Apr 30, 2006

That Friday Thing, Rather Delayed

*snap crunch click* Attention on the concourse--Friday's Flight of Fancy has been temporarily delayed. Meal vouchers and cold glances will be distributed to all passengers who missed their Friday Flight Of Fancy Connection. We're sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused you. We know you have a choice in blogline services and we thank you for choosing Irrelephant's Super-Extraordinarily Cheap Econo-Blog, seeing as it's free and all. *click*

Yeah, so what if I suck. At least I'm compulsive about it.


Eileen knew that she should seek help, knew it deep in her copious guts, but as she rolled down the frilly lime green blinds over the double-locked windowpane and continued from there to complete her breathless circuit of the house, checking every window and door was secured, she gloated in her overweight and overheated brain over her own private compulsion, secure in the knowledge that, after having googled her particular obsession and found zero hits, that she was the only person in the world to suffer this peculiar malady, this strange margarine-induced desire, this her sole claim to fame, and as she ran this peculiar fact over and over in her head her hands made circumspect wringing motions as if to duplicate her sweaty thoughts; as this transpired she made her oily and perspiring way to the kitchen, there to face the three-foot tall sculpture she had painstakingly worked on for the entire morning, one long fevered labour of what could not be called love, only emotional distress and frank mental disease, and taking one last huge sniff of the dairy-scented air she began to devour the butter troll she had so carefully crafted from exactly one thousand two hundred and ten sticks of Land O' Lakes pure butter, (no margarine or other foul, impure, fat-free butter products here,) starting at his misshapen skull and it's so lovingly crafted stringy, matted hair, to end at his gnarled hammer toes.


Wow, I have issues.

Apr 29, 2006

Stropping The Razor

I often complain about email's limitations, specifically that you can't see the receiver's face, and that it seems to strip away a lot of the humanity of a person if you don't know them or if they're just a rotten speller or couldn't punctuate their way out of a run-on sentence, but there are times that email is eminently suited for stropping the razor of one's mind.

For instance, silly word games.

This is the text of an email that VW and I bounced back and forth for a fair part of an hour one afternoon:


(VW) Thiiiiinks!
(IRR) Hey, that's what I'm here for.
(VW) Kay, now fetch me a mug of beer.
(IRR) You want that in a a frosted or a warm mug?
(VW) in a a frosted mug......
(IRR) Domestic or import
(VW) both . . . a suicide brew.
(IRR) Microbrew or house?
(VW) house, I guess.
(IRR) clean or dirty mug?
(VW) clean!!!!! ew. and a coaster with my name engraved on it.
(IRR) Full name or just first and last?
(VW) M Prawn 7.
(IRR) Would that be Mister or Missus?
(VW) It would be El Conquistador M Prawn 7.
(IRR) Plain script or choice of font?
(VW) comic sans.
(IRR) Bold or italics?
(VW) Nevermind, this is too hard.
OH, goodie, the brown terd boy is here with his stench.
Did you sign as Wilt Chamberlin?
Did he pick up my package?
(IRR) Okay, so that's a suicide brew house brand in a clean frosted mug and the engraved coaster with "El Conquistador M Prawn 7" in Comic Sans font, house option of bold or italics. Will that be all?
(VW) What? Who is this? Hello???
(IRR) Sorry, we're fresh out. What would you like to drink with that salad?
(VW) You J@CK@SS!!!!!

The Small Things

I've always held forth that the fullest expression of joy is to be found in the small things. So far I've been pretty accurate.

Through a long series of coincidental occurances and maybe a spritz of my winning personality I found myself standing in a radio station broadcast studio Friday morning. Vulgar Wizard thoughtfully allowed me to skip two and a half hours out of work that morning to spend some time with my newfound friends Ron & Riley of the Q Morning Show, specifically during my favourite broadcast time, 8 to 10 am for Flashback Friday, music of the 80's and early 90's.

And yes, like Riley said in an email to VW, I was like a kid in a candy store. Everything was new, everything was interesting, and to see it all happen in real life was even better. Watching Ron manipulate the morning's playlist on a touch-screen monitor, watching the strobe light flicker to indicate someone was on the request line, even watching Riley announce the day's forecast took on a whole exquisite fullness--I knew all this stuff was happening in some remote, vague sort of way, but to actually SEE it happening was a whole other world.

And after about an hour I couldn't stand it anymore and had to ask Ron if I could go on the air, he agreed, and Riley plugged in a microphone for me and we were off. I only got two or three good runs actually on the air but it was like a lifetime of effort being paid off--my voice was being broadcast out over the airwaves at a frequency of 93.1 Mhz at 100,000 watts, and I was issuing from the speakers of thousands of cars and radios and headsets across quite a few parishes.

What a cool feeling. I felt like Marconi with a sense of humour.

Riley even brought me to the production room, a place she seems to haunt a lot, where she was very quickly but accurately plugging in Ryan Seacrest's station ID clips into the weekend's upcoming American Top 40 broadcast, and she even showed me the secret of her evening show, Q2, where she plays real rock, some alternative, all sorts of goodies that aren't bubblegum pop, and I found out how she can broadcast that show from 10pm until 2am while she is at her other job--it's all prerecorded and set up. Again, I knew a fair bit of radio was prerecorded, but I had no idea how much, and how it was done--what a wonderfully eye-opening experience that was.

I'm strange that way, I guess. I can be such a cynic sometimes, but then there are occasions when I really want to and am able to suspend my cynicism to such a point that everything is new, everything is exciting, and I am that kid in a candy store again, eyes agog at the infinite variety of new and exciting things.

It was tremendous fun, that's all I can say, all I shall repeat. To interact with them both on the air live; that they both trusted me enough to let me on the air live and not pre-recorded, all of it added up to such a phenomenally good time and such a huge ego boost.

Now I begin plotting and planning with Riley for the Triumphal Friday Morning Takeover and the advent of The Riley And Paul Show!

YES!

Apr 28, 2006

This Is It, Kids-

Do Or Die Day.

Today I either get on the air live in the studio with Ron & Riley or I choke on the big one and go down in flames.

Wish me a broken leg!

Apr 27, 2006

Life Takes Compromise

What a hard lesson to learn, but restoring an old truck to almost OEM condition while keeping it usable really, if you'll excuse the pun, drives that point home.

All I wanted for my truck for the longest time was an OEM bumper. It's round, smooth, and matches both the front bumper and the truck's body lines. It doesn't do a lot to hide the spare tire if you have the OEM spare tire sling in place like I do, but that's part of OEM restoration. The drawback of an OEM bumper? It has no trailer hitch, nor a place to put one. And naturally, the truck parts suppliers I deal with sell two kinds--the OEM, smooth style, and a generic step bumper with holes drilled for safety chains and the hitch ball of your choice. So which did I go for? OEM looks or usability?

You got it. Vanity, thy name is Irrelephant.

'Tut tut,' thought I, 'You can always buy a receiver and have it installed, thereby giving me an OEM look with only the slight visual distraction of a 2" square black steel tube chunk of steel thingie hanging out in the breeze. No problem.' Well, okay, small problem.

I ordered mine from U-Haul, thinking they were the most reputable. They had the same price as everyone else, but they were going to throw in the pigtail free. Sold American! I order the part, it arrives, I go by this morning at the arse crack of dawn (7am)to have it installed, only to find out that the installer isn't in until 10am. Blast. Not to be thwarted, and interested in saving $40, I gamely load all 75 pounds of the black steel behemoth into the bed and go on to work, telling myself that I'd install it after work.

See, I'm officially a Jack-Leg Mechanic, or at least I am in my father's estimation, were he still alive to estimate me. I've surpassed the Tinkerer stage, being able to hold a wrench AND chew gum at the same time, and am firmly ensconced at Jack-Leg. If I keep it up I might be elevated to Shade Tree Mechanic, and if I were to go to Vo-Tech I could possibly get as far as Grease Monkey, but I really don't like engines THAT much, and I like clean hands too much.

So, I prepared. I read the instructions first (I learned that in Jack-Leg Mechanic School,) gathered my tools, and set to. And found out that I would have to drill four of the necessary six holes in my darling's frame. That hurt. BUT, it had to be done, so I can carry trailers and such, so after about an hour's worth of wearing myself out with a dull 1/2" drill bit I finally scored a sharp one, previously hidden from my questing eyes, and set the holes.

And realised another important life lesson--"There's nothing quite like red hot, razor-sharp steel shavings falling down your shirt and all over your hands and bare arms to reassure you that you are, in fact, a Jack-Leg Mechanic." After I put out the conflagaration I got the bolts settled in and tightened, used the spacers as provided and as intended, and the install went perfectly. I even stayed behind to sweep up the piles of red-hot gleaming razor-edged death steel slivers and picked up all my tools, returning them to their respective places in my shop. (That's one of the testing standards for elevation to Shade Tree level.)

And when I went to rehang the spare tire sling, I realised that Life, Itself, had gotten in my way again.

Compromise reared it's many-optioned head.

The instructions, vague as they had to be, since they covered Chevy and GMC trucks from 1962 to 1998 said something about maybe having to release the exhaust brackets (not needed on my model) and perhaps maybe having to relocate the spare tire sling entirely. Turns out that would be me. *raising hand* My prized spare tire sling, OEM equipment on every 1971 GMC Sierra 1500, as ugly as homemade soap but necessary for flats and other tire emergencies. Seems the receiver takes up some space under the license plate frame that is ordinarily occupied by the spare tire's outer edge. By a good four or five inches. That's a lot, even in Jack-Leg terms.

Reinspection of the instructions told me in the vaguest, most general possible terms that I'm going to have to somehow move the sling backwards some, while avoiding mechanical hazards like the:

  • exhaust system

  • brake lines

  • driveshaft

  • rear differential

  • shock absorbers


and most anything else down there, and quite frankly they don't suggest it because U-Haul does not want to be held liable if their mechanic messes something up and if you're doing it yourself and are rated as anything less than a "Mr. Goodwrench SAE Gold Level" you shouldn't even be under your truck, let alone working with their equipment.

So, compromise. I've left the sling in place, bolted up tight underneath the bed because 1) I bought the damned OEM thing and 2) one of it's bolts is now an integral part of the receiver's attachment to the frame, and I guess I'm going to have to sign up with AAA Road Service or carry my spare sort of casually tossed in the bed (minus fifteen Cool Points right there.)

Ah, Life and Antique Vehicle Restoration. Always about the compromise.

Apr 26, 2006

A Rose By Any Other Name

I love my office.

Not the one at work, that one smells of dead crickets and old farts, and is modern and functional. I'm referring instead to my office here at home. The place where I sit and blog or email, or surf for vital factoids on the Information Superhighway. I sit in my leather chair, my back to the dark cherry desk, facing my matching credenza and hutch, and stare longingly into all 19" of my monitor through which the world comes to me, all while I am wrapped in my small, cluttered slice of world.

My office, you see, looks just like I always wanted an office of my own to look, and it smells just the way I have always dreamed my office should smell. The walls are dark green; there is a large double set of windows, a generous carpet, and all my dark cherry furniture. I have my oversized brown leather chair with it's wooden arms and it's soft, somewhat ragged leather. I have my big cherry desk, and I have all my desk tools and things laid out upon it. Two oxblood red leather chairs face in front, and my fountain pen lies on the desktop, waiting for inspiration to strike.

And of course I have many bookcases. The corner bookcase houses my oddities--a pair of coconut halves for making horse hooves sounds, a black bowler hat, and a soft foam giraffe mask. It holds my nautilus shell under it's glass dome, and my clipping of Sir Thomas Sopwith's death notice. My antique binoculars are there, as is my father's old German manual 35mm camera. My barrister's bookcase is full of knick-knacks; my collection of Preben Holm pipes that I rarely smoke, old lighters, an old meerschaum pipe of a beautifully nude mermaid that my father brought back from Turkey, and even an old pack of his Raleigh cigarettes, still in it's cellophane. The opposite bookcase holds my ranks and ranks of tinned tobacco, soldiers waiting for the call to fire, and a black and white photo of the original Strawberry Bitch and her crewmen.

My cherry and glass cigar humdior stands guard on top of a squat cherry filing cabinet, keeping my precious puros fresh and ready while the antique brass fire extinguisher rests proudly on a side table beside the aquarium, which fills the room with a soft green glow. Above the aquarium hangs a framed repro of the London Times front page showing the Wright Brother's first flight and an old Tinder Box lithograph. A muzzle-loader and a hunting horn hang over the far wall, above heavy, dark green curtains which separate my office from the game room. A demilune bookcase by the door holds my faux antique radio purchased for me by my syster and her mom, as thanks for past favors, and some of my favourite authors are filed in that small case--Kafka, Doyle, Stout and Tolkien. My ceramic phrenology head and an antique book on phrenology watch from the hutch, flanked by an antiqued globe and my grey Mad Hatter top hat.

And of course I have my pipes. Two shadow-boxes filled with bits and pieces of 17th and 18th century English and Dutch clay pipes, and my hand built rack on the wall closest to my desk; my regular circulation pipes are therein, my friends of good weather and bad, my companions through thick and thin, through English blends and Aromatics. Through them I meet my mistress, Lady Nicotina. And hence the smell of my office--rich old leather, dark tobaccos, and the sensuous musk of books. I love those smells--when I first pull the door open it wafts gently out, invites me to sit and relax, reach for a pipe and fire, open to a favourite Holmes adventure and watch the world go by outside while I reside quietly, restfully, in my fragrant abode.

Wild Wicked Willies Wednesday

The Arabs, I believe, still hold an old custom close to their hearts; that being the sharing of bread and salt with someone whom you trust deeply and sincerely.

Yes, I'm thinking of food. Again.

You see, I feel much the same way--for me and my family the sharing of a meal is not something done lightly. Our time together at the table or over food is a time to be enjoyed, a time to let your guard down and share your thoughts. And don't get me wrong, it's not always deep discussions around the Irrelephant Family table, opportunities like that are actually pretty rare, but food shared at any time, at any place is a meal, and meals are a sacred time. So it makes sense that you would only allow friends to share food with you. See? Logic.

What brought this on for me is this tendency I have to make sure that people I care a great deal for have food. Not in the sense of canned food drives and Red Cross MREs, but in the sense of bringing food to Vulgar Wizard at work when she's got nothing but some dry, miniscule-portioned flash-frozen Lean Cuisine or something equally narsty for breaktime, or spending most of my indentured servitude to the Giraffe King making sure that my syster had a sandwich for lunch because she never remembered to make anything for herself and was labouring under the mistaken belief that she could subsist on Pepsi alone; not only unhealthy but also not suitable fuel for getting you through a 14 hour day.

So I was thinking about food this afternoon because the boss thoughtfully bought us Chinese food for an early Secretary's Day (I know, I'll gripe about the term "secretary" later) and I had a lot of fun sitting there making potty jokes with the coworkers, thinking to myself how one has to adapt sometimes, how even sometimes strongly held views have to be adapted just a bit. I mean, honestly, is Chinese food eaten out of styrofoam really considered a meal? And who was I to turn down a gift freely given?

It's tough to have deeply rooted convictions and rituals when food gets involved.

Apr 25, 2006

Will Wonders Never Cease?

For as long as I've known myself I've known that I have a volatile emotional base. Never have I enjoyed a calm, level playing field emotionally; it's always been all or nothing, wild swings from high to low and back again, and an uncanny ability to dwell deep in the doldrums for far longer than could ever be good for me.

As I've grown I've tried most any means available to curb these intense swerves, but have never found the right combination. I came pretty close with sharp blows to the head every hour on the hour but it deprived me of sleep so badly that I couldn't maintain the regime.

If you've been reading for the past week or so, you'll notice that I've been, if not down then at least a lot lower than usual. I can't find the reason for it, but today it seems to have broken, at least temporarily. I feel good inside, moderately rested, and ready for an overcast day full of the potential for rain. And something occurred this morning that really capped my morning: I was on the radio with Ron & Riley again.

I don't usually listen, you see. No offense guys, but pop isn't my taste. I listen to their show on Friday mornings when they play 80's music, but that's it. So it was completely by accident that I was in Detroit Rock City's office this morning when I heard Ron talking about stumping them on trivia questions. I didn't realise that it was a contest, thought it was just the subject of the moment, but me having a mind built for trivial things I thought up something off the cuff and emailed it in.

That's when I heard it was an ongoing sort of contest thing, and the next time Ron asked for calls I rang them up, asked the question while they were off the air, we had a really fun chat, and then we went on the air together, me on the phone and them of course in the studio and I asked the question again, managed to stump them both, even after Riley got the mercury question right, and won tickets to RiverFest, which was, for me, not the high point--the high point was being on the radio with them, interacting, making jokes, that sort of thing. It was almost like Talkies Tuesday, only live, and if I had farted then all of the greater metroplex out here would have heard it.

So now my mood is trying to creep up to that dangerously manic point, and I'm trying to let it out slowly and in a very controlled fashion instead of letting it blow out in one huge manic run, rather like a hunter trying to make his shotgun shell fire slowly rather than all in one go.

Fortunately for me I'm having more success.

Talkies Tuesday - A Special Host




this is an audio post - click to play



Join us today as:

Irrelephant discusses the relevant issues surrounding copyright infringement and tossing Bob Dylan down a well.

Vulgar Wizard delves deeply into the ramifications of tossing Bob Dylan down a well.

Hannibal The Hamster answers your burning questions about copyright infringing Bob Dylan falling down a well.

Strange Cousin Susan quests for the perfect well to toss Bob Dylan down while listening to pirated songs on her new iPod.

and

Leesepea gives us her always unique viewpoint on how best to toss Bob Dylan down a well and how to avoid tossing-down-a-well injuries while infringing copyrights.

Falling down a well? Then join us AND Bob Dylan!

Apr 24, 2006

If Memory Serves

I was thinking today about long lost friends, about people lost to the vagarities of time and distance and sometimes choice.

I was thinking about the summer I spent as a light-bulb changer in the Red Light Districts of Amsterdam.

I was thinking about that time I got a wild hair and decided to make the world's largest sand castle (1:1 scale) out of Bimmini Atoll.

I was thinking about the time I held off an alien invasion of flesh-eating plants from Tau Ceti using only my wits, a half-smoked Camel cigarette (menthol) and a broken piece of kitchen chair.

Aaah, good times.

And I was thinking how suprised I am when I don't write for a while and the bitter, dark part of me says "Hey, don't worry, nobody is going to notice" and I find that I was quite wrong. It's good to be a regular feature of people's day, and good to know that my little blurps and rants I put out here for your perusal and inspection aren't falling like frogs out of the clear blue but are being accepted like loaves of fairly okay bread handed out by the servants during a lull in the gladitorial events, while the Koliseum Kleaning Krew drags off the bits and pieces of ex-Christians and the occasional pile of lion dung.

Yeah, it's been a strange day. I had the same sort of fits most of today, even after sleeping like a turtle in the sun all night last night. Sort of a somber mood, a general unhappiness with the day and myself. I think you guys are right--I need a little time to just go be me. Some time that does not in any way involve a Wal-Mart store, particularly their automotive department, and perhaps does involve some wood and power tools, or maybe a pirogue and a rod and reel. That'd be nice. I haven't been fishing in a very long time.

And maybe I just need to get my trunk from out my arse and get on with living life. *s*

Thank you, my Gentle Readers, for chiming in. You guys made me feel more important than a one-legged man's crutch at a three-legged race.

A Little Confused

To be quite frank with you, I don't know what's wrong with me.

The past week or so I've been in the most peculiar mood, or lack thereof. The best word I have been able to come up with is "flat." I feel flat. I don't feel particularly depressed, and trust me I know how it feels. I don't feel the usual light elation that I try to instill in myself, either. I feel disconnected from the world, like at some point I stepped through a door expecting to be in the kitchen but found myself in the middle of a forest. It's not unpleasant, but it is very confusing.

Actually it IS unpleasant, now that I am putting words to it. I don't like feeling this way. It almost feels like I'm about to come down with a flu or a really hard fever; I feel disjointed. Adding insult to injury it's a lovely day outside (perhaps because I'm not standing in the heat) and I really wish I were anywhere but here right now.

I woke up this morning wanting to do more, wanting to manage more than simply going to work and doing my job. I often think that my job would be best done and fulfilled if I could keep bringing order to my home, outside specifically. I spent all of the weekend trying to accomplish one small thing, but each time I took a step toward it I found a dozen more things I had to do before I got there, each tied into the goal in some ethereal but very real way, and that failure to accomplish very much always does me in.

I felt like a bug who, seeing the goal, realises that to actually travel the three inches to the end of the flower I'm going to have to take a detour from my position on the base of the flower all the way back down the plant and across half of the flowerbed before I can obtain the goal.

Yeah, that sort of week. I hope it's over soon, because I don't like it, not a bit.

Apr 20, 2006

Flat As A

Flitter? Dime? Really flat thing? Lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut? No, too rural.

Today was strange. Somewhere between the time I woke up and the time I disembarked from Miranda at work I went flat. Emotionally I was non-existent. I don't know what caused it, don't know what brought it on. I had a good morning, the usual breakfast (a tall glass of tea and two cups worth of oatmeal with three small spoons of sugar on) and the outside temp hasn't reached the stage where it's constantly hot even at 6am, so the ride in was good.

Everyone but VW (and Detroit Rock City, who doesn't seem to want to be social with me, ever) seemed to be intensely curious as to what was wrong with me. And again, like VW said, it seems that when you're usually bouyant or crazed or whatever it is you'd like to classify me as and you have an off day everyone thinks your pissed or angry.

Simple fact is that I didn't care. I didn't care to share with anyone, didn't feel like talking, I simply wanted to get through the day so I could get home, work in the yard a little bit, get some supper and into my warm bed.

Which is calling me now. TTFN.

Apr 19, 2006

Music Hath Power To Soothe The Savage Breast

But it also has the power to stir up some serious problems at work if you work with a complete mouth breather.

Back in the day I used to have to share a sort of big, open office with RMB. I had a little Emerson radio which I listened to my local NPR station with, at a volume so low that I could barely hear it. This incensed my stupid office-mate enough that she once told me that my music "made her queasy."

Fortunately she finally queasyed her stupid ass out of here and out of my life.

In the new office things are interesting, again because of music. To picture the new office, simply envision an oval racetrack (I can just hear you NASCAR fans already panting.) So anyway, an oval, with offices on both sides of the track. At the front of the oval, the short bit, is me, sitting smack inbetween Turn One and Turn Two. I face out the front doors, and I have my little desktop stereo tuned to, as always, NPR and my classical music.

Now, to continue the NASCAR thing, Detroit Rock City's office is on the outside of Turn One, off my right shoulder, behind an open door. From there all day I can catch snatches of Top 40/Bubblegum Pop music. Not unbearable, she keeps it low, and whenever I hear something I like (that'd be two songs, tops) I can tune in to it for a few minutes, then back to Bach and Rossini. On the outside of Turn Two is Vulgar Wizard's office, again, behind an open door. From her office I get all sorts of bits and pieces, depending on if she's playing a CD, the 'oldies' station which plays the sort of 70's/80's hard rock that I grew up listening to, or sometimes even the Pop station, which is when I get this sort of distorted stereo image from each office.

And here I sit, a bastion of long dead men, violins and oboes and French horns wafting to and fro, caught in a sort of musical riptide. I guess it's a good thing I can multi-task, otherwise the conflicting music might drive me straight into a wall.

And while all this was going on I managed to slip one by VW. You see, she promised me that when we move from this small, inelegant office into one of those big 12 story tall glass and chrome towers with the garden atrium in the lobby I can have a duck.

You see, I asked her if I could have one of those big neo-modern glass desks that looks like it was birthed from some sort of constipated Danish designer's bunghole, the kind that requires a full-time maid just to stand around with Windex and a case of paper towels to clean the fingerprints off it every half hour, and I requested a duck. She denied the first two (the desk and the maid) but okayed the duck.

The clever part of all this is that I knew I wanted neither the glass desk nor the maid but I did want the duck, and I knew she'd deny my request for the desk and maid, so I asked for those first so she'd get the two negatives out of her system, and she'd feel bad for turning me down three times in a row so she'd be more inclined to say "yes" to the third option, so I put the duck there, certain and secure in my logic.

So now I have an open avenue to my own duck. Cool. All we need now is a giant chrome and glass tower and I am hooked up! My own duck...imagine it...a Wood Duck, or perhaps a Mallard drake, or maybe, dare I dream it, my very own Teal?

The mind boggles.

Apr 18, 2006

Having One Of Those Moments

How is it that Life sometimes can hit you with one of those moments when everything seems perfect, idyllic, and somehow so good as to be unreal?

I went home for lunch, which I sometimes do, and in the middle of making a sandwich I happened to glance out the kitchen window, which overlooks the back yard, and I caught sight of one of my flowerbeds back there, and for just an instance I was overwhelmed with the desire to drag a chair out there and sit in the shade.

Then I came to my senses.

It looked perfect, you see. A big, middle-aged pecan tree, dappling the ground with shadow and light, and a round bed edged with tan bricks around it, filled with good black earth. Right in the front is the pale green tendrils of a purple clematis climbing the rough trunk of the tree, covered in dark green arrow-head cones of flowers-to-be. Around it's feet, thriving in the tree's shade is the long thin leaves of spider lilies, spread out in random profusion, bordered by regular groups of gladiolus leaves like verdegrised swords thrust hilt-first into the earth. Scattered around the last open bits of ground are the dark green raggedy petunias, compact little patches of leaves surmounted by huge deep purple trumpets pointing every which way, as if to play a peal of violet and brass song into the cool air.

But then, as I said, I came to my senses.

I was easily fooled by the previous week's moderate temps as well as the air conditioner inside into believing that I could simply walk outside and it'd be the same temperature, cool and comfortable. The awake and uncharmed part of me knew that it was actually almost 90 out there, and ten steps toward that oasis of shade and dappled light I would be sweating like a port whore during Navy shore leave.

So dreams are put away for a little longer, and some other me in some other garden spot in the depths of my cramped and overcrowded skull is taking his afternoon rest under that shady place, smoking a big bowl full of tobacco, enjoying the quiet rustle of leaves in the wind, and nursing a tall glass of iced tea.

Talkies Tuesday - The Tragic Noncreative Life




this is an audio post - click to play




Join us today as:

Irrelephant discusses the relevant issues surrounding creativity.

Vulgar Wizard delves deeply into the ramifications of lack of creativity

Hannibal The Hamster answers your burning questions about creating kids the hard way.

Strange Cousin Susan quests for the nirvana of creativity while wishing she had never dyed her hair.

and

Leesepea gives us her always unique viewpoint on creativity, rebellion, and why most students need to be raised in a barrel.

Bored and noncreative? Then join us!

Apr 17, 2006

Solve Overpopulation, Starvation AND Make The World A Better Place:

Eat stupid people.

I have always loved the flowers commonly called "spider lilies." Likely you've seen them, they usually bloom around September, or at least in Louisiana they do, coming up first as tall, slender stalks crowned with very thin petals opening to reveal long, slender pistils and stamens, looking for all the world like several blood-red spiders flipped on their backs.

Every September when I was in gradeschool whatever female teacher I might have for homeroom would invariably be gifted with a few choice spider lilies, their cut ends carefully wrapped in a wet paper towel and the whole stuffed into a plastic baggie. I don't recall when I finally stopped bringing flowers to teachers, but I do know that I never forgot my love of this little red flower, and I have always taken pains to have them in my yard and flowerbeds wherever I go.

Imagine then my suprise and astonishment when a horticulturally-prone aunt of mine gifted me with a few bulbs which she said were from a yellow spider lily she had. I didn't believe her, quite frankly, but dutifully put them in a big 5 gallon pot I had on my front porch and carefully watered and tended them. Imagine my further suprise when the stems arrived in late September, balancing on their tips bright yellow spider-like flowers! The species was obviously different, it was in no way the exact same flower as it's red counterpart, but the family resemblance was there; one long stem topped by several radially-spaced short branches, each one terminating in long, thin petals.

I raised that single bulb until it had parented almost ten daughters, and then I finally divided those amongst two flowerbeds, there to continue propagation. (One of the small joys of bulb-based flowers--they spread for free!)

And so finally the day came--I found yet another spider lily variant. This one growing wild in, of all places, ditches.

I had seen them appear every spring like clockwork, always in ditches, usually but not always in standing water. Sometimes in huge clumps, sometimes solo, but inevitably each, from the highway, seemed to be crowned in at least one or two star-like white flowers. I intended for years to stop and pick one, or bring my waders and swim out to one to see what it really looked like, but whenever I found myself traveling in the car down the highway there was always some pressing errand to run, or some place to be. I never had time, as it were, to stop and smell the flowers.

If only I had stopped years ago.

Their common name is "Water Spider Lily" or "Swamp Lily," their proper Latin genus is Hymenocallis, which means "beautiful membrane," they grow in the southeastern states from Texas to Florida, and they're beautiful. And I finally stopped long enough this past Ether Sunday to find that out.

Yes, Sunday I went one step better--I risked angry Easter-holiday-working police to go forth in my gum boots and dig a pair of these monsters up. I say 'monsters' because at 65mph and at 40' distance any plant shy of a tree looks small. Up close and personal these petite beauties are several feet tall, have roots a foot or more into the very marshy ground, and grow to several feet across. Suffice to say I got two home by sheer stamina, bloody-mindedness, and a desire to have these plants in my yard seconded only by my desire to get out of the drainage ditch beside a highway which had, suddenly, errupted in traffic the likes of which had never rolled down that stretch of tarmac before.

And so now they reside in my slightly waterlogged ditch, and I fervently walk around in circles hoping that by sheer force of will I can make them grow.

Ah, the perils of being a flower person.

Apr 16, 2006

Ether Tidings

Another Ether has passed. Did Peter Cottontail come to your house, anaesthetise you and do terrible things to you with brightly-dyed eggs?

Why am I the only person in the world he does that to?

So this festival with it's roots deeeep in pagan practices is to celebrate the rebirth of the world after winter's harsh mittens have been released. To be quite frank with you, in Louisiana winter's mittens never got much further than a cold hand on the back of the neck, and Spring has been sprung, with Summer well on it's way, but that's just us. The rest of you guys are still considering where you want to plant your gladiolus bulbs while mine are ready to start blooming.

So with THOSE thoughts in mind, let's take a look at spring at la casa du Irrelephant with some pictures that will be of interest only to me and about three other people. YAY!

Here we have the Official Irrelephant Family Victory Garden. That's the view from just behind The County Seat, which was formerly the big block of wood that used to ride around on the back of the cultivator but which fell off during a particularly hairy left-hander and was pushed across the pasture to where it now sits because it is so freaking heavy. It makes for a nice place for me to sit and puke my guts out because I've been slaving away behind a hot Garden Weasel for a row or two.

Physical I ain't.

And this is my pride and joy--one of the grapes of the Irrelephant Vineyards. I'm told that this single little 20" tall vine (which used to be one of three but I had to prune it which was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life) is to become the trunk (get it? An elephant reference!) for a grape vine which will, I am hoping:


  • Produce luscious fruit after four years of careful pruning and cultivating, and
  • Have roots reaching down into Hell to steal water from dead men's tongues


That last one I can't really prove, I just read it somewhere and really liked the sound of it. Me, I'll be happy if they produce roots that reach to Limbo and share the water cooler with whoever else happens to be there.

There's two more pictures of the other grape vines, but I think it's probably like showing pictures of your kids to other people--they'll look at them but only to be polite to you and so they can have a chance to show you pictures of THEIR kids.

So go on, show me a picture of your juvenile grape vine. I'll bet you that my grapevine can whip your grapevine's butt. (My Thompson's Seedless Green grapevine is an honor student, btw.)

Apr 15, 2006

That Friday Thing I Do

Which was displaced by other, far more important life events which I've mentioned before, which are now behind me, or as far behind me as those sorts of things ever get.

So. Without further foolishenss:

That Friday Thing, Only A Day Later Than Usual.


Wilfred rested back against the antique Louis the Fourteenth sewing chair and let his hand holding the Bombay Gin and tonic in it's leaded crystal highball glass drift back towards his mouth as he wondered to himself, as he often did, if this sort of life was really what it was cracked up to be, if there were any sort of real, visceral rewards he was reaping from being the reckless, shallow cad of a man who just so happened to be lucky enough to be born the seventh son of an incredibly wealthy oil tycoon who was himself well into his sixth wife, each younger than the last, but really, what sort of life was it for a man and what would it do to his spirit, his sense of equality and fraternity and brotherhood with all other men of every nation and race and creed; these thoughts sped through his head as they often did whenever he was taking his afternoon entertainent, and as usual, they were as passing clouds in a clear sky, which is to say that they did nothing to stop him: his perfect lips opened, his manicured moustache curled with each syllable as he called out to his favourite bartender/butler/gamesmaster "Play something from Beethoven, Mannfred, and throw another peasant on the fire."


Happy Ether, everyone.

Apr 12, 2006

In Memory Of

Everett Jeff "Papa" Hunt died this morning around 1am of terminal cancer.

Papa was larger than life. In a world of flickering candles he was a torch, calling others to his light like moths to a beacon.

He died as few men can--with no regrets. He had done all and seen all that he wanted to, being the sort of man who lived life fiercely, as though life were a bone that had to be cracked to get at the sweet marrow inside.

With his passing we lost all his memories, his stories, and an untold wealth of experience. I doubt that I shall see his like again in this world, and this world has become a much poorer place for his absence in it.

Apr 11, 2006

Should I Stay Or Should I Bushido?

If you're familiar with medieval Japanese history, this post will make at least some small amount of sense. If not, then we're both in trouble.

The wicker-armoured samurai of Japanese history was much more than the mindless killing machine that many kung-fu flicks and popular knowledge makes him out to be. The true samurai was as well-rounded as any Renaissance Man; he was expected to behave with excellent manners in court settings, and was expected to master such diverse arts as flower arranging (ikebana,) poetry, calligraphy, bonsai, singing, playing a musical instrument, horsemanship, archery, and painting. And, of course, be a skilled swordsman worthy of serving in his lord's army.

Well, I'm no samurai, and I cannot call myself a master of any of the arts above, but I do dabble in a few of those arts. And I tickled myself this afternoon heading back from lunch, so let me tell you a little story.

This being Louisiana there are numerous ditches, ravines, bayous and other ways to hold lots of water. Along US Hwy 1 there are pretty much continuous deep ditches it's entire length, and every spring for the past several years I have noticed, growing in the thickets of weeds and water and cattails a certain white lily. They usually grow in clumps like daffodils do when their bulbs daughter and spread, and they give the appearance of a star-like flower from the highway. Headed back from lunch today I noticed bunches and groups of them in full bloom, and decided that since my Don Joan rose in my desk vase had wilted the day before, and since I had no energy to try and wrestle an amaryllis flower in here from the house I made a high-speed mid-highway deacceleration and pulled a flawless U-ie in the road so that I could park on the shoulder by a little clump of these flowers.

I descended into the (thankfully) dry highway-side ditch, walking carefully as Hi-Tek Magnum boots, a full-face helmet, leather gloves and a racing jacket don't make for a lot of flexibility in the joints, and reached my goal shortly. I squatted down, took my first good look at these lovely white lily-like flowers, and carefully snapped one thick stem off at the ground. I unzipped my jacket to place the flower inside for the rest of the ride back to work and that's when I noticed the man whose property fronted the highway ditch.

He was standing dead still in his front yard about 50 yards away from me, holding what looked like a ditch blade in his hands, watching me with a hawk's eyes and that certain madness that only long-time property owners get when they see a loud red sport bike haul a big turn in the middle of the highway to disgorge a red and black armoured rider who, to all appearances and for all intents and purposes seemed to want to stop and smell the flowers.

So, I did what any samurai would do--facing the potentially irate property owner I slowly bowed from the waist, tucked the flower gently into my jacket, remounted Miranda, did another U-ie in the middle of the highway and headed off fast enough that he couldn't get my license plate number.

This evening I'm going back with a shovel and a bucket, so perhaps soon I can post a picture or two and you guys can tell me what sort of flower I've liberated from the evil grasp of the Highway Department and a certain very disgruntled redneck.

Talkies Tuesday - Applying Physics And Algebra To Real Life




this is an audio post - click to play




FINALLY!


Join us today as:

Irrelephant discusses the relevant issues surrounding physics and mud-hogging.

Vulgar Wizard delves deeply into the black Toyota 4x4 industry.

Hannibal The Hamster answers your burning questions about Louisiana gumbo mud and it's physic applications.

Strange Cousin Susan quests for the perfect mudhole where she can apply physics at liberty.

and

Leesepea gives us her always unique viewpoint on why Irrelephant doesn't need to be thinking about physics this early in the morning.

Dropped an apple on your head? Then join us!

Apr 9, 2006

Drop And Give Me Twenty, Dogface!

Why is it that every time I get outside to do some work and I happen to have a cigar with me I:


  • clench it firmly in my teeth even though I'm not a cigar chewer and
  • I suddenly become a sort of proto-Clint Eastwood, a combination person comprised of his roles as The Man With No Name and Gunny Highway from Heartbreak Ridge?

See, the thing is, I'm not a huge cigar fan. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy them, but not nearly as much as my pipes. Cigar tobacco is almost always harsher, doesn't have the cool smoking characteristics of a pipe, and they're usually a lot more expensive than pipe tobacco. And of course, there's a part of me that refuses to enjoy disposable items, and even though I collect cigar bands it's just not the same. But then again, I refuse to lose a good pipe because I accidentally crunched through the bit or it slipped from my mouth and ended up underneath the bushhog or lawn tractor's deck.

And so there's a place in my life for cigars. Most always outdoors, usually but not always operating power equipment.

The drawback being that cigars combined with power equipment seems to bring out my inner Drill Instructor. Don't ask me why, I'm just telling a story here, but every time I find myself with a tractor and a cigar I end up chewing the trash out of those poor puros, gnawing and masticating, all the while growling incomprehensibly at every inconvenience or barking commands at the tractor as though it were a recaltricent recruit. Cigars seem to make me permanently ill-tempered and likely to growl things like "Grrarrrrr, come on you mangy piece of shit, CUT!" This, naturally, has zero effect on a late 40's International Harvester Super A tractor or it's attendant bushhog, but it seems to make me feel better, especially as I can bite down fiercely on my smoke at the same time and turn my words into a mouth-full of grumbling and snorting, rather like a bulldog with throat cancer and chronic pneumonia.

It's strange, I assure you. But, I know my own self, and I've found a use for those cheap "Buy One Good Box, Get A Ton Of Cheapie House Brand FREEEEE!" cigars. Thompson Cigars does a good job of stocking the mid-priced smokes that I prefer when I do have the itch for a cigar, but they always seem to be more than willing to send you another four or five bundles of their cheap house-brand stuff with your order, as though that is going to influence your decision. Mind you, they're not bad as far as cigars go; quite the contrary, for the price they're simply unbeatable. They're just not the cigars I give my friends when I invite them over or I see them at parties. They are the cigars I save for my use when I just want a smoke rather than for those times when I really want to sit still and have a quiet moment spent fruitlessly looking for my soul. A cigar is just the thing to help calm my nerves when I can't find hide nor hair of it, you see.

A pipe is for when I finally DO locate it.

Phone Pics

I have just become quite the meme-sort of guy. This time, it's phone pics.

You know how it is--you have a camera phone, way low resolution, but you can't help but use it. Guilty as charged, yer honor. Tonight I went and downloaded and then deleted everything to make room for more quick snaps, but I'm gonna share some of what I downloaded instead of just curling around them in a ball of pain and embarrassment.


This is from last year, sadly enough. It was the first little pretty flower of spring, some sort of little day-blooming thing which I should know it's name but don't, and so I snapped it's pic and used that for a background for, well, quite a while.




This would be my workstation. At least, that's my workstation the day that some construction doofus up around Natchitoches way cut Sprint's main data line into the city and we had no computers but PLENTY of free time. Toblerone spent a half hour or so listening to Vulgar Wizard and I sitting on the front porch making obscure jokes at each other, and she wrote each little obscure thing down on a sticky note.

Hilarity ensued.


(L) to (R) that'd be The Green Brain, a Maisto replica of my bike, now carefully detailed with Sharpie markers to exactly duplicate (almost) the real Strawberry Bitch II, and a 1/144th scale replica of a Fokker Eindecker triplace, in a colour scheme OTHER than that blood red one made famous by the imfamous Baron Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen.

Tantalising glimpse into the mind of Irrelephant, eh? Well temper your beating hearts, my children, I'll be presenting more as the days go on.

Thrilling, no?

Apr 8, 2006

Sometimes You Bite The Bear

I love it when I can be clever, conniving, sly and otherwise a rapscallion and wben it's all said and done, nobody is hurt, nobody is the wiser, and Nobody thinks he got a good deal, too, when in fact I scored big time.

Last night found us at our local cheap-o lumber yard, trying to find some vegetable fertilizer, some fire ant poison, and some snapdragons, which seem to be out of season because I found exactly ZERO of them. Ah well. I did, however, find a deal in which I could rapscallion someone at.

If you have ever set foot in a lumber place that also just happens to have a lawn and garden section, you know that at the verrrry beginning of rose season, usually just after the first good freeze, they start stocking bare root roses. You see them as a few meager wax-dipped canes sticking up out of a foot long sausage-like plastic wrapper, and a gaily-coloured picture of a gigantic rose on a piece of paper stuck in the front of the package. What you get when you unwrap the bundle is a wad of wet cardboard wrapper holding in a wad of wet sawdust and a sad collection of brown roots waiting patiently for dirt.

And naturally these first-comers are the first to die, because only desperate or really knowledgable foilk buy them, because they're hard to get growing properly. Well, there was a pile there of very poor specimens which had been sitting there so long the colour pictures on front were faded to white, and only a few still had any green in the canes. So, I snapped wise. Happens occasionally.

I found a little manager out there, pointed to the roses, pointed out to him how horrible they looked, how most were dead or dying, and how they were priced at $5.49 each while right down the same aisle he had 2 gallon potted roses in full bloom for $5.99, and how he was pretty foolish to leave them sit there. So, being magnanimous and speaking fast to keep him off his feet, I offered him ten bucks "for the lot of them." He hemmed and hawed, and went to find a manager. When I tracked him down again, he said he'd let me have them all for the price of one.

And that's how Irrelephant came to be loading up TWENTY SEVEN bare-root roses in the trunk of the tiny little Toyota.

And that's how Irrelephant came to spend all of his yesterday planting 12 of the twenty seven and running slap out of energy.

And there's still more alive.

If I'm lucky I'll pull a good fifteen to seventeen living ones out of the bunch.

And since I've been unlucky too, most of the living ones are pink.

Bleugh.

Apr 7, 2006

Proprioception

That's the scientific word for knowing where your body is in relation to everything else around you, via responses from your nerves.

It's that time again--that Friday Thing Where I Write A Single Sentence As Long And Incomprehensibly As I Can That Doesn't Have A Name Yet!

Wow, I almost had it there.


As he smeared his gloved hands in sterile jelly and lubed up the plastic enema nozzle Jerry sneered and wondered if this job was working out exactly as he had expected it to be when he entered medical school to become a nurse, hoping to serve people in need, his head full of grand ideas of making a real difference in people's lives, performing selfless tasks graciously day in and out, which made him think of his old day job years ago where, as a janitor in a porno shop he was Chief Mop Handler for the dozens of booths along the back wall, and it was during that fateful Friday evening that he had met the crazed old witch-woman with the great pair of legs, surprising for a woman of her advanced age, the same witch woman who, after Jerry had performed a certain service for her, had cast a magical spell over him to grant him his heart's desire, which got him into medical school, and he remembered with a grim determination to kick her in the teeth next time he saw her, as, administering the enema to the four-hundred pound constipated patient, he remembered her promise to him that day that, no matter what else happened, it would all come out in the end.


Wow, I am one seriously sick puppy!

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Ah, what a week it's been, but today, today was the lemonade in the lemon downpour. Lemme 'splain.

I won't get into it, but the Georgia trip for work was a nightmare, and put me both physically and mentally on the down-side for the week.

Add to that the fact that there's been a convicted carjacker/murderer loose in the area since late Wednesday and that the local hick town police department had him on a routine stop and let him go, not realising that he WAS the escapee, and it's all been a huge source of fear and concern and, yes, stupidity and bellowing around the area.

You may well remember from previous posts that Fridays are one of my favourite days at work, because one of the local radio stations plays 80's hits from 8-10, and I always call in to request something in a round-about/joking manner, and it bugs the ever-loving trash out of one half of the morning duo of Ron & Riley. I say it bugs him, but from an email I got from him a month or so ago I know he enjoys it because I'm not one to just call in and say "Hey, play _____" and hang up; I engage him (and Riley too) in my little mind game, or to phrase it as VW did, I "throw him a bone."

And a game it is, but it's a necessary game for me, because Ron and Riley are two of the many whetstones upon which I can keep my mind sharp, and for that I am grateful. The gene for Alzheimer's Disease is in my family, so I feel that everything I can do to take care of my mind helps. So...

This morning I called in right after what had been a morning-long pissing contest on the radio concerning the escapee vs the PD, and I was tired of the finger pointing and such, so my request was David Bowie's "Let's Dance." I was going to make a long, convuluted joke about the Georgia trip, the pre-conference evening of drinking and dancing and my own advanced whiteness preventing me from going on the dancefloor where all the pretty girls were, but I made the mistake of calling Ron out on a joke he had made earlier, playing a song by The Police as a joke on the whole convict thing. And off we went. *lol*

He called ME out on my usual modus operandi, cut right through my rambling joke by demanding that I just tell him what I wanted to hear, and we had a tremendous laugh over it which made me feel great. Then he played the entire conversation on the radio with them both taking a few digs at me, as well as remarking on how much they enjoyed the interaction with me. What they didn't know was that I had spent the time between calling in and hearing myself on the radio writing an email to Riley titled: Top 5 Songs Ron & Riley Can't Play This Morning. When Riley got it she jostled Ron's elbow, and they went back on about me after playing my request, letting Riley read the email aloud, with a lot of comments about my emailing them in the mornings and my habit of being as obtuse as possible.

I think this morning was the first time in a very long time I have laughed until I almost cried. It was a combination of joy over being on the radio, hearing Ron & Riley admit on the radio how much they both enjoy me calling in, and just sheer happiness that it's a beautiful Friday morning, Blue Jean Day here at work, and the knowledge that the weekend is very near and promises to be beautiful for working with my roses.

Ron continued playing the 'relevant' songs about the convict, including my Number 1 song from the email, so without further ado, and with the help of Ron & Riley, The Q Morning Crew/Flashback Friday DJs, I present for your education and elucidation:

The Top 5 (Now Extended To 12) Songs Ron & Riley Can't Play This Morning:


12) Duran Duran - Notorious
11) Howard Jones - No One Is To Blame
10) Talking Heads - Psycho Killer
9) Bon Jovi - Wanted (Dead Or Alive)
8) Paul Young - Every Time You Go Away
7) U2 - I Still Can't Find What I'm Looking For
6) Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal
5) Toto - Stranger In Town
4) REO Speedwagon - Take It On The Run/Time For Me To Fly/Don't Let Him Go (blame Riley for all three of those!)
3) George Michael - Freedom
2) A Flock Of Seagulls - And I Ran (I Ran So Far Away)

And the No. 1 Song That Ron And Riley Can't Play This Morning:

The Pretenders - Back On A Chain Gang

Apr 6, 2006

Distinguishing Features And Prominent People

The mistake for us as human beings lay not in climbing down from the trees but in learning to talk to each other. Words, you see.

Words can be so many different things, nested with hundreds of meanings depending on context, tone of delivery, and most of all, differences in language. When Chevrolet launched the Nova in the mid 70s they didn't realise that their sales would suffer in Spanish speaking Mexico because in that language "no va" means "doesn't go."

I'm not selling cars here, however. What I am doing, however, is discussing words. Let me 'splain.

No, is too long. Let me sum up.

I've been listening to my local public radio station's Spring Fund Raiser. One of their thank-you gifts donated by a local sponsor is one of those high-end Tad Hueger watches. (Yes, I'm being foolish. It's a Tag Hauer Formula 1, if you're curious.) The thing that gets me is this--the announcer keeps refering to it as a "chronograph" and not a "watch."

So how many ways can you say "watch" and still mean the same thing? And when is a watch not a watch? I have carried pocket watches for years and years now. I remember getting a Mickey da Mouse watch when I was 6, and I even got a watch from Office Depot for working there three or four years, I forget which. Prices vary, but I have never been able to bring myself to pay more than $40 for a watch. I can't see myself wearing a five-hundred dollar chronograph, not even if I were Sonny Crocketting down a moonlit boulevard in my Ferrari Testosterone.

And speaking of, let's examine one of those terms, shall we? Specifically the term that brought this entire post to mind: "chronograph." Chrono + graph. "Chronos" is, if you remember your classical languages, Greek for "time." "Graph" is one of those tall orange-and-tan long-necked leaf-eaters that live in Africa, so what we have then is a word meaning 'vegetarian time-keeping device.' What Formula 1 cars and some guy named after a B movie actor from Blade Runner is beyond me.

Before I get myself in deeper I'm going to retire from the field in disgrace. And yes, that's a long way to go for a single dumb joke. Talk about a waste of effort.

Anybody got the time?

Apr 5, 2006

What The Hell?

What a long, strange trip it's been.

I love that line. Have loved it ever since the day that I realised how neatly it sums up a lot of the aspects of my life, both in micro- and macroscopic focus.

Most of my Sunday, all of my Monday and by default a good part of my Tuesday was taken up with a corporate...function. It was called by the corporation a spirit renewal time, and seemed to combine both extensive travel and long distances with a high-school Meet-And-Greet, only with a lot of alcohol and catering.

I can't figure it, you see. And I don't mean this necessarily as a complaint against the company, because I know for a fact that they're taking necessary steps to decrease spending, but dang, the lay-out for this dance party must have been phenomenal. Mix in Delta Airlines (I'd sooner die than ride in another Delta aircrap)and their signature way of doing business (fast and dirty and the passenger be damned) and it all adds up to an Irrelephant-sized headache.

Did I mention that it's almost impossible to walk from one concourse in Atlanta's airport? Even when you use the slidewalks? And that Delta should be taken out en masse and shot?

It's funny how my mind is refusing to work well enough right now for me to blog about it? I was so angry at the way we were treated, and right now I'm too out of it to form a coherent thought that it's probably not the best time to be blogging.

The 'rent just called and said that the telephone repairman is wanting to get into the house to tell me that it's one of my phones and not their lines that is making that incredibly loud roaring static sound in our phone lines, and that of course there will be a huge charge for this service. Me, I'm tempted to tell Ma Bell to fuck off and start using just my cellular, but Sprint ain't all that and a cup of coffee, either. Seems that they've learned how to channel their signal so that it only follows the course of major highways, so that once you leave the main road the signal turns to "Analog Roaming" after you've travelled more than 50' away.

I guess I need to just regroup and recollect.

Yesterday VW very thoughtfully gave me the day off. Actually she gave me the day off at about 10:30 the night before, while we both sat in a sweltering hot aircraft on the runway of Atlanta International, but you get the picture. I didn't wake up until very late in the morning, and I ended up spending most of my day puttering in the yard with my flowers and my bulbs, digging in the brown dirt with hands and tools, and it was during the hour or so that I was squatting down on the driveway, sun-hat on, nippers working slowly and carefully on a rosebush that I realised how very happy I was.

Even after busting knuckles and pouring used oil all over the driveway after a motorcycle maintenance I still had an unbeatably positive outlook because I was outside, the weather was perfect, and I was doing things with my hands that changed my world.

I guess I need a job as a handyman or as a jack-of-all-trades.

I know for certain that I need to regather my thoughts and try this whole blogging thing again.

My apologies for missing TT; my phone at home was (and is) still thick with static, and my cellular was then (not now) dead from a lack of battery, and I didn't want to spend any time inside trying to find the charger.

So. Fragmented thoughts aside, I'll talk to you guys again soonest.

Apr 1, 2006

Sad Tidings

A friend of mine's funeral was today. At least it was a beautiful day for it.

He was a street performer in his mid-thirties, and though you might laugh or roll your eyes in disgust he had a real talent--he was a mime. I was glad to see that all his work friends came; they're all mimes in this sort of street theater/acting troupe that works downtown. It was a very nice ceremony, as far as funerals go. The pastor's words were reassuring, and when the grief was at it's strongest point the pastor paused, looked out across this gathered group of mimes and asked for a moment of talking.

Happy April Fool's Day.