Tuesday, May 02, 2006

What's been going on

There was a forest fire yesterday, on a mountain the next town over. This mountain doubles as the local ski resort. They had it mostly under control by this morning, but have lost about 400 acres of forest. Luckily, no one was hurt, though I'm sure the wildlife didn't get off so easily. The fire started when a tree fell on a power line and set off sparks. We haven't had much rain lately, which is why the thing caught as fast as it did. We couldn't see the fire at all where I live, but we got a lot of the smoke. It smelled of autumn (when people around here tend to rake their fallen leaves into big piles and burn them), and yet it looked like spring. It's an odd juxtaposition, and contradictory sensory input made for much confusion in the brain. At least it did with me.

I know it's been a while since I posted. Sorry. I've got a project at work that involves a lot of typing in Word and Excel, and the last thing I want to do when I get home is sit in front of another computer and type some more. Not to mention that the weather has been glorious, which keeps me out until dark. All sorts of trees are flowering. There are lilacs in bloom everywhere and sometimes when I pass one I get overcome with the need to go bury my nose in the blossoms -- after first checking for bees, of course.

It's finals week for the university. A very tense hush has settled over the area. All around campus and in various eating-places downtown you will find bleary-eyed, overcaffeinated, anxious students, trying desperately to cram into their brains every stray fact from every page of notes from every class they went to over the past four months. The library is open until 2 AM this week, everyday until Friday. We close early on Friday because the last final starts at 6:15 PM. Every student who isn't taking a test or preparing to take one is either out getting drunk or has already skipped town for the summer.

I encountered my first "last final drunk" of the semester on the bus ride home today. It was approximately 6:30, she'd been drinking since 4, and I'm pretty sure she'd already hit the stage where she won't be remembering how she got home. She got off the bus looking like she wanted to hug all of us good bye, but she settled for a wave and a heartfelt (if slurred), "Have a great evening, everyone!"

My belly dance instructor has put together a hafla for this Saturday, which also happens to be my Ditter's birthday. A "hafla," as it's been explained to me, is an Arabic word for "party." There's dancing involved. Anyone who wants to can get up and perform--they just have to run it by the teacher before the event. She's taught us all a dance that we're supposed to get up and do together at the end of the party--a folk dance, done in a circle. I'm looking forward to it. I'm bringing the Chief Loon with me.

That's about it. It really has been beautiful out. I wish I had my camera. I had to send it off to Connecticut to be fixed, and I don't know when I'll get it back. Soon, I hope. I bought a one-use camera, which is what I used to do before I had my digital one. I think I've been spoiled by being able to see right away how the picture will look, though.

I'll write more after the hafla. I'm sure there will be things to tell you.


G said...

Let's hope so.

Happy birthday, Ditter. (What's a Ditter?)

Absolutely the worst time of year for a fire in a forest...

--V said...

Sorry, thought I explained what I meant by "Ditter" somwhere. I got tired of writing "my sister" and wanted to give her a name, without actually calling her by name. "Ditter" is our family's slang/nickname for "sister"--my aunt used to have trouble with s's when she was little, and she'd call my Mom "my ditter." It's been adopted by the next generation as a term of endearment.