take me back

24 02 2007

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fall break 2006 – the last one

23 10 2006

The other three fall breaks that I had at Grove City College are not memorable. In fact, I can’t remember what I did during those breaks. This year was different.

Wednesday, Dep and I drove to my parent’s house and spent the night there. We played Madden (he swears he is never playing anything newer than Madden 2005 ever again) and stocked up on food for the next few days.

On Thursday morning, we left for Hurricane Campground in Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area. The drive through West Virginia was beautiful with the changing leaves just lighting up the hillsides. We got down into Virginia and set up in camp in the rain. It was a pretty miserable night as it rained until we packed up in the morning.

Since everyone else wasn’t due until Friday night, we drove down in North Carolina to visit Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, NC. It’s a pretty nice campus and the weather there is far superior to that of Grove City College. It’s twice the price, but you get sunshine and sundresses.

Friday night and Saturday saw no lack of wine, tobacco, stories, food, and campfire. There was 11 of us in all and we hiked a short portion of the Appalachian Trail and a few other miles of trail. The weather was great and it’s a beautiful area. Trout fishing, hiking, and football. It was a great Saturday.

All together, Dep and I drove about 1,200 miles. We hit five states, met new people, and had some great experiences.

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floating on a cold front

12 10 2006

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This came floating through the window and landed on the futon.  I captured this image as the leaf just lay there.

Homecoming is this weekend at Grove City College.  It will great to see so many long lost friends.  The weather has gotten cold though, and it’s dropped to around 40 degrees.

I think I’m going to switch back to writing in the afternoon or evening instead of the early AM.

I should get back to waking up early again.  Instead, I’ve almost transformed from an early riser into something else, but I’m not sure what that is.  I’ve been going to bed between 11 PM and 1 AM and getting up between 7 AM and 7:40 AM.  Sometimes I wake up and see some of my classmates walking into Hoyt.  I still make it on time.  🙂





creative writing gone awry

11 10 2006

Tonight, I’m read a piece I wrote about Namuwongo Market at “An Evening of Glorious Travelogues”. Namuwongo is in Kampala, Uganda. I read this to a group of English majors and others cultured in creative reading. I made it back alive.
Grove City College Travelogue

The night activity is much different from the day. The street transforms. The piles of used clothing disappear. The fruit and vegetables are piled onto carts and wheeled away. The night vendors come and set up their stalls on the side of the street. As I walk towards the glow, the smells hit me first. The woodshop still smells like the sawdust from earlier in the day. Beds, tables, and drawers sit under the night sky. The smell from the welders, still working this late, drifts over. The petrol station is closed, but you can smell the oil and diesel. The wind picks up and I smell the rotting vegetables and the sewer that separate the market from the rest of the street. Boda drivers appear. They ask me “Are we going?” I shake my head no and I continue to walk.

First come the ears of maize roasting over the charcoal. The women are rapidly turning them with their bare hands as I walk past. They talk to each other softly and some of them laugh as they see me. The maize tastes like burnt popcorn to me. The taste is like those unpopped kernels that have a smokey flavor to them.

Margaret’s shop is still open in the background as I walk. I stop in front of a stand and I order a rolex. The man close to my age cracks the eggs into a cup. He uses a spoon to break the eggs and tosses the shells on the ground. They crunch beneath his feet, under the red flip flops. With the same spoon, he quickly ladles oil on the metal. The eggs are poured on as he takes the chapatti and lays it on top, spinning them together with a piece of greasy cardboard. It comes off with a knife and scoops of cabbage are laid on. Slices of tomato are laid on, not big ones, but small ones, cut with the knife that has no handle. He rolls my dinner into a tight roll and places it into the plastic sack. He tosses my coin into the cup and begins to make the next rolex.

I hope to find mandazi tonight. As long as I am eating grease, I might as well eat a lot of it. I walk further, seeing the large pans of roasting g-nuts. People keep saying muzungu. I keep my eyes fixed forwards and try to ignore the calls. I’m at the end of the street food now, at the boda stage. I smile and shake my head as three engines start and the drivers clamor around.

I turn up the side street towards the bars and the meat. I smile to myself as I think how far away from home I am and how wonderful this place really is. I look at the racks of chicken and goat, the long skewers turning slowly by the man with the blue shirt. I ask for goat and he slides the meat off the skewer into a plastic bag and places that into a paper bag.

Margaret isn’t in her shop. It’s her nephew Fred who asks how I am and occasionally asks another question as I drink my soda. I hate to think that I am leaving soon. I like this: the glass bottles, the friendly people, the sacks of rice and maize flour. The music is still resonating in the background.

As I walk back through the crowds, I again have to smile. I feel like I fit in, but I know that I don’t. I find myself walking without noticing that I am different.





wild daturas

2 10 2006

In the summer of 2005, I planted two daturas on either side of these steps. On Saturday, I noticed that one had come back as a volunteer. I’m looking forward to planting gardens again.

Datura on the Steps





Egg in the Basket

25 09 2006

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1 egg
1 piece of bread
butter (the real stuff, it comes in a stick)

Use a glass to cut the center out of the bread. Heat the pan and grease it with the butter. Put the bread into the pan and leave it there for about 30 seconds. Break the egg into the hole in the bread. Wait until the egg white cooks almost to the top of the egg in the bread. Flip it over. Do not flip this more than once. Wait another 30 seconds or so.

I tried greasing the bread and greasing the pan and I found that I liked it better when I greased the pan and not the bread. I use the bread that was cut out to mop up egg yolk. You can break the egg yolk after you crack the egg into the bread if you’re anti runny egg yolk.





BBQ Grilled Chicken

25 09 2006

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2 tbsp. Gulden’s mustard
2 tbsp. apple vinegar
1 bottle Zesty Italian salad dressing
1/2 c. onions, sliced
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 can warm beer (I just used a whole can of Heineken)
Combine above ingredients and marinate chicken in refrigerator for 5-7 hours. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, turning frequently and basting with marinade. Strain the marinade so the chunks don’t clog your baster. Toss the chicken on the grill, basting with the rest of the marinade. Cook until you get those sweet grill marks and the black goodness that is little bits of charred marinade.