Monday, November 26, 2012

62% of the time

I felt unmoored yesterday, a Sunday afternoon. I don't always dread that old locationless feeling; not all who wander are lost, after all. I certainly wouldn't mind it now. Days like yesterday allowed my mind to wander to those places I always want it to go, but I'm usually too distracted to fully surrender a whole day to just blobbing around, thinking. I have a rather steam punk-ish fantasy of collecting states of mind in small glass domed display cases for my collection and enjoyment at will. And for some reason I'm wearing a monocle. In this fantasy the states of mind resemble tiny mechanical devices made of copper or are pieced together from utterly random objects a la something by the Brothers Quay.

Maybe this little guy is there too.

I did warn you I felt unmoored.

Alas, such a room full of well preserved states of mind does not exist. I'll have to settle with enjoying them as they come. Otherwise it was a weekend full of food, drink, family and friends. Now THOSE are things at which I have achieved expert status. The end of the year always affords me plenty of opportunity to exercise those hard earned skills. Shall I tell you a bit about it all? I think I shall.

The weekend began in the  middle of the week when I decided at the last moment to take Wednesday as a vacation day. The plan was originally to just lie about like a damn sloth but, as usually does happen, I had a few appointments to tend to and the adult section of the abandoned warehouse that is my brain will not allow me to indulge in sloth when I have shit that has to get done. My first stop was the dentist. I haven't been in awhile and after listening to a conversation about dental nightmares at work the other day, I was prompted to make an appointment. Turns out I have a cavity somewhere between two of my teeth. I didn't even really understand that this was a possibility but frankly, I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner. Compared to some past dentist visits, however, this one was rather tame, even with the chastisement about my lack of flossing. I will have to change my ways to allow more dental floss in my life because knowing my history, I'm likely to next get a cavity in the center of my tongue.

Wednesday also found me in desperate need of a haircut and going to my hair stylist is a useful and fun way to kill several hours so I scheduled an appointment for that too. I showed up about 20 minutes early and whenever I am early for an appointment I feel this urgent need to do something and not just sit there, scrolling across the acreage of my phone. Suddenly I turn into Polly Mustdosomething when I know I only have a short amount of time in which to do it. (This may also be known as "Last Minute Larry" in some circles.) I decided to spend some time in the shop next door that sells every kind of girly makeup in girly containers by girly girls who are generally girlily giddy about how pretty life is inside that store. The girl in there on Wednesday had a very distinctive face with well put together features that I can only describe as looking like she was related to a model. Not a model herself but the relative of one. She was very open and friendly and during the course of the ten or fifteen minutes I was actually inside the store, she told me that she found out her step brother is her actual brother and that she had never met her mother until she was 21. Not exactly shop talk but I suppose you often have to let things out when they have to come out, regardless of who is around. She seemed a bit overwhelmed and I was falling prey to "the ovewhelms by being in such close proximity" so I decided to not buy anything and go sit in the waiting room and, inevitably, scroll through the acreage of my phone.

While was doing this, I overheard a phone conversation the woman seated next to me was having underneath a mountain of tin foil as she waited for the highlights in her hair to take. She was positively brimming with pre-Thanksgiving anger about some slight or another on the part of her mother in law. I couldn't really get the details but they had something to do with mashed potatoes. I thought a little about how and why so many people dread the holidays. If this red faced, shaking woman was an example of what otherwise innocuous side dishes can do to some families on holidays, I would be the kind of person who just feigned illness and stayed at home with a sandwich. Luckily I have never really had to deal with such nonsense. I hope that trend continues for the rest of my entire life.

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is always pretty much just a synonym for insanity at the bars. As such, I have avoided all pre-Thanksgiving nights out for a few years now but this year, one of the local concert venues in town was having a 90s concert and seeing as I just got my hair did and nothing to do, I decided to go. I miss the 90s on average, I'd say about 62% of the time. So why not gather together in a big room with a bunch of people who are more than likely exactly my age, who live in my neighborhood, get drunk and reminisce about what we were doing 20 something years ago when Nirvana and Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and Alice in Chains were all heying the day? I was able to drag Dana along with me and we drank heavily and contemplated starting a mosh pit. We didn't but the whole evening felt like someone would at some point just throw their bodies into other bodies out of sheer angst. Just like the 90s.

Thanksgiving day began with both of my cats tenderizing the hungover flesh of my body in an attempt to get me to open the blinds so they could stare at the day, just in case a squirrel happened by or some such comparable event. It worked but I kinda resent them for it even now, a few days later. I headed to my mom's house eventually where I was greeted by all the warmth and family and laughter and booze and food that I have grown accustomed to at family gatherings. Along with trading war stories post hurricane Sandy, I seem to recall a few pilgrim jokes and sarcasm bandied about. Ah, home.

I just realized how damn long this blog entry is (maybe it just feels really long) and so I'll close it up here and begin writing a sequel to be published later. I'm also contemplating blogging every day in December (BEDD?) and I'll need something to talk about won't I? I know the four or five you will be absolutely riveted by 31 days of banal nonsense from me! I know I will.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I, Who Dumped the Diaper

Yesterday I got to work to be told by two of my coworkers that they still, 11 days after the super storm, did not have power. In between the storm and now, we've had a winter storm and temperatures have dropped so no power = no heat for them. Each day they come in looking exhausted but putting on a cheerful front. I have put myself in their shoes and have come to suspect that the only thing surrounding my psyche is an eggshelled surface which might already have a few small cracks in it. I would have moved to Easter Island by now.

After work I went to return something at a clothing store and did not realize until after I parked my car that the parking spot had a neatly bundled used diaper right in the center of it. I often encounter objects left behind that make me wonder about what goes on inside the heads of my fellow humans. What would possess someone to leave a dirty diaper in a parking lot that is, actually, surrounded by garbage cans? Not wanting to move my car, I immediately started planning my exit strategy for when I had to leave, in case there were people standing around imagining that it was I who dumped the diaper. I tried to think of "childless" things to do. But none of the things I could come up with could be accomplished in the 30 seconds it would take for me to walk to my car and then leave. Also, I realized I didn't actually care that much. Also, I was distracted by two things upon entering the store.

First, the music. I don't know what exactly it is about clothing stores, I mean I'm positive someone, somewhere did market research and it thus became the norm to blast repetitive pop music for the shoppers. Much like pumping oxygen (or is it laughing gas?) into Las Vegas casinos, it seems to be the thing to do. However, I always, always notice it and every song that plays. It is rarely background music since it is so fucking loud I often want to stuff articles of clothing into my ear to not hear it. Yesterday was no exception. I noticed the lyrics to this one song that I have never heard before and I thought, "oh that's sweet". Turns out it was a song called "Collide" by Leona Lewis. It begins thusly:

I'm in tune with how you feel
Everything 'bout this is real
When you're in unfamiliar places
Count on me through life's changes

Ignoring the fact that places and changes do not in any way rhyme and the lyrics are lazy, it is kind of sweet right? So then the chorus goes thusly:

Crash into me 
at full speed
we can collide
we can collide

So of course I had to then write the song off as stupidity. Crash into me at full speed? No, no thanks. Yet another song equating romantic love with something that could cause a disfiguring accident. I'll be there for you always, just make sure you are going full speed when you crash into my face. Why can't I just shop??

The second thing that distracted me involved the fact that the store's inventory was being shifted and as a result everything was in disarray. Not a big deal, normally but this disarray also involved creepy child mannequins hiding within the clothing racks. I do not exaggerate when I was startled THREE times by armless, smiling child mannequins hiding in random places throughout the store. Between, the dirty diaper, the stupid music and the frightening children, all the purchasing desire I had within me was drained. I bought nothing. I went home to nap and sleep it all off and woke up when one of my cats knocked the Collected works of Frank O'Hara off my coffee table. It was a sign. I made myself a kir and read for a little while before going to a fundraiser/wine and cheese tasting at my favorite local wine shop.

That I still had cash in my wallet later in the night was fortunate for these two young men who approached me on the street on my way out. Get your minds out of the gutter, people. They approached me and one of them said "Do you mind if I sing you a song and if you like what you hear you can buy my cd for $3?" Since I don't regularly get a personal concert, I agreed. He sang. Beautifully actually. So of course I bought the cd. I haven't listened to it yet so for all I know it could be the sonic equivalent of a dirty diaper left in a parking lot. I'll let you know if it all works out.