asakiyume: (Em)
The same day my friend showed me the photo from the previous entry, I had a great encounter in a pharmacy. There were two pharmacy technicians, young women, chatting. One came over to give me the prescription I was picking up, and I saw on her name tag that she had the same surname as Em in Pen Pal, and a really pretty, unusual first name (so unusual that when I typed the whole name just now into Google, a picture of her popped up on the first page of results).

I don't know if you've seen that meme on Twitter that goes

don't say it
don't say it
don't say it
don't say it

And ends with you blurting out the thing, but that was what happened with me. Don't say she has a pretty first name; that's intrusive, I told myself. And DEFINITELY don't mention that her surname is the surname of a character in a story you wrote.

But I did, and she smiled and said, "Oh really? My name? Where does the story take place?" So I told her, describing Mermaid's Hands, and said that it was kind of a fantasy, and she said, "I love fantasy! You know, that was one of the things I wanted to do before I turned twenty-one--write a book. I started, too, and got 2,000 words ... but then I stopped."

"Oh no! Why?"

"Oh, I let a friend read it, and she had so much to say. She was really sarcastic."

"That stinks! What a terrible friend!"**

"I know, right? The story was about the four elements, and now I see so many stories like that! If I had only finished it. . ."

"So maybe if you write your next idea? It sounds like you're tapped into what people want to read."

... I love encounters like that.

**I really believe this. When a beginning writer gives you something to read, it's terrible to close them down like that. I'm not talking about a situation where you're in a writer's group together and sharing critiques, or if an experienced writer asks you to beta read something--that's different. (Though even then there are ways and ways of giving criticism.) But if a friend shares something they've created with you, you don't shit all over it, any more than you would if they showed you their first photos or their first pottery or knitted item or sketch. If the thing genuinely appalls you, there are still ways of begging off without giving the creator a world of grief.
asakiyume: (man on wire)
In the supermarket the other day, a mom scolded her baby, who was sitting in the little seat at the front of the shopping cart, when the baby leaned down and started chewing on the cart handle. "Don't do that! You don't know where that's been!" the mom exclaimed.

AND HOW RIGHT SHE IS! Just **think** of the adventures shopping carts get up to!

The cart you are sitting in right now, baby, may recently have been sunning itself on the beach...


(source)

Or it may have been tangling with rival gangs in shadowed alleys... (though your shopping cart seemed more hale and hearty than this one)



(source)

It may have been for a refreshing swim...



(source, an old LJ friend's journal)

Or perhaps spent time communing with the mountains...

Abandoned Shopping Cart At The Banff Railway Station

(click through for source, Flickr user "Malcolm").

Baby, if we were to give you a blessing, it might be to travel as widely as a shopping cart.
asakiyume: (turnip lantern)
I was at an event last week, a breakfast event, and I was sitting at a table with people I didn't know, but we were all making conversation, and somehow the talk turned to animal visitors, and one woman started talking about how a squirrel had been paying them visits over the summer:
I left the window open, and there's no screen, but I didn't worry about anything getting in because we're on the second floor. But I had a bowl of nuts on the kitchen table, and it kept on going down. I kept on refilling it--I thought my husband was eating the nuts. But it was a squirrel. A squirrel was coming in and eating the nuts! But you know, squirrels are like cats. If they like you, they'll leave you something, as a present. Better than a cat's present! Well I guess the squirrel liked us, because one day I came into the kitchen and there was a doughnut on the table.

"Is this your doughnut?" I asked my husband.

"No, it's not mine. I thought it was your doughnut."

"If it was my doughnut, do you think it would be sitting here, uneaten?"

It was the squirrel. It had had so many of our nuts, it decided to leave us a doughnut.

Now maybe the squirrel just happened to be carrying a doughnut it had pilfered from somewhere else, and it set it down to much on some more of this woman's nuts and then scampered off in a panic, forgetting its doughnut. But I really like the woman's interpretation of the events.
asakiyume: (miroku)
[personal profile] sartorias's really moving entry on places she's lived and what became of them reminded me of a conversation I had yesterday when I went out looking for an iron. I'd been ironing, and mine had given up the ghost, just one sleeve short of a finished shirt. (You know what that means! I finished ironing that sleeve by heating up my cast-iron skillet on the stove. We need full use of all our limbs in this household.)

There were no irons at the supermarket and no irons at the CVS, but at the Dollar Store I hit the jackpot. The cashier, a woman maybe in her forties, was chatty, so I told her the story of ironing the remaining sleeve, and she expressed delight at meeting someone else who used a cast iron skillet and said it was good thinking. I said, "Well, it's what the old irons were made of, after all. My grandmother had a couple of them--she used them as doorstops."

"My great grandmother had some of those, and she used them as doorstops too! She used them to keep us out of her bedroom," the cashier exclaimed. "But I can't picture using one as an actual iron."

"You know those old cast-iron stoves? They used to put the iron right on that, and then when it was hot, you could use it."

"My great-grandmother had one of those stoves!" the cashier said, eyes shining.

"So she could have used the irons as actual irons," I said. "Where did she live?"

"Oh, over in Bondsville. You know where 'the grog shop' is? Across the street from that. It's totally different now though. After she died no one wanted the house--except me; I wanted it, but I couldn't afford it--so they sold it. The new owners totally changed it. I look at it, and it's not--it's just not the same house."

--All that's left are memories and shared stories. But sometimes those can be so vivid, like [personal profile] sartorias's, or the cashier's, and when you share them, they live in someone else's mind, too.

Here's a tailor's stove with an iron on it, courtesy of --Kuerschner 17:20, 1 March 2008 (UTC) - own work, own possession, Public Domain, Link

asakiyume: (man on wire)
Sometimes things happen like this:
I and a couple of others were waiting for a bus of Japanese high-school students at the Basketball Hall of Fame. We were part of the group that was hosting them/showing them around. While we waited, a local kid (high school senior), hurried into the museum, followed a few minutes later by his mother, with money for lunch. She'd driven him there, but he'd rushed in without money, and she wanted him to be able to get food.

Her mission accomplished, the mom didn't leave, but struck up a conversation, talking about her kids' (the son and his younger siblings and older sister) experience of school, kids getting labeled as troublemakers, racism (she was Black), the difference between being African American and being Afro Caribbean (her husband's from Jamaica) and so on.

I really enjoyed talking with her. We talked for a long time--basically until the bus with the Japanese students arrived--and afterward I was pondering why people confide in strangers. Here are some thoughts:

  1. We talk to family and friends about problems, but if the problems are intractable or complicated or long term, then our family and friends can eventually know them intimately. They can be fatigued hearing the same litany of stuff from us--but the problem still weighs on us and we can want relief, and for some of us, talking provides relief.

  2. A stranger doesn't have years of experience with us that might undercut the story we're telling (at least in their eyes); they don't remember the times we failed to keep a promise or the time we were too terrified to get on the roller coaster or the time we hollered at our kids in a supermarket. If the stranger's willing to give us a sympathetic listen, they're likely to be totally in our corner.

  3. A stranger probably won't make irksome suggestions, but if they do make suggestions, they won't come with a whole lot of historical baggage attached--not like when our parents tell us for the seventy-millionth time that maybe we should try using the envelope method of budgeting or our smugly relationship-ensconced friend gives us dating advice. It's much easier to consider a stranger's suggestion on its merits **or** to just dismiss it.

I haven't ever really talked at length about personal problems to a stranger in person, but I've done it online--for some of these reasons ... I don't do it anymore, in part because nowadays, in the places I'm active online, I'm not in the company of strangers anymore, and also I guess because the airing of problems doesn't give me relief or clarity in the way it once did.

What about you all, though? Thoughts on why people confide in strangers?

traveling

Oct. 9th, 2018 10:38 am
asakiyume: (autumn source)
For reasons that would make a good story, which I will tell any of you if I see you in person, but which I won't go into here, we made a journey to Canada yesterday.

That is a long trip for a day trip, may I just say, but anyway. We encountered some interesting people along the way.

The Leaf Lady

She was from England. We encountered her at a a rest stop and information center on the interstate in Vermont. She was here, apparently, for the foliage, which is looking pretty magnificent in northern Vermont right now, but my phone got itself in a tizzy trying to update operating systems, so NO PHOTOS.

Leaf Lady: Excuse me, where are the leaves?

Visitor Center Staff Person: There's a board out front that tracks the foliage. It's best in the Northeast Kingdom right now.

Leaf Lady: All right. How far is it to Kingdom?

VCSP: You're entering it now.

Leaf Lady: And so I'll see leaves?

VCSP: Well, it's overcast today, so it may not seem as impressive, but yes.

Us, mentally: THERE ARE BEAUTIFUL LEAVES LITERALLY ALL AROUND YOU.

We made up a story that one of her children, who likes mountain biking and free running and recaning old chairs and making cheese, came to the United States and married a Vermonter and wanted her to see this beautiful place, but the mom is very suburban and didn't really want to come and this is her passive-aggressive resistance.

That center had a school parent-teacher group raising money by offering fresh coffee and baked goods fro a donation. Excellent.

The anti-tourism border guard

We crossed into Canada at a very small crossing point. There were no other cars on the road, and only one border guard, a young woman in her twenties.

Border Guard: And what is the purpose of your trip to Canada today?

Thanks to Wakanomori's research, we had a good answer to this question.

Wakanomori: We're going to see the museum in Coaticook.

Or was it a good answer

Border Guard (incredulous): No one goes to see the museum in Coaticook!

Wakanomori (laughing): Uh, well, we are.

Me (piping up from the passenger's seat): It's a holiday in the United States.

Border Guard: It is here, too: Thanksgiving.

Me: Hmmm. I wonder if the museum will be open, then...

Border Guard: And where are you from again? Massachusetts? And you're coming up just to see the museum?

Wakanomori: It's a long story.

Border Guard: I have all day!

Wakanomori then told her the story of how he and the older kids had biked this route to Canada years ago, and how he'd noticed about the museum then, and....

Border Guard: I see--so you're retracing your steps! Well, enjoy yourself. Maybe you can get some honey or cheese!

Interestingly, we saw a place selling honey a little further along the road--so we could have!

The gas station attendants

These were boys who looked to me like maaaaybe they were 14 or so, but I guess they must have been older? They were full of life and smiles, and they were going to pump our gas! It wasn't a self-serve station. Going to Colombia has emboldened me in languages that I'm not fluent in, so I tried out my rusty, rusty French: "Avez vous une salle de bain?" And he answered me in French and pointed out where the bathroom was! 通じた!(This handy word means literally, it passed through and more accurately, I made myself understood. THE BEST FEELING)

The man at the museum
The museum had a definite shut vibe to it, though there were other people walking the grounds when we got there. We rang the doorbell, as requested by the sign. After a bit a man appeared and told us, politely and with a smile but at length, that he was desolé and that it was un dommage, but the museum was closed. We nodded and thanked him but he kept apologizing, and in that moment all I could think of for "we understand" was 分かりました and entendemos.

The fox spirit
On the grounds of the museum, the healing angel spied a fox. It ran under the museum porch, but then came out again and ran up some stone steps leading up a hill behind the museum. It was very tall for a fox, with long, graceful legs. It stood on the steps halfway up the hill and regarded us, very foxy. Then it ran the out of sight. It was a prince among foxes, a god, a spirit.

Annnd then we came on home, long drive back. Hope you all had a wonderful Indigenous People's Day/Thanksgiving/Monday.
asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
I generally like, or at least don't mind, people talking to me, but I *do* notice when it's out of the ordinary. Today, I have the distinct impression that I'd inadvertently sprinkled myself with talk-to-me powder.

First in the supermarket, a girl stocking the shelves, looked up as I approached and said, "Is it raining outside?" (It's not; it's a sunny day.)

"No," I told her, "It's still clear out."

"It's just... " she indicated a rumbling noise coming from overhead. "It sounds like thunder."

"Hmmm, yeah, it does. Could it be the air conditioning units?" We mused for a few minutes more and then I went on with my shopping.

Next, as I was gazing abstractedly at the grass-fed beef, a man came up to me and said, "Is this the grass-fed beef?"

"Yes, all of this," I said. There were about three shelves of little one-pound packages.

"Oh! And it's only $7.00 a pound! That's better than at [competitor supermarket]. Over there it's $9.00."

"Then this is a bargain," I said, though I don't really know what constitutes a bargain in the area of sustainably raised beef. In the end I didn't buy any--I don't know whether the man did or not.

Last was at the farm stand across the way from the supermarket. There's a young guy staffing it, vaguely familiar looking. He obviously had the same feeling about me, because he abruptly said,

"Whose mom are you? You look really familiar."

"What year did you graduate?" I ask back, and it's the same year as my youngest, which is complicated, because (a) she detested high school, and (b) about six months after graduating--and moving overseas--she came out as trans female.... which means her classmates knew her as a boy.

Always in these situations I have to make a snap decision: go into the story, or don't go into the story. This kid seemed friendly enough, but I have no idea what kind of relationship he and my youngest had, or if they even crossed paths. So I asked him if he knew [child's old name] and he said yes, that they'd been in band together.

"Tell him I say hello," he said.

"What's your name?" I asked.

He told me. I reported the whole thing to my youngest via messages. She said asking abrupt questions was very much that guy's personality. I said maybe it wasn't him; after all, I'd been wearing talk-to-me powder.
asakiyume: (nevermore)
I was waiting at a park that I had gradually intuited was the place a protest against family separation had been moved to. It was about ten minutes before the protest was scheduled to begin, and not all that much was happening. There was a banner, though, with an Audre Lorde quote ("Your silence will not protect you"), and a few people hanging around, including about five very buff cyclists, clustered together on their bikes.

A woman, slightly older than me, came up to me. "Is this where the protest is?" I said I thought so and made some joke about wandering around the original location in confusion.

She nodded, moved off, and then came back, remarking that it was too bad the cyclists were in the way.

"Maybe they're here for the protest," I said.

"No, they gather here every Thursday. I told them they should leave."

She said it without rancor, as if it was normal to tell people to leave a public park.

"Oh I don't know--I think they're good. They swell the crowd," I said, trying to make light of the whole thing.

"It's a problem every Thursday," she said.

Then a friend of mine showed up, and my attention went to my friend--but next to me, I heard the woman trying her anti-cyclist gambit on another person.

"I'm a cyclist," the new person said.

"But you don't understand; this is a problem every Thursday," the anti-cyclist insisted.

Annnd.... then the the leader of the cyclist group, I guess having figured that his gang were all there, announced the route they'd be riding, and off they went. They honestly could not have been more innocuous. They weren't riding around terrorizing people. They were meeting up in a public park--and then they left! The one woman's animus was so strange!

There were some good speakers at the demonstration, and some people with very good signs. I was somewhat depressed by the turnout--it was hundreds and I'd thought there might be thousands, but maybe this just means I'm out of touch. ... Anyway, onward and upward, keep trying, etc.

asakiyume: (turnip lantern)
I took my car to the mechanic's yesterday, all dressed in my running gear, because I planned to run a back route back to my house. The mechanic's dad drove up just as I was about to set off and offered me a ride home--he's such a gent; he's given me a ride home in the past. I told him no, this time I was going to get my exercise, but we chatted for a few minutes anyway. The mechanic is about my age (maybe slightly younger... everyone who is about my age is actually slightly younger), and his dad is about my dad's age--with many fewer teeth but more high spirits.

I love the dad--I love talking to him about his past in this town, when it was really a tiny rural farming community. I told him I'd seen a community TV interview with him about going to the one-room schoolhouse they used to have in town. "Oh yeah," he said. "No heat, no running water. Just a wood stove. If you were bad, you had to split the wood for it, so guess who had to split a lot of wood?"

He told me one time he put another kid's boot into the fire! ... Pranks are different when you have a wood stove in the mix!

I was thinking about how different his school experience was from my dad's. My dad went to school in Lexington, Massachusetts. Running water, heat in winter, no splitting wood, no outhouses. Same state, different worlds.
asakiyume: (snow bunting)
A car, marigold-orange, with a black stripe on the hood, coming up the hill. It was low and sleek. "Must be some kind of fancy-pants car," I thought. "I wonder what it is."

As it came closer, I saw that it had "MUSTANG" written on its windshield in huge letters. So that's what it was. Thank you, car, for answering my question. If all cars would label themselves that way, it would be much easier for car-blind people like me to identify them.

A shadow of a bird, passing over me. I looked up but couldn't see anything. Then a couple of moments later, a crow. Its shadow was so far ahead of it! It landed in a tree and cawed. Good morning to you too, crow.

Another runner, an old man in bright green and blue, who runs like he's about to collapse but who manages great distances. I waved, he said "Good morning! How are you?" "Pretty good," I said. "How about you?" "I'll be good soon," he said, smiling.
asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
I was driving to the post office, and I noticed that the car in front of me had a sticker of Garnet, from Steven Universe, on the back of the car. Also, the car was from out of state.

Garnet



I haven't watched much Steven Universe, but I've really enjoyed the few episodes I've seen. I felt warmly toward that car. Then, coincidence of coincidences, it turned into the post office parking lot too. "Wow, someone from New York is going to the post office here in B'town," I thought, and also, "I can tell them how much I like their Garnet sticker." I followed the driver into the post office. They got in line; I had to fill out a customs form, so I was standing nearby.

"Excuse me," I said.

"Oh!" they said, startled, and made to get out of my way.

"No, no--you're fine! I just wanted to say, I really like your Garnet sticker, on your car."

"Oh!" they said again, but a pleased and happy one this time. "Thanks!"

Then it was their turn at the counter. On their way out they smiled at me and said goodbye.

I had no clue what gender, if any, they were, but they inhabited their skin and their space with a pleasant, easy charm. They looked more or less like this:

asakiyume: (glowing grass)
I went running on the rail trail today and caught these bits of conversation as I passed walkers or was passed by bikers:

" ... since the last election ..."

" ... nice, don't have to worry about cars..."

" ... can talk to anybody ... "

" ... was really awesome, like from the dawn of time ..."

At an area with a port-a-potty:

Mother: "No, I'm going to use the toilet."
Kid: "Then I'll just bike in circles here."

ETA: Only just remembered: two girls, one singing chords, going "Drunnn, Drunnn, Drunnn, Drunnn," and another girl starting up with Journey's "Don't Stop Believing"--"Just a small-town boy..."

The portion of the trail I was running on was lovely and shaded, with bits of sun dappling down. These were like conversation dapples, just flashing on me as I (or they) went by.
asakiyume: (Em reading)
A friend on Tumblr introduced me to this short-film series by Cecile Emeke, "Strolling," which Emeke describes as "connecting the scattered stories of the black diaspora."

These videos let you fall into conversation with complete strangers. It's not really conversation, of course; it's monologue (even in the first one embedded below, each of the people takes turns talking to you-the-viewer rather than talking to each other), but the intensity with which they address you, and the inherent interest of the things they're talking about, make you feel like it's important you're there.

All of the conversations are with people of color, and so all of them talk about the experience of *being* a person of color--but not (mainly) in the United States: elsewhere. As [livejournal.com profile] aliettedb and others have pointed out, racism in the United States is not the only style and pattern of racism, and it's really enlightening to hear people talk about what it's like elsewhere.

But that's not the only thing that the people talk about by any means. The young woman in France talks about how what makes fast-food jobs so exhausting is the emotional effort of being sociable and smiling all the time, and about what makes something true, and the two in Jamaica talk about Patois and the language of education there, for example. I've only watched the two below, but I love them and intend to watch the rest, a bit at a time.








asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
The guys who oversee the town transfer station (aka the town dump, but some stuff does get transferred for recycling) keep warm in a tiny room attached to the big pit where the nonrecyclable trash gets tossed. You go in there to buy town trash bags or to renew the sticker for your car that lets you go there. Inside, a TV is often on, and, at this time of year, there's a three-bar heater running.

There are two guys there: one is in his sixties and the other is in his thirties. I was renewing my car sticker, which meant showing my registration. "Oh, you live in Drowned Woods.1 I always get lost driving there," the young guy says. "You know," says the older guy, "I used to go hunting up there, before it was developed. I knew every twist and turn, every stone and tree. But not now."

And then we got to talking, and he told some awesome stories about the town, 50 years ago. When he was little, a grand house that's now down the hill from the town common was right on the common. (It was bought for a dollar and moved to its present location in two halves, for $30,000. Now it's apartments.)

the two-headed calf )

He went on to speculate that they must have belonged to the women's now-deceased husbands or sons. Sure, that's what it must have been ;-)

I asked him about a building that's falling down by the railroad tracks where I used to tap maple trees.

a blacksmith )

Getting to hear town history from an old-timer is so wonderful.

1Not its real name. The development is named after one of the drowned Quabbin towns.


asakiyume: (snow bunting)






(Which, one hopes, aren't resolutions of convenience...)

I went into a convenience store on January 1 to buy a bottle of red wine, and the guys at the counter and I had a round of happy-new-year wishes, and I said something like, "May it be a good one," and then one of the guys said,

"Yeah, my resolution this year is not to settle." Good resolution, I thought (though--because I'm constitutionally unable to keep from putting riders and qualifications on statements like this--I think "settling" is created in your own head. The same action can be settling, or not, depending on how you make up your mind to feel about it.)

"Mine is to do the hard things," I said. "Here's to success for both of us."

"Yeah!" he said.

----

So yeah, that's my amorphous, large-scale goal.

Slightly less amorphous than that is the goal to make significant progress on my new novel. I didn't do too well with that goal last year (didn't do much writing at all last year), but maybe this year will be better.

Even more fine-grained goal: utilize my library's free Mango Language account to learn Spanish. I've started on this! Maybe I should make the goal to do a lesson at least three times a week. What I can say so far that I didn't already know: Estoy bien.

I may also work up a running goal (meaning: a goal related to running) but I haven't got one yet.


asakiyume: (bluebird)
The healing angel has an English assignment he really doesn't like: he has to have someone he knows tell him a story of personal heroism--they have to tell him about something they did that's heroic. It doesn't have to be capital-h heroic; it can be everyday heroism ... the point (if I understand it right) is to think about what heroism is and how it can be present in anyone's life.

We talked about it a while. What sparked in my mind was a world filled with heroes, how everyone surely does have stories--though I think lots of people have been too beaten down or derided to feel bold enough to acknowledge their own heroism.

I had to pick up something the next town over, and I got it into my head that I'd ask--if I could do it without making the people I asked too uncomfortable--about heroism.

I asked two people. One was a woman at the cash register at a shop where I bought something. The other was a guy sitting on a stoop collecting money in a plastic cup. I was really tentative both times, asked if it was okay to ask a strange question, etc. etc.

The woman at the cash register was nonplussed. "A story of heroism, huh? I don't know; I've never thought about it. That's a really hard question!"

"Should I let you off the hook? It's okay if nothing comes to mind," I said.

"Really? Okay! Yeah, it's just--I can't seem to think of anything right now," she said.

"I understand! I don't know what I'd say if someone dropped the question on me, either. I guess it's lucky I'm asking instead of being asked," I said.

She had very pretty red lipstick on and the dramatic eyeliner that's popular these days. That's what I remember about her looks.

The guy on the stoop did have a story for me:

"My daughter had her son taken away from her because she's a heroin addict. So three times a week, I make my way to B-town so I can spend time with him. Whatever he wants to do, even if it's just watch Power Rangers, that's fine by me," he said.

I was practically overcome.

"Wow, that's really great. That really is heroism. Thank you, you've really made my day," I said, and he really had, because what an amazing thing to share.

"You've made mine, too," he said, and extended a hand, and we shook.

What I remember about him was that he had sandy-colored hair and a goatee, and tattoos on his neck.

... Please feel free, but not compelled, to share a story of heroism...


asakiyume: (Iowa Girl)






A few days ago I went in to the nearby supermarket. I went to one cashier whom I like--we always chat a little. She's maybe in her thirties? You won't be able to tell from my sketch, though I'm pleased because it does kind of look like her. She has pretty intense cheekbones.

Anyway, it had been a few days since I'd been in, and when she saw me, she smiled and said, "Good to see you! I haven't seen you in a while!"

This made me so very happy.

Which is just to say, little friendships, or whatever you want to call them--friendly acquaintanceships--can make a difference.



The other encounter was at a Dunkin Donuts. I was waiting in line, and at last it was my turn to order.

"You were the last, but now you're first," the manager said. (He was taking the orders.)

"Wow, like in the Bible," I said.

He gave me a look full of great skepticism. Not sure where the skepticism was aimed but .... anyway, the coffee was great.

Tune in next entry for a very cool poem I heard this morning.


asakiyume: (Iowa Girl)







This conversation played out just moments ago at the local supermarket. Nathan, the cashier at the checkout next to the one I was being rung through in, calls out, "Hey Mancuso, what's our policy on foreign coins?"

"That's a quarter," says Mancuso, from further down the checkout row.

"It's a Canadian quarter," says Nathan.

No answer from Mancuso, so Nathan collars Chris, who is walking by.

"Chris, what do we do about Canadian currency?" Chris passes the buck to Doreen, who is my cashier. (Doreen is the first employee who does not look to be a high school student. She's maybe in her late twenties.)

"Doreen, do we accept Canadian coins? We do, right?" Chris asks. Doreen shrugs. "I always do," she says.

Nathan, still looking doubtful, accepts the quarter.

So there you have it! Canadian currency is good to go in our local supermarket.

Probably just coins, though.


asakiyume: (autumn source)
Neighbors were talking about when leaves fall (some early, some late), and one said, "My father always used to say about oak leaves, 'They don't like to fall until they smell the [Thanksgiving] turkey in the oven.'"

(Some hang on longer; they wait until the next generation come along and give them a push.)

Also: catch a falling leaf and you can make a wish, but what if a falling leaf catches you, and hangs on? This happened to me the other day. Does it get a wish?

asakiyume: (Iowa Girl)






One of my students at the jail was talking about all the stuff she's dealing with, and how alone she feels and what hard going it is.

"I'm carrying around so much luggage with nothing in it," she said.

That hit me instantly. So much crap to lug around, and all the bags are empty.

"That's really poetic," I said. "It says a lot."

She gave me a smile and a seriously? look and said, "You know that's just a phrase, right? A thing people say when they're high: You're tripping without no luggage."

"Hah! No, I didn't know that. I thought it was totally new with you."

But a little later I realized--should have realized in the moment--that was new with her. The thing everyone says, Tripping without no luggage, is clever, but she's turned it on its head: burdened with luggage with nothing in it.


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