Measured Extravagance

27 June 2002 - 7:06 p.m.

The "Mental Health Day" Index:

Schleps to the recycling/Goodwill drop-off center: 3

Schleps to the vet: 2

Kitty howls tolerated to and from schleps to the vet: 4 per minute x 20 minutes x 2 = 160

Cool haircut served with healthy portion of wedding dish: 1

Decaf lattes consumed: 1/2

Sodas consumed: 1/2

Leftover grape juice consumed: 3 oz.

Pints of blood donated: 1

Cans of orange juice consumed at donation center: 1

Allergy shots: 4

Long island iced teas calling my name: probably at least 2

Musical instruments offloaded: 3

Sponges retrieved from viola case: 2

Pairs of bike shorts purchased with proceeds from sale of viola: 2

Pairs of ancient and/or uncomfortable panties chucked into the trash: 5

Long full dance skirts coveted at Le Jazz: 3

Vexed glares at the green van with the Bush/Cheney sticker parked in my driveway: 8

Temptation to patronize estate sale next door being run by owner of said van: 0

Curses uttered at the dog for barging into the living room: 3

Minutes spent chiding self for being vexed at idiots: 50

Minutes spent at church making photocopies for Sunday's lesson: 10

Poetry journals perused and discarded: 1

Checks written for bills in past hour: 4

Paystubs just entered into the checkbook: 3

ATM slips just entered into the checkbook: 3

Minimum loads of laundry to do tonight: 1

Guilt pangs re a stalled calligraphy project: 8

Tickets I can purchase to the Titans game on August 10 as a performer in the half-time show: 2

Amount of money I've committed to raising for the Titans Foundation: $100

Days left to complete my 20things project: 6

Collabs left to complete this month: 1

Cool writers leaving messages in my guestbook today: 2 so far :-)

Seconds required to reheat Tuesday night's beans and rice: 120

Seconds required to reheat the potstickers: 30 fewer than I punched in

Cravings for butter: 3

Sessions with The Collected Poems of Odysseus Elytis (translated by Jeffrey Carson and Nikos Sarris): 3

Days I've known that he was the 1979 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature: 11

Days the book has been sitting in my car untouched: 10

Articles read in a waiting room issue of Sports Illustrated before I realized it was from March 2001: 1 1/2 (cover story: Nomar Garciaparra's workout regimen)

Articles read after the realization: 1 1/2 (very interesting feature about a black coach at a Mennonite high school)

Pages saved from yesterday's The City Paper: 2 (two clips of friends at a Nashville Chamber Orchestra fundraiser)

Pages saved from yesterday's Scene: 1 (Madison Smartt Bell in town next week)

Cans of pickled cucumbers purchased at the Asian grocery: 3

Cans of quail eggs: 2

Cans of preserved squid: 1 (haven't tried it before)

Possibility I'll buy a paper-mache fish mobile for a holiday exchange: 40%

Moon cakes left on the BYM's desk: 2

A shout-out from Elytis to dichroic:

Maria puma of public streets
in diaphanous dralon or nylon
half the ashes that burn away
and half the nerve-racking exhaust as well
in the boundless Arizona of our soul
steppe of winter most terrible
you'll raise a cry stentorian
the cry of the wounded animal

O lovely Maria Nephele
O heraldic Maria Nephele

[Actually, I don't know that this should be a shout-out, especially since I haven't really gotten a fix on Elytis is about here, but outside of work I do pretty much instantly think "Dichroic!" when Arizona is mentioned...]

Quoted both at the bottom of the page and earlier in "Through the Mirror": "Somewhere between Tuesday and Wednesday / your true day must have been mislaid."

And, a page turn earlier:

90 percent of us is contained
in a misfortune of some kind.
The present is nonexistent and half
my hair already waves
somewhere in other epochs.
    - Odysseus Elytis, Maria Nephele

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