It wasn't meant to be an entire year. Or even a good one. Still the same, it was. The position would be based in upper state New York, which would mean we'd only see each other on weekends... but we'd done this before and knew it would work. So Rick took the job, which began with a few months of training in San Diego. And in short time, two months became four months, then six and - before we even realized - twelve months. These delays were unforeseen, not intended, and - alas - typical of the intricacies of marrying cutting-edge technology with customer expectations. Rick's role in the process fell victim to slipped deadlines, and everyone worked hard to accommodate the situation... us included.
The other day while out for drinks, I was telling my chum Claire about all the fun I had in my recent travels to the Jersey shore. She asked if I took pics, and I pointed to my iPod on the table as I got up to pee. When I returned from the Ladies room, I noticed Claire peeking at my photos with an increasingly alarmed expression on her face. Sooze, she slowly asked as I sat back down... what's with all the pictures of your ears? There must be at least a hundred of them...
I've had several nights in my life (alright, maybe only about three) where I've been jolted from the deepest of sleeps by an idea of such magnitude and brilliance, it's awed me. The solution to a problem, the answer to a nagging question, the marketing idea I'd been seeking, the location of where I left my lucky pen... Whatever it was at that moment, I was tickled enough to toss flowers at myself. Sadly, most of the time I awaken in the middle of night, it's due to either canine gas or a thought of such absurdity, I can only attribute it to bad Polynesian food - which, oddly, may have also caused the canine gas... Anyhow, it's thoughts like these ones that constantly clog my brain and keep me up at night. None are worth my losing any sleep over, but - as is the case with the thoughts listed in Parts One and Two of this article - I do:
For the past few months, I've been on an organization kick. I'm making my way from room to room throughout my house and analyzing the use or necessity of every stinking thing. Throughout the process, I'm following two rules in a take-no-hostages, vigilante fashion - the first of which is that any item not having been used for more than two years is automatically sentenced to death by trash or Salvation Army bin. The second rule: if it's to be spared, it must have an assigned location and be efficiently organized. Oh, there is a third rule: don't buy any bins or containers that are cruelly sold as organizers: they're a waste of money and no more helpful than a shoe box. Unless they're really pretty. And on sale. Or maybe just pretty...
You may not know this about me, but I suffer from pomfretphobia. In layman's terms, I fear monkeys. Although I've had it since childhood, the origin of this phobia eludes me. It may likely be rooted in The Wizard of Oz since, even in my adult years, I need to fast-forward through those flying-monkey scenes. Which means that I also suffer from aeropomfretphobia, or a fear of flying monkeys.
One year to the date, we sit in a restaurant, celebrating. Paying homage to the very day, exactly 365 prior to this one, when her mammogram revealed the cancer in her left breast. I’d brought balloons tonight, bearing messages appropriate to the occasion... CONGRATULATIONS! and WAY TO GO! We catch up over pints of Guinness, although there's not much to catch up on, as we’d been together only a few weeks before.
I have long maintained that the level of my creativity is directly proportional to the number of cocktails I consume. Not that I intentionally drink to think (hey, that saying would make a great bumper sticker...), but my aptitude for solving a problem, my capacity for unleashing a keen idea, my wit in conjuring humorous rhetoric all dramatically increase with each libation I ingest. It's amazing! I used to call this a superpower, but have recently learned that research confirms this as fact for many humans. And you sure can't argue with science (unless, of course, they were drinking while having made this discovery...)
I had the telly tuned in to Guy Fierri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives last night for some background noise while finishing up a deadline, when my ears caught hold of a recipe from a joint he was visiting called Funk-N-Waffles. I looked up to see the restaurant's owner prepping a specialty of their house, a complete turkey dinner perched atop a ginormous waffle that's made of stuffing. Yup. Everything that comprises holiday stuffing - breadcrumbs, celery, onion, eggs, savory - is blended and shoved into a waffle iron and, five minutes later, it's the base for a massive feast of turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce that's drowned in a ridiculous amount of gravy. No shit, I think I actually heard the sound of my own arteries hardening. But sinful and excessive as this spectacle was, I drooled the entire time I watched it.
Umberto Eco once wrote, 'we like to make lists because we don't want to die.' I don't really know who Umberto Eco is, but I do believe he's right. I love making lists. And like scores of other folks, I maintain several of them. A HOUSE list, a WORK list, a GARDEN list, a WRITING list... The process of creating a list fills me with purpose, and the act of crossing off each item delights me with a sense of accomplishment. I love hitting the pillow every night having seen proof of my achievements that day, and knowing what needs to be done when I awake. It makes me feel that I matter.
Last week, my husband did something so unthinkable, so mind-boggling, so utterly shocking and so unlike him that, initially, I wondered if it was one of those end-of-world signs like locusts and famines and dogs doing the naughty thing with cats: he purchased a GPS. (Insert scary da-duh-DUM! music here.)