October 2nd, 2008


Taking my frivolous cue from Catherine

Good morning, I'm Mris, and I'll be your Thursday concierge. ellameena was Monday concierge this week, and I decided to pick up the slack to show you many fine things about Thursdays. (But not pick up your dry cleaning. Weekday concierge is not that kind of job.) I didn't bring doughnuts like she did, but there'll be fresh hot bomber bars and tea in the afternoon. So Thursdays. If you start week-long projects on Mondays, you're really starting to see some serious progress on Thursdays, but you don't have to worry about sticking the landing quite yet. They are about potential fulfilled but not yet evaluated. But Thursdays are also full of potential themselves! The weekend lies ahead like a mirage of fun, but you're not close enough that you have to think through the leaves that need raking and the trip to Target you've been putting off.

Also when I was in junior high and high school, we almost always had math club meetings on Thursdays, and I liked math club a lot, so Thursdays make me happy in mathy association. And then in college I rarely had labs on Thursdays, so they were often a good time to do theory homework, which means more math. Yay Thursday! Yay math!

(I miss math.)

If this is not enough, you can organize a trip to the Falls in the lobby. I love the Falls. No reason you can't get together a trip to see them, if you can find something that qualifies as a lobby in this metaphor.

Question meme, round one

I know, I know, I promised bombers, and here you all are staring at me going, "These are not bombers. These are brownies." But I had already half-melted the butter when I found out we were out of brown sugar, and so there was only so much to be done. Ah well.

More than one person on my list is doing the five-question meme again, so here we are: ask me five questions if you like (I will have the comments screened on this post, but that's if I want to choose to answer questions in different contexts; if you don't want your comment to go public, please say so), or I'll ask you five.

Here are the ones from panjianlien:

1. What's the best thing about living in Minnesota?

I would have to say the Minnesotaness. Maybe the Minnesotitude.

If I have to pick one very specific thing today, I'm going to go with the way the air smells and feels when it's a September morning [Oops: is October. Smelled like September.] and you open the front door to get the paper and it's dark and chilly but not yet frosty. Tomorrow it will be different. That's the point: there's always something very concrete for me.

2. As you seem to have a very firm and well-developed sense of Where You Want To Live, what advice would you give to others who are searching for a place they can feel so staunchly and positively about?

Well, some of it is stuff you can intellectualize. You know whether it's important to you to have a major airport or a baseball team or your choice of experimental theater groups or all of the above. You know where your pre-existing friends and family live, and you know whether it's an advantage to be near them (as it is for me) or an advantage to be far away (as it is for some of my friends with very different family circumstances than mine). You know whether you want a particular prevailing social attitude or whether that's less important.

I think you're looking for a place where the rightness startles you sometimes, where you look up from your commute or getting the mail or taking the trash out and go, "Oh." Just those little moments that hit your heart the way they don't necessarily hit everyone's. The little interactions with the neighbors leaving you satisfied. Like that. If you've been there a year and aren't finding those starting to come naturally, it's probably not the place in your heart that Minnesota is in mine.

For me, one of the signs of home is that it has things you never do and places you never go, and it has things you always mean to do and places you are totally going to go as soon as you get around to it. I don't mean any old places you never go; there are all sorts of places I don't go in Dallas, say. But -- here, for example, we have The Russian Grocery Where We Don't Go. We've been there, and it's not offensive, and if we lived in a neighborhood that didn't have three other Russian groceries within 15 minutes of our house, we might go there. But we don't; it's not our Russian grocery, it's someone else's Russian grocery.

3. In my ideal world, there comes a day when you wake up vertigo-free and find that by some mysterious force, the vertigo is now in a little glowing radioactive-looking capsule in a jar on your bedside table. Next to the jar is a box big enough to hold the jar, and a notecard that reads: "Directions: Place vertigo in box. Add a personal note if you wish. Seal box and write the name of the person you wish to have receive your vertigo on the lid. Leave the box on the left-hand corner of the bottom front step. We will take care of the rest. -- The Management" To whom do you send your vertigo?

Actually, I keep it. I know, it's a lame answer. But at least once a week I've thought, "Thank heavens it was me with this and not someone else." Because we have the resources, the health insurance and the out of pocket cash, to send me to PT, and my work is such that I can do some of it under these conditions, and we're not dependent on the rest for me to eat. We have family and friends who are willing and able to help with stuff around here when we need it. Most people don't have that. I can finish the last months, however many there are; I know I can do it. I don't know that of other people, necessarily.

As for the people I don't really like, I have seen too many people get really pretty nasty when they don't feel well. So I wouldn't want to wish my vertigo on somebody awful enough on a world scale that I've heard of them, because they'd have enough power established to be able to make some serious misery if they were having an off day, and if they're that awful, they probably would.

Oh wait, I know: the father of one of my friends. (You know who you are, honey.) Not only do I dislike him heartily on her behalf, but I'm not so keen on her stepmother on her behalf, either, so I wouldn't be wishing indirect trouble on someone who didn't deserve it. And hey, maybe the Jesus they believe in could make vertigo into a private jet, considering what they think he did with a shoulder injury. (This Jesus guy these particular people believe in: he's not sounding much like anybody I've heard of by that name in song or story.)

Well. So much for my loving good perspective on the human race. That guy. For sure.

4. What language do you most wish you spoke/read/understood, and why?

Finnish. It's the one I don't speak, would want to use in research, and can't just muddle through. I mean, I've picked up an alarming number of tiny bits of Finnish, considering that it's a non-Indo-European language. But it's not like Norwegian where you can get yourself a dictionary and be veryvery stubborn. Also I have an unreasonable bias towards languages that use phonetic or syllabic alphabets.

5. If you could structurally alter any part of your current dwelling in a "poof! now it's perfect!" way, instead of a paying-money-and-putting-up-with-contractors way, what would you change?

Lower the garage! We've always joked about how many things would be improved if the garage was at the basement level, the insane steep driveway was flat, and we had two stories more house atop the garage.

Trust the monkey.

Apparently Shimmer's theme issues are just the thing for me: I've just sold "Kay's Box" to their special Clockwork Jungle issue. Yay!

PS to kijjohnson: this is the one I wrote in a fit of guilt because my household usage of "monkey" made you think I meant monkeys. There is an actual monkey in this story as well as assorted other primates.