Archives for posts with tag: memories

About that stash of ephemera: Who else among you has a trifold, laminated brochure for Ocracoke Island that includes the following blurb about Edward Teach?:

“Edward Teach is a tall, dark, stranger who lived in Ocracoke long ago…Otherwise known as Blackbeard. Later, Edward fell in love with pirating, wich (sic) soon became his career.”

For as long as I can remember, I have been addicted to ephemera (more on this later, I warn you now) which means that I have an embarrassing number of boxes, baskets, and files of old photos, postcards, schoolwork (not just The Kid’s, but mine) and so forth.
Yes, I am sentimental, but I tell myself that I am also something of an historian, or social scientist, and I will make some meaningful use of this material “someday.” But mostly I am sentimental. I had a bulletin board at my last “real” job that was covered with work-related memorabilia: thank you notes from clients and interns, office photos, etc. Those went into my work tote when I left in June of ’11, and stayed there until recently. (My little job is starting to become more “real” and the work tote is back in play.)

The contents of the tote ended up in an open cardboard box on the floor of the guest room/office/holding area.

Waldo and I like to hang out there; I cruise the internet play lexulous work at the computer or read. Waldo sprawls on the floor or keeps watch on the neighbors.
Waldo is growing up. He is much more in control of his behavior; the biting, jumping, and chewing are tapering off. He can be left unsupervised for longer times, and when he does commit a doggy crime, he seems remorseful. Mostly.

I was home alone with him this evening, and I let my guard down. We went outside a few times, I fed him and we spent some quality time on the couch. Then I got engrossed in a book. It was quiet. Too quiet. I checked on him. He was in the guest room, on the floor, happily engaged with his Kong. Back to my book I went.

We went out again, and I returned to my book. Time passed, and I told myself I was probably pressing my luck. Back to the book. (Bossypants by Tina Fey- yes, I am behind the curve, and yes, you MUST read this)

The next time I checked on my boy- think Mena Suvari and rose petals in American Beauty, only she is a shepard/hound/whatever mix dog, and the rose petals are paper shreds.

I found remnants of a paycheck from my last job, the return label from a card from my friend Teri, and pieces of a card signed by someone named Kate. That’s the one that baffled me. I knew two women with that name: a former co-worker, who never wrote me a card, to my best recollection, and the sister of the guy who dumped me on the day I met TMIM. I don’t remember getting any correspondence from her, either. It’s not like the card was simply signed- there were fragments of sentences all over the place.

I am curious, but not to the point of greeting card reconstruction. I scooped all of the soggy remnants up and into the trash they went.

Is it just me, or do we all hit a point where certain periods in life seem so remote that they seem to have happened to someone else?

Dr. T and I took turns yesterday filling in the gaps of our common history at the job where we met. He provided thumbnail sketches of our former colleagues, and I gave them names. The roster began with a guy who routinely came into the office hours after we were expected (that’s another story) saying that he had been “having breakfast with one of my snitches.”

I am fairly certain that no one bought this, in that although we were investigators, we were not in law enforcement, and there was nothing in our duties which would require the engagement of a “snitch.” It was a running joke among my work friends, particularly since any one of us could avoid having to hit our desk at 8:00 a.m. by phoning in to say we were starting our day “in the field,” a far more elegant (and credible) explanation.

Back to that guy. I’ve always wondered whether he believed that we believed him, or whether he even believed it himself. There is something to said for a rich fantasy life…

Dr. T and I had lunch (delicious)  today at Dos Perros. Their menu, which includes chilaquiles, prompted a Proustian discussion of past trips to Mexico, both together and pre-relationship.

(I should mention at this point that Dr. T and I met on the job at a fairly large government agency  in San Diego.  We both had occasion to cross the border recreationally and for business.)

It was an entertaining conversation, encompassing a roll call of our co-workers (there were some real “characters” there), and touching on the day we met, when he came to work at my office.

As I reminded Dr. T. today, I had a boyfriend on the morning I met him. In one of those Too Cute to Be Believed events, I went home from work that night and got dumped.

I remember the day pretty well after all of these years: I had some sort of car issue, and had to take the bus to work. I was wearing a short sleeved, geranium colored silk top, navy pencil skirt, and caramel colored pumps. (I think I remember this because:  A) I really loved that blouse and B) the irony of feeling so cute in the morning only to go home and get dumped really stays with a girl.)

At lunch time, all those years ago,  I offered to show Dr. T (who was only  “T” in those days) the way to the closest ATM. “Who knew?” I asked him today at lunch.

This little trip down Memory Lane was not only pleasant, but inspiring. Next up: Breakfast With My Snitches…

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George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (

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