Friday, February 25, 2005

The time: This past New Year's Eve

The place: a hotel room in Paris
The people: me, and my 17-year-old brother

Toby, commenting on the fact that he's taking his 3rd bath of the day: "It's also probably a good idea, since I'm sharing a room with you, just to bathe constantly."

Explaining himself: "Not, like, in general. I'm not saying you're a filthy person. I just mean now."

(The background: I had a disgusting cold)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Another quote from Mystic, last year

No one and nothing with fluffy ears can intimidate me.

--Heather takes a firm line on a little yappy dog that lives near us.

I had a dream

on the bus on the way back to Boston from New York, and in the dream Elliot Gould had this plant, some sort of succulent like an aloe, that ate cookies. You would drop Chip Ahoys into the bottom of the pot, and the plant's roots would munch on them.

What's up with that?

Something mostly true

When I was growing up my father kept a mezuzah in his sock drawer. It wasn't the only thing he kept there. My father's sock drawer was amazing. It was, by volume, only about sixty-five percent socks. The rest of the space was taken up by various items of importance-- our passports, his cufflinks, a pocket watch, a pocket knife with "Old Timer" written on the handle. I remember gold bars in there, but that could be fantasy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I think that some of us are secretly worried

that once we finally get our sin gotten rid of, we will become boring. Our writing will be uninteresting, our wit will not sparkle. We will stand alone at parties by the yogurt dip, and no one will invite us to dinner. This is of particular concern if we hope in our lives to make at least some of our living by our pens: a byproduct of sanctification will be unmarketability.

There is some truth in this. A mature Christian would not write a trashy romance novel, and trashy seems to be very popular. I see no reason, however, why one might not write a really good romance novel. And here's the thing: once we get there, we will find that holiness is more interesting and compelling and fun and solemn and merry than anything we'd encountered before. What you used to think of as interesting-- or rather, the feeling you used to call "being interested," will look like a pale imitation of something that you're now seeing in full color. Your mind and your curiosity, your imagination and your sense of humor, were built into you by God. Don't you think they're there for a reason? The devil's first lie is that there's a legitimate desire in us that God can't or won't satisfy: that to be fully human, fully engaged, to experience the full range of emotion, we've got to go it alone-- we've got to grab life (or whatever) for ourselves, and not allow God to give us the good, or point us there. This is, or course, fully bogus. The adventure, the information, the joy, the fun He has for us are beyond what we could ask or hope.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A quote from last year in Mystic

Maybe it'll eat the mouse.

--Heather's rationale for not killing the centipede.

Friday, February 04, 2005

The beauty of guys

So, riding the T two nights ago, I became aware of raised voices to my left. Not angrily raised, but just...differently modulated than is usual for rapid transit. Turned out to be two guys-- as I looked over one of them jumped up from his seat to make his point more expansively. These two guys had, as far as I could tell, met on the T thirty seconds before, and before thirty more seconds had passed a third guy had joined the discussion. It was intense. Again, not angry, although my first reaction was "scary, don't lose your temper, calm down," and once I realized it was a friendly debate my second reaction was "rrr...just be quiet and sit down." But my third reaction, which I shared with another woman via grins and obvious spectatorship, was "this is great."

The debate was on the topic of Alewife station, and what happens at the end of the red line. Guy A took the position that the trains come into the station, then simply reverse direction and go back out, with their back end becoming their front end. Guy B thought that this was absolutely ABSURD, and that the trains turn around in a circle somehow. Guy C brought in a voice of moderation and claimed that there was an extra "secret track" (his words) where some trains branched off and maybe somehow turned, but maybe not. It was unclear to me.

Anyway, these guys decided to ride to the end of the red line, to go to Alewife right then, and SEE. Beer was mentioned. I'm not sure if Guy C was in on the wager, or if any of them actually did it. I got off at central. But it was a really excellent moment in my day, and made me love Boston, and cities in general, and public transportation. And guys.