Friday, December 17, 2010

More Odds Than Ends

It's now the 17th day of the month. They tell me that we've had some sort of precipitation every one of those days.

Mainly snow.

It's snowing now.

Between all the whiteness and the fact that it apparently hasn't been above freezing since before I was born, I think my brain has started to shut down.

At least that's my best explanation for why when the phone rang today, I tried to answer the refrigerator.

Before my brain shuts down entirely, I thought I'd post a few odds and ends just to get them out of my head and maybe - just maybe - make more room for warmth.

Even the least attentive reader will no doubt notice that the following contains more odds than ends. Tidbits without much context. Events without any resolution. In other words, it's just like high school, if not life itself.

If you have a cereal box handy, you might want to read the back of it instead.


First up, a quick question: Did YOU cry when you heard the news last month?

You know - about Prince William being engaged.

According to a story I read in the newspaper, many women did.

Or at least said they did.

Well, according to the reporter who allegedly took the time to analyze the explosion of tweets and online comments that erupted in the wake of the announcement, anyway.

If memory serves correctly (and I wouldn't bet on it), some 16% of women were outraged and/or crushed that William hadn't picked them.

The story didn't say how many of these women came from families in which the females have historically talked back to their TVs or tried to write to soap opera characters to alert them to the nefarious things going on behind their backs.

I have to say, I was shocked when I heard the news - mainly because I couldn't believe it was being reported as honest-to-goodness news on a par with the homeless overflowing the shelters and North Korea shelling civilians in the south.

And as I thought about all the follow-up coverage that's sure to follow in the months to come, I cried a little, too....

It all brought back to mind a review I'd once read of Brooke Shield's Blue Lagoon movie. The author of that review declared it to be about as interesting as watching guppies mate. My interest in the British royal family is somewhat to the south of that, and probably will remain so unless North Korea decides to shell that, too.

I suppose the case could be made that in these tough times, people shouldn't be begrudged a nice Prince Charming fantasy they can escape into, if only for a few moments, but really.... The more I thought about Will and his bride, the sorrier I felt for them. Marriage is tough enough in the best of circumstances (except for ours, darling - that goes without saying); how much worse must it be when you're having to undertake it in a fish bowl?

If anyone is in the mood to make a case today, let it be the case that the media hounded Princess Diana to death and no one has apparently gained anything in the wisdom department since....


Secondly - and without any sort of segue whatsoever - I recently had a dream that bears writing about even though - as I've said before - no account of a dream is ever worth reading about.

Consider that fair warning.

I was at a flea market with a younger couple that I can't recall ever having seen in real life. I'm not sure what my connection was to them, but the three of us were browsing the wares, more or less as a unit.

Well, until they drifted away from me, anyway, and I came across an antique puzzle on one of the many tables. It was one of those thick wooden puzzles with very few pieces - the sort of puzzle you might buy for a two-year-old (or maybe your boss if he or she is the type who can take a joke). The well-worn puzzle pieces were a dull pink or liver color. The base was of course larger and apparently made of particle board. When assembled correctly in the recessed space in the base, the ten or so pieces formed a human body. Well, an abstract, dressmaker's dummy version of a human body.

This puzzle had a name. It was called "The Benefits Of Physical Handicaps." Each of the several body parts had a line that visually connected it with some writing on the base. The leg pieces, for example, connected to a bit of writing that more or less went like this: "If you're lucky enough to be legless, people will open a lot of doors for you."

I can't recall reading anything else.

I especially can't remember reading what the benefits of not having a head might be.

I did not buy this game.


Thirdly (and without ado), there's this:

One of my wall clocks died today.

I'd noticed yesterday that it was displaying the wrong time but had hoped that simply replacing the battery would return it to perfect health.

Last night, though, I'd noticed that it had stalled out again after I'd slipped it a new Duracell.

This morning I pronounced it dead.

It wasn't a very old clock - I think I bought it for five bucks earlier this year - but in situations like this, experience has taught me that it's best to shrug and move on rather than resort to heroic measures such as going to a craft store and trying to find a replacement movement.

And as amusing as it might be in theory to rush a five buck clock into a fine clock shop and ask for it to be repaired, cost be damned, just to see the look on the face of the elderly craftsman working there, I just can't muster up the will to do that.

Not in all this snow and cold.

So I guess I'll just shrug and consign my (somewhat) old friend to the landfill.

Which is really too bad, now that I think about it, because I like clocks.

Along with maps, they help create the illusion that we can precisely locate ourselves in time and space.

If I could, I'd not only revive this particular clock - I'd figure out a way to connect it to my bathroom scale so that whenever I stepped on that scale, it would tell me how old I was.

That would make it sooooo much easier to throw out....


  1. I didn't cry, but I did stop to wonder whether Will's intended had chosen their college with the hope of snaring Will. I wondered that because I have other women speak of such schemes for Will's uncle.
    It baffles me why anybody would seek to be the center of so much attention. I would not like it, but I know many people believe they would like it.

  2. I have HEARD other women.
    I have no other women.
    I guess I should have read the preview.

  3. Your idea to recycle your dead clock to tell you how old you are makes me wonder if Heisenberg's Principle applies in four dimensions as well as three. Maybe it's possible to know exactly where something is and what its momentum is if you don't know precisely when it is. I'm guessing not.
    Your dream makes me wonder if your younger companions had been an actual part of your experience earlier in the dream or if you only felt like you'd had two companions in your dream at the time you dreamed up the liver-colored body parts puzzle, which sort of reminds me of that old game Milton Bradley game Operation.
    I always have similar wonderings about dreams that seem to go on forever--like is there some chemical that can leak into your brain to make you FEEL like something's been going on forever, so that suddenly a dream that just started a second ago feels eternal.
    On further reflection, your thogts about women viscerally expecting to marry the prince makes me wonder if you've read Pride and Prejudice.

  4. We've had 6.53 inches of precipitation so far as of December 17th. I've gotten to feeling like an unwrung sponge. It's tempting to imagine trading your snowy deluge for some simple drying-out time.

    As to the royal nuptuals causing floods (of tears) I can't help but wonder whether it's not so much about Prince William being a prince as that that he was pretty darn cute guy, and all those princerazzi snaps in grocery lines continue to remind us females of how cute he is/was. It's not *just* his looks... it's that British accent, too. Heck, I almost bawled when Paul McCartney got hitched, and I was old enough to know better! But I had no boyfriend at the time. So, I think all these crying women are bonding with this princely fantasy for lack of anyone else to bond to. (Average joes being too broke to date so much, nowadays.)

    Now, if only they could find a cute guy to actually report on the FACTS of the news, we might have a better informed public, eh? The networks certainly seem to have found the right recipe for female eye candy reporters, so why not men? OK, OK, I jest! (Spare us another Stone Phillips!!!) Besides, one of my most fave reporters of all time was Walter Cronkite!

    What is your recipe for such fascinating dreams? Mine, when I can even remember them, are just weird. And they have NO plot. Or maybe they do and I just can't string it together when conscious.

    Are you going to bury your clock, recycle time, or simply discard it? (Maybe it's not actually dead but the snow has simply frozen it's movement, and it's gone into the Snowlight Zone, to be revived upon the stroke of midnight, on the Solstice? =@=

  5. The first two sentences of Pride & Prejudice are sufficient to explain its connection to the notion of millions of English-speaking women believing Will was rightfully theirs, dammit:

    IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

    However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.