I am not, in fact, dead. I have been in VAP City over fall break; I went there with a vague idea that I might go to the art museum and maybe the theater, but ended up doing nothing so cultural. I wandered around a lot and gawped at architecture (for verily, VAP City has amazing architecture), and took the bus here and there, and went to a street festival and some bookstores and petted the bookstore cat, and had mini-doughnuts and hot cider with a slug of rum at the farmer's market. You know, city things. I miss those. Oh, and I went to the zoo, because that's always fun. Here are some zoo pics.
I needed to get away, if only for a few days; I think I will continue to need to get away at least once a semester, and for a couple of months in the summer, until I retire and can move wherever I like. It is becoming increasingly clear that I am not a small-town girl by nature. This is an unpleasant surprise, because I'd gone through the first thirty-two years of my life assuming I was the sort of person who could live contentedly almost anywhere, and now it turns out that I'm not, and I'm not sure what to do with that particular piece of self-knowledge. Oh well. Have a baby elephant.
(And no, I'm not applying for jobs in less remote locations; this is more of a vague sort of funk that I don't actually do anything about, the same way I feel vaguely blue about the prospect of never marrying and having children, yet I can't bring myself to put up a profile on one of those online dating sites, even though this would be the most logical course of action under the circumstances. I suck at Life Planning, I think.)