From now until Dec 1, you can get 30% off any paperback book in the Amazon store by using promocode: BOOKDEAL at checkout. What a great way to start your holiday shopping! I bet there’s a science fiction/fantasy book lover in your family who desperately needs a copy of The Boy who LIt up the Sky for Christmas or Hannukah.
Last November, my wipers squeaked. I didn’t think they were bad. They cleaned the windows well enough and if I turned up the radio loud enough, I didn’t even hear them.
My mom did, though. She had a lot of doctors’ appointments last November because of her eye condition so multiple times a week, I was driving her here or there in my car and somehow it was always raining, and somehow, the wipers were always squeaking.
Every time she got in the car, she would nag at me to change the wipers. The noise drove her crazy. I would respond by saying dumb things like, “Maybe, it’s too dry. Once the rain really starts coming down hard, they’ll stop squeaking.” Sometimes, they did stop, but invariably they’d start up again, screech, squeak, screech, squeak, with each pass of the blades.
Maybe, the truth was I didn’t want to spend the $40 to go get new blades. Maybe, I was afraid I’d have to put them on myself and I’d do something wrong and they’d go flying off in traffic leaving me with only a metal rod to wipe my windows while I trundled down the freeway at 55 mph. Maybe, I was just too lazy.
On November 30th last year, during a night when the rain was pummeling down hard, my mom had a heart attack from which she never woke up. My husband drove me to the hospital through that rain, the wipers squeaking and screeching the whole time. It rained the whole five days she stayed on life support and only stopped for a few minutes when we finally turned off the machines.
I bought new wipers a week later.
This morning, I drove my daughter to school and realized my wipers were squeaking again. November has returned and so have the Seattle rains. I guess it’s time for me to get new wipers.
SdK Board Meeting November 2013
Attendees: Naomi, Rent, Steve, Hannah, Jim, Petya, Marie, Tuman
Rent calls the meeting to order.
Jim: Why the hell are we meeting here? What’s wrong with our usual conference room?
Petya: You mean the one on the 32nd floor of the SdK Tower? It’s being foreclosed.
Jim: What? The conference room is being foreclosed?
Rent: No, the entire tower is in foreclosure. We’re meeting here in the basement of the local Kiwanis Hall because it’s the only place we can afford. Let’s get started as we’ve got to get out of here before 4pm. That’s when they set up for their nightly Feed-the-Homeless dinner.
Steve: What’s on the menu tonight? I might stay.
Jim: (Turning to Steve) What about the Palace? Surely, you’ve got a nice room there we could have used.
Steve: Uh…the Palace is undergoing renovations.
Petya: (snickering) The Palace is a pile of smoldering ruins.
Marie: (slapping Petya’s hand) Stop it, Petya. Steve, you can come to our house for dinner. I’m trying out a new Waist Watcher fish recipe.
Hannah: The Kiwanis are serving meatloaf.
Jim: (Turning to Hannah) Whoa! What happened to you?
Hannah: Nothing. I like to wear scarves.
Jim: Over half your face?
Rent: (Banging the gavel on the plastic table) Guys, we need to get started. So, as you can see, things have been a little rough lately. Naomi, what’s the ETA on book 12?
Naomi: (staring forlornly out the window at the concrete foundation of the neighboring building.) I don’t know.
Rent: Ok. Uh…can you give us a rough estimate?
Naomi: (sighs heavily and shakes her head)
Marie: What’s wrong, Naomi?
Naomi: Everything. Everything is wrong. Everything I built is in ruins.
Marie: Oh honey, it’s not. Come sit back down at the table. Can I get you a cup on of coffee?
Steve: There isn’t a coffee machine in here.
Rent: (digging through his pockets) There’s a soda machine down the hall. Here, Marie. Go get Naomi a diet coke. Steve, have you got 50 cents?
Steve: If I had 50 cents, I wouldn’t be eating dinner every night at the Kiwanis Hall.
Naomi: That’s fine. I don’t need a diet coke. Rent, carry on. Let’s finish up this meeting. The smell in here is making me ill.
Steve: I don’t smell anything.
Hannah: That’s because the smell is coming from you.
Rent: Guys! Put a lid on it. So, Naomi, what’s next on our agenda?
Naomi: (wiping at her eyes) I don’t know.
Marie: Oh, honey! Don’t cry. We’re all here with you.
Naomi: Yes, but HE’s not!
Silence around the table as everyone looks at each other.
Marie: The Two Moons of Rehnor is more than just HIM.
Rent: Uh…no, it’s not. It’s all HIM.
Jim: Anybody have any idea where HE is?
Naomi: (mumbling) New Zealand.
Steve: Who the hell goes to New Zealand? The only things there are sheep and enormous spiders.
Naomi: She wanted to see New Zealand. After that THEY are going to tour the Australian outback.
Petya: They couldn’t just go to the restaurant and eat a fried onion?
Rent: Come on. They deserve their vacation. They’ll be back, right?
Dead silence around the table.
Tuman: I think we should pray.
Hannah: For what? For their vacation to end quickly?
Tuman: For THEM to have an enjoyable and restful time.
Hannah: Yeah? Well, look what their enjoyable and restful time has done to the rest of us.
Steve: You did that all on your own, Princess.
Hannah: Were you the one who set the Imperial Palace on fire, Prince Charming?
Steve: No, but…
Hannah: Well, it happened on your watch. How do you think Daddy’s going to react when he comes back and discovers his monument to himself is a pile of rubble?
Petya: Maybe you should pray he doesn’t come back until after you’re dead.
Jim: Death doesn’t stop him, just ask my dad.
Rent: (banging again) Guys! Enough of this.
Tuman: I really do think we should pray.
Steve: Since when, bro? The only god you ever prayed to was the Holy Keg Deity. Please keep refilling my mega solo cup until I pass out on the floor.
Hannah: Who invited Tuman here anyway?
Tuman: I don’t know. It was on my Outlook calendar so I came.
Marie: Praying might be a good idea.
Marie: You never know.
Rent: I think we need to schedule another meeting. Let’s all go home and think about how we can best resolve the situation, rectify our circumstances and move forward with a positive and profitable agenda.
Steve: Lord help us. My brother has turned into a bureaucrat.
Marie: Naomi? Isn’t there anything you can do?
Hannah: About Rent or the situation?
Naomi: (Lying her head upon the table) No. I can’t do a thing. I’m too depressed. What time is the meatloaf?