Thursday, October 19, 2017

What a Time to Be Alive

Through a series of unsynchronized schedules, I was alone in my house last night for an hour or so, and I am NEVER alone in my house, like, ever. Giddy with the expanse of the hour, I wondered, should I take a nap? Watch tv? Do dirty things, paint my toes, shop online? But no, somehow I ended up unloading the dishwasher and asking Alexa if she thinks Trump will be impeached.
It looks like you're asking about Trump, she said, and then gave me NPR headlines on his latest embarrassment.
The house was so quiet with only me and the clink of clean dishes, so I kept talking to Alexa.
Alexa, do you believe in ghosts? I don't have a view on the supernatural.
Alexa, are my mom and brother watching me? Sorry, I don't know that one.
Alexa, when will I die? I'm not sure you really want to know the answer to that question. In 2015, the United States' average female life expectancy was 81 years.
Alexa, what is the meaning of life? The answer is 42, but the question is more complicated.
Alexa, what is the sound of one hand clapping? It is the sound of a High Five.
After I had asked Alexa about the chickens and the eggs, what I should be for Halloween, why do birds sing, and could I get more cowbell, my family finally came home and it was the comfortable chaos of baths and brushing teeth, books, bed. But that hour--it was nice. Like therapy, just me and agenda-less Alexa, monotone jokes, answers and matter-of-fact don't knows.
All images are from this amazing post of abandoned states, postcards of better days lined up with now. As the post says: They have a surreal quality. Ephemeral, disposable, they served only one purpose—to let someone know "I'm here. I'm thinking of you."

Lastly, I still don't know what Alexa meant when she said the meaning of life is 42, and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't haunting me, but nonetheless, here is a funny SNL bit on Alexa.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

My Heart Can't Take It (In a Good Way)

Wildfires, hurricanes, mass shootings, Harvey, Trump, the horizon like a set design of flat layers beautifully still with melting plastic and ash.

I force myself to remember that there are also school photos, library books, The Beatles, chai lattes, kitten videos, a piece of paper that Ozzy left on the table with a list of words he practiced writing in green crayon: egg, cow, vase, wagon, clock, pumpkin, nest, car, pretty, black, go. I tell my children that there is way more good in the world than there is bad. (I tell myself that, too.)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

This One

This one has a thing for blondes. A type, for sure. He currently has crushes on 5 girls, each one blonder than the last, and I try not to let it bother me, that I am not his type. His mother. Oedipal Ew notwithstanding, it's a glimpse into a future wherein I am not the only woman in his life, and I swear I am okay with that. Or I will work on it and will be when the time comes.
This one just came over to me as I am writing this even though I told him I need alone time, and he stood next to me and read, This one, this one has a thing for bananas? He has a dimple in the strangest place on his face, a little below his bottom lip on the left. Sometimes he makes me so angry, and thenthat dimple!
This one came with me car shopping the other day, for a used Audi. At the dealership, the man helping me was dressed in a 3-piece suit and clearly did not want to waste his time on me and my used (up) budget. Still, I asked for a test drive, and driving down the street in that butter-soft Audi, the man rattled off specs on the Bang & Olufsen sound system, seeming to know that I had no idea what he was talking about. He asked me what music I wanted to listen to as he fiddled with his phone. Anything, I said, when from the back seat, Ozzy said he wanted to hear The Buttcracker. The Nutcracker? the man said smirking, and Ozzy said no, not Tchaikovsky, The Buttcracker, in the tune of farts, please. I nodded yes, yes, that is what I want to listen to, to make sure the Bang & Olufsen sound system was up to par. So the man found it, and we drove on in plush, leathery silencebecause oh, how that car drove beautifully silent!listening to a ballet of farts.

You know, that one.