CJDaily's Blog

September 30, 2009

Click your heels 3 times, and repeat after me…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 9:12 pm

I haven’t written anything in a while and I apologise, but things have been a little crazy around here.  Jesse and I are on the verge of offering for a house–not the 155 year old farmhouse I mentioned a few weeks ago, but another house, about which I will say nothing, because getting my hopes up sucks.  We’ve already not gotten 2 houses we had our hearts set on, and because I love this new house even more than the others before it, I am telling myself it will not happen.  If I aim low, I can’t be disappointed, right? 

We rejected the brick farmhouse after weeks of agonizing over whether or not to offer for it, and ultimately deciding it was too risky a purchase.  Old houses are unpredictable, and when dealing with a Civil War era domicile there was a good chance it would have bankrupted us in the long run with repairs and such.  Also, not quite as important, it was a little farther away than we wanted to be.  We were willing to deal with it in return for the gorgeous area and charm of the house, but still, it would have been a small issue, particularly when dealing with traffic when trying to go anywhere. 

But this new house, (also a farmhouse, only stone, not brick) is closer, exactly where we’d like to be.  Not in a suburb but minutes from the city.  It’s on 2 acres, it’s half old and half new, it’s beautiful, and it’s just in our price range.  And that’s all I’m saying.  Jeez, for a house I’m trying not to set my heart on, I’m doing a lot of gushing.  I’ll control myself now.  If I start talking about the hardwood floors or the crown molding then you might know how much I want it and how crushed I’m going to be when someone else buys it first!  Zipping the lips now.  Not mentioning the gazebo.  Gah!

I guess we’ll know more by this weekend.  I’ll keep you all posted.  Please pray for us.  I’d really, really love for us to get this house.  I don’t see how much more perfect it could get, but I’ve often seen how getting what you want isn’t always the best thing in the long run, so I’m just going to shut my mouth on the subject and pray that everything turns out the way it’s supposed to.  And SOON, before I lose my freakin’ mind!

September 16, 2009

On the phone with my sister.

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 10:47 pm

“Why is pot outlawed but not alcohol?  I mean, don’t people get hit by drunk drivers like, every ten minutes or something?  You don’t hear about stoned people getting into car accidents.  They’re like, moving in slow motion!”

“Yeah… at least it would be guaranteed to be a low velocity accident.” 

“I once talked to a stoner who confessed to sitting at a stop sign for ten minutes waiting for it to turn green.  Obviously, no one is in danger from a driver like that.”

“We need to legalize that stuff, stat, and pacify the masses!”

September 14, 2009

And every cliche about your heart stopping or time freezing came true…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 11:15 pm

Jesse was working late at the restaurant on Friday night.  I drove up with Belle after dinner, and put her to bed at his house.  His parents were there and happy to keep an eye on her, so when it got late, around 10pm, I headed down to Edge to sit at the bar and keep him company until he closed.  The place was busy, a rehearsal dinner was determined to party as hard as possible, so I sat and had wine and chatted with his brother and sister-in-law who had dropped in before me for a few drinks. 

We didn’t get out until almost 1:30am.  It was pouring down rain and we both took my car home, with Jesse driving, since I’d had some wine.  His house is on a small street, with just one lane in each direction.  We were almost to his house when we came to a bend in the road, less than a quarter of a mile from his driveway.  Through the wind-shield wipers and the steady rain we saw an emergency vehicle blocking off the road, and two guys in ponchos over their uniforms standing in the road.

Jesse groaned.  “I wonder how far back this goes?”  I was thinking of how long it might take us to go around the back way to the other end of his street, and hoping a little friendliness might go a long way.

I rolled down the window on my side, as Jesse pulled the car up alongside the SUV with flashing lights.  I couldn’t tell if these guys were cops or EMT’s but gave them a winning smile anyway. 

“The road’s blocked off,” the older guy offered unnecessarily. 

“Yes, but our house is really only just up the street,” I said sweetly.  I could see flashing lights reflecting off the wet trees up ahead, and figured the accident was probably at the small intersection just past Jesse’s house.  “It’s before the stop sign.”

The younger guy shook his head as rain splattered off his poncho.  “No, that’s where it is,” he said.  “Just up ahead.”

“Oh,” I sighed in frustration.  Jesse was inching the car sideways, preparing to turn around, and for lack of anything better to say I asked idly, “So, it’s a car accident?”

“Oh no,” the older guy looked grave.  “It’s a house fire.”

The car jerked to a stop.  I grabbed Jesse’s arm in horror.  A house fire.  Just up the street.  Just up the street… before the stop sign.  Oh my God.

Oh my God. 

“What house?” Jesse demanded harshly.  I couldn’t even turn my head to look at him.  I was staring in terror ahead through the rain, at all the flashing lights in the near distance. 

The young guy shook his head.  “We don’t know,” he started to say but was cut off by the older guy who’d muttered something into a radio in his hand. 

“Fourteen something.” 

Jesse cursed and slammed the car into park.  Before I could even breathe the door slammed and he was running up the street through the rain, towards his house, number fourteen-twenty. 

I don’t remember getting out of the car but I was somehow standing in the rain, totally frozen.  My mind raced from the unthinkable to the mundane.  Oh my God, Annabelle.  I wonder if they’ll let me leave the car here while I go see what’s happening?  This rain is coming down so hard.   Oh sweet Jesus, please please please NO. 

I turned to the men who looked wary and uncomfortable.  In a remarkably normal tone of voice I managed to ask if they would be so kind as to watch the car for a moment.  They seemed relieved to be of service and told me that was fine.  And then I was running.

I’ve never had a moment like that in my life.  It seemed ripped out of a movie, the rain, the flashing lights in the distance, the sound of my feet pounding down the slick road.  All I could hear was my footfalls and my breath.  I was half blinded by the rain as I got closer, dodging a police car, then winding my way around a fire-truck parked askew across the road.  The trees lining the street made it impossible for me to see anything and the flashing lights blinded me in the darkness.  As I raced towards the yard, all I could see were a group of people watching, maybe fifteen neighbors standing out in the rain.  They were blocking my view, but they were staring right in the direction of Jesse’s house. 

I didn’t slow down, was about to thrust myself into the crowd, screaming for them to get out of my way, and I collided with Jesse.  He grabbed my upper arms to keep me from falling, as I stared desperately over his shoulder at his house.

 “It’s fine,” he told me, his voice a tight mixture of fear and relief.  He looked over his shoulder towards the house and repeated, “It’s fine.  It’s the neighbor.  Our next door neighbor.”

I took it all in.  There were fire-trucks, police cars, and ambulances all around, parked in front of his house, beside it, lining the street in the opposite direction.  The night was lit up with flashing lights, and a spotlight was trained on his next door neighbors house.  I could smell burning wood, but saw only smoke.  Lots of smoke, backlit by the lights and undeterred by the rain. 

My heart was still pounding.  I realised I hadn’t seen what I needed to see.  I wound my way past the gawkers and up the soggy lawn to Jesse’s house, taking in the solid, safe, not-on-fire structure of the walls.  I walked inside and through the living room, which was lit up with light from outside, despite the curtains being drawn.  Through the window I had a perfect view of the neighbors house and the firemen coming and going through the front door, but I didn’t even slow down to look.  I turned at the staircase and took the stairs two at a time, my heart still thumping in my chest, my breath still coming in gasps.  I stopped only when I got to Annabelle’s closed door.  I put my ear to it and listened, trying to slow my breathing, trying to hear anything over my own rasping exhales. 

Slowly, I turned the doorknob and peeked inside.  Letting my eyes adjust, I saw her dimly silhouetted in her crib, fast asleep.  I took her in for a moment, not trusting myself to go any farther than the doorway.  When I could make out the soft rise and fall of her chest, I relaxed my grip on the knob and quietly shut the door.  Backing away, I went back to the top of the stairs and with shaking legs, sat down on the landing.  Everything was fine.  No one was in danger.  Belle was safe.

I burst into tears.  I cried a full minute, cried into my hands like a child.  Then I went downstairs and found Jesse, and made him hold me.  We watched in silence through the window as his neighbors house smoked.  From the side you could hardly see any damage at all.  We found out later that everyone got out safely, that even the cat and dog were rescued.  But I wasn’t thinking of them at that moment.  Dripping wet, my nerves humming with sheer relief, I was thanking God for sparing my family.  I was thanking him for reminding me how precious life is, and how fleeting it all can be.  In an instant, it can all go up in smoke.

September 9, 2009

Twitter is for stalkers.

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 8:45 pm

I just don’t know how I feel about Twitter.  I feel like you should be a celebrity in order to be allowed to Twitter.  Nobody needs hourly updates on my boring, ordinary life.  If I update my Facebook status every other day, that should be good enough for the people who want to know what I’m up to.  Obviously, anyone who wants to be my cyber friend is already my friend on Facebook.  I have friends on Facebook I know from high school or college, and I know more about their lives now than I did back then.  Way more.  I can see pictures of their weekend fun, and sneak looks at who they’re dating or married to, and see what their kids look like.  It’s a broadcast of your life, in a way, and gives you exposure that was never available when I was in high school.  And sometimes I wonder if it’s necessary.

Does anyone I don’t talk to on the phone really need to know what my life is like?  Why would anyone care?  But then I realise it’s nice to have, because humans are intrinsically curious.  I can, if I want to, check up on these people without them ever having to know it.  Without the hassle of calling them, or emailing, and going through the complicated motions of asking questions and being cheerful, and making fake promises about getting together for coffee sometime.  Facebook dehumanizes human interaction, but it simplifies it as well.  No time to call your good friend this week?  It’s ok, just check her Facebook.  Comment on a recent photo.  Leave a quick message on her page.  You’ve made contact without committment. 

Twitter, now, is different.  It’s like intercepting a text message from someone you’re not cool enough to be real friends with.  Twitter is for stalkers.  Who updates their Twitter hourly?  Celebrities.  On one hand, it’s a way for them to let their fans know what’s up.  “My record is dropping this week!”  “Coming to the UK for my tour this month!”  “Just had lunch with (insert director, producer, actor, reality star) to chat about our new project!” 

Or, in the case of certain adolescent fame-whores, it’s a way to let the news rags know what’s up with your life without having your publicist call them.  I can’t log onto Perez Hilton anymore without ten stories about how Miley and Justin are Twitter-feuding or how Lolhan sent SamRon a cutesy pic via Tweet.  It’s a way for celebs, B thru Z-list, to publicize their lives to the fullest extent.  I mean, let me just point out that, as far as I know, neither Clooney, Brangelina, or Kidman Tweet anything.  Maybe they don’t need the publicity.  Or maybe, like Oprah, who made an account but only posted one or two things, they are too busy actually HAVING A LIFE to care who is “following them.”  It seems to be the people most concerned with their level of fame (cough, Speidi, cough cough) who Twitter madly about their banal existence. 

Is their life more exciting than mine?  Sure.  Probably.  The most exciting thing I did this weekend was buy some cool antique furniture with Jesse.  I’d Tweet about it, but hey, putting it on my Facebook actually got the news out to more people, not that I expect anyone to sit up and go, “You did what?  Bought furniture!  You brilliant woman, you!” (mad applause ensues.)  I haven’t posed for Playboy lately, (ok, ever), or gone on tour, or written a novel (but I’m trying), or done anything the world would see as successful.  So why would anyone need multiple daily updates on what I am doing RIGHT THIS INSTANT? 

If I were to Tweet my daily goings-on they would be something close to the following:

@cjdaily  Just woke up and found only a third of a cup of coffee left in pot.  No time to make more before work.  Very sad and uncaffeinated.  7:45 am

@cjdaily  There’s nothing quite like a job where chances of you getting peed on daily are 50/50.  9:30 am

@cjdaily  If I have to pick up these legos one more time…  10:45 am

@cjdaily  Ahh.  Lunch.  1:30 pm

@cjdaily  Again with the legos.  3:00 pm

@cjdaily  Is it time to go home yet?  4:45 pm

@cjdaily  Counting… the seconds… must… not… scream…  5:29 pm

@cjdaily  Watching The Little Mermaid for the fortieth time this week.  It makes the child happy.  7:30 pm

@cjdaily  Child is now asleep.  Will do something productive as soon as I get off this laptop…  8:30 pm

@cjdaily  Will be productive tomorrow.  Goodnight.  11:30pm

September 1, 2009

Wonderings…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 9:55 pm

Am I the only person who, when driving behind a minivan with a tv inside, finds themself tailgating said vehicle in order to figure out what the kids in the backseat are watching?  I wasn’t even driving last night, I was in the passenger seat while Jesse drove, and I’m all squinting at the back window of the minivan in front of us going, “Honey is that a cartoon?  What’s happening?”  I am literally making him describe it to me until I am satisfied that I can’t identify the cartoon, which strangely involved people being tied to railroad stakes and possibly in danger of being set on fire.  Odd.

Also, am I the only person who thinks the Old Navy super-modelquins being featured in their new commercials are officially the most lame and irritating ad gimmick of the year?  Aside from that second most famous groundhog featured in all the PA state lotto commercials?

And why am I so attracted to snooty, supercilious older British men, a la Simon Cowell, Nigel Lythgoe, and Piers Morgan?  All of them make a living producing or judging reality television shows, which should make them bottom-feeding pariah, and instead makes them ridiculously wealthy celebrity imports.  Is it their brutally candid assessment of people’s talent and the way their Britishness won’t let them sugarcoat things that makes them so appealing?  Or is it the slightly amused, slightly bored look they affect at all times?  Or is it the cut-glass accents, or the loaded bank accounts?  Regardless, me gusta.

And I have nothing new on the house front… we’re waiting for it to get inspected, and crossing our fingers that the septic is good and the electricity doesn’t need to be completely redone, among other things.  When we have any news, good or bad, you’ll know!

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