Thursday, July 30, 2009

Time for a Change

I have a new blog posting, but friends, it is time to convert. I have been back in the States for 8 months, so I really should move on from the “carmen-in-zambia” blog site. The new address:

Tales from an American Vicar


An appropriate title I think...

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What up Queens?

Unequivocally, a cool day. Yesterday my friend Kekla and I snooped around Long Island City in Queens to seriously expand our cultural awareness. There is a building complex beside the subway line just as you emerge from beneath ground on the 7 train into Queens that is full of beautiful graffiti. I have always been curious about the place, so I recruited a companion and headed there with my camera yesterday. A row of rather unfriendly looking men sat in lawn chairs along a paint-laden concrete wall just outside the building and until we got a nod from a gentleman at the end of the line, I thought perhaps Kekla and I were going to get booted out of the place. As it turns out, a guy named "Meres" had a vision for this public art space years ago and it attracts artists from all over the world. Artists who prove themselves worthy are given a wall where they can paint anything they want for free. The better the art, the longer it stays. Meres, donning a stylish fedora hat and wearing paint smudged jeans, was the one that gave us the head nod to enter his fascinating maze of colorful tributes to life and art and crumbling fame and fortune.

We talked to a tall, lanky Irish kid who fidgeted with excitement as he stood before his palette, preparing for his second attempt at creating something worthy of attention. I was expecting him to tell us that his work was "subversive" or a "critique on modern social ills" or something like that. But instead he told us that his graffiti is about "becoming famous. I want people to know my name." So much for subversion.

We then headed to PS1, a modern art space that hosts a block party every Saturday. The space is beautiful and fascinating and worthy of a visit. Dark sun glasses bobbed rhythmically to the house music being spun in the courtyard while white wine and beer sloshed in the hands of pretty, sleek 30-somethings.

There were some interesting, interactive media exhibitions that Kekla and I had fun playing with.
All in all, a good Saturday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My sister is having a baby...

... any day now. I am thrilled. Pleased as punch. I love my two darling nephews and now we are adding a girl to the bunch.

But, procreation is something I struggle to wrap my mind around.

Clearly I get it, biologically. But this whole procreation thing is a miracle. An everyday miracle that people I know and love have achieved. One good friend meets another good friend. They fall in love and voila, 9 months later, a tiny, unique individual comes into the world. Two people become three.

The math does not add up: 1 + 1 = 3 (or sometimes 4).


Lots of things make me want to burst into tears. If society would allow it, I'd probably be a blubbering mess most days because the world can be so stinking beautiful. I walked past a dry cleaners that had this sign hanging in the window:

Redemption is all around my friends. All around us.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I got nothing

I am in a blogging slump.

And it isn't because my life feels particularly boring.

My life has been interesting since returning to New York: seeing old friends from high school, going to dinner with fabulous people, playing softball on warm summer Sunday evenings (my team is really nice to me despite the fact that I am a disaster on the field), went to the opera in Central Park and watched a movie under the stars and the Brooklyn Bridge last week. Visited friends in Princeton and followed the "bridge and tunnel people" back to New York on a Saturday night (I have never seen so many pairs of five-inch heals in my life). Had a lovely time with my friend Tracy who was visiting from Chad (yes, THE Chad. THE Chad where less than 1% of the population has access to electricity and was deemed the most corrupt country in the world a few years ago), and got to talk to Cheryl, my dear friend from Zambia on the phone the other night.

So, what is wrong with me? Plagued by fantastic experiences and plagued by writer's block.

Maybe it is because life feels jumbled. You ever feel like this? Jumbled. Mixed-up. A little unclear. Fabulous and simultaneously a little un-fabulous.

I have just two more months left in New York and although there are two viable job opportunities on the table, I still feel a little .... mmmm.... jumbled.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Post-Vacation Flu

Does this ever happen to you? Just when your body begins to relax-- WHAM-- sick. I just got home from vacation, which was fabuloso, but now, here I sit in my underwear (the air conditioning hasn't kicked in yet), box of tissues in hand trying to figure out if I am hot or cold. I am breathing like an 80 year-old smoker on oxygen.

I just popped in a cough drop and am looking at pics from the last two weeks as Allison Krauss and her blue-grass band serenades me. My life is pretty darn great. Went camping with my fam over the weekend, went to the Oregon Coast, ate ice cream at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, swam with my nephews, built sand castles, stayed up late reading novels, saw whales in Depot Bay, went to the aquarium, worked out in the garden with my sister, ate halibut that just might be the best fish in the world, and laughed at countless hilarious things my nephews said and did.

I love vacation.

Right before I left this morning Tyson was strolling the "Practice Baby" around the house. My sister cleverly put a doll in a car-seat to prepare the boys for a baby sister, but the boys pile toys on her and "pretend she is a boy."

I am happily sunburned and refreshed after 2 weeks away from the craziness of New York City. Gonna go crawl into my cozy bed and hopefully sleep like the dead. I'm bringing the kleenex box to bed with me.