Monday, September 22, 2008

Shades of rodents

We usually had some package of nuts to strew about the back porch for Chester. Why we named the fattest of the fox squirrels Chester, which to my mind is reminiscent of a floppy-eared dog, is beyond me. There was a whole crew of climbers who were unbelievably resourceful in poaching the contents of the bird feeder before dinner.
As I grew older, I slowly stopped noticing the squirrels. Sure, I noticed the chipmunks at the Grand Canyon, and the campgrounds, but that's because they were always so cute with those black eyes and the stripe down their back. When I went to Germany, for a time, I noticed them again. They were no longer that muted brown I had come to expect as the only acceptable dye-job for squirrels. These punks had red hair. And they weren't quite as long or fat as the American squirrels. Today I noticed these East Coast squirrels. They are like those pieces of wood that are faded to a gray by the sun on the top, but still show that living red-brown underneath. Except the squirrels scamper. The wood does not.

Friday, September 12, 2008

...Of Untamed Weather

Did I forget to mention that I got my very first "tropical storm day off" from work last week? Well, I did. They thought the town might flood, so Phillips told me to stay in bed, and I got some of my shopping done instead. I'm telling you: things are different here. There are fireflies, tropical storms, and unbelievably muggy days.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Moment... breathe. Just a moment. Well, an afternoon, that is. I have been rebuked countless times since moving to Annapolis for my laxity in blogging. At first I had no excuse other than laziness and jetlag for being so remiss, but I have, at long last come up with three good excuses which I will lay out in High School essay-like form.

In conclusion, I am now working three jobs (read approx. 6 1/2 days per week), one which occasionally requires my presence at 5:15 am, another which occasionally requires my presence until as late as 11:00 pm, and I am exhausted.

Or, as a more true explanation, I now work as a hostess at Phillips Seafood Restaurant, a barista-in-training at Starbucks, and a nanny for Charlie (who is just under two months old). As you can, I am sure, tell from the fact that I have posted twice today, I have the afternoon off, and am desperately trying to catch up with my life. So I'm off (like a dirty shirt) to get everything else done. Right now. Effortlessly.

Apostrophy s

Neither I nor anyone I know would ever quite call me an accessories kinda girl. I have only owned purses in succession, and they were generally of the sporty/practical variety. My criterion was that it be sturdy enough to be worth the money I had invested in it, it must hold at least one book and my moleskin, and it must be as inconspicuous as possible. Even when my hair was embarrassingly boyishly short, it was like catching caffeinated frogs to get me to wear feminine (large and dangling) earrings. I always marvelled at those girls who allowed their ears to droop from the weight of their ear decorations. Truly, the number of fashionable items labeled with my name and the possessive contraction were relatively few.
But like so many things in the past year-and-a-bit-more that has passed, this has been changing. I now own (and wear) not just my sterling ball earrings, but also multiple styles and colors of danglies which are large enough to be seen from 15-20 feet away, and shoes that go with outfits. My cherry-red purse is anything but inconspicuous and large enough to shelter a Boy Scout camp-out.
More important than all of these other accessories- vying with my music makers (ipod, guitar, etc.) for the role of the item that I cannot be without for more than a few hours- are my sunglasses.

How can anything so fragile and 50's looking be so important?
Well, if you had a pair you would understand their magic. The anonymity and glamour which accompanies this single article of wear is astonishing. Behind them I cannot simply walk: I must stroll, traipse, even strut. Even in the ratty cleaning/laundry day jeans, I feel that I must be that movie star or that author, or that singer who is just on the brink of being famous. That those I pass in the street just must be thinking to themselves, "hmm... I wonder if that's someone I should know about." Then I saunter past (leaving, of course, a wake of dazzle) and go about my daily life. And that is the power housed in my wonderful sunglasses.