Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Little Story

A Little Story

My son likes to eat at a local fast-food restaurant, and since hamburgers and fries are about the only substantial foods he will touch, I take him there often. One of the workers behind the counter, a disheveled young woman perhaps in her late teens or early 20s, has become accustomed to seeing us there. And since we always order the same thing (my son is a picky eater), she can ring up our order without my having to say a word. "Double burger Big Kids meal, strawberry shake, chicken tenders!" she'll recite when I walk up to the register, before I even open my mouth. "Right" is all I have to say. She even recognizes my voice when we use the drive-though and she can't see me. We've become friendly; we smile and chuckle a bit about the relentless sameness of my son's tastes and the fact that she recognizes me instantly. Occasionally, she even gives me the senior-citizen discount, though I've got quite a ways to go before I've earned it.

There's one odd thing about this...relationship...though. I sometimes see this woman walking down the main street of our neighborhood, out of uniform. She will not make eye contact or acknowledge me in any way. It's as if we are perfect strangers outside of the rigidly assigned roles of restaurant customer and cashier.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Google Story Creator weirdness


I typed my name into Google Story Creator, and this was the result:


Great Lakes Entomologist. 2005.

It actually went so close to perfect that we could hardly believe it.

And when they do, we nail them.
Those parts range literally from boots on our feet to satellites zipping overhead.

They had night vision gear, so they moved quickly.

Interesting. It seems to have something to do with a successful clandestine military or espionage mission (code name "Zootaxa"?) in 2005 that involved "nailing" an entomologist -- possibly near the Great Lakes. Some poor scientist studying insects at night - a real threat to the government? I wonder why my name generated such a creepy tale.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

Observed on the street today: an old man, dressed like a cowboy, in a motorized wheelchair with one leg missing. No, I don't have any problems.... I "read" that New Yorker article about Paul McCartney. He's never been my favorite Beatle, but we're down to two, so let's cut the guy some slack. Some of his recent music isn't half bad, doesn't have too many cringe-inducing lyrics, etc. It's frightening that he just walks around the streets of London letting strangers walk up to him.... George Bush currently has a 29-percent approval rating. I wonder how many of those people in that dwindling percentage simply "support our president" no matter who he is or what he does. Or how many simply don't pay the slightest attention to current events.... It's recycling night tonight. Time to deconstruct some cardboard boxes, Mr. Derrida.... Why don't I...cook up some silig?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Word of the Day: pooka

Word of the Day

pooka (n)

A mischievous spirit or trickster (derived from Irish folklore)

"The moment he came in sight the Pooka changed himself into a squirrel and ran up the oak tree; Angus changed himself into a turnip and lay at the Dagda's feet...."
--Ella Young, Celtic Wonder-Tales

So it's a "pooka" who's always hiding the remote control? Hmm. There are a lot of mischievous squirrels around here. Not too many mysterious turnips, though.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Jack Kerouac: 30 Cool Tips

"Like Proust be an old teahead of time"

Like, wow: Jack Kerouac's 30 Cool Tips for writers. They're not very practical (neither was Kerouac), but they have a subversive, Gertrude Stein-like quality that just might put you in the mood to write. "You're a genius all the time."

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Random Acts of Poetry

Random Acts of Poetry


Bleak Monday, black headline:
My abandoned birthplace burnt,

derelict, a brick shell
tilting on the horizon.

Rubble cooling, I
fell into her flytrap

of memory, broken beauty still
haunting her halls.

Smoke stains, black tongues,
swirling graffiti tattoos

scored her scarred rooms.
The smell of ash and dark pools

of fire-water
drenching the wreckage.

The whole charred body
resting in pieces.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

Went and voted in the primary tonight. As usual, the lady at the sign-in table asked me if I'm "related to Bill Gates." Yeah, of course I'm related to Bill. "Sure. That's why I live in Jersey City," I said. She laughed. I swear this little scene gets played out every time I vote.... I have two broken lawnmowers. One of them is still under warranty, and the manufacturer is sending me a replacement. Eventually. Sometime this month. "They're on back order," they say. Meanwhile, I've been attacking the jungle in my (thankfully smallish) backyard with a Weed Wacker, which makes for a very odd, lumpy looking yard.... It's so damn hard to find a birthday card that isn't sappy or insulting (or minimalist/formal to the point of seeming cold).... Arrived home tonight to find a huge cardboard box on the front porch. Inside: the composter that my wife ordered. No more orange peels in the kitchen can. They must now return to nature.... Why don't I.... have a crack icon?