Wednesday, November 5, 2008
"It's a part of being a revolution," my dad said. "Every election, we're a part of something historic."
"Have you gotten into the cooking sherry?" my mom asked me.
No, seriously. "I never in my life imagined this could happen," she said, softly, and I was struck anew by what a magnificent process actually exists.
I am, to put it lightly, a cynic. I live in a state where my vote didn't matter--other than to prove that 37% of the population thought the other 63% had a Really Bad Idea on what to do with the future. Practically speaking, what does the purported Head of Our Country have the ability to do? They can all promise whatever they want, but that doesn't mean they can persuade Congress or Senate or even states to do much of anything. They can pick up a red phone, and if we're lucky, they can avoid making a total ass of themselves and not foul up foreign policy more than we've already managed.
It's all we can really ask of anyone, including ourselves. Short of sending a telegram to everyone up on The Hill that reads "As a part of this American Republic, you have failed to meet my expectations. As you are in my employ, please consider your contract terminated. Have your bags packed and vacate the premises no later than 4:00 p.m. today." And then what? I hear there are some monkeys at Hogle Zoo looking for an opening...
It's the first year in the entire year of my life--almost 18 years--that I've voted FOR someone instead of AGAINST someone. As I said, I don't hold any illusions. I just hold the hope that someone can at least uncrock politics slightly. And even if they can't, for it's a slippery slope, as Grayson Spaulding pointed out before taking that plunge off the New York Ferry, I can at least still hope for the next four years that someone will TRY. As I said to my mother, this is the closest thing to feeling like a part of the 60's revolution I can ever get. The times are a-changin', and whether you're for or against you're part of something unprecedented. "So flower power didn't work," John Lennon said. "We'll find something else."
Here's hoping, John. Here's hoping.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Apparently that dream about having my foot caught in something had been based in reality, or perhaps unbeknownst even to myself I had taken up midnight jogging. In Via Spigas. (Because that's primarily what I have in my closet, aside from a large number of things I am not getting rid of because I'm Going To Lose Ten Pounds And They'll Fit Again, but that's neither here nor there at the moment.) How completely ridiculous is that? Who sprains their ankle alone in bed asleep? I'd love to claim a particularly heroic deed, something Indiana Jones-ish, or at the bare minimum that I was active, but the truth is that I was supine and am outdoing myself in levels of heretofore unsupposed klutziness. Oh well. I could be a cutter, I guess.
I have returned this evening from the seething pit of humanity known as Las Vegas. My nephew was being baptized, and I had supposed in capital letters that it was Important I Be There. His baptism itself was unbelievably sweet, as is said nephew; watching a tow-headed, blue-eyed little boy blink away tears while singing "I Am A Child Of God" is enough to make even my grinchy heart take a stab at growing at least half a size. Also, the other kid from his ward getting baptized looked like Ralphie from A Christmas Story, minus glasses and with a really stupid Spanky haircut. You can't beat that.
During the course of the visit, I got put on time out. Again. It wasn't even my sister this time; it was my sister's mother-in-law, who told all of us that we Knew Better.
Well, I do now.
Six boys and one girl under the age of 12 make for wild times, my friend. Wild times, indeed; especially when you have a sign over your head that reads "Pied Piper/Punching Bag, No Training Required". I don't know what I do, but they all want to destroy me. I walk into a room, they point, and voices scream "Get HER!" What do you do that that point? Get overrun by germbags? No, survival instinct kicks in and you Run Like Hell. Which is when I got put on time out for plunging down the stairs with the entire melee following. Adults can feel as superior as they want, but there's something about not having kids that allows you to wind them all up to high-pitched, wired like a hummingbird-on-crack vibrating hysteria, and then send them home. Parents hate it, but if it's a choice between listening to the weather and plans for house renovations or getting shot between the eyes by Wyatt Earp, I know which I'm gonna pick.
Plus, I still owe Tanner for telling the adults that "the big one" was the one who started it all. Your day will come, Tanner. Oh yes. It will come.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
You know what I miss?
It's definitely not the bad perm, although something is to be said for extra-large men's t-shirts and boxers as a daily wardrobe choice (saucily accessorized with thermal underwear when the cold weather hit, of course). Absolutely not those wild dot-matrix printers, and PARTICULARLY not The Real World, no matter how true the story of seven people living together might have been at the time.
No, what I miss is the dancing.
While there are those who will subscribe to the early-nineties affinity magic of 2 Legit 2 Quit, and/or the lingering after-effects of applying an Ice, Ice Baby to their homecoming, I am talking about the absolutely free-form dancing.
It's hard to describe; it's not as hippie-ish as the Deadhead Twirl, and certainly in no way choreographed as the completely idiotic Electric Slide. It has nothing to do with Busting a Move, or even appearing sexy; the best way to describe it is a sort of weird, giving yourself up to the music spasticated seizure.
It's not the dance moves--or lack thereof--that really sway me; it's that feeling of just letting it all go, galloping around the dance floor because you FEEL like it, riding on pure exhilaration and joy. It's the fun of holding the entire world in disregard, because it's got no place in where you are at that moment. It's release and happiness and relaxation and celebration all in one; a total suspension of reality.
Also a suspension of coordination, I'm not gonna lie.
Don't care. It's all about the exuberance. Where do you get to have that as an adult? I'm picturing myself galloping through the office tomorrow, twirling and dipping and flailing as the mood strikes, bouncing down stairs and flinging myself into chairs to talk with people; is this before or after property management sends out a team for deportation and possibly exorcism? Because I can guarantee they're gonna take me down, and it will be painful. (When the office goes feral and everyone starts hunting in packs, I figure property management will be the legal department's biggest opponents; architecture will be hunted for meat, like the slothful and weak creatures that they are, and accounting will simply set up its own empire with which we will have to establish trade. Property management, man. Biggest problem. It's why I'm campaigning so heavily for development to be on our side; it's the only way we can hold our own against property management. They're big, and they move fast, and they're ruthless.) So inbetween being tackled by property management and fitted for my straight jacket, will anyone listen to me? The capacity for ultimate, soul-expanding joy is there; we just don't have anyplace to express it anymore. We're caught up in the throes of adulthood, and Playing the Role. Grownups don't gallop, or turn cartwheels, or drop on someone from out of a tree and butter them. It's a tragedy, really it is. Do those urges really ever go away? I defy you to respond in the affirmative when faced with the company's fantasy football leagues. There are the same heartfelt exchanges about people's mothers and innuendo that there is when they're 15; if the urge really died after adulthood would people be sneaking around logging onto other people's computers so they can change said other people's teamnames to "The Teabaggers"?
So this week I'm going to regress. This week my plan is to live three inches outside my skin, the way I did before climbing into the adult equivalent of ten pounds of baloney in a five pound bag, and ENJOY. Try it.
I dare you.
For inspiration: James - How Was It For You
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I used to think I could keep up with the treacherous little darlings, you know? It was the final vanity before an ever-expanding waistline and the "Naw, you go out, there's a really cool Nova special on PBS tonight." was accepted as reality. Now, of course, while I have always, ALWAYS been old to them, I'm old to myself as well.
"WHAT ABOUT BARTERTOWN?" I demanded of them.
First of all, they've never seen Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and have no idea what I am talking about; secondly, halfway through the conversation it occurs to me--they have nothing to worry about. Adaptable, resilient, resourceful, Bartertown can come as it pleases, they'll survive and do beautifully. I, on the other hand, have absolutely no skills for Bartertown. I'm too right-brained for any applicable scientific knowledge like how to create energy from methane, have never been big on camping/survival skills (roughing it is one-ply toilet paper), and neither young nor limber enough to make it as a prostitute. Somehow I don't think Bartertown is going to be interested in a dilettante chef or knitter with 15,000 paperbacks who can recite the entire lyrics catalogue to the Beatles' Help album by rote.
If I don't cack it, since I have never actually been young in their eyes perhaps I can prevail on one of them to take pity on Auntie Del and she'll bring me food. It'll make for a good minute-and-a-half scene in the movie.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
"WHAT DID HE JUST SAY?!"
"Something about Jesus."
A voice was raised in song: "Hallelujah, Jesus is the God!"
Intense splashing, followed by heavy hammering on the door.
"Shut up in there!"
"I caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan't," the off-key voice caroled back. "We're having seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeex!"
"KNOCK IT OFF! There are bubbles coming out from under the door out here!"
"He does this all the time," Rachel hissed. Her bathroom walls started shuddering from the pounding thumping going on downstairs.
"He really sings like that all the time?" I asked, disbelieving.
"Nobody's ever been here before," she said. "Who would believe this?"
The downstairs voice sang something about 'the pooper'.
"Does anyone want a turn sitting on the pooper?" Ryan asked, perched on the toilet.
"Wheeeeeeeeeeeeere is the butthoooooooooooooole?" echoed from below us.
"Oh, dear God!"
"Just wait," Rachel said, one finger raised. The kitty-corner downstairs neighbors commenced pounding on the downstairs front door, also trying to shut up the horrible caterwauling of Howard-Cosell Gregorian Chant Coitus happening below us.
"I'm the MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASTER of the BUUUUUUUUUUBBLES!"
Forty-five minutes later, we finally went to dinner. Neither Rachel nor Ryan nor I could meet one another's eyes. "Let's not have this be like war buddies," they said. "A horrible experience that means you can't be around the other people because it just reminds you of it. Let's use this to keep ourselves close."
I'm not gonna lie. It was a pretty good vacation.
As is requisite in anyone who wants to cultivate a reputation as being introspective but who consistently ruins it by laughing hysterically every time she sees Johnny Weissmuller in a loincloth, I've been making a conscious attempt to change a few things in my life. It's less from the fact that I don't like where I am at the moment than that I won't like where I am if it's exactly the same in, say, five years. Or three, even. Gotta keep evolving, gotta keep changing, gotta aim for that Ayn Rand Pie in the Industrial Grey Objectivist Sky.
Okay, maybe not.
But still, what're you gonna do? I mean, there I was driving back from the middle of nowhere with a friend. "I think I want to get my pilot's license," he announced.
"I'm not goin' up in a plane with you."
"I'm not Buddy Hollyin' it with you," I said.
"What the hell would you be missing?" he demanded.
"Thanks very much, you just said that nothing in my life is worth living for!"
"Well..." he said, and shrugged.
Of course, this was also the friend who listened to me expressing my thoughts about something, and then said "I can't wait until we're in my car. I can't hear you whine over the engine." (Said engine is located in an early '70's bug with an extremely uncertain temperament.)
But in the interest of redeeming myself as an intellectual after a disgraceful exhibition over said loincloth, and also my inability to hear someone refer to "briefs" without snickering (a definite liability in my chosen career), it does beg the question: What would I miss if I croaked tonight?
I never conquered that red wool jacket I was knitting, with the crackwhore directions that led to one lapel in lapel-correct placement and the other neatly covering my navel. (It's been sitting untouched for almost two months.)
I just figured out what I'm going to do with that gorgeous, not-quite-peacock silk-and-wool combo yarn that I've been treasuring and stroking with Gollum-like devotion for the past six months.
My impending niece, little Delanie Regina (Pronounced Regiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiina, long 'eye' sound)(not her real name, according to her mother), still has not received her kimono ("A kimono for Delanie's what?" smart-mouth coworkers query), nor yet her stripey afghan. ("An afghan for your what?")
The black lace for the sleeves of my hug-me-tight got screwed up and must be redone.
Fine, so far all of that is knitting--"You know you're two cats away from a crazy cat lady," a coworker's husband informed me. Clearly I must needs find more reasons to live than yarn.
Well, books. When The Big One hits, that amazing earthquake that rattles down the faultline of the Great Salt Lake and its valley, I will no doubt eventually be found buried in the rubble of 15,000 paperbacks. The thing that will really piss me off, and will lead to my surly ghost kicking around ruins and refusing to rest, is that I won't have finished any of the Important and Mind-Expanding Tomes which I've collected and yet to read; no, no, when I cack it I'll be reading something tremendousy embarrasing, like trashy horror or a burning loins book. Maybe the latest YA fiction novel.
I suppose a truly frivolous person would argue that they haven't had a chance to properly prance about in the new Hall of Shame acquisition (because I cannot afford Anthropologie full price).
But it really does fit me well.
Fine, then. There might be very little in my life that I'd be missing, per se, but it's still my life. I like it.
Barring that as reason enough, there's always eavesdropping on the Master of the Bubbles.
Friday, February 8, 2008
As at least 2/3 of my close personal acquaintances would have expected, it's with an item, one that requires batteries, no less; but the Kindle? C'MON, WHO CAN'T GET BEHIND THIS?!
As one of those people who frequently gets stopped by airport security (I choose to believe it's due to overwhelming fun personality rather than Code Orange hairdo), there is nothing a) more time consuming, and b) more embarrassing, than dragging out every item contained in one of your carry-ons for airport security to peruse. C'mon, people. I'm over thirty, and I knit. I don't own cats, for the two aforementioned reasons, but we all know it's just a matter of time.
Side note: Don't get me wrong, here. I am a doggie adorer. Max and Snarla will attest to that, despite being parked with grandparents who utterly adore them owing to a ridiculous theater schedule once upon a time. I adore animals of any kind, despite the fact that they excrete and want your time and attention and Touch Your Stuff. I love them more than children, for the simple fact that children only pretend to be independent. Let's face it, any dog in the world shows up on the end of an adoption leash and I am St. Francis of Assisi, ready and able to Run With The Pack, despite an alarming lack of muscle coordination or initiative. Nevertheless, I adore cats. There is something so magnificent in an animal whose every action basically says "If you don't want me to eat you, say something. NOW."
So think about it. Instead of unloading approximately 1,800 yards of the finest mohair in an albeit violating shade of pink (damn you, Favorite Knitting Store ladies, and your math skills that apparently rival my own), an iPod, and six or ten of the latest novels (depending on which one you're in the mood to read), instead you unleash this latest of modern miracles, the Kindle. No more having to pack fewer pairs of underwear or socks for you--you have the Kindle, and that means that umpteen books are literally at your fingertips! The entire concept of airport frequent flyer reading exchange programs fly out the window, because who remembers to bring those particular books back, and anyway who can keep track of a receipt over three or four months?!
(Okay, so if I wanted to be completely and morally accurate I would admit that you still have to unpacck the 1,800 yards of the finest mohair and an iPod, but now you don't follow that up with Michael Chriton, Dean Koontz, and Joanna Linsdsay as their compatriots; at least you stand a chance of pretending that you have something akin to class, which means that nobody knows that you're only reading Nebokhov for the dirty bits, which to this day still creep me out and which thwart me from being a Hipster, since I can't get behind Lolita, no matter how many times I start the novel and think that this time I won't find him to be a total pervert.)
I want a Kindle. I want one so badly that I'd almost sell someone else's vote for it. Of course, having found them (months behind the current electronic trend, of course) they are sold out on Amazon. Once again I choose to believe that the entire world is working against me.
Either that, or little Delanie Regiiiiiiiina (long "I" pronunciation, as is right and proper for a niece's name, no matter whether the mother in question is insisting the child's name is Kylie Jo or no) figured out that if I had a Kindle I'd never get her afghan done.
Clearly, they are all against me.
Monday, February 4, 2008
I haven't had a shot since I was 19 and in a rollover with my jackass exhusband, who was driving and wound up being ticketed for being a careless driver. (I tried to get them to ticket him for being a jackass as well, but apparently that's not against the law. C'mon, Obama. Give me a grass roots movement I can get behind) Anyway, yes. I am a carrier for tetanus, for polio, for the flu and ebola and, I don't know, TB or something. "You're one of those people who just count on everyone else getting inoculated to cover you from getting diseases, aren't you?" My boss said disgustedly. "Nope. I just don't care if I'm a carrier," I said, and he banned me from his office. Not before I licked a few pens and absconded with his coffee mug, though. (Later I will return to his office and lock it in the filing cabinet. I have taken to locking things in the filing cabinet with no warning or announcement whenever he does something that displeases me. I consider it training. A man who hasn't figured out that whether he knows it or not, he's generally done something to displease a female somewhere in his life isn't helping anyone, particularly himself. "You're the most passive aggressive person I've ever known," he accused, and I denied it pleasantly. Then I locked his reading glasses in the filing cabinet when he went to the bathroom.)
So I had a shot, and the doctor tried valiantly to be a respectful and informative caregiver. I didn't want to know anything about it, and kept telling him so every time he tried to share moments of note with me, important things like when he was trying to inject me, how it would sting, or what he was doing with various sharp implements behind my back. I would have none of it, which meant that when I got back to work looking for sympathy, every time anyone asked me what they did or how long it would take, I was forced to shrug my shoulders and tell them I have no idea. When you can't describe in vivid Technicolor detail exactly what someone in the medical profession did to you, you will find that sympathy is noticeably lacking. Not only that, people will then volunteer their medical stories and it turns into that horrible one-upmanship of who had to have what cyst removed the size of a lemon from their coccyx, and people's cousins whose story always open with "No, you think THAT was bad? Well, my cousin went in and..."
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Keith Moon is, well, the best thing ever. Just watching him ought to burn calories. Nevermind the poncy so-and-so of Roger Daltrey, whom I'd probably punch in the face as long as I didn't actually have to meet him (at that point I'd just pee my pants and turn into the world's worst stalker-esque fan).