The Box and the Deathly Hallows

July 27th, 2007

Linus continued to live in his box by the trash cans long after the trash went out, since Stevel couldn’t bring himself to take away the box. But then we suffered a minor kitchen flood when Mia pushed a small paper plate of food onto the dome of the cat fountain. Alas, the box was destroyed.

Linus still would not let go.

Then we ordered pizza. After taking the box from the delivery-person, Stevel set it on the floor by the door for a brief sec while paying. All I heard was, “Not yet, Linus! We have to eat the pizza first!” Now there is a new love in town.

When he needs a break from that, he just helps with the laundry.

Mia enjoys these preoccupations of Linus’ because they allow her to take over the prime morning sunny spot. Of course, after an hour in the sunny spot, she needs to cool off in the shade.

It Is Time to Let Go

July 18th, 2007

I piled up the trash in the kitchen. It is ready to go out. But Linus is not ready. Either that or he wants to accompany his beloved box to the other side.

Day 3

July 14th, 2007

The subject continues to occupy his box. The box shows signs of weakening at the seams, but the subject seems unaware, attempting repeatedly with various positions to fit his entire body inside the box. These contortions are sometimes successful for up to five minutes, until a “sproing” sound is heard, and the subject is forced to reposition himself.

He Loves Boxes

July 11th, 2007

It is 5 p.m. Do you know where your cat is? Ours is in this box. he has been in it, I believe, all day long. He slept in it all night. It’s sort of cramped in this box, but he is making do.

Overheard at the Laundromat

July 10th, 2007

This woman in her 60s was at the Laundromat around the corner when I went there to wash some comforters just now. She asked me a lot of questions about how to use the washers, and her tone was always exasperated and rude, as if I had personally made the machines complicated to torment her. After I ducked her by moving to another area of the Laundromat, she found another young woman to ask for help/blame for her frustration.

Finally, her loads in the dryers, she sat on a bench and proceeded to call a number of people. To each one, she repeated these statements:

“I’m here at the Laundromat. I tell you, it’s torture. It’s torture, and it’s highway robbery, is what it is.”

“I would never subject Ben to this. It’s just torture.”

“I’m never doing this again. I told Ben he had better get that washer fixed or else buy a new one. IF he wants clean clothes.”

“You wouldn’t believe how much it costs and how long it takes. You have to just sit here with it. I mean, no one wants your laundry, you don’t have to worry about that, but things can get mixed up, you know.”

“I’m being tortured.”

Apparently, her listeners were sympathetic to her shocking experience in the Real World. The families in the Laundromat, who don’t have a choice but to launder there at “Torture Central,” ignored her stupid conversations. Most wore iPods. I think that’s where I went wrong; I had an available ear. Anyway, I tried to orient her to the triple-loaders as best I could before deciding her entitled attitude was more than I wanted to deal with. In a way, I did feel sorry for her. I think the Laundromat is a cool place, and I can’t imagine feeling like Laundromats are alien establishments contrived for their clients’ persecution. I thought of this woman at home in her lace-curtained laundry-room, a lonely prison of comfort, folding Ben’s undershorts and feeling like she had control over everything in her environment. It didn’t sound like such a great life to me.

Things that are cool about the Laundromat:

My neighbor’s dad owns it, and sometimes I see him there, in which case he monitors my laundering and scolds me if I fail to follow the directions on the machines in precise order. He also provides advice about how to build wealth in real estate, and, while I’m not interested in this per se, it’s nice to learn things from the wise.

There’s a candy machine.

Front-loaders. LOVE ‘em. Watch the Laundry Show.

I can stock up on quarters for meters (sorry, Laundry owner guy, I am ashamed).

It’s sunny in there with a nice breeze.

It’s clean.

People smile at you.

Sometimes there are cute kids running around being all cute.

Laundromats are places where all walks of life are accepted. While I was there, I shared the place with a couple of Spanish-speaking families, the other young woman who helped Ben’s wife, this young woman’s husband, a young man in his early 20s who was very attractive and extremely thin, a man in his maybe late 40s with a beard washing a lot of T-shirts, all of which looked new, a HUGE fat man in shorts and very white sneakers, a man who walked in off the street with all of his stuff in a dilapidated baby stroller who tried to get stains off of clothing he had in plastic grocery bags, and the attendant, a woman who is very nice and who does laundry-by-the-pound. There was a tone of contentment in there, a hum of productivity. Who doesn’t feel happy with a basket of clean clothes in hand?


July 1st, 2007

Recently, Stevel and I came home from somewhere, and he went into the kitchen. He called out to me, “Um. Did you put this catnip out for Mia, or did she get it out herself?”

“Catnip?” I said as I headed toward the kitchen, “No, I hid the catnip way back in the back of the cabinet behind all the stu—”


“There is catnip all over the floor in here. And the stuff from the cabinet is all out.”

“Oh, and also? The cat is stoned.”

See. This is precisely why, every time as I am leaving the house, I tell these cats, “No parties.”

“E.T. iPhone Home”

July 1st, 2007

This is a delicate blog entry to write. The arrival of the iPhones has slaked a long-standing thirst among some people I know, and they are protective of their enthusiasm. They are sensitive to any discussion about iPhones from non-iPhone owners right now, just in case that discussion is meant in any way to make fun of their enthusiasm.

So let me say first off, their enthusiasm is AWESOME. I do recognize that it is anything BUT “blind fandom” for a major name brand, and I think it’s very cool to anticipate something with happiness and then revel in the satisfaction of its arrival. And the iPhone itself IS awesome. It is truly the coolest little gadget I’ve ever seen, and it is more than lifestyle-improving for its owners; it is going to change the way we use cellphones—and think about how much we use cellphones. That’s huge. One day not long from now, every one of us will have either (a) an iPhone, or at least (b) a MUCH BETTER cell-phone from another company, the inspiration for which we can thank Apple for. (I mean, do YOU like your cell-phone? Really? It’s annoying, right? Imagine holding one that’s PERFECT instead.) This is a far-reaching technological evolution happening in front of our eyes. And I recognize that, and I do not think any iPhone passion misplaced. So I hope my friends will not take it the wrong way if I indulge in a little teasing about things like, “The ladies room is out of toilet paper; can you push the button on your iPhone that spits out a roll?” and “Can I get a piece of iGum? I’ve got Ranch-dressing taste in my mouth.”

Here are the reasons I don’t want an iPhone right now:

1] It’s more expensive than other phones
2] I tend to wash phones in the laundry (see 1)
3] I like to chuck my phone in my purse, my backpack (say, under some books and a computer), and in the backseat of my car (see 1)
4] I already have a phone, an iPod, a camera, and a computer, and I’m not quite at the point yet where I wish a lot of the time that they were one device. Soon.
5] I sometimes lose my phone for days at a time (see 1)
6] I like to let my nieces play with my phone (see 1; review it again)
7] I can enjoy the benefits of Stevel’s iPhone as a secondary user for now and be satisfied

I’m told the iPhone is very durable, anything but “precious.” So at some point I will get past all of this and go for it. Just not yet.

And anyway, I am already enjoying a benefit of the iPhone that was never advertised: Stevel will TAKE IT WITH HIM, he will ALWAYS CHARGE IT, and he will ENJOY USING IT. This means he is now available to me at all times. So yes, I too am a fan.

A Novel. How Novel.

July 1st, 2007

I just finished reading “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. I can’t remember the last time before this that I’ve read a book. It hasn’t appealed to me as a pastime in a while. But this was a good one, an easy read. Poetic and brief.