Sunday, July 09, 2006

Department of Silver Linings

You know what the upside is of having an electronic car key that costs upwards of $200 to replace? When I tell my husband that I can't remember where I put it, he finds it for me, and pretty darn quickly, too.

You want to know what the upside is of losing ten pounds in six weeks due to enormous stress resulting in a loss of ability to eat that borders on the anorexic? My wedding ring fits again.

And the stress is easing off. So, as long as I don't just gain it all back, my life is peachy.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Becoming a tiger?

When I started to write this post, I definitely had something in mind. Now I don't even remember what it is. Something about my friend Susan who wrote the book of that title? (without the question mark) It showed up on the online bookclub, which I definitely thought was cool.

So here it is, some missing memory fragment from back in June, that will have to stand in for a post for now. At least the page will look different if anyone is still checking.

I still have plenty to say about why I homeschool. Now to be supplemented by my adventures this summer trying to support a homeschooling community, only to be greeted with general disdain and vile calumny. What the heck, it's only one summer. I still have a nice family, and I can tell you, this summer has made me appreciate them more.


I can elaborate if anyone is interested. You know my name, look up the number.

Fiona Beb and the phoenix

We had a traumatic experience today. We were on our way to the Farmer’s Market, where we like to buy crepes on Sunday mornings. As we pulled out of the garage, Maya announced that she had left her doll at the park a few days ago and we needed to go look for her. Well, the park is on the way, so even though Maya is notoriously prone to false alarms like this, we stopped to look for her doll. It is a big park, with a play area in front and wooded area in back. There is a bridge you can cross, a stream where you can look for frogs, a large green lawn under the trees, surrounded by undergrowth. Next the lawn sits a picnic table on the bare dirt, where someone had had a fire recently. We passed it by without thinking, but when I looked again, I saw a plastic doll's leg, burned at the top where it would have attached to the doll’s cloth body. Then I found the other leg, and the arms, and eventually the back of the neck with a scrap of clothing melted on. When I saw the clothing, we knew for sure we had found Fiona Beb.

Fiona Beb was Maya’s first baby doll, but Ziad named her. No one knows how he came up with that name, although we really were into The Secret of Roan Innish at that time. She’s gone on trips with us, and slept with Maya when Maya needed her, and been a part of our family. It was bad enough to know that she was lost for good, but it was just so creepy that someone had burned her up. All of us were crying when we got home.

So Maya and I talked about it. Of course, middle-class, comfortable, permissive parents that we are, there was no question but that we were going to try find a replacement. And Maya told me, “When we find the new doll, then all the parts of Fiona Beb are going to come into her, and then I’ll have her back again.” Which for some reason made me think of the story of the Phoenix, popularized but not invented by J.K.Rowling in her Harry Potter books. So I told Maya about the phoenix, that lives a hundred years and bursts into flame as it dies. Then, when the flame is gone, there is an egg in the ashes, and the phoenix is born again out of its own egg. It is a symbol of eternal life and rejuvenation. So it made sense that Fiona Beb could be like that somehow, come back to us even though she was burned up.

Maya seems to be pretty OK to think that Fiona Beb is like the phoenix. But the fact is, Ziad and I are pretty seriously freaked out. That doll, to me, represents the innocence and joy of childhood, and I can’t imagine what kind of person would throw it on a fire. I keep thinking about my little girl, who is so tender-hearted and loving. I just don’t know what to make of it all.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I was a teenage short order cook

Yes I was. Not a line cook, but still a professional food preparer. I had this job toward the end of my first stint at UCSC, when I was still kind of floundering around realizing I was not actually going to make it as a dance major and suffering huge emotional trauma from breaking up with my first serious long-term relationship. Even though, looking back on it, that was just a lucky escape for me. (The relationship ending, I mean.)

As far as the cooking goes, I worked at the club house at Pasatiempo golf course. It was nice getting onto the golf course grounds, which were always green and cool in the morning. I don't know if the restaurant was open for dinner or not, but I always worked breakfast and lunch. Days of my youth -- sometimes I would walk to work from my room in Santa Cruz, sometimes I would hitchhike up Highway 17. I hitchhiked a lot back then, and had some pretty hairy episodes, but that' s another story.

Walking would take me up Graham Hill Road to the back entrance of the golf course, hitching would leave me at the front -- either way I had a good hike up the hill of the course itself. The clubhouse had a really nice view across Santa Cruz and over the Monterey Bay, but of course I spent almost all my time in the kitchen.

I remember learning how to flip eggs in a saucepan. I still have the scar where I cut the tip off my finger while slicing hard boiled eggs. I sliced across an artery(a small one) and the blood spurted out rhythmically with my pulse (not that much of it). No ER, just a bandage and back to work. Apart from that, it's pretty vague. I liked my job, and I don't really remember why I quit. I was not so crazy about the owners -- a married couple with a preteen son, not so compatible with my 70s hippie antiauthoritarian self. I got that job through the unemployment office, by the way, but what was I doing at the unemployment office when I was still a student?

Enough rambling down memory lane.