Monday, April 24, 2006

10 Days in the Country

If this was a conspiracy, it was one of Events. A death, a dislocation, a disconnection (very much in descending order of importance), while I got some teeth ripped out and replaced. Not quite replaced, yet - we're 2/3 there, but that's the setting. The dislocation was to a small river town on the Columbia, where my sister chose to live and where she chose, very kindly, to look after me.

Anyone - certainly all of you who read here - can duplicate the disconnection on their own; pretend you're on dial-up, limit yourself to 30 minutes a day connection time, max - also strictly broadcast TV channels, no cable access. Actually, add to this no computer access at all, even off-line. I brought mine with me, but she had cleverly put obstacles between every electrical outlet and my box, so after a little exploring, it was clear that I'd have to fall back on older technologies. E-mail checks only, and at her convenience (I still think, after nearly 10 years on-line myself, that she harbors suspicions that I'm Up to No Good when I log on - I do not intend to wise her up). For some of even the most Progressive people, e-tech - indeed, almost any tech - is suspect, and likely to be e-vil. My sister is as determinedly Progressive as they come, but I had the feeling that she was scanning me for signs of having, you know, imps or familiars hanging around in my aura. Maybe I should never have mentioned my love for Buffy all those years ago....

While my sis moved where she did for the Quiet Life, it's no Red County in a Blue State - it went 51% to 47% for Kerry in 2004 - and if you walk a couple of blocks down the road, you'll find Safeway shoppers and staff who will go out of their way to help you, and who probably like their Jon Stewart and Olbermann, too. Bet they check out The American Street (they live on it), or FDL (where Jane is a p/t Oregon resident), too. I was stuck with Mrs. Miniver (literally - it was the featured DVD my last night there, no arguments - and fucking appalling).

As far as the old technologies went, I was able to finish books I had put off for months. See above for one of those. That was a joy, but I still felt penned - and is there anything worse than not being able to share jokes with someone you love, with whom you have a great fund of shared experience, and who now wants to hear only about what is comfortable and familiar, which does not include you? I made great friends with the cat, but both of us ended up pussyfooting around together, avoiding the tripwires.

So, finally, there was no trend to be found out there. The particular and the personal were the vivid things, and they can't be categorized, or be made to fit a scheme or a plot. I just hope I don't have to watch Greer Garson again, for a long, long time.

[Update/Second Thoughts - Weltschmerz Edition: Among other thrills, Tom Delay resigned during the 10 Days described above. I couldn't help thinking, under the circumstances, of all the delicious snark, all the sharp analysis, I was missing. I wasn't getting any from broadcasts; poor Mike Allen of TIME looked poleaxed (and fumbled for words) on the PBS Newshour - you'd have thought he'd lost a mealticket. It was Norman Ornstein who gave the story some structure, and quite unsentimentally {he must have some special dispensation from his robot masters to be insightful).
Once I was all moved in and reconnected, it took at least two or three days to catch up on the posts of the few dozen sources I read regularly. It's now two weeks from that day, and I'm finally feeling properly oriented. I also hang my head for complaining about anything after seeing Michael Bérubé's list of meds he was on last week - and he was writing, and posting...!
There will be a lit post tonight, on the wonderful Alan Hollinghurst. I'm not sure about the Google-y ads, but am willing to give it a shot - more on that later, too. ]


Adorable Girlfriend said...

Yeah, Grisha is back! We've missed you kiddo.

I don't have a sister, but somehow if I did, I think mine would be like yours. Somehow then, I can totally relate.

grishaxxx said...

O - she's very dear to me, AG; it's just that over time we've diverged and it's not always clear to me why. I have another sister, and a brother, and when we are all together, it can be like a well-tuned quartet, but in duets - arghhh!
Really, the great Troubles were always between the grrls - they were in the middle, maybe that was it - but they both chafe under it, even now. My brother and I consider ourselves BLESSED in comparison.

blue girl said...

Hi Grish...glad you're back. How many times have I typed that today? :)

It was probably a good thing to be without technology for awhile...I wonder if my head would explode if I would have to go without for awhile? Probably did you good.

When you wrote about Tom Delay -- that seems like *ages* ago! My how it's life in the fast lane these days. Just one horrific story waiting to zoom by as another begins. And so on and so on and so on.

And *not to be mean* -- but I know this is going to sound mean...

Mike Allen of TIME is NOT ready for prime time. I always feel so bad for him when he's on TV. He's so jumpy...I wonder if he's as uncomfortable as he looks? And if he is, why is he putting himself through that?

Adorable Girlfriend said...

I cannot imagine having a large family with four kids. I am glad you liked it. I do wonder though what a sister would have been like.

BG is being mean?! OMG.

grishaxxx said...

Where do I go with this? The opening line of Anna Karenina? - the one about happy and unhappy families? Mine is sometimes happy (and that may be defense or rationalization, but it's not idle), and sometimes unhappy (incomprehensible, at cross-purposes, foreign in-country...); is that what Tolstoy means by, " their own way?" Beats the shit out of me - sort of leaves the door open, doesn't it?

Might have been different if I hadn't been separated at 17 for a whole new life, and been away for many years after that. When we got geographically closer, we'd all shifted planets. Speed of light limitations.