Thursday, February 3, 2005

Brought to You By the Letters F and M*

Okay, my brain is doing some interesting hopping around tonight.

First, let's get this out of the way:

Weekend Assignment #46: Make one new rule to apply to the Super Bowl. This new rule can apply to any aspect of the Super Bowl, from the game to the spectators, to the halftime show, to the commercials. If it's got something to do with the Super Bowl, you can make up a rule about it.

Extra Credit: Your pick for winner of the Super Bowl. Naturally, don't bother doing the extra credit if it's Sunday evening.

See the phone line attached to loose wires? It's a wonder I get online at all.
If I didn't know better, I would suspect that John Scalzi was trying harder and harder to find a Weekend Assignment I can't write about.  A football-related one comes darned close to that.  But okay, how about a rule that certain tv stations, restaurants and other sources of amusement declare a football-free zone for the day?  One could watch football-free movies on tv (with all the non-football ads that the Big Game's viewers are seeing), go to restaurants where no football is being shown in the bar and the staff has no update on the score, and maybe go see a movie that features witty conversation and no sports references. I'd like that very much.

Extra credit:  Who will win?  Why, the team with the most points at the end, silly!


In trying to come up with something to say about a sporting event that generally means less than nothing to me, I remembered a poem I wrote in high school that nevertheless mentioned the game.  I was always fond of the poem (I even updated it for a college poetry course), so I went looking for a copy of it. 

I just spent an hour going through boxes in my closet. I ended up with lungs full of dust (or something; anyway I'm coughing again), and saw a bunch of fascinating things: drawings from when I was about 12 years old, letters from Dan and Joel, first pages of long-forgotten stories that never had a page two, a stack of flyers advertising Harlan Ellison at Syracuse University, a junior high newspaper with a lame thing I wrote about DDT and the bald eagle, for which I won a an honorable mention at a civics award ceremony, D&D character sheets, and the negatives from some photos I took circa 1972. I'm thrilled to still have all these things, but, as almost always happens when I go through old papers, the particular thing I was was looking for, and other important items I've been looking for during the past several searches, didn't turn up. 

I'm not thwarted that easily, though. Here, from memory, is the first stanza of 4967,  plus part of the bit that I don't quite remember, which is where the Super Bowl reference is. Darn it!
4967 FM Road

It's never there the first time you look for it;
If you're not careful, you'll drive right by it.
But if you don't let the broken street sign turn you around,
There it is, three doors down,
(Past Berkshire),
And stay a while.

It's near where the water main broke on Super Bowl Sunday,
[I can't remember the next bit]
A crabapple tree that broke in the Blizzard of '66
But grew back and is now in red bloom,
Name on the mailbox across the street,
Here we are,
And stay a while.

Darn it.  I need to find that poem.  It was full of little things that nobody would know about that house in Manlius unless they lived there, stuff with meaning only for me. I think the college update may have been titled Packing to Leave.  I was a freshman (this was the first time I was in college) when the house at 4967 was sold.


Speaking of college, my undergrad career is over.  I'll be graduating with honors. I was nervous all day, partly because of some friction with another member of my learning team, and partly because I had to do a presentation with the team. Everything went fine, with nary a cross word.  Yay.  When I got home, I called my dad.  He's coming here in March for the graduation ceremony.


How Harry MacDougall Came to MâvarinBut back to my rummaging through the boxes.  (I told you my mind was jumping around tonight.) I found a manuscript for a course called Fiction (ENG 215), dated October '76.  Inside is a brief fictional introduction, followed by a monologue by Harry MacTavish (except that here he's MacDougall for some reason), explaining how he got to Mâvarin.  This was evidently before I bumped Harry from The Tengrim Sword, and replaced him with Fayubi. It's a neat thing, typed on yellow paper, and kind of entertaining.  Since Harry has now been revived as part of JW's story,and since the yellow manuscript is now sitting two inches from my left wrist, I'll probably scan it and post it a week after I finish the JW serial.

Yawn.  I'm tired and sore and nervous and happy, lost in thoughts of the distant past as I try not to worry about the immediate future. It's after midnight here.  My undergrad courses are over.  Today is quite literally the first day of the rest of my life.

I wonder if it will be friends with me.


*football, free, fiction, Fayubi, Four-Nine-Six-Seven, FM Road, MacTavish, MacDougall, manuscript, Manlius, Mâvarin.


ryanagi said...

"If I didn't know better, I would suspect that John Scalzi was trying harder and harder to find a Weekend Assignment I can't write about."

LMAO I had the exact same thought...and I also thought "I'll bet Karen is thinking the same thing..."

I must say, I am impressed that you are as organized as you are. If I wanted to locate one of my stories from college or a poem from high school, I wouldn't even know where to begin. I don't have things in boxes in my closet. They are stuffed in various bookshelves, drawers, cabinets, boxes...who knows where...all over this house. And I want to move soon? I think we will need to rent a dumpster. I will NOT move again with all this crap. I will will WILL go through it and toss anything I haven't laid eyes on in more than 2 years. Unless its something particularly meaningful. Very particularly. Hell...I just want to leave everything here and start from scratch at a new location. Furniture, clothes and all. LOL

ryanagi said...

Oh...and I am humming the Graduation March in my head and picturing you in a cap and gown...and grinning.

jabarett said...

Congratulations, Karen! I know you've worked your posterior off on this.  I hope you've got a celebration planned.

deabvt said...

Woo Hoo!!  Congrats!   And, With Honors!!