Expatriot Act

The university of these days is a collection of books.

22 August 2006

The Great Day Off

So much to write about, and really no time at all to do it! (I'm writing this while eating my lunch in about 15 minutes, and I might end up having to stay late today too which is a total bummer.) Anyway I had a great, productive weekend but I'll mostly just talk about Monday, which was a real honest-to-goodness vacation day (instead of a vacation day that I take to go to Pittsburgh and sit in class for hours on end)! It was perfect.

Woke up in the morning, bopped around the house with my cup of coffee and made plans to meet Scott at the Starbucks near the Free Library. Brought my knitting and had a decaf version of my signature $-bucks drink-- grande iced coconut soy latte-- and knit until Scott arrived. We went to the third floor of the library which is really secluded and pretty and rang the bell for the rare book room, which they opened after a few moments. We were met by a charming gentleman librarian who asked us about ourselves before our tour, and we discovered he's friends with the librarian with whom Scott team-taught at Masterman. This little nugget (and the fact that I'm a library student) gave us access to more works than the usual tour which was great!

O the things we saw and learned! Egyptian scrolls on papyrus! How to guild paper! Renaissance illuminated text! Illusionary artwork on the edge of paintings that only appear when you bend the book slightly (easier to explain what that is in person but it was awesome!) a miniature copy of the Magna Carta from 1315 with a thick wood binding with actual bookworm holes in it! The first folio of the works of Shakespeare! The dead stuffed raven, once a pet of Charles Dickens, that inspired the Poe work! I wanted to move into the Elkins room, it was my dream study. Our guide was wonderful and we all chatted back and forth, and Scott and I left beaming from ear to ear.

We grabbed some lunch at Whole Foods and went back to the Book Corner, where I hoped I'd find Ulysses for the reading group I'm joining. I didn't, but I found so many other wonderful things. They had sections of books that were all first editions, sections that were all about Philadelphia or printed there, sections with only rare books, sections with all signed copies. And with everything 40% off, Scott and I both made out like bandits. He got a ton of old literary journals and a 1st edition copy I found of a Robert Frost book of poems. I got a beautiful 1930 "art type edition" of Wuthering Heights, Alexandre Dumas' Celebrated Crimes which was printed in 1895 by the Rittenhouse Press of Philadelphia, a 1st edition copy of Lazarus by Andre Malraux, and a 1st edition collection of Benjamin Franklin's autobiographical writings. Horray!

Next we met back at Scott's and made Christian's hilarious concept birthday cake, but I'll write about that after I load the pictures. Then a bunch of us went to Abysinnia for Ethopian food, I used to live near there and hadn't had it in a while, I cleaned my plate! Went home and knit and watched the first part of Spike Lee's documentary on Hurricane Katrina, it was really very good, will watch the rest tonight. My goal is to finish the sweater before I start school on Monday.

OK that took too long to write, way too much to do, but I'm so happy I had such a productive, awesome day off.


Blogger Stefanie said...

Hooray for days off! Can you BELIEVE school starts again next week? Yikes!

Also- enjoy NYC this weekend. It's glorious this time of year!

1:51 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I know, it's crazy school's starting already. I feel like I'm working on all of these things, racing up to the first day of school, because I know once school starts again I'll never get anything done ever again! Still on my list:

Finish the sweater I'm knitting (should happen! Yay!)
Finish cataloguing my books (don't know if I can manage that)
Laundry (I better!)

3:48 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I actually found an 8 vol. set of Celebrated Crimes in a Nashville junk shop. It was published by Colliers, though and it's missing vol.1 and some little kid (I'm assuming) drew all over 2 and 3.

Don't want to even think about school. I hope you both enjoy the last few days!

4:24 PM  

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