I confessed here that I am quite, quite frightened of those big underground aquariums where you watch the whales. Its still not a reason to move inland. They may have culture. And strippers but I know about those winters too.
One of the few points that the H and I have argued over.
Of course I have parental guilt. And now something else to feel guilty over! I wanted the Blessing to go integrated. First, I was accused of not wanting her to mix with working class children. Then when we moved, that it would be too difficult and the local primary that the H went to is just down the street...Actually, my in-laws might have started divorce proceedings if I have sent the Blessing somewhere other than the local primary. Still, it may have been the wrong decision
More on that summer vacation.
I saw the ‘gay cowboy movie’ at the weekend. And I kept thinking, what kind of self-respecting man in Wyoming herds sheep. I grew up with my father making quite violent threats about sheepherders. I can’t ever recall him mentioning homosexuals. I suppose I still can’t quite here him say, “You know where I come from, we hang homosexuals.” Which is pretty much what he said about people who associated with woollies. Lamb has never been inside his house.
Still, seeing the film did make me think about what I know and/or feel about the Midwest. Particularly as the last trip to the great plains really shook some of the beliefs I had held since childhood. Yesterday, someone I worked with asked if Valentine Nebraska was Hicksville in the back of nowhere and I had to admit how taken I was with the house the family reunion was held in.
It belongs to cousins of my father. The kitchen was like something you would fine in a Williams Sonoma catalogue. Huge island, complete with a second sink. There was a lovely garden room where they had a monkey puzzle tree that was over 30 years old and they kept with through all their moves. It also housed their citrus trees who moved indoors and out, depending on the season. Downstairs, in the basement, was a closet kitted out and stuffed full of serious red wine. And the little office had bookcases filled with the kind of books you see in the New York Times Book review, popular but also literary, all in hard back. I kept wandering around, thinking I could live here. I want this. Oh, how I want that. I didn’t think I would ever envy someone a life in the Midwest. Or that, I suppose, you could live such a life filled with my bourgeoisie niceties.
The night before the reunion we did go bar hopping in Valentine. I’ll admit it. I learned to drink in the Midwest. First time drunk, the summer a cousin got her older brother two purchase a couple bottles of boone’s farm for us. Indeed, one could argue my first experience with cocktails would be the summer of the ‘hop, skip and go nakeds’ (you can email me for the recipe) and unrequited crushes on blonde life guards. However, I have never been to a bar in Nebraska before. The H wanted to go. My female cousins (who I used to drink with, underage) wanted to go. Even my jenny jones male cousin (he of six children by six different women) wanted to go. So we went.
We were nervous. We found a bar. We looked in. The Jenny Jones cousin was like ‘I think this is a stripper bar’. And yes, there was a little tiny stage. We got a round of drinks. Cheapest round I have ever seen. We sat down. Halfway through them, a girl said, ‘drink up, it improves my act.’ Ten minutes later, she is up on this little tiny stage, naked, writhing. And then all but begging for money. Strangely enough we left after the first drink.
Next bar, down a side street. We go in. There are only two other people. We get drinks. Not as cheap as before. We start to play pool and pinball. My aunt and uncle join us eventually. After much pool, we leave to go to the bar with the karoke.
Out on the street, my uncle we had pointed out that we had been to one of the two ‘Indian’ bars in town. This would explain the artwork and the patrons,
So when end up in a place with karoke and dancing. And it was packed. So much that when somebody went back to get more pitchers of beer, all the pitchers were in use. The H did sing rugby songs on the way home.
The next morning we told our tales and asked, a bit incredulously, about the strippers. Did Valentine always have strippers? I believe my father muttered something about that bar being owned by so and so and he always brought in his girls from Lincoln and Omaha. I don’t know. I didn’t know that the Midwest survived on cheap beer and well naked women.
I don't know how to express how disturbed I am by this.
I had a brief moment this morning when I thought, 'I'd vote DUP if it meant getting new rolling stock on the line." And then I realised that no, I can be bought that cheap. But I would like trains running. And I would really like new trains running (they are faster! really, a lot faster!) ANd if translink tries to charge me more money while running 30 year old stock, well, I will think that is a declaration of war.
I got my 1GB memory card for christmas (hurrah!) and let me tell you I am having a hard time filling up the player with stuff I haven't already put on a card. But I may have a new outlet. I am definitely going through an Artic Monkeys phase. Perhaps it will be more of a Killers phase than the Muse one I went through.
Can't stand James Blunt though. Don't know if I dislike him more than Liam Gallagher.
Oh, Oh, Oh, a post about my child.
I believe I mentioned how the Blessing did not get a roboraptor for Xmas (though M&S were selling them at a much more reasonable price on Dec. 27th). But feel pitty for the poor child. She did get a planetarium, a book of sodoku puzzles, an awful lot of dinosaurs (who are currently not residing in her bed) and a kitchen chemisty set. She and the H are now looking for biological washing powder and a cooked egg white. I am a little concerned. Because of the space top trumps cards, I did catch the H explainig circumference and diamters of circles to her and then asking how many radiui there were in a diameter. The child hasn't a hope not to grow up a geek.
I am pleased to announce she is also becoming a pedant. At the afterschool club, a little boy announced he was friends with everybody, everyone in the world. The Blessing asked him if he was including all the children in Russia. I like to think those are my genes shining through. A dogged insistence on fact. And recalls an unfortunate memory of 6th grdae. We ran a small business and were thinking up advertising slogans. The teacher suggested "Save your damsel from distress, come to the sale at..." And my fellow sixthgraders asked the man what a damsel was and because he was a big proponent of peer learning, told them to ask me. I told them it was a fish. Because it is. The kind Finding Nemo is. Of course, it was also a woman and I did know that but I couldn't resist, even then, the opportunity to be difficult and pedantic all at the same time. Any wonder I was a social outcast during those teenage years?
Things I have learned/decided so far in 2006.
The postman reads my mail! No, really, I thought the postman reading people's postcards was just an unfair stereotype. But I went to the door yesterday in the hopes of receiving my mother's Christmas parcel and there was the postman reading the back of a postcard of San Fransisco. He handed and over and added, "You get the most interesting postcards. There was one, of a golf course, seen from a hotel window. It was beautiful". There you go, Blessing's godmother, making my postman want to holiday at the Wynn.
New Year's resolutions--well, I do believe in them after the year I decided to like Guinness and wear lipstick (only one of the resolutions stuck) but I do try to find well, slightly quirky ones. I also resolved several years ago to read a classic every year (that would explain The Illiad in all its blood and glory) and I don't think I made it this year so I do have Conrad's Nostromo wandering around my bag and will finish it before the end of the month. Thinking about Proust as the classic for 2006. This year's resolution? I would like better posture. I slouch too much. I could also use a new pair of brown shoes but I don't think that really counts.
I am also of course, following all new year's traditions, on a diet. Day 4 to be specific. The eat lots of cereal but no real food diet. It appears to be working. I have a headache and am cranky. And I bought a new scary scale that weighs to the quarter pound. It is going down. My strategy is to just keep trying diets. Must keep at each diet at least 2 weeks. I am allowed a 24 hour free period before I must get up and try the next diet horse. Should be fun for all!
Happy New Year.
I am pleased to see evidence that God does exist.