Can you think of a cuter image to wake up to in the morning than my adorable seven-month old nephew/godson (I need to come up with a meshing of those two words so I can just call him one thing: god-phew...neph-son...hmmm. Needs work), Jacob? My mom has recently gotten a phone that includes text message and pix message capabilities (Go, Mom!) so the is becoming quite saavy. As I walked to class in the cold 35-degree-low temperature for the day, contemplating how I'd forgotten to change out of my bright red slippers when we went to Claire's last night and had forgotten to take all my school supplies to the very class I was headed to teach at that moment, I received the above photo from my mom via phone. I was thrilled to see his cherubic little face staring back at me from the phone. I will see this adorable little caterpillar on Tuesday when I arrive in Savannah after having spent Sun-Tues trying on gowns in Charlotte, NC. I'm driving to Savannah instead of straight to Hilton Head that day so I can accompany Genevieve (my three and a half-year old niece) on a field trip to a farm where we will see her favorite animal: a cow, and take a hayride. She has always had a thing about black and white animals: cows, penguins, pandas, zebras. It's weird, but she is just naturally drawn to those animals. I can't wait to see her with a real live cow in one week!
After the dilemma of having absolutely no papers, books or preps in my bag for either of my two classes this morning (I literally turned the bag upside and watched nothing but two hair elastics and a pen fall out of it), yet somehow managing to get through both of the classes rather successfully, I had a nap (I have to stop napping so freaken much!). Then D and I came back to school in time to wish one of our favorite faculty members a "Happy Birthday!" (Scott Cairns: poet and nonfiction extraordinaire, plus a big time Obama supporter and part of our volunteer group when Obama came to MO-see previous blog for info). Following by this, we headed to Starbucks for tall mochas where we ran into our wonderful colleague and dear friend Anthony Connolly. We don't get to see enough of A. lately since he is mostly in STL on weekends being a dutiful husband, but it's always pleasant when we do get some time with him. A-if you're reading-more time would be lovely! You and D should come by for dinner next time she's in town!
And as if that wasn't enough, we ran into our beloved A.P. again today! (Andrew Parker!) It has to be sort of unheard of that we'd run into that boy more than once in a month. He's an even rarer occurrence than A.C. Needless to say, it is always pleasant to have days like today where we run into people we adore left and right and get to be a part of birthday celebrations and well-wishes...
Fi and I are going to switch now. He is going to blog about our second birthday party of the day and I am going to have some coffee...
Dustin here. First of all, Neesha's right. Running into Andrew Parker is like seeing a bald eagle.
It's breathtaking. We used to hang out with him pretty regularly, but as she said, he's withdrawn from the English building lately.
I can't say I blame him. It's gossipy like middle school up in that piece.
Another thing about A.P. is that getting a hold of him is like trying to contact was someone in 1994. No Myspace. No Facebook. Cell phone, but no voicemail. You have to either mail him a letter or hope you see him out someplace. Or use your bald eagle whistle. That'd probably work.
Tonight we celebrated our friend Niya's (under the word "Digital" above) birthday at El Jimador's Mexican Restaurant. Let me just say that, as loyal followers of Dustin and Neesha Save the World already know, we're three for three on birthday parties attended this week -- WHAT! That's big, people! That either means we're happy enough to leave the house for the company of others, or the others who provide the company are people we like ... maybe both! I for one used to grumble about going to things for friends; I'm one of those "likes being invited but hates actually going" types -- or I used to be. But as Neesh said in a previous blog, I really do like the people we hang out with now. They're great. Fun to be around, too. So fun, in fact, that I couldn't wait to see them tonight.
Niya got lovely birthday flowers from Stephanie, a Mizzou keychain from us, and an embarrassing restaurant birthday serenade complete with sombrero and dessert smashed in her face from the wait staff of El Jimador's.
She had to give the sombrero back, sadly, but visitors to the restaurant will be treated to a photograph of her whipped cream-covered countenance, we think.
Then we went to Wal-Mart, where Stephanie bought cat food, Neesha and I bought Christmas ornaments, candles, and a plastic tiger, Megan bought a copy of a key, and Niya bought nothing. All of this sounds very pedestrian, of course, but know this: It was a good night. We don't go to Wal-Mart with just anybody. A substantial portion of the people with whom we are acquainted here we would never go to Wal-Mart with, and a good number of those we would flee from if we saw in Wal-Mart. That is because they are mean to us, for reasons we don't quite understand.
These people, on the other hand, we missed each time they ventured down an aisle that took them out of sight. Where did they go? we wondered. Ah! There they are. Whew.
It's sad when unkindness casts its shadow over a perfectly lovely life. I suppose no matter how much sugar is added to something sour and bitter, it still tastes rancid. Luckily, these moments of gossip actually reaching us are rare.
Dustin again: Jealous bitches, you mean.
Neesha again: ... But, enough on that...on a happier note...One week and a day til Thanksgiving!!! So time to start thinking of things I'm thankful for, since my Connie asks us every year at the dinner table. This year, like many others, it's going to be a tough choice and, as usual, I'm going to want to rattle off lists and lists of things I'm grateful for...some Thanksgivings I think the turkey is ready to reincarnate as itself and take off running from the table if I take any longer to get it all out. On that note, each day I'm going to put something I'm thankful for and get one from D, too.
What we're Thankful for Today:
Neesha: I'm thankful that when I reached my arms around Fi in the library today (did we forget to mention we went to the Daniel Boone public library today and read more magazines than student papers...yeah, that's how we roll, apparently) and tried to pull him up by his snazzy corduroy jacket only to hear a slight, "Riiiiiip!" that it ended up being 1-a small, nearly insignificant hole, Fi-really, and 2-along the seam so I can stitch it up without anyone noticing. Whew!!! You should've seen his face freeze when he heard it tear. I could've peed my pants laughing if I hadn't felt so badly instead.
Fi: "What I'm thankful for ... okay. Maybe let's start with this. Like, I heard this dude on campus talking about how this economic downturn or whatever they're calling it is gonna be like the Great Depression, and I don't know if there's any truth to that at all, but I do know that neither that guy nor I nor any of us really know what that would be like. I mean, we've never, ever known real scarcity. There's always been food, running water, electricity ... even if there were tough times. Like now, how we don't make much money, but we have that stuff. We can go out to restaurants and get our friends cards and hit up Wal-Mart when we want things. Our grandparents, not so much, maybe. I don't know where I'm going with this. Just that, I'm thankful for there having been enough food up 'til now. We've got really comfortable lives here, you know. I guess I just want it on the record that I know I've got it good, and that I'm thankful for how good I've got it."
Sorry for the long-windedness, if you've made it this far :)
More thanks and stories to come tomorrow! Til then, what are you thankful for?
Happy Birthday, Niya!