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Showing posts from October, 2005

The Twilight Zone

My department, as the "creative" wing of our organization, hosts a yearly Reformation Day celebration. We turn off the lights, plug in electric candles, and post "Theses" on the door. We set up a table with a Diet of Worms (a pail full of gummy worms), a basket of indulgences (candy with mottoes attached--"Good for 5 years off purgatory," etc.), and fruit for the more spiritual. Under this table is a boom box playing Grunt. We send out an email to the entire organization, which then spends the day tramping in and out of the department while we try to work.

I wish I could explain the effect of pidgin Latin droning in a lowlight environment for eight hours straight, as the sugar from the chocolates, gummi worms, and caramel apple dip courses slowly through my veins. The lyrics are funny, but the music soothes. The repeating CD begins to wear grooves into my brain. I begin to believe that there is no other music in the world, no other sound even, and then, al…

A Day in the Life

Yesterday morning, running late for work, I dashed out the front door and into my car. There I opened my purse and discovered that all my keys were missing (or, did not discover my keys). I did not even attempt to test the front door; I had purposely made sure it was locked on my way out. And both my roommates had already left for work.

After considering various solutions in a slow and leisurely fashion (you know the old ad, "This is your brain on drugs"? Try tweaking it to "This is your brain in the morning"), I decided to call a friend who drives past my neighborhood on her way to our mutual place of employment. "Have you left for work yet?" I asked when she answered her cell.

"No," came the reply, with something peculiar lurking in its tone.

"I locked my keys in the house, and I was wondering if you could give me a ride to work!" I said with relief.

" . . . I did the same thing," said my friend, again sounding like she was spe…

Thoughts on a Postscript

I finally finished reading Our Mutual Friend. It was on my summer reading list, and it's October now, so that tells you something about the book's length and flow. But I stuck it out all the way to the postscript, which Charles Dickens wrote "In lieu of a Preface." The postscript is a jewel. Dickens writes,

[I thought] it worthwhile, in the interests of art, to hint to an audience that an artist . . . may perhaps be trusted to know what he is about in his vocation, if they will concede him a little patience . . . .What a revolutionary thought, in this destructive Age of Literary Criticism. Dickens also comments on the difficulties of the serial novel:

[I]t would be very unreasonable to expect that many readers, pursuing a story in portions from month to month through nineteen months, will, until they have it before them complete, perceive the relations of its finer threads to the whole pattern which is always before the eyes of the story-weaver at his loom. Yet, that I…

Bliss

One lunch break, done properly, can loop you into eternity and back--and today is the last day I would have expected such a thing. The sky is a metallic grey and everything is damp from the rain that they keep telling us to expect but which I'm not actually seeing. A sort of Holy Spirit rain (if you're Baptist).

This is a drab fall. Again, the rain is at fault: apparently we got too much of it in the spring and nowhere near enough in the summer. Silly us, we forget how lovely a shy, subtle fall can be. This is pointillism at its best: each tree's leaves alternating between faded green, dry brown, and soft yellow or red. Once my eye is caught by such tiny details, I begin to see that the overall effect is like a giant bolt of tweed being unrolled beside the road. The landscape is shot through with subtle gradations of color. Occasionally I drive through a sudden patch of fallen leaves.

I roll down the windows and turn up the country music . . . "Living on Love" is p…