Saturday, April 20, 2013

Riffday: too much TV

1. I stayed up until after 2 a.m. last night (Thursday night) watching the manhunt. Turns out the guy they hunted down in the wee hours last night was uninvolved.  He was just an innocent bystander who was stripped and handcuffed and interrogated by the FBI up against a wall with a flashlight in his face, but he was just a normal guy in the wrong place at the wrong time.  You could tell it was a major blunder because nobody talked about it this morning--he hasn't even been mentioned all day.  Only those of us who were still watching in the middle of the night will remember.  He has my prayers, because what an awful, awful experience.  I wouldn't be able to sleep for months.  In fact, I had a hard time falling asleep last night because I watched too much.  The entire scenario is difficult to wrap your brain around.  Even though they have the second suspect in custody now, the whole thing just leaves me feeling a little bit sick to my stomach--all of it, from the bombings on Monday to the crowds chanting "USA" on TV tonight, as if we had won a soccer game.

2.  I mourned the damage to the marathon community in my last post, but on the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert reminded me how unlikely it is that marathoners will be deterred by terrorism:  "But here is what these cowards really don't get. They attacked the Boston Marathon. An event celebrating people who run 26 miles on their day off until their nipples are raw — for fun. And they have been holding it in Boston since 1897. ...And when those bombs went off, there were runners who, after finishing a marathon, kept running for another two miles to the hospital to donate blood. So here's what I know. These maniacs may have tried to make life bad for the people of Boston, but all they can ever do is show just how good those people are."

3.  Moving on.  We had more winter this past week than we did when it was actually winter.  Enough already.  Today we finally had some blue sky and it got up to 48, which is the best we've had in awhile.  Every year I get tired of wearing a jacket and wool socks somewhere at the end of March, so I stop.  So now I am cold all the time.

4.  Sadie outgrew her puppy collar and got a real collar a couple of months ago.  We underestimated how big she was going to be--she outgrew that one, too.  Now she has a beautiful turquoise collar and she looks quite stylish.  And big.

5.  During her catbox problems, we thought Cinder, our 16-year-old cat, was at death's door.  So I thought we could indulge her a bit.  We have always fed our pets dry pet food since that's what every vet we've ever been to recommends.  But since I thought Cinder was about to die, why not get her Trout and Cod Buffet in Gravy? or Savoy Salmon Feast?  Needless to say, she was thrilled about her new diet, and because of that or some other reason, she perked right up.  So now she is addicted to smelly, nasty canned cat food and I can't quite bear to stop giving it to her--partly because she is so elderly, and partly because she has a high-decibel yowl that she has no problem using when she's unhappy with us (which fortunately isn't very often).  It would be about as miserable for us as it would be for her.  The things we do for our pets.  At least it's cheap.  (she still gets her dry food, too, don't worry.)

6. Going back to this conversation:  I read yet another book discussion this morning where people were equating "lack of resolution" at the end of a book with "real" life.  I still just don't get this.  One woman said that the book under discussion ended "messily," just like real life is a mess.  And that makes some sense to me, more sense than saying "lack of resolution" is the same thing as real life.  In real life, resolutions do happen--people fall in love and get married, or change jobs and find the change fulfilling and satisfying, or work very hard to achieve a goal and then reach the goal.  Why is it less like real life to end a story after one of those resolutions than to end it in between resolutions?  Why is it only "real" if it ends in despair, chaos, or confusion? You like unresolved endings, fine.  But don't tell me it's not real unless it's unresolved and depressing.  Of course I know that "real" life rarely has happily ever afters, but this adamant opinion that a "realistic" novel must be depressing and miserable seems as stubbornly unrealistic as the candy-coated opposite.

7.  I have a friend I dearly love here locally who is famous for greeting her women friends with "Hey, beautiful!!" or "Hi, gorgeous!" or "Hey there, hottie!"  When I first met her years ago it seemed fake, because she always said it, even when I was wearing grungy clothes and looking my worst.  But after awhile, I found myself counting on it--even when I was feeling my very most ugly, if Nat was going to be there, I knew I could count on her to tell me I looked great.

We were very sad to find out a couple of months ago that she and her family are moving at the end of the school year.  Earlier this week, I was commiserating with another friend about how much we will miss her.  That friend said, "Who is going to tell us we're beautiful now?"  We both laughed, because we're in our 50s and obviously not many people are going to tell us we're gorgeous and hot anymore.  But I got to thinking about it later and realized how odd that is.  We are beautiful.  We're genuine and real and our lives show in our faces.  I decided that I'm going to start telling more of my friends that they're beautiful.  Because it's true.


  1. I appreciate your comments about the resolutions at the end of novels, stories, etc. But I've always found something existential about the unresolved ending: No matter what happens, life is about the choices we make in the face of its own inherent absurdity. While I don't disagree with your comments--in fact, the more I reflect, the more I agree--, there is also the truth that life is a series of resolutions that never fully change our way of being. Things may seem resolved, but they rarely are. So, I wonder if these different ways of ending a story are as different as they seem. I don't know; I only wonder.

    1. You know, that's an interesting way of looking at it. Thank you for chiming in. I honestly don't understand the argument (especially by the time it has made its way to book review forums, where it has been watered down nearly to the point of nonsense), so it helps to have someone else's perspective. I've read many great novels with unresolved endings, but I don't understand the argument that those novels are more "real" than other novels. It seems to be a product of the 20th century--maybe even second half of 20th century-- so as a reflection of the growing sense that there is no larger meaning or order in life, it makes sense. "life is a series of resolutions" and "things may seem resolved but they rarely are" --yes, definitely.

  2. Replies
    1. yup, from one hot 51-year-old to another.... we are definitely babes. :-)