I was driving through the park earlier in the week when I saw a policeman on horseback at the corner. I always hit the brakes when I see a policeman. As I passed him I wondered what he'd do if I had gone flying by. Would he start galloping after me? Couldn't I outrun him? Could he keep up? Wouldn't I have more horsepower? Would it be worth the price of a speeding ticket to experience that?
I was talking to my mom on the phone a few days ago about the upcoming holidays. And she said, "Well, you know what your dad used to always say."
"If the good Lord's willin' and the creeks don't rise."
I never heard my dad say that, but I like it.
I am dividing my thoughts here by bolding the first several words. I am copying Dennis Perrin. He does that sometimes and I like it.
I went downstairs Tuesday evening and Blue Kid and his friends were watching Fantastic Planet for the 2,000th time.
"This is a stoner movie. You guys aren't fooling me."
They laughed and BK's friend, Griffin, said, "This movie is so random."
Blue Kid said, "It's not random. It's about the Soviet Union's occupation of Poland."
Griffin said, "Whatever. I don't get it."
Matt piped up, "Dude! It's a metaphor."
Kyle said, "Yeah, what do you think? Actual blue aliens came down and made people slaves?"
Griffin said, "Well, let me just say that I'm Czech, so I can say what I want. It's totally random."
Matt said, "Dude!"
I saw this monster on the path while walking in the woods on Sunday.
It tried to kill me.
I walked into the living room Wednesday night and Blue Kid was snuggled on the couch under a blanket. Reading a book.
"What are you doing?"
"Reading? A book?"
I asked him later why he was reading. A book.
"Because Taylor wanted me to."
Taylor is either BK's new girlfriend or he wants her to be.
I think I'm in love with her.
Hopefully, once the election's all over I'll stop dreaming about politics. In one, a group of us were watching a movie and Sarah Palin was there talking loudly on her cell phone so no one could hear the movie. And I thought, Figures! In the same dream George Bush was standing behind me, all despondent because he was "going to lose Toledo." And I kept thinking, Just run ads there! But don't think I'm going to do them for you. Then I shooshed him. In another dream Barack Obama and I were sitting next to each other at a counter in a diner. I was telling him about my family members who are on the fence about voting for him. I pointed to my brother-in-law who was sitting behind us in a booth near the window. Obama gave me a quarter to give to my brother-in-law so that he could play the jukebox.
Only four days 'til the election. I think Obama's gonna pull this out. That is, if the good Lord's willin' and the creeks don't rise.
The doctor leaned over my face with a large magnifying glass, her huge, round brown eye examining a mole beneath my bottom lip. And instead of saying, "Ah, it's nothing. Now you get out of here and go live to be 100!" she poked and prodded softly and for too long and finally said, "Hmmm, I was hoping to make it something different."
My dad had malignant melanoma when he was my age. He's ok now but it was an ordeal when he was going through it. And for years after. Needles, biopsies, surgeries, concerned faces telling him he should get his things in order.
I was thinking how much I'm like my dad as the doctor had me sit up and then said to her assistant, "We need to do a biopsy."
With that, I went sprinting out of the room in my hospital gown. Picked up speed as I left the building, hitting the wet pavement. Jumped in my car, floored it -- never to be seen again.
"Don't worry. It won't hurt. We'll numb it. It'll only take a few minutes."
"What do you think it is if it's not what you were hoping it was?"
"Mmmmm, I'm not sure."
I have been to too many doctor's appointments in the last six months and I have learned their ways. They will not say anything if they don't have to.
"What's your best guess?"
She hesitated, "I think it's a mole that has changed."
"In a bad way?"
"Um, I'm thinking it's going to be ok. That it's just a mole that has changed."
"How much of you is thinking that way?"
She looked at me, "What do you mean?" And then tossed something into the waste basket.
"How much of you? Like percentage-wise?"
"Oh. Mmmm, 80 - 90%"
80 - 90% That's good! Right?
It's good. Isn't it? It sort of is.
No. It's not at all.
"That's my guess. But, we need to know for sure."
I was brave as her assistant stuck needles in my face. I only yelled out, "Ow, dammit!" once or twice.
Over the last week, waiting for the results, I have talked myself into being terminally ill and perfectly healthy and fine.
I was terminally ill when I was scouring the internet, reading everything there was to read about skin cancer.
And I was perfectly healthy and fine when I wasn't scouring the internet, reading everything there was to read about skin cancer.
There were bad omens and good omens.
I thought it was a bad omen that I kept thinking of getting my things in order. But, every day that I didn't get anything in order, I figured was a good omen.
I'm still the same procrastinating me! Everything's still a total mess! Who procrastinates, leaving their things all out of order when there's a real reason not to?
The Skimmer's out of town and I drove to the doctor's office alone yesterday to get the stitches out. And to learn if I was terminally ill or perfectly healthy and fine.
The pretty doctor with the big, round brown eyes told me I was perfectly healthy and fine. But that I need to keep an eye on things because of my family history. Which I've always done anyway.
Today, I'm feeling healthy and fine with everything in my life and all my things totally out of order. In other words, perfectly normal!
With 10 days to go until election day, long brewing tension between Sarah Palin and key aides to John McCain has become so intense, it is spilling out into the public...
...“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said this McCain adviser, “she does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. Also she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: divas trust only unto themselves as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.”
Some people say Sarah Palin is clueless and stupid. I don't see it that way. I think she's driven to an incredible degree. She's got her eye on something in the future, she's got tunnel vision and she's storming full steam ahead to get it.
And I don’t see any reason why she shouldn’t see herself as the “next leader” of the Republican Party, or whatever’s left of it. I’ve said as much before. She’s the darling of the “Off with his head!” types — the race-warriors and militia guys, the clinic bombers and gay bashers, the creationists and conspiracy theorists and all the rest of the motley anti-modernity crew. And really, what else is left of the old GOP coalition? The Neocon imperialists are so discredited that they’d refuse to show their faces in public if they had any shame (which they don’t). Gilded Age-style laissez-faire capitalism, which is the most thoroughly and consistently implemented of all Republican “ideas”, has caused so many people so much pain that even voters who are temperamentally inclined toward free-market policies are hungry for an activist government. And Republican moderates of any stripe are a severely endangered (if not already extinct) species.
The angry culture-warriors are all that’s left. Now, it’s just a matter of the party’s leadership coming to terms with the new reality. And when they do, they’ll be surprised to find that they missed the coronation. They’ve already got their new queen.
Tess, Patti Digh's five year old daughter, begged to use her mother's laptop. Patti opened up a blank Word document and let her have at it. Tess wrote this.
Dere hops and drems hops?
Have you ever! Come back? To me?
Well? Have? You?
If you do you will not
wine a pries you
Will go! Back with my! Drems!
And drems you to!
And my heart needs hope and dreams
My heart loves to play with my hopes
and my heart my hopes are related
to my dreams.
My dreams are connected to my heart
...We assume children busy themselves with dolls and Spiderman tattoos until they reach the age of adult reason when they can be considered as fully human—as if paying taxes and changing the oil every 3,000 miles catapults us into humanness—but that’s just not true. They are complex humans from forever young, with hops and drems like you and I.
The card reader wasn't working at the gas pump tonight so I had to run inside to pay.
The man normally working behind the counter these days looks to be in his early to mid 60s. He could be younger but he's a heavy smoker and his face is deeply creased and ashen. He's short and slight with slumped shoulders. His clothes hang on him and look a couple sizes too big. He's always swooping his thinning blond hair over to the side out of his eyes. It's a habit.
I handed him my card and as he rang it through he winced and said, "And what about these goddamn crooks running these companies into the ground and then getting 42 million dollars for it?"
"Yeah, I know."
"I voted early and I voted against every incumbent. Every single one. Throw those bums outta there!" He took a breath and continued, "I voted for Obama. What? I'm gonna vote for McCain?" He scrunched his eyes together in disgust and looked away to the side, swooping his bangs out of his eyes.
He continued, "He's just like Bush. His policies would be just like Bush's. And what the hell's the matter with him anyway? He's 71 years old! He should retire. What's he doing?!"
"He wants to run the world, I guess."
"Yeah, well, screw him."
The door opened and a man walked into the station talking on his cell phone.
Impatiently, he asked, "Either of you two know where there's a Mexican restaurant around here?"
Mr. Craggles behind the counter said halfheartedly, "I don't live around here."
I thought for a minute and couldn't think of a Mexican restaurant in our little town.
"I don't think there's a Mexican restaurant around here anywhere." I laughed and said, "There's a Chinese place up the street and you can get some good spaghetti over there."
Thinking I was unfunny and probably uncool, he said sarcastically, "Well, that's helpful." And he walked out of the station in a huff.
Mr. Craggles winced and slammed the register drawer shut, "Yeah, and screw him, too."