Flea spray, and ‘fridges and files, oh my!

Such a week, and it’s only Monday.

First of all, the cats have fleas, and  you can imagine what a pain that is. We don’t have a very large apartment, and if you have any idea how many books I have see my library at LibraryThing), you know that I don’t have a lot of room for much of anything except them. (I haven’t yet encroached on Sophia’s bedroom, much to her delight, but I’m considering it .) So I’ve had to do a lot of rearranging Hex Wrencheslately to spray for the fleas. Yesterday evening, I took the futon that’s our couch out  into the hallway and sprayed it, and of course discovered that there was a lot more stuff under the couch than I realized. Plus, the couch has this steel tube frame which is slowly breaking, and it needs to be re-welded. So, I decided to take it apart and jury-rig a new seating arrangement until I can find a wire welder to repair it. So I’m busy with my hex keys and adjustable wrench, and really getting the job done.

Of course, the morning that I decide to disassemble this couch is the morning that the maintenance man, Jim (who is really a great guy, just so you know), comes to the door with the announcement that he is ready to install my new refrigerator. I mean, I can’t even get the door open more than a foot.

“Jim, you guys were supposed to give me a couple days notice, so I could move things around!”
”Sorry,” he shrugs.
”Could we put it off until you’re here the next time?”
Well, that’ll be two weeks, since next Monday is a holiday.”

Yuck! The current fridge is useless. I make the snap decision.

”Well, can you give me a little while to get things around?”
”I can come back after dinner.”
”Okay.”

And the race begins. I’ve basically got to rearrange the entire living room. I pick everything up and make these huge piles (hoping all the while that Juniper, the considerably more active of our two cats, doesn’t decide to jump (hence the name) on all of them for fun, because I don’t think they’re very stable. Then I have to move a bunch of stuff around in the kitchen, too. More piling.

More tomorrow, including pictures of the great antique chairs I dumpster-dived while Jim was installing the fridge!

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Melting pot, or salad bar?

I developed this concept while I was in my communications class at IPFW back in 2003. We had been talking about metaphors for America, especially the melting pot one. But I had told my group I wasn’t satisfied with that one, because it seemed to me that in a melting pot (like a fondue, for example), everything you put in was, obviously, melted together and turned into one mixture. But while that may have been the experience of many immigrants of the past, it no longer seemed to be the case. So we needed a new metaphor.

home_saladbar So I proposed the salad bar. With a salad bar, you have many choices. You start with the basic lettuce mixture, which is usually the largest container in the bar. Then there are many options, such as cheese, chopped eggs, green peppers, croutons–it just goes on and on. You can take as much, or as little as one wants of any or all of these options; or you can take none of them. You can even skip the lettuce altogether and just have, say, potato salad, chocolate pudding or something else entirely. Another thing about salad is that while there are many ingredients, and they are combined on one plate, they still retain their uniqueness. Because they are not cooked together, like in a soup, there is no homogenizing of taste. In each bite, you can still taste the cherry tomato or pineapple.

I believe this is a far better metaphor for the experience most people currently have in America. We have a sort of generic "American" culture–that’s like the large bowl of lettuce. Most people take this as the starting place: it contains things like having dinner at McDonalds, shopping at Wal-Mart, and doing turkey for Thanksgiving and Santa Claus for Christmas. These things are part of the "typical" American lifestyle. Then there are the options, like the sunflower seeds and shredded carrots: those would be like being Catholic or celebrating birthdays with a cake and candles. Some people opt out of the tossed salad altogether, and just go for the side dishes: they would be groups like the Amish; people outside of the mainstream.

All of these groups partake of the salad bar, because they are here in this country. If you live here, you’re going to be part of the salad bar experience; but how you make your salad is up to you. What you take is your choice. If you want to pack your plate full of mandarin orange slices and cherry tomatoes, or just cover a bowl of lettuce with ranch dressing is completely up to you. You can even make more than one trip, and have a different type of salad each time.

Since I originally proposed this idea, I’ve discovered that what I thought is hardly unique. I just think this shows how very apt it is.

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Quinceañera today

Osmaíra Martínez quince in limoHere’s Osmaíra in the back of the limo.

Today I played piano for the quinceañera of Osmaíra Martínez. I was afraid I’d be going solo, but one of my singers, Luz Piña, showed up unexpectedly and that was great. Osmaíra’s was very beautiful and everything went off without a hitch. Things were a little late getting started, but that’s nothing new. The weather was stellar, in my opinion. Even thought it’s late August, it was in the mid-60’s, just right for tuxedos and dresses with crinolines. I’m just so glad to see girls make a public profession of their faith.

St. Joe'sThis is a picture of our church, St. Joseph’s.

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No wonder I feel so great!

PoppiesIt’s my flowers! I know for some women that time of the month is not a time that they relish, but for me, when my Aunt Flo comes to visit, it’s the best time of the month!

In fact, I was going to get the laundry out of the washer this morning and thinking to myself, I feel really peppy today, and feeling how nice it was to feel that way, and when I came back and sat down at the computer, I got that feeling and sure enough, there it was. I’m so happy! My manic-depressive cycles are heavily influenced by the hormonal changes of my menstrual cycle, so this is a real upswing. Yay! <big smile>

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No phone? No problem!

kewpie doll

We’re without phone service for a while, and I can’t say it’s a bad thing. We just get really a lot of phone calls that I don’t particularly care for.

Sometimes, I wish we didn’t have a phone at all, but then of course, I can’t talk to the people I love.

So, it’s a trade off. Of course, this week I’d like to be able to talk to some people more than others. Again, a trade off.

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Song of the Day

Sometimes I hear a song, and it really reminds me of some event in my life, or some time period in my past, or someone I love. This is the song today, and it really reminds me of Roger.

Trisha Yearwood“Thinkin’ About You” by Trisha Yearwood (from the CD Greatest Hits, MCA Nashville, September 2007)

I’m not quite sure what’s goin’ on, but all through and all night long,
I’ve been thinkin’ about you,
I’ve been thinkin’ about you.

The look in your eyes when you smile that way,
the sound of your voice sayin’ my name.
I’ve been thinkin’ about you,
just keep thinkin’ about you.

This single minded fascination I’ve got,
do you call it love? If you don’t then what?
All I know is I don’t know what you’ve done,
and this train of thought ain’t about to jump the track that it’s on.

In the back of my mind, there’s a secret place.
But the whole world knows by the smile on my face,
that I’ve been thinkin’ about you.
Can’t stop thinkin’ about you.

I know it’s crazy, callin’ you this late,
When the only thing I wanted to say is that
I’ve been thinkin’ about you,
Oh, just keep thinkin’ about you.

Oh, can’t stop thinkin about you.
I’m always thinkin’ about you…