Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hippy Dreams

Sometimes--a lot of times, actually--I wish I were a hippy.

I don't know why, exactly. I suppose because the media glamourises it and plus I have these gold-tone memories of my very early childhood in the 70's, which, being that they're gold-tone, are, I guess, sort of glamorous, too.

Maybe being a hippy is not possible if you don't smoke weed and have "free love," and I don't want either of those things. Well, usually I don't . . . Anyway, I don't want to be that kind of hippy. But still. I feel like I would like to be one.

I have one or two or maybe even three skirts that could be considered "hippy skirts," but sometimes I wish I wore home-made, hand-made clothes all the time, that I designed myself, made out of scraps of fabric leftover or recycled from other things. I wish I knew how to wear bandanas and scarves so they didn't look goofy or pretentious. I wish I went barefoot all the time. I wish I actually made the jewelry I envision out of the pieces of driftwood and stones I collect in old tea tins during my rambles.

I wish I were a hippy with money (somehow) so I could get a diesel-fueled car and have it converted into a Greasecar and have a house powered by renewable and efficient resources, like that house at Seeds of Solidarity in Orange. Actually, I kind of wish I were those hippies (except they probably smoke weed . . . and grow it, too), and had a big organic farm that I knew what to do with. Or at least I wish I knew what to do with the defunct garden bed my parents started at the front of the house when they lived here, so I could grow stuff I could eat and also enjoy looking at. I wish I would make a rustic stone wall around it, out of rocks and boulders I dug out of the ground myself.

I wish I decorated with "found objects" more, and I wish I had tons and tons of wind-chimes and sparkly things for the sun to shine through, and outdoor furniture made out of gnarled pieces of wood, and I wish people would drive by and think I was super-New-Age, but anyone who stopped (because people would, for some reason, even though they don't, especially in New England) and hang out and talk and find out that actually I'm crazy about Jesus and am just trying to live out His Kingdom on earth by taking care of my part of it.

I wish I were informed enough to have really strong opinions about what's going on in the world, so that I could make statements like this young couple down the street who put a shopping cart with an American flag sticking through it, on top of their chimney. The Milk Guy (who knows about hippies) suggested they were saying that American capitalism is sending the country's money up in smoke. Probably. Anyway, I wish I were informed and opinionated and creative enough to make statements like that.

I wish the youth group from New Church would come over and we'd hang out around the fire-pit that I don't actually have but wish I did, and they wouldn't smoke either (even though a bunch of them do) but they'd play their guitars and we'd all sing songs under the stars and the trees and worship God.

Sometimes I wish I were a hippy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


So apparently Oscar doesn't like children's sugar-free, alcohol-free, colourless, bubble-gum-flavoured, no-name antihistamine. I can't imagine why not.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Vet

I think I've become the kind of pet owner vets hate.

At the beginning of day camp, Oscar got sick. We shall not go into details. But it was a little extreme, and he had been sick the week before, so I called the vet. Actually twice. They gave me some tips and told me if he didn't improve, he'd need to "be seen."

Well, he improved, but when we returned from camp, he was flealess but itching like crazy, his ears were bothering him, and . . . other stuff. So I called again and they told me I should probably bring him in and get him checked out.

Today was the appointment in question, so I left work early. But I took a wrong turn (no excuse for this . . . but I did it) and then got stuck in traffic, so I ended up being about 15 minutes late. Oscar was pretty well behaved in his examination, but he didn't actually have much wrong with him, and then as I was getting ready to pay, he let loose all over the floor. Granted, it was that time of day, I guess, but he doesn't really do that anymore, and it was embarrassing.

The vets were gracious but seemed less than overjoyed, kind of like the other pet owners whose appointments were a little bit delayed because of us. But the vets shouldn't dislike us that much. I mean, I paid 'em.

I thought hypochondria only applied to onesself . . .

Friday, August 21, 2009

Clean Up

Today I cleaned my house.

You may say, "You announce this as if it is an uncommon occurrence."

Well that, my friend, is because it is. It is. I used to say that the reason I cleaned my house so rarely was because I had to clean so much at Starbucks that by the time I got home, I didn't have the energy for it. And given the constant cleaning that goes on at Starbucks, this could have been a valid reason. However, anyone who has known me in any of my previous incarnations (college student, nanny, missionary, living history museum interpreter) will know that it's all a smoke screen, because I didn't clean any more when I was those things than I do now. (When I was a nanny at least the family I worked for hired a cleaner . . . although she wasn't that great.)

Today I had to sit down with my computer for half an hour just so Oscar could settle because he is so not used to me spending most of a day off moving all over the house and actually being productive. And I'm fairly certain that at first when I pulled out the Lysol spray, he thought he must have done something wrong, because the last time I used it around here was back when he used to . . . well, you know what he used to do in the house.

It's not that I'm a slob, exactly. It's just that I'm kind of a methodical (by which I actually mean slow) cleaner, so that it takes about half the time to mess the place up again that it takes me to clean it. (Take today, for instance. I cleared off all the kitchen counters and scrubbed them, and then the Other Jenn came over for dinner and I made a chicken satay in the electric frying pan on the kitchen island . . . and suddenly there was grease everywhere. I cleaned that up right away. I'm just saying.) The feeling of futility that hangs over the whole prolonged enterprise just kind of daunts me.

But I have to say, I do enjoy a clean house. For at least five minutes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gerunds, Etc.

Here's another one I forgot to mention last night. Why can you say, "It was changed from a blessing to a curse?" but not "It was changed from a cursing to a bless?" Why is blessing a gerund and curse not?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bits and Bobs

Okay, so maybe there's something in my head. Lots of little bits of things floating around that haven't got much of a category, so here, let me splat them out like confetti in this blog. (Except that one rarely looks at individual pieces of confetti, does one? Well, you're looking now! Party on.)

"Pantry" is a cute word. It sounds little and prim and, I don't know--Beatrix Potter or something. I was wondering how it derived and was thinking of things like pots and pans, but it turns out (says Online Etymology Dictionary) that it's got to do with "pan," the Latin for bread. I should've known that.

The thing I can't figure out is what the "t" is doing in there. I would have thought it would have been "pannery" or something.

Have I mentioned before how I hate when people say "orientate" instead of "orient"? Yes. Of course I have, because I really, really hate it. So I was reading The Alchemyst by Michael Scott (not that great, in my opinion, if you were wondering, which you might have been since you're reading this, but entertaining enough for me to have finished it) and at least three times in the book, he uses the word "disorientate" or "disorientated" . . . and gets away with it. But not with me! Oh no.

My mom has loaned me (for a long time!) a set of work-out videos, and it makes me chuckle and roll my eyes pretty much every time when in one of them, the instructor, who has been taking her victims through a brief cardio segment, says, "We're almost near the end!"

Did she mean to do that? Was she being ironic? "I know you're getting tired and you wish we were close to being done, but we're not--we're almost close! Bwahahahaha!" Somehow I kind of doubt it, but it would be pretty awesome if that's what she meant.

Then again, today I got a letter from my new literary agent (yep--that's what I said! More on that . . . sometime) in which she said the rating my manuscript had gotten from the critique editor was very good and "almost rare." I'm familiar with "most rare," though it's a kind of archaic way of expressing oneself. But I don't think I even know what "almost rare" even means. It's okay, though. I liked everything her letter said, and if she's going to help me sell another book, I'll start figuring out ways to use the phrase "almost rare" every day if I have to!

This is not a linguistic observation, but it is an observation: you can tell times are tough when people start putting signs in their front yards advertising the sale of two side-by-side graveyard plots. Someone on my commute to work has the bottom half of a screen door (the non-screen part) leaning up against their mailbox advertising this sale item.

I'm trying to figure out what they're planning to do about dying. Just not do it? Or maybe they're hoping Jesus will come back first but in the meantime they'd like to make a little money off someone who doesn't believe He's going to? Or maybe they've decided on cremation and floating off in the breeze somewhere.

I'm just not sure how to feel about this.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Empty Head

Do you know how many times I've come to this site and opened up the "New Post" page and then closed it again without putting anything in it? I didn't think so. I'm not sure myself.