The counting of blessings (part II)

Now, let me turn that on its head.

I've been listening to a lot of classic Motown lately. I have no explanation for why that's what I've wanted to hear lately.

But one of the albums I've been digging through lately is Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life. I love the title, and I loved his explanation for it—look it up sometime.I think most everyone probably likes the most well-known track, "Isn't She Lovely." But I have a particular affection for the song "As"—its gospel-influenced give and take, its cheerful hyperbole.

It's a good song when you're thinking about your spouse on the day before Valentine's Day…

"Did you know that true love asks for nothing
Her acceptance is the way we pay
Did you know that life has given love a guarantee
To last through forever and another day

Just as time knew to move on since the beginning
And the seasons know exactly when to change
Just as kindness knows no shame

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that nasty thing....

Anyone who has spent more than ten minutes around me in the past six months has heard my phrase, "a nasty thing for…"

It can mean many things. Generally I use it to refer to something that I really like, past the point of reason or comprehension.

As in: "I've got this nasty thing for…"Common endings to that sentence are:

  • brunettes (don't ask me why; I've always favored them. maybe I just don't want anything that could be construed as competition to my strawberry blondeness?)
  • geekboys (ever since I encountered one at age fifteen they've made my toes curl)
  • Jonatha Brooke (because she writes killer lyrics)
  • John Cusack (even I can't explain this one…)

Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again…

The first line from one of my favorite books—Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. Oddly appropriate: a book that starts with a young, confused woman who flees everything she knows—and ends with a grand old building in flames.

My previous entry about this will eventually scroll. For when that happens, here are three pictures:

Fire destroyed the main building of Bauxite High School on January 5, 2001.  

(I am not the photographer, and I do not know who was.  This was sent to me.)Fire destroys Bauxite High School
Major efforts were taken to save the main Bauxite High School building from flames when it burned on January 5, 2001. 

(I am not the photographer, and I do not know who was.  This was sent to me.)Attempts to save Bauxite High School building
This was my high school, which was destroyed by fire on January 5, 2001.

(I am not the photographer, and I do not know who was.  This was sent to me.)Bauxite High School building in flames

Let me tell you what it was like to grow up in this place: Bauxite, currently population ~400. So named for the bauxite ore that was available in the area. It became a boom town in World War II. Bauxite, you may remember, is the ore from which aluminum is made—aluminum that was made into lightweight planes that helped win that war.

Tired. So tired.

I really shouldn't have taken that nap earlier this evening, but it felt wonderful to lie on the couch with the cats stretched out on me and drift quietly to sleep while Jeff was watching Iron Chef. I vaguely remember opening my eyes once and seeing something about an unusual preparation of fried rice, and then sliding softly back into sleep.

This was a good thing; I think I need the rest. My concern over my general health is starting to nibble at me a bit. First, a serious bout of stomach flu and strep throat within a six-week period, and now a week after finishing up my medication to treat strep, I appear to be coming down with a cold.I rummaged through our horrendously messy kitchen table this evening and found the cold medicine Jeff bought a few weeks ago. It seems to be helping a bit. If nothing else, it will probably help me sleep—once I get sleepy, that is. My nap has thrown my internal clock for a bit of a loop.


"This planet has billions of passengers on it, and those were preceded by infinite billions and there are vaster billions to come, and none of these, no, not one, can I hope ever to understand. Never! And when I think how much confidence I used to have in understanding—you know?—it's enough to make a man weep. Of course, you may ask, what have numbers got to do with it? And that's right, too. We get too depressed by then, and should be more accepting of multitudes than we are.

I am, yes, a dork.

A sign of how my day is going to go today, and a quick flash of dry AndyWit[tm] to boot. I had a coupon for $50 off of a large order at Amazon.com. That, and free shipping. I only had a few days to do it before the coupon expired. So I was going to order myself a Handspring—because, quite frankly, if there was a person with a busy enough life and enough to-do and to-purchase lists that could use a PDA, I'm that person.This morning, I had a flash of insight:

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