Archive for May, 2008

My last day

Good day today.  We had a little goodbye party, I got rid of my old suitcase, and I spent another night with InterVarsity at UofL.  I don’t want to go into details now, because I need to get to bed.  Maybe later.  (Or maybe not.  Yeah, I know I keep promising to go back and finish old blog entries and never follow through.  I’m sorry.)

On one of my first few days at KRM, somebody asked me how many days I was going to be there, and I answered, “56?”  This was based on the assumption that I was going to be there for eight seven-day weeks.  It actually turns out to be more accurate than I thought.  Today is actually the 52nd day I’ve been in Louisville (counting April 9th, the day I landed here, as the first).  If I were leaving on June 5 as originally planned, that would be day #58.  Even so, I only actually worked in the office for 36 of those 52 days; I didn’t work on the 9th, and all the remaining days were weekend days, plus one national holiday.


May 30, 2008 at 11:11 pm Leave a comment

A day of celebrations

I did several good things on my second-to-last day at KRM.  I helped sort and bag sheets in the morning (a job I really like, I’ve realized), and then Lee and Rodolfo took me out to lunch at a nice restaurant on the next block, to thank me for all my work.  I had a smoked salmon sandwich and tomato artichoke soup, which were delicious.  Rodolfo gave me a lapel pin in the shape of one of the Nazca line drawings in South America (the one of a spider).

I spent a while in the computer lab, but there was no one there by the time I got there (about 15 minutes after my official start time, because I’d been out at lunch).  In the afternoon, I collected a few more e-mail addresses for local churches, and sent out a mass e-mail inviting people to the next Lunch and Learn.  Finally – this was the best part – I completed the next seven 90- and 180-day progress reports that needed to be completed in the Cuban-Haitian office.  I’m glad I could help with that.

I had leftover pasta and some green beans for dinner tonight, then went to my last young adult Eucharist, and hangout time at O’Shea’s.  Since the group was saying goodbye to both me and another member, Cortney, our priest and group leader bought us all drinks, which was very nice of her.  I had a really good time out there, and I now have still more nice friends.

May 29, 2008 at 11:00 pm Leave a comment

Last day of choir rehearsal

Quick blog post, because I’m up too late again and should really go to bed. Today was another good day.  I went on another errand with a client to an office, and helped put together another folder full of forms in the Cuban-Haitian office.  In the evening, I had a good time at my last St. Matthew’s choir rehearsal.  A number of people expressed how much they’d appreciated having me there.

May 28, 2008 at 11:56 pm Leave a comment

A very busy Tuesday, or, Savvy Pirate’s Dinner 3.0!

Lee is back from her vacation! We wanted to catch up on work matters today, but we were only partially successful, because there was so much other exciting stuff to do. First, Dalay invited me to come with her to the L&N building. That’s the state office building where they handle such social services as food stamps. Dalay had set up an appointment for several of her clients, and invited me so that I could see it and experience another part of the process, and so that I could go into the office with one of the clients to hand in his paperwork. My services as an interpreter were not strictly necessary, since the client already speaks English well. The building itself was entirely devoid of decoration or cheer, and reminded me very strongly of my ward office in Japan.

Since the client I was helping finished his appointment first, he and I took the bus back to the office. Then I had lunch, and then I served my hour in the computer lab. In the afternoon, Lee and I ended up going to the warehouse. I had never been to the warehouse before, and I was glad to finally get a mental image of it. We were there to let some repairmen in to fix one of the doors, which are like the one at my parents’ house, only much bigger. I brought a notepad and pen, hoping to finally get a truly accurate inventory of all the donated furniture we have, but this proved to be futile. You can walk in there, but nothing is completely organized by type. There are little pockets of mattresses, chairs, etc. all over the room. I didn’t try to count anything. Instead, Lee and I looked through the room, found all the sheets and blankets we could (we’re running low at our houseware-donation-sorting center in our office basement), loaded them into the car, and put them in the basement when we got back to the office. We were at the warehouse for about an hour, and boy, was it hot, and humid. I was very tired when we were done unloading.

I spent the last hour of the day wrapping up the daily scheduling duties. We have to have one of our guys work on Friday again this week, unfortunately, because there’s an apartment that needs to be set up, but it can’t be done on Wednesday because they’re cleaning and painting it that day. (It’s easier to schedule the setup for Friday than to cancel all the plans I already made for Thursday.)

When I got home, I rested a bit, then went out to the Mid-City Mall to see if the thrift store was open. It wasn’t; it’s only open from 10-5. Too bad. I went to the grocery store instead, to get breakfast for Saturday and the ingredients for…

Yes, that’s right. It’s the Savvy Pirate’s Dinner, Version 3.0! Arrrrr! 😀

Those of you who were reading my blog in its previous incarnation, last year, may remember that while I was in Japan, I got the crazy idea to make a pirate-themed dinner. I liked it so much that I did it twice. The previous two versions are detailed at the top of this page (June 2), and about halfway down this page (July 16).

I decided to make this dinner tonight for the following reasons: I like making it when I get the chance to cook for myself, tonight’s the last night I’ll have much leisure to cook for myself, and I wanted to celebrate my going home and the almost-one-year anniversary of the first version of this dinner.

Version notes for this version:

-I love that we have plates with sailboats on them in this house. It adds to the theme.

-The rum Coca-Cola remains, but no mango juice this time. You just don’t come across it as often in the U.S.

-The fruit salad is back to the original, lime-free recipe, and much better off that way.

-Since we didn’t have any crackers in the house and I didn’t want to buy any just before leaving, I decided to use bread instead. That thing in the upper right corner of the plate is the result of putting a slice of Kraft American cheese on a heel of bread and toasting the whole thing in a toaster oven. The cheese failed to melt as I had hoped, and it wasn’t very good.

-Bacon this time, instead of those other pork strips from Japan. I actually liked it better with the pork strips, especially when I cooked them with garlic and onions.

-For the rice dish, I used a packet of Zatarain’s red beans and rice. This actually turned out to be the best part of the meal. I liked it a lot better than the white rice with peas.

May 27, 2008 at 10:09 pm Leave a comment

Memorial Day

Today, I took the ticket I’d received from Jane last night downtown and exchanged it for a black wristband, which let me into the Beatles tribute festival that’s been going on since last Thursday night. It was a fun way to spend part of an afternoon.

The final day of Abbey Road on the River was definitely more lightly attended than I’d seen it on Saturday, probably because it was the last day and because it was cloudy and rain kept sprinkling on the festivities on and off. It was still festive, though. The park area at the top of 5th Street, overlooking the river, was fenced off and filled with banners, three stages, and county-fair-style food booths. I had a hot dog and a soda for lunch while enjoying covers of ’60s songs, only a few of which were actually Beatles songs. According to the schedule, the last day was specifically dedicated to songs from the years 1967-69, not to any one band. I was a little disappointed, but I still had fun for the two and a half hours or so I was there.

I came home, rested for a few minutes, and then went out with Marion and the boys to go shopping and then go to the family barbecue. I didn’t shop for anything for myself (we went to Target), but I enjoyed the barbecue. Did you know that hamburgers can be good with English muffins as the buns? Neither did I, until this afternoon.

I’ve had a very productive night. I’ve written four segments for the Deadpan Podcast (and recorded one), written and sent out a mass update email, and finally gone back and written a blog entry for two Saturdays ago, May 17th. I’m planning to call it a night right after I add to my novel.

May 26, 2008 at 10:50 pm Leave a comment

A Sunday full of good things

This morning, I went to church at St. Matthew’s Episcopal for the last time.  I wasn’t sad about it, at the time.  The service was very nice, as usual, and the music we performed was lovely.  Afterwards, I spoke to Mary Jane Cherry, who I only just realized today is also a parishioner there.  She’s the editor-in-chief of the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky’s newsletter, and I had communicated with her via phone and e-mail on numerous occasions to help her cover KRM’s Lunch and Learn event, and my internship, in the newsetter, but we’d never met in person before today.  It was nice to meet her and connect.

We had lunch at home, and then Marion let me take the car to Target to get a new suitcase.  My new one is a little better than the one I brought here. I spent the rest of the afternoon at home, mostly relaxing, but also working on my resume.  I got it sent off to a friend who had offered to read it for me and give me feedback.

After dinner, I drove out again to the local community theater, to see a play called Donde Hubo Fuego… Culpables Quedan (Where There Was Fire… The Guilty Ones Remain). One of my officemates, a guy named Cuiman, was acting in it, and had invited me and another coworker, Shelley, with whom I sat.  I know the play doesn’t sound like it would be a comedy, but it was, and it was very funny.  The plot was as follows: There was a party to celebrate Maria and Manuel’s fortieth anniversary, during which several innocent remarks were misinterpreted as gossip.  Just as the party was deteriorating into mass confusion, a small fire broke out.  The next day, Mr. Jacinto, the manager of the building where the party was held, hired a crazy, hilariously overblown detective to figure out which of the guests was responsible.  Any one of them could have been, but it turned out that it was just an electrical fire caused by a short circuit.  While the case was being solved, the other women who had been at the party gave Susan a makeover and some encouragement, which led to her and Mr. Jacinto confessing their love for each other.  (Cuiman played another guest, Lazaro.)  There was lots of funny stage business and lots of laughs.  Oh, yeah, and the entire play was in Spanish.  It was hard to follow, but at least I got all of the above.  It was a very fun night out, and I’m glad I went.

On my way home, I went by Jane’s (Marion’s sister’s) house to pick up a ticket for Abbey Road on the River that she had decided not to use.  Abbey Road on the River is a Beatles tribute music festival going on right now.  I’m going sometime tomorrow, and I’m really excited.

May 25, 2008 at 11:32 pm Leave a comment

Saturday night at the movies

I slept late this morning, because I’d stayed up so late the previous night.  After a shower and breakfast, I decided to spend the day downtown again, seeing more of the sights.

Here in Louisville, every Memorial Day weekend, we have a big festival featuring Beatles tribute bands, called Abbey Road on the River.  I got close enough to hear the music, but I didn’t go in, because I didn’t want to spend $25 on a concert ticket.  I went to the Frazier International History Museum instead.  I personally didn’t find it all that interesting, because it’s essentially a big display of weapons.  I nonetheless managed to spend over two and a half hours there.  It’s a very well-designed museum that draws you deeper and deeper into its interior.  I once had a dream about an art museum where the visitor’s path through the displays was pre-determined by harnesses attached via ropes to a track in the ceiling.  Today’s experience caused me to reflect, “Who needs ropes when you can have displays and arrangements of walls that subtly but effectively suggest which way you’re supposed to go?”

When I came back home from that, Marion invited me to go to dinner and a movie with her, the boys, one of their friends, and some of our neighbors, a total of eight people.  We walked to the Mid-City Mall, where we ate a good dinner at an Asian buffet restaurant, and then saw the newest Indiana Jones movie.  It was all right.  All I wanted was a fun adventure, and that’s what I got.

May 24, 2008 at 11:18 pm Leave a comment

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