Wednesday, March 16, 2005

T.G.I. March 17th tomorrow

(Do you know that it took me ten years to figure out what those letters stood for? Us immigrants are at a definite disadvantage as far as these hidden little meanings are concerned.)

I am not Irish (who is shocked by this assertion?) and so the 17th has no Patty’s Day associations for me. Though I did live in Chicago for a number of years and that city went hog wild over the holiday. I mean, it really was a holiday, where nothing was required of you except to drink a lot and wear green. Preferably the donning of the attire would precede the drinking, but you never knew. This was a city that died it’s river green. You can’t expect great sanity from a city that (at least in the 70s) liked to purposefully dump green die into the already murky waters.

It’s not St. Patricks that I am heralding, it’s the arrival of Spring Break for me. After I teach my Thursday class, I hop on the plane and take my books, my camera and my restlessness over to New York for the week.

A student in my seminar today told me that she was going to Paris with her mom for Spring Break. She asked for tips and ideas and as I told her about my favorite hobby there of people watching, of children-going-to-school-holding-their-rushed-doting-parent’s-hand watching, of older-men-and-women-enjoying-a-late-night-dinner-watching, she said: “yeah… it sounds like New York.”

Maybe. Except there aren’t establishments that facilitate that in New York. [Write and tell me if you know of a cafĂ© where I can alternate between staring into space and taking in the presence of others for hours on end. Because that’s even better than a day at a spa for me.]


Still, New York is New York and tomorrow night I’ll blog with the inevitable sound of sirens and car horns somewhere in the backdrop. No saffron banners to distract me this time. Only the city there with its New York-ish smells and rat clusters. I can deal with that.

Did you ever notice how some people are so clever and sharp when interviewed on the radio, while others are not?

I just finished being interviewed by the producer over at WUWM (Public Radio). I am glad that the reach of the show does not extend to Madison. Upon hearing my very long answers to very good questions about Ocean and blogging in general, my friends and colleagues here would have said this to me:

* you sounded like you were testing all ranges of the melodic scales – what’s with the high pitch and the low tone and everything in between? [answer: if you party the night before, your voice sounds weird the next day; coffee helps, but I can’t find my little stovetop espresso maker yet – it’s buried somewhere under the dirty dishes]

* sound bites: don’t you know that you have to give answers in bullet points? No one will remember a word you said, you were way too long-winded. [answer: it is good that they wont remember all that I said]

* you went on forever praising the blogs of others, how come you did not mention mine? [someone is bound to say that and they will have been right; how do you praise blogs on a radio show anyway? It’s not as if people are sitting there listening, with pen in hand, ready to jot down blog addresses]

* you talked about the blog of a guy who hates Ocean – why would you give him publicity? [answer: she got that out of me! she's too clever with her seemingly tame questions! But, notice that clever me did not reveal his blog address, nor am I even linking to the clown in this post]

* you weren’t that witty; people will think “why should I read the blog of a person who sounds so ordinary?” [gee, thanks; I thought my recycled (from Ocean!) stories were decent. -ish]

* so you wont hear the program when it airs?
[answer: I’ll hear it alright. She’s sending me the tape. I’ll put it on someday, in the privacy of my own boudoir, thank you]

Slow down, slow down, slow down……Why? Full days are good days.

An investigation into why the last twenty-four hours offered no time to post:

Perhaps leaping out of bed at 3:30 a.m. is not your own personal preference. I feel sorry for you, because the light is very special then: it’s very unobtrusive, very subtle, very…. dark.

My lecture needs a tinker’s touch. I have this pattern now: I sit in the middle of the night staring at my computer screen for a good twenty minutes thinking absolutely nothing more profound than how pretty that Giverny iris is (photographed last May, now pasted as wallpaper on my computer). It’s that blue and yellow pairing that gets me every time. Oh, I suppose an Ocean reader would be well aware of my love for the blues and yellows…
captivating  Posted by Hello
I rouse myself, I write something, and then I go into my next trance. Eventually I look outside and notice that the sun is out, touching everything in sight. A good half hour is devoted to looking at branches jiggling this way and that.

How did it get to be so late?? The run begins. I never want to be late for class. They can roll in as they see fit, often holding what must be the first cup of coffee of the day. I’d rather be there benevolently waiting for the last straggler, and the one after that...

Class is finished. I look outside my office and the sky is the kind of blue that asks: aren’t I good enough for you? Why aren’t you here with me, playing?. I can’t. I have to go home and cook. Blogger dinner tonight (noted with photos here and also here).

I work at food prepping as if I had extra super unleaded pumped right up to the brim: I am energized.

Officially, we call it “blogger dinners” – but increasingly we do not bring out our computers unless, toward the end, someone wants to check their email. Here’s the thing: we always have our laptops with us – like the photographer who doesn’t want to be caught without proper equipment exactly at the moment when the child looks up at the aging face of her greatgrandfather and trustingly takes his hand. The computers are charging, waiting, not realizing that after many courses and many bottles of wine, the chance of any of us spotting a precious bloggable moment is very very small.

It’s dark outside. Someone says it is hot and we should open the door to the back yard. When was the last time I opened the door to feel the night air come in to the kitchen? Last October? [Someone else says it’s too cold. People who say that they are too cold typically win.]

The last guest leaves at 12:30. I make an effort to at least to wash my treasured plates, painted by an older woman living at the foot of the French Alps. Somehow I can’t stand seeing them stacked to the side, dirty and waiting.

I sit down for just a few minutes. No, that can’t be. If I am just sitting down then how come it is suddenly 5:30a.m., and I am under a quilt on top of my bed? I get up, I go down and turn off Ella and Louis who apparently have been singing all night. I survey the storm damage in the kitchen. I smile and sit down to post.
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