July 19, 2005

Zig Zag

After 4 years, browbeaten and defeated, I solicited the help of my neighbor's yard men to mow my front yard. I just could not face it another week. It grows at astronomical rates, and pushing my lawnmower is kind of like pushing on a beached whale only without the scenic vista of the ocean nearby. For only $15, it seemed like possibly the best buy of my life. The yard guys did a decent job except for one side where they apparently went berserk or were struck blind or unconscious while mowing, because it was cut in a completely spastic zig zag. Unhappily, I took out the mower to rectify this and wished I had their number so I could give them a piece of my sweaty mind.

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Last week, I went to the spa for a massage, the eye doctor, and the dentist. This week, I'm going to the gynecologist. Appointments, appointments. It's nearly impossible to take time off of work for a few months in the spring, so everything piles on at the same time once the summer gets started.

:::

I loved The Secret Life of Bees. That is no secret. I just read The Mermaid Chair, the author's latest effort, and it sucked. It just sucked hard. It was disappointing. Even though I already knew that Sue Monk Kidd will never write anything I like better Bees because that's just how good I think it is -- or at least how much it meant to me when I read it, whether it's good or not, I don't know. That book fit into a little place in my heart only it was able to reach at a certain time in my life, and I will always love it for that. The Mermaid Chair is crap. I actually made faces and rolled my eyes and squirmed a little bit while reading it. I thought some seaside sex with a monk might be interesting. I was wrong. Don't waste your time on it.

:::

Costa Rica, Costa Rica, Costa Rica.

It is strange to be planning to go on a trip while making no actual plans. All of the details are in the hands of my sister and her friend; I'm just showing up. Especially after my obsessive fact gathering, guide book poring, and message board dissemination related to travel last summer, this is a strange but liberating experience.

(Note: I thought I was making no plans. Somehow I have ended up getting wrapped up in them in spite of myself. But I think most of it is worked out now, and I look forward to spending some time with my sister, seeing some monkeys and some beautiful trees and flowers and water, and digging my toes in the sand.)

:::

Things I ate in one day last week included homemade chocolate chunk walnut oatmeal cookies, Vietnamese chicken and vegetables, fried bananas and coconut ice cream, and strawberries dipped in dark and white chocolate. And I wonder why my stomach gets confused sometimes.

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I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for approximately the one millionth time on Saturday in preparation because I knew I was going to end up seeing the movie even though I'm not even really a big fan of the first one (even though my love for the book remains strong and true). I loved Charlie Bucket so much when I was a child that he made me strive to be good. And sure enough, we went to see the movie the other night. And I liked it more than I thought I would. I was mostly curious about Tim Burton's interpretation of the visuals, and I was not disappointed. I thought everything he did was faithful to the spirit of the book, and it was great to see a lot of the scenes coming to life. At first I was baffled as to the added back story, like Grandpa Joe working at the factory and the whole thing with Wonka's dad, but after thinking about it, I realized that they had to put some more stuff in, because as wonderful as the book is, it's a pretty spare and simple and short story. I thought each kid was very well cast and really exemplified just how bratty and horrible each of them was supposed to be, and of course little Freddie Highmore is an angel onscreen. I was a bit thrown off by the extended ending, but again, I can see why they felt they had to bolster it a bit.

As for Johnny Depp, only one image has frightened me more lately than the photos and trailers featuring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, and that is R. Kelly's urban operetta that is on BET every time I try to watch Girlfriends that fills me with such dread and nausea that it always takes me a few minutes to recover after seeing only a moment of it. But Johnny Depp really wasn't that gross and scary at all. His makeup, hair, teeth, and costume were a bit creepy and out there, but his voice and accent and facial expressions were funny. FUNNY. It didn't really jive with the Willy Wonka in my head, but it was okay. Johnny Depp can basically do no wrong is pretty much what I've decided. I am unsure of what I think of the Oompa Loompas.

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M. and I went to yoga tonight, and in truth some of the poses were so impossible and the teacher's Oms were so ridiculous that I could feel M. trying very hard not to look at me while I was trying very hard not to look at her and I spent much of the time not focusing on centering but wondering what kind of burrito I was going to get after class. To the burrito shop we went indeed, both getting chicken taco salads and sitting outside on what was a surprisingly tolerable evening after days and days of muggy soggy horror and catching up on our lives. We might not be able to execute a high kick and then hold our foot in our hand next to our ear and stand there for minutes on end like some of those show-offs, but we can eat Mexican food and talk until we don't even notice that hours have gone by like champs.

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cute

This is my godson, whom I recently met for the first time.

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About this time in ...

2004

7/18:

Gena, Eva, and I spent some time together and bickered so much and so easily in Eva's car that it was just like high school, except for now we were with her toddler in a minivan.

7/15:

He first appeared in my life as Ace in Stand By Me and shortly thereafter as David the vampire in The Lost Boys, and he's never really stopped scaring me since.

7/12:

I have no idea how I was able to recently scoop up a dead mouse with a shovel in the backyard but I can't reach over and pick up a dead roach with a paper towel.

7/8:

i love the greeks. and let me tell you, that night, the greeks were loving each other. strangers hugging and kissing. men kiss each other on the cheek here in celebration. it was beautiful.

7/7:

This trip has become in my mind so much more than just a chance to travel and spend some time with my sister before she leaves for law school.

2003

7/15:

The day culminated with each of us galloping on a stick horse around the room to the beat of a song called "Ride, Jesus, Ride!"

7/8:

They are the most repugnant of creatures. They are a scourge.


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