo. I probably shouldn't be posting this while I'm at work, but hey, you need quick breaks even from jobs you like, right? It's been a good experience: I'm learning new things, I have employers who care about what actually goes on, and who are motivated. My co-workers are easy to get along with. The work is interesting, and I can take pride in doing it, because it's something that actually needs to be done. It doesn't feel so futile, working here, you know? It's mentally stimulating work, so my brain isn't fermenting anymore, and I feel like this job could actually take me somewhere that I want to go--instead of being stuck in storage all my life. Ok, well, technically, I'm still in a "storage" room of sorts, but it's a dynamic storage room instead of a static storage room.

Hey, it made sense to me. Deal with it. :P

I'll be moving into a house in Vermillion this weekend. Rental. It's got a yard, and space for gardening, which is mostly what I care about! And I have a place to do all of those messy SCA projects that you don't want to do indoors now! Like retting flax!

I'm going to miss a number of Sioux Falls peeps. But I was already missing a number of Vermillion peeps, so what can you do? It's been great reuniting with some people down here tho. Well, not that I ever really lost track, but it's wonderful to be able to actually hang out with them again. And it's even better being in Vermillion this time around, because I got to choose to be here, instead of feeling like I was stuck here until I finished a degree. I really do like this town.

Of course, the timing was somewhat unfortunate...of course I had to start dating Boy in Sioux Falls the day before (literally!) I start a new job in a town an hour away. But an hour isn't bad, and I think that space is a good thing to have in a new relationship. It seems to be working, anyway!

I guess this means that any plans I had for grad school will be put off for awhile longer though, if I still decide I want to go. This job is grant-funded for 2 1/2 years...after that, who knows. I mean, I'm sure I could get out of it if I really wanted/needed to, but I'd like to finish the job I start, instead of being here to get things started, and then go gallivanting off to England or some such to take more classes. It's ok though...I'm still not sure what I want to go for, because all of the programs that look REALLY awesomely perfect don't really offer me too many future job prospects other than teaching college, which isn't something I think I want to do. And I just cringe thinking about how much MORE in debt I'd be when I finished a degree that wouldn't get me a job to help pay off said debt. Sigh. Well, I have at least 2 1/2 years to think about it!

So that's mostly what's new with me. What's new with you?

Oh...and I'm going to Crown Tourney this spring. In a week. As a consort. I still haven't decided if I want him to win or not...

Wish me luck, however it turns out!

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Era, or just a New Job?

I've FINALLY found a new job, which I will be starting on March 23rd, 2 days after we get back from Gulf Wars. I'll be working for the American Indian Studies program at USD, cataloging the collections in the Oral History Center. It looks like it will be an exciting job, if only I can figure out how to do it! I'm looking forward to it: to getting out of Sioux Falls, to getting away from hell...I mean, the Lab at Augie..., to being in a smaller town, and to having a new challenge. Oh, and to having my job provide me with health insurance and paid vacation time! But I do have some apprehensions about it as well. Mostly that I won't be able to do everything necessary for the job. It's pretty important that it be done right, and I have to figure out how to catalog this stuff on my own. It doesn't look like I'm going to have a lot of direction here! But I'm willing to give it my best shot. I will make something work! Anyway, so I'm nervous, but very excited. And not too nervous just yet, because I have Gulf Wars to get ready for first! One thing at a time. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Changing Direction

Before I drifted off, last night, into a sleep full of many very strange dreams, I had what may have been an epiphany. Ok, maybe not an epiphany, but a very significant thought, anyway.

I miss horses. And dirt. And hay. And kids. And pulling weeds. And going for walks. And wind in the grass.

And I want them, more than I want England. More than I want an important job in an important museum. I'm not sure I can have both.

So I need to do some serious thinking about what I want to do, where I want to go, my personal goals in life. Maybe it's not as tricky as I've always thought it would be. Actually, thinking about it, there is an overwhelming sense of peace that has come with this realization. Maybe I've found the right track.

Monday, February 15, 2010

In Which I Am Tired, and Actually Want a Normal Week Ahead of Me

Last week was interesting, to say the least. A week of firsts, and then seconds. A week of disappointment and hope. A week full of many new things to think about. A week of spending a lot of time with very good friends, and other acquaintances as well. And, because of all that, a week of very little sleep.

I am physically and emotionally tired. I have plenty of things to keep me busy. Please be nice to me this week, Universe. And all the rest of you, too!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Admitting to SCA Snobbery

I went to a friend's birthday party this weekend. About 1/4 of the party-goers were people I know from the SCA, the rest being his "normal" friends. I've been to several of his parties before, and at every one, the SCA people tend to cluster together in the kitchen, telling fighting stories, describing (or working on!) the next A&S project, discussing travel details to the next event, etc. The rest of them congregate around the bar or the stereo in the living room, drink, play horrible hip-hop/rap/pop music and try to find someone to go home with/take them home.

The point of this story is not to say that SCA people are better than non-SCA people. While the majority of the friends I've made in the years since I began doing medieval reenacting are, indeed, Scadians, I have numerous friendships outside the SCA that I value every bit as much. I've just begun to observe that I don't seem to play well with "normal" people anymore. It is certainly possible for me to hold a non-historical-in-nature conversation, and even enjoy it, but I constantly come up with SCA stories, metaphors, phrases, that I want to insert into the conversation, and generally have to pass up, because, well, sometimes it just takes too long to explain! I've also discovered that I'm more attracted to men in kilts and/or tunics, with an overabundance of facial hair, than clean-shaven dudes in t-shirts and baseball caps. I'd far rather watch a good sword fight than the superbowl. I've been known to wear my tunics with jeans to class/work, and SCA jewelry goes with everything, right? I bring A&S projects when I go home to visit my parents, to work on and to show off. Garb is the most comfortable clothing I own. My bookshelf is filled with research material, and even the novels and movies I own are generally historical in nature.

Perhaps this post shouldn't be about admitting to SCA snobbery, but rather: Realizing a Need to Re-Learn Social Skills. But then again...I think I like my life this way.
I don't think I believe in second chances anymore. Life isn't generous enough to allow mulligans.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Second Chances

How do you recognize an opportunity for what it is, when it comes, instead of as just a passing event? How do you know that, in the future, you're going to regret passing this up? And when the merest glimmer of a second chance presents itself to you, how long do you wait for it to materialize into really, and truly, a gloriously forgiving second chance? How long do you wait until you realize that in waiting to see if it materializes, you're letting so many other things pass you by?

I hate waiting. But second chances are Providential. How do you pass that up, even if it means waiting a little longer?