Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Weekend for the Unemployed

Did I mention that I quit my job? I did. I gave a month's notice and I can't say whether or not it was intentional but I didn't get a weekend (or even just a Saturday) off that whole time. I'm not going to say that I was being punished for leaving my job but it has been a very exhausting time. It's not fun to be the person who has to work from 11-8 every Saturday. It's not fun to have Mondays and Thursdays off when everyone else that you know has Saturday and Sundays. It's actually kind of lonely. That's not why I left my job, by the way, it's just that's certainly on the list of things-that-I-don't-love-but-are-not-deal-breakers. That sounded a little more bitter than I really feel, for the record. So any bitterness that you feel is coming from the above paragraph, dial it back by about 30%. There--that's about right.
So, since I had to quit my job to get a weekend off, this is my weekend:

Friday: We really did say goodbye to Justin and I discovered the delicacy that is fried ice cream. But most importantly (although ice cream is delicious), we said goodbye to Justin. I love him so much and my excitement for his new, east coast life situation outweighs how sad I am to see him go by a ratio of about 3:1. I know that any sadness that I feel is pure, unadulterated selfishness and subsequently I can talk myself out of it. That's not to say that I haven't had my moments of feelings. We've been saturating ourselves with him lately, to be honest. We had a pretty excellent going-away Thank You party, last week.Trying to wring every bit of him out so that we can savor him--hold on to what's rubbed off on us for as long as we can but I think we all know that we can't do that. We have to let ourselves let him go. That's not to say that I didn't spend Wednesday night wailing into and soaking his t-shirt while standing in Kristin's kitchen. Because that totally happened. But this is adulthood. This is accepting change with open hands for the future for ourselves and the people that we loved more than we ever thought possible. Welcome to being twenty-eight, Libby. Sometimes you're still surprised when the inevitable happens.
But for what it's worth, I hope that Justin's parents, family, teachers, and other influences can see the kind of human being that they have all worked to help to produce. My friend Justin is honest and unashamedly himself and he welcomes and expects that from his friends, too. Justin has pushed me to pursue myself--to love myself--to know myself time and time again. And he gets down to the heart of every matter in a way that seems effortless. He sees people the way that God sees people and his heart is full and welcoming for more. If, one day, I ever go on to produce another human being I will have done the world a beautiful service to help to harvest a personality half as lovely as that of Justin Powers. So, to Justin's mom and dad (whom I have regretfully never met): I thank you for this gift that you never knew you gave to me.
To those who don't know Justin--don't worry, this reads an awful lot like a eulogy but the guy just moved across the country. He's good, don't worry.
 Saturday: Today. Oh, what a day. I crawled out of my bed at nearly ten am. That hasn't happened in years. It was glorious. Ryan and I drove to Wichita to spend the whole day completely void of itinerary. We knew that we really wanted to go visit the Museum of World Treasures and so we used it as a jumping off point.  There is a T-Rex there named Ivan. He is not a replica of some other T-Rex, he is real-live, fossilized (60% complete) tyrant lizard king. And that's pretty impressive, apparently. The slightly embittered "tour guide" who mimed our double decapitation told us that even the Smithsonian doesn't have a T-Rex (he said that Ivan was worth $10 million but if they offered him $12 million, he may consider parting ways). So, I guess it's a pretty big deal. We also saw two mummies. I am not going to act like this was not a big deal to me because it was a very big deal to me! It eeked me out big time. One of the mummies was a woman in her late twenties (plus thousands of years). Her hair was so pretty and well preserved. They braided it for her after she died. Evidently she had scoliosis. But I'm standing there next to this woman who was my age when she died and I couldn't help but relate to her. To think of her getting hungry or needing to use the bathroom or getting frustrated with her family or having crushes on boys. I felt that way looking at the shrunken head, too. Only that guy died in enemy hands--as made evident by the fact that his head was the size of a softball--so I tried not to dwell on him.
My favorite part was upstairs where they had letters and cards and photographs from notable historical figures. I very nearly squealed when I happened upon a letter written by Sir Isaac Newton or one from Darwin (who had very interesting handwriting). There was a "thinking of you" card from Mamie Eisenhower to her friend about how something had leaked to the newspapers and now she was getting letters from people who feel sorry for her and how that really pissed her off. A check made out to Judy Garland for $20,000. And my absolute favorite: a letter from Alfred Lord Tennyson to a friend with a very modern sentiment, "I've been meaning to stop by but I'm, like, totes swamped." It went on and on about how his publisher had ordered a revision of his book and so he would be "superintending" that, also he's going to Switzerland at the end of the week. I was proud of myself for making it through that letter and comprehending it. I couldn't read three consecutive words in the penmanship of John F. Kennedy. How that man ever got a point across in writing is beyond me.
That which we would go to the trouble of putting down on paper, these days, is very important news: wedding invitations, birth announcements, cable bills. But these letters were just common sense stuff that we communicate to one another in a text message. But these letters began with, "with deepest regards, I send my salutations." Oh, there is something lost in the language these days, brothers and sisters. Have we no regard for the written or spoken word?
Oh my gosh! I forgot to mention the letter that said (and this is a paraphrase), essentially, "So sorry to hear about so-and-so's accident. Jean had an accident recently when she was struck by a trolly. End result: a dead horse and heavy surgeon's bill*. Olivia sends her love to your wife. Signed, Samuel Freaking Clemens." To think that one day, someone opened up their mail box and got a friendly, casual, my-daughter-was-riding-her-horse-and-got-hit-by-a-trolly-but-nbd note from Mark Twain! Oh, the world, think of the things that you're documenting. Kind of makes you want to reconsider that, "Feeling tired. Guess I'll go to bed. LOL" Facebook status, doesn't it?
*"End result: dead horse and a heavy surgeon's bill" is not paraphrased--that's how he said it. Oh Samuel, how you enrapture me. 

So, after a few hours in the museum left us starving, we walked across the street to River City Brewing Co. I had the Red (my most recent, happy hoppy beer discovery). Ryan drank the Wheat. It was truly satisfying. We got stuck at a wobbly table that was close enough to the speakers that we got to dissect the lyrics of country music songs while we munched on our delicious noms. Truly a gratifying discovery. On the way out, we picked up a copy of this magazine which was, surprisingly, free for the taking.
"Hey, does this cover look okay? Something seems not quite right." "Yeah, yeah. Print a billion."
Then we just went wherever whimsy dictated. Whimsy instructed us to buy bulk spices and incense at The Spice Merchant, new drumsticks (not the ice cream kind) at Guitar Center, a fleet of new underthings at the mall, and a quick tour around Jacob's Liquor Exchange. Whimsy did not dictate that either of us buy new shoes, though we did put up a fight for it.

After a long and arduous day of looking at stuff, we drove home and retired to our separate quarters. Can I take this moment to talk about how incredible my boyfriend is that we can spend the whole day together, never run out of anything to say, never get short or annoyed with one another and then still not have to spend the rest of the day in one another's presence? I sincerely thought that falling in love meant giving up on one's introverted nature. Happy am I that he needs it, too.

Sunday: I woke up late, again. I don't know if you understand just how unusual this is for me. My favorite time to wake up is at about 6:45 am. I think that my body knows that it's currently (albeit temporarily) unemployed. Due to that mentality, I spent my morning lacing my coffee with my new favorite thing and looking at photos that were taken all month long.
This will be my new house in a few months. Did I mention that I'm moving? This precious little thing needs a lot of work that I am excited to provide.
My little brother's new dog, The Doctor.
I Heard A Lion monopolizes the kitchen (and Brian photo bombs) at Justin's Thank You Party
While I was internetting and sipping my coffee, I heard an explosion and suddenly remembered that you're supposed to poke holes in potatoes before you put them into a hot oven.
Just sitting here, keeping it real, listening to Ingrid Michaelson cover Gotye when in the background: a muffled ((boom)). *beat* *beat* *beat*
"Oh, riiiiight."
That was actually, really impressive. I'm not even mad about it. I think turning the oven off and hoping to remember to clean it out in a few hours was a good decision on my part. One of only a few that I have made this morning.
Then a few ordinary things: shower, dishes, laundry, and just generally straightening up as my apartment is going to be shown to a prospective renter, tomorrow. Katie came over and we watched Rachel Getting Married (which is my go-to rainy day movie). Yadda, yadda, yadda, and then we went to Brunos for magical pizza. I had been waiting for pizza all week long and this was completely worth it. But I'll talk a little bit more about that over at The Sentinel on Tuesday on my blog over there.

What were the highlights of your weekend? Did you take any pictures? Have you ever exploded something in your kitchen?


PS Don't worry about me, I start my new job on May 1st.

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