Monday, August 24, 2009

Reaching a milestone in my adulthood

My kittens are being spayed (Ducky) and neutered (Brisket) tomorrow. In my adult life I've had kittens three times. This is the firs time I've ever had the kittens long enough for them to reach the sterilization phase. Usually I get bored with the kittens after a couple of months and give them away to someone who is less likely to get bored with them.

Is this a measure of my arrival into adulthood, that I can love a kitten long enough to shepherd it through the bits chopping phase of its life? I like to think so.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

In Defense of Talking to Strangers

My mom broke her pinkie while she and I were visiting Martha's Vineyard this week. She slipped getting off a bus and, in her frantic effort to right herself, she torqued the pinkie on her left hand out of joint and broke it at the base.

We were in West Tisbury, en route to a connecting bus that would take us to Aquinnah and Gay Head, the most remote area of the island. We had no car. And my mom broke her finger. Sigh. Rather than getting back on the bus to a more populated part of the island (and an ER) we pushed forward and continued our journey. Our bus driver, alerted to the problem, flagged down a bike cop as we approached the stop at Gay Head and he met us with an ice pack for my mom's finger. We secured the pack to her hand using a white linen shirt I was wearing. We walked to the highest point at Gay Head, mom's hand looking rather claw-like, took a half-dozen pictures of Gay Head cliffs and Gay Head Light, and then parked ourselves at a picnic table to wait 45 minutes for the next bus out of there. (The picture at the top of the post is AFTER we had iced it for 30 minutes.)

The break was bad. Her pinkie was sticking out at a right angle from its base. Always a good bruiser, my mom takes blood thinners and the hematoma evolving in her palm was spectacular. It was 3:00 in the afternoon and we were three bus rides away from the ferry terminal and at least another 90 minutes from the mainland from there. And the ice pack was melting.

I left my mom at a picnic table and headed to a food vendor to get some more ice for her finger. Ahead of me was a woman in bike gear looking to buy a Gatorade. As we waited I asked about the biking conditions on the island and we chatted about road versus off-road biking. As the biker was being served she mentioned she also wanted a cup of ice. I chimed in that I wanted one too, for my mother's broken finger. The counter girl ruefully informed us she'd have to charge us $0.50 for the ice. I started to trot off to grab two quarters from my purse when the biker with whom I'd been chatting pressed a quarter into my hand. "For your mother," she said. When I returned to the counter with a second quarter to pay for my ice the biker was still there. As we continued to wait she said to me politely, "Is your mom going to be all right?" "She's being brave," I replied. "But the break looks pretty bad. We need to get off the island and get her to an emergency room."

Then the biker said something extraordinary. And this is why it is important to talk to strangers. She said, "My husband is an ER doctor. I'm sure he wouldn't mind looking at it." In wonderment, I fetched my mom and we met the ER doctor, fully outfitted in HIS bike gear. He affirmed the finger was broken, yanked it back into place and asked me to go ask a shop keeper for some tape, even cellophane tape, so he could affix the broken digit to its neighbor. My mother, go-getter she is, was already ahead of me, in the entrance of the nearest shack selling Wampanoag handicrafts. The artisan, upon hearing of the situation, pulled a first aid kit off a shelf, rifled through its contents and offered gauze for the cause. He also has a roll of masking tape, which was deemed a suitable substitute for the first aid tape missing from his kit. The ER doctor, using supplies in the first aid kit of the Native American crafts person, stabilized my mom's broker finger.

After my mom made it back to her home town she visited urgent care and learned her pinkie is indeed badly broken. And the ER doctor pulled it perfectly into place; no additional work was needed on it. She does need to have her hand guy take a look at it to follow up (she's had extensive hand surgery over the course of her young life), but for now she just needs to wait until it heals.

The Abolitionist

If I were Queen of the Universe I would abolish the following things:
1. Horizontal striped outfits for plus sized people,
2. Transition lenses for children, particularly adolescents and young teens,
3. White pants in all sizes
4. Black sneakers, particularly with white socks.
Some might say I am restricting human liberty. This may be the case. However, there are examples of US law that have held up in court that put the interests of the people over individual freedoms. Using this as my precedent, I would abolish the manufacture and sale of the above items in the interest of helping every human being look their best to avoid teasing and social branding on the basis of clothing choices.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I dream of high school

I'm living in a funky condo complex in Cambridge and I've suggested an impromptu high school reunion with all of my Facebook high school friends. My old friend Laurie Ward is still really close and she, along with BMG, are around discussing the party. At some point in time a light goes on in my head that people may actually show up for the party, that this isn't just Facebook and we won't just send virtual beers to one another, but will actually see one another. So I realize that my house needs to be cleaned up. A pile of hardware on the floor from some sort of home improvement project gets put into plastic bags, and I tidy up the outside deck. And then people start arriving. Tons more people than I know through high school - including some I don't recognize (it was 20 years ago after all). As people arrive I find myself marveling at each one, trying to guess who they are and learn what they've been doing. At some point I realize I've been a terrible hostess, not just because I haven't offered anyone a drink, but because I forgot to buy drinks and snacks. I know I have some red wine somewhere - because I always have red wine in the house. So I start to rummage around a cluttered counter to find a bottle of wine. As I'm frantically searching, but trying to remain composed, the person with whom I'm speaking says, "I don't drink anymore. Do you happen to have ginger ale?" Someone else chimes in (I think it was Dave Gates), "Yeah, I'd love a glass of ginger ale." I NEVER have ginger ale, in fact, I never have anything to drink in the house except red wine, seltzer, Gatorade and beer. But the Gatorade and beer are BMG's beverages and I don't want to use them. So then I start to stammer and wonder how I can sneak out of the house to buy soda for my guests who don't drink and adult beverages for the friends who do. When I look up and see a rack of soda and boxes and boxes of Drakes cakes that have miraculously appeared. The Drakes cakes have weird names like "Zips" and "Twitter" which is how I know BMG, the Twitter Consultant, has saved my hide.


Not a very dreamy party, but nevertheless the high school party of my dreams. I'm pretty sure the impetus was my older sister's picnic with Facebook friends from high school in Marcellus Park yesterday. What is all the panic about? Is there a part of me who thinks I'm so unprepared to actually live my life in the present? How could I understand having BMG save me? Is he better at being present in the here and now? Interpretations from Junior Freuds most welcome.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"I would rather die...

...than sleep on sheets that have been in a dryer!" This is s recent declaration made by my mother after I suggested that, while her torn rotator cuff remains unrepaired, she abstain from hanging her laundry on the backyard clothesline.

"Let me make sure I heard you right. You would rather die, or at least be in constant and burning pain, than sleep on sheets that have been in a dryer?"

"Yes Clownface. I would rather DIE than sleep on sheets that have been in the dryer."

BMG's response, upon hearing this utterance retold? "What is she going to do when you have to put her in a Home?" Good question. Does anyone know of any nursing homes that hang their clients' sheets out on the line?

Generation Google

There is some confusion about the generational name of children born in the 2000s. I've seen "Generation Y", "Echo Boomers", and the "Millenials". My favorite so far is "Generation Google". Let me tell you why.

My sister and her two kids, CMR and The Divine Miss M, were visiting just last week. As the five-year old "M" walked into the tiny bungalow I share with BMG she spied an olde tyme typewriter in our entry hall. You know what they look like:
What do you imagine The Divine Miss M said when her eyes lit upon this piece of nostalgic office equipment? That's right. She said, "What's that Aunt Clownface?"

She had never before seen a typewriter. NEVER BEFORE SEEN A TYPEWRITER! I typed my college applications on a typewriter only 20 years ago. Boy did I feel old.

But it got worse. A few moments later I grabbed my keys on the way out the door with the kids en route to a nearby playground. The Divine Miss M noticed my key chain.
"Why do you have a 'g' on your keychain?" she asked of her aunt (whose name actually begins with the letter 'g').

"Good question. Why do you think I have a 'g' on my keychain?"

"Hmmm." She thought. "Is it because you love to Google?"

Generation Google. I rest my case.