Man Overboard

Bartender to customer: “What are you trying to do? Drown your troubles?”

Customer’s response: “No. I’m just teaching them how to swim.”

— from the film Critic’s Choice (1963)


Blue Blood

I was watching an old movie the other day titled Too Much, Too Soon (1958). 

And it was eerie. An older, yet still handsome, Errol Flynn plays troubled early film star John Barrymore, whose wayward lifestyle and bouts with alcoholism led to divorce, as well as an estranged relationship with his daughter.

The weirdest  thing was that Flynn as Barrymore looked uncannily like actor Alec Baldwin. Same build, same eyes, and the same oddly familiar facial expressions and charming (yet sadly dark) demeanor. Art imitating life echoing art replicating itself, once again, in life: A true tribute to the heritage of Hollywood royalty.

Listening With Our Eyes . . .

“Do you think I would ever be able to learn the language of the animals?” I asked . . .
“Well,” said the parrot .”Are you a good noticer? Do you notice things well? . . . That’s what we call the powers of observation–noticing the small things about birds and animals: the way they walk and flip their wings, the way they sniff the air and twitch their whiskers and wiggle their tails. You have to notice all those little things if you want to learn animal language . .”
“Being a good listener is terribly important.”

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, by Hugh Lofting.

Wow, what we could accomplish if we paid attention.

PTSD: Post-Traumatic Storm Disorder

So I was out at Fresh Market today and one of the employees looked a bit rattled.

“It looks pretty cloudy out. I haven’t checked the weather today . . . ”

Turns out that he had lost power after the derecho for more than a week, and the gloomy sky was giving him flashbacks. I told him the forecast just called for a light drizzle, but that I too still had my freezer half full of ice– just in case.

And I know we’re among thousands of regional residents suffering from a sort of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder after the latest rounds of power outages. We did not lose electricity this time, but were without power for seven days after Hurricane Irene, and in lock-down mode during the twin storms of Snowmageddon. A tree in our front yard dropped a megabranch on our new car after an overnight thunderstorm. Any new round of storms often brings on anxiety, jitteriness, trouble sleeping, and/or incessant Weather Channel checks. Essentially, as PTSD often goes, it’s hard to get out of survival mode.

And the way things are going lately climate-wise, maybe survival mode is the new normal.

All The Days Long

It’s already mid-summer and I’m barely hitting my stride. During the first couple of weeks I’ve been enjoying the lack of structure. Feeling a sense of freedom from the Public School Overlord. No homework. No advisories on upcoming fundraisers. No scoldings about being Green. Simply no one telling me what to do with my children all day long.

Then, on days when things seem to be falling apart with two kids at home and me the only hand-on-deck: Thank You, Best in the World Free Public School System for keeping my children engaged and learning and not bickering and whining about being bored all the rest of the year long.