September 28, 2009

out of the office (autoreply)

Sometimes I go for long stretches without blogging because I hit streaks when I feel like I have nothing to say. Lately that's not the issue. It's because my internet access has been particularly limited. I was checking all of my usual internet time-suckers the other day, and I could hear my power cord making strange crackly noises, so I shut my laptop down and unplugged it for 24 hours or so. The next day I plugged it back in, and 20 minutes later the crackling was back- so loud that the dogs (not Sadie & Annie- we have moved on to Bailey & Shelby) were intrigued. I figured this could not end well, and while I was trying to block their not-small-or-weak bodies from the chattering power cord, it gave a tiny pop and died. My laptop battery is just about useless, so I steal a few minutes of internet time where I can find it on the behalf of my hosts or the library. But it won't be a consistent presence in my life for at least another 10 days, which, horror of all horrors, is forcing me to READ MORE. I HATE my life.

To be clear: this coming weekend pop and stepmum drive out to CO to help me keep my sanity through my final drive across the Heart of America, which if your main goal is at the other end, and does not include leisurely stops and sidetrack adventures, feels a bit like falling down an endless rabbit hole. It's long. A long, long, flat, long drive one shares with truckers and occasional construction. Almost exactly 1,000 miles of FLAT. (Well, 1,000 miles to IL. Another 300 across MI to where my husband is.) One day, we will make it to Ontario. And all our stuff will too. It's a matter of logistics, but do not doubt I will keep you updated on the joys to be found in work visa applications and the housing market in Canada. Hello, adventure!

September 19, 2009

currently reading:

I'm in the middle of "The River Why" by David James Duncan (who also wrote "The Brothers K" which I have yet to read) and it is about fishing. I care as much about this topic about as much as I care about Nascar or physics or the Jonas brothers, but I am still reading. If you pay attention, Duncan has a sneaky sense of humor and richly multifaceted characters, and I can't help but like this book. Here's an example of why:

"A native is a man or creature or plant indigenous to a limited geographical area--a space boundaried and defined by mountains, rivers or coastline (not by latitudes, longitudes or state and county lines), with its own peculiar mixture of weeds, trees, bugs, birds, flowers, streams, hills, rocks and critters (including people), its own nuances of rain, wind, and seasonal change. Native intelligence develops through an unspoken or soft-spoken relationship with these interwoven things: it evolves as the native involves himself in his region. A non-native awakes in the morning in a body in a bed in a room in a building on a street in a county in a state in a nation. A native awakes in the center of a little cosmos--or a big one, if his intelligence is vast--and he wears this cosmos like a robe, senses the barely perceptible shiftings, migrations, moods and machinations of its creatures, its growing green things, its earth and sky. Native intelligence is what Huck Finn had rafting the Mississippi, what Thoreau had by his pond, what Kerouac had in Destination Lookout and lost entirely the instant he caught a whiff of any city. But some have it in cities--like the Artful Dodger, picking his way through a crowd of London pockets; like Mother Teresa in the Calcutta slums. Sissy Hankshaw had it on freeways, Woody Guthrie in crowds of fruit pickers, Gandhi in jails. Almost everybody has a dab of it wherever he or she feels most at home... But the high-grade stuff is, I think, found most often where earth, air, fire and water have been least bamboozled by men and machines."

September 11, 2009

life in limbo

All of this treading water is wearing me out. Literally living out of a (well, three, really) suitcase has all but lost its charm, and having to do it 1,300 miles away from my husband is even less fun. Maybe it's because my very minutes at my job are numbered, but the days stretch endlessly and the company's shortfalls refuse to be ignored like one of those garbage-truck-sized zits that start out painfully invisible and then ERUPT. You know the ones I'm talking about. In a word, things at work are tense. Not as jolly as they used to be. And in a way, I'm grateful I'm making my exit now, on my own terms.

And although I'll be relieved to leave Denver limbo, I'll just be moving on to Michigan limbo until we make it to the finish line that is Ontario. Which may be awhile. And during which I'm not sure how to occupy myself, considering it will take place in the company of my husband, as well as my brother-in-law and my father-in-law and my mother-in-law, all under the same roof. Can you tell I'm a pessimist? Negative Nancy: present. (Flight Of The Conchords joke. sorry.)

So basically, I'm worrying about situations I haven't even entered yet, and I need to take a step back and just let things unfold naturally without assuming the worst. I'm really good at expecting any & every possible problem or downfall, to the point where my brother told me a couple weeks ago that I should consider giving up being negative for Lent. For serious.

So, in the spirit of not being negative, here are some things I can be grateful for:

  • Autumn is rolling in, even in Denver! This morning was cool and drizzly and completely refreshing. And since we've had such a wet summer maybe the trees will turn some lovely shades of fall instead of just shriveling up.
  • Inspired by smashley: new 'roos!
  • Kind & generous friends who have let me truck myself in & out of their homes for a month.
  • Sadie & Annie, my buddies for one more week, who keep me company and bark at all the strangers.
  • A dad & stepmom who are willing to haul themselves all the way out here so I don't have to make the last road trip alone.
  • A group skype date tomorrow night with some dear, darling friends from ALL four U.S./Canadian time zones!
  • Looking forward to a fall that includes: TWO Thanksgivings, a wedding, and a family reunion, celebrating in particular a 90th birthday and a brand-spanking-new adopted baby Shepard.

September 9, 2009

In honor of the sunniest state...

I still have 22 days left, and although I never felt like it was a place I really belonged, Colorado has its benefits, and this is one of them:

September 5, 2009

stab in the heart I can totally see coming

When I watch this commercial, I know they are manipulating me, I can feel it happening, and I try to resist the pull, but there's a BABY OTTER. Come on now. No animal lover can resist the smarmy sappy let's-save-the-baby-fuzzy-animals-from-evil-corporations propaganda.

September 3, 2009

who's the fairest?

So, some background information. My stepmom has three sons. My dad has two sons, and yours truly. They have a spanking new, lovelier-by-the-day house that is slowly transforming into a home. The necessities are in place (hot water, microwave, wine cooler, internet- important things.) but certain lower-priority details are, shall we say, lagging behind.

Such as mirrors.

There is one mirror in this house. One. And it is tucked away in the master bathroom, and had to be built in with fixtures and cabinets so there was no avoiding it. And the obvious factor: there is only one female in the house, and like most of us all she needs to get by is one mirror in her own bathroom.

There are six more bathrooms in that house, and none of them have mirrors. Maybe it's because it's my own family, so I feel minimal pressure to make myself presentable, but other than the odd moment trying to put in contacts or flossing, the last couple of visits I haven't worried about it too much. I am so used to catching my own reflection many, many times a day that I was more thrown off by the abrupt change to my habits than not being able to check and recheck and triple check my appearance.

At least, I hope habit (and not vanity!) is the reason I notice the absence...