Sunday, June 29, 2008

Forgot to tell my library story!

Sadism is alive and well and working at the Ypsilanti District Library.

Yesterday, I decided to continue to try to work walking into my everyday life (I'm told it's a healthy activity), so I decided to walk to the library to pick up the book-club book, which I had on hold. I even decided, in a bout of uncharacteristic enthusiasm, to walk briskly, and put on a T-shirt and sweatpants for the job. Pocketless sweatpants, so I brought nothing but my library card with me. The library's about a mile from my place, so this seemed like a good walking opportunity.

It was 80-something degrees and the sun was beating down hard, and let's not forget I'm pretty out of shape, here... so when I got to the library, I was dripping and a little winded. I handed the attendant the obviously only item I had on my person - my library card - and asked for the book I had on hold.

"You owe $10.20 in late fees," he said coolly, handing it back. "You can carry a balance of ten dollars, but I'm going to need twenty cents."

"Twenty cents," I said after an incredulous moment.

"Twenty cents," he replied, with what looked suspiciously like relish.

I stared at him a long time, then turned and walked out. You know he could have overridden that, and you know that he knew that I had walked there for that book and that I hadn't a cent on me. He was enjoying what little power he had. The little worm.
Fury can quicken one's pace like nobody's business, and I stormed home, grabbed a quarter from the kitchen counter, and stormed back. This time I was feeling slightly nauseous by the time I got there, a little dizzy, but I went in and handed my quarter and my card to another man, who was now assisting the worm.

"Actually," he said, "before I can check this particular book out to you, I'm going to need--"

"You cannot make me walk to Depot Town and back!" I said, rather more loudly than intended. Roared might be a more accurate word. "That guy over there already made me do that once!"

He hurriedly hit a button on the keyboard and handed me the book. "Um, well, we'll override it this time," he said.

I should damn well think so!, is what I wanted to say, but didn't.

When I got home, I was pretty out of it. Spots in my vision, weirdly swollen fingers, clammy. Maybe I'd better reevaluate this walking-is-healthy business. Seems to me it could kill me.

But I have my library book, anyway.

Three completely unrelated items

1. Went to the Corner on Friday night to send George away in style. Those Sacred Cow IPAs are pure liquid celebration, so there was plenty of merriment to be had, and there were several of us there having it. This is my first real summer visit to the beer garden at the Corner in 2008, I think, and I remember now how thoroughly pleasing it is. We'll miss George. He has been digging around in the old entertainment data sandbox for as long as I have, so it'll be strange to go in on Monday without him there.

2. My dad's condition now has a name: spondylodiscitis. A very rare condition, apparently. And the doctor says he'll be in pain for months yet as it clears up. How frightening that one can just come down with mysterious and rare infections like that at any time, and have doctors scrabbling around trying to figure out what's wrong with you. I'm just glad they figured it out. Now if my stubborn dad would just take his pain meds...!

3. The HBO miniseries John Adams is absolutely mesmerizing. As a matter of fact, I'm about to watch the second episode again, this time with a special feature activated: little historical factoids that pop up with more information... kind of like what Pop-Up Video was for music videos - remember that from a decade ago on VH1? Anyway, John Adams is truly riveting stuff. And what a collection of incredible actors! If you haven't Netflixed it yet, do it. Now.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Caught in the rain

Out for a walk this evening, I was suddenly completely drenched in an absolute sheet of rain. A cold, heavy, torrential deluge.

It was beautiful!

It's been years since I let myself experience that kind of rain. When I was a kid, visiting my grandparents, I used to run out into it and run around the yard like a maniac. Now, like most people, I hunker down indoors.
Nothing revelatory here. Just a happy little rainy Wednesday evening moment.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Happy solstice!

Scott and I decided to ring in the solstice by going down to Gallup Park for the Full-Moon Paddle. We hadn't canoed in ages, but our technique came right back the first minute in the canoe. I guess that's what spending two weeks canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness will do for you, even if it was a decade ago!

We got to hear the raucous bedding-down of hundreds of birds and then the total silence afterwards as we skimmed along on the river.

Some evenings are perfect. That's all there is to it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A moment of panic

At 4:30 a.m. this morning, I awoke in a panic from a dream in which a robot woman said something very clearly in my bedroom. I was just reassuring myself that it was just a dream when Scott, who was downstairs on the couch with a bout of insomnia, called out, "What was that? Did you hear that voice?"

I can't describe with what terror the panic came rushing back over me. Was there in fact a robot woman in my bedroom? Was she a robot, a ghost, or both? Was she a hallucination? - in which case she must be a mutual hallucination! Are Scott and I perhaps both insane?

Then Scott said he thought the voice had said, "Battery low." Aha! The smoke detector.


But I still couldn't sleep for an hour afterwards...!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jim's touring with Sparks!

My groovy L.A. sister-in-law's boyfriend is Jim Wilson, guitarist of the rock band Mother Superior. Right now, he and fellow Mother Superior rocker Marcus Blake are touring across Europe, playing with quirky 70s popsters Sparks in a colossal project to play every single one of Sparks's albums, in full, in concert, one after the other.


Wow. That impresses me.

As Sparks put it: "How do we best unveil our new album, our twenty-first? How about playing in concert every single song off of every album that preceded it, all 20 albums on 20 consecutive nights, culminating in the premiere of our latest? That’s approximately 250 songs, or for you musicians, 4 million, 825 thousand, 273 notes!"

Click here to see Sparks on British TV a couple of weeks ago with Jim on guitar, playing their new song, the infectious and hilarious "Lighten Up, Morrissey." I love the harmonies during the chorus and the way the whole thing raves up. In fact, I can't stop listening to it. I eventually had to go find the album version. And I will eventually have to have it on my iPod. It's as simple as that.

Try this one, too, also from the BBC Two show. There's a brief interview, followed by the sprightly "This Town Ain't Big Enough" at the two-minute mark. Whew! Great big spangly dramatic operatic 70s-sounding craziness! Love it!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Clancy and Brodie down the pub

My cousin Peter and his wife Jilly (the ones whose wedding I attended back in April) have two ridiculously adorable little Westies called Clancy and Brodie.

Peter sent me some pictures of a recent night out at the pub with the dogs, and they have to go on my blog. Too cute not to share!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Going to a pig roast, of all things

Never been to one before. I already ate dinner - I made teriyaki chicken wings with homemade teriyaki sauce, so I'm proud of myself - so I'm unlikely to have any interactions with the pig itself. But I'm ready to soak up the atmosphere. Sorta.

Haven't been to an all-out, wild, Jello-shots kind of party in a while, so I'm trying not to feel like the almost-forty-year-old that I am...!

Sigh... I'm trying.

But I have a feeling we might bow out early.

Signing off,

Granny Maeve

Friday, June 6, 2008

Red Wings parade day!

The Detroit Red Wings are the 2008 Stanley Cup champions!

What a beautiful sentence that is.

I was all ready to take the day off and go to the parade today, too... until I found out it was going to be 94 degrees. I love the Red Wings, but I can watch the parade footage on the news in air-conditioned comfort tonight, thank you very much!

Monday, June 2, 2008


We have a car! It's a 1993 Toyota Camry LE. Yes, the one I mentioned last time. Turns out it's way better than "not too awful"! It's a little scuffed up on the outside, and it'll take a while to air out the smoke, but other than that, it's in tip-top shape. The engine thrums! Nothing rattles! Nothing squeaks! Nothing squeals! Everything works!

O happiness!