Ferociously Observant

It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. -Anon.

Godiva Guy 27 April 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ferociouskater @ 1:02 am

It is a sunny Friday morning and B and I are returning from our daily game of tennis when we encounter another neighborhood favorite: Godiva Guy.

He is shuffling down the sidewalk in front of his building wearing an overcoat and heavy pants, though we are sweating in shorts and t-shirts. In one hand, a leash connects his hand to an ancient chocolate cocker spaniel, Godiva, who was probably cute at one time but age and weariness have whithered her appearance. We have, several times, learned Godiva Guy’s real name. We have even chanted it to each other multiple times to try and remember it. We have failed.

B noncommittally waves, sidestepping the mummified Godiva, who wags her stump of a tail and pulls on her leash. “God-i-VA,” Godiva Guy whines gruffly, if whining gruffly is even possible, and tugs on the leash. Having millions of walks worth of experience at this game, Godiva plants her little furry chocolate feet on the sidewalk and continues to stare up at B with doddering, cloudy eyes. Save me, she says.

“God-I-VA!” Godiva Guy whines louder, and louder still than that because he is mostly deaf and since he can’t hear himself very well assumes Godiva can’t either. He tugs again, muttering something under his breath. We act as if we are fixed in place, watching a routine we stopped being amused by months ago, yet continue to inch down the sidewalk slowly so we do not become engaged in a conversation that could very well last millennia.

Godiva Guy catches B’s eye and we know it is over, we know we will never return to our homes because we will starve, die and rot right here on the sidewalk listening to Godiva Guy talk about a whole lot of nothing. “See the weather? S’posed to get more snow,” he grumbles, yet not unkindly, and gestures to the sky with his little ziploc bag of dog poo. Sticking out of the bag is a silver serving spoon, his weapon of choice, that we’ve all wondered if he runs through the dishwasher and uses to serve himself mashed potatoes on Sundays.

“This weather can’t stick around for long, can it Godiva?” he asks her more than us and we dare to glance sideways at each other because we know this is our out, this is our chance. We must take it if we value seeing our families again.

“Well, stay warm,” B chirps and we turn our backs to hear him respond, but it is again more to the dog, and we know have escaped yet again. We dare to turn back after we are down the sidewalk a bit and he is bending over Godiva, who has decided to squat for her morning necessity. “That’s it, girl,” he coos, and readies his spoon. Feeling we have violated a sacred and disturbing privacy, we turn and continue on.

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It’s Only Wednesday in Castle Way 23 April 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ferociouskater @ 5:26 pm

Every have a feeling that moments in your life are actually scenes written intentionally weird from some movie?

Like this morning, for example. B and I are out playing tennis and suddenly this middle-aged woman, in a red pants suit, walks onto the court waving a full-page color ad from the newspaper. “I don’t understand,” she says in a thick Russian accent, “I don’t understand this.”

She pushes the ad in my face and points to it – a local furniture store displaying a couch, loveseat, and chair set. There is a price listed, around $400, and she doesn’t know if this price is for the whole set or just one of the pieces. “Is for all? Is for one?” she asks, positively baffled.

I stand there in my workout clothes, holding my racket under my arm, and try to decipher the ad. Across the court I can see B with upturned eyebrow, confused at the nature of this little early-morning encounter with what appears to be our new Russian neighbor. Not only must she discover whether this sale is a gift from heaven or a rip-off, she must do it now, on this particular Wednesday while I’m attempting to improve my painfully bad backhand. Luckily, she departs grumbling about the expense of furniture after I explain to her that the price is for the couch only.

I watch her red jacket disappear around the hedge and turn back to the court, shrugging at B’s inquisitive look. We resume our back-and-forth until the next distraction, and decide that I might miss this neighborhood just a little.


Pondering for a Friday Night 19 April 2008

Filed under: Ponderings — ferociouskater @ 12:33 am

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Parental bonding. What is it? What creates this connection? As an outsider, do I have a chance to ‘get’ it? Or must I be resigned to detachedly watch our friends’ interactions with their new baby until years from now, when I dare to have my own?


Good Enough 14 April 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ferociouskater @ 5:19 pm

I have been pretty restless the past few days. It’s been rainy, cold, and I have not been very inspired to write like I need to. So this morning I decided that I needed to sit down and make myself get something done. But I had been so blah in my own office the past few days I knew I had to get out. And this time, our regular coffee shop wasn’t going to cut it. So I proclaimed to my husband that today, we were going somewhere else.

He argued. He doesn’t like a lot of change, and this aspect about him has been bothering me for a while. He made some smart comment about me needing to just go overseas and live in a hostel for 6 months so I could get this “not ready to settle down” attitude out of my system. I laughed and told him I would start packing. He responded, eyebrow raised, that he’s miss me but I had to leave my debit card at home.

Tom asked me why I’m always wanting to go out and do something, why I always have to try new things. He asked, “Why is nothing ever good enough?” I thought about it for just a split second and replied, “How boring life would be if everything was good enough. I’d have nothing to work toward.”

It’s like tic-tac-toe. After you’ve played this simple game a half dozen times you have the strategies down, and even if you don’t win all the time the mere knowledge of how to win makes the game, on the whole, less interesting. Boring. I can last about seven games of tic-tac-toe, if I’m lucky. But then there’s chess: 16 pieces, 6 different ways to move. People spend their entire lives mastering chess and still find pleasure in strategy.

I don’t want a tic-tac-toe life. I want a chess life. I don’t want everything to be “good enough.” I constantly want challenges, stresses, new places to explore and new problems to solve. I want to think I’ve figured it all out and be slammed with a “check-mate” out of nowhere so I can start over and re-evaluate. I want to go to the other coffee shop, the one that’s a little further away, and I don’t think that’s a whole lot to ask.


The Art of Patience 10 April 2008

Filed under: Career,Randoms — ferociouskater @ 4:42 pm

My mantra lately has been, “Keep busy and be patient.” The keep busy part I can do – I am currently doing a lot of babysitting, a lot of reading, writing, and making cards. I will start school in a little over two months and that will certainly keep me busy. I am thinking of signing up for some yoga classes.

It’s the patient part I sometimes have problems with (this is partially where the yoga classes come in). Tom and I were sure we’d found our house – we put in an offer, they accepted, and we had scheduled closing for the week after we got back from graduation. We had even gone to the Home Depot to browse for paint and carpet. But then we had the house inspected and found a huge bow in one wall of the foundation. So we are back at square one.

The house was growing on me, but I am not only mourning the loss of that deck or the poetic-looking tree in the backyard. I am mourning the loss of a large “what if” being resolved. My impatience was sated for a while, but now it is back again. We don’t know where we’ll be, once again, and it’s getting to me. I can’t even get myself to start packing.

I asked my therapist this morning and she suggested the yoga. Find a center, she said, and the rest will come. Find a center and you will be able to take those things that make you impatient and anxious and work though them. Change your mind. And focus on your work will follow. So I’m going to give it a try, because it can only help. I’m going to give it a try every morning before writing, before looking through the house listings, before holding a screaming baby. And see how far it will get me.

I am bad at patience, I know it, and maybe simply trying to find ways to resolve that will keep me busier still. At least I can hope so. Because as fast-paced as our current world moves, we sure have to do a lot of waiting.