Welcome to the Creek

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Reasons why Dawson’s Creek has utterly captured my interest and my heart:

1. Young Michelle Williams (one of my favorite actors in the universe.  Although, let’s be honest, we don’t really want her to end up with Dawson.)

2. Young Katie Holmes (who, let’s be honest, I’ve been a little prejudiced against since the Tom Cruise fiasco, but have now officially warmed up to.)

3. Real talk.  This show has it all: parents having affairs and dealing with the consequences, teachers having affairs with students and dealing with the consequences, teenagers growing up, sex, interracial relationships, Christianity vs. atheism, high school drama, LGBT (so far only mentioned, not exemplified, but I’m only a few episodes in).

4. Wit.  Reminds me in this way of Gilmore Girls: lots of pop culture references and quick banter.

5. Best friends falling for each other.  Yes, this is somewhat less of a revolutionary aspect than the previous four, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.  It’s what keeps me watching.  Will Joey tell Dawson she’s in love with him?  Will he reciprocate?  Can they be more than friends, or will admitting their feelings only make things awkward and tear them apart eventually?

6. The title.  Like I said, I’m somewhat new to the scene, but is the creek (seems more like a river) that shows up frequently in the show actually named Dawson’s Creek?  And is the character Dawson named after the creek, or vice versa?  Or is the title some metaphorical statement about the way Dawson’s life and feelings and relationships are constantly in flux, like a moving body of water?

7. Movie references.  This goes hand in hand with item 4.  I love to hear the characters talk about different films.  What they’re watching, whether they like it, etc.  It makes me want to start a list of the ones they recommend, and then watch them myself.

8. The theme song.  (hey hey hey yeah)

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In Spec: A Highly Sophisticated, Appellationary Rant

I’ve always thought it a terrible crime that one might say “in retrospect” when looking back upon something that’s already happened, but cannot say “in spec” when referring to something happening at present.  Of course, one can say “at present,” but that’s an entirely different phrase.  No relation to this mysterious “retrospect.”  And anyway, “at present” is boring.  It’s as if your mother, perhaps wearing the pea coat and netted hat of her early days, is tapping you on the shoulder and telling you that at present, you are not behaving properly.  Spec implies something much more romantic.  Spec implies spectacles.  Implies, by extension, rose-colored glasses.  Implies, then, Edith Piaf, implies Paris, implies yellow lights on the river, dark-capped apartment buildings with balconies pushing out.  And since dear Edith is not with us at present (she was once), and since we are currently not in Paris (we have been before), but rather on the living room rug with a sweaty dog leaning against our right knee, “in spec” seems to imply retrospect.  So while “at present,” (and this is me blatantly ignoring all free access to the OED which my UMM alum status hath granted me) only implies the current, “in spec,” while referring to living room rug, sweaty dog, right knee, actually encompasses much, much more.  Therefore, “in spec,” from now on, must for all romantic souls replace the colorless “at present.”***

I will be contacting Andrew Clements immediately.

***Please note that I (most irresponsibly) watched Midnight in Paris before writing this post.

 

Summer Enjoyment

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of moping around the house.  A fair amount of job hunting.  A decent amount of neatening the large amount of stuff which is the culmination of 22 years of residing in the same room in the same house.  A satisfying amount of going out to enjoy summer.

Since I don’t really want to talk about the moping (more of a private journal topic), and I shouldn’t talk about the job hunting (in case potential employers find me here and wonder why I’m bragging about my prospects online), and I would be wise to leave the home organization talk to those who know what they’re doing (the fine folks on HGTV and TLC), I’m going to talk summer enjoyment.  Enjoy:

An oriental poppy from my mother's garden.  I like to claim that these flowers grew from seeds I planted years ago, but it's much more likely that they were bought, fully grown, from the Home Depot garden center.

An oriental poppy from my mother’s garden. I like to claim that these flowers grew from seeds I planted years ago, but it’s much more likely that they were bought, fully grown, from the Home Depot garden center.

Is anyone else more than a little disturbed by the Old Navy mannequins that "greet" you as you enter?  Luckily, two sisters wearing matching (I was dressed first, I swear) denim outfits were there to complete the group.

Is anyone else more than a little disturbed by the Old Navy mannequins that “greet” you as you enter? Luckily, two sisters wearing matching (I was dressed first, I swear) denim outfits were there to complete the group.

Como Zoo afternoon.  I can never decide which animal I like best.  Not the zebras (I just couldn't resist posting a zebra butt photo).  Probably the orangutans.  My anthropology professor used to tell fantastic stories about orangutans who learned to do laundry with village women in Borneo, and would go out every morning with the women to scrub and wring.  I suppose it's a little sad to think of a wild animal doing human laundry, but I can imagine how lively the event would be: women chatting, laughing, splashing, orangutan right in the midst of it all, washing a pair of pants.

Como Zoo afternoon. I can never decide which animal I like best. Not the zebras (I just couldn’t resist posting a zebra butt photo). Probably the orangutans. My anthropology professor used to tell fantastic stories about orangutans who learned to do laundry with village women in Borneo, and would go out every morning with the women to scrub and wring. I suppose it’s a little sad to think of a wild animal doing human laundry, but I can imagine how lively the event would be: women chatting, laughing, splashing, orangutan right in the midst of it all, washing a pair of pants.  Sorry for the long saga on the zebra butts photo caption.  

My endlessly athletic mother completed the High Cliff Triathlon last weekend.  We had to leave the house at 6 p.m., but even at that hour, I could appreciate Lake Winnebago.  And the comfort of my lawn chair and sweatshirt in comparison to the athletes' hard bike seats and wetsuits.

My endlessly athletic mother completed the High Cliff Triathlon last weekend. We had to leave the house at 6 p.m., but even at that hour I could appreciate Lake Winnebago. And the comfort of my lawn chair and sweatshirt in comparison to the athletes’ hard bike seats and wetsuits.

Hiking by the St. Croix river.  The Gentleman Caller and I did some illegal climbing so that we could sit on mossy boulders and dangle our feet in the water.  Well, I dangled my feet in.  Truthfully, I think the G.C. was more concerned about the spiders that were flying through the air, trailing gossamer strands of web behind them.  I will say no more.

Hiking by the St. Croix river. The Gentleman Caller and I did some illegal climbing so that we could sit on mossy boulders and dangle our feet in the water. Well, I dangled my feet in. Truthfully, I think the G.C. was more concerned about the spiders that were flying through the air, trailing gossamer strands of web behind them. I will say no more.

Til You Drop

There isn’t much to report around these parts.  I’m still unemployed.  It’s still raining.  Ruby is still number one in the nation for canine popcorn consumption.

A momentous event did occur yesterday, though: yesterday, my mother (who has just been set free for the summer from her teaching job), my sister (who has a proper part-time job, but who had the day off), and I (bum, along for the ride) went clothes shopping.

I think you all know how I feel about shopping.  I can’t find a specific post to tag, but I suspect that I’ve complained about it at least several times.  Here’s a recap anyway:

The concept of buying new things I have no problem with.  I like things.  I like newness.  I also like oldness, hence my closet, which is currently stuffed full of objects too “sentimentally valuable” for me to part with.  But the process of shopping, of going in and out of stores and dressing rooms and waiting in lines for dressing rooms and cash registers and then after all that waiting being held up so that the cashier (who is undoubtedly just doing as she has been told by corporate) can ask you to sign up for ten different credit cards and email lists … all of that is a nightmare to me.  And then there’s the fact that one must engage in such torture several times a year, that one must shop for winter clothes, for summer clothes, for shoes to match, and finally, stressfully, for a decently flattering dress for that upcoming wedding.

I am the sigher and the watch-checker who plops down on the nearest bench or inside the nearest quiet clothing rack while everyone else rushes around with hangers full of promise.

I am the toddler who has to be placated with an Orange Julius or a large soft pretzel so that I won’t throw a tantrum in the middle of Penny’s.

I am the attitude-laden teenager who digs in her heels and refuses to step into Forever 21 because everyone in there looks “snotty” and because even if hipster clothes fit, it doesn’t mean you should wear them.

Yesterday–somehow, magically–yesterday I did okay.  I shopped the sales racks, willingly entered dressing rooms, and (allow me to boast) didn’t buy an otherwise wonderful shirt because, as my mother warned, “the shoulders didn’t fit right.” I even bonded with a Sephora employee over the fact that thick hair sucks when it comes to styling, and can only be tamed with large dollops of creams and mousses and gels.

Dare I say it?  It was a pretty good day.  And maybe, just maybe, the new things I bought will make me feel just a little bit Forever 21 hipster snotty.  Because that’s fun every once in a while.

Let Me Catch You Up

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Intriguing title. Disgusting recipe (although I didn’t make it, so let me know if it’s actually delicious).

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Grammar error! North Branch, MN, shame on you!

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Delicious gyros at the Soho Cafe in Uptown, Minneapolis. By the way, sorry for the poor pictures. Sometimes my phone does well, sometimes (mainly in poor lighting), it suffers terribly.

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The Gentleman Caller and I saw “Urinetown the Musical” at the Jungle Theatre last night. It was a rehearsal show, so we got in for free (with $5 donation). I had no idea that the public was invited to rehearsals like that-and it ran smoothly and without directorial interruptions just like a regular show.

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Brief sunshine one morning last week. Otherwise, it’s been raining for about three weeks straight.

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Chicks in the feed store this afternoon. Ever since I was little, we’ve been going into the local feed store for dog food, and I’ve peeked in on the chicks when they’re there in the spring.

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Why, hello!

Early Morning

Today I was up before the dawn, likely due to some suspicious skittering in the vents that I at first attributed to branches tapping at my window.  My phone lit up on my nightstand: it was my gentleman caller, texting to say that he had made it home.  In foggy delight that we were both somehow awake at 4:45, we chatted for a little bit.  I panicked about the shuffling–a mouse, undoubtedly–and attempted to discern, with moral support via text, whether or not the little creature was confined to the vents or diving in and out of second grade spelling tests under my bed.

I read for a while, then, still Michael Perry’s Truck.  After fifty pages of hunting tales and cab painting and descriptions that otherwise seemed not so far from what I know, having spent most summer weekends of my life in Wisconsin, I turned out the lamp.

My window lit a pale blue box against the dark, rodent-conquered room.  I heard the wind pick up, an inhale preceding the hollow sound of millions of leaves brushing against one another.  I could see the leaves move if I craned my neck, using the pillow for leverage.  Somehow, being able to see the leaves even as I heard them made me think that I could possibly get back to sleep, mouse or no mouse.  In the way we learn when we are very young, now that it was daytime, the demons had shrunk considerably.

There was a whine from the kitchen.  Ruby, perhaps hearing the ruffle of pages turning, had decided to begin the morning ritual of whimper, pace, gate rattle.  She’s very polite about it, even going so far as to adopt a look of, “Why, good morning!  Fancy you being awake at this time, too!  Shall we go for a romp outside, since we both happen to be up?”  I let her outside, pulling on a fleece as I followed.

She bolted for the weeds at the edge of our yard, preferring this morning to do her business in private.  I trudged up the driveway for the paper.  Ruby came running back, orange plastic “log” in mouth.  I tossed it for her a few times before she became distracted by the business of a neighborhood dog, deposited in a neat pile in the grass behind the garage.  She was only coaxed away by my promise of breakfast.

After the panicked realization that we were both locked out of a sleeping house at six a.m., and after some–thankfully brief–fumbling for spare key, we both settled down in the kitchen again.  Me with the thick bundle of paper, Ruby with a bowl full of kibble and another bowl of water which she sloshed into her food to create a textual masterpiece.

It’s six-thirty now.  The mouse has gone back to his nest of old clothes in a corner of the laundry room.  The sky has lightened enough to reveal another overcast, fifty-percent-chance-of-rain day.  Ruby has settled back onto her large pillow, waiting for me to quiet down so she can commence her mid-morning nap.  I think I’ll follow her example on that one; it’s much too early for me to be awake, anyway.