2007

 

January

Arkansas (mostly). Weekend trip to Seattle with unintentional night in ice-storm-stricken Houston (TRAUMA) featuring ghetto motel and accompanying lost luggage (more trauma). Destination finally reached; luggage eventually returned.

February

Celebrated birthday month along with 26+ other friends (May, not February, apparently Month of Love).

25: Performed disjointed but delightful birthday acrobatics on frozen-over Walden Pond.

27: Surprise best birthday present ever to attend live taping of "This American Life" at Boston Opera House with adoréd roommates!

March

Sustained second-ever sports-related injury (stress fracture) after abruptly doubling running distance to 30 miles/week. (Bad idea.) Decided to move to Germany for summer. (Good idea.) Began looking for housing in Germany.

April

Wrote paean to Boston. Looked for housing in Germany.

Wicked trip to New York City with two-hour stop-and-go impromptu tour of NYC highway and tunnel system after unfortunate navigational error. Truly miraculous free parking space directly in front of hostel. Lodging featured lime green and/or sky blue walls with random stripes and mostly functional plumbing. Showered in bathroom with unclogged toilet (opposite end of hall).

May

1: Looked for housing in Germany.

10: Looked for housing in Germany.

15: Looked for housing in Germany. Decided to buy plane tickets to Frankfurt for June 5 and take train to... wherever.

20: Looked for housing in Germany. Did not panic.

23: Looked for housing in Germany. Did. Not. Panic.

25: Found housing in Augsburg, Germany (near München). Rejoiced. Regretted having bitten off all fingernails.

June

4: Lovely good-bye picnic with adoréd roommates at Special Spot in Nahant.

5: Left for Deutschland!

6: Staggered through bewildering security line at Heathrow with aid of charitable Scottish security guard after overnight flight. Struggled to understand English English despite lack of sleep. Did not succeed. Struggled to appear intelligent to charitable Scottish security guard. Did not succeed. Arrived in Germany. Culture shock.

17: Third Worst Day of Entire Life (combination of forgotten keys, absentee landlord, unreliable map, mentally unbalanced smoker, impractical high-heeled shoes on cobblestones, one staggeringly unhelpful acquaintance, incorrect phone numbers, near-zero cell phone credit balance, will-to-live-shattering German bureaucracy, and inability to speak fluent Deutsch despite having been in the country 11 whole days).

July

4: Independence Day trip to adorable traditional Bavarian town(s) of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Delightful lovely painted buildings and life-size bovine objets d'art.

15-22: Unexpected trip to Arkansas to give eulogy at grandfather's unexpected funeral after massive unexpected heart attacks (Grandpa's, not mine). Donned overalls, hats, and weaponry (all Grandpa's) with famdambily for Beverly's Hillbillies pictorial tribute.

Care packages containing salmiakki and peanut butter M&Ms (both delicacies unfortunately absent from Deutsch confectionaries) from Finland and America, respectively.

August

Thoroughly enjoyable week in sunny (mostly) and beautiful (completely) Finland (Suomi), home of Ainola (home of Jean Sibelius). Awe-struck as sister of friend walked gracefully and confidently on impossible shoes. Kissed medium-sized toad (you never know) at Suomenlinna/Sveaborg (former fortress built in Star Fort style).

Single adult conference in Paderborn, Germany. Sang "Yeroushalaim Chel Zahav" in Hebrew with another American, accompanied by two Italians, in front of 700 Germans/Austrians/Swiss persons.

Neuschwanstein. Kissed very small toad (you never know).

September

Back to Boston via FRANKFURT AIRPORT NIGHTMARE (vielen Dank, Lufthansa and Wretchéd Security Guard, for a fantastic travel horror story!). Semi-frequent nightswimming (technically trespassing) (did not get caught) in splendid calm peaceful Walden Pond included most perfect Walden Pond nightswim EVER (full moon, warm water, good friends, cloudless sky, very small toad [kissed it] [you never know]).

October

Glorious, glorious New England autumn complete with millions of breathtakingly beautiful leaves in breathtakingly vivid colors. Oktoberfest for Boston-area German speakers featuring Trachten, Bavarian Kartoffelsalat, ginger beer, and Apfelnudeln. Halloween: The Four Witches of the Compass Points (Good Witch of the South) with adoréd roommates.

November

Phase the Second of glorious, glorious New England autumn. Long, long, long, LONG-overdue visit from best friend led to renewal of conscious adoration of both best friend and Boston environs. Near-perfect Thanksgiving with brined upside-down turkey.

December

Unnatural and unprecedented absence of choral performance participation result of scheduling conflicts and contrarian weather. Two-day driveway snow-shoveling total time: 3 hours. Christmas goodie plates distributed through vicinity of Pine Bluff/White Hall/Redfield, Arkansas. Annual Pearce Family Christmas Wrapping Paper Projectile Extravaganza + smart-alecky protracted famdambily game of Loaded Questions --> best Christmas in 25 years. Back to Boston on December 31 to enjoy Polar Bear Plunge in Boston Harbor on January 1, 2008 (FABULOUS).

Books read in 2007

(in rough backwards chronological order)

The Freedom Writers: The Freedom Writers Diary

Carolyn J. Rasmus: Simplify

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: The Unknown Errors of Our Lives

Stephen Crane: The Red Badge of Courage

Jhumpa Lahiri: The Namesake

James Hilton: Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Sandra Cisneros: The House on Mango Street

Laura Shapiro: Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950's America

Paulo Coelho: The Alchemist

Frank McCourt: Teacher Man

Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag: British and American short stories

Paulo Coelho: The Devil and Miss Prym

Paulo Coelho: Veronika Decides to Die (FABULOUS)

J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Zadie Smith: On Beauty

Roman Schatz: From Finland With Love (the English version)

Bill Bryson: Mother Tongue

Thomas Hardy: The Return of the Native

C.S. Lewis: Mere Christianity (yes, again)

William Makepeace Thackeray: Vanity Fair

C.S. Lewis: The Great Divorce (yes, again)

Clare Boylan: Emma Brown

Wallace Stegner: Angle of Repose (again)

Simon Winchester: The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary

C.S. Lewis: The Screwtape Letters (yes, again)

Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice

Stephen E. Robinson: Following Christ

Bradley Trevor Greive: The Meaning of Life

James L. Ferrell: The Peacegiver 

James Collier and Chris Collier: My Brother Sam Is Dead

Books read - pre-2007