Wednesday, August 29, 2007

First Day of Class



Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Lately, babies have been smiling at me. All babies, everywhere, including sleeping babies and babies so young their only smiles must involve gas. So many babies have been smiling at me, my days have begun to feel like one of those creepy movie sequences in which a lovelorn guy thinks he sees his blonde ex-girlfriend everywhere, but really it's just a skinny dude and a cocker spaniel. So one of two things is happening: either I'm imagining the babies' smiles, or all the world's babies are trying to tell me something. If it's the latter, then obviously babies have no idea what they're talking about.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Beautiful Day

I have nothing to say today, except that it is perfect outside. Sunlight floods our little living room, and the view out the window, from a chair or the couch, is of blue and fluffy white and the jutting green branches of the ginkgo tree by the road. The windows are open, and because they look out at ground level on a little garden, I understand better than before what F. Scott Fitzgerald meant when he said, "There are dying flower scents upon the air, so thin, so fragile, as to hint already of a summer laid away in time."


Wednesday, August 15, 2007


My biggest qualm about moving into a garden-level apartment was the prospect of bugs. Because this is basically a basement, I thought, there may be more bugs in this apartment than in one on a higher floor. But, I argued with myself, because this apartment has always been an apartment--a variety of historical features prove that this is not just a remodeled utility space--it's not a basement in the usual sense.

As it turns out, plain old basement or not, there are bugs. Not beetles, spiders, or ants, though. I think they're all being eaten by the centipedes. And centipedes are our least favorite variety of bug. Even Eric, who thinks bugs are cool and will not hesitate to pick up a beetle with his bare hand, hates them. This is because they are incredibly fast, often incredibly large, and they have too goddamn many legs. We had some in our last place, but we only started seeing them in the spring, and then we only saw one every week or two. Here, we see them once a day on average. Just now, I found a squished one on the carpet I vacuumed yesterday, which means either the cats killed it or the things are so ubiquitous we're now stepping on them by accident.

The good news is that this hasn't caused me to collapse drooling into a corner of the couch, like it might have a year ago. Instead of losing my mind every time I see a centipede, I kill it, flush its corpse down the toilet, and move on with my life. This is huge progress considering that I used to be physically unable to get within a four-foot radius of a centipede (which is not nearly close enough to kill it), and the first time we saw a large one in our old apartment, I spent most of the night awake, imagining centipedes crawling over every inch of the place in the dark.

Now I've made the sensible decision that if they're going to be a fact of life, I might as well treat them that way. As long as the centipedes understand that they are to stay off of me, and that I have the right to kill them on sight, we can live together peacefully.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thunderbolts and Lightning

Sometime after 11:00 last night a thunderstorm knocked out our power. After a few minutes standing around the front door of the building with unknown neighbors holding fat candles, watching the rain dump onto the street, we retreated to our apartment, where we sat in candlelight to watch blinding lightning and listen to near-constant thunder rattling the windows. After an hour, when the rain had moved on, we went to bed with the windows cracked to let some air into our stifling bedroom, and with the switch for the ceiling fan turned on, waiting for electricity.

We woke this morning beneath a spinning fan, and I'm glad now that nature intruded on us. I miss it, living in this city with too little time for retreating into the woods and into my thoughts.


Monday, August 13, 2007

One Week Later

I haven't been writing because I haven't been inspired.

Since we moved, I've been working at home when I'm not working at work. Yesterday we finally got the last of the boxes (save one, full of coats to donate or consign when the weather cools) out of the apartment and into storage or Goodwill or the recycling bin. We also started hanging things on the walls, which is a bit of a trick since most of our walls are poured concrete. Today, after putting the finishing touches on my class plan for this evening, I'm going to clean the disgusting oven, which the previous tenant didn't bother to do, and which I've been putting off "until tomorrow" for almost two weeks.

The last couple of weeks have been stressful, especially in my current yoga-less universe (I still haven't had a chance to order replacements for my dead tapes), but today I can hear angels singing in the distance and I think I see a pin-prick of light ahead. This apartment is gorgeous, even if it is halfway underground and one of the smaller apartments known to man. And in the next few days, when we finish the cleaning and find homes for the lingering clutter, I'm going to be really proud of all the work we've done.


Monday, August 06, 2007


I survived the move, the bridge collapse (which I was nowhere near, though I drove over that bridge the day before), and almost a full week without a computer. I'm sitting on my knees now because we can't fit the chair in its place quite yet, so this is all you get from me tonight. More later.