Saturday, January 29, 2005

Goals, Goals, Everywhere Goals, Blocking the Scenery, Breakin' My Mind

Speaking of quotes, here is another of my favorites:

"Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes." - Henry David Thoreau

We are taught that we must have goals to have a meaningful life. If you don't have a goal, you don't have a destination. If you don't have a destination, you can't take a journey. And we all know life is a journey, right? No goals = no life. That's what I hear.

Everybody I know has goals. For some they are material, for others - more ephemeral. Jackson's goal is to one day get his PhD. I have friends who want to run the various dog and pony shows they have devoted their lives to. Others are saving for retirement or getting more education or are bursting to travel.

Not to be outdone, I too have a goal. Just one. (There used to be two, but now I own a motorcycle. And it is big and will whup yer butt all over the highway! Oh, yeah!) My goal is to wear jeans. Everyday.

Yep. That's it. Blue Jeans. Someday I will be in a position that will allow me to wear jeans all day, every day. Jeans. Blue ones. It may mean I am terminally unemployed. It may mean I have taken over the world. I am working towards the day when there will be no more panty-hose, no more dress pants, no more By God Casual Friday tantalizing you with what could be but currently isn't. Just blue jeans. That's my goal.

Certain Dark Gardens

I am a huge fan of quotes, quips and one-liners. There is something immensely satisfying about a masterfully crafted sentence or two capable of evoking an encyclopedia of meaning in just a few words.

One of my all time favorite quotes is this one from Robert Louis Stevenson:

"Some places speak distinctly. Certain dark gardens cry aloud for a murder; certain old houses demand to be haunted; certain coasts are set apart for shipwrecks."

In my mind this quote is irrevocably linked to this photo:

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This is probably my all-time favorite photograph. I took it several years ago at the old zoo in Pueblo, Colorado. This was part of a closed-down exhibit that had housed monkeys. I imagine it has been renovated and reopened by now. Probably all bright and shiny and full of happyish spider monkeys. Some days I can tell you exactly what is at the top of those stairs and some days I have no idea.

I tell you that to ask you this - do you have a favorite painting? Something you lust after? Something you own? You lost? My favorite painting looks a lot like this photo. I saw it in an upstairs room of a junky antique store on Route 66 in Amarillo. Imagine a stone cross at the top of the staircase in this photo. It is night and a young girl in a white shift is draped over the monument, probably mourning. It was horribly hokey and I didn't buy it. I have regretted it ever since. I can't tell you what I really like about it, but it is a quest for me. Each antique store, garage sale, or thrift shop I enter could be hiding that painting. One day I will track it down. I have no idea why I was/am so fixated with the painting. [Insert psychoanalytic mumbo-jumbo here.] It is really frighteningly bad - the proportion was screwy, the subject matter maudlin, but...

What do you quest for?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Reasons why it was Monday:

1. Aimed a loud and abrasive lecture at the heater vent in my office. It went something like this: "You are a friggin' heater. You either heat or shut the hell off. Get it? If you don't have anything warm to say then shut yer ass off! Why do you continuously blow air, hour after hour, day after day, when you are not friggin' heating? My toes are numb. I can't type with blue fingers, and I have to wear my hair down all the time to try to keep my ears warm! It is damn well warmer outside than it is in this office. What the bloody blue hell is your problem?!!" Realized it was a Monday for others as well when this highly professional outburst was met only with faint applause from down the hall.

2. Absorbed the joys of the day through a steely filter of back pain. Decided the best possible remedy was a hot bath, steaming with an ungodly amount of milk bath. Got the water just right. Got the milk mixture dissolved and doin' its thing. Got ready to step in and discovered there is a full roll of toilet paper sitting terribly out of place on the edge of the tub. Discovered this as said roll was halfway through a glorious arcing dive into the bath water. Roll of paper sank into the milky water, which - thanks to milk - was the same color as the paper. Managed to fish out the roll and a huge hunk of melting paper. Climbed into the tub. Settled back. Started to realize why this toilet paper promises not to clog your septic system. Spent 10 minutes rolling tiny pieces of toilet paper off my skin and into a growing pile on the edge of the tub.

3. Finally gave up and started to step out of the tub. Was confronted with a lifesize reflection of self in mirrors that surround tub and wondered what sort of sick bastard designed this bathroom? The only other more tastelessly placed mirror I've ever been victimized by was a full length mirror on the inside of a bathroom stall door at a gas station in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Found a couple more pieces of toilet paper, stuck to self, thanks to mirror.

4. Put on comfy sweats and settled down to watch Mystery Monday on BBC America. Tomorrow is not Monday.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Hanging out by the well...

Co-Worker: "He gets paid in goats?"
Me: "Yeah. He's working for his wife's father. I asked how much his father-in-law is paying him. He told me they live on the farm for free and last week he got about $500 worth of rabbits and cages and goats. Mostly goats."
Co-Worker: "Goats? They are paying him with livestock?"
Me: "Yep. So he says."
Co-Worker: "So, does Jacob's wife have a sister, or what?"

See! We have been paying attention in Sunday School!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Stuff of Wonder and Amazement

Check out what Jackson got me for Christmas! It is sooo cool. Now when I am driving down the highway in Bob T. Truck and I slam on the brakes to avoid one of those freakishly huge jackrabbits, I can yell "Sweet Jesus on a Spring!"

Speaking of sooo cool, check out this article on a speech by Bill Moyers. He rocks.