Friday, April 29, 2005



I wanna be a trucker. Not now. After I'm done teaching. I think.

Doesn't it sound like fun?

I mean, I don't want to be what most people think of when they think "trucker." I want to be a new-fangled sort of trucker. It would be the coolest job.

I would listen to books on tape, maybe even learn another language. I would spend my time in the cab (because the place where you drive is called the "cab") productively. Why not kill as many birds with one stone as possible? I would finally "read" all of the books I've been putting off reading (as long as they're available on cassette), and I could really spend my time thinking about my books. I would devour them!

When I wasn't listening to books, I would be thinking. Just thinking. I wouldn't have to talk to anyone. I mean, if I wanted to I guess I could talk on my CB, but that would only be if I wanted to. Most of the time I don't think I would really want to, so I wouldn't.

And I would probably be the only trucker listening to Modest Mouse and Keane on an iPod. But, by god, why not change that image of a trucker, too?

The inside of my sleeper cab would smell of Cotton Blossom, from Bath & Body Works. It would be spotless (unlike my car, lol). I would have lovely bedding with a down comforter and a very firm pillow for sleeping, and it would be color-coordinated with the outside of my rig.

This is something I think about from time to time as I drive home from work. Usually on days when I'm tired of having taught the same lesson six times, or I'm tired of having said something for the thousandth time. I think about how nice it would be to do a job that is so utterly different and how, with my education and personality, I would do it so differently than most people usually do it.

I probably will never actually drive a big rig. Truth be told, I'd be a little afraid of having to back the thing up. But a girl has to have something to dream about.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Mohawks and Applesauce


Being a grown-up really kind of sucks. As I write this, I'm looking out the window at a high school kid with a mohawk walking across the parking lot. He's walking like he just really doesn't fucking care how long it takes him to get to school (it's fourth hour, by the way, why is he in the parking lot?).

Being a high school kid with a mohawk would be really fucking cool, you know? I mean, what do you have to do? You sit in class and wait for people to tell you what to do. They tell you how to do a math problem, you do it. Or you don't. (You don't give a shit, because you are a really cool kid with a mohawk and if you don't want to do your math you aren't going to, bitch.) You are told how many pages to read, and then you are told what those pages meant. It's such a spoon-fed existence.

But being a grown-up. Bah. There are bills to pay, there's laundry to do, and the fucking dishes. Who knew that dishes had to be done every single day?! I mean, it's relentless. Never mind feeding the kids (who never actually want to eat because there's always something better to do), cleaning up after said "feeding", and all of the damned toys that always have to either be picked up or stepped on.

Yeah, mohawk kid, you're pretty fucking cool now. But I can't wait to see you in 10 years with spit-up all over your shirt, tired after a long day at work, and doing your best to clean applesauce out of the crevaces of the hardwood floors. When you can do all that without completely losing your mind, then you'll be cool.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I'm a runner!


Yesterday I did something I never even imagined I'd do: I ran a race. I actually RAN. I ran and noone was chasing me. I ran for the pure enjoyment of running. (I know, it's become a sickness.)

The run was a four mile charity run. Around 10,000 people took part. Ten-thousand. And I was one of them. We ran (RAN!) through the streets of some lovely neighborhoods from a very cool neighborhood to the haughty, snotty Plaza area in town.

When I was much younger I was a competitive swimmer (and a really fucking good one, thank you very much), but I could never, ever run. Even when I was qualifying for state as a swimmer I COULD NOT RUN. I just couldn't do it. I had a mental block. But then Jeff Galloway came into my life.

At least his book did. He's a former Olympic marathoner who thinks it's okay to have walk breaks in a long run (four miles is long for me). His method made it accessible to me, and now I really enjoy pushing myself to see how long I can run without having to walk. I look forward to my running workouts so that I can see how much better I can do than the last time. I haven't been this excited about a sport since I swam competitively. But this I can do without a pool. Talk about convenient.

I know, I sound like a commercial. That's okay with me. I don't mind blathering on about even it I do sound like someone's advertisement.

Next run: June 4. It's a 5K with HILLS. I start training today.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I'm Five Today!


Today marks a strange anniversary for me: it was five years ago today that I almost died. That's not melodrama but the godshonest truth. I nearly died. Still freaks me out to think about how close I came to it.

What started as a twinge of pain in my lungs turned into a collection of blood clots so big that my doctor proclaimed he'd never seen so many in someone still alive. He also explained to me that had I not gone to the emergency room the day that I did, I would not have seen the next day. Those are words that change a person.

They didn't change me immediately. Not even close. It took a long time for the seriousness of the situation to really sink in. Days. I had a throng of doctors and nurses visiting me all with the same astonished look of wonder and amazement, like they were witnessing something really unique. That's not a very settling feeling to have in a hospital. I didn't care much to be the side show in their little circus, but, being as I was bedridden, I didn't really have much of a choice.

After several days of people treating me as if looking at me too hard might break me, I finally got the word from my doctor about just how close a call it had been. He informed me that with all the blood clots that I'd had floating around in my lungs, I was damned lucky not to have ended up with any of them in my heart because that would have been the end of it. He told me he'd never seen such a thing in such a young person.

To this day I still don't quite know how I feel about all of this. I mean, it's a bit much to take in. It's not like it's something I dwell on every single day. But every now and then it really hits me... I could have actually ceased to be here. Then there would never have been a Maren or a Grant. George would never have his underwear folded, it would always just be thrown in a basket on the floor.

Last year I celebrated it like it was a birthday. This year I feel a little more reflective than celebratory, I guess. So no cake, no silliness. But happy anniversary to me.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Oh yeah, that's why I married you


Just over two weeks ago, on April Fool's Day nonetheless, George and I celebrated the thirteenth anniversary of our first official date. It was no glorious occasion, that date. To any onlookers we would have appered as a couple of sophomore music majors needing recital attendance credits going to a percussion ensemble concert. But for us, it was a debut. It's foggy now, but I think we even held hands. The next day, in the lobby of the music building, the other music majors were all a-titter with the juicy gossip of new love to blabber about.

"I'm not looking for anything serious."

Those were the words of the same George who had apparently waited for eight months to date me. Eight months and that's what he has to say. I tell you, sometimes I think it's a miracle he made it past that remark.

So after thirteen years, I'm thinking he got a bit more than he was looking for. But now that he's mired in kids and a mortgage, he's not going anywhere. That'll show him to tell me what he's looking for.

After so much time together, sometimes it's easy to forget what it is that makes me love George so much. Then days like today happen. Not a particularly extraordinary day. All we did was drive to George's parents' house to pick up the kids. But, wow, the conversation we had on the way up there really reminded me just how smart this guy is.

He currently works for himself. It's an awesome setup. The kids stay home with him and he has a client base that keeps us in housing and groceries. But every now and then one of his clients will try to hire him away from himself--it's obscene how many job offers this man gets!

We were talking about one of those job offers today and the possiblities that would come with that job or another possible job that could materialize in a few months when, really out of nowhere, George started talking about this tree. There's a tree that George really likes on the drive up to his parents' house because it looks like a brain. While discussing the shape of this tree and its similarity to a brain he managed to work in the idea of the recursive nature of the branches and how that is similar to computer programming. He went on for several minutes tying together these metaphorical concepts and relating them all back to each other.

I have to admit, though, I did stop listening for a little bit because I was so busy being awed by the sheer magnatism of my guy. Not only can he totally school me on the Bauhaus font family and the whole Bauhaus movement and when it (the font) can be used correctly and when it would be best left alone, but he can wax philosophical about a tree with the best of 'em. And he even still plays his classical guitar several times a week--just like he did back when we were music majors thirteen years ago.

All this and you should see him with the kids.

I don't know how I got so lucky, but I'm glad I did. Some nights I just hate going to bed because I want to stay up as late as George does just so I can be with him more. In the morning I hate leaving for work because he's still in bed and I want to stay snuggled up next to him. George is a pretty great guy, and if I ever say differently, don't listen to me. I'm full of shit.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Mommy, Are Those the White Stripes?


Ah, spring. It's wonderful to be out and about again. Going to the park. Playing in the back yard. Mowing the lawn. Is there a better time of the year?

Today's trip to "The Purple Park" (so-named because of the purple playground equipment) was a delight. The kite flew high, high, high. Wow, I thought we were going to lose it there for a minute. Maren had so much fun going down the slide that I don't think she even noticed that I had put her in a green shirt and pink shoes (and her brother in a green shirt and red socks).

Fashion disasters aside, this was one of those nights to remember. One of those nights when the smiles were just a little brighter than usual. The giggles a little louder. And every time Maren went down the slide with the tunnel, she hollered down, "Mommy, I wuv you."

As we got in the car to go home and daddy started it up, when Maren heard the radio she said something that brought a proud tear to my eye, "Mommy, are those the White Stripes?" My kid's got taste.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

{chirp, chirp} The Crickets are Lonely


It's been a while since I've posted anything here. Just haven't been that observant of things around me, I guess. Either that or there just hasn't been anything too interesting happening.

I did take up running. That's been interesting. I suck at it. But I'm trying hard to get better. It's kind of fun. (I can't believe that running is fun.) I'll be participating in a charity run two weeks from today--a four-mile event. My participation won't actually be that of running the whole way so much as running, walking, and wheezing. But I'm going to finish, damn it.

That's about the sum total. I'll see if I can't be a little more frequent with the updates.