Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together

My typist firmly believes that the saddest moment in all of literature, the passage she cannot ever read without instantly tearing up, is the ending of A. A. Milne's The House At Pooh Corner.

Christopher Robin is about to start school. Knowing that his childhood life of play is coming to an end, he takes his beloved bear to an enchanted place in the forest and asks him to promise never to forget him and the delights of the time they have spent together. Pooh promises to remember, even if Christopher Robin lives to be a hundred and he lives to be ninety-nine. The vow made, the serious mood lifts and the two run off to nowhere in particular for a final romp. And then, the finest book in children's literature concludes with the following words:
So they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.
My poor typist. She hates working with tears running down her cheeks.

Are you with me, darlings? Close readers that you are, have you figured out what I am trying to say?

It's time, my pretties. After six and a half years and 761 posts, it's time to bring the active phase of this happy experiment in social media to an end. To put it simply, I've been dead for nearly three years. I think it's high time I retired, don't you?

Thank you.
Thanks to every single one of you for being a part of this quirky, (un)real place, which the middle-aged broad who brought it into being has always thought of as at least a little bit enchanted -- because of you. Thank you for reading, for caring, for keeping the spirit of play alive in your own selves and in the world. That spirit will never die, because the world and all its critters need it, desperately. If you live to be a hundred, don't ever lose sight of that truth.

As of now, the blogging here will end, but the blog will go on in the sense of being here, always, for you, like some loyal companion animal of Very Little Brain whose love you need and whose insights might suggest that brains are overrated. As of now, Roxie's World is an archive of what we have thought and felt and how we have endured the past six and a half years. Come back from time to time. No one but me will know you've been here, and I will love knowing you stopped by.

Now, put down your hankies, kids, and listen up. I've got some good news, too. Are you ready?

Moose has launched a brand new blog. It's up. It's going. You are invited to head over there. As soon as you finish reading this.

A brand new blog? Yep! I thought she should call it Moose, Unleashed, but for some baffling reason she has opted to call it The Madwoman with a Laptop instead. (Could the name have something to do with the little essay she contributed to this collection? Who knows?) What's the new blog going to be and do? Well, one never quite knows with blogs, but the inaugural post makes it sound as if fans of this here blog will feel right at home with the Madwoman, who promises to offer "commentary on a similar, eclectic mix of subjects from a familiar perspective: queer, feminist, critter-affirming, with a tone that moves between and among irreverence, optimism, and righteous indignation, with occasional unapologetic lapses into sentimentality. I’ll write about higher education, middle age, new media, politics, queer stuff, books I read or teach, the stuff I watch on TV. I will rail about Excellence Without Money (which is still ™RW Enterprises LLC) and wax rhapsodic on college women’s basketball. I’ll offer glimpses of life with my new companion terrier, Ruby, and my companion human of 28+ years, the woman known on Roxie’s World as Goose. There’ll be jokes, recipes, pictures I take. Maybe even pictures I draw."

Pictures I draw? See caricature above. Which proves that there may well be some Madness in the Woman who has launched this new venture. Girl, put the stylus down and step away from the iPad before someone gets hurt!

Anyhoo, kids, speaking of the woman known in these precincts as Goose, we realize there may be some identity challenges ahead for some of this blog's readers as we negotiate the transition to The Madwoman with a Laptop. You'll be pleased to know that the Office of Persona Management will remain open should you need assistance in figuring out who to be. Mark Twain is standing by, Candy Man, and is ready to hand out advice on all matters comical and ontological. Some things never change, I swear.

But some things do change, my darlings, and that isn't necessarily bad. Our ability to adapt to change is a measure of our strength and resilience. Roxie's World has always been a celebration of resilience, hasn't it? Of picking up and carrying on, in every sense of the term.

So, carry on:
  • Subscribers: Add The Madwoman to your feed readers. Now. Moose's fragile self-esteem won't survive a crash in readership.
  • Blog pals: Put The Madwoman in your blog rolls. Immediately. Please? Looking at you, cowgirl, and you, Crazy. And I know you're on vacay, TR, but hop to, will ya?
  • Everybody: Show some love. Leave a comment here and there to let us know we're still a pack and always will be. Pretty please with kibble on top?
My typist has gone through half a box of Kleenex working on this post and still is reluctant to bring it to a close. As I said before, though, it's time. I know in my large and long still heart that it is time. Even my typist is ready, but she's too choked up to speak right now, so we'll let comic genius Carol Burnett have the last word. Seems we just get started and before you know it, comes the time we have to say -- 

Oh, you know the rest. Peace out, my pretties. Thanks for running with us.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Power Struggles

There's a lively debate going on in post-derecho DC and the surrounding areas on how to make life in the national capital region a bit less like life in one of the less developed countries of the developing world when it comes to such basic accoutrements of civilization as, you know, lights and refrigeration. Is it time to consider burying power lines so they'll be less vulnerable to the extreme weather events that seem likely to occur with alarming frequency in the world brought about by our stubborn refusal to reckon with global warming? Can de-regulated, union-busting utilities like the justly maligned Pepco be expected -- or compelled -- to do a better job of getting customers back online when mass outages occur with little advance warning, as was the case with the sudden, violent storm that occurred on the sweltering evening of June 29? Or is it time to hunker down with our ukuleles and our generators and admit that we are, in this as in so many things, fundamentally screwed and on our own?

Ah, kids, modern life. The feisty old broads of Roxie's World know better than to be nostalgic for any mythical good old days, because the good old days were always already complex and flawed and unjust to whole bunches of people. Still, they are tempted from time to time to sigh that things are a bit less pleasant than they used to be. (My typist pauses here to check on which character it is in Flannery O'Connor's story "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" who declares that, "Everything is getting terrible." Turns out it is not the doomed, talkative grandmother but Red Sammy, owner of the barbecue place/filling station where the family stops for lunch before the grandmother's flawed recollection sets up their fateful rendezvous with the murderous Misfit. Everything is getting terrible. It's a useful, funny, haunting line, even if one doesn't share Red Sam or the grandmother's nostalgia for a brutally ordered past. Sometimes, even one strenuously committed to seeing the glass as half full is inclined to feel that perhaps a lot of things are getting rather terrible.)

All those complicated questions of power are, however, above my pay grade. Instead of answers or recommendations, all I have to offer are a few photos that document the devastation wrought by the derecho in the physical space of Roxie's World. They also document Pepco's failure, nearly two weeks after the storm, to clear the neighborhood of potentially dangerous debris. Here, for example, is what is left of the utility pole that was brought down by a large tree in the yard right across the street from the Moms' house. The photo was taken on Monday, but the large piece of pole is still dangling out over the street in the middle of Thursday afternoon:

At night, that dangling remnant is just about the spookiest thing you've ever seen. And whenever the wind blows, Moose's heart skips a beat or two as her post-derecho stress disorder kicks in and she wonders what might happen if another big storm kicks up while that pole is still hanging around.

The next photo shows the two-pole solution Pepco contrived over on the Moms' side of the street after the top quarter of our pole snapped off in the storm. Workers installed a new, much taller pole right next to the old one, which still seems to have the wires for phone and cable running off of it. Moose calls this photo "Bi-Polar Disorder":

Finally, up in the next block, you see what's left of a massive tree that fell right across the road and landed on a car. These neighbors are trying to sell their property, which right now looks, as the sign says, "Impressive!" but not in a way likely to entice buyers:

(All photos by Moose, 7/9/12.)

Woodcutters of the world, I invite you to Roxie's World. There's a fortune to be made in chopping up firewood for winter. The Moms promise to buy a cord or three to prepare for the power outages the next snowpocalypse will undoubtedly bring.

And, Pepco, my Pepco, is it any wonder your name is a curse word, the nasty, hilarious song on everybody's lips? No, it is no wonder at all. We'll embed the song and dedicate it to our good friend PhysioProf, who will appreciate the salty Anglo-Saxon vocabulary. Srsly, Pepco, how hard can it be, to clear a f*cking tree? Your customers long to know. Peace out, and leave the lights on, baby.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

You Light Up My Life

(Photo Credit: Moose, 7/3/12, South Haven, MI)

Happy Fourth of July, darlings. The Moms and Ms. Ruby are in Michigan, fortunately, where there is electricity and air conditioning and unspoiled food and a really big, pretty lake. Which is good, because back home, five days after the epic (what the heck is a) derecho (anyway) that struck the DC area, the house still does not have power!

We'll spare you the anti-Pepco rant for now. (But if you really want one, go here.) It's a holiday, and we've got a parade to get to. Ms. Ruby and cousin Scooter will be sporting patriotic dog gear. What will you be wearing? Wherever you are, we hope you have power today. And fun. Lots and lots of fun. Peace out.