Summer... oh, sweet summer.

Man, this summer is turning me, and my world, on our heads. I, who usually starts on research pretty earlier in the semester for papers, have not even settled on topics for my two papers I have to write about Cuba. If you know me at all, you know that I am the complete opposite of a procrastinator; I don't even remember the last time I didn't have a paper done a good five days in advance to its due date. But I have been feeling that summer laziness, where I'd rather sit and daydream on my porch in the middle of the night, and watch foreign movies on Netflix Instant, rather than focus on writing or scholarly stuff. (And I can actually pay full attention to a movie, with free time like this!) I'm feeling like this is going to be the summer of papers written the day before they're due. Oh, Lordy. I can see it coming. I have also started in on priming my whole apartment, which I painted in its near entirety last summer, when I anticipated staying here for two years at least. Rent increases have made that impossible, and I am fully feeling the pain right now, in the time it takes to return these walls to white. I've decided that my energy and determination to paint a new space is directly related to whether or not I have recently had to paint a room, since last summer I didn't have to repaint anything when I moved out of my previous townhouse. This summer, I am taking a much simpler approach to my new apartment: beige walls, no work required. I'll take my mom's advice: just cover it with so much art, it feels like home anyway. Perfection.

Maybe the most indicative hint that it is summer (and the most fun) is the vast increase in alcohol intake compared to my regular, super busy semester life. Spending two weeks in Cuba, where the mojitos are the same price as a bottle of water (and you got to have something with lunch, right?) certainly helped kick that off right away. Since I've been back though, I have had time to visit lots of friends, and have taken a new approach to dinner: why not have a beer with that? In fact, why not just have beer for dinner instead?

Only working, and not having class, has been truly joyful. Relaxing. Only ONE thing to focus on in my life. Is this how real people live? It's so much fun!

I've also been absolutely obsessed, all of a sudden, with M.I.A. and Dengue Fever, two artists I've long known, but they are seriously hitting the spot right now. Exactly my mood. A bit rebellious, no?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HeNduXM-fk[/youtube]

Did I say, also, that since I'm moving, I am really excited about shaking up the way all my stuff is arranged, and in further simplifying my space. Might get rid of a bunch of stuff. Might put the bookshelves in the dining room. Maybe put my art/fabric/inspiration board right out in the living room. Why not?

I pretty much just want to pay homage to summer:

to having a tan and wearing a skirt to show it off,

to last year's dirty, broken-in flip flops,

to pleasure reading (YES!),

to no make-up,

to keeping the frig stocked with good beer,

to the pool,

and cook-outs,

to margaritas with great friends,

to MOVING (even though it's a lot of work),

to less stress in the classroom (and if you're really lucky, no class at all--jealous),

to the windows down!,

and the heat suffocating you (I do kind of love Georgia heat the way it does that),

to sweating so much at my job, I don't feel guilty about not going to the gym,

and to spending too much time watching TV shows.

Among other things.

Jessie's pensieve: @ start of summer

In an effort to compile several small things that are on my mind, this will serve as small list of blog-worthy things happening now, that maybe work better when merely mentioned, and not stretched out for content's sake (and therefore, in the danger zone "boring." This is more of a personal blog than I usually have or like, but I really want to jot down the things going on right now, and love updating my site. The solution is that you get to read my thoughts in bullet-point format. Ashley and I have found a place to live. This is relieving and exciting; the downside is that now I must wait two more months until I can mount this huge item on the "to do" list. I am itching to start packing boxes. At the same time, I'm not quite ready to enter that phase of interminable chaos yet. Once I start, it will be messy and unorganized, and I like that even less. So, it remains on the list.

Got a new phone! My sleek, shiny, skinny new Nokia Intrigue is like a new friend that I like immediately.

Reading now: Who Owns History, but Eric Foner, for my Themes in History class. The whole subject of the book is interesting to me, and is something I've talked about before-- historical context. The book deals with questions about whose histories are included in "history," and how the groups being included has been so fundamentally rearranged in the last half century. "Historical interpretation both reflects and helps to shape current politics," the author says. Perspective can largely change the entire story. He discusses the vast span separating how academics approach history versus the public, and the relationship between them. This will be a feast for me, as context is possibly my favorite debate within historical theory, and history as a practice. Good stuff.

Hosted my first baby shower. Almost one month ago, I played co-hostess for my friend Brandie's baby shower. Brandie has been my roommate for the last three years, and this will mark a new era in our life. But simply said, the baby shower was a lot of work and even more fun, when it was all said and done. It felt nice at the end of the day to think of what we accomplished, pulling it off. I'm not naturally attracted to the idea of  hosting events, so I was surprised how much I really did enjoy the experience. Considering it was on a college budget, it came out lovely and ran smoothly. It is a small something that is part of a much larger ordeal, but I was honored to participate in one little piece.

MAKING MY FIRST QUILT! I will have to post pictures later on this summer, but I am making my first large-size quilt as a Christmas present for Ben. The design is pretty advanced, and I had to create the pattern myself, based on a picture of the quilt in one of my Mom's Masterclass quilting books. Ben picked out the design, and it is modern and graphic. It is an excellent learning experience, as each square seems to bring new quilting techniques my way. My Mom is my mentor and helper, really giving me the confidence to see it come to fruition-- it would have already been a scrapped project were it not for her.

Summer classes have begun. Ben is feeling really good about his, and I am very much going to enjoy mine. My professor is funny and a new perspective to learn from, and my classmates and the material we will be covering are going to provide thought-provoking classes (not to mention more blogs on history and new discoveries I make).

Don't forget, I want thoughts and questions about Guo Jingming, the young Chinese author who is the subject of my previous blog. What do you make of him?

A great summer is abreast. Hehe.