1. I’m sitting in a café, waiting for my writing partner to show. It’s Sunday morning, a time which normally finds this café quiet, but it’s crowded and noisy. I’m trying not to pay attention to the two women next to me, who appear to be studying for a nursing exam. They’re loud. One woman keeps saying “shut your mouth!” in the way that people do when they mean “I don’t believe it!” There’s a group of older women kvetching about their husbands, and a couple of guys with cell phones talking about how much they liked Avatar, and how much it’s worth seeing again. Which I find interesting because absolutely no one I know who’s seen Avatar has said that they liked anything much beyond the special effects. I haven’t seen it, so I can’t comment.*
2. My thirteen-month-old son has learned to say “no.” This morning all of my conversations with him went like this:
Me: Do you want some breakfast?
Me: Do you want to take off your jacket?
Me: Do you want some milk?
And so on.
3. Last night I met a friend at a Czech restaurant and afterward I got a ride home from a very friendly Eritrean cab driver. He told me that he’d never seen snow until he came to the United States six years ago. He visited Lake Tahoe, and sent his family pictures of himself in the snow there. His family said “please, get out of that place” because they had never seen snow either, and they thought he would die in all that white. My cab driver also told me that he liked the Bay Area because it’s a place “where you can get anything that you desire,” which I suppose is true. If you have the money. He said this just after telling me that he hadn’t been back to Eritrea since he left six years ago, because he couldn’t afford buy the plane ticket. His family asks when he will come visit, and he says “maybe next year.”
4. Apropos of absolutely nothing… (that basically sums up this whole post, I think) I recently re-read a short story I wrote a few years ago. It’s a wacky piece; there’s a loud Danish guy, giggling Japanese teen girls, a supermarket checker in the rural Midwest, and monkeys. Yep, monkeys. It’s not a characteristic piece of writing for me, but I’m thinking of finishing/rewriting it nonetheless. One thing that will have to go: the footnotes. I think I was reading a lot of David Foster Wallace essays when I wrote the story. I’d like to say I’m not a footnoter, but look! there’s one right here in this blog post. I’d also like to say that monkeys and other such creatures don’t usually appear in my writing. But there was the time I did NaNoWriMo and a cat started talking about a third of the way into my novel…
5. Apparently my last post, G is for Geology, was my 500th post! Wow. I would have never guessed that when I started my pathetic little blog back in 2003 that I would write 500 posts. And that people would actually read them. So, if you’re reading this (hello?), thank you.
6. Also related to G for Geology….We had quite a few earthquakes in Northern California this week. I mean, apparently we did. I didn’t feel any of them.
*This brings up two pieces of potentially shocking information. One, I saw only two movies last year in actual movie theaters. It’s quite possible that I didn’t see more than about six movies all year long. I watched a couple on my iPhone on flights, and maybe got one or two DVDs from Netflix. I would like to say that not being able go to the movies/watch movies is one of the perils of having children, but alas, I suspect my pathetic movie track record in 2009 is part of a larger pattern of movie-related lethargy. Which brings us to number two: As revealed to my friend last night, I am probably one of very few people on earth who has never seen James Cameron’s movies. Terminator, Aliens, Titanic… I seemed to have missed those. Given my 2009 movie-attendance record, it’s likely that I’ll miss Avatar as well.