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Someone* once said that you should never apologize for not posting to your blog. So I won’t, but I’ll give you a little explanation about what’s been keeping me away.

Life here in Durham has been hot and dry and dusty. It’s the end of October, and today was the first time that a long-sleeved shirt and closed-toed shoes were actually a necessity. I am not a fan of heat or humidity, and while I hate rain, I also hate what the lack of it does to this area of the country. In Santa Barbara, that was a whole different story. Long stretches without rain are normal–like when I moved there on August 1 and the first time it rained was Halloween (and startled students came and asked me if classes were cancelled). But here, a dry fall means that it stays hot. Almost 100 every day through the end of September, and still 85 every day at the end of October. I guess for a girl who hates snow, this should be a good thing, but again, not a fan of heat and humidity.**

Also, I love the fall. I love the trees changing color and the crisp air and there’s just a smell that fall has, clean and fecund at the same time. The humidity drops, causing the sky to become this just impossible shade of blue. Fall has always felt like baptism to me, cleansing me of the sins and stressors of summer, preparing me for the winter ahead. Even if I end summer with worry and anger and frustration stamped on my forehead, the chilly mornings, fiery orange trees, and sunny Saturdays of football wipe that all away. But not this year. This year, the heat has held all that down close against me, and piled more on besides. I am having a hard time at work. My non-work friends are busy with their own jobs and have no time to hang out. I sit at my desk and seethe. I am not a happy person, and I hate it. I don’t like what this fall, not just the weather but the situations it has brought, are doing to me. I need to GTFO, get happy, or both.***

I was thinking all of these things as I drove home from work on Tuesday. I was also frantically searching the radio and all the CDs in the car for a decent song and coming up empty. It took me a few minutes to realize why. I have always had a “song of the moment”—a song I want to listen to every time I get in the car, that I belt out at the top of my lungs with the windows down and the clean, cool breeze filling the car. There’s a blogger, Charming But Single, who did a series of posts called “There are Songs About All of Them.” I could do a series called “There’s a Them for Every Song” (and I just might!), because there are times when I listen to the “classic” stations or “mix” stations and hear song after song after song that conjure up specific memories for me. Like “Extraordinary” by Liz Phair reminds me specifically of being stopped at the stop sign on Ocean Road at the bike path by San Raf at UCSB, because I would always make sure it was the last song I heard when I was driving around Goleta my first fall at UCSB. And the entire “Barenaked for the Holidays” album reminds me of Poker Nights at Mike Shinn’s, because I had that CD on repeat in my car from October to February the year it came out, and my longest drive was generally to Mike’s house. The problem is, I don’t have a “song of the moment” right now. I have nothing that I have to hear as soon as I get in the car, and one last time before I get out. There’s nothing that fills me with joy or with longing or with some emotion other than anger.

Well, I firmly believe that the universe conspires to give you what you need. Tuesday night, I was watching the previous night’s episode of The Hills (I can’t help it, I just love it), and there was a song at the end that essentially trout-slapped me across the face.**** It’s called “This Time Around” by I-94. You can download it on iTunes to see what I mean, but the part that really affected me was this:

“I need something in my life
That fills my eyes with light, my eyes with sound.”

Yes, yes I do, as a matter of fact. And this song just did. With the temperature dropping and the adoption of my new theme song, I’d say fall is coming on fast. Things are looking up, and I believe there is something amazing, beyond my wildest dreams, just ahead. I’ll keep you posted.

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*I have no idea who, and I’m too lazy to try and figure it out.
**This is where Santa Barbara pwns the universe in every way—I had no air conditioning, but I didn’t need it. I had heat, but I never turned it on.
***And I am—Operation: Unicorns and Rainbows is fully underway, but since it is a matter of national security, I cannot share the details at this time.
****Sorry, I’ve been spending too much time SuperPoke-ing people on Facebook.

So, if you didn’t already know it, the Southeastern US is experiencing a drought. And here in North Carolina, it’s actually an “unprecedented drought” according to our lovely governor*. Which means that restaurants are doing things like not refilling your waterglass unless you specifically ask. I understand this, and it totally makes sense. What doesn’t make sense are the restaurants who have gone to using paper/disposable dishes and making customers buy bottled water instead of getting glasses of water. Oh yeah, cause that’s so much better for the environment.

After living in California and traveling in the Western US, I kind of scoff at East Coast drought. Yes, we should conserve, but we use water for crazy-stupid things here. Like the fact that people freak the fuck out if they can only water their lawns on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. REALLY? Luckily, my apartment complex is in the ghetto, and the owners have no qualms about dead, brown, grass, so I didn’t have to campaign against landscape watering in my neighborhood (businesses are not restricted in their landscape watering here).

I have been trying to limit my own water consumption, too. I already do a lot of stuff you’re supposed to do, like only run the dishwasher and washing machine when they’re full, turning off the water when I brush my teeth or when I’m soaping my hands, etc. But I take long showers. I always have. I can’t help it. Lately, I’ve started setting the kitchen timer while I’m in the shower. I’m under 10 minutes now, but I cannot seem to break the 7 minute barrier. And I’ve decided to forego shaving my legs, especially since it is getting cooler. But today, it was 85 degrees again, so I wore my capris and had to expose my legs in all their hairy glory. It’s kind of embarrassing. I called my parents and asked if I could have $300 for laser hair removal, in order to conserve water. I don’t know why, but they said no. Then I thought, if the governor offered subsidies for all women who got laser hair removal, that could save a TON of water! Think about it–it’s at least as environmentally friendly as driving a Prius, and they give subsidies for that!

So, ladies, get out there and call your Congressmen. And Congresswomen, though they shouldn’t be that hard to convince about this, really. And if your Congressperson is a Republican, use phrases like “dirty hairy hippie chick” to scare them into supporting this cause.

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*Of course, this is the same man who thought it would be a good idea to appoint Mike Nifong the DA of Durham, so can we really trust his judgement? Ok, Ok, so he’s got scientific and historical facts backing him up this time. I suppose I’ll play along, for now…