A Mississippienne in Yankeeland
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
I'm writing you now from the library at the Americorps campus in D.C. We drove in today after a very long and boring lecture on Leadership, and are now shacked up in borrowed rooms (mine is said to be haunted). The D.C. campus is an old nursing home that was bought and renovated by Americorps, and boy, can you tell. There's something very "college dorm" about this place that makes our Perry Point houses seem posh in comparison.

Whah! It's only been a few hours and I'm already homesick! I want California and Andrea and Lior and Joshue and Gabe and Ayesha and everyone else. Whah!

Sunday, March 28, 2004
We did an ISP at Jentry-McDonald again today, and dropped off some cups and a vacuum cleaner while we were at it. My team is really loving this place.

Tonight, me and some friends piled up in someone's front yard and gabbed, stared at the stars, and spooned. It was (in order) Lior, me, Ayesha, Joshue, Ambly, and Gabe. Joshue told us all about his experiences in Afghanistan when he was in the army, and claimed the best way to warm hands is to stick them in your crotch.

Me: Ooooh, is that what they call it now!
Joshue: Yeah, in fact, I think I'll do it now.
Gabe: Whew, you know what lies beneath.

Friday, March 26, 2004
Just got back from Service Learning, during which we helped clean up a local park in Baltimore. At last count, we found 3 syringes, 2 bags of weed, dozens of bottles, and were hit up for money by one pan-handler.

Sasha and I have agreed to run away together to some island paradise if Americorps gets too hard. "We won't need men!" she declared. "We'll have each other!"

Thursday, March 25, 2004
Baltimore is kinda trashy. Granted, all big cities are kinda trashy (c.f. New Orleans, which reminds me of nothing so much as a jolly pockmarked whore who stinks of piss and cheap sex) but Baltimore is just tra-SHAY.

The other day while riding shotgun in our van, Bessie (Sasha was driving), the car in front of us slammed on its brakes, forcing us to come to a jerky, sudden stop. Sasha curses the driver before us and says, "That was a close one! He almost killed us."

"Yeah," I replied, "I was worried that prostitute would try to climb in the van."

"What did you say?" Sasha says, completely confused. I explained that we had stopped right in front of a local hooker flaunting her (*ahem*) wares on the street corner. The whole time we were sitting there I was thinking, Great, this skank is gonna come up to my window, and I'm going to have to deal with her!

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Yesterday was a blast! I arrived at Union Station and met up with John Quah, and we went on a grand tour of D.C. We got lost trying to find the Capitol and wandered in the back way through a parking lot. Afterwards we went down and checked out the Reflecting Pool, then onto the Smithsonian.

While touring the museum, we saw this sign that said "Library", so we went wandering down this hall looking for it. A man came busting out of a back room, yelled "What are you doing here?!". Turns out we had inadvertantly broken into the Smithsonian's archives! After we got kicked out, we took more photos and visited the National Gallery of Art. The cherry blossoms were beautiful, and it was a breezy, chilly 42 degrees.

From there it was on to the Washington Monument, which was HUGE, way bigger than I imagined. John took a picture of me in front of it flashing the Peace Sign and then we moved onto the Lincoln Memorial, where I got another photo with Ol' Abe. I was very disappointed that the reflecting pool featured in "Forest Gump" was empty, though! From there we toured the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial and had lunch at this little restaurant (I had a Thai dish called tom kha that has mushrooms and chunks of shrimp and chicken in cocoa sauce).

Finally we arrived at the White House and I was half-tempted to march in, flash my Americorps logo, and say, "I need to see the Boss," just to see how far I could get in with my government ID before they kicked me out. It was getting late, so we high-tailed it back to Union Station and I rode back into Perryville at 8:45. Yay me!

Exhausted, utterly. Will post more later.

Sunday, March 21, 2004
Just got back in from working at the Jentry-McDonald House for foster kids. We played with the children, cooked breakfast, and scrubbed the place from floor to ceiling. The little girls tried to braid my hair, only to announce that such a task was impossible. Chris wanted to smuggle out a five-year-old in his bookbag, but ultimately we had to leave the kidbits behind.

If all goes well tomorrow, I should be in D.C. visiting with my friend John Quah. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 19, 2004
Today was madcap. I awoke, broke my mirror, and we worked with Urban Youth Corps, a volunteer program for Baltimore's teenagers. We planted trees, shoveled dirt, built little stone walls, and I played hand-clap games with Sasha, Rose, and one of the UYC girls. We did some CAPing, too, recruiting UYC folks to Americorps, and then drove home. I arrived to find a big whopping package from my mother. She sent lots of clothes, my roller-blades, and my Preacher comics. Mommy loves me!

Talked to Arriana today, I might be going to Chicago this summer. Yay!

Thursday, March 18, 2004
So, wow. It's been awhile. I kept writing entries, but they never appeared...hopefully, whatever the glitch was with Blogspot, it's fixed now. It snowed two days ago, I was awaken by California's cry of "Oh, it's snowing!" and Carrie's rather unimpressed response. Midwesterners, bah. I've still not adjusted to this odd phenomenon of frozen water that falls from the sky.

Speaking of adjustments, I come from the Deep South, where we deep-fry every bite that passes between our lips. Upon arriving in Americorps, I found myself rooming with several girls who actually love soy, granola, and hummus (which, until recently, I thought was some sort of sexual act). Confession time: I have become a total granola fiend. I love the stuff.

Yesterday was St. Paddy's Day, and while we were out shopping, Chris insisted on finding a radio station that played Irish fiddle music. We cranked up the radio and everyone got out and danced in the snow. Go us!

Me and Jaque were watching "Ranma 1/2" and laughing over the translated lyrics to the theme song. Lyrics are like poetry, it's lost in the translation. We got to talking about how bizarre English lyrics probably look in other languages, and came up with our English to Japanese to English version of the Highlander theme song lyrics, by Queen:

Here we are, born to be kings,
We're the princes of the universe.

Emperors we are, coming we do
The universe we do rule.

Here we belong, fighting to survive
In a world with the darkest powers.

Belonging we are, surviving by fighting we do
This world is black.

And here we are, we're the princes of the universe
Here we belong, fighting for survival
We've come to be the rulers of your world.

Emperors we are, coming we do,
Belonging we are, surviving by fighting we do,
We shall rule you.

I am immortal, I have inside me blood of kings.
I have no rival, no man can be my equal
Take me to the future of your world.

Dying I never shall, rivers of emperor's blood flows within me,
Equaled, I never shall be,
I demand your planet's future.


Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Testing... testing...

Okay. So this blog has been acting funny lately. Hopefully I'll work out the kinks soon. It's been pretty quiet here lately as well, nothing but taxes, laundry, taxes, shopping, taxes, playing on the computer, and more taxes. Thrilling.

Thursday, March 11, 2004
On Monday me and the team went on an ISP to Bellevue, a mansion that used to be owned by the Dupont family but is now maintained by the Delaware State Parks comission. Marcos took pictures of me and Sasha in front of the mansion and of me, Sasha, and Rose posing on this little minature train.

Tonight was Potluck night (theme: Mexican) and me and my friend Andrea improvised some "Spanish" rice. Turned out surprisingly well after we dumped taco seasoning, chili, italian spices, thyme, and lots of garlic into it.

Taxes are mind-numblingly boring. On upside, I got to talk to some of my old friends from Mississippi (hi Judy!) and on Sunday my team is partying in Baltimore for Sasha's birthday. Go us!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004
Today me, Sasha and Jaque did outreach, which basically consisted of walking up to Lexington Market, talking to some people at a bus stop, and buying donuts. Me and Jaque talked about the city -- we both agreed that Baltimore smells like a hot glue gun. Jackson smelled like concrete and mud, and Jaque said Bakersfield (her home town) smells like oranges. According to Marcos, Oakland (his home town) smells like marijuana. Hah!

While waiting outside the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers building, Sasha and Jaque and I saw a very handsome man smoking a cigarette. "Such a shame," I said. "I can think of much better uses for that mouth."

Baltimore is incredible. At night it has this golden glow, wow. I just can't even believe I'm here sometimes, in a place I never thought I'd live, with people I never thought I'd know.

I think doing taxes is driving my team insane. Yesterday me and Rose took two pens, wrapped them in rubber-bands, and made little capes and dresses for them out of paper. We named them "Mr. T. Pen" (the superhero who can leap over tall Nalgene bottles in a single bound) and "Ms. Balti More" (his girlfriend who is revealed to be his identical twin brother, B. Pen, in disguise!). Yeah, we're definitely losing it.

Monday, March 01, 2004
Today I got muchly done! Mailed lots of letters, got a phone card in the mail from my mother, then walked with my teamies Jaque and Chris to get ice cream. Afterwards, me and Jaque walked 2 miles to an outlet mall where we got some jewelry, then ate dinner at Denny's. Came home, rocked the house at foozball and got kissed on the neck by my friend Adam. Spiffy!

Btw, bought brand-new pair of courderoy pants yesterday at Good Will for $3.15. Go me!

Tonight at the gamehouse there was one of those MTv "The Fabulous Life of... Hugh Hefner" things on. Josue from Pimp House looked at the Playboy Mansion and declared, "I wish I was a beautiful white woman so I could go live there."

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