bunt sign

Sunday, June 1, 2003

Living out here in the country might have made me a little less tolerant of people in the city. Driving on country roads has spoiled me for traveling on the highway, even the two-line highway between here and Sebastopol. And all this peace and quiet has made me a little sensitive to the noise and commotion I encounter as soon as I leave my nest.

In other words, I should have stayed home today.

The last time Mom and I were planning to go to a movie, it was so long ago that I don't even recall what we were hoping to see. The theater parking lot was full, so we turned around and came home. What did I learn from that experience? Not much, apparently.

Today we made plans to go to a theater closer to both our homes, and we thought we were leaving ourselves plenty of time to get there. I knew as soon as I hit the road that I'd miscalculated, but I thought I could make up the time. After all, it was just a five-mile highway drive. I was upset with the volume of traffic, but I still thought we'd make it.

On the way from Mom's house to the intersection where we got on the highway, we hit every red light, including a couple of new ones that they put in just for us and then took down as soon as we drove past. I found myself trapped behind a convoy of mopeds (maybe they were Harleys; I really didn't look that closely) cruising from nowhere to nowhere else.

Once we hit the highway, we crawled. We crept at the pace of an arthritic snail those five miles, and I couldn't wait to get to the street where you turn off toward the theater. In fact, I didn't wait. I turned off one block too soon and ended up circling around the northeast quadrant of Sebastopol, past churches and schools, until I could find my way back to Main Street (where I had to turn the wrong way, because the heavy traffic would let me turn the right way, which would have been to the left).

We made one more pass at the movie house, took one or two more wrong turns (does it really matter?), and finally found it. There were no empty parking spaces. Cars were looping around waiting for someone to leave (before the first show of the day?). I gave up. I took Mom home and then came back to the peace and quiet and twittering birds and swooshing eucalyptus limbs.

I swore I'd never try to go to another movie. I said this was the last time I was ever driving in Sebastopol. I promised myself and anyone who would listen (and why would anyone listen?) that I'd never leave the house again. Of course, that was a lie, but it sounded good at the time.

16 May 03

The empty fish tank and baseball on TV, from the outside looking in.
(I wonder if the fish store delivers.)

For most of my life, I was a twitchy city-dweller. Every whistle and creak had to be investigated. If I heard a voice, I had to know who was talking (and sometimes what they were saying). If I thought my personal space was being violated (especially my personal parking space), I became a crack undercover agent (or possibly a cracked one, but you know what I mean).

Whenever I think I miss living in town, I remind myself of how it tweaked my nerves every single day, and I give thanks for my affordable little cottage just beyond the outskirts and just this side of the foothills.

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While I admire how well the mind-numbingly brutal inhumanity of the Nazis is portrayed in The Pianist, I had to keep reminding myself that Roman Polanski is himself a Holocaust survivor, and not just a child molester. (I'm not usually so judgmental, but you have to draw a line somewhere.)

This isn't on my list of favorite movies, though, with its relentlessly straightforward pacing and cardboard characterizations. (Isn't that horrible? I feel guilty for not liking this movie more. The last hour, when it's almost all Adrien Brody, is riveting. But it takes an hour and a half just to get there.)

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: One Track Mind
"And there's filing, but ugh! That'll wait till the fifth Friday in February."

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