I'm back in the Big Dirty after a lovely week in the Pacific Northwest. This morning after getting the kids off to school and camp I had a very expensive hour and a half. First, I bought 12 gallons of gas. Then I went to Key Food and stocked up, not only on food, but on cleaning supplies and those funky newfangled lightbulbs. As the cashier scanned the items and the tally mounted I joked to myself I'd need a second mortgage to pay for it--the joke being that I don't have a first mortgage.
Then I had to park at a hydrant for a few minutes while I lugged all the stuff upstairs (the alternate side parking rules meant there were no parking spaces in front of our building until 10 a.m.). Sure enough, when I came down, a lovely young woman was writing me a ticket. When I asked her to stop writing it she says, "How can I stop writing? I can't stop writing once I've started." It occurred to me how much I would like to hear that in a very different context--say, from my students, or myself. It also occurred to me that my groceries were costing me another $115 now that a ticket was in the mix.