Friday, July 20, 2007


Home Sweet Home

But it's not. Not really. After being shut up for four weeks, it's taken on that musty, abandoned odor that I tend to associate with second-hand stores and root cellars. Not exactly a warm and inviting welcome, but it sure beats the shit out of an airplane, so I was glad to see it nonetheless.

Everything went as smoothly as possible. Flights were on time. Food was surprisingly tasty. Kids slept some. Luggage followed us. And customs officers ignored us. We dragged our furry teeth and sore asses through the door around noon yesterday and went directly to bed.

For now, we have succumbed entirely to the jet lag. Maybe tomorrow I'll get the kids out of bed before 10 a.m., but to be honest, I don't really see the point. It's summer. We've got nothing to do and no where to be. Who cares if it takes us the next two weeks to fully adjust our internal clocks? Mister maybe, but we stopped listening to him years ago.

I've spent the afternoon trying to come up with some clever way to segue into the following odd aspect of my trip. But seeing as its apropos of nothing very important, and I'm not really all that smart anyway, I'm just going to leave it dangling awkwardly out there, third nipple like, to sink or swim on its own merits.


The nature of my flying phobia continues to morph and grow into ever more irrational mindfuckery. Last year, with the threat of liquid explosives fresh on everyone's mind, I was haunted by the image of large holes being blown in the fuselage and my babies being sucked one by one from my meager arms. I was a total bitch about seat belts, constantly nagging the kids to keep them on, cinching them tighter and tighter across their thighs like maybe that would help. The summer before last it was hijaking--being seperated from my kids, or worse, killed in front of them--that worried me most.

This summer the menace of terrorism lay strangely dormant in my imagination. Instead, at odd times during the flight, my mind would seize upon enormity of the dark distance seperating my feet from the ground. Lame as it sounds, I could quite literally feel the abyss opening up under me--my toes would curl, my knees would pull upwards into my belly, and I could feel vertigo pulling me downwards until I could settle my mind back on whatever inane movie I'd put on the screen infront of me

P.S. Blades of Glory is, without question, the dumbest movie ever made, but it served its purpose well on that airplane.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Goodnight Salt Lake, Goodnight

I just wantonly stole this picture from an album Auntie Wag sent this afternoon. This is the sunset from Alpha Grandma's veranda sometime last week. It seemed like such a fitting way to say good-bye. Hopefully she won't mind too much.

It's been a hectic day of packing, last-minute shopping, and leave taking. But it's done. This time tomorrow, I'll be like half way home maybe. Hopefully. I try hard not to think through the specifics too far in advance lest I fret myself into some sort of fainting episode.

Good-bye my family. JEDA loves you!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Of Swimming Soups And Sunscream

Show of hands--who misses me? I mean, obviously not Jilly Baby, who did her level best to ruin my summer by blithely informing me via SMS this morning that she and her entire family are moving back to Scotland next month. But everyone else, right? Everyone else wishes me well, and wouldn't dream of upsetting the delicate balance of my life by taking their stupid ball and going home in the middle of the game. Right? I said...RIGHT?

The first week we were here, my older brother and his two kids--one of whom is the fabled Eefin--were in town from Chicago. I hadn't seen this particular brother in over six years, and it was the first time I'd ever met his kids, so we packed as much quality family time into six days as we could possibly stand. Eefin and Boy hit it off splendidly, and a fine time was had by all. Despite my brother trying to bum everyone out by announcing he and his wife of twelve or something years are seperated and filing for divorce.

No worries, though. After several middling to decent heart-to-hearts, I'm satisfied Big Brother's going to be just fine. And besides, news of his divorce served as a nice poetic foil to my little brother's wedding which occupied pretty much the entirety of the second week of our vacation. My family is good for full-circle symmetry that way--like the time in the 60's that my flower-power mother gave herself away as a birthday present to a total stranger in San Francisco, but had to hurry home Sunday morning to teach Sunday School. Or the way the groom's cake at my wedding was so weighted down with strawberries that it sagged and eventually flopped uselessly to the side, while the chocolate glaze on the bride's cake was so stiff and hard it took four hands and a serrated knife to crack through the damn thing.

The picture is of Missy and Boy--flower girl and ring bearer--at the rehearsal. Elder Miss and her cousin were flower girls. They all performed just beautifully, and I've almost forgiven the bride and groom for making me wait so long to get my food at the fancy pants barbeque (I say again--a bold choice for wedding fare) after the ceremony.


I mean, it was a good 40 minutes I sat there waiting, and the chicken was all gone by the time my turn finally rolled around, and, while I was at the buffet table, I did miss the one fucking waiter who was doling out the wine. But it all worked out in the end. The ribs were delicious, my blood sugar evenutally normalized, and Cousin Sean and his naughty girlfriend hooked me up with some alcohol (a-lot of alcohol) after dinner. So, bygones. No worries. Except...all the deviled eggs were gone too. I love deviled eggs...

Since the wedding we've mostly just been cowering in shady pools trying to avoid sun stroke and heat exhaustion. There have been a few excursions here and there. In the evenings it cools off two or three tenths of a degree, and we venture out onto the veranda to argue politics and astronomy while we kill off a bottle or two of wine.

The kids are having the time of their life. But Elder Miss has begun to wonder if her friends in Norway have forgotten all about her. Boy is anxious about his upcoming birthday, and worries that his friends don't know the way to Alpha Grandma's house. Missy is relatively neutral about her surroundings, but I do think she's missing her honey and brown cheese sandwiches. So I guess it's just as well that we'll be wrapping up our visit over the next week.

It's not been nearly long enough for me. I'd stay another month if I could. But I do find myself yearning for a slightly more humane climate. I've had to stop running because the heat and the altitude make me weaze and gasp like a diseased donkey after just a mile or two. I need to get back to sea level, and back out on the road before my body forgets everything it's learned about running over the past 8 months.

Over and out from Utah.

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