Thursday, April 27, 2006

My Trip to Chongqing Province, China...

I knew when our little group
arrived outside of the village of Changshou, that we were now a world away from the familiar modern comforts that we had left behind at Pudong International Airport, in Shanghai. Though we had only travelled four days, the distance in lifestyle, scenery, and culture seemed as if we had taken a step backward in time, far greater than the 86 hours it took for us to arrive here. As our hearty band of 8 wide-eyed Americans & 4 Brits stepped off of the Ferry at Changshou, I could barely make out the village ahead thru the cold mist. It was here that we were promised to meet up with Mister Xinghua -- he was to be our Guide back down the Chang Jiang River (the Yangtze River), and thru the spectacular Three Gorges. With a rather awkward bow, I bid the gracious ferry captain a heartfelt 'do-jeh' (thank you). "Mm ha hay", he replied (you're welcome). The wonderfully ornate red & gold Dragon of his Ferry would soon disappear in the gathering fog, and slither away forever. I fumbled for my Kodak Instant camera, and snapped a photo before he embarked from shore. I took a deep breath, made sure of the backpack about my shoulders, and pressed on to re-join our little group.

From the shore, we had a 20 minute hike down a well worn stone path, to
Changshou. After six hours on the cold waters of the Chang Jiang, with little to eat besides the last nibbles of a Hershey's chocolate bar, the sudden smell of fresh vegetables boiling in large, open-air stone pots, was a welcome ambassador. We looked very out of place with our down-filled Western coats, as we made our way past the modest dwellings. Chauncey, who hailed from Devon, England -- clearly the maverick of our group -- steered our little procession toward a gathering of several Chinese men, caught up in a street side game of Mahjong. We watched them, unnoticed for several minutes, before one of the men took his eyes from the board, and glanced us the familiar nod of greeting that we had by now become accustomed to receiving. The weather was quite cold, but the people were always warm.

Leaving the others behind, I allowed my hunger to overcome me, and made my way past some very old, 1950's vintage trucks. I found myself standing outside of a
rather marvellous garden, and watching a hunched-up elderly man, rooting thru the rich soil. He had greens cooking in a stone wok, and several small pots of boiling water, with various slices of meats and vegetables in them. The aroma was intoxicating.

The little man, no doubt sore & stiff from bending and kneeling in his crouched
position, took a slight spill as he fell to one side. It was then that he noticed me, as he looked up to see who's hand was offering him a pull back-up again. As surprised as he was to see me, an American, standing in his garden, I was even more taken aback when he spoke to me in quite good English.

"Thank you," he said thru an embarassed smile. "I think that is the fourth time this
morning that my knees have given out from under me." "You're welcome... mm ha hay," I replied, suddenly aware of my poor attempt at a Chinese dialect. "I'm here with a group of tourists from America & Britain," I said, as I gestured with my arm toward the gang down the street. "We've come to take a boat tour down the Yangtze, and the Three Gorges."
"Yes, I know," replied the gentle man. "I am Mister Xinghua, your Guide."
He was not at all what I expected. Poor clothing, wet soil soaking thru the worn fabric about his knees and elbows. For now, he was a far cry from the elaborately dressed Guide who would later pose for us after our voyage down the Chang Jiang River was at last complete: An immaculate, bright red & white garment draping his sloping body, topped with a hat of black velvet & red rope, and always that warm, wide grin of his. Then, he would be every bit the wise, old Sage. But for the present, he was but a simple, unassuming man, hands dirty with black soil. He grasped my arm like a grandfather taking hold of his grandson, as if he knew that I was about to turn, and call out to my friends to come and join us. "Your comrades can wait. The river will wait. For now, sit. We must harvest these carrots and onions while the meat boils. The meat will not wait."

I slid off my backpack, and joined my new-found friend in the dirt. "B
efore the harvest can be obtained, the field must first be plowed," he said. "We must tend our garden." He pointed to several outcroppings of weeds, growing about the garden. "These ones -- the yellow green ones -- dig underneath deeply, and pull upward with a circular twist. They will come away easily, root and all." He showed me the technique, and watched amusingly as I made my attempt. "Not all Americans are from Kansas," I joked. He let out a hearty laugh. "And not all Chinese like peas!," he chuckled, as he pointed out the quadrant of his garden where an abundance of peas lay un-picked. We both nodded in agreement. A garden Detente' had been reached.

For several minutes, we knelt there, uprooting weeds, and filling-in rich, dark soil around those stalks of vegetables which were not yet ready to be pulled. "Time is what is needed -- and patience -- always patience," he whispered, as he nurtured each plant. I agreed with him, nodding silently.

After the weeding was finished, we turned to the task at hand -- gathering the fresh onions & carrots which were to compose that evening's feast, along with the deliciously cooked, tender meat. I watched his worn hands skillfully uproot each vegetable -- his hands were quite nimble for a man of his advanced age. Uncertain of which ones to pull out, my haul was a mere handful or two. Mister Xinghua had collected 3 very large bowls of the fresh bounty.

"You are like these plants. Still green, raw. But with time, and patience -- always patience -- the day will come when you, too, will yield a full bounty. Before then, only one thing is required," he said, as he dug up one last onion. "What is required?", I asked, lost in watching his skillful hands.

Mister Xinghua looked up at me, & again grasped my arm in a grandfatherly fashion. Then, pulling himself close to my ear, he whispered quietly: "You must tend your garden."

His words echoed in my thoughts as I awoke from the dream. I looked about my
room, half hoping to be outside of a modest shack, wrist-deep in black dirt; or to smell the savory aroma of fresh meat & hand-picked vegetables boiling in small pots, beside a steaming wok.

No, they were all gone -- indeed, they had never even been there. But though it was all a fantasy, I could still hear a soft, grandfatherly voice whispering from deep inside my Being -- gently advising me to do what urgently needed to be done:

"You must tend your garden."

Monday, April 24, 2006

Chimps, Good. Gorillas, Bad...

(Note: It is 2:58 a.m. I just now woke up from a very sound sleep,
with this ENTIRE blog already written in my head, outta nowhere. I'm writing it out while I still remember it).

Everything I needed to learn in
Life, can be learned by watching the original 'Planet Of The Apes' movie. In no particular order of importance:

1. On a long trip, hope that things go well, but be ready for problems to occur. Plan ahead! (Spaceship crashes onto Ape Planet, but the astronauts only have a few provisions to sustain them?).

2. Frontal Lobotomy's are never a good thing. (Well, duh).

3. Sometimes, it's better to keep your mouth shut. (Don't let the Apes know that you can talk. For consequences, refer to
Rule #2).

4. When you do speak, make it memorable. ("Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty Ape!").

5. It's always good to have smart friends. (Cornelius & Zira).

6. Never judge a person's intelligence or worth, by the clothes they wear. (Taylor spent most of the movie in torn, dirty rags).

7. Sometimes, it's good to vent! ("It's a madhouse!! A madhouse!!!").

8. In general, any woman named 'Nova' will be attractive. (Well, duh).

9. Women who ride horses are good to find. (See Rule #8).

10. A warm, relaxing shower is good! Being sprayed down by a high pressure water hose... not so good! (Taylor captive in the cage).

11. Use common sense. (If a place is called 'The Forbidden Zone', it's called that for a good reason).

12. The Government knows more than they are willing to tell you. (Dr. Zaius knew all along about Man's previous superiority, and t
he real reason for The Forbidden Zone).

13. Things aren't always as they appear, & not all changes are good ones. (An ocean-side ride on horseback along a secluded beach, with a fully loaded rifle, all the time in the world, no particular place to go, and a woman named Nova... good! Discovering that you're really in New York City... not so good!).

14. Chimps, good. Gorillas, bad. (Well, duh).

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Joy Of Sox...

It has been said that 'a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step'. If so, then I'm not going anywhere unless I have a nice, warm & comfortable pair of sox. As winter grudgingly melts into spring, & the 'almost up to my ears' tube sox give way to the joyful, ankle sox of summer, what deep thoughts am I pondering?

No, I am not contemplating the plight of the Rain Forests of the Amazon.

No, I am not terribly worried about labor strikes in France.
No, I am not losing sleep wondering if Tom & Katie are really in love.

My thoughts are on sox. Out with the old, in with the new. Do I have enough dress sox? Do I need to get a new supply of ankle sox for the summer? Is it finally warm enough to deep-six the tubeys? Do these sox make my ankles look fat?

If yours truly were transported into History, at crucial
moments, then life as we know it would be very different, indeed. Imagine, if you will, these Twilight Zone possibilities:

3,000,000 BC: The first hominids are about to become upright creatures, moving from the trees, to becoming bi-pedal, land-roving love machines. All of the other ape-men are looking to me to start the walking revolution. The jungle falls deafly silent. A million hairy beast-things await on the edges of high-up branches for that first, permanent jump onto The Good Earth. It's up to moi. What do I grunt out as The Moment overtakes me?

"You want me to jump down where?? Homey-nid, them rocks look hella sharp. You all truly have some thick skulls if you think I'm gonna plop down onto that without something protecting my hairy feet... Someone pass me a vine, I see some Grapes over yonder."

1,500,000 BC: Homo Erectus is about to venture from his African Oasis, and cross over the land bridges to explore and populate the rest of the world. Gog and Sven and Charley are standing with me, wondering if we should take the Clan to see what is over there, in that uninhabited region:

"Naaah. I think we'd best stay here, fellas. I mean, this sand feels awfully nice n
warm n soft on my toes. I vote to 'stay'. Hey -- do ya think that if we squashed these Grapes with out feet, and somehow solidified what's left, we could make some sorta Jelly? This lizard meat needs something to liven it up a bit."

49 BC: Caesar gives the command to cross the Rubicon, and begin the Roman Civil War, that would eventually lead to his rise as Emperor. My Legion of Pampered Feet gets the smoke signal to advance:

"Is Caesar nuts?? That water is hella cold, and these feet just got warmed up. And what's the deal with issueing sandals without sox?? Signal his highness and tell him to send us a postcard from Rome... Oh, and have the
Gaulic slaves stomp some more grapes... ah, French wine!"

July 20, 1969: The world is glued to their boob tubes, as Mission Control switches to a live voice feed from inside the Lunar Lander:

"Buzz, I'm not stepping out there, these moon boots are chaffing my toes, and the
Rocket Scientists at NASA forgot to pack the Talcum powder with our sox. You go first, instead of me. And as you take that first step onto the moon, do that Ricky Ricardo imitation of yours, & say: 'Luuuuucy, I'm hoooome!' Trust me, the boys on Pad 7 will luv it, and no one will remember what we say, anyway. And make it quick -- we need to vamouse. We're outta Grape Jam."

Yes, we can all count ourselves as lucky that History didn't depend on these feet to
move Mankind forever forward. True, a journey of a thousand miles really does begin with a single step... but I'm not goin' anywhere without some decent sox.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Cherry Bomb...

As those of you faithful readers will know, I often wake up with a song stuck in my head. (See blog for April 6, 2006: "Life's The Same, And Moving In Stereo"). This morning was another one of those days. But, the song and the artist was kind of a curious one -- I don't own any of this artist's CDs, and haven't heard this particular song in years...

I woke up this morning with John Cougar Mellencamp's song, "Cherry Bomb", blastin' in my brain. And I even vividly remember the part of the dream where that song was playing: I was cutting thru this dirty, dusty vacant lot behind the bowling alley, and on my way to a park -- something I did all the time when I was a kid. I'd cut thru this vacant lot, after riding my trusty green bike right up next to the busy highway, which was as far as I was allowed to ride. I'd stop at the side of the road, sitting on that banana seat, and wonder to myself where all of the Consolidated Freightways semis and cars were going to? I'd watch them for several minutes, before they disappeared over the horizon, passing me by. I've had this particular memory, of cutting thru that dusty lot & getting to that green park, in several dreams throughout the years. It's a warm memory to me. Makes me smile...

"...When I think back about those days, all I can do is sit and smile..."

This past weekend, I was again reminded of certain limitations that I have, and am still working my way thru. I often refer to these shortcomings of mine, as 'The Wall'. Problem is, even tho The Wall is in many ways self-imposed, and completely voluntary, I still haven't figured out if it is a Wall meant to keep me in, or to keep others out? I'm sure it's a little bit of both.

In alot of ways, The Wall is just like that strip of busy highway that I'd ride up to -- it is a boundary for me. A place that I can't go past. A limitation. I absolutely know
for certain that The Wall has often been my saviour, keeping me from certain dangers. I know this for a fact. So, I can't say that The Wall has been a bad thing, altogether. But, I also am aware, that sometimes The Wall can be a painful thing for me, when I come up against it. And sometimes, The Wall can cause pain or sadness for others -- often, they are people who I care about. For anyone who has ever been hurt by The Wall, I'm sorry, and apologize for any pain it may have caused...

"...If we've done any wrong, I hope that we're forgiven..."

One of the first things I did this morning, was to go to iTunes, and download "Cherry Bomb", and a few other John Cougar Mellencamp songs. And as I'm writing this blog, I have "Cherry Bomb" on continuous repeat, blasting thru my headphones.

You know, it's a sunny, spring day... pretty windy (of course), but otherwise fairly
decent. I have the day off, after absolutely working my butt off for the past 3 wks. Maybe I should take the advice given by a friend who has been so good to me, and get myself out from behind this computer, and get out there. I think I'll hop into my vehicle, connect the iPod to the stereo, and just drive. Doesn't matter to where, really. Or for how long. It'll give me a chance to think, and try to figure out what I'm doing, or what I'm not doing. Maybe shake off a little of the fading winter, & the cabin fever, & the boredom...

"...The winter days, they'd last forever. But the weekends went by so quick.
We're ridin' around in this little country town -- we were goin' nuts, girl, out in the sticks..."

A better plan might be to just get on my mtn. bike, and go for my first ride of the year. I do my best thinking when I'm either walking, or riding. Maybe I'll even ride to that same stretch of highway, stop beside it, and again watch the endless traffic go on by. Then maybe I'll do something that will make me smile -- I'll cut thru that same dirty, dusty vacant lot behind the bowling alley. I'll cut across to that park & remember what it was like to be 8 yrs. old again, where the only boundary I had was that strip of road, & all the traffic.

Of course, being my first bike ride in about 8 months, I know I'm going to be sucking eggs after a few blocks, and will be huffin' n puffin' by the time I make it to the bowling alley, especially against this wind. But, at least it will get me out, give me a chance to ponder. And maybe it will help improve myself a little bit, with some good cardio exercise to get my heart really pumpin'... yeh.

"...That's when a sport was a sport, and groovin' was groovin'.
Dancin' meant everything. We were young, and we were improvin'.
Laughin', laughin' with our friends. Holdin' hands meant somethin', baby.
Outside the club, 'Cherry Bomb', our hearts were really pumpin',
Say 'yeh yeh yeh'... say 'yeh yeh yeh'...."

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Don't Drink Outta The Milk Carton, Cowlick Divets, & Apollo 11...

If things worked out the way
they're supposed to, we should all look back on our childhood with fondness. Whether we were athletic, or not. Or responsible, or not. Or brainy, or not. Whether we liked store bought Ginger Snap cookies, or cookies made from scratch. Somehow, those fond, childhood memories have a way of coming back to us, triggered by certain sounds, or smells, or images that have implanted themselves forever in our brains. And, when they re-surface years later in our adultness, I think it's kinda Creation's way of reminding us that somewhere within our Suit & Tie Shell, that skinny kid in the overly-baggy swim trunks is still inside there, running thru the neighbor's sprinklers. Childhood memories are the Cosmic equivalent of God tapping us on our burdened, adult shoulders, & saying: "Hey, don't sweat the small stuff... I've taken you this far. Don't worry -- I've gotcha covered". Childhood memories are meant to help us relax, laugh at ourselves, and keep moving on.

Some things about being a kid, I think, are Universal. For example, there is the T=N1N2N3 Equation. (The amount of Trouble we were in is equal to how many of our Names were called out when we finally got busted). If we drank the outta the milk carton, or trampled on the freshly planted flowers, or was caught swearing, we could always tell the severity of our offense by how much of our name was yelled out. If it was just our first name... eh, not so bad. We'll be out riding our bike in ten minutes. First and middle names... might need to do some sweet talking to smooth things over. All 3 of our names... better plead some sort of hereditary ailment, taylored to whichever parent is calling for us. If that fails, go to trusty ole Plan B: blame one of your siblings. :-)

It's amazing how even some of childhood's most painful incidents will later make us smile. I must have half a dozen scars and divets on my mid-life body from multiple bike crashes; or from bailing out of swings at their highest point (pretending to be a Fighter Pilot, shot down over Nazi Germany); or from flipping over park benches while running full speed, trying to catch a frisbee. All were plenty painful at the time (some of my bicycle wrecks would've put Evil Knievel to shame). But, when I look at those scars now, I can't help but smile. Those painfully acquired scrapes on my knees have become: "Wow! That bike wipe-out across ten feet of asphalt and little, sharp rocks was soooo kewl! God, I loved that green bike w/the loopy handle-bars!" There's a mysterious divet on the top of my head, where the cowlick should be, that I have no earthly idea where it came from -- tho I haven't ruled out Extra Terrestrial Abduction. And the notch on my right calve, where the teeth from my bike pedal ate out a chunk of flesh.... yeh, a badge of pride.

Even now, several decades later, the aroma of fresh baking bread conjures up memories of me racing up the street on that fast-as-the-wind green bike, to be there when my Mom or Dad would take the fresh loaves out of the oven, and sneak us kids a piece, still nice n hot.

When I smell lilacs after a rain, I am transported back to being The Invincible Bee Catcher & Tormentor. No empty Miracle Whip jar was big enough to hold my day's catch. One of my favorite childhood skills wasn't when I learned how to drive a car; but, rather, when the neighbor kid across the street taught me how to sneak up on bees, and smash them with the palm of my bare hand, while they were busy sucking on clover. (No bee stings -- I truly was Invincible!).

And when I catch a rare rerun today of the cartoon, 'Gigantor', The Space Aged Robot, I can't help but imagine again that I'm flying, and start to sing to myself the Gigantor theme song. You couldn't be a little kid growing up in the late 60's without knowing or loving Gigantor. One of my brothers even immortalized the Space Aged Robot on the inside wall of the garage, using a blue crayon. Gigantor is still flying today, on that same garage wall, almost 40 yrs later.

It's amazing, really. Childhood memories are salve for the ailments of adulthood. Mental Band Aids for our everyday stress. Momentary little time capsules that propel us magically away from the frantic Now of our lives.

Today, I begin to panic when I even think about being in a very confined space, unable to move my arms. Even if I dream about a situation like that, I wake up in a sweat & panic, my heart racing 90 miles per hour. But when I was a kid, I used to slide the lowest, 3rd bunkbed underneath the 2nd bunk. I'd somehow squeeze myself into that impossibly cramped space, with my little transistor radio in-hand, and tiny earplugs. On a clear nite, it could just barely catch the staticky signal from 'Might As Well Be The Moon', far-off Oklahoma City, and radio station KOMA, & I'd pretend I was one of those Apollo Astronauts inside the Command Module. I'd probably give a good chunk of my savings account to find one of those tear-out/fold-out, paper replicas of the Apollo 11 Lunar Lander, that my Dad bought for me at the Union 76 gas station, on the day that Neil Armstrong first stepped foot on the moon.

Yes, if things worked out the way they're supposed to, we should all look back on our childhood with fondness. And as I now look back at my rather mundane life, several thousand lunar orbits
later, I'm starting to see that instead of being uneventful, my life really has been an adventure rivalling those first, tenative trips to the moon.

Maybe I really have achieved something notable? Maybe
even the most awesomely plain life is an accomplishment & a wonder all to itself, with real value? Maybe I finally get it??

"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed".

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Not Nobody! Not No-How!...

There are many things in this world that I just don't get. Many people or groups that I just don't understand. And probably never will.

No... this blog isn't about the music icon, Prince (aka 'The Artist Formerly Known As Prince', aka 'The Artist', aka that strange He-She symbol thing). I actually get Prince, what little I know of him & his music. True enough -- I think the man is a freakin Genius. Extremely creative & original. Talent for days. Also true, I admittedly am only really familiar w/some of the smash, radio Hits from his pre-Musicology era (& Musicology is the only CD of Prince's that I own -- luv'd it, btw).

Like I said, I don't know or wouldn't remember the vast majority of Prince's songs, and probably wouldn't listen to most of his song catalog. But, being weened on MTV from when it first came out (& when it actually still played music videos), I do remember the video, "Batdance", which Prince made for the 'Batman' movie. In the video, there were all kinds of Batman & Vicky Vale clones, grooving to a typically inventive and funky Prince beat. In the song, there's this one lyric that I still remember (in fact, it's the ONLY lyric I remember from the song):

"This town needs an enema".

For some reason, that lyric got stuck in my head recently (and I hadn't even woke up from a dream when I remembered it). But, it got me thinking about people & things that really need to have something, anything happen to them, to get them to change. Or to get me to understand them. Or maybe I really just don't get it. Examples of people or things that I just don't get:

  • Terrorists. I don't care from where, or for what -- be they Radical Islamists from the middle east, or Radical Catholics from Ireland. You'd think they would see the disconnect between anything & everything having to do with God or spirituality, and blowing up other people. Or blowing up yourself while blowing up other people. It makes no sense to me. I just don't get it, at all.
  • Television coverage of Nascar, Golf, Bowling, most Olympic 'Sports', & 'Pro' Wrestling, to name but a few. I truly don't get the whole Nascar thing, but it is the most popular spectator sport in the USA. Yep, more so than the NFL, or NBA, or Baseball. I can see where watching these things 'live' might be kinda fun -- I mean, you know that Nascar races must have hella good concession stands. Makes me drool just thinking about it. But to watch it on TV -- can't help but think it loses something in the translation. Ditto w/Golf, bowling, etc..
  • Adam Sandler & Ben Stiller. Two of the most popular and supposedly funniest actors/comedians out there... but again, I just don't get it. I get many more authentic laughs from one, typical Simpson's episode than from anything I've seen from these two gentlemen, put together. When 'Happy Gilmore' aired on TV, it was all I could do to sit thru 5 minutes of it before changing the channel. Even C-Span, showing Senators giving impassioned speeches before an almost completely empty Senate Chamber, was more entertaining.
  • Analysis after a Presidential speech, or debate. I mean, I just saw the speech 3 seconds ago, I don't see the need for anchors & partisans to tell me what it was that I really saw. And what is the point of having someone there from each political bias? You know what they are gonna spout. Even if you catch the same political hack, later on, on a totally different program, they say the exact same thing, almost word for word. I don't wanna hear pre-scripted talking-points from pre-biased stooges. Please! Let me watch it & digest it in peace. Let me get it on my own. I can make my own conclusions without 'experts'.
These are just some of the many things in this world that I just don't get. So, how does all of this relate to the title of this blog: "Not Nobody! Not No-How!"?

Remember when Dorothy & Crew finally made it to Oz, and The Big Door? After explaining their journey & their desire to see The Great And Powerful Wizard of Oz, the intransigent doorman tells them: "Nobody gets in to see The Wizard! Not
nobody! Not no-how!", and firmly shuts the little trap door.

It seems hopeless. That's it. Might as well pack it back to Munchkinland. Dorothy
starts to break down, and is consoled by her hapless friends. She sobs about missing her family and Kansas and Auntie Em. Then the camera cuts to that same stubborn doorman, who just a few seconds earlier seemed totally incapable of changing his stance. He's pouring out buckets of tears, listening to Dorothy's plight. Then he unexpectedly & completely changes his once-unchangeable position, and exclaims to the fab four that somehow he will get them in to see The Wizard.

"I once had an Auntie Em, myself", he declares thru his own change-of-heart tears.

From hopeless to hope, instantly, because of that one, minor little fact.

... Wouldn't it be nice if Bin laden once had an Auntie Em, too? Or maybe he just needs an enema...?

Until then, I just don't get it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Life's The Same, And Moving In Stereo...

I don't want to alarm anyone... but, yes -- I
hear voices in my head... and they are singing. OK, maybe a word of explanation here -- lest I get a(nother) visit from the kindly men in the white lab coats, & the next thing I know, I'm sitting in the back of a padded van, mumbling: "But the sleeves on this jacket are waaay too long".

I don't know about you, but when I dream (which is pretty much every nite), I wake up in the morning with a song instantly sticking in my head. Yes, it would seem that I dream in Stereo. I really should keep a log of all of the songs that I wake up to.

This morning, (I must admit) I woke up to the chorus from the Britney Spears song, "Sometimes". Yes, no matter how hard I try not to, I still find myself grudgingly singing: "...Sometimes I run. Sometimes I hide. Sometimes I'm scared of you. But all I really want is to hold you tight, treat you right, be with you dayyy and nite. Baby, all I need is time." And, YES... in case you were wondering, on that
last 'Baby, all I need is time' lyric, I'm doing that throaty thing that Britney does when she sings that line. OK, you broke me down. Are you happy now? :-)

I really need to stop mixxing Apple Jacks and Frosted Flakes in my 'bowl before bed'. Kids... do not try this at home.

The other morning, I woke up to "Stray Cat Strut": "Black & orange stray cats sittin on a fence. Ain't got enough dough to pay the rent. I'm flat broke, but I don't care. I strut right by with my tail in the air..." As I recall, that turned out to be a really good day. Upbeat all day long.

One morning this past week, I woke up with Springsteen's "Bobby Jean" in my head, but just one line from it: "...Good luck. Goooood byyyyye! Bobby Jean!". You know that any day I wake up singing something from The Boss, it's gonna be a hella good day.

And, trust me on this one, dear readers -- if you ever wake up with ABBA's song, "Fernando", stuck in your brain.... just call-in sick, and pull the covers back over your head. 'Nuff said.

Gawd, I'm sure any Freudians out there are gonna have a field day with that one.

But, really, I AM quite sane. No, honestly, I am! I have no control over what blasted song I wake up singing, right?? I'll get better, dear readers, I promise...

... Baby, all I need is time. <--- typed with a throaty voice. Hmmm... maybe this is another day where it would be hella smart to call in sick? Where is my iPod? :-)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Rites Of Spring...

There are certain rituals that I perform each year, which let me know that Spring has sprung. These won't attract flocks of tourists, like when the Swallows return to Capistrano, but I'm hella glad for that. (I don't think I'd want busloads of Nikon-snapping tourists passing thru my bedroom. Altho, if I charged $2 per head, I could go to Capistrano myself and be one of the Nikon-snappers... hmm?). Some of my Springtime Rituals include:

  • Sleeping the entire nite without using the electric blanket. Last nite was the first nite since... ummm... last October (?) that I DIDN'T turn on my electric blanket AT ALL! Wooohoooo! For all of the winter months, that baby is set on '10' (hottest setting), and kept there all nite long. I've gotta be toasty when I sleep... I don't personally believe in reincarnation; but if I did, I'm sure I used to be a Pop Tart in some past life. (Brown Sugar Cinnamon, of course).
  • Though this Rite of Spring hasn't actually occured yet -- & is probably still several weeks! away *gasp* -- it is also a sure sign that Spring is in the air. In the not too distant future, I will slowly begin to move all of my long, thick winter socks to the back of the sock drawer, and gradually replace them with my little, ankle socks. Yes, like some sort of an All-Cotton Iceberg, the heavy socks will recede, leaving in their wake, the much anticipated 'Socks Of Summer'. Yessss! *insert cartwheel here*.
  • In a related ritual, the inner-lined Wind Pants will give way to the non-lined Wind Pants. This is another sure sign of Spring. (Later, these will be moved out of my 'clothes-to-wear' rotation, and be replaced with actual pairs of shorts... Mental note: I still need to buy that insta-tan stuff... look for the brown colored, plastic container w/the white lettering. See "The Rooster Cogburn Blog" of March 28th, 2006).
Yes, fellow bloggers & passers-by, Spring is on it's way! I, for one, couldn't be happier about it -- Winter seems to last forever! I'm off now to shower and become presentable -- that first busload of Nikon-snappers should be pulling up anytime now... If you're new to the site, feel free to check-out the archives for previous blogs. As always, come again, feel free to comment, & tell your friends. I promise not to charge $2 a visit. :-)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

a fool's errand...

collar fastened against the cold.
how inadequate it is --
barely s
pares me from
this nasty wind.

the sky mocks me --
layered warm in blankets of
grey & black,
she illuminates my plight

with cruel lightning.
streets barren of life --
only faint echoes of hurried steps
that rushed indoors

to escape the rain.
trapped by narrow, alley walls,
they sound as if a stampede
as they bounce & vibrate

& collect in my soul.
pavement made now into
a ribbon of black glass,
capturing my huddled image

in each gathering droplet.
amp post flickers & fades,
denying me safe passage on
hese broken streets.

i startle for moment --
uncertain of a danger
from which i can neither flee,
or see. then... silence.

the rumble of thunder is
by a rush of

even the dim shadows
stand quiet & listen.
suddenly aware of
my heartbeat & breaths,

i press forward.
i must find
before the heavens

again open up, &
begin their deluge.
bowing my head,

i sinch my jacket.

collar fastened against the cold.
how inadequate it is --
barely spares me from
this nasty wind.