In Which Our Real Lives Take Us To Napa

28 April 2003

There is something dangerous about acting as though your "real life" is anything other than the life you're living right now. This is as real as it gets. Sometimes, though, it would be pretty tempting for me to label my "real life" as after we move and right now as my "temporary life" or "imaginary life" or even something mature like my "stupid life."

Bad idea, though. We don't move for months now. If I get into that mindset, it's essentially throwing away time, and I need that time. There's stuff I've got to do in it.

This, incidentally, is why I have no interest in the TLC show "Faking It." For those of you who don't watch "Trading Spaces" and thus didn't get all the "Faking It" commercials, it's a series where people spend a month learning to do something that's supposedly the antithesis of their "real" or "normal" self. I was skeptical about the "bookworm/cheerleader" episode -- if it was really the antithesis of what she was, I thought, she wouldn't have agreed to do it for a month on national television. But then they had the episode where some guy was going to "fake it" as a drag queen, and I thought, oh, no, honey. Just no. If you spend an entire month learning to do it and go on national TV and all that, you are a drag queen. You might be a bad one, you might be having troubles with it, but you do not spend an entire month doing something and then get to go, "Oh, no, me? Ha ha, no, I'm not into that at all. It was just, for, y'know, TV. In my real life, I'm not like those people who are really into it. Ha ha, me a drag queen. No, no." Just deal with yourself. Honestly.

It's also something we do to kids constantly, especially in high school. And that one's difficult, because we do create an environment for them that is strikingly dissimilar from the rest of the world they'll encounter in many regards. So in some ways the "real world vs. your life" tag is justified -- but not in others. High school is the reality we (as a society) force kids to live through, and we shouldn't give ourselves an out by acting like it's not real and doesn't matter. It does matter, and we should collectively cut it out and make it so that we don't have to disavow the reality of those institutions.

So anyway. I'm attempting to keep in mind that this is my real life, and go from there. We got reservations for the Culinary Institute's Graystone restaurant (which I am shamefully thinking has "the power of Graystone!"), so Daniel's Christmas gift certificate will be put to good use. (Daniel, for score-keepers at home, is the older of Mark's two younger brothers. Mark tends to refer to Dan as his brother and Matt as his little brother. I don't expect you-all to know which is which by that reference, though.) We've had "Amber -- Napa" on our fun stuff list for at least two years now. And now we get to do it. I think that's pretty nifty.

I think it would be still more nifty if we could be with Michelle on her birthday (which is today), but I am told that you win some and lose some. I didn't sign off on that rule, though, especially when it comes to Michelles and birthdays.

I attempted to talk to Her Pre-Birthdayness when it was still her pre-birthday, but to no avail. I did manage to talk to C.J. and the folks, though, so that was something. I'll try Her Birthdayness before we go. Every once in awhile, time zones are good for something.

Until I talked to people, I spent much of yesterday moping. Dad made the dung beetle horns at me over the phone -- I know, I know. I got a lot of reading done, though: finished The Beginnings of Western Science, read all of Diana Wynne Jones' Hexwood and Alfred Crosby's The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492, then started Janet Evanovich's Two for the Dough. I particularly enjoyed the Crosby; good stuff. I'm gradually working my way through Diana Wynne Jones' body of work, having managed to miss it as a kid. I still love Fire and Hemlock better than all the others, but I'm having fun with pretty much all of them. I get about one per trip at the library. If I'd discovered them when I was little, I would have gotten five or six at a time. The idea of spacing things out or taking a general style or topic in moderation would not have occurred to me as a kid.

I watched the Wild win (yay!); also worked on "Moss" yesterday but didn't quite finish the draft. Maybe today. I'll give it a shot before we head out to Napa. It's not supposed to even get up to 60 up there, and yet it's clearly spring -- it's almost May! -- and we're going to the nice Culinary Institute place to eat, so I feel like I should dress decently. I have no idea what this will entail. I've lived out here long enough that you'd think I'd have compromises for late spring/still not warm. Hmmm.

Busy day, busy week. Off I go.

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