mid-april update

Oh, the blog year started out so promisingly, with fairly regular entries in January and February, then hitting a brief lull mid-March but making a comeback through the end of the month. Now I appear to be in a fallow period again. Mea culpa. In a not unusual pattern, I’ve become addicted to yet another new computer game, World of Warcraft this go-round.

On the other hand, I certainly haven’t lacked for material recently, as it’s been a very busy–though too often, unfortunately, quite unpleasant–few weeks. Though I hadn’t written about it yet, you might have seen the photo of my car. Last Thursday evening, after picking Jeff up at the Metro, I was involved in a fender-bender. Jeff and I, and the driver of the other car, all are fine, as was the other car, but the Prius suffered sufficient damage to require a new bumper and hood. It’s been in the shop since Monday morning; it was supposed to be ready today, but the shop called earlier to say that they’ll need to keep it until this coming Monday. Fine, except my insurance company will only let me keep the rental car until the body shop says my car is ready, so they told me I have to have the rental car back on Monday. But we’re in New York on Monday. Fortunately, the rental car company agreed (surprisingly, since I tend not to expect this kind of customer service these days) that under the circumstances, if I bring the car back when they open Tuesday morning, they’ll treat it as though it had been returned Monday night, and not count it as an extra day.

Jeff has chronicled the other events of last week, including the Tori Amos concert where my cameraphone arbitrarily was confiscated when I arrived (to be picked up after the concert concluded), so I started off the evening already very angry and upset about a culture that more and more assumes we’re all criminals before we’ve engaged in any untoward activities. My mood wasn’t helped by the hour-long wait for Ms. Amos to make her entrance after her opening act finished, nor by the (though eerily predicted by me) spilling of beer down our backs (though, admittedly, Jeff got the worst of it) by the loud-mouthed, boorish, neurosis-ridden lout sitting behind us. Truly, the show might have been great, but I couldn’t tell you one way or the other, remembering nothing more than the pounding of blood in my head as I, probably no less neurotic, spent the entire night simmering in my anger, loathing and self-pity.

In the same entry, Jeff also wrote about the “moment of crisis” he and I experienced last weekend. Perhaps not our first such moment, precisely, but certainly the most critical so far, being in some ways just the response, on both sides, to an accumulation of internal imagined conversations. Yes, I’m being cryptic, which has the unfortunate effect of making the circumstances seem dark or salacious, neither of which are true. Rather, it boils down basically to issues with communication; as good as we are at it most of the time (I think), some gaps nonetheless brought us nearly to the brink. Ultimately, and fortunately, this test seems actually to have strengthened our relationship, but it was scarily touch-and-go for a few tense moments.

Jeff also wrote last week about our having seen David Sedaris that Monday (April 4); that, at least, I enjoyed without complication.

This week also has been very busy, in addition to dealing with getting the car to the body shop. On Tuesday, Jeff won free tickets to Ten Unknowns, a play being performed at Signature, one of our favorite local Arlington theaters. And, on Wednesday, we attended an event at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, hosted by the Stanford Alumni Association (pix of the museum and event).

Tonight my mom arrives by train from southwestern Virginia, and tomorrow morning she, Jeff and I head to New York for three days of culture and shopping (her first trip to Manhattan); among other activities, we’ll see Mamma Mia, Hairspray and The Lion King; visit the Statue of Liberty, MoMA and “Ashes and Snow,” an intriguing exhibit at the equally intriguing travelling Nomadic Museum, and eat lunch at Tavern on the Green.

We get back late Monday night, Tuesday I pick up the car and spend the day around DC with my mom, Wednesday I go back to work, and then early Thursday morning I fly to Omaha–yes, Omaha, Nebraska–for a conference. At least I’ll get to add two more states–Nebraska and Iowa–to the list of those I’ve visited, bringing my total to 38 (I had misremembered it as already being 40, so I’m not quite as close to completion as I’d thought).

We’re also making plans, based on information Jeff found out yesterday about amazingly low $59 one-way fares offered by Independence Air to inaugurate their service to the west coast, for a three-day trip to Seattle for Jeff’s birthday next month. Our roundtrip tickets ended up being under $140 each, including taxes and fees. The fares were only available for the red-eye returns, but really, for $140, who can complain?

Busy, busy, busy.