Posts Tagged ‘morning’

Day Break

3 May 2010

Dear J-

The whole back end of the van in alive with noises this morning, some of them my fault (there’s a gentle clicking that I know must be some of the extra hardware that I’ve added and could stand to come off), some of it is getting used to the new van (they swapped out our 2008 van with 40K miles for a 2009 van with 40K miles, essentially proving that there is no free lunch), and some of it is the nature of the trip: for this wheelbase, weight, and suspension tuning, the freeway between San Diego and Carlsbad sets up an almost resonant rocking motion. Yes, I already knew I had too much time on my hands, but what should I do about it?

Part of this time could be spent fruitfully studying, I suppose; there are no doubt any number of non-fiction titles out there for me to discover, but unless they involve sunken ships, I’m afraid my attention span isn’t what it used to be. I dunno. Part of me gets up so early because I need to for the vanpool, but the estra time is just gravy, I guess — there are long stretches in the morning when I don’t say a word to anyone because I feel like I’m the only one awake in the world, though theVet has surprised me on more than one occasion while I’m reading the newspaper and woolgathering.

I actually remember the first time I got up early for myself, and it’s not a great memory: that conflicted summer of ’98, we’d gotten up before I had to go to school and some petty argument (it’s a wonder that love under the age of, say, 25, has a chance at surviving the egos) sent me marching towards the door just after six, bus pass in hand with a silent vow to stew all the way there. By the way, public transportation is an excellent service for introverts — they’re the ones staring out the window — and extroverts (on their phones) alike now, but before the ubiquitous cell phone, they were the best way I knew to be alone in public. For some reason there’s an unwritten rule on the vanpool that quiet time is reserved for the mornings; maybe that’s our nature, or just our lack of caffeine.

Mike

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Phone Fuss

12 December 2009

Dear J-

We spent the morning working our way through IKEA; the thousand steps you end up taking are all painful when your companion is prone on the floor after the slightest slight (“Hey, let’s keep going” “NOOOOOOO!”). Thankfully, most of the people passing by were more amused than horrified (strangely enough, the parents in the crowd seemed to recognize the face-on-the-floor tantrums: one in every room of the pretend houses, and one at the foot of the stairs, too, for good measure). It did make for a pretty quick way to pass the time, though I think we’ll be banned from IKEA if we keep going back (especially if we break stuff like we did today).

We live in a wonderful place, where we can decide to head off to the Zoo at a moment’s notice (so to speak) to watch the lights; though I know she’s getting sick (you can tell by how crabby she is) the one thing that’s going to perk her up is having the chance to stare at Christmas lights and stay out later than usual, even if we’re going to pay for it in further anger (best not to wake a sleeping figgy, and best not to keep her much beyond bedtime).

We woke up disoriented from a call from work this morning — the joke that that place can’t run without me came ironically true — and I thought about calling in to offer my services later (whether over the phone, in the afternoon, or tomorrow), but I just got over twelve days in a row and the batteries were flat. Instead, we spent the day we needed — starting out I wouldn’t have predicted it would turn out to be a perfect day, between early morning interruptions and all day fuss, but somewhere between splashing in puddles and plucking a sleepy figgy out of her seat, we make it work out perfectly. Again.

Mike

Milestone Goals

23 June 2009

Dear J-

Do you ever have one of those days, J-, when as soon as you get up it feels like the world is in slow motion?  I have certain milestones I shoot for in the morning — alarm at 3:30, out of bed by 3:45 (darn this ridiculously easy snooze button — a touch-sensitive rim of metal surrounding the radio face), walked & fed the dogs by 4:00, breakfast by 4:15, and out the door by 4:30.  It makes for a bit of panic when you start to see those deadlines slip by twenty minutes and sets a sour tone in my mouth for the rest of the day.

For what it’s worth, I seem to live in a superstitious life — I know that rationally I have the opportunites and abilities to effect changes in my attitude and actions, but sometimes I feel as though what I do either has too much (watching sports, here) or too little (nothing can lift my bad mood) effect on the remainder of my life.  Right now, I know I didn’t do a great job stowing the bike in the back of the van — something’s loose back there so it’s rattling AND squeaking at the same time; I worry about the unrest it’ll cause for the rest of the trip even though it’s impossible to tell how well it’s packed — or what’s loose — until the van’s in motion and I can do nothing about it, strapped into the front seat.

It’s about goals, then.  Do the things you can (I can change the way I react, I can bring or lend earplugs), don’t worry about the things you can’t (TV is not so magic that I can will a team to score or not at my insistence, and I’ll fix the bike when I get a chance), and figure out the right prioritizations.  Thus the goals inevitably seem to revolve around short-term fixes without much thought to the future; it’s part of the abundant immaturity and insecurity that keeps me from delaying the question of what I want to be when I grow up.  The man who persuaded me into working for the company asked me, those not-so-many years ago, whether I wanted a job or a career; lately there’s been a lot of job filling without much career fulfillment.

Mike

Morning Mist

7 April 2009

Dear J-

The mist this morning was lying in the canyon bottoms and hollows.  Just east of I-805 and Governor, there’s a stretch of undeveloped land between Governor and the railroad running through San Clemente Canyon; the fog was rising from the field like some sort of mutant cotton crop, glowing softly under the pre-dawn harvest moon.  When I crossed Tecolote Canyon just a few minutes earlier, I took a quick bath in the cloud, dipping in and out before the white curtain parted.

We’re having our largest daily temperature variance now, cool in the mornings and warm with the promise of summer on the way back.  When you stay inside all morning, you don’t notice the chill leaving stiffly before the sun, grudgingly relinquishing its hold on frames and bones.  It becomes easier to remember the coming nights of heat baking off concrete in great sheets.  I always look forward to the next spring rain, though, keeping us honest and knocking great yellow puddles of pollen from the very air.

I watch the line between sea and sky until it blurs, hidden by tall grasses, slowly turning beige and tan.  The first time I drove near water I could barely keep my eyes on the road; watching sky become lake, clouds becoming islands, mountains shifting to deep, dark valleys.  We revolve around water; we thirst for it, we scatter it on the ground, we frolic in it, we build machines and tools to master it, but it knows no limits.  Rain comes to dry land and leaves us with a bit less than before; we are always fighting — for it, with it.  We live.

Mike