Saturday, September 29, 2007
Okay, sociology is everything I thought college would be all about. We contemplated whether a tree would exist, as such, without the context of society and its symbols (like language). And our answer, the one our little group came up with, was NO! There would just be one big amorphous blob of stuff without any deliniation. And that seemed to please the professor, so I guess we were right, or at least our argument held water. And today, I went to WalMart, as I do at the end of every month when I get paid, to stock up on things like bubble bath, hair coloring, squeaky toys for the Boo, birdseed for Phoebe, and little irresistible goodies like a new lipstick or two, and instead of heading into the store for my assault on the aisles, I parked myself in front, right by the entrance, and stood there for ten minutes, doing nothing. My assignment was to not fidget, not look at my watch and pretend I was waiting for someone, just stand there. Fortunately, because I have a yoga DVD, I know how to stand like a mountain already. Now, I had planned on standing at the curb on the southeast corner, but there was an art show going on, bunches of kind of cheesy oil paintings, painted with a lot of elan, I must admit, so my appointed corner was occupied with canvasses on easels. I chose to stand by the second pillar of the overhang, facing the oncoming traffic. It was in full sun, so I left on my sunglasses, and that made me more comfortable, if possible. At first, I was just terrified. I have spent all my life trying to be inconspicuous, and there I was, standing in public, in front of God and everyone. Then I noticed that everyone could have cared less. No one looked at me, not even the artists who were selling their wares, and in the same area as I the whole time I stood there. I didn't have a timer, though I had considered bringing my kitchen timer (not a good idea to be standing in public, ticking, I decided) and someone said I could set my cell phone to vibrate after ten minutes (I don't know how to do that, even if I could find my cell phone), I finally just winged it. In fact, I got so comfortable there in my little square foot of space, I stood there for fourteen minutes before checking my watch. One old lady gave me a dirty look, and a couple of little ones gazed up at me quizzically, otherwise, I was invisible. Which proves that self is a social concept, and without interaction, I really am nobody at all. How rad is that!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Once again, I lost my keys. It was my spare set, so I didn't exactly have to freak out or anything. Nevertheless, it is only a matter of time before I lose my main set, too, and then things could get dicey, like I couldn't go anywhere and I know from past experience that it costs over $150 to get Ford to make me a new remote thingy. Now, I kind of looked for them, off and on, for the last two weeks, shuffling through the magazines heaped on the coffee table, pushing aside all the junk on my desk, toeing through the pile of books by the side of the bed. Yesterday, I got serious. I cleaned up the aforementioned messes. No keys. I went through the closet looking in jacket pockets (where did all those jackets come from anyway?). While I was at it, I organized the closet a little. I swept under the bed and behind the dresser. As a last resort, I went through my jean drawer, rifling the pockets, and, on the bottom-most layer, found them in my little jean peddlepushers that I haven't worn forever. Quite a relief. And what a blessing. The house was clean, too.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I don't take a newspaper, and since I am not working at home any more, I don't even get sound bites on the radio And my blips on my home screen are always so depressing, kids blowing themselves up and stuff, I kind of don't look at them, either. So I was shocked to see that my idol, Luciano Pavarotti, died this week. I use the work "idol" kind of loosely here. His music saw me through a painful time in my life, led me back to the light, which is what his first name means, you know. He was really a bombastic ass, and when he divorced his wife, I was pretty much over him. Still, his gift was prodigious. I hope he remembered that it was only a gift, as now HP has silenced it forever, reclaimed it. I do have many recordings, including the entire score of Turandot, to remember this man by. And I have now subscribed to the NY Times online, and will be getting daily headlines, movie and book reviews. Not going to be left out of the loop any more.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Truly, I am blessed. Though I am 63, I don't look it. And most of the time, I don't feel it, either. This is despite the need for a whole host of products that I wasn't aquainted with just a few months ago. Like under-eye depuffer. It seems that I sleep on my side a lot, with my down pillow all scrunched up under my cheek, causing me to wake up with these little pouches under my eyes. I tried these little pod thingies, squeeze dab and massage. No soap. Next I tried to train myself to sleep on my back. Yeah, that'll happen. Now I am trying a new lotion, and it seems to be helping, though my basset hound look is still with me until at least noon every day. I just try to stay behind my shades a lot. Ginko biloba is on my list, because I want to keep those neural pathways firing. And I still take magnesium, to help me absorb my calcium. I buy huge bags of tooth pick thingies that help me floss behind those pesky molars in back. And soy, for hot flashes, and Estrin D, to perk up my flagging metabolism. Today, my back hurts. Today, I feel my age, it is aching bone deep. Pardon me while I snivel.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
We are having a schizophrenic September, hot as Hades one day, gray and damp the next. Sad, because we are a monoculture here, and the vineyards will get bunchrot at worst, and harvest will be in November, at best. Serves them right for putting all their grapes in one basket, if you ask me. Of course, I no longer imbibe, so what do I care, anyway. But gray days mean sitting out at the tables at the food court, shivering while scarfing down a 1/3 lb. hamburger and a mountain of fries because I always believe I need more fuel when it gets cold. In fact, I had soup tonight, a lovely black bean soup from Trader Joe's, with a nice salad, to make up for that humungous burger. Then, later on, as I fished around in the cupboard for some tea, I came upon this innocent little envelope of Betty Crocker muffin mix, lemon poppyseed. Gosh, where did that come from? Probably one of my Sunday sojourns at Target, where they now have a whole bunch of groceries, and I see things I normally avoid at Safeway. So, I made them, with some cranberries thrown in for good measure, then broke my eating plan by scarfing one of them down while it was still hot, with (ohmygod) BUTTER! Like, I never do that. Well, never is way too long a time, n'est-ce pas? And it is really cold tonight, I am even thinking I should turn on the heat.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Our 2nd assignment in sociology was to read this article called Body Rituals Among the Nacirema then write a paper on another of this tribes practices. Well, I read it, and these people were literally obsessed with their bodies! But how was I to write about any other aspect of their lives? I procrastinated. This is my usual solution when I don't know what to do. I even asked the teacher, who told me "You are an expert on these people." Huh? So, I decided, at the eleventh hour, when I could no longer put it off, to read the article again and extrapolate as much information as I could. I had decided to write about dietary practices, so I first needed to learn the climate of their location so I could determine what crops they could grow, what prey they would hunt, etc. And, gee, their location sure sounded familiar. Like, it was my location, too! And then I looked at the name of the tribe, and I got it. Nacirema is American, backwards. Another trip through the article had me howling. I decided to write about mating habits, in the same tongue in cheek anthrospeak as the article. It nearly wrote itself. Now I know that sociologists have a definite sense of humor, which I bet they really need when they are looking through their magnifying glass at our culture. We could all take a page out of their book, and laugh at ourselves a whole hell of a lot more. I know I am.