December 17, 2012 at 8:12 am
Photo by Bill McChesney / by CC BY 2.0
I’ve only known two people who have been murdered.
The first was Ms. Aqua, my school bus driver. I lived in the suburbs but I attended a magnet high school downtown, so I got there by taking a bus to a middle school across the street from the projects which served as a transfer hub. Then I hopped on Ms. Aqua’s bus for the 5-10 minute ride to my school. Her bus had a sign in the window that said “AQUA” spelled in capital letters, but I didn’t realize that was her last name at first. I thought it was a color guide so the younger kids could find the right bus. What color bus do you ride? I ride the aqua bus! But no, that was actually her last name.
It was her first year as a driver and Ms. Aqua wasn’t quite cut out for it. She got lost on the way to school that first day. We had to give her directions. She seemed overwhelmed, but [...]
October 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm
Photo by Claudio Vaccaro / by NC-ND 2.0 CC
Ten years ago today my parents’ marriage ended. The divorce was finalized months later, but today is the day my dad left suddenly and unexpectedly. I didn’t notice that today was that day until a friend emailed me this afternoon. She’s getting divorced too. That’s when I noticed the date and was like, Oh, right, October 9th. It must be National Divorce Day or something.
I’ve passed through many stages of adulthood. In my early twenties there was the Oh, wow, my friends are getting married! stage. Then came the Oh, wow, my friends are having kids! period. Now we seem to have entered the Oh, wow my friends are getting divorced! period. I’m not sure what stages will follow. Probably the Oh, wow, my friends are getting remarried! period, the Oh, wow, my friends are grandparents! period, and eventually the Oh, wow, my friends are dying! period. That’s a lot of exclamation points for all those periods.
I have at least three friends right now who are divorced [...]
June 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm
Back in March 2000 I saw Douglas Adams and Ray Bradbury speak at Clowes Hall in Indianapolis. Admittedly, I made the three hour drive from college to see Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, but Ray Bradbury was a nice bonus. Douglas Adams was as lively and funny as you’d expect him to be from his writing. He strode purposely across the stage while he read from his books and didn’t sit down once during his presentation.
Then Ray Bradbury came out. He was an elderly, overweight man who was rolled out in a wheel chair. I also think he had an oxygen tank, but my memory might have embroidered that detail on later because I perceived him to be in such poor health. He’d recently had a stroke and was clearly still recovering. Despite all that, he too gave a fascinating presentation about his life and writing experiences. It was a great night and I was very happy I’d managed to make it the event
However, if you’d have [...]
December 16, 2011 at 7:42 am
It is the Christmas shopping season, and somewhere in my online shopping adventures I noticed that Amazon has a record of every thing I’ve bought from them in the past 13 years. Thirteen years, people. My shopping history is practically as old as Justin Bieber. It’s also a strangely annotated version of my life through the years, kind of like snooping through a virtual copy of my bedroom closet.
I made my first purchase at the very end of 1999 when I was still a teenager and had yet to learn of the horrors of credit card debt. It was college and Kevin Smith was the center of my humor universe. Future historians will be able to date my advanced age by noting that I ordered Clerks on VHS. Yes, I am an old lady of the Interwebs. I can remember the electronic screams the 56K modem made when I connected online to order these things. We had to wait MINUTES for pages to load. In ten years I think I’ll look back on the current [...]
August 9, 2011 at 3:21 pm
Photo by gjpeck / by CC BY-ND 2.0
“What you do today is what you do with your life.”
I heard that somewhere, or at least something worded similarly, and it comes to mind a lot. When I think about my life, it’s such a huge thing that I only pick out the highlights. I see my friends and family and accomplishments and failures and major life events like moves and deaths and weddings. I see the big picture.
But if I zoom in a little closer I might ask myself how I reached those accomplishments. For example, how did I graduate from college? Well, I went to class every day for a year (ok, maybe not every day) and I wrote papers and I did the reading (ok, maybe not all the reading) and took tests until finally they gave me a degree. When I graduated from college I remember thinking, “This is it?” It seemed like there should be a sudden feeling of accomplishment, a definitive point where I felt smarter and more prepared to face [...]