Sunday, May 29, 2005

My Purple Finger Hurts

I've learned to make good use of my word processor's spell check feature because I've been making a lot of typos during the past several days. I usually don't do this, but at the moment, I have a purple finger and it hurts.

So how did I get a purple finger?

I fell one moring on my way to work. I was distracted by something and wasn't paying attention to where I was going. I tripped on an uneven section of the sidewalk, rocketed across a strip of gravel on my stomach, and smashed the middle finger of my left hand against the curb. Ouch!

As soon as I determined that I had no broken bones, I left the scene in a hurry before some good samaritan decided to come to my rescue--or worse, call 911 on a cell phone.

What was I distracted by?

The house across the street.

I was looking at what is rumoured to be a very expensive house in a neighborhood where the asking price of most of the houses would probably be about $200,000. A couple of years ago, I watched this house being built. When it was completed, it was a nice, rather plain three bedroom house with a two car garage. And then someone, presumably the owner, got other ideas. He or she added another room, a patio, and an RV garage. Later on, I saw a work crew building a portico onto the front entrance. Shortly after that, a wall with two custom-made metal gates surrounded the property. One morning I noticed professional landscapers working at the house, and the next day the front yard was dotted with juvenile palm trees, assorted cacti, and other desert plants.

A few days later someone mentioned that the house was listed on the market for $600,000.

For almost two years the house had a For Sale sign stuck in front of it. Although the sign disappeared several months ago, I have seen no indication that anyone lives there. In fact, the house is still under construction. The two car garage and the RV garage are being converted into rooms.

Last Tuesday, as I strolled along, I looked at the house and wondered where the people who will eventually live there will park their cars. If you sign a mortgage agreement on a $600,000 house, you probably don't take the bus very often.

That's when I tripped.

By the end of the work day my finger was dark purple and throbbed like crazy. When I was getting ready to leave, I looked for my hat, a necessity in this part of the country. That's when I realized it had fallen off when I tripped. I went back to look for it, but it was gone.

I still have a purple finger, but it's a lighter shade of purple, and it doesn't hurt so much. And I have a new hat.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Just Checking In

Just dropping by to say, "Hello, I'm still around."

I’ve just been too busy to blog lately. I’ve been working, partying, and trying to keep up with my two online classes. And I’m starting a short story writing workshop tomorrow evening, so I will be busy on Monday evening for the next six weeks.

However, I have a four day weekend coming up, so I just might be able to post something that consists of more than a few sentences. But I’m not promising anything.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

I Was a Housekeeping Failure

Doing housework has never been one of my favorite activities. As a toddler, I was terrified of the vacuum cleaner. If Mom wanted to vacuum the living room rug in peace, she had to draft someone to take me for a walk.

By the time I was eight, my parents were fairly certain that I had gotten over that nonsense. So, early one Saturday morning, Mom flipped the switch on the vacuum cleaner, turned it over to me, and pointed me in the direction of the living room. Within minutes, I had toppled a couple of lamps, knocked my little brother into the magazine rack, and scared the cat out of three or four of her nine lives.

“Do it yourself before she kills us all,” Dad hollered, extracting Mopsy from his shredded trouser leg.

Unfortunately, my father’s instinct for self-preservation condemned my mother to doing most of the housework forever.

When I was thirteen, my parents decided that I was old enough to starting helping out around the house on a regular basis. But, by that time, I was beyond rehabilitation. I just couldn’t seem to get the hang of housework. Mom complained that I dusted around knickknacks and doilies and failed to vacuum the corners of the living room—or any room.

My incompetence annoyed Mom even more when it came to keeping my bedroom picked up. She claimed the place looked like an explosion at a rummage sale. “How can you tell the clean clothes from the dirty ones?” she frequently asked. Sometimes I couldn’t. I also suspected that I held the town record for having the most overdue library books. They were usually shoved under my bed, where they stayed until the librarian reminded me that they should have been returned weeks ago.

When Mom couldn’t stand the sight of it anymore, she cleaned my bedroom. Coincidentally, she usually did this right before we were expecting guests. Throughout my adolescence, Mom had a recurring nightmare in which an overnight guest took a wrong turn on the way to the bathroom, stumbled into my bedroom, and disappeared forever.