At 5:20 a.m., my neighbor goes out.
“Vroom!” goes the full-size SUV under my bedroom window, open to the cooling breezes of late spring.
At 5:30 a.m., someone drops off a child across the street; this neighbor baby-sits. The two adults stand in the driveway having a conversation. Their voices aren’t raised, but in the still morning they might as well be in bed with me.
Ten minutes after this, an automatic sprinkler system erupts. Sure, we’ve had rain out the wazoo these last few days, but those things are on timers and not easily overridden. “Hisssssss,” goes the sprinkler head. “Ticka-ticka-ticka.”
Sometime after that, my neighbor returns from his morning errand. The V-8 conquerer of highways comes back up the driveway. And a few minutes after that, my mattress dips. It’s my wonderful child, crawling in for five minutes of cuddles before we both have to get up, because it is, after all, a school day. Time to get up.
I have to change my life. Have. To. Change. By Thursday I’m so sleep-deprived I’m nearly hysterical. I feel as though I spend my life catching naps, which are invariably interrupted. You might have read about recent storms in the Midwest? Storms are followed by chain saws and wood-chippers. You’ve heard of the green revolution? That means three rounds of big trucks rumbling through the neighborhood on trash day (garbage, recycling, yard waste). Every lawn service uses gas-powered blowers, edgers and weed whips. Don’t get me started on the ice-cream truck.
And on those days when everything comes together for me, when I can sleep through the sprinklers and the SUV and everything else? Sometimes this requires me to go sleep in the guest room on the other side of the house. Those neighbors have a sprinkler, too, but sleep later. But there’s a line of arbor vitae along that side of the property, excellent nesting habitat. One blue jay greeting the day is all it takes.
Oh, don’t mind me. I’m just ranting. And starting tomorrow, my life will be changed. Yes, at long last, EndofSchoolFest 2008 is over, and I can sleep until I feel like getting up. Learning effectively ended a week ago, and since then it’s been party, party, party. Today, the last day, is a half day — it’s all over at lunchtime.
“Why are they even having school today?” I said over raisin bran at 7:30. Grumpily. (Yeah, go figure.) “What on earth are you going to do?”
“There’s a breakfast, and then a helicopter lands on the playground.”
Jesus Christ, and then what? Hannah Montana steps out and plays a four-song set? Bill Graham presents the Playboy Bunnies? No, it lands, everybody gets to look at the instrument panel and ask questions, and it takes off. One of her classmates’ father is a Coast Guard officer on the rescue chopper, and it’s just a treat for the kids. This is its second visit in three years. I talked to the Coastie’s wife at a school function a while ago. What sort of missions does that thing fly? I wondered. She said they evacuate a lot of sailors with chest pains from Great Lakes freighters, a procedure that, if you did it to me, would push me from mere chest pains to a full-blown heart attack. Nothing like being hauled up to an orange chopper in a basket to make a day interesting.
The promotion ceremony was sweet, though. And no one said a word about the flip-flops.
So, bitching aside, howzabout some bloggage:
Michelle Obama, “baby mama.” Yup. First the crazy negro fist bump, and now this. That clip of the Fox News host asking if the Obamas’ knuckle punch was “a terrorist fist jab” is overused — find it yourself on YT; I’m sure there are eight billion copies up there — but it reminded me of the first thing I ever read about this greeting. It was a story in which some baseball player was quoted as saying his secret to toughening up him mighty man-paws was soaking them in his own urine. The team’s manager was asked for a response, and he said, “Oh, no one really cares. Although no one shakes his hand anymore, either. We mostly just give him the fist.”
Personally, I’m all for handshake alternatives. In the labs at the Centers for Disease Control, I’m told, it’s considered very bad form to offer a handshake; the preferred greeting is the elbow bump.
Of course, if Fox News existed in Canada, we could fine them into the stone age. Not a good idea.
Whenever I concentrated long enough to begin prayer, I felt some type of physical force distracting me. It was as if something was pushing down on my chest, making it very hard for me to breathe. . . Though I could find no cause for my chest pains, I was very scared of what was happening to me and Susan. I began to think that the demon would only attack me if I tried to pray or fight back; thus, I resigned myself to leaving it alone in an attempt to find peace for myself.
Now I kinda hope McCain does ask him to be his running mate; this could be fun.
Guess what I can hear? A helicopter! Time to get to work: