Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"Fun With Weapons!"

It's a HoMeSkOoL dAy. They've discovered the fun of Archery; part of me thinks that's kinda cool, part of me is scared shitless.

My folks were in the salvage biz before I came along -- they bought this place when I was nine -- I grew up around here, I know the magic of findin' the dreck that gets left in wrecked cars, I'm tryin' to not be too hard on 'em, but they're wearin' me down today. I remember several attempts at making or building things, a lot of which never really worked out. I remember the ever-present voice of Mom, making sure there was no doubt this was a business and there wasn't gonna be any blatant stupidity put out there to let the whole world think we were a bunch of ignorant hillbillies; there was to be no fire-lighting, no blowin' shit up... I had a bicycle over here, but I knew that it was not something to be ridden indoors. I did some dumb shit on a small scale, but I never pedaled a bicycle at warp-speed into a stack of boxes and then whined about getting hurt. Apparently they've seen "Jack@ss, The Movie," but missed the most important line in the entire film: "If you're gonna be dumb, ya gotta be tough."

Somewhere, they've found a ratty ol' wooden bow. Mostly taking turns, sometimes fighting over it, they're shooting a single cammo arrow into a radiator box, usually up toward the North end of the building, but occasionally down here by the phones. They seem to like being as loud as possible whenever I'm trying to talk on the phone, but that's another rant.

I was standin' there by the fireplace, and the older one walked up to me, holding the arrow. The feathers are pretty much gone, but it's the basic standard-issue cammo-printed hunting arrow with a screw-in tip and thankfully, not a broadhead.

"Do they make steel arrows?" he asks.

"There's not much point in that; they're aluminum so they're light to fly through the air and hit the deer instead of falling on the ground." I tried to use small words, but...

"Well he just shot this through a box," he gestures toward his little brother, "and it went into the wall."

Fighting an urge to just say "So?" I brought on the best of logic and said, "Ya know, a Bow & Arrow isn't usually an indoor toy."

Then he looked me straight in the eyes and said "It is if it's plastic!"

He was gone before I could point out that there was no plastic involved in the making of the wooden bow and aluminum arrow.

I don't get it either.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

For The Fireplace

Just when I'd managed to convince myself that thirty one wasn't old:


Thursday, January 17, 2008

One More Thing I Love About The Internets

As a highschool band kid, I spent more than a few afternoons hunting (and hunting and hunting) through the section of the music store marked "Classical." I'm not entirely sure how long it took me to give up on finding recordings of pieces we'd played in band, both in the concert hall and on the football field. It seems to me, there's not much logic as to how the "Classical" Section is laid out -- probably because I almost never found anything I tried to look for and I never could see any logic to how the CD's were put into whatever order they might be in on the shelves or in the racks.

If you're lookin' for Meat Loaf's "Paradise By The Dashboard Light," ya just go to the "Rock" section, look for the "M"s, and when you find the Meat Loaf CD's, read the backs of the boxes and decide which one you want to buy. If you're lookin' for Macy Gray's "Freak Like Me," you go find the "G"s. Earl Thomas Conley is filed under "C," but don't bother lookin' for Bobby Bare in the "B" section 'cause they never have any of his stuff either.

Dvorak's Symphonies are fairly easy to find, but I dare ya to go to into a store and look through the Classical section just to see if you can find a recording of John Barnes Chance's "Incantation and Dance." I'll be in the coffee shop eatin' brownies instead, 'cause I already know nobody's gonna find it anywhere other than the 'net.

Which is why I love me some internets. Once I realized I could click on over to a site named after a river (sorry, not linking 'em 'cause they don't pay me) and search by the song title, I was able to stock up on all sorts of stuff I hadn't been able to find before -- "Armenian Dances," and "Incantation and Dance," and several other pieces that have stayed with me since way-back-when I was able to get my ass out of bed and make it to a 6:35 AM rehearsal.

Last night on my way across 71st Street, I had an experience much like that near-hung-over morning in college when I found out Silverado was actually from the score of a cowboy movie. Sick and tired of hearing about the Democrats, I switched from NPR over to the Classical Affiliate, KWTU, and I landed on 88.7 FM just as a song was ending and the announcer was coming on. Blah-blah-blah, Nationalism, blah, banned by the Russians, blah blah... Helsinki Philharmonic...

Helsinki Philharmonic? Nationalism? Can it be?? I suddenly remembered standing out on the blacktop of the practice field in the midst of my trombone-playin' buddies and crackin' jokes during breaks, "I'll bet this is the national anthem of Finland..." Are they really gonna play it? Did I really catch it? Right here in the car??

Sure enough, the music came on, that amazing feeling hit me, and there it was, Finlandia!!! Played by the Helsinki Philharmonic!! It was positively breathtaking! It was incredible and I enjoyed every second of it!

And then it hit me...

It's Official: I Am An Old Nerd.

But hey, my car insurance is a lot cheaper now, and I don't have to get up near as early anymore.

More later... _\,,/

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Since it's been a while...

I promise this post will be way less frustrated/bitchy/almost-whiny.


It's Ch!li Bowl Weekend; last night I took a really cool picture of what I always think of when I think of the Ch!li Bowl, but I guess I hit the wrong button and my phone didn't save it. Whups.


My phone seems to be okay with the exception of a few scratches, and it closes properly now too. I checked around on Eb@y thinkin' that I might replace it if I found one cheap enough, but I've yet to win any auctions. I had one bid cancelled, then the seller removed ALL of their auction items and sent me (and probably several other people) a semi-literate message with directions to a website where they'd supposedly "can offer you the most reasonable discount to make you get more profits." They also say "We are expecting for your business."

I think they may have hired a certain blonde beauty queen (of "and like such as the Iraq" fame) to write their ad copy.

I think I may just stick with my scratched-up Motorola 'til I can get my hands on an iPhone.


Apparently the Spammers are moving into text messaging -- I've had several strange text messages from strange e-mail addresses about p0rn and vitamins. Also, someone I actually know just got my number and has been sending me lots of texts which claim that if I do not pass them on to everybody I know, I'll die. Seriously, do highschool kids really believe that shit?? I don't think I was into falling for chain letters when I was eighteen; I don't remember ever being worried about dying from not sending along some joke about how men are like toilets. I was worried about flunking history, being on-time for 6:30 AM band rehearsals, and getting home in time to check the mailbox before my mom did so I could hide that letter about me flunking history; I knew better than to think I'd "regret it" if I didn't pass along a chain letter.

I remember passing notes about stupid stuff like what we'd have for lunch or what we'd do over the weekend or how first hour was hell when Mrs. K. seemed to hate me 'cause I couldn't type without lookin' at my hands. Just in case she remembers me at all, all these years later, I am looking at the screen and not at my hands.

Most of my texts may not be far off from that; with things like "Are y'all goin' tonight?" or "I'm skippin'" or "I want Enchiladas!!!" they're not all tremendously important, but they're one-on-one and not to the whole phonebook. Some are actually close to important with phrases like "I'm thinkin' about ya, call me if you need any help," or "Can you tell me how to fix this damn computer?" I'm not afraid to admit that I probably use a lot of my text messages (which I pay a bill for) for what some people might consider stupid stuff; but I don't see joking back and forth with a good friend to be as much of a waste of characters as a blanket whole-phonebook message of "The LOVE of ur LiFE will CaLL u at 10:50 pm, KiSS u 2morrow or ASK u out. If u break the chain u will regret it send to 10 people"

Uhm, no. He knows better than to call at ten-'til-eleven unless there's a serious problem.

I'm not passing it on, and I seriously doubt I'll regret it.




I talked to one of the girls from my highschool a few nights ago (after a mystery text message with real names in it, oddly enough), and she asked me about some pictures from school or from the reunion. I still can't believe the baby she was carrying when she sat beside me in Mrs. K.'s first hour is thirteen now... I also can't believe that every time I think I'm starting in on a "disjointed post" the pieces find a way to tie themselves together, but anyway...

Last night I spent a good bit of time looking through my giant-box-o-pictures (some from the late 70's ranging to about 2001 or so) and trying to pull out some that I thought she might want copies of. I found a few, even though those prints have been shuffled together like about forty decks of cards. I also asked myself several strange questions like "How the hell did I ever get my hair to do that?" and "How the hell was I ever willing to leave the house in those pants??"


I still need to find my digitals from the reunion, but the digital camera was fairly new then and that was several memory cards ago...


More later. _\,,/

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Is it over yet?

We had a great time ringin' in the New Year; a lovely dinner and a lovely evening with great friends. My single chug of Rattlesnake (as opposed to a big styrofoam coffee cup full) still just almost made me want to get sick though... I'm sure that had something to do with the two scoops of cheese dip and most of a bag of tortilla chips that I had along with that lovely dinner, since I was near full-enough-to-puke before I had that little shooter.

After making it home safely but seriously tired somewhere around three AM, I slept well, and then things kinda went straight to hell.

New Year's Day was cold but fairly reasonable and as we were about to leave and go to dinner in Jenks, Clay discovered the first Parakeet Egg. I figured I'd call My Mom and tell her about it while I was waiting for the car to warm up, but my phone battery was dead and the charger wouldn't work. After smacking things around a bit, I discovered there was a penny in the cigarette lighter. Apparently tossing change into the ashtray while the lighter itself was not in that hole was not such a good idea. Whups. I remember having to fish a Juicy Fruit wrapper out of the lighter in the truck I had in highschool and what a big smoky smelly mess that was; I was not lookin' forward to poking things down in there to get the penny out, but I needed my phone...

With a knife, a pair of tweezers, and two ink pens, I finally got the penny out and tossed it somewhere in the car, I have no clue where, and the act of tossing did not release any of my irritable energy. After all that, the charger still wouldn't power up. After a few more seconds of smackin' things around, I decided I'd better just leave it alone before I got any madder, so I hung the charger back over the console where it belongs, and I dropped the phone between my knees and into my purse, which was on the floor in front of the driver's seat. Well, I thought I dropped it into my purse.

We had a nice time at the restaurant, the tortilla soup was wonderful enough to make up for the mediocre chicken enchilada. We headed home, where I figured I'd better plug my phone into the MacBook and charge it up, since I didn't have any way to charge it in the car -- but the phone was not in my purse. No big deal, I'll just run back out to the car and get it, it must be on the floor or in that cavernous abyss down between the seat and the console.

The total-stranger-filth that surely inhabits that cavernous abyss still kinda scares me; I've vacuumed quite a bit, but I know that the Shop-Vac nozzle (same as my hand) doesn't really fit all the way into that space, so it's probably not able to get all the dreck out.

I thrashed about all through the Mark 8, front and back, and tried to look under the seats and in all the possible gaps and spaces from just about every angle I possibly could, and even as I hung upside-down pulling all sorts of things out from under that seat, I could feel the frustration creeping in deeper and deeper. I found napkins and kleenex, more tree-shaped air fresheners, beer bottle lids, pop bottle lids, to-go-cup lids of every size, coins, the actual factory cigarette lighter, a small bowl (it's blue), a couple more ink pens, a trailer hitch pin, and even an iPod case. I found everything but my cell phone.

Still fighting the frustration, I went inside and dumped my entire purse on Clay's bed, and then dialed my number just in case it might still have enough battery left to make a little noise. No luck, straight to voicemail. I checked the car one more time, with a flashlight, and still nothing. I headed back inside thinkin' I'd find a phone book and call the restaruant, since the parking lot was the only place it might be, but neither of us is particularly neat and/or organized, so it wasn't all that easy to just pick up a phone book. I decided to dial my number one more time just in case someone had picked it up and got it to come on for just a little while longer.

Someone answered. She said she'd taken it home to Glenpool to plug it into her charger because she wasn't sure how long it had been out in the parking lot, and that she was looking through the phone book and trying to decide which number to call about getting it back to me. When she gave me directions to her house, she finished off with "red truck and silver car," and sure enough, it was the same silver Toyota Yaris that we'd noticed in the parking lot as we left. She was a real sweetie, and I just hope and pray she only looked through the phone book and not through the pictures.

My phone had apparently been mashed open; possibly under a shoe, possibly under a car tire. It has some deep scratches in the hinge and the snappy plastic cover is broken, which is probably what saved it from being completely mashed to pieces. It was bent and didn't seem to close up quite right, so I tried to bend it back and the screen went blank. When it finally came back on, it was close enough to straight I decided to just leave it alone.

Last night after dinner, I discovered my Bluetooth Hands-Free was missing. I thrashed the car again, checked the ground where I'd got out and back in, and I even went back to the church to check beside where I'd parked there, but I didn't find it. I was really feelin' like a scumbag for losing one of the coolest Christmas gifts of this year, and tryin' to figure out a graceful way out of my situation, and then my phone kept cuttin' out and adding to the irritation factor. I still have not forgotten the 5100 series Nokia that I bashed to pieces against the steering wheel of the sky blue '98 F-250; and I could feel I was getting dangerously close to that point last night when I got home...

I was very thankful to find my Bluetooth Hands-Free under the passenger seat (I have no idea how it got from my purse to there), but I'm very glad to have it back.

This morning when I got ready to leave for work I discovered that my driver's door had spent the night about a half-inch short of latched.

Just a minute ago, while I was typing this post, my sleeve hung on something and I realized there's a splintery shred of MacBook that has opened up a gap just under my right wrist.

Should I just put my purse, iPod, phone, computer, contact lenses, glasses, good watch, camera, SD cards, and flash drives in a box and put it in the top of my closet so nothing important or expensive gets lost or damaged while I just stay in bed for a couple days 'til whatever this is all blows over?

Is it over yet?

Is it over yet?