george & me
So my co-workers and I are sitting there in the gymnasium of the Boys & Girls Club. It’s a packed house — everyone’s dressed spiffy and the women are all wearing lip gloss — and waiting for the fateful words from the announcer: “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the president of the United States of America.” Every half hour or so, the announcer begins in that mellifluous tone: “Ladies and gentlemen….” and continues: “Please turn your cell phones and pagers to ‘off’ or ‘vibrate.'” It’s a big let-down. We gaze around at the cameras, at the men with earpieces and trenchcoats. We are bored as hell.

More to come about my presidential morning.

cool thing
The organization I work for runs workshops for parents on how to be better educators of their children, and we give each parent a book called Your Home Is A Learning Place. But we have lots of parents whose first language is Spanish. And the book doesn’t come in Spanish. So without any prompting at all, one of our volunteers borrowed the book and said he’d get it translated. Yeah right, I thought. But he found people at his law firm to translate each chapter. One of them quietly handed the finished product to me at a workshop this week. It was a thick stack of about 70 pages, each chapter printed on a slightly different shade of white paper, or typed in a different font size or clipped with a different type of paperclip. You could tell eight people had contributed. How cool is that.

Okay, instead of posting something momentus, I’ll just post something. Today I was walking by the park near my house. I’d just finished talking to my dad. He sounded happy, which may be because he’s started the Atkins diet and has lost ten pounds. I was thinking about parents, and then what it must be like to be a parent, and what it’s like to be a daughter. I really don’t talk to my parents a whole lot. Not as much as I could. Do they want to talk to me more? It seems like everyone’s too busy for that. And I moved away. Was that a bad decision? What if someday I have a family? Won’t I want my mother to see her grandchildren?

And my thoughts spiraled out from there, until I heard a soft music somewhere, like it was coming from the trees. Except when it became clearer, I realized it was the bagpipes. And some man was marching out in the middle of a field playing the bagpipes. How does my life get so surreal sometimes.

I was at a wedding this fall in which a man playing the bagpipes came up the aisle as soon as the ceremony ended. I couldn’t really figure out why that guy was there, at the time. It was almost a little funny. A random guy in a kilt, with a funny-looking instrument belting out that swelling melody. But today it made a little more sense. There’s a lot of life in music like that.