Soooo many children in one house today… 4 belong to Jess, 3 belong to Ellen, 2 belong to Jess’ sister Kirstin, 3 belong to Jess’ sister Laura, and one is a friend. I don’t know whose he is. The kids sit at the giant kitchen table to eat their tuna casserole. The giant table is not giant enough. The adults sit wherever they can find room. There are biscuits and honey. There is a crazy weasel ball. There are gospel songs playing on the computer CD player, TV blaring in the living room, children screaming outside and in, and a painting of a cow and spider looking at you as if you were in an outhouse when you’re sitting on the toilet. Later on there might be Hershey’s fudge sauce. And yes, we have done a lot of work and will do more tonight. But in the mean time, it’s nice to just sit surrounded by chaos and smile.
Sitting at Ellen’s computer in Beltsville, MD this morning. It’s like a sauna outside. I LOVE it! Got here last night. This is what they feed you on a Southwest flight that is longer than 2 hours: 1 small bag of teddy bear graham crackers, 1 package of Ritz crackers with cheese, 1 package of oreo cookies, and soda. Yum! The guy next to me didn’t want his, so I had that one too. Plus a crsipy chicken sandwich from the McDonald’s drive-thru with Ellen at midnight. And fries. And coke… uh… diet coke. That’s important.
Going with her today to do bookkeeping for the company of her MAN friend, Jess. That’s the main reason I’m here and why they paid to have me come. Ellen’s kids are beautiful and Ellen looks great. I’ll post pictures when I can. I know you can’t wait.
Check out the updated “Movies I’ve Seen This Year” page. It’s prettier. And I’ve finally added the movies from the beginning of the year that were missing — unimportant little things like Chicago or The Hours. I guess I was inspired by the arrival of my own personal DVD copies of those 2 movies. (Not that I liked them or anything.)
Also included is a funny little e-mail exchange between Will and me about Road to Perdition. I’d love to add YOUR comments about movies! Please e-mail me any opinions you have about these (or any other) movies. I will post them and give you full credit. (If you want it.)
What would I do without Netflix?
See, kids, there’s this game going around the Net called Interview Game. But you can only play it if you have a blog. So get a free blog at www.blogger.com and play along. It’s easy and fun!
Got up and made myself some awesome miso soup and seaweed salad. I swear, the soup tasted just like that from a Japanese restaurant, only a little more special because of the shiitake mushrooms. Sat down and ate in the kitchen. Such a simple thing to do, and yet I could probably count on ten fingers the number of times I’ve sat at the table for a meal all by myself. I’m reminded of Don’s grandmother years ago, who lived alone and said that she just wouldn’t have respect for herself if she didn’t set the table each day and sit down for a proper meal. Why is it hard? It’s like meditating. Being still. Paying attention. Savoring. So much easier to eat in front of the computer. And yet, how many of those meals are memorable?
warm… sleepy… lethargic… heavy… managed to get out at 4:30pm to go to Berkeley Bowl… managed to lug groceries home (well, okay, Michael mostly managed that)… somehow managed to get down a chocolate/pecan praline frozen yogurt cone from Yogurt Park… managed to stay awake for another lame movie: XX/XY on DVD… managed to miss the Front Row street fair only 2 blocks from my apartment… and managed to get up at 3AM to put my forgotten aligners back in…
Hiked around Lafayette Reservoir with Jan Goldenberg. Me in Tomi’s Hawaiian tank top and US Army shorts. Michael in a pair of her khaki shorts. Slathered on the sunscreen — a different kind — and got totally fried. This is the burn I was afraid of getting in Hawaii! I told them that hiking around the reservoir reminded me of hiking around Kilauea Crater. Just imagine, I said, that the blue water down there is actually hardened lava and that the wind is blowing much harder. They didn’t see it.
Went back to Jan’s. Had a spectacular shower and watched DVD 25th Hour on his mondo gargantuan entertainment system with kick-you-in-the-head surround sound. Amazing how the right equipment can improve a so-so movie.
Got up at 6:30AM and went to the gym. Man, that was hard. My legs wouldn’t move. My arms were like lead. Probably won’t make THAT mistake again. Visited Ruby. Got a great massage. Tomi gave me a shirt someone had brought back from Hawaii. So it’s almost like I got it there myself, right? Mark and Michael came over. Ordered pizza. Watched taped episodes of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Boy Meets Boy. Discussed getting Michael on that show. (The first one, silly!) I think he’s pretty fine the way he is, but it sure would be nice to get some new stuff — for free! Too tired to go home, so slept at Ruby’s. Borrowed clothes the next day. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Strange that I’m back at work and nothing is different. It’s almost as if I hadn’t gone to Hawai’i. Except that people keep asking me about my vacation and commenting on my photos. But I am essentially the same as I was before I left. Curious that I expected something else. And interesting that I didn’t realize I expected things to be different until I got back and found that they were not. I must have thought this trip would MEAN something. Something more than fun days and photos. I have fun days and photos here in the Bay Area. So I guess the profound meaning is that no matter where one goes or what one does, life is as meaningful or meaningless as it is anywhere else. Stay present, Beth, and let the changes wash over. Ride the waves, as it were. And stop grasping so much. Because in the end, there is nothing to grasp, is there?