Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ahoy, Never-True Tales followers!

As you know, NTT has packed up and moved to WordPress. This is a good thing--nay, a great thing!--but like most great things, it comes with a few growing pains. Namely, the pain in the behind that is Google Friend Connect. Don't get me wrong, I love all things Google like I love all things chocolate, but in this particular case, the feeling's not mutual. If you follow NTT by getting new posts via Google Friend Connect, and subscribed before I bid Blogspot adieu, you'll need to unsubscribe and resubscribe, or else you won't be getting new posts. (Told you it was a pain.)

You can do this right on the main page of the new site at the Google Friend Connect box. If you follow new posts using the RSS feed or email subscription, you should be ok, but might want to to click and double check.

Thanks all! 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Didn'tcha hear?

Never-True Tales has moved to WordPress! If you've landed here, you'll need to update your feed to Never-True Tales and any links to the site you may have. Go ahead, I'll wait. (Sorry to be a pest!)

Then join us over at the new digs!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Trash to Treasure

I usually have lousy luck at yard sales (mostly because I have no eye for potential beauty or usefulness), but look what I salvaged out of a pile of used books this weekend: fifteen volumes of hardback Reader's Digest condensed classics (1964-1976 editions).

Aren't the covers lovely? And each one is different.

I stopped at fifteen since I wasn't sure I'd have room on the shelf for more, but I should have bought them out. (I left at least half a dozen of these beauties behind.)

Anyway. I just wanted to show you all.

Friday, September 10, 2010

On Running in the Dark

For me, back to school (and work) means back to running at 5:30 am. (Boy, was the dog excited when the alarm went off that first morning and I reached for my running shoes instead of my coffee cup.)

I'd forgotten a few details about early morning running. Like how quiet the house is as I walk through it gathering my stuff, how loud Sam's paws sound on the wood floors as he leaps around me in his pre-run hysteria. And it's silly, but I'd forgotten how dark it is, how I hear rather than see each slap of my Adidas on the pavement, how mailboxes spring into view only at the very last second (this can be a problem), how motion-sensored porch lights activate at random moments, casting you in a little oval pool of light for the length of a driveway, a parked car, a couple dozen yards. Suddenly what you never saw coming is right before you: the abandoned basketball left on the curb, the neighbor's cat scrambling away, the dew glistening on the freshly cut blades of grass.

And I'd forgotten about the headlights: Sam is...not afraid of them exactly, but he definitely doesn't know what to do with them. When an oncoming car approaches, he sort of hesitates, then awkwardly tries to duck under the beam of their lights as they pass in a weird form of doggy limbo. His head ducks down, low...lower...his eyes squeezed closed, his back flattening slightly as the light washes over us. As the car recedes, he pops back up as though emerging on the other side of a crested wave.

And then there's the raccoons. He lives for raccoon sightings, of which there are many. We usually just glimpse the black mass of their body scurrying across the road before their eyes turn and pierce us with their reflective glare, and then it's on. Sam's tugging at the leash and I'm getting my upper body workout and the raccoon is going, going, gone down the nearest grate in the gutter or irrigation ditch lining the orchards.

The orchards stretch out on either side of the road once we leave the suburbs behind, and at this time of year, most are already stripped of their fruit (Harry and David pears). In the early springtime, however, the acres of trees glow orange in the light of hundreds of torches lit under big fans which blow warm air to keep the fruit from freezing. You can hear the whirrrrr of the fans from half a mile away at least (even with an iPod in use), and if you don't know what you're hearing, it can be disconcerting (like somewhere out there in the dark, a dozen helicopters are lifting into the sky at once). The sight of the flickering torches setting the fields ablaze makes you think you've run smack into some sort of medieval battlement or post-apocalyptic movie set or perhaps stumbled accidentally upon an alien space ship landing. Yes, between the torches and the constant whirrrrrring, it definitely feels like an alien landing, right out of E.T.

But yes. I'd forgotten. All of this, while running daily with sun and heat and blue sky for company. I'd forgotten how wide-open you feel when you look up to see stars, when you look out and beyond to see only shadow. You watch the road in front of you, and you watch your breath fog the air, and finally, you watch the sun rise and you know your time is almost up. That at home, little boys are stirring, and rising, and trying to pour cereal into bowls. And that your blissful aloneness with your dog and the scary headlights and the taunting raccoons is coming to a close. Until tomorrow.

(We're gonna get those raccoons tomorrow.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

We've had words

gracing the front panel of our fridge for over a year now. (Shout out to my friend Laura who sent them to me a birthday or two ago.) They stick there, scattered nouns and verbs and adverbs in a study of chaos, congested at the top but ever falling, falling, falling like flat, rectangular raindrops right to the bottom of the fridge, where only Toby can comfortably push them around, these words he doesn't yet know beneath his fingertips. And a few times each week, as I'm reaching for the creamer in the morning or the dinner ingredients in the evening, I spot something new. A fresh trail of words someone linked together in a spare moment. Maybe Calvin. Or Nate. (But when it's way up high, all the way up by the top where we store the lunch boxes and the ant spray, I know it was Charlie.) Things like:

my fault I spilled juice that was haunted


know the true story


open a whale in ancient search


ask the alarm to whisper




And between. And beneath. And sentence and spirit and hollow and hello, all floating free on the grimy white surface of the door, lost like satellites out of orbit. Waiting to be noticed, needed, peeled up and placed down, attached to the larger train of someone's thought.

Someone I love. Someone I've just asked to take out the garbage or help himself to a snack or do the dishes. Who has been momentary distracted by these tiny typed offerings lying in wait of some small or large spark of his imagination to seize them. To rearrange them. To line them up in the order they belong.

For today.

This post is part of Wordful Wednesday at Seven Clown Circus and You Capture at I Should be Folding Laundry.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Oh, to be a Tween Again

"Did you know that Justin Bieber and Victoria Justice might be engaged?"

Nate offered this choice tidbit of information between bites of Life cereal the other day. Now, I'm 90% sure he's incorrect, but more importantly, where does he hear this stuff? Does he have a subscription to US Weekly I don't know about? Does he sit around comparing notes with his friends? My god, does he blog?

Imagine my relief when it quickly became apparent that he was catching me up to speed on all things Nick news as an excuse to ask a few follow-ups: namely, why Justin Bieber 'sings like a girl' and whether he does it on purpose. This confusion was reassuring, but the fact remains: the day your kid comes to you with pop culture questions, you know they're growing up.

And that's all I've got on this last day before Nate enters 6th grade.