Archive for June, 2010

On the latter road

June 22, 2010

I’m not a poetry gal. Really, really not. I had a mild upswell of interest when I discovered prose poetry, but that didn’t last long. For the most part, I dislike trying to write it, hate reading it, and often feel a gag reflex initiating when trying to listen to it in public. I do not like ‘poetry voice.’

As with every rule, there are exceptions. The only one I’ll name here and now is Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” I know, everyone loves that poem. It’s practically a cliche, or at least an American standard that everyone can quote from, and appreciate on some level.

When I was young, I appreciated it in a purely literal way. I equated the road not taken, the one that “was grassy and wanted wear,” with America’s backroads, and I spent a year exploring the blue highways, the roads less taken. I traveled the length of the country many times over, putting more than 100,000 miles on my truck and…

Oh dear. I just flipped back to my archive to find where I referenced my first 100,000 miles (nowhere, by the way, that was just the title of the unpublished travel book/memoir I had in my head) and I got completely sucked in. Oh, the memories I’ve forgotten! Okay, back to the present.

So I really thought I was taking the road less traveled by. I was sure of it. Even though I knew what a metaphor was, even though I knew that poetry very rarely meant what it was explicitly saying, I was sure I was following Frost’s sage advice.

Now? I still feel like I’m following his advice, in a much more metaphorical fashion. Work for a marijuana how-to company? Why not! A job driving a train presented itself. Well, heck, no one drives a train nowadays! Sure, I’ll do that for a while. A non-profit job? No one who has an ounce of self-preservation and professional aspirations takes a job like that! I’ll do it!

I still feel, just a little bit, like I’m missing his meaning. I’m sure it’ll present itself to me when I’m 80, and I’ll switch my whole life-path to intersect with that less-traveled path at that point. Until then, tally-freaking-ho.

In a familiar, grumpy place

June 18, 2010

What is it about home that makes you want to morph into an axe murderer?

On a side note, we had a wonderful Father’s Day dinner at an excellent Italian restaurant in SLO, where Christy and I both independently decided that the waiter was a psycho killer. She wondered if he was a murderer or an actor; I thought he was not a competent enough waiter to be an actor. And I had already wondered if he was stalking someone in the restaurant, so…

I am so. Cranky. And if you know me, you know that I rarely get cranky. Well, baby, I’m there. It’s just something about this house. Maybe they put something in the water here that raises your blood pressure twenty points.

…..

Dang. I started this post a half hour ago, before I fed myself chocolate peanut butter ice cream and a vodka tonic. I’m much more chipper now. So g’night, y’all! Have a good one! I’ll try to remember to finish my ranty blog posts next time before self-medicating.

Wandering lost in the desert

June 15, 2010

Ah, motivation. My old nemesis. Where the heck are you?

I’ll tell you where you’re not. You’re not in the bathtub, with the bubbles and the sweet smells. Inspiration can often be found there, relaxation, definitely, but motivation? Nope.

You’re not in that great, beautiful city outside my window. There’s fabulous pub-quizzes, fascinating rambly walks, gorgeous urban vistas to photograph, costumed races and city-wide puzzle hunts, great friends doing great things, but absolutely none of that seems to attract my motivation.

You are on the beach, but there you’re not my motivation, you’re my puppy dog’s. It’s impressive the way she is propelled through the weeds, some mysterious force at her heels forcing her to gleefully leap, and bob, and weave. Oddly, that force passes me right by. Ah, if only I could bob and weave as agilely on paper as she does on the hills of Albany.

You’re not on Hulu. I suppose that goes without saying, but for some reason, that’s where I convince myself I have to look for you first. Like checking for sugar snap peas in the pastry aisle at the grocery store. In fact, you are nowhere to be found on the internets. Believe me, I’ve checked google reader, stumbleupon, facebook, twitter… you ain’t there.

I’m starting to think you don’t actually exist. In fact, I’m sure of it. The only way I can write is to trick myself into not looking for you. Oh, hey look, there’s a blank page on my mac and my fingers are twitching. Might as well…

In my family’s entrepreneurial past

June 4, 2010

Actually, before I start this post, I have to admit that I’m rather proud I spelled entrepreneurial correctly on the first try. Take that, spell-checker generation!

So. What was I saying?

I was feeling a fondness for the many businesses my father started throughout my childhood.

1. Grantswriter.com: Dad was super-stoked he jumped on this domain name before anyone else. Mostly I remember answering phone calls from people hoping they could find a grant for their small-business loan, but it was the business that set me on my way as a non-profit professional.

2. Talking balloons: These were awesome. I’m not sure why they didn’t catch on at the flea market, though I do think we sold all of the product we originally bought. Big, fat, happy mylar baloons with a plastic strip dangling from them. If you ran a fingernail down that strip at precisely the right speed, it sang “Happy Birthday” to you. Or a couple different songs, though that’s the only one I remember.

3. Rototiller Dude: Actually, I think this was just an excuse he gave to my mom to justify his purchase of a rototiller for our 1/2 acre of land.

4. Damn it, I’ve had too many cocktails. I don’t remember the other ones. There were definitely more. One of the most prevalent memories from my childhood is of him saying, “this is how I’ll make my first million.”

5. Silkscreened T-shirts: Was this a “make-a-million” idea, or just a DIY crafts idea? Like the fruit dehydrator? I’m not sure. But my t-shirt design for 4th grade summer camp totally won first place. And I loved going to school with brown paper lunchbags silkscreened with “Herron’s Mortuary and Meatball Palace.”

6. Okay, mandolas. Though I think this was post “first million” dream, and more an “ensuring the Herron name endures, at least in the folk-music world” dream. He currently sells beautifully hand-made mandolas from Vietnam, with a mother-of-pearl inlaid Heron on the neck. His partner sent Mom and he a set of matching golden silk robes for Christmas.

7. Dad, you out there? What else did you think of before anyone else patented it? I’m sure there were more, I just can’t remember them.

In preparation, on a foggy summer morning

June 4, 2010

In the interest of research and gettin’ ready for a summer more filled with dresses than I’ve ever seen (apparently getting older means I like skirts! Who knew! They’re even easier to slip on absentmindedly than jeans! I have 2 new short sundresses, and 3 short skirts! Someone hold me back!), I’ve been testing various leg hair options.

Option 1 is, of course, au natural, by far the simplest to maintain. Since the skirt thing is only happening from sheer over-heated laziness, and any removal takes, you know, work, option 1 gets a lot of play. There are a few problems with it; not only does hair = warmth (at least a little bit), but I can’t enjoy the weird transition of light to dark stubbly hair as I look down my legs. If it all matched, I’d be fine, but as it is… It feels like constantly wearing black shoes with a brown skirt. Which can be done, but not easily, and not without some pangs of “should I be doing this?”

Option 2: Shaving. Pretty obvious. I don’t have to say much about this, I think. Downsides (and the reasons I decided to pursue more options) include: almost instantaneous stubble growth, a fair bit of work, and the potential of razor burn if you forgot to prepare the night before and decide to just have at it dry 2 minutes before you run out the door.

Option 3: Defoliants. Depilatories. Over the years I’ve heard several people praise the fact that their hair grew back thinner, or lighter, their armpits didn’t smell, or something else magical happened post-veet. I decided it was finally worth a look-see. I’m not impressed. Since I was essentially waging chemical warfare on my legs, the very least I expected was total annihilation and a stunted recovery period. My legs are patchy and stubble, and the regrowth appears to be about the same tensile strength and darkness, and I have no idea if I’m less stinky (can anyone really smell themselves? If they could, I think we’d have far less smelly people in the world) but no one has said anything. It was fairly easy to do, and there was no weird sensitivity or burning issues, but I don’t think that merits chemical warfare.

Option 4: Wax. Okay, I didn’t even go here, and I’m not going to. This must be the most labor-intensive, pain-intensive, cost-intensive way to remove leg hair EVER. Forget it. I do, however, use the little strips for my delicate, feminine, barely there ‘stache. Or did, until I found…

Option 5: Smooth Away! Yes, when I get drunk and watch TV I tend to order things. That’s why I own 2 turbie twists (bought when I had chin-length hair, mind you) and a Soulful Christmas (with the bonus MERRY Soulful Christmas) CD. But hey, I love those turbans, I’ve never heard a better rendition of Rudolph, and these things work for me too! And actually I bought them on a whim at Walmart, thus saving myself the completely exorbitant shipping and handling costs they charge.

But does it work? YES! On me. I get the feeling these are very hit or miss, in regards to skin type and sensitivity. In case you haven’t seen this, it is essentially sandpaper for your skin. Which can cause some irritation. As does rubbing your face on to the pavement. Luckily for me, just a little bit of light pressure erased my ‘stache, leaving skin as smooth as a baby’s butt, with no lingering redness or soreness. Rock ON!

It even works wonders on my legs; no reactions, quick and easy to do after you’ve put your skirt on and looked down in horror, and I think it even lasts longer than shaving.

So the winner by a mile? Sandpaper! Who’da thunk it?

Also, I feel a little ridiculous composing an entire post about skirts, shaving legs and shopping. It’s true, but not precisely a balanced picture of me. I feel like I need to rev up a power tool, or burp. If it helps, today I’m wearing a Western States Enduro 5000 t-shirt and old jeans. I’m not sure why I feel a blog post has to be ‘balanced.’ Maybe I’m just sensitive because I’ve been reading feminist blogs and avoiding SITC incessantly for the past few weeks.

Here it is

June 2, 2010

Found it!

Mom poking out of the top of white VW bug.