My friend Carolyn, of West Palm Beach, Fla. is a saint among women. In the comments below — the post where I whined about my spotty broadband service — she points out that she’s still waiting for plain old electricity, and likely won’t get it until Saturday. “I’m at peace with it,” she remarks. It’s this kind of patience that makes her a friend to young reporters everywhere, and cranky old columnists, too.

But let’s all hold hands and send her some good karma, eh? A girl needs electricity.

My hours may be punishing, but I have to confess I’m growing very fond of my brief, 8-minute commute in these last days of summer, especially in the morning. I open the sunroof, turn on the jazz station and roll through the deserted streets of south Fort Wayne, groovin’ on the Islamic moon (last week — it’s gone now) off in the east, and Venus and Orion and the Big Dipper, all visible through the hole in the top of the car. Last week at the doughnut shop I asked the proprietor if he had to deal with a lot of drunks; he said no, he opened at 4 and they were pretty much all gone by then.

“I’ll have a couple of those crullers there,” I said.

“Huh? Oh, you mean the croissants,” he said.

The amazing world of 4 a.m. doughnuts.

And the first 90 minutes or so at work, that’s my favorite time. It’s quiet, no phones ring, you get a lot of work done, and best of all: You get to listen to the police scanner.

“These people have been watching ‘CSI,’ they want a fingerprint technician,” a weary cop voice told the dispatcher the other morning. I hear about drunks who won’t go home, welfare checks on grandmas who haven’t answered their phone in a while and my personal favorite, domestic disputes — “CP reports yelling and screaming from the downstairs apartment.” “Where do people find the energy to fight at 5:30 in the morning?” I asked no one in particular the other day. Five-thirty has earned the right to be peaceful — the drunks should be abed, the chronically angry not up yet. The only people who should be stirring are copy editors on p.m. newspapers and raccoons. No wonder police get all bitter and become Republicans. I would too.

Lovely weather continues, although the clouds are starting to press down — I’m sure a front is headed this way that will make things more September-like. The tomatoes are taking the opportunity to ripen and all the kids are wearing shorts and T-shirts to school. I bought a chicken Saturday for September’s First Roast Chicken — a tradition in my kitchen — but it’s just sitting there, waiting for the A/C to be turned off and roast chicken weather to arrive. I think it’s going to have to be cleavered into a fryer if a front doesn’t move through soon.

My in-laws eat the same food 52 weeks a year. It mystifies me.

Good bloggage today: Alex took a month off, and comes back with a nice entry about his parents’ 50th anniversary, which they celebrated this past weekend. It’s not so much about the anniverary as about his parents, until it starts being about Shelley Long’s mother. Just go check it out.

(Alex and I decided to go to the AIDS Task Force dinner dance next month, the social event of the season for the GLBT community. I plan to go as a soccer mom. Fully report later.)

And longtime NN.C commenter Lance Mannion is setting up his own blog, which I hope won’t take him away from NN.C’s comments section. He has it up, but there’s nothing much there yet, so I’ll wait until later in the week to give you the URL. I’ve only been telling him to do this for years; I’m glad he finally decided to do so.

Planning a vasectomy? Don’t read this. OK, go ahead, if only to get to such pungent passages as this: Thirteen hours later I was in an NHS bed having my bloody and swollen scrotum stitched.

I love Brits. Such pungent language: I had heard only good things about the snip: a friend was on the footy pitch after five days; my dad – admittedly a Liverpool docker, rather than a keyboard-tapping softie like me – went straight to the pub and used Guinness for pain relief. What is “the footy pitch,” anyway? From Googling, I think it might be “soccer field,” but who knows? It could be “the marital bed.”

OK, then. “About Schmidt” is on digital cable, which means I’m outta here.

Posted at 9:25 pm in Uncategorized |

12 responses to “Connected.”

  1. Mary said on September 15, 2004 at 1:42 am

    I keep a Brit in-house for just this sort of occasion. A footy pitch is indeed a soccer field. You can send any other questions of this sort, like, “What is a chip buttie?” to me any time.

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  2. Mindy said on September 15, 2004 at 11:19 am

    Hey, Mary. What is a chip buttie?

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  3. Mary said on September 15, 2004 at 12:18 pm

    It’s a french fry sandwich. You butter two slices of bread liberally, then put chips, as in fish and chips on the bread. This has been described to me as delicious. This description came from an Englishman.

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  4. deb said on September 15, 2004 at 12:53 pm

    ewwww. maybe “delicious” means something different in brit-speak. that sounds like a dish only elvis could love.

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  5. Linda said on September 15, 2004 at 1:28 pm

    Putting butter on sandwiches must be an England/Canadian thing. My Canadian husband slathers butter on every sandwich he eats. I’ve got him on Becel Light now.

    I’m glad to hear that Ivadine Long is actually a nice person. I saw no evidence of it when I worked in the nursing home where her mother was back in the early 1980’s. Out of respect for the dead, I won’t tell how mean the mother was.

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  6. Juan said on September 15, 2004 at 1:41 pm

    Oh my God…

    Sandwich, smandwich. My stomach is absolutely churning after reading that article.

    As a guy who’s on the bubble for getting snipped, that article may have sabotaged years of my wife’s gentle efforts to push me to the “snip.”

    And still, in the year 2004, nobody is sure what happens to those millions of little sailors after they get diverted from the open seas.


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  7. Nance said on September 15, 2004 at 2:38 pm

    Well, Juan, I also know two — two! — men who have had two — two! — vasectomies. A snip, a reversal, more kids and another snip. And they were back out on the footy pitch in a thrice, at least after the snips. The reversals, both say, were a real bitch.

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  8. John said on September 15, 2004 at 2:57 pm

    IOSB Club Member since 1987

    Before my urologist would test me (after the snip) to ensure I was good to go, he advised to work diligently to drain the tank, so to speak. But he wouldn’t write a prescription for that (Ample Loving PRN).

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  9. Bob said on September 15, 2004 at 6:39 pm

    I’ve almost always buttered my bread when making sandwiches; for some kinds, like PB&J, it’s mandatory.

    It doesn’t sound any more strange than the midwestern tradition of mashed potatoes and noodles – yum!

    One of my most memorable meals was the beef manhattan in the cafeteria at the railroad dormitory in Bellevue, Ohio; I was expecting the traditional open-faced roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes, and everything smothered in gravy, and got the open-faced sandwich and the gravy, but the potatoes were home fries with plenty of grease. It was tasty and filling and I was up all night.

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  10. Paul said on September 15, 2004 at 8:24 pm

    “Putting butter on sandwiches must be an England/Canadian thing.”

    No, an Irish thing, too. Today I ordered a chicken sandwich, they asked me if I wanted butter, and I just gaped at them. Culture shock is always the little things.

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  11. Carolyn said on September 15, 2004 at 11:47 pm

    OK, now you’ve done it, Nancy.

    We got our power back this afternoon, courtesy of a Louisiana-based restoration crew.

    I want to thank the little people and

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  12. Nance said on September 16, 2004 at 4:47 am

    Behold the power of NN.C. Glad to help.

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