Tuesday, April 25, 2006
If you were suddenly forced to run to a storm cellar, what two things would you take? (family members and pets are already assumed).
Monday, April 24, 2006
Unlike most people I’ve met, I look forward to Mondays. My work week begins, the house has quieter days during which I can more easily concentrate on my work, and a comfortable routine returns. Monday is also the day that I take care of my house plants, a soothing activity for me. It has been a wonderful weekend. In two short days I have experienced the following:
- I saw our girls transformed from teenaged students to elegant young women in their prom dresses, accessories and salon-styled hair.
- I saw tears of joy spill from Nettl’s eyes when she saw them.
- I was moved to my foundation by a spiritually charged phone conversation I had with a friend.
- I shared laughter with my dear friend, Debra, and felt love for her when she put her head on my lap.
- I enjoyed a lazy Sunday of napping in front of the telly.
- A friend came over to spend Sunday evening with us, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Friday, April 21, 2006
I just took a Xanax—the first I’ve used in ages. My prescription is one refill a month, but it takes me three or four months to get through it. Anyway, I’m way off whack here. For the past week my schedule has been completely chaotic, and I’m hoping I’ll sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow ready to work during the day, rather than all night.
Providing that I get up before noon tomorrow, I’m going to take an hour to leisurely read my favorite blogs over my morning coffee. No more of this jumping right to work the minute my feet hit the floor.
I made scampi for dinner. I thought my entire family was going to melt away into little puddles of bliss. That always feels good. Few people know that if I were younger, at this point in time, I’d probably be pursing a career as a television chef. I’m not sure what my schtick would be—I’ll think on that and let you know. Nevertheless, I’ve been building my recipe database (not easy since I neither follow them nor write them down; I’m a use-your instincts-and-throw-it-in-there kind of cook. Guess cheffing runs in our family as strongly as does music and writing. My grandmother was a phenomenal baker; never measured a thing, and my older brother is head chef at a major casino restaurant.
Okay. The Xanax is working. I’m gone. Hopefully, I’ll be writing a morning entry after I wake up.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
ME: “I’m not ready to be awake yet. I’m going back to bed.”MYSELF: “You can’t do that, you lazy bum. You’ll sleep the day away if you do.
I: “Kiss my ass. A body needs sleep you know.”
ME: “I’m not even going to wait for this coffee. I’m crawling back to the sack right now.”MYSELF: “Lynette will come home at lunch time and get mad that you’re still in bed, although she’s already put in most of her day at work, you lazy bum.”
I: “Blow me. She’s not like that at all. In fact, she’ll be happy to see Me sleeping peacefully, instead of working like a fiend, and getting sick.”
ME: “I’m outta here. I can’t even see straight.”
MYSELF: “You’ll be sorry, you lazy bum.”
I: “Oh, bite me.”
So I took Me, Myself and I back to bed and slept until 1:00. Of course, when I awoke, I was flooded with guilt and set about immediately to making the bed, and making my environment appear as if I’d been awake all morning. Why do I do that? I’ve worked more hours this week than I would have if I had an 8-5 job. And I’m getting paid for it. What a dumbass. Someday I hope I’ll adjust to the self-employed mindset and leave behind the brainwashing of my years in the Work Force. I’m acting like a feudal serf.
cook it up in a pan;
I can clean like a housewife,
but I can fart like a man!”
But dinner tonight was Domino’s pizza and hot wings. Sorry. My bad. Actually, I hardly remember eating. When I’m in a creative state like this, I slip into another reality and my memory for that kind of thing (i.e. eating, sleeping, communicating) just slips away from me. It’s even worse when I’m composing or writing. That’s when I damned near become an idiot savant.
Do you know how good it feels to feel good after all these years? But I’m fading fast here, and must get to bed soon. One of the great things about middle age is requiring less sleep. Neener neener!
Geez, I’m getting stupid now for lack of sleep…
Okay, I’m outta here. One more glass of wine and I’m out for the count. Think I’ll sleep in. Screw the guilt complex.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
With so much work, I find that I have to divide my work time in shifts: the days will get one project and the nights will get the other. Then, of course, there are my own sites to maintain. I love it! I love working!
Can’t believe it got into the hundreds today—and it’s only April. I think we’re in for a hot one, folks.
And now, time for a question:
What is it and why is it there?
I have two fortune cookie fortunes: “You will attract cultured and artistic people to your home.” and “Success will be yours at home and in business.” Pretty clear why I have them up there.
Monday, April 17, 2006
On Saturday, as I returned from taking Nathan to a friend’s house, I got behind a couple in a pick-up truck. The girl was sitting next to the boy, like couples used to do before seat belt laws. It was nice to see, and it reminded me of summer days in the Sixties when sitting in this manner felt special, vaguely rebellious. It also reminded me of an Art Garfunkel song:
in our cars,
Cruisin’ after the game,
Let your baby know in cars,
Two behind the wheel like double-neck guitars,
In our cars.
We fell in love in cars,
in a car at the show,
Silhouettes on the glass,
memories in chrome.
Take your baby home in cars,
everything was warm,
What a perfect form underneath the stars,
In our cars.
Friday, April 14, 2006
I’ve been combing through my blogroll, catching up on everyone, and something occurred to me. Suppose we bloggers are a new take on diarists like Virginia Woolf, Anaïs Nin, Boswell, Sylvia Townsend, and so many more. I mean, suddenly, everyone’s keeping a weblog. Will these be passed down to our children and grandchildren as family heirlooms? And will the cream rise to the top and wind up in some published form that will be available to the public in 2106? And even if blogging is just a fad, and it eventually falls from popularity, or morphs into something else, won’t we still leave our blogs behind to be read later? These questions can really only be answered after the phenomenon is over and we’re all dead and gone, but I can’t help but feel that we’re leaving something important for the generations who will come after us.
Kind of makes me wish mine wasn’t so silly sometimes, but oh well, I’m often a silly person, and that’s the point, I think. We’re leaving behind detailed self-portraits. I’m still not sure why it’s important for us to reveal ourselves so intimately to people we’ll never meet, but I’m glad we’re doing it.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
I’m happy to say that my earlier funk has given way to the full moon and I’m feeling pretty feisty, although I’m tired and plan to go to bed as soon as this entry is posted.
We had a good evening. I made a chicken divan over brown rice for dinner, and after cleaning up the dishes, Nettl and I went out to get groceries. No big deal, really, but we had fun and came home and put everything away. After that, we watched Top Chef, a show I didn’t think I’d like when it started a few weeks ago, but I actually do. They’re all kind of pissing me off at this point though. What a bunch of bitches, cry-babies and passive-aggressive, pretentious prigs. It’s a TV show, people, plus it’s a competition, and to top it off, IT’S ONLY FOOD! It ends up flushed down the toilet anyway. Perspective, people. Perspective. Besides, I can’t stand this pretentious nouvelle cuisine crap. A twig topped by a piece of clam the size of a black olive, lying on a plate that’s been dotted and smeared with fingerprints of orange sauce does not, in my opinion, a meal make.
Personally, I think Miguel would be a genius at a good old Philly cheese steak sandwich, and Steven had better stick to wine labels and hair gel. Tiffani can just bite me, and poor Dave, well, he seriously needs to lose the wine-induced crying jags, bless his heart. My prediction is that Lee Anne will win this Bravo competition.
And I can’t believe I’ve gotten sucked into this…
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Whatnot 2: I’ve joined the Roundtable, and I’m looking forward to being an active, inebriated participant each Thursday. Hey, it’s just a new incarnation of my old beloved Hair Night, only in the blogosphere rather than in my living room. Looks like my turn comes up on the 27th of this month. It’s only right that I be a member of this group. Alexander Woollcott was my great-great uncle, so I kind of see this as my attempt to carry on a fine family tradition (hic!). Click that blurred excuse for an image. Uncle Alexander is the rotund old queen with the cigarette holder and round eyeglasses. Here’s to you, dear uncle! I promise to get that ring reset one of these days.
Whatnot 3: I’ve been in a mega funk today. You know the kind. The kind where you drink your fancy import beer straight from the bottle rather than from the appropriate glass.
Whatnot 4: Tonight there was a concert with Lauren’s wind ensemble. Those kids can really play. Before we went, Nettl and I pigged out at Lu’s. When we walked in, there stood Mr. Ex-Nettl with the kids, paying their bill. I was glad they were leaving as we were just arriving. Doing the “big happy family” thing at these concerts and school programs is one thing, but eating out together is something else.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
I fell asleep with no problems whatsoever, got caught up in some intense dreaming until just before 11:00 and woke up feeling rested and refreshed. I think I’m back in step now; I’ll just have to avoid the urge to nap after dinner. As soon as I can, I’m buying a treadmill. It’s something everyone in the house can use and I’ll definitely get my use out of it. Hopefully, some new work I’ve been offered will come through soon.
A cynical feeling I had yesterday has lifted. Wonder what the hell that was? I always listen to these inner messages, but I guess sometimes they’re just left over funk from other situations. Perhaps yesterday’s was just the last dregs of my recent illness, I don’t know, but today I feel better about the things that are going on in my life. And I should be. Nothing’s sucking right now. More precisely, everything is incredibly wonderful!
We just signed and turned in our final two-year lease with our landlord. We started leasing from him in August 2000; a nice little house over on Virginia Avenue, where our yard was visited by box turtles, rabbits, deer and fox and where we liked to sit on the front porch on summer nights, watching the fireflies.
In 2004 we moved into our current house, a new, beautiful 2800-sf place even more in the country, but in a private, seven-house development. Fireflies are hard to come by out here, but because we’re nestled between Boomer lake and two large ponds, we get plenty of mosquitoes. And the only wildlife I’ve seen here are rabbits and stray cats. There are a lot of birds, but I no longer see my beloved cardinals, a breed that used to nest in the cedar grove across Virginia Avenue from our house. You have to understand that in California there are no cardinals or fireflies, even in the Santa Ynez Valley where I grew up on a ranch. These simple things make me happy. Anyway, we’re now contracted to stay in this house until July 29, 2008. Our next residence will be Vienna, Austria. It’s a peculiar feeling.
I remember one warm summer night in particular, when Nettl and I sat outside the Virginia Avenue house and contemplated buying it. We talked about the picket fence we would put up, the room we’d build above the garage, and the French doors we’d install off of the living room. Staying in Stillwater didn’t seem like such a bad idea back then, or after we moved into this house and thought about staying here. After all, when you’re with the one you love, and have family and friends, one place is as good as another. Then we went to Vienna—a second trip for both of us. As we sat in one of our favorite cafes, we realized that Oklahoma would never be an option. Never was, really. There was no going back to the small-town mindset to which we’d adapted due to wanting to raise out kids in a relatively safe and homespun area.
So now we begin preparing for life as a couple, sans kids and elderly parents. Looks like the girls want to enter St. John’s College in their turn, Lauren in Annapolis and Heather in Santa Fe, and Nathan (sob!) will be moving to Wichita with his father this summer. This stage of my life is drawing to a close, and although I had a difficult time adjusting to raising a second family in my 50s, I find I’m already hurting. Next school term it’ll just be the girls, and the year after that it’ll just be Heather, then, the evitable will happen: they’ll all be out and we’ll become ex-pats in Vienna. This family phase of my life didn’t last very long, but I’m so happy I got to experience it. And I guess I’ll be able to look forward to Lauren (who wants to do her grad work in France) spending her vacations with us, and Christmas visits from all of the kids, in Vienna. But for now, I’m still planning menus, closing toilet lids, wiping fingerprints off of the fridge door, and wondering who drank my apple juice.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Got up, fed fish, stumbled to the bathroom.
Drank two cups of coffee.
Watered some plants.
Made the bed.
Read more of Brando’s book.
Took a nap.
Woke up and watched a little telly.
Went to bed.
Saturday, April 8, 2006
Thursday, April 6, 2006
On another note, the wind is blowing like the French Mistral. All of our patio furniture is all over the yard, but I’m not picking it up until the wind stops. We’re in a tornado watch anyway
Answer the following questions using only the song titles from a chosen musician or band. Of course, I added a couple (nos. 8 & 9)
- Musician I chose: Bob Dylan
- Are you male or female? Mixed Up Confusion
- Describe yourself: The Man in Me
- How do some people feel about you? You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
- How do you feel about yourself? My Back Pages
- Describe your ex: Just Like a Woman
- Describe your current significant other: If Not For You
- Describe a best friend: Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat
- Describe some one who is no longer your friend: Positively 4th Street
- Describe where you want to be: Bob Dylan’s Dream
- Describe how you live: Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again (Stuck inside of Stillwater with the Vienna Blues Again)
- Describe how you love: Lay, Lady, Lay
- What would you ask for if you had just one wish? When the Ship Comes In
- Share a few words of wisdom: Disease of Conceit
- Now say goodbye: Restless Farewell
Wednesday, April 5, 2006
Whatnot 2: While drinking my first cup of coffee this morning, I head a commotion in the back yard (the window by my side of the bed looks out over it), and I went outside to see what was going on. Two blackbirds were busy building a nest in the rain gutter. Seeing as how we’re expecting some severe storms I didn’t think that their plan was very smart, so I pulled out the ladder and climbed up to see what was going on. The unfinished next wasn’t in the gutter itself, but in the downspout. That explains the dead chick I found on the grass last year and the mass of wet grasses around it. I got some green plastic mesh and cut it to fit in the gutter while the prospective mother gave me what-for from her perch on the roof of our house. Later, when I looked out my window, both birds seemed a little disturbed, their beaks full of grass, but they’re gone now. They’ll thank me later.
Whatnot 3: After barricading the downspout of the rain gutter, I brought in our Österbaum (Easter tree) stuff from the garage and set it up. This is an Austrian tradition that I adopted in 1994 after spending Easter in Vienna.