A Journal of My Mid-Life Crisis
11 April 1999 - Advice My Mother Didn't Give Me
The bird problem at work seems to have let up. I suspect that they have not actually repaired the roof, though, and there are just fewer birds around because of the atrocious weather we've had this week. It never rains in Southern California, but this week it drizzled, showered, thundered, poured, pissed down, and stopped raining long enough for two hailstorms.
The major event of the week (assuming you don't want to hear about my dental appointment on Tuesday and some particularly mind-numbing work throughout the week) was my trip up to the Bay Area for the weekend. It's spring break time for Robert so he is back to earning real (i.e. American) money for a couple of weeks. My goal was, of course, to distract him from this. I was reasonably successful at this and I hadn't even considered that Friday night was the night to conceive a Y2K baby (the millennium is 2001, of course, though I feel pedantic about being so insistent on it). Actually, our general goal is avoiding conception so it wasn't like it mattered what the date was.
Which reminds me of a bit of advice my mother gave me. I was about
15 and the conversation ran something like this:
I have never been invited to run off to Paris for the weekend (I don't even like Paris. And Mom has never been to Paris at all) , but I figured it out anyway. On the other hand, thinking of my relationship with Robert, the advice my mother should have given me is:
Anyway, Saturday was spent walking in San Francisco. I felt so good after doing the downtown 10K I had planned to do (another volksmarch event), that I walked another mile and a half each way up from the Ferry Building to and from Fisherman's Wharf. I hadn't ever actually realized before that it's only that far and, of course, following the bay avoids the hills so it's very easy.
I can't escape Berkeley without a spot of book shopping. I found Tuva or Bust (an account of Richard Feynman's trip to Tuva) at Black Oak Books and, since I had brought the Back Tuva Future CD up to play for Saori and Bob, I couldn't resist buying that. Even better was my find at Other Change of Hobbit. They had a book I've been searching for, namely, George Alec Effinger's Maureeen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson. There's one Maureen Birnbaum story in the first Chicks in Chainmail anthology and I'd really wanted to find the complete collection. Imagine a fashion and make-up obsessed valley girl sort. Stick a sword in her hand and dump her in the midst of your average fantasy novel setting. That's the premise and it's every bit as funny as it sounds.
Saori and Bob did, indeed, like the Tuvan CD. We listened to assorted other things and had a generally pleasant conversation that would make remarkably little sense to the vast majority of people. They played me a couple of the stranger songs from Open House, including one that has to do with a cow doing aerobics. The notion of Bossie in spandex is probably relevant to the trip back, with horrible delays due to the weather in L.A. and the usual level of chaos at the Southwest terminal at Oakland, but the less said about that the better.
This is probably a non-sequitor but I figured out that the animal Robert most reminds me of is a walrus. I've always thought he was rather foquine in general, but walrus is much more to the point than seal or sea lion. Walruses are just that bit more ponderous. I can't imagine what, if any, animal I remind him off and I suspect I am better off not knowing.
Copyright 1999 Miriam H. Nadel
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