Sarah disputes that I packed yesterday. I did pack! Between the hours of 2:30 and 5:30. That’s right, sista. Today was much more packing-filled. It feels good to just toss stuff out. I am a terribly packyratty person, so I’m really amazed at myself.

Things here are madness. Which makes sense, considering the move and all.

This past weekend: Wedding in Michigan. A ceremony, a reception, all the basics, but wrapped up in light and happiness and emotion, in seeing old friends and in crisp blue sky fall days.

Monday: Flew home to Buffalo to whisk away my parents’ car. Gorged on cheesecake at the mecca of all diners in Rochester with Deanna and her fabulous housemates.

Tuesday: Drove in ridiculous monsoonish rain from Buffalo to D.C. Feared for life, scolded self for fearing for life. Listened to the same Hanson song on my sister’s mix CD for the last hour of the trip. It’s embarassing to admit that this kept me going, but it did… ‘Cause the minutes seem like hours and the hours seem like days… So true!

Wednesday: Packety pack packed. Had lunch with one of my old bosses. Made spaghetti sauce with Sarah. No disasters to report, shockingly enough. We shall see how it tastes. It’s in the fridge.

I’m having people over for dinner on Thursday, so I called my grandmother to get her spaghetti sauce recipe. I never got the recipe — I told her that I was going to a wedding this weekend, so we started talking about marriage. She told me how a friend, at 17, was choosing between two suitors — one who was rich and one who treated her like gold.

Imagine my 79 year-old Italian grandmother telling/yelling this: “The rich one — he had the money! You know? His father owned a funeral parlor. He would take her out; he would take her out to fancy dinners in the hearse. She wanted the fantasy. You should always marry the one who treats you nicer.”

Apparently the friend eventually married Nick, the nicer guy, though she may have continued to dream about nights on the town in a hearse.

Dismantle your life in just a few easy steps.

1) Quit job. You didn’t need that pesky money anyways.
2) Set your sights on a cold and windy city.
3) Tell your roommates you love them to bits, but you’re leaving.
4) Pack your meager belongings into secondhand cardboard boxes. Realize that you own very little except for books and typewriters. Wonder why you’re such a dork.
5) Start “the cupboard diet” which consists only of foodstuffs that you currently own. Consume ice cream at rapid pace.
6) Make new friends, think about how much you love your job and think D.C. is full of cultural riches.
7) Freak out.
8) Tell everyone you’re freaking out.
9) Realize that freaking out just comes with the territory on this one.
10) Buy some plane tickets and train tickets, and weasel the use of your family’s car for four days.
11) Freak out.
12) Tell everyone you’re freaking out.
13) Breathe real deep and feel real free.
14) Freak out.

sarah’s friend jason asked how I’d been lately (I think because I was jumping up and down or looking particularly smiley). “i’m squeezing the last drops of awesomeness of out washington, d.c.,” I replied. to which he said: “carpe district!”

so, this week’s theme is carpe district. i already had a really fun weekend which included:

-stumbling upon a yard sale full of vintage clothing and finding three great things that actually fit
-stopping over at doran and tina’s house after the yard sale for delicious banana pancakes
-going to an improv show with people from my class

-hanging out with emily and co.
-wandering around a really cool photography exhibit at the smithsonian
-wandering some more through the botanical gardens on a perfectly sunny day with josh
-happening upon a linden tree (“lindsay” means “from the isle of the linden tree” according to those baby name books)

hopefully there’s more seizing to come.

Sometimes I think strangers have the answers. Did you ever play those late-80s computer games that involved some kind of quest? You entered your DOS command and launched into a world navigated via arrow keys, with scritchy graphics and a tinny soundtrack. These games always seemed to involve interrogating random strangers. Look at that knight standing innocently by the stable! Let’s ask him for a clue to the treasure! And then you had to ask your question four ways until he finally gave you your clue. (Ok, maybe I was just a dork and no one else played these things.)

Anyways, sometimes I try to navigate reality that way. This morning, the almost toothless African American man who hands me my free newspaper at the Metro looked at me and declared: “You’re in good spirits. You’re going to be all right today.” And I felt like he knew something I didn’t.


One hour later: I just realized I left my lunch on the Metro. Hmm. Is that part of the game too? (Ok. I’m beginning to see how easy it is to become insane by picking a game/t.v. show/movie and thinking you’re in it.)

UPDATE 9/20: At the Metro this morning, as a visibly pregnant woman in overalls walked by, the man who hands out free newspaper greeted her and said: “That’s a baby boy; that’s gonna be a baby boy.”

See? He knows things.

“Good thing you’re not Jesus. That’d be really limiting.” — Kat, when I said that Jesus says forgiveness is a duty, not an option

I love my building’s schizo elevators. They add a little faux Indiana Jones to an uneventful day. This morning in the lobby, I stuck my arm in the 6-inch space between the closing jaws of the elevator doors (because I was late for work and the next elevator would be along in approximately 13 minutes.) “That was braaave,” a woman breathed as she got in behind me.

In French you say “I miss you” as “tu me manques,” which literally means, “you are missing to me.”

Yesterday, I went to a beautiful memorial service for a close friend’s mother. She taught French at a local high school and at the service, her daughters read aloud to the packed church, in French and English, passages from Le Petit Prince. When we went to the family’s house last night — where we had such a good time talking and laughing, college friends and high school friends curled up on the family room couch — you could feel her absence and presence at the same time.

Back home in Buffalo for the weekend… don’t let me forget to tell you the motor oil/plants story, and also the one about the blueberry pie fiasco.

If anyone would like to take a fun, free roadtrip on Sept. 17 from D.C. to Buffalo, e-mail me: lindsay AT My grandma will feed you. To all whom I have bothered, badgered and annoyed over the past three weeks about me moving, my many apologies for being a crazy loon. That’s what happens sometimes. Plans have been shifted ’round, so that all I’m going to do is use the good old services of UPS. I truly will be leaving on a jet plane. How appropriate.

“Our preacher Veronica said recently that this is life’s nature: that lives and hearts get broken – those of people we love, those of people we’ll never meet. She said that the world sometimes feels like the waiting room of the emergency ward and that we who are more or less OK for now need to take the tenderest possible care of the more wounded people in the waiting room, until the healer comes. You sit with people, she said, you bring them juice and graham crackers.” – Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies

This morning my friend Josh, who sits across from me at work, said he was reading my earlier post about me singing “I’m leavin’ on a jet plane…” Suddenly I heard music playing from the speakers on his desk. I couldn’t figure out what it was at first. Until it got to the chorus: I’m leeeeeeavin’ on a jet plane…. I hadn’t actually heard the real song in a long time.

The version in my head is much faster and jazzier. Danceable, even.