Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Crack eggs

Let's see, today was Ash Wednesday -- that means -- if I'm calculating correctly -- why YES: the Cadbury's mini-eggs are in the stores right now. Every year I pick up this habit, only to be forced to go cold turkey when Easter rolls around and they disappear. You'd think I'd learn and pick up some extra, but I'm in denial. I'm so in thrall to these little beasts that I think I will be happy once they're gone and I am a free woman. But then the next year rolls around, and the cycle begins anew...

The devil incarnate.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A week without freedom

It has been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week. I still do not have a license to drive. People have been so helpful and kind to me, especially my neighbor who has been driving me to work every day, that it seems churlish to complain, but I really, really do not like the feeling of not being able to jump into my car and go wherever I want.

A dear friend of mine helped me identify this malaise after a few days in which I was in a crummy, despairing, yet un-self-aware mood. The whole thing is taking me back to the days of childhood, when my time was not my own and when I was in constant trouble for waiting until the last minute, requiring my parents to run out to the store at the last minute for school or personal supplies, which they very much resented. I can't say I blame them, but in adulthood I have kind of gotten used to my way of doing things, which means if I run out of dog food I can go out in the evening after work and get some. And I don't mind that it's at the last minute. The world has become more accommodating to me as well, what with stores being open all the time and everything. But this week running out of dog food was problematic. Would I ask my neighbor to stop somewhere on the way home, even though I've been trying as hard as I can to minimize my impact on her driving habits? Would I take a chance that I could drive to the store and not get caught? I spent WAY too much time this week thinking about dog food, and if that sounds dumb, try living it. My life felt full of petty concerns that I could do nothing about. In the end my friend solved the problem by suggesting I pick up some food on the Corner during lunch time, which is what I did.

Decisiveness has eluded me and I think it's largely been due to the lack of autonomy I've felt. With fewer options open to me, I flailed about thinking obsessively of the few crummy options I could imagine. I have a feeling that, when the license arrives, I will feel the world open to me in a really lovely way. Maybe I'll never take having a license for granted again, but that's doubtful. It's just not the human way. But for a few days, I'm sure, I'll be happy just thinking that I have my license, and with it, my freedom.

UPDATE: My new license arrived in today's mail, finally -- let's just say a watched mailbox never spontaneously generates mail -- and I am free again!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Photo day wtf do I know

What say I just post pix when I feel like it and write when I feel like it without imposing all sorts of false order on my blog which has its own inherent order anyway?

Here's one from our snow day a couple of weeks ago:

These interesting seed pods are still hanging on a tree near the hospital:

One of my favorite subjects, hanging upside down outside my old office window:

Imagine hanging upside down to enjoy a tasty little treat!

Certain girls

Just finished Jennifer Weiner's most recent book, Certain Girls. It took a very serious turn toward the end, which I did not expect and which kind of threw me into a turmoil of grief and regret. I suppose it's good to be surprised by a book in that way, and I suppose I shouldn't spoil the book for people who might want to read it. It's an interesting mother/daughter story, with each voice alternating chapters -- a technique that rarely works, in my opinion, but which worked for me in this book because I found both voices and story lines equally compelling.

Maybe it's a backhanded compliment, but this book made me wonder why I don't write a book or books about my own, thinly veiled but fictionalized life. I feel like, even after all these years, I still don't know what I'm supposed to be doing, or if I'm "supposed" to be doing anything at all. Does it seem likely that I will sit down and write a novel at the age of 50? Should I not allow age to have anything to do with it? Should I be working on my freelance editing business rather than daydreaming about writing? Should I just write and work and freelance and shut up about it? Should I stop asking myself all these questions? Or should I ask them, but keep them to myself?

I've had another unproductive day looking for my birth certificate. Maybe it wasn't all that unproductive, even though my goal wasn't achieved: I did throw out an entire trash bag of worthless paper and shred even more than that. So some organizing did occur.

Tomorrow I'm going to see if I can drive to work and back without getting stopped by the cops for not having a valid license. It feels insane to be worrying about this.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

VFOB Funtimes

The good people of the Virginia Festival of the Book have invited me once again to blog for the festival. I love the bookfest and I feel lucky to be involved. This year I'll be covering a few health/mind/body sessions. I'll be reading the books and going to the sessions and blogging about them. I'll keep you posted as I begin my reading, it is to be hoped, next week.

I need to rant

I need to rant about something that is in large part my own fault. My driver's license expired on my birthday and SINCE I HAD MAJOR SURGERY THAT DAY it kind of slipped my mind, until I was reminded by a supercilious police officer yesterday, on my way home from the longest week of my life in which I was exhausted and just living for the weekend. Don't delay me on a Friday night, man. I fully admit that this is my fault, I never should have let it happen, but could we also agree that it is a technicality, this $32 license fee, and that I am the same driver today that I would have been had I renewed my license on time? And can we furthermore agree that I am the same US citizen that I have always been? Because they would not renew my license at the DMV without my birth certificate, which of course I have shown them several times before now but which I couldn't find this morning.

Ironically, I was then able to renew my license online without proving who I am. I didn't even need a PIN number! And I didn't need to prove my legal right to existence or whatever they call it at the DMV. Unfortunately now I have to wait for them to mail my license to me.

I'm just frustrated with the system. I'm sure the system's frustrated with me as well. It just wasn't a very good day.