Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A bit o' housekeeping

Fron the 2 Birds With One Big Rock Department:

I have a internet buddy in Budapest who requested pictures of my fair city. So, I pulled a few things together to send to her. Thought I'd post 'em here too, so I put 'em in a slide show fer yer perusal.

Also, Gerry tagged me for a meme and here it is:

SCATTERGORIES! Use the first letter of your first name to answer each of the following.They have to be real places, names, things...nothing made up! You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.



VEHICLE Rolls Royce


CITY Rahleigh

BOY NAME Richard




FOOD Raisin Bran



SOMETHING YOU SHOUT Rock on, you pukes!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.

Everyone at my house has been sick this weekend. A rather grouchy Jackson has frequently reminded me that I started it, and therefore it is all my fault. I'm a giver.

On Saturday afternoon I added a new location to my P.I.P. tour of Big Flat City. Not to be confused with a V.I.P. tour, the P.I.P. tour showcases Places I've Puked. There's a story behind that which I'll tell you another time.

This time I had to veer over into a mostly deserted parking lot half a block from a busy intersection and a Walgreen's store. I revisited the contents of my breakfast while Jackson hoofed it to the drug store in search of medicinal relief. Katie cowered in the backseat of the truck, no doubt with fingers stuck in her ears, trying not to join in on the festivities.

I must have looked rather pathetic, bent over, one hand clutching the bumper and the other holding my hair out of my face, all the while trying to aim away from my tennis shoes and bare legs. A nice lady in a silver Buick pulled into the parking lot to see if I needed any assistance.

I had trouble seeing her because I was still wearing my sunglasses and they were thoroughly bespattered with tears that sort of involuntarily spurt out of your eyes when you feel rotten enough to abandon your vehicle and toss your cookies alongside a public street.

Desperately gathering my shredded dignity, I thanked her for her offer, and told her help was forthcoming as soon as Jackson returned from the drug store. She looked like she didn't believe me - surely I didn't look THAT pathetic - but she finally nodded and slowly drove away.

Jackson brought me some good drugs and even gave me the shirt off his back to wear - as he would want me to note - and we went home. By nightfall, he had succumbed to the same bug and we spent a lovely Sunday grumbling and grousing as we moved back and forth between the bed and chair, trying to get comfortable. By eleven o'clock Sunday night, Katie had joined the ranks of the living dead.

This morning I felt better, but I stayed home with the kid, who'd had a pretty sleepless night.

After getting Katie set up with a blanket, some juice, a couple of crackers and full access to the Disney channel, I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen. After a while, I sat down across from her to play on the computer. Then the evil kid then changed the channel so she could watch Full House reruns.

She does this mostly because she knows Full House is like Kryptonite for me and she enjoys watching me squirm. I hated that show the first time around and I cannot comprehend what she finds so appealing about it. After wailing and gnashing my teeth, I told her I would keep quiet, as long as she would at least pretend to take a nap. After working out the details of the nap pretense - eyes would be closed, but she could stay in the chair and not have to move to a fully prone position on the couch - she started her pretend nap and I continued to play on the computer.

Finally, when I thought she'd moved past the pretend stage and was fully engrossed in the nappage, I eased out of the chair and started to stand with the intent of wresting the remote control from her fevered grasp. Just as I moved, her eyes shot open and she said:

"You're just like Barbie."

Not. bloody. likely.

Suffice it to say that I did not invest a lot of time in my appearance this morning. I managed to brush my teeth a put on clean clothes, but that was pretty much the extent of my morning ablutions.

I was wearing a pair of pyjama pants decorated with retro spark plugs and a raggedy old red t-shirt. My feet were cold so I'd been padding around the house in a pair of granny-lookin' house shoes which, although red in color and therefor coordinated somewhat with my red t-shirt, that accident of fashion did nothing to improve my overall appearance. I hate to admit I even own house shoes, much less find them sometimes cozily useful.

I hadn't done anything with my frizzy bed-head hair, other than twist it up in a clip on the back of my head. And of course, make-up would have been a laughable waste of animal by-products at this point. I hadn't even popped in my contacts and was still wearing my glasses.

And yet -

"You're just like Barbie."

Poor kid must be more ill than I thought. Had her fever made her delirious? Should I feel her forehead? Press a cool compress to her brow? Call the doctor? Or just move right on to boiling water and tearing sheets?

"How, pray tell, am I just like Barbie?" I queried, frozen halfway between sitting and standing.

"When you stand up your knees pop just like Barbie's do when you bend her legs."

If she's still sick tomorrow, her daddy's staying home with her!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Friday Cemetery Blogging

I am pissed.

In the American pretty-damn-mad sort of a way, as opposed to the British drunk-on-yer-arse sort of a way.

Jenstar, of My Life in the Corner fame, threw down a gauntlet earlier today and sent me a cemetery picture challenge. I picked up the gauntlet and was so totally prepared to smack it down because I so totally OWN that challenge! I had the perfect photo. Per-freakin'-erfect.

But I can't find it! (Insert Lucille Ball-esque whine here.)

I know it's here somewhere. Eventually I'll find it. But this is really the last straw. I have, have, have to do something about my abysmal photo organization. Jackson, the in-house nerd, suggests a passport drive as a possible solution. Anybody have an other suggestions?

Until I can find my missing photo, you'll have to make do with this one. I took it Thursday morning while wandering around town in the rain, on the wrong side of the tracks, and sometimes on the tracks themselves.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Smells like fresh dirt.

There was just no way I was going to go to work today.

I've been teaching a drug class for the last couple of weeks in the evenings. I've been busy with some other things as well and we had a fairly harried weekend this past week with no real down time. If there are not significant portions of my weekend bereft of any sort of planned or necessary activity, I ain't happy. So, those were my excuses.

In reality, I just have a huge case of spring fever and when I heard the weather report that there was a chance of rain today - actual water falling from the sky! - I just couldn't stand the thought of watching it huddled under the awning outside the front doors of our office.

I finished up my class Tuesday night and sat at my desk trying to call the people I have scheduled for today. Most of them haven't paid a phone bill anytime in recent memory, so I had to leave appointment cards for them with the secretary. Then I filled out a leave request and dropped it in the boss' mailbox, turned out the lights and went home.

If you ever happen to be in Fake Cow on a rainy day - easier said than done, I assure you - then drive by my office and wave. You'll usually find me, Princess Mindy, occasionally M2 and Ester and whomever else we can drag out there, standing outside the door, sniffing the wet air like bloodhounds and generally trying to stop ourselves from dancing down the street in the most offensively untalented Gene Kelly impersonation of all time.

So, I rolled out of bed this morning, brushed my teeth, grabbed a robe and brewed some tea. I gathered up the accoutrements of blissful relaxation and stumbled my way out onto the back porch. It was foggy! Fog makes me happy. I sniffed the air like a bloodhound and settled down to drink my tea.

My next door neighbor evidently had the same idea. We studiously ignored each other, because neither of us wanted to go inside and actually change into clothes, evidently. He's a fairly new neighbor, but if he's willing to sit out here in his pyjamas and enjoy the view without acknowledging my presence or expecting any such acknowledgment in return, then he's ok by me.

So, here I sit, listening to the cars on the highway, a mile or so away as the crow flies. The sound is always magnified by the fog. I'm waiting for the train. It should be by here any minute. It runs along the highway, just far away enough to be heard in the quiet dark of the night or a grey day like this. I love trains. Distant ones.

Carl Sandburg's Fog - you remember? The poem about 'little cat feet'? - runs through my head. The dog is sitting quietly next to my chair, like some sort of Normal Rockwelleian accessory. My tea stays toasty in it's little pot. I watch birds dance for each other on the sparse bits of grass that are finally beginning to green. I marvel that it's eight a.m and still the sunlight is dimmed enough that the security light in the alley stays lit.

It's all good.

And then a bird crapped on my laptop!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Funniest Thing I've Been Told So Far Today:

"People who are high on Jesus crack really make my life difficult."
You can thank Rose for today's bon mot.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Friday Cemetery Blogging

Maybe not ALL of it, but most of it is.
You should check out this link on You Tube. It is all GOOD for sure!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Friday Cemetery Blogging

This blog needs more religion, so I've decided to print a bible story for your perusal this week. Today's text comes from the 31st chapter of Leviticus, verses 5 through 18:

5 Now Lott, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. 6 But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. 7 And quarreling arose between Abram's herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lott. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.
8 So Abram said to Lott, "Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let's part company and be fair about how we split up and subdivide the lands."
10 Lott looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lott chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men quarreled violently over the division of the plains. Abram said to Lott, "For thou art not a fair minded man and the heavens will not bless you if you take all the first fruits of the land for yourself, leaving only the crappy parts for my wives and herds."

12 Yet, Lott remained unswayed by the argument of Abram and did make grievously rude gestures unto his uncle And Abram was angry and did speak harshly unto his nephew.
13 Now the herdsmen of Lott were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.
14 The LORD said to Abram after Lot had dissed him a second time, "Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. 15 While you are distracting Lott thusly, take the Sword of Divine Vengeance from the Sheath of Stealthiness and smite Lott and his herdsmen and his sniveling children. But spare you the oxen and the bunnies and the dog.

16 I will make your strong right arm like the fist of a mighty giant, so that if anyone should stand against you, then you and your offspring could go all crazy on them and be layin' smack upside their heads. 17 Go, walk the length and breadth of a mudhole into the rear end of Lott, for I am laying odds upon you, three to one."
18 So Abram moved his hand quickly and withdrew the sword and did make quick work of Lott and his men, smiting them fiercely then smiting them a second time. And when, upon the heels of the second smiting, Lott did raise up his eyes and thumb his nose at Abram, then behold, Abram did smite him a third time. Whereupon, Abram sheathed the Sword of Divine Vengeance and went to live, for the summer season, near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the LORD.

Yeah. Something like that. More or less. Maybe I'll go light a candle.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Monday's Blow, Mostly Nasally.

I am generally rather skilled in the willing suspension of disbelief. And I'm trying so hard. Really, I am. But the caffeine-free diet Dr. Pepper fizzing quietly on the corner of my desk is not making it easy for me.

Dr. Pepper is the Elixir of Southern Gods. It is a vital part of the creative process, a cure for the common headache and sometimes the only thing that gets me through the afternoon. And I'm even OK with the diet version, unless I'm using it medicinally; in which case, only the real thing will do.

But now I'm trying to give up caffeine. And this brassy-looking can is sitting here, staring at my half-closed eyes and quietly mocking me with it's deceptively normal and disarmingly charming bursts of fizz as it releases it's carbonated gases into the ambient air. It's taunting me with it's lack of substance. It's teasing me with flavor, but delivering nothing even remotely beneficial.

If I keep drinking this stuff, I may never write again.

Evidently, my muse is not a seventh grade boy named Ichabod, as I'd always assumed. Instead it may well be a maroon-colored aluminum can with a Phd., a ton of sugar and a heavy dose of pep-me-up chemicals.

And, speaking of Dr. Pepper - guess what I found this weekend! Flamin' Hot Funyuns! The ultimate in redneck (and red-fingered) snacking! Yee-haw! I stopped at a store in the armpit of the earth, about 30 miles north of my parents' house. If ever you were going to discover redneck snack Nirvana, this would be the place.

I'd originally stopped there to look for a new CD to listen to on my 3 hour drive home. Unfortunately all they had were two rap albums, a couple of bubble-gum pop divas and a butt-load of crappy country. Some country makes me happy, but really none of it published since about 1991. I loved country in the days of Alabama and Restless Heart and Eddie Rabbit. The current crop of purposely dumbed-down songwriters leave me nauseous. They had a Ferlin Huskey CD, which I almost bought just because I like to say Ferlin Husky.

Ferlin Husky - Ferlin Husky - Ferlin Husky

But, I didn't and instead settled for the next one up in the CD player in Earl the Truck. It was the soundtrack from the Broadway version of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Not one of my favorites. I don't remember who the female lead is, but her voice grates on my nerves something fierce.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my all-time favorite stories. I've loved it ever since I was a spooky little kid. Also The Scarecrow, which is basically the same story set during the American Revolution and The Shadow and The Green Hornet and...

I have a bit of a thing for costumed vigilantes. If I can ever find a radio active spider willing to bite me and transfer a few superpowers or an obscure Asian monk willing to teach me the secret to cloud men's minds, I'm so gonna get me a costume.

I already have the cape...

Thursday, April 03, 2008