Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tony Tony Turn Around

“Where is it? I saw it and I know it’s here somewhere!”

It’s 2011 and I wanted my pocket calendar. Now.

Yes, yes, I know, I’m a technology professional along with everything else and I have a million ways to keep my calendar through my cell phone, computer, Blackberry, etc. I happen to like calendars that are little books that I can stuff in my purse. Little books only get misplaced. Their batteries don’t die; they don’t fizzle in Merlot accidents or untimely dives into vessels of water in the bathroom or anywhere else. They might be damaged or unsavory after such events but paper still talks even after torture. There’s something intimate about paper and pen that is lost in the electronic medium. Low-tech has its pluses too.

Take my haircut appointments, for instance. It’s really important for me to note in my appointment book whether the time I listed is the time I need to leave the house to get to the appointment on time or the actual appointment time. Sometimes that kind of notation is more easily made on paper. At least it feels that way to me. Debbie really appreciates it when I show up on time. Or at all.

And I really like my calendars to be different colors in different years, at a glance, in my purse. 2009 was bright tomato red Moroccan leather. 2010 was a sedate oxblood red, only because it didn’t come in any more startling colors. 2011, wherever it went, is an eye-popping chartreuse, basically “bug-squash” green, almost fluorescent. You’d think something that bright would be hard to lose. Never underestimate the power of an untidy packrat!

I used to use those cute little cheap plastic coated calendars with kittens or seashells on the front and the month at a glance with each day as its own square. Over time, those squares have gotten smaller and smaller (it just can’t be my eyes going bad) and I need just a little more room. I liked the compact and lightweight aspect of those little calendars and so transitioned to the slim notebook style bound in some delicious and smooth leather, hopefully in bright colors. I had black before, but it gets awfully dark in that purse. My purse isn’t that deep until you’re looking for a key or your casino card or something else that has sifted through the big stuff to nearly but not quite the bottom. Then I need one of those deep water submarines they use in the Monterey trench to find sea critters never before seen by humans, one with really bright lights. Something dark down in the bottom, like a calendar with a black cover, could hide for weeks without being found. Even those deep-sea critters use their own home made glow in the dark stuff to get around down there.

I really loved the calendars I’ve had in the past. They have had almost everything in it. There were color maps of the world in last year’s. One year there was a very cool map of the London Underground, not that I live in London or anything. But it was like memory lane or maybe memory tube stop to look at it. Remember that terrific pizza we had at the Embankment? It was heaven after one too many mushy peas experiences in the pubs that trip. But there is always seriously useful stuff in them too along with the requisite calendar days to write in the appointments, birthdays and reminders for the year. I pasted little souvenirs of the year in last year’s, like my dentist’s phone number stickers. And my favorite little memento last year was the autograph of a young man who had been the voice of the baby in the movie The Incredibles, one Eli Fucile. Incredibly, we were having a hamburger in Sonoma and happened to strike up conversation with the gentleman’s father. By then, The Voice was a strapping young man who was pleased to write his name in the back of my calendar. My husband and I of course admired his work and hoped to hear more of him in the future.

So where on earth was it? Lightning-lime green should stand out like…like…well, heck, I like lime green a lot but still it’s a peculiar size lime-green thing and I remember having it in my hands. I remember putting it in a tote or purse or something. I took apart the purse I recently transferred from, realizing that recent was a few months ago now. It was a useful exercise at least. I found a lot of other stuff I was looking for including that spare house key I had been looking for. I found a key ring I got at a technical conference that is solar powered and blinks when it’s charged up, good for those deep dives into the purse for something that was recently exposed to sunlight at least. I spent time taking it apart to see if I could put my own name in it instead of the company being advertised. I can’t. Bother. But the solar cell is still very cool.

Calendar, calendar, calendar. I went through all kinds of totes and bags from various events with no luck. No luck, except to find other useful items which had not been put in their proper places like a zillion ball-point pens and a nice little flashlight.
The Hermit from the
Victorian Trade Card Tarot
(c) Copyright 2010 Marcia McCord

The light flashing thing was starting to gel with me. In the tarot, the Hermit is the seeker who lights his way with a lamp. If he didn’t have the lamp, he’d be stumbling around in the darkness. My husband called in, “Do you need any help.” “No,” I puffed forlornly, wishing the calendar really was fluorescent and I could turn off the lights and see the glow. Like most Hermit moments, looking for something only you can find is something that feels best done alone. You turn over the rocks in your soul and poke at the crawly things a bit. You don’t really welcome visitors because, well, they might touch something and you’d have to start over. I had put it somewhere. I had to find it.

“Tony, Tony, turn around. Something’s lost and can’t be found.” An old Catholic tradition says that St. Anthony of Padua is helpful in retrieving lost articles, provided a small charity donation is made to the first worthy cause you see. At least that’s how my husband tells it. I like St. Anthony. He was Franciscan. He practiced preaching to fish. Besides the saint thing, he also seems to have been a nice guy.

Along the way, I did find a half-full container of catnip my House Elf had helpfully squirreled away into a box with a painful journal written by my father, a couple of copies of the magazine my mother had been an associate editor for and some sheet music. And my ardent admirer, Tony the cat, was trying to assist without getting in the way and would benefit from this scavenger hunt from this find. He’s a dark (some would say dim also) mackerel tabby with a purr like an outboard motor and a devotion to me that in cat culture would be considered no less than a religious calling. He sniffed every bag, stuck his head in every box, and earnestly listened to my sputterings about my purchasing a 2011 calendar in the summer of 2010 with all likelihood of never seeing it in 2011.

And then I experienced a moment of calm. Tony beat me to the bedroom door where he knows another stash of fresher and more aromatic catnip is hidden. He ran straight for the bedside table drawer but I muttered, “Suitcase.”

Hmm. Wonder if I put that silly calendar in my suitcase when we went on vacation in September? One unzip and there it was, green, near-fluorescent, pristine and ready for 2011. So Tony got his catnip reward for “finding” my lost calendar, grateful for any charity, and I now have the beginnings of organization for the year. Now I have to put away all these pens and stuff. Nice kitty.

Best wishes!

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