Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Manageable Chaos

My posts have been erratic at best lately, but I have more excuses to choose from than any man needs. A friend asked today how things were at my end. Slightly edited, here's my response:

I think the best description of everything on my end is "manageable chaos." I have both my girls and all the animals (two dogs, one cat, one goldfish) until next Monday. My nearly ex is in California for the week.

So the youngest daughter and I ferried three animals from the other place to mine last night, with her balancing the goldfish bowl in her lap and me trying to keep the cat from pouncing onto the dashboard while the newfy looked to be in a trance in the back seat. I don't think she likes vehicular travel, which is good--if she paced, even the Jeep would rock from side to side. Gotta love that window-rattling bark though and the fact that you can feel the house shake when she runs to investigate something. Better than ADT.

Manageable chaos because each night requires a re-evaluation of the setting of curfews I can live with and my daughters not chafe at overmuch. And because the house is for sale (I may actually be praying for no showings this week). And because when I scheduled the husky's surgery, I hadn't expected to be stabling the horse for the week, so I have to find a way to keep the 100lb+ Clydesdale "puppy" from licking or tearing out the stitches on what I used to think of as a full-sized dog, but who now looks like a grey, black, & white Alfa Romeo (would have said MG, but can't imagine one in those colors) parked next to a black Hummer. And because each day brings my last day in uniform closer, so there are the constant tasks that accompany ending a marriage, ending a career (via self-service online outprocessing--I frequently wonder what would happen if I just refuse to do it all myself, but probably not something I'm going to try), starting a career, setting up the end-of-career hoopla, selling a house, setting up a web for a charity, and constantly harassing the bad guys.

Manageable chaos through most of which I wear a permanent smile which is both genuine and inexplicable. Not because I can't explain it, but because I choose not to. I keep thinking of that great moment in The Turning Point (the first movie I spent the money (which I had little of as a freshman cadet) to see more than once at the theater) where Leslie Brown, playing the daughter, responds to an invitation to discussion from Shirley MacLaine, playing the mom, with something like, "I don't want to spoil it." Spoil is the wrong word. It's simply that trying to describe or explain some things is an exercise in exploring the futility and limitations of language.

And manageable chaos because sleeping girls have no retention when you wake them to tell them anything, thus my daughter's panicked text ("Where is your dog?!") when she realized around lunchtime that the husky was missing. No recollection of my waking her this morning to ask whether she preferred the newfy inside or out ("Outside please.") because I was taking the husky in for surgery ("Okay. I love you. Have a nice day."). "I don't remember that at all." :-) I'm going to start carrying my digital recorder in my pocket. Besides, who knows when I'll have a great idea like "Feed mayonnaise to tuna fish." (See Night Shift, for that and other equally memorable moments, like Michael Keaton's explication of the word "prostitution". >-) Honestly folks, I only saw this movie once and long ago, I swear, but when you see a movie during a SAC alert tour, the best lines get lots of mileage in the ensuing days of pseudo-incarceration.)

And thanks to the wonder of YouTube, here's that explication of "prostitution" which I last saw in 1982. :-)

And better still, it's not the "Feed mayonnaise to tuna fish" scene, but you can get the idea: