When I arrived in Atlanta this past weekend, Piper asked, "How full is your gas tank after your drive?"
"Fairly low. I didn't fill up before I came, and it's a long drive," I replied nonchalantly.
Little did I know that Atlantians must spend a good part of their days now in search of a fuel station which actually has very expensive petrol in its tanks to sell. Apparently the population of five million created far too much pollution and recently legislation kicked in which mandates a less lethal emissions from a cleaner mix of fuel. Piper's husband took his sweet little boys on a ride in my car on a crazy hunt for a station with product and stayed in a line for 1/2 an hour to fill my tank for me while Piper and I taught. God bless him! I passed at least 10 gas stations tooling around from training to Piper's and none were open either Friday or Saturday.
Here in the Greater Knoxville area, we had one or two days of a rush to the pumps which seemed like a fleeting blip on the big screen of life- the cause attributed to conversion to a new mixture of some kind including more ethanol. As a pretend farmer, I'm am bugged and honestly worried that a food source for humans and animals forms the wave of this present future.
My Atlanta weekend experience amounted to something far more eye opening. I heard more chat about alternate fuel sources in my two days further south than if I'd have struck up a conversation with Al Gore himself. I suppose this tactic of unavailability would change Americans gas guzzling habits quicker than a jack rabbit hopping from a hungry fox. And I don't have wiggle room to bash others about fuel consumption, because as I've said before- I live in heaven and drive everywhere else. The drive to my son's high school is 45 minutes one way. When I ponder moving back anywhere closer to the city though, I cringe and gasp for air at the thought. I'd have...neighbors. Gulp. And I'm the world's worst neighbor. My current neighbors, cows, don't mind my reclusive and introverted nature a bit.
Buck sent me this link concerning the gas crisis in Nashville, and it had me howling. It's rated R for language and might not make any sense unless you know a bit about Nashville.
My dear husband likes to surprise and delight me by giving me new music. He knows exactly what will make me happy and burns a cd. Today, Buck slid a new cd into my hands which we both were sure to begin a long new tunes love affair for me with Peter Gabriel's Big Blue Ball album.
A hundred years ago in 1986, I was asked to a Peter Gabriel concert by an unsavory character during the "So" tour. I liked Gabriel's sound and was curious about his presentation, so I was left with a dilemma of attending the event with someone I considered a sociopath. I conjured a plan B which included but was not limited to psyching myself up to leap out of a speeding car if necessary to brave the performance. I am so glad I did, because I will never be the same. The music and delivery moved me beyond words, so I cannot possibly do it justice with words. From the opening notes, an African band led a journey into an unfathomable array of musical and visual experiences twined together by an artist like no other, Gabriel. There were thousands in the audience, but I felt a complete immersion into the depth of the moment- forgive my sappiness here- as if Gabriel was singing just to me. I totally lost all sense that I had come with a companion. I remember hoping the guy wouldn't chat with me afterward, so I could linger in that space of contentment created during the concert. In a few short hours, I moved from liking Gabriel's stuff into a sincere fan, and I've stayed there all these years.
When I popped Big Blue Ball into my van's cd player this morning, the first song convinced me I had a delicious new love. The next few songs assured me my first impression was not all that accurate. It's much more of a World Music endeavor than songs delivered by Peter himself. I truly like cross cultural arrangements, but I was hoping for quality time with that raspy meaningful lyric only Gabriel can produce. I'll have to be somewhat satisfied with the few Gabriel gems planted among the Egyptian, African, Spanish, Hungarian collage of other artists.
I came up with my own alternate title. No, not Frankie goes to Hollywood- Peter goes to Bollywood. You might get me within listening the first four songs...
I got a prescription for reading glasses at my last eye exam. Anyone out there surprised? It's a symbol of descent into, I don't know, elderlyness. I also plunge my toes into the cushiest slippers around my house, because my feet hurt from plantar fasciitis most of the time. I don't like loud music anymore(except David Crowder, of course). Next thing you know, I'll start popping Geritol, because I'm already taking B complex for energy. How do I stave off the rushing flood of ailments I was so certain would never happen to me? I experimented with keeping the flavor of youth close to my tongue this morning.
On my very slow run at the start of the day, I determined to skip like a giddy five year old girl no matter who was around when an Irish song come across my ipod- just during the jig parts of the music. I haven't skipped in a long time. Have you? I decided not to look into the eyes of passerbys, so as not to heap their possible disapproval on my child-like experience. I let myself ponder how much I loved childhood and it's freedoms. Nothing like giving in and seizing the joy of movement if only for a fleeting moment. I really can still skip a bit even with a bum knee, and it made me happy as a long hot shower after a full day weeding an overgrown garden.
I wonder what other forgotten trick I can still do? What makes you content as you grow older? I'd like to know.
image So, have you ever been to a high school cross country meet? I hadn't until recently, and I am enlightened on yet another sport's quirks. I've never been to a golf tournament either, but I think I gather, for the first time, how the crowd moves to optimum watching spots during the course of the game. Fortunately, I am not shy to ask about such things to strangers as the experienced mothers of other runners explained where exactly to stand or walk to catch a glimpse of the young people as they plow by huffing and pouring sweat. Some runners look completely composed, while others look like it may be their last moment among the living.
On rainy or muddy days, the runner's bottom halves become spattered with polka dots and splashes of muck feet to thigh as they clomp down the natural worn paths.
The real shocker of the event comes at the end. I observed an interesting man, just past the finish line, who had a very specific job. His sole purpose was to grab fainting runners by the arm and force them to remain upright until the faltering athletes made it to the open field some distance away from the finish. Otherwise, the next strong finishers would have had to leap over a dog pile of entirely exhausted bodies. And yet another surprise awaited spectators in the open field just past the end- many of the runners threw up (oh, yes, everywhere) and collapsed in an pained heap at the next available spot in the grass. I watched one young man wheeze and gasp in an asthmatic attack limping about with his mother. It all reminded me of the some kind of strange steaming battlefield minutes after the conclusion of a relentless attack- all moaning and agony.
Makes me curious about the completion of the Boston Marathon. Is it a wall of ambulances rushing fatigued and half dead people off toward oxygen and ice baths? At least marathoners get pavement instead of turf.
image The most inspiring story I've heard all week concerned the Spanish explorer from the 1500's, Cortes. He was a man with a serious plan; he sought the treasure of Mexico. Though many other military leaders and countries had set their minds on prying the great gold riches from these strong natives, no one had ever been successful. That is until Cortes plotted an unheard of scheme. He formed an army, sailed to the shore of Mexico, gathered all his soldiers, and ordered the ships to be stripped of anything valuable. Then he commanded something extraordinary and quite unexpected, "Burn the ships!" I suppose this is where "do or die" became literal. With no possible means of retreat, the soldiers were forced to victory.
What do I want more than anything? It's certainly not gold. The whole "burn the ships" thing makes me wonder about my faith. Do I run for the prize set before me every day as if I can surely scoop up the laurel wreath on my red curly head for a victory lap? No hesitation, no turning back, no giving up? Or am I living more of some lame back-up plan? Am I in or out? I consider the ships I need to burn today.
Buck thinks he knows who the nation is leaning toward in this election from standing in the check out line perusing this week's copy of US Magazine.
Buck explained the emphasis of the publication on Michelle Obama's beautiful fashions and style. On the other hand, the same reading material stressed former co-workers who found Sarah Palin difficult to work with.
Everyone knows the presidency is about depth and substance, so I'm quite sure it was a compliment to Sarah to bring out skeletons from her career closet. And what an obvious slam to Michelle, that her clothes, not the content of her character, were noteworthy.
Michelle, I'm sorry the press is being so utterly unfair to you. Perhaps the political tide will turn your way soon.
Got a new dog Saturday through rescue. She's another Great Pyrenees who is to be a doggy friend and running mate to our previously rescued Pyr, Ripley. Of course, we named her Sarah Palin. We aren't sure if she has any young daughters who are pregnant, or if she can moose hunt. We're pretty sure she likes icy cold weather, and we hope she's a winner.