Kind of Blue

28 April 2004

I was feeling kind of blue last night. The day hadn’t gone quite right. Things were messy at the office; I hadn’t started the short story that is due tonight; and I felt old and fat. I was feeling kind of blue.

Remember that I ended the Sunriver trip feeling like an ass. This feeling lingered even into Tuesday morning as I set about sorting the quotes and orders left over from the previous two days. Custom Box is surpisingly busy right now. In general, our business declines after April 15th. It also declines after a price increase. Since both of these events just occurred, we’d expect to be compeletely dead. But we’re not. We’re busy.

I had a moderate lunch, in keeping with my diet, but then I broke down and had a Hershey bar with almonds. And another one. That’s 460 useless calories and many grams of fat. I began to beat myself up mentally. I’d already spent the last three days consuming more calories than normal (though that was by design). I felt fat. I felt defeated. I felt thrown from my diet.

Rather than triumph over these bad feelings, I stopped by Safeway on the way home. I bought Safeway Chinese food for dinner. Then, when I’d finished my rice and sesame beef, I had some left-over cake and ice cream. I felt emotionally and physically defeated.

To make matters worse, I’d been unable to start my latest short story assignment. I’ve got a clear plot in my head, but at this point it’s blatant plagiarism (stealing a poignant bit from Craig Thompson’s Good-Bye, Chunky Rice). I want to make it my own, adapt it into something new, but the words just weren’t coming.

I lay on the couch and moped.

The phone rang. Jenn was calling to invite us over to dinner. Emotionally, I didn’t much feel like going, but intellectually I knew that it was a good idea.

And you know what?

When we walked onto the porch and I saw Emma’s big smiling face, everything was better just like that. Harrison appeared at her side. “You know what, J.D.?” he said. “I saw you from far away, but I didn’t see Kris. She was way behind you.”

We sat on the floor and we played.

“Harrison, who’s your favorite superhero?” I asked.

He pulled out his astronomy book — which features members of the Justice League of America on every page — and he pointed out his favorite. “I like the Blue Superman,” he said (referring to a plotline in which Superman splits into Red Superman and Blue Superman). “And Plastic Man,” he added, finding the stretchy guy on another page. (I know from past conversations that Hank also likes J’onn J’onnz, the Martian Manhunter.)

Without warning, Harrison jumped on my back. Ouch. “Harrison’s a wild boy,” said Emma.

“Are you a wild girl?” asked Kris.

“No,” said Emma. “I’m a wild woman.” Then she thought about it a little more. “No. I’m a princess.”

I read Emma a story about the pyramids in Egypt while Harrison lay on my back, his chin resting on my head.

“Harrison,” I said, when we were finished with the story, “Bring me the Great Big Book of Absolutely Everything.” He brought me his National Geographic photographic atlas. We looked up Egypt. I pointed out the actual pyramids, tried to explain their scale. We looked at photos of boys riding donkeys, of a woman carrying an urn on her head.

Harrison tried to explain to me that Oregon is bigger than Egypt. “Go get your globe,” Jenn told him. When he found his globe, we tore a piece of paper so that it was the same size as Oregon. When we placed Oregon over Egypt, it was clear that Egypt was larger. Still Harrison didn’t believe.

“Egypt’s about the same size as Oregon and Washington together,” I said.

“I don’t think so,” said Harrison. “Oregon is big.”

He went upstairs to fetch a larger map. “See?” he said. And, indeed, on this map Oregon was bigger than the Egypt on the globe. Hmmm. How to explain scale?

“Every place looks big when you live there, Hank,” I said. “You look out in every direction and everything seems so big.”

“I know what,” said Harrison. “When God looks down from the universe, he sees the whole thing” — meaning the Earth — “at once.”

Kris, of course, tried to secularize the conversation, but without success. “Well,” she said, “Anyone looking down from space — like an astronaut — could see the whole Earth at once.”

“But God is even above the astronauts,” said Harrison, “Because he’s in the universe.”

We left it at that.

Instead we compared the sizes of the states, and talked about the different places Harrison has been. “You remember Joel and Aimee?” I asked. “They’re moving here,” I said, and I pointed to South Dakota and Mt. Rushmore. “That’s a long way away.”

Harrison played with the globe. “Why are the North Pole and the South Pole so far apart?” he asked. And we couldn’t really explain. I mean, they’re far apart by definition, not for any other reason.

I started the night feeling kind of blue, but I finished it feeling rosy. All because of interaction with a couple of kids.

Comments


On 28 April 2004 (07:33 AM),
Joel said:

JD said:

“They’re moving here,” I said, and I pointed to South Dakota and Mt. Rushmore. “That’s a long way away.”

1680 miles away, in fact. Which is not so far if you’re God. Or an astronaut. Alas, we are but people.



On 28 April 2004 (09:12 AM),
tammy said:

Jd, I came to your weblog straight from the family sight. As I was reading over there how Jeff played with Noah last night I thought to myself,” JD needs kids. If JD, could just have one kid he’d wonder how he ever lived without them.” Then I read your entry! Now I’m convinced JD needs kids!

And did I read this right? You polished off all that Chinese food and still had dinner at Jenns place? Oh well,”tomorrow is another day.”



On 28 April 2004 (09:13 AM),
tammy said:

Oh and may I ask what takes Joel and Aimee to South Dakota?



On 28 April 2004 (09:17 AM),
J.D. said:

And did I read this right? You polished off all that Chinese food and still had dinner at Jenns place?

No, you did not read this right, though I can see how you might have been confused. I ate a grand total of one corn chip at Jenn’s place.

Oh and may I ask what takes Joel and Aimee to South Dakota?

You may ask…



On 28 April 2004 (09:43 AM),
Denise said:

Hey J.D. – everyone has days where they do not follow their diet. Mine are usually Tuesday through Sunday. ;)

But really, one day, or weekend is nothing to beat yourself up over. If you are able to start fresh on the next day, it won’t really hurt anything. If you don’t allow yourself something ‘bad’ to eat occasionally, you will binge eat (somewhat like you did on Tuesday). When I am seriously watching my food intake, I usually let myself have something ‘bad’ every other day…or give myself a ‘bad breakfast’ of Fridays – poppy seed muffins seem to be my evil breakfast of choice. That way, I can stay on track knowing that Friday morning I get to have the evil and sugary muffin.

If you started eating two large pizzas every night, then I would worry.

AND – Joel, it would also be a short distance between Oregon and South Dakota if you were the Bionic Man.



On 28 April 2004 (09:46 AM),
Lynn said:

We went to Disneyland in 2001 and I shared a bed with my then 10-year-old niece. She is a bed hog and I attempted to set some ground rules before we went to sleep. “Shelby,” I said. “See this line?” I drew an imaginary line down the middle of the bed with my finger. “This is the equator. Do not cross it.”
She rolled her eyes and used her best teenage tone when she replied, “Helllllo, the equator runs this way,” she said while drawing a horizontal line accross the bed. “This,” as she redrew the imaginary vertical line as I had done, “is the prime meridian.” And then she huffed a little pre-teen huff and rolled over to sleep. Damn those 4th graders and their map classes.



On 28 April 2004 (12:02 PM),
Jeff said:

Tammy said: I was reading over there how Jeff played with Noah last night

And here is a link to Noah’s site:

Pictures of Noah

Hey! What’s going on? The link doesn’t work! I wonder why that is!?!?!?



On 28 April 2004 (12:37 PM),
Dana said:

“Why are the North Pole and the South Pole so far apart?” he asked…they’re far apart by definition, not for any other reason.

Well, sort of.

They’re far apart because the earth is a (mostly) rigid sphere, and it’s axis of rotation has to be a straight line passing through the center of mass or else the rotation won’t be stable — either you’re going to be compressing and expanding bits of the surface (kind of like a partially scrunched up nerf ball) during rotation, and that takes energy being put into the system from somewhere, or you’re going to be rotating in such a way that the resulting angular momentum will throw the earth out of orbit without external energy being stuffed in to keep us in place.

Or something like that.

Joel, it would also be a short distance between Oregon and South Dakota if you were the Bionic Man.

Or Superman Blue…



On 28 April 2004 (12:58 PM),
Tiffany said:

Joel and Aimee,
I know I only see you once a year, but I will miss you on my future visits to the giant state of Oregon.

Jd,
Your change in diet (eating extra over the weekend) may have something to do with your feeling blue. Any change is food intake can affect your hormone levels



On 28 April 2004 (02:31 PM),
Joel said:

Thanks for your words, Tiffany (and for filling me in on the long-term dangers posed by depleted-uranium shells), and your curiosity, Tammy.
We’re actually moving to South Dakota for school. I’m attending the University of S.D.’s medical school, and Aimee’s planning on going to nursing school.
We’re very sorry to leave the fantastic community of friends we’ve made here, but just because we’re leaving Oregon doesn’t take us out of foldedspaceland! Look for a brand-new weblog from Joel and Aimee to appear sometime in the next month or two! We will join the distinguished company of Tammy and Denise and… possibly another person who suckle off of JD’s webspace!
Details to follow at this location!



On 28 April 2004 (02:33 PM),
J.D. said:

We will join the distinguished company of Tammy and Denise and… possibly another person who suckle off of JD’s webspace!

I have teats a-plenty. Metaphorically speaking.



On 28 April 2004 (03:14 PM),
tammy said:

Joel, have you ever admittted to Amy that you are John Doe? What a clever disguise to start another weblog with her? You are a cunning fellow!

Bwahahhahah!



On 28 April 2004 (03:44 PM),
Aimee said:

Tammy,

I don’t find your comments very funny at all. In fact, I find them hurtful for many reasons, but I would like to simply elaborate on one idea: Regardless if Joel is John Doe or not, I am disgusted that you continue to take unabashed joy in revealing the identity of John Doe. This may seem like school-yard fun to you, but I’d just like to remind you that through all words and laughs there is a relationship at stake in the revelation of John Doe’s identity. It seems to me that you are being a bit selfish by continually pressing this individual to reveal himself/herself to you. Take a walk in somebody else’s shoes, and think about John Doe or his partner’s feelings should he/she choose to share his/her name …



On 28 April 2004 (03:54 PM),
Johnny said:

I like to think so, too.



On 28 April 2004 (03:56 PM),
Denise said:

Ah…and wouldn’t it be really funny if John Doe was actually a woman? You know, just because Johnny goes by Johnny does not mean Johnny is a man.

Besides…it wouldn’t be half as fun if we knew who Johnny was. Life is more interesting with a little mystery, don’t you think?



On 28 April 2004 (04:01 PM),
Johnny said:

My post above was meant to follow on Tammy’s post, not Aimee’s. It’s just that Aimee’s trigger finger was faster than mine.

As for what Aimee said, however, I take Tammy’s ribbing in the good natured way that I’m sure it’s intended. Is SWMO ever determined that I was talking about her there really wouldn’t be a relationship at stake. She’d just skin me alive and hang my sorry ass out on the clothesline.

Tammy, rest assured, Joel and I are two separate people. And not just because of the medication, either. Who knows, maybe I’m actually Aimee…

And not just because of the medication, either!



On 28 April 2004 (04:15 PM),
Denise said:

Ok – I cannot get the teats-a-plenty picture out of my imagination…even if it was a metaphor.

Thank you J.D. for that lovely picture now burned into my brain!



On 28 April 2004 (04:55 PM),
Tammy said:

Thank you John Doe. And you are right; it was good natured ribbing.

I know Denise that teat thing is just a little too metaphorical!



On 28 April 2004 (05:29 PM),
Aimee said:

Well, if it was all a good natured ribbing (insert intonation of your choice) …

I would simply ask then that my personal relationships be left out of further scrutinization of the John Doe Identity Puzzle.



On 28 April 2004 (05:36 PM),
Mom (Sue) said:

“Jd, I came to your weblog straight from the family sight. As I was reading over there how Jeff played with Noah last night I thought to myself,” JD needs kids. If JD, could just have one kid he’d wonder how he ever lived without them.” Then I read your entry! Now I’m convinced JD needs kids!”

You said it, Tammy; I didn’t. -G- I’ve often thought about the astronomical IQ there would be in a child J.D. and Kris would produce. However, that said, I respect their decisions and am fine with whatever they decide to do in that realm.



On 28 April 2004 (09:26 PM),
Adam Luckey said:

I’m sorry but the Justice League is nothing compared to The Ultimates with Captain America.
Have a Nic night

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