Wednesday, January 19, 2005

“No, I’m not ready, I have no makeup on… but things are getting better!”

The Movie: Grey Gardens, 1975 (documentary; Ellen Hovde, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Muffie Meyer, directors)
Who says it: Socialite Edith Bouvier Beale, Jr.
The context: The filmmakers have come back to Grey Gardens to continue filming Edie and her mother, the elder Edith Bouvier Beale, who are sinking into dementia in a ruined mansion in the Hamptons.
How to use it: To express aggressive levels of optimism in the face of disorder.

This morning's temperature: -7F. I put wax on Dizzy's paws before we went outside, and it seemed to help. Yesterday afternoon, Anna and I went out to look at some used furniture, and when we came back, the lock on my apartment door was frozen. Handy to have one's landlady along when things like this happen... we went right down to Harvey's Hardware to buy some De-Icer.

The De-Icer itself is alarming, labeled as it is -- "POISON," “BREATHING & INGESTION HAZARD,” “FIRE AND EXPLOSION HAZARD,” “DO NOT SWALLOW,” “INHALING CONCENTRATED VAPORS CAN CAUSE DEATH WITHOUT WARNING.” Nevertheless, Anna and I fearlessly sprayed my lock four times before it finally thawed and let me back into the apartment. I'm waiting now to see whether my fingers turn black and fall off.

The endless process of unpacking continues... well, to be honest, I hadn't done any unpacking in a while, so I started back up again yesterday. Happily, I found several items I thought had gone missing, all tossed into a spare wardrobe box.

Opening some of these boxes feels like being a tourist in my own life. I found one labeled "Favorite Books" -- and I couldn't wait to open it, just to remind myself what my favorite books are. In case you're curious, they include my first editions of Kate Vaiden, Fifth Business, Killing Mister Watson, and Marjorie Morningstar, and the Ben Stein novel (The Croesus Conspiracy) he signed to me when I won his money.

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