the lesson of the moth

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty

our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself

— Don Marquis


I have such a headache.

The boy’s away for a couple of days, and I thought I’d get all kinds of good stuff done in my ample free time. Last night I returned Gambit, tonight I took my car in, tomorrow I will do something fun with Sarah. I need to pack, I need to revise my CV, I need to blog about all the books I’ve been reading. I need to write letters, and I need to do laundry.

Instead I will drink a cider and watch the convention, then go to bed early again.

I feel like there’s all these things I should talk about, but somehow it’s not coming. I want to explain the swell of patriotism I have felt while listening to the convention. I want to tell you what it felt like returning my cat last night, driving down the empty highway alone on a dusky summer night. I want to tell you about the vignette in Box Office Poison that nearly made me cry in the middle of Subway on Tuesday. I want you to understand why it’s so important to me to leave on my lunch breaks, and why spending $1.63 on coffee at 10:30 is better than just making another pot. I want to explain why working in a hospital is fascinating and strange, even though I don’t practice medicine by any stretch of the imagination. I want you to know that I am equal parts excited and deeply sad about my upcoming move. I want you to understand the me that I am right now, the mosaic of all these little pieces, the girl with the bare feet and muted television, thinking about macaroni and cheese and her boy on a Thursday night.

the terrible miss e

I’ll have you know that I’m the first match on Yahoo and the second on Google for the following search:
the terrible miss e

Tonight I’m returning Gambit. More later as I’ll have lots of time to contemplate my soon-to-be-cat-free life in the car to and from the rendezvous point. *sigh*

Hey Medicare?

FUCK YOU. No, seriously.

Medicare Plans to Cut Pay for Cancer Drugs

addendum: Yes, I know our health care system in general takes great pleasure in fucking everyone – patients and physicians. This one just hit closer to home and as I now have a more than passing knowledge of how Medicare works, it’s really, really making me angry.


I’m really lonely right now. Not in general – just this instant, this afternoon. I’m sure it’s a stuck-in-the-spider-hole sort of funk, and that it will lift tonight when the kids come for Meat Night – but right now I’m feeling pretty blah. I’m trying not to whinge too much about my emotional state here, but sometimes it’s the only way I know to express myself. *sigh*

On the bright side, I had a really good meeting with an assistant dean from the GSLIS program. It turns out he is a fellow graduate of Rockford College, so that can’t hurt my application any. He told me a lot about the program, answered most of my questions, and made me feel more certain about my (lack of) academic direction. Now I just have to come up with a knock-your-socks-off application.

Unfortunately, though, I won’t be able to take classes in the fall. That’s probably OK because I couldn’t really afford the tuition money – but it’s still disappointing. My supervisor cited phone coverage and fairness to my coworkers who are conscientious to schedule course work outside working hours as her reasons for declining my request for schedule flexibility. I understand – but seriously, whatever.

the weight of being

Tonight I’m feeling profoundly sad.

Sad about the state of our government, the lies that have fueled this administration, the lack of real alternatives. Sad about the things propagated in the name of God, of freedom, of democracy. Sad about the future.

I realize all times have aspects of uncertainty. I realize that the future isn’t always bright. My parents were in college during Vietnam – not much younger than I am now. I wonder if this is the future they saw for their children. I wonder what kind of future my children will have – if my daughter will be 24 and feeling this kind of sadness for her future, for her country.

I wonder what it means to be American these days.

today and the day after.

1. A big ol’ post on the book club page.
2. Breakfast on the patio at LePeep with my favorite boy.
3. Late-night battles with insomnia that didn’t see me really get to sleep until almost 6am, following an Ambien.
4. Some cat news – changing homes, changing plans – things seem to be working themselves out, but they’re still up in the air. Poor catballs. I bet they’re as tired of moving as I am.
5. Mentally thumbing through the IKEA catalog and getting ideas for the new apartment. Limited storage space = some interesting challenges.
6. Coffee, blogging, and fly-infestation at Green Street – it’s too nice outside to be in, but the flies are about to drive me there.

Tonight I’m headed to the fair with Sarah. Today marks ten years since we met – her family moved in next door, and after many years of praying for a female friend in the neighborhood, it seemed my prayers were answered. The whole gang of us neighborhood kids invited Sarah and her brother out for baseball (and, later, ice cream). I think she was a little overwhelmed. See last year’s post for more backstory. I’m so grateful for her presence in my life – I seriously wouldn’t have survived the last year, much less the last ten, without her.

thoughts on stuff

A lot of things on my mind that I can’t seem to really wrap words around, so here’s a small list:

  • I read today that despite the spread of nuclear power, in 1984 only 13% of our nation’s power came from nuclear plants. That made me wonder if electricity is cheaper in this area because of the concentration of nuclear plants in the northern Illinois region. No real point to that pondering – just wondering.
  • I wonder what the new Manchurian Candidate will be like. Shawn and I watched the original spread out over last night and today (because, yes, I fell asleep). I found it disturbingly visionary, and just generally great, despite Frank Sinatra’s excessing sweating.
  • I finished Chuck Palahniuk‘s Stranger than Fiction, which included observations from his research as well as personal essays and portraits of various people (including Juliette Lewis and Marilyn Manson). More to come on the book club page, but suffice to say that this book was thoughtful and odd – and ultimately proves that he can do the wonderfully introspective just as well as the hella crazy.
  • I really think Alan Lightman’s Dance for Two is a lot of what Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything wanted to be.
  • I think I’ve worked out my position on death. It’s somewhat similar to my position on heights. I understand death and its eventuality as a concept, and am fine with that, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready for it personally. On the other hand, though, I wonder at the industry we’ve made of prolonging life at all costs.
  • This morning I read in bed while Shawn slept for a while. The reading lamp shone on his blond hair, and it was like all kinds of cliches – a pool of gold, radiating a holy light, etc. It just made me smile.
  • From

    Being in a relationship takes time, energy, patience and coordination. You don’t fall into it, you work your way into it. A relationship isn’t your most comfortable pair of flannel pajamas going in, it’s the tightest pair of jeans you’ve ever bought, but once you get into them you look damned good and want to keep them on forever.


    hardcore workitude

    A few things I’ve learned at and about work:

  • My health insurance is shit. I can only go to doctors that are “owned” by our hospital. I can only fill prescriptions written by doctors “owned” by our hospital. I can’t get in to see a specialist until I have a primary doctor (again, “owned” by our hospital), and even then it will take months. Oh, and my birth control isn’t covered.
  • Each day I have approximately one hour in which I want to throw things at the wall and just walk out. So far I’ve restrained myself and have instead gone for coffee. This will work out as long as I have $1.63 to spend on stress relief.
  • We park in the fairgrounds behind the hospital complex. Next week is the fair, so instead of parking near work and walking four blocks, we have to park at the mall – and not the one that’s close by, the one that is 5-10 minutes in the opposite direction for me. I will be taking the bus.
  • My coworker is really nice, but really, really, really fucking loud. Loud to the point where I can hear her laughing in the lobby. Loud to the point where automated voice-response numbers will pick up her voice rather than mine when the mouthpiece is against my face. I like her, but for fuck’s sake, it’s like she never learned about the “indoor voice”.
  • I feel bad checking my email at work, but for the amount of time that other people spend just fucking around, talking on the phone, repeating the same inane stories – really, I’m much more productive.
  • I can not do this for more than a year.OK, enough whinging. The couple of days have been decent – avoiding the heat whenever possible, reading a lot, spending quiet time with Shawn and girl time with Sarah and Hannah today at lunch. I thought about a rush trip home this weekend to see Diva Kate and to return the errant cat, but I’ve heard nothing from Kate, so Gambit will have to wait another few days. Mainly I’m just hoping for peace.