:: The Freewheelin' Di Winson ::

The lyrics of my life, along with various musical selections
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JUN 66: I am 14 months old in this photo, and I am smiling because I have a new baby sister ... or maybe because I have just peed in the pool.
[::..About Me..::]
I am an American.
I type really fast.
I am left-eye dominant.
I brush & floss regularly.
I am not as funny as I think I am, sometimes.
I was born on Easter.
I believe in music.
I play tennis.
I do not work quietly without disturbing others.
I am a procrastinator.
I watch certain movies just because I know they will make me cry.
I am not my fucking khaki cargo shorts.
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:: Sunday, June 29, 2003 ::

I woke up with a headache.

And I hate when none of my online pals are online. Or should that be "is online"? (I have a glitch with certain indefinite pronoun subject-verb agreement ... yet another of those things that no one but I and my 8th-grade English teacher, Mrs. Cohlmeyer, and my great-aunt, Vesta, who used to teach English before marrying some rich guy and taking over his little grocery store, where we used to go to get free candy sometimes, care about.)

Aunt Vesta once told me there's no such word as "snuck." As in, "I snuck out my window last night and went riding around town with Teresa." Aunt Vesta said it should be "sneaked" instead, and that just doesn't sound right! And so far, I've never actually looked it up. Kind of odd, for me.

Thought for the day: Wimbledon fucking ROCKS! Although I hate that there's no play on the middle Sunday. That reeks. I could handle watching me some tennis today.

:: Di 11:11:00 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, June 28, 2003 ::
Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Di (middle)

Had to include this photo because I spent a portion of today with Shannon, who is 5 years old and TOOK THIS PICTURE a coupla weeks ago when we were at the Magic Kingdom. Seems he's got a bit of the photo bug, and he kept asking if he could take a picture, so I turned him loose, and he snapped a shot of me and his Maw-Maw, a pink lamp post and that awesome trio above — "Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Di!" he gleefully announced to everyone as he was showing them his Disney photo album this afternoon.

[Actually, according to my (never-read) paperback copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, the names are Tweedledee and Tweedledum, but I thought "Tweedledi" looked a little strange.]

Anyhoo, I babbled about this once before over at Clarke's place but wanted to include that great passage from Through the Looking-Glass — the one that's in the episode of thirtysomething in which Nancy goes in for her second look to be sure the cancer is gone, and Gary gets killed — in here.

Such a great, great episode, espec. the scene in which Michael tries to call Gary and instead gets a message to call the police dept., and when he does, they tell him that Gary is dead, and he's talking on a payphone in the hallway of the hospital, and he just sort of staggers when he hears the news ... and I remember when I watched this particular show, I could completely understand what this character was feeling because my dad had died, suddenly, of a heart attack, and my mom called me at work to tell me, and there was just no way to prepare my mind for her words.

And there's another scene where Elliot is talking to Michael down in the basement, and Elliot says something to the effect of how they've reached an age where they measure time by the number of funerals, and how it's very sad, but kind of sweet. (I'm pretty sure that's in the same episode.)

And this one ends with Elliot telling Nancy about Gary's death, and she's obviously dazed and utters something like, "But I lived." She opens the present from Gary — Alice in Wonderland — in which he has written the following excerpt:

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die;

Ever drifting down the stream —
Lingering in the golden gleam —
Life, what is it but a dream?

Which begs the question: IS THIS all a dream?

Now playing: "The Saddest Song I've Got" off the brand spankin' new Annie Lennox album, Bare. And I just put this song on REPEAT, and whilst I listen to it a couple more times, I'm gonna transcribe the lyrics right here:

The Saddest Song I've Got

Darlin' are you feeling
The same thing that I'm seeing?
The troubles of the day
Took my breath away
Took my breath away
Now you're no longer talking
And I'm no longer hearing
There's nothing left to say
Said it anyway
Said it anyway
And I want you ... not
I need you ... not
I'm dyin'
'Cause this is the saddest song I've got
The saddest song I've got

Darlin' are you healing
From all those scars appearing
Don't it hurt a lot?
Don't know how it stops
Don't know how it stops
Now there's no sense in seeing
The colours of the morning
Can't hold the clouds at bay
Chase them all away
Chase them all away

And I'm frozen still
Unspoken still
Remembering something I forgot
Something I forgot ...

Have you heard this one yet?

:: Di 11:45:00 PM [+] ::
Watching the evening primrose bloom

Tuesday evening, I went to pick up my favorite 8-year-old boy at his great-grandma's house. We ate some not-too-tasty canteloupe and then went outside to feed some bread to the monster goldfish in the pond at the apt. complex. On the way to the pond, Shane took off running, so I took off running, too, and we raced.

"You run fast, Di," he told me when we got to the pond.

I smiled. I don't know if anyone's EVER told me that.

(I have NEVER run fast. EVER.)

Anyhoo, after we fed the fish and Shane nearly fell into the pond a coupla times, we went over to watch the evening primroses bloom. Margaret had told me about the flowers earlier, but I had no idea what to expect.

They were awesome.

These plants were, like, almost 5 feet tall and had little buds near the top. Around 8:20 p.m. or so, one of the plants was sort of shaking, ever-so-slightly, and then, next thing you knew, the buds started opening — one by one, until about 15 or 16 beautiful yellow flowers were showing. The other plant had only 4 flowers on it, but it, too, was really lovely.

I may post a picture sometime, but I had flowers on my last post. Don't wanna get too Martha Stewart-like. AS IF! I have managed to kill 3 pencil cacti in my life and 2 weekends ago ruined the habanero plants I was growing. OK, I may try again; still have some seeds. And I still have hopes for my herb garden; the cilantro at Big John sucks, and the so-called cilantro salsas? Forget it.

Although, one wonders how an herb garden can POSSIBLY grow if a person never actually PLANTS any herbs!

: )

We also helped Margaret water some plants near her apartment — which actually turned into what I called "watering Margaret" — and then went home.

The next night, we went to Pizza & Pasta Express and then to Target and then back to watch the evening primroses again. (This was the night I took pictures.)

Oh, shit: Hands Across America highlights on VH-1. And there's Stanford Blatch. I remember the whole event, but I don't remember joining in. Oddly, I feel really, really good about this.

Just watched some show on Ben Affleck. Celebrity romances make me edgy; I mean, it makes perfect sense for really famous people to date and marry each other, but I secretly never believe it's ever going to work out. Maybe I secretly don't believe in marriage ... which is odd, too, because even though I am a child of divorce, I never was particularly traumatized by my parents' divorce.

(I don't even REMEMBER my parents' divorce, even though, according to my mom and the divorce decree, I was 5. I also have no memory of my parents together "as a couple.")

The show seemed focused on how Ben made his millions, and how he and J-Lo (or however you write it) have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on gifts for each other, and it made me go, "Huh." Not the question form ("Huh?") or even the surprised form ("Huh?!"), just, "Huh." Is THAT was love's all about?

I do secretly think Ben is pretty cute. He's a good interview, and I loved him in Good Will Hunting — the scene where he tells Matt Damon he has to go because he (Matt) is doing it for him (Ben) because every day he (Ben) drives to his (Matt's) house and knocks on the door and secretly hopes he (Ben) will drive up one day and he (Matt) won't be there — and Chasing Amy and Bounce, which I saw for the first time not all that long ago and thought he was just great in, as was the wonderful Gwyneth.

There. If all THAT doesn't get me Googled, I don't know what will.

(Who gives a fuck?)

I watched a man that I respect lose total control of his emotions tonight OVER A FUCKING BASEBALL GAME, and it disturbed me. A lot. I am not quite certain, at this moment, what to do with my feelings over the incident.

I do know I lost some respect.

And then I gained some, later tonight, talking to a new friend, a girl I knew long ago but never REALLY knew — y'know? And we've both talked about how we wish we'd known each other better (or at all, really) way back then, back when we were both in our very early 20s, and I told her, "I'd rather know me right now, at this very moment, than at any other time."

And it's true. I would.

I've learned tons about life and about me in the last year alone. I can't even begin to measure what I've learned since the mid-1980s when we were students and floormates together.

Which brings me back to VH-1 and now a show about 1986. Karma!

Song in my head: "In a Big Country" by Big Country. Just played on this funny show! That song reminds me of freshman year of college, which actually was 1983-84, and my h.s. boyfriend, Rob Bosgraaf, showing up at my dorm and racing me across the snow. He wasn't my boyfriend anymore — he hadn't been my boyfriend for a couple of years, and neither of us was particularly sad about this fact — but I was glad to see him, just the same.

I haven't seen him since ... although I DID see his name written on the graffiti wall of the Hound Dog Cafe at Graceland when Patti and I drove down there back in ... the late-1980s. And he does live in my hometown.
:: Di 1:33:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 ::
Simple pleasures

Forgot to mention how, in the midst of spending the better part of a weekend carrying all kindsa ("Is that a word?" she asks herself. "It is now," she replies.) shopping bags for myself and my best pal in the entire world, up and down Michigan Avenue, I wandered into Crane's at Water Tower Place and found not only THE perfect birthday card for a girl I know who's turning 35 in a few days, but also THE perfect address book — a small British tan leather book about half an inch thick that perfectly matches my backpack/purse thingie.

I am quite quite happy about this. Yes, I am!

: )

Been kinda weepy this afternoon, not because I'm sad but because I got the most beautiful arrangement of fresh cut flowers from my Pem Hall girls. Getting back in touch with them has truly been a highlight of my year. Anyway, this is what I wrote on our site:

"Had a lil' note from Flowers by Dave attached to my back door when I arrived home from work just now, so I troddled (that's my ol' roommate Leslie's word!) over to the flower store (Flowers by Dave is just 2 doors north of my house!) and received this wonderfully colorful arrangement of fresh flowers. And I didn't open the card whilst I was there because ... well, cards make me cry, sometimes, and even though the only 2 people there besides me were Tom the florist and Justin the assistant Benton Rangers football coach, I just didn't feel like crying in front of anyone. So I headed back home and, once inside, I opened the card and saw that it was from all of you, my Pem Hall friends, and yeah, I did get teary-eyed. As you can see, these are really beautiful; Grandma Ginny LOVED purple, too, so that's a perfect touch. (They smell great, too, but I wasn't sure how to share that with all of you!) What's even more beautiful to me, though, are these lives we are all living and these friendships we share, and it means so much to me to be able to spend a little bit of each day with all of you. You are all in my heart."

(I do love those girls. Mightily, even.)

:: Di 4:57:00 PM [+] ::

:: Monday, June 23, 2003 ::
And I'd give up forever to touch you ...

Just watched the last hour of City of Angels, and I have to say I consider this to be a perfect movie. Which, funnily enough, I did not appreciate the first time I saw because I really really hated the ending — not that it's a BAD ending, just a very very SAD ending, and I was so upset that sweet Maggie/Meg DIED, right after Seth Plate had come down to be with her.

And then, the next time I watched it, I realized how wonderfully sad AND sweet the movie was, and how feeling the pain of Maggie's death was yet another reminder of how precious life is, and how great it is TO FEEL, everything, the good and the bad, the bitter and the sweet, hot and cold and warm, rather than TO BE NUMB. Kind of a Vanilla Sky tie-in there, once again.

And the music is so great, too, espec. the flawless "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls just after Seth has gotten a ride to Lake Tahoe from some trucker ("Reno!" "Tahoe!" "Reno!" "Tahoe!" "I'm going to Reno!" "I'm going to Tahoe!").

I've seen this movie probably a dozen times, and I tonight I got in on it right when Maggie is walking up the stairs to the library, to see Seth for the last time, and she finds him and tells him, "You are so beautiful," but that she doesn't want to see him again, and he says to her, something like, "You can feel me. You felt me."

You felt me ...

Wow, how many times do THOSE words come back to a person: Remembering a time when you were so close to someone, you could actually FEEL them ... even when, proximity-wise, you were nowhere near them, but just through the very emotions you were feeling and the spirituality you shared, you really felt as if you were right next to them, sharing a heartbeat, a thought, a song, a desire, a love.

Sometimes, it's almost too much to bear. Other times, all you can do is smile.

: )

The earlier portion of my night and part of my afternoon, in fact, were spent on photographic duties, trying to get these Disney World photos organized and also dealing with family photos, mainly scanning and saving and seeing if there's any hope of restoring any of them.

I scanned this picture first because I adore it:

And every time I look at it, I realize how much I am in love with both of those girls: My sister, Debra, on the right, hanging on to me as I steer my first tricycle. Or, as my mom wrote in blue pen on the back of the original photo: "April 18, 1968 Setting on Trike rec. for birthday."

I am 3 years old in the photo, and Debra is not yet 2. In a few months, Debra will have her own red tricycle, just like mine, and by the time we're 5 and 4, we've graduated to our first 2-wheelers, albeit with training wheels, both of our bikes red, and then by 2nd grade or so, we've got bicycles with banana seats and high handlebars (I think we both had flags on them for a while, and eventually I had to add a basket to the front of mine for carrying my alto saxophone to band practice). Next came 3-speeds and then 12-speeds, and now I have a red Schwinn 10-speed racing-style bike with curly handlebars and those skinny tires and a red Roadmaster 18-speed mountain bike, yet I can't remember the last time I went on a "real" bike ride.

I look back and wonder what it might've been like to have known me as a kid. I mean, of COURSE, I knew me from the inside, and all the stuff I felt, but what would I have thought of me, from someone else's point of view?

I remember a few years ago, visiting with my stepcousin or some such relative who had known Debra and me when we were in the 4th or 5th grade, and she told us, "I always remember the 2 of you were always laughing and having fun."

I very much enjoy the thought of being known as someone who was/is always laughing and having fun.

:: Di 10:36:00 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, June 22, 2003 ::
Got my archives back ...


* Raising arms in air, touchdown/Lester Burnham style *

(Is that his name, Lester Burnham? Seems like it must be, I retrieved it from my memory so easily. Bought the American Beauty DVD today, too, so I suppose I COULD check ... but not right now ...)

: )
:: Di 10:54:00 PM [+] ::
Holy guacomole!

OK, I mashed up a batch of that stuff tonight. Ugh, sort of a nightmare to make — those things are a bugger to peel! — but it tasted pretty good. (Did I really use the word "bugger" in a sentence, just then? Damn, what's next?)

Should've been in bed about 2 hours ago, but hell, here I sit. I am attempting to enjoy the last few hours of my vacation, but honestly, I halfway dread going back to work tomorrow. I have a feeling that, should any badmouthing or negativity commence, I am going to climb on top of my desk and start singing "Here Comes the Sun" or something perkily annoying like that.

NOT that I find "Here Comes the Sun" annoying in the least. I adore that song and always will. George's version, and Richie Havens' version, and should I ever actually dare to perform a song, live and in front of actual people, this is the song I shall sing. Provided my accompanist could play it. Or perhaps I will learn to play it myself!

: )

I'm all happy over new music: Annie Lennox and Lucinda Williams. Tomorrow is going to be a GREAT listening day, I can just FEEL it!

Oh, and Wimbledon begins! Oh, how I love Wimbledon! Don't even care who wins; all I know is for the next 2 weeks, I can spend every free minute I get watching tennis on grass, on TV. Life doesn't get much better than this ... except when you're actually AT Wimbledon, like I was back in 1999.

Life was simpler then, somehow ... seems all my troubles began in 2000. And yet, even as I say that, I know that life, despite all its roller-coasterisms, has been, in some ways, even more fun since we entered the new millennium (sp?). Or whatever it's known as. New century? Why do I find all that stuff confusing?

Got some Disney World pictures tonight, but I'm too tired to FTP 'em right now. Not like that takes more than 5 minutes, but ... sheesh.
:: Di 10:44:00 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, June 16, 2003 ::
All I ever wanted
Had to get away
Meant to be spent alone

Today: First "alone" day I am able to spend of this vacation, which already has been filled with bittersweet memories. And I am not even halfway through it. Cool.

(Wow! I am DIGGIN' this new blogger "Create New Post" layout. Even though, according to the DIsclaimer, I am using Blogger LoFi, which makes me feel a little less special, somehow. But I will get over it.)

So let's rewind a few days:

I wake up at 6:15 Wednesday morning to a phone call from Mom, and I know what it's about the instant I see her number on the caller-ID, and sure enough, she tells me that Grandma Ginny died at 12:30 a.m. And even though I knew it was coming — she's been dying, rapidly, since last November — I am still shocked and sad, and as soon as I hang up the phone, I start sobbing.

Luckily for me, this is the last day of work before I start vacation, so I decide to go in, despite not really feeling like it. (I've joked before that I can be half-dead and still manage to drag myself into The BEN. It is a pretty rough place to be when you are hungover, though.)

I crank the song "Heaven" by the Eurogliders on my way to work, and it makes me cry all over again. When I get out of my car, I look up, and the mostly cloudy sky has this lil' patch of blue in it, and I smile and think of my grandmother.

I tell Joe Anne that Grandma has died, and she is sad for me, and as I walk to my desk I see a note from my pseudo-boss telling me to leave my camera at the office whilst I'm on vacation (she would never actually use the word "whilst," however). This pisses me off, majorly, and so I decide that I will, indeed, NOT work that day. I take my 65-picture disk, the instruction manual and the remote control out of my camera bag and shove it into my desk, tell Joe Anne where it's at and that I'm leaving. Then I hug her and leave.

I spend the rest of the morning sleeping/trying to get rid of a headache.

In-between all this sadness, I have to think about the Orlando/Disney World trip that is scheduled to start the next day ... which also has now become the day of Grandma Ginny's visitation. I call American Airlines, and the agent tells me he can book me on a Friday night flight but that it will cost an additional $820.00 — but that I can get it "lowered" to $443 if I change the time of my return flight. This, however, is part of the reason I am going to Orlando in the first place: to help my pal return to Illinois with 4 kids. I tell him I have to figure out what I'm going to do and hang up. (I end up booking a flight on Southwest, and I don't cancel my AA flight. I have a plan up my sleeve. Heh.)

Thursday arrives, and I am amazingly organized because I have spent a good portion of Wednesday packing. (Prompting me to remember and mention the line in As Good As It Gets in which Melvin looks at Simon's suitcase and says, "Nice packing.") I take Diane and Samantha to the airport and go in with them because Karl has suggested that we casually mention to the ticket agent that one member of our party is not going to be able to make the flight. Diane does this while I am handling all the automated check-in chores, and the woman tells her that if the person cancels the flight, then the return flight will be canceled as well. We decide that I should go ahead and check in, so I do.

Now I have my boarding pass, and Diane tells me maybe I should go ahead and walk up to the gate because, as she puts it, "The guy's not really watching what people are doing." I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't because they've already told us that we've checked in, so what does it matter whether I actually get on the plane or not? I decide maybe she's right, though, and as we're inching up the line, I tell her, "I'm nervous; my heart is kind of pounding." I take the soda out of her hand so I can tell the boarding pass guy I need to go throw it away at the last second.

I hand the guy my pass, and then I turn to my right. "Ma'am, you have to board once you've shown me your pass," he tells me — and I'm not sure if I gulped or not, but I think I did. I wait for Diane and Samantha to come through, and then step inside the ramp (?? — is that what it's called??), and I tell them, "I can't get on this plane!" I turn, take a look back toward the counter and see several people coming through, and I just start walking.

And I keep walking.

And I keep thinking, "Don't look back. Don't look back."

Don't look back
You can never look back ...

— Don Henley, "The Boys of Summer"

And I take my cell phone out of my pocket and put it up to my ear, thinking that if someone yells at me or stops me or asks me what I am doing, I can tell them I have just received an upsetting phone call, and perhaps they will leave me alone.

And I keep walking.

And after I get far enough away that I think it's safe for me to look back, I do, and no one is looking my way or pointing or anything, so I know I've made it. And I keep walking, but well before I get out of the C-gates area, I start thinking that maybe the girls have been detained, and somehow I think I need to go check, so I walk back down that direction, but once the gate is in sight, I see that it is now closed, and apparently the plane has been boarded, and the flight is going on as scheduled.

And then I leave.

And as far as American Airlines is concerned, I am on Flight 3102.

(Fortunately — for many reasons — the plane did not crash, nor did they have to re-board or anything. That would have been too, too Bounce-esque.)

Then I head to The Ville. Tee-Hee calls me when I am somewhere between Vandalia and Pana, and we talk and laugh. When I arrive at my parents' home, my mom greets me with a hug and then seems amazed when she notices some gray hairs in my head. (I don't have many, but I do have some. What the fuck, I'm 38!)


OK, I admit it, I took a little break there. For about 4 hours or so. I wanted to continue this train of thought in one post, though, so I'm just doing an "Edit." I wanna get Wednesday and Thursday all in one entry, and deal with Friday through Sunday at a later time.

: )

Thursday evening, we go to the visitation, and while it's sad, it's also comforting, somehow, because I see many people I know and haven't seen for quite a while. First off, of course, I see my old buddy Jack, who is now the funeral director (!), and secondly, right after I write my name very first in the guestbook, I see this beautiful arrangement of cut flowers, "From your friends at The Benton Evening News." That makes me well up, and next I look at all these great photos mounted on a couple of billboards, and I just have to admire Grandma for being QUITE the fashion plate, in addition to having GREAT hair. I mean, I always knew she did — she had this wonderful wavy gray hair in her later years, and I remember when I was a toddler, her hair was black and always neatly styled — but when she was younger, like my age and younger, she was totally hip. Totally. And we all notice how Cousin Karen has similar features to Grandma as a young woman, and that makes Karen all teary-eyed, too.

Everyone remarks how good Grandma looks, and she really does look much better than she did in her latter days. Mom makes the comment that they didn't go quite as heavy on the lipstick as Grandma might have liked — Cousin Kevin elicits a laugh as he mentions something about "needing a putty knife." I shake hands with and/or hug people, some of them strangers but many of them people I have known almost all my life, for the next 2-plus hours.

Later, I get on AOL and chat with Tee-Hee for a bit. In the midst of this, I get an IM from Miranda (I haven't heard from her for a while, so I smile), and she's heard about my grandma and tells me she's sorry. And we chat for a moment, and she tells me to call and I say that I will, even though I can't quite begin to think of what I will say, but then I realize that none of that matters: All I want is to hear her voice.

I fall asleep, wake up, talk to my sis for a few minutes and then decide I want to go for a walk and talk on the phone, outside. It's a gorgeous night — warm but not too warm, mostly clear sky — so I trek off toward Main Street School, about 5 blocks from my parents' house. The school always looks exactly the same to me, except now there are a couple of smaller buildings where the monkey bars and a big ol' tree used to be, plus they are apparently doing some kinda work on the playground because there is a backhoe sitting up where the tetherball court and teeter-totters used to be. (Never was all that good at tetherball; seemed kinda pointless to me. Plus I cut my finger on a piece of metal on it one time.)

I call the girl but get forwarded to voicemail, which is full, so I can't leave a message. I try again, just to make sure I didn't dial the wrong number or that she hadn't momentarily set the phone aside: same result. I smile again and head toward home.

When I get half-a-block from home, I try again: same result. I put my phone in my pocket, go inside, put her number somewhere I won't find it and/or be tempted to dial it again, and go to bed.

I sleep dreamlessly, feeling less sad than I had been for most of the day.

:: Di 8:44:00 PM [+] ::

:: Tuesday, June 10, 2003 ::
My backyard resembles a swimming pool. Or better yet, a pond.

Glorious rain. I love it. For real.

:: Di 8:08:00 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, June 09, 2003 ::
"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in."

Had this American Beauty quote in my head this evening. Beautiful day and night, and I felt so good, and somehow, these words seemed to fit. Looked for the DVD at Wal-Mart, though, and couldn't find it, so I stopped by the video store: No luck there, either. Shoulda grabbed it Saturday at Best Buy, but ... I wasn't craving it then. Now I must have it.

Couldn't find the quote where Ricky Fitts goes to Jane's door and asks her to run away with him.

Random un-American Beauty-related quote:

I saw pictures of elephants tonight and thought of you ...

Attempted to change my template tonight. I decided I wanted the background to be light blue, but the color I put in there was some kinda aqua, and I couldn't bear it. Plus I couldn't get the codings quite right, blah blah blah, long story short: It's ba-a-a-ack! to the way it was originally. (I am HTML-ignorant!)

:: Di 11:34:00 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, June 08, 2003 ::
Sports Saturday

Great sports day today, the kind I love, sometimes. Woke up at 9 a.m., in time to see that Justine Henin-Hardenne had just won the first set against Kim Clijsters (whom Tee-Hee refers to as "Clitsters") by a score of 6-0 in the women's championship match at Roland Garros. Had to MUTE Johnny Mac and Manly Carillo after they kept going on, and on, and on, about how Clijsters seemed nervous, and wasn't playing well, and had to do this, or that, or she was going to lose. (Can you say, "over-analyzation"?) Clijsters ended up losing the 2nd set 6-4, and I was glad because I was rooting for Henin all along.

Then, of course, after the match, I decided I liked Clijsters. Mainly because she gave Henin a big ol' hug at the net, but also because she spoke 3 languages — French, Belgian (Dutch?) and English — during the awards presentation. Plus, I finally realized, she's kinda cute.

Then I snuck back to bed for an hour or so, until The Amazing D. called:

She: You sound kind of tired.
Me: I was in bed. Asleep.
She: Oh, I'm sorry I woke you up. (Pause.) Wait a minute: It's 12:30! I'm not sorry!
Me: Heh.

Next, on to baseball: Watched Roger Clemens vs. Kerry Wood as the Yankees played the Cubs at Wrigley Field. During the game, right when I was taking a big bite of my baloney sandwich, Wood and the Cubs' first baseman, Hee Seop Choi, went running after a pop-up on the third-base side; they collided and both fell down, with Choi smacking his head on the ground, hard, twice. He lay there, completely still, and I honest-to-God believed he was DEAD! Going after an infield pop-up! Luckily, though, he wasn't dead but had suffered a concussion.

Later in the day, while the game was still going on, D. called and asked, "How is Hop Sing?" And this made me laugh OUT LOUD because his name, obviously, is NOT Hop Sing (a.k.a. the cook on Bonanza, that show with Hoss and Little Joe).

And then the Cubs won! Yet, at this moment, I can't even remember the score.

Watched the Cardinals get thumped by the Baltimore "Oreos," who today were wearing the throwback Browns uniforms. Then, before we all headed out to eat, watched Funny Cide NOT win the Triple Crown when he finished 3rd in the Belmont Stakes. (What can I say, I was rooting for Scrimshaw. Only because I like that word: Scrimshaw.)

I decided tonight, whilst browsing in a fabric store, that I would like to make a quilt sometime before I die.

:: Di 12:18:00 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, June 07, 2003 ::
Today, I had a moment.

I was at the ATM, gettin' some cash for 'za. It was about quarter to 6, and the air was sorta coolish, and I made a funny face into the ATM-cam (like I always do!), and I thought to myself, "I love this life."

: )

And I really, really do. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

P.S. I realized earlier tonight that Paté also played drums for our lil' air band. (The girl gots rhythm.)

P.P.S. It's quite possible that I have already won the $80 million jackpot in tonight's Mega Millions drawing. I'd be a fantabulous mega-rich person. For real.

:: Di 12:12:00 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, June 06, 2003 ::
Wednesday morning, I saved The Benton Evening News.

I'm sitting at my desk, doing my usual 7:45 a.m. thing, when all of a sudden I hear a buzzing sound coming from the kitchen/conference room.

"What's that noise?" Lea asks.

"Sounds like an electric razor," I say, and then I start absent-mindedly rubbing my chin. (There currently are no men working at the news office; sometimes, the estrogen level is overwhelming. But that's beside the point — which is, there couldn't have been any men in the kitchen, using an electric razor, at that particular time.)

Sue goes over to take a peek into the kitchen. "Uhm, there's a fire!" she says.

Lea goes trotting toward the kitchen, as does Kelli — who mutters, "Oh, I bet that's my Pop Tarts!" as she's running past my desk.

"It's the toaster," someone says. "Can we throw water on this?"

"No!" I yell, remembering everything I've ever known about fire safety.

"Unplug it! Unplug it!" Joe Anne yells.

I stare at my computer screen for a second longer, and then the words "fire extinguisher" run through my mind. "Fire extinguisher!" I say out loud as I stroll over to the closet.

Of course, the extinguisher is not IN the closet; instead, it's hanging NEXT to the closet, right behind the closet doors that are sort of leaning over it.

"There it is," Joe Anne says, pointing.

I rip the extinguisher off the wall and yank the pin out of the handle -- just like a grenade! I walk over to the smoke-filled kitchen and tell my co-workers to step off, and then I blast the flaming toaster. The flames die out for a second or two, but then the fire flares up again. I blast it a second time. Again, it goes out briefly but then starts again. I blast it a third time, and finally, it goes out.

I have saved the news office.

Turns out it WAS Kelli's Pop Tarts. Well, she DOES like 'em well-done!

Later in the day, I am singing "Fire." Lea bets me breakfast that the song was NOT written and originally performed by Bruce Springsteen; I, of course, take that bet, and win. Easily.

:: Di 1:01:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 ::
Once, I was in a band.

And we were so fucking cool.

We were an air band — although, technically, we DID have instruments, sorta, so perhaps we were something besides an air band.

Something beyond, maybe.

We played only one concert: The closing act for a Mom's Weekend talent show at a haunted yet cozy little place called Pemberton Hall, sometime during the mid-1980s. We had only 3 songs in our repertoire, 3 of the best-known numbers by the King of Rock 'n' Roll himself, Elvis Presley: Our opening number, "Heartbreak Hotel," followed by the upbeat "Don't Be Cruel," and a full-on jamfest we'd worked on just in case the audience called for an encore, "Jailhouse Rock."

Paté was our bass player. She didn't play the electric bass, though: She played the string bass. Perhaps because of her classical training in violin — or was it cello? — Paté preferred the subtle tones and the familiar upright position of the string bass/mop. For her, it was all about the music; she wore shades and red Converse high-tops and smoked a cigarette, never seeming to notice the fans as they screamed for more.

Leslie was our lead guitarist/pianist. I remember the day she challenged me for first chair, alto sax, in the Moulton Jr. High band; she moved ahead of me then and went on to establish herself as the musical soul of our little trio. She wielded her guitar like an AK-47 instead of the Yonex R-7 (tennis racket) that it really was; she tickled the make-believe ivories of that portable plastic clothes dryer unlike anyone I'd ever seen. Or heard. Or whatever.

And me? Well, I was the lead singer. Sure, I dabbled in acoustic guitar, but my true love was lip-synching. I'll never know whether the fans felt quite what I did when I appeared to belt out those Elvis lyrics, just as I couldn't quite be sure if even my bandmates knew what was going through me when we rehearsed songs like "Sexcrime" and "When It's Over." But I do know this: When I was centerstage — be it in the spotlight of the Pem Hall lounge or in darkly lit Room 212, after-hours — I WAS Elvis. Or Annie Lennox. Or whatever that lead singer of Loverboy's name was.

Funny thing about names, too: Our band never even had one.

And now, all we have left are the memories. Along with some random photos from those who remember us way back when.

Back when we were an air band.

:: Di 11:09:00 PM [+] ::
Yesterday I went looking for one thing and found something else.

Funny how that happens, sometimes, isn't it?

Finally put my hands on those missing copies of The Vehicle. I was looking for "Speeding with Dom" a few weeks (months?) ago and couldn't find it anywhere. Then, when I was searching for the 8-by-10 of me, Patti and Leslie, I found them in a milk crate in the closet in my back bedroom.

(Who was it that said, "You are not officially an adult until you no longer use milk crates as any item of furniture in your house"? I'm getting close: I have 2 milk crates in that back closet, crammed full o' crap I could easily throw out. I have 2 un-utilized milk crates just sitting in the back bedroom; I did use one of them to stand on whilst I was reaching for the boxes at the top o' the closet!)

I interviewed "Crazy Bob" one time for The Verge. What I remember most about the interview, aside from the fact that it was the first and also the last time I ever used a tape recorder to do an interview, was when I asked him to elaborate on his comment about all the ideas for poems and stories that went through his head. I asked him what happened if he happened to forget an idea, and he sorta shrugged and said, "It's OK. Another one will come by." (Or something like that. I haven't read that interview in a long, long time ... come to think of it, I might've seen that copy of The Verge yesterday during my search! Great, now I'll have to get into all that stuff again!)

: )

This poem makes me smile. I quibbled with a few of the words when I first read it, and who knows, maybe Bob has changed it over the years, I dunno. It also makes me ache, both for things I don't quite understand in it, and for things I do.

Speeding with Dom

So here we are, Dom,
you and me, speeding up 57,
the interstate of recollection,
regret and yearning, rehashing
this and that yesterday, the scent
of ex-lovers, the look of things
we'll never touch again: faces
and days, the yellowed pages of our dreams.

We write and brood. Dance.
My friends dot the map.
I see them wave from miles off,
elbows bent, arms moving
like old windshield wipers in drizzle.
Smearing away hello, good-bye.
It has come to this.

If I could go back,
dip into the years, I would not
change but make the same mistakes
again, wear the same path
I have worn to now. You, too,
I suspect, could not wiggle
any other way. Direction is simple,
my friend. There is only one:
the one we take.

You tell me life is good, mostly.
That your baby now sprouts language,
metaphor, sentences out of nowhere,
as if this miracle is something more:
religious, blinding. And it is.
Her eyes are suns, Dominic.
Stars too bright to see.
Brightness we sway from, toward.

Yet hope is this horizon,
the swing of stars and seasons.
So tonight let's howl at the moon,
whirl among stubbled fields,
through gulleys and creek beds,
over barbed wire and electric fences,
whirl, whirl, like gods gone mad!

— Bob Zordani

Direction is simple,
my friend. There is only one:
the one we take.

:: Di 7:11:00 AM [+] ::

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