Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cool Juggling!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Eulogy for Zoe

What can you say about a 12-year-old car that died?

On December 21st, my dear and trusted companion Zoe, my 1997 White Jeep Wrangler, was taken from me in an auto accident.

Here is the last picture I took with her, as we brave the snow(!) on the Houston freeways in early December.

I had run around with other cars before, but I'm proud to say that I was Zoe's first. We had an instant bond that kept us together through good times and bad. I remember clearly in the early days of our relationship, not to get too personal, how I would give her a sponge bath once a week. Of course, as we grew accustomed to one another over the years, those indulgences of our youth slipped away.

She was always a shameless flirt, though. She just loved to run around topless! And hey, who was I to say no? I enjoyed it as much as she did, flaunting ourselves around town, basking in the sun on every inch of our bodies. It was divine. There were times when I would be feeling down, and just a quick cruise around with her would completely lift my spirits. She really had that affect on me.

Of course, she loved Los Angeles! She fit right in! It was such a joy to be in a city that when you look around, there's actually something to see in the distance. Plus, Zoe didn't feel as self-conscious about having her top off out there. It was almost expected of a car of her beauty. She would go like that for months at a time.

We had our share of bad moments, too. There were a few times when I had left her in a bad spot and vulnerable. She get picked up by some stranger and end up taken somewhere unpleasant. I know it shamed her to be treated that way, but I was always there to spring her out as early as possible the next morning. I always felt responsible, as if I had driven her to be somewhere she shouldn't.

But most of the time, things were great! We had a lot of great trips together, and drove to some wonderful and beautiful places. She wasn't afraid to go off the beaten path and get a little dirty. She was more adventurous than I was, at times.

I remember one time, in the first couple of years that we were together, we had a very unusual experience. She was waiting outside for me while I was hanging out with some friends. Some local hoodlums drove by and assaulted her. That would be terrible, were it not for the silliness of it. When I came out, I saw her covered in flour tortillas!? A couple of eggs had been thrown at her, but she dodged them and even managed to catch one without breaking it. It was a strange, humorous, and memorable evening that we talked about for days.

But, she was getting older. The last few years had not been kind to her, including multiple health issues that seemed to compound every year. She kept her positive attitude and high spirits, but I think even she knew she wouldn't be around forever. She'd had a lot of work done to keep her looking good and running with the younger crowd, but there are some natural aspects of aging that just can't be fixed.

She had a long life, lived well. She was with me and supported me through good times and bad. She was my constant companion and friend. I will miss her greatly. My Jeep, Zoe.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

42 Up!

I'm a little behind on my posting this week, so I may actually try to do more than one post a day to make up for it. We'll see how I feel about it tonight.

Well, my birthday has come and gone. As always for me, birthdays are a time of reflection. You may have noticed that I've been posting to my blog more frequently than usual. That's not exactly a New Year's resolution, but I was motivated by something I read on my friend Mischa's blog (I can't find it right now, else I would link to it). He's participating in some blog-o-thon or something, where you must write on your blog x amount in so many days. It's based on the NaNoWriMo idea for writing a novel in 30 days. Anyway, for some reason, just seeing his post made me determined to up my contributions this year.

I'm not one for resolutions at the New Year. As a matter of fact, I hate New Year's; it's easily my least favorite holiday. However, I do go through almost the same ritual when it comes to my birthday. It seems more personal to do it then. I have a lot of things on my "to do" list this year, most of which probably wouldn't really count as resolutions anyway. But one of them is to blog more, and so far I'm not doing too badly. I should really do these early in the morning when my mind is fresh.

Anyway, this was my 42nd birthday, which seems pretty huge. Part of the problem with having a youthful outlook like I do is that I often forget how old I really am. Not that I mind, really, it's just interesting/sad.

I have heard a theory (I don't know the source), that everyone changes every seven years. The reason behind it is that is how long it takes all the cells of your body to regenerate. So, after seven years, you are literally a different person because all the old cells have died and been replaced with new ones. I don't know how much I buy that idea, but it certainly has proven interesting for me. Of course, it may just be coincidence that every seven years a person reaches a certain plateau or milestone-- school, life, awareness at seven, puberty at 14, drinking at 21, optimism and enthusiasm at 28, full-fledged maturity at 35, and now downhill at 42. That last one is a joke, folks. Had I married earlier, I could easily see my 40s as the age in which I embraced parenthood. I still look forward to that, but time is not exactly on our side.

There is a fantastic series of movies that fits right in with this notion. Documentary filmmaker Michael Apted follows a group of young children in Britain. The Up Series was originally meant as a study of how class affected the attitudes and aptitudes of British children born in the 60's. However, on his own, Apted has continued the project every seven years. He catches up with as many of the children as are willing to talk to him, and continues to document their lives. The most recent one was 49 Up.

I highly recommend this series to everyone. Don't be intimidated or think that you need to come in at the beginning. Each film is readily accessible. Yes, there are rewards from seeing all the films, but the order is not important and in fact, sometimes it can be fascinating watching an older film (35 Up, for example) when you already know what's in store for the characters.

So, here's hoping that the coming seven years (and more) prove as interesting as the last, and that I'm still here to report on life and everthing at 49.

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