Monday, August 20, 2007

The Miracle of Life and A Short-Lived Weekend

Girl, better figure out which is which
Wherefore art thou Romeo you son of a bitch
You'd just as soon fight as switch now wouldn't you
He's come to make love on your satin sheets
Wake up on your living room floor
He's the last of the hard-core troubadours

The lyrics to "Hard-Core Troubadour" have absolutely nothing to do with my blog other than the fact that I bought a Steve Earle album and will be forced to purchase ALL OF THEM as soon as finacially possible. He is just...THE MAN!

So my blogging senses have been slightly dulled lately because...well...ain't much going on. I could do a brief diatribe on one of the many evils of the world that bite my ass particualarly hard, but I complain enough as it is, so I won't insult anyone's intelligence with it.

I did see "The Miracle of Life" in my Medical Terminology class. You know, the old-school NOVA special that has been grossing out Sex Ed and Lamaze classes for over two decades? Yeah, that one. It was interesting to say the least. I had no idea doctors pulled the poor kids out so forcefully. I don't have any kids, so all of this was new to me except for the science and just the familiarity of having those mysterious lady parts.

I was annoyed at my instructor though (which is not exactly a rare circumstance) because she actually fast-forwarded through the first part. And for those who haven't seen it, it isn't what you think. The first part is actually kind of an overview on the theories of how life began on earth. Of course, I understand that these theories and the theory of evolution are very controversial topics, but to completely disregard them, to the point that you won't show anything on the subject to your students is unconcionable for a teacher. Everyone has to make up their own mind, and that is really difficult to do until you have as much information as possible for both sides of the argument. But I really don't want to get into a debate, so I'll leave it at that. It just ticked me off.

Having already gotten over the outrage of missing the first ten minutes of "The Miracle of Life", I headed for Rome after work Friday to meet Corey. It had been a while since we'd hung out in Rome together, just the two of us, so I volunteered to drive the 20 miles since he works there. We had supper at Harvest Moon, which just seems to get fancier and fancier. But it was really good. I LOVED the seared tuna appetizer we had even if it was just a sushi serving.

They've opened at little bakery-type place right next door and connected to Harvest Moon, so Corey and I decided to check it out after supper - especially when we saw that they have home-made gelato. We ended up with a small gelato each, and I went ahead and treated us both to some super-rich and fancy pasteries for Saturday morning. We strolled along Broad Street while we finished our gelatos, and then headed for the Barnes and Noble. Corey got to witness the epitome of indecisive Jennifer as I tried to decide between buying both or only one of the albums I wanted. I bought both because I'm a bad monkey. But Steve Earle and Josh Ritter were worth it.

I also met another of Corey's friends this weekend. This friend and his wife live near Chattanooga and were in town for the weekend, so we met them at his parents' house. A house that I LOVE. It's built kind of into a hill, so it's mostly underground with a lawn acting as a roof. They also have a beautifully situated pool and pool house. In any case, I really enjoyed hanging out and chatting with these folks. I will not be averse to seeing them again. Corey had been a little nervous about his friend's wife, as he had a theory that she just doesn't like other women. But she seemed to like me and even hugged me when we left. Maybe I'm just that cool.

Sunday, we really didn't do much anything, and toward the afternoon, poor Corey got a little bit listless. He felt the need to hike or do something, but he really didn't want to as it has just been too hot. I did everything I could to make him feel better, and I think he did after a while, but the day passed in a useless sort of fashion until he headed on back home to get a jump on the week. I went to the grocery store and that was that.

Corey still has some hermit tendencies, but that doesn't stop him from coming to see me every day of the week for at least a few minutes. I guess he's still getting used to being half of a couple. Frankly, I'm still getting used to it too. It's not like other relationships I've been in, which is actually a good thing. But it has taken some getting used to. Still, I think it's worth it because he's precious and better suited to me than anyone I've ever dated before. I know he cares about me very much, but I think that kind of scares him. So many people he's cared for have either passed away too soon or continue to suffer from any number of physical and mental hardships. And he really feels it. He's a worrier by nature, so he wears himself out thinking about and trying to come up with something he can do or something he can say to make it all better. I've been kind of trying to get him to accept the fact that he can't please everybody all the time (including me), and he's been getting better. Still, I sometimes wonder if he thinks he's cursed in some way.

Anyway, enough of that. How was y'all's weekend?

And by all means, love the brilliance that is Steve Earle. I know he ain't pretty, but who cares?

Monday, August 6, 2007

My New Wings

I'll take the red clay robe
with the red clay wings,
And a red clay halo for my head.

I had hoped that this blog would contain many pictures of me and Corey having a blast on the river, but alas, it was not to be.

As none of you will remember, NERA had its paddle trip down the Oostanaula on Saturday: the official one. I was really really looking forward to doing this with Corey, but he had been sick all week and he was still sick on Saturday.

I had been sick too, but I was over it by Friday. Saturday morning, we got up early and Corey kept saying, "Yeah, *cough, cough* I can make it baby *sneeze, sneeze*, I wouldn't *sniff sniff* miss it!" It took a lot of convincing and cajoling to get him to believe that I would not drown or be taken hostage by river pirates or eaten by river dingos if he wasn't there. It also took a lot of convincing to make him realize that he would have been miserable if he had come with me. But he finally caved. He settled instead on helping me gather all my crap and driving me to the put-in.

I ended up hitching a ride with Bumper again, who was more than happy to let me crash. I missed Corey the whole time because I know we would have been laughing and having a blast the whole way. And I mourn for the loss of several little songs he probably would have come up with along the way. Because that's how cool my man is.

Because there was no Corey there, I honestly don't have much to tell that would be different from the last trip down the river. Except that Joe, our parent organization's executive director, is hilarious. I had never seen him around his kids, but he must be one of the funnest Dads ever. He and his kids (well, at least one of them was his) kept ramming the other canoes (not hard enough to turn them over) and shooting water cannons at us. It was just silly fun.

They proceeded to sing the Meatball song among others as they paddled, which sent me WAY back. Since then, I haven't been able to stop singing, "On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed." Again I sighed and pouted because Corey wasn't there to join in.

We did have a very slight incident which I didn't see because Bumper, his little boy, and I ended up lagging way behind at one point. A couple of older ladies came on the trip and they hadn't paddled for a very long time. Apparently, they tried to pass over a shoal on the wrong side and ended up stuck between a rock and a big log. They flipped, and one lady apparently got a foot stuck for a minute. Luckily the rapids over the shoal were very tiny and the water rather shallow. They both emerged unscathed and only a little shaken.

When we took out, Corey came and got me, feeling a whole lot better. He said he'd had one of those naps that just completely works wonders. He was feeling well enough to take me to the Steak and Shake in Dalton for much-needed steak burgers and cheddar fries. He had lost some of his steam by the time we got back, but he was still feeling well enough to take care of my major sunburn.

Which brings me to my new wings. I applied SPF 50 (yes, 50) very liberally all over my shoulders and arms and neck when I took my shirt off and put my life jacket over my bikini top. I kept applying. I must have sunscreened my shoulders at least four times during the trip. Was this necessary? OH YES!! For those of you who don't know me personally, you must understand that I have VERY Irish skin. I mean I'm fish-belly white most of the time. So maybe that explains why, despite my four applications of SPF 50, my shoulders still got a little bit burnt.

But the worst was my back. Not my whole back mind you - just the part of my back under my shoulder blades and actually including the tip of my shoulder blade. How, you ask, did this happen? Well, apparently, the sun snuck in through the armholes of the life jacket and did its cooking quietly. Now I look like I have two little red wings. And they hurt like hell. It's the worst I've been burnt in years. I'm super careful about getting too much sun, but it just didn't occur to me that the sun was hitting me in that area. So now leaning back and lying on my back when I go to bed both hurt mightily. But I'm keeping up with the aloe and hopefully my little wings will fade soon.

Anyway, hope y'all had a lovely weekend, and didn't end up being made crispy by the sun.

Here's some Gillian Welch. This song is so me when I was a little girl.

What would you most like to see on my new website for unpublished writers?