"Some calls it madness...I calls it HiDeeHo." - Cab Calloway
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Friday, July 11, 2003


Work has again slowed to a trickle. What better time? This has given me time to think.

There has been a sort of nagging, ill-defined need growing in me since about 1-1/2 weeks ago. I've tried to ascribe it to hunger, boredom, friskiness, the weather, caffeine overdose or withdrawl, but none of those things are actually the cause.

I pinned it down this morning. I looked out of Morgan's bedroom window and saw some boys, maybe 7 or 8 years old, playing with what looked like trucks and action figures. I looked down and saw her Mr. Potato Head and a green plastic box full of little gewgaws and toys.

I want to play. I want to build with blocks and Legos and pretend to be a queen in a castle. I want to throw a ball around, or a frisbee. I want to dig out some super hero action figures and play JLA with Josh (I get to be Batman). I want to play one of my all-time favorite made-up games, Lifeguard. It's hard to explain Lifeguard, but it involves blowing whistles, administering CPR and dragging bodies around. Playing Doctor might not be amiss either.

I must say, this is one of the least insidious and most worthy of nurturance of any of my urges.

So who wants to play with me?

posted by Julie Neff  # 7/11/2003 11:39:00 AM

Thursday, July 10, 2003


I took Josh to Paradise Springs this morning. I mean this MORNING. We woke up at 5:00 a.m. and were on our way just a little after 5:30.

It was a lightly rainy, misty, gray dawn. We saw a deer on the way, out standing in her field. She was an excellent doe.

We parked and started on the path to the spring. I didn't want to talk any louder than a whisper. Josh barely talked at all. We saw an owl and a crane. My heart jumped into my throat about 100 times during the 10 minutes or so we were there.

At the spring house, Josh remarked something like, "These are textbook ruins." He stared for a long while into the pool. We saw brown trout about 6 inches long swimming around in there. On the other bank, I showed him some tiny ancillary springs where the water bubbles up through a patch of sand, in some places through a hole no bigger than my little finger.

The mist was rising off the cold spring pond, and all around us the sound of birds, smell of trees, a flush verdancy that went into my eyes and nose and straight through the back of my head out the other side, it was so intense. The fieldstone ruins sat squarely and lent their sense of age and human time to the place. Raindrops plinked the surface. Orange daylilies drooped in the damp. I picked a ripe blackberry and gave it to Josh. I picked one for myself.

We walked back to the car and I drove home.

I woke up about three hours later, wondering what we had done. Didn't dream it, but don't remember clearly enough to say for sure. We were so sleepy on the way there and back, and I was so alert and in sense overload while I was there, it was just crazy.

He didn't say much, but I know the visit affected him too. Those ruins and that spring will find their way into a game or story somehow.

posted by Julie Neff  # 7/10/2003 01:45:00 PM

Monday, July 07, 2003


Okay, so Gregory Peck, Katherine Hepburn, Barry White and now Buddy Ebsen? So much for superstition. Time marches on, waits for no man, is a thief, etc.

Next in line for the grave: N!xau, the Namibian bushman from "The Gods Must Be Crazy" and II of the same name. One more and we'll have a double set of 3.


Some things are exactly the way they were a year ago. The weather is following the same general pattern, I'm still plodding away in front of my keyboard with medical reports, and I seem to have given up smoking again.

A few things that are extremely small are also the same. I have a manicure/pedicure in the exact same sheer pink that I used last year (I've been told I have cute hands and feet, so why not display and adorn them?). My hair is almost as long and doing the same frizzy curl thing it did last year. The same come-and-go freckles on my eyelids and lips are apparent. I'm wearing the same damn clothes as I did last summer because I never did get around to cleaning my closet, taking the excess to Goodwill and getting new stuff.

It is these small personal appearance notes that make me remember the joy in last summer. Morgan's absence notwithstanding, I'd free-fall into that heady swirl of summer and new love all over again. Maybe I'll watch Nightmare Before Christmas again. Maybe I'll paint my eyes, fresco my cheeks with glitter, don my dingdings and give someone a sweet whiff of year-old nostalgia.


On reading my earliest archives, it has become apparent that the tone and content of this blog has, to my understanding, become considerably more somber. Maybe I'm growing up. Maybe I don't feel the need to push against the weight of the world like a free-associating geyser now that I have someone else with whom to share the burden.

In any case, self-analysis is a bitch and should probably not be pursued when one is half-sloshed on cheap vodka and blackberry lemonade. Cheers!

posted by Julie Neff  # 7/07/2003 12:31:00 PM

Sunday, July 06, 2003


As Josh posted, it is indeed our first anniversary.

With the movie and the quasi-ethnic extremely homemade dinner and the copious amounts of popsicles, last night was almost a textbook typical no-kid summertime Saturday.

With the sleeping late and breakfast and chitty-chat, it was also a textbook typical no-kid summer Sunday morning.

I could very definitely get used to this. Hell, I already am.

In hindsight, if he had kissed me on that first date, nothing would have gone differently at all. The quality, content and duration of that marathon conversation set the stage, not the smoochie-woochie or lack thereof.

That Josh affected me deeply was evidenced on the drive home. I cried almost the whole way. I cried not because I was sad, or disappointed, or just extremely tired, but out of relief and gratitude and not a small measure of fear. After the visceral slam of love at first sight, then an eight-hour soul-baring, you can't help but cry at a least a little.

The east Anglian accent was just for whimsy.

May we have many many many more (raises a glass of something with a haze of alcohol evaporating over it). Up your eye! Here's mud in your bottom! L'chaim! And etc.

posted by Julie Neff  # 7/06/2003 10:43:00 AM


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