Monthly Archives: January 2008

In writing

I am on a break from smoking.  I don’t like to speak of it, because people then want to talk about it when you start smoking again.  And then I feel sheepish.  Of all the barnyard animals, I like to feel like sheep least.  And so, I am reluctant to even write that I haven’t been smoking lately.  But it has been 11 days, and I feel tentatively pleased.

And on top of that, I’ve been going to the gym before work in the morning.  4 times last week, and 3 so far this week.  My track record for maintaining a plan of this nature is spotty, so I commit to nothing!  But I am writing it here.  Although I rather wish that it were in invisible ink so that I might never have to see this again, but could know that it was there…

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Jumping the Shark

I had a new SAT student last night. It turns out, he lives a few houses down from another girl I tutored a few years ago. She wasn’t particularly interesting, unless you are interested in peppy, blonde, cheerleader types (ok, so maybe she *is* interesting), but her dad…. now there’s another story. And since I was reminded of him last night, I will tell it.

At the end of a session, I was chatting with Dad, who wanted to know if I’d been tutoring for long and if I’d ever worked with anyone famous. As a matter of fact, I had worked with Carlos Santana’s daughter. And then I conjectured about the other celebrities in the Bay Area who had pending teenagers, like Sean Penn and Robin Williams. Dad tells me that he had worked in tv a little bit. Oh yes? What did you do?

I was a stunt man. I did a water skiing episode on Happy Days.

Really? So you jumped the shark?!

Yes. Yes, I did.

And there you have it.

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I have been pulling the wings off bats lately

I’ve got a deck of tarot cards on my desk. I brought them in thinking that I would do a reading on people’s birthdays, but as with so many of my intentions, the follow-through has been less than optimal. They have generated a lot of interest from folks passing by who want to know what I’m up to. One of my co-workers asked me what was next on the horizon after I mastered the tarot, so I told him that my crystal ball had been backordered for months.
“What else, Margaret? Tarot? That’s the best you’ve got?”
Pressure to be witty and clever ensues.
Wittier than that, please.
“Well, I have been pulling the wings off bats an awful lot lately.”
And mercifully, I am rewarded with a significant round of laughs. Although, now that I think of it it, it was one of those “Dance, monkey! Dance!” moments.

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Saturday Rituals

There is a farmer’s market in my neighborhood every Saturday morning. I go each week, some times just to ensure that I have left the house at least once over the course of a weekend.

It’s clear and sunny today and it feels as though spring is coming, even though it’s only January. But the weather’s been unforgiving lately, for the Bay Area anyway, so it is spry indeed to get a day like this.

I usually do a lap of the whole market first to see what’s there and then make purchases on my second circuit. Today I bought a pomelo, which gave me fond memories of high school AP English.

It takes a lot of work to get through a pomelo, which looks like a monster grapefruit. They’ve got these thick spongy skins, which can’t be just peeled. They have to be cut through and whittled away at until you’ve got just the fruit. Then the interior skin is entirely non-good for eating, so you have to completely remove the flesh from the pithy stuff in there. But it’s completely worth all the labor. You might not think that crunchy citrus is the way to go, but it’s surprisingly super.

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Idle Hands

I’m in a post-Christmas slump and without the frenetic pace of the holidays, I feel like a lame kid on a bicycle, spinning my pedals too fast without getting traction.  And thus, perhaps it is time to put my idle hands to some typing and finally create a blog.  Perhaps it will be a good way to better exercise my writing chops, which were only stretched a bit by the novel I tried to start.  Or maybe I will get some inner sense of cool from having joined the masses here.  Or possibly, I’ll lose interest and go back to my obsessive cyber stalking of other people.

I seem to have a minor problem with the cyber stalking.  It feels so good to know someone else’s secrets.  Although, I suppose they’re not secrets if you’re broadcasting them out into the ether.  But I do know that these are not things I should be privy to.  So while it is delicious, it’s delicious like too many sour cream and chive potato chips:  I end up feeling gross.  And a bit sad.  Although, potato chips don’t make me sad.  Just gross.  And that’s the other thing about this down time.  If I were busy, I could supplant some of this compulsion with something productive, like earning my paycheck.  Instead, I do the rounds obsessively.  Facebook.  Flickr.  Yelp.  Blog.  Facebook.  Flickr.  Yelp.  Blog.  Too often, there are no new updates, which drives me to madness.  More specifically, it drives me to delve into the annals of the blog to dredge up bits of the past.  The past doesn’t feel any better than the present, though.

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