Monday, November 20, 2006

Light Nightmare


I love my wife. Let me tell you how much I love my wife.
She, being the lover of Christmas that she is, has always wanted a house that she could put Christmas lights on. You know the kind. One of those that have the gables out the front that you can outline with the lights. Anyway, this year, she has one. Our old house had a flat roof that just didn’t look good with lights, and besides, there was no outdoor power outlet. So we just couldn’t do it. At least that’s what I told her, and I got away with it for 12 years. But now… not so much, couldn’t do it this year.
Now here’s the thing, I’m afraid of heights. Terribly and irrationally horrified of heights. But it’s weird fear. I’ve done some rock climbing, quite a bit of rappelling, and I’ve done a lot of caving (spelunking), one cave I had to climb a 70-foot wall and had no problem. But, I’ve been on dirt roads in Moab that skirted cliff faces, and couldn’t keep driving because the 40-foot wide road wasn’t wide enough to keep me from thinking that I was going to fall off of the edge. Dumb and irrational, right?
Can ya see where I’m going with this?
So there I am, Saturday morning, looking up at the gables, thinking to myself, “Self, you’re gonna die.”
The tallest ladder I had just wasn’t tall enough to get to the peak of the gable, so I thought that I should get up on the roof and do it from there. Bad idea. It sure didn’t look like a steep roof from the ground, but it got really steep when I got up there. So, I walked the ridge out to the end, sat down and straddled the ridge. I’m not a very flexible person, so you can probably see how steep this mother is about now, right? So, I get the lights attached to the peak of the gabble, and by laying down, and praying, and stretching, I was able to get some of the other hooks in place and get the light string attached to those. I crawl back down the ridge toward my ladder because I just can’t make myself stand up again.
Back on terra firma, I go on a quest for a taller ladder.
Long story short, I began this little odyssey at 10:00 in the morning. I figured that I would be done by noon, but didn’t finish until 4:30. I love my wife enough to get up on a roof for her, but I hate Christmas.
Next year, I’m hiring one of those lighting companies.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bah...Humbug!

Wow, ‘bout time I posted again.
So the silly season is upon us… again. If you sense a tone of chagrin in that last statement, you would be right. I hate this time of year, and I’m not sure why. That’s not true, I know why.
I’m not the most social of people. I don’t really enjoy hanging out with people, and I hate hanging around people in social situations. The Holiday season is a social season. Family parties, company parties, parties with friends, parties with neighbors, parties, parties, parties…
Company parties… I don’t mind so much. We usually do something fun and it usually involves a restaurant too expensive for me to ever go to on my own. So that ain’t so bad.
Family parties… Ugh! If we were talking about my brothers & sisters and their spouses, well, that wouldn’t be so bad. Unlike a lot of people I know, I like my sibs. But when you add in cousins, and Uncles, and Aunts, and so on an so forth… mix in alcohol and children and noise… it’s enough to make you want to stake the guy pretending to be Santa, and run for your life.
Is it just me, or did the season begin in October this year? I swear, all the stores this year had holly and wreaths among the ghosts and goblins of Halloween. Pretty soon we’ll start hearing Christmas carols on the radio right around Arbor Day.
And so… I’ll leave you with the immortal words of Scrooge who said, “Bah Humbug!”

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sad Little Elephant...


Sad day for the Republicans. They got spanked, but… that’s what happens when you ignore your voters. Those of you who read this blog know that I’m a conservative. I’m not turbo right, but definitely right of center, and so I can’t say that I’m thrilled about this turn around in the congress… but also can’t say that I didn’t see it coming.
NPR (which I listen to quite often, I’m a big fan of Morning Edition and All Things Considered) and the cable news folk are going to make it seem like this is a referendum on the war in Iraq, and maybe it is… to a point. I mean, even though I support the war, the troops, and the President, I am so tired of us loosing our boys to the terrorists. And the President just doesn’t seem to want to do what has to be done (i.e. step up the violence) to get the job done and bring ‘em home.
As for the rest of the, now out of a job, congress… You can’t ignore your base! You morons! It’s not that the Republican base voted against you, like I did, they just stayed home. They told themselves, “well, if your gonna to ignore me, I’m gonna’ ignore you. So take that you bastards!” And so, with a defiant finger, they changed the channel.
I didn’t do that, I can’t ignore a vote, so I went and for the first time in a long time, I voted Democrat. Yep, Pete Ashdown was my guy against Orrin Hatch. Of coarse, Ashdown lost (31% to 63%) but he tried, and he tried to do it without special interest money. It’s to bad, because Hatch is a do-nothing, but a do-nothing with seniority.
So, what did the Republicans ignore their base on? Primarily… Illegal immigration. The red states want a wall on our southern border. They want Illegals sent home. They want crippling fines for companies that employ illegals.
What they got? A 700 mile fence (that hasn’t been built yet) and a virtual (read: Fake) wall along the rest of it, which hasn’t been built yet either. Can you build a fake wall?
And there were other things as well, like the whole Foley thing and the like.
So, I guess Limbaugh, O’Brien, Letterman, and Leno have a lot of material for their shows for the next 2 years. I mean, with Nancy Pelosi in charge… holy cow… if the next 2 years are going to be anything… they are going to be laughable!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hell of a Voice for an English Girl

JoSS Stone You HaD Me

This song doesn't mean anything to me. I just think that Joss has one hell of a voice.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Beat Generation and Me

A number of years ago I read On The Road by Jack Kerouac, and when I was done, I thought, “What the hell did I just experience?” It was frantic, disconnected at times, rarely at ease. I felt like I had to read it again, but only after my head stopped spinning. Since that time, I've read it a couple of more times, and love the vision he has of America. The Iowa farmers and their suspicions. The two farm boys and their flatbed truck, hauling hitchhikers across Nebraska at top speed, and the migrant worker camps in California. Beautiful!

I’ve started reading another piece form this genre, Howl by Allen Ginsberg.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats
floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz...

That’s how it starts, and each time I read through it, I’m more blown away by how incomprehensible it is. Every time I think that I have a handle on what the text is telling me, I read on and realize that I know jack. Maybe my constant suburban existence
won't allow me to understand it. Maybe I don’t carry the correct baggage for such a poem.

It’s strange; I’m a pretty conservative person. I am everything that the beat generation was not, and yet I find myself strangely drawn to their writing. Maybe someday I’ll know why… and maybe someday I’ll understand Ginsberg.
Who knows, it’s possible.
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