Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Subject Matters

I read many blogs. I enjoy most of them, some of them I slog through because I feel like they're important for me to read, but there is one that has been on my mind a lot because I fear ever producing like this myself.

You see, this blog-writer touches on a variety of subjects, but everything she has to say about every one of them is a complaint. I feel obliged to read this blog, I shan't tell you why, but as the months go by, I find that time spent reading her a chore.

Now, don't get me wrong. This blog-writer has a wonderful voice. She is very witty, she uses metaphors and similes like a pro, she incorporates appropriate pictures that are usually visually stimulating. But I hate going there anyway. Why? Because she always brings me down.

If you were writing her into a novel she would be the well-meaning sister or best friend who looks at you wide-eyed with a smile on her face as she asks you if you really want to wear that skirt? Aren't you trying to make a good impression? Subtle enough to seem 'friendly' while still cutting you off at the knees.

It's like listening to a stereotypical Jewish mother all day long. If there is anything good or joyful to be found in the world, this blog-writer will spin it in a way that somehow chaps her hide. We all have our petty complaints, we all have reason enough for them, and some of us have some major reasons to be miserable and could drown the world in our (valid) sorrows. But most of us choose to count our blessings.

There is an importance in looking at the world with clear eyes, ripping the veil of Happy Happy Joy Joy off the patina of life, and facing the world in a realistic way. It's part of growing up. It's also an important part of life to recognize that the joys of childhood were primarily provided by our ignorance.

But maturity? That comes in letting go of the bad things you can't change and making peace with the few happinesses any of us are given ... then savouring them.

Just Finished: Vengeance In Death
Just Finished: This Pen For Hire
Currently Reading: Tempting The Beast
Currently Reading: Pleasure Unbound
Currently Reading: Burning Wild
Currently reading: The Watson Brothers

Friday, July 10, 2009

Did I fall off the face of the earth?

I've been roaming it.

In the past two weeks I have been to six cities. Now, it may seem like less when you consider that one of them was me coming back home for three days, but it was only for three days. Enough time for me to rest, do my laundry and realize that there was no point in putting anything in the fridge because I was going to be gone again shortly.

It all culminated last night in an eleven plus hour, eyeball-searing drive back from Vegas to Tucson via Sedona. I stopped for about 45mins to change cars and then it was on the road again. 100+ temperatures were my constant road companion and thank God the MP3 player never failed me once. Sadly, the GPS did fail me once or twice, but we were back to being friends again by the end of the trip.

My family came to the States and in return for paying my way I was the chauffeur (plus, you know, they kinda love me). We hit San Jose, CA and Santa Cruz, CA, then back to SJ. Then it was off to San Francisco for a week - where I am SO pleased I didn't have to drive. That traffic! Also, we hired a car to take us from SJ to SF as we were warned that parking at our hotel was $53 / night. Beg pardon?!

Then it was on the plane, back home for three days. I know I left the house at least once, because there was no food here and I had to eat, but aside from that, I don't remember much of my return here except I exchanged the big suitcase for the small one.

After that, I joined a different family member in Sedona (3+ hour drive) for a night of fine dining, then we arose bright and shiny on Tuesday morning (all right, all right, it was 10am, but that still counts as morning) to eat a sensible breakfast, add me to the rental car agreement and drive to Vegas where we saw two shows on our 1 1/2 nights there.

Aside: Jersey Boys gets a big, fat HELL YEAH!, O was a spectacle of gymnastics, costuming, waterworks and optical distractions, but there was no emotional involvement - stunningly beautiful, yes, but I didn't leave the show raving and satisfied like I did with Jersey Boys.

A whirlwind stop in Vegas included very fine dining at Morels, shopping off-strip at The Galleria at Sunset (I was underwhelmed) and a two night stay at the incomparable Bellagio. None of that left me prepared to drive back for eleven plus hours yesterday though.

It was recommended that after the first 6 hours I stop in Sedona and stay at a motel. It's six hours because the first part of the driving experience that day was taking the fam. to the airport, and the second part of the driving experience involved getting lost.

Now, I mentioned earlier how my GPS and I were fighting on the trip, so when we got out of the airport, I didn't trust that she was telling me the truth. I blithely went on my way, ignoring her admonitions to turn around at every exit. I knew better.

I did not know better.

Fifteen minutes later, out of the hustle and bustle of the city I thought ... perhaps she has a point ... and decided to believe her. Wouldn't you know it? She stopped arguing with me and suddenly all the roadsigns made sense. I hate it when she's right. (Actually, I love it when she's right, I rely on her being right. I just hate it when she's righter than I.)

All that folderol added a stressful hour to my five hour drive back to return the rental car and pick up my vehicle. Most sane people would have put some value on their life, or at least limb, and stopped in Sedona to get a good rest, maybe even a meal, or sit off somewhere to revel in the joy of not driving. I, however, did a jig at the sight of my little, red car waiting for me in the parking lot of the Sedona Hilton and hopped in to fuel up and drive the 3 hours 49 minutes home.

At this point you're thinking, 'but she said it was an eleven hour drive?' To which I must add the 45 minutes it took to check in the vehicle and have the nice Hertz Rent A Car guy drive me back to my car. In addition, peeing and gas breaks must be totaled in to every long distance driving experience.

By the time I hit my apartment door my brain was mush. I could not form words, and every attempt at a coherent sentence was a joke. It didn't matter though. I was finally home. In MY own bed, with my own cat and even my own earplugs. Heaven.

I think I was asleep within 20 minutes of hitting the door. Within 30 minutes, I was receiving and (stupidly) replying to text messages. That was all it took to wake my brain back up. Four hours later I finally took a sleeping pill to coax my brain back into its blissful catatonic state. It only took another hour for my body to get the message and I slept 10 solid hours last night.

Today, I didn't drive at all.

Just Finished: Deeper
Just Finished: Gotcha!
Just Finished: A Weaver Wedding
Just Finished: The Family He Wanted
Just Finished: A Night At The Operation
Just Finished: Dead To The World
Just Finished: Wild Rain
Currently Reading: Pleasure Unbound
Currently reading: The Watson Brothers
Currently Reading: Gone With The Nerd
Currently Reading: Naughty Little Secret
Currently Reading: Burning Wild
Currently Reading: Undead and Unreturnable