The situation has improved. The fam and I took a roadtrip to Houghton College in southern NY state, where my sister Lisa will be going in the fall. We drove for an hour and a half through twisty and brilliant green countryside, through one tiny town after another, past Americana at its Americana-ist. I desperately wanted to stop at any of the 20 yard sales we passed, but no one else in the car would listen. I also wanted stop at Anything-N-Everything: Notable Bargains. But no one would listen to that request either. After our tour of the campus (quaint, Christian, peaceful), we stopped at Earl’s, a restaurant like no other. It’s crammed full of country music memorabilia and has awesome, awesome pie.
So I’m here at home in the big B. The Buff. My golden retriever, Zipper, looks mangey and ungroomed and is acting deathly afraid of the approaching thunderstorm. She looks like she’s strung out on coffee and cigarettes. The big news in town is that The Buffalo News bought a new printing press and changed its logo. Also, something new in the megaphone.
Off to Buffalo for Memorial Day weekend! And thank goodness. Feeling a bit ragged around the edges after a tough week at work. Luckily Deanna has been in town to at least entertain me in the evenings. I took the day off today, so we roamed around the Adams Morgan neighborhood and browsed trendy secondhand shops and bookstores before stopping for coffee and zoning out. Other highlights of her visit:
-Having the Metro break down, so we get off, in the rain, to find the bus. And then taking the bus — for an hour — crammed full of sweaty people. And then, when it is our stop, not being able to get the back doors open and pulling on them frantically like they are jail bars. And having the man behind us bust out laughing.
-Wanting to make a rhubarb crisp at 9:30pm, finding out that my rhubarb is spoiled, and then going to the grocery store only to find they are sold out of it. Luckily we just made it to Whole Foods before the store closed.
-Finding out, whilst making the rhubarb crisp, that my oven doesn’t work very well.
-Deciding the following morning, despite the fact that I now know the oven doesn’t work well, to make a quiche.
-Delighting over the improbable but undeniable success of aforementioned quiche.
-Realizing that I tend to deny reality and tempt fate because when it works out in my favor, there ain’t nothin’ better.
-Hearing Deanna add an extra syllable to “cicada” and pronounce it “ci-cay-di-ya” over and over until I start to do the same.
I’ve been cleaning all morning. It’s time for a break. The cicadas are whirring wildy outside and the sun streams in white and bright… The Poem Adept is playing in my CD player (quiet strumming guitar) and I’m nestled on my big bed in my Northwestern sweatshirt, in the air-conditioned calm of my apartment.
I’m also reading Dupont Circle by Paul Kafka-Gibbons, a novel that centers on the interconnected lives of three couples, one of which includes a judge about to hear a gay marriage case in D.C. and one of which is two gay men raising children. I’m learning about the historical context of the gay marriage debate (timely! interesting!) and mulling the lovely quirks and compromises that make relationships work.
Cicadas, cicadas… we humans are not lucky enough to veg and eat for 17 years before we mate and die… Cicadas keep it simple, man.
Our office has no a/c. It is broken. So today we were the world’s eleven most sweaty and grouchy people. Ever. In other news, my co-worker Brooke wore nice purdy sandals with heels to work and got blisters. So she went downstairs to buy flip-flops at The Bikini Shop (a sketchy store which defies all odds by remaining open year-round in a very office-y location). But she wanted stylish flip-flops. So she bought a pair with heels. Sigh.
War & Taxes: I mentioned in a previous post that my taxes were a small disaster. Yes, yes they were. But perhaps I should have paid less? The idea of war tax refusal is intriguing. It’s one of those things that I never considered to be in the realm of possibility.
Self-propelled… is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Bike messengers and writers have a lot in common, I discover. In both activities, every forward motion is self-propelled. If you stop trying, you will shortly stop moving, and stop earning. Both activities involve gathering things and dispersing them. Bike messengers are given specific destinations. Sometimes writers have specific destinations in mind, too. And sometimes they don’t. In both cases, however, how you get there is for you to figure out. — Thomas Beller, NYTimes
Lesson learned this week: Wilco tickets may be impossible to get, however hard you may try. Because you may have two people working the web and one person working the phone. But even if you get through on tickets.com web site, your credit card may fail to be authorized. And you may watch. Helpelessly. As it tells you how many seconds you have remaining to complete your transaction. And you may type your credit card number into the system over and over, with trembling fingers. And you may stare at the expiration date and try to translate 07/05 into January 2005. And you may correct that. And it may not help. And you may realize that you are not going to the concert.
Much nostalgia for my study abroad semester. I talked to my host dad online on Saturday, and he e-mailed me the cutest picture ever, of my host sister holding a sign that says, “HEY LINDSAY, COME SOON”. This time three years ago, I was learning to throw a boomerang, biking around on my gold bike (Matilda), licking ice cream in public (and getting heckled for it) and sinking deep into the kind of contentment that only comes when you’ve made it through a rough spot.