Monday, April 16, 2012

Today was just your average Monday

CallieCat made friends with a hornet.
And then couldn't understand why I pulverized it with a flip flop.

Work was a blur. Something like this:
Then off to Portsmouth for dinner and a little light reading.

And finally to the Portsmouth Music Hall Loft. This place is fantastically small.

The guest? This guy: 
Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Funny, smart, sincere, and over the top at the same time. They didn't let him speak nearly long enough.

Price of admission includes a beverage, his newest book, and a meet & greet. He said this book was a work "that Daddy could read." A departure from academic publish-or-perish pressure, this book is 500 pages of pictures and text of the history of African Americans. A book he hoped his father would flip through while watching baseball on TV.

Africans first came to the Americas in 1513--almost 100 years before Jamestown. Say what?! And I bet they didn't eat their shoes or neighbors (ahem).

Of course I fumbled my words when I met him and nervously talked about finding passion and being an inspiration blah blah blah. Oy. But I also asked if I could get in on the dinner they had been discussing (Indian, no less!). Professor Gates and UNH Professor Wilburn laughed--and while they didn't say yes, they didn't say no. I can only imagine what a great conversation they're having right now over pakoras. Boys, I think we've only just begun this dialogue.

And just imagine how cool it will be when I'm on PBS getting all kinds of Frenchie history thrown at me after a DNA check. Sigh...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mill Girl goes native (in, you know, a mill)

If you've talked to me regularly over the years, you know how much I loved my mill apartment in Somersworth, NH, even if I wasn't exactly thrilled with the town itself. Damn, that was a nice apartment.

And if you've talked to me regularly over the past six months, you know how excited I've been about the mill in downtown Newmarket, NH, coming back to life. I've watched it raise its weary head, stretch its limbs, and become home. I've crushed on it and taken far too many pictures along the way. And after promising repeatedly to blog about it, here she goes. Gertrude, run the tape.

Early on, she was just a drawing.
I totally geek out over floor plans.

I combed over the apartments, excitedly, and settled on a little one with a river view and one adjacent neighbor. Unit 427 was supposed to be a 1-br, but it ended up being a 744 sq ft studio. Having been spatially spoiled for so many years, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to fit my whole life into a studio. But I liked the challenge of living a more minimalistic lifestyle. 

And then the landlord kindly let me visit repeatedly to check in on my girl as she took shape.

I spent a lot of time measuring and wondering
whether I could fit everything.
I admired the view as the seasons changed.
The tall shaft in the center is the freight elevator.
I'm the top three windows to the right of it.
I signed the lease in February.
And I moved in March 2nd.
I still have organizing to do. The closets are packed with things I'm unsure of. And it's weird to sit up in the morning and see everything I own in one room. But it's also really nice. The view of the sun coming up over the river while I'm reading in bed in the morning can't be beat. And I'm hopeful about the community feel being established in the building.
Sorry for the Halloween pic in April...

A while back, someone told me I couldn't be a city girl--I was too much of a country girl, wouldn't adapt well, etc. I don't know if I agree with that. What I do know is that it's a new-found freedom to walk to everything. Live music, brunch, chocolate croissants, used books, fish and chips, beer, library, Chinese food, yoga, art space, water--it's all right here, mostly across the street. I adore my adopted hometown. And Mill Girl is spectacularly happy to be back in her natural habitat.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I can't imagine many things that would be more cool than getting an unexpected visit from me. And with some scheming on Ligia's part, I was able to do just that to my little brother this past weekend down in Charlotte. When I rang the doorbell, he expected someone who would be checking the AC. Instead, he got ME.


Some of my adventures:

1. Ate Colombian food. Yummy fruit juice, yucca fries, plantains, beans, rice, steak, and a scary pork product. And I love how other cultures always set a fried egg on top of a meal. I approve.
2. Explored World Market. My inner hippie girl was enthralled by some of the trinkets and decor offerings. But then we took part in a wine tasting. All the wine quickly reduced me to an infantile level of humor, during which I wandered around taking random pictures.

3. Ate chocolate. My brother has a chocolate shelf. Let that sink in: an entire shelf of chocolate. Please note that this doesn't stop him from acquiring more every time he goes out, and he's not quick to share.
While we don't look alike, his love of chocolate assures me
that we're related. Behold the famous chocolate shelf.

*sigh* We sampled dark chocolate with bacon and milk chocolate
with bacon. Both were gross. Such sadness.
4. Almost was sent packing. I opened the back door to let a cat in. I accidentally also let in a hornet. At 9 p.m. In March. Doh. Totally didn't expect that. Little brother was none too happy.
Sorry, Michael
5. Saw mummies. The mummy exhibit was much cooler than I expected. The exhibit was jam-packed with people, and they all kept to a strict line formation. That part was weird. I, as you might guess, could not keep to the line formation. I pissed people off and hated humanity pretty quickly. But the mummies kicked ass.
The Tattooed Woman
6. Realized I want seahorses. We killed time by checking out the aquarium in the lower level of Discovery Place. Look at how cute these things are! I love how they hitch up to the plants and each other when they take a nap.

7. Petted many cats. And a dog. Having just put down my little girl, it was fantastic to spend time with little furry friends.

Stanley makes serious biscuits.

Sorry, Roxy. Hope you're feeling better.

8. Had good quality time with people I love. Michael was pulled into some work stuff on Sunday. And that was too bad, but it was great to spend time alone with Ligia. We shared a lot of stories and a nice glass of wine late in the afternoon. We didn't manage to get a pic of her. Very sly, Ligia. Next time.
See you in June, buddy.