Warning: I am a sap.

Support from dear and long-time friends is no surprise; indeed, knowing it is always there under the jokes and the kvetching is the very essence of friendship. Elli, K., T & J: there are no words to thank you for your good, generous hearts. We’ve been through so much together that your love leaves me grateful but unsurprised.
But the sweet, stalwart persistence of a few new friends utterly sideswiped me.

You took me out for breakfast. You put down your textbook and suggested coffee. You bought me vodka & tonics in that dim, swanky bar. You burbled beautifully about your wedding plans or your internship or Shakespeare. You listened. Oh, sweet fancy Moses, did you listen. You cracked stupid, smutty jokes. You hugged me ’til my knees buckled, and held on ’til I could stand straight. You revealed yourselves as true friends, and you make me quite weak with fondness and gratitude.

I take it back: you make me strong.

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This entry brought to you by the letter O and by the iced Americano

I’m on vacation.

Picture me doing a klutzy stomping dance in my platform sandals, wiggling my hands in the air, and intermittently slurping down cool cool beverages with elaborate garnishes*, and you’re not far off.

Several things that have brightened my vacation so far:
1. party ice. Thanks to the recent guests who brought a 5 lb. bag of ice — not just ice, party ice! — I am one cool kitten despite record high temperatures.

Is it just me, or is the party ice polar bear looking morose?

2. The iced Americano. Instead of planning ahead (Planning ahead? Engaging my brain? Feh! I’m on vacation, people.) and making coffee to chill overnight, I make one stern shot of scalding coffee slurry in the morning and pour it over lots of ice.
Not just ice — party ice! [See #1.]

3. Dear Catastrophe Waitress, a recent arrival from the isogloss. Thanks ever so!

4. limoncello, in a tall glass with a big lemon wedge and a whole lot of seltzer.

And possibly some ice. [See #1.] Ooooh, cooooling.

Sister C. gave me a bottle of homemade limoncello for Christmas, and I have not shared it, not at all, because I am a horrid greedy girl, but very grateful. Please give me your recipe, C.

5. Twelfth Night. I reread this for the first time in 20 years, and am amazed at how beautifully the language leaps off the page, how charming and lively it is, and how the vivacity of the action melds with complexity of theme. Kudos to the friend who mentioned, to my raised eyebrow and general skepticism, that it is his favorite of Shakespeare’s plays.

* The drinks have elaborate garnishes, not me** or the slurping.
** Come to think of it, I’m sporting some elaborate sartorial garnishes myself lately.

Closure

Whoa. Having printed off my last two papers at 8:30 this morning, I have finished another semester.

This has been a trying term, with the convergence of several particularly taxing classes. I didn’t help matters much by deciding, after two months of researching the fairly straightforward methodology of foodways and subsistence studies and only ten days before the deadline, to switch my research focus (in History of Archaeological Thought) to the much more baroque and contested field of feminist epistemology in gender archaeology. Phew.

I owe several debts of gratitude:

to Elli, who was crucial to the dialectic of determining my approach to the subject, who has offered unflagging support and cheering in the face of massive boredom, and who has endured countless updates on my progress,
to Dr. H., who accepted on faith the last-minute swerve in my research, and who perhaps knew (as I did not) how much of myself I would identify in the process;
to C., whom I’ve been helping out during her busiest season and who told me to take the week off and come back when I was done with my papers;
to interlibrary loan, who took up my offer to make them cookies in exchange for hastening the transfer of a watershed article;
to anyone who has actually read this far, for letting me release my hazardously elevated levels of blah blah blah.

I mustn’t rest on my laurels just yet; although I have printed everything out and packed my bookbag, I still need to get to the campus and turn in the darn things before the deadline.