Fin 2012

I have just come to the startling realization that I do not own Wuthering Heights.  My favorite of the Bronte novels, the quintessential Byronic, I-just-want-to-hole-myself-up-with-lightning-in-the-background-and-rage-at-Cathy’s-moronic-actions-and-then-cross-my-arms-in-smugness-because-now-Heathcliff’s-available novel.  Or at least, that’s how it is for me.

Anyway, I dug for about fifteen minutes, came up with six other books I should read in the near future (Les Miserables unabridged; Life of Pi; The Last Lecture; This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen; The Wit of Oscar Wilde; This New and Poisonous Air, in case you wanted to know), but no Wuthering Heights.

Presently, I’m not sure what to do about this problem except to pout about it.  Easy enough, as I’m already missing Dick Clark and dreading my New Year’s 5K tomorrow.

All that aside, the true purpose of this post should probably be to lay out the future of Eight Days a Week.  After all, this blog was created for a 2012 New Year’s resolution, and the resolved duration was only a year.

However, although I’ve shirked, and although this is only the 293rd post (is it possible that I dropped that many days??) and not the 365th, I love the darn blog too much to drop it permanently.  I hereby resolve, then, to keep things going indefinitely, to blog even more in 2013 than I did in 2012, and to generally whine less about paper writing and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Happy New Year, friends.  Thanks for reading.

Savage Weather

The weather, my dear friends, has been savage today.  It’s been raining, but what’s more, it has been cold and windy and raining, which makes everything so much worse.  It’s gone past the romance of rain slapping window panes, has skipped over Brontean moor weather.  It is officially savage outside.  You get one step onto your doorstep, pause to hear the inhale, and are almost blown backwards by the exhale of water and wind.  Clothes wrap soggily around ankles and wrists and knit hats droop against heads and it’s worth an extra look to the left and to the right at every cross walk because the cars never seem to slow.  I’m not the kind of person who minds bringing up the weather, as trivial as it may seem to everyone else.  In fact, pulling together a mental tally, I’ve probably made a variation on the same comment to five separate people today: “I don’t mind the rain, but when it’s rainy and cold I’m just miserable.”  I tried to say it with the lightest touch of wry humor, as if, oh dear, I’m wringing out my sweater, but it’s all very funny.  It is all very funny, but I’m careful to make it seem so, because worse than the girl who talks about the weather is surely the girl who complains about it.  As I clipped home in my boots-while heeled, they’re the closest to waterproof I’ve got-I passed the place where the railroad tracks cut across my street.  And there, on the ground, was the candy-striped beam that flashes lights and blocks the tracks when trains come by.  Its wires were still connected to the post, and it lay so peacefully that I wasn’t sure if it had fallen at all; perhaps some men had come to work on it before the rain started, and set it down when the rain came.  Perhaps they were in the coffee shop on the corner, dunking scones and watching me ponder their half-finished project.  I stepped carefully over the beam and continued home, briefly considering calling the police to make sure it really was all right.  Its wires were still connected, after all.  Now I’m in bed, and my blue Christmas lights are on.  The storm windows are continually crashing against the house, and I keep mistaking the sound for the sound of someone climbing the steps, or slamming the front door.  It’s funny, this house, because while we don’t often see each other, and while I’m not sure if we’re all even friends, there’s a comfort in knowing that every one is home at the same time.  Grace will be studying in the breakfast nook, or playing Zelda while Jordan looks on.  Jordan, when not watching Zelda, has Latin music turned all the way up, and is making squash soup or pumpkin pie (like he did on Tuesday).  Joey likes to know what the rest of us are doing, and grins to be part of it all.  But otherwise he strums his guitar in his room, and takes a running leap down the stairs, which crash and echo the same way my storm windows do.  I’m often not here, but when I am, I’m studying on my bed, or considering the mound of laundry rotting in my closet, or crying over a Keats movie (like I did on Wednesday).  We’re all here now; I hear voices from downstairs.  It’s still savage outside.  But we’re all home, you know?


I was thinking about writing an uninspired, pessimistic post about how busy I’ve been lately, but decided instead, to spare both of us that sort of misery, to pull a Pollyanna and look for the good in today.

The Good, A Compilation:

1. Spending time with Ponyboy and Cherry.  There are a lot of good things about hanging out with a three-year-old and a two-year-old, but my favorite good thing has to be the times (and they’re rare), when we’re just sitting still, chatting.  Today at the park, for example, we were sitting on a bench having a ‘picnic’ (the kids were eating almonds and string cheese), and we began discussing Sesame Street.  I sang the “Elmo’s World” song, which I remembered from that bitter period when I was too old for Sesame Street but my little sister wasn’t.  Sometimes it felt like the PBS folks broadcasted it several times a day just to spite me.

When I finished singing, Ponyboy giggled.  Then: “Can we play Hot Lava Monster now?  And can you be the Hot Lava Monster?  And this time, you can’t climb up the slide to get us.”

2. I was running late this morning, having spent twenty precious minutes lazing on my bed with oatmeal and Huffington Post.  Just as I opened the front door to leave, an older woman walked her dog past my house.  She paused when she saw me, however, and pulled the dog off to the side, clearing the way for me.  “That’s okay!” I called, “I have to unlock my bike first, anyway.”  The woman didn’t move, which I thought was strange.  As I pushed my bike toward the sidewalk, however, I realized that the reason the woman had stopped was because her dog had plopped right down on the sidewalk, and was watching me intently, tail wagging.  “Can I pet your dog?”  I asked.  “Of course you can,” she replied, “she must have sensed that you’re a dog person.”

3. Passing the time during class lectures by writing down the idioms my professor is fond of using.  Other gems:

“Electromagnetic radiation is the gift that keeps on giving.”

“Jupiter is the home-wrecker of our solar system.”

The best part is that he delivers these lines with such a deadpan expression that I’m never sure if he’s making a joke, or merely trying to keep us interested by using non-scientific lingo.

4. Listening to the Stuff You Missed In History Class podcast as I biked to and from work and class.  Today’s episode was about the Brontës.

5. Ten days until my summer vacation begins.

6. I’ve started my young adult story, and wouldn’t you know, it’s going to be a science fiction (sort of).  How is it that the genre I’m not so fond of reading is the genre I seem to gravitate (no pun intended) toward writing (at least lately)?