Friday, January 12, 2007

Your Birthday is a Holiday - Friday 1/12/2007

This website has a listing of the food holidays that have been designated for each and every day of the year. I could easily become obsessed.

My birthday is Fig Newton Day.

I want a recount!

My brother got bittersweet chocolate. My sister got potato chips. My other brother got both grilled cheese and licorice. Mom got peach ice cream. My dear departed father got clam chowder and chocolate covered nuts.

I ask you… Is that right? Fig Newtons!?

Okay, while IMing with the level-headed American about this, she pointed out that it is also International Hot & Spicy Food day. Oh. I didn't read that far. I saw fig newtons and I just naturally flew off the handle and went to see how my siblings stacked up.

I am appeased. I like the hot and the spicy, and especially the international.

Jay Saves the Day - Thursday 1/11/2007

My writing group is meeting tonight instead of our usual night, which means I have the hours between 3:30 and 7:00 to fill. Usually this isn’t a problem. It’s a delight. I hang out in a coffee house, run an errand, read a book, hit the library, and every so wonderful often meet with the inspiring Megs for a writing date.

But tonight. Woeful tonight. I sat at my desk, staring at the computer, unable to pull myself away from the XM 70s radio that’s available for free on AOL. I did a little research for my novel, put a fraud alert on my credit report (remember that story on NPR about UCLA student and staff records being hacked—yeah), goofed around on 43Things, and developed an ache in the small of my back. And also developed an ache in the pithy part of my soul. Just too many hours at the desk.

I finally packed up my gear and headed down the stairs when my office-mate left. It’s just too weird getting there two hours before her and staying after she leaves. Out on the sidewalk…I just stood there looking around. Undecided. What to do? I didn’t feel like doing anything. Still two hours to go.

I perched on the edge of an outdoor chair with my head in my hands, considering my options, feeling drained, when Jay said hello. Jay’s the guy who sits outside of Priscilla’s with his Pomeranian on his lap most afternoons. Sometimes alone. Often with people who are probably like me, that he’s been friendly with over the years.

I’m not sure about Jay’s story. I need to get it straight one of these days. What I’ve heard is that he was injured in an accident on a film set, and he spent a lot of time trying to get someone to help pay the bills. He’s got some sort of brain damage. He’s told me that himself.

“I won’t remember your name,” he said when I finally introduced myself, “But I’ll remember you. I know people by their essences, and I’ll remember that you’re one of the good ones.”

Tonight he said, “You look like you’ve had it.”

I said I had, and explained a little about how my brain seemed to have flattened out.

“Remember, we’re human beings, not human doings,” he told me. “Try to stay in the now. This moment. Get yourself a coffee. Hold it in your hands and feel the warmth. That’s happening right now. People forget to just coast. You need to just stay still for a while.”

Now, I know that that first line has been bandied about a lot. And it may be foolish to take advice like this from a guy who seems to do little else than stay still. But I managed to step back from my skepticism and let the universe deliver what it was trying to offer me.

After all, I think I have seen him journey from being very resentful about his current diminished situation to being fairly okay with it on a daily basis. Being in the now, rather than resenting the past or fearing the future.

“I think you just turned my evening around,” I told him as he held the door open so I could go inside and get that double espresso he was talking about.

He was gone when I got back to this table on the sidewalk. I sat here for a full seventeen minutes before getting out my laptop and starting to write. That’s kickin’ back for Sundry, let me tell you.
But it’s okay, because this has been fun, and it has to be fun sometimes. It has to be that when you’re writing you occasionally allow yourself to follow your nose like a little kid playing on a summer afternoon.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Shaggy Pays a Visit - Wednesday 1/10/2007

Lookit! Luna's brother, Shaggy, spent the afternoon in the office.

Luna showed him the ropes. The best places to hide rawhide bones (one of which is under my desk), how to get workers to turn around and coo at you, etc.

Here, they work on their synchronized sitting. This stuff takes practice.

It's not as easy as it sounds.

Kirk Never Had to Deal with This - Tuesday 1/9/2007

The Starship Enterprise always looked brand spanking new.

I suspect that the good Captain didn't spend as much time in his command chair as I do. Or apparently have such a wicked tendency to press down on the left arm rest. The right one's fine.

I have never denied that I lean to the left. I just hadn't realized it manifested itself so physically.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

House Near the Library - Monday 1/8/2007

I usually turn around on this side street after visiting the library. I like the interesting mix of plants and lions (there's another one out of this frame) and, yes, even the old shadeless lamps!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Too Much Time on My Hands - Sunday 1/7/2007

When I saw this in the Trader Joe's parking lot in Palmdale this morning, the Styx song "Too Much Time On My Hands" came to mind.

You'll see what I mean if you click on the lyrics. Ah, life in the high desert berg.

Traffic School - Saturday 1/6/2007

Online traffic school is definitely the way to go. You can stop and start it multiple times (my sentence was 6 hours and 40 minutes.) You can do it anywhere you have an Internet connection. You can do it in your pajamas with a cup of tea.

You take the test and they send the results to your traffic court for you. On this site, all for $14.50!

I was bad. I was singing and there was no one in front of me to hold me back. I sped.

Now, I am absolved. I have paid my debt to society.

As an added bonus, I now understand what all the different colors of curb paint mean.

You may envy me.

You may touch the hem of my garment.