Saturday, June 28, 2008


The thing about whittling is that you end up with something smaller than you started with, and, in it's smaller state, something that you wanted. The unnecessary parts lay on the ground around you and are soon discarded like so much garbage. As the pieces are swept up they flip over and over and we see all that they once had to offer; sometimes they still have much to offer but are whittled away simply because life is finite and whims are not. I'm still whittling, but some of the recent trimmings did not "go gentle into that goodnight."

Sometimes the idea of loss is more significant than the loss itself; admitting that I can't do everything I would like because my life will end before my imagination does, is hard to take because I enjoyed the days of thinking that I was invincible.

On the flip side, there's hummus. Hummus is a wonderful treat that I only recently became aware of. It stands to reason that there are other things like hummus just waiting to be discovered; embrace all things humussee and, "rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Damn the tower of Babel

The far reaching effects of the the aftermath of the tower of Babel were not fully understood until this morning, on my way to work in the carpool. As I looked at the inner-city bus and all the African American faces on it, and the carpools full of white faces on the way in from the suburbs, I realized that there once was a day when everyone got along, and worked together for the good of humanity; those were the days of the thriving city of Babel.

Babel had it all: a cooperative society, a small carbon footprint, low taxes and one language...but it wasn't enough; they just had to taunt God with their impertinent vanity. They just had to build the tower that divided the world and landed us where we are today. Even if we understand each other today, our differences seem to be too great to overcome; the result of thousands of years of independent cultures that grew far, far apart.

Damn those Babylonians.

Maybe one day we'll all just get along, and once again work for the good of humanity. We'll ruin it though, we'll build a rocket that we think can reach God and, having crossed that line of Babel again, we'll be dispersed throughout the universe this time. That will go well for a while because we'll only be with people that look and talk like we do. Soon the whining begins though:
"Why is their planet closer to the sun?"
"Why do they have a better view of the heavens?"
"Why is our atmosphere made of acid vapors?"
Soon the shuttles will begin to carry us to them and them to us, and once we're there we'll all focus on our differences again and our minds will become the tiniest of slits that let very little in.

Kids look through the biggest, clearest do they become doors?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Magic 8- Ball

"Welcome to the first magic 8-ball state of the union address. We are here in the nations capitol with the President, a magic 8-ball and the all-American setting of a Washington Nationals - New york Yankees game. This evening's format will be: viewers text in proposed laws or changes to the constitution, our panel of three judges will determine which questions will be addressed, the President will ask the magic 8-ball the question and governmental choices will be made according to the answer received."
"Good evening Mr. President."
"Well hello there, it's a great night for baseball and the democratic processing."
"...Uh, yes sir. Well, let's get started sir; do you have a question for the 8-ball to get the evening going?"
"I do, who is gonna win this game?"
"It has to be a yes or no question sir."
"Oh, my bad, are the Yankees gonna win this contestify?"
"Well hot damn, I do not like Yankees."
Off camera whispering: "Get a different 8-ball in here, stat!"
"Sorry sir, we'll have this 8-ball replaced immediately."
"They are made in China sir and they don't always get the English correct."
"What? It said the Yankees are going down; what more do you want?"
In a whisper: "That's not how you spell "Likely" sir."
In a rather unenlightened non-whisper: "Son, I went to Yale and didn't pick up on that; you think the average deal or no deal watching American is gonna get a sublet error like that?"
"...Good one sir! (then, in a whisper: "sir, this is live.")
"I know that son and, as sure as my hands on a bible, that was just jokery."
More whispering: "It's television sir not radio; they can see your hands."
"...Get the secret service in here, someone absconded with my good book!"
"Well sir, this show has gone the way of your approval rating; any last ditch questions for the 8-ball that might salvage things?"
"Do we belong in Iraq?"
"Get this thing out a here and get me one that was made in the U.S.A."
"It just arrived sir."
'Well, let's give this another try with the same question."
"Damn Democrats! Get me a non-democratical 8-ball!"
"We've run out of time sir; I really don't know how to end this so we'll just stop here
Good night."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Democrats, what if...

I was running along thinking about the likelihood that the next president will be a Democrat. This, of course, led to thoughts of JFK, RFK...all the K's, even the ones that are now S's. Next came thoughts of Marylin Monroe and what a "tortured starlet's" life she led...what if she hadn't been a tortured starlet? What if she never met the Kennedy's? What if the Kennedy's and the mob never had her whacked?

Lee Harvey Oswald, an obsessively dedicated Marylin Monroe fan, never takes up his position in the book depository. He runs the Marylin Monroe fan club for 15 years before finally meeting her in person at a fan rally to rejuvenate her dying career, where he accidentally overhears her talking to her publicist:
"Give me a damn cigarette and lets get this over gosh do I have to take a crap."
Needless to say he lost all interest in her, moved out of his parents basement, got some counselling and a real job.

JFK serves two terms as president, brings peace to the middle east, rain to the mid-west and a new car to every garage. Without Marylin Monroe occupying his spare time, he masters the German language and gives his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in perfect high-German, after which Germany agrees to become the 51st state.

Young Teddy is so impressed with JFK's impact on the world that he devotes his life to the studies of man and nature; on a trip to Tibet he is recognized as the new Dalai Lama and is sought out by tortured Hollywood starlets for his world famous Himalayan karma cleansing therapy.

Marylin goes on to lose her looks, gain and lose untold numbers of pounds, and eventually starts a weight loss/ rehab clinic with Betty Ford and Liz Taylor. She leaves Joe Dimagio for Richard Burton each time he divorces Liz Taylor. Joe is always there for her when Liz and Richard reunite, and soothes her with freshly brewed cups of coffee.

Jack Ruby, unhappy with the 51st state, which he calls the kraut state, moves to the mountains of Idaho and starts a right-wing "black-powder" community, where he secretly plots an assassination attempt on JFK; the attempt fails when he leans too far out the book depository window and falls to his death. Upon hitting the ground his rifle discharges and accidentally kills a gunman hidden behind a bush on a nearby grassy knoll.

Elton John never writes "Candle in the wind" and, instead of performing the song at Princess Diana's memorial, is caught that night in an undercover sting operation in a public restroom with Hugh Grant and Boy George.

Mary Joe Kopechne never joins Teddy Kennedy in politics, and moves to a small town in northern Mass. where she raises a family of 5; she never lets them near the water due to an inexplicable aqua phobia.

In an unrelated development due simply to the butterfly effect, during an annual reenactment of the battle of Gettysburg, both sides realize what an incredible waste of life it was; all weapons are dropped and no one thinks about the civil war ever again.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The night the lights went out in Georgia

My power went out a couple hours ago; after going through the necessary process, I reached acceptance. I got up from my now-useless computer and watched the rain fall. I wrote a poem I didn't understand, so I stopped doing that. The temperature in the house has climbed to a muggy 80 deg...not too bad really; I may have to open the windows tonight and let in the muggy 70 deg's.

Hershey and Oreos understand that something is different and showed up to play. Oreos hangs out on the edge of the playing and races away if she draws too much attention.

It occurs to me how sad it is that since I'm not watching sports or typing on the computer, even the animals know that my attention isn't spoken for. I don't like them getting this read on me so I take the portable air conditioner apart and figure out why it doesn't drain properly. After I put it back together, I play with them on my terms.

My chigger bites itch...a lot. The rotten little so-and -so's.

Hey! My power just returned and I have many clocks to reset and the A/C to turn way down. The chigger thing has me taking the sheets off the bed to wash much to do now that I have power again...oops, I tripped on the remote and ESPN came on; what are you gonna do?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Wonders of Nature

I ran half-mile repeats this morning, which is sort of a grueling workout. It wasn't as humid as yesterday, but it was still in the low 70's and humid enough to turn a 3:30 AM run into a sweat-fest. I generally favor fests because they are festive in nature; this sweat-fest I also enjoyed because of the sense of accomplishment I had after.

One drawback was that my feet and ankles itched terribly with the sweat, because I accidentally discovered chiggers over the weekend and have hundreds of tiny red dots all over my legs. Chiggers are not hard to find, if you seek them you simply need to leave some skin exposed and wander through tall grass, short grass, weeds or anywhere really; this is Georgia. I like it here a lot, there are just some things that I have yet to learn. I'm going to try not to learn much about cotton mouths or water moccasins in this fashion.

I like the new Coldplay CD, give it a listen.
Until our paths cross again, look both ways before proceeding.