Sunday, July 30, 2006

Parades & Lint Traps

What could they possibly have in common, parades and lint traps? Well, let me tell 'ya. They both remind me of why I sometimes find people SO irritating and selfish! Inconsiderate? Yes. That is probably a better word choice. In general, I believe that I like general hoi poli that run around this planet. This city. But once in a while...o boy do I want to punch somebody. I want to shove out of the fold out canvas chair the rotund man wearing a bandana around his head, a black harley t-shirt, shorts, white socks and black reebok sneakers was sitting in, on the edge of the sidewalk in anticipation of the Sea Fair parade that was 2 1/2 hours from crossing 4th and Pine. Him and all the other curb hogging, parade gawking out of towners making a wall out of their bodies and chairs and coolers of soda pop and subway sandwiches making it next to impossible for us simple folks who are just trying to cross the street to get HOME!

Me: Could I please squeeze by you, sir?

Seated Gawker with leg swung up on 2nd chair: No. Sorry. I been doin' that for an hour and i'm not gonna anymore.

Me: Well, what do you expect? You're BLOCKING the sidewalk! (harumph! stomp, stomp, stomp.)

He didn't move. I thought of a dozen other things to yell at him as I walked along the curb in the OPPOSITE direction I wanted to go, looking for an opening. Trying to catch the eye of these people, who would not acknowledge any of us poor stranded pedestrians, for fear that eye contact would mean they'd have to get up off of their lazy parade watching asses to let some of us through!

Is this what all parade audiences are like? I don't think so. This was the first year that the Gay Pride parade was held downtown. It followed the route that I assume the Sea Fair parade does. I had to walk to work through the actual parade and it was a breeze to get through. No one stubbornly stood their ground, afraid of claim jumpers. People respectfully, POLITELY let passers by PASS BY. Now, I don't want to make any generalizations, I will let the reader draw his/her own conclusions. And, if you had to pick teams and you had to choose between the Gay Pride Parade audience versus Sea Fair Parade audience...who would YOU want going to bat for you? Huh? Bring on the divas!

Which brings me to the lint traps. I know, you've been reading this entry in giddy anticipation at the possible parallel. Rest assured, they are connected. Connected in my day, which was yesterday, which is why I will ask this next question. How many of you, as second nature, clean the lint trap after you've taken your clothes out of the dryer? I'm talking to you who live in apartment buildings where the laundry room is a shared space. You do this with out thinking about it. It's habit? How many of you do it with the small hope that it will start a revolution and EVERYONE in the building will begin to do the same? How many of you don't even consider that someone else is going to be responsible for cleaning out YOUR lint? Perhaps you feel justified because you had to clean out someone else's?

I did laundry last night. I cleaned out someone else's lint. Later. I took my clothes out of the dryer. I cleaned out my lint. I thought a quick prayer, "maybe this will start a revolution." I know it won't. I know that I will have to continue to deal with imoveable parade stumps and clean out lint traps and it will annoy me because I want people to be thoughtlessly considerate of others. And that I will be annoyed with myself for being annoyed, because what good does that do me or anyone else? Because I have a hint of the idealist chromosome. (Not infallible, by any means. I hope these things for myself, too; I don't count me out.) I have hope for humankind and believe that even the seemingly innocuous task of scooching over when asked can be a start.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tree Death

I passed the first Seattle apartment building that I lived in, on my way to the library, today. It is, in fact, right next to the library. Terribly convenient those many years ago when I lived at the Fireside Manor. Well, where several birch looking trees once stood, there are now several stumps and leaf and branch detritus instead. And a big green industrial dumpster. No trees. I can't see why it was necessary to cut them down, they weren't in the way, insinuating themselves onto the sidewalk and impeding pedestrians. Kept that side of the buidling shaded, which, from my memory would have been a good thing. Huge windows with a western exposure can make for a very warm summer afternoon, especially when we have our mini heat waves. It was just an odd sight and I hope there is a reasonable explanation. Though, the cynic in me suspects that some tenant got their panties in a wad about leaves and branches blocking their view of the houses across the street. The year I moved out of the good ole' Fireside, a new apartment complex was being built to block the once coveted views of downtown Seattle, including the Space Needle. Very little view is left, unless you live on the 5th floor, south east corner unit. Not within sight of the now sawed off stumps.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Future Distress

As mentioned, once or twice, I have been toying with the idea of grad school. Library and information science. Accredited distance learning programs exist, many do, in fact, and SOME of them do not require the GRE if your undergrad gpa was not below a particular number. That's me, baby!!! An essay, some official transcripts, application and a three letters of recommendation. But from whom? I graduated from college 10 years ago. I haven't had an academic encounter in ten years. Well, two years ago I took an online creative writing class through the community college. Does that count? I wasn't worried about my non-academic life until I spoke to my sister, this morning. She has several degrees. She had no problem with letters from professors. This is the first full year that she hasn't been in school since she was six. (She's a year older than I am.) I asked her advice. She gave it. Best to have letters from teachers or others who have some experience with your learning/work abilities. I cried. She told me that maybe it didn't matter. What about someone who directed a show I was in? They can talk about my work ethic. I cried some more. Thank goodness it was sunny on my walk to work, because crying in public, while talking on a cell phone is not a good look. She meant well, dear Holly.

WHY was I so easily deflated? I need to talk to someone who has been out of school for a length of time and has recently gone back, in a graduate kind of way...I think I want to cry again.

I don't want to live in a studio apartment for the rest of my life! I don't want to become the kind of girl who hopes that her boyfriend will decide to support me by living together or getting married. Hoping that our finances become one. Maybe I don't want to live with anyone or get married. When I think about planning for my future, reliance on another isn't what I mean. I want to know that I can support myself no matter where I am in life. In a relationship or not. A mother or not. I don't want to be forty years old, worrying whether or not I can afford to buy groceries.

And, I am petrified that this MLIS degree isn't going to work out. Haven't even begun to compile the application needs, and I've already imagined my failure. Have I imagined my success? Pshaw! That would be rather new age of me, no?

So, if you are reading this blog, and you have any experience with people with a similar tale to tell--30-something applying to graduate school after being out of school for a LONG ASS TIME--then, please, share. Encourage me. Pep talk to me. (or write, as the case may be.)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Graduation Day is Far Away...

I love popsicles. Ice cream. Ice cream bars. Your basic frozen treat. Love 'em. I love them in summer. I love them in winter. Especially after a yoga class. Wow. How good a popsicle, tastes. I tend to bite mine, not suck on them until they are little slivered points, working my way down. No. I chomp. Bat the frozen chunk around in my mouth as I chew, trying not to upset the little cavities that I now know I posses after my recent trip to the sliding scale community dentist. The cool, sugary liquid sliding down my esophagus. I can feel it all the way down to my chest. Yum. What a disappointment, then, to know that I live in a constant state of crappy freezer-hood. Anyone who has lived in an apartment with a tiny refrigerator that has one of those built in freezers, the kind that have the plastic door and the freezer tray and the door doesn't shut all the way, not really. And you have to defrost at LEAST twice a year, but might only manage it once a year. And then, only because the milk in the 'fridge is lukewarm due to the ice field in the freezer blocking any cold from happening throughout the rest of the appliance. At the same time it isn't actually FREEZING anything, either. Except that bag of chicken stock you made 6 months ago and haven't used because you'd need to excavate it from the frozen walls that engulf it.

Well, popsicles and ice cream and ice cream bars don't freeze in that kind of freezer. I should say "freezer", since I don't know that it really classifies as the same thing as the appliance that actually is a separate unit, in its own way, from the refrigerator south of it, (or north, if you have one of those fancy sub zero doohickies.) Oh sure, they're attached. It's as though it were one machine. But the doors. That's key. Grown up freezers have their very own door. A completely independent section that is free to freeze. Might even have their own temperature setting. Fake freezers, the "freezer" type that I am forever saddled with, those contraptions--well, I don't even know what to rightly call 'em. I used to think that owning my own car would be the true show of my entry into responsible adulthood. More so than having my own apartment and paying my bills and working and all that. That kind of responsibility is, at some point, for most people, just necessary. But a car. Now that was special. Above and beyond the normal adult markers. Well, I had a car for awhile. And between the car payment, the gas and the insurance, it wasn't worth it. There are places in this world where cars are just a peripheral in people's lives. Some places, one does not even NEED a car to get through life. Besides, it is easy enough to rent one, if I truly need one. Pshaw to the car.

No. I realize, now, what it is that I lack. The true entry into this adult world that I am excluded from. A proper freezer. The day I graduate from the "freezer" that doesn't freeze (it has something to do with the sugar content of the frozen treats, I've been told) to the refrigerator equipped with two outside doors, one for the cold stuff and one for the frozen...Well, my friends, that is the day I'll know that I've arrived.