Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Unconscious mutterings #396

I think I've done this once or twice before but here's the latest one.

  1. Bangs :: hurt when they slap you in the eyes when you're bouncing trampoline if they're too long. Ouch!

  2. Diaper :: No more, thank you very much! And never again!

  3. Coffee table :: useful but a bit old and tired

  4. Cops :: necessary evil for a society. Amybody who wants to be a cop shouldn't be allowed to be a cop.

  5. Matches :: My ass and your face. (Sorry. That's the first thing that came to mind.)

  6. 250 :: 69, dudes! I once had a nice Yamaha 250 dirtbike.

  7. Hurricane :: Katrina. What else?

  8. Bad :: to the bone!

  9. Confirmation :: Pedophile priest slaps you to make you a soldier of Christ. How bizarre is that?

  10. Fiber :: No, thanks.


Frank and Ronnie on the Zombie Princess after Katrina.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tool of the Oracle: Your True Nature

A meme stolen from Sara McGrath.

Instructions:
1. Delve into your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

My result: It's like he's channelling Torquemada.

From my three-part math rant Part 3.

What does Torquemada have to do with math? Ha! What does anything have to do with anything when I get started ranting?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Katrina +5

Five years ago, we had the Zombie Princess just about ready to leave New Orleans for the deep blue and the family sailing adventure we'd talked about for a while. However, somebody named Katrina was occupying most of the Gulf of Mexico and coming to visit New Orleans. Five years ago today, we began emptying ZP and tying her up in anticipation of a Category 5 storm. When we were done with the best preparations we could think of, we drove to my sister Chrissy's house to ride out the storm. Having done that for other bad 'canes, including Betsy and Camille, I hit the bed and went to sleep.

The next morning, Ronnie and Chrissy, who had stayed up all night watching the news, woke me saying, "C'mon we're leaving. This is gonna be bad! We don't wanna stay." So we packed the car and headed out, our little nuclear family in our car and Chrissy with my dad in hers. My brother Chuck lives in Houston, although he was out of town at that time, and he graciously told us over the phone that we could go crash at his house. After spending teens of hours in a drive which usually takes 5 or so, we arrived. In retrospect, I'm so glad we evacuated.

The Zombie Princess after Katrina but before Rita


Her logo


ZP after Katrina, in the middle of the photo with the blue sailcover, still afloat unlike most of her neighbors


Less fortunate marina neighbors


I still hate that fuckin' storm. And I detest the inept response of FEMA; I will never forgive them.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy anniversary, Ronnie

Love Is

Enjoying the good times. Persevering through the bad times.
Revelling in the times of joy. Holding on during the times of sorrow.
Refusing to let go when you feel like you just can't hold on one minute more but you tighten your grip anyway. Then you manage to last for another minute. Then another. And another.
Until, like Eos' mist burned away by Apollo's advent, the need to endure evaporates and Sol's bright face warms your gnarled knuckles and returns warmth and light to what was a dark world.
Bright and shining and comforting.
Agape and eros. And storge and philos.
And more. Love is broad and deep and possibly infinite (I think it might be. I choose to believe it is so.), while words are prisons, limiting boxes, coercing and restraining the reality to fit into the mouth of Man.
Not the incidents or events which can be reduced to fact(oid)s, 8/24/90, 9/15/92, 3/11/94, but the underlying fullness which is more than the sum of discrete things.
Twenty years of marriage. An eternity of love.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Time is the Hunter

The stealthiest predator of all is the ravening beast we call Time. We, Its credulous prey, know It's there but we're unable or unwilling to grasp Its true approach speed or proximity. It's as if Time has, as part of Its predator skill set, the ability to delude us into a Heisenbergian fallacy where we are able to ascertain neither Its location nor Its speed. That just seems unfair. Shouldn't prey animals have a bit of a chance? Couldn't we at least have one accurate factor a la Heisenberg?

Huh? What's that? Oh, it's Time; but it's ok, It's way over there. Oh shit! No, It's not sitting still over there; It's accelerating and almost here! Now! And we're once again surprised and once again consumed by the apex predator of the universe and once again His stalk begins anew. Time disdains Hypnos and Morpheus; he respects only Thanatos.

There have been occasions when Time struck at me like a Carcharodon carcharias, sneaking in to take a single bite while I was otherwise distracted, leaving me to come to the realization well afterwards that I'd been struck and that a piece of my life had been torn away without my noticing. There was a day when I realized, after the fact, that both girls were out of diapers and would never need them again.

The skulking shark, Time, had sped in, bitten away that milestone, and absconded with it, while I lay oblivious on life's surfboard. Looking back from the beach at that missing chunk of my life is not the same as apprehending the event when it happened.

I am, of course, partly to blame for this. Just as Time can do naught but fulfill Its nature as the ur-predator, I'm afraid that my essential nature is to live in the past, the future, or the possible, while rarely inhabiting the now; so, I tend to miss things which are going on right under my nose, like being stalked by rapacious Time. Of course, Time is not limited to a single tactic, It is polutropos to the extent that Odysseus himself, described in the first line of The Odyssey as "andra polutropon" would feel like a one-trick pony. Yes, The Great Hunter Time is a wily beast, always taking from us like a hateful Harpy, but seemingly never satisfied, like Tantalus.

Ronnie and I have been talking casually for a while now about that mysterious demense called Empty Nest. We knew of its existence and we knew it was not all that distant from us, with MJ turning 18 in September and Chloe only 18 months behind. It seemed to me some sort of anomaly/curiosity of mathematics, an interesting variant of 18-squared, fraught with hidden, nonEuclidian meaning. We could sense that Empty Nest was within range, in the same way that when you're on the open ocean you can see clouds forming over an island which is itself still below your visible horizon but the clouds are a distinct adumbration of its existence and proximity.

In this instance, Time did not surface as a shark from the stygian sphere, silent, swift, seeking satiation. Eschewing subtlety, Time arrived like Dick Butkus jamming the A-hole by plugging it with the crushed body of the ball carrier. [Ok, I know it's usually referred to as the 1 hole and/or the A gap but c'mon! I couldn't pass up a cheap shot like that!]

There I was, the metaphoric running back knowing that my number had been called, staring across the gulf called the Line of Scrimmage at the flat, soulless eyes of Dick Butkus, Time incarnate; but I felt that I had some control, some input, something to contribute to the upcoming play. I had a plan. I had blockers. I was in a short-yardage situation and I knew where I was going. I knew Butkus/Time would eventually get me but I was confident that I could cover some ground that I wanted to cover before He did.

The ball is snapped and I take the handoff, ready to accelerate out of the backfield and gain those few years yards before He can get a grip on me. I'm looking downfield to my intended goal. Catch me if you can, Butkus!

Then I'm looking up at the clear, blue sky, still deep within my own backfield, and groaning as Dick Butkus levers himself off me, smiling and drooling thick spittle onto my now-empty hands as He takes the ball from my impact-numbed grip. Prey, meet Predator.

Captain Williard to infantryman, "Soldier, do you know who's in charge here?"
Infantryman replies, "Yeah."
(Dialog from Apocalypse Now)

Time is a Great White shark, striking quietly from below. Time is a pack of Compsognathids, striking multiply and endlessly. Time is the Spanish Lady, striking from within your own body. Time is motherfucking Dick Butkus jamming you in the A-hole.

My babies are adults and I thought I expected it but I guess I didn't really. I like it but it's requiring a little internal adjustment.

Kitchen kids


Sophisticated women at Lake Garda, Italy

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Planning ahead

I need a good obituary photo before I need it, ya know?

Whatcha think of one of these:


Friday, August 06, 2010

LIFE is Good 2011

No, it's not too early! Mary has just opened registration. Yahoo!

Go here now and I'll see you there in May!


Video shamelessly stolen from Craig the Magnificent

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Let me explain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up. [Princess Bride quote.]

Ya know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? I think this picture does a nice job of summing up.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Chiara is a college graduate!

I hafta take off my unschooler hat for a minute.

Our erstwhile exchange student/daughter, Chiara Baldo, is officially a college graduate! Congratulations, sweet Chiara, sometimes known in America as K-Dogg! We love you!

Chiara with her folks outside the Flavian Amphitheater, aka the Colosseum.


Cocktails with K-Dogg, rockin' it Italian style at Lake Garda.


Chatting in Italian. Well, chatting in Italy, anyway.


If ya wanna go an' take a ride wit me
Chillin' in the back of the 7-series B(mw)
Oh, why do we look this way?
Hey! Must be in Italy!