Monday, June 29, 2009

Is This Thing On?

*Tap Tap*

One-two, one-two, hello, hello, Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers...

Do you ever wonder how musicians come up with what they say when they're testing a mike?

I'm back, after a shamefully long hiatus. 

But I have reasons. Really, I do. 

I went to camp in Florida and stayed inside a lot because it was the hottest it's been in 15 years (over 100 degrees by about 9:30 a.m.). I touched a lizard. I sat in an open-air tabernacle, bare-footed and sipping bottled water, listening to gospel music and preachers and tree frogs, all mingled together.

I went to Indiana and stayed with my grandparents and played lots of cards with them and helped do some spring cleaning and got fed til we were bursting and watched grandpa go off-roading in an electric cart in the Wal-Mart parking lot. He didn't crash. Just as well: those things don't come with helmets.

I saw my good friends Duke and Melissa on their recent vacation. What' s that? Why yes, I did set them up. Yes, they did get happily married. What's that? Yes, I've also helped arrange another successful matrimony as well. No, I'm not in business. It really just has to be with people I know quite well.

Also, I've been away because I've been really sick. Nope, no, not the swine flu. No, not malaria from the Florida mosquitos. No, no long stints in gothic stone asylums. 

I am, to put it modestly and theologically correctly, with child. I have attempted - attempted, mind you - to keep these cards close to the chest because first trimesters are slippery characters. One never knows exactly how things will turn out. But facts are facts, morning sickness is actually any time of day sickness, and this heart burn feels like someone poured Drain-O down my gullet. 

Needless to say, this wasn't exactly anticipated. What with unemployment and all. But, though unexpected, it is not unwelcome. All children are blessings, and so far, things are going well for the little peanut. 

Now, a hundred and fifty years ago, none but the most feminist of writers would allude to The Delicate Condition in public, much less a mixed audience. And there is still part of me that wistfully casts my mind back to a woman "entering her confinement," and so on. On the other hand, Mary the mother of God was not exactly enjoying a confinement while riding crosscountry via burro so the government could tally heads. 

Trust the government to be the cause of a nine-month-pregnant woman riding across miles of open land on a bumpy, smelly animal, just for paperwork. Bureaucracies!

Yes, I did spend five hours at the unemployment office today. How could you tell?

In other news, life continues. Certain foods are taboo right now - please, keep your wafting scents of anything fried to yourself. Oh, and daily naps have been occuring, thought "What to Expect When You're Expecting" assures me that energy will rebound. And yes, I have had a pregnant woman ten years younger than I am tell me that I needed to "relax and stop stressing or you could lose the baby, and people just don't understand how easy it is to do that." No, I didn't kill her. Yes, I thought about it. I know, a pregnant woman has a good chance of getting sympathy from a jury, but all in all, it wasn't worth the risk. 

But really, life continues. Hey, Michael Jackson died, and all I could think was "wow, how did he live this long?"

Oh, and I tried watching "Wall-E." Though I've heard a wide spectrum of strongly held opinions, I did something quite uncharacteristic: I didn't finish it. I got both bored and depressed. The pseudo-apocalyptic beginning seemed a bit heavy for a kid's movie.

But I greatly enjoyed a BBC miniseries called "Wives and Daughters." 

Brian Jacques' "Redwall" has been entertaining me with stories of medieval mice, and I thoroughly relished my first introduction to P.G. Wodehouse via his "The Inimitable Jeeves," which my sister-in-law kindly lent me in the merciless Florida heat wave. I'd seen a BBC episode with Hugh Laurie and Steven Frye, which I wholeheartedly enjoyed, but this was the first I'd read of the classic author. Light, witty, hilarious. 

And I've been bathing in music more than normal. Sweet husband rigged our MP3 players to play in the car on our roadtrip. The last few days, for many reasons, Allison Krauss's "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow" has been floating through my thoughts.

Another chuckling delight comes by way of a slightly dusty old Michael Palin (from the Monty Python troupe) travel series, "Pole to Pole." Hats off to Instant Netflix.

I weeded exactly half of the flowerbed before zooming off to camp, so I returned to find it overgrown to jungle proportions on one end and respectable and upright on the other. And so it goes. (Anyone getting that reference? Anyone?)

Oh, interesting morsel of information - a sweet lady from McCann's Irish Oats left a nice comment on the oatmeal post. Take that, you scoffers of blogging about hot breakfast cereals!

Okay, there were no scoffers. I just like to feel triumphant.

If this post were a "Jeopardy!" category, it would be labelled "Potpourri." I know. I know. Scattered here, there, and everywhere. Tell you what. Conclude your perusal by listening to one of the most beautiful songs in the world, in my opinion. Just ignore the strange commemorative video that accompanies it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present, for your listening pleasure, Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole's rendition of "Over the Rainbow" that invariably sends me to my Happy Place.