Nickism No. 6

I hear grating, chewing sounds that can only be Sophie being naughty. “Sophie,” I call across the room. “What are you into?” The tags on her collar clang as she sprints out of the room (so she can nonchalantly reenter channeling absolute innocence).

At my call, Nick jumps to investigate the area in the entryway where we have stacked our luggage and other road trip whatnots (having only recently returned home). “I don’t see anything,” he says, questioning my judgment.

“I heard something that sounds like Velcro!” I defended my perfectly capable ears. Our spring jackets rustled softly as he nudged them with his foot.

“Well,” he began, “then it was either your jacket or mine…not sure which. I’ll hang mine in the coat closet and see if you hear it again.”

Sophie Sunday

Every time I return home, I call out a greeting to Sophie. She’s most certainly a people-cat, but her instant response with someone new is STRANGER DANGER—BEWARE! As such, she never greets us at the door because the door opening is her signal to hide until it’s safe again.

The greeting is sort of an “all clear” signal. She usually approaches cautiously…just in case a stranger slipped in before the portal to the scary outer-world sealed.

We arrived home this afternoon after two days away. I called my greeting and heard thundering paws sweeping down the stairs. She turned the corner sharply at the landing and all but jumped into my arms without hesitation. The moment made me smile because I know that her happiness to have us home nullified the strength of her wariness…

…and that’s no small thing.

I know I need to work on it

So, I’ve wanted to write so often, but then I tell myself I’m tired and the evening passes without the slightest effort. I soothe myself, claiming that it’s good that I’m busy living my life with no time to blog…but one thing I’ve learned over the years is that there is always time for a little more. A person can make time for a little more.

I found joy in writing fairly early in life. I do not pretend to possess any great skill, but writing feels like a treasured friend who helps me through the hard times and gives me the wisdom to fathom what “it” all means. Life…so hard and complicated and wonderful…and so incredibly beautiful it hurts.

I love sitting on the deck with my flowers. The heat, light, and honeyed fragrance on the air lull my sometimes anxious mind. Do you ever just absorb the quiet? At my most intelligent, I embrace stillness and revel in the feeling that I am part of something bigger when eventually the birds return to fly around my own perch, no longer afraid. It’s a shame that I end up being quite lacking in intelligence much of the time. We seem to live our lives in sudden, jerky moments, and it frightens wildlife because it isn’t natural…it dams the inherent flow of simply being.

What does all this have to do with blogging more often? Well, it’s with writing that I am my most honest. I pull thoughts into the spotlight when I never knew they existed until just that moment they appeared. It’s without writing that I begin to close myself off from simpler pleasures. I can never allow myself to be too tired or too busy for this.

Losing My Touch

I’m in a meeting, and we are putting the final touches on a presentation that we are giving tomorrow. When we get to the I/S portion of the presentation, the project manager asks for key system functionality items that she can list on the slide. We all come up with the first two bullets before looking to the I/S rep for more. I hear him pounding furiously on his laptop. “There is something wrong with the code,” he all but growls. “I keep getting error messages. I cannot get the program to run.”

Ever the smart ass, I chimed in a suggestion for the next bullet using my best marketer’s voice, “It stops working when something is wrong!”

The two men in the room with me smirked, but the project manager began typing the next bullet: It stops wor—. I must have grunted or something to stop her mid keystroke because she turned to me.

Project manager: “What?”

Silence.

Project manager: “Oh, was that a joke?”

I/S rep: “Yes, that was a joke.”

Me: (bangs head against laptop)
Business tech specialist: (laughs at me banging my head against laptop)

Project manager, distracted and deadpan: “Oh. That was funny.”

So funny in fact, that she didn’t even know it. You know, once upon a time people knew I was joking before I explained it to them. I know, CRAZY.

Not quite as jumbled as I thought

  • I was looking for a post about my aunts to link from Sophie Sunday, and I stumbled upon this exchange. Tears of mirth gathered in my eyes as I fought to control my laughter…that conversation was SO Mom, and I’m glad that I captured it. Good Lord, she was a delight to know.
  • Nick was saying the other day that a lot of people don’t know about the golden birthday thing when he tells them about going to Disney World to celebrate mine on August 31. They ask if the “golden” part means the 50th birthday—feeling ill, I squeaked, “Do I look like I could be 50!?!?” I’m barely accepting my 30s!
  • I’m exaggerating. (I know, surprising.) I think I accepted my 30s when I was in my teens…I went straight from nervous student to way-too-serious adult. Every now and then, I feel bereft that I did not have a normal 20-something decade to do stupid things that are expected of that age—yet, the thought of doing those stupid things leaves an awful taste in my mouth (walking contradiction). I feel like I’m too serious sometimes, but I don’t really know how to fix that since it’s my comfort zone and all.
  • I myself have become more vocal telling people that I have my golden birthday at the end of next month. I usually don’t make a huge deal over my birthday, so I’m thinking it’s just a last ditch effort to let people know that I’m still young enough to be able to have a golden birthday (of course, that all changes after this year, but they don’t need to know that).
  • I was taking pictures the other day, and Nick snickered at my shots. I admit, a few were snicker-worthy. There was a series of shots where I must have been woozy or something. The first picture was framed perfectly. However, the next picture cut off legs, the next got the legs but cut off the heads, the next got the head and one leg but cut off the left side of the body, the next got the right side, and the last was out of focus and a complete fail (looking ever so much like I just gave up). When he pointed it out to me, I shrugged and boasted that I could piece it together if I had to. That’s the beauty of getting in right the first time: I’m allowed to be sub-par the rest of the time.
  • We went to the Train (and Kelly Clarkson, but I was there for Train) concert at Summerfest just over a week ago. I love Train, and I listen to them quite a lot as Nick can attest (with a snarl). It’s somewhat the sound of Pat Monahan’s voice, but it’s mostly the lyrics. I love his writing, so much so that I even started following his blog. He just seems like “good people” to me, and I like the honesty.
  • So, as you probably gathered by the “snarl” comment above, you might have interpreted that Nick isn’t a huge Train fan. (Just look at you! SO smart!) I think he would have more patience for their music if I didn’t play it so much, but he was still sweet enough to find out about the concert and point it out to me. That’s Nick you see wrapped around my little finger.
  • Pat Monahan introduced a song “from another San Fransisco band” and started singing “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey (of course). Nick piped up and got all pogo-sticky in his excitement. I think he sang that song as loud as he possibly could. Afterwards, he asked if it was bad that he went to a Train concert and didn’t get into it until they sang Journey—I told him that it was bad, but I was enjoying myself too much to let anything bring me down.
  • When I was telling a coworker about the Train/Journey incident, she told me that I should have played the age card and acted dumb. Journey? Is that what this is? Oh, that explains it…they were way before my time.
  • We saw Kelly Clarkson on TV last week, and she was in a wheelchair with an ankle injury. As she was leaving the stage at our concert, she tripped over something. She got up on her own, but apparently she was really hurt. I felt inexplicably guilty that she got hurt performing for me…I feel like I should send flowers and a note of apology. Messed up, Laura, way messed up.
  • Humorously, I started a post with bullets because I didn’t think I had enough material from any one subject to write about, but the last several bullets were about the concert, so…see the title.
Train