25 January 2012

Ready to start

Cold, rainwashed Monday morphed into sunny Tuesday which gave way to clear, windy Wednesday, today, a hot and postcard-perfect Southern California day.

Crawling through traffic to pick up the daughter, my mind wanders. Waves of heat shimmer off the truck in front of me, and the guardrails at the train crossing shimmy and shiver in the fractured light.

Chicken piccata, I think, or chicken curry. Rice, I think. Salad, I think.

Tacos, I decide.

The brassy, insistently bright beat of mariachi music from another car assaults my closed windows. Kids shriek at one another, their aggressive voices echoing in the freeway underpass. Waiting at another red light, I am startled by sudden screams, but it is only a hyperactive individual dressed like the Statue of Liberty, advertising tax preparation services on the opposite corner.

A semester has passed, I think. Only seven more.

This is how I delineate, count off the time for this particular task. It is Wednesday; I only have to do this twice more this week. Two days off, five days on. I don't see the adventure in it, the idiots sauntering slowly across the middle of Main Street as an emergency vehicle screams toward them. I am mystified by these people who push baby carriages and shopping carts into rush hour traffic, dragging small children off the curb with them.

The daughter chirps beside me, happily chewing the Red Vine I brought her, while I count down traffic lights and curse quietly at a camper that crosses three lanes of traffic and cuts me off.

FAFSA, I think, and taxes. Birthdays, I think. Doctors appointments, I think.

A new blender, I remember.

My time is broken, and my energies are scattered. If I can only finish...I think, but what needs to be finished becomes time-scale calculus.

Tomorrow is a new day, I think, and I will conquer.

Go listen to some music: "Ready to Start" from the album The Suburbs by Arcade Fire. This is my 1,000 post, and it's meaningful, all the more so because I'm giving myself over to you again.

22 January 2012

Anywhere you go

You know I'll still be waiting

Heliocentric time and my time are not presently in synchrony. I'm trying to wrest some sort of schedule out of chaos.


The daughter was invited to an '80s-themed dance party. Of course, a goodly number of the dance parties of my youth were '80s-themed, too.

I discovered that I still have a frightening number of outfits from that era, along with boots and lace gloves. While trying on a Maggie London dress that I bought when I was 21, the daughter was annoyed to discover that I had a much smaller waist before I had babies than she does now. She was not mollified when I explained that my easily-broken body is proportioned completely wrong and hers is lovely, slim and strong. The Maggie London was set aside, and we came up with a boxy black jacket to go over a pair of her black trousers, the aforementioned lace gloves, and a large collection of necklaces a la mode. When the time came, I painstakingly scrunched her long hair into voluminous '80s waves and tied it up with a pearl and silk scarf from the 1950s (something I appropriated from my mother in the '80s). I brushed on eyeshadow and slashes of plum-colored blush and gave her a rosy-violet lipstick.

Her father was completely taken aback by her transformation. "My God," he said, startled. "You really do look like you just stepped out of 1984."

I was taken aback at how much she looked like a younger me. People always comment on the resemblance, which I have difficulty seeing, but last night, I saw it in her hair, the tilt of her head, the way she looked at us out of the corner of her eye. It was like time travel.

I dropped her off at the party venue and spoke briefly with some of the other parents before taking myself off to a nearby coffee house to wait out the evening. It occurred to me then that my mother must have felt a similar pang to see me playing dress-up '50s style when I went to sock hops in junior high. How very strange, not to mention nostalgic in the truest sense of the word, to see our progeny costuming themselves as us when we were young.

Go listen to some music: "All the Things She Said" from the album Glittering Prize: Simple Minds 81/92 by Simple Minds. Never look back.

14 January 2012

You love the little signs of life

They are a law unto themselves

The clock flipped from 11:59 December 31 to 12:00 January 1 and something did happen.

I can't explain how this all works.

But I feel it.

And I got really busy. So busy, in fact, that the entire family's schedule currently hinges on an emailed scheduled.

Last year, I broke. This year, the bonds broke.

I can't explain it.

But this is how it is.

It's a wild wind that blows (and the winds have blown the last few months), and I see the cracks of light as doors and windows seem to open everywhere. Change is here--welcome change and other change--and change will come. I love some of it; other I could do without, but I'll run with it all.

I can see it come for miles

I am plotting. We know that good mischief tends to follow. Or, at the least, that things get interesting. I have plans. Whether or not my body plans to follow along is anyone's guess, but I know how to get where I'm going.

I can't explain the road I'm on.

But I welcome it.

A new empire beckons

Go listen to some music: "The Weight of Love" from the album Fallen Empires by Snow Patrol. Thank God someone is putting out new music.

04 January 2012

Where I belong

I toyed with the idea of blogging every day in 2012, and look! It's already January 4. So much for that misbegotten idea.

I'm still figuring out my world's schedule. I've still got a kid at home on break. This two different school calendars is a little wearing because I've now had a kid at home for three weeks straight. They may be teenagers but they still want my attention. Like all the time. Except when they don't.

And yesterday, after the son got home from school, he and his sister went on this music-buying binge. Since my computer is iTunes Central and the house server and backs up the world, it's all been downloaded to my account. The son has developed a taste for Celtic music along with stuff that sounds astonishingly like 1970s TV series themes, while the daughter headed east and is now listening to a Spanish band.

I love my life.

Go listen to some music: "Where I Belong" from the album Across Acheron by Adrian von Ziegler. Obviously not the 1970s TV theme music...

01 January 2012

Was a long and dark December

I've thought about it for awhile.

Full stop.

I thought about making that last night's final words.

Good-bye.

Sore throaty and headachey, I suggested to myself that I sleep on it one more night. Because I always believe a new day, a new month, a new year is going to make everything look new.

I don't. But I hope for the best.

Weirdly, though, I woke up this morning, sneezing and coughing, and everything was somehow brighter. Some energy had shifted.

Yesterday, I saw a lot of different people opining on why everyone makes such a big deal about the new year. I think it's simple. We need to account. We need beginnings and endings. We want--most of us, anyway--redemption or another shot. One more chance.

It's why Catholics go to confession. You get a clean slate.

The daughter was the last to drag herself out of bed this morning, and said, yawning, "I missed you all. I haven't seen you since last year."

"But," I replied with innocent astonishment. "It seems like just yesterday."

I'm no different from yesterday. Wonky body parts are just as wonky. I cooked meals like I always do. But the slate is clean and the year is young and new.

I've got another chance to write all over it. How can I resist that?

Go listen to some good music: "Violet Hill" from the album Viva La Vida by Coldplay.