Thursday, February 10, 2011

This and That

1. We are well into the school year, and I have not once forgotten to send a lunch to school with Nels. If that doesn't sound like a big deal, just ask my mom whether it is or not.

2. I love that Runyan's Jewelers has been in downtown Camas forever. I took my watch and a ring in to them for repair.

"Would you like a loaner?" the lady helping me asked when I handed in my watch. I said no at first, then thought, what the heck, I should take a look, and asked if I could see what they had.

"I never heard of getting a loaner," I said, as she fetched the tray and set it on the counter.

"Well, we have your watch..." she said. "People usually end up bringing these back."

Indeed. The selection was dismal. She was sympathetic.

"Just see if there's something you think you might be able to stand wearing for a few weeks." (Their watch guy was on vacation.) It turned out there wasn't. I thought I might go for a forgettable Anne Klein watch with a brown leather strap, but it had the name of a company blazoned across the face. Probably a commemorative gift for putting in five years.

I turned down a joking suggestion to take a Three Little Pigs watch the size of a silver dollar and left without any watch at all, a decision I regret now that I've found myself checking my empty wrist several times a day for the past two weeks.

The ring I had fixed was a 50's-vintage cocktail ring from my Grandma Toni. It originally had two pearls set on barely visible posts at a diagonal, with a tiny spray of diamonds in between. The ring had been missing a pearl since I'd played with it as a girl, and I had always wanted to have it fixed. Had I known a new (real) 10 mm pearl would only cost $25, I would have done it a long time ago. Of course, the post had broken off too; it was white gold and about 1/6th the size of a tic tac. That cost $30 to replace.

Anyhow, the new pearl is whiter and smoother than the gorgeous older one, but the ring still turned out pretty snazzy.

3. One of my great estate-sale finds last year was the anthology Modern American Short Stories, published in 1945 and edited by Random House co-founder Bennett Cerf. You can see the list of included stories and authors here. The stories are intentionally all over the place, and it is great to read them all juxtaposed against each other.

Before each story there are biographical notes and an explanation of why that particular piece was chosen, and these alone make the book worth reading. Most of the writers were still living and writing at the time the book was published, so you get to read things like "For the past few years William Faulkner (1897- ) has been fitting, more or less, into the Hollywood scene, and the fiction world has been catching up to him, copying some of his technique and mannerisms, dealing with the same weird and underprivileged people of the South." Good fun.

4. Willem has taken to following me around the house when it's just the two of us at home. Up the stairs, down the stairs. Up, down. He even waits outside the bathroom door for me to come out. This morning I got up extra early for some alone time. You'll never guess who popped into the office to stand at my shoulder at 6:45. I know that this phase will soon pass, and before I know it I'll wish he wanted to spend time with me. But, for now, the constant companionship is rough on my inner introvert.

5. I'm taking a break from my weekly writing group. It's time to change things up a little.

Happy weekend!

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