Tag Archives: Random Thoughts

Sex, Math and Computers

The most valuable sex education lesson I learned took place in my high school geometry class. Computers and geeks mixed in with the sex ed.

Unlike my previous year in algebra, I loved geometry. How I went from barely passing to straight As in math, I’ll never know.

One day, my geometry teacher took us to a special room at school that housed a couple of computers. Nothing that I’m familiar with today, but large, mechanical desks with no screen that spit out punch tape and later ate it up again for the input and output of data.

Two guys in my class were already experts with these machines. They poked and prodded them into functioning. To everyone else, it was kind of magical yet boring at the same time. These geeks ended up with a four-year math/science college scholarship.

After our visit with the machines, our teacher told us that in the future every home will have a computer. That blew our minds, early 1970s style. What would we use it for? How many people could afford this thing? That computer looked bulky, complex, and unfriendly. The two geeks were the only fans.

Later in the semester, my teacher somehow brought up the  topic of sex in geometry class. He told us that sex takes up less than 1% of your time in married life. He ticked off necessary distractions such as working, shopping, cooking, childcare, cleaning, and whatever else needed to be done.

Today his lessons in love still stick. Although neither marriage nor heterosexual relationships are a given part to that theorem. Those few short minutes in some few short nights don’t seem to be worth the societal controversies. Whatever gets you through the night. A small part of our small time.

My first lesson with computers created an ambivalence within me which still remains. I love the possibilities and I hate my dependence. Like the human bond, deep feelings can move through the spectrum. An embrace may not be far removed from a push away.

Geometry class: you expanded the possibilities in my mind. I remember you fondly.

Dark Arts and Crafts

One-word prompt: Craft


The Color of the Grave is Green —
The Outer Grave — I mean —
You would not know it from the Field —
Except it own a Stone —

To help the fond — to find it —
Too infinite asleep
To stop and tell them where it is—
But just a Daisy — deep —

The Color of the Grave is White —
The outer Grave  — I mean —
You would not know it from the Drifts —
In Winter — till the Sun —

Has furrowed out the Aisles —
Then — higher than the Land
The little Dwelling Houses rise
Where each — has left a friend —

The Color of the Grave within —
The Duplicate — I mean —
Not all the Snows could make it white —
Not all the Summers — Green —

You’ve seen the Color — maybe —
Upon a Bonnet bound —
When that you met it with before —
The Ferret — cannot find —

Emily Dickinson

Time travels faster today. Before I tire of the snow, a scorching summer appears. Magical, all because I’m old.

Death can show up within a minute or maybe within the next 40 years. I used to have an eternity to live when young. But if past practices hold true, I won’t live much longer.

Along with death, extra baggage haunts me. Not the kind used for travel, but the kind that lays around the house.

It might be making me insane. I’m searching through all closets, storage boxes, and drawers; all is fair game for recycling, repurposing, donating, or tossing. Sentimentality be damned.

Some of the insane part: I sorted through hundreds of buttons my mother had collected. They’re sorted by color and rest in individual trays or bags. I’m planning to make a garden mobile with these buttons. Let’s see if it happens this spring. Hundreds of buttons could create a few outside ornaments.

More insanity: I gathered every single extra, unused, old key in my house. I’m pretty confident about this since I don’t think I’ve left a dust bunny unturned. I love playing with those keys and try to imagine each one’s former purpose. What they unlocked, the when, and the where and the by whom. I plan to put a couple of the prettier ones, one gold and one silver, on necklaces. Some others are also destined for garden artwork. Google search — check to see if these projects show up in my backyard.

I’m editing my life away. Will I reach its essence? My son will only need to dispose of keys, buttons, a few books, and some other stuff I love or need. Every sweep through, more goes and goes.

Someday I may look in my closet and find only one grain of rice. Will that bring me peace?

I know I can’t take it with me. I’ll take care not to get too attached to this earth. ED, I won’t wander too far from my room; preparing for one beneath the grass and snow.

The cut may hurt less if renunciation mingles with fleeting joys. If only I could report back.

Love Story Light

As a child, I found no love among a winter snow. The sunshine never warmed me on a hot summer day. The closest I ever got to love was in the darkest light: the violent, crackling of a thunderstorm.

At my house, I had to live by some rules. One hard and fast set of rules was the proper behavior during a thunderstorm. Rule Number One: the entire family must gather on the living room couch for the duration of the storm, turn off the lights, and sit in the dark if necessary.

The couch looked rather ordinary. It was a brown couch slipcovered in a green, white, and brown flower patterned fabric. Just by looking at, the powers of this couch were not apparent.

The occupants of the couch were my mother, grandparents, and myself. We weren’t a close-knit family. Actually we were rather distant from each other in our day-to-day lives.

Rule Number Two: don’t move. It was as if some unseen static or spark that we may create by just our movement would attract a lightening strike directly onto the couch.

The couch became a shelter, self-contained from the rest of the storminess that surrounded us. It kept us away from the dangers outside, the lightening couldn’t touch us as long as we sat quietly, listened, and watched the violence through the large picture window set right in front of this couch.

The window in this room was eight foot wide and at least three foot high, the ultimate large screen before its time. The views out of this window, especially during a thunderstorm, were superior to what we found on our small black and white television set. The drapes across this window were drawn shut, affording us an even greater amount of protection from the fierce elements of nature.

That extra few millimeters of drapery fabric drawn across the window did nothing to detract from the show. It muffled none of the thunderclaps. The lightening bolts broke through and illuminated the room as if the protection wasn’t there.

We heard the rolling thunder in the distance. Nature’s electrical light show changed the actual smell of the air. It came closer bringing intense light along with a quick, hard crash of thunder. The window rattled. Sometimes a nearby tree, cracked in half, became its victim.

On the couch, I caught a smile from my usually withdrawn and stern grandparents. It was as if arms almost held me.

Safe on our upholstered vessel, we rode out the storm. While sitting on the couch, I may have heard someone say, I love you. But the thunder drowned out words.

I love thunderstorms and respect them. I would never think of talking on the telephone or holding a metallic baking pan while the storm is in full force. That would be breaking the rules. I would never be so foolish as to take a shower in the middle of a storm since everyone knows that electricity and water don’t mix. Some chances I refuse to take.

Although, today I actually walk from room to room in the house when a storm moves through my neighborhood. I even watch TV. I have been known to turn on the lights or talk to my husband as we sit on different pieces of furniture. I have discovered a society that exists off the couch that provides a less hostile source of light.