Monday, December 24, 2007

That One Elephant

Remember the elephant on 38th Street I wrote about several days ago? Tonight I was once again traveling the 38th path home from the boyfriend's place. I glanced at the elephant as I drove past and to my surprise it was no longer standing. The poor thing lay on its side, legs broken and separated.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another "on the job" moment...

As I was telling this story at the dinner table tonight, Dad gave it the following headline: Hopefully not on News at 11.

I'm typically friendly with customers throughout the work day. I collect moments as I watch people interact (unfortunately, most of the moments don't make it past my mental collection box) and listen to them communicate. This afternoon as I was walking toward the water cooler, a 50-something man at a table struck up a conversation. He told me he'd been visiting the store frequently because he's trying to keep his mind occupied--he'd been laid off a few days before. I offered my sympathy and remarked what a good place the store is to keep occupied what with so many books to peruse and people to watch. He agreed and shared an anecdote with me. We had a pleasant interchange and I wished him well in his job searching as I moved on to something else. But I wished he could realize how intriguing he was to observe because the following books were his choice for perusal on this recently laid off, mind occupying day: Killers and Airguns. I hoped his amenable nature was genuine and he wasn't using the store as a strategic planning facility. :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Winter Wonderland

This morning when I woke up I looked out my window. My view was up as I was lying in bed still. I noticed tiny icicles parading themselves like cave dwelling stalactites and snow laden evergreens standing tall and still, statues along the driveway.
When I was a kid I loved icicles and snow. My sisters and I would bundle up in 10 pounds of winter wear and tromp out the door with arms slightly raised from the bulk. We'd drag our sleds to the 2-foot incline at the edge of the yard and slide down--it felt like a thrill ride. We'd flop ourselves backward (our protective layers almost gave us a little bounce as we landed) and spread our arms and legs to create myriads of angels. We'd scoop handfuls of snow and press them to our cold-reddened lips and the taste was as good as cotton candy (we did know to avoid discolored snow). We'd break foot-long icicles from the car bumpers (I now realize how gross that was) and suck on them like Popsicles. We build lop-sided snowmen that looked as perfect as Frosty to our winter-colored eyes (children don't need rose-colored glasses to see beauty and perfection, they just need changes in the season). By the time we'd left our boot tracks all over the yard, our faces would be stinging cold and our bodies toasty warm.
I still find joy in the beauty of winter, but not the same unabandoned excitement of my childhood. I love how the soft, white powder muffles the noises outside and I love the freshness before it is mussed by passing cars and boot tracks. I even venture out in a sled every now and again (our hill is a bit more than 2-feet now). But I have to admit that winter has lost some of its magic because now I have to drive in it to work. I can now longer just stay at home and enjoy the winters in my own backyard.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Out my car window

I really am a good driver; I've had no tickets and no real accidents. However, I say of myself that I probably like to look around a little too much while behind the wheel (as my previous post about writing and driving might indicate), but really, imagine all I'd miss if I didn't let my peripheral vision swivel my head a few times?
Tonight I observed the following phenomenons while driving home from the boyfriend's place--mind you consistent un-December like rain slicked and shined the pavement and it was close to 11 p.m. In the parking lot of a furniture factory store was an elephant. No cars, nothing, just a life-size elephant looking to be occupying at least a couple parking spaces. This was no fake blow-up, it looked quite realistic, except that it was motionless. A sculpture, I guess. But anyone that knows 38th St. knows it isn't a sculpture kind of road. And why at a furniture store? Secondly, about halfway home I encountered a street sweeper. I did mention earlier that it was rainy, right? What good is street sweeping going to do except push around the slush on the road and spray it onto passing cars of which I was one. Plus, we stopped at a stoplight and the sweeper stopped--briefly--and then continued on through the light as if it were a stop sign. Is there a law that states street sweepers do not need to comply with the general rules of the road?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Public Punctuation Mistake

A week or so ago I was walking into a thrift store and noticed this sign on their door: "No" public restroom. I'm not a particularly brilliant grammarian, but I commented to my companion on the strange use of quotation marks. Once inside the store I saw this sign: No "public" restroom. The inconsistency tickled me, but also caused me to ponder at their use of quotation marks at all. What do you think they were indicating? (As an aside, the obvious misuse of quotation marks made me think of a Friends episode where Joey is taught what quotation marks mean and how they are used, which of course he promptly misused.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Witnessed and Recorded in Transit

Although I was soundly chided for recording the following while I was driving (I really am a good multi-tasker, but I do understand the risk of writing while driving), I knew that the moment would pass and I'd lose the word image that appeared in my head. This is a "first draft" and therefore not nearly perfect, but I still like the concept.

In a facade of clandestine meeting, smokey blue and salmon greet each other along the horizon, kissing briefly as if they are the star of the show and then bid each other a 24-hour farewell. They part for the sun's grand entrance.
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