Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Project o’ Projects (or, I Wasn’t on the Project-Based Team in Junior High School for Nothing!)

Brace yourself. I have decided to embark on a project of projects, that’s right: every week, indefinitely, I will complete a project of some sort—the only requirements being that it take more than one day, that it add some sort of beauty or happiness to the world (or at least to my world, hah), and hopefully that it have some sort of tangible result. So, excepting today, I will announce the projects on Sunday night and post before and after pictures, or something of the sort.

This week’s project is not really awesome to anyone but myself, but I’ve taken it upon myself to paint my room, put up new curtains, hang my pictures rather than tape them up, etc. I already soaped and rinsed the walls and painted the first coat, during which I listened to an obscene number of CD’s from start to finish (boy is this time-consuming!) and acquired a splitting headache from inhaling paint fumes for hours on end. But I like the smell of fresh paint, it’s such a clean, springy, new-beginnings kind of smell. And I like such an excuse to listen to CD after CD for hours on end, so I’m a happy camper.

This is going to be a great thing. Anyone else interested in taking part in the project o’ projects (I think I shall give it a special name, hmm) can let me know, and you can use my ideas or do things of your own. Imagine if everyone in the world did a useful, happiness-inducing project every week!—what a world we’d have.

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

No segue here: salamander hunt!

I had a delightful time two nights ago. A friend of mine, her family, and father-son duo Jerry and Christian (in kindergarten!), my family, and I got together for a barbecue and yep, you guessed it, a salamander hunt. I don’t know if this is something exclusive to New Englanders, or to people in Massachusetts, or maybe just to us O’Briens, but when I was little my parents would bring me and my siblings out to the woods one evening in spring, flashlights in tow, to overturn rocks around vernal pools and generally muddy areas to see if we could find any salamanders. This was, for a little sprite such as myself, probably one of the highlights of the year; so we decided to pass the tradition on to Jerry and little Christian.

Since it had been so many years since I’d been on a fer-real salamander hunt, I was worried that I’d maybe be a little rusty. After dinner, at about 8:30, the whole gang of us set off walking to the conservatory land near my house; when we got there, we rolled up our pants and got down and dirty with those rocks and leaves, all of us searching pretty intensely because we so wanted Christian to find one, that excited little peach. So you can imagine our excitement when Christian’s dad Jerry was finally the one to find a salamander (“he is brown so I will name him Brownie,” Christian declared) and little Christian, cute cute as a button (right Shakeer?), came around to show Brownie to all of us before he let him go back into the vernal pool.

It was delightfully absurd, all of us—ranging from ages 5 to 55—on our knees in the dirt, shining flashlights under rocks and exclaiming joyfully when we found any life at all (“Look Christian, a centipede!”). When I have kids I want to do things like that with them all the time. I loved it.

Also, I watched A Love Song for Bobby Long last night. (Movie review in five short sentences:) I liked it. I got a little teary at one part. Scarlett Johansson’s dresses were pretty. All those books made me happy. Best quote quoted in it: “Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length,” Robert Frost.


Blogger Shakeer said...

Little smile. On his face.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous oki said...

i like having projects, but I lack the organization, and have probably ten going on at once!

6:22 PM  
Blogger T.C. said...

I'm not very organized either, but projects are the best! And this way they're not too big...

(P.S. Oh David Byrne, how I love you.)

9:02 PM  
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