Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fallcation II: The Centennial State

I returned from my trip to Denver on Tuesday, and what a wonderful trip it turned out to be. I've been so stressed out lately, and visiting Leta gave me just the excuse I needed to relax.

The trip didn't start out in a particularly relaxing manner. I arrived Friday morning, and Leta was working, so I took the bus to Tattered Cover to attend to some work of my own. I was continuing with my French translation, and when I took a break to check my phone, I read about the horrible attacks in Paris. It was bizarre, having been there so recently, and I couldn't stop checking Twitter for updates, even though I was feeling physically ill reading about it. I was glad when Leets finally showed up, as her presence was profoundly comforting--not that my emotional well-being was really the important thing that day. 

The rest of the weekend was calmer. I didn't get as much writing done as I thought I would, but I did revamp my resume, and I wrote a statement of purpose for one of the fellowships to which I'm applying. We toured some of Denver's finest cafes--The Denver Bicycle Cafe and St. Mark's Coffeehouse, to be specific. Turns out chai tea is not low-FODMAP friendly. (Remember that unfortunate diet I'm on?) Whoops. Living dangerously, I guess. I'd trade a stomachache for a spicy bhakti chai any day, though. Totally worth it.

On Sunday, Leta, Nick, and I met up with a bunch of their friends at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to tour the new Sherlock Holmes exhibit! In case you weren't aware, I'm something of a Holmes fanatic. Yes, yes, I watch Sherlock (though I still prefer Jeremy Brett to Benedict Cumberbatch), but my true love is the canon itself, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original mysteries. I own the entire collection in two paperbacks, and they have quite literally traveled around the world with me--I even brought them to China when I studied there. I've read them more times than I can count.

So I was pretty psyched about this exhibit. It begins with information about Conan Doyle's life, and London during the time that he wrote. They had lots of first editions of the stories, and letters that Conan Doyle wrote to various friends and colleagues--he had such neat handwriting! After that, things get interactive. Holmes needs you to solve a case, of course! The game's afoot! (You can tell how excited I was by my increasing exclamation points.) There's a full-on crime scene for you to carefully examine, and every visitor receives a special notepad so they can record the clues. You have to go to the slaughterhouse to compare blood spatter patterns, the greenhouse to identify the seedpod found near the bodies, and so on. It was a little silly, perhaps, but lots of fun. I just wanted the tiny children to get out of the way so I could investigate in peace. Adults want to participate fully in interactive museum exhibits too, okay? Nerdy adults with unhealthy literary obsessions, anyway.

What else did we do? Talked and talked and talked. Alienated poor Nick with our consistently girly movie selections--Ever After, Mean Girls, and 9 to 5. It was actually the first time I'd ever seen 9 to 5, and I'm not sure how I made it this far without this film in my life. It is basically a film made to appeal specifically to me, because I too wish to destroy men with slapsticky subterfuge. I mean, what? #notallmen. Whatever. Dolly Parton's adorable. 

We also played Bananagrams until almost 2 a.m. As you do. It snowed my last night there, and the next day the ground was all white and the sky was all grey--except for right above the mountains, where there was a thin strip of powder blue. It was beautiful

Can I just take a moment to remind everyone how Leta is basically the best human on the planet? She is relentlessly caring and supportive, and she's also extraordinarily perceptive, to the point where she understands things about me that I don't understand about myself, and can therefore give me the best advice. I have no idea where I'd be without her. I'd probably be dead. Well, maybe not dead. But I would certainly be significantly less well-adjusted than I am now. 

Cue the jokes about me not being well-adjusted at all.

Anyway, it was a great trip, but now I'm back to the grind. Sort of. I think the end of the semester should actually be fairly mellow. My translation's in a good place, and I don't have any more papers to grade until early December. I have to apply for some of those fellowships, but the applications aren't very rigorous, all things considered. Hopefully I can just write a lot. Which is still the whole point of me being in Vegas, even if some of these blog posts would suggest otherwise. 

I will leave you with two facts:

1) Visiting Leta brings my 2015 flight total to 23. My trip back to Chicago on December 15th will make it 24--an average of two flights per month!

2) David Bowie released a new music video today, and it is glorious.

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