That (the title above, I mean) was a, well, I suppose I’d say punchline during an episode of Home Improvement. Jill’s wedding ring is lost down a drain. I’m fairly sure my memory (and knowledge of series premise) tells me this was Tim’s fault. The hilarity of the episode is Tim’s misadverntures in recovering the ring. When he, of course, finds the ring, Tim and Jill have a tender moment—discussing thier wedding maybe? Tim reads the inscription on Jill’s ring. With a twinge of joke in his voice he reads, “I will never love an otter.” Jill laughs. The audience laughs. She corrects him, “I will never love another.” He quips, “Oh. And all this time I’ve been staying away from otters.”
I’m not sure why this moment from the series stayed with me so strongly. Sure, I’ve always had a fondness for the show. At various times in my childhood, I wished the family was a real family that I knew, and I could date one of the boys (the object of my intent did change now and again). Maybe it’s simply because it’s funny. Maybe I want someone to pledge himself to me and never to another… or an otter… or a giraffe… or a howler monkey… or any other animal, vegetable, or mineral roaming this planet.
Last week I learned this very interesting fact: otters hold hands while sleeping, so that they don’t drift away from each other and get lost. Wait for it….. Awwwwwwww!
I know: nothing about this is scientifically cute, and it is certainly not romantic when you take it into cerebral consideration. But… tell me it doesn’t just tug on your heartstrings. Doesn’t it poke at that space in your brain that makes you want to couple with another being? Here, please hold me hand so that I don’t get lost. Keep me safe when I am veunerable. Make sure nothing bad happens to me. Make me feel loved. Reassure me.
Two things about this:
1) No, I don’t necessarily like to be touched while I sleep. When appropriate, I do prefer someone next to me. And I can try to adjust to your particular spacial needs (closer or further). It doesn’t always work, I promise to try. But still… I want not to be lost while I am asleep.
2) I have, in a sense, expressed this same idea in a poem. I say something about man’s evolution—Cro-Magnon Man battling Neanderthal for supremacy. I say that they’re holding hands just as we do today, only theirs is specifically not to be lost.
Is ours? I didn’t think about it in those terms while writing that piece. I didn’t think about it until last week and the otters. Wanting to keep someone you have a connection to—a friend, a family member, a love—unlost would not be the worst trait to exhibit. People have held my hand for less. “Provider” is not solely a monetary role.
Please hold my hand while I sleep so that I do not get lost.
Have you ever seen Tom Rhodes’ Comedy Central special? I suggest it highly. He’s very funny—which is mostly what I look for from a stand-up comedian.
Among the bits my favorite, though certainly not the only one I like, is about trying to find the right person. Hee-lar-eous stuff. Also, very true and insightful. Isn’t that the trite but true phrase?: It’s funny because it’s true?
Did you know, according to Tom Rhodes and Mother Nature Network, penguins mate for life? Is this cute? Or is this depressing because I’m human, and if you look in the yellow pages for divorce attorneys (wow) or ever have a job (like I currently do) where you see just how many child custody arguments have to be worked out between people who used to love each other, it doesn’t seem we have this mate-till-we-die with one other person thing worked out ourselves.
Let me quote Tom Rhodes to you, courtesy for Jokes.com (I sincerely suggest watching it for yourself. Trust me.).
A penguin has the same little penguin for a total little penguin life. Think how many screwed up relationships you’ve had, how many times you couldn’t make it work—a penguin can do it better than you can. Think about it, man. A penguin can look out at a seafull of 8 million other penguins, all look exactly the same, and go, ‘There’s my baby!’
A penguin can do it better than us.
It’s like on Friends before Ross and Rachel get together (for the first time). Pheobe explains that lobsters mate for life and walk down the beach claw-in-claw when they’re old. “She’s your lobster,” Pheobe tells Ross.
Incidentally, lobsters do NOT mate for life. That may or may not matter.
Still: the thought makes me smile. I’d like to enjoy being old with the same person I enjoyed being young with.
Be my lobster, anyway. Let’s take a lesson from the penguins and the otters. Will you hold my hand so I won’t be lost?
In conclusion, I cannot promise not to love an otter. They are very cute—especially while sleeping and holding hands. Just look.
Let me tell you a story: once I was on a way to take a final in my American Poetry class. On the highway, a metal coffee table (HUGE metal coffee table) fell off a flatbed trailer in front of me. It did not go awesome. It was nearly a fatal moment in my life. I was always nervous about things on top of cars, cars on those huge carriers, flatbed trailers, etc. I became significantly more than nervous after the coffee table. On the highway barrier between north and south bound, you can still see where the table and I crashed. Yikes. I think you can understand why I asked for our car to stay far behind this one in front of us. This dinning set really did not look well strapped down. I even saw a few people along the side of the road look up in horror. I wanted to nod at them, “Me too, my friends, me too.”
1) One of the first things I wanted to be, at about age four, was a stockbroker. Honestly, I don’t think I knew was a stockbroker was. I just liked the accessories. I’ve always been an accessories glutton. I would sit at the dinning room table with my father’s old briefcase, an old phone, my mother’s old glasses with the lenses taken out, a red pen, and the WallStreet Journal. “What are you doing, Laura?” my parents would ask. “I’m a stock broker,” I would say. That dream faded quickly. This is good. I would be one of the worst stock brokers in the history of the world, and none of it would be because of white collar crimes. I don’t think I could figure any of that out.
2) Like all my friends seemed to (maybe most little kids, especially girls for some reason), I wanted to be a teacher for a long time. I think this mostly has to do with my second grade teacher. She was the first really phenomenal teacher I had (luckily, I have had others). I wanted to do what she did. Working around books and papers all day didn’t seem bad either. I loved making all the worksheets by hands, coming up with class lists, inventing lesson plans. I love details. I’m not sure what happened to this dream. It was probably a combination. Everybody kept telling me there were already too many teachers in the workforce; it would be hard to get a job—especially for a woman trying to be an Elementary school teacher (whereas, my brother is currently obtaining his degree to be a male high school English teacher, where there IS usually a need). I’m not sure why everyone was telling me these things at eight-years-old. I don’t think I was ever spoken to as a child while I was physically a child.
3) I spent a long, long time obsessed with Barbies, and dolls of other kinds. I would get slightly frustrated when I couldn’t find the clothes I imagined to be on my Barbie—and especially on the smaller baby dolls. I’d take the scraps from my mother’s quilting and make clothes…. I mean, it was rather unsuccessful. They were creative, but really no good. At some point, I lost interest in wanting to make clothes for Barbies.
4) I spent all of middle school and high school aspiring to be a film maker. Usually throughout school, whenever there was a project to figure out what our careers could be, I was usually just left to my own devices. (We’ll get back to the first part of this.) By time I got to high school, I was all about the Independent Film scene. I knew everything about the industry. I’d read, research, yadda yadda. I could tell you everything that was greenlit, funded, picked up, shelved, rewritten, golly golly. I had folders of plans for my eventual production company, outlines for the lists and lists of scripts I was writing, oh I could go on. At some point as I started to network in the industry, I started losing interest. I realized how tough the go might be, but more importantly, how much of my art I may have to sacrifice in the beginning to get a career going. Also, when I got to college I realized more and more that I was interested in so many things. Eventually, this may be a career idea I revisit. Though, I may not want the whole show up to me. I wanted to be writer, director, producer…so maybe now I would like to be part of a highly functioning team.
5) I am opinionated, I like politics, I like to writer: yes, I bet those are three things you already knew about me. For a long time I thought casually, and then ever more seriously, about being a speech writer somewhere for some politician. You know, working up the ranks, spending hours discussing syntax vs. policy. Ah, wonderful. Like I said, I like the details in things. However, a politician I have regular interaction with said this to me once, “It’s really a shame you’re still so young and idealistic. I know you don’t agree with any of my stances, but you could really help get me to higher places if you’d just forget what you believe in. This could be lucrative for you.” And, that scared me. Because I could see that happening. Even if I didn’t mean to. I could see really working very hard for a politician I thought I believed in…and then, if he/she turned out to actually be a terrible person—or worse—politician who institutes horrific policies…and I had any part of getting him/her elected…uh oh. Yeah, then what?
6) My secret dream (that’s actually no so secret) is to have a cupcake shop. Maybe a bakery in general. Sometimes I imagine it being a very formal patisserie. I think about this when I’m bored. I think about this when I’m stressed about current life situations and wish it was all different. People try to talk me into actually going for it. Sometimes…I’m really about to. The problem is, I have a ton of experience watching people run restaurants. Here’s the thing: it becomes your whole life. And while if that were my one, true passion I would absolutely sacrifice for it…it’s not my one, true passion. I wouldn’t be able to write. Everyone lies to me (or doesn’t know better) and says I can do both. False. People say, “So what? You’re good at the baking thing.” Seriously… these people don’t know me at all.
Here’s the thing about writing: I don’t remember deciding that this is what I wanted to do. It has always just been a given. Even back in second grade, we used to have to write little stories. We were supposed to turn one in every month. This was to make sure everyone was actually working during writing time. But me, they just let go. They knew I was working. While everyone else produced nine or ten stories clocking in around seven or eight pages each, I produced a 180 page manuscript about getting attacked by bees at summer camp. So there’s that. I wonder if my mother has it somewhere. I’d sort of like to see it. If not, it’s probably somewhere in the basement recesses of the Bethlehem Area School District. Too bad I never wanted to be a cat burglar. (Just jokes, people.)
On my drive to work this morning, I was stopped at a red light behind a truck bearing a bumper sticker that read, “Restore Your Local Canals”. Now, honestly, of all the causes in all the world I have personally walked into, gotten involved in, wished to get involved in, thrown money at, or at least listened to others pontificate on—this particular “Restore Your Local Canals” one has never before blipped onto my radar.
We went multiple times to local canals as children on field trips. I always liked it. But—big shock—I’m kinda into to old fashioned, out of use, nobody-else-cares-about-it sorts of things. I think canals are neat. I don’t think they are practical any longer. What goods and services can be best supplied ferried on a barge down a canal, propelled but a few mules? Canals are very limiting. How is anybody in Kansas or Oklahoma supposed to get anything? Nevermind how California is supposed to get shipments of Yuengling from Pennsylvania in a timely manner. (I’m just assuming everywhere has as high of a demand for the lager as we—that is a joke.)
I don’t know why, but my head tells me canals might disrupt natural ecosystems. Wouldn’t restoring a defunct transportation system that inhibits flora and fauna create a bigger problem? Unless, wildlife has adapted after all these years? In that case, restore but don’t build anymore? Oh, I don’t know.
Part of me feels like I am going to spend way too much time at some point in the internet researching this cause and group. I may report back at some future time with a remarkably well informed opinion.
For now, here’s my opinion: The Panama Canal seems like a good one to keep up to code.
Later at work, while starting up all the various computer programs I will need for the day and chomping on my pomegranate-cherry-coconut breakfast bar, I heard a commercial on the radio that again got the thought of strange causes spinning in my head. If you follow my twitter (which, duh, you should), you aren’t a stranger to the strange things I hear on the radio station we play at my workplace.
Sometimes this is due to whomever is dj-ing around the programming. Usually, it’s the commercials. I remember the “make a radio spot” portion of mock ad campaigns I did in college always being the most challenging. Sure. How do you grab attention? How do you be innovative in a medium dead-er than newspapers? (Yes, that’s all debatable.)
Anyway…this morning I heard a spot begging us, the loyal viewers…err…listeners?, to save our local TV. I don’t know why, but for some reason I initially thought this meant PBS. And yes, PBS should be saved. But, alas, no this was targeted at the saving of Public Access. Well. Umm. OK. Sure, the idea of Public Access is a good one. I think diversified programming brought to us by folks in our locale is a wonderful free-speech-bred kinda institution. However, this radio no-jingle rattled on about how our Congressmen are trying to take Public Access away.
Are they? Honestly, I have no idea. I heard a radio propoganda piece not too long ago screaming at me that Congress is about to pass a bill limiting the number of children I may birth. So…yes…while in all precincts of this world this cannot be called ridiculous…let’s just say I’m less worried about “family planning” in this sense than in others. Basically, I’m not quick to take up arms and defend my inherent civil liberties based on what’s mic-popping out the speakers.
But…honestly, while I hope nobody is trying to shut down Public Access—reform, possibly—a potential fight over it feels unbelievably ridiculous at this juncture in the Great American Experiment.
I can’t help but feel there are bigger fish to zap out of existence first. You know: the debt, the debt ceiling, the job market, that whole we’re-gonna-need-to-elect-a-President thing. Shaving cream pies aside, and even if it’s happening across the pond, before we go slashing and yanking away media, let’s just see how this Rupert Murdoch thing shakes out first.
And, hey, Public Access fiends and zealots—now is when you’re going to rock the boat? It’s like chipping the paint off the stair rails on the Titanic in between iceberg hit and capsize—this is not what we need to be playing attention to right now, but it’s also very annoying.
Let’s just call a truce (if there is any legitimate battle at all). Keep things as they are for the time being. Let people have their Public Access, and the rest of us can go back to largely ignoring it. We will have time (umm, I hope), to figure everything out later.
Besides, if Public Access doesn’t provide career opportunites and rent money, at least it keeps folks busy. Oh and gives them a voice—you know, that pesky thing. Also, I know exactly what my dad would say here, “Hey, hey! Remember, Zippy, the first thing the Nazis did was take away people’s radios.”
In summation: Wayne’s World, party on.
Uhhhh haters, ready yourselves. We’re talking about feminism today—and this ain’t your 11th grade English teacher’s feminism.
To begin with, here are two contradictory phrases about me own brand of feminism:
1) I would consider myself a feminist.
2) I am against the E.R.A.
Oh. Gasp. What?!
You read me right, folks.
Oh golly, I know. How could this all be right? How can I be a woman of contemporary thought patterns and gender-role-bending times and oppose the Equal Rights Amendment? How can I be intelligent, independent, so-on-and-so-forth-fill-in-the-adjectives and not want the E.R.A. to finally friggin’ pass after all these thirty plus years?
I already have these two lil’ pieces of National documents called Constitutional Amendments 14 and 19. Holler. Done. Show’s over. Let’s call it a day and go out of Ladies’ Night. (wait—is that sexist? Wait—you can’t stop blogging here, Laura. You’re far too wordy for that, young lady.)
OK, OK, I’ll press on if you insist. Here’s the thing: In 1972 when the E.R.A. was introduced I can see the definite merits of it. If you take the wave of feminism caused by the tide of Civil Rights, it’s a good step. It’s also a timely step. It didn’t work out then. That’s a shame. It would have been good to strike while the iron was hot—yikes! I forgot: don’t talk about feminism and ironing in the same breath.
Sarcasm aside—the idea that we need the E.R.A. in 2011 is offensive to me. Like I said: I already got Amendments 14 and 19. Tell me if they don’t tell you the same: Constitutionally, I’m already equal.
The continued push for E.R.A. is saying that no, no, not quite am I equal under the law because I have an X and a Y chromosome. I am honestly offended. You mean all this time I have been thinking of myself as a free American citizen born with certain inalienable rights, you all the in the government were winking and saying to yourselves, “Sure you are, honey-sweetie, except not really.”
Look, I don’t agree with many (most) of the forerunning female political leaders making headlines, but I agree that it’s OK they be there. Women are also allowed to be just as wrong as men. I don’t think these women running for office, holding office, ruling over large corporations, managing families, need another document signed by Congress—one that a certain Massachusetts politician with a very famous last name couldn’t even get passed—to validate them.
Hey. I’ll agree with you misogynists: women belong in the House… and in the Senate.
But the only E.R.A. I need happened in M.L.B.
Are you ready for it?…I am woman, hear me roar…ROAR.
These are lil’ facts you can judge me all you want about, and I don’t care. No fake on the front. If I were Scarlett O’Hara I’d tell you to, “Go to the Devil” if you want to hate on me. Word.
1) I found the Movie Bridesmaids hilarious.
2) My favorite meal as a kid was leftover lukewarm spaghetti and a PB&J.
3) With the exception of water, I almost always leave a little bit of the drink in the glass, can, bottle. I just don’t like the last sip. I don’t do it intentionally. Why some people find this so infuriating, I’m unsure.
4) I really, really, really like watching Pretty Little Liars. Whatever.
5) I’m terrible at dating. I’m good at relationships. Can we just cut to the chase?
6) Please don’t piss me off directly before I go off to sleep in fresh sheets. This is supposed to be a happy time. You’re ruining everything.
7) Say what you want, but I think the current Foo Fighters album (Wasting Light) is the best yet, and I am listening to it incessantly. Don’t hate. Foo love.
8) Dave Grohl can pretty much do no wrong in my eyes.
9) Maybe, possibly The Subterraneans is my favorite Jack Kerouac. Hate away.
Please tell me you are obsessed with Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live as I am. Oh, you’re not…then this is gonna be awkward. On the Sunday episode every week, Mr. Cohen gives his 3 wishes for the week. And me… Now I’m doing it too. Really, this would be a ton cooler if you knew what I was talking about.
1) I wish the NFL strike ends this week, if only for 2 reasons: 1-It’s superfluous news-grabbing distraction in a time when we need to focus on other things. (Wag the dog, baby?) 2-my cousin needs a job..
Also, I’m unsure how to live in America without Football. (The distraction of a game on Sunday or Monday…and sometimes Thursday…is different than months of squabbling on my TV and internet news pages.)
2) I wish we’d get over sensational trials for the summer already.
I wish we would find out Rupert Murdoch didn’t even do anything wrong. This might be a stretch, but I don’t care. I want to find out people are better than we jadedly assume. I feel like this could be another nail in the newspaper coffin. I’m not ready for that yet.
I hope we stop bleeding talking about Casey Anthony. It’s over. What possible thing of validity can you say anymore? I sincerely wish she continues to stay under the radar. Nobody offer her any interviews, any reality shows, etc. It’s terrible form. Why is it still all over CNN?
Also, as horrific as it sounds, I hope they find Tyler Hadley (the 17-year-old in Florida who beat his parents to death with a hammer, then hosted a house party) has serious, diagnosable physiological issues—because the idea of slaying your parents to be able to have a party is more than I can bare from humanity.
3) I wish soon everybody who wants to get married, regardless of sexual orientation, can soon do so, just like they can now in New York State.
(In addition: I sincerely wish I knew how to say meaningful enough things to offer solace to the families of the victims in Norway, and victims of horrific crimes everywhere.)
Dear Wonderful, Faithful, Hardworking, Treasured Elantra,
I am beside myself with tears and anguish that I had to get rid of you. If it was up to me, I never would have. Although, if it were up to me, you also wouldn’t be dropping oil, smoking after less and less driving, and generally starting to give up on life. Yes, I know. You’re about eleven years old and have just under a billion miles under your belts (which I JUST replaced in the winter), but that doesn’t change that I love you deeply.
You, beautiful Elantra of confusing color tone, were the very first car that honestly belonged to me. I worked very hard all summer years ago, slaving away at a thankless job where I was overworked, underpaid, taken advantage of, and generally terrorized to buy you away from your previous owner. I remember the day my mom called and said she found a car. I didn’t know what an Elantra was. She said I’d like it. I said OK. And then…Yes, I did like the car. Right away you were so cute, so comfortable inside, so very mine.
It’s kinda like my dog. My mom did the same thing. Called and asked if I wanted one, she found one that needed a home. I didn’t know what kind of a dog it was. Really, I got very lucky. Same with you, former car of mine. Maybe my mom should stumble upon a new couch next.
You, Elantra, took me back and forth to school, especially on my last commuting year. THAT was a big year. We went through quite a ton together that year. You drove me around to visit my long distance boyfriend in college—never complaining at a moment’s notice when we decided it was time for a visit to keep us from breaking up, to celebrate something wonderful, etc etc. You helped me through almost every ice storm…oh except for the last one where we slid down a hill together into an unlicensed, undocumented citizen. That was something, eh?
You have been the car with me through heartbreak, concerts, road trips, graduation, multiple jobs, accidents, dates, oh…we can go on. Just going through the contents of my car, I was struck immobile with memories. I mean, please, not that the car was messy. Really, I’m very proud of how neat we kept you. How faithfully we changed your oil, how only once in all the years I owned you the gas was low enough for the light to go on (and that was last week).
What am I going to do with all the directions of all the trips I’ve taken left in the center console? What am I going to do with the stack of military base passes left in there too? Throw them away? What? That’s what the center console was for. In fact, there’s still a birthday present for a boy I broke up with years ago left in the glove compartment…and now what?
I mean, yes, we’ve had our issues at the garage. Yes, there were things to fix. But each and every time I said to the mechanic I’ve used for years, “Just level with me.” And every time, he said, this car is a solid car. Ah. Big sigh. Of all the times I thought that would be it with us, of all the times I thought it was just too much to fix…this time it was true.
You were such a faithful car. You were such a beast. If I had my way, when I get a new car that is MINE MINE MINE…maybe I’ll get an updated Elantra? I’m that sold on it.
Until then, I will drive a car I am not fond of…a car with terrible sight lines, a light car that gets blown all over the highway and no one takes me seriously…until my brother is ready to take it away from me.