Saturday, June 12, 2004
Calvin's out for a ride on the motorcycle. I was all but falling asleep on the couch, watching "The Goonies" (hi, Heather!). Going for a ride is what he likes to do when he gets bored. It's been a really quiet (money saving) weekend, and my boyo has a limited threshold for the amount of sitting around he's expected to do.
And now that he's gone, of course, I don't want to close my eyes. It's late, and I worry. I always have. As much as he scoffs at me for being silly, when he's gone from me, I worry. Especially when he's out on the motorcycle. It's not his riding skills I worry about, it's the other idiots out on the road. Especially the idiots out on the road at 11:40 p.m. on a Saturday night.
And so here I sit, eyes burning, surfing TUS and seeing who has updated. Marie's boyfriend has shown up, inexplicably - he was out there when I went out front to see what the hell the dogs were barking at. Marie's up in the shower, and I guess he's been trying her cell for a while. I invited him in to hang for a few minutes (I believe his curfew is 12:00), but he said he'd sit in his truck with his friend. I like the kid, but he's a weirdo sometimes.
And now I hear Calvin's motorcycle, and I'm going to see how his ride was. Maybe I won't suffer from insomnia tonight after all.
Friday, June 11, 2004
There goes my hero
There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
Movie stars are not my heroes. Supernatural characters and make-believe icons are not my heroes. Obvious people that do obvious things for obvious reason are not my heroes.
My hero is my grandmother, who sent her husband to one war and her son to another, who worked as a welder in a metal refinery when everyone in the country had to get behind the war effort. She learned how to speak sign language so she could work as a cook in a school for the deaf. She worked with "the kids" in a hospital for the mentally handicapped, and brought them home-baked goodies all the time. She pushed through her grief - first at losing her husband, then at losing her daughter - and gave up her world travels in order to raise an eight year old girl.
My heroes are the firefighters who run towards danger instead of away from it. They wear full gear in 100+ degree heat battling wildfires and trying to save our land and our houses. They take every loss personally, and go out the next day with renewed determination. They're the first face a person sees in the middle of a disaster, and the first sign that things are going to be alright.
My hero is the eighteen-nineteen-twenty year old kid who has in his or her heart such a love for our country, that at such a young age he or she chooses to do what has to be done to preserve and protect it. Who turns the concept of "living in this country" to "living for this country", and sometimes dying for it. Whether any of us agree with any war effort, past, present, or future, the fact remains that every single person in our armed forces is a hero and deserves our respect and gratitude.
Ordinary people are my heroes, except that they're far from ordinary.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Fabulous New Entry!
Phew! I can finally talk about the Father's Day gift we got for Calvin. Let me know what you think!
Conveniently enough, this entry also qualifies as my "AlphaBytes" submission for the letter "G".
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Should I be freaked?
I'll be turning 30 in a little over a month. And to be honest, I haven't thought too much about it. My sister says she freaked out when she turned 30 - and by "freaked out", I mean went on a three-day drinking binge, cried a lot, and blamed everything that was currently wrong with her life on her husband. Who was also drunk. She pretty much lathered, rinsed, and repeated for her 40th birthday, which was last month. Except that there was also a bonfire the size of a shopping mall, and altogether too much loose gasoline cans lying about than was safe for a drunken party of twenty and a gaggle of children.
A girlfriend at work said to me that she didn't take turning thirty particularly well, either. She didn't want to go out, didn't want to celebrate, didn't want acknowledgement. In fact, she stopped observing her birthday from that point forward.
Birthdays have never really represented any big deal to me throughout my life - a holdover from being raised by my Jehovah's Witness grandmother, I suppose. The last time I remember feeling excited about it was a slumber party I had for my thirteenth birthday. A girl named Echo (I kid you not) managed to turn all my friends against me in the course of an evening, taught us all how to make ourselves pass out by flipping our heads up and down, up and down, then holding our necks to cut off the circulation to our jugulars, and killed my sister's ficus by burying a tater tot in the soil. Now, I'm not saying that experience was particularly traumatic (though I still hold the opinion that thirteen year old girls are evil, evil little beasties), but pretty much each year after that when July 20th showed up, I spared a thought to the effect of, "Oh! So now I'm whatever-years-old." One year I even had to do the math because I couldn't remember if I was 27 or 28. That was weird.
Which isn't to say that my family doesn't take care of me on my birthday. One year Calvin rented a Corvette for the weekend, took me shopping, and took me out for a fancy dinner. This year we're going out for dinner and dancing with friends, at locations of my choosing. I don't like fusses, and I don't like being the center of attention, but just having a good time with good company sounds about right.
I think I'll need to do something separate with my friend AB, who is pregnant (hi! call me!) and probably can't do too much along the lines of dancing/drinking.
ANYway. Thirty. People are acting like I should be freaking out. And when I tell them I'm not, they give me a look like a) they don't believe me; or b) it hasn't sunk in for me yet. I like where I am in life. I like what I've accomplished, and I like the direction that things are going in. I have a wonderful home and a fantastic family. I feel reasonably successful, very secure, and fairly comfortable in my own skin. I mean, I'm a bit disappointed that I've spend the last DECADE (eep) saying that I've wanted to lose about ten pounds, but at least that number never went up beyond that.
I've always held to the belief that you are the age that you act and feel. Which means I'll never be older than 21, and Calvin's even better off at approximately twelve (at times). Thirty's just a number. I think there will be no freaking out.
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
You know, I'm more comfortable talking with people about religion than about politics.
What you won't hear me talking about:
1. Ronald Reagan's presidency - good or bad?
2. Does Your Vote Count?
3. The gilded virtues (or lack thereof) of either Presidential Candidate.
4. The Leader of the Free World Should/Should Not Have Military Experience.
5. Economics during an election year.
6. Or anything else about politics.
Is it me, or do people seem to be more adamantly opinionated this year?
I'm having the strangest craving for eggs right now. It started last night while watching "Everybody Loves Raymond" (or as I call it, "Everybody Wants To Be There's Something About Raymond"), when Raymond got his mom to make him eggs, with a little cheese sprinkled on top. And I remember thinking to myself, "Huh! That sounds good right now." Calvin makes a MEAN egg-and-cheese sandwich, with the yolk broken but still soft so that it doesn't make a runny mess when you bite into it, and a slice of pepper-jack cheese, and this "jous" (as in "au jous" - we call anything remotely saucy "jous", so in this case it would be "egg sammich jous" - we're so cute it's sick) made of mayo and mustard and ranch and Tabasco green sauce and worcestershire and garlic salt and pepper.
Oh man. Skipping breakfast and then writing about eggs was SUCH a bad idea.
My grandmother had an egg a day, religiously. Sometimes it was fried (over easy!), sometimes it was soft-boiled and served in one of those little egg cups from which you scoop the egg right from the shell, sometimes it was scrambled. I'd have breakfast with her on summer mornings (breakfast during the school year consisted of three or four hurried scoops of cereal into the mouth as I was running past the table and out to the bus). We'd have some "nice" toast (rye) with some "nice" butter, and eggs, ALWAYS doused with worcestershire. Because to this day I believe that eggs without worcestershire is the worst kind of sin.
Devilled eggs are served at every family function, and a half-dozen are boiled up and mixed in with every batch of potato salad I make. Calvin even likes a hard boiled egg chopped up and mixed in with tuna salad.
I'm hungry, can you tell? Eggy goodness... mmm... and what an odd thing to be inspired to write about.
Monday, June 07, 2004
There's a new entry up on the journal, all about work. Riveting stuff.
Dreaming my life away
The problem with having goals and dreams, of a future-sort, is that during the acquisition of that dream, during the baby steps leading up to it, there isn't a whole lot of living in between. There's this goal, shining and all pinnacle-like, and the trudge leading up to it is just mundane. There are small events and happinesses that barely blip the radar in the face of That Which Is Yet To Be Achieved.
Calvin and I have pretty grand goals, yet they are elegant in their simplicity. The grandness lies in the feeling we will have when we actually get there. See, pretty much our one and only goal is to become financially solvent. Pay off our debt so that the major chunk of our income can go into investments for our retirement. And a minor chunk of that will go toward vacationing, because he and I both have a craving to see every corner of this country, and all of the other countries out there.
That's it. Such a simple thing to describe and explain. It's the getting there that's the hard part. We have yearly goals, broken up thusly so that the sum total doesn't seem so overwhelming. This year, we should meet our goal in September. We're going to take a couple of days off around Labor Day, and perhaps spend a couple of days in San Diego to see the kids. And that's all we have planned for this year, because all of our efforts will be going into meeting the goal set for *next* year. And the year after. And the year after that. Hopefully, the year after that will see us where we want to be, barring any unforseen circumstances. Which will, without a doubt, crop up in the next four years. The trick will be in our creative financial planning, which will be the razor edge between meeting our goals, and becoming entirely derailed.
This summer is going to be all about work. Then that short break in September. Then more work, and probably back to school for me. With Calvin and I whining and complaining that we don't have enough to look foward to, to break up this four-year monotony.
Except that we have every evening after work, spent with each other, and every weekend to look forward to. Hanging out with friends and family to look forward to. Quiet evenings spent on the couch with a good movie to look foward to. Remembering to live in the moment, instead of dreaming our lives away, instead of wishing that the next four years had passed already. Because they are four years that we'll never get back, in order to enjoy them.