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Showing posts from October, 2010

No pearly gates, no thorny crown...

The other night, I was sound asleep when the phone rang.  It was R., who was on his way home from work.  I was in that deep grog that happens 10 minutes after you fall asleep, where you can’t quite figure out where you are or what’s going on. 

“Mom, I’m at the round barn, and there’s a truck in the ditch.  Can you come down with your truck and pull it out?”

But what I heard rather than “round barn”, which is about a mile away, is “roundabout”, which is ten miles away.  None of it made any sense to me.  I was especially tired, because I'd spent the weekend with 250 Unitarian youth, and didn’t get as much sleep as I like.  I had fallen asleep thinking about being a Unitarian.

There’s a lot of stuff that Unitarians aren’t very good at.  For example, after a few hundred years, not many people have even heard of the religion.  There are 1.4 billion Catholics, and around 600,000 Unitarians.  I know.  That’s more than two thousand to one.  (Not that I have any quarrel with the Catholics…

Breakin' up is hard(ish) to do.

Today I got to write a break-up letter to one of our favorite complainers.  I know!  And when I say "I got to", what I mean is that the largest boss requested it from the next largest boss, who requested it from the supervisor, who requested it from the lead, who asked me to do it.  Since I'm at the very bottom of the food chain, I agreed to do it, and when I say, "agreed", what I mean is that I had no other options. 

But once I accepted the assignment, it was actually quite fun.  I know, I haven't been writing about work much lately, mostly because it's tedious, but also because every so often I remember that you're not supposed to blog about work because people who do that get fired and sued and stuff.  And, it's kind of boring.  If I were to write about today, which I wouldn't, I'd describe this scene in the Permit Center:
Me:  Hi, can I help you?

Him, in a super-irritated tone:  Well, I have to come down here because no one ever answ…

The Horrible Gym

So I went to re-join the horrible gym the other day.  I call it the Horrible Gym because it is.  It’s an ugly, grim industrial room, loud, and full of grunting people who should probably wear a bit more clothing.

Beyond the obvious things about gyms, this one is even worse because it's small, just one room, and it smells.  The smell of unhappiness, if you know that smell.  Not the sweat smell of someone who was outside working hard, but more the smell of someone who is about to take a lie detector test.  And the fact that it doesn’t even have showers.  Also, a lot of people there are overweight, which also makes it seem like a lot of misery for little payoff.

I quit my membership a year and a half ago because I’d rather do yoga or something outside.  But, the winters are long and full of darkness and rain, and sometimes a bit of exercise can change things in a good way, so I decided to rejoin.  They’re having a special now where the membership fee is half-price if you bring a sac…

Easy as pie*

The other day, I was trying to go on a little run in the neighborhood, the one I do when I’m too lazy to run in the woods, or it’s too wet, or it just sounds too hard. So I jogged about a hundred feet or so and came upon my neighbor and her dog.  “I’ll walk with you a little bit,” she announced.

Which was good for me, because I didn’t feel much like running anyway.  I was only out there because I had made a really beautiful apple pie, and it seemed like I should get some exercise before eating it. 

 We walked along for a bit and she updated me on her life in tiny snippets.  “CR is spending a lot of time at her boyfriend’s house because she says he has a nice comfy chair that she can study in.  Does that sound true?” and then she abruptly turned around and said it was time for me to run.

My son, R. and I are perhaps the biggest Ira Glass fans ever.  Since I introduced him to This American Life about 4 years ago, he’s listened to every episode several times, we’ve seen Ira in person, w…

Parental lectures

I’ve been thinking about doing a little series on my top most-used parental lectures, because I’m all done using them. They’ve either taken root or not, so I think I’ll stop haranguing these poor young people, and offer them up to you for your offspring, co-workers, people on the bus, etc.

The Importance of Being Interesting

You, my lovely child, have so much capacity to be interesting. You are charming, delightful, intelligent, and thoughtful. Please use these traits to be fascinating. Even though, I, your mother, will try to listen to every detail that you choose to share with me, I caution you that the world will not do the same.

Because you are beloved to me, I try to be fully attentive to your recap of a video that someone else saw, even if it takes twice as long for you to describe as it would to watch. Or listen raptly while you recount exactly how your left foot, and then your right foot behaved during the skateboard maneuver that you’re learning; I will even try to imagi…

Really? This is the future?

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Aries (3/21 – 4/19): Last week when I went to the quirky little grocery store, I bumped into a man I hadn’t seen in maybe 15 years, and I only met him then because he appraised my house. I had gotten the day wrong, so he showed up to a houseful of preschoolers and a giant mess. Without going into lots of detail about how I was in the middle of gluing topo maps to the wall, (because this is your horoscope, after all), but the kids were playing with a huge bowl of rice and funnels and cups, and the dog was wandering between the glue and the rice, allowing them to marry, and so on, and what he said? He said “by the way, I’m just looking at the walls and stuff." It was an extemely kind thing to say, even though it made it a little bit worse in a way, if you know what I mean? This week will be like that. Unnecessary, delightful, yet slightly awkward, generosities all over the place.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  Okay, so TARP turned out to only cost $50 billion.  That really isn't t…