The sun is shining today, which means that for the first time since my arrival, it’s NOT snowing. The glare off the snow is blinding. (I remember that glare!)

Tomorrow I head back home. While I love my folks, I’m glad to head back–starting to miss my cat. (Fortunately the UP is too cold for ninjas. Even the hardiest prefer to overwinter farther south. The ninja migrations are one of nature’s grandest spectacles, or would be if they weren’t so damn sneaky.*) And my shower. (They have a lovely claw-foot tub, but no shower.) It’s been awhile since I shared one bathroom with three other people, one of them an 8-year-old male with perfunctory knocking skills.

I also find that I miss my apartment, which is…probably not odd, now that I think of it. Having devoted considerable time and energy to constructing my ecosphere (or geekosphere, as my buddy Alan used to call it) it’s probably no wonder. A friend of mine claims that the somewhat neurotic nesting instinct following a breakup has something to do with having control–I think there’s truth to that, but it’s only half the story. There’s also a large element of personal identity involved. Breakups shake one’s sense of identity, and for some of us we throw ourselves into nesting and redecorating in order to define ourselves–I am the sort of person who lives here. So it’s probably no surprise that I find myself longing for the familiar landscape of my living room.

Plus I haven’t shot a zombie or ripped the wings off a harpy in DAYS. (All this non-violent childrearing stuff is for the birds…) And my mother’s tastes in movies tends to the dramatic, artistic, and tragic. We watched “Doctor Zhivago” yesterday. Afterwards, Tom and I were badly glazed from Russian epic overdose. “Here!” said Mom, waving a video. “Let’s watch this one next! It’s French!”

We eyed her warily. “Is it…happy?”

She considered. “It’s beautiful…”

Tom and I exchanged glances. “I think I have a copy of Mad Max somewhere,” he whispered. “My hero!” I cried.

Still, it’s been a great trip. Mom showed me a silkscreen technique that I can’t wait to try (great, ANOTHER medium I wanna fool with…) which I can probably do on my kitchen floor and which uses water-soluble pastel-crayon thingies. I am awash with ideas. My brain is scream “ARTARTARTART!” If I were at home, I’d be breaking into the art supply store with a crowbar.

I have consoled myself with a couple of Little Creature pen and ink pieces, probably from my recent Gorey exposure. And my mother took about a hundred photos of me yesterday–a gallery requested some figurative work–so I wandered around the house trying not to smirk. (I ALWAYS smirk in photos.) I fear to see what might come out of it. “Girl in Red Dress, Looking Bored.” “Girl in Red Dress, Looking Vague.” “Girl in Red Dress, Smirking Involuntarily.” Wandering around a house in Calumet in mid-winter, barefoot in a short-sleeved dress, ain’t warm, but I owe the universe modeling karma, ever since a dear friend back in college posed for me, in high summer in Minnesota, in 90% humidity, wearing PVC pants. Greater love hath no woman.

Everything would not remotely fit in the suitcase. I am mailing two boxes back home. I have acquired a handmade quilt (my stepfather actually did a bunch of the quilting, to my continuing awe) a WWII kimono, a small library of books on bread and print making, enough weird soap to scrub myself raw for the next six months, the loon decoy, and many other random objects.

And now, Tom is making something called a “dutch baby” for breakfast, which I view with either fear or anticipation, I’m not sure which.

*They can occasionally be attracted to feeders, however. Leave out sushi and small, elegant bowls of green tea. The Common Ninja is the most likely visitor, but in some areas, the Greater Spotted Ninja can be spotted lurking in the foliage near feeding stations.

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