Tomorrow my first column for the Anchorage Daily News will appear in the paper. It will appear on this site the next day so as not to scoop myself. If you can’t wait till July 5 to read it, check out ADN.com tomorrow and you’ll find me on the editorial page.
I thought taking the train from Atlantic City to Charleston would be an adventure. It certainly was. I finally found a mode of travel that makes airline travel seem civilized and timely. Maybe Amtrak should go to Europe and figure out how to run the trains. Then perhaps people would be a lot more willing to use them. As for me, I don’t think I’ll be doing that again in the near future.
Look for more about this later...after I’ve stopped shaking at the absurdity of it all.
I can’t believe how much I miss Blue and Blondie and all the birds. I hope the dogs haven’t forgotten me. Geez, that sounds geeky beyond belief even for me to be writing. But I think of them every night before I go to sleep and hope that as nice as their foster parents are, when I get home, they’ll still prefer me. The birds have been through this drill before and know I’ll be back. But this is the first for Blue and Blondie and I’m so afraid they’ll think I’ve left them forever.
While visiting my godchild and her new son I was struck by the thought that he has every chance of living to see the year 2100. How weird is that? Do you think by then they’ll have flying cars and computerized houses? Will the obesity epidemic mean that anyone smaller than a size 18 is considered underweight? Or will the world have collapsed in on itself, a victim of too many cell phones wielded by too many people in fast moving cars.
You know a place has too much humidity when you return from it to Atlantic City in the summer and think Atlantic City is bearable. Every time I think of Charleston I think two things. It was very pretty. And breathing its air was like breathing warm water. I think I’ve reached that tipping point in longing for Alaska.
...next to golf, it is the most boring thing in the world to watch on tv. Wait, I stand corrected. A Republican presidential candidates debate beats it for boring. But then one of those debates beats boiling water for boring. And I can only hope I’m not the only person completely embarrassed by the fact that not one of them believes in evolution. On the other hand, I look at those candidates and can understand why they wouldn’t. Evolution certainly hasn’t helped their gene pool.
Do you think it would help if I promised god that if she just let me win the lottery once I’d give at least half of it to charity? Moses bargained with god. why can’t I?
I bought a package of underpants as Jockey’s last week. Underpants! Plain old cotton underpants. Or, at least, as plain and old as you can get them now. Here’s how they were wrapped. They were in a plastic container that had cardboard wrapped around the inside of it. Then, each individual pair of pants was taped shut. When you managed to pry the tape off to unroll them, you found another piece of cardboard inside the roll of each pair of pants with another piece of tape holding the cardboard to the panties. Did the people at Jockey think the panties were going to break if squashed at all? Did they think I wouldn’t know their shape if the cardboard didn’t hold them stiff? Or did they just feel obliged to waste as much as possbile on packaging them so we can completely soil our world a little faster?
The outlet stores march inexorably towards my childhood home in Atlantic City. You can see them from our old living room window. I think there is something karmic in the fact that my mother was one of the ten top Olympic shoppers of all time and now the stores are moving nearer and nearer to where she spent most of her life. It’s as though her spirit is drawing them nigh.
It occurs to me that the dogs have been out of the kennel for three days now and I haven’t heard that they’re hiring a lawyer to sue me for alienation of affection and substandard housing. I guess that’s a good thing. Being sued by your dogs must be one of the worse experiences in the world...especially since you’d have to wonder where they found they money to hire an attorney.
I’ve had many pets pass on before me. Adeline, my beloved first parrot who took that long journey to Barrow with me in 1972 and endured more than her share of cold Arctic winters. Mr. T, the miniature schnauzer who was bigger and badder than any dinosaur that ever walked this planet. Lovey, the Barrow mutt who never met a meal she didn’t like and never returned food to the earth before its time. Morris, the little parrot with the biggest heart and most love of any critter in the world. Little Zia, the wild bird crippled at birth who graced my home for such a short and lovely time. I could go on and on. When it’s my time to die, I just want to go to sleep one night and wake up and find them all standing around waiting for me to feed them for eternity. Then I’ll know for sure I’m in heaven.
When you have a dog, you are never alone and never not adored. They even follow you into the bathroom and stare at you adoringly while you pee. It’s as though, in their eyes, no one has ever peed so well and masterfully before or ever will again...until the next time you go in. Where else can you find that kind of adoration...except perhaps from some sick bastard with a bathroom fetish.
I always wondered why southern things...from southern belles to southern peaches...always seemed so lush and ripe and on the endge. Now I know why. Because you have a choice in this humidity. You can be ripe or you can be one huge lump of mold and mildew. I think Charleston is beautiful but please lord, get me back to the zero humidity of Alaska. I don’t care what that does to my skin and hair. At least I’ll feel like I can breathe again. Who the hell ever settled here before air conditioning. Were they crazy?
I leave tonight to take the train to see my new great godchild today. And I realize how thrilled I am that thanks to the cataract surgery, I’ll really be able to see him. And I’ll see the trees and skies and the color of his eyes with great clarity. What a wonderful gift science has given me.
My dog comes in from a long walk, tongue hanging out, panting. She heads immediately to her water dish and starts lapping hungrily. I stop her, pick up the dish and replace the old, warm water with fresh cold water and return the dish to her. She resumes lapping up the water with the same enthusiasm as before. And it occurs to me that the fresh cold water thrills me more than her. In fact, I don’t even think she notices. Then I remember. This dog drinks skanky standing water from still puddles she finds on our walks. Clearly being disciminatory is not in her nature.