Friday, March 19, 2010


I have been experiencing an excess of winter lately. Yes, there is this (10 more inches! March snow, I love you, but please! be done!); but I seem to be accidentally augmenting real winter with fictional otherplace winter.

First, in January, I read a book that took place mostly in winter in upstate New York (Amateur Barbarians). Then I read a book that took place entirely in winter in New York City, and then it was a symbolic, dystopian winter that extended past winter into summer and beyond (Chronic City). Then I started reading a book that so far takes place in wintry Wisconsin (A Gate at the Stairs). Then I listened to The Places in Between, Rory Stewart's (wonderful) account of his walk across Afghanistan in the winter of 2002. Now I'm listening to Endurance, an account of Ernest Shackleton's 1914 Antarctic adventure (now there's a book to make winter seem mild. At least I'm not stuck in a 22-foot boat with fifteen other men in a raging Antartic Sea, drenched and rotting and reduced to eating frozen penguins for food! Things are good!)

So, uh...I'm kind of ready for plants. And dry sidewalks. And drinking a beer on a warm summer evening, and riding a bike across town, and dashing about the yard checking on which bulbs have come up. I'm ready for spring, in other words.

How about you?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St Patrick's, Etc

1. I sent a child off to public school today NOT wearing green. As Hubs says, "everyone has to do that once!" Ha ha ha ha have a good character-building experience, kiddo!

2. I didn't go for a run yesterday or the day before and I thought I would DIE from the antsiness. It's like restless leg syndrome, except it hits you at work. I couldn't sit still! I was too sluggish! I had to get up THIS SECOND and stretch my back! I could barely read the words on the screen before me! Ugh.

3. I did go running this morning, and then for a walk at lunch. Ahhhhh. Even though I'm back to running in the pitch-black dark (thanks, DLS!), it just makes the whole day better.

4. All of my library holds are coming in at the same time so that my evening reading has become a race against time. Normally in this situation I would just bail, but people, I worked HARD for those books. I was hold number 163 of 167 when I requested Barbara Kingsolver's new novel! I'm not going to the back of the line for that one!

5. It's warm, which means a family's heart turns to tearing up the backyard. You would think that our back yard is so crappy and torn-up it just couldn't get much worse, but oh, you'd be so very wrong.

6. This is the first house we've lived in where my husband takes an interest in the yard and actually has ideas for it. On the one hand, great! Maybe we'll actually accomplish some of our more ambitious plans for it. On the other hand, I seem to be having trouble sharing.

Monday, March 15, 2010


So the big news around chez Melospiza is not that I made it home from Phoenix in one piece (that's OLD news), but that we bought a new vacuum. I know! It's a Hoover Wind Tunnel, and yesterday I vacuumed the whole house and sucked up about five pounds of dust. Sheesh. Our old vacuum was a Bissell, and I'm just going to have to go on the record and say I do not recommend it.

The house is all catfoot clean this morning, which is niiice. And yes, if you're wondering, it actually did take me a week to clean the house after getting home. My first day back I had the day off, so I went for an eight-mile hike; then my parents were here, and then it was back to work.

But none of that answers the big question, which is, How was Phoenix? This is the first time in a couple years that I've been away from home without the kids, and I was looking forward to having a hotel room to myself, having evenings to read or watch TV instead of remind people about the importance of good oral hygiene and regular sleep, and getting to go out to eat without checking the kids' menu and telling people to use their restaurant behavior. And all of that was nice, except that I worked so much I actually didn't get much time in the hotel room--I certainly didn't do any leisurely reading, at least. The TV was annoyingly set so that you couldn't switch from channel to channel but had to go back to the slow-to-load hotel menu every time. And I found myself oddly lonely, both in my room and out of it.

I did visit the Heard Museum, went running through some elegant old Spanish-style neighborhoods, and picked an orange right off a tree. Mostly, though, I was stuck inside, in the cavernous Convention Center. It was a business trip, in other words.

Have a great day, and rock that daylight savings time! (Augh.)