Out of my Element.

So, for the last several months, I have become increasingly annoyed with my current mode of transportation - a huge Nissan pickup with a "topper" ( I hate that word). You see, I'm a rather small person and this truck is just, well, large. I had had my eye on a couple alternatives, but not in any real way. That is, until boredom struck at work last week and I started combing Craig's List and Cars dot com, just to "get a feel for" what was out there.

I quickly hit anxiety mode, as I always do when major purchases are involved, when I saw the one, the only, vehicle for me. It was snazzy yet utilitarian, practically brand new, and much more my size. On a whim, I emailed the seller to ask if this little gem might still be available. Like a flash, he shot back confirmation.

Next thing I know, the H and I are test driving my soon to be new steez on I-70 and I'm falling in love and can barely contain myself. A couple moments later, I wake up, as if from a dream, with a ball-point pen in hand and see that I've signed all the paperwork. I've done it! And now I'm scared.

This is what I do. This is a pattern.

I devote serious time and consideration to researching things that I want and make myself wait for some specified period of time before making a purchase to determine whether or not my desire for that item was fleeting. (Or at least this is how it works in theory). But when I actually see *the one* I get all tunnel-visiony and tense and excited...and generally buy the item on impulse. (This does not bode well for the home-buying process, I know. And the H and I have discussed the fact that I'll need my very own therapist on call at all times when we actually get to that point).

And so it went with the Element. The problem is that, at my insistence, the seller got the thing inspected before we closed the deal, at which time they found that the brake line was a little tweaked in one spot. I asked the seller to take care of it before delivering the vehicle to me. That was Saturday. Of course, as it is with all vehicle repairs, the job is taking longer than expected. Now they're saying it'll be Thursday or Friday before it's done.

Not only does the delay suck in general, but it has allowed me time to THINK about my purchase and to SECOND GUESS my hasty actions! And I have this irrational fear that the seller will change his mind between now and then and keep the boxy beauty all to himself. This just doesn't work for me. I need instant gratification when I make irresponsible purchases! Gahhhhh. I need the shininess of my new car to distract me from the financial "decisions" I "made" to obtain it.



The H, on the landlord's repainting of our dilapidated, splintery, structurally unsound front porch:

"Why the fuck did he bother? It's like gilding a turd."


Communication breakdown.

Wanna feel old? Ask a group of 25 college freshmen to name their favorite band of all time and observe what ensues.

I'm "co-mentoring" a class of said freshmen, presumably to assist them in making the transition from the comfy land o' high school to the big scary world of college. Due to the vast cultural gulf that separates us, though, I'm wondering how much I can really offer up in the way of advice.

To get the kids talking, my co-mentor and I start each class by asking them to name a certain item of their liking (or something that they disdain) when their name is called from the roll. We've used favorite class, most difficult class, nicest thing about being on their own, etc. The other day, just to inject a little *fun* into the equation and to find common ground on which I could identify with my students, I asked them to name their favorite band &/or type of music.

What resulted was a series of unintelligible band names, proclaimed with great confidence and enthusiasm, most of which took one of the two following forms: SINGULAR VERB + NUMBER (composed of either 2 or 3 digits - no less, no more) or GERUND + PROPER NOUN (generally a person's name).

One glorious child, though, brought me back from the brink of utter distress upon which I was standing when he declared Led Zeppelin to be the best band of all time. Finally, a light in the darkness! Something I could understand! Something that broke the aforementioned mold! Something that no doubt took courage and conviction to say in a room full of Gen Z(?)ers!

I can't help but wonder what the other students in the class thought of this announcement. Are they also Led Zeppelin aficionados? Do they even know who Led Zeppelin is? Do they just think this other kid is "like, wicked uncool"? Was his admission tantamount to someone in my college days alleging The Everly Brothers to be the hottest rockers ever?

I'm truly perplexed. Particularly when I see perma-faded T-shirts for sale at Target featuring the likes of The Doors, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and so on. Are these bands considered *retro* (and therefore hip) or do these classics have a preternatural staying power that can actually withstand all the trappings of today's youth? Perhaps I need to craft my next roll-call question to somehow address such mysteries. All while managing to keep an air of complete-understanding-due-to-my-own-hipness about me.


Slummin' it.

The H has a new job. At one of those too-techy-for-their-own-good type places. One of those places that has experienced uninterrupted success since the beginning and thus feels compelled to shower its employees with lavish and unending perks. Such perks include free-flowing starbucks all day long, troughs of fresh fruit sprinkled around the office, as much complimentary chocolate and soda as one can consume, and weekly (sometimes daily) massages given by a svelte young Asian woman named *Kiki*. Really. I kid you not. KIKI.

I guess the theory is that between chocolate breaks and massage-induced orgasms, the jolly employees will crack open a free Coke, buckle down, and ply their trades with genius and gusto.

At my place of employment, our monthly "jeans day" is cause for a cele-fucking-bration. And getting together in the kitchen to share a single 2-liter of root beer and a tub of generic ice cream is a veritable jubilee.

Perhaps I'm in the wrong line of work.


Fabricated paralysis.

This morning, everything was blanketed in a dense fog, limiting my line of sight to about 1/2 block or so. On a *normal* day, I would have rejoiced in the coming fall weather and thought about stuff like foliage and hot chocolate. But today, the fog paired with disturbing, somewhat inappropriate 9/11 "anniversary" coverage on the morning news, made me realize that I've once again fallen into my own brand of fog - one both generated and perpetuated by my inability (unwillingness?) to deal with the world I live in.

A shameful pattern this has become...particularly over the last couple years. I get overwhelmed and disgusted and pissed off and depressed by the ignorance of the administration and the direction we are heading. And when I do (which is often), I find myself turning off or tuning out, if you will, rather than engaging myself in the goings-on of the day and working to DO something about the injustice, bigotry and laundry list of unbelievable improprieties we are witness to today.

There was a time when I was sure I wanted to devote myself to transforming the legal/political/social parameters that frame our lives in this country and our relationships with the rest of the world. There was a time when I was passionate about helping those being tread upon every day and empowering them to join me in turning things around. There was a time when crisis energized me and motivated me to think creatively about how to effect change.

There was a time when I stood tall and voiced my opinions, rather than burying my head in the sand and waiting for others to make things happen.


Pretty little things.

The answer is most certainly Cirque du Soleil's Delirium, if the question is: "what is the most fabulous of all fabulous shows to attend when celebrating a romantic occasion at which one has the opportunity to view the hottest eye candy in all the land and get all lovey dovey feelin' and stuff?". Wow, so that's what 0.25% body fat actually looks like on a mere mortal! The show was beautiful. And the cast, out of this world. Highly recommended y'all!

In other news: I am a huge fan of tiny things. Tiny elegant things. Sleek is also good. As is functional.

That is why I am totally and completely in love with my new macbook. While I hate Apple with a passion and find their self-congratulatory, arrogant and tragically hip marketing strategies reprehensible, they do know how to make a damn good-lookin' little computer! (A word of caution - while they may know how to build a sweet computer, they don't know how to ship it - it took them nearly 3 weeks to get me my macbook, which they say is due to an unexpected level of demand given the release of the new product paired with the onset of another school year...how about a little forecasting assholes? otherwise known as thinking logically. sometimes referred to as planning ahead). Phew! Moving on...

While I had serious misgivings about making the trek from the wholesome Land o' PCs to the dark side of thinly-veiled cultism that is Apple, I must say I think I'll eventually be very happy here (once I learn to open and close windows on the left side of the screen instead of the right and similar such complex tasks).

Still though, I feel kinda dirty. I even bought a *free* iPod through their rebate program, further whoring myself out to Steve Jobs and his cadre of uniformity purveyors.

I keep recalling that part from Pink Floyd: The Wall when all the faceless drones march blindly and obediently into the meat grinder. Terrifying.

But the tiny little thing is just so pretty. And shiny. And fast.