The Soggy Blogger
I live in a soggy city. I have a soggy blog.
I'd rather be a soggy blogger than a soggy frog.


Friday, April 25, 2003  

Freaky.


I had a dream last night that I was in a hotel room, hanging out with my two younger brothers, and all of a sudden there was an earthquake. We all scrambled to crouch under the desk, table, and bathroom vanity. After it was over, my mom came in to see if we were okay. And we were. And then the dream went off in a completely different direction -- something about me having to run through downtown traffic in order to make it to a music lesson. Or something.

I woke up, told the dream to the groggy husband (who told me that I should not worry so much about earthquakes), and promptly forgot about it...

Until I arrived home from work just now, when what should be waiting for me but e-mail from Anthony, another Seattle blogger, asking if I felt the earthquake last night! Apparently we had one at 3am, with an aftershock at around 5am. Weird. Very weird.

posted by Anne on 6:20 PM | link
 

And now...


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you David Hasselhoff.

posted by Anne on 2:11 PM | link
 

Enough.


One of the many things I don't understand about our culture is this "cult of career" that we seem to be perpetuating. It's true that honest work and a sense of accomplishment are important pillars of personal satisfaction, but somewhere along the line I think we've convinced ourselves that getting and keeping an "important job" is the best way to go about fulfilling those needs. And somehow your effort is not worth as much if it is more basic. Your goals are not as worthy if they are simple. And the effect of this is that we have so many people walking around out there, stressed to the point of helplessness, because they have flip-flopped their priorities. They have eschewed the basic for the complex, and it is killing them.

When I first tell people what I do for a living, the most common response I get is "Oh, are you a student?" Which pisses me off to no end. Not because I have anything against academics, mind you, but because this particular question operates on two basic assumptions which I find to be insulting; that caring for children simply isn't enough in and of itself, and that the end product of education is necessarily some sort of career. Because I am a fairly intelligent, fairly well-adjusted, university-educated, middle class woman, "better things" are expected of me. The flip-side of privilege is obligation, I have been told, and I am not supposed to set my sights so low.

Now, I could defend the importance of my occupation until I'm blue in the face, but what I think it basically comes down to is goals. The goals I have for myself are pretty much as follows: I want to have enough time and energy to be really good to the people in my life. I want my opinions to be my own, even if that means that they are unpopular. I want to be open-minded, fair, and compassionate. I want to be able to look critically at my own actions and beliefs, and to seek out and eliminate any discrepancy between the two. I want to always be learning. And overall, as I walk through this world, I want to be a force of positivity...in every small way that I can.

So no, I don't feel bad about the path that I have chosen. And whenever I start to think that maybe being a nanny isn't enough, I remember the simple adage that my mom told me long ago, and that has become my own personal mantra: "It is nice to be important, but it is important to be nice."

No word of the day today.

posted by Anne on 2:08 PM | link
 

Ebert.


It's tempting to think of Roger Ebert as a doofus, but after reading this interview, I have to admit that I agree with a lot of what he has to say. Especially on the topic of celebrities and the criticism they have gotten for speaking out against the war:
" I begin to feel like I was in the last generation of Americans who took a civics class. I begin to feel like most Americans don't understand the First Amendment, don't understand the idea of freedom of speech, and don't understand that it's the responsibility of the citizen to speak out. If Hollywood stars speak out, so do all sorts of other people. Now Hollywood stars can get a better hearing. Oddly enough, the people who mostly seem to hear them are the right wing, so that Fox News can put on its ticker tape in Times Square a vile attack on Michael Moore, and Susan Sarandon is a punchline. These are people who are responsible and are saying what they believe. And there are people on the other side who also speak out, and it's the way our country works. You know, if you're good enough to be the best actor of your generation, which is probably what Sean Penn is, you're probably not dumb. And anyone who's ever heard Susan Sarandon speak for a while knows that she's pretty smart..."

So I guess he's not such a fuckwit after all.

posted by Anne on 12:49 PM | link


Thursday, April 24, 2003  

Minor accomplishment.


I am the smartest person I've ever been. My mind works like a well-oiled piece of machinery, and all the cogs are spinning just as they should. When I walk down the street, all the birds and squirrels look away and avert my gaze, embarrassed by their own sorry lack of intelligence. The best. The brightest. There's no messing with me today.

For this morning I have finished the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle.

Will Shortz can eat my....well, you get the idea.

Word of the day: noctivagant: (nahk-TIV-uh-gint), adj. Wandering at night. ("The Soggy Blogger was annoyed when she rose, sleepless, in the middle of the night, until she realized that this noctivagant tendency could give her just the leg up she needs to beat the crossword puzzle at its own game.")

posted by Anne on 11:31 AM | link


Wednesday, April 23, 2003  

Over my head.


I posted yesterday about earthquake anxiety, and about receiving what I thought was a message from the gods (via the New York Times) to "not get too comfortable."

Apparently, I missed the point entirely. This morning I woke to this story, as told by Mark Morford of the San Fransisco Gate:
A California man was struck and killed by a 600-pound boulder Saturday while fly fishing in Big Thompson Canyon. Boom. Just like that. This is how it can happen. Tragic and shocking and weird and stunning. Frank Misso Jr., 38, of Paradise, Calif., died at the scene. Misso and a friend were fishing in the canyon near Drake, about 70 miles northwest Denver, when the boulder came loose about 5 p.m. Investigators believe boulder's fall was an accident. So there you go. Do you really need further proof? Do you need some further incentive to carpe the damn diem? See how it can happen? Forget terrorists and earthquakes and epic catastrophes and stepping off the curb and getting smacked by a bus. Fly fishing. Boulder. Convergence of the twain. You understand? Now get moving. (emphasis mine)

...I rather like these personalized daily messages from on high, even if I am a bit obtuse and need to be told twice. I feel like Kent in the movie Real Genius. Someone get me some braces, a yellow sweater, and a huge jiffy-pop.

Off to seize the day now...

Word of the day: hortatory: (HOR-tuh-TOR-ee), adj. Encouraging or urging to some course of action; giving earnest counsel or advice. ("The Soggy Blogger wonders what she has done (or not done) right, to provoke the arrivals of these hortatory messages from on high.")

posted by Anne on 11:04 AM | link


Tuesday, April 22, 2003  

Is this you?


Something about this website makes me sad...

posted by Anne on 10:57 PM | link
 

Got me shakin'.


Ever since I moved to the Pacific Northwest, I have been spooked by the possibility of earthquakes. I grew up in the midwestern United States; Minnesota, specifically, where you can see the advance of any sort of catastrophic natural force from miles away. Sure, your house might get blown apart by a tornado, but at least you have time to get safely to the basement. Blizzard? So what? All you have to worry about is getting off the road. Earthquakes are an entirely different matter altogether.

The first and only sizable earthquake I've experienced since I moved out here some seven years ago was in February of 2001 -- the 6.8 magnitude Nisqually quake. I had never seen or felt anything like it; crouched in a doorway, the whole building shaking and windows bowing in and out, not knowing how long it was going to last, or how bad it was going to get before it was over. That was frightening enough for me. I can't even wrap my brain around how scary the big one is going to be...

I was thinking about this only yesterday -- the "big one" that the Seattle area is supposedly overdue for, and mentally talking myself down from the twinge of anxiety I was feeling about it. "C'mon, Anne..." I thought to myself, "There's no way to predict when something like this is going to occur. It could be tomorrow, it could be in five years. It could be when you're in your car with the kids, or it could be when you're asleep in bed. You never know. And there's no use worrying about it now..."

This morning, I woke up to find this story in the New York Times, and it speaks to me like a not-so-subtle reminder from the gods: "It's good not to worry, Anne, but let's not get too comfortable...."

No worries there.

Word of the day: obnubilate: (ob-NOO-buh-LAYT), v. Cloud over, darken, obscure. ("Reading about the possibility of an imminent earthquake was enough to obnubilate The Soggy Blogger's optimism this morning, as she sat, eating her meaningless bowl of cereal with her meaningless little spoon.")

posted by Anne on 10:19 AM | link


Monday, April 21, 2003  

*sniff*


Nina Simone died today.

posted by Anne on 7:40 PM | link
 

You know...for kids!


Someone should do a study of kids and the music they listen to. I'm not talking about pre-teens and their Brittney/Backstreet type fixations, which seem to be less about music and more about celebrity -- I mean honest to goodness kids. The single digit years, when a lack of independent mobility and cash flow force one to be more creative and less choosy. I remember listening to the radio with a blank tape in my boom box, jumping up to record any song that I think I might possibly like. I had dozens of songs recorded at any given time -- all with the first ten-or-so seconds conspicuously absent. I also remember picking through my parents' record collection year after year, my tastes changing with my shoe size. (Sesame Street, Classical, Show Tunes, "Golden Oldies," The Smothers Brothers, Peter Paul & Mary...and I may be the only eight-year-old Minnesota suburban girl ever to have had a crush on Harry Belafonte.) Once I hit Simon and Garfunkel, I had found my musical self.

Because I think it's important, I try to provide a somewhat eclectic musical foundation for the kids I nanny for. And it's interesting what they latch on to. The littlest guy was requesting "Yewow" by Coldplay at age three, refers to Norah Jones as "The Nap Lady," and does a disturbingly cutish headbang thing in his car seat. The eight-year-old has a huge Beatles fixation, and is quickly developing an interest in the band CAKE. My teen-aged friend listens to Eminem and Vitamin C, but I also catch him rocking out to the Flaming Lips CD I got him for his birthday...though he would never admit that he likes it.

...And for anyone out there with kids -- or looking to buy a gift for someone else's -- I heartily suggest the ass-kicking children's compilation, For the Kids. Lots of great artists doing lots of great (and non-annoying) songs. Good for big and little people. ...Although my jaw dropped when Sarah McLachlan's version of The Rainbow Connection came on in the car, and one of the kids piped up, "This is the song from the Yahoo commercial!"

What is this world coming to?

Word of the day: tergiversation: (TUR-ji-vur-SAY-shin), n. Desertion; specifically, the act of deserting something to which one was previously loyal, such as a cause, party, or a religious faith. ("The Soggy Blogger has, for the most part, remained loyal to her musical roots, though she does not in any way regret the tergiversation of her pre-teen love of Whitney Houston.")

posted by Anne on 7:38 PM | link
 

Says it better.


This is Seattle, the brief, bright spring has stalled, and the rains have returned. They have stolen down from the Sasquatch slopes. They have risen with the geese from the marshes. It rains a chattering of totem teeth. It rains a sweat lodge of ancient vapors. The city, with its office towers and electricity, has been somehow primitivized by the rain: every hue darkened, every wheel slowed, every view foreshortened, every modern, commercial mind-set turned in on itself, forced to rub shoulders with the old salamander who sleeps in the soul. Hour after hour, the rain will fall; apartments, decorated to be showplaces, will take on the characters of burrows or nests; and espresso carts, the little pumping stations of Seattle's lifeblood, will glow beneath their umbrellas like the huts of shamans. Drops spiral from every cornice, every antenna, every awning. Drops glisten on each plate-glass window, each tailgate, each inch of neon that sizzles in the midst. Dense, penetrating, and modifying, the rain narrows the gap between nature and civilization. Forgotten longings stir in the crack.

--Tom Robbins, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas

posted by Anne on 11:59 AM | link
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