Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hashbrowns & Waffles

Several weeks ago, our car ended up in the shop for one of those "I can't replicate your issue" problems and the Pumpkin King & I ended up walking to the Waffle House for breakfast while it sat in the shop for several hours.

It takes significantly longer to walk to the Waffle House on foot than it does to flash by on FM1960 going 50 mph. Our last a/c break had been in the PetsMart maybe 20 minutes ago and we were no longer charmed by the sidewalks upon which no one walked or the alternation between wildernesses of grasslands and empty concrete temples. We were radiating sunlight our skin could no longer contain.

The Waffle House had a/c & iced tea and waffles and hashbrowns and, as verified by a trip in the car this morning, they were great. Wonderful crunchy flatop hashbrowns and thin sweet waffles. At the time of the Great Carless Hike, we were given a spot at the counter. Already numb from the walk, we watched the waitresses like bees at every cup and plate and countertop. The walk back was not unpleasant because the break was good and the sun at our backs.

And now, between the deli yesterday and waffles today, I'm thinking about formica countertops and Angel food cake, about the way my Aunt Lois and my grandmother and my Aunt Ruby and my mom all had those moments of cooking for an extended family and how much I miss that, how much I mourn for the kids to whom I won't be passing those physical connections.

Without somewhere for these memories to go, without any more links, I'm holding the end of a broken chain. I can wrap it around this blog like a broken necklace around my wrist, but I can't fix it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Still Gassing On

You knew it would last about a day, right? At least, the part about having anything to say, not the part about being glad to miss the drama that was the Writer's Bitchfest. I'm taking the villainous inspiration and running from that particular haunt.

I was caught by a post regarding the humanities on the From Austin to A&M blog. The idea that one "settles" for an English degree is somewhat odd to me--I was a passionate reader when I decided to major in English and I remain one to this day. Having the chance to study stories and the way they fit into a culture was a great boon to someone who doesn't travel much (claustrophobia is not a travel-friendly condition. I regret not continuing along in my degree path, but I don't regret studying something in which I was interested, nor do I feel that I was "forced" to study it because I was female.Instead, I remember the way my dad spent the night before my wedding talking to all my friends who were pre-med. I will remember the clear impression that left--that I just wasn't all that interesting if I wasn't a science major and still less if I married before advancing beyond my bachelor's degree.

As a writer on the bleeding edge of my 40s, I feel that if I stayed in my degree program, I would have the professional contacts that might have made the business end of writing less opaque, if not easier. Not that it matters, because if I'd had had my choice, I would have been a librarian. In my case, it was the school and not the specific degree program that turned out to be a challenge.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Not Looking for Group

For several years, I've been trying to find a writer's group that will allow both critiquing and socializing such that you come out with the feeling that you've been vigorously shaken and put to rights at the end of the meeting.

There have been periods in which the various groups I've had the privilege to belong to have been that elusive beast--when the balance between work and chatter was spot on and we trusted each other well enough to give and receive thorough comments.

My challenge is that I progress slowly and don't trust myself so I remain an active participant after the groups have suffered what seems to be the inevitable decline into gossipy circles of writers who move at my same lackadaisical pace.

I'm not looking for another group. If the hoped-for sale hasn't happened by now, it's because I'm not going to dredge up enough internal motivation for it to happen.

I don't, as it turns out, really have anything to say.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Lack Thereof

I am not a scientist and medical descriptions are, for me, narrow switchback trails straight to nausea. Today, however, I was caught up in a story on NPR about regrowing a trachea for a man whose own trachea was blocked by a malignant tumor.

The story itself was like 70's scifi and involved laser-cut plastic molds of the man's own laser-scanned trachea and stem cells from his hip growing like expanding bubbles blown by various hormones, etc. until a new, presumably functional, trachea was ready for implantation.

It was insanely wondrous in a prosaic, I've-seen-this-movie-before fashion.

That reaction worries me. Am I too jaded with images and too uneducated, too uncurious, to field a sense of wonder for this?

I've felt, smelled, and hear many, many machines working in labs doing things that I can't imagine. Part of me suddenly feels that if I'd been more attuned to the physical sciences, I would be a better writer, with a greater capacity for imagination and wonder because I would have a greater understanding of what happens in the heart of the opaque functionality.

The Hordes

Three dogs, especially when one of them is capable of levitation (tiggers & Border Collies are made of springs!), are a horde of dogs. I have a horde of dogs living in the house right now.

Fortunately, all of them are house-trained & friendly and we will soon be lighting our torches and rampaging in unison. Except perhaps the Peskie. After spending the afternoon in the middle of them on the couch, my patience is pillaged and yet I don't really have anything to say on the blog.

This is compounded by the distraction provided by the catepillars eating my moonflower vine. They are a separate horde entirely. Have you ever seen a catepillar eat? At first, it's like watching a nature film and you wonder who sped up the file. Then you realize that it actually did just eat that entire leaf, stem, and partial stem in just a few seconds. I only put up with this in the hope it will form a chrysalis on the now nude vine and I'll get to see a giant moth in my very own backyard!!

That should be worth a short story or two, right? After the dogs and I conduct a bacon raid. Bacon!!