Getting Ready For the Next

Lovely Topaz dreams of velvety cushions and fishy treats.

I’m on vacation, which is to say I’m skipping around my house fixing broken things and cleaning kitty noseprints from windows. This morning, I set up yogurt, made phone calls and hung laundry outside on the line. Between the warm sun, the pleasant breeze, the company of happy cats and the quiet of our house, which I simply adore being in, I did the Snoopy dance all day. Don’t get me wrong. I am fortunate beyond belief to have a job where my bad behavior is a bigass bonanza and my smart mouth is a surprising asset, and I work for people who’d laugh if I turned up dressed for scuba diving, but nothing beats doing the backstroke around my own house. Come to think of it, house cleaning would be more fun with flowery swim caps and sparklers – for the cats.

Since we are shedding a housemate, Pete and I emptied our closets and dresser drawers of everything weighing us down. Tomorrow morning, a truck will come take away bags of clothes that don’t fit and toys the housemate’s kids outgrew eons ago. The volume of stuff we are giving away is both impressive and discouraging, since until this morning, we lived with all this. I won’t be sorry to see it go.

One of my oldest friends recently disappeared into her addictions after years of sailing that horizon. Days ago, she crossed the line by wishing her sisters dead on Facebook, so I called her out. She said she’ll never speak to me again. Tonight, I saw her on the street. She’s become violent so I wondered if she’d attack me, but she walked on by. On this first day of summer, perhaps we are ready for more than one fresh start.

All the Children Sing

I was planning to write a stirring epic blog post of indescribable beauty but alas my net connection tanked and now I’m too tired to count how many fingers I’m holding up unless they’re holding a glass of chardonnay. Let us reconvene tomorrow at this locale and hope for less drooling and more drolling. Yes, I made that up. No, I don’t take it back. Tomorrow!

Who Was the New Authority

What? You don't have a vintage Spice Girls gift bag?

Our housemate is moving out a little at a time between last weekend and the end of this month, so our quiet casa is in chaos. He’s complaining, which makes his impending absence a cheery thought. For our parts, Pete and I are looking forward to being able to work on the house again without worrying about our resident worrywart. We have a bunch of summer projects lined up, like fixing up a downstairs wrecked room, putting up a ceiling and repainting what is soon to be empty. When these projects came up, our hopes for going to rowing camp flew out the window, but that’s okay. Effort invested now will make our winter wonderful. And speaking of winter, stray cats will need blankets so I’ve started knitting. On Facebook, I asked friends to give or send spare yarn and I’d knit it into blankets for cats, which I’ve done before. Within days, a friend brought me a bag of yarn and fabric scraps, and as you can see, this project is a go. I expect to knit all summer, because no matter how balmy this day, cold nights are coming.

My Heart On the Dance Floor

A few months ago, I lost my patience and Pete found me attacking the upstairs TV remote with a sharpened paper clip. I couldn’t take it apart and fix the stuck buttons, so the TV became a statue of a TV until we bought and hooked up a DVR player; we didn’t bother buying a universal remote because antenna service is like watching radio stuck between stations. Anyhoo, DVDs of Red Dwarf proved too tough to hear clearly over the stationary bike or the rowing machine, so I resorted to watching exercise videos until Pete told me the sound of Denise Austin’s voice was putting a permanent wave in his EEG. It turned out episodes of Nero Wolfe form a box set Siobhan gave me a zillion years ago in 2005 made exercise time fly by, and for months, I’ve been working my way through the series, which is now at an end. With just a couple of bonus features to watch, I’m asking for advice. What should I pick up?

Movies are no good. I spend about 20-30 minutes on the machines at a time, then stretch, so I need eight or nine DVDs of something smart, funny and stylish because I’m shallow that way. The series should also be complete, since I don’t need a new hobby. Siobhan recommended Pushing Daisies and I’ll give that a try, but the series didn’t last long and I’m thinking ahead. Whaddya think?

Not Even A Cold War

Step 1: Fall in love. Step 2: Buy a Vespa. Step 3: Profit!

In 1977, my grandparents and I stepped out of a train station and into daylight in Italy. To my eye, the roads came from wild directions and led away crazily. Just then, a woman in a full wedding gown drove by on a Vespa. This was the first time I knew that things happened because I was there to see them.

The disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico signals the end of cheap oil-based American prosperity. It may take a few years for the full horror to dawn on us all along the Gulf Stream on both sides of the Atlantic, but it will because it’s all in motion. In the same way we look back and see how life was radically different during the recession and energy crisis of the early seventies than it is now, we will look back and see this disaster as a turning point. It’s over. If I’m going to learn how to ride a Vespa, now’s the time.

In a few weeks, there’s a class, and I already own a bridal veil and a helmet.