Sunday, July 30, 2006

King Tutankhamun: A History for the Amataur Scholar

This history is dedicated to those who cannot remember dates, names, places, statistics, or even general concepts. It is inspired by the glorious history which Jane Austen penned in her youth.

Once upon a time, there was a kid. He had a father, but no one knows who he was. And I bet he had a mother. But nobody knows anything about her either. But we all can say with a good deal of certainty that whoever his parents were, they were probably a king and a queen. But they died.

So the kid walked into some kind of temple, some priests waved a stick, said some words, handed him a different stick with a hook on it and then a whip, and he was king. Also, the kid was named Tutankaten. But he also was named Tutankamun and Nebkheprure, and four more different names which no one really cares about.

And he got married. But he was about eight, so nothing important happened. In fact, nothing important really ever happened, because Tut kicked it too early. Then his wife did too. So no one needs to know about her. Except that she was nice to him. At least in the pictures she was, and that's all anyone cares about.

But Tut had a problem.

See, his great-something, Akhenaton, or Akhenamun, was weird. He looked freaky, and had a new religion. And since the guy was king, everybody had to listen to him, and they did. He changed the whole religion, and ended up making some people mad, and other people madder. Some were so mad that they chisled his name off statues. Others just messed with his tomb and sold off the loot.

Tut changed it all back to the old way, since change is bad and everything was much better in the old way, since there was no rioting or anything back then. Also, Tut could then tell everyone he was Horus, who was a god, and therefore really cool.

Also, Akhen-something was married to Nefertiti. And to some girl named Tiye, who some people say was his daughter. But if you tried that today, you'd get arrested. But there were other wives too, which smart people call polygamy, and that gets you put in jail too. Or called a Mormon.

So King Tut was probably pretty inbred, which was bad, but they didn't know it.

But one day, after all this stuff had happened, Tut and his impacted wisdom teeth, which nobody knew how to fix, kicked it, and he was buried by some guy who helped him run the country in that guy's tomb, since he was old and already had one. That was why Tut's tomb was dumpy, for a king. But since it was done in such a hurry, things weren't as fancy as they would have been. There were no books or scrolls or fun graffitti on the walls. And then the old guy became king, or regent, or something, and took the tomb that would have been Tut's, so they switched. And Tut got the raw end of that deal, but he didn't care, since he was already dead. He probably didn't even know what was going on, and if he did, that's really creepy. And then old guy married somebody some time, but I don't remember her name or when it happened, so it probably wasn't that important.

And there was some kind of robbery, but they didn't take any of the really cool stuff, because they couldn't get very far in.

And then in 1922 some grave robber who had a certificate and some money that said he was actually a historian or scientist, took more money from an old rich guy in England, and dug a hole in the desert.

At the bottom of the hole, he found Tut, the dead guy who had been that king from the beginning of the story, But Tut had been dead for a while, so he didn't look the same. He did a little, though, because some people had ripped out his guts and his brain and put the guts in jars and the brain was given to cats or thrown out, because no one really used their heads back then.

But most people say know that there was nothing important in the hole. No people with big brains and expensive diplomas can tell you anything new about Egypt that they couldn't tell you before.

So why do we like Tut?

Because we like shiny things, especially when they are really shiny and pretty rare almost everywhere, so the people who want to be rich or like rich-person-things have a King Tut fetish. Also, people really really liked shiny things back in the twenties, when all anyone ever did was dress for dinner and drink lots of alcohol, even though it was illegal. The alcohol, not the dressing for dinner. But the dinner thing probably made the servants have to do tons more laundry than they should have, so it should have been illegal too, maybe.

But one bad thing happened right away, because the guy who gave the guy with the shovel money kicked off, and people said it was a curse. But now we're pretty sure it wasn't, or at least we can't prove it was. And the tomb was looted and it was all taken to England, because they had an Empire, and later it went back to Egypt to live in Cairo, which is some kind of town on a river. It is on a river because Egypt is a desert, and try as you might, you just can't live without water, even if crocadiles do live in it, and hippos with bad breath.

And now we think the dead guy had a broken leg which was infected, because no one knew what antibiotics were, even if they did eat lots of bread, some moldy even. But life just got harder for Tut, because the digger guy broke off some ribs and his whats-it. But he didn't need it anymore. And he had resin in his brain, which would have killed him, but he was already dead, but this was why people thought he was murdered, which he probably wasn't and that is good for him, if not as interesting for us. And he went to lots of places where people stared at his corpse and mispronounced his name lots of times, or at least he did until someone dropped his mask and screwed it up. I bet that guy was fired for that. But anyway, now none of the coffin stuff can come to the US or anywhere else. It has to stay in the museum in that city over there in the desert.

But his stuff can travel, and people can spend hundreds of dollars stepping on each other's feet and not wearing deoderant while looking at it all. Also, a replia of his necklace costs five thousand dollars. Which is more than my car is worth. But cars take people places, which is better than just being too gaudy to leave your tomb in.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Lunch has changed my mind

I am the most cowardly person I have ever met. I can't seem to confront anyone, ever, and those of you who are with it would know why I mention this. I have just deleted two blogs. Which ones, you ask? The ones that were personal. I have this problem, you see, a problem with talking to others about my "negative" emotions. And I am so scared of having my father judge me, or his parents hate me more than they already do, that I have destroyed any evidence that once existed of any family problems that may or may not exist. That way we can all go back to pretending that life is perfect and wonderful at all times, and that there is no way to improve anything so we might as well just go on the way things are because they're perfect and anyone who wants to change it just doesn't get it. So there. I give in.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Fair Enough

I was never one for the county fair.

I mean, I always loved seeing all the animals, having my token elephant ear of the summer, perhaps even taking the opportunity to flee or overtly hide from acquaintances. But honestly, knowing that some (if not all, potentially) of the animals I cooed over, petted, and adored, were one day destined to be on someone's--maybe even my--dinner table was enough to make me buy a fry daddy and some yeast rolls and stay home.

But I have a new job, one that requires a little more fair experience than making elephant ears in the comfort of my own kitchen. More even, than treating the second degree burns sustained in the making of said elephant ears. More than cleaning up all the sugar spilled on the floor after the elephant ears are made, the burns are treated, and the delicious deep-fried glory of summer's greatest gem has been consumed.

I am a reporter.

This means that I, a city girl who has somehow managed to survive for the majority of her life in the country--okay, all of her life--must finally learn what it is that makes up a county fair, what it is that keeps the community coming back year after year, what makes countless parents force their children to raise animals three to four times their size only to have them kiss their beloved pets goodbye as they are loaded onto a Ronald McDonald brand Slaughterhouse Truck.

And it isn't pretty.

I have already whined and moaned about the waste products these animals produce, the fumes that contribute to, I would estimate, a third of all our greenhouse gases. I have complained about the two near-death experienced I have had in the past week, both at the hands--hooves--of rampaging farm beasts. But I have not complained about the most horrible element of the fair, the element that will leave me scarred for life, possibly forever:

The people.

I'm not talking about the sweet little 4-Her kids, who everyone has to love. Here are tiny little third-graders who lead giant steers around on ropes as thick as their upper-arms without fear--who wouldn't adore these kids? And not the farm parents, who will love and comfort any kid with a hurt arm, a spooked animal, or with missing parents. And not the organizers, who give so much of their time and attention to make the week work out right, who carefully manage every moment, who live in the tiny office built into the most horrible portion of the most miserable building (that's the dead center of the hog barn). God bless all these people. They could all certainly use His attentions.

I'm talking about the visitors, the attendees, the businesspeople, the nuclear families, the teenage wanna-bes. Those people. The people who think it's cool to live at the fair, even though the only thing they really are doing is running around in circles and shouting, while consuming twice their body weight in pork products, pretending that junk food doesn't count during fair week. Well it does, I promise.

These are people who stepped on me, who bumped into me as I tried to get a good shot of a kid for the front page. These are people who knock poor innocent reporter's notebooks, cell phones, and digital voice recorders into puddles, laugh at them, and walk away, leaving the poor staff writer to pray for her notes and recording of the Sidney Town Council meeting, since that town is really messed up and people ought to know about it. Really.

So I have decided to document three such individuals for you, people who made my last week a little more interesting, and a shade more miserable.

The Hover-round Biker

Okay, so this was just one guy, but he is too priceless not to mention. This man was around sixty-five. Tattooed. Mustached. Bedecked in black leather. Mohawk-ed. Yes, he had a Mohawk. And dyed--his Mohawk was colorful.

If this guy had been on a motorcycle, it would have been natural, normal, if not disturbing.. But instead, he was sitting in/on a Hover-round or Jazzy brand scooter.

The poor man had lost his legs, which is tragic, and it made me quite sad for him. But luckily, the accident had not ruined his day, he was perfectly happy to chain smoke next to the food booths and make inappropriate or lewd comments to young women. Whether his legs had been lost in some kind of war or in a high-speed motorcycle accident, I do not know. But I believe the latter to be more likely. He had tricked out his ride with Harley Davidson paraphernalia.

The Down-Home-Country Whore

This young woman, invariably a woman, has come to the fair in an attempt to attract eligible young farmers, or perhaps their fathers. She follows in the example of the other 4-H competitions and uses the opportunity to beautify herself in every possible way, and wears as little clothing as possible in order to display her bone and muscle structure to the judges. While the display of flesh, perfectly tanned (or well-fried) is necessary, the Down-Home Country Whore must also give the impression of a capability to complete various task including, potentially, hard labor. This is achieved by creating a clothing ensemble designed in the style of the Blue Collar Comedy group. She makes cut-off shorts, with the pockets peeking, okay, hanging, out. They are cut off at the bend of the thigh, but also slashed further up, across the pocket region, in order to properly exhibit the ham. Bras, of course, are optional, and either removed or worn in such a way as to make them completely visible. This feat is achieved by wearing brightly colored under things, lacy brassieres which provide a kind of topography, or by choosing a sheer outer garment.

The hair is teased, the makeup caked, the tan flawless and sure to generate years of crippling skin problems to creep up and strike the weathered flesh of this future mother of ten. But as important as the skin revealed are the style of the garments which fail to cover it. Yes, the Down-Home-Country Whore must be certain to imply her country-ness by selecting plaid work shirts, tied snugly beneath the bosom, and by carefully selecting footwear. Cowboy boots are appropriate, as are work boots, but more importantly, the sexy exterior must be maintained.

This is achieved by wearing boots which reach the knee, or surpass it. The result is a sultry look of farmhand meets Anna Nicole Smith meets Paris Hilton. Which, come to think of it, might make Paris Hilton quite happy, if you know what I mean...

The Idiot Child and Irresponsible Parent Combo Platter, Jumbo-sized and Good to Go

There are many varieties of this final category, beginning with the annoying and proceeding deep into the "If only murder wasn't illegal in this state" or "I wish I could still be charged as a juvenile" stage.

The Idiot Child can be any age, sometimes even an adolescent or teenager. This life form desires something, anything, to be given to it immediately, by the nearest adult. Usually it is paired with an Irresponsible Parent, who allows the Idiot Child to roam free around the fair alone, accosting other adults for treats, assistance, or attention. The Irresponsible Parent solves his or her problems by putting as much food as possible into the mouth of the Idiot Child. The Idiot Child is therefore the size of a small killer whale. If, however, the level of ADD dwarfs the level of food consumption, the child is wiry. The parents may be emaciated out of the sheer stress of having such a high maintenance child, or they too are obese, caused by a manic habit of drowning anxiety with food.

These are the people who race around the barns, knocking over gates, spooking animals, frightening hapless reporters. These are the people who dump reporter's bags into puddles where their electronic devices become drowned in questionable substances.

These are people who run food booths that give poor, unfortunate reporters food poisoning, leaving them sprawled on their bathroom floors, regaining consciousness only long enough to throw up the sip of water they had consumed in between fainting spells. Oh yes. That was my post-fair weekend.

So I suppose it can be understood that, now that I have typed up all fair results, now that I have washed every article of clothing (including the footwear) that passed through the gates of the fairgrounds, I really only want to pretend that the fair never happened. I want to have my mother's selective memory, to block out the horrific events that plague my nightmares. But I can't. All I can do is thank God and Becky that I only have to cover one fair a year, and that I have a whole year until the fair comes again.

But that's too little time, I think, for me to want to see a pig before next summer.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

If the Sock Fits...

So life has reached a better level recently, because I discovered something. Something marvelous.

I can knit socks.

I love it! I am more relaxed when I have a set of needles in my hands, wool with a built-in pattern, and a good episode of Monk in the DVD player.

I have finished my first sock, it fits, and it looks marvelous. I could never have anticipated the joy of decreasing and increasing stitches, the kitchner bind-off which leaves no seam, and the smooth, glossy pages of my new Nancy Bush pattern book. Perfection!

A perfect relief after the horror of the fair.

Tuesday I had to go take pictures and record the results of all the competitions. I worked hard to get all the names right, all the breeds of cattle, pigs, and other livestock down straight in my notebook. I braved crowds, ate elephant ears, everything I needed to do to fit in with the group.

And then it rained.

I was soaked to the skin. My shoes squeaked. And I was pretty sure the mud I kept sliding around in wasn't really mud at all... And the mad heifer that got loose tried to kick me and kill me, and it took thirty guys to finally pin him (it?) to the wall. And the cell phone got soaked and wouldn't turn on, much to my horror, and it took until just now to turn on, though it keeps turning back off and I am gravely concerned.

So today I made a decision. I would pull out my boots, my Docs, and wear a pair of old jeans. I would put my stuff in my Ugly Brown Bag, the bookbag I bought because it was so drab I thought it was cute. I would slap the pigs to keep them moving (yeah, that never happened) and make myself fit in completely.

But then the pig chased me, squealing, I fell in grossness, and then the real horror occured. My bag, the Ugly Brown Bag, was knocked over into the mud and into, far worse than mud, the water. But the most terrible thing was this: my digital voice recorder was balanced neatly on the top of the bag. It fell into the puddle. The guy who knocked it over laughed at me, at the dripping recorder, and walked away. The bag was soaked, my notes were soaked, everything from the emergency poncho I had brought (after the horror of yesterday) to the camera to the new sock was soaked. And the bag was filthy, perhaps coated in something worse than mud, but I don't know.

I am finally dry, the sock is safe.

But the fair is now EVIL. I will never enjoy such a horrible thing again. Gone are the days when I could look out at the pens of cows and rabbit cages to smile at the little furry things with soft noses. I cannot look at a pig, no matter what a cute face they had, without having a sense of dread.

I am a city girl.

I came home and scrubbed myself with every soap I could find, I tossed my filthy clothing into the basement as quickly as possible.

I petted my puppy, who is CLEAN compared to the horror.

I knitted.

And now I am going back to my tiny tube, to add on three more inches and stop for the evening when it's time to turn the heel. Tomorrow I will take pictures, I will get results, and then I will GET OUT. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

And if a chicken so much as looks at me, I am stopping at KFC on the way home, to revel in the sweet taste of vengence and mashed potatoes.

Friday, July 7, 2006

And I have no life, so...

I shop for shoes.

I love shoes.

I switch pairs several times a day, just for kicks.

And buying new shoes is the best feeling in the world.

I love using the waterproofing spray to protect my footwear from the dew found on my lawn first thing in the morning. I love polishing them with the special balms I keep just for that purpose. I adore keeping them perfectly and trancendantly clean at all times, even the bottoms, and have been known to, in cleaning the visible portion of the shoe, continue on to cleanse the bottoms as well. Just in case.

And I buy shoes regardless of the clothing I have to match them, because I organize my wardrobe around my shoe collection.

So you can imagine the problems which are about to erupt in my house. Why, you ask? Why problems, Laura?

You see, the only thing Laura loves more than buying shoes is having pets. As many as possible. It is my lifetime goal to be the Crazy Cat Lady on someone's block. But not just with cats, because I also love dogs, and turtles and hampsters and birds and rabbits and cows and sheep and goats and just about every other living creature in the world--except I prefer the endoderms to the ectoerms. Just a personal preference there.

And when my dog, Patches, died last year, I was miserable. I thought I would never get another dog; I loved her too much to ever reach a point at which another dog would be welcome.

But things change.

Patches was almost fifteen when she died, which is old for an outside dog. She was a Dalmation/Border Collie mix, and was the most adorable dog ever to be found. I couldn't imagine ever finding a dog so wonderful, even if she did constantly carry around fallen trees which were triple her length, often turning her head to smack innocent bystanders in the back of the knees. And even if she did find a dead groundhog head and present it to my mother on Groundhog Day (dead serious here, folks). And even if she did roll on dead things, the freshly-fertilized field across the street, or my little brother's face after he fell and broke his leg. She was a great dog.

But I started getting a little tug at my heart in March. Something that made me wonder...
I wanted a puppy.

Now my dad has always hated animals. Some kind of childhood indocrination. But Mom has been a dog-person since birth and wouldn't stop until we got Patches. Dad hated Patches, yelled at her (reducing me to tears) and kept her at arms length, even though Patch loved him, big-time.
I never thought he would cave.

But I had a secret weapon I never knew about, stashed away.

See, when I was younger, I had this sweet little face with big brown eyes (gosh, what happened there? I sure peaked early) and I could look up at Dad, say please, and he would give me anything I wanted. I just assumed that, once I reached adulthood, or even pretend-adulthood, this look would no longer be effective. In fact, I was sure it would only bring pain to me by making Dad incredibly angry.

But I looked up at Dad one day, said, "You know what would really make me happy?"

"What?" he asked.

I concluded, "A puppy."

And he said OKAY.

So now we have Darcy (that's her in the profile picture--like a little bear cub). She is an adorable puppy; I love her and have no idea how we survived without her.

But there had been a huge gap in between our initial puppy experience and this new one.

Puppies are hard work.

Every day, Mom is up at six to take Darcy out. Then she tries to get the puppy to go back to sleep, which never works because Darcy knows Mom is a sucker, and all she has to do is whine once to get out of the crate and have fun. So Mom has to wake me up (or Paul) so Darcy can have someone to watch her while Mom sleeps a little more. And the second Mom leaves the room, Darcy falls back to sleep again. So no one gets the sleep they want, ever.

And she loves to chew. On anything or anyone that comes into her path. And this shows no sign of stopping any time soon, and although we have done everything in our power to keep her chewing on the right things, there is always a moment where she slips up and gnaws on something else, like people-fingers or--guess what?

My shoes.

Yesterday I caught her with an insert, today I caught her giving a flip-flop a test-nibble.

I am afraid my babies are about to become the victims of my baby.

But this has accomplished a glorious feat, one I have been waiting for my entire life.

It has given me a reason to put my shoes away, instead of leaving them by the door. And for that, I'm sure Mom is eternally grateful.

Thursday, July 6, 2006


So I went to see Darla today, and cried and cried. She tried to help with the self-esteem thing. I hope it works. At least I'm doing something about it. Life would be way worse if I did nothing, you know?

I just hope something changes.

See, I need to work on my relationship with my Dad. And I'm a little scared to do it. I am afraid to talk to him about anything, for fear he will get angry with me, which is the most terrible thing I can imagine in my life. So that won't be happening for a while. And when it does, I think Darla will need to be there to facilitate. Because I can't really have any conflict with Dad at all, unless I want him to get angry, interrupt me, and never listen to anything I have said.

I really don't think he reads this blog, no one in my family does even though I have asked them to, but if he is reading it now, know that I will come to you, Dad, when the time is right, and I am not angry at you nor do I have any grievences with you.

Saturday, July 1, 2006


I have recently realized that I have what could possibly be considered the lowest self esteem known to mankind.

This is an unfortunate thing to discover, especially when it follows a long line of other unpleasant discoveries, such as the amount to which I loathe my Grandma B and the fact that I haven't been able to feel angry or to actually cry because I'm truly sad for years.

I started to wonder, a few weeks ago, when the anxiety got real bad again, why I was made this way. I thought for a long time, and finally came to the conclusion that I really need therapy. So that's what I'm doing now. Therapy.

My counselor, Darla, says that journaling (and by this she doesn't mean starting a diary and making it into the beginnings of a new novel as I usually do) can help a person come to heart of their problems, and mine is self esteem.

I suck as a human being. I can tell you that and feel in my heart that it is true. No one seems to understand this when I tell them so in person, but it's true.

I know I am a disappointment, a failure, and idiot. I may not have proven it to the world yet, but it's coming. I know that one day all the people who love me will realize this and do what they should by all estimation have done when Baby Laura was placed in her little hospital crib in front of the big nursery window at the hospital: they'll see who I am and run away from the demon they once thought they had known.

I hate myself for many reasons, most of which would cause my friends to laugh. "How can anyone think they deserve only bad things to happen to them, really?" they would laugh. "She must be joking." But I'm not. That means no one should laugh.

I must be some kind of a liar, since everyone seems to think I'm smart, talented, successful. I should be a criminal, if I can get so many people fooled. Or a lawyer, a polition, an actress, something that utilizes my real talents. If I can't be me in front of anyone, why shouldn't I just embrace it?

"Why would anyone give me a job doing anything?" I keep asking myself. It's no wonder I do terribly in interviews for jobs. If I wouldn't hire me, why would I think anyone else would?
When I was born, someone somewhere slapped me with an "Ugly" sticker, the mark that makes all other people recognize the freaks of nature in the world and leads to the natural avoidance we all have for the crazed, the unclean, the flawed. My classmates in elementary, junior high, high school, and even college have seen this mark and run from it. And who could blame them? They avoided lepers for a reason, back in the middle ages, and that reason applies today. I was taken from my plastic baby hospital prison and placed in a different one from the babies called Stephanie, Julia, Elizabeth. Good old Laura was placed with the other gremlin babies, seperated from the herd. And I don't blame anyone for doing it.

I am trying so hard to convince myself that I have friends who care about me, no matter what, but it isn't working. Some days I look up at the ceiling when I wake up in the morining and say, "Well, I'm not dead yet," and feel cheated, dissapointed. The way I see it, I can't fix the problems I have or the world has with me, so why bother making everyone wish I was different? Why not just give in?

I can remember, in a dress fitting once, somone told me I was pretty. I couldn't believe they were saying it. I had to keep saying, "It's the dress, it would look pretty on anyone," and I kept highlighting the physical flaws I couldn't stop seeing. When I left, I had decided that they didn't mean my face, just everything from the neck down, and only that because of what the dress was doing to help things out. I went home from the shop wishing no one had said anything about me or the dress and prayed that my cousin wouldn't put me in the front of any wedding pictures.

Now that I'm a little older, I don't even believe that. I now think that the woman was just trying to earn her commission.

I keep thinking, "Why on earth would anyone in their right mind bother to date me?" I know I don't deserve anyone's attention, and the idea of someone giving me any time which they could spend doing something more interesting or productive makes me feel a little sorry for the people who think they have to settle for me. I don't deserve it. I wish I could pretend I did. This is why I never dated anyone. I only am starting to now because I seem to have found the one nice guy in the entire world, and it would be a shame to give up entirely on happiness, even the momentary kind.

The therapist has her work cut out for her, is all I can say.

And all of this comes up just because I tried today. I actually tried to be pretty, stylish, classy. And I really don't think it worked. I mean, it was better than the norm, but not really. I was what I always am, just another face in the crowd of humanity.

And I know people will think, "What is this?" when they read this blog, but these are the thoughts that live in my brain. If you know a way to get them out, I'd love to hear about it.

What the hail?


My old phone was ringing, and since it is older than I am, I had to move fast.

I dove over the puppy, dodged my brother, and grabbed the receiver before the phone gave up hope of human intercession and stopped ringing.

It was dear Becky."Laura!" she said."Becky!" I replied."I need you to go cover something," she continued. "They're testing the water down at the public access site in Manchester. Just go, get some pictures, maybe talk to some people, whatever."

"Sure!"I got on my shoes, styled my hair, and hopped in the car.

Two minutes later:

Thunder boomed over my car.

Minutes passed, hail began, the little gray car I drove had begun to pour water onto the passenger seat. As I had no passenger, I moved my belongings and allowed the water to soak the chair.

I realized after driving past the Roann gas station that the level of gas my car currently had in its tank was nearing the level of emergency. Not only had it reached the "E," it had passed it, coming to rest on the bright red emergency fill-up-your-tank-right-now line. But it was pouring sheets of rain outside, and I wasn't about to stop until I could get to a place with a canopy I could stand underneath.

North Manchester

The rain had worsened, hail battered my car. A steady stream of water poured through my windshield. The soggy Wendy's napkins had fallen out of the cracks where I had stuffed them in a futile attempt to stop the flow of rain. They lay defeated on the floor of my car, where I am certain they will remain until Dad decides I'm a total slob and cleans my car for me. This should happen within the next month, after he notices how badly my oil needs changing and does that, too.

I stopped for gas. At this point I realized that the level of water had exceeded ankle level on the ground, my legs and feet were icy cold and very, very wet. Now I had to pump gas.

As I did so, the wind picked up. Rain blew under the canopy, drenching me completely, from head to toe. I punched in the payment information, threw my gas cap on my tank, and ran back to the car.

Unfortunately, the car had taken the moisture which had fallen into the vehicle and it had evaporated, fogging the windshield completely. Since the defrost in my vehicle does not work, I was forced to roll down the windows on either side of the car. Now I was off to cover the event which I was certain had been canceled due to the fact that rain and hail were coming through my windows and assaulting me.

There was no one at the river.

So I went to the office, sat down, and wrote this out.

Becky, you know now how dedicated I am to you and to this newspaper. Otherwise, I would have called you back when I was in Roann, laughed at you, and turned around to go back home and sit with my puppy. I would have knit the case I'm making for Dad's Irish whistle and fought to keep the wool (from the Peruvian Highlands) from going into little Darcy's puppy mouth. I would have been warm and dry.

However, if I had given up like that, I wouldn't have had blog material, and for that, at least, I am grateful.