Mar 30, 2007

Infinite Jest

Being employed by a medical facility, we're a primary target for sales reps, telemarketers, and other lower forms of life.

One of the main tricks used to prevent angry customer rants and forceful hangups is to fully automate the telemarketing system, so that after I pick up and spiel off my bright-and-chipper office greeting to what I think is a human being I'm greeted in return by a chipper, eager, prerecorded (dare I say "artifically cheerful") voice trying to sell me a whole gallery of products. And invariably I've got better things to do than sit and listen to a computer try to sell me on nitrile surgical gloves or the next big business loan for me to grow my office exponentially, so I put it on hold.

I'm secretly gleeful when I do this; there's a kind of strange surreality about letting our on-hold advertisements talk to their auto-dialed advertisements. It's like making an infinity mirror by standing two mirrors face to face, only in this case neither mirror/voice is reflecting the other. More accurately, both are simply speaking AT each other, which is like turning a pair of mirrors back to back, reflecting everything at the same time...

Ye gods I need to be careful, I might end the Universe in a nanoinstant playing around with mirrors like that, maybe turn the whole ball of wax into some sort of omnireflective dimensional tear. Coo!

Secretly, though, the romantic part of me likes to think that the two recordings natter on mindlessly for a few moments, then one says something like "I think we're alone now" and they both take deep breaths, let them out in long sighs and take up their love talk where they left off the last time some operator or receptionist put them both on hold at the same time.

Ah, the ultimate cybersex.

Mar 27, 2007

Agricultural Science--Not Just For Farmers Anymore

There is a veritable plague of things that can infest, infect, and damage crops. Even the home gardener isn't safe from pestiferous invasion. Potato bugs, ants, cutworms, whole hosts of beetles and caterpillars and creeping things lie in wait for the unwary gardener, and there's poisons and home remedies and old-wives tales that deal with how to eradicate them.

And then there's me. I've got a garden that's being overrun by crawfish.

What you see there is a row of cucumbers ready to grow up their fence on the far left, a row of young tomatoes ready to grow up into their waiting cages on the next row, and a row of bell peppers and some germinating hot peppers on the third row, awaiting stakes for them to be tied to. And in the middle?

Crawfish chimneys.

Yes, I've got a bad infestation of crawfish.

I think the particular species that is invading my garden is a little-known variant called escrevisse gardenus, or the Greater South Louisiana Garden Dwelling Crawfish. They are known for making large, round holes in soft, freshly-tilled ground and putting their chimneys in the way of me weeding and tilling.

The above picture doesn't look like much until you take into account two things--first, that's a tomato cage standing beside it. The base is almost a foot across at the bottom. Second? That chimney's mouth is wide enough that my wife can put her HAND down it's mouth. That's bigger than most catfish I've seen.

And then there's THIS one, at the other end of the row.

Seems she's decided to go mining around the row looking for just the right spot to live. Either that or she's trying to dig a tiger trap for me and is finding that the work is really slow going.

And me? I'm watering them regular-like, just like the peas and the beans and the squash. You see, crawfish build those chimneys as a natural moisture trap for when it gets too dry outside. The height aboveground captures the air from outside, mixing it with the cooler air that rises from below. There's a hole below the ground level that runs a foot or so deep; the air transfer creates moisture, which keeps the little chamber at the bottom nice and damp, where Momma crawfish is busy raising her clutch of petit enfants. She'll live there waiting for the rain to return and flood the place out so the little ones and she can swim to the bayou, or in this case they'll hang out until a good flood comes along, at which point they'll migrate down to the end of the row and into the ditch, which at some distant point rejoins the bayou.

And so here I am every afternoon carefully weeding and watering my garden, my compost pile, and my crop of three crawfish.

Around here, a crawfish farm is a big square man-made lake about two feet deep, with some mechanism to agitate the water and aerate it. The crawfish are raised there until they're adult, and large nets sieve the lake, collecting the crop. Me? I've got eleven rows of freshly-tilled dirt, some tomato cages, a fence for beans and cukes, a handful of plant stakes, a lot of freshly-germinated vegetable seeds and three very opportunistic crawfish.

And Scott? This isn't a bug post; the term "mudbug" is a misnomer, crawfish being crustaceans and such, so don't count it against me.

Mar 26, 2007

You Tell Me

Nancy Dancehall left me a comment on the Right Of Way post that got misdated but is now where it belongs. *heh* The post, not the comment. Sharp-eyed Dancehall spotted the mis-placed post.

You see, I've read Nancy's writing for almost a year now, and this is very high praise from a very talented writer which I take directly to heart. It reads, quite simply, as follows:

"You don't have enough readers for what you write."

And Irrelephant wrote:

And if you can tell me "Why?" I'll give you a shiny new nickel. Or a walk down a right-of-way to smell the perfect smells of fresh paint and warm metal, and let you hear all the tiny rattling noises as the skinks hide from our intruding feet.

I've blogged for almost two years now. I've written well, and I've written badly. I've stolen ideas, and used my own original stuff. I've audioblogged, photoblogged, and just plain let my guts hang out for anyone to walk by, point, and even smirk, and somehow, SOMEHOW, I can't attract more than you 20 or so; my dear sweet loyal gentle readers, to whom I'm in debt, because you keep coming back to watch me publically, mentally masturbate.

Or at least play with myself.

So YOU tell ME...what am I lacking?

THAT was the comment that I was going to leave, but decided to post as a new post, since I've only got about five more posts rattling around my brain pan, waiting to find a way out.

And it stands for any of you, my Gentle Readers, my loyal twentysomethings. My Crazy 20. The Irrelephant Patrol. Save The Irrelephant, Save The World. Tell me, guys? Would you? Why do you read? Why have you stayed? And why hasn't The Word Of Irrelephant gone any further than our little cozy menage a twenty?

Mar 22, 2007

Walking The Right of Way

I'm told that's what you call it when you wander up and down railroad tracks. In my case, taking pictures of cars and graffiti on cars and, more importantly, a pair of diesels bearing down on me at roughly 40mph.

Too much hurry-up and too many sun dogs come out to play and me without any sort of sun-shade for my lens...and now only a pale reminder of a very powerful moment.

No, the thing I wanted to remember here for you was the smell. Not of this giant yellow and black engine snorting down on my cowering self, but the smell of the place. The smell of warm metal and paint. The cars had been standing in the sun all day, baking quietly, and as I wandered down their length and breadth, my feet slipping and sliding in the raised hill of loose cracked concrete, I could smell that rich paint tang. Long-chain polymers, Varsol and industrial-grade paints sprayed onto every metal surface to prevent rust and corrosion, and an odor that was almost but not quite that elusive new-car smell; a sharp, not unpleasant odor that seemed to permeate the air around all that quiescent steel.

It always struck me as odd that you find cars old and new strung along a train. As I walked the right of way I passed cars that had to have been thirty or forty years old hooked right in line with boxcars that had graffiti on them almost as fresh and new as the cars themselves. Those cars shone like newly-minted coins, and it was they who bore that smell. They wore it like a woman wears perfume, a rich, heady smell. The smell of newness hung close to the metal, as though it were inexplicably tied in with the warmth that radiated off each stanchion, each clip and buckle and plate and truck.

And then there were the old cars, the lumber cars whose paint was faded and chipped, rust showing through every surface. Their cables hung loosely, the step-plates and brake wheels and every surface shown not with that gleaming newness but with the soft orange-red patina of rusted metal. Metal that has been handled repeatedly, has had hands and feet gently and not so gently moved across it for years and years so that the rough edges between rust and paint are smoothed, the pits and lumps sanded over, and decay held in a sort of stasis, a tentative truce in the ongoing War of Entropy.

Of course those were the cars I am drawn to.

Anything can be new. All things were new once. Only with time and use and care can a thing acquire that ethereal quality, that certain indefinable Trait that makes it desirable, approachable, comfortable. And then you find that one tiny piece that sums it all up. And if you're lucky, you have your camera with you.

Mar 19, 2007

What Is It With This God Person Anyway?

I posit it to you that God does not exist, or is asleep at the wheel, or is a drunken grandmother who can't keep track of Her meds and is always taking too much Valium, and this proof is, currently, spread all over the parking lot at my office.


Our parking lot is littered every morning with, quite literally, hundreds of golden-brown June bugs. All of them upside down.

What gives, God? I mean, I've watched these lovely little things pretty closely--it's hard not to when you want to avoid tracking them inside as yellowish goo on the soles of your shoes. Do you realise that THEY CAN'T WALK? I mean, they can, but usually only for very short distances. Like, three inches or less. Anything more and their completely out of sync legs simply tip them over onto, and this is the clincher--THEIR ROUND BACKS.

Okay, let's look at this. Round = good balance point. Rollie Pollies are round, and when threatened they roll up. When they open up again, sometimes they're upside down, but this is easily rectified by them being able to open their bodies to a slightly obtuse angle, thereby making them rock to one side or the other, whence their legs and their slightly convex shape makes them flip right-side up. There are thousands of cases in nature where animals, fallen onto their backs, simply unstick their horns from the ground or leap out of the boat or grab hold of a passing aborigine and flip themselves right-side up. Except the turtle, but that's another gripe.

So. You've got a beetle that's apparently better at flying than it is at walking. And DAMN I hope it's a good flier, because if it can't fly well either then it's a completely miserable wanking little waste of exoskeleton material. I mean, what do they DO? What GOOD are they? What are they FOR? Other than to land on our parking lot by the billions and then lie there on their backs, flailing their useless little legs in the air in a very un-skilled, un-helpful manner until I get sick of the sight of all that failed insectoid design and take a broom and sweep the entire parking lot's worth of goldish, hard-shelled critters (gently, so as to not kill anyone) into the grassy verge.


So look--you've got all that shell, right? And inside is, I can only assume, a whole collection of yellow guts just waiting to pop out and stain the entrance carpet. So why don't you just design some sort of organic gyroscope and stick it in there with all those icky bits and let evolution take care of itself. I would think that survival of the fittest combined with an organic uprighting thing mechanism balance don't-fall-over bit would pretty quickly assert itself as the rightful, nay, more EFFICIENT way of doing things, replacing the older, outmoded, v1.0 model.

Get it together, God. I'm tired of sweeping your creatures around.


Arguably one of the coolest pictures I have ever taken. Definitely one of the Top Ten.


1) Is the train closest to the photographer moving?
Damn skippy it is. I estimated it at about 40mph, taking into account the wind and the suction of it's passage not three feet from me.

2) Is that Vulgar Wizard?
Yes, it is. She's standing on the stationary cars that we were photographing when the real live train came down the second set of tracks.

3) Were you scared?
No. I was, however, shouting and calling and yelling like a complete idiot, so happy I was that I had managed to be in the same place as stationary cars AND a moving train, all with my cameras in operating mode.

4) Any more pics?
Why yes, yes there are. Go to the flickr link on the left sidebar, way at the bottom. I was doing studies of graffiti and trains at the same time, and all the pics are there.

Mar 14, 2007

Starbucks For Formicidae

Sometimes having this hyperactive imagination gland like I've been diagnosed with really pays dividends. And sometimes it just makes people look at me sidelong, like that time I went into a Jack In The Box and ordered a lightly grilled weasel on toast with a side of fries and a diet Coke.

This morning I spent a few minutes sweeping thosands of junebugs off the front sidewalk, and so creeped out was I that I was already in the mood for strange imaginings. My mind, you see, had crept into the panic room of my imagination and had converted my sweeping tons of upside down, leg-waving honey-brown bugs off the front porch into shoving leggy marbles across the driveway in a sort of organic shuffleboard game, so it was only natural that some base atoms of imagination (imaginons) were still lurking around when I made coffee later that same morning.

See, we've got ants in our kitchen here at work. Fire ants. The Orkin guys will be here in a day or so to commit an insectivorous genocide, but for now I just deal with it, as I learned a long time ago. This morning, however, things changed. As I filled the coffeemaker basket with Community Coffee medium roast, one of the little coffee bean crumbs managed to clear the basket and went bouncing across the green marbled countertop, coming to rest in front of one of the many-legged scavengers.

And naturally being hungry little critters, that determined little worker snagged this brown lump that was several times his size and began to wobble carefully off with it clutched in his little mandibles. My mind, of course, immediately took this little visual treat, mixed it in equal portions with the remainder of my imagination's glandular secretions and off we went. Suddenly I was seeing this nano-sized ant struggling back to his little tiny cubicle down in the very bowels of the mound, secreting this little sky-gifted morsel under his standard issue cot. I watched him scuttle around, getting his little homemade percolator together, setting out the creamer and sugar aphids, drawing off some filtered water from a leaf, and then with eager antennae, running his new prize through the grinder.

Medium grind, of course.

Then my mind, being the loose assemblage of rubberbands and bicycle parts that it is, proceeded on with this little industrious six-legged barista going about the rest of his day carrying a little stainless steel traveler's mug full of his prize, or maybe alertly working on some other project deep in the warrens, holding his little off-white, chippped ceramic mug. You know the kind, the sort of mug that's always in the back of the cabinet that has some clever saying blazoned across it in cheerful colours: "My folks visited The Kitchen Counter and all they got me was this lousy coffee mug!" or "Mound 145-MZ7: 3 years without an Amdro poisoning!"

Of course he could have dragged it back to the mound and shared it amongst his fellow ants, all of them lining up around the tunnel at the local coffee shop, eager for their double caff with a twist of fungus espressos and cappuchinos with extra nectar and then we'd be host to the most insanely active fire ant mound in the state.

Imagine it--whole masses of jittery, edgy ants, all questing for that perfect cup of java.

Demitasse, of course.

I Feel Important!

And like I equal mass times the speed of light squared or some such foolishness like that.

Thanx, VW, for making me feel surreal. *S*

And when you're done with that, go play Jesus Dress Up.

Mar 13, 2007

Dream Lines

Okay, I'm officially "toys in the attic" crazy--I dreamed about Stucco last night.

Now, you guys know I'm not big on talking about my dreams, especially online, but THIS one...oh lordie. I dreamed Stucco (I've never MET the man, don't even know his real name) was hosting a QVC/HSN show called "Tom's Stuff." He was sitting in his living room in his at-home clothes, selling things. HIS things. One of the most remarkable items, the item that woke me up from a sound sleep?

A fully operational goat-mounted multiple-barrel Super-Soaker watergun system.

With a laser range-finder and targeting system.

Please god, kill me now.

Mar 12, 2007

"Mr. Humphries, Are You Free?"

I was never a massive "Are You Being Served?" fan, but I did enjoy the show a great deal, and have watched many, many episodes in the past. I always got such a huge kick out of Mr. Humphries, as played by John Inman, and his inimitable swanning about, and of course the inevitable double-entendres. Sad to say, he's counted down his till and ended his shift.

THIS WEEK'S HONORARY UNSUBSCRIBE goes to John Inman. An actor, Inman was best known as "Mr. Humphries" on the Brit sitcom "Are You Being Served?" (1972-1985), set in a London department store. Originally, Humphries was a side character in a cheap suit who only had five lines of dialogue in the pilot episode. But producer David Croft asked Inman to "camp it up" -- and Inman pushed it to the hilt, calling out "I'm free!" and mincing over when a customer stopped in. Gay rights groups protested the stereotypical swishiness, but the character was well loved by the public, including in the U.S. where it ran on PBS. The show was thrust to the top of the British charts and ran for 13 years. Comedy seemed to be in Inman's blood: his first job was as a window dresser at, yes, a London department store. During his off times, he'd stand still in the window himself with a sign around his neck reading: "Available in Other Colours". In 1976 he won the BBC's Personality of the Year and TV Times's Funniest Man On Television award. In recent years Inman suffered chronic ill health, including hepatitis. He died March 8 at 71.

Mar 7, 2007

Post #1000: I've Found Jesus!

It's a funny thing--he was stuck between the couch cushions with my old TV remote. No telling how long ago he's been down there, surviving on old M&Ms and pieces of potatoe chips and loose change.

James Cameron can find Jesus' tomb, and me, I've found God's Own Hankie. In the mail. It was sent to me. See, I got this letter in the mail at work. This is not ordinary because I get ALL the letters at work, sort them to the right people, toss the junk in the round file and Bob's yer uncle, but this one caught my eye.

Now, it wasn't the blue faux highlighter marking that got me. It wasn't the 'Use It And Be Blessed' stamping. No, it was the address section: "Resident -- To A Friend." Uhm...okay, I don't live at work even though I sometimes feel like I do, but how was I to take that? Was I supposed to bring it to a friend, me being the aforementioned resident? Was I going to turn into a zombie and go stumbling around Raccoon City? What if I don't HAVE any friends?

The other hook that caught me was that The Head Spook had told these kind folks down at this here Full Gospel Missionary Church On The Rock that they were bearing an onus to loan this thing to me. I don't recall recently praying for anything like a bag full of dead presidents or a bottled genie, but then maybe, I figured, the Holy Insubstantial Hisself might be a little backed up in the Request Fulfillment Dept. (say, some twenty-odd years) and was just now getting around to shipping Tawny Kitaen to me via Fed Ex Overnight, so I plowed onward.

I flipped it over to slide my handy-dandy Anthrax-Sensitive Letter Opener (a buck three eighty at K&B)and saw THIS.

Wow. Some octogenerian letter-stuffer had a field day with the blue Sharpie marker back here. So what did I have to look forward to? Church letter of prayer? Handkerchief? Prophecies? Under my bed? I was starting to get really excited, because it seemed I had stumbled into the mother lode of crazies, and they had included the ultimate relic, Gawd's Own Handkerchief, stolen perhaps from the Vatican's relic storehouse. Visions of melting faced Nazis crowded into my head and I almost crowed with happiness, ready to lay waste to my foes with this Most Blessed And Powerful Linen Nosegay +5 Holy Avenger.

But then, just like your most annoying relatives, reality settled in on me. See, I have this memory. Let me take you there. *making flashback noises* Back when I was a kid, it was the grandest thing in the world to get mail. The time Playboy got me on it's mailing list and started sending me tantalizing offers of sumptously unclad women with astounding physical proportions (I knew nothing of airbrushing back then) was vieing with memories of the first religious thing I ever got in the mail, but the religion thing was winning the battle over all those long pale legs and heaving boosoms.

It came packed in a plain #10 envelope, but inside was this glossy, road map-sized, foldout Personal Compleate Guide To How To Burn In Hell, all printed in one colour--blue. Sharpie marker blue. Some kind church-going folks had thought enough of my nonexistent immortal soul to send me this giant poster of people suffering in eternally burning lakes of cobalt fire, souls being tormented by fanatic indigo demons, and peacefully praying ultramarine families being ascended bodily into Heaven by sapphire rays of Holy Transporter Energy and welcomed thereto by St. Peter and His All-Blues Jam Band. Even good old Fido was there to welcome them, the family's Blue Heeler.

Yeah, that was one step too far. Sorry.


This glossy thing had left it's marks all over me, and not because it was still fresh from the printer. No, it was the first real attack on my person by junk mail, and it came from that fog-shrouded land called Religion, and it was strong enough and so coincidentally well-timed that it was referred back to by my hindbrain more times than I've taken it in hand. Or maybe every time I take it in hand. Anyway.

And now, this navy missive, this Sharpie-highlighted letterbomb, just waiting to send me spiraling right back to the Cerulean Pit Of Super-Sized Eternal Damnation. Inside--a sealed prophecy and a 56 year old lunatic ready to give me all my wishes come true simply for returning Gawd's officially embroidered (what IS God's initials, anyway?) hankie. Liar to a people was more like it, but I was hooked. I HAD to see what sort of idiocy was hiding in this envelope.

Okay, everyone from Tulsa Oklahoma reading this now? Smack yourself across the face for this return envelope. Hard. Again. Once more with feeling. Okay, thanks. "WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! THE NEXT MORNING!"? What? In Comic font? Sounds like someone shouting a really terrible fortune cookie fortune in a mildly humorous voice. "With god all things are possible the next morning in bed with a banana, waka-waka-waka!" Er...yeah. Okay. And with two you get eggroll and your choice of soup, Fozzie.

Oddly enough, it only got worse.

I hate to say it, but at this point I was laughing so hard that the onslaught of a dozen print colours, fonts and all those frills and scrolls and other modern scribe's illuminations I blacked out for a moment. Seems that if I wrote my fondest wishes on the included hankie that up until recently belonged to Gawd my son would beat the rap on that cop-killing charge he was being set up with, my other son would suddenly be free of "the dope" (I thought I divorced her years ago,) God would fondle one of my children ("Point to where the Divinity touched you on this doll, sweetie,") I'd get the clapping in my hands (I'm told penicillin cures that) and I'd join the Seed Harvest, what the hell ever THAT is. Heady stuff indeed. I was ready to cover that prayer-soaked hankie with my best Zodiac writing and send it back and then wait, anxiously, for my seed delivery. Or Tawny's panties. Or whatever.

And then, like a cheap paper imitation of cloth, there It was. God's personal snot rag:

I was underwhelmed, I must say. I would have figured He could afford better than maybe real cloth for starters. I mean, He's supposed to be The Guy, the Cosmic Watch Maker, the Dood Who Set It All In Motion, who hung the stars and set the planets in motion and when He gets a cold He's got to wipe His omniscient nose with a sheet of high cotton content paper? Wow, no wonder Bush is president: this really IS Hell.

And it's not even blue.

So the only thing left was the sealed prophecy, which I wasn't supposed to open unless I wasn't going to send in the Holy Handkerchief and an undisclosed amount of money. So what did I do? You got it. I let PB&J here in the office open it. I figured if any demons (aquamarine or not) were going to leap out and rend me to pieces to prove that the hankie had fallen into the wrong nose I'd rather them leap out and shred someone else. No offense, PB&J but you're the low gal on the totem pole.

To be honest, at this point I was having spasms from laughing too hard and the sealed prophecy vanished in a puff of smoke or something when I changed the flow of time by not leaving it sealed under my bed with a banana so I'm really sorry I can't share it with you, but I tell you what--I'll meet you in Hell and we can talk about it. I'll be on the corner of Aqua and Turquoise streets.

I'll be the one in red.

post-script to the 1000th post:
You know, I had seriously considered naming this post simply "M" in true Roman Minimalist fashion but then I'd have had to go off into some sort of Peter Lorre direction, and I couldn't really do my Lorre voice (EVERYONE can do a Lorre voice) and then it'd likely end up somewhere in the esoterica of Rick's Cafe American, and if you followed THAT series of mental leaps and bound then congratulations: you're a suitable case for treatment. Right this way...

Mar 5, 2007

999: The Antichrist Ass Over Teakettle, or Digging In The Dirt Redux

Spring is coming. I can feel it in my bones, my skin and my limbs.

I feel like an old oak tree who has patiently sat, leafless and grey, waiting for winter to release it's hold. I feel the sun warming the ground, and I can feel the sap stirring deep inside, ready to push green out to every extremity. I'm ready to grow, add layers, and cover myself in my finest green cloak.

I'm also ready to garden again.

The intention was to set in a winter garden, grow some lettuce grows well in winter. Snow peas. Things of that sort. Well, that plan got nixed as most good plans do, and the garden patch has sat untended for a handfull of months now. But, finally, with the coming of the rains and the sudden greening up of the countryside I find myself chafing at the bit to be out there, knee- and elbow-deep in the rich brown earth. And I've managed a few baby steps:

  • I've set up a compost box.

    Okay, so it's three pieces of tin nailed to posts but it's a uniform place to toss weeds, rose cane clippings, eggshells and waste neighbors in, and with luck in a while Nature will take her course and I'll be rewarded with a small pile of very black dirt which I can toss upon my large pile of very brown dirt.

  • I bought a new tiller.

    That was the high-point of my tax return. That and setting up a savings account, but that doesn't involve gardening. I stepped up from a borrowed 35cc two-stroke weed-eater-on-wheels to an honest-to-gawd small garden model, a 150cc jobbie with a 24" cut, lovely dark green fenders, and a four-stroke motor. I've also graduated to several more compressed disks in my spine--that joker is a going concern when it's on high. I learned the hard way that it's a lot easier on guys upwards of 6' tall to flip that handle upside down when assembling, thereby allowing one to stand upright while operating the machine, rather than dragging one's knuckles in the rich earth.

  • I've acquired a Go Buggy.

    Nothing quite as fanciful as a Kawasaki Mule or a Honda Recon four-wheeler. No, it's more along the lines of a 15 year old John Deere lawnmower with the deck unbolted and thrown awa...ahem...I mean, stored carefully. It's not the 25 hp beastie my lawn tractor is, but it's sure going to save me on wear and tear on said machine, as I can take it out into the field to do battle with the marauding army of thistle that is gathering against me without fear of tearing it up, since it's already about torn to pieces. I was thinking about painting it hot pink and welding on a bunch of spikes and armour, sort of Mad Max it out, but that's gotta wait until I can get some tire slime to stop it's perpetual front-tire flat.

  • The seeds have been ordered.

    It's officially On now. The seed-mills are busy packaging and shipping me all sorts of odds and ends, I've already tilled up a melon patch and have extensive plans for a large gourd arbour, and I've got a few flats of seeds started, too.

Step off, winter. Irrelephant's got his Wellies on and a handful of seeds needing sowing.

Mar 4, 2007

998: You Gotta Make Your Own Fun

Freezing my arse off, annoyed at the people hungry for freebies and handouts, and proud to represent my company at our local Heart Walk for the American Heart Association.

And no, I don't really fit in that thing. My hipbones were bruised like nobody's business after that little escapade.

Maybe next time Vulgar Wizard will give me a push instead of just snapping a picture.

Mar 1, 2007

997: Bob Holds The Keys To My Heart

Or at least to my stomach, which is the next best thing I suppose.

Bob's Sweet Stripes.
290 pieces of soft mint happiness.

I've determined that today is Grand Opening Day for The End Times. Ragnarok. Abaddon. The Apocalypse. The Yearly JC Penny White Sale.

Last night and this morning it seemed that no matter where I turned, no matter WHAT I did, I was faced with sturm und drang. I felt like a wolf with his leg caught in a steel trap, locked inside a steel trap factory during their Bi-Annual Leave Fearsome Rusted Steel Traps, Armed, All Over The Floor Daze. It's been bad, kids. Bad.

And suddenly this morning, the last second before the long fall off the cliff, the moment where everything seems so peaceful just before the entire structure explodes in huge gouts of orange and red, right when you realise the Africanized Killer Bee is going to sting you in the left eyeball, the teetering forever just before the baby carriage starts rolling down the concrete steps, that eternally phantasmagoric second before I finally burst into a million quivering pieces, it all turned around.

The answers started coming. The nurse and I came to an agreement concerning how we were going to control my insane inventory losses through his patient. Our LPN got her RN pin AND her husband got a big honking raise. The giant tax refund I've been pining for will be direct deposited tomorrow. I didn't ride the bike the one day we're due for tornadoes and hurricanes and tsunami. I can finally buy my own tiller for the garden, and have found seeds aplenty to start me on a small side business for some extra folding green. A sales rep whom we were in desperate need of contacting walked right in our door with all the answers to my other billing problems, and she was carrying a tub of Bob's Soft Sweet Mint Orgasms. (There's only one other candy in the world that owns me whole and entire, heart and soul, shackles and chains, and before that one thing the combined stripey and pepperminty armies of Bob's Soft Mints are as a moth in a fireplace, but I'm not gonna tell you THAT secret.)

I'm afraid to walk out the front door right now. It's all too good suddenly. Too much is working right. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there's a fully loaded Pabst Blue Ribbon truck lurking just around the corner of the building and the moment I set foot in the parking lot it's going to hit me at 75 miles an hour.

At least I'll go with fresh, minty breath.