Sunday, July 30, 2006

a little more than sort of happy

It’s late(ish) and even though I don’t have anything in particular to say right now, I want to blog just because I’m so happy that my DSL is up and running again. It conked out Saturday morning, and the old unplug-and-reboot strategies didn’t seem to work. I’m not very tech savvy, and I can also be a bit of a defeatist. I thought about how B used to spend hours—days—on the phone with Yahoo’s tech support staff. I thought about how SBC/AT&T has yet to get my bill right in the seven months that I’ve been a customer.

All of this added up to me thinking,
DSL sure was great while it lasted. I will miss it.

I am this close to being the urban equivalent of someone with three rusted-out cars parked on her lawn.

Except sometimes, magically, the car starts when you cross your fingers and turn the key in the ignition one more time. DSL, I will never take you for granted again.

Some things that have been on my mind the past couple of days:

1) I am considering officially declaring picnicking a hobby. After going to three outdoor events to which food was brought, I am thoroughly smitten with this activity that is so much easier than knitting or learning German. I love the beautiful simplicity of eating out and eating in at the same time, of the cheese/cracker combo, of bartering food with friends, of drinking wine out of plastic cups. Also, I’m not a good cook, so food-to-go could be my specialty. No one expects anything fancy when you’re eating out of Tupperware.

Seriously, this one’s going on
the MySpace page as an Interest.

2)
I am really fond of using the phrases “kind of” and “sort of.” In writing, I think I’m practicing (imitating?) a school of contemporary writing that is cynical and gentle at the same time. I feel like I’ve seen this type of writing a few different places, but the practitioner that comes to mind immediately is
Andrea Seigel.

Try it out: “I hate blah blah blah” vs. “I kind of hate blah blah blah.” The former conjures a voice that is judgmental and possibly dislikeable. The latter seems more like a helpless victim of her own subjectivity—someone honest and humble who has the misfortune of seeing the world in the unforgiving glow of a dressing-room light.

In speech, I am not such a fan of the kinda/sorta school, even though I obviously am because I use it all the time. But it’s wishy-washy. It’s a way of not fully owning your own emotions, something
the therapist I just said a tearful goodbye to would not encourage.

Try it out: I’m kind of devastated. I’m sort of pissed. I’m in just a little bit of anguish. The understatement appeals to the Brit in me, and I like the idea of being a narrator in one of Andrea Seigel’s
novels, although, you know, maybe a little bit less suicidal.

Ooh, I just did that completely unknowingly—in reality, I’d like to be (and am, so don’t you worry about me, Señor Freud) a lot less suicidal than that suicidal character. I am tempted to try giving up “kind of” and “sort of” in speech—like booze for Lent—but because I’m so into it in writing, well, I’m only kind of tempted.

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