Petty Indulgences

Petty: Of small importance; trivial
Indulgence: The act or an instance of indulging; gratification

A brief collection of items that, though, in and of themselves may appear inconsequential, combine in such a way as to fill my heart with delight and joy for each new moment.

Ready to begin piping the dough out into the wok.

Churros! All things churros, please. The cinnamon, the doughy center and slightly crunchy outer ridges. Most especially the super duper large ones available at the Costco snack bar. Better yet, making my own! Bean bought me a box of churro mix with my current obsession in mind. Having never deep-fried (nor desired to) a thing, I tentatively filled the wok with the suggested amount of cooking oil and set the temperature dial to just below high. Soon, the oil was popping and hissing and generally having a rolling good time. The box came with a sturdy pastry bag that I’d filled with the prepared mix. Ready to begin piping the dough out into the wok. They looked like happy little rows of yellow 2 pencils, minus the lead filling and pink nub eraser. In they went, out they came moments later, right into a pile of cinnamon sugar for a coating or two before being stacked like Lincoln Logs onto a massive platter. (Nevermind the mixed comparisons relating my cooking to that of wood, mmm, tasty, in both cases.) They were fantabulous! If you were here, I’d make you one. Or three!

The comfort found in the noises of daily living from those around me to the left, the right, below -each in their own little homey compartments- their daily sounds of thumping and bumps and opening and closing of doors, the muffled laughter and the “hi”s and “good-bye”s of visitors calling out their “see you soon”s and “miss you already”s. I feel a part of a whole without even knowing them, and it feels good.

Dolores O’Riordan, from The Cranberries! Bean called to tease me a bit, casually mentioning that there was a CD out that she just knew I’d be nuts over acquiring, and that surely I had yet to hear of it because she hadn’t received an urgent call on my part. She asked if “Ordinary Day” meant anything to me. How about “Are You Listening?” Later, she presented me with the new album, O’Riordan’s solo work. Yay! I liken her voice to riding a wave, a current that has strength and power in delivery tempered with a vulnerability in just the right moments to make her songs more poignant and resonating.

Flipping the calendar to a new month and liking the new month’s image better than the prior month’s image.

Attended the theatre a few weeks back for my dad’s birthday, and as always, I sat in awe of the masses of people filling every available seat. Time and again, the actors pour out their best, breathing life into words and actions in the telling of a story, and they’re met with the audience eager to give their appreciation resulting in the rising from seats and thunderous continued applause. It never fails to move me to tears.

Le parkour, coolest sport EVER! If you’ve seen the latest Bond flick, Casino Royale, then you’ve had a taste of it. All that incredible leaping, jumping, springing, bouncing, tumbling, rolling, landing-on-your-feet, never stop efficiency. What must takes masses of training appears so effortless. I wonder what beginning lessons entail …

They reminded me very much of two old cantankerous men standing about sharing their view of the world

We have birds. Or rather, the neighborhood has birds. These aren’t your average, everyday, run-of-the-mill birds either. We knew something was up last year when Bean’s Matt was out on the balcony for a smoke and he asked if I had a pair of binoculars. A duck, a white-feathered, yellow-beaked duck was waddling its way down the middle of the road. As an oncoming car approached, the duck made its way to the side only to return to the center once the vehicle passed by. It reached a thick grassy stretch, an area nestled between our apartments and the neighborhood of houses down the way and abruptly turned and waddled into the brush and out of sight. A trip by the area later revealed a small hidden pond containing nothing less than a small fleet of feathered fowl. All kinds! Soon after, we began to hear random cock-a-doodle-dooing. If you’re up early enough, say 6:30am-ish, you will find a rooster making its way up and down the sidewalks pausing to stand at the street corners as though he knows that’s what one does when crossing. Several weeks back, he stood in the company of a duck, this time a Mallard. They reminded me very much of two old cantankerous men standing about sharing their view of the world amongst themselves with duck cluckings and rooster crowings. For months that rooster has been one very confused fellow! He’s neglected to adhere to his assigned job description of providing a timely warning to wake come dawn. Instead he is to be heard clearly and LOUDLY from the hours of 3:30am on into late afternoon at regular intervals. Frankly, I’m amazed that no one has made a meal out of him, as he must be even louder to those who live nearer the pond.

The unshakable feeling that someone is thinking of you at the very moment you’re thinking of them.

A Tim Burton bug. Content to remain in shadow under the porch step of my dad’s home. For several years now, come summer this bug, or its offspring maybe, appears. It’s the most amazing in-person beetle-esque bug I’ve ever seen! The size of a Ritz cracker (BIG!), its shell is covered in thin, stark lines distinctly black and white reminding me very much of the lines often found in Burton’s work. The critter’s antennas and legs are deep red. A metallic red as found on a Japanese beetle. I had no idea such an exotic thing was to be found here in Washington, residential Washington. I’m quite fascinated by it! And now frightened, too. I must have knelt a bit close last year because the next thing I knew it clicked, it hissed (word of the day. SEE: churros) and spread its shell to reveal wings, as it all-at-once fluttered up at me. Huge freak out on my part as I ran indoors in my own flutter of sorts. I guess the little thing told me!

And with that, may you recognize and delight in your very own set of petty indulgences. And, may you share them! ♦

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Bulletin As Bloggery

After viewing repeated promotional efforts from subsequent posted bulletins, I give you Mandy & Kasey’s survey. I must say, delightful, not your average bunk. Hooray for that! And survey says:

1. Weirdest place you ever slept?
On the floor of the downtown bus tunnel. No, wait. On the steps at Arlington National Cemetery. Super brief nap leaning back against the building in the shade during lunchtime while on tour in a sleep-deprived week. When tired enough, I can sleep anywhere.

2. Favorite use for jam or jelly?
Marmalade with crunchy peanut butter on grilled sourdough or IKEA lingonberry jam over vanilla bean ice cream rolled in toasted coconut.

3. First pet’s name?
Corkey, a Poodle Terrier.

4. Circumstances of your first kiss (who, where, when, feelings after)?
Just who I wanted it to be at the time, after school in my room on the bed, within the first month of 8th grade. Feelings after included an insatiable desire for chocolate and the sense that an internal lightbulb had been turned on. Upped wattage. The poor boy, I slobbered all over him, nervous just enough to not retain any sense of bodily function! Happy to report the slobbering has long since ceased.

5. Ever pooed yourself?
Yes. I was two. Had on a pair of PJs with the attached slipper feet. Bright pink with an embroidered Big Bird on the chest. Laid in the crib calling out for my parents because I knew 2 was on its way in a big, big way! They arrived to find my sleeper leg filled, diaper to toe, one side only, and then a seemingly neverending night of bathing ensued.

6. Is passing gas okay?
Don’t statistics say one does so 14x a day on average? If so, please do so far and away.

7. Stolen anything? What?
Yes. A heart. (Awwh, do I hear groaning out there, people?)  :)

8. Which celebrity doesn’t deserve their status?
The folks from The View, past and present, save for Rosie.

9. Is peeing in public acceptable?
Does this include swimming pools? Kidding, kidding …

10. What did you “really” do on school trips?
Some naughty stuff on a stairway or two.

11. Worst hangover, caused by what?
Not applicable.

12. Best Halloween costume (your own)?
I was fond of the butterfly wings I made one year when I found that the only ones available in stores were super crappy with ugly elastic, were often a sappy pastel color and were much too small for the makings of a butterfly befitting my imagination.

13. Kissed someone, and then discovered they were ugly?
Nope. I suspect this relates to question 11?

14. Most imaginative way you’ve wanted to kill someone?
I’ve never imagined such things, sure, felt like killing someone to a scary degree when I was bitter and angry in what seems a former life, but never endulged in the thought process of the actual execution of the deed, as I figured that to be territory too dangerous to explore, visualizing being such an integral step in accomplishing something. Such an overly serious answer for a question meant for fun, huh? Instead, let’s go with a paintbrush to the jugular.

15. Been attracted to a friend’s parent? At what age (you and the parent)?
Robyn Johnson’s dad was H-O-T!! And he knew it. And he knew I knew it. And she knew he knew I knew it. In fact, the three of us talked about it from time to time. He was late thirties, early forties? I knew him from age 14 to 18.

16. Worst thing you’ve eaten (on purpose or by accident)?
Blue fuzzy yogurt.

17. What luxury item would you take on Survivor?
Try as I may, I can’t decide on what I’d take along. Are those spiffy 39-gadgets-in-one-kinda knives allowed? If not, would a box of Sharpie markers be considered one item? Probably not. Scrabble? Again, considered multiple items? Too obnoxious, maybe, for sluggish people to wanna play.

18. Have you visited an “adult” store for reasons other than a bachelor/ette party?
Years and years and years ago with male friends. We were kicked out due to their overzealousness with the products, let’s say.

19. Secret fantasy?
I’m not one for fantasy, if it’s good enough to fantasize about, I’ve probably already done it or am working on accomplishing it.

20. Invisible or telepathic?
Invisible, please.

21. Something you’ve done that you worry will come back on you (karma)?
Anything I’ve done already has, trust me. Clean slate, here.

22. Were you spanked as a child (with what)?
With hands. Wooden spoons. Belts. Paddles. Firewood kindling.

23. Caramel or Butter?
Caramel drizzled on extra frothy hot chocolate. I prefer a swirly pattern as opposed to crisscrossing. Butter spread on warm garlic bread. BOTH on baked apples along with cinnamon and brown sugar.

24. Favorite movie sex scene?
Taking Lives. Unfaithful, the restaurant bathroom. Dangerous Liaisons, wherever the Vicomte de Valmont, John Malkovich, is involved.

25. Disney character you’d most want to have sex with?
The Tramp. Allotted I’m Lady. Otherwise, Jack, Jack Sparrow.

26. Something you survived? 
My mother.

27. When was your ugly stage?
The 4th grade! Ug.

28. Eat a shot glass of your own poo, or martini glass of vomit?
Eat a shot glass of your own poo?? Sick, people, major ew. Vomit, sure, why not. Mine for free, yours for cash.

29. Non-deadly disease you could handle having?
Is there one out there that’ll make various body parts swell nicely from time to time, i.e., breasts, lips. I’ll take that one. Otherwise, how about Saltatoric spasm – Spasmodic muscular contractions of the calves, hips, knees, and back that cause the sufferer to spring up or jump about uncontrollably every time he or she attempts to stand. Sounds kinda fun, lively and animated!

30. Who do you really wish you could punch?
Lately, myself.

31. Which of the five senses would you be willing to give up?
Sight? Nope. Sound? No way. Touch? NEVER. The reason things taste so good is often highly tied into the way they smell, so smell must remain. Some of my best memories are triggered by smell as well, so bye-bye taste.

32. Worst way to die?
Being trampled to death, all that claustrophobic smothering coupled with painful blows and the crushing pressure, the collapsing of parts never meant to collapse.

33. Favorite teacher in grade school (why)?
Mr. Gagliardi, hands down! Silent ball! Lively teachings on blood cells! Both red and white! Long division. There was a time, a very, very, very short time when I loved math. And was good at it even! Le shock! Letting me choose who I’d sit next to- the crush on one side, the best friend on the other. Encouraging me to write when I was afraid to, instilling my love for words, for poetry. Reading scary stories to us in the dark while sitting in the coat closet! His command of respect.

34. Whose body would you like to have (can mix and match)?
Alessandra Ambrosio. Marisa Miller. Both Victoria’s Secret models. Pamela Anderson from the waist down. Or Stacie Ferguson, Fergie, flouncy, flouncy. 

35. What’s the definition of scrumdactile?
A fairly tasty bit of reptilian delicacy, the tacdatile, descended from the familial line of the now extinct terradactyl. Native to the upper Canadian regions and best served warm with a dollop of softened goat cheese and a side of Kalamata olives. ♦

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Mine For the Dreaming

Let me tell you about my dreams.

For years, nearly every night I’d dream that I was on a mission of some sort, always running and hiding from something. Always having an objective to complete. But never clear as to what the objective was. I was often a special agent and carried a gun, but never shot it, it was held at my side. Dirty and sweaty, and usually efficient in movement, I’d run from place to place taking cover in the dark, down alleyways in between buildings looking ahead for the next shadow to cower in, desperate and determined to make sense of the situation. Often I was waiting for someone who was to join me, but they always seemed just ahead or just behind, timing an ever present issue. It’s only recently come to my attention that the dreams have subsided, not sure when, but sometime in the last several months.

If I could choose to live in that moment forever, I feel I would.

None of the typical dreams “they” say the masses have that involve flying, falling, staircases, bananas, candlesticks, monsters, public nudity, etc., (okay, public nudity a few times) have been mine for the dreaming. Not one to put stock into the meaning of dreams and their symbology, I do however ponder their origin. They’re supposed to be the culmination of your thoughts or your subconscious throughout the day, right? I’m banking on it being the subconscious because my dreams often consist of people I haven’t given a thought to in years. People from long ago visit sporadically. Sometimes, the visit is so sweet upon waking in those few moments between sleep and conscious where you know you’re almost fully awake, but want to hang on to that feeling the dream evokes, not let it drift away, that, at times, if I could choose to live in that moment forever, I feel I would. Then of course, just a handful of minutes pass consisting of one of those really good, long, cat-like stretches (cat dream to follow) and then a meander down the hallway to the start of the day, and the memory has floated away to where dreams go in the daylight and life is happily mine for the living. Here, in reality.

Ever have one of those dreams of someone, maybe a coworker or a friend that you just don’t think of in that way, but the dream leaves you with a new view of them, and when you again encounter that person, you could swear they know, they totally know what you’ve dreamt, what you two’ve shared to have acquired that new view, and it’s all you can do to not turn to the shade of cabernet and pivot on your heel in escape. I must tell you, a few weeks back I had just such a dream. I saw a friend in a whole new never-before light. It puts a smile on my face even now. A sentence that’s been displayed in magnetic poetry around my home for over ten years: I must be quite kissed, or else. Others may have their hankerings, mine’s for a super colossal, knee-melting, mind-bending, time-forgetting kiss. And as with all such kisses, what makes the top contenders so spectacular is the presence of emotion behind them, the connection existing between two people. There was moonlight, a confrontation and the sweetest little tête-à-tête, le sigh. Pardon the blathering. :) I must say I did not then encounter my friend as mentioned above for he’s too far away for that, but even so I swear he still knew, as I heard from him that day, and that’s a rarity. I shall end my girlish silliness as there are many more a dream to discuss …

You know when it’s the place, but not really the place in dreams?

Several years back I began having dreams that included famous people, something I’d never dreamt before despite my penchant for movies and all things Hollywood. In the dreams, I’m far from star struck as the celebrities involved are rarely my favorites. Once I dreamt I dated Jim Carrey. He made for a moody boyfriend, jealous and needy, and I was glad to finally wake up that day. Next Ben Affleck, I found myself in an embrace, dancing, and he swept me downward in a deep dip. But he never brought me back up for it seemed the applause of the surrounding crowd caused him to extend my captive state in a fit of self-seeking praise. I woke up on that note, lying at an angle, my head off the bed and upside down, as in the dream. Hot tubbing with Madge, Madonna. We both wore heels, fully clothed, yet submerged, sitting around discussing trends in art galleries with a man who looked very much like Seal. Marilyn Manson tattooed my sister and then attempted to murder her so I spent the dream stocking him in vengeance and another time Billy Bob Thornton took my sister out for Mexican food much to my dismay. Such oddities. Now after a few years celebrity-dream-free, I’ve gone and dreamt that Jared Leto and his brother Shannon from the band 30 Seconds to Mars were on the couch in my living room. Only it wasn’t really my living room. You know when it’s the place, but not really the place in dreams? A Fall Out Boy was down the hall in the bedroom with the Dresden Dolls drummer and they were each crying into their cellphones, sadly lamenting the loneliness of their lifestyles. Meanwhile, back in the living room I fed my guests peanut butter pasta (?!) and then woke up with the urge to dye my hair black again. I wonder who’ll show up tonight …

Cat ripping. Yes, it’s an absurd and horrific affair. I hate cats, positively loathe them, save Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, and with good reason. It was Christmas Eve, I was two, and Barney Cat was long-haired and fluffy. He rubbed his charcoal grey body across my legs as cats do and I reached to pet the length of his body as he passed by. The last bit of his tail apparently didn’t make it all the way through my hand as I clenched it shut. Barney Cat leapt screeching towards my face, bright eyes wild, claws fully extended and imbedding into my chest, dangling and swinging to and fro, stretched to full length and nearly as tall as me. The room erupted in roaring laughter at the sight of the attached cat while my dad, yelling, tried to detach Barney Cat all the while muttering, “Your dress is absolutely ruined with all those little puncture holes in it. And now your bleeding. Great. Stains.” So, yes, despise cats, I do. Maybe once a year there will come a dream where a cat will leap out of nowhere at me, pet semetery-esque eyes aglow, thrashing itself about, four claws flailing wildly at my face and chest, a million stinging slices, until I manage to get one cat limb in each of my hands and I pull as hard as I can, resulting in a torn cat, insides spilling forth, blood spurting, as it lets out a bone chilling death yowl. I hate these dreams. Too barbaric even for a cat. I always wonder where is all that dormant violence coming from?!

Not to purposely cause much “eeew”ing on anyone’s part here as a follow up to that last bit of kitty carnage, but the next dream I must mention is that of my teeth falling out. I hesitate to write that, as it seems to be the one dream that I can mention during the day and it will then occur come night. Occasionally I’ll find that I’m eating something soft, often strawberries or a warm scone in a dream. The next thing I know is there is a wobbling, a loosening, and teeth are on the move. Always the ones in the front and usually on the bottom. I try to run to a mirror, (ah, vanity!) and watch helplessly in horror. Inevitably, it occurs while on a date and I’m made to deal with being seen and accepted, or not, in such a state. One time in one of the most disturbing dreams to come to mind, half of my lower jaw came off in my hand, as though it just rotted and decayed, leaving the bloody bony mess that it was, resting in my palm. You know, nothing a little lip gloss can’t fix. ;)

Do they dream those typical dreams afore mentioned that “they” say we all dream?

I’m hugely curious about the dreams of others. I wonder, are there people who dream in black and white, or all in red? Mine are in full color, save one time they were in a rich sienna, much like an aged photo from long ago. Do musicians hear music only to wake and try to capture what they’ve heard in the night? Does anyone ever dream they’re not human? Maybe a roll of Scotch tape instead or a “59”Chevy or a mackerel in a stream? Do they dream of me? Do they dream those typical dreams afore mentioned that “they” say we all dream? So often in conversation, I’ve encountered people who say they don’t dream at all. Tell me about one of your dreams. I want to know I’m not alone in all my delights and fears and absurdities. I want to know. ♦

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SAM Returns and Other Miscellany

Sleep. I begrudgingly should begin getting to bed at a fairly regular time, I suppose. There’s just too much I wanna see, do, and be a part of that even if I’m tired, I push through it until a second burst of energy comes. A total night owl, I am. Working into the wee hours of the morning at various jobs over the years has done much to ingrain this little pattern, and nothing seems to be enough motivation to alter it! Work is currently flexible so no rush to be up and about too early. And I love to see the sunrise, but as a finish to the night versus the beginning of the morning. I have the most comfortable bed in the world, too, it deserves more attention, really. It comes complete with the proverbial frog prince. The other night owls that once populated my life have cycled out and I’m awaiting new ones! Where are you, fellow night owls? Are you out there? I need some company.

Bed

This weekend I finally went to the new Olympic Sculpture Park down at the Seattle waterfront. On the way there, we drove by the Lusty Lady which features wonderfully naughty headlines on their marquee. As we drove by, I read “Welcome Back, Sam” and was not getting the expected double entendre. Then I glanced to my right where the Seattle Art Museum resides. SAM, duh. It’s the opening weekend of the newly renovated museum! There were swarms of people, masses, spilling off the sidewalk into the street, up and around both sides of the block! Thrilled to see the public embracing the return of the museum! I remember standing on the sidewalk nearly two years ago looking at the tall partition covering the beginnings of the renovation and thinking how far away the reopening in spring of 2007 seemed. Now it’s here and I can’t wait to go! The last I’d checked no reopening date was posted and now I find that I could have put my night owlness to use- the museum stayed open through the night on into the next morning where there was said to be all manner of music and dancing. Major kicking of self here! They have the grandest of staircases in white marble with shallow steps and several plateaus perfect for lingering in the wee hours of the morning. Poo. Well, on to the park we went and it’s quite wonderful, I must say, a smaller scale than I imagined, but with an air of European design, the sparse clean look of Sweden to be exact, with a handful of varying sculptures, hence the park’s name. The sculpture of choice was unanimous, a large pop art item, an oversized typewriter eraser. Nothing to be interpreted in the piece as in the other pieces, but there was something so fun in its placement and frozen state of movement, a repurposed identity for a formerly obsolete object. (What is the word for those who shun technology, ending in “yte”? Maybe there’s still a run on typewriter erasers with them, I don’t know.)

Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen's Typewriter Eraser, Scale X

Meet Sophie. My mom’s Schnoodle. She’s a pill! She loves my face. I could do without the rambunctous licking, though. From Sophie, that is. ;) She’s breathed life back into my mom’s fairly uneventful life. A companion for everything from baking cookies to trips to the park. My mom swears that Sophie is the smartest creature on earth, though, has yet to provide sufficient proof. Take the other day when we stood on a ledge overlooking the bay and Sophie decided to step off the ledge and just dangled there by her leash as the water crashed on the rocks below. Swing little doggie, swing!

Schnoodle Wearing Pink Rhinestone T-Shirt

A recent phone call with less than thrilling news on the line has left me really wanting a hug about now, but the closest one is miles and miles away. As I write, there’s a little girl who’s just walked under my window down below and she’s singing that song that goes “You made me love you, I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to do it” and that’s nearly as good as a hug as that song is reserved for the likes of Sinatra and Holiday fans and to think that she knows it and chooses to sing it at her young age puts a smile on my face. ♦

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Now Serving

I’m gonna be here awhile. And the floor is cold.

A less-than-smooth move on my part the other night has left me with a mandatory visit to the DMV. I was loading the groceries into the car and set the outgoing mail and my wallet on top of the car so they wouldn’t get buried on the seat. You can see where this is going already, can’t you? :)

Needless to say, off I drove, stuff still on top of the car. For aways anyway. It only occurred to me what I’d just done after already reaching home. Tina and I had planned on going to the movies; off we went to retrace my path instead.

Now serving number 196 at counter 2 …

Finally, a real live human came on the line and she was so compassionate that all was quickly forgiven.

We checked with store security and lost & found and then searched by foot. Bean was so good to me, incredibly thorough in her searching and minimal chastising for my absent-minded move. She found all three pieces of mail- two Netflix movies, their outer packaging crumpled and dirty and tire-marked, but the discs unbroken (yay!) and more importantly, a document intended for the release of some design work I completed for a company recently. Not a spec of dirt on that one (big yay!). No wallet, though. So back home we went to deal with the cancellation of credit cards and such. I found myself to be remarkably calm, enough truly bad stuff happens to people each day that this was hardly worthy of getting all hot and bothered. That is, until I began calling to report lost cards. After a total of seven attempts at entering my account number, and apparently failing, I lost it. F___ this and f___ that and on I went like the true longshoreman’s daughter that I am. The condescendingly smug electronic voice on the line announced that I would be connected with a “relationship agent” shortly. I can see entering the number in wrong once, even twice, but seven times for a number I know by heart, no way, José! Finally, a real live human came on the line and she was so compassionate that all was quickly forgiven. The remaining calls were gravy following that first one, and I was done in a total of twenty minutes. Not bad! Will miss that wallet, though. It was a gift from Bean, an Alice In Wonderland wallet from Disneyland, with vintage drawings, all worn and aged in look not like the lame psychedelic versions I see for sale at any local mall. The very worst? The loss of Starbuck’s gift cards. WAAAAAAAAAAH! Three, all with nice balances on them.

Now serving number 197 at counter 4 …

I think every ugly sneaker on the planet is congregated in this room. There’s a biker standing to my left and I can smell the leather of his boots. Other than that, it smells dank in here, and stale. Everyone I see looks like the watered down, slightly less vibrant version of someone else I once knew. It’s really the perfect place to sketch. That woman standing off to the side, skirt slightly askew, shining brown hair hanging down her back, her stance has an awkwardness to it, like she can feel eyes on her that she’d rather not. The squat little woman wearing black and blue horizontal striped stockings pulled over her very full calves that disappear under what looks like an Oktoberfest get-up. My, she’s either just off work from some German deli or she takes serious pride in her heritage. There appears to be only one person in the room with fashion sense. And today, it’s not me. He’s off in the corner, looking like he just walked off stage after performing with some Boho-indie band, and is here scoping subjects out for new lyrical content.  

Now serving number 198 at counter 5 …

There’s a math problem here, I just know it. X amount of ‘s called per Y minutes = total average wait. Something to that effect. My bum is asleep. A man has just entered the building on his cell exclaiming, “Dude! You should see this place! I am now officially clinically depressed.” He’s summed up the atmosphere of the room, crammed with people. He’s continued to prattle on about plans with someone named “Audrey” and is sharing his opinions on everything from global warming to the latest South Park rerun. “Sign of the times, dude, sign of the times,” he says. Outta the mouths of babes, as they say, as he’s certainly a sign of the times with his intrusive phone conversation echoing throughout, reaching a captive audience. And not a babe, but rather, a mechanic.

Now serving number 199 at counter 1 …

I was loving the social experiment his reign had become!

While I’m here I’ll tell you my thoughts on the latest season of American Idol. I gotta say that I was mildly bummed to see that little Sanjaya fellow go. In prior weeks, Tina has pitched a regular fit just short of death threats over him taking the space of a more worthy contestant. She’s theorized the same widely reported ideas by the media that his success has been in part to call-ins from all the outsourced jobs in India, Sanjaya being of Indian descent. A great singer he is not, projection being his problem, a lack of it, that is, but his thousand watt smile and gorgeous crop of hair gave him a charismatic draw. I was loving the social experiment his reign had become! Tina insists that American Idol is a singing competition, and therefore should produce a winner with true talent. I insist that it’s American Idol, that in our music industry filled with many a performer displaying only average talent that’s then been over-produced and highly packaged for mass appeal, who better to reflect that than a winner with only average talent as well. After a handful of seasons, I liked seeing how the public manipulated the voting results with various websites and media personalities persuading their viewers to vote or not to vote for this person or that.

Now serving number 200 at counter 4 …

The toddling child just down the way with the big dark eyes has pulled off his sock and triumphantly flung it to the middle of the room. I’d almost join him, if I was wearing socks. He’s the only bit of joy I can see in here. This place smacks of a social statement waiting to be made. All here waiting for a similar goal, we are, together, but alone. Solitary. There’s a man sitting next to me, his face a little more than a foot from mine, as it’s a tight fit in here today, and yet, I’ve only just noticed his presence, having been lost in my writing. How sad to be so close in proximity and yet so disconnected. Life is meant for risk to some degree and I can’t think of a better one than that of connection to those around us. That said, a man has opened the door for a woman entering and a brief smile flashes on the faces of each. For the most part, though, everyone looks so glum, and I wonder do I as well? I feel anything but glum, a tad melancholy in reflection, but nevertheless, bursting with inspiration. Inspiration has not ceased for weeks now, it comes from everything! In a book title I read, in the lines of a scripture in Psalms, down a road I mistakenly turned down, from a used tire lot filled with stacks and stacks of towering old tires with blackberry vines growing up and over their tops, from the written words of an old friend, from flowers from my dad on May Day. From this room! I love, love, love the diversity in this room! Every color, nationality, and background imaginable. The best are those who have a complexity due to the mixing of race. Take the little boy to my right with the jet black hair, porcelain white skin, and grey (neato!) eyes. The woman he calls “Mama” displays fair hair, freckled skin and brown eyes. Must contain this desire to create awhile longer … get me to a canvas to release some of this pent-up need for visual exploration, I must paint!

Now serving number 201 at counter 3 …

… my number is 331. ♦

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A Taste of Satisfaction

Guess what my Dad saw yesterday on the way home?

No, guess again. :)

Okay, so he’s driving up the rather steep hill towards his house when he sees a tow truck heading down the hill towing ——- tada! Much broohaha and fanfare to be had here ——– a BLUE EL CAMINO with a YELLOW FLAME paint job!!! If this has no meaning to you, please read the prior post and then you, too, may marvel at the utterly divine providence of his encounter with said vehicle in tow.

Meanwhile a woman sporting a mound of dreadlocks

He promptly turned around and proceeded to follow the tow truck for miles on down the road until he found himself pulling into a small apartment complex. He exited the vehicle with pen and paper in hand to record the license number of the El Camino. The truck driver walked back to ask if he needed help with anything to which my Dad replied, “Nope, just taking down the license number of the car that hit and ran my daughter last week.” Meanwhile a woman sporting a mound of dreadlocks (familiar, anyone?) had meandered up to the car, cell phone firmly adhered to her head. She asked, “What?” apparently having caught only the tail end of my Dad’s retort. He gladly repeated, “You hit my daughter last week and I’m here to take down your license number for the police.”

He turned and got back in his car, not awaiting a response, and left the woman standing there not fully comprehending the situation just yet. He said the wait at the light just down the hill from her place was the longest red light in the history of mankind. He was itching to leave the area pronto, as it was one of the seedier parts in town and besides, he didn’t want her following him, possibly in some other vehicle.

I’m thrilled that that woman’s come-uppance came full circle so quickly and was delivered so personally, no less. In a comparison of license numbers it turns out Bean was off by one digit, she recorded an “8” at the end instead of a “B”. I feel empowered knowing where to locate that woman – hooray for a taste of satisfaction!

Not the most comforting form of communication, I gotta tell you.

I answer the phone to hear Bean’s tearful voice on the line. Hackles go up, intense need to protect kicks in and the willingness to go above and beyond awakes as I await her words. She tells me that her passenger side car window has been smashed in, glass bits are strewn everywhere. Nothing stolen, though. She had gone to workout this morning and the car was fine, only to head down to the car again for work, where she discovered the window. Or lack there of. There’s rarely a soul around here come daytime, so suspects were few. Her theory is that the maintenance man mowing the nearby lawn kicked up a rock and shattered the glass and was afraid to say anything for fear of losing his job. I’m skeptical, but wasn’t there to get a feel for the situation as she did. We entertained mild paranoia in reasoning that it may’ve been the El Camino woman, but the matter of how the heck she’d know where we live quickly squelched that idea. I stayed on the phone looking up auto glass replacement deals online while Bean awaited our Dad’s arrival, wanting help in vacuuming up the glass. We’re so lucky to have a nearby and willing-to-help Dad! The only problem is, I could hear him arrive in the background by his yelling. If we’ve been hurt in any way, shape or form, he shows his care by yelling. Not the most comforting form of communication, I gotta tell you. I used to say he was very much like the dad from the Wonder Years. He realizes that it hardly makes sense to be angry, but he pretty much has the attitude that that’s the way he is so learn to deal. A boo and a hiss! Life is all about improving on what could use improving.

Total personal aside here: They say that women tend to marry a man like their father and that terrifies me. I have yet to date someone who has yelled at me, and that’s no accident. Excessive grouching, the birthplace of yelling, is second only to cockiness on the short list of biggest turn offs. If anyone yelled it was me. Entirely counterproductive (read: no fun) and has since been tamed with much work.

You know this little tangent is all because I watched You’ve Got Mail. Again. All that “finding the one person who fills your heart with joy,” all the writing, the verbal combativeness and witty banter segueing into vulnerability and friendship. And books. New York. Enchantment. Le sigh.

Finding that one person is certainly not in the top priorities, but I imagine it will be one day, and it’d be nice to know now that there’s someone out there capable of the intellectual stimulation, coupled with the assertiveness not to allow me to bulldoze them, yet with the confidence and respect to allow me to share differing thoughts and opinions without blowing a gasket. Among other things. Tall order. Quantity: 1

The car window will be fixed tomorrow. The El Camino woman has a hitch in her giddy up, thanks to the Dad and the law. All is nearly right in car news and karma. Hoping to keep it that way! ♦

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