Notes from Fairchild St.

Whatever day this is. Sheltering at home. That thing. That we are all doing. Well, most of us. The ones that can.

I tried again to adopt a cat. This time from Cedar Rapids. But they told me that they aren’t currently adopting outside Linn County because Covid. I have the no cat blues.

I have barely made a dent in my big list of projects now that I’m having to be home more. I have scrolled twitter a lot. A LOT.

Trump is a terrible asshole.

I am walking more but also eating more. Because I’m home with my snacks all the time. Is that boredom eating? I get way too excited about meals. Right now I’m really looking forward to my bagel with garden veggie cream cheese that I plan to have for dinner.

To help my husband feel better I’m encouraging more viewing of Preston Sturgess films.

There are too many choices for everything.

I have a lot to do

I ate some leftover pie and now I’m filled with leftover pie regret. I watched the first episode of Enlightened because what better time to start a series you always meant to watch then when you have a big to do pile?

What is a Verve Pipe? Do the Verve Pipe still tour on their one hit wonder? I’m not going to Google that. Don’t ask me to. Fine. I did it. They are still making music. Good for them. 90s forever!

I do not know how to expertly decorate my house for the holidays. Is this why they invented putting rum in eggnog? Should I have picked up that Martha Stewart Living full of advice on holiday decorating or would that have made it worse? I bought a tinsel garland. What am I supposed to do with it? I am a holiday decorating failure.

It’s really time to work on the novel. It should be done by now. It really, really, really should.

Laura Dern rules.

My therapist is Jungian

He asks me about my dreams. He encourages me to write them down and we can talk about them and their meanings. I finally remembered to write it down today. I put it all in a word doc. It is ridiculous. Drew Barrymore is it in. Now I’m going to have to read my word doc in my next appointment. “So then we were on a bus and on the Cayman Islands for some reason”.

Dreams are not like dreams in movies and books and television shows. Media is lying about dreams. Dreams and sex.

Sometimes I blather on

I have a friend from Wales who always peppers the phrase “this, that, and the other thing” into conversations. I like this very much. She also calls me (and other people) “love”. I think they do that in Australia, as well. It’s not just “mate”. I like being called a “mate” though.

Maybe somebody could invent a fast people tube that would send me places without me having to fly. Like that fish tube. I mean, yes, it does sound terrifying. But if it’s over quickly. If I’m on anti anxiety meds. No, forget it, I’m too claustrophobic.

Like three times today I started on the writing of comments in response to tweets. I started and then I deleted them. Stop your blathering, Alison. You aren’t offering anything new to the conversation. Donald Trump and Marco Rubio are not interested in your snarky opinions about their stupid thoughts and actions. Also, I have the tendency to write long rants on Facebook. Or short rants. Both are totes unnecessary and yet I cannot stop. Also, long winded comments on blogs. WHY DO I HAVE TO HAVE MY OPINION AND VOICE OUT THERE EVERYWHERE? I know there is eye rolling. I eye roll at my own self.

being nice

So many stories I would like to tell, but it would probably hurt or piss off some people to tell them. It’s a problem when funny or curious life stories involve sharing about people who might not appreciate reading about themselves in such a manner. The people I’d share about would probably never read this here blog, but you never know. I don’t want to make anyone feel bad.

But the stories! Just for example, one I would give the title “Please don’t eat my pickle”.

In my next life I shall be a bird watcher

Me and Franzen. I guess I could do it in this life too. What I’m saying is, I like birds.

A couple of weeks ago I came upon a few neighbors looking up into one of the large trees lining our street. An owl was up there. He was looking down on us. He didn’t seem to have a positive opinion about our gawking. “Who, who, who cooks for you?” he asked. “My husband,” I responded. “I’m really more of a baker.”

travel problems

Of course I want to go to lots and lots of places, many of them truly farther than reasonable driving distance, but here are the places I most want to go:

Japan. A big reason is my Japan-o-phile kiddo, but also, all the things in Japan like islands of cats, a Studio Ghibli museum, a million billion vending machines, mascots, cat cafes, fields of flowers, I could go on and on.

Norway. Because fjords. And rushing brooks near fjords.

Paris. Because Paris.

Montreal. The Paris of Canada.

Hawaii. No need to explain, right?

New York City + Brooklyn. Mostly for the food and drinks and shopping. But seems like a place I should go and truly experience. As an American. As a human earthling.

Crater Lake. It’s evidence of craters.

Lake Tahoe. Because sometimes I think I like to kayak.

I can drive to New York. I can drive to Canada. Driving or taking the train out West would be a pain, but possible. But those other places? A boat trip would be a heck of a thing.

Somehow, I’ve got to figure out how to be cool with flying again and not a crumbly, crying, tiny wine bottle guzzling mess. Seven hours of turbulence sounds like something I would not survive, crash or no crash.

What is the new saying? I’m baby? I’m baby. When it comes to flying, I’m baby. Certainly I’m not using that correctly. And yet, I cannot bring myself to actually look that up.

On second thought

I don’t really, truly, absolutely believe the internet is evil.

It has given me so much opportunity to learn and to read and to connect and to pin adorable clothes onto my Pinterest Style page. Clothes that I want to buy and will likely never buy. Goals!

Also, I get to obsess over pictures of my favorite bands.

Also, I get to watch Schitt’s Creek via my Netflix app while on the Treadmill (imagine me saying “David!” in my Alexis voice).


Also, memes!

lamenting, naturally

I do not like that the days, months, and years are going by so fast. The pages of my life are turning too quickly. The year of my birth feels much too far away.

And so I ask, all the time, what have I done? And what am I doing? Why haven’t I don’t more? I still haven’t tried to bake my own bread. Even that supposedly easy “no knead” one.

For years I have wanted to visit Door County again (last time I went was during my childhood. There are goats on a roof and I want to again see those goats).

I do not own a cottage by the sea. Or even one by water. At this point, I would certainly settle for a little house by a Great Lake. And there would have to be a paid gardener involved.

Anyway, I’m writing. I believe with all my heart and soul that no matter how great the internet is and how much easier it makes one’s life, it is ultimately an evil thing. Mostly because it keeps me from too many other things. Certainly I would have gotten more writing done. Certainly I would have baked more cakes and made more dinners. Certainly I would have read more books.

My eyes are bothering me more. Is it my glasses? Is it the screen? I do not like this. But going to the eye doctor is such a pain (you know, um, scheduling and um, parking) and they put those stinging drops on your eyeballs and then you feel guilty for not buying the eight thousand dollar frames from their business and have to sheepishly ask for your prescription so you can be cheap-o frames online. Yes, cheaper than Warby Parker. Ones where you have to upload a picture of your big headed self and do a virtual try on.

All things are degenerating.

Here’s a rabbit hole that ends up being a story about personalities, kind of

I love Taffy Brodesser-Akner. I only recently became aware of her when her Gwyneth Paltrow profile started showing up all over my twitter feed. I only recently became aware of a lot of people whom I now love. Mostly women writers. They all have such fantastic twitter presences, but I’ve been reading their writing, as well. Their short stories and flash fiction, their personal essays, their writings about film and television, their celebrity profiles, their funny newsletters. I keep discovering new women writers and keep being amazed. There’s a whole bunch of worlds out there I haven’t thought about or seen or let myself be exposed to or, I suppose, really paid much attention to before. Where have I been?

But I digress. Taffy. I love Taffy. She has a new novel out (it’s on my to read list) and she’s doing interviews and I read this one. And because I follow all the links (one never has to wonder how the time escapes us. It’s because we follow all the links.) I ended up reading this profile of Robert Pattinson she did for GQ a few years back. Who doesn’t want to read about Edward? I’m sorry, Robert, you will always be Edward. I respect your acting career and your willingness (or eagerness) to do the arty and the edgy and I think you are fine actor, but you are Edward.

So Robert Pattinson seems like a person that always needs to be doing something. Something maybe a little bit exciting or thrilling. Moving. And this made me think about how I am not a person like that. How I enjoy stillness and quiet and aloneness. I do not want to climb mountains or take hikes longer than two hours. Once, in my freshmen year of college, I was attending an FPIRG conference in Miami when, as we were all hanging out on the beach (some of us naked. Not me, I have never been naked in public),  my fellow PIRGERs declared we needed to drive to the Keys to the see the sunrise. It was sometime after midnight and the Keys were a couple of hours away. I went. I wanted to be game. Also, I wanted to hang out longer with the cute guy from Florida State who ended up jumping out of the truck we piled into approximately 2 minutes after we all jumped into it. He had realized that he didn’t really want to do this. He wanted to go to sleep. I wanted to go sleep, too, but I couldn’t follow him out of the truck lest he think that I was trying to sleep with him. I couldn’t appear desperate. I knew I wasn’t as hot as the naked girls he had just seen a few moments earlier. They came out from their ocean swim and stood before us, fully naked, yes, and talked about sunrises and I did my ever-so-common inward sigh that was all about realizing I couldn’t compete. Not with confident, beautiful naked girls in Miami.

Anyway, I stayed in the truck. I wanted to be in my bed in that hostel we were booked in. I wanted to have a pillow. Instead I tried my best to find sleep on a stinky fishing net. I didn’t even get out of the truck once we got there. I might have sat up and acknowledged the sunrise, but it was no grand experience. I was so tired. I was angry with myself for doing this thing and for not getting any sleep and for now being hungry and having to be cramped in the back of this stinky truck for another couple of hours on the way back. I am not the person who wants to drive to the Keys at 2am to witness a sunrise on the southern tip of the U.S. I am the person who wants to go back to the hostel and read her book and fall asleep. I accept this about myself. I am at peace with it. Obviously, as we have seen from recent news, we cannot all be mountain climbers.

Sometimes I like to do things, but these things have to be followed by promises of showers and meals and maybe naps. I have never liked camping. I don’t imagine I ever will.

After my sophomore year of college (not in Florida, now in Iowa. It made more sense), I spent the summer in Champaign-Urbana with two hometown friends who were attending the University of Illinois. They were taking classes and working and wanted to be with college friends and I did not want to be in our hometown which was small and lonely. I thought I would work and have small adventures (underage drinking, concerts, giant burritos after the underage drinking) and meet boys. There was a boy I crushed on early on. Matt, I think. Matt had dark hair and wore glasses and was funny and witty and liked P-Funk. I think he wrote for The Onion back when The Onion was smaller and more local.

Matt was a doer. He was someone that wanted to be entertained. He probably didn’t want to climb mountains, but he wanted to be part of things that were happening, not quiet rooftop conversations about whatever (“I’m bored” he said out loud. Or maybe it was “this is boring”. Either way, screw you Matt from The Onion). Yeah, I sensed this right away and yet I still hoped he could like me and kiss me and whatever.

He did not. It was for the best. I wouldn’t have been able to handle the pressure. Keep him laughing. Keep him guessing. Ugh.

And here we are. The point of the story. Some people are exhausting. You don’t have to put up with that. Not if you don’t want to. Don’t get in the truck if you want to just go to bed. Who cares about that Florida State guy. Naps are nice. Reading is wonderful. Pillows are amazing.

Also, this: all the women writers! They are brilliant.