Queer The Weekend

It is currently spring break for students at Georgetown. Some of my thesis-writing friends and I have thus retired to a cabin in Virginia to focus our minds, bond with our books and get a lot of new words down in the woods.
The cabin is a cute little thing, filled with every possible necessity, a sweet handful of harmless bugs, and a myriad of food items.

Jack, Julie, Lakshmi and I (The Queer Collective) have decided to name our adventure “Queer the Weekend”. We’ve so far been here since Saturday evening, we’ve cooked two complete meals, made one impromptu trip to the local WalMart, played in a hot tub and reconciled ourselves with having considerably less cell phone service than we’re used to. We’ve also made s’mores, and Coke floats.

However, the driving purpose of the weekend is to work. Thesis is the order of the day, much of the time has been spent in long quiet stretches, writing. Alternatively, walking aimlessly from room to room describing our ideas to each other. We set little goals each day and valiantly attempt to complete them. I bustle around cleaning in a compulsive way, and make sure the doors are locked before falling asleep about 4 times, things are very normal.

Yesterday it rained all day long, which was really quiet and lovely, we got to experience rain and hot tub simultaneously. Today the sun came out, and Julie and Pixel went exploring. Tomorrow, I expect we’ll foray into further sandwich pyrotechnics (Jack + Colva + Frying Pan.) and probably go back into town, as it’s a way to get out, and we’re woefully low on marshmallows.

It really is wonderful here. I feel as if I could stay for weeks, and when the time comes to pack up our little car, I expect to be quite saddened. Just being an environment where we’re able to get away from distractions, and away from the chaos of “real life” is an amazing break. It’s also amazing to be around people who are really good at what they do and be able to work together. There’s almost no coordination required, somehow we just seem to work together.

Also, Charlie Sheen and his ubiquitous hashtags are providing a welcome framework on which to identify our successes. #winning, #tigersblood and #planbetter are the order of the day.


The Question of Snownership

And in the face of snowpocalypse, here is something light…

There is a lot of snow around Washington D.C. today, epic piles of it. There has been snow around, in varying quantities since before Christmas, actually. I really like snow, I am fascinated by it because I didn’t grow up with it. Every time I see it, it’s an exciting adventure. I also like to play with it. Now, I don’t mean throwing or building massive sculptures – just sort of push it around a bit, touch it, eat it, mould it into little chunks – the way people who are fascinated by snow are prone to do.

Now as I understand it, people play with snow local to them. Like one’s children go out into the local park, or one’s garden and play in snow. So if you have a house, with a garden the snow that falls on the garden is your snow, for you to play with, just as the snow that falls on your drive is yours to shovel. Similarly, if I lived in an apartment with a balcony I would assume that the snow on my balcony was mine. I used to think that living in an apartment I had less snow to my name, perhaps just the snow that fell on my car – because I own the car, so surely I own that snow. When I was an undergrad the snow that fell around my building at Mason was snow I had the right to play with.

I now live in an apartment block, behind a public building and my car lives in a garage. As I see it there is no snow for me.

So, I have been pondering what snow I can play with:

It is acceptable to play with the snow on other people’s cars, or in their gardens? If you were a car owner or homeowner and you came out one morning and found the snow atop your vehicle had been tampered with, would you feel violated? Similarly, if the snow in your front garden was disgruntled from play, would you feel something had been taken from you, the chance to muss your own snow up as you shuffle to your buried mailbox? I know I would.

Similarly, there is a space for walking dogs in my building complex, but I do not have a dog. Am I allowed to play with that snow, or will I seem like I’m waiting to steal someone’s terrier?

So, I think the snow I am allowed to play with is either National Snow, the snow that has fallen on the monuments or the Mall in Washington, or the snow at Georgetown (but even that’s a stretch because I’m not living on campus – but I pay tuition, surely that buys me some snow!) And both of these places are quite far away from where I live, there’s basically no snow in Virginia for me! I’ve been borrowing people’s snow! Playing with snow at Katharine’s house or at Paul’s house and asking stupidly, “may I play with this snow?”

Right now, I have to satisfy myself with the little bit of snow that has become trapped between my screen and my windows.