Monday, November 21, 2005

3.1 Tears

I ran the annual Ann Arbor Turkey Trot (for the second time) two Sundays ago...Alexis was post call, so I picked her up from the hospital and we drove to Hudson Mills Metro Park first thing in the morning. I do like to port my cheering section.

It was a lovely, lovely day for a tromp through the woods, and my time was almost 12 minutes less than the last time I ran it. Oddly enough, the winner of both the 5K and the 10K was a woman who was in my high school physics class - and I went to high school almost 400 miles away. It's like there's some weird astral port between white liberal college towns. Also, please note band-aid over my boo-boo finger. I cut myself badly while giving Alexis a trim (note: cuts with scissors are bad, bad cuts - I took a chunk the size of Cleveland (pre-industrial crash) out of my best typing finger). That's right - I ran *with an injury*. Go me.

We rounded out the early morning at Great Lakes - unfortunately, it was a bit too early for the squid cart, but delicious nonetheless. Again, the haircut is a bit shorter than usual, and with more bald spots...due to my blood-loss-induced ineptitude. Alexis notices the bald spots, but only mentions them to her co-workers, not to me, lest she get kicked off the "Free Haircut" gravy train. But perhaps this is not such a bad train from which to lose gravy privileges?

Pork mixed with shrimp makes the pain GO AWAY!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

It occurs to us...

...that Sarah and Mark are in the thick of it. We're sitting here in flannel PJs and flannel sheets, full of tea and the first course of holiday cookies, listening to the wind-chimes outside the window, surfing the web, and thinking of them and the way they cut their books with special sneaky razors. I imagine tonight that they are leaning into the November wind, shouldering to school and home again, desperate and unfed. It makes us so sad we turned the heater up a notch and threw another cat on the bed.

Um, whoops.

Mom is visiting, and she's been trying to feed herself from the dregs in our kitchen. Today she tried to have some bread (moldy), and then some leftover pizza (old and odd), and then resorted to some bologna (which she hasn't had for years). Bologna needs mustard, though, right? And she proceeded to pull not one, not two, but three *empty* jars of mustard out of the damn fridge. The only kind left was this Tarragon Dijon, which, as she determined, does not really go with Oscar Mayer.

We still have a lot of cheese puffs, and frozen meat. Lots and lots of frozen meat.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

29 Times

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Thirty years ago tonight...

Surrounded by the Great Lakes as we are here, and feeling the shake of their waves and a full hour from shore...This day reminds me that in all of our lives, we live epics. We live lives of strength and heroism, whether we struggle to quietly feed our children or we brave our last desperate moments on an ice-slick deck. It's all in the retelling:

They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Detroit Entendre

Who doesn't love hockey?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Four of Four

Not sure how it got to be over - twelve hours on a table & millions of tiny injuries - and now it's done.

It's more beautiful than I could ever have imagined. Not only is the ink itself beautiful, it gives all negative space more strength and intensity. The design brings art and meaning to all the places it's not.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

We Saw

It was one of the last nights for the Wyoming Drive-In. Last for us, certainly, but the gravel hillocks were still populated with brave souls on lawn chairs, wrapped against the chill November night. The Drive-In's response to our turning from the sun was simply to move from three movies a night to four. In high summer, when the sun sets late, the first shows begin around 9pm. These November nights, however, bring shows at 7:30pm, 9:30pm, 11:30pm, and either a 1:30 or 3:00am, depending.

Alexis picked me up from work, and we'd both looked at the movie schedule. My vote? Chicken Little...Alexis? Saw II. After the pizza, I whined all the way down 94, but insisted that we see Saw. Ugh, my faith in humanity is shot.

At a drive-in, you can pull back a bit and distance yourself from the movie, and I spent most of the time with my glasses off, my iPod on full blast, digging chocolate-covered pretzels out of the ice cream, and loudly asking:

"What's happening?"
"Is she dead?"
"Why'd he do that?"
"Is he sad about what he did?"
"If people really got killed like that, you'd see their x-rays, right?"
(Her response: "Well, dead people don't come to the ER.")
"Did he die by burning or by smoke inhalation?"
"Is she a bad guy?"
"Whose knife is that?"
"What's that noise?"
"What happened before?"

The windows were open, and the guys getting high in the next car must have been *pissed*.

As a side-note: Why, I ask, in Dearborn, Michigan, with the River Rouge flames licking up into the far-off night, in a mini-mart where the black men and the Arab men stare daggers at one another through the bullet-proof glass, why is the only Ben & Jerry's available "Chubby Hubby?" This is not a good ice cream. You'd better have a strong spoon because you will be spending your next hour digging the pretzels out of the goo and flinging vanilla/caramel/fudge-swirled hunks out the car window. Sheesh.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Pool with the people

It hasn't been that long that I've been barreling along these diagonal paths at this half-assed state school. (Harvard of the West? My whole ass. Harvard is the Harvard of the West, this is like the Var-Hard of the West. And whatever Var is, I mean it in this case to imply "self-congratulatory".)

Mostly, my cross-campus forays have either been:
A. On wide, perfectly smooth, gently curving paths that were primarily abandoned because my classmates were in Paris getting facials, or
B. On crowded pathways on steep (generally icy) hills with classmates who you can generally assume to be suicidal (and should therefore not walk behind).

The paths here are crowded with dumb-as-shit Michiganders and girls from NY and NJ, all of whom wear those simply infuriating split-skirt stretchy pseudo-Yoga things. Have I written here recently about how angry that piece of clothing makes me? Angry, angry, angry. I mean, those girls are not doing Yoga, they are spending their early Saturday mornings (a prime Yoga time) rising from the bushes, recovering from whatever they drank, and standing in line for a morning-after pill. (Which, you can only get on Saturdays here until 1pm, so get up early, girls!) The only thing that makes me angrier is seeing a pair of pants flopping out of fucking Uggs. Fucking ugh!

Whew, I have to calm down - I'm beginning to split my shirt.

Anyway, as you might imagine, I spend a lot of my traveling time here being furious. Surprise! This fury manifests in two significant ways: the glare, and People Pool. The glare is pretty easy to understand, but People Pool takes some 'splainin. (In all honesty, I've always ended up messing with personal space. When I was in the corporate world, I regularly got in revolving doors with folks. This is surprisingly hysterical, and the best way to do it is to keep a perfectly straight face - suits don't really know what to do. Usually, they'd force out a strained hello, and I'd turn my face towards them and give a low "Hey, howya doin'." Ah, good times.) Also, I feel I must defend myself - I wouldn't achieve half this much intensity of anger if these folks knew how to use the path -

There are lanes, people! Yes, I know they're imaginary, but they are a generally-recognized societal agreement. You know how you drive your car on the right? Well, that's where you should DRIVE YOUR ASS. Extrapolate, damn you!

Oh wait, people can't drive around here, either. Perhaps that explains it.


PEOPLE POOL (Rules for Generalized Play)

Please note: Rules can be modified for your specific needs according to whatever is pissing you off right now (self-satisfied young mothers talking on their cellphones and pushing expensive perambulators, or sloppy, grabby couples publicly flaunting their heterosexual privilege, or slick, tanned mid-twenties business/golf types booping open their BMW SUVs - all are in need of your judgment and ire, trust me.)

Rules for the Approaching:
This is where you can have the most effect, it is also easiest (and therefore deserves the fewest points).
Splitting the field: generally the frat boys and their sisters travel in small, undulating masses - kind of like blood worms. Trust me, if they're heading right towards you, they are obliviously threatening your right to exist (or at least your right to move forward in society and realize your full potential) and they must be stopped. One point if you can split the group, extra points if one of the members is forced to the grass & extra, extra points if they don't realize that you are claiming the sidewalk and they stumble out of the way at the last moment. In addition, extra bonus if you can separate one member from the larger crowd, since then you get to eat her.

Rules for those you are Following:
People like to jabber - to each other and on the phone. And they don't care that you are in a hurry (mostly to get out of earshot and not have to absorb further inanity), they will slow down and walk close together for to better share their own drivel. I'm not saying I don't drivel - I have a drivel-aggravated eczema at the corner of my mouth from night-drivelling - it's just that I like to keep my audible drivel to myself and sometimes use it to torture my close friends or family. In light of this, keeping a blog, is, of course both paradoxical and hypocritical. It's hypodoxical...paracritical? In any case, these jabberers are so caught up in their jabber that they don't pay any mind to the traffic backed up behind them. At this point, I usually give a mighty harrumph, or stomp my foot. Yes, people, I stomp my foot like a three-year-old. Except my foot is like the size of a three-year-old, and thus has considerably more effect. Trust me, a good stomp with the right shoe makes people dive from the sidewalk like a car-bomb exploded, stammering apologies to me and to their maker. Of course, neither of us responds, and both of us are thinking: "damn sheep." Extra points if they accidently knock over a cafe table on their way down.

Hammer out a Warning:
There is a specific reason I like hard-heeled shoes: they make noise. Now, lots of shoes click...little high-heels tap-tap-tap along, making you wonder if you're trapped in "Mystery!" and about to see a coat hem swoosh around the corner. But, a big, blocky, hard heel makes a satisfying smack when it hits pavement (or tile or wood or linoleum or marble). This is a great way to warn people to get the hell out of your way, or to cross to the other side, or to get the hell back to their own side. It makes people perk up their ears, circle the wagons, or curl up in a foetal position...all reactions garner points.