Sunday, October 24, 2010



A few things happened this week.

I'll lead with the weird one.

A few of us at work like to go to lunch together on Fridays. I won't mention where we went this past week, but it was a good place that we haven't been to in a while. As usual I sat where I could see the door.

From time to time my eyes gazed past my friends across the table and to the people behind them. There were three people at a round table. A guy and a red-haired girl were sitting together, and across from them was a black-haired girl, with an empty chair on either side of her. So I thought I could figure the relationships. So can you, but just wait.

They finished before we did. The redhead got up first and put on her jacket and left. After about two minutes the black-haired girl got up and moved into the seat the redhead had been sitting in, and she smiled at the guy and they leaned closer. And all of a sudden they're into a big kiss with arms holding each other tight! WTF!

My friend Linda was sitting right next to me but she somehow missed seeing this little drama play out. I described it to her as we walked back, and she summed it up perfectly. "We thought she'd never leave!"

It's like Overheard in New York, but without any words.


I took the car in for its checkup on Tuesday. The silly warning light about getting service was coming on. Not the check engine light, which means something is wrong, but the other one, the one that just annoys you about getting service. I had put it off for a couple of weeks.

I'd been putting off a few things lately. I was only half aware of it, but I realized afterwards that I had been trying to keep my schedule clear, in case I was going to get The Call about my father.

I scheduled the car online on Saturday, the day after the funeral. That was a conscious decision by the thinking part of my brain. I knew I could bring the car in on Tuesday. No problem.

Free and clear now. The whole funeral process was complete, and we all went home on Friday and tried to go back to normal. But it turned out that it took a little time.

Free and clear didn't quite hit me on an emotional level till Tuesday. Here's what happened. The weather influenced me. It was grey and raining when I got up on Tuesday, and just grey when I drove the car to the dealer. Bla. I sat in the nice waiting area and had the free coffee and read most of the Sunday Times. The sun came out while I was there. They finished with the car and I drove back home in beautiful weather. When I went up the steps to my house I knew I had to be outside some more.

That vague worrying was gone. The uncertainty was resolved.

I put on my running clothes and went out in daylight. Not the pre-dawn darkness. Full daylight. And I didn't go my usual route either. Instead I walked quickly up a steep hill, a few blocks up, to a wide street with a shoulder where I could run safely with daytime traffic. The hill got my metabolism up, so as soon as I got to the wide street, at the top of the hill, I started to run.

There was no pre-measured distance this time. I hadn't worked out a plan. I was just doing it. I usually ran a mile, walked a half, ran a mile, on the same roads I'd been running all summer. Now I was breaking the mold. I felt good just being out there in daylight. No darkness. It sounds metaphorical but it really was doing something to me.

I knew after a while that I was going more than a mile, but it felt too good. I kept going. The road was straight and level for a long way and then finally went gently downhill for about five blocks to an intersection. I decided that that would be where I would drop to a walk and turn around.

I turned the corner and started to walk. But soon I felt like running some more. I started counting blocks, and walked one and ran four, until I got near home, and just plain ran the last six or so.

I measured it later. The first long run was a tenth shy of two miles. Two miles straight. I never did that. The total running that day had to have been over three.

I've done it again three times now. Thursday dawn, I even stretched it to two and a quarter, because I felt like it. Saturday and today, I ran "only" two, but both times I ran again in full daylight.

Oh. The foot injury I was telling you about a few times: it's gone too.


I went to some live music Sunday night. Samantha Gibb and the Cartel. I wrote to friends:

I saw Samantha, Laz, and Nik tonight in a tiny room called Rockwood Hall in New York. You can squeeze no more than three dozen people in there. There isn't even a backstage. They had to wait with the rest of us outside on the sidewalk until the previous act finished.

It was just Laz on acoustic guitar and Nik on electric bass, with Sam singing and doing a little percussion. I was talking to Laz a little while we were waiting to go in. He told me how great Sam sounds with the minimal backing, and he was absolutely right. They did new songs from the forthcoming album.

She's Maurice Gibb's daughter. I mentioned meeting him back in Two Degrees and connecting as one father to another. Maybe that helped nudge me to go see her sing. But I have a couple of CDs they've recorded, and I like their music.

I started talking to Laz because he answers their email. We looked through the window at the grey-haired band playing, and I said they're as old as me. He said, yeah but some older guys can really play ; that they might not be famous but they are usually really good. And I could see him considering that could be his future and that he'd be satisfied if it is. Cool. I liked too that he praised Samantha, and he said we wouldn't even be listening to him once she started singing.

You could be suspicious that this band is a case of a rich star's kid messing around and using the name to get favors, but I don't think that's what's going on here. I think Samantha is pursuing her dream, and her dream is not to be famous but to be good, just like Laz implied. Look at the tiny place they played here. No attitude. Just glad to be playing music.

At the end I told them they sounded great with only the three of them. I just thought they'd like to hear it said, since I was thinking it. Nik replied that I should hear them with drums and keyboards... and horns... and backup singers... and he started laughing and said thanks.

Then I went back home. That two-mile run was still two days in future.

So, to put all this together:

Lisa: Perhaps there is no moral to this story.
Homer: Exactly! Just a bunch of stuff that happened.


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