A dear writer friend who passed away a few years ago used to send out regular emails every Monday morning with this title. They’d consist of a few witty observations on life, stuff that happened on the weekend, what her cats were up to and would often close with a cheesy joke. Her initials were M.E.S. so she’d sign off with “Jst a Mes.” In my first writing critique group, she was the first of us to be published – sadly, only posthumously, but she remains an inspiration. She was one of the guests at my wedding almost five years ago, and it occurred to me that since that day, three of the 64 guests in attendance at our celebration have since departed our company, my dear grandfather among them. Although, there have been at least three, if not more, babies born to that same group of people as well since that day, so, as the Stranger opines at the end of The Big Lebowski, “I guess that’s how the whole durned human comedy keeps perpetuating itself.”
Speaking of my wedding, my better half noticed online the other day that the first house we lived in together was up for sale, and had an open viewing this past weekend. We had only lived there for one year – we were renting, and while we weren’t asked to go we did get the sense that our landlady was keen to sell, and we were fine to find something a little more affordable. And, although relatively unspoken at the time, there were some troubled memories associated with the house that we were anxious to leave behind. We had moved in as boyfriend and girlfriend, run the proverbial emotional gauntlet but emerged triumphant as husband and wife. Anyway, we had to drop by and see how the old gal was getting on. What struck us most was how small it felt – not that where we live now is a McMansion, but we were boxed in by a peculiar sense of confinement and constriction as we wandered through the rooms. Perhaps it was an appropriate metaphor for what we were going through at the time, a concentration of emotion and event into limited space from which a stronger bond is eventually forged. It had been renovated substantially since we lived there, the ubiquitous pink carpet that neither of us cared for replaced with hardwood. But I still felt a bit of a chill as I stood in the exact spot that five years ago Valentine’s Day, I knelt, opened my hand to reveal a cheap Lord of the Rings replica One Ring – all I could afford at the time – and asked her to marry me. She has a much nicer one now, and we have a home that feels very open and free, where we can relax and just be – or at the least, plenty of rooms to run and hide in when we (i.e. me) forget to take the chicken out to defrost for dinner.
I’ve talked about this before, in the context of Twitter, but one of the wonderful things about modern communication is the reduction in distance and increase in intimacy between the artist and the audience, and not, at least when it is used responsibly, in a scary stalker kind of way. Emilie-Claire Barlow was kind enough to retweet my review of her show to her followers. Very cool – and just reinforces my point about how awesome she is. Thanks, Ms. Barlow! Hmm… Emilie-Claire Barlow, Rob Lowe… I’m sensing a rhyming pattern here. I should write something about Gwyneth Paltrow and see what happens.
On a completely different note, I think it’s time to do away with Daylight Savings Time. A few years ago, it was decided to advance it a month in the calendar, the end result being that as soon as you feel like you’re turning the corner of having to wake up and go to work in the darkness every morning, you get slapped back into it for another month and a half of exhaustion and caffeine injections. As I understand it, DST was invented to assist farmers in making the most of their daylight hours – given that we are no longer as agrarian a society, perhaps this tradition too can go the way of the telegraph and the wax cylinder recording. I always feel more tired during the eight-odd months of DST hours than I do on Standard Time – my body really misses that extra hour and never quite adjusts to it. I guess I probably wouldn’t do very well living in Maine or New Brunswick.
On a final, hopefully amusing note before we embark on this week’s adventures, a few more of the wacky search engine terms people are finding me with. Again, not that I mind the site traffic – far from it. The more the merrier; I just imagine, as U2 would put it, that you still haven’t found what you’re looking for.
- apollo crackers – Not quite sure what these are, perhaps crunchy space food eaten by Armstrong and Aldrin, or a very ironic euphemism for white people who enjoy Harlem jazz.
- long psychedelic jams – Groovy, baby! “They call ‘em fingers, but I’ve never seen ‘em fing… oh, there they go.”
- render anime boy – I don’t even know what to say about this one. It strikes me as vaguely creepy.
Have a great day, fellow crusaders.