Saturday, December 3, 2022

Podcast Beats

 Another too good not to repost post!

Dusting Off a Decent Word or Two

Something I Wrote During the Pandemic--On Steinbeck's East of Eden

 Today when I read this short essay, I think it’s good!

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Flat on Your Back
Rest is hard work. When you are a productive person by nature, laying flat on your back (well, slightly propped up because flat puts too much pressure on your already beat up kidneys) is excruciating. The pain of your unattended to-do lists. The burn of emails piling up in the inbox. The torture of the unchecked boxes mocking you…it’s almost too much to bare. But, the feeling doesn’t last. Because the fever kicks in. The next 12 hours are a blur. You are a baked potato wrapped in foil, broiling in the oven. You drift in and out of sleep, aching waves of chills, pins, and needles cover you from head to toe. You stumble to the bathroom every hour— the doctor said to drink as much water as you can. Your eyeballs feel like balls of yarn inside a ziplock bag of sand. Your lips flake and crack. Twelve hours later, put a fork in: you’re done. You know your body is in all out warfare against an infection when you go from baked potato for 12 hours straight to bed for another 9 hours of sleep with just a 30 minute break for a few bites of food in between. On the outside, you feel like a lump of flesh and bones but just beneath the surface, a highly organized and systematic campaign is underway. If you try to deny that this battle is taking place by, say, getting dressed and driving into work to teach your classes. You may fool yourself into thinking that all is well. Two hours later though, it’s all you can do to park the car, strip down to your couch ware, and get horizontal again. The war isn’t over. Your body needs you to rest.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Portland Seen from the freeway, it’s dirty and its landscape is dotted by homeless encampments or remains of those. Together with the gloomy gray sky, it sets a rather dismal mood. Still, when you get out of the car and walk around, the mood brightens. Store windows are brightly decorated and the people are very eclectic. Especially the women. The death scooters abound; like discarded newspapers, they litter the streets though less so than when I was here last with Lisa. Powell’s Books is still otherworldly and blissful. I found four books I could not resist. Hundreds more I was attracted to. I also found where Plague City would be in the Mystery Thriller section.
Friday in Pioneer Square Pianos decorated with colorful themes dot the square on Fridays. This is lovely. Many, many humans from all walks of life can play piano. It was interesting to see just who would sit down and recall something from their past training and those who were maybe tinkling the ivories for the very first time. All in full view of diners, testers, preachers, workers, travelers, and walkers-by. Kids were by far the most unguarded. They all universally approach the keys with confidence. They don’t know yet that there are good, better, and best sounds from the piano. Never mind a bad sound. These didn’t exist for the young ones. My favorite vignette was of a delicate woman with dark hair and fair skin, playing some Beethoven with great precision and energy on the elevated platform while a rough bearded man with a kindly smile and scraggly beard sat and tapped his foot to her music the entire time. He applauded her before he left. There was something beautiful about the scene I won’t forget soon.

Monday, May 4, 2020

What was Your First Favorite Book?

Hello, Covid-19 World! If there was ever a time to wax rhapsodic about books, now works. We’ve been staying at home since 13 March. (That’s 13 March of 2020 if you signed up for updates to this blog nine years ago...) What was the first book I read on my own? My mom swears it was Erich Segal’s Love Story. She said I was five years old and she found me reading the dog-eared copy from the book shelf in her room. I think the sexy and sad parts were equally lost on me. But,I do kind of remember feeling guilty/ashamed/ and naughty for lifting it from her room. I don’t recall any better options though. I did love Nancy Drew mysteries and read them all. Even owned the matching collection. The ones with the yellow spines and the version of Nancy with the “That Girl” hair style and matching sweater sets and pearls. I liked Nancy’s spunk, keen mind, and confidence. I imagined I could make my way down a damp poorly lit stairwell with nothing but a flashlight even if reading the passage made me put off going to the bathroom on my own at night. I favored Carolyn Keene over Laura Ingalls Wilder. I had that set, too, but the covers were bland beige and a pinafore was not my idea of fun. Laura’s dad was cool and a musician. He seemed a better father than Nancy’s always engaged sleuth dad. I guess I liked my stories with a little more materialism and less pioneer spirit.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sanctuary for Unwanted Things

That's what Wylie referred to his room as this week. That Boy! When asked for instances he says: you know, the Bionicles, Transformers, old CDs and stuff like that. Since I have been saturated in fiction this summer, I immediately go for the metaphor. Why do you think your room was chosen as the Sanctuary?

He didn't get a chance to answer because something distracted us in the car and another conversation began. But, I can tell you a bit about sanctuary...

Wylie is the ultimate re-user in the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra. If given the chance to save something or throw it away, he never throws away. Now, in the extreme this is called hoarding I think. But, Wylie doesn't keep trash, etc. Only things of purpose and value. So, his room is a safe spot for unwanted items because Wylie sees value and purpose as unchanging constants. And, not only does he perceive these values as constant, he has catalogued them in his mind and can provide details about the time and place the things were acquired.

All of this could set Wylie up to be an amazing docent or curator. Maybe of his own collection?

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Meaning of Life

Above the white noise of his HALO REACH game comes the question: "Mom, what is the meaning of Life?"

Keeping with my professional training as a skilled educator--I stall for time.

"What do you think the meaning is?"

Wylie expands his original question: "What I want to know is, why is life so full of happy, good times but then sad and hard times?"

And, that shames me into thinking about this sad, lonely, ZigZagStraight blog....without a good post in almost a year.

The conversation that followed will be the subject of the next new posts!