Sunday, July 06, 2008

My Strange Disappearance, what I've been up to, and some blows to a delicate ego

I've been a little among the missing lately, and for that I do apologize. It has been a bit of a weird few weeks.

First. A sad bit of a family update. You may remember, back in May, that I wrote about a Great Uncle passing away. Sadly his wife died this past week. Her funeral is tomorrow. It is so strange how often it happens that the surviving spouse lives for a very short time after the death of their partner. Marnie has been fading for quite some time now, but that doesn't make her dying any easier for those left behind. In this case, my cousin, once removed, D, who has experienced far too much loss in his life. Marnie was my grandmother's younger sister. There were three sisters. We called them the mice. The youngest sister is the sole remaining sibling. Marnie was the consummate aunt. When we visited she'd have made a lovely lunch of sandwiches with the crusts off, and the spread right to the edge, homemade pickles and pickled beets, homemade relish and mustard, homemade cookies and puddings for dessert, beautiful china, and a spotless house. Royal Doultons on crocheted doilies, that I looked at, but only touched to look at their names when she wasn't in the room. Skirts and suits that she made for herself. A twinkle in the eye. So very like my grandmother in so many ways, but with shocking, surprising differences, like a startling love of sports. We have lost a very good person in Marnie, and I have lost the last of my three grandmother figures. But, we have been oh so very lucky to have her for this long.

Beyond sadness, there is much to be joyful about. I do think you can experience joy and sorrow simultaneously. And this is summer, so there is much going on that is life affirming. For example - the resurgence of nature in a place that was desecrated by a horrible cutting down of trees and building of ugly cement bridges not so very long ago! A few years ago a man bought a property on our beach. He cut down trees to build a road in. He built the worlds ugliest bridge over the creek that crosses the property. He cleared a giant space for a cottage. He failed to get the building permit and the cottage has not been built. I do not feel sorry for him. He has other cottages (yes! In plural!) on the lake and he is a terrible man. And now. Oh glory and joy! The road is not visible at all, and the wildflowers have taken over the whole clearing.

This picture to the left shows the flower filled space that was once a gravel covered thing that looked like a parking lot. Last weekend my mom, aunt K., and I spent almost an hour in the field, looking at and trying to identify the different breeds of wildflower, watching butterflies, ladybugs, frogs, and other wildlife, and generally enjoying the beautiful space. It is almost magical now. I will be going back again and again this summer to watch as the different flowers come.

If you look closely you'll see the frog!

We also spent a lot of time working on our own gardens. Weeding. Moving things. Transplanting. And uncovering the stone walkway my great great grandfather built, but which has been taken over by tree roots and lilies of the valley in the last 80 years or so. It is amazing to see it coming back into its own. My batteries died before I could get a picture of that. But I do have a cool one of the foxglove in the sunlight.

Also this week, I went to Best Buy to get an external hard drive, as my desktop computer is dying a sad death, and I wanted to protect my files, and left with a brand new laptop! They were having a great sale, and I got a fabulous price. So this afternoon, I took myself off to a cafe and did some great work where there were no distractions! I got more written today than I have for weeks, and it feels great. I am so excited about the laptop. I'd forgotten how good it felt to be able to pick up and take my work anywhere I want. Oh joy!

And finally we come to the blow to the ego.

It all stems from a very passing remark delivered by a coworker, which likely meant nothing, but me being me, I've been stewing. So here's the story. In the break room, in a casual conversation, I was musing about whether I might be able to get my schedule for the fall changed allowing me to not work Thursday nights. A coworker said: "why? Is there a show you want to watch?" Now, this is not a coworker for whom TV is of primary concern. This is someone with outside interests who is usually nothing but polite. Which leads me to think that this person has a fairly bleak image of me as a shallow person who can't talk about anything but TV and other shallow-type things. Eeeek! I do not want to be that girl. I'm not that girl! (For the record - the reason I don't want to work Thursday nights is that there is a course I want to take.) It troubles me to think that someone I work with considers me a flaky couch potato who'd change her work schedule for the sake of a television program. Ouch!

So there you have it. Now, for some dinner...


ru said...

perhaps that is why your coworker would want to change her work schedule?

MadJenny said...

Not this one - this one tends to go back to school herself, and teach courses, and other such things. Le sigh. I think it is likely the fault of my babbling over excitedly at most times.

faerie-writer said...

I would *totally* change my work schedule for a good TV show like The Tudors or Dexter or something. Eh, eh. ;)

MadJenny said...

I do actually watch "The Office", which is on Thursday nights, and I was distressed when my VCR broke and I couldn't tape it. But I got over that when I found I could watch it streamed online the next day!

I took the DVD of the first few episodes of "The Tudors" out of the library, and I'm on the waiting list for the rest of the season. I like it! Despite the fact that I have trouble looking at the guy who plays Henry since he creeps me out a bit. The series seems to be really well done!

faerie-writer said...

Really? I just find Johnathan Rhys-Meyers hot, hot, HOT! *pants*

MadJenny said...

I have no idea why. I think I must have seen him in something where he played a creepy character, and it transferred. Or, he reminds me maybe of Joaquin Phoenix who I also find entirely difficult to look at. I think that might stem from the Gladiator movie. But it might also have to do with his eyes. I also have trouble watching Stephen Harper speak because of the eyes. Weird. I know!

Canadian Economist said...

I think there is only one reason for a coworker to lash-out at you: their own self-esteem issues. I am an economist, I like to look at the facts: You are young, beautiful and smart. You have it all. And sometimes, even the most polite girls hate the most beauful girl in the room, right? Other than that, her comments have nothing to do to you.

MadJenny said...

Aww Dan! You're too sweet for words. You're making me teary-eyed! Why don't you live closer friend?!?!