Tuesday, January 29, 2008

January and the Faces of Asheville

I'm trying and failing to come up with anything scintillating and witty to blog about. It is the depths of January and we all know it's going to be winter for, basically, two more months and that's just. . . depressing. Especially since my oil is going to run out any day now and then I'll be heating completely with wood, which is excellent if you happen to be a) home constantly throwing logs on the fire and b) fairly warmly dressed and c) in the den but not so wonderful if you are a) gone and letting the fire go out or b) more than 10 feet away from the fireplace insert or c) at all affected by billows of woodsy smoke. I'm noticing that I'm waking up coughing a lot, which I'm naturally ascribing to the woodsmoke and not to my beloved tobacco, but whichever: it's probably not all that good for me. This morning at around 6:30 as I enjoyed my daily tuberculosis attack I thought moodily about smoky medieval peasant huts with holes in the roof and the related life expectancy of 35 or thereabouts. It doesn't seem to be affecting young M, though, so maybe it's not the fireplace. Or maybe he just hasn't surpassed his medieval peasant life expectancy yet. But even if the medieval peasantry, hunched over their fires, inhaling carcinogens along with their burnt porridge, were hating January, at least they didn't have to make phone calls. Phone calls into voice mail jail.

Phones are the invention of the devil. Yesterday I tried to call about the panini press and they told me I was number 26 in the queue. First off, what the hell, queue? Are we outsourcing to Britain now? Britain, where they have real health care, a social safety net AND make more money than we do? Secondly, number twenty-six? What is that, 12 hours on hold? Forget it. I hung up and now I have to gather all my nerve and try again. Shit. We must have a panini press! Our melted cheese levels are dropping dangerously low! Winter cannot be endured without a chicken, tomato, feta and provolone panini on sourdough bread. Really. Really, it cannot.

In other, important, news, last Tuesday I went and had my picture taken for the Faces of Asheville. If you live here and still haven't signed up and done this yet, go and do it. Seriously. She's very nice; it's totally painless and the project needs to be supported, because it is supremely cool. Not only are they good portraits, it's a serious examination of this community: where it's been, where it's going and who is part of it and why. So you get to talk as well as pose and it's all very interesting. She needs 200 more people by April or May and that means you! You can even sign up right there on that website - you don't need to make a phone call or anything. Well, face it - if it required a phone call, would I have done it? Of course not. I hate making phone calls.

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