A Convergence of Words

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Cliff Notes

So, I haven't written in a long time. Late June, to be precise, at which time Bree all but cut off his thumb and plans of possum-proofing our house had to be consequently abandoned.

But chastened into blogging again by the conscientious writing of Persephone and Maryam, two people I don't know at all but whose blogs I enjoy, I am starting up again. If they can do it amid guest house and romantic sagas, I can certainly find some time. So here are the cliff notes to the last few months:

1. On July 4th my grandmother passed away. I feel I need to get this out right at the start, so there are no awkward silences and shuffling from foot to foot later.

2. I've been working on a show called "Decision House." It places couples on the verge of divorce in a house with therapists for 3 days, at the end of which they decide to stay together or part ways. Most should split up. Invariably, they decide to stay together.

3. My friend Emily is moving to Boston. And I'm sad.

4. Today, it was 112 degrees where I live. I have reason to believe hell will be somewhat like this.

5. My quest to purchase wallpaper has proven way more difficult than I had assumed.

5. My fig tree seems to surviving, if not thriving in, the heat.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Rubber Band Man or "I Didn't Sign Up For No One-Thumbed Husband"

I have a one-thumbed husband. Well, actually, he's two-thumbed, but only one works right now.

On Monday, which was eons ago, all his thumbs functioned. But then I went to Tara's for a glass of wine. Feeling domestic (or just thirsty), Bree decided to wash a wineglass for himself. The stem broke, impaling his palm, and I got a call: "Nat, I cut myself, and I can't move my thumb."

I won't disgust you with graphic details. Suffice it to say, we made a very dramatic entrance into the ER, bloody paper towels trailing behind us. The people who were there for the emergency head or stomach ache, looked us over suspiciously and moved a bit further back. We sat down and waited.

We were expecting a couple of stitches and an admonishing pat on the back. So when Bree emerged at 2:30 am with a cast up to his elbow, I was naturally surprised. Apparently, in a bout of exceptional aim and horrid luck, he'd severed the tendon in his left thumb.

The following day, we were referred to a top Beverly Hills reconstructive (plastic) surgeon. The waiting room was posh - two types of tea were served - and the clientele were predominantly female, awaiting their new noses and breasts. We should have known it was going to go downhill right then and there. The very qualified doctor quickly set up a date for the surgery, only to inform us she didn't take ANY insurance. However, she would cut us a great "cash" deal, if we were so inclined. We were not so inclined.

The rest of the day was spent trying to track down a doctor who did take our insurance and could squeeze us in before August. Find him we did, and Thursday morning we arrived at the outpatient surgical facility.

Several hours later, Bree returned, groggy, with his thumb held down by a snazzy, green rubber band. As we headed out to the car, his nurse had a final warning. "Don't use it as a sling-shot," she said.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Family of Four

Our family has grown by 25%. But before you run out to buy baby clothes (Mom, Dad, I'm talking to you) you need to learn a bit about our new family member.

He his aristocratic of birth, fiercely protective of his space and a bit of a loner. His complexion is dark, with some glorious streaks of crimson and cobalt, and he is highly ornamented. He doesn't eat much, prefers to go "au natural" all the time, and he took to water like a fish.

We were going to name him Herbert, but once we laid eyes on him, we knew he needed a more fitting name.

Presenting H├ębert (pronounced "Ay-bear") Fishilton III.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Back To School

End of Summer by pmorgan

I have some terrible news. My summer vacation is over.

For those of you not in the know, I've been on hiatus. Hiatusing is much more fun than simply not having a job. When you're "out of work," the responsibility to find gainful employment rests squarely and heavily upon your shoulders. To look for work and not find it makes you question your self-worth. Don't look for work, and you are a loafer and a freeloader.

The hiatus frees one of such constraints. It allows you to enjoy your time off with the vague promise of work at the other end. The word "hiatus," itself, implies a sort of dignity. A maturity beyond the mere "vacation."

I must say, I've used my time off well. I went to three European countries, redid my patio, saw a few movies, read, put together 75% of a puzzle, taken my dog for some bonus walks, watched lots of bad TV, caught up with friends, cleared out the guest room, and had a birthday party.

But, hiatus being hiatus, and not straight-up unemployment, I always knew that one day the phone call would come, and my services would be needed once more. So back I go, making the world a more entertaining place, giving television audiences everywhere something to watch.

How ironic, that the call came on the first day of summer...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

All About My Mother

My mother unofficially collects animal figurines. If they are broken or damaged, they take a special place in her heart.

When my mother is tired, she says she can only speak Russian.

My mother rarely drinks alcohol, but when called upon, she can drink most people under the table.

My mother makes amazing food, though she says she can't cook.

My mother loves things that sparkle.

My mother enjoys the theater, but classic ballet has been known to bore her.

My mother understands things about taxes. I think there should be some kind of award for understanding things about taxes.

My mother used to play volleyball.

My mother survived the World War II blockade of Leningrad.

My mother loves colors. The brighter the better.

My mother doesn't mind flat soda.

My mother loves cheesecake.

My mother played the accordion as a child.

My mother always falls asleep in front of the TV.

My mother hates her birthday. And I say it's silly - because with each passing year she gets wiser and more beautiful.

Happy birthday, mom!

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Fond Farewell and Ten Things I Know

Some time ago, while I was trying to come up with a new blog identity for myself, I was challenged to come up with a list of ten things that I think define, or at least describe, me. And a challenge it turned out to be. After weeks of thinking, I still couldn't come up with 3, let alone 10 bullet points of Nat. Do I really know so little about myself? Or do I just have trouble focusing? Perhaps its a bit of both. But really, think about it - it IS very difficult to distill one's sense of self to a list.

As it so often happens, I've put the cart before the horse, and actually come up with a new blog title. No longer is Nat's Dynomite Blog cruising cyberspace (goodbye, my first blogging attempt - I will always remember the times we had together). In with the new, the shiny and bright, the sophisticated reference...

But before I send out the "I Have Moved" cards, a quick look back at why I started here, and an attempt to finally galvanize, dutifully, in list form, why it is I'm going where I'm going.

Nat's Dynomite Blog was born out of boredom, and the attempt to appear busy while having absolutely nothing to do at work. As so many ventures built on such frivolous foundations, the blog was quickly forgotten, left to collect cyber-dust in some cyber-closet. Several years later, I came across a blog written by an American woman living in Marrakesh, and became engrossed with her stories. Perhaps I, too, could send some essence of self out there, through my written words. And so the blog was picked up again, not as a casual diversion but as a mode of expression and a chance to share a bit of myself with the world outside.

With such lofty goals, I needed a loftier label, so my inner search for a new web identity began. And that brings me to my list, which may or may not explain why A Convergence of Words fits me far, far better. Who am I, in 10 lines (or less)?

1. I am a writer.
2. I am also an avid reader. As such, I enjoy references to literary works and authors.
3. I have a dry sense of humor. Many of my friends and family call it sarcasm.
4. I love colors - especially in wild, unpredictable combinations.
5. I am married. I am in a relationship with a person who understands my idea of "self," and often says things that can clarify it for me.
6. I love travel and the richness other cultures. Having been born in a different country than the one I live in, I appreciate the beauty that our differences give to the world.
7. I am a bit of a snob, proudly using overly-convoluted phrases like "having been born in a different country than the one I live in" just because I can.
8. I adore animals.
9. I am contradictory - spontaneous and exacting, laid back and willful. I am a Gemini.
10. I believe that you can tell a lot about people by the friends that they have. Based on my friends, I think I'm doing just fine.

So there it is, in no particular order. The list is in no way complete - which means that it also has some extra fat. But perhaps the best way for us to get to know each other is not through bullet points and phrases, but through the entries around this one. I do hope you'll stick around and read on...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Father's Son

For many years, my father was vastly outnumbered by the women in our family - he had a wife, a mother, a mother-in-law, a sister-in-law and a daughter. Even his cat and dog were female. The Y chromosomes were vastly under-represented.

Being an only child, I am the son my father never had. What that meant was that for my 5th birthday I got a bike and a bow and arrow set. I happily went around shooting everything in sight. I also learned to fish, fire a b.b. gun, and know the difference between a ratchet and a drill and which side of the hammer to use.

My father is a graphic artist from the "old school," a man who creates signs as well as designing them. One of my most prevalent childhood memories is helping him mount letters in our basement workshop.

Certainly there were areas my dad couldn't help - the social gossip of my friends never interested him, fashion and shoes bored him to tears, and when a boy broke my heart it was my mother who talked me off the ledge. But as I think of my dad today, it is with smile of gratitude for giving me the skills, and more importantly, the confidence to refurbish our patio all by myself.

Here's hoping he'll get to sit in and enjoy it soon. Happy Father's Day!