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Showing posts from November, 2008

Pretty Woman, Anyone?

I was recently given a belated birthday gift by a retired professor in my department. Actually, I wasn't given it--I have to go retrieve it. "It" is a designer top of my choosing from an upscale ladies boutique that I've never heard of, nor have had any reason to know of, as it probably does not cater to my mainstream fashion and discount shopping sensibilities. When he told me of his intended gift while in my office one day, he encouraged me to go to this store, and told me its whereabouts, and pick out a nice top--any top I wanted, regardless of price--and just tell the clerk that he was paying for it. When I tried to refuse such a kind gift, he became very stern and repeated, "please, please." With such mannerly insistence, how could I then decline the offer? So I accepted, and agreed to go to the boutique and pick out a top of my liking regardless of price and tell the salesperson, "it's on Dr. So-and-so." When I pictured myself doing…

Walking for a Cause and Walking Away

This past weekend I participated for the second year in the American Heart Association's Start! Heart Walk 2008-09, Tampa Bay. I joined my department's team of six walkers (three of whom raised money)--pretty measly considering how large the Department of English is at USF. I was able to drag in my friend Taylor to walk and talk with me for three miles on a Saturday morning. We arrived at the Raymond James Stadium with time to spare, so we began a hunt for free coffee, which seemed at first an attainable goal. We went from corporate tent to corporate tent, spotting the big green coffee decanters brought to the event for the sole purpose of caffeinating early morning walkers, but being turned away a couple of times because we were not actually part of that corporation's team, or because we were not VIP heart walkers--whatever that meant. Taylor persisted, though, and after conversing in her friendly and unassuming way with the guard of the VIP line, we were told we could…

My Golden Year

An observant friend told me that this year is my golden year, since it is my 28th year and my birthday is on the 28th day of the month. I can find little reason to believe otherwise, as this has been one of the most special and memorable birthdays to date.

The celebration began with a family dinner at Acropolis Greek Tavern in Ybor City, honoring a trio of birthdays: Dad's, Anna's, and mine. In everyone's thoughts, as well, was Aunt Bonnie, whose birthday was the 24th. As such gatherings have become more infrequent in my adult years, I find that they have come to epitomize the true joys in life. Amidst the belly dancing, the food-igniting, the loud band-playing, and the napkin showers (they literally throw packages of perfectly good napkins all over the restaurant in random celebration), I will remember with fondness the genuine delight in simply sharing each other's company, even (and especially) if it required ineffective cross-talking and awkward seat-hopping in …