Monday, November 10
After he called to say he was downtown, I went outside to wait. A few minutes later, a homeless man approached me. This is how it went down:
"Ma'am, can you spare some money so I can get some food?"
"I'm sorry, I don't have any cash. I have some walnuts in my purse if you want them."
He laughed and said something I couldn't understand. Then he asked me for a cigarette, and I gave him one.
I dug around in my purse for the lighter. "I can never find anything in this bag. Are you sure you don't want the walnuts?"
He laughed again, "I don't have any teeth!"
"You could crush them up!"
"Well, sure, I'll take 'em!"
So I gave a sandwich bag half-full of shelled walnuts to a man with no teeth today. Driving home, I couldn't decided whether it was a nice thing to do or not. I mean, he probably hasn't had walnuts in a REALLY long time, but he is also toothless so they will be very uncomfortable to eat. But if he figures out how to eat them (crush them, mix them with water, I don't know), it'd be excellent nutrition.
I don't know. I felt good about it, even if he thought I was a little bit crazy.
Sunday, November 2
But, that doesn't mean I can't still update. So here I am!
Jus and I were A PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH for Halloween! It was awesome, although a little unwieldy, since we were at a party with lots of people, and we had bread made from foam and spray paint strapped to our backs. But it was still quite a hit, lots of people liked it, which makes sense, since we were a sandwich everybody likes. I'll post pics as soon as I upload them/get them from Nat (I left my camera in the car, so all I have on mine are pics of the "just baked" bread and two J took of me).
We went grocery shopping today, and spent $100 on healthy food that will hopefully last longer than a week. And two little boxes of Red Bulls (since we buy them individually most of the time and it costs less to buy the box). And a Real Simple magazine. And light bulbs. Well, those are cheap.
That's all for now, I'm off to the library. I just finished "You Shall Know Our Velocity!" by Dave Eggers, which was great. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Lakewood Public Library is one of the greatest places on Earth. Try it sometime.
Sunday, September 14
I recently discovered that I have a theory of personal safety, which I have dubbed “Safety Theory” for the purposes of this post. It's not the most elaborate theory, nor does it cover most aspects of personal safety. Only one way to remain safe while walking home, by yourself, at night.
I went out to the Euclid Tavern the other night with a couple friends, and drank free beer purchased by absently chivalrous first-year law students (that, however, is a story for another time). As you may know, this particular bar is on the other side of the river from my apartment, so there is a twenty five minute light-rail ride involved when arriving and when going home. This is not a foreign experience for me; it's an adventure I've taken many times, day and night, not the least of which includes getting myself to my last two semesters at Case Western.
So, here's the theory:
Eminent murder can be avoided for at least fifteen minutes, if you're careful. Late-night hyper vigilance involves keeping your eye on everyone near you, approaching you, and walking away from you. You eye them and judge them, to determine whether or not they pose a direct threat. It is definitely necessary. If a murderer is going to try and murder you (or other-doer is trying to do other bad things to you), and you have been careful and noticed early, there is probably at least a fifteen minute window, during which you can avoid, hide, or run into someone's house.
But that in itself is not enough. There's a part two to my theory:
Always have someone on the phone with you that knows exactly where you are. For me, it's usually my mom or Deb, because I don't talk to them enough anyway, and this always provides a wonderful dual opportunity. Making this phone call means that during the fifteen minute window where murder can be delayed, the person you were speaking to on the phone can call the police, and hopefully have them arrive within fifteen minutes to save you.
This theory, like many theories, only exists because it hasn't yet been proven wrong. I have survived many late night walks underneath the poorly lit bridge at the E 120th Street Rapid Stop and up the stairs to the poorly lit platform where the train picks you up. I always have someone on the phone, and I always tell them where I am. Who knows if the person on the other end would be fast or articulate enough to convey such an important message to the proper authorities before the murder (or other bad thing) occurs. Or if it the murderer is faster than average and it only takes five minutes.
But like many theorists, I like my theory and I'm sticking to it. So maybe one of these dark and lonely nights, Dear Reader, I will call you up and let you know precisely where I am, and you will help me get home in one piece (instead of lots and lots of little pieces).
Friday, August 29
I found a frame next to the dumpster a few days ago. An painted wood frame, old and a little dirty but sturdy enough. It has a very cool, colorful design on it that blends well with my living room decor.
I took it home, and measured it.
It is 16 inches wide and 30 inches long, according to my tape measure. So I wrote wrote "16x30" in green marker on the white board in the kitchen, and stared at it.
While I stared, I was thinking, "I should be able to do something with these numbers that will help me figure out what size poster to get. I went through AP Calculus, I did alright, I should be able to figure out what this means."
I wrote "16/30," a fraction. I wrote "8/15" next to that.
Then I wrote "1 ft 4 in" and "2 ft 6 in" underneath. And I kept staring at these numbers, waiting for a file drawer to burst open in some dusty-but-functioning part of my brain, containing a file with the answer written on the inside flap. But, sadly, there was no manila.
I went through AP Calculus! I took intensive math courses for six years!! And now I can't even apply basic algebra to my daily life?
Talk about moments that cause premature aging! I feel like my father! I never used to understand how he had forgotten the name of his eighth grade gym teacher. It was unimaginable to me, and all of my 15 years, that he did not have the blazing, crystal recall I possessed in comparison.
Well, Universe, I get it. That (not becoming engaged, working full-time or experiencing unemployment) is what finally pushed me over the edge in adulthood. Apparently, I've grown up. And forgotten my math, against all good advice.
Wednesday, August 27
I was glad to see HilClint in her orange suit. I've always felt strangely supportive of her, although I voted for Obama. Maybe I'm just attracted to what she represents...she said it herself last night. Her mother was born before women had the right to vote; my own grandmother was born only three years later. And Chelsea Clinton was able to vote for her mother for president!
It is amazing how quickly things can change, although while you're living your daily life things can seem so stagnant.
I know a lot of the DNC speeches are bullshit, total politics (25% law + 75% theater), but a lot of the Obama rhetoric really reasonates with me. Anyone that knows me can tell you that I'm in love with the 1960s, and this 2008 election and all that comes with it has made me feel like I understand those times at least a little better. I'll be the first to admit that it's probably all the Kennedy comparisons, strategically separating the Democratic party from the Clinton dynasty.
But I still think there is a lot of truth to those strategic comparisons. Kennedy and Obama both represent a fundamental change in American attitude, coming at a time when such a change is necessary to keep America going.
Sometimes we're so confident in our national identity, our lives as Americans, that we forget that countries can, and do, fail. Our Founding Fathers knew this all too well and did their darndest to prevent it from happening, but without the Kennedys and the Obamas of the world, who knows? Maybe we wouldn't have made it this far.
I'm pumped to watch tonight, with BillClint taking the stage. Although Bill Clinton does baffle me. He is definitely a man of mystery, although I highly recommend Primary Colors.
Tuesday, August 26
It was very hot. It was close, like they say in old novels when the character is describing the kind of weather where there is no air, only water. Mugginess. It was dark, and quiet on the street, the crickets and cicadas making the loudest sounds.
"I've been here before," I thought. "This feels like a different place."
I was thinking of Georgia, the unlikely state that has held so many of the most important and formative moments in my Midwestern life. It was so hot there that your arms were always damp from the close air, and you could take deep, gulping breaths and still feel winded. It is like the heavy night-times held my memories, suspended them, and they are still there, in the air on those nights that feel like Georgia.
I've been awkward in Georgia, I've been enamored, felt like I was in love there. I've been heartbroken and enlightened in that lovely state. Frightened, disappointed, exhilarated, empowered, fulfilled. I've felt my heart beating in ways it never beat before. I've cried, I've laughed. I've felt alive.
And all the feelings I've ever felt in the most Southern place I've ever been come rushing back to me on nights like that. Looking out at the greenest forests I've ever seen. The darkest, loudest, most fragrant nights.
I can pluck my memories out of the night sky and hold them in my heart for a little while. And feel lucky, to have been in those places that led me where I am now, happy and challenged and feeling so very, very good.
Sunday, August 24
Right after I hit "open in a new window" to view my blog and check for typos, I decided I couldn't murder an innocent bug. So, I grabbed my French-English Dictionary and my courage, opened the window a crack, lifted the screen, and stuck the book under it.
It took the cicada about 20 minutes to figure out what to do (maybe more), but it eventually flew through the opening and buzzed off, much to Chomsky's kitty-dismay.
Feeling mighty proud of myself, I went to take a shower. I turned the handles on the faucet to get the water ready, stripped down and opened the curtain.
Much to my person-dismay, I saw I had accidentally drowned a centipede in the tub. I grabbed a towel, ran out of the room, and begged Justin to finish killing it so I could shower. He refused, so I grabbed one of his man-sized shoes and smashed it.
Let me just say that my apartment is not as bug-infested as these posts make it seem. And I DO NOT like centipedes. They're gross. But I thought it was...ironic? fortuitous? that after I'd spent so much time thinking about the cicada and feeling guilty about murdering bugs, I had killed one anyway.
But as my mom always says, "if bugs are outside, in their home, I leave them alone. If they're in my house, well, too bad for them. They're not invited to the party."