Back In The Land of the Living

The end of the two-week spring break has finally arrived, and I’m back on my couch in Boston, trying to convince my internal clock that this east-coast digital display blinking 2 a.m. is for real. It was an interesting “break”… we saw a lot of people I missed ferociously, did practically no schoolwork, got a little stressed, and decided again that California is where it’s at, while eating tacos in the sun.

Then I spent the entire plane ride today reading this book:

It’s completely re-charged my battery in a way that no break could have.* Stories of other people pushing past the silly boundaries of ordinary American life and creating change in ways no one had ever been imaginative enough to propose before…they just shake up my core and make me feel like these ideas I have are worth pursuing. Check it out if you want to inject some fist-pumping inspiration back into your everyday life.

*Oh, and I bought it for three dollars at a used bookstore in Long Beach. Correct, THREE. And the bookstore was attached to a coffee shop where I procured a coffee drink containing hemp milk. And a music shop that sold vinyl. That should all just speak for itself.

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Accidentally Awesome

Sometimes a day that you think is going to be kind of a drag turns out to be the best thing since sliced bread. (Sliced tomatoes? I don’t know. Something grain-free). Exhibit A: Today. We had to get fingerprinted by the police because the California Bar exam nonsense was due, which meant trekking out to a part of Cambridge we never visit. In the rain. Lame, right?

But then it all just got crazy awesome. The guy doing the prints was incredibly nice, even when he had to re-roll every single print literally six or seven times because…I don’t know, I’m secretly a Man In Black? According to James the Harvard Police Detective, I have “the worst fingerprints ever,” and “Your husband just raced right through this. Best fingerprints I’ve ever seen. Rolled them all himself! You should call him Ace!” I was dying. This man alone would’ve made my day.

After bidding adieu to James, I called M to see where he was. He had found a hide-out in this fantastic little coffee shop right across the street. It was exactly like a place we went frequently during the random 4 weeks we lived in Santa Monica (in a haunted house…don’t ask), complete with individual coffee press and free Intellectual Magazines so that Monsieur could enjoy his beverage in the finest possible environment.

We were super hungry at that point (finger-rolling is exhausting) but the rain had broken into a completely open, gorgeous sky, and so we walked to this fantastic Portuguese place in Inman Square called “Casa Portugal.” Spontaneous lunch dates with your husband are pretty fun, especially when he totally engages with you in a debate about the benefits of French v. American parenting styles despite the fact that bebes are totally hypothetical creatures at this point. (I really want to read this book!) The absolute best thing about this place is their dessert, “natas du ceo” (quite truthfully translated as “cream from Heaven”). With these tiny espressos, you could pretty much be in Europe, and I am in everlasting, committed, tend-you-when-you’re-ill type love with any place that gives you that feeling.

And then. On the way back to the square to mail the Bar Bizness, we happened to pass a used bookstore (aka the kind of place that should be all over Harvard Square, but it only has the Gap because the rent is too high and all the independent businesses get shunted to Central). I ran in just wanting to look for a second, but then it was the BEST used bookstore ever, because everything was in amazing condition and five dollars. And instead of housing tons of Pliny the Elder and other books you should want to read but just don’t, it was full of everything I had been stalking on the Kindle. M caught my bug, and we walked out of there with quite a haul.

There’s something about being around books that seriously quickens my pulse. I love everything about them: the way they smell, the cover illustrations, the weight of a stack in my arms. On the walk back to the Square, we talked about all the books we’d loved when we were little (The Giver! The Phantom Tollbooth!)…..or rather, I rambled on and on about them until he laughed and said, “Our kids are going to be pretty well-read, aren’t they?”

Yeah, they probably won’t have much of a choice about that one. But as much as I want tiny bookworms with whom I can read in the park, I really want kids just like M: always open and ready for the kind of random fun the world has to offer.