Monthly Archives: July 2004

A wonderful, sappy feeling

I was going to write about politics now but I am still too much under the spell of the events of the weekend. We (me, my dad and my uncles) threw a three-day party for 50 guests from around the country in honor of my grandparents’ 60th anniversary and my grandmother’s 80th birthday. I did a lot of the planning and logistics, and leading up to it I my mind was too occupied with the details to think much about the significance of the event and what I felt about it. The reception on Friday went off fine, with a few glitches. The lunch on Saturday in Chinatown went less well,

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A familiar, distressing feeling

You know when you’re connected to both parties in a conflict, and you can see each side totally clearly, but neither side can see what the other sees and you can’t explain the other’s viewpoint to either side? It’s so frustrating. It feels initially like you’ve been given this vantage point so that you can help solve the problem, but as time goes on and you realize things aren’t getting better at all, you start to wonder if your attempts to translate are helping or hurting.

My mother and my sister don’t communicate well, or almost at all. I understand pretty clearly why each of them feels the way they do, but I can’t help them, and it feels crappy. I love them both so much.

Complaint letter

My sister, who teaches school online to kids who aren’t in school for one reason or another, assigned her kids complaint letters as part of their business writing curriculum. They had to identify some product or service they’d used which didn’t perform properly and write to the company asking persuasively for compensation. One kid got a case of Shout, a certificate for dry cleaning, and a credit to a sporting goods store for his letter about how Shout didn’t get the grass stains out. If it didn’t get the grass stains out in the first place, what the hell is he gonna do with a case of it? I want this kid to write my letter to Cingular, about the hours of my life I’ll never get back trying to get a replacement phone out of them. After over 2 hours on the phone, they sent me a replacement that’s…you guessed it, broken.

Baby talk

Clementine says “boobie” now and points to my chest. When it’s inconvenient to admit this, I pretend she’s saying “baby,” but mostly I think it’s hysterical and encourage this behavior.

A Nice Evening

Certain issues in politics and the media have been weighing on my mind lately (in fact, driving me a little crazy), but I have my father’s entire family, plus friends of my grandparents, in town from all over the country, and I am reminded of my grandmother’s sign on the wall at our most recent family reunion-type event that read: “Discussing politics accomplished nothing and can ruin a nice evening.” So while my family is in town, I will respect that sentiment and focus on enjoying the company of our 50 guests, who have travelled so far to celebrate my grandparents. The first event of the weekend went off well tonight; two more get-togethers tomorrow and then the AIDS Walk on Sunday. Then I will throw off the good girl mantle and rant a bit.

Book club naughty

I am on page 109 of a 618 page book that my book club is discussing tomorrow. What’s my excuse? I…
a) thought I was going to have 2 more days of childcare recently that I didn’t get
b) thought the book club was on Tuesday
c) failed to realize that this book completely defies speed reading
d) just started my weblog and am posting to this instead of reading
e) all of the above.

Sorry guys, I suck.

BTW, the book is Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey, which Chris was sure was called Sometimes a Great Nation. It’s a rich, dense book that I think I will end up liking, but it’s clear that Ken Kesey did a LOT of drugs and might have benefitted from some restraint at some point in his life.

More on grandma

This is my Grandma Esther in 1958. Compare with recent picture.