And then it rained. It rained for so long and so hard for one full day that I did not leave my apt. I laid in bed & drank coffee & read two books and felt a joy beyond imagining. I love rain so much. Then the sun came out the next day & I decided not to act like I was in the seventh circle of hell.
One of my volunteer gigs was at the local food bank warehouse. I was on a crew with the IT department of the Whole Foods flagship store here. Our job was to take giant triwalls (they call them "tubs") of baby diapers and feminine hygiene products and separate them into 10 lb. boxes & stack them on pallets. We got a little assembly line going and the IT girls were giggling as the men looked shell shocked trying to discern all the different types of fh supplies. The food bank get donations of tons of this stuff from stores & individuals. The stores can't sell any package that is torn, so about half our products were torn and this one macho guy's job was taping up all the torn packages of maxi-pads, tampons, and panti-liners. He humbly & caringly taped every little tear, and the girls were taking photos of them with their cell phones. This one guy was holding up a triangular box with a perplexed look & went over to inspect & it was a box of panti-liners for thongs. Even us girls are overwhelmed by the ridiculous amount of choices of these products, so we got a kick out of seeing all these guys handle all this stuff so graciously. Another part of the shift I had to package baby diapers with this 17 year old boy. I was as confused by the diapers as the men were about the thong liners with wings, and there was a point where we realized we'd screwed up our tasking as we'd been told to write the weight on the packages (the boxes were torn so we packed them in their cellophane wraps) & we had been writing the weight of the box and not the weight of the CHILD the diapers were intended for. I've spent about 3 minutes of my 48 years around infants so I didn't think anything when the packages rolled by me all saying "5" or "3" on them...so our team leader came by & said, no "it's the weight of the BABY you write!", so we spent about 10 minutes trying to find that information on the box. Sheesh! (all along I'm thinking, where's the giant "tubs" of birth control people!) Then we had to do adult diapers. I tried to make a joke that we'd covered the human secretion needs from infancy to decrepitude in our shift, but no one laughed, as my crass humor is not universally appreciated. I had so much fun at the food bank I decided to volunteer at the Reggae Festival Saturday night. I stood & took thousands of peoples money as they poured into the show. I got a free t-shirt out of the deal, then buzzed home to meet a childhood friend who took me to an avant-garde theatre piece late night. It was called Tennebrism, and was a two person show about Jesus, Joy Division, and Caravaggio. Local avant garde theatre always makes me love living here so much, that I realize I have to live in a city that has culture. Aside from the reggae festival (which I can hear from my apt right now!), and all the music & theatre, the Hot Rod show was in town too...there is just always so much going on here.
I also saw two great movies this week: "Adventureland" and the Swedish film "Everlasting Moments." I've never seen a bad Swedish film, and this one had the enveloping gorgeousness of say "The Best Intentions," that incredible film about the relationship between Ingmar Bergman's parents. I also saw one terrible flick (Observe & Report) and one mediocre one "State of Play." Every time I went to the movies this past week my intention was to see "Gomorrah," but no one wants to see it, and when I went by myself to see it today, the projector was broken...hmmm...
So, I figured out a way to make life in Austin not only bearable but enjoyable: do volunteer work, and stop complaining. Seems like I'd have a lot to do as I have a 5 week trip to Europe coming up, but travel is so easy now there's really nothing to do. I bought the tours, the airline tix, some of the hotel rooms...and the rest I'll just wing. I will also be visiting the Motherland: Scandinavia. Yes, I have recently discovered that Kendall, my last name, is a Viking name (Kindahl), which then became Kendal (an ancient English name) when the Swedes settled in the Lakes District of England (WAY before 1066) where the town bearing my surname is located. I plan to visit this town on my way to Helsinki. So, keep reading, exciting stuff is coming I promise!