Sunday, August 24, 2008

Have and Haven't

I've been wanting to post about this list I've seen hither and yon in the blogosphere--all sorts of weird things you've either done or you haven't.  A few of the items gave me pause--for instance, have you said you loved someone and meant it? I mean, come on, at least you said it to your dad or nanny or an aunt or something, or to Mr. Rogers when you were four.  If you're an adult and haven't once in your life said "I love you" and meant it, well, let me come right out and say what we're all thinking: you, sir or madam, are a sociopath.

Another item was "held someone while they had a flashback."  Hmmm...were they a war veteran, or an LSD veteran? I mean, what? Can I count squeezing my own head when the walls started to breathe courtesy of an unfortunate incident when I was 16? No? Well, then, nope, can't say I have.  

Anyway, I went through the list and dutifully boldfaced all the things I'd done, and then I polled Sgt. Pepper to see what he had and hadn't done.  The results got me reminiscing, and also considering how different we are in some fundamental ways.  Also, it reminded me how cool my husband is.  Here are the highlights:

Sgt. Pepper and I visited Paris together (hardly the first time for him), and because he is fluent in French, I was squired around in style.  Very romantic, a happy memory.  We have both hugged a tree, seen the Northern Lights (together from our dock in the Adirondacks, lighting up the enormous bowl  of the sky on a chilly late-summer night), grown and eaten our own vegetables, watched a meteor shower.  We have both milked a cow, and Sarge has held a lamb, although he has also killed and prepared an animal for eating, an activity to which I myself cannot lay claim.  Unless you count squashing a bug, rolling it around, and popping it into my mouth, which I'm sure I did at least once as a toddler.

We have both kissed on a first date, although funnily enough not on our own first date with each other.  For that one, we drove around late into the night listening to cassettes, smoking, and bitching about our exes.  Also sneaking side-long glances at each other, which of course led to the second-"date" smooch.

We have both read the Iliad, although only I in its original Greek.  Funnily, Sarge is the only one of the two of us who can keep the characters straight.  I always tell him that I was too busy worrying about Homeric Greek grammar to pay attention to plot...yeah, yeah, says he.

We've both been a DJ.  We each of us had a show on our college radio station, before we knew each other.  Mine was classical music.  It was on at 6 am in the morning, and my Greek professor was the only one who listened to it.

Sarge has been in a combat zone.  I haven't, unless you count Brooklyn Cosco on a Sunday morning, badum bum.  OY, what a crappy joke.  

We've both buried a parent, and I've put someone I loved in hospice care.

I've caused a car accident, dyed my hair (most memorably, Ziggy Stardust orange in tenth grade), and broken a bone.

Sarge, that lovely man, has seen a lightning storm at sea and saved someone's life.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm a F!@#$king A!@#$hole...

Well, I had a slow oil leak in my darling Grand Marquis, which has served me both well and ill over the years.  I knew about it, knew I was supposed to check the oil every second till I could get it in to the shop, knew I was supposed to carry oil in my trunk just in case.  So what do I do? I check it desultorily on Sunday, then proceed to drive hundreds of miles without a second glance.  On my way to drive Hedgie to her day camp today, the car starts going barunkety barunkety barunkety and errrrgh errrgh aroog.  I turn it around and creep back home to the cabin, where it slimpses down to a slow finish right blocking the driveway.  

What happened? Of course, oil is bone dry.  Car is furious.  Sarge is beside himself.  I am hating myself.  I am a lame lame woman, just like the stereotype of the foolish female driver.  I'm in town, lurking with my oil containers, sooo unwilling to go back home again.  Sarge managed to start it up again with a few quarts of mixed oil, but as you all know, one cannot drive a car on no oil without damaging it, oh, just a wee wee tad.  I could just cry, but I know I must man up and face the music.  So folks, back home to face the hell I have wrought, call the tow truck, and spend a gazillion dollars to fix what is now hideously broken.

Once again, I could just kick my own damn ass, that is if I practiced yoga.  Too bad I didn't have that foresight either...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just Going Along

I usually like to write with an idea in mind, but I'm completely spent. Not in a bad way, mind you, more in an August sort of way. Summer is on the wane already, here in the Adirondacks, and the trees are beginning to lose their lush fulness, some of them even getting a hint of pale orange around the top edges...the nights and mornings are chilly, and I wake up with the dog cuddled so hard against me that I'm almost off the bed...

In past years, this change of season was worrying to me--I'd be dreading the coming year--not so this time around. For the first time in forever, I'm actually excited to begin a new year. Hedgie will be back for second grade at a school she loves, busy with karate and friendships and she'll be starting cello lessons--the students are required to begin a classical instrument by third grade, and we decided cello would round out our family band nicely (I'm only partly kidding there). I think I'll enjoy the squeezy grindings of a beginner string player; there's something funny and hopeful about that.

I'm looking forward to autumn in Brooklyn--the dry dusty leaves rattling in the gutters, sweaters and new mary janes and the High Holy Days, and soups cooking again--I've not cooked up our favorite Senate Bean Soup in months and months. Even an occasional snifflng cold will be okay. And then, maybe, if all goes well, another little one will make its way into our family...

So I'm trying for now to embrace a perhaps ephemeral feeling of peace that's come over me--relative peace, in my case; I won't ever be free of my anxieties completely, but I'm really, really trying not to let them rule me. I thought I'd just sit and jot this feeling down so that I can come back and remind myself, if necessary...

Monday, August 11, 2008

DMV: Worst Post Ever

I'm blogging from the County DMV, yes indeed. It's a regular thrill ride. Hedgie's eating cheez-its, cause that's just the kind of mother I am. We're number 30 and they're up to 19. Sissy peruses the driver's manual. There's a giant license plate on the wall, like an item from that store of yore, Think Big. Remember the giant pencils?

You can't smoke in here, but you can eat Ruffles and drink Coke, so that's something. You have the right to vote and you should drive carefully when school's open. I think that means that you can drive recklessly at all other times.

Signing out,

Yours in mindless errand,


Friday, August 8, 2008

Cupcakes and Kisses

In the grand tradition of birthdays everywhere, I present Suzanne with cupcakes:

and a virtual swim in an Adirondack lake (let's hope the sun peeks through those clouds):

and a hug and a kiss!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My New Office

We saw a bit of Suzanne's lovely office. Now check out mine!

You might ask, why not go into the library, and sit at the table at a big picture window overlooking Lake George?

Well, first of all, I couldn't suck on my delicious Stewart's iced coffee, the best iced coffee anywhere.

Then, too, sitting at a table surrounded by books, rather than hunched in my car over a computer, like a crazy plotter, would be just too much like actually working on my dissertation.

And that could be really scary.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Panopticon

I've been seeing these live traffic feeds on blogs all over the place, and, curious, went to procure one of my very own. I must say, they make me feel very uncomfortable. One of the nice things about blogging is that you reveal yourself or not, as the whim takes you. Lurking is perfectly acceptable. Comment or not. I often think of Harry's invisibility cloak.

The stats tools now available to even the most lay of laypeople have taken a bit of this pure anonymity away. You can sort of see who's visiting you, if you know what you're looking at. But the map feeds are another thing entirely--they're graphic and very easy to read. I was sort of startled, and discomfited, at first to see, on someone's blog, "Brooklyn, NY is here." Panopticon indeed. Only in this case, the readers are the privacy-less inmates and the blogger is the chief warden in the circular tower.

So I'm going to leave my little map up for awhile to see what the limits of my comfort are. I don't really approve of them on principle, but so be it. And that said, I secretly hope my one lone dot becomes a cluster or two...

The Next Day...
p.s. true to form, I've gone back on my critique of the map. I freaking love that thing! I love the little wee dots, I love seeing where people come from, love it! I'm going to have it implanted in my retinas!!!