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This is one of

Women drumming in Nanjing
This is one of the pictures that I look at and can instantly hear everything that was going on.
I was walking through Nanjing, and just stumbled upon this group of women (being lead by a man with cymbals) who were doing this... drumming thing. I'm sure there's some lovely name for it, but I don't know it. It's all very earthy, I guess. They were all in red, and had red and green scarves tied to their drumsticks. They would walk forward and backwards, turn and spin, and drum in these very... set pieces? Not out of control or anything like that, obviously in time to a particular beat.
Damn it, I can hear it in my head, but I can't describe it.
I stood and watched them for half an hour, and they kept smiling at me. (It seemed they were smiling at me specifically, but that could just be my vanity.) It was so... entrancing. I think I would have stayed until they were done practicing (it's hard to say why I thought they were practicing and not performing), but I had only a bit of time to get someplace else.
I stumbled on another group when I was in Suzhou. They were much smaller, and obviously performing. (I think the difference was in what they were wearing.) It was subtly different, and I didn't enjoy it as much as these women in Nanjing.
God, I wanted to describe this in such vivid words, and I can't find them.
See Also:
man leading the drummingwomen drumming

I am blessed, simply blessed in my friends.
Always have been, I just sometimes forget.
First, I got this great email today.
I have a collection of books that rivals at least one library that I've been to. It's huge. It's every book that I bought for school, it's every paperback novel, every hardcover, I've ever owned, it's several things I've "borrowed" from my ex-boyfriends and never returned, it's huge. It's several bookshelves, stacked and crowded and stuffed, it's several more boxes, it's insane.
It's way too much considering I haven't touched some of them in years.
It's so hard to get rid of them, though. I mean, they're books! Books! (I went to a friend's place with Barry once, to feed her cat, and the only comment he made about the entire place was "How can one person live with so few books?") And it's not that I don't love every one, even the bad historical romances that I haven't read since I was 12. (But I have to keep that one, it was the first one I read! And that one, because I like the picture, and that one, because I think the story is really well done, and I actually have read it some time in the past five years. See? It has a transit ticket *from Edmonton* in it.)
It's atrocious, isn't it? I mean, I have no room for them, I'm drowning in stuff, and I can't really appreciate it properly anyway. Which is something a friend pointed out to me recently. "Give them to someone who will love them, Anna, cuz you don't."
(I ramble, have you noticed?)
I tried selling them to the used bookstore, but some of them they won't take because they have too many of them, and the rest they were going to give me a pittance for, and it just didn't seem worth it for such heart ache, you know? I hate getting rid of books. I'd rather donate them or give them away then get 1.50$ for 5 books.
So, I got this email from my friend Margery today, who put in the middle: One thing I wondered, if you would consider. I belong to a group that needs some books to send to a very poor school in India. They are learning to speak English and need a small library. Simple children's books right on up to adult literature is needed. Would you consider giving some to this cause?
YAY! Exactly what I was looking for. Thus, I am getting rid of stuff that I don't really need, and giving to a good cause, and I feel better about myself because I'll have less stuff, and will have accomplished something this week.
Second, I'm attempting to budget, too, because my lack of organizing in my house is reflected in my inability to handle money. And it's not like I spend it all on big screen t.v.s or ice cream or something, I just fritter it away on things, or spend it on my friends. It's awful, and totally Anna, and something I'm trying to work on by getting help with a friend for budgeting. We had a conversation that went like this:
Him: Okay, we've got your food budget, your bills, your student loans worked out... what else is a set expense every month?
Me: Postcards.
Him: ....
Me: No, seriously.
Him: Okay. ... How much do we put down for postcards every month?
Me: Um.... 20$, I think, should do it. Maybe 25$.
Him: On postcards.
Me: Yes.
Him: Every month.
Me: Yes.
Him: Okay. (adds note).
I like friends who just kinda blindly accept that sort of thing from me.
(Which reminds me... I'm looking for postcards from Places That Are Not Edmonton as part of my postcard project. If you have some that you're willing to let me send to other people, I'd really appeciate them. I can definately send you postcards back. If you're interested, please drop me an email. I just got some in the mail the other day from Germany. Yay!)

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