Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Excitement in the Neighborhood

I returned home yesterday from picking Melanie up at the airport and behold! My street was blocked for a block by this crane-and-half-a-house scenario. Other neighbors who were free at noontime were cluttered about, speculating. I talked to an employee with Bubba on his shirt. He said when they're busy, they deliver two or three modular houses per day. Goodness.

And this one -- two bedrooms and a bath -- cost $200,000. Their high-end house is $350,000. I trust that covers shipping and handling.

See the house on the lower left? The owner was chatting with us, but when the new house became airborne, he ran back home to "make sure everything goes right." Isn't that funny? Talk about not recognizing the limits of your control! My buddy Sonny (http://www.bubblebus.com/) pointed out that usually when something big and heavy is going over your head, held in the air by cables, you want to get out from under it. Well, maybe this man's house was more like his ship than his castle, and he was prepared to go down with it.

It'll take about a week to "button up" this house, and then the people can move in.

My friends in Kentucky had had their houses moved so the railroad could go through. They didn't have to do a thing except get out of the way. Yes. I mean they didn't have to take pictures off the walls or pack up the crystal. The houses were scooped off their foundations and placed onto the new ones. Not a single thing was broken. Amazing.

In literary news, I finished Lean Mean Thirteen last night, another Stephanie Plum story by Janet Evanovich. She's always entertaining. In this case, she was also inspirational. Twice in the book, Stephanie makes a peanut butter-and-olive sandwich. I will probably never eat jelly or jam again in my life, but I'm a major peanut butter fan. I like mine with dried fruit -- usually cranberries -- or a banana, with cinnamon and ginger. If my refrigerator is fully stocked -- and you surely know the odds of that by now -- I'll put a big wad of spinach or alfalfa sprouts or other greens on top.

But olives, huh? I wondered what kind: green or black? Hmm. Well, Ranger -- the super-hot mysterious Cuban security expert -- was around for the second sandwich, and while gazing at Stephanie in a narrow-eyed fashion, he plucked an olive from the jar.

Green it is! That's on my shopping list.

I've been reading, skimming, talking to, and cursing The Matter of Grace for nearly a week now. I'll mention the author's name but please don't take it as a recommendation: Jessica Barksdale Inclan (my empire for an accent mark ... for the a in her last name). The book is confusing. Three or four (see?) friends are focused on Grace because her cancer has come back but maybe it's really anorexia but if so where's she going every night if not to chemo and if she loves her young daughter so much why does she spend so little time with her -- not to mention Stella's infidelity (or is that Blanche?) and Felicity's ... well, whatever it is that Felicity has? Like that. Grace, by the way, is a lesbian.

While I'm delighted that lesbians are showing up in literature just like they show up in Real Life, I fear for the time when gay men start showing up like that. I'm afraid with the double dose of testosterone, there won't be time for story, drama, character development ... But maybe it'll be a new genre: friction fiction. Or am I overstepping? Or does it already exist? Or should I just shut up?

Anyway, if I ever do finish Grace, it will be with a lack of grace, but you'll hear about it here ... whether you want to or not.

Did you notice that I offered my empire for an accent, when I usually offer my queendom? Well, in our new writers' group, I referred to myself -- in print -- as the "self-appointed Empress ... er ... secretary," but the writers preferred the former, so I'm the Empress of the group. Yay! But I wonder: If my Empresshood was agreed upon by popular vote, by democracy, does it still count?

A man at my TM group said my car reminded him of Keith Haring. The man was amazed that I'd never heard of Keith Haring. I am never amazed to find out something I don't know. Good heavens. Even when I'm ninety, there will be more that I don't know than what I do know. But I discovered through an internet search that Haring used black paint on a red car. I guess that's why the TM guy thought Haring and I should be intimates. I guess I couldn't have come up with that idea myself ...

I am really being small-minded today and so I'm going to a meeting. If that doesn't turn me around, I'll try that olive thing, although it's possible that a mysterious Cuban would do the trick.


flahoos said...

Your description of your neighbor "going down with the ship" made my morning, BN!
But the implied affinity with Keith Haring suggested by your TM friend sounds like a "false karass" to me.
God, as a Hoosier who frequently runs into other Hoosiers, I can't tell you how long I've been aching to use the term "false karass" in a sentence!

Barbara said...

Ooh! It's time to get my Vonnegut out again!

Anonymous said...

One of my favorites is peanut butter with bread-and-butter pickle slices, especially the "stackers" variety. (They fit nicely between two pieces of bread and hang invitingly over the edges too.) -- Eunice

olga kruse said...

Is this cross talk? I remember what I have read lately- well in the last year- those Plum girl bounty hunter from Bklyn novels by Stephanie...I just forget when asked questions often..and your comment about friction fiction- YES- what I loved about the Plum novels IS that it took HOW many books before they got in the sack, for real? I mean, a woman's way of approaching that doorway to relationship is slow and methodical and mysterious and spontaneous but it's never like they show in films and it won't be relavent to the friction boys- and I do love my gay men - more than my straight men- cause love is always on their minds- what? And another thing, I've been in a critical bad mental spot myself lately and I'm doing 90 in 90 beginning yesterday- and I wonder if that will help. It's supposed to be a guarantee. I'll see for myself.

THANK YOU AGAIN and again for writing and again I loved reading your Blog; it's the one thing I can say that I do read.

olga kruse said...

p.s. I saw that other car you recently painted; with colors that are not really your own personal favorites and that car is INCREDIBLE. It's really beautiful, and it caught my mother's eye. Jimi and I both stared and stared.

Jessica Barksdale Inclan said...

Ouch! Yikes, Google alerts is overrated. Hang in with The Matter of Grace. I like the end, but, of course, I would.

The next novel I wrote, When You go Away, had a gay male character. My new editor--with whom I was not familiar--asked me to ungay him.

"You have written about too many gay people," she said.

Well, holy cow. So then I spent a month ungaying Neil. It wasn't easy, and one reader wrote to me, asking, "Was Neil gay."

Um, yeah.

Anyway, I hope you make the long slog through Grace, with some grace!


Jessica Barksdale Inclan (no accent for me, either)