Thursday, February 15, 2007


I'll leave Florida as I arrived five years ago-- in a Corolla, in the spring, entirely unsure of just why Carson Daly continues to have a career.

Josh The Pilot, and just about everything I own, carefully preserved snapshots of these two bees who hang around my office window included, backed out of the driveway this morning. I did not stand by the window to see it all go. Largely because it was six AM, and blowy, and the Daytona 500 is this weekend and I did not wish to be hit by a stray 24-pack of Boone's Farm.

The packing process, as expected, was atrocious and soul-sucking, with the usual expectation that all was well, and there were plenty of boxes with bubble wrap for all, and then I would open a cabinet and oh, crap, the shot glass collection.

If it weren't for the wedding gown in the closet, you would think one of my male freshman students live here. My apartment is now decorated in Early Bachelor, complete with wide, dominant television and no books in sight. I shall ask around for a Hooter's banner to tack to the wall and perhaps some sort of neon lighting to accent the toilet bowl. Yes, a Hooter's banner, with plastic Bud Light flags stapled all around!

Major thanks go to Lois and Tim The Pending Parents-In-Law for their much-appreciated moving assistance yesterday. I left to teach, and when I came back the truck was locked down and my apartment was quiet. I approached slowly, with cookies, fearful that perhaps some invader had balled up everything that was mine, Josh included, and simply hurled it into the sea. But when I opened the door, he and his parents were sitting quietly on the floor, watching Whose Wedding Is it Anyway and fretting over the fact that an 800-pound bride had opted for a strapless, cleavage-intensive dress. So in a glance I realized that I would not have to lift anything heavy anymore, and I felt thin. I like this family.

I suppose I should feel some sort of emptiness now that the Truck of Crap Express has departed without me, but it's really rather delightful. Less dusting! More room to drop-kick small animals!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Welcome Readers

You are all my bras.

Need To Find a DVD I Packed Four Days Ago in an Unlabeled Bin

This post comes to you from amidst a whole entire rainforest of cardboard. Forsooth, my Penske truck and quilty furniture covers arriveth on the morrow.

If you feel like you don't own much, try moving it all. You stand within your four walls, all, "Well, this doesn't look like very much"-- and then closets and drawers and filing cabinets start opening and you realize that you actually have, in your possession, a tasseled gold lame belt.

Until I leave The Swamp, I'll operate only on what I can fit into the trunk of my Corolla when it's time to depart in a fit of light wraps and sand-ruined bathing suits in May. It's forced me to develop this acute sense of thingness, that I actually make daily, necessary contact with perhaps one percent of the items in my possession. And 99 percent of that one percent is in the spinny makeup holder on the bathroom sink.

I would have stepped on you very hard if you had told me when I first held my high school jacket to me that in fifteen years I would sit on the floor of a bare apartment in Florida, taking a razor blade to the faded blue wool and lining. I was cutting out my graduation year and stitched name, abandoning the rest. There wasn't room in the suitcase I'd set aside for clothes overflow.

I sliced, ruthless. This was befitting an almost-married lady. I had to make room for his things, his four polo shirts and one billion computer games, just as he forfeited the Daytona 500 for a non-engine-intensive evening of wineglass registry discussion. This was practical. This was Adult.

But I was crying, and I'd already packed the tissues.

but not the mydol at:

Monday, February 12, 2007

"What time does the baton drop?"

On my budget, there aren't a lot of opportunities to attend the symphony, and when you do, you wind up where I did: Row V, Seat 47, Balcony, squinting at a slightly glinting blob that may or may not be the Boston Pops performing Gershwin.

The conductor of the Boston Pops is Keith Lockhart. He is my orchestral boyfriend. As you can see, he is very, very talented, musically speaking.

We Cincinnatians enjoy momentarily setting down our microbrews and fondly announcing that we Knew Keith When, in the days when he was the associate conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, assistant to Erich Kunzel. Keith was Erich's little replacement, and he'd sit in the back of Music Hall when Erich was conducting to check audio levels, wearing headphones and a great frown of expression. Symphonically speaking, he tied the scarves on Erich's microphone and put little toothpicks shaped like swords in the green room sandwiches.

His first local television appearance was the Cincinnati Pops' Fourth of July outdoor concert during the Gulf War, when Erich was conducting the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington. The entirety of Cincinnati poured into our Pops concert to salute America by drinking large amounts of beer and peeing in the Ohio River. From his unparalleled, center-stage view of all this, Keith came forth to introduce Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture in shiny black shoes and an absolute flop sweat.

"It was written," he said, only he pronounced it "ridden," and he paused to wince, and you could tell he was internally debating whether it was better to correct it or simply press on and pretend it never happened, and in that pause, the time to self-correct was lost, and so there was then another pause to think of what to say after the first pause since he couldn't very well try to say "written" again, and by the time that one ended the audience's attention began to drift to other classical music matters, such as whether or not there was time to make it through the beer line before the part with the cannons. I've been here, as a public speaker, and in public speaking time, I can verify that the lapse between "ridden" and the next word out of his mouth, "during," lasted approximately one geologic age.

So he continued with, "...during the Napoleonic Wars..." and there was another pause-and-wince, during which I am quite sure he was considering if he should bother explaining who Napoleon was, to this non-Music Hall crowd that was largely shirtless and kept shrieking things like "WHOOOOOOOOO!"

We taped the concert, and my mother sent it in a care package to a member of the Air Force stationed in Kuwait. It was perhaps the first time in my entire life I experienced anti-patriotic sentiment. I did not want to share Keith with the soldiers in Kuwait. Let Kuwait get its own freakin' Pops.

(BONUS FACT ABOUT KEITH LOCKHART: This concert was emceed by Jerry Springer. Alas, the violas did not hurl chairs at the woodwinds.)

Well, look at him now, Erich's little replacement, all grown up and saying "ridden" whenever he darned well pleases. He bounded onstage in a baseball cap and shifted his weight casually on the podium, one leg occasionally crossing behind the other. He was a man at ease in his stick-waving work.

I was sitting, there in Row V, with a lot of space between me and Keith. I missed Music Hall, where no matter where you sit, it sounds like you're close enough to count eyebrow hairs on the first violin. The people who constructed the building in which I was currently sitting were apparently of the opinion that what makes for really, really good acoustics is a great deal of concrete bricks and pegboard. The sound had an enormous amount of travelling to do between the orchestra and Row V; by the time it left the stage and got to me, it had to stop twice for gas and a directions update from GoogleMaps.

The Boston Pops experience was hugely enhanced by the woman sitting next to me.

Dear Woman Who Sat in Row V, Seat 46:

Keith brought a 74- piece orchestra with him. I am pretty sure they had "I Got Rhythm" covered without you offering humming assistance.

Lots and lots of non-love,


On the other side of me was a gentleman with a several astute observations about the concert as it was in progress. He had the type of voice that tended to carry in a supposed whisper, and so I'm pretty sure that, despite the many miles between us and the orchestra, the percussionists were treated to the following observations:






Dude even rubbed his face loudly. But it was during the Porgy and Bess medley, so no loss. There's only so much you can do with an instrumental version of "There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York."

The encore was "The Stars and Stripes Forever," complete with enormous American flag tumbling from the ceiling as the orchestra blasted into the final verse-- just like that Fourth of July on the banks of the Ohio so many years ago. If only Jerry Springer could have been there.

standing ovation at:

Previous Tastings