27 September, 2005

Seeing Red

This past weekend, I saw an old friend [as mentioned in #5 of the previous post]. Jocco and I were relatively close friends, although he and I were never quite as close as Seamus and I. The Age of Seamus was beginning just as the Age of Jocco was ending, because they were only both here with me for one year before Jocco moved away.

Jocco was often over playing with my brother, and when we moved to Minnesota, his family moved at the same time. Our parents were good friends, and our fathers were both professors at the same college. He lived on the other side of the football field from us when we lived in a campus house. Hence, we saw a lot of each other.

Jocco returned to the hometown area this year, to attend the college where our father had taught together for 6 years. When I was home this weekend, and attending a volleyball tournament for colleges [mine and his included], I spotted him, and had the chance to chat with him briefly.

I already knew that he was in the pastor track there. This means that, inevitably, he would have my father for a professor. The question merely is, how soon and how many classes total? Jocco informed me that he will have my father next semester -- for Latin -- and he's scared out of his mind.

My father has the reputation of being the toughest professor on campus. He also has the reputation of being the smartest professor on campus. He's also certainly very helpful to his students, and they all have utmost respect for him. They learn a lot from him, and he expects them to do so. ... He reminds me a bit of Chips.

Nevertheless, almost any time I meet a pastor-track student there, and they find out I'm HIS daughter, I hear about all the things they've heard about how tough his classes are, but how good, and how they just hope to PASS them! [And some have even heard things from fathers, uncles, and other professors about how my father may be tough and very intelligent, but my grandfather was impossible! Yes, my family has quite the academic reputation..]

Considering it was Jocco, I decided to clue him into a secret. Some students have picked up on it before, other years, but not all of them know about it at first. So, explanation:

My father is very specific about his ties. Whenever he gets a tie for a gift, it's not allowed to be too expensive [he thinks all ties should cost $2-3]. Also, it can't be too wild, or too geometric. There are only so many colours he'll wear, and only so many colours that can be on one tie. Typical absent-minded professor type. His favourite colour is grey. He wears a suit every day -- very classy.

Now the secret is that, whenever AT LEAST one of his classes has a quiz, he wears a red tie. He does this faithfully. Sometimes, it's almost all of his classes that have quizzes. He's very faithful about it. Now, as I mentioned, some of the students have picked up on it. They try to find out his tie colour early in the day, so that they can study frantically if need be.

Occasionally, though, when he's feeling mischievous, he will wear a regular, non-red tie during most of the day, and then change to a red one in his office before the beginning of whichever of his later classes has a quiz.

A good man, my father.

09 September, 2005


Unfortunately, I am late with this, but blogger's also been down for about an hour. That's right, I am partaking in the genius of my darling blogmother, whose work in this particular case is being carried on by a lady of equal greatness, my blogaunt Silk. Silk changed the premise to three inspiring pictures. For once, I actually used two of them. This Friday only, ladies and gentlemen, my blogmother is hosting it again for Silk at Silk's whilst the dear adventurous blogaunt goes on safari, so to speak. Limited supplies, so be sure to stop by!

This idea started creeping and crawling through my brain on Tuesday, and I began to write it then, but college took over until this afternoon. Here is my contribution:

Crysten dusted off the old trunk with her fingers. Slowly, she uncovered the words Theatrical Productions, worn as they were. She was in the loft of the carriage house she had just purchased. It was located behind an old theatre mansion of great renown, which still held an air of past glory about it. Here, the real estate agent had said, many brilliant works had been performed in all elegance and splendour – masterpieces at every turn. No one ever entered that building anymore. It was said to no longer be structurally sound, and visited, so to speak, by those who know no use for doors.

Her fingers traced the letters on the trunk. Gingerly, she unlatched the lock and carefully opened the lid. Moths flew out at her, stirring the dust around. The insects did not faze her. She stared, awestruck, at the contents of the trunk. Inside was a treasure trove. Silks of regal colours lay before her, faded yet still magical. Beaded gowns, intricate sashes, frilled shirts. A wide array of whimsical costumes lay before her. She felt as though she knew the exhilaration Howard Carter had known at Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922.

She brushed against the fabric, and as it rustled, she was transformed entirely

the sensation felt like she was drowning. All around her was darkness as she gasped for breath, reaching out and around until she was –

suddenly a floor dancer. It was evening, and she was entering a great performance hall – seemingly of the theatre mansion, but in days of yore. The room was brightly lit, and full of guests in high dress. All around her were members of her troupe, dressed in similar rich and lustrous attire. She glanced down, and gasped. She was wearing the fabric she had just touched, but it was in mint condition. Crysten noted the headdresses of those surrounding her, and felt the top of her head. She was dressed just as they were, from head to toe.

And then they were rushing forward with the start of the music. She leaped, she pirouetted, she danced as all the others danced. Inside, Crysten panicked as the tempo picked up. She had no reason to be frazzled, however; her feet seemed to know all the steps already. Her body flowed with the music as she whirled around the long sash she hadn’t been holding until a moment ago. Or had she?

She twirled and swayed as

– she found herself in darkness again. Swimming with the swirling nothingness around her this time, she found herself swept away. The fabric ripped away from her, leaving her empty, and then she

was in the arms of an unfamiliar man. His kiss was so sweet, his grasp so strong. Music danced about them, Music and its masked partner, Time. A masqueraded meeting, and a forbidden one? It felt that way to Crysten. But why did he have such a heavenly glow about him? She resisted his clutches, and started to run. Yet she could not escape. He held her by the black angel wings on her back. She looked back, and his eyes pleaded with her. As much as she wanted to stay with him, to be his, instinct told her that it would be wrong. There was something against her laws here. Her laws, or the laws of her family. No ‘fallen angels’ for ‘heavenly beings.’ She flung his hands away as she raced from him. Once outside, Crysten hid her face in shame and sorrow as the mists enveloped her.

The mist gave way to a tranquil, lonely beach. And as she looked down, she noticed

– the colours churned about her, pinks and violets and mosses mixing together, a rainbow scene before the darkness fell upon her again, and then she –

was a nereid. She was robed in the elements of the sea. Its spray kissed her skin and she dove into its waves. Its colours covered her body. Her pores opened to the sea’s caressing touch, and she began to sing its praises. Crysten did not recognize the voice, nor did she understand the words coming forth from her lips. Her mouth seemed to know what it was saying, though, and the sea found it pleasing. She sang about the joy of the sea, its power, its gentleness, and the creatures came from the deep to listen.

By the light of the moon, she beckoned them forth, embracing them. She nurtured their young, laughed at their spunk. The old she soothed. She swooned at the acts of the mighty males, and their praises she added to those of the sea. The mothers she greeted as sisters, and her words spun a golden light about them all.

They nudged at her hand gently, hoping for the favour of her touch. And once again, her hand slipped from that fabric, and she

saw the stars bursting forth. Beautiful streams of light were emitted, bright and clear. And the sun came blazing toward her, warming and drying her skin, --

turning her into a bronze goddess. She leapt onto the passing chariot, pulled by four majestic, fiery horses. The god driving the team smiled, greeting her as old friends do. Then, stepping aside, he let her guide the team as they traveled across the sky. Crysten gulped, fearing she would lose control. But her hands were firm and strong, and she guided the team well.

Far below, she could see the people of the world, toiling away at their duties, interacting with each other. To her, this view was a beautiful thing. Smiling with satisfaction, she passed the reins back to him, and as her fingers left the smooth golden leather, she

– found herself once more spinning in darkness. Now, though, the darkness was comforting to her, like an old friend. She wished for it to continue, and

it took her back whence she came. She found herself sitting in the carriage loft, before the trunk; her fingers had fallen to the floor.

05 September, 2005

The perfect scenario.

She was his go-to girl. He could always talk to her about his problems. When he liked a girl, or didn't know what to do; when he was lost at the bottomless hole of homework, or his family was having problems, she would listen very patiently and would help him sort it out.

She always had the best advice on what to do and how to handle it. He routinely updated her on the status of his relationships, and what was going on in his life. When something went wrong, or relationships went awry, she was the first person to hear then, too. She carried him through those situations every time, and quite willingly. She genuinely cared about him.

Whenever he worried about her getting sick of hearing that sort all the time, she'd laugh it off. That's what friends are for, right? she'd say. She wasn't just his go-to girl, though. She helped a lot of her guy friends in the same way. Some girls, too, to be sure, but it's more striking to the guys to have a girl that they can talk to about this. She enjoyed being useful to her friends, as they found someone special. She just sometimes wished someone would find her.


Here he was, again, telling her all his woes. He described his problem. There's this girl, he seemed to be saying, and I really think it's love this time. She listened once again as he described this girl with whom he held such fascination. The girl he was describing seemed just perfect for him, and it was obvious he cared more for this one than he had for other girls. It was someone she didn't know, someone with whom he had already long been friends. A relationship of the nature that he wanted was a subject that never came up between them, and he wanted to know how to get that to happen.

Happy for him, she prescribed that he go to the girl, right now, whilst he was still confident, whilst he was in a moment of knowing exactly what he wanted to say and how to say it. He should go and ask her right now. He thanked her with a hug and departed.

She shut the door, and slid her back down it till she was sitting on the floor. She held her head in her hands, crying. Would none of them ever see her? Abruptly, she heard a rapping on the door. She stood up as she rubbed at her eyes and opened the door a crack.

Standing there was the guy, one and the same. He shifted awkwardly, briefly, before saying sheepishly, I'd like to ask you a question.

And then she was in his arms, finally found.