Monday, September 24, 2007

Freudian Sleep?

Dear dearest,

Oh what a dream! Wanna hear about? Well, if you insist. It was a two parter. In both parts I was being introduced all around some campus by a friend of mine from my physics days as his new boyfriend. Thankfully there was no sex involved in the sleepy script. In real-land, of course, I am not gay. In fact in dream-land I wasn't gay either but merely getting caught up in everyone else's happiness for us.

This friend of mine, who in fact also isn't gay, is the slightest apostrophe of a man, not topping 5 foot 5 and 100 lbs soaking wet with pockets fulla pennies. He's Indian and speaks the Queen's English with the diction of a machine gun but rarely much above a whisper and his language is so bloody perfectly that I had a hard time understanding a word that came out of his mouth.

In fact, if I were to invent a beginning to this dream I'd say that's how I got roped into the whole gay confusion in the first place; he said something I didn't understand but readily and heartily agreed to nevertheless. This happened often in real-land since one can only utter, “Pardon?” some many times.

Anyway, by Act II he had mercifully morphed into various women. For a brief, but glorious car trip she was the gorgeous woman with the cascading coffee hair (whom I want, whom I really, really want). In the dream she was sitting shotgun and I was sitting behind her, which incidentally used to be my most common view of her in real-land. Not in a car mind you, just the back of her head, hence the emphasis on her hair I suppose. Which is gorgeous, by the way. And cascading.

The short of it is that we were picking her up after a time away (my sister was driving). I was in back eating candy for some reason and my conversation with Gorgeous Hair devolved into her commenting on how unusual it was for me to be eating candy, which is true, and me insinuating back at her that she has hardly known me long enough to establish whether it is unusual for me to be eating candy or not, which as I said she was right about. Apparently I'm a great big asshole in dream-land. In fact I wonder what my little Indian boyfriend even saw in me?

Anyway, the resultant argument would have been a doozy because not only did Gorgeous Hair turn all the way around in her seat to look me in the eyes while she spoke, but she removed the headrest from the top of the seat-back in order to get an unobstructed view of me! Or maybe an unobstructed swing at me! I'm can't remember which. And I don't even care. My dreams are the only chance I get to see her these days so I always wake up happy after them regardless of the character of their content.

Long story short, by the end “she” was back to a “he” after assuming the visage of a number of real-land hotties and the alarm clock ripped the record needle just after I was realizing that this whole relationship was doomed from the start because I, in fact, am not gay.

So if I believed dreams were anything but useless garbage, which I don't, this one could definitely be tied in some way to anxiety over being set up, I guess. Maybe.

It was really, really nice that Gorgeous Hair made a dream-land appearance though. I'd toss and turn my way through any number of cold-sweat inducing gay relationship dreams to see her again.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Now take your time 'cause this is your P-I-G shot

Dear people,

If you had tracked me around today, like in one of those boring-ass Family Circus comics, this morning you would have found me in the recording studio (i.e. my basement) pounding out takes of All-State audition etudes for highschoolers who apparently cannot read music and thus only play by ear.

In the afternoon, had you been able to track me down 80 miles westward of my basement you would have needed to look for me in the bucket of a front-end-loader 12 feet in the air, chainsaw in hand, pruning fence-line trees. It might not seem like it but this is the kind of dirty job that requires you to not only shower afterwards but floss, too. Thankfully I only almost fell twice but severed just $2400 worth of appendages which, coincidentally and unfortunately, happens to be my new per-occurrence-per-person insurance deductible to the dollar. Gosh that's such rotten luck! One more toe and MEGA would have been losing money right outta the blocks.

Since you brought it up, I wonder what the details and small print say about that species of deductible. I mean, if I lost three fingers in an onion-mincing mishap does that count as three separate occurrences? Do I have to cut them off simultaneously to get them considered a single occurrence? If not, how much time must elapse between each severage? Are a few minutes enough or would 24 hours be necessary? Or is it more a question of context? Do I need to loose each finger on consecutive onions to accrue fresh new deductibles? I'll bet it's per doctor visit. If that is indeed the case then the next time I find myself heading to the ER wearing a hand towel as a tourniquet I may as well add the odd day-to-day afflictions into the mix as well.

“What's that doctor? You say I'll need 1,400 stitches and a blood transfusion? How 'bout throwin' in a little something for the cold sores, ingrown toenail, profuse rectal bleeding and periodic asymmetric medial numbness while you're on the clock?”

But that's another post. Honestly, it probably isn't another post. I'm done with that topic for good. In fact I'm pissed you even mentioned it! God!

Now where on earth was I? Let's see, recording, chainsawing, oh yes: ping-pong with 8-year-olds. Again in a basement. But I don't think it can really be considered ping-pong when there are 8-year-olds involved. Paraplegic garden gnomes could have returned my shots better. And don't get me started on serving technique. The ball contacted the table in only the most incidental manner imaginable as if it were just another obstacle in the room.

“Oh look. The ball landed in the litter box. Oh, it ricocheted off the weight bench. Oh, your serve managed to nick the edge of the table. On your side.”

But give 'em credit. Eight-year-olds are the only ones on the planet who willingly turn a game of p-i-g into an aerobic activity. P-i-g! The basketball game you play when you're too tired or lazy to even just shoot around so you decide to intersperse the shooting around part with standing around watching everyone else shoot around. Eight-year-olds are breathing hard by the end of p-i-g for two reasons: 1) Endless half court drives resulting in missed layups and 2) retrieving the ball not only for themselves when it's their turn to shoot but for me as well when it's my turn to shoot. Hey, I said they turned it into an aerobic activity. I didn't say I joined in the madness.

Besides, this pre-adolescent gopher behavior lasts for only a brief period. A couple-three years at the most. After that it's all, “get yer own ball, dork.” This is definitely fodder for another post since I remember my younger brother's gopher phase fondly. Make it a competition and he would do just about anything for anyone. It was Xanadu. But I digress. And regress.

Back to absurd aerobic activities, I may be getting set up this weekend. Well it's more accurate to say I may be getting checked out this weekend. The sister of a friend of a friend (sounds reliable already, don'it?) lives near me and is apparently as adept at hooking up on her own as am I. Machinations behind the scenes include a comp ticket to the CRSO season opener for said sister of a friend of a friend which she can then use to appraise the merchandise. And, speaking as the merchandise, that may be where things end.

I don't even have her name. And only the vaguest of physical descriptions: tall and blond. (Hmm... maybe it's Bridgette Nielsen.) These are adjectives for womanly qualities about which I never find myself caring: height and hair color. Whatever? I have requirements on width but not height. And my only capelli concerns are that a woman should have hair of some sort.


Okay so I just spent several minutes completely adrift in thought about a woman whom I want, whom I really-really want, who has gorgeous hair, like a cascade of dark rich coffee... without the penchant for mold growth after sitting in a mug for a week, or the insomniatic effects when enjoyed in the evening. Actually she has insomniatic effects on me but not entirely due to her gorgeous hair. Maybe I'm more hair-centric than I thought. So sue me.

What a day! What a life. To paraphrase one of my favorite stand-ups, T, “This is really quite a life I've made for myself. No one can take it away from me. And no one's trying.”


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Supreme Commander Zark uh... commands you to bear his younguns

pre script: Oh my head! Migraine, migraine this is your final warning. Come back again some other morning. Preferably one when you're duly and justly deserved such as after a debauched night of boozing and whoring or whatever. To paraphrase John Houseman, “I want a headache the old fashioned way: I want to earrrrrrn it.”

Dear fellow earth fellows,

Two posts in one day! To what do you owe this pleasure, you don't ask? I bleepin care about you, that's what. Now go bleepin get me a bleepity-bleep beer you bleep. Bleep!

Speaking of trash talk, I put the garbage and recycling out this morning for the first time in my city-house-renting life. When I was all rural I stored up whatever I couldn't burn or compost. Then on the day of my move one big trip to the county landfill and seven measly bucks took care of two years worth of horded debris. The gratis dump stench was an added bonus and is not to be missed. (Humorous dad-quote from that day which doesn't seem so humorous out of context: ”Well? Let's go haul some garbage!”) Oh, but don't haul garbage to the county landfill in flip-flops. For if you do, may God have mercy upon your soles.

But that's another post. I'm not going to live in the past anymore. I'm going to live in the present. The moment. The now. Omm. That is, at least until it stops being so g.d. exciting around here with all the garbage and recycling and yard-waste trucks rumbling by or whatever. Then I'll live in the future in a shiny metallic jumpsuit and riding boots waiting for our post-alien-invasion existence when human men will become the bearers of extrasolar mutant half-breeds and human women will be forced to do godknowswhat to preserve the species. You go girls!

Actually that doesn't sound all bad so long as a human guy hooks up with the right alien. One with influence or whatever.

So long alien fodder,
The future Mrs. Zark
(Hey a post-apocalyptic human guy can dream can't he?)

Cancer, TV, and Impending Doom (in no particular order)

Dear losers,

Ever chew gum long after it becomes tasteless and your jaw starts to ache? That's what I'm doing now. I used to be a big gum swallower but not any more. I don't know why I changed. I don't think it had anything to do with cancer or the like. I mean I'm not one of these morons who thinks swallowed gum festers in the small intestines for 7 years or anything. Though, come to think of it, that might explain a lot.

I am pissed about just now finding out that reused plastic water bottles can leach bad things. When did this little detail come out? Did the scare-you-shitless news media drop the ball on that one or am I just outta the loop? Do I need to get my tv back out of my parent's basement where I put it so it can't hurt anyone anymore? (Actually it's there 'cause of a girl but who's counting? And no. I, myself, am not also in said basement. Sure, I am a freelance musician but, I mean, give me some credit.)

Now where was I. Oh yes. Carcinogens. I reused water bottles (some for up to two years!) while living in the boonies. Practically every ounce of well-water I drank was meticulously filtered and stored for a time in a reused plastic water bottle. I thought I was saving the environment. Turns out I may have been polluting my spleen instead or whatever. If I get cancer somewhere down the road that's probably why, and you heard it here first losers.

Speaking of catastrophic illness I got me some catastrophic insurance yesterday from a bagpipe playing insurance agent. You can't go wrong with a piper in my book. (Fun fact: a kilt is not cool in the summer. It's just 40 lbs of sweaty wool. Who knew?) He seemed rather shocked that I hadn't seen a doctor since the late 80's, and rightly so. I wouldn't trust any insurance man who wasn't shocked by that. And he kindly advised me to change my story concerning blackmarket asthma medication, which I dutifully did. I lied about recent tobacco use, though. I smoked a pipe not one week ago and he didn't need to know it. In fact no one needs to know it so forget I said anything. I don't think that counts anyway because cigarettes are cool but a pipe just makes you feel stupid. And nauseous.

In other sickening news: Do you wanna cry? Do you really wanna cry or are you just sayin you wanna cry? Okay then ya big baby. Watch the complete first 3 seasons of “Ballykissangel” and put up with the Irish accents and corny subplots. (But don't watch the dvd extras on disc one, season one because they contain major spoilers with no warning, courtesy of those heartless BBC bastards!) You will weep unless you're a heartless bastard too. Or a protestant one.

Of course maybe I'm subconsciously just still mourning the 2006 cancellation of “Deadwood” which I only recently found out about through creator David Milch's commentary on that show's season 3 finale. “Deadwood” was Shakespeare with swearing, sixguns and saloons and it was too good for this world. If I'd still had my tv back then (and premium cable rather than a roof antenna) maybe I could have joined the fan effort to keep it on the air. Maybe I could've made a difference. Instead I found out that it'd been canceled about the same time the alien troops amassing at the solar system's heliopause did. Strike one Netflix! To paraphrase the great Jerome Seinfeld, “I gotta get on that cable! I'm late on everything!”

Time to spit stale gum.

May Supreme Commander Overlord Zark have mercy upon your souls you alien attack losers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ironman Wisconsin

Last weekend the fine city of Madison, WI was besieged by thousands of people with way too much time on their hands and even more fire in their bellies. No, the city didn't host the World Series of Poker or the Antique Road Show. These people were playing against the odds and knew what it was that lay before them. These people were athletes. Their race? The Ironman Wisconsin. A struggle of stamina along a trio of epic distances lasting from sun-up to well past sun-down.

I watched two of my sisters compete amongst the 3000 other crazies and, just as with other Iron-siblings before them, they became my new endurance heroes. With their successful completion of the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run they join the burgeoning pantheon of Ironmen* in my family which now includes two in-laws, a brother, and two sisters.

As with the solitary marathon years earlier we mere family-fans feel the push of our genetic peers to compete in this all-consuming race. The interesting thing about watching an Ironman, however, is that it wears down the observer too. The Ironman triathlon is the only race I've watched in which the initial inspiration felt while spectating ebbs considerably before the race itself actually concludes.

While watching all those swimmers, neoprened from ankle to wrist, emerging from Lake Monona I was imagining myself doing laps at the local aquatic center two blocks from my house (in which I've never set foot), and even signing up for private swim lessons!

During the bike stage I wondered how it would feel to bike over a century on my sturdy, hand-me-down, loose chained mountain bike. Then, while watching the teardrop-helmeted elites lap up amateurs on their spokeless carbon composites (which would pass us sightseers sounding like something out of War of the Worlds) I wondered how much it would cost not to feel that way.

But by the end of the marathon I found myself simply wishing my hero sisters would run faster and just finish already because my feet were sore. And if my dogs were barking from all the walking, standing and waiting, just try and imagine what theirs felt like.

*I was ambivalent about the use of 'Ironwomen' versus 'Ironman' but one of my Ironsisters suitably persuaded me that 'Ironman' need not be gender specific. So stick that in your p.c. pipe and spin.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Cute as a... well? Bug! But watch your acorns!

No that isn't a euphemism in the title. September's BOTM is the Acorn Weevil (Curculio glandium) and she will do a number on your actual acorns. Her obvious stand-out feature is her snout or "rostrum" which is longer on females than males. Since this one seems to have a shnoz from Oz I am assuming femininity but I've been wrong with this before (and not just with bugs!).

The rostrum has jaws at the end which the female uses to gnaw through the tough outer shell of an acorn. Once gaining access to the soft nutty insides she deposits a fertilized egg which promptly hatches, consumes the nut's inner goodness and drops to the soil below to pupate or what not.

I found this girl strolling clownishly on the window sill in my living room. She stopped for a drink at a glass's water ring, posing politely while I snapped away. Check out more images of this funny little bug here, including a heart stopping run in with a spider!