I want to reassure you that I am a material man, that my first impulse is not to think metaphysically about these kinds of things. But dudes I am telling you it was awfully hard to avert my thoughts from the possibility that the universe was trying to tell say something to me here. Or rather shout it.
I kept thinking about the This American Life episode in which Spalding Gray’s widow tells the story of the bird that visited and revisited their family after he disappeared. She refers to an Irish story: “if you find a bird in your house after someone dies and it’s alive, the person’s soul is free. And if you find a dead bird, the person’s soul is restless.”
She didn’t say anything about if a bird lands on your head and then can’t be shooed, but I am inclined to believe it is a good sign.
1. The mound view of the Mound View Inn has been obscured by a Wal Mart.
2. Entry to the room is gained via metal key. Not even a big, blocky, old-school-but-still-of-this-generation-albeit-pre-plastic-swipey hotel key, but a regular old toothy key, a just-like-my-house-key key.
3. The dead bolt can’t be turned from the outside. Only just barely from the inside.
4. No little bottle of lotion? C’mon.
5. Flapjack pillows, two per bed, tucked into hunnert-percent polyester sheets and blankets.
6. The tag hanging from the inside doorknob reads: “MAID PLEASE HAVE THIS ROOM MADE UP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.” I.e., if you want your room cleaned, you have to execute the extra step of laying out the tag – the default is: NO SERVICE. After fortunately noticing this text this mid-afternoon, I put the tag out as I left , only to realize upon my late-night return that it was two-sided. The opposite reads: PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB.
(p.s. how I love the declarative of this sentence: “MAID!” Not an impersonal address to any and/or all maids but an irontight, hands on the back of the neck “HEY YOU! (who happens to be passing by) YEAH YOU! CHOP-CHOP WITH THIS CLEANING!”)
7. The last guest to inhabit my room covered the peephole (a peephole. in a hotel room.) with a corner of ruled eight and a half by eleven. To avoid, I suppose, being peeped from without. Though one can never be sure it wasn’t the without that he was protecting himself from casually or paranoically peeping. Third hand, could have been a she.
All of this I could happily tolerate were it not for the sadness that seeps from the walls of the long narrow unbroken hallway outside my room and pools in the murky green shadows of the compact florescent lights ensconced on the dinghy used-to-be-white walls.. Thanks to the abovementioned seven signs I am now (at last) tuned in to and – as ever – averse to the sadness that I couldn’t at first smell. Mayhaps by next time I will have learnt my lesson and will see (or hear, or smell) that whatever distance between my destination and the nearest five-star is “dudes, totes do-able.”
Someone made a batch of chx soup at the farm Friday, but put off the noodlemaking because he wanted to use a mixer, and didn’t have one there.
He finally got around to the noodlieoodlieoodles last night, and started running them through the marcato lasagna attachment, which cuts nice, inch-and-a-half wide noodles with a scalloped edge. He wasn’t sure this was the width he was looking for, and he wasn’t especially excited about the scalloped edges, but he noodled boldly forth because it was getting late and the soup had been sitting in the fridge for two days now.
He laid out the noodles along the counter, and threw the strip of excess dough that had run outside the cut in a pile to the side, to ball up and roll out and use for another go when he finished with the first run. But when he glanced over at that little discard pile he was struck by how much it looked to him like the tentacles of an octopus. See for yourself:
Whoa, he said, because there is something deep in him that resonates with the octopus. So he made the rest of the noodles that way. It was, as you can see, unquestionably, utterly, totally worth it. Look at that noodle. Tell me it isn’t hot. Not hot like spicy. Hot like, you know, foxy.
Though it is nothing to brag about apparently. I thought it was a good thing until I read that it was the orchid’s response to stress. I also read some orchids just do it, stress or no, as a way to propagate. I also read more than one expert recommend cutting it and tossing it because it leeched nutrients from the Mama and would take years to bloom. Let us address these three ideas (stressing, cutting, tossing) respectively.
1. Sure, maybe I stressed it — I’ve definitely accidentally gone twice as long as usual between waterings (on more than one occasion) — maybe not (none of my other orchids, all subjected to the same neglect, have issued spawn). Either way…
2. I’m going to cut it. Mama’s looking chipper, keiki’s getting bigger, and with a deft snip Daddy will have two (yes, I just referred to myself both in the third person and as “Daddy”) orchids where before there was only one.
3. As for blooming only after several years, permit me to direct your attention to the photo below, which clearly shows a bloom stalk (the reddish bud between the two lower roots) emerging from the keiki (keiki’s Hawaiian for “baby”). And after only a couple months! Never trust an expert, that’s my motto (along with “F@$k ’em if they can’t take a joke,” and “no witnesses.”).
And while I’m thinking about it, are humans the only mammals with umbilical cords?
It’s been an amazing year: a tough year; a tired year, an exciting year; a gorgeous year, a thrilling year; but mostly, a year filled with a seven hundred and fifty million-billion gallon spill of you-oughta-be-ashamed-of-yourselves L-O-V-E love. Happy Birthday Henry. You made my life.
In closing, I would like to say that the Internet has become a veritable buzzing, stinging hornet’s nest of pings and pongs and klings and klangs, so please do not e-mail, text-message, instant-message, direct-message, Facebook-message (if you’re still on MySpace or Friendster, that’s just plain creepy), Facebook-chat, iChat, tweet, retweet (don’t even mention Twitter mentions), StumbleUpon, LinkIn with, zoom into, Google Buzz, Plaxify, Jigsaw, Digg, Skype, Spoke, poke, flick, or tag me. Don’t boxball, squareball, jingl, jangl, mingl, mangl, FairShare, Foursquare, twosquare, do-si-do, or swing your laptop round and round. I just want to be left alone.