Sunday, July 31, 2005

Today I found this, what I can only guess is a picture of a saint, sitting next to N's engagement ring where I'd tucked it away in my sock drawer. I'm not sure if it had already been there and I hadn't noticed it, if Mom put it there, or if it magically appeared by the "grace of God."

I looked up saints on the internet, thinking maybe he was the patron saint of lost causes. There are two patron saints of "Impossible Causes" but they're both women. So, now I suspect he's either Saint Timothy or Saint Titus, the patron saints of "Stomach Disorders".

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Nature or nurture?

I've always thought that I bought my dental supplies more or less at random. Then I noticed that Allie and I not only use the exact same toothpaste, but we also have identical toothbrushes.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Allie, my youngest sister, is back from volleyball camp.

This is what happened during lunch.

Dad: Allie, did you see Tina is in the paper today for shoplifting?
Allie: What?
Me: Is this one of her high school friends?
Mom: She's one of the girls she went to that concert with last night. I told her she shouldn't go.
Dad: Let's see, it's in here somewhere.
Mom: One of the other girls she went with has an STD.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Another picture at Matt and Julie's house that needs to have the original frame-label changed. On the one hand, who cares, but on the other, I don't think they intend for this to be their son, Ty's, nickname.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

G-Mail has these smart ads that run down the side of the screen, picking out key words from whatever e-mail you're reading and using them to try to figure out what kind of things you might buy or what links you might click on.

These are the ads it gives me whenever I go back and reread N's last e-mail to me. Thanks, G-Mail.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Back at my parents' house in Hometown, Ohio.

As far as anyone can remember, Holden hasn't attempted to sneak upstairs (where he's not supposed to go) in years, but while I was gone, he climbed the stairs in the middle of the night and took a dump in the room I've been staying in.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The cranes of White Haven, Pennsylvania, wave at the highway.


When I was taking this picture, Nick asked, "Is this going to end up on your blog with some bullshit like, 'N and I fell in love while watching cranes'? 'N used to call my dong The Crane'?"


I'm not even sure that these things are called cranes.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Brooklyn. I'm staying with my friend, Brett, who has just gotten engaged.

He complains about his tattoo, a souvenir of a long-gone girlfriend.

"It's 'Sweetness forever and ever'. The German word for 'sweetness' was my nickname for her because, phonetically, it was close to her name. I remember thinking if I got it in German it wouldn't be as embarrassing if we broke up. In retrospect, that was probably a good reason not to do it at all.
"Plus, it's Curious George for Christ's sake."

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The various color-coded performer wristbands of the Del Close Marathon.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Lincoln Tunnel.

Having just dropped Nick off in New Jersey, Young and I are ready to be done driving. Exactly 0.1 miles into Manhattan, our Mapquest directions fail us and we immediately become horribly lost.

Somewhere in Pennsylvania.

Young: We're here. We're supposed to be here.
Me: How did we get so far off-course so fast?
Nick: We were making really good time going the wrong direction.

Ohio's I-80 toll way.

Nick and Young (friends and fellow improvisers from Chicago) pick me up on their way to New York for the Del Close Marathon, a weekend-long improv festival.

Here we sing along to Elton John's "Your Song".

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Speaking of condoms:

I took this picture the day I moved out of N and I's place in Arizona. Like the ring, neither one of us particularly wanted this big, overly optimistic box of condoms.

"You're the one with the penis," N said, matter-of-factly.

So I have the condoms, tucked away with my other things. The box is more-or-less full.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Went to an estate auction of one of my father's recently deceased co-workers.

"Strange," Dad said, "To imagine yourself dead and everybody looking through your things."

Besides furniture, the possessions of the man (who had no children, no wife, no siblings) consisted mostly of train magazines, ceramic cats, Mason paraphernalia and an extensive condom collection (of which this picture only represents a small portion).

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Mowing my parents' yard.

The dangers of midwestern yardwork include:

1. Intense humidity.
2. Dog shit and low hanging tree branches.
3. A mostly unfounded fear of a lawnmower blade injury.
4. The seeming pointlessness of it all.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Holden. The family dog.

He's getting old and tired. He spends most of the day laying down instead of trying to stand on his rickety legs. It's sad, but also a relief, because he used to be such a hyper pest.

"He's calming down," we say. But the truth is that he's dying.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Visiting Julie and Matt.

Matt is quick to point out that Julie hasn't changed the original label on the frame holding thier wedding picture.

"It's not supposed to say that."

Saturday, July 16, 2005

And then there's the question of what to do with this.

I mean, I know what to do with it. I don't live in a movie so I'm not going to throw it off a bridge. Eventually, I'm going to sell it.

But for now I like to pretend that I don't know what I'm going to do with it.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Drinks with my parents at Applebee's.
Dad: For some reason this is your mother's favorite place.
Me: What's your favorite place?
Dad: Well, I like the bar at Chedder's.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Apparently, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' third stage of grief is bargaining, and not blogging.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My nephew, Ty, and my sister, Julie.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Went to a nearby town to run some errands. On the way back Mom asked if I'd mind stopping by Jackie's grave.

Set off a little from the side of the cemetary is a line of graves for unbaptized babies.
"That was a hard time," she said.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I am sleeping in a very floral place.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Looking through old photos that N gave back to me before the move.

Me and my sister, Julie. This was one of N's favorites. She said she'd look at it and imagine that's what our children would look like.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Mom and my sisters were in Atlanta for the weekend, so Dad, Matt (my brother-in-law) and I had a guys' night. We grilled steaks, drank beers and somehow ended up watching a movie on the Oxygen Network.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Hometown, Ohio.
My parents' house.
This Is Temporary.

Singing along to the 'Bosom Buddies' theme song.

Driving through Effingham, I see another giant cross looming on the horizon. This one is billed only as "The Cross."
I think to myself, "Yes, it does look just slightly smaller than the Biggest Cross in the Western Hemisphere." Later I find out that it is actually bigger than the Biggest Cross in the Western Hemisphere by eight feet.
How many of these are there?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Missouri. Dinner at Bob Evans.
Two Christmases ago, my parents gave N an envelope full of gift certificates to Bob Evans. That chain doesn't expand into the southwest, so before I left she gave the envelope to me.
I've been in road-trip-mode, not really thinking about N, but sitting across from an empty seat, eating food paid for by her unspent Christmas bounty, I felt very sad and very alone.

Driving along, I realize I'm passing a wind farm. At first I see only eight or ten wind turbines, but then I notice behind them in the distance are more. And behind those, more still. Then I see, as if they've magically appeared, wind turbines on the other side of the road as well. Dozens of them (hundreds?).
Maybe it was a result of exhaustion or boredom, but I half believed that they had come to the side of the road to watch me safely pass. And they made me feel blessed in a way that the Biggest Cross in the Western Hemisphere never could.

The signs read, "The Biggest Cross In the Western Hemisphere." It appeared to be made out of aluminum siding, and was hot to the touch.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

New Mexico. The White Sands Desert.
When I moved to Arizona the first time, for grad school, I drove across country with my friend Tom. On a whim we decided to pull off the road to see the White Sands National Monument, having no idea how incredible it would be.
Now, nearly eight years later, and heading, alone, in the opposite direction, here I am again.
I remember it as being a pure white expanse the last time, but now it seems as scraggly and unkempt as me.

Goodbye Ariz... oh wait.
Jason gives me a ride to my (possession-packed) car. Within two minutes he has a flat tire. Not a good start.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Today I went over to N's new apartment to say goodbye. It's a nice place, and the process of "putting it in order" seems to be giving her some comfort. She's always enjoyed making lists and tiny floorplans.

Before I left we both said, "I'm sorry" and we both said "I know" or "It's okay" and we both said "I love you."

On my way out, I took this picture of her mailbox and the sticker the previous occupant had left there.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Fourth of July with the ex-co-workers.

Everyone decides to try to touch the ground flat-palmed, without bending their knees (everyone except me and my tender guts). Kate (the ex-Earth Science teacher) and Jason (the ex-Media Arts teacher, now back from his trip) are the winners.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

One last haircut before I leave town. Unfortunately, the guy who usually cuts my hair was just diagnosed with diabetes (like Bella?) and had to cancel.

I randomly gave someone else a shot. I'm not happy with the results.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Sold my old Taurus. I had that car in college, through grad school, in Chicago, and during most of my second time in Arizona. N and I had our first kiss in that car.

It felt weird to sell it, and know it would be cannibalized for parts, but it's been sitting around unused for nearly half a year, like the world's heaviest keepsake.

Friday, July 01, 2005

N used to say that I dragged my feet about getting married. She was probably right. On the other hand, I was the only one who ever put change in the Wedding Bank.

That's why she insisted I take it.

Total: $20.39 (minus the $1.81 Coinstar processing fee)

The piggy (which is cursed, given to us by a married couple that is now divorced) is destined for the trash.

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