Saturday, March 22, 2008

More sharp.

Brunhilde and I have finally managed to make peace, so in order to remind myself to PAY ATTENTION, I was forced to stab myself in the finger with a seam ripper hard enough to draw blood. Which I promptly dripped on the haversack I was attempting to machine darn: the ripping was necessary because I had darned the bag closed. The good news is that canvas (actual cotton, honest to period canvas) is blood resistant, so it came out with a minimum of scrubbing and some not-period ZAP! or BAM! or whatever the hell the latest shouty product is. I didn't actually bleed that much, but I think I'm going to keep a Band-aid on my finger from now on, JUST IN CASE THIS TURNS OUT TO BE A RECURRING THEME.

I am very glad that my first week is over. In some ways it has been harder than I thought, in some ways, easier. No one expects me to work overtime. They expect me to work hard, but if I'm not out the door by four-thirty, people ask me if I noticed the clock. The walk back to my little house is like stepping through a decompression chamber, so by the time I'm home I'm relaxed and ready for some dinner. Because of the non-kitchen situation, I've been eating a lot of salads and veggies, so my body is super-happy with the sun and the exercise and the salads. And no one thinks it's weird that I like history. Yesterday I mentioned how I needed to meet people, and all my coworkers promptly told me that I should go to the period dances at the courthouse--dances put on for the "guests" but which the interpreters attend to learn the minuet. "And," one authoritive voice said, "if you meet any of the apprentices you think you'd like to date, tell us his name and we'll tell you if you should stay away or not."

I am a little discouraged--although no one has made me feel like I'm not doing well, I feel like I should be doing better. I guess I'm my own worst critic. But I like my job, I like living here, and I want to do well so I can stay here.

Yesterday, walking home from work I saw a man on a horse riding down the street and I thought, "hey, that looks just like the twelve-inch, fully articulated figure of George Washington I bought off of eBay, except he doesn't have his blue Commander-in-Chief's sash on." Then I realised he WAS supposed to be George Washington. So I took my earbuds out of my ears, just in time to hear some punk red-haired twelve year old squeak out something idiotic about "What's so bad about being an English colony anyway?!" To which Washington replied "Well, the child's an Anglophile, there's nothing you can do about that," to the agog parents. I think the kids have a better time here than the parents do: you can rent clothes, so you'll see kids running around in skirts and breeches, clutching toy rifles with orange tips, tricorn hats and occasionally chasing after hoops. It's like Disneyworld where you sort of dimly "know" that Mickey is a man in a mouse costume--you realise that the people here are interpreters, but once they start talking to you, you're totally willing to enter into the belief that the 21st century stops at the door. (Even if the boys track team from William and Mary occasionally runs down the street, neatly dodging piles of road apples left by the horses) I stopped to watch the Fife & Drum Corps march yesterday, after they fired off the cannon, and saw an Indian family walking down the street, stopping to consult a map they let their fourteen month old son wander around, and his grin was enough to infect all the tired guests sitting to rest their feet. Something you surely didn't see on the El.

Today's plan includes finally tackling the bus system and doing laundry. The Junior Fife & Drum Corps are marching at one...I might have to stop by and watch.


Greta said...

It's actually good luck if a costumer bleeds on a costume... don't ask me who thought up this macabre superstition, but that's what I've been told!

Jack Bunny said...

I'm with greta on this. Bleeding on a costume IS good luck.

It sounds like you are having a wonderful time. You make me envious.


Bil said...

Nicki, I must apologize, I'm afraid I haven't been keeping up with most other people's blogs, and that includes yours. And it's been a long time. But I'm catching up...

Anyway, here's my point: I had absolutely no clue you would be working in Colonial Williamsburg! That's really quite cool, and very fitting somehow. Last I remember, you were making your way towards Mississippi for some reason.

Let the world know next time you're in Chicago, there are plenty of people here who will buy you a drink.

Laura said...

Glad to hear you´re doing ok. I´m thinking about you often and wishing you were enjoying a thermal bath with me in Budapest. I wish I could keep up with the blog more, but I´ll be giving you a call as soon as I can. Hang in there it will get better and I´m so proud of you. I´m sure this place will suit you and you will be good for it.

Jack Bunny said...

Happy Easter, Nicki! Was just thinking of you, and wanted you to know.