Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Importance Of Caring.

When someone cares, it shows in many, many ways...

How sad it is to see that no one's cared for you in quite a while. Did they not think you were beautiful, not even at the start? Did nobody see your finer points? You're not old enough to look this old, you haven't been around long enough to be forgotten, treated so bad.

Did no one ever sit with you just to be with you, just to enjoy your company or share a little music? Did no one ever look forward to their time with you? Did no one ever wish they could skip work just be near you? Did no one ever smile when they saw you at a distance? Did no one ever see you as a place of solace and contentment, and come to you just to get away from it all? Did no one ever feel glad to have you? Did no one ever stand up for you? Did no one ever come to you when they were so happy they didn't know what to do? Did no one ever come to you when they just needed to cry? Did no one ever worry for you when the storms came? Did no one ever Love you like a child?

Did no one ever want to care for you just for the loving feeling of doing good things, of doing things that need to be done? Did no one ever take pride in you? Was no one ever glad to show you to their friends?

I'm doing all I can; but I know that all the care my hands can give is probably not enough to fix the things that happened before I came along. I'm trying my best, but I know that I can't give back what others took away, for you were surely mistreated more than I can imagine in the short time before you came to me.

I hope that the kindness I give will carry you through, because I know you can't stay with me long, it just wasn't meant to be. I hope I can work to bring out your best, to make your qualities shine and diminish your flaws so that maybe the next person to have you will fall in love with you and care for you with the diligence you deserve. I hope that you'll be well kept and touched by hands of love; appreciated and handled with gentleness; cared for and thought of with fondness.

So, I just finished cleaning (and cleaning, and cleaning) this 2000 Taurus that we replaced the V6 in; or, well, I quit for the day, since I'll probably see some bit of something I missed and have to clean some more. It's certainly nothin' like my SHO, but it's a good car... It's lipstick-y burgundy with grey cloth inside, it's got the "Flex-Fuel" 3.0 with the little tree-huggin' emblems on the fenders and it seems like a pretty nice car. I'm still kinda stunned to see a fifty-some-thousand mile car with the motor blown up; and I'm also quite shocked by the amount of sheer filth we've scrubbed out of the inside. I'm completely serious, I was almost afraid to put my purse in this car. I'm baffled by the nastiness; as if people aren't careful at all -- spilling things, not ever wipin' anything off... 50K is not high-mileage, especially in something that's seven years old -- these people must've left it parked somewhere and lived in it like a big ol' cardboard box for the last four years or so.

So, if ya think ya might want to get a good deal on a fairly nice, freshly-cleaned, ordinary decent car with a new motor in it, e-mail me.

And in the words of Neil Young, "Long May You Run!"

More later... _\,,/

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

D-i-s-j-o-i-n-t-e-d Tuesday!

Well, helloooooo Disjointed Tuesday! Remember "Two-For-Tuesday?" Are they still doing that or not? It's been so long since I tuned in any FM Radio besides NPR, I'm not even sure what's goin' on with that ol' station I used to listen to all the time.


Might say I've kinda been away from NPR a bit lately too though... I'm within an hour and fifteen minutes of finishing this fourteen-hour AudioBook that I've been hooked on the last few weeks. So far, it's been predictably unpredictable; just when I think I might know where it's going, it takes a twist. I've had several "Driveway Moments" waiting to hear the end of a chapter or find a stopping place.


I can hear the Shop-Vac running outside the back door, apparently someone looked me right in the eyes while I was talking but did not hear me say "I'm gonna be here cleanin' up this car after work today..." I am not at all irritated at the idea of not having to bend and reach and stretch to vacuum a car, I really don't mind just sittin' on my ass while I wait for my buddy to get here to pick up this starter tonight. What irritates me is that someone thought he'd win himself a chance to bitch about how he's out there running the Shop-Vac because I'm not.


Eh, it kinda figures that the one time I plan on doing something and don't bring any knitting with me, I'm presented with a perfect opportunity to grab a little knitting time...


Speaking of knitting, if any of y'all who are reading this happen to be knitters, I've got a little just-curious question for ya: Which hand to you carry your yarn on? I learned what I know from books, so I've just kinda picked up what I've picked up on my own, along with some very nice online videos... But I'm wondering if I'm an oddball -- I'm right-handed, and when I knit, I carry the yarn on my right hand. When I crochet, I carry the yarn on my left hand because it just seems to work that way; but when I knit, I wind it around my right hand and it just seems to work that way.


Aha, hey, a couple dis-jointed's ago, when I was wondering about somebody havin' a fit about cleanin' that car? Sometmes workin' with the family is a bitch, but Dad's back now, and as of this moment, all I can think of to say is "HA." Or maybe a long-slow-nightmare-ish "Hwah hwah hwah hwah," because after all, I have been listening to a Horror Novel on my iPod... Thanks for sweepin', now will ya hit the windows while you're at it??


Holy Crap, Dude, if I say "I gotta go buy the tag for my car soon," will you beat-me-to-it and do that for me too? I'd appreciate the hell outta that... How late is the Tag Agency open today?


I've had quite a few reactions to the "signage" on the van, I've almost considered puttin' it on the back glass of this other car if I end up switchin' again, but it cuts down on the "Incognito Factor," which sorta defeats the whole incognito idea... I still think it's still a shitty deal that Bell's got the boot, and I'm still not goin' to the Fair because it just ain't right the way they did that. Hey, I get in free, but I'm still too pissed off to go. My oldest brother (who has "Peace Didn't Work, Give War A Chance" on the bumper of his truck) says I should put somethin' up about the River, but my thoughts on that are way more wordy than the "No Bell's = No Fair!" that's on the back glass right now. Seriously, have they not noticed that stink that hangs over the river and how that smell never really disappears unless it's flooding?? Could be an interesting idea, but cool as it would be to go hang out by the river, it's just too polluted and too far gone, and there are too many other things that need fixing first. But I'm not really goin' into that here...


While I'm thinkin' about that car tag, have ya noticed that the State Of Oklahoma wants you to pay extra if you use a credit card?? It's been a while since we had a credit card machine here, but it seems like I remember reading in the Terms Of Service that it was against the rules for merchants to charge fees or raise prices for credit card users. Hmmm...


I have LP's on my iPod now, and I think that's a pretty sweet deal. If you've got any Vinyl layin' around, take a look at those USB Turntables at Guitar Center. We played with it a good bit over the weekend, and I'm impressed! I give it a thumbs-up; it was relatively easy to set up and use, and the MP3 files sound real nice. I like it a lot!


"This call may be monitored or recorded for training or quality-assurance purposes."

Okay, how'bout:

"This call may be monitored or recorded for entertainment or laughter-inducing purposes."

Because seriously, the word "Buick" does not have an "r" in it. It just doesn't.


That's all I've got for right now... More later... _\,,/


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Philosophical Rowing...

Yesterday's Doctor Appointment went a lot easier than I'd expected; way less browbeating, anyway. That appointment is always a little rough, but I can almost overlook the, ahem, violation if I don't have to get bitched at afterward.

After dinner, Clay and I swapped cars. He's got "The Short Bus" for now, so we can get the Red SHO up on the lift and see what's goin' on with the front end. There's just somethin' about the Manual-Transmission SHO... I don't think there's anything I'd ever trade my Automatic for, but if I ever run onto another one with a Manual in it, I'll probably buy it just to have another one around. I'm not real crazy about havin' to move the seat up closer to the airbag so I can get the clutch all the way down, but it's worth puttin' up with 'cause it's just so much fun to drive -- up through the gears with lots of tight-windin' pull, and then back down with it buzzin' the exhaust just like that sky-blue Mustang that My Mom had when I was five or six...

I'd say it's got a little somethin' goin' on, but it still wasn't too bad on the way home. I took it easy up through the neighborhood streets and I couldn't hear anything; so I went ahead and laced into it once I made it to the highway on-ramp. Clay thinks I'm crazy, but I didn't feel anything that made me worry, so I opened it on up once I made it to US75; man, ya gotta love anything that'll pull like that. It was smooth and easy right on up to 80 or so; it certainly didn't shake-rattle-protest like the Windstar did on the turnpike goin' to Springfield, that's for sure.

Drivin' home last night, I got to thinkin' about bein' 16 and runnin' around in that Ranger with the five-speed, and how I always got a kick out of how many of my friends hadn't ever seen anything like that. After having a relatively pleasant Doctor Visit yesterday afternoon, I was far, far away from thinking of myself as feelin' old, but rowin' gears made me feel young; and rowin' gears in somethin' with some power always makes me smile.

I also got to thinkin' about Clay's niece gettin' that little white Mercury that I found on Cr@igsList, and how I said that surely amongst the bunch of us, some of us could help her learn to drive it. Would I be a good teacher? I like to think I'm pretty good at it, but do I have what it takes to teach someone else how? I know what I'm doing, I love the feel of it all, but would I be able to put that into words well enough to help a new learner figure it out like my folks helped me figure it out??

I really don't remember My Dad ever actually yelling at me in the car; I can only think of three times he really chewed my ass, and I probably needed it. Once for takin' the Toyota truck around a left turn a little too hard (almost hung the stop sign), once for bouncin' Mom's Explorer over the curb at Braum's in Owasso, and once for tryin' to beat the train on 86th Street in the Samurai... Don't worry, don't yell, it wasn't moving, it was just parked where it kept the lights flashing. My Mom covered the basics via discussion and observation in her Accord or whatever myriad of lot cars and rebuilders she happened to pick me up at school in; and she also insisted that learning with the manual transmission was the only option. My Dad handled the hands-on part, including tearing the back yard to rutty pieces in that brown Toyota truck. My Mom was rarely willing to ride with me at all, and somewhere between hangin' the Ranger out sideways in the sand at 116th & Sheridan and crashing the F-150 when I was nineteen, Mom wouldn't ride with me at all for several years. Dad was always cool though, he'd let me drive just about anything we went somewhere in, from the '57 T-bird to the GMC with the Pontoon Boat on the trailer, to the wrecker with a couple cars on it.

Best I can figure, trust is the most important factor in it all. My finest memories are of when Dad would pull over on 96th Street as soon as we'd crossed the highway and let me drive to the house from there; it started when I was 12 or 13, and he stopped there just about every time 'til I had my permit. He trusted me with just about everything he ever drove home; lot cars, rebuilders, cars, trucks, vans, whatever, he trusted me. The afternoon that my middle brother nodded off in the passenger seat of the Ranger comin' home from Fairfax was also a memorable moment of trust, especially considering I hadn't really expected him to even let me drive.

My most amazing moment of trust came not from family, but from near stranger, a guy I'd only seen three or four times -- I knew his name, but that's about it. In a true coming-of-age moment in '98 or so, a wrecker salesman pitched me the keys to a brand-ass-new fire-engine red Ford F-550 crew-cab with a 24-foot rollback bed -- just smiled and tossed 'em to me like he wasn't worried at all. It was the biggest thing I'd had my hands on at the time, and also the first six-speed I'd had the chance to drive. As I made a lap around Sperry in it, I couldn't help but think I had officially reached the age where I was not just some kid anymore...

"Oh God, I'm The Grown-Up Here now..."

I'm still not sure if I'd have what it takes (in English, anyway) to teach a first-timer the magic of the manual transmission. I guess I'd need something huge like that F-550, so if we crashed, we'd be nice & safe. ;)

More later... _\,,/

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

John Denver Meets Homer Simpson.

Way back in the Cold Weather, when I had Jury Duty, I picked up a copy of Stephen King's "Cell" in the waiting room. I was a few pages in, just getting interested when my name was called. I made a note of what page I was on and what was happening in the story and the told myself I was going to buy a copy of the book so I could read further.

I ended up putting it off for quite a while. The entire Jury Duty Experience had me tangled up in anxiety the weekend before, and once it was over, I was so glad to be outta there, I didn't really think too much more about any of it, not even the book I'd developed and interest in -- until I discovered that the audiobook download was cheaper than a paperback copy.

I'm not sure how long I let the two huge files sit on my hard drive before I got around to listening. I'd planned on starting the book when I started home from Springfield, but after a goofed-up iPod sync, I'd neglected to drag 'em back after the Mac had accidentally removed them. I started listening to "Part One" shortly after we were back from MO.

Last night, while Clay was watching SNL (and snoring a bit), I put the earbuds in to "read" for a little while. The thought had crossed my mind, as someone who's experienced the anxiety problem before, that maybe a horror novel wasn't the best idea right before bed even as an audiobook, but I was itchin' to know what happened next, so I hit "play."

As SNL was finishing up, I looked at the screen on the iPod and I had a little less than twenty minutes 'til the end of "Part One." It seemed like a reasonable stopping place, so I decided to listen 'til the end of the file before turning out the lights to go to bed.

"Part One" finished off with a very vivid description of someone who'd ended his own life by jabbing his own eye out with a fountain pen. Did I mention it was a very, very vivid description? I wondered about just rollin' over and tryin' to go to sleep after that, but...

Remember hearin' John Denver say "Thank God I'm a country boy?" Well, I, my friends, am unashamed to say "Thank God I'm a fat kid."

Last night, I had vivid dreams, but not of gory-scary fountain pen carnage. I dreamed of Donuts, lovely, sugary, fluffy, glazed donuts, shared around a warm cozy table surrounded by friendly people.

"Mmmmmm, Donuts..."


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

How Many Topics?

There are sooooooo many things I could tear to pieces here today. There's soooooo many fascinating topics flyin' about today, it would be noooooo problem for me to grab one and rip it to a million wordy pieces.

Fundamentalism. Who's teaching which kids what. Appropriate knowledge for an eleven-year-old. Cousin-fu#king. Self-esteem. Looks vs. Brains. Moral character & values. Lying about your age on MySp@ce. HoMeSkOoLiNg. Sanctity of marriage. Respect for one another.

What constitutes "Psycho" and how does that relate to quality parenting?

What's the nicest way to say "Oh My Gawd, You're A Psycho And You Married A Psycho From A Family Of Psycho's Who Shouldn't Be Responsible For Children In Any Form Or Fashion!!!"?

Alas, I do know the story behind the term "Dooce," and I know that bloggin' about it can cause some crazy shit amongst families too...

For now, I ain't touchin' it.

Just be ready, 'cause if the shit gets any deeper, I'll type 'til I'm tired.

In the meantime, if it seems like I'm giggling for no reason, it's probably related to that scene in "Coal Miner's Daughter" where Sissy Spacek says "I caint read this book, it ain't got no pichers in it!" It could also possibly be a scene involving "Cletus The Slack-Jawed Yokel" (from The Simpsons) taking certain liberties with her skull, which is disturbing and sad, but still kinda funny in a sick, disturbed, sad way.

More later... _\,,/

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