Friday, April 28, 2006

When I wasn't sleeping

I stayed home sick yesterday and slept about 18 hours. When I wasn't snoring, I finished reading 102 Minutes. In it, two New York Times reporters describe the people who tried to survive September 11th in the World Trade Center. The book's imagery snuck into my dreams. I'm not sure I'm ready for all the 9/11 movies slated to debut in the theaters this summer, even if Maggie Gyllennhaal is in most of them.

I also ate homemade chicken soup (Yay, John!) and watched a couple more episodes of the second season of Six Feet Under. (Yay, Netflix!) No spoilers, please, but could these people get any more screwed up?? Nate's got a baby coming from the hippie vegan, Brenda is doing random strangers in the bathroom, Claire is falling for Brenda's batshit crazy brother and the mama is tangling with the Russian mafia. Yeesh.

Friday, April 21, 2006

A sad day

It’s taken me a while to be able to admit the truth, but you should all know about the change that’s happened in my life. My iPod died a sudden death about three weeks ago. I was sitting at the bar in Park Blue when I reached down to grab my purse and pay the check. One of the straps was caught under the leg of my barstool. I tugged at it without looking, and everything spilled out onto the floor.

I discovered the dead cell phone first. It was a flimsy flip-phone that had already been mostly smashed during Mardi Gras, and this last tumble broke the stupid thing in half. I stared at the blank screen, smirking because I had already gotten most of the phone numbers off of it. As I bent to gather the rest of the stuff that had dumped, I saw it. My iPod was lying face down on the ground, looking very small and alone. I gently turned it over and wiped the beer off its face. Nervously, I pushed the on button, but it was too late. It started making a squealing, cranking sound as the hard drive headed for the light. Before it shut itself back down, it flashed 0 of 0 in the upper left corner of the screen. My 2,540 songs were gone; the soul of my electronic buddy had passed.

My mind flashed to the subway, where I would have to listen to the metallic voice tell me to STAND CLEAR OF THE DOORS 30 times a day; and to my neighborhood jogging path, where I would have to sing to myself to keep up my pace (The only songs that ever come to mind are Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz” and Tori Amos’ “Silent All These Years.” No, I don’t know why.)

I didn’t cry on the spot, but the grief has been hitting me slowly. I have missed the pod as much as I feared. I discovered a lot of new bands with the iPod, and browsing iTunes sort of kept me up to date with today’s pop music. Now, I don’t recognize many of the bands listed on iTunes’ Top 100 list. All teenagers are going to call me Mrs. Butler and assume that I have three kids and a minivan. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Every once in a while, I’ll remember a snip of a song that I haven’t heard since pod died, and I’ll sigh again. All the music is backed up at home, but I can’t take it with me.

There is some relief though. I’ve rediscovered Internet radio, as well as some stations that are commercial free. And Katie was kind enough to hook me up with new music before she flew home, so I’m really getting to know these new cd’s, more than the others I bought during the pod days. Those just got mixed into the random play, and I never really knew them from beginning to end.

I’ll probably buy another iPod, eventually… maybe this one will have the video option. I’ll just have to figure out some way to keep it from cracking on the barroom floor.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Central Park

John and I escaped to Central Park last weekend to do some people watching. We packed a bottle of wine, a blanket and some deli sandwiches and settled in for the show. It was the first really beautiful weekend of spring, so everyone and their brother had come out to the park. You could have hopped blanket to blanket without ever touching grass on the Meadow.

So we had a great lunch, laughing and napping. When it was time to go, I got one extra surprise... a pigeon pooped on me. It was headed for the top of my head, but I leaned over just then to grab my shoes so it hit my arm and belly instead. I laughed so long that my stomach hurt.

This was the second time I've been popped by a pigeon in Manhattan, and it called to mind this perfect poem from gradeschool:

Birdie, Birdie in the sky
Why'd you do that in my eye?
I'm not sad. I won't cry.
I'm just glad that cows don't fly.


The picture above is one that John took of a flowering Dogwood tree in Memphis, Tennessee.

Sorry I haven't posted much recently... I've been outside in the sunshine as much as possible. Since my last post, I attended my first Seder (thanks, Julie!), wished Katie well on her journey back to New Orleans and eaten Easter dinner with Mika, Julie and John. It's been a full week already, and it's only Tuesday. Coming up this weekend: a Yankee's game and Brandi's solo show.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Five senses of Memphis in April

John and I went to his friends’ wedding in Memphis this weekend, and we had a great time.

The sights: the dogwoods were blooming (pictures to follow), and I could see Arkansas just across the Mississippi River. I waved hello.
The sounds: the restaurants and shops along Beale Street pipe blues music onto the streets, even during church hours on Palm Sunday.
The taste: Ooooh, the barbeque... ribs and pulled pork so good they turned me into a carnivore for the weekend. Plus smoked wings, catfish, tamales, sweet tea, potato salad and baked beans. We didn’t get any peanut butter pie, though, so we’ll have to make another trip soon.
The smell: the Memphis airport smells like Corky’s BBQ.
The touch: the warm sunshine made me forget how flat my thin hair gets in the Southern tap water.

It was a beautiful wedding, and the weekend felt like much more than just two days. Congratulations, Chris and Sarah! Come visit NYC soon.

Monday, April 03, 2006

My five seconds of skateboarding glory

I grew up in the '80s, when skateboarding first became cool. I was always envious of the mean punk kids who skateboarded down the street and scared the little old ladies. I thought that if I could just learn to ride one, I would be instantly rebellious and, well, rad.

I grew up in the country, and there were very few rules about how and where I could play after school. Rule one: stay within listening distance. My Dad can do that really loud call-a-taxi whistle, and I had to go home when I heard that. Rule two: don't jump on the Goodwins' trampoline unless there is an adult watching. This was back before the manufacturers figured out that fewer kids would die on those things if they put handy little net fences around the trampolines. (I broke that law only once, and within five minutes of jumping alone, I landed on my back on the circular metal bar. Then I flopped out onto the ground. My Dad had looked out the window long enough to see me jumping without an adult, but he didn't see me fall, so I still got in trouble, limp or no.) Rule three: No skateboarding.

So the first chance I got, around age 10, I convinced one of the older kids across the street to let me sit on his skateboard. (Can you tell how rebellious I was? Not, Lemme take that thing down a half-pipe. Not, Hey man, where can I get one of those? No, it was Can I sit on that for a second? Shocking.) I sat down and pulled my feet up on the board. SHOOSH! The board zipped down a hill that I swear hadn't been there two minutes before. I screamed and rolled off the board, sending myself into a concrete gutter and the board into the street. It was then that I learned the meaning of asphalt rash. My heroic skateboard adventure took all the skin off my left knee and planted a dozen little rocks in my forearms. I have no idea what story I made up to tell my Dad about what happened, but I certainly didn't admit the truth. In retrospect, I think my parents probably didn't have anything against my becoming a skateboard punk... they more likely took one look at my lack of grace and figured they'd try to head off this disaster.

So, given my lame skateboarding skills, this little dog really pisses me off.