memories lost

Something noteworthy happened over the weekend. If this were a few years ago, I probably would have written extensively about it. This time was different.

I have said numerous times that I’m not writing this for anyone but myself and this really is an extension of my memory. I don’t want to forget this weekend, but I feel that talking about it would do nothing but make it about me. In this instance it wasn’t just about me.

So, that’s that.

pneumatic bliss

So,

(This is going to be a little long, and you know this because it started with “So.”)

Anyway, so I had a dream last night that was pretty routine. I have next to no suspension of disbelief in my dreams, so all my dreams are about nothing. If I fly in a dream, for example, I eventually tell myself I can’t fly and I wake up. If something absurd happens, I tell myself it defies logic and I wake up. Over the years, it has turned into having dreams about going to the grocery store, having a semi-normal day at work and stuff like that. I enjoy that because it means I sleep through the night.

In last night’s dream, it is 2018, when our lease ends, and we go on to buy a condo. It’s in a converted office building that had a Wells Fargo on the first floor. Because of the banking scandal, Wells Fargo had merged with another bank and shuttered some branches. My dreams have elaborate background information. I’m a writer. I always cook up background. It’s getting to the point that I fear that I’m going to have a dream that mimics reality to the point that it implants a false memory.

So, we bought the unit that was the Wells Fargo. A few days after we moved in, there was a street festival near the condo, and it’s annoying loud in the main living area. We retreated to the bedroom, in hopes that it isn’t a loud, and find out that it nearly is soundproof. While we’re in there, I inadvertently hit the buttons that controlled the bank’s drive through lines.

“Pull your car up,” I said to Renée.

“What?”

“Just pull your car up.”

As she got her SUV, I found something to put in the pneumatic tube and ripped the drywall off the window. Whatever. It was our condo. I could get a professional make the window fully functional later.

“Wait for it,” I said.

Then I sent something over. It was sweet. So, so sweet.

I sang the praises of how I we could use the tubes, since they still work.

I then went outside. The festival was ending and I found a lost kid in a Wells Fargo van they left behind. That didn’t make sense, so I woke up.

But now I want a pneumatic tube.

I really,  really want a pneumatic tube.

smörgåsbord

You have to see this in person.

Thirsty?

For the past three years, I occasionally become intrigued by a collection of food and drink photos in what apparently was an old break room in my newspaper building’s basement. When I first asked about them, I didn’t get a straight answer about their origin. My response after that was something along the lines of, “Well, it was the ’80s. I guess we can be thankful it doesn’t look like The Max.”

I haven’t thought about that room in a while, since we haven’t had a new reporter in a while. Typically, I make them walk around that giant building with me during their first week, because parts of it are weird and creepy and they barely know who I am.

A couple hours ago, I got an email from someone in San Francisco who was doing a reverse image search of these bananas.

This shit is bananas ...

B-A-N-A-N-A-S

An identical print is in his office, and he also was intrigued. So he wanted to know what I knew about them.

Now I’m intrigued all over again, since my response was “Um … kitsch?”

I really want the assortment of cheeses photo

One day, I will learn of your secrets.

I didn’t do a good job of cropping the color image. As I should have gone to bed 2½ hours ago, I really don’t care.

aaaand, we’re back

That was longer than intended.

A week ago, my vacation was just winding down. Earlier today, I wrapped up a quick trip to Richmond that nearly came by surprise because the past week went by pretty fast. I like it when work weeks do that.

So, stay tuned: The recount of vacation is coming in a few hours.

I didn’t take a lot of photos, but here’s one.

IMAG1126

32

A decade ago, I dressed in a tux and developed a taste aversion for tequila (and, thankfully, not birthday cake).

Today, I’m up at 4:30 a.m. because I left work after midnight and decided I wanted to make fettuccine Alfredo.

I’m 32. I’m frickin’ 32.

I worked today because I used my floating holiday for my anniversary. We didn’t have anything spectacular planned because we both have grownup responsibilities this week. We’re saving the fun for our trip later this summer, a trip that isn’t our official honeymoon. I like how we have this informal agreement that all our trips thus far don’t count.

Our trip to Hawaii at some point next year probably will be our official honeymoon, despite plans to see Bill and Karen and, hopefully, two of Theresa’s children. I really hope I can see Shonda and Michael, but there are some logistics to work out, especially since they have jobs now. They’re growing up so fast.

As I said earlier, I worked today. Never mind that it’s almost dawn. It seems weird to call June 23 “yesterday” because I haven’t gone to bed yet. I’ve effectively stopped celebrating on the day unless it’s a weekend. I’m instead breaking it up into seeing an interesting concert at the Garage on Wednesday, fancy dinner on the Downtown Mall on Friday and then some drinks.

I originally had a point to this but I’m starting to fade. I have lost my train of thought.

Holy crap, I’m married and 32. Five years ago, I was in the Chimborazo house, fresh from a road trip with Bill and Karen and Bill and Karen hadn’t realized they were in love yet. September marks three years of working in Charlottesville. October marks three years of living in this house. It seems a lot closer than that.

Time really starts to go by fast.

faith and fully mine (unofficially)

Nicolecita

Nicole Louise Cobb

Today, my mom told me what my birthday present is: She’s paying this month’s car payment, which is the last one. Once the bank processes everything and hands me the title, I’ll officially own a car outright for the first time since 2006. Because I am an idiot.

Long story short, I bought a car in 2006, traded it in a year later and then — when that car died in a long, hilarious chain of events when my life partially fell apart and I drove more than 8,000 miles over the course of 60 business days — I bought Nicole Louise Cobb. (Inexplicably, I neither explained what happened to my second brand-new car, Marian, nor formally introduced Nicole … also, some of my friends think Marian and Nicole are/were the same car.)

So, a little more than nine years later, I officially put that youthful indiscretion behind me and focus that money on continuing to make certain Nicolecita keeps rolling and looks that nice when I get her washed.

And some frivolous things. I mean, I fully intend to be responsible with this cash I have never seen the entire time I’ve been employed professionally, but I want some trifles and more ridiculous (if that’s even possible) trips before having to be responsible for a minor (or minors) for at least 18 years.

First order of business is a road trip to New York before summer’s over. We’re taking Nicole.

I bet at this point, you’re wondering about her name, if you don’t know the story. Nicolecita is a term of endearment. My car-naming scheme is that their namesakes are characters in the universe of every piece of fiction I’ve written. Nicole Cobb is a writer/photographer who HATES her middle name.

Nicolecita is the proper Spanish diminutive of Nicole. The rules get strange when things end in a vowel that isn’t o or a. And Nicole isn’t a typical Spanish name, if it’s one at all. I didn’t intend on calling her Nicolecita — it just happened.

the distance

In roughly 30 days, our new editor starts and Lee will start packing up. And some of his duties will definitely be mine until he gets settled … or permanently. I still don’t know which.

One of our new reporters will start the same day. Hopefully, we’ll at least have one more lined up, as we’ve down three at the moment.

One of our new copy editors will be about a month in. I sat next to him in Jacksonville. I don’t know how many times I need to reiterate that my life is a bad Charles Dickens novel.

If everything falls into place perfectly, my car, Nicole, will be paid off in enough time for me to blow that money I haven’t seen in the past six years on my brithiversary week.

Bill and Karen get married next weekend. A week from now, I’ll be drinking in Richmond with our mutual CNU friends and his Chester friends who have become my friends, just like old times. And then we’ll have the Great CNU Wedding. It’s about time: Bill said a few years ago that he never has to worry about anyone telling embarrassing college stories in front of Karen because she was there for all of them.

But I need to remember that, although we’ll be amongst friends, I cannot swear if I speak during the reception. I had a dirty mouth going into journalism and, in that field, swearing is a badge of honor. I’m typically mortified when I’m near anyone’s children. Or get into an animated conversation with my mother.

The second half of this year is going to be different in a good way. But everything feels so strange. It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since my first full year in Chimborazo, that it’s about to be 11 years since I sat on a couch on Deep Creek Road in Newport News and decided to chronicle senior year in college, that the woman who is sleeping in the other room while I play the Cake discography and stay up at least 30 more minutes because I don’t need to be at work until 2 p.m. is the woman I met 13 years ago because I got lost.

This week, I spotted my first grey hair north of my eyeglasses.

I made a half-joke about 15 years ago on Wednesday, and it stopped being a joke when I realized 15 years ago was 16-going-on-17.

But it’s not a problem, because if you asked me exactly 13 years ago today where I saw myself in late April 2015, I would have said sitting on the couch I share with that woman I’d been dating all of two months.

Hooray for being right about the future at time.