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Trail of thinking


Drove home from work today with the top down. I haven't driven with the top down since Top-Down! Andy moved to Europe, mostly because of the rain, but also because of life in general not being much more than blue. Having the top down was fantastic. It's good to see the sun.

It was a start contrast to the drive this morning to see a new doctor. I had a growth on the side of my right eye that I wanted looked at, and went with the easiest route: making an appointment for the next doctor when I'm seeing a different one for something else.

So, I was half undressed when the doctor walks in and offers her hand. She's a petite, adorable, ridiculously young woman with a gentle demeanor. She was probably late twenties (total projection on my part, I can't tell ages in Asians at all). I'm totally guessing that she's just starting her practice, and doesn't have a full schedule, as I was 40 minutes late (I thought I was 10 minutes early) and she was still able to see me (thankfully).

One really good thing about young doctors is that they are more likely to be up-to-date with the latest techniques. Not that I needed anything special this time. The doctor offered to cut the growth off and have it analyzed. I accepted and 10 minute later, the growth was gone. She warned me of bruising (none), and lingering pain (lots), but the area is healing nicely.

And the growth is gone. Whoo!

By the middle of the day, the clouds were also leaving, and we had sunshine. I was surprised at how quickly things dried out, allowing me to drive with the top down on my way to communal dinner.

I ended up driving behind a first generation CRX, made me think of my old car. Sometimes I miss the thing. I usually realize soon after, though, that the car itself is not what I miss, but the experiences and memories surrounding the car. From purchasing it, to the cross country trips, to the drives to Arizona, to the dashboard getting destroyed in, to the back bumper getting ripped off (funny, both those disasters happened because of Amerigon, oddly enough), to the fantastic gas mileage, to the drive north, to Doyle's borrowing, to the eventual sell, that car came with me through nearly 12 years. A lot of life in that time.

Which made me think of an NPR segment I heard recently, on the weekend I think. It was about a guy who made journal recordings of his life, including through his ordeal with cancer, until his eventual, premature death. His wife would often listen to the recordings for comfort. I think I sound like a dork, more so than most people think they sound like dorks, so I hesitate to start audio-blogging. But, what better way to overcome the shyness about recording my voice than actually doing it. Same with vlogging, I think. Stick a camera in front of you, hit record and start talking.

The whole story was very sad, but incredibly fascinating. To be able to hear a loved one after death, hear their thoughts, begin to understand their life, what a great time we live in now.

The audio tapes reminded me of audio-blogging, which immediately made me think of Mini and Messina and Tara. The three of them amaze me.

Mini works with (underprivileged?) high-schoolers in the SmashCast program, where these students research then produce podcasts of math and science topics. The work Mini does is all like this: it makes the world a better place. She sees wrongs and wants to make them right. Messina and Tara are the same way. And that's what amazes me about them, and others like them. I see what they see and think, good lord, say hello to the windmill. They look and see places where they can make a positive difference, where they want to make a difference.

I've done work for Mini, but am unable to continue. I've been paring down my work. I'm tired and am unable to become ethusiastic for other people's projects. I've needed to say "No." for the longest time, but haven't been able to, and as a result, I've been unbearably busy with other people's projects/problems. So, I need to step away from Mini's projects as I (FINALLY!) ended the contract with the UPA today. The ending has made me sad.

The sadness is actually unexpected. I expected to be happy to be reducing how much work I have, how busy I am. I expected to be excited I could head off to communal dinner without my computer, and actually socialize. For all the change that exists in my life, I'm still not used to it. I'm still resisting some. Still getting blue with others.


I think of my cars the way you describe what your CRX really represents in memory to you. What a quintessentially American form of memorabilia. Expensive, but also so appropriate in so many ways. What other form of remembrance travels literally as far as we do in a given day, week, year, era?

I've owned quite a few vehicles over the years - a trait that I inadvertently picked up from my parents, I think. My first was a 1974 Plymouth Valiant. It wasn't pretty, but it was all I could afford in late high school. I don't remember a lot about the vehicle - the smell of dried and cracking vinyl, that permanent musty smell that seems to accompany old cars in much the same manner as it does some old people. I remember the stupid little yellow "Beach Bum on Board" sign that I stuck in the rear window for some semblance of personality - or perhaps excuse for continuing to torture the poor vehicle instead of allowing it to peacefully decompose in a junk yard someplace.

My clearest memory of that car include driving away from a certain blogger's house (who shall remain nameless, since she owns this site) some spring afternoon. The combination of the perfect air temperature, warm sun, and enjoyable breeze has stuck with me all my life. There are still days when that flashback returns - that youthful joy that comes from knowing somebody likes you enough to give you a smooch. I also remember sleeping with a friend of mine (male, and we're both hetero - so it was JUST sleeping) outside of Sedona one early morning road trip.

I've thought about audio blogging. I actually began it before moving from Phoenix. I would drive around and record memories of different streets and locations in the metro area. But I didn't get very far before deciding it would be too overwhelming. I wonder where those tapes went...?