Thursday, June 30, 2011


Meet Homer. The Homebot. Nugget. Sir Puppo II. He showed up right after I did. We were out for drinks with friends when one of them mentioned the puppy who was living on her porch. She had found him a couple weeks earlier lying in the middle of a country road in Jackson County. He was all alone, a few weeks old, nearly bald with mange, and eager to hop in the car with them. I'm not sure I would have been so generous with my backseat. When I first met him, he looked a little like an old and wrinkly man. I should post a photo, but I wouldn't want to embarrass him. At first I volunteered just to take him to the vet and pay for the medicine that he needed to combat the mange. And I really did maintain some kind of healthy distance from him for a few days,or at least until I fell hopelessly in love with his high pitch yawns and his baby suckling noises.

We wanted an old-timey, straightforward name for a pup with such modest beginnings. But J wasn't having any of my suggestions. Then I remembered a friend's doggie nephew, another Homer, and we decided that it was okay to plagiarize a dog's name from Connecticut. We tell ourselves that they were channeling the poet; we're channeling the country. Neither, let's hope, were going for the Simpson.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

going analog

Three years ago, J and I were at a wedding in Florida. It was June and hot and I insisted on floating in the bath water of the Atlantic until just before the ceremony, my hair a salty tangle as I slipped on my azure silk dress. The minister, a middle-aged-pleated-pant-wearing-kind-of-guy, took his place at the arbor and clutched his e-Reader to his chest. He greeted us all extemporaneously and then dove into his electronic bible. All was well and good until it froze, in the middle of a psalm. He cleared his throat, paused, looked up sheepishly, and confided that he’d need to “reboot his bible.” If there’s ever an analog-only event, I thought, it’s gotta be a wedding.

But, it seems, there are other analog-only events:
moving to kentucky
buying a house
finding a puppy
buying a car
settling into real married life with someone you hardly remember

For the last six weeks or so, I’ve kept the computer off. I mean really off. Sure, I check email three times a week on my phone, but I’ve had little desire to record this crazy transition here. I haven’t even been reading other blogs nor have I written a word. I’m not sure I can explain my desire to turn it all off. I suspect it has something to do with leaving a job in which I sat in front of my laptop in a cubicle for nine hours a day. Now I spend nine hours a day unpacking, painting, shopping for new toilets, sanding kitchen cabinets, and trying to teach little Homer to stop -- just stop for god’s sake -- biting my toes.

And then there’s the matter of what this space will become, now that 550 square feet have multiplied into 2000 and my quiet life of one has become the negotiated life of two. I find myself looking for the familiarity of my studio in Philadelphia as I hang artifacts of that life in Kentucky. There are traces, of course, but so many unrecognizable differences. Perhaps that’s what this will become: a record of difference, of change, of the new.