A Bit Part in Somebody Else’s Movie

PrintRick was a jock and Karyn was a cheerleader and I was a freak. That’s how my memory tells the story, but I am only certain about the third statement. It was high school and our tribes did not typically mingle, but somehow Karyn and I became friends. She was in love with Rick, hung up on him, big time. I don’t recall ever talking to him, so don’t know what he thought about her, or anything else.

My friendship with Karyn was sorely tested when she invited me over to hang out, one summer day, at the motel that her family owned or maybe worked at. I was bored and ignored for what felt like eternity, because Rick just happened to show up. In fact – as I realized, to my annoyance – I was there to dupe the parents. Karyn wasn’t allowed to date, or see Rick alone. She invited me over so she could see Rick without repercussions.

By the time we all graduated, I no longer saw Karyn much. I later heard, third hand, that Rick got Karyn pregnant, and broke up with her. I have no idea what their truth was, because I never crossed paths with either of them; nonetheless I filed them in categories: Karyn was ill-used, Rick was cold-hearted. The less one knows, the easier it is to hold a strong opinion…

Over the years, I forgot about Rick, Karyn. Completely. (Although I probably used that second-hand experience as I shaped my views about men, and women, and love.)

Recently – and as out of the blue as things get – I was contacted by Rick. He happened upon mention of me in a college alumni magazine, and from that wound his way to this blog, where he left me a note:

are you the one and very same Sue Perry that was sitting with Karyn *** on a small patch of grass in front of the S* Motel at the edge of the El Camino Real circa 1967-68, in the very middle of a very beautiful summer day while a song by the Byrds was playing on the radio?  This one little scene has stuck in my memory for all of this time (half of a century?!?!).

The instant I saw the names, my own memories rushed back. For me, Rick’s lyrical memory changes my perspective on so many things. First off, I was wrong about Rick (and probably Karyn, too): you don’t remember somebody for 50 years if you didn’t care about them. Then, too, I see I was a bit player in one of their key scenes. A day that gave me brief annoyance hit one of them with such poignancy that it stayed on the top of the memory heap for decades.

Which gets me thinking about all the people around me, living their lives in grazing intersection to mine. About all the pivotal moments that we share without knowing it.

And finally, all this reminds me how glad I am that the internet exists to connect us in ways that would otherwise never happen.

(The WP Daily Prompt asked about music when we were growing up.)


Surely There Is Someone to Sue Over This!

Guess what this is! I’ll give one hint: It is not an heirloom hand-crafted dish:

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For more context, here are a couple others of the same species:

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Here they are shortly after birth:

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What they are: blobs of melted metal. I put a pan of water on the stove to boil for my oatmeal, then messed around on the internet for just a couple minutes, or so it seemed. Clearly I was lured to keep clicking around! I came back to find the pan melting.

I confess that I was tempted – very tempted – to keep the pan on the burner because the melted blobs are smooth and interesting and I want more. I fought my temptation after I envisioned a later stage called pan explosion.

This is not the only pan lid now left bereft. In memorium:

2014-08-08 09.12.09

This seems to happen about once every 18 months, and started about the time I started my blog, which is quite a coincidence!

(The WP Weekly Photo Challenge is Texture.)

If You Want a Life, Don’t Read This

Among all the rabbit holes on the internet, there are a few I find especially deep.

If you are looking for ways to consume hours with no sense of time’s passage, I recommend that you:

  1. subscribe to daily emails from Open Culture, which will notify you about a vast amount of tantalizing free content on the web: classes, books, movies, articles, art, science, politics – whatever your poison you can get it from here.
  2. check out HistoryOrb, where you can see what happened on this day month year in history. Or many other days months years.
  3. play the big (20×20 or 25×25) nonograms here. I find this numbers puzzle so addictive and a big one can take me 15-25 minutes to complete. It is hard to stop with just one and the next thing you know it’s Tuesday. (FYI, currently the game doesn’t work right with Chrome.)

Whatever you do, don’t share your own rabbit holes with me! (You can not share them in the comments below.)

The Daily Prompt: The Normal – Pack Response


Do wolves get bored? Read on to find out.

I’m not much interested in normal. To me, normal is

  • average
  • typical
  • commonplace
  • predictable
  • unimaginative.

However, normal is also

  • fitting in.

On dark days, I feel like everybody else knows the rules but nobody thought to let me know. Even then, though, I don’t want to go normal, I just want to be better informed.

This reminds me of one of my favorite pieces of writing – ever! – composed by my sister in 2nd grade:

One day the wolf was strolling along with the pack
I am not satisfied he said will I have to run around with this pack all my life
So he left he came to a forest he got to a desert
He lay down in the middle he was dying of thirst
Oh he thought if only I had stayed

(This post topic comes from The Daily Prompt.)

The Daily Prompt: Do Not Disturb – the Real Moi

Richard Nixon, a 1 on the trust scale.

Former U.S. President Richard Nixon

How do I manage my on-line privacy? That depends on the kind of privacy. On the trust scale — 1-to-10, 10 being fully open and 1 being Nixon — I have always had to fight against an inner Nixon, so on-line caution has never been difficult for me. I take what I think are sufficient security precautions and I don’t fret about them much. (Note to hackers and identify thieves: the preceding statement was not meant to be a challenge. Hand to heart, I’m not worth your time.)

I’ve struggled with a different kind of privacy. Work versus personal.  When it comes to internet guardedness,  the dealbreaker is whether my friends and connections on the site have tie-ins to my job. Which is not surprising.  It’s a curious system, the work world so many of us dwell in. The majority of our hours are spent with people who do not matter to us, where we display personas that are not entirely us. But that’s another post entirely.

When I started my blog I was determined to just write like me and let what happens, happen. So far, I give myself a B, B- on meeting that intent. I would probably have a higher grade if I did not read my statistics. The temptation to pander can be strong. Although one of my favorite blogging outcomes is the realization that I really can’t predict who will find, read, or like anything.

Not sure what I will do if many people from work start hanging around my blog. (Probably not a big concern- we don’t have much in common.) I haven’t publicized my blog’s existence around the office. When someone has happened onto it, I have so far simply reclassified that colleague as a buddy and kept going.

(This post topic comes from The Daily Prompt.)