THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #139

LOVE:

Return to My Favorite Places:

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My wallet is weeping, reader, and my savings account is glaring at me. You see, dear reader, I have spent tremendous amounts of money planning my summer vacation. It’s all right, though. When I am traveling is the only time I feel alive, so it is well worth every penny. I finally finished my travel plans and have everything confirmed except for one train journey, and I can’t wait. I’m going back to all my favorite places! I’ll be in Paris for three weeks, and it is going to be glorious. I’ll sip mint tea and eat poppy seed baguettes. I’ll walk along the river and revisit my cat’s illegal internment in Père Lachaise. I may even grab the train down to Nice for the day and see Madame Betty. Then Jessica and I will be spending a few days in Brighton, that gorgeous English village we discovered two years ago on the English Channel. Oh that will be marvelous. Then after Jessica jets off to America, I am going to see Nefertiti’s bust in Berlin and see if I can manage to use any of the German I have been teaching myself for two years. After Germany, I’m off for a lengthy vacation from my vacation by settling in for a little over a week in Turin, Italy. I fell so in love with that under-appreciated city last year. I will get to know the streets, sip good vermouth, wander several times through the Museo Egizio, visit palaces, and eat my body’s weight in focaccia. I am most excited for that, I think. I am absolutely obsessed with focaccia and haven’t been able to recreate it at home. Then, for the last part of my trip, I’m off for my glorious return to Egypt! It has been calling me back since my trip in 2014, and I know that I would have to return a million times before I die. I’m spending two weeks in Luxor at the five-star Winter Palace hotel. It’s so cheap, reader. And nobody’s visiting Egypt right now. I’ll have Luxor Temple to myself! It’s going to be 110 degrees, but I don’t give two bothers. I’ll have fine dinners each night, I’ll mingle with expats and locals, I’ll ride camels through the desert, I’ll take a ballon over the valleys, and I shall have the time of my life pretending I’m the love child of Amelia Peabody and Indiana Jones. It is going to be a wonderful summer. Prepare yourself for a plethora of overly elegant and sensationalized blog posts!

Spring’s Arrival:

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The weather is shit today; it’s raining and there’s thunder and lightning. Bit of hail last night, too. Even though it was gross and basically the setting of a murder mystery, I didn’t care because it was so damn nice. The temperatures were higher, some humidity had returned, and my soul was reborn. I gave no bothers about my responsibilities because it was nice enough for a picnic. I’m such a better person when the weather is beautiful. And it was particularly beautiful because we have lived through four months of subzero blizzard conditions. Winter is dumb. Spring is bae. Now I’m itching to get outside and garden. I hate exercise, but I want to go pick up sticks. I’m inspired (for the millionth time) to start my secret formal garden in the old chicken yard. Whenever it’s done, it’ll be flawless. Picture it reader: boxwood alleys, Grecian sculpture, a fountain, benches, flowering plants, soft lighting, one of those rocks that masquerades as a speaker, and a wooden door that seals it all off from the rest of my estate. Oh, how gorgeous it will someday be. I just have to do a ridiculous amount of work to make it happen. The stinging nettle always beats me to it, and so I will continue to dream and sigh whimsically, but I’m so much happier than before.

Middle Egyptian by James Allen:

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As you all know, ancient Egypt is the longtime love of my life. It’s been a constant part of my world since I was a child, and aside from a few years when it was on the back burner, Egypt has always been at the forefront of my mind. My passion for this dead culture was turned into a complete obsession by my visit in 2014. As I walked through Luxor Temple and down the corridor to the burial chamber of Merenptah, I hated that I couldn’t read the hieroglyphs. I could transliterate them into letters. I’ve been able to that since I was in fifth grade, but that doesn’t mean that I could read them. I could only scratch my chin knowledgeably at crumbling ruins. I had to get better, so I bought a bunch of books on the ancient Egyptian language. I’ve slowly gotten better. I made a dumb decision, though, by choosing Sir Alan Gardiner’s book as my first source. Turns out that it is rather antiquated and there are better ways to learn this dead language. I finally procured a copy of a newer textbook used by professionals, amateurs, and students, and I can already tell it’s s better system. It is presented like a real language to learn; it is no different learning verb tenses in ancient Egyptian than it is in French, and that is something I can easily wrap my mind around. This summer, when I make my leisurely and glorious return to Egypt, I will read more than a few words, I shall read temples.

Only Lovers Left Alive:

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live life as Tilda Swinton? I’ve thought this for years and years, even though I don’t often watch her movies. I appreciate her more as an art piece than an actress, but that is not to say that I don’t think she’s fabulous, because I do. I have long wanted her hair, and I have long dreamed of sleeping in a glass box in an art museum. Well, not really, but wouldn’t that be a treat? Another thing that I enjoy is vampires. I liked them long before the nonsensical Twilight-inspired resurgence. I was reading Dracula in middle school. That was back in the olden days when we had Stoker and Annd Rice. I love the concept of living forever and looking beautiful. It’s really my only aspiration in life. I was delighted when I discovered that there was a Tilda Swinton movie about being a vampire. Perfect for me. I was even more rapturous when I popped the disc in and saw the film started in Morocco. I spent an uncomfortable night in a Moroccan airport several years ago starving to death. There is nowhere worse in the world than an airport after midnight. As you all know, the Middle East has always called to me. It is intensely familiar though I’ve only spent ten days of my life in Egypt. The sound of Arabic rings in my ears like poetry; it’s melancholy and beautiful, and I’m sure that is why it speaks to me. That and because I have no doubt that I have spent many past lives in this part of the world. Anyway…Tilda Swinton lives as a vampire in Tangiers, and it is lovely. But then they go to Detroit…and it isn’t so lovely, but she is still a vampire. Tilda’s lover is a suicidal, musician vampire played by Tom Hiddleston. I have never understood why a vampire would be depressed. You get to live forever and get rid of nasty people while collecting their money! Fits me down to the ground. This is a topic I have long considered since I write a series of books about three immortal siblings, though they don’t need blood to survive. One is like me, loves life and wants to do everything, much like Tilda’s character. Another one is like Tom’s character and finds eternal life endlessly depressing. I’m rambling now. It wasn’t that great of a movie, but it was beautiful. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it unless you love vampires or Tilda.

HATE:

Essay Procrastination:

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I am a writer as much as I am a human, a reverend, an heiress, and a soon-to-be Egyptologist. Writing defines who I am, and it is the medium in which I have chosen to present my life. With words and sentences, I’ve discovered that I have the ability to transport to different times and places. I’ve always loved crafting phrases, and it first dawned on me that I could interweave my passions for ancient Egypt, travel, Paris, and myself with writing when I was sitting in the ballroom of the Winter Palace in Luxor a couple years ago. I could write reams of fiction, I could ramble on interminably about my thoughts and ideas, but when I have to write a simple essay for college, I find myself uninspired and irritated. It’s a problem, but then again, higher education is nothing but an expensive chore. I shan’t begin that conversation now. This week, I have had to write two papers. Neither of them required me to be particularly thoughtful, nor were they very long. I whipped the things out in a couple hours, but the problem is my chronic procrastination. I just can’t seem to get anything done ahead of time.

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Inevitably, I’m working up to the last minute. I turned both of those papers in about ten minutes before they were due. I was somewhat ashamed, but also a bit, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I know that they are fine, but they aren’t as good as they could be, but still, whatever. I need to find a way to waste less time. Is there a book about procrastination. As I’ve said before, several times since it amuses me, I have a book on the topic in my Amazon wish list, but I keep putting off ordering it. It’s a real problem. I think of how much better my life could be if I just did what I needed to do. I have had picture rails to put in my office for about half a year, and I just finally put them up this weekend. They look nice, and it only took ten minutes to do. Why did I wait so long? Why don’t I just write my essays a few days before they’re due instead of a few hours? Maybe I will go and visit a hypnotherapist? That would be an excellent way to waste some more time!

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