August 8, 2007

Things I Don't Understand

There exists a surprisingly long list of things I don't completely understand, stuff I just don't get. I've added several things today.

The heat. Those who say global warming doesn't exist can kiss my sweaty butt. It was Africa-hot today. I pretty sure I actually saw some kid burst into flames before my very eyes. One minute he was standing there listening to some tunes, the next - poof! Just a little puddle of sweat and scorched iPod headphones where he once stood.

Pens and lighters. While cleaning out everything in the house, I've learned that we have more pens than there are words in the entire English language. Approximately three of them actually work. And despite the fact that I haven't smoked in years, I own 27 lighters.

The White Stripes. Seriously, could someone explain them to me? I'll admit that Jack White's a pretty decent musician but Meg couldn't drum her way out of a paper bag. I always feel shortchanged when I listen to them. Like, hello, I'd like some bass guitar please. It seems to me that their most popular song - Seven Nation Army - is just simple, repetitive recycled blues anchored by totally inaccurate, pitchy pseudo slide-guitar solos.

Phone numbers. Why can you take your cell phone number with you when you change carriers but you can't take your home phone number with you when you move ten miles?

Time. Over the weekend, I was sorting through the pile of crap contained in one of our desk drawers. I stumbled on some old photos. I wish I hadn't packed them or I would have posted a few. Some were the obligatory cat pictures (double RIP, Callie and Pixel) and some were the even more obligatory apartment shots from previous lives. But a few were gems - pictures of Beth and I between 1994 and 2003. We looked like infants. Like toddlers shacking up together.

As you go through life, you move through a series of first - first drinks, first votes, first cars, first loves and lovers, first (and hopefully last) marriages, first houses, first kids. To some, these seem like hurdles, others embraces. The rest of your life is there, laid out in front of you like a movie-set sun setting in the West. It's yours to walk into because that's what you're supposed to do, that's what you're happy doing. But as you look over your shoulder, it's kinda sad to see those firsts behind you.

We're moving away from our first house, the house we brought Mia home to, the house that truly defined home for us for so long. And we're bringing a second child into the world. These aren't at all sad things but they do signal that time marches on. Sometimes it sprints. Sometimes it passes faster than light, faster than you ever though possible. Sometimes I'm just surprised that I'm not 15 anymore. But then I realize that the life I have now is wonderful. And while I march through time, I do it with the ones that I love beside me.

I will still, however, never understand all those damn pens.

Posted by Chris at August 8, 2007 7:13 AM

my husband says I am the only one who uses the expression africa hot. I'm glad that i not true.

Posted by: jodi at August 8, 2007 8:18 AM

my husband says I am the only one who uses the expression africa hot. I'm glad that is not true.

Posted by: jodi at August 8, 2007 8:18 AM

Heh, Africa-hot. Confession time: I've never heard anything by The White Stripes, unless you count that time they were SNL. I promptly changed the channel; don't know if that means anything.

Posted by: Fraulein N at August 8, 2007 8:41 AM

I'd double-check on the phone number thing. I know my aunt and uncle kept theirs when they moved about 5-10 miles, but it may depend on the area/provider/etc.

Posted by: Stephanie at August 8, 2007 8:55 AM

Yeah, you should be able to keep your phone number, especially if you're staying with the same carrier. Of course, you could always go down to the phone company and throw dried up pens at them until they relent.

Posted by: J at August 8, 2007 9:14 AM

I understand the hot thing. Today it's "Afghanistan Hot"...well, it was yesterday, too. And the day before...and...well, you get the idea.

I wanna go back to Germany!!!!!

All those firsts are why I'm such a shutterbug. I love to revisit them, even if it is a little sad, it's also an indelible mark of that moment in time. It's a Very Good Thing (tm)!

Posted by: Holly Selden at August 8, 2007 9:17 AM

My husband and I use the "Biloxi Blues" expression "Africa Hot" too.

Old photographs are always fun.

Posted by: Maria at August 8, 2007 9:17 AM

I swear pens are like rabbits and multiply at will...I just went through my desk drawer to get ready for the upcoming semester and I have at least 100 pens...about 75 do not write anymore. (Or, if my multiplication theory is correct, maybe they just haven't been taught how to write yet!) ;-)

Posted by: Krush at August 8, 2007 9:33 AM

Yeah, Krush said what I was going to: the pens, they breed and multiply. Behind closed drawers. It can get pretty kinky, if you want to know the truth.

Posted by: Alison at August 8, 2007 9:36 AM

We can keep the same # here so I don't really get that. Pens? Us too.

Good luck with the move! We took our first two loads yesterday and it didn't even make a dent.

Posted by: Much More Than A Mom at August 8, 2007 9:55 AM

I share your confusion over the pens. And yet? When you're looking for one so that you can write a check or take down a phone message? None. Zilch. Nada. Can't find one.

Posted by: wordgirl at August 8, 2007 10:05 AM

I have the opposite problem with pens. They disapper. Never one around when I need it, and inevitably when I find one it's red.

I understand your wistfulness on moving to a new house. It does feel a bit like leaving part of your life behind. We moved to a bigger, better house when our son was 6 months old. The melancholy faded about the time the movers pulled out of the driveway. It turned out to be the best decision we ever made.

Posted by: Jeff St Real at August 8, 2007 10:23 AM

I have the opposite problem with pens. They disappear. Once I find one, inevitably it's red.

I understand your wistfulness about moving. When my son was 6 months old, we moved to a bigger, better house. I did feel like we were leaving a big part of our lives behind. The melancholy faded about the time the movers pulled away with the last load. Turns out it was one of the best decisions we ever made.

Posted by: Jeff St Real at August 8, 2007 10:26 AM

I've spent too much of my life living in the past and looking ahead, all while taking the present for granted. That finally changed a couple years ago. Living in the present seems simple enough, but, well...neuroses are a bitch. If you can be satisfied with 'now', you're doing better than most.

Ditto on The White Stripes. Someone once mentioned to me how bored Meg always looks while playing and I replied that it's because she's not doing anything. One doesn't need to be rythmically-gifted to alternately hit a hi-hat and a snare, while stepping on a bass pedal.

Enough ranting.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at August 8, 2007 10:27 AM

Oops. Sorry for the comment duplication. The first one hung up so I cancelled and started over.

Posted by: Jeff St Real at August 8, 2007 10:29 AM

Pixel? Pixel? Seriously? You are such an IT guy!!! That literally made me laugh out loud on the train when I read that!!! Love it!!

Posted by: Li'l Foot's Mommy at August 8, 2007 11:12 AM

love that phrase "africa-hot" - i say it all the time (but i stole it from Biloxi Blues)!!!!

Posted by: ali at August 8, 2007 11:32 AM

I don't understand dark matter.

Posted by: Kari at August 8, 2007 11:35 AM

It was strange. Last summer, when I knew I was coming back, I cried when we drove away from Pittsburgh. This time, when it was for real, my heart was heavy, but my eyes were dry. The Boy and I have a few more of those firsts in front of us, but it does seem like the last ten years sped by so fast that each of the 3,652 days happened yesterday, all at once.

Posted by: alektra at August 8, 2007 11:40 AM

OK, and what was the deal with Jack and Meg? Are they brother and sister? Are they married? Are they just plain crazy?

Posted by: aimee/greeblemonkey at August 8, 2007 11:42 AM

I hear ya!

heat - I so agree! I can't believe people don't believe it. My husband think its a crock too! Here in Alaska it has been really hot. So it may not be that hot to you folks down yonder but 75 degrees in a house with no A/C is HOT! lol

pens - My husband works at a bank and I scold him for bringing pens home. Drives me crazy. We have enough pens now that we could supply a school for a year.

phone # - we have been able to keep ours so far. I'm hoping with our last move we can do it again. :)

time - time flies much too fast doesn't it? I swear just the other day I was pregnant.

Posted by: Mary at August 8, 2007 12:29 PM

Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot.

I am in the midst of packing for an office move, and I hear ya on the pen thing. Never a blue or black pen around when I need to sign a form for QA (God forbid I use non-standard ink to sign anything!) but now that I have to pack, I could use a new pen every day and take forever to reach the end of the supply. Also in the office move, I am looking at the lifetimes of my children, as I remove the photos from my cubicle walls. When I started at this company, Princess was barely walking; now the younger of her two little brothers is starting preschool.

We bought a house as "almost marrieds" and that was the home our first baby came into. Then, we bought a house as a family, and that was the home our next two babies came into. We will not be having any more babies, and now we are making the house become the home we need it to be as the babies become people (for example, another bathroom, because 1 shower for a family of five is just not gonna work out...) The next "home" I plan to move into will be of the retirement variety.

Posted by: MamaKaren at August 8, 2007 12:36 PM

But just try to find one of those lighters when you want to light a candle.

Also? The heat index in Memphis today? 110.

That's bullshit hot. Because that is some bullshit that we're even expected to leave the comfort of our air conditioned homes on days like today.

Posted by: kalisah at August 8, 2007 1:43 PM

Agreed it's sad that you're leaving the house you brought Mia home to but Mia now gets the chance to be part of a whole new set of family firsts - when you move into the new house and when you bring the new Cactus/Fish home! BTW, congrats! I haven't had Internets for a few days so this was the "first" I saw the news. Very exciting times for y'all.

Posted by: Gwen at August 8, 2007 2:00 PM

I actually like The White Stripes against my will. I detest Jack White but I love his music. I can't figure out why Meg is even involved.

I also easily have 487 pens that don't work.

Funny houw when you quit smoking you can find all the lighters that couldn't be located when you still smoked.

Posted by: Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah at August 8, 2007 2:04 PM

We built a house 1 mile from our old house. One. We had to change our land line to another city that was 15 miles away, instead of keeping our number for the town that was 2 miles away. We also had a person living across the road from us - technically CLOSER to the further-away city who had a phone number for the closer city. When you figure out why, let me know, 'kay?

Happy moving!

Posted by: sue at August 8, 2007 2:27 PM

I like the White Stripes well enough, but I get a real laugh out of people who simultaneously 1) say they like the White Stripes and 2) dislike classic rock. Pretty foolish, seeing as how most of Jack's riffage comes straight out of the classic rock handbook.

Posted by: Holmes at August 8, 2007 4:42 PM

The other thing I discovered during my recent move... an overabundance of dried up rubberbands, that my kitchen drawers have become a repository for paperclips (who knew?), I have apparently been visiting some terrific countries with coinage that I'm unable to identify and then dropping said coinage in unlikely places all over my house unawares. Bread twists? WHY do we keep every one of them that comes into our possession?

Oh, and beware of little girls with their hair clips and ponytail holders. Those accessories multiply in the darkness and you will be finding them everywhere from now until the end of time in every room of your home, in your furniture, in your food cabinets... :)

Posted by: Keri at August 8, 2007 6:31 PM

I ran across pictures from 29 years ago when I lived in Europe. I was such a child, yet thought I was so wise. I'd never give up the wisdom I've since acquired, but I sure would give up the ass I've acquired.

Posted by: Lori at August 8, 2007 10:42 PM

You've made me nostalgic for my firsts.
When I look at pictures of my husband and I in our first years together, I'm amazed by how old we've gotten. 15 years ago I had braces and looked like a child bride. Where does the time go?

Posted by: Nila at August 9, 2007 5:51 AM

When we cleaned out my MIL house after she passed, we found approx 1 billion pencils and 752 staplers? Still laughing about it two years later.

Posted by: Annie at August 10, 2007 12:17 PM

Sometimes you live your first's twice. Like sending your child off to their first day at school. I sent my first seven year's ago and it isn't any easier now that I am sending two more. Sometimes I hate looking at that movie set, and sometimes I love it. It's an odd thing, the past.

Posted by: BID at August 10, 2007 11:12 PM