Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Then I felt like I flew through a windshield. Metaphorically speaking.

Here's the schtick. I got to thinking. (Yeah, I hate it, too.) Thinking and driving. I thought about people I've met this past eight/nine months or so, and I got to thinking about extremes, and it just smashed into me-- like my mind just flew through a windshield:

I have met many perfect people. Now, I'm not saying they all have a nice butt, and great chest, and a cute smile (not everyone can be Mike Rowe). I'm not even paying much attention to that, and that's no where near where I'm headed.

The people I know are perfect just the way they are! I wouldn't even dream of changing a thing even if I could! I'm surrounded by perfect people! They have their funny quirks, and buttons to be pushed, and every single one of them has a great laugh. They eat different stuff, and sleep differently, and all have different accents, and it's all too beautiful! They even make different mistakes, and handle them in different ways, just perfectly! Just the flipping way they should be handled by each individual! It's not like they should be called mistakes at all, but little tangents, or diversions, or artistic expression. Some even frustrate the crap out of me! They do it with such a perfect je ne sais quoi!

Except, I'm not quite sure these people realize they're perfect. So, if you have ever met me, realize that you are perfect.

There. That should do it.

That whole "Nobody's perfect" saying? Hogwash. EVERYBODY'S PERFECT!

Now, here's what blew my mind even more! (And, while trying to drive!) What happens when two perfect people don't seem to connect? When there's friction? You'd think perfect people would get along. Perhaps, it's like they are magnets, both showing each other their asses! therefore repelling each other! Hmmm. Butting heads? Maybe they don't realize they're perfect? Maybe they think only themself perfect, but not the other person? Hmmm. Luckily I need to sleep, or I'd be thinking for eight more pages.

Geez! Thinking confuses me. I've got to trade-in this cracked brain for something a little more slick. In fact, I just got some sort of spam about enlarging my something or 'nother. Let me see if I can find that email... Maybe I can make a swap.

And, yes, I already have the perfect wife.

Could, would, what, when, where--go ask your mother.

Here it comes. My son will start the Ask all the questions Daddy can't answer without a Wikipedia. And ask about 3 dozen of them at a time.

"Daddy. What do sand dollars eat?"

"Um, I dunno. Loose change?"

Why doesn't he ask me something I know, like Emily Gilmore's code to her panic room.

Did you know a jiffy is 1/100th of a second? Keep that little nugget tucked away in case you meet my boy.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

On the Road with Tropical Storm Fay

Me, a day or so ago--

So, this is what it looks like at about 9 am heading north on 9A in ~25 - 35 mph winds with 55 mph gusts. The road gleams gray as the dusky sky. Can't hardly tell them apart. There's not much traffic. Everyone is home watching 24hr weather or Sponge Bob-- if they have power. Rain blasts into the windshield. Wind howls forever like it's got no one to love. The car slides left from a gust. I tug at the wheel to keep my car in some sort of lane. How close are those tail lights ahead, smeared with rain?

And, then the perfect song to drive through a tropical storm by comes on my iPod. "Your Ass," by Hydraulic Woman. You'd think any song would do when driving through severe tropical weather, but, nope. It was definitely NOT a Wham!, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" kind of storm. No snow, no "Sleigh Ride." If I had been doing some more hydroplaning, then maybe some Beach Boys.

But, really, "Your Ass" really made the whole moment. Made me glad I'm driving through a tropical storm, and enjoying the gray, the whining wind, and swissshquish of my wipers, easing up on the gas at my exit, glad I didn't have to take a bridge, and just being alive. It sort of woke me up to the whole perfect moment. And, I smiled at Fay.

Oh, this is a pic of what I get for dinking with the iPod when I should be driving.

Naw. Just kidding. I made it home safe. Hope y'all are safe and dry, too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Give me an essay! I wanna know!

Have you ever woke up, and just for an instant, had no idea who you were?

Not so much after some all-night drinking binge, but if it happened that way, so be it. "Whatever gets you through the night. It's alright." J. Lennon

And, when realizing you don't know who you are, you start to feel the pieces sliding into place in your self-being-consciousness-- like your vertebrae adjusting one-by-one as you slooooowly stand upright from touching your toes (or, in my case, aiming my fingers at my toes). Name-click. Occupation-click. Do I own pants?-click

Have you ever sat very quietly and dumped your identity? Then, realize you're closer to who you are than when you were keeping track of who you are?

I want to know. I know this makes sense to someone out there.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Masters of Illusion --WARNING: BIG WHINE

I wanted to be a magician when I grew up-- for about three weeks. Master of Illusion, doing card tricks, and making the coin disappear in the plastic box with the false bottom. (Oops! I gave the secret away! See! I'd make a lousy magician.)

I loved watching the magic shows on TV. Like the magician who could turn his lovely assistant into a tiger, then back again. I tried that on my sister. I kept saying the magic words over and over again, but she never got the hang of turning into a tiger. She never disappeared, neither.

Then, I got into advertising. Talk about illusion! Everybody is worried about their product and the image it portrays! What color label most appeals to their target audience of females 17-35. Having to choose the right font for a church to make it seem hip, but not too hip to exclude families.

It's like the kids in high school who need to wear the right jeans, comb their hair the right way, not wear certain colors. Is there ANYTHING a kid won't buy with the word Holister on it? Shoot, way back in my middle school days, you needed to have the right brand of a thick tube of candy-flavored lip gloss hanging around your neck by a cord, and the huge handle of a plastic comb hanging out your back pocket. Or, frankly, you were not cool.

We caught on, though. It's all an illusion.

Like a movie. There's some magic makers there. I swear I want to get a time-share on the planet Naboo. And, how long before you went back in the water after seeing Jaws? Ever shudder taking a shower the morning after seeing Psycho?

One of my favorite directors is Zhang Yimou. He directed Raise the Red Lantern and To Live, both with my favorite actress Gong Li. I could feel the torture of the Cultural Revolution in To Live, and I really want someone to tap my feet with little hammers, like in Raise the Red Lantern.

He also directed the absolutely magical 2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremonies. 2008 drummers perfectly synchronized. Master calligraphers. Dancers. Singers. Joggers all over a globe. Fireworks. Some bizarre movable type board, that moved up and down in letter forms, and water-like drips, and-- there were people underneath each separate character-piece. There was thousands of years of Chinese culture displayed for the world. The Olympic opening ceremonies were the chance for the Chinese to put their best smiling face forward, and say, "Welcome to our home, world!" And, they chose a fantastic film maker to put together their image.

And, for some folks, the illusion was ruined because one little girl sang so beautifully, and another little girl mouthed the words.

Really? You want to pick on that? Miss I-Really-DO-Look-Like-My-Facebook-Photo-All-The-Time? Or, are you really a Mr? You can't find any other itsy-bitsy Chinese elephants in the room to pick on, but a prepubescent lip syncher? That really blew it all for you, Mr. I-Buy-Only-Family-Oriented-Under-Arm-Deordorants? That whole bit where the children dressed as the 56 minorities in China soft-shoeing the Chinese flag up to the soldiers who take it from them wasn't disturbing? I'll bet the 2008 drummers all synched up was looking a bit intimidating to Taiwan-- er, I mean, Chinese Taipei, or to the not-so-autonomous region of Tibet.

Really? Lip synching? The whole illusion is blown, and China sucks because the actual singer didn't look the image someone wanted to portray? Did you watch the rest of the ceremony? (Say, did you know Zhang Yimou was banned from China? And, now he is a welcome celebrity?) The show was AWESOME! It almost made me forget about the city-wide pre-Olympic political dissident round-up.


So, I woke up this morning to a wrestling match with my boy. (He's getting better. Nearly had one of my arms pinned down.) When I got around to saying good morning to my honey, she was working on her computer. "Blogging?" I asked.

"No," she said. "I'm making you a MySpace page."

I smiled a very big smile. I've got a groupie! who makes a MySpace page for me, like a politician, or an actress, or a tattoo artist. Wait-- You didn't think those MySpace pages were the REAL politician/actress/tattoo artists, did you?

Oh, btw. Way back when, remember the Taco Bell chihuahua? That wasn't the dog's real voice.


Actually, my wife made me the MySpace page so I could access and read HER MySpace blog.

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."

--Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pick up stitches, pick up people

So, I was crocheting at the zoo this weekend. My family and friends were petting stingrays. Sure enough, a woman began chatting with me. A friendly women from Charleston. She beads. Loves Italian food. Her husband took their kid in to see the stingrays. The woman was afraid of them.

Then, a little bit later, another woman had to ask what I was crocheting. It is a gauge swatch. I'd only been crocheting it for about 9 collective hours. I just started crocheting, and I just can't seem to keep the same number of stitches going after a row. Her mother is English, and forgot how to knit so couldn't teach her. So sad. I recommended a book.

FYI: I can crochet and walk as fast as two women corralling five young'uns through the zoo.

ANYHOO-- If you've ever knit in public, you know people just start coming up to you and chatting with you. Maybe it's the comfort of the yarn, or the creative process just out there in the open-- I dunno, but here's the thing.

Women have asked me how to find a man. Not very often, but they've asked. I don't know why they want one. They smell funny.

But, since I've been knitting, a stereotypically female activity, I've met some really nice people! Many of them women! Just sitting down, in public, and knitting! And, I didn't really want to meet anyone, but I'm glad I did! Knitters are awesome people!

So, women who want to meet men: Here's what you ought to try. Pick up a hobby that is stereotypically male! Say, hunting! There you go! Just stand outside the Range of the Jaguar exhibit at the zoo with a rifle, and I'll bet you'll be meeting guys in no time!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My latest celeb fantasy

So we all went to the beach!

My very favorite thing to do on the beach is to hunt seashells. I found this one (above) today within 90 seconds of dropping the cooler on the sand. I see all the shells, bits of color and light, dancing glints. And it's all so beautiful, and it's like seeing a crowd of people, how each one is beautiful and different, and -- sheeesh, what the heck did I put in this Diet Dr. Pepper?

I don't think seashell hunting could get much better.

And, then I go and start thinking again. Dangnabbit.

Which celebrity would I like to go seashell hunting with? I've seen people blog celebrities they'd like to have a dinner party with, slumber party, and (duh) do "it" with, but I'm lame.

So, I'm going to have to go with Lorelei Gilmore. Ok, sure, she's fictional, but it is my fantasy, right? Why Lorelei? She's quick witted, and I'd love to just chit-chat while hunting seashells...


"So, you're Eric?"

"Yep. Call me Tinkguy. No one else does. Have any trouble finding the beach?"

"Not really. Just turned east and kept driving until I found it."

"Nice outfit."

"I thought you might recognize these daisy-dukes from episode two."

"Capris were in the laundry? The shirt- Very chic."

"Thanks. It's Paul Anka's. He wears all my old stuff and then I steal it back. Shall we hunt seashells?"

"Oh, yeah, sure." I hand Lorelei her bucket.

"So, how do you hunt seashells? Do we need to put up a shell blind? Is there a shell call I need to learn? Here, Shelley, Shelley, Shelley? Here Percy Bysshe Shelley!"

"That sounded funnier in your head, right?"

"Say, here's a shell! Got one! Well, that's it. I had a swell time. We should do this again."

"Maybe in the next 10 seconds?"

"Ooo! I found another! Wow, I'm really good at this!"

"A natural."

"Bamm! In your face! I've bagged a half-dozen keepers, and you're just standing there like the beach's door greeter."

"Maybe we could walk a little ways?"

"Walk and hunt? At the same time? Do you think I'm ready?"

"Hmm. You might accidentally step on my foot."

"Not very Cheney-esque."

"I could accidentally throw a jellyfish at your face."

"Say, there's an orange flag over that lifeguard."

"It means the terror threat level is high."

"So, one of these plovers could be terrorist?"

"Just the ones on the Do Not Fly List. And that crab over there is looking shifty. I don't know him." I point to it as it ducks into a hole.

"Species profiling. It had to happen. Next, you'll be telling me I shouldn't be caught dead in the water with a shark."


So, what's your lamest celeb fantasy?

Hmmm. Celebrity I'd most like to knit socks for...

Childhood Immersion-- BIG WHINE

I don't even know how many times I've tried to learn a language. Chinese, German, French, Japanese, Spanish, ASL, Italian-- I've got no aptitude for it. I learn how to say, "Where is father?" and "He's been in the bathroom for hours," in five languages, then lose what I learn because I don't use it.

Maybe, just like that TV show, Man Vs. Wild, I could parachute into, say, Shanghai, and HAVE to use it to get around! Like, total life-or-death cultural immersion! I'd definitely have to learn more than just Ni hao! 什么是这炒饭成份?

Then, I got to thinking...

Kids. They are totally life-or-death culturally immersed in Earth.

Then, I kept thinking...

Do kids get angry? Do they get frustrated? How do they express it? Are they even "ALLOWED" to express it? Are they allowed to even experience anger and frustration, even with their parent/guardian?

And, still I kept thinking... (Dangerous pasttime, I know. (Disney fans?))

What if a kid is told, when angry, "No hitting."
And, "No screaming."
And, "Don't take that tone."
And, "You are NOT to use that word."

Thinking, thinking...

Ok, what is a kid to do? Is the five-year-old to simply tell his/her daddy, "Excusez-moi, mon père. Your not-so subtle suggestion I consume the buttered brussel sprouts placed in front of me frustrates me beyond wits end. I've found brussel sprouts spur my gag reflex, making them very unappealing, and hard to swallow. I would rather be politely excused from eating this serving and retire to my chamber for the rest of the evening."


#$%@ that a-hole driver just @#$%ing cut me the h$#% off! What a #$^%ing &@#%er! And she's %#^%ing talking on her #%^@ing cell phone.

There are extremes, of course.

When could a child begin to control their emotions? To the point of bottling them up to calmly express in words his or her frustration with the current situation? Why not simply say, "Crap!" Then, perhaps ask for assistance if desired?

Or, should they bottle up the anger until the day, months or years from now, when they can lock themselves in their room and tear the books from their shelves, and rend their bed linens...

Hit? Or say, "Crap, moron, idiot, stupid, damn?" I'm not saying kids should have free reign of the available vocabulary. BUT, should a parent blame the environment, the culture for warping the child? And, then attempt to wall-in the child from the "outside" world? (Or, is it just a world the parents find hard to swallow?)

Does anyone out there know how Siddhartha Gautama spent his princely childhood walled in his father's palace? The kid's got to get out there some day, and will s/he be prepared? Or, stunned?

Would it not be kind and understanding for the adult to NOT jump on the child with, "DON'T SAY THAT!" and instead probe the child's current situation BEYOND the words, and help the kid understand the nature of frustration and anger?

How old does a parent have to be to do that? What if the parent doesn't understand the nature of frustration and anger!?!

My wife, while a driver nearly hit her in a left turn, said, "@#$@!"

My boy said, "Can I say that?"

I really don't like to think that much. It's tiring. Where the heck did I drop my sock knitting...

Any thoughts? Be honest, now. It's just thinking.

Friday, August 1, 2008

this guy and work music

I saw a guy adjust his wildly flapping t-shirt with both hands, as he stood up on his motorcycle while speeding away at 65 mph on 9A this morning in rush hour traffic. He snapped a hand-signal lane change, looking in the direction he pointed. I might have been watching an Usher video. Then, he rocked low, side-to-side to change lanes. He must really like the rides at Disney World. At least he was wearing a helmet.


Just like everyone you ask will say they have a good sense of humor, everyone will tell you they listen to a variety of music.

I don't.

I've listened to Mariah Carey's Daydream at work for four hours straight today. Then, Christina Aguilera's Stripped for four hours. I've listened to The Corrs' Dreams in the car for over six months. Nothing but that CD.

I've got this iPod playlist I play when I need to work, and just can't get moving. It's got 54 songs in it now. From Girl From Ipanema to Prince's Sexy M.F. I add a couple new ones now and then. This playlist can make me breeze through a load of dishes, or two hours of house cleaning. (I watch old movies when folding laundry.)

Now, there IS some music I can't work to. It's not that I don't LIKE the music. I just can't listen to it AND work.

Like classical music. When classical music is on, I find that I've stopped working, and I'm just gazing off into nothing, listening.

Or, country music. When country music is on, I find I've stopped working, and I'm just crying and wishing I was drunk.

Anyway, at work yesterday, I found I can't work to Ray Charles. I LOVE Ray Charles since I don't know when. But, it was a sad moment when I popped the CD out of my work computer, and told Ray I won't be listening to him any more at work.


So, greater Earth-area, what music gets you working? Does it matter what the work is? Do you listen to Sinatra for yard work, The Kinks when dusting, and Patsy Cline when cleaning up from last night's lingerie party?