Monthly Archives: April 2011

“Pix from, like, an Expedition”

I think that’s the name of the tune. Anyway, after the miraculous down-to-the-wire bloom two weeks ago
at midnight on my birthday, I now have yet another batch of synchronized cacti. But for whom? No one I
can think of off-hand. Looks like a May 1 launch date. Flowers for the un-sung worker in chains? I
may have to visit all my subs to, you know, slyly check their birthdays. One of you dear souls
apparently has a cosmic present awaiting delivery.

I’m troubled by screaming sunsets like this one frequently. The blues and reds remind me of Van
Gogh. Wait, I said ‘troubled’. Make that Eric Mensch.

Finally, who’s eating Beth Seedsower’s Limas? I can’t catch the demons in the act, but most of the
leaves look like they’ve been snipped around the edges with pinking-shears. I researched snails. They
get some fairly strong criticism on the garden forums, but I have yet to see one taking a bite out of anything, even though I have probably the population of the Indian sub-continent crawling all
over my garden. As with the cacti, I’ll let readers know if I find the smoking gun. Might expedite the process tonight with a beer and a flashlight…

“Song of the Hawk: Ver 1-27” I blew myself up for This!??

I might have made a mistake. Ok, I screwed up big-time.
I mean, sitting here in my leaking beanbag chair in the drafty ‘Nubian Reception Hall‘ (for N00bies?) trying to look happy while the lackey with the Polaroid One-step hops around me in the acrid fire-retardant foam they use for a fake-cloud backdrop while they shoot your name-tag photo, I kinda wish I were anywhere else, even back home watching the stupid Hawk.
He started all this.
 A singularly inept bird, I watched him fail repeatedly at just about every hawk-thingie, and said to myself: ‘I think I’ll immortalize him in a poem.” As opposed to shooting him out of his misery and stuffing his carcasse. Both methods are probably equally immortal.
Anyway, I started off real non-judgmental:

What, might I ask, is your problem, Dear Hawk?
Come sit here beside me, we’ll talk… blah blah

But I don’t do pussy-footing well, and soon I was into:

What in the heck is the deal with The Hawk?
Such a talon-less Hack of a bird. etc. etc.

And as his list of deficits became ‘Feel free to use the other side of this form’, I descended into:

What is the sound of one hawk-wing a-flapping?
I’m hearing it here in the bath…
It’s a bit more transcendent than the noise of his crapping
But we’ll see who shall have the last laugh.

I soon learned to despise that bird. In large part for his having inspired more than two dozen failed attempts to capture his incompetence in verse.
I mean,
“What in the f*ck is the deal with this pigeon?!!
I should kill him, in the name of religion.”

A guy kinda suspects at that point that he might be slipping into ‘Going… going…Guano!’ territory.
And so in fact:I weighed my options:
Christianity politely requested a lifetime of thoughtful cheek-turning before Heaven opened up its Merciful Gates.
Judaism, the natural choice of the chosen, wanted me to try on a funny-looking hat, not even warm in the winter. Pass, regretably.

And that left me where I am today. A little stint of bath-tub chemistry, ammonium nitrate and fuel-oil, a match, learning to yell ‘Allahu Akhbar’ without it sounding like it does, to our people: “God, he’s a Mouse!” (‘mouse‘=‘akbar’ in Hebrew) and I was on my way to the 72 Virgins.
Ok, 27 of ’em, on the Budget-Pak™ I selected. Figured that if my wordly experience with virgins was any indication, 27 of them would kinda last me Forever. Which was, conveniently where I was headed. Except that…

…Except that once I did the ghastly deed (by the way avoiding anything more collaterally-damaging than maybe a busted-up plastic lawn-chair) I got the raw end of the stick shoved right up…
After the photo-op I described above, I fully expected to get,at least, like Moses, a glimpse of my Virgins through a one-way mirror.

Something like that. I mean, I’d sat down there on Earth stirring piss into fertilizer with one hand, and reading the pamphlet “From Shaheed to Sha-hedonism; It’s one, two three!©” till I knew it by heart.
Luscious babes, not sure what you’re doing to ’em, but yeah, that’s supposed to be part of the fun, right  (?)

Anyway, not a good sign where the guy at the Nubian Info desk points at the ‘Ring for Service’ bell when he already knows you’re there with a question. Wearing a torn-up heavy-metal band tee-shirt that said like ‘Fighting for the Rebellion’, I asked, to warm him up:
“What you rebelling against?”
Deadpan, like he’d never before heard the question, he goes: “I don’t know, whaddya got?”
Oh well. I decided to cut to the chase-scene:
“When do I get the first virgin?” I asked him, politely.
“What virgins?” he grunted. Not a good sign.
“Um.. Look here…I just made schnitzel out of my cranial contents, Sir, and I wanted to, like..
“Show me your card.” Another grunt. You’d think he’d have a little
respect. I handed him the laminate, still warm, with my painful-even-to-look-at photo captured forever on the front side.
“Hey, I’m a musician too.” he warmed up.
‘Too’? Where does it say I was..?” I started, then glanced at the card.

Sure enough, they’d photo-shopped a damned ®Fischer-Price “A Child’s first Lyre” into my lap. I’d picked up one of those green plastic ‘instruments’  on my way into the Hall, but dropped it after a few sickly strums. Jeezuz, I don’t even control my own image here!
“Anyway,” I continued, “…the virgins?”
He swiped the card, then actually smiled.
“Here they are sir.” suddenly professional, as he handed me… The Booklet. I gaped at the cover. OMG. “Song of the Hawk: Versions 1 Thru 27” it said, and below the title, “J. Solbarg, (sic) Martyr”
I must’ve stood there fifteen minutes, in shock, until the next ‘customer’ pushed his way into line and rang the dumb-bell.

So I was gyped. ’27 Versions’ (!!) A failure-to-communicate of the painfully-first class.
“Have a seat now.”, my clerk-from-hell pointed me back to the bean-bag chair, already noticeably flatter. I didn’t move an inch. “This shit is like, “up with which I refuse to quietly put.” I started to yell, when I saw the ‘V-door’ open. Striding in happily, hand out-stretched, was, like,  a total dead-ringer for that annoying neighbor from the Simpsons, what’s his name? Yeah, Flanders. The ‘victim’ in front of me was already white in the face, and started to fall in my direction.
Grabbing him, I eased him down onto the cheap tile floor, where, half-revived, he quickly became a pinker shade of pale. Red, even.
“What’s the matter, brother-martyr?” I asked him as calmly as I could, forgetting for a second my own horror-story.
“Twenty-seven Virginians?!!” was all he could part with, till the orderlies arrived.

Wu: You want I should send you any more virgins, I mean, ‘versions’, that your friends on Xanga come up with?
Me: Oh wow, that’d be great. We have dial-up an hour-a-day here, somebody said. I just have to find out what Hall it’s in. And Wu, I’m so, like, sorry about the whole thing…
Wu: It’s ok, guy. I know what pressure you were under…
Me: Not really, but thanks.

Lobal Warning

It’s now 105 degrees in the shade. Fahrenheit. Hot as hell. The photo below was taken at 9 AM.

I really tried to forgive Beth Seedsower for her earlier excesses in our Broccoli Wars, her sending me Killer-Hail, then freezing temps, and finally Cabbage Fly Maggots, in clear contravention of the little-known Geneva Agricultural Convention. It would appear that she has now turned to this latest horrific heat-death Weapon of Mass depression. All I can do is to scurry about like a one-armed fire-fighter pouring precious water on my crops.

And my brain, as the title suggests, cries ‘Gewalt!’.
The left lobe calmly resolves to work slowly in a morally-responsible fashion to enact legislation whose goal is to
moderate the upward excursions in daily temperatures, blah, blah.
The right brain, in alliance with the lizard/limbic system, is screaming to ‘kill somebody, bite something, move the arms and legs in some demonstrative fashion’. Hmm..

Meanwhile my month-old foundling kitten counts on me to be a rock of stability. Three meals a day. For breakfast, for example, I gave him pre-sogged puppy-food and a half-pack of Marlboros. Most of yer
important food-groups there, I’m thinking.

And, probably thanks to the many sweet birthday wishes here, the cactuses snuck in under the wire with an on-time bloom. By midnight local time they were open, and I shot some pix to prove it, at 6AM and
then later this morning.
Ok, I’m off to the Hague, where I’ll file my claim over Beth’s broccoli war crimes. If it cools down a bit. If my kitty stops crying long enough. And if I can get out of, just once in 18 years, sitting through the Passover Dinner, where we mainly stare at food while reciting from a book we’ve all read before. And the mandatory songs? Send
more Chuck Berry, I say.

Triple-prong post

Yes, the pieces stuck together by Muscilage™, that ’50s wonder paste-in-a-bottle, with the red rubber top and its tiny ‘Push-to-slime’ slit, which resembled so much (in retrospect, how were we to know?) a penis-head or, god-forbid, vulva.
Anyway, first off, Memoirs of Troubled sleep Chapter.114, as usual:
“Constructing absurd sentences  requires fore-thought; in fact, in several previous attempts, I have had to have had ‘had to have had’ firmly in mind already in the early stage in order to achieve the usage-count that ‘had’ had; Had ‘had’ had a more haphazard role in the planing, I would have had to have had exceptional luck to achieve the same results.

Moral of the story: I live in a daily language (Hebrew) which suffers from a serious lack of tenses.
We got, like,
1) The ‘simple past’, which not having learned all that much from, we are condemned to repeat, as farce, daily. To wit: “nikshalnu” (‘we screwed up’)

2) The present
, oddly un-presentable most-times. Ex: “nikshal’im (‘we screw up’)
But wait! There’s always…

3) The Future, tense, that world of Tomorrow,
which usually turns out to be simply the Day-after Tomorrow’s Yesterday. The prevalent saying here is that nothing is more permanent than today’s ‘temporary’. As in, yeah, I’ll fix that roof tomorrow. And we say: “nikshalu” (‘we will screw up’)
    A sentence like the one I created above would require gallons of hebrew ink; we just don’t have the grammatical tools to talk about abstruse shit like that. Woe is me.

{Muscilage HERE}

Next, a Victory of sorts, even if it was only a Dream.


“So you should know; there’s a Rebate on that Rowboat, ROBOT.” I mentioned in nicely human-modulated tones, hoping not to inspire too much cyborg penis-envy.
“A REBATE”   he/she? intoned mechanically…
No, in fact the tone actually ‘fell’ almost an octave from the ‘A’ to the ‘Re-‘ in ‘rebate’. The phrase sounded like a resigned “Oh well…” more than “A rebate?!”, that evocation of surprised happiness a human easily creates by using exactly the opposite tonal profile. (Try saying it out loud both ways, to better understand what I’m describing.)
Silly droids.
“Here, use this to claim it.” as I slipped the installation disc into his forehead slot. His eyes closed for a few seconds, then:
“Requires a Reboot” escaped his metal lips.
“Sure thing, ENIAC.” I kidded him.
   As soon as I was sure my speech-synthesis upgrade had hit its target I handed him the ‘ores’ he’d requested: Galena for its gravitas and Bauxite for, well, ease of workability, not to mention aluminum’s being used, at the time a precious metal, on the very cap of the Washington Monument.
   Unarmed, he sat in the little boat for a good ten minutes, perched there between the wooden boxes. Finally, he came to life:
“Ted and Todd tied a toad to the tee and teed-off.”
That was what I had been waiting to hear. I safely Ejected the CD, tapping his little head in the process, which was almost complete.
And Lloyd led a load of loud, lewd lads from Lodz to Leeds for a critical fut-bol match.” he continued, eyes this time lighting up nicely with a different shining colour at each vowel. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Workaround subroutines for the win, Alex!
   Handing him, finally, a usable ‘OAR’, I saw the glint of recognition in his LEDs. Not five minutes later he was making acceptable circles on the inlet test-lake here at Nahal Soreq.
“Paddle?” he said, this time the rising tone leaving no room for doubt that it was a question.
“Puddle?” “Poodle?” “Pedal?” …”Piddle?” I enunciated the alternatives, each time to a reassuring shake of his servo-assisted head.
“No, I request Paddle!” he seemed empowered by his powers-of magnitude upgrade. I gave him a second paddle. Accounting can deduct it from his Rebate.
And nothing will ever rival the blissful sight of ROBOT making record time churning his way out to the open sea, radiating cyber-ecstacy if such exists at all.

{More Muscilage HERE. Press hard}

And finally: Will they miss my birthday? Again? My cactuses (cacti) just don’t get it. Every year a ‘Belated Birthday Card’. Hmm.. if you love somebody, truly love him or her, you start working on the present like, a month in advance, duh. I’ll post, as is customary, a picture of their bloom, whenever it happens, even if I have to sit in the corner and cry today on my birthday. Boo-hoo.. maybe I should have simply waited a week or so to be born. After all, it’s all been kinda downhill since April 17th, 1949 anyway. The Cold War, Vietnam, Three-Mile Island, festering Gaza wars. Jeezuz, it’s tough to be a ‘cup half full’ kinda guy lately.


Gangway for a catamaran!

I dreamed I was a moron
In camouflague maroon
I dreamed there was a war on
To fight the Great Baboon

We scaled moraines and mountains
Maureen was at my side;
(a Marin County ex-Marine;
She’s skilled in simia-cide)

We traded Myron Cohen jokes
Till both our eyes were red…
Murine, then more ‘n more rapport
We poured ourselves to bed

But Ethics kept us up all night
Discussing Wrong and Right:
To scald the un-schooled thick-skulled Foe
It’s not a pleasant sight

Still, dreams exist to stir the soup
‘Too old!’, ‘Too cold!’, they scold
This-was ‘M-R-N’, ‘S-K-L-D’
And the Gold I’m told they hold

Wu: Whatever could you be talking about?
Me: Oh, the usual… searching for the tie what binds them-there consonants together in English vocab.
Wu: You don’t sleep well at night, do you?
Me: Um.. define ‘well’
Wu: You never just dream about, like, pussy-cats playing in a sun-drenched field?
Me: Kinda. I mean, sure. Kittens in cottons playing in the lab with ketones and cations, cuttin’ up molecules… It’s like a synthesis…
Wu: Yer Momma’s a synthesis.