Do you know the land where the lemon-trees flower?

I waited, breath bated, as the waiter carefully set the plate down in front of me. The white place slightly glistened amongst the low-lighting. I observed the plate. So many choices, but which to try first. Just as I was about to pick up the leafed appetizer I was stopped by a clinking of cutlery on glass. The low chime was localized to our table alone. After one of my roommates had painstakingly divided the wine so well I could hardly be surprised that we were going to toast the evening.

After toasting to our thankfulness of being together to experience something so new and wonderful we our table got quite. Each member focusing on what to try first. I looked at my plate. Bread was always tasty, best to keep that as a palate cleanser. Again I reached for the leaf. I had never been served a leaf before. Sure as a child I had eaten a leaf or twelve, but what child hadn’t. Not counting lettuce this was new. I bit into the morsel. Confused, like the others around, on if we were actually suppose to each the green as well as the cheese or just the cheese. The mozzarella was warm, chewy and gooey a stark contrast to the grape leaf which was brittle (from being baked) and somewhat veiney (making it difficult to bite through). Abandoning the leaf I quickly gobbled up the rest of the tantalizing cheese. That one appetizer set the bar for the rest of the evening.

If the restaurant could do so much with a glorified cheese stick we were in for a treat. And a treat it was. As I too quickly ate each course the robust lemony flavor became an obvious overtone of the seasoning, but the basil, parsley and other seasonings balanced well with the meal. Then came the dessert. The restaurant’s piece de resistance, dessert.

The flirtatious old man who had been serving us all night came around with an over flowing tray of lemon cakes. Each carefully formed ball was carefully glazed and topped with a wafer leaf. It seemed that the restaurant was determined that we not forget about their lemon grove which supplied lots of flavoring for the food. As I bit into the cake the explosion of citrus was almost overpowering until the cake then suddenly counterbalanced the onslaught of flavor. Making the confection refreshing and filling, as if I wasn’t stuffed already.

Sorry the pics aren't crystal clear. The lighting was low and I had my camera on the wrong setting.

Sorry the pictures aren’t super fantastic. The lighting was low and I had my camera on the wrong setting so I had to do some false lightening via photoshop.

Although this may not be my favorite meal ever and time has robbed me some of the finite details I’ll never truly forget this meal. It was quite memorable (and a nice memory to take away from my semester abroad). I’d also be hard pressed, in general, to say what my favorite meal ever was. It could be argued the first time I had a burger after being on a four month hiatus from them (that was my first meal when I got back to the states). I’ll always remember that meal too.

Control Z Uggs, Please

If you could un-invent something, what would it be? Discuss why, potential repercussions, or a possible alternative.

Easy. Uggs. On paper, Uggs make sense I suppose. Boots with super soft thermal-ness on the inside. However I feel like those who ended up using Uggs were not the people who needed them.

For me the theoretical area that would find this particular footwear desirable would be people who live in areas where the latitude is between 40-90 and the Earth is pointing away during that particular season. The actuality (of my observations) were people wearing these boots with shorts in summer. Clearly these individuals missed the point. Not to say that some wore them appropriately. I have some cousins up north that wore/wear Uggs. I don’t begrudge them wearing them ever because they follow the ‘rules’. They wear them with pants, in winter and we live in Iowa (which has a latitude of 42).

What repercussions would this have caused if Uggs weren’t around? Well since fads tend to cycle around (as exhibited by the resurgence of 80s fashion and now we’re edging back into 90s) perhaps platform shoes would have been in vogue again, or jellies. Oh, better yet, platform jellies. There’s a twisted ankle begging to happen.

To be fair, I never owned Uggs. I didn’t need them, I’m a chucks/toms girl at heart. So I do not fully understand the comfort that these shoes inflict on the wearer. I’m sure people had/have an excellent reason for wearing heat inducing shoes when it was hot out. I may be judging unfairly, like Harry Potter. At first I was against it (probably because I hated reading at the time and I was sick of not understanding why my friends were talking about Muggles), and then I read it. Now I think ten year old me was a major nimrod.

My Secret Garden

Breathing as quietly as he could manage after the sprint up the hill, he stalked her. She had been secretive and distant for days. Ever since her birthday, if he were completely honest with himself, skipping classes, dodging calls, the works. Now, guided only by the moon and its reflection on her luminous skin, he carefully followed her step for step as they traversed the abandoned courtyard. Focusing solely on her he didn’t see the stone until he toppled over it. Luckily for him there was another, much taller one in front of him. So when he gave a low moan upon impact with the ground and she subsequently turned around, he remained hidden. He looked at his feet and then to the large stone ahead of him.

He could feel some of the blood drain from his face when he realized they were in the magistrates’ graveyard. If they were caught here they would be lucky if all the faced was expulsion. Carefully peering around the base of the headstone he saw Grace shake her head and then her shoulders. An action he had come to recognize, her way of literally shaking off the thought and feeling that plagued her. He smiled to himself slightly as he stood, not realizing how much he had missed her these last few weeks, that even a basic mannerism cheered him. Then he remembered where he was and pressed onward, with a renewed sense of caution. Whatever she was up to must be important for her to risk angering the magistrate. Or, at least he hoped it was important. Relief flooded Mathew’s system as he crossed the gate marking the edge of the graveyard. Until he remembered that the only thing beyond the graveyard was the forest, the reputably haunted forest. Great.

He had to keep himself from jumping at every little noise as they crept through the forest. He did his best to keep to the stones that scattered the forest floor so he wouldn’t add to what felt like a cacophony as he tried to remain silent. If he did make a noise Grace didn’t notice. Instead she kept her path with great assurance, winding in and out of the trees as if she had taken this path before. Several times. The hilly land had crept in on them without his noticing. It wasn’t until he lost Grace behind a sharp outcropping of stone that he saw the massive wall to his left. He was beginning to wonder if Grace could have him under some sort of spell. At the start of the year he was the most observant person at the college, now he felt like he had blinders on. Blinders for her. He rolled his eyes at himself. Likewise at the start of term, thoughts like that would have had him running for the bathroom to hurl. He made the turn around the cropping and stopped dead in his tracks as his face met a palm.

“Matthew Hadder! What, exactly, do you think you are doing?” She asked, an indescribable edge to her voice.

He tried to talk, but before he could she rolled her eyes. Quirking a small smile she shrugged her shoulder again and motioned for him to follow. Sighing at the lack of answers she knew he’d want he diligently followed. They came to a massive wall that he thought, from a distance, to be a moss covered cliff. However as they neared he heard the rustling of leaves and saw it was a giant hedge growing out from the cliff. As they neared Grace started to glow, literally, and a point in the solid hedge opened up forming an archway which they passed through. As soon as they were both across the arch disappeared. The glowing had increased and as he looked around he saw that although she wasn’t glowing anymore, the hedges themselves seemed to glow within with the same light.

Her voice chimed through his wonder, “Would you care for a tour of my secret garden?”

The world is infinitely stranger than anything the mind of man can invent…

But what about the subconscious? Conan Doyle said that the world is infinitely stranger, but doesn’t the subconscious take what it sees from the world, twist it and spew it into the mind in the form a Freudian slips and dreams? That’s for philosophers, psychiatrists and people who may be bored to debate.

As for me I’ve had a rather weird dream (nightmare really) recently.

Sadly it’s really really fuzzy but here are the few bits I can recall:
I was in an unknown house/neighborhood and I was there for the night. The house was actually inhabited by five different spirits and I couldn’t escape the house. Not all were malevolent, but for some reason two kept coming after me. I remember when I woke up (in real life) I was being corneredgoldfish by two. I forgot the first one but the second one shook me more for some reason. It was a giant gold fish that gave of light. It projected a blue atmosphere that looked like light shining in the water. If the gold fish’s beam touched you something terrible happened to you and he couldn’t be stopped by any ‘normal’ means (he could cross salt and iron since he was swimming through the air). I woke up from this dream at three in the morning and had to stay awake until 9 am before trying to sleep again. During that nap I had a second jolting nightmare so I gave up on sleep for that day.

What do I think this means? I have no idea. I have a thing about water where I can’t see the bottom, but I could clearly see through the ‘water’ the fish was projecting to see the monstrosity. Besides that I don’t know why the only corporeal form I’d remember from that nightmare was a giant innocent looking fish. Perhaps that’s why I remember it. The fish was the only source of light in that dream and it was the thing I was running from the most? If anyone has any suggestions on what that means feel free to share because I am not very good at interpreting dreams.

As a side note has anyone had a dream where someone touched them in a dream (hand on the shoulder, pat on the back for doing a good job, the like) and you could still feel it when you woke up? Just wondering if I’m alone in that.

sechs, sei, sex, sé, seis, six unique/different/unusual things about me

Many of us think of our lives as boringly normal, while others live the high life. Take a step back, and take a look at your life as an outsider might. Now, tell us at least six unique, exciting, or just plain odd things about yourself.

  1. I know that if I hit my right wrist against the base of my left palm my middle finger ‘wiggles’ longer than the middle finger of my left if you do the opposite. My hypothesis is that it’s a result from breaking my third metacarpal in high school (or was it the proximal phalange). Perhaps the fact that I know that is the odd thing.
  2. I read, a lot, and lots of random selections. My coworker’s husband dubbed me the literary one the first time I hung out with them. Likewise they had a friend from Australia visiting and it came about that I was reading a biography on Catherine the Great. The only thing the girl could ask was why. When at first I didn’t have an answer she gave me a very odd look. Then I recalled the original reasoning and that seemed to placate her. The reasoning was still shaky, but apparently I had to have some tenuous reason.
  3. I am a published author, sort of. In high school I submitted a piece of poetry into a competition and it was accepted into that year’s anthology of young poets for our state or region. I don’t think I even have a copy anymore and vaguely remember the poem being quite silly.
  4. At age sixteen I was well versed in parliamentary law. Although it may be a dying system I actually competed in an event to display how well I could conduct myself in a business meeting. It’s probably a good thing I had this training. Although it bugs me that not every meeting I go to is run this way, it has trained me to somewhat keep my tongue in check.
  5. I always have to pause before I say the word subtle. When I was in school I had issues with spelling (that still persist to this day). So, as instructed, I would sound the word out in my head. However subtle was one of the words that I wrote much more often then I said. So when I say that word aloud, if I’m not careful, I pronounce the ‘b’ despite the fact it is suppose to be silent.
  6. I am training for a 5K obstacle course (called a Foam-K or something like that). Although hundreds of people participate this event and there are several events around the States it may not be exciting or that unique but I am terribly excited for it. I think it’s the only way I would actually run. I detest running, it brings back flashes of my junior high track coach following us in her car as we ran on the gravel roads in February (or was it a snowy March). I was always in the rear so I got to be good friends with her grill.

*bonus* as the title of the post may allude to, I have always enjoyed listening to other languages. I would often go to the library and get language tapes. Although I can only speak English, to this day I enjoy listening to them.

Pride

When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you?

Although I don’t know if I rely heavily on my pride, it turns out I do have some. Just a few weeks ago my parents told me they were proud of me. As I mentioned in the changes prompt a few weeks ago, I’m trying to be more healthy. Although they recognize that I like my privacy (which is obviously why I blog) my parents did offhandedly tell me they were proud of the changes I’ve been making. It was weird. I know that my parents are always proud of me and love me, it was just different being acknowledged for something I had decided to do without consulting them. What do I mean by that? In school you have the obvious things that people can say ‘You must be proud of Jamie for that’. Getting good grades or going out for extra curriculars (for me that involved speech, parliamentary procedure, club office positions, chorus, etc). All of these my parents had some sort of consulting role in. Now that I’ve been graduated from school for over five years the pride points are less obvious then they were before. Perhaps that’s why when they told me they were proud I was filled with warmth. Or perhaps it was the realization that I wasn’t as lost as I sometimes seem. I don’t ever feel truly lost, but I do feel like I wander about this life a lot. Being reminded that I’m doing okay by an outside source was reassuring. Like I wasn’t crazy and just trying to convince myself that I’m okay. It reminded me that, as J.R.R. Tolkien put it, “Not all who wander are lost.”

Cupid’s Arrow – A ‘Haiku’

A Haiku-ish Poem for Valentine’s day

Cupid’s false arrow
(influenced by the imp, Puck)
struck the wrong lovers.

Oh what missed events
did occur between such fools
that false love did make!

Can time please rewind?
Undo this deed of dear Puck,
who had idle hands.

Return each lover
to the mortal that will make
each true heart complete.

_____________________

More entries for this holiday at the DP’s original post here.

Haikoodle33Although I was suppose to write an ode to something I love, I like to write haikoodles. What is a haikoodle you ask? It’s a haiku-doodle combination. I use to do them a lot. Quick little haikus with a coordinating doodle. As you can see (from the random sampling) they don’t follow the usual nature theme that haikus are suppose to. UntitledI focus entirely on the 5-7-5 rhyme scheme. Not surprising there is a Sherlock themed one, or one that refers to the rainbow wheel of death. I love my mac but nothing is so big of a slap to the face as that icon. Untitled