Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ramblings on a Stormy Evening

There is some sort of strange weather going on outside that is kind of fascinating. The intense windstorm died down and left an unsettling calmness, punctuated by sudden bursts of wind. The Thai lights hanging on our balcony are now all skewumpus. I'll have to get the boys to come back over to hang them back up properly. The valley is filling up with dark, lowering clouds. It feels like it should have started raining two hours ago. But it hasn't, and the tension adds to the strange feeling. Even though the AC is running like normal, I feel warm and sticky, and I wish the rain would just come.

The events of the last five or six weeks seem to be sapping my reserve of energy and I find myself completely listless tonight. Everything I thought about doing seemed to take too much energy, and then I fell asleep while reading and had to forcibly wake myself an hour later so I'll be able to sleep tonight. To try to engage my mind a little, I pulled out a length of brown material I found at my parents' house and cut out the pieces for a new shirt. I think the brown material is left over from a quilt I made for one of my brothers' weddings. Now I'll have a shirt to match the quilt.

Staring at the pile of pattern pieces and pins on the floor, I am reminded that I need to assemble two or three things that "describe" me for a family reunion this Saturday. Somehow this thought turns to intense personal scrutiny. I think over my possessions. What do I own that accurately describes a piece of who I am? Suddenly everything seems presumptuous. The bookends from Kenya could indicate that I love to travel- but can I really call myself a traveler? My eyes fall on the volume of Shakespeare's works that I bought last summer, and then I feel guilty for not having read more of them. The musical dictionary? Am I well enough versed to really consider myself a musician? I suddenly feel like a jack of all trades, master of none.

I realize in the back of my mind that regardless of my true level of proficiency at any of my hobbies or talents, the point is not to show off but to give people a better idea of who I am and what I like. The key is to not try to compare myself to anyone else who will be there, which is a little tricky since my great grandfather's descendants contain some of the most brilliant people I know.

On an unrelated note (no pun intended), I feel more secure about my means of transportation now that I finally replaced the corroding chrome wheels on my car. I was trying to put it off until the end of August, but after another tire suddenly deflated on Tuesday, I bit the bullet and paid the cash. It's extremely aggravating to get a flat tire, know exactly how to fix it, and not be strong enough to work the jack by yourself. After going back in to work and wandering around for a bit trying to think who I knew who could come help out, I ended up going to Mel's desk and having a small breakdown. Sometimes it's really nice to work at the same place as my roommate. She was able to recruit a very nice tech who came out and did the grunt work for me. And now I am hoping that my new tires and new wheels will do their job properly and stay in one piece for a long, long time.

Time to stop rambling. Before I crash into bed, Mel and I are going to read a chapter or two from the book we're reading together called "Lethal Genes." Mel bought it at a library book sale for a dollar because it looked like a promising example of bad writing, and she loves to make fun of badly written books. As an added bonus, it's a mystery centered on a plant genetics and biotech lab at UC Davis and while some of the terminology is properly used, I must admit that we are enjoying being kind of snarky over some of the author's word choices and the way she describes some of the technology and such. We are truly biology nerds. What can I say?

Now it's dark enough outside that I can't see the clouds any more, but the wind seems to be picking up. Maybe I'll get to fall asleep to the sound of rain still, who knows?

1 comment:

Karen Reid said...

I have the same problem with changing tires!