Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Guest Appearance

Despite having not one but three spring breaks last year, I wasn't prepared, this year, for the idea of a mid-semester vacation--what? there's no classes next week? really?--so I failed to make plans for any exciting trips to Cancun, or Miami, or Laguna Beach, or wherever the kids go to drink and take off their clothes nowadays.

(Me, I don't need to travel for that: a few weeks ago I could be found at a bar in Berkeley, at a friend's bachelor party, sipping ginger beer and playing strip pictionary, all the way down to my tank top. That's right: I lead a wild, wild life.)

Luckily, not everyone failed to make exciting travel plans for spring break, and so I got to play hostess, one of my very favorite pastimes in the whole world. I am serious: nothing makes me happier, with the possible exception of peanut butter M&Ms, than having house guests to take care of. First, the week before spring break, Hot Jeff, an old friend from Writing Fellows at BYU, came into town, on his way to Yosemite, and spent a few days with me, exploring the wonderful world of California weather, Berkeley institute classes, Vietnamese sandwiches, living rooms posing as bedrooms, Code Pink protests, and camping snacks from Trader Joe's. The visit wasn't all that eventful--especially considering that the last time we spent more than a few hours together was in India, touring around Delhi and Agra--but it was delightful nonetheless, especially considering it also included a visit from Sarah, my hero. Jeff, don't let's wait so long in between visits again, okay? You're welcome in California anytime.

I had no time at all to mourn my guestless loneliness, thank goodness, in between when Jeff left for Yosemite and when Tolkien Boy and Ginsberg descended on me, ostensibly for the PCA conference, but, in the end, mostly for general hanging out and San Francisco fun, as none of us ended up presenting at the conference. And so we spent several glorious days goofing off: exploring the city, watching a rugby game, eating Vietnamese sandwiches, celebrating Easter with a picnic, playing Anagrams, and holding a special meeting of FOB East Bay along with thmazing and Lady Steed.

(Full disclosure: I do not write. Ever. But I am not a total dead weight on the writing group, since, in my role as official FOB mascot, I provided breakfast and entertained the baby, while occasionally interjecting things like, "Wow, the grammar of that last sentence was very interesting!")

(Fuller disclosure: playing with the baby is not an official mascot duty, but a pleasure. How could I resist the cutest baby ever? This kid makes my uterus hungry. It's frightening.)

By the time my week playing hostess ended, I was too tired to invent last-minute big plans, and so I spent the rest of the break on another, less beloved game: playing adult. I went to jury duty, cleaned my apartment, did my taxes, went running, read articles about Australian languages, helped a friend weed her garden, did my laundry, did my Visiting Teaching, helped tutor members of the Chinese branch in English, ate Vietnamese sandwiches, and basically pretended to be competent and responsible. The most entertaining day of the latter half of my break was the day I rode BART back and forth, for no reason and with no destination, while doing my morphology reading. (I work well on public transportation, as it turns out, mainly because I have nothing to do but work. Well, that and chat with people like the Austrian retiree who sat next to me on the way to Fremont.)

And now I'm back in school, once again adding the role of "diligent student" to my successful run as "responsible adult." But what I really want to play, as always, is "enthusiastic hostess," so let me take this opportunity to encourage all and sundry to come visit me. The sun is always shining, there is always space for an air mattress, Vietnamese sandwiches are always delicious, and I will always be happy to see you, feed you, and spend lots of money on you. Think about it.


Booker Bean said...

oh dear, i can't believe you still call him hot jeff. that's awesome.

Petra said...

Well, it makes sense, seeing as how a. he's still hot and b. I'm also still friends with Not Jeff. No need to change a nickname that works, I say.

Pinto said...

shooo'(t), I'm SO there.

mmm...and sometimes, when I'm bored, I try and make that nasal glottal stop (orrrrr something) noise that you did at Trident Books.


Th. said...


I wouldn't go so far as to say dead weight.

Your handkiss idea was very good, in fact.

And you should come see that baby again. This time with less parental supervision.

Mr. Fob said...

If Large S disappears mysteriously, I'm sending the police this blog post as justification for a warrant to search your uterus.

Lady Steed said...

Large S is even cuter when his fingers aren't in his mouth.

We aren't taking advantage of you and your desire to steal our cute baby enough.