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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No More Bitchy Pills for You, Little Miss Crabby Ass

Mr. Insomnia and I were blogging around together on our date. I'd stepped away from the computer for a few days - surprising, because I've come to love to blog and have quite a group of favorites I follow, interspersed with writing my own. To be really straight about it, I was so unprepared to succeed at my first long training walk that I kind of stopped in my tracks and spent a couple of days changing the way I approach almost everything. There were actually some Bambi-in-the-Highbeams moments of fear. "Even if I did 17, I bet I won't be able to do 20." Which is rubbish, because adding 3 the next time won't be anything. But there were far more moments that were simply "What just happened here and what do I do next?" Should I go get the M(arathoner) tattoo? Probably premature, since I am not one yet. So, in the spirit of regaining my equilibrium:

David's back from vacation and I was never as happy to see a head covered by a baseball cap rising up out of the stairwell. He grinned, I grinned. In the first hour he made a one-sentence proclamation, "It was a $70 job - give the woman her money back," that took the weight of the world off of my shoulders. Geez, I know his philosophy very well. Why didn't I think of that? He took a group of extended family to San Diego for a week and did everything the way he does things - top shelf. He rented a boat and jet skis on the Fourth. He had some good stories spawned by the fact that multiple members of the family turned out not to be seafarers. Been there. A zillion times. San Diego Bay is choppy much of the time. One's skin really does turn a greenish hue.

As I sat at my desk doing not less work, but more "my" work as David did "his" work all day, I was repeatedly annoyed by the chirp of the WeatherBug. I keep the WeatherBug on my desktop at work and at home. I can glance at the temperature any time, and if there's anything remarkable to tell, the WeatherBug chirps at me. It's a very efficient arrangement. So WeatherBug was at me all day long - the alert went from moderate to high to extreme fire danger alerts throughout southern Nevada as we are enjoying screaming winds, extremely high temperatures and single digit humidity. OK, makes sense to me. We're sittin' on a tinder box and we see fires frequently in the mountains nearby. So how does that comport with . . . .

Shocking to me, as I am a SoCal woman and we haven't seen such a sight in decades, the fireworks stands begin to spring up in every convenience store parking lot in the city about 10 days before the Fourth. We have a lot of convenience stores, folks. I'm going to say there are not hundreds, but thousands of stands, each one benefitting this good cause, that charity or club, another wonderful organization. Sold from these stands are notorious poorly made fireworks imported from China. [Yes, this paragraph is going to contain all manner of assaults to my sensibilities.] The prices are shocking, the fireworks are well known, maybe even expected. to be duds or faulty or dangerous. Oh yeah, and anyone one can buy them and set fire to them late at night after a day that might have included BBQ and beer.

Friday as I stepped out of the car at 7-11, the Metro PD K-9 unit volunteers were setting up their fireworks booth ~ hey! it was the day before the Fourth. A few officers were there with their K-9 vehicles and several of the mammoth beasts sat obediently and quietly in a row. That was to my left. To my right was the Channel 3 news van, cameras at the ready, staffers looking for a story. I was one of few patrons in the parking lot and a young cameraman and a chirpy girl reporter stepped my way. "Uh-uh, guys. I'm not the one you want. I don't approve of the fireworks and that's not the organization that tugs at my heart. You'll have wasted your time getting bad video." Shocked looks! I was concerned the K-9s might be loosed on me. But just silence, and I walked on to buy my crappy cup of 7-11 coffee.

The night of the Fourth, it was arranged that a group of us home dudes would meet up on the deck at the office, BBQ food left over and frozen from Limes Appreciation Day, with David's blessing . . . and watch all of the valley's offerings of fireworks. Limes didn't go after all, having practically erased her feet and legs from her body that day. Yesterday morning (Monday, after the holiday weekend), I was regaled with a story. In the yard just behind and below our office, a family was setting off an impressive number of dud fireworks. Children and adults were excited and the home dudes were having fun watching them from above. When the store of fireworks was exhausted, the piece de resistance was brought out. This object resembled a small hot air balloon - and, yes - the apparent "dad" ignited it in the same place such balloons are fired up. Home dudes watched the upper balloon portion inflate as it filled with hot air and started to rise slowly. Once the balloon rose to a height higher than the block wall surrounding the yard, the wind caught it. Flung it across the yard into a tree which immediately caught fire. "Get the hose!"

Extreme fire danger alert, indeed. After the story was told, I said, "Now, I have a problem with that." Silence in the office. "Aw, Limes, it's all in good fun." I'm just in from my walk and time to get ready for work. Flipped on the TV newscast I enjoy and half-listen to on weekday mornings. Right this moment, fire in the Wetlands near Sam Boyd Stadium. Flames 25 feet high. Roaring for hours. We don't have many wetlands areas in the Mojave, folks.

In my ears right now: Reports and predictions of heat, wind, fire danger. WeatherBug chirping, which intrigues Dylan and Virginia Woolf.

Something that doesn't charm me: The Michael Jackson Traveling Circus rolls on to its seminal moment this morning. Enough - more than enough - already! I liked his music, too. Everything else is not our business. Millions of people vying for 8,750 seats x 2 in the Staples Center. 250,000 people expected in the streets. As David said, "When they have the Coliseum, Dodger Stadium . . . . "