Day 41

Day 41

It's been raining, I swear to God, for three months.

Little runaway

Little runaway

That’s it – I’m running away. No, don’t try to stop me because I’ve made up my mind. And I’m not coming back! You’ll be sorry when I’m gone! I’m leaving now. That’s right, I’m leaving right now. This very minute. Look, I took ten steps! There’s no stopping me now. And I’m never coming back, either. I don’t care what you say. You can beg and plead all you want but I’m running away and I’m never coming back.

15 steps! I’ve taken 15 steps! Pretty soon I’ll be gone and then it will be too late! 20 steps! You should think about coming after me pretty soon. Otherwise it will be too late. I’ll be gone forever. 22 steps! This is your last chance to come and get me.

Before I run away.



Are you going to come and get me soon?

The Giver

I finally read Lois Lowry's The Giver last weekend. The book was recommended to me by one of my 8th grade students, back when I was teaching. He was a good kid, kind of big and goofy and immature for his age, but earnest and happy most of the time. He'd just moved to the community and didn't fit in yet. And he was way behind the other kids academically. Didn't like to read much. Probably had ADD. None of that seemed to bother him much.

He was totally obsessed with this book. He must have described the plot to me 100 times. He must have told me a million times how much he loved reading it. He asked me almost daily if I'd read it yet, if I was going to read it. I don't know why I never did. So when I saw a copy for a dollar at a library book sale, I bought it, took it home, and read it in a single day.

I enjoyed it a lot even though I'm not completely certain I understood it all.

The book--the 1994 Newbery Medal winner--raises more questions than it answers. It's written in a deceptively simple style and I'm sure it is full of symbolism and deeper meaning. Lofty messages about society and the danger of group think and conformity. The value of free will. And holy crap does it have an ambiguous ending. A week later, and I'm still thinking about what what it all meant.

Interesting, that this book had such a champion in that 8th grade goofball. I wish I had read it when he first recommended it to me. I would have liked to have talked to him about it.

Mostly it was a rhetorical question

I started wearing my seat belt all the time a couple of years ago, after my friend A. got out of a speeding ticket because she was wearing hers. But on Monday I was on my way to work (and what a stupid day to go to have to go to work anyway) and I got pulled over for not stopping at a stop sign.

Truth be told, I was kind of on autopilot and I'm not really sure whether or not I stopped at the stop sign. I think I mostly stopped. Stopped long enough to see there were no other cars in the intersection, anyway. I know for sure that I didn't just blow through the intersection.

There were two cops and they both got out of the cruiser. The one that came to my window ran his hand along the side of my car as he walked up to me. They do that because you might have a hostage in the trunk. Seriously, do I look like the kind of person who might have someone tied up in the trunk of my car?

A dead body, maybe.

"License and registration," the first cop said, while the second cop made a visual inspection of the inside of my car, looking intently for drugs or body parts or illegal fireworks or something. And I had the dog in the back seat. And of course she was barking. Not that I blamed her. I wanted to bark, too.

So the cop took my license and registration back to his cruiser. It seemed like he was gone a very long time. I wasn't too worried, though, because I haven't had a moving violation or even a warning for about 15 years. My record is as clean as a whistle. Plus, I thought smugly, I am wearing my seatbelt.

The cop came back. I noticed he was kind of cute. I gave him by best sheepish smile. He handed me a slip of paper.

"I'm giving you a citation for failure to stop at the intersection back there," he says.

"A warning? Or a ticket?" I asked. I couldn't believe he just gave me a citation without giving me a chance to sweet talk my way out of it.

"A ticket," he said. "But you're wearing your seat belt. That's good."

"THAT'S GOOD?" I yelled. "What the hell good does it do to wear your seatbelt if it doesn't get you out of a goddamned ticket?"

Overheard at the dinner table

Me: I applied for a part-time editing job on a Web site called Overheard at the Beach.* People submit things they overhear and they're looking for someone to edit the items and write headlines for them.

My dad: And this is on the Internet?

Me: Yup.

My mom: I can't believe anyone would actually know about that, let alone that it would be a job.

I swear, it was an honor just to be a finalist

So a few weeks back Overheard at the Beach was looking for an editor. They posted 100 reader-submitted quotes (things that people had, ostensibly, overheard at the beach) and to apply for the job you had to pick 12-15 of them, edit them and write headlines for them. I sent in my 12-15 edited and headlined items along with my resume and a pretty fresh cover letter. I told them that my cat was probably dying and that I owed the vet a lot of money. (Seriously, what do you have to lose when you're applying for a job like this? You might as well at least try to be funny. And what's funnier than a dying cat?)

While I was waiting for a response I read some of the items and my headlines to my mom. She thought they were hysterical, by the way.

A week or so went by and sure enough, I got a really cool email saying I was one of the finalists for the job. The email was very flattering. I would seriously quote from it, but if I did it would seem like I was bragging. It was that nice.

The next phase was a timed test -- the finalists had to write ten headlines for ten items in 30 minutes. And since I'm the kind of person who thinks of the perfect thing to say 30 minutes after an exchange, I pretty much bombed. Another week went by and I got an email saying they decided to go another way. That letter was nice, too. Just not as nice as the letter saying I was a finalist.

So that was fun.

At least my mom still thinks I'm funny

But the weird thing is, now that the Beach site is up and running, I can see what the winning headlines were for the 100 items as they're posted. Some of them are waaaaay funnier than any of mine were. And some of them are just different than mine were.

One of my favorites was this item ... I love the headline they picked, too. Mine was "Funny, the same exact thing happened to my virginity."

My headline for this item was "It's either that or start a book club."

But some of them are just downright icky. For example, the very first one they posted happened to be one that I wrote a headline for:

Teen boy: . . . and you're so racist.

Teen girl: I'm really not.

Teen boy: It's okay. I find it sexy.

I wrote something like "You look so cute in that sheet and hood." The headline they ended up using goes another way. Ewwwwww. Right?

*Which, of course, just in case anyone from work is reading this, I would do outside of my normal working hours.