November 4, 2010

This is when the audience goes to get more popcorn.

Being an adult is fun when you’re allowed to make the decisions that let you eat your dessert first. Unfortunately in the same vein, you have to make those decisions that balance out the fun, such as, if I do not do laundry tonight, I will have no pants. I had to make the unfun choice and shall be enjoying fresh pants. This left to focus for writing.

I resolve to have pizza for breakfast tomorrow in order to restore the balance.

Strangely, I have also made the connection today that I gain likability points by wearing a Grandma sweater at work. All the secretaries dig it.


In a Different Life Pt. 1

November 3, 2010

The first time I was actually published as a journalist, my article went to the front page. I think my name was below the fold, but my by-line went with the main headline and photograph.

I had gotten this gig, as three-week reporter at my home town paper, after my first semester as journalism major in my second year of college. [The first year I fancied myself a lot more of tech sort until I realized, oh snap, I am decidedly liberal arts.] The home town, a term used loosely as it was only home during my high school years and where my parents stayed after my Dad retired, had a population of about 30,000.

The stint was achieved with networking. One of the advisers for the program was a man who fed to every incoming journalism student that they needed, no NEEDED, an internship in order to earmark future success. He lobbied all across our fine state to make the university’s journalism program something of a mill for producing newbie reporters, photographers, and people who would fetch coffee for these reporters and journalists – because there were people who ultimately ended up in journalism because they didn’t feel that they were artsy enough for a proper English degree.

[Oh no silly, that wasn’t me!]

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As we are now Red in the face

November 2, 2010

When I walked into my polling station this morning, by day a mild-mannered elementary school and by election day a place with more poll workers than voters, I was at first stared at blandly.
“I, um, would like to vote.”

I heard a mechanical voice announcing to “Try. Again.” It was a typical 1980s robot voice, a halting midi sound, and I found it interesting that the polling machines now spoke. Turns out it was an elderly poll worker who had a voice box. “You. Have. To. Wiggle. It,” his voice rasped as he touched his throat as I finished the ballot.

I felt immense pride by the action, but immensely less by the state of the country as it stands and how lackluster the turnout tends to be. Women have died to vote and men and women die still to give us the chance to activate our freedom tangibly. An hour after the poll opened, I was only #16 to vote.

Sliding into first base…

November 1, 2010

Today just slipped through my hands. I’ve been noticing that my rationalizations lately start with a mental tagging the lack of time to being active in “life things”. I’m not sure if that’s correct. Sometimes, the hardest things to break are the mental mantras that one fixes up in their mind. I have a lot of those and I do think that I’m in dire need of a little focus with writing.

Licking the plate will cost you a dollar

October 19, 2010

You can’t, however, jump start a car with a scooter. The car revved, sputtered and died. I looked up at J, who stood outside the car door, “Can I get a jump?”

It felt good to drive my car around, albeit slow as molasses. Coming down from GS’s VW to a Volvo station wagon is like the feeling you get walking normally after walking on a movable floor at the airport – the brain tells you that things should be going faster. No, zero to sixty in about two minutes, puttering along with an uneven idle is all that was managed. But it was good.

J and I needed to putter around to charge the battery some more, but everything good and cheap was nearby. We ventured out to Ruby Tuesdays on the other side of town. I told him it was ritzy prices for an underwhelming delivery, but, why not. There’s always the salad bar.

The nine dollar salad bar as it turns out. “Water,” we both said hesitantly as the waitress came to our table. “Still plotting our escape are we?” I mumbled to J. He nodded glumly.

What’s interesting about Ruby Tuesday are all the stipulations. Add a dollar after 4 P.M. Three dollars if ordered with this, but not with this. Three dollar beers but a dollar more for this, two more for that, except on Tuesday, every other Friday, but not during Lent.

That'd be false advertising.

So we ordered burgers. Sitting at the table, we noticed a sign for free herb and cheese biscuits a la the reason one goes to Red Lobster. “With every meal!” I proclaimed, “Ask the waitress.”

We didn’t get a chance. Our waitress swooped in and set down two exemplars of their biscuits placed artfully just so on a square plate. Both J and I leaned it, eyed the biscuits, then each other. “Mmm, dough balls,” J mused.

And so we move forward.

October 18, 2010

I will be going home to clean out my car. I will be removing the parking stickers, the base tags, the German license plate. I will be removing all the trinkets that made it an extension of my personality – my graduation tassels; Chuck the Duck, who used to be strapped into the backseat; a neon colored frog given to me at a carnival; a small alien playing an accordion which I left on a small shelf so that his arching flights across the cabin would tell me if I was taking turns too severely.

I’m deconstructing about ten years of driving sundry that was consolidated from one car to another. A beaded necklace hanging with my tassels, with vibrantly painted wood starkly faded from the sun, was something I put in my first car when I was 15. I will tonight hopefully sell the last car that my Dad was able to fix for me.

The car had run its limit with me as I had no inclination to fix a car that didn’t have the amenities that I might like to enjoy in a car. That said, I will be going all scooter, all the time now. Actually, that’s how I have been for quite a few months, with spiders creating webs around the tires of the car. The car has remained just a place to have a secure place to park the scooter.

I feel less sad about this car than the first one I sold a few months back. I had something of a mental death grip on the first car. It had been the first car I had ever sold on my own, but I felt different after his friend translated why the buyer, a worn middle-aged gentlemen migrant worker, wanted a car – he was tired of walking to work at a local motel in the cold. I let go.

Sometimes…I thought, you have to let go in order for the Universe to do the rest of its job. I want It to do that for me now as well.

Carrying a Torch

September 1, 2010

“I look like the statue of Liberty,” I said and shuffled around in the dress. The sales girl exhaled a touch less forceful to qualify as an actual sigh – very professional of her. “I think her …” and she pointed to her head, “is a bit more pointy.”

“And she has a tablet and torch,” I agreed. I raised one halfheartedly arm with a fake torch and mimicked grabbing a stack of books and resting them on my hip. “Much better!” I exclaimed and K shook her head behind me.

I think I actually snuck onto the wrong tour in the Hudson Harbor. I had purchased my tickets online, gotten to the pier thirty minutes before time to be told that a two and a half hour tour was sold out until three. That would not work. I was offered the 75 minute tour in an hour and a half and I took it.

I walked slowly to the other side of the pier, in front of the other ticket booth and the entrance toward the boats, debating lunch. “Plenty of room for the 75 minute tour now,” was a holler in the air. With my best desert tourist puppy-dog face, I asked if my ticket would be okay…and was quickly shooed on-board with a whole host of other Chinese tourists.

All bridesmaids shall be in a fetching shade of Copper Green.
And in polyester.

Alright, it wasn’t just Chinese tourists. There was a group of older gals from a cancer survivor group from Oklahoma and a well-preened local couple, who proceeded to yell at each other for not getting the shots of the statue right, the shots of each other right, the shots of THAT DAMN PIER OVER THERE right.

Ah, l’amour.