October 2011

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laugh Welcome to Short Attention Span Land By Laura J. Gallagher Things have been crazy busy in Gallagher world, and so dear read- ers, you get to bear the brunt this month with a column that can best be described as "brain droppings." By the time you read this, I may be seriously depressed. You see, this month my husband Pat, a bunch of our friends and I are going back to our college alma mater for homecoming. We went to one of those smallish state schools that rarely makes the news unless it wins the Division III Championship in something, or some freaky crime involving, like, a goat, several traffic cones and an account- ing professor is committed. To this day I have no idea how I ended up there, but I'm glad I did. It's just that…it was different when we last went back for home- coming in our late 20s. I doubt anyone mistook us for college kids, but we didn't look too out of place. Plus, it wasn't that far removed from the 80s, so we could dance like we used to and no one thought we were deliberately being "retro." Deb and I would "insist" that the bouncers card us, which they did with good humor. I'm just worried that this time, when we get to the door of some bar we used to rule and insist on being carded, the bouncer's gonna say, "Oh cool, you're the same age as my mom!" Pat finished his third Ironman recently and I couldn't be more proud—or glad. He trained really hard and did very well. But I'm most thankful for the fact that maybe now every conversation we have won't somehow turn into a monologue about swim class, a training ride, the latest run, or his times therein. For many, many months, "the dog" = greyhound = run; "Grocery shopping" = nutrition = Gatorade; and "dishes" = water = swimming = long, boring story about "breathing on both sides," which just raises the question, both sides of what? " " Oddly … this is not going particularly well. I have started learning to play the cello. I played the violin in my youth, and still have one, but I always wanted to try the cello. So I finally up and rented one, and am using the magic of the Interwebs to teach myself how to play it. Oddly, even though I was a pretty good violinist, this is not going particularly well. In fact, what I produce sounds not so much like "music" as much as "cow get- ting a rectal exam." Now that fall is upon us, I can practice more because our windows won't be open. This summer, while I was do- ing whatever it was I was doing to that poor innocent instrument, I kept picturing my neighbors on the phone to 911: "I'm telling you, there's something seriously wrong next door!" Speaking of neighbors and neighborhoods, this is the time of year when a "mature wooded lot" is not a selling point. Every fall, it seems the squirrels pick sides and declare some sort of squirrel war, which is waged mainly on our roof. They leap from tree, to roof, to tree, chucking nuts at each other and making that "chick chick chick" sound. They also yell at us when we sit in the backyard. Since they apparently consider our house their house, I'm think- ing of asking them to pay the property taxes next year. I get a lot of suggestions for columns, usually of the (what I call) "drive by" variety. This is when someone suggests something either really vague or extremely specific, then gets the heck out of dodge before I can ask them exactly how I would get several hun- dred words about "bees," or "my father-in-law tipping over in a kayak." But here we go anyway: Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps, and are known for their ability to produce honey and beeswax. They go "buzzzz." The klutziest of the bees, the bumble, looks like he or she is wearing a little yellow-and-black sweater. On a Fourth of July vacation two years ago, my father-in-law tipped over in his kayak. See, it's funny because he's actually a re- ally experienced kayaker. I love my co-workers, many of who are my readers. After my col- umn on tomatoes came out, I found a homegrown beauty on my desk. Since my recent column on the scourge that is yogurt mar- keting, several co-workers have taken to opening the break room fridge and shouting, "Look, Laura, yogurt!" I find this immensely entertaining. ••• Laura J. Gallagher is a long-time communications professional. When not teasing her husband, Triple M's Pat Gallagher, she is researching bees. Find her on Facebook at the Laura J. Gallagher page! 80 BRAVA Magazine October 2011

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