Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Manual Tran....

Surely a thoroughly lost art amongst my peers in an age of automatic cars. I have fallen somewhere in the middle of all this. When I was nine years old my mom taught me how to shift gears in a car. She made me watch her hands and listen to the sound of the engine as she shifted gears. Excitedly I listen to the whirring purr...memorizing each nuance. Did I hear it? Oh yes. Okay now, put your hand on the stick. I placed it there feeling a flurry of butterflies join me in my stomach. It vibrated and purred with the engine and I white knuckled it for dear life. My mom placed her hand over mine and pushed it in sync with the the engine. Do you feel it? Yeah...! The moment of truth...she let go. Third Carlie...now! I did it.

From then on I've always known the sound of a car...automatic or manual...shifting gears. Over the years, I've run the stick from the passenger seat. Today I learned that while this was helpful...it was not at all the same. Today I took it from the driver's seat. For two hours the clutch was not my friend and hills were my worst enemy, but in the end triumph was mine. I now know a particular oneness between man and vehicle. I'm exhausted but I have traversed temecula traffic and the road was mine!

Monday, January 26, 2009


This just amazes me. I'm moved and proud.


Pfft. Dudes always confuse things.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Coffee at the B&N

As I sit here in our local Barnes & Noble, I am struck by the atmosphere. A sense of searching for enlightenment. Life's mysteries unlocked, even if by osmosis. Answers absorbed by ones proximity to text. Letters, words and sentences are grown into tales of similar searchings. Searching people seeking stories about people searching. We are momentarily reminded that in our perceived isolation, we have comrades. Aah....sweet relief. We are not so different after all.

Yet again and again our search is renewed. (Much to the delighted coffers of all bookstores.) And so here we convene, reignited by caffeine and low chatter. Crossing paths yet not quite intersecting. Just enough, but not too much. Perhaps today there were no answers, but we are reassured that amongst the many shelves they await discovery patiently.

So we prepare to exit with a sense of peace, satisfied. Yet as we cross the threshold into daily life, the gnawing tendrils of loneliness begin to slide back up the ankles en route to our heart.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Satire and Irony

After intermitantly watching election coverage today and doing my humane duty of voting, I retrieved my gift of a Starbucks tall coffee. (Best when free.) As I doctored my excessively black, slightly burned brew with plenty of sugar, cinnamon, and half & half, I overheard a not-so-private lamentation of the human condition, heartache. A girl, close to my own age and embellishing her own reward for voting, pulled out her cell phone and called a friend. Here were her exact words:

"I just wanted to call and tell you about the ongoing presentation of satire and irony that is my life. I'm just getting my free coffee and there is **** across the way at Chipotle with his new girlfriend and his family. Amazing."

And she was not exaggerating. Why is it that when we are at our lowest and most confused, life is at it's most ironic? Perhaps to thicken our skins and fine tune our sense of humor? The jury is still out I suppose. Mostly, I could only sympathize with her.