Sunday, September 28, 2008

Foggy Haze

It's been a really hard year for Corey's family. I never blogged about this, but his mother was gravely ill last May and, in fact, missed our wedding. She was having an operation during the ceremony, recovering to the sound of a cell phone the Rabbi held during our vows.

We are in New Jersey right now at Team Headquarters as his dad fights his own battle for health. I find I don't recognize myself or my responses to things. I grow furious when the phone rings, but angry when it's silent. I'm irritated at the lack of knowledge I get at the hospital, but zone out when the nurses talk to me. I basically don't know how to be.

Here is how I process and deal with illness: Disgusting optimism. When I was in 10th grade, my biology teacher broke us into lab groups of 4. A recorder, an experimenter, an assistant, and an encourager. In life, right now, I am the encourager. I stand by his bedside and tell him he's doing a great job. I get really, really angry when anyone has anything but a completely positive and optimistic outlook.

Of course I understand that other people process differently and they are just as entitled to their emotions as I am to mine. It makes me spend a lot of time by myself in the family waiting room, knitting furiously and then unraveling after I get an inch. I am unraveling in many ways, I suppose. I like the scratch of the wool against my hangnails, the way it now stinks of the antibacterial hand gel I slather liberally on my body.

When I get home in the evenings, my skin is so dry it cracks and bleeds, and I rub lavender lotion on my arms as I stare out into the windows.

I canceled the class I teach at Pitt for early this week, but I have decided that I am going back to the city tomorrow afternoon. I can't allow the freshmen to miss an entire week and, since I missed Wicked, I know Corey's father would want me to make it back in time to hear Maxine Hong Kingston speak tomorrow night. I am trying not to feel guilty about this indulgence. If it were me, and he missed hearing such an influential writer, I'd be angry with him when I came to.

I'll be on the road a lot the next couple of weeks. I'll be doing a lot of Sodoku, unraveling a lot of hats. There is no protocol for this situation. I wish I had the energy to write some.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Family Emergency

Corey and I have a family emergency right now. It has pulled our lives to a halt and left me feeling guilty for my responses: minutiae. Whenever there's an emergency, I focus on small things. Like who will water our plants or get our mail. Or what will happen to the Wicked ticket I had for Sunday.

My friend from rugby says I do this because I can control these responses, whereas I cannot control my relatives' health or their recovery time. Medicine is, unfortunately, an inexact science. It's not like training for a 5k, where you're pretty much certain to be where you need to be in a month or so. I get uncomfortable with that. Losing control. Not having control. I don't do well with that at all.

So I micromanage. Now. What should we eat for dinner?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mmmmmm Mint

So I am obsessed with mint. Ever since I stole the mint from the neighbors, I've put it into my water all day every day and enjoyed refreshing gulps of tingly aqua. My teammates made fun of me on Tuesday because I even put mint in my water for rugby practice. They called me Martha Stewart and scoffed my "weed water." Whatever. They are just jealous because their water smells like butt and tastes like fungus while mine is refreshing and delightful. Just what the body needs after intense running around!

Anyway, deep in my mint world, I also discovered this website (thanks, Emily) and learned that people do things like put mint in their lemonade.

This idea nagged at me for weeks. Even before I stole the mint. The website planted the seed and it manifested into reality with the newly acquired mint bush. The Youngsters from the website got their recycled wine bottles from a winery. I needed to drink myself silly to get some good bottles. It was definitely worth it. I finished off some Riesling, washed off the labels, and went out back with my scissors yesterday.

When I showed up for a dinner party last night, I came packing homemade lemonade with beautiful sprigs of peppermint in the bottle. It looked so darn fancy I wanted to explode! I think I'll bring this treat to every soiree Corey and I go to from now on (be warned!). I did not take a photo of the classy minty lemonade, but let my stinging papercuts be a testament to the wonders of freshly squeezed, pulpy lemon drinks with little square-stemmed mint pieces floating inside.

It is good. Worthy of obsession.

Wait until I add it to the limeade I'm thinking about for next week. Before you know it, I'll be churning my own ice cream just to have someplace new to stick my contraband mint.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Check Me Out!

I'm in Ode this month.

Catching a Break

Today is $1 cupcake day at Dozen. It's actually cupcake week AND the kickoff of their fall menu including pumpkin-themed treats. Now, I do not have time really to get to Dozen to buy a cupcake, but situations like this call for drastic measures. I am going to have to drive myself to Lawrenceville before I leave for campus to teach my class.

This is troubling for several reasons other than using the car to obtain a cupcake. (Something not entirely justifiable...) For starters, my students are having a really hard time with an essay right now because I got excited and made them talk about challenging concepts on Monday. Like ethnocentrism. And cultural assimilation. So now I have to redo the lesson plans I had laid out and I get really nervous and Type A about lesson plans. If I get the cupcake, I might have to wing it in class. Can you imagine???

Another reason the trip to Dozen is problematic is that I am newly obsessed with Heroes. My friend Boo begged me for weeks to give it a shot and then I saw that it's available online from Netflix. I have to watch that show in every second of my free time. It's more engrossing than Twilight, if that's even possible.

I wonder if I can have the focus and mental drive to finish my lesson plans by 10:30, go get the cupcake, and bring it back to my house with enough time to watch an episode of Heroes while I eat it? My God, that would be a perfect morning. Especially if I get a chocolate one.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Special Delivery

After all the excitement with the literary agent for my book a few weeks ago (she passed on the project, by the way), I feel re-energized in my publishing journey. A scholarly press has shown interest in my manuscript! The editor wrote to me and asked me to mail not only sample chapters, but the whole darn thing.

I could barely contain myself at Kinkos when the manager asked whether this was going to a residential address. "Absolutely not!" I said. "It's going to a business. In New York. A publishing house that has shown interest in my book!"

I basically forced him to congratulate me and wish me luck. I feel certain that this man's good energy into the ether will be just the nudge I need.

Slight Redemption

I was out in the garden last night picking, FINALLY, a tomato from my long suffering vines. I peered sadly at the neighbor's garden, feeling guilt about my theft, when I noticed something that made me feel better.

As several people noted in the comments, mint is a rapid grower and hard to contain. Well, as it turns out, the bush of mint I "stole" was one of several bushes of peppermint growing in the neighbors' plot. There, nestled among their rampant dill and parsley, was a huge growth of mint just like the stuff I stole on Sunday. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Then I went inside, got the scissors and helped myself to the parsley and another freezer bag full of spearmint.

Monday, September 22, 2008


So Saturday night, Corey was very tired, having worked all day and looking to work most of Sunday. He bowed out of social time and went to like 5pm. When I got home from the bar at midnight, he had woken up already and was having trouble falling asleep. He lay in bed with his camping headlight on, reading the New Yorker while I zonked out.

Several hours later, I heard him huff out of the room to sleep on the sofa. In the morning, he told me I was breathing loud, a kind of snargly snoring sound. So he left!

Now, in all the years I have slept beside him, he has never once spent a quiet evening. He is a somnambulist. He talks. He walks. He throws things. He snores. He steals the covers. He thrashes. I have accepted this and I have learned to sleep through it. Sort of.

But ONE night I breathe kind of loud, in the height of allergy season, mind you, and he just can't take it. Well. I say good riddance. More room for me in the bed!

Actually I don't say that. I want him to try again and suck it up.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


My neighbors grow things on our side of their fence, which they set in about a foot from their property line for the express purpose of decoratively landscaping the side facing our house. Last year it was all flowers over there, save one rogue oregano plant, but this year there's tons of food.

I try not to steal their tomatoes, ripe and red and delicious as they burst forth in bounty, but they invited me to partake of their herbs. Many days, I wander over for parsley or lemon mint for my tea. This morning, I had a hankering for spearmint. I went outside in my pajamas and saw them eating breakfast on the deck. "Hey guys! I'm out here to take some mint!"

"Help yourself! Please!"

Ah, they are so cordial. I remembered earlier when I commented on their thyme, they scooped out a clipping for me to plant in my own herb box and boy did it propagate. I decided the spearmint would do the same thing. And they had, after all, told me to help myself.

I went into the garden box to get the digger tool, preparing to take just a small piece of the mint bush. One little root for my herb box. I dug. I pulled a little. And I uprooted the entire bush.

I stood there with the herb in my hand, wondering what to do. I know they grow chocolate mint on their side of the fence and I really wanted to have spearmint in my water from now on. Because it's just so far of a walk to the edge of my 15' wide yard...

My choices were clear: Put the bush back in the dirt where I found it and buy my own seeds or take the mint onto the deck with the rest of my herbs. I'm not sure what the hell is wrong with me.

I stole their mint bush.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Dr. S: I'm not liking what I see with your knee. You're going to need an MRI.
Me: Is that the thing where they put you in the tube? I can't go in a tube.
Dr. S: (laughing) Oh, it's fine. They give you headphones and play music. It'll be fine. Only takes 20 minutes. They give you headphones.
Me: Will they give me heroin instead?

I arrive at the MRI palace right on time and, to my shock, am taken back right away. After I disrobe and remove my earrings, wedding band, etc. they escort me by hand into the scan room. When I walk in the door, I actually laugh out loud.

The ceiling is a faux-sunny day scene, like you might find at the back of Bath and Body Works, only chipped, with pussy willows. In the middle of the room is a humongous tube that clicks and moans like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Also, the entire machine is printed with the letters GE, larger than me.

Me: Ha! I wonder who makes the machine!
Pat the tech: Oh, it's a GE product. Climb on up here and hand me your glasses

I mount the giant bed and before I can take off my glasses, they fly off my face and into the tube, which Pat tells me is really just like a tanning bed if I think about it. I try not to think about it and wrap the blanket around my toes.

Because I am so short, my head will go into the mouth of the tube, but thankfully they keep the end open so I can see the faux sunny day ceiling. There are no headphones and no music. Instead, Pat shoves yellow ear plugs into my ear canal OSHA style. I tell him about working in the factory, how I'd hoped to never see those ear plugs again, and asked why I couldn't shove them into my own ear canal.

When Pat leaves the room, the doors seal behind him a la Star Trek. He tells me I'll be in there for 35 minutes.

The machine starts to shake and vibrate and make loud noises. I close my eyes and pretend I'm back in the factory, only allowed to sleep this time. To my surprise, I do fall asleep and wake up to Pat sliding me out of the tube, which turns out to not be so bad. When I put my watch on, I see that I've been in there for one hour and 25 minutes.

I can't decide what has been more costly about this knee injury: copays, or time lost from working.

New Blog

I have decided to create a new blog. I'm sick of whining on here when the bus is late or my bike ride home is spoiled by an asshole with a big horn. Instead, I'll whine about these things here:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I have had a splitting headache behind my left eye, right behind the eyebrow actually, since Monday. I don't ever get headaches, but when I do they're always behind my left eye and usually Corey's fault. Just kidding about Corey.

Two hours ago, I discovered the source of mine. Our smoke detector. It's been beeping approximately once every minute since Sunday night when the power went out and it had to run off its battery for like 5 hours. Corey and I registered that it was beeping, but it wasn't bothersome and then he went away on business and I can't reach it, so we just figured we'd deal with it for a few hundred years.

A sidebar explaining our smoke detectors: for starters, we have super high ceilings in our house. Love that! The smoke detectors are attached to the ceiling and hooked into the motherboard of the house with wires. So they run on electricity AND batteries. Even on a stool, I can't reach them and, given my current knee injury, I didn't find it wise to climb around on precarious stacks of things to stop the minor beeping.

This morning, the headache was unbearable. I realized it pulsed a little each time the smoke detector beeped, which coincides with a cacophony of neighborhood dogs barking. The irregular intervals of the beeping must have occupied my subconscious since Sunday night, disrupting my sleep and giving me a headache! I became a woman on a mission to silence the shrieking demon inside our smoke detector.

First I tried to muffle the sound using balls of wool yarn I picked up on clearance a few months ago. Jumping and shoving, I arranged a lumpy cushion over the baby demon. I felt smug and satisfied until I realized wool plus wires might not be a great idea.

I grabbed the tallest stool we own and dragged it upstairs, taking care not to tax my right hamstring and, thus, painful knee. Slowly I built a mountain of economics textbooks from my previous life in publishing. Then I built stairs to the mountain so I wouldn't have to climb up dangerously on my hurt leg. I pried open the satanic, beeping smoke detector, stretched up on my tip-toes.

On the back, attached to the wires, was a big sticker that reads: WARNING! Contains radioactive materials. I kid you not, but as my Nanny would say, I damn near shit.

Beneath the sticker was a sign indicating I had to use some sort of wedge to remove the back. Sticking a metal wedge into something radioactive with wires seemed like a bad idea, but that beeping! The beeping! The barking! The headache pulsing! I climbed down the mountain and got the nail clippers.

Twenty minutes later, my head dizzy from looking up, up, up at our high ceiling, standing on one leg, I opened the detector and realized I had left the battery downstairs. Fearing radioactive exposure, I ran, ran, ran as fast as I could, shoved in the 9V battery, and that fu@$er still beeped at me! To silence the banshee I had to literally disconnect a red wire next to a beeping, radioactive device and plug it back in again. Like Keefer Sutherland might do on 24.

There are supernatural, evil beings in my smoke detectors, of this I am certain. At least they are appeased for the moment. I have learned several things from this exorcism:

1. Must figure out a way to get radioactive smoke detectors OUT of the rooms where I hope to have my babies sleep one day. Surely a better product exists?
2. Corey is absolutely not allowed to leave me unless he first finds a tall replacement for himself

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blood from a Stone

My friend Phyllis tells me that getting her husband to talk is like getting blood from a stone. I feel her pain. I am married to a man who, after an entire week of snowboarding in Utah, returned to tell me it was, "Good. Fun."

After seven years, I am still not fully skilled in interrogation to get him to reveal details. Instead, I ask his friends. They tell me great stories, about Corey hogging maps or making jokes. Sometimes they even share photos and I feel like I have some sort of insight into his life. Like I won a contest or a sneak peak into a celebrity's back yard.

My mom is gifted in getting Corey to speak. She calls my cell phone sometimes to brag that she just got Corey to tell her a story that lasted 18 minutes. Sometimes I wonder if she could be possibly telling the truth, but then I'll walk into the kitchen and he'll be sitting there telling her an animated story about work. What does she ask? How does she do it? Why can't I open him in this manner?

Today I feel antsy about his silence because he just left for a business trip on which he will share a hotel room with his boss. He works for a non-profit and his boss is a fellow red-bearded cyclist, so this is not entirely strange. But I can imagine the millions of scenarios that will take place tonight and I just know he'll use a one-syllable descriptor for the trip.

I mean, his boss is going to see him in his pj pants! He's going to know how viciously Corey flosses his teeth, like he's going to rip off his gum tissue. He's going to watch as Corey ignores everything else in the room and dives into a New Yorker. And Corey will tell me not one thing about it!

If only I knew the secret to loosen his tongue. Perhaps someone out there knows the magic question to stimulate discussion?

Monday, September 15, 2008


The mail today contained a notification that our subscription to Outside has expired. We knew that. We knew it the first nine times they told us, too.

Then there was a picture of a child dying of cancer attached to a note asking us for $5 for the American Cancer Society.

Then a mortgage payment reminder.

Then Corey got a new insurance card.

That's all there was. Because I am bitter and upset about my knee, I see everything painted with a gloomy brush. So I am playing a game with myself: Which is more annoying? The cancer picture or the 10th notice from Outside?

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Whatever was initially wrong with my knee is not improved. I was cleared by my PT to play this weekend and practiced this whole week. At one point Thursday night I came down very hard on my right knee and met excruciating pain. The same thing happened today in the game after 3 seconds, when I tripped and fell down. I wasn't even tackled. Just fell down.

The pain was blinding, throbbing as my heart beat and pulsing through me. Then the rage followed. I am so angry that I am injured right now. I worked too hard this summer and put too much at stake emotionally to be injured this season.

This is my tenth year of rugby. A goal I set when I first took the field was to play this game for a decade and here I am. This was the season the Angels were going to go to Nationals, and I was going to be there fighting and helping to secure a championship for Pittsburgh. Then I was going to produce a baby.

But of course, I had to go and sprain all sorts of things inside my leg. There is such a big, black hole of rage in my heart right now. I have never experienced such disappointment, such fury with my body for being not up to snuff. All I can to is fume and wait for my doctor's appointments this week to see what's really going on.


Just awoke from a very strange dream in which I, as Angela Chase, had sex with Brian Krackow. Both of us were silent but kept an ongoing internal monologue. Shortly after the sex, Brian and Ricki decided they both wanted to join the cheerleading team.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Obnoxious, But Happy

I must admit that I was obnoxious yesterday. I went to the bar after rugby practice and breathed deeply. Loudly. A lot. With increasing loudness as I drank more delicious Lions Head. And I am sorry for being obnoxious.

But yesterday was a really important day for me. For starters, it means Corey will spend more time with me and my rugby friends. He gets so ill and grossed out by the dense sea of smoke in the tiny Ruggers Pub that he basically refuses to go to any rugby function there, limiting his hanging out to parties at teammates' houses. I managed to drag him to the pub about twice a season prior to this, so I will greatly enjoy his increased presence in my social life.

Also, I just feel better when I'm there and when I leave. I want to, unobnoxiously if possible, say thank you to the law makers who have passed the smoking ban. You have increased my enjoyment of life in many spheres. The difference between a bar thick with smoke and one thick with...air is just so enormous and wonderful. I feel grateful today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I was in the middle of teaching today when a gunshot rang out from outside the window on the first floor of the Cathedral. We were discussing Said's essay "States," in which he talks about exile and the constant fear of terrorist attack, among other things. A gun shot.

The shot came from an ROTC patrol doing Lord knows what on the Cathedral lawn, in uniform. Who even knows if there was a real bullet. All I know is that I reacted viscerally. My stomach sank out. My fear burned in my skin. Virginia Tech, was all I could think.

My students are, for the most part, college freshmen. I wonder if they react the same way as I do. I remember after the attacks happened, I consciously chose my seats in classrooms. I never put myself in direct eyeline of the doorway. Now I am the teacher, so I have to stand at the front of the room. Unsafe.

This sound came from outside the window and it so through me that I can't recall a thing that happened in class from that moment on. Why are the ROTC students allowed to fire weapons on campus? What are the rules governing ROTC? Am I allowed to be upset about this or did I miss some sort of patriotic ritual I should have more compassion for?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Twilight: The Saga Edition

Since last Tuesday, September 2, I have read four 500+ page books. I have not slept, I have missed appointments, and I have slacked on my lesson plan preparation all because of a family of good vampires. What a relief to be finished! What a lack there is in my schedule now.

My PT asked me yesterday how it could possibly be true that I finished so many books in a week. He doubted there was time in the world. I reminded him of the six extra hours I was getting every evening in lieu of sleeping and that, also, the books were immensely suspenseful. Such that I used every moment of free time to read them, sweating, standing in line for food or walking to the bus stop or during ice and stim in the center for rehab services.

So what do I think of them? My general impression is that the books are anti-feminist. Problematic. Troubling. Corey has even heard of them and, based on what he's read and what I've told him, he has problems with the precedent they set for relationships, too. Edward, handsome and chivalrous though he is, is controlling and secretive, domineering and arrogant. Compelling, though!

Bella is not a strong female character. It's hard to write without spoilers, but not even the end battle of the final book makes me think she is redeemed as an image of strength. She makes some strong moves, but nearly everything she does requires a man to be the proactive agent of change or safety. And the way she just deals with it when Edward keeps secrets from her or bosses her around! It makes me CRAZY. At least in Harry Potter, Harry respects and is open with Hermione (though she does tend to frequently lose her cool during moments of danger). Also, Bella is a total bitch to her female friend Jessica, who is presented as vapid and empty. I hope my children don't think of their talkative female friends that way!

I loved the experience of reading those books, the fast heart beat, the way they called to me in the night, the way I couldn't stand not knowing how they would end. But I just don't think I can get past the unsubtle messages of female weakness and dependence enough to say that I approve of the stories.

Monday, September 08, 2008

In the Garden

My pumpkin rotted on the vine. I noticed it had a soft spot last week and yesterday, it had collapsed in on itself. I had placed so much hope in that pumpkin, such promise that it would be a perfect and wonderful thing. Nature had other ideas. I picked it, sadly, and started to carry it out back to die in the compost bin, but it was too late for the pumpkin even to do that. It exploded in my arms, all over the driveway. A liquid mess.

Frank, the Italian man from across the street, came out to see what had happened. He sighed, told me the vine had a fungus and it was too late. I needed to dig the whole thing up and get it out of there or it would hurt the other nearby plants. He pointed to the blossoms and told me back where he came from, they used to pick the blossoms, dip them in batter, and fry them up. Something good to come of the mess. He saw my sad face and told me he would surprise me with a treat: fresh figs.

I dug up the vine while he went to get the fruit from his own garden. I saw, clinging to the trellis behind the pumpkins, a praying mantis. A female, giant and brown. I had never seen anything like it before. Frank came back with the figs and I ate them. They were so sweet and soft, also like nothing I've ever had. He showed me how to pull the stem right off and just bite into the delicate flesh. Figs are too fragile to ship to stores, he told me. They are so challenging to grow because of our weather here, but Frank does it ever year. He has to cover them and prune them and treat the tree like an infant in order to get the figs every September.

He looked at the mantis and told me in Italy, they'll kill all the grasshoppers and spiders they see, but never touch the mantis. They call them "la fata" which means fairy. She is mystical, untouchable. Dangerous.

A dead pumpkin, a forbidden fruit, and a powerful female bug in my front yard on one Sunday morning. It felt like a summation of my past few months: the end of a really difficult graduate experience that had such promise and great results, but also a fungus spreading through it. The temptation of the life I've always dreamed I'd have, challenging and rare and only possible as a result of laborious attention to detail. And a reminder that as delicate and delicious as our dreams might be, it's dangerous to get to complacent. Something (pride, haste, hesitation, impatience, republicans...something) might rear up and bite the head off my plans.

Friday, September 05, 2008

On the Outside

Outward appearances can be so deceiving. I rode the 54C yesterday (numerous times...don't want to talk about it) and at one point a very well dressed, professional-looking woman sat next to me. She made a joke about the trail mix I was eating. We laughed. To all the world, she appeared to be a white collar professional person. I thought perhaps she was a banker.

Then, a crack addict got on the bus. An actual white-lipped, itchy, toothless crack addict who addressed this woman by name! They were friends. They proceeded to have a long discussion about their regular bar and how this woman was jonesing for a guy who "didn't get his weekends yet." I learned terminology about house arrest, urine screenings, and parole officers from that bus ride! Best case scenario, this woman is a recovering alcoholic who got herself into some trouble with the law.

Which got me thinking. If she could look so well put together, so calm and apparently "normal," while having these raging problems in real life, what do I look like to the world? Take this morning. I might have actually looked like a grown up en route to a profitable business day. In real life, I was struggling to stay alert after reading the Twilight books all night long while at the same time panicking because I don't have any writing assignments right now.

Or when I have to put on a facade of assertiveness to pretend I'm professional when I call a client who hasn't paid me in six months, when really I'm just terrified of confrontation and would almost rather take the loss.

There are so many times when I try to pass for one thing while inside, I am really something quite opposite. (Like when I feign enthusiasm for televised bike racing) How hard do we all work putting on fronts for the world? I try to think about the times when I can put mine down, just ooze out the horrible mess that I am and relish the relief in that raw, naked truth.

Those moments are too few, I think.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I just finished reading Twilight. I kind of hate myself. My sister read this book in about a second and then my friend Claire started talking about it. Then each of them read the sequals and the books after that and I just had to get in on the game. I stayed up all damn night last night reading this book, with its gripping plot and fast action...and a main character who makes me irrationally angry!

The whole time I was reading, I kept thinking, "Oh my god. I am involved in a book with yet another helpless female protagonist who needs to be saved by her boyfriend, who has superhuman powers and is portrayed with this omnipotent, magical control and elegance." I wanted to burn the book in a whirl of feminist anger and protest. But I couldn't because A) I was borrowing it from Claire and B) I didn't want to miss out on the ending.

I am hooked on this series. I must know what happens. As I read each line of sweet-sappy dialogue, as I read about this 17-year-old in true, powerful, everlasting love, I simultaneously want to laugh out loud and kill her to take her place. Yes. I want a tall, handsome man to sweep me off MY feet and run with me through a forest and make out in a meadow. Then I want this man to save my life a few times. Perhaps Corey needs some amber contacts and a faster car?

There was one moment near the end of the book (don't worry--no spoilers!) where Bella (the protagonist) tells Edward (the hero) that she can't be Lois Lane all the time and that she wants to be Superman, too. I'm sorry, but I don't think that one line forgives the stereotype the book promotes.

Of course, I am going to read the other three books in the series and I am going to sit riveted to the page every minute. But I also have a master's certificate in Women's Studies. Perhaps only grownups should be allowed to read it and not young girls? Why oh why am I addicted to this saga? And will I survive until November when the movie comes out???

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Labor Day Top Five List

5. Coming in third place in the Pirate Bike Olympics. My first ever Alley Cat race! Not bad at all.

4. Going on a "canoe trip" that secretly morphed into a rain barrel reconnaissance mission involving twine and a rock-filled anchor dragging behind our vessel. Anything to reduce river litter and thwart water from our foundation!

3. Walnut-dip and pita picnic in Point Park with my husband on Sunday.

2. Having a super fabulous vegetarian birthday feast with friends last night

1. The accident. I'll set the scene: Corey, Michelle and I were riding our bikes to the Pirate Bike Olympics. As we neared Negley and Black, we heard a crash and women on the sidewalks yelling, "She just ain't right!" (Apparently the woman ran a red light and crashed into a car head-on) As we got there, she put the car in reverse and floored it, evidently in an attempt to turn up Black Street and escape. It might have worked, only the 71A was behind her. So when she floored it in reverse, she plowed into the 71A. Going backwards. At like 20mph.

It gets better. There are by now 15 people standing around shocked that this is happening. She got out of the car, still running, and started yelling something weird. Then she took off at a jog on foot while people hollered at her to get back in the car. She tried to flee! On FOOT! I had these vague visions of grandeur that I would leap off my bike and tackle her as my coach did to apprehend a criminal in Baltimore. But then Michelle reminded me that she might be on crack and that we don't know what she was running to GET. Best to stay uninvolved, as the 71A driver has protocol and there was, after all, a whole bus full of witnesses. Can you imagine sitting in the driver seat of a bus and seeing a car coming at you full speed in reverse?

I have decided that the reason I can't let go of this accident, that I keep dwelling on it, is because I am a writer and I need to understand her character. What would possess her to do such things? If I created a fictional character who did that, I'd be sensationalizing, over-dramatic, laughed at. What motivates this woman? I have to know!