Saturday, July 26, 2008

CD Pick of the Week: Gaelic Storm
You just gotta love What's the Rumpus?it's crazy-good wild Celtic music with energy and talent for days. Acoustic instruments, great vocals, and serious fun. Contagiously catchy, delicious lyrics (with a surreal sense of humor) and a slice of everything from African drums to Irish bagpipes. Every track is so good!
When the cat wants to help
Today Husband and I started painting what will be his new music office. Unfortunately Cipher, The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Disagree (tm) wanted to help. She always wants to be where we are and that meant wandering around, near and, ultimately, through the paint. She didn't get too paint-y, but enough that we realized this was never going to work. We closed the door but as someone once observed, "a closed door is that thing that a cat always wants to be on the other side of." So she sat outside the door, meowing piteously (and effectively cutting off the Dinah Washington CD we were using to inspire our inner Picassos.)

When my back started to hurt (after a whole 15 minutes of painting) I went out with her, leaving poor Husband to toil all alone. But that's not enough for Cipher; she hates being kept outside of anything. So she's still sitting outside the room, meowing. She is one unhappy kitty. Maybe we should have waiting until she fell asleep.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Delayed grief. Again.
When my best friend died of AIDS in the mid-90s, and again when his partner died two years and two days later, I "inherited" some of their things. I put the word in quotes because there were no formal wills, just a division of memories among survivors.

At the time I was really not prepared, or even equipped, to deal with more heartache. So the boxes of mix tapes, the old photo albums, and the shoeboxes of birthday cards and letters, went into "the Closet of All Mysteries." The CoAM is the closet it our spare room. Perfect place to store things like this. It's inside the house so I didn't need to worry about the heat and dust of the garage. But it's a place I rarely, if ever, go. The only thing in there is my "interview suit" (OK, not a suit, just a good jacket that I wear when job hunting) and a few additional items of clothing that I never wear but can't bring myself to get rid of.

But with the project of turning the spare room into a music office well in swing, I've put off the closet excavation long enough. Today I started and within five minutes was already floored. I found "the world's ugliest shirt" I bought for Steve at Salvation Army. We wandered into one of their stores with 20 minutes to kill before a movie and we had to buy for each other the ugliest shirt we could find (or at least find for under $5). I won, and Steve had to walk into the film in this hideous polyester thing with green and brown polka dots on it. Truly freaking ugly, something no one would ever wear, and yet I can't bring myself to throw it into the donation pile.

I found a small bag full of cassette tapes full of the original Broadway casts of shows no one has ever heard of. "Big River?" (Note to the Lurker: Yes, you know what it is. Yes, you used to have the tape yourself. Yes, you can sing the love theme. Yes, we love you in part because you know this crap about obscure musicals.)

So what exactly is the Statute of Limitations on sorrow? Here I am, more than 10 years later, still unprepared to deal with getting all nostalgic at hideous shirts and crappy tapes. Is it because I didn't do it and get it over with right after I lost them? Or will I always be snuffly when I come across the letters I sent them when they lived in Chicago and which they kept all those years? (For the record, I am an incredibly dull correspondent.)

Luckily for me, however, not everything in the CoAM is emotionally booby-trapped. I came across the ugly lamp I had in my office when I worked for CrApple. I found a copy of the collected works of Tennyson that looks like a Soviet May Day parade ran over it. I found my tax returns from 1997, an old Halloween costume, and an old Spanish army jacket I bought at an antique store. And how have I survived all these years without easy access to my VCR copy of "Favorite Monty Python Bits."?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Me and my deep and abiding hatred...
...for ants. Hate, despise, and loath. Spiders I'm fine with. Snakes (not that you'll find them in my house) are cool. Hate (like all right thinking people) cockroaches (again, you won't find them in my house). But ants are the one thing that drives me crazy.

We live in an old house with lots of weird holes into the outside (or at least into the inside of the walls) and we have ants. Not a huge infestation, but they are there. A few random spies in the bathroom. Well, we trace under the rug, find what we think is the source, plug it up, spray, and move on. Then, again randomly, a few wandering in the living room. No clue where they come from since we can't find a trail. But we kill, vacuum, and they seem to go away.

Today it was the kitchen. Four or five explorers near the sink that I kill. Then, about 10 minutes ago, I go into the kitchen for some grapes and there's the beginning of a swarm. OK, maybe only 20 or so, but that's enough for me to get the willies. I go into serial killer mode. I lose reason, a passionate desire to kill fills my brain, and I can't kill them fast enough.

There are really few things that I fear (Oompa Lumpas being at the top of the list) and I do not, in fact, fear ants. I just hate them. I can take one or two but the thing that just creeps me out is when there are hundreds of them. Honestly, after a killing spree to rid myself of a swarm like that, I swear I can feel them walking on my skin for about an hour afterwards. It's one of the things in life that just get to me. I hate, hate, loath and again, fucking, hate ants.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I wanna be 20 again....
But only because it takes me forever to get over being sick these days. When I was 20 I could get the flu, spend 48-hours at death's door, and by ready to go dancing on the weekend. (Oh like I ever went dancing!)

Now it takes me a week to get over whatever the creeping zarfs throws at me. I was sick Wednesday-Friday and here I am on Monday and still feeling like the cat has more strength than I. (Hell, she probably does.)

I'm trying to eat, to get my strength back, but it's a slow process. Some dry cereal. A nap. Some juice and oooh....a nap. It's like I'm a baby again, only I don't think I slept this much as a baby. I was supposed to do my regular shift at the Humane Society today but knew it would be impossible. I'm supposed to fill in for someone there tomorrow. Again, unlikely. And I have my show tomorrow night. That's more likely as it's less physical work but, again, I'm not sure if I'm up for it.

Poor Husband. Last week he took the week off so that we could, among other things, paint the spare room and turn it into his music office. We got as far as cleaning out most of it when I got sick and the process stopped. Now our garage is full of boxes, new bookcases, and our soon-to-be-gorgeous new CD cabinet. And my car is exiled to the street for the duration. I feel awful (as opposed to sick) because by now we'd hoped to have the room painted and the things moved back in.

Our book group meets tonight. One of the highlights of my month. Luckily the house isn't too dreadful (since it's doubtful anyone will look in our office). But I still wish we were done. Sorry, Husband. This is one of the side effects of being married to Sick Girl.