Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Random thoughts on the porch

I stayed at work late tonight to participate in some market research. Tegan corralled the kids and they went out to eat. When I got home about 6:30, T. and the kids were still gone, so I put my bag down and went back outside to sweep up the little, oval-shaped, orange leaves that our trees dump on the sidewalk, the driveway, the street curb. Sure, I know its a pointless waste of time right now, to sweep up leaves that will be dumped again in a few days and I'll do it again. But it was a good time, being outside in the autumn evening, alone with my thoughts and the dinnertime sounds of my street.

After I was done with that, Tegan and the kids were still gone. But I didn't feel like going back inside, so I sat down on the porch steps to let the sweat dry on my shirt and to watch the twilight deepen.

While sitting there doing nothing in particular, I had lots of random thoughts float in and out of my brain. Naturally, I didn't have a piece of paper or a tape recorder with me, so I didn't capture them as they came . . . something that I kind of always wish I could do in these kinds of circumstances. I am sitting there, wanting to remember all of these thoughts, but I don't want to go back in the house for paper or to get the laptop because I don't want to break the spell of sitting there. It's not like I was accomplishing anything, but I didn't want to systematize it by making it intentional . . . but at the same time, I was actively thinking about the fact that I wanted to remember it and KNEW that I wouldn't be able to achieve an accurate memory of my thoughts.

Anyway, what was I thinking? There are some of the things that I can remember:

  1. While cars drove by or while kids on bikes pedaled by, I was wondering which was I should look--towards College or towards Spring? And should I settle on one direction or keep switching back and forth? And do I just look weird sitting here on the porch? Do people think I am peeking in their windows?
  2. Man, I should get a decorative bench or something on the porch. The cement steps get hard after a while.
  3. Why is my next-door-neighbor's flag not fluttering back and forth while mine (right above my head) whips around much more vigorously?
  4. Why is it that every time I hear a car approach or see headlights, I involuntarily turn towards it, wondering if it is our station wagon? And how can I do this while looking nonchalant about it all?
  5. How can I construct a post that takes advantage of the really excellent discussions between ESPN's Sports Guy and Chuck Klosterman? Would my regular readers want to read about that? I really identified with their observations that people today spend an inordinate amount of time talking about TV and movies (and I am SO guilty of that). And how about their critical views of bloggers that don't do anything but link to other people's work and then act like they have done something valuable . . . I don't do that, do I?
  6. I really want to read some of Klosterman's books, but I can't because I have a library fine that needs to be paid and I can't find the book that is getting more expensive every day.
  7. What would it be like if we rearranged the furniture in the house . . . moving the TV from the den into the front room. But I can't put the TV in front of the big windows, so maybe against the wall facing the windows? But then, won't people be able to see inside and watch our TV? Maybe I could put wooden blinds or something to create more privacy . . . I don't like those green curtains anyway. But if the TV goes in there, then do we move the computer out of that room and into the den? We could rearrange the den furniture so that the computer goes along that long wall that is the back of the garage. But I'd like to get rid of the computer desk we've got now, replacing it with a nice long desk or series of modular desks (something from Pottery Barn?) that can go alongside the entire wall, creating a place for the desktop computer and seating areas for the kids to do home work or draw . . . but then where do the couches in the room now go? And if we move the TV out of the den, we'll need to put something else else on the bookcases, right? I wonder if I can make an overhead sketch of the rooms and rearrange the furniture with little cardboard cutouts?
  8. Oh, here comes the station wagon . . . remember to look nonchalant.

1 comment:

David said...

Dont' worry too much Jack. A good writer (or at least one aware of his core audience) won't stray too far down paths that no one wants to read.

This thought does, however lead me back to the aforementioned discussion between ESPN's Sports Guy and Chuck Klosterman--this time it is the first part of the two-part article that I didn't link to above. You can read it here. In this post, Simmons and Klosterman discuss the "value" of sports to a degree and the tendency of people to be loyal to a collection of individuals who perform for the good of a corporation that simply displays its products in a sports guise. Neither one of these guys is agaiinst sports, but you might not find more literate thoughts on sports in your web searching today.