Thursday, October 25, 2012

Life's Little Changes - A Review

By Edith McClintock

Last month, I packed up and shipped off my worldly belongings to Washington, DC. In the process, I lost my sister’s cat. We scoured her neighborhood for five-days looking for the poor skittish thing. We climbed over train tracks, looked under porches, inside blackberry bushes and homeless camps. Cages at the Humane Society. Craigslist. At my sister’s request, I even visited a psychic’s office. But eventually, I had to give up and wave goodbye to my sister and family. I shed tears along the entire length of the spectacularly scenic Columbia River gorge that bisects Oregon and Washington. Into Idaho and Wyoming. For the cat, myself, all the things I’m going to miss while my nephew and niece grow up.

I’m moving overseas.

The just returned cat.
Just before arriving in Denver, I learned the cat had finally come home. I was relieved. I continued driving—more than 3,000 miles in total—through Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and West Virginia, finally stopping in Maryland. I began searching for a place to live. I met a woman whose granddaughter has been missing for three years. I felt guilty about my stress over a missing cat. I started a new job/training. I ironed a lot of suits. I re-remembered how to plan and pack for a commute. I spent weary, nauseous hours on the metro. I got to stare out at the Capitol dome all-day during training and drank too much coffee. I spent every free hour searching for a place to live.

And what a fun process that was—turns out DC has a tight and very expensive rental market along with at least one truly mental Georgetown lady with an English basement to rent. I learned not to say things like: “Are you going to paint or clean the apartment before I move in?” or “Is a cat okay?” or “You do know the windows in the bathroom don’t actually close?” In fact, I didn’t get several apartments I bid on. I grew worried. So when the crazy Georgetown lady from Craigslist sent me twenty-plus phone calls and emails over a one-hour lunch, I wavered. I made excuses. I considered still going to look at her place. Just in case. But ultimately I made the right decision. I canceled my appointment and received this in response:

i apologize you are demented but we keep forks here to gauge cats eyes out and linens to smother them in so sorry this wont work out for you because you are psycho and will make sure everyone knows you are a complete and total waste of everyones (expletive deleted) time.. you lame (expletive deleted) your excuse was not even creative in the least.. and lose that number its a friends phone as mine was lost in the linens and towels cats suck like their crazy owners.. stay at your paretns hoouse you are gonna be picked up soon by the man in the straightjacket and who the hell is named edith anymore?? LOL!!

Yeah. But the next weekend I finally found a place to live with a fantastic landlord and in a beautiful, walk-able neighborhood near a metro stop. I slept on a blow-up mattress for a few days and waited for my worldly belongs to arrive. I was in the midst of unpacking said worldly belongs when my laptop died. The Apple store told me my precious laptop was vintage, gone, that I should just toss it away. I spent a few days pondering my options, processing the loss. I bought a new computer. By then, I was way behind on a project for work and spent every evening of this past week catching up. Which leads me to my point: I’m tired. My brain is on information overload from work. I haven’t read a book, watched a TV show, or seen a movie in months. I need to exercise.

But still, I tried. At the moment, I’m working next door to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and since I’ve visited a few times for lunch (and it has a great, although not cheap, café with native foods from the Northern Woodlands, South America, the Northwest Coast, Meso-America, and the Great Plains), I decided to attempt a visit to the actual museum today and write a review.

But still, I’m tired. And it’s impossible to grasp any substance during a 20-minute jog though a packed museum, much less a Smithsonian museum. My brain is not currently capable of much synthesis. I remember colors, masks, teepees, some beautiful horses, and lots of videos of Native Americans dancing. Something about Carib Indians. The kid’s area seemed fun—it made me miss my nephew.

But it’s free. It’s on the mall next to the Capitol building, so no doubt it’s worth a visit if you’re in DC—definitely for the café—and I’m pretty sure for the actual museum. I’ll go back one day soon, attempt a slightly slower amble through the exhibits, and get back to you.

Since it’s best to end on a positive note (and a little personal promotion), Monkey Love and Murder is now available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. And for those of you overseas, the Book Depository has a discounted version with free shipping anywhere in the world.

10 comments:

  1. Edith, you don't have to live overseas to take advantage of the Book Depository. They ship worldwide with no shipping charges.

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  2. "We keep forks to gouge cat's eyes out with...!" Amazing! What a relief you realized she was a nutjob before you signed any paperwork. I'm sure the museum is wonderful and you'll get there in due time. After the last few months you've had, do you agree with the saying "a change is as good as a rest?" I'm betting not. Keep your chin up!

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    1. I guess I better learn to appreciate that saying as it seems like my life will be a constant cycle of change for many years to come.

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  3. The cat looks like Nikko. Is that Nikko? Im dying to come up to go to the native museum and pay you a visit. Be safe and warm during the storm Edith!

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    1. That's poor lost and now found Jack (my sister's cat) just after he arrived back home. The howling wind is starting here but we still have electricity. Come up!

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  4. I loved your story! I visited the museum last year, but I can't remember much either, my brain was overloaded after visiting the third museum in one day! I love DC. I would love to come back and visit next year. I will stay tuned to your museum review, once you catch your breath.

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    1. Thanks! And you're always welcome to crash on my comfy new sleeper couch--not from Ikea this time thanks to my sister's threats that she wouldn't come visit if I didn't provide a proper bed. Congrats to you too!

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