Monday, March 25, 2013

A Seasonal Analogy

The first day of spring falls on my one-of-a-kind late grandmother’s birthday. Over the course of that 24-hour period, while everyone’s chanting and cheering about making it through the winter and counting down the days until summer, I’m not focused on daffodils or jelly beans or all the sniffling and sneezing I’ll hear between the equinox and Memorial Day. I’m only thinking and smiling about my grandmother. She, who was my fresh and fragrant air, instinctively defended me before and after learning exactly what it was I had gotten in trouble for.

She took off for the spirit world in her early 90s, also in March, my junior year of college. Word came during an evening shift at my campus art museum receptionist job (which, as I told my former boss the last time I saw her, remains the only job I’ve ever had that I’ve never complained about), and two of my older (all the way up into their mid-to-late 20s) co-workers were the first people I told. One mentioned, and the other tacitly endorsed, a theory about grandmothers and granddaughters. Or maybe it was grandmothers and grandchildren, period? I can’t even remember whether this was a personal theory of hers or if she was repeating a bit of insight that was considered commonplace within the post-adolescent avant-gardish community I sometimes pictured both of them belonging to outside of their full-time day jobs. 

Was it that a woman mirrors the personality of her closest grandmother? Or that whenever you see a naturally assertive woman, it suggests a lovingly influential grandmother had been present? Dammit, I should have listened more carefully, or taken better notes on my life, back then. It’s not so much a theory as it is a futile form of reflective questioning, but this March I wondered if I’d be any different of a person today if we had been granted a little more time together. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

My First Week on Twitter

After a very professionally accomplished loved one declared my not being on LinkedIn as “weird,” I got with that program two months ago. One thing led to another and I joined Twitter last week.

Day 1:
My first follower came fast. I don’t know how she found me, I’ve never heard of her, and the only tweet she’s posted has been: “I will fucking destroy you.” Who’s she talking to?  The silly geese who type the biggest games on their keypads usually have dramatically different personas when they meet you eye to eye.

Three people in my camp are on Twitter and they hardly use it. I followed them and told them to follow me. They said OK but haven’t yet. One may have forgotten her log-in info.

Day 2:
The destroyer has already unfollowed me. Who needs her? Me! Because now I have 0 followers and destruction is not what I’m in this for. I’m social media’s Statue of Liberty – give me your tired, your trifling, your whackjobs, your befuddled masses. 0 followers is an all-day pass to nowhere. Look at me, over here in the corner, tweeting myself.

Day 3:
A new follower has replaced the destroyer. “This one’s for her.” That’s what I say every time I press the “Tweet” button.  

Day 4:
With one of my besties now on board, I’m up to 2 followers. Major, dizzying, adrenaline rush. What should I tweet my public next? Levity or gravity? 

[Later in the day]: The destroyer’s replacement has unfollowed me too. It’s currently just me and my homegirl. She would never leave me - and is the one who lured me to LinkedIn, so this is the least she could do.

Days 5, 6, and now 7:
I’m not having trouble adjusting to Twitter. Twitter’s having trouble adjusting to me, although it’s entirely possible that my audience will blow up into the double digits by the close of the month. I care more about finishing with a bang than starting off with one. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tick-Tock Shock

I was floored to have missed a train from Connecticut back into the city, by less than 5 minutes, this weekend. I thought I’d timed it perfectly, but wound up standing outside the station with the smokers for half an hour, waiting for a second chance in the sunshine. Smokers tend to be great live-and-let-live conversationalists. Connecticut Yankees too. Both groups have been effortlessly impressing me, when I least expect it, for as long as I can remember.

I didn’t realize it was another Daylight Savings weekend until 9:52, which was actually 10:52, yesterday morning. No one reminds me in advance anymore. I went to high school with a kid who came late to class because nobody in her family had known it was time to set the clocks forward. I’m like them now.

My wrist watch has been trying to find itself lately, pushing for more independence by the month. Long ago, I was in an elevator with someone who wore an identical one.

“Does yours ever stop and then randomly start back up again?” she asked.  

“What? Never,” I said. “I swear by this thing.”

When I reached out to forward it from 9:52 to 10:52 yesterday, it hadn’t even bothered to hit 9:52 yet. Softly ticking away, as if it were still 9:14, it slowed time down for a while, after having treated itself to a little breather. I applaud that ploy - to a point. I don’t know how old a 7-year-old watch is in human years, but I’ve read The Alchemist and recognize the importance of heeding omens. This year, I’m upgrading to something Swiss.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Funny Business: Capturing It on Film

There are two gadgets I’ve become interested in borrowing: a Geiger counter (don’t ask); and a Nanny Cam (don’t ask). The Cam takes precedence, I’d have to double-check the legality of where and how I intend to use it, and I don’t personally know anyone who owns one. Luckily, I have someone in my Rolodex who most likely does know people who own one, and I think this source would be able to produce the juice within a week of my request.

I want to have at least one kid one day. Although I’m more pro-day care than pro-nanny, preferences change. If a nanny lands on my payroll, I wouldn’t install a hidden camera – but I’d tell him or her that I had. That’s how you preempt a big problem:
“Sure hope you have a nice first day. Oh and, full disclosure, just because I’m not here in the flesh it doesn’t mean I’m not seeing it all. Don’t worry, all the equipment that’s set up is completely unobtrusive. You’ll never guess where the lenses are located. Or how many there are.”
I’d have to double-check the legality of this one too, which shouldn’t be that great of a challenge for someone with a bevy of brilliant attorneys in her camp.
[(Heart-)Breaking News: One of my lawyers won’t give me a solid answer re: whether I can use the Cam for my most pressing concerns. I’m still waiting for an expert opinion re: the imaginary Nanny Cam that may only have traction in my imagination, like so much else does.]