I Must Be in a Parallel Universe

This morning, while perusing Economist of week October 13 – 19, self stumbled upon the following letter by a reader from Cupertino, California, which self will reproduce in entirety below. Following the quote, a response from self :

Sir,

You sometimes display a ridiculous overly green sentiment. For example: “The lesson is being learned in Scottsdale, a place whose extraordinary growth in recent decades has often meant swimming pools and green lawns somehow engineered in the desert” (“Green as houses”, September 15th). In the Arctic-like winter of Winnipeg, my hometown, people pass the brutally cold months by strolling under tropical plants through temperate malls, with fountains splashing invitingly. This has also somehow been “somehow engineered”, but in the deep, frozen-solid Manitoba winter.

Those who want to reduce their horrid carbon footprint should perhaps move to northern California, where neither artificial heating are ever required, and where they can cavort Tarzan-like in bare skins and sandals all year round.

* * * *

Dear Letter-Writer:

What California are you living in? It’s no California of mine. This morning, 7:45 AM, I am dressed in flannel pajamas. In addition, I have a woolen muffler around my neck and snuggl-y socks on both my feet.

Last winter, I spent three weeks trudging around in a parka, and a number of my plants (peppers, anthurium, fuschias) died.

So, forgive me if I don’t quite subscribe to the view that we here in northern California are able to “cavort Tarzan-like in bare skins and sandals.” (Oh, if only such were the case!)

In addition, summers are very very hot, and I have often turned green with envy over the fact that our next-door neighbor has central air-conditioning.

I mean you no disrespect, Sir.

Sincerely,

“Self”

Evening, Friday, 12 October 2007

Self went to the Century Park 12 Cinema on Bayshore to catch the 3:50 show of Eastern Promises. Aside from herself, there were two other people in the audience, a couple about her age. The woman looked cool, in a cute denim jacket, platform shoes, hair up in a loose bun. Her date or husband reminded self a little of Seth Rogen from Knocked Up.

But the movie never came on. There was music and music and music, and first self and then the woman stood up and stared at the projection booth, and we couldn’t hear if anyone was up there, so we went out together and looked for a theatre employee, and they shrugged and didn’t know what to do, so self had to leave without watching the movie. When she asked for a refund, the guy in the ticket booth asked to see her stub, even though she had just paid him her money, less than 10 minutes earlier.

Anyhoo, self then went to Redwood City Nursery, arriving just half an hour before closing (Gracie, at my feet, giving test barks about nothing in particular), and was surprised to see that there were at least half a dozen other customers there, for the rain was now coming down in sheets. Self wandered among the rows of greenery, trying to imagine whether a stone birdbath would look good in the front yard, or whether she should try to fill in a border with taller plants. She ended up buying a 1-gallon viburnum, because she’d like to have a yard that’s as lush and green as possible, and right now nothing grows under any of her trees.

Then, self went home and phoned hubby, who informed self that he was very busy. Then the phone rang and it was self’s ex-classmates, who had had a wonderful day in the Exploratorium, and were waiting for a third ex-classmate to meet them at Zuppa on 4th. Would self like to join them? Self said she’d just join them for dinner tomorrow (Will try to avoid speaking, so that darling little seven-year-old will not be tempted to mimic her again)

So self has an evening at home. And she is sipping the red wine she bought from the Ferry Building yesterday. And she’s trying not to think of the pile of student papers she has to grade. And she’s watching someone on KQED explaining why one should use half and half when making omelettes.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

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