At around 3:00 in the afternoon, my car made a lunch of $500 I didn't have. I finally broke down (me, not the car) and got the oil and air filter changed, as that was about 1000 miles overdue. I also got the squeaky breaks fixed. Thank goodness the damned things hadn't started to groove up the disks. I also had the power steering line flushed and the fluid replaced. With any luck that will cure the whining noise I get out of the pump on hard cornering. All told, parts and labor ate up $500 bucks I wasn't really able and willing to part with this afternoon, but the work needed to be done.
I accomplished yet more unpacking. Sometimes, I kick myself over the stuff I choose to save. Nevertheless, mundane things can hold memories. Sometimes it's surprising how many mere material things have meaning and stories behind them. As an example, I saved and packed up a pair of ceramic flower pots which Crystal had received when she was in the hospital to deliver Jackie and Shannon, respectively. I can't understand how Crystal decided to throw out some of these things. Maybe I'm just too much of a sentimentalist. I remember reading a quote somewhere from some historical or literary figure who was lamenting the fact that an object having very little value, in and of itself, such as a chair, stood a good chance of out-lasting him. To be sure, I understand this point of view. I am very concerned with longevity. I'd like to live forever. I want to be worthy of being what Ayn Rand referred to as "A Man Who Belongs on Earth." Nevertheless, there is something to be said for the longevity of ordinary objects. They become imbued with stories and memories of the people who have cherished them. Entropy is the law of the universe. Things break down and are discarded or destroyed. In the move, I got rid of an old desk which I had had since childhood and had subsequently given to my daughters. It was painted antique green and had Wacky Package stickers (who still remembers those?) all over it. I was kind of sorry to see it go. I remember being a boy and sticking those stickers on that thing. I remember keeping my first journal in the drawer upon which I had, by myself, installed a padlock. Entropy is indeed inexorable. It is an accomplishment to keep things nice and incorrupt. To cherish things like that, is to appreciate the work that went into making, using, and preserving them -- the value which somebody put into the item. To our detriment, we lose sight of values like this because we live in an age of disposability.
March 8 marked the one-year anniversary of my LiveJournal, even though I did not make a real entry in my own journal until June 16th. I first joined LJ on March 8th 2003. At the time, I wanted to join the sluggyfreelance community and have a neat icon and be able to be known for my posts by a username instead of just "anonymous." On June 16th, I decided that I finally needed to put an entry in my journal, and not being able to think of anything at the time, I just put a blank entry with the subject: "This page intentionally left blank." Unfortunately, I messed up and so I got a double entry, somehow. Strangely enough, this entry was seen by thejessicka, a lady I met in sluggyfreelance, who commented. I was surprised to see a comment in my journal, as I hadn't really said anything in it yet. After that, and with Jessica's kind encouragement, the page did not look quite so blank and forbidding, so I got inspired to make more entries. One day, I determined that I should go back and delete one of my initial "this page intentionally blank" entries, because it looked stupid to have a duplicate. Stupid-er yet, I deleted one without thinking about it, and that had just happened to have been the one to which Jessica had commented. Rats! Ah well, I have certainly learned a lot about LJ since then. One of these days, I am going to have to break down and learn the S2 system, so that I can jazz this page up, but I keep putting it off and I have so many other irons in the fire. I just wish I can do half as good as the most excellent job done by my friend prolixfootle! He's dived right in and mastered S2 handily, and the man is an absolute god of icons and of theme.
Today is Veronica's birthday. Veronica is the first girl about whom I have ever had a serious crush. By serious crush, I mean, where I really understood what it was that I was feeling. I've had crushes on various girls since at least before kindergarten. I was not a "normal" boy who went through that phase where "girls have cooties." Of course, before Veronica, I wasn't exactly sure what all of the attraction was at all, and for a long time it vexed me mightily trying to figure it out. I met Veronica when we were in fifth grade, I think, and was immediately smitten with her. My infatuation lasted all the way up until the time I was a sophomore in high school, when she transferred to another school. Alas, she was to me, Charlie Brown's Little Red-haired Girl, to be admired from afar, because I was terminally shy as a youth and never told her what I thought of her or asked her out. Veronica was the inspiration for me to start keeping a journal, back when I was in the eighth grade, May 2, 1978. I still have the damned thing. It's in a wire bound notebook. Excerpt from that first entry:
Because I tease my brother about his girlfriends, I don't go telling of mine for fear of equal retaliation. I keep a very good shield over my emotions, and everyone thinks I have little or no interest in girls. This is not the case, however. I happen to love Veronica [name withheld to protect the innocent]. She is a very beautiful girl. She has dark-brown, medium-long, rolling, flowing hair and she has deep poolish eyes (I have not noted the color). [Can you imagine being so shy as to have known a girl for two years at this point, and still not have had the courage, in all this time, to have looked her in the eye long enough to ascertain that her eyes were anything but "dark"? I certainly was shy.] She has very slender, smooth arms which in addition to her general appearance, tend to make her look fragile and delicate.Gah! I was an introverted little nebbish when I was a kid, wasn't I!
Tonight, after the Spring Concert, by the blessing of the crowd (and partly my own intention) I was pushed up against her. She was wearing a dress [emphasis in original: Most of the girls where I went to school eschewed skirts of any kind, in favor of pants, until they reached high school age -- Veronica actually wore eye shadow at this time, as well as the occasional dress] in which her arms were bare and the back of my right hand touched her smooth, slender arm (fortunately she did not notice this for I would have been severely embarrassed, because the feeling I have toward her is unfortunately not mutual) (although she doesn't dislike me). [Notice that my infatuation with the parenthetical statement began young, also.] This alerted every nerve in my body and I felt as if a giant ocean wave had been poured into my head and had cascaded to my feet.
I'm not going to be able to make it to go see Herb and Amy tonight. Herb Heinz and his wife, Amy X, Neuburg, are independent recording artists/musicians, whatever you may call them. They have their own company called Is Productions. Each of them is releasing a new CD tonight and were giving an introductory concert/party at the Oakland Metro. Damn, I really wanted to go too. I have too much to do here first though, so I'm not going to be able to make it. Among other things, I am running short of clean laundry, and if I don't get everything hooked up this weekend and get a few loads done, I'm going to have to go to work Monday in a flour sack or a barrel! Wah! The world has urinated on my plans for fun again. Gee, I hope Herb has plans for another local concert soon. I'll have to ask him Monday. Ah well, it's just as well. I couldn't get anyone to go with me on such short notice anyway. Rats.