Shine on

8 Oct 2013 In: personal, writing

I lost my diamond the other day, the only diamond I’ve ever owned. It was in the engagement ring I wore for the past 10 years, and I never thought it would come out. I’d quite authoritatively lectured other women on how keep and care for their diamonds. New brides or the newly-engaged, I gave them all the same advice: Never take it off. You’ll just lose it. Sleep with it on, shower with it on, leave it on when you wash your hands. When you brush your teeth, give it a brush too. It’s the world’s hardest substance – you won’t hurt it.

Then one day, I looked down, and my diamond was just gone. The ring was still there, but one prong was broken, and another bent up at an odd angle.

I never found it again. Intense vacuuming of hidden crevices of the couch yielded nothing, nor did a blacklight search of the two bars I’d visited that day, nor obsessive eyeballing of every sidewalk I’d walked on. The car didn’t have it, nor the bed, or the shower, or the house itself.

My diamond had gone on walkabout.

Since I don’t know where in the universe my diamond has gotten to, I decided to imagine its fate.

I imagined that while trying to save $5 on 3 boxes of canned cat food at Costco, I’d tried to carry more than I should, and that’s when I damaged the prongs on my engagement ring. Foolish, I know. But the diamond didn’t leave just then. It had just begun to understand the possibilities of flight, and it waited, though somewhat loose in its setting.

Then while I was holding hands with my husband as we sat on a charter bus that ran between bars during a friend’s birthday pub crawl, my diamond jerked loose and fell to freedom. It immediately regretted this happenstance, as the floor of that bus was sticky and black with dirt. But with no legs, it couldn’t very well jump back into my ring. It sat there glinting, hoping I’d notice and rescue it. I didn’t.

About an hour later, long after I’d left the bus, another rider happened to tread on my diamond, and it embedded itself in the sole of her purple Converse All-Stars. After making a tour of a few craft beer bars in San Diego, the woman took her shoes off at home, and the diamond lived for a time in her closet, still stuck to the bottom of her shoe.

The next weekend, the woman wore her purple Cons for a stroll on the Embarcadero, and the diamond managed to work itself loose. It fell on the sidewalk there, sparkling in the bright sunlight.

Rescue and a new owner were not yet in the cards, though. Within a few minutes, the diamond was run over by a dolly carting boxes of bananas, and became embedded in its tire. Through much bouncing over gangways, ramps, and thresholds, the diamond actually bounced free, only to end up stuck deep in the stem of a banana.

All went dark for my poor diamond. This banana’s box was loaded to a container, the kind you see all the time being hauled by semi trucks, and the container was craned onto a massive Dole container ship.

The ship got under way and sailed out of San Diego harbor on a Tuesday. The diamond wouldn’t know it, but the ship would sail down the east coast of Mexico, past most of Central America, through the Panama Canal, across the Caribbean Sea and the South Atlantic, down the east coast of Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope, up the pirate-infested coast of Somalia, through the Arabian Sea. It finally landed at Mumbai.

The box of bananas with my diamond in it was then transferred to a rickety, dusty truck with inadequate brakes which drove it helter-skelter to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, one of the oldest and most sacred Hindu sites in India. (Why they’d need bananas from the U.S. there, I don’t know. Seems like India has enough jungle to grow their own bananas…but I digress.)

Anyhow, the diamond was well embedded in the stem of this swiftly-ripening banana, so when it was placed in a basket on display at a Varanasi fruit shop, no one noticed it.

A young acolyte of a local but much-respected guru bought the banana, knowing his master had a potassium deficiency and would enjoy it for his breakfast.

When the guru peeled the banana, my diamond popped right into his palm, as if eager to end its long voyage.

Now, this was no ordinary guru, who would have been astounded to find a diamond in a banana. This was a very intuitive guru, who sensed that while this was not a large diamond, it was very special. He noted its visible flaw, a black spot deep in the stone. He gazed at it calmly, and it occurred to him (somehow, in that mysterious way gurus have) that this diamond was much loved by someone. He also recognized that if diamonds could have feelings, this one might be a bit stressed out.

He knew exactly what to do.

He picked up a brass tray he happened to have handy and held it before his face like a mirror. He looked at the small divot between his eyes that he’d had since a childhood bout with the pox. He noted it was exactly the same size and shape as the pointy side of the diamond.

He slipped the diamond into that divot, and magically (in the way that precious stones tend to behave with talented gurus) it stayed there from that day forward. The guru could sleep with it in, shower with it in, wash his face with it in, and nothing hurt it. When he brushed his teeth, he gave it a brush, too. He sensed that the diamond was used to this treatment and felt quite at home.

And from that day forward, people remarked that this guru’s prophecies increased in accuracy by at least 37%.

At least, that’s what I’d like to think happened.

“Nobody knows where you are / How near or how far.”
– Pink Floyd, Shine On You Crazy Diamond


18 Jul 2013 In: personal, writing

The magician palms the coin
Caresses your face, and taa-daa
He pretends it came from your ear
But it didn’t
He was holding

The dealer plays the concealed card
Flourishes it, even
It ruins your hand
You think it’s just bad luck
It wasn’t – he was holding

I held something secret, too
Held it tight, even from myself
Now I’m peeling my fingers away
Even if I have to break them
But I can’t deny it – I was holding

I reached for something I needed

19 Jun 2013 In: personal, writing

I reached for something I needed and came away bloodied
The sting and slice into my thumb
Instant notice of my mistake
I should have known, but didn’t
The bag was dark

Embarrassed eyes avert from my unclean bandage
A constant reminder
That I did not protect myself
And now no one can
I am dangerous

Now there is only a slight scar
Visible when the light is just right
And no one is embarrassed
But me
For needing

For real, though

12 Sep 2012 In: blogging, new media, professional life

Everyone pulls a boner on their blog sometime (figuratively speaking, of course). A joke misfires, or a reference is misunderstood. It’s okay, step back off the ledge…this is not the end of your blogging career. Here are some tips about how to regain your credibility as a blogger after a disastrous post.

Some of these come from having done stupid things on my own blog, some I’ve only experienced as an appalled blog reader. All of them seem like no-brainers, but they’re so common, there must be a pile of missing blogger brains somewhere…maybe on the side of a road in South Dakota.

This is not meant to shame anyone in particular, but to offer constructive tips your friends might be too embarrassed to pass on. Search your heart, and your posts, to see if you need to change your ways.

Read the rest of this entry »

5 years of movie tickets

5 years of movie tickets, courtesy Flickr user fligtar (CC 2.0)

Current state: 32 movies seen, 14 to go, 8 days left.

As you may know, my husband Ken and I do an Oscar Run every February, a challenge which often means seeing at least up to 3 movies a day for a month. We’ve done this together since 2000, and I’ve blogged it since 2009.

This year has been a little different. We’re still seeing just as many movies — in fact, 46 movies in 34 days, our highest total ever — and I’m still blogging about it. But I’m now blogging it for my company, DivX (maker of video compression technology and a division of digital entertainment giant Rovi). To stay on the proper side of copyrights, I’m calling this the Major Award Movie Sprint.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sorry I haven’t updated, but I’m lame

1 Nov 2011 In: blogging, personal

Found this on, and it says it all. Get thee there and laugh.

I'm Going to BlogHer '11

Tonight I go to my first-ever blogging conference. I admit, I’m feeling a bit nervous. What if the other kids don’t like me? What if no one sits with me at lunch? What if I forget my locker combination? (Oh wait, last last bit of anxiety is left over from high school.)

But seriously, if you’re going to BlogHer 2011 in San Diego, here are the reasons you should look for me:

– I live here in town. About a half-mile from the Convention Center, in fact. If you spill syrah on your new wrap dress, mine is the closest free laundry room.

– I know the SD Convention Center like the back of my hand. No kidding! I just spent days of my life standing in line there during Comic-Con. If you want to know how to unlock the glass doors on the West Terrace, I’m your girl. (Don’t try it. Trust me.)

– I’m new to this conference, and have no posse, so being nice to me is easy and gets you extra karma points.

Follow my #BlogHer11 tweets at @thepegisin!

The Year of No Rabbit

17 Jun 2011 In: personal

I can’t believe it’s been a year since this happened.

Here’s a photo album of some of Rabbit’s cutest moments, captured with my phone camera.

Today we will lay a stone for Rabbit where we buried him in the backyard. Felt very weird and adult to order such a thing, but Rabbit surely deserved it. We got ours from Peternity. They were very respectful and concerned with accuracy, and the result is beautiful. And heavy, in more ways than one.

Rabbit's stone

Oops! Haven’t posted in a while

10 May 2011 In: blogging, professional life

That’s what happens when you get a job in social media. You stop actually blogging.

I’ll be back soon, I promise.

In the meantime, go check out the awesome blogs on my new project, We have over 130 bloggers there, covering such things as travel, small business, law, money, and food. You know, all the good stuff.




About this blog

Musings about movies, music and other things that interest me. Written by Peggy Gartin. Got an opinion? Leave a comment.

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