Monthly Archives: January 2012

Death, ha! Been there, done that.

     Something @elgan said as she turned 50+ clicked some cogs in my brain, and the once-rusting wheels are now spinning merrily.
   In fact, the Smartness Gear is now lined up with the Happy Wheel for the first time in years. And of course I want to share it with my friends here:
1) You were dead for 13 1/2 Billion Years. From the Big Bang which started this Cosmic Nonsense until mid- or late 21st Century of the Current Era.
The home-stretch of our Great Waiting was the 65-or-so Million years since  something awfully big plunged into the Yucatan and ‘f*cked up the dinosaurs’ junk big-time‘. I remember watching the thing on Galactic big-screen, just hoping the little furry guys still left alive would evolve into beings I’d enjoy inhabiting when my little chance finally came. And sure enough, I bet on the right horse, so to speak; I’m kinda tickled to be a mammal.

2) Yeah, it was touch and go in the Dark Ages. The earliest ancestor on my father’s side whom I’ve documented, Abraham Solberg, built the first house in Solberg, Switzerland. Google Earth lets me virtually-visit there these days, but in his time, with a future wise-guy on Xanga 17 generations later to worry about, it must have been tough. For five hundred years, each Solberg in turn shopped for the cutest, smartest girl in town to ‘mate with’, each time adding a few extra bonus-points to the genes. Thanks, guys. Hope I done the same; a family tradition, I guess.

3) You are probably objecting to calling this ‘dead’. A better word? ‘Un-born’? Um, that’s for fetuses. ‘Unaware’? Nah, assumes one had an awareness, but it’s just ‘off-line’. No, I was dead. Really stone-cold dead until Life arose on the slowly-cooling third planet from the Sun we all love a billion or so years into the Solar System history. After that lucky break I existed as a bio-chemical potential, a propensity…. Up until 17 April 1949. (Or nine months earlier, but I refused to count my chicken till she hatched.)
I was born feet-first, all the better to get a running start. So damned excited! You would be too, if you knew you’d only get one short dance on stage, after waiting like an idiot 13 Billion years. Makes waiting at the DMV feel like an eye-blink.

So you get 80, 100 years, or more, to have fun. You quickly try to play catch-up; read all the history you can get your hands on, what happened while you were out of the loop, so to speak.
And then one day it’s over. I know this. Used to piss me off. Couldn’t even stand to read articles about space missions scheduled for a 2050 launch. Life in the 22nd Century? I closed my eyes and ears, and held my nose.
But all that’s changed. I now feel sublimely honored to have my head above water at least for a little while. To do what any sentient creature would do in the situation; learn about the current world, have fun, maybe make babies, chat with the other beings who happen to be alive during the same global heartbeat. And when it’s over, back to being ‘dead’. Hey, I got that routine down already. Must’ve been passably good at it, to wait all that time and not get depressed. And for all I know, even though I sure don’t remember any previous lives, we may be back after the commercials. One way or another, I feel lucky. And Elgan should too.

Chicken:1 Solberg:0 (but at least I’m ‘Not Insane’)

     First, many thanks to everyone who helped me through this avian mystery. Admittedly trivial compared to real issues, like a US election campaign in search of an opposition rooster without an embarrassing comb-over.
As you can see in this spy-camera photo, my disappearing hen made another brief appearance this morning. Thank god.  I was ready.
 
She ate breakfast energetically, ravenously, like an anorexic defiantly renouncing thinspo.
And then, as I watched through the crack in the door, she put her covert plan into operation: A quick, plausibly-deniable excuse to her Mom and Sister ‘Be right back, guys.’, and she ‘jogged,’ (no other word for it), in “the wrong direction” 20 meters or so, stopped, did a perfect 360 scan of the horizon for a ‘tail’, then  non-chalantly made a bee-line for her Safe-House. Under a pile of Ag-equipment I hadn’t even checked, thinking even a hummingbird couldn’t get in there. She did.
Ok, she’s obviously a trained agent. I may have a bit of familiarity with the subject, and I’d work with her on any mission requiring stealth and deceit. And fresh eggs for breakfast.

Altogether an instructive episode. Not every day one discovers he’s probably not yet insane.

Counting chickens: Xanga, I need help

     Take a look at the photo from a few days ago. How many chickens does Johnny have?
Sometimes it’s easier to count tails, then figure ‘One tail=one chicken’ and so forth.

Why is this important? Mainly because for the last three days I’d had only Two Chickens. I was very sad.  Horrible dreams of a wicked fox or jackal dragging off my helpless third-bird by the neck; me running after them barefoot and nekkid in the freezing mud and rain, the victim  gurgling at me: ‘How could you have allowed this to happen?’
So imagine my Happiness when I awoke just now at 5:30 AM and saw THREE CHICKENS waiting for breakfast!
‘Good morning, Blackie. Good morning, Red-neck 1, and… Good morning Red-neck 2!! I thought you wuz daid!”
Yes, that what I said. Out loud, for the neighbor’s surveillance cameras.
Because I just don’t trust my eyes anymore.
Two minutes to make a quiet cup of coffee, and I looked out the door again.
Two chickens! As if it had all been a dream. Was it?

I’ve now looked everywhere in my couple acres, under every tree, up on the roof… in my sock-drawer. She’s gone. Again. If she in fact was ever real. No whirring of wings, no frantic cries during the 2-minute interval, I would have heard.
I’m left with the terrifying possibility that my grief has made me delusional. That I only thought I spoke with three birds.
May need to hang number-tags on the dear things. Bird-brains, they’ll get used to it. They’ll just have to. I will not have chickens just appearing and disappearing in front of my eyes. That would be Insanity. I’ve read up on it. Pretty son you ferget how two spel, yu loose ur paswerd an u cain’t even aks fer xanga hellp.. .

Poetic Anonymity

Jus’ be careful with them on-line forms, is all I’m sayin’…


{BELOW: TODAY’S POETRY LESSON}


Me: ‘Yonatan Stonewall’
Address:

‘1432 Nowhere Road/

Anytown, USA’
Yes, Yer Honor, dat’s my ‘Abode’
…an’ it’s all I plan to say…

The Judge: fairly typical, but vocal at times:

Seems a tad generic, boy.
You thought we wouldn’t notice?
Like-the time you listed ‘Redding’, then filled-
In your ‘Name:’ as ‘Otis’?

Me: Uh oh. I remember that. Napster. She’s got a file on me?
Well I bet this one ain’t in it:

1 7 2 9 Hardy Road, yeah my
Mom’s a taxi-dermist
Steals feathers from old mattresses
The best ones are the firmest

Judge: Not amused:

Son, remember, all this can, and
will be used against you.
You will rot in jail, you’ll eat your shoes
and, believe me, that’s a ‘dense chew’.

Hmm…‘Contrived rhyme’: deduct 10 points. But ‘tell it to the judge’.
Meanwhile; more threats and tricks:

Judge:
This Court has ways to make you talk
We can cut you like a knife
This ‘crib’ you claim on ‘Nowhere Road’;
Have you lived there all your life?

Me: Haha. Who’s she, my straight-man?

Not yet, Your Honor, things take time.”  (*rim-shot*)
(By the way, your outfit’s stunning!)
Let’s meet in chambers, have a ball
Then hit the cold earth running.

Judge: Neither amused nor impressed. Tightens the knot:

Let’s look at pictures, shall we, Boy?
Here’s one, might be familiar?
It’s either you or Myrna Loy
You decide, or we’ll get sillier

Me: Gulp. ‘They know’. Deep breath. Ignore…

OK, the dude resembles me
Let’s say he just got lucky
But-the-shades, they’re so ‘last century’
Guy’s old, and dumb, and ‘sucky’

Judge: Rustling through her files. (Letterman and Leno done that too, when things weren’t going well):

‘1 3 5 9 7th Ave’,
an odd choice of a-dress?
Not sayin’ you wear them women’s clothes
But you will, ‘under duress’.

Me: Again with the homo prison-threats? This shit’s gettin’ old.
Might as well throw myself to the mercy of the Court:

Ya got me, counsel, fair and square
I am Solberg, in the flesh
Now habeas my corpus
While the meat’s still young and fresh

Judge: Gulp. Then Bang. (shuts off cameras)

I find the-defendant guilty
of ‘Impersonation One’
Postpone the Sentence Phase until the
Parties have some fun

Me: Uh oh. Might have to get drunk for this.



YES, THIS POST IS POETRY

Functional, practical, rhythmic, and properly rhyming.
Call it ‘Sing-song’ if you must, but it kept me out of Sing-Sing, so there.
You were expecting {blank} verse??

Man
Alone in the Kosmos
At least he hopes
Wary of Cookbooks

A Box of Baco-bits
Last one on the Quickee-Mart shelf
Praying to remain in its current state
Forever and a day

A dollar thirty eight you pay
The Fine Structure constant
A co-incidence?
And a pie for $3.14?
Also the work of cruel chance?

The food is now yours
It will soon be a part of you
Alone again in the Kosmos

Nah, who the hell knows what that stuff means. Cute formatting though

Me, I’m a sucker for the lyric-ready:

A tear is just a tear
It rhymes with ‘here’ or ‘there’
But f*ck me if I know which one?
Gets fundamentally more un-clear
As Time goes by
END of LESSON. (TEST as soon as I come up for parole.)

The Nightlife of an Inventor

     Thinking I’d only have one line in this dream, I tried to make it count:
“Yes, ‘L’ is a LISA” I told the horrid man wearing  an even more horrendous suit, and put my loving arm on the LISA’s shoulders, hitting the ‘shake-hands’ button.
‘Ted’ (judging  by his paste-on name-tag), just watched her ‘shake air‘. What a charming human specimen!
“And ‘A’s, as expected, a SEX-PEC, Ted.” I christened my latest model on the spot, on the strength of the sentence-letters, (ordained by God Himself?).
I caught ‘Ted’s  left eye a-quiverin’ as he looked ‘A’ up and down, her simulated muscles meticulously bit-mapped.
“Call me ‘Ed’.” Ted snapped gruffly, one arm half reaching for his wallet;  his ‘credit-card’, (as if he had any such). What kind of a jerk/dork wears a jacket with those stupid paste-on elbow patches these days? 
‘A’ just looked at me, her eyes and fine-motion head-control doing a perfect ‘Let’s blow dis joint, Johnny.’ I hadn’t consciously programmed the ‘Doll-rejects-the-Child’ anomaly, but somehow it didn’t kill me to see that bug.  ‘Re-Name, Mid-routine’ was my only option, and I jumped on it like a Titanic life-boat:
“Fine, ‘Ed’,” I allowed, “but that makes her, AS EXPECTED, a ‘SEX-PECT’, and I’m afraid I’ll have to take her in. I broke the news, reaching for my handcuffs. ‘A’ held out her articulated paws with an uncannily lascivious smile. The LISA, at the ‘click’ audio-cue of the cuff’s locks snapping searched her extensive data-base and found the Book of Ruth:
‘Whither thou goest, there shall I go also.’ she quoted, and re-ran the shakehnds.dll. This time she had my warm hand in hers at least, and  hence a simulated tear ran down one cheek. I’d loved her from the first dry-run.

And so we walked, the three of us, life-like, out through the lobby, and into the chilly Las Vegas night, through the Convention-Center parking lot, and found the Winnebago soon enough. Well, they did. GPS.
“Wineba-go, there go we also….” The ‘A’, now solidly a ‘SEXPECT’ morphed LISA’s line to fit the scene.
‘These girls iz sharp’, I thought to myself, (and not for a second as a self-compliment). A quick battery-recharge later in the motor-home and I asked:
“So, who gets me first?”
What else is there to do on long Nevada nights? I shook the LISA’s hand one more time, then shut off her breaker. She had an excellent track record on bench-tests for being second-in-line, and seemed to enjoy the basil I added to her salad. Her name-sake wouldn’t have stood for it, but that’s the beauty of re-invention.
‘A’s eyes, (etc), were wet with promise, but I knew she desperately  wanted even more of my DNA for her built-in gene-sequencer.
But again, what’s a modest Sorcerer’s Apprentice  to do?
 Charlie Parker was barely into the second chorus of ‘Don’t Blame Me’ when I submitted, powerless, to her un-interuptible sub-routines.


For @chromepoet, whose recent  erudite thoughts on pornography prove us kindred souls, once again. (Although until I learn to write as powerfully and economically as he does, I’ll just call myself a bronze ‘wannabe’.

Expose: “Underwriters overlook underhanded overcharging scheme”

   Safety-first agency ‘Underwriter’s Laboratories’ attempted to crawl out from under the bus this week over a damning report in the gadfly biz-blog  ‘Y-Axis.com’ which detailed some ‘frayed cords’ in their top management.
The web-rag’s sleuths slothed through a slew of soggy documents in the company’s dumpster and assembled a picture of systematic over-pricing given a wink by underlings in the Front Office.
In one example, upstart down-market appliance firm Tanyo, whose 914XL Over’N Under Oven/Stove Combo threatened to undercut the competition was met with an impossible demand: “Reverse the stacking order, re-label it as ‘Under ‘n Over’ and re-apply to Underwriters.’, (along with a fee for supposed ‘services’ of $19,000 cold cash. Tanyo blinked, and the American consumer lost eye-contact with what would have been an economical product offering.
Underwriters, through their law firm, Hanover, Andover, and Underhill refused to speak with this reporter as of post date.
Still, the list of over-charged firms lengthens by the hour. Geriadiator, maker of over-the counter heat-pads for the over-the-hill under-the weather crowd, joined the class-action suit filed by Y-Axis Friday, as did Breath-alyzer Inc, whose latest device seemingly caught the eye of the vertically-obsessed Underwriters. A scrawled “Make up your minds; it’s ‘under the influence’ or ‘over the legal limit’, choose one(1)” was all they got after two months of waiting for a coveted ‘Seal of Approval’ on the newest 229XG. Company executives struggled to make sense of it; both the attached $40K bill and the challenge of issuing a statement any more diplomatic than ‘WTF?!’
This writer simply hopes that all the dog work, under the cover of darkness, by Y-Axis’ researchers will bear fruit, and that when it is all over, Underwriters will be under investigation by some government oversight commission.

“I wuz Pried ‘n prejudiced” by Jane Austin-Healy (Bedtime story version)

     Need to do this quickly, since Tanya finally fell asleep, the little angel.
She’s my phantom daughter who gurgles up from the chilly depths of the Hudson from time to time. Never calls beforehand from her cell. (We had no cells in ”68, I’m sometimes re-amazed to re-alize that. How we even communicated is anyone’s guess.)

    Anyway, she appears on the bed, fading up into Reality like a precocious ghost-ette who’s had enough of hiding behind the curtains saying ‘Boo’ in her little 7-year-old voice.
After the usual hugs, sobs, and of course ‘Fries with that’, it’s nap-time.
“Read me a story, daddy.” she always starts, halfway before completing the half-hour chore of ensconcing her lithe little body in the fuzzy pink foot-pajamas I keep in her box on the dresser. Yes, she has her own blanket too. And it must be arranged just so, for this little pea-princess, as if we’re doing a photo-shoot for Victoria’s ‘Little’ Secrets.
I said ‘quickly’? Scratch that, I guess. But after needing longer to read this story to the little punkette than Ms. Jane probably needed to write it, I feel both winded and long-winded. Here we go.



I had barely gotten out the title before cutey-pie had her way with the Author:
“Probably a blond. Probably from Texas?”
I toyed with ignoring that, but previous experience reminded me that to by-pass a question from my  ‘audience’ would bring on a vitual Tarantella of ‘I’m jumping on the bed/ Just jumping on the bed, Daddy!’ until either the issue was addressed or an hour  of ‘hyper’ finally diluted the toxins in her young blood-stream. I went with the easier path, sue me.
“Yes, dearie, she did grow up in Texas, so, like duh, of course she was blond.”
“Dyed blond” Tanya felt a need to clarify.
“But after she married Mister Healy, she moved to the UK, where she wrote most of her best work.”
“He of the motor-trade?”
Did I mention the child hasn’t missed a beat since her awesome start as a Young Zygote?
“Yes, sports cars. But their marriage foundered in the turbulent waters of the late 60s.” I broke the news to my daughter, glancing at the two of us a second in the bathroom-door mirror, and then thinking better of it.
“She moved to New York in the wake of the break-up.” I continued, aware that at the present pace we might be doing this for like, 4evah.
“The Big City! If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere..” Tanya started to sing. A bad omen for a guy with a bus to catch at 6 the next morning.
“No, darling, Corning, NY.” I interrupted my miniature Sinatra. And it worked. Kinda. Mid-chorus, she pulled the blanket over her face, not before making a face usually seen in autopsy photographs:
“OMG! Bell jars!”
I had intended to get to that part, but perhaps a bit more.. um… delicately.
“Yeah, Tanya-le, That’s where they found her. Inside a jar.”
“Sealed from the inside?” She wanted the details.
“Yup.”
“She had a screwdriver?”
“It didn’t say that.”
“Philips?”
“Tanya, who cares? The point is, she was very sad.”
“Like you were when I was born?”
Long Pause. What have I done, dear god, to merit both quality-time with a month-old aborted foetus, and, a Ghost-of-Christmas-Past visit from the Deep? And a ghost-ess so indescribably full of charms that I’d gladly live in chains for decades just to drive her to hockey practice even once.
“Yes kinda like that.” I fuzzed the question.
“So someone calls the Fire Department?” she moved the plot forward.
I breathed a silent sigh.
“Yup. 911.”
“Cool. They got all kinds of sexy power tools.”
Tanya, warm and happy, dark eyes large enough for a medium-weight  tiger, pink in pink pajamas from Woolworth’s (and not ‘on sale’), under a pink blanket I’d rescued from the attic when my Mother died. and me never having had any doubts as to her gender-preference.
“Yup, Jaws-O-Life. You like that kinda thing?” I asked, neutrally, like we’d learned, stomping for McGovern in ’68.
“Awesome!” was all she said. I had a vision of her leading a band of bottom-dwelling Hudson Amazonian cadavers to construct, from derelict auto parts, an invincible machine-age automaton, which, guided by tossed-out Panasonic boom-boxes, wreaks holy retribution on Jersey mortals who thought that Planned Parenthood had offered a final solution. By super-human effort, I submerged the nightmare.
“So they pried and they pried, and they blew her house down?” Tanya wanted to know how it all ended.
“Yeah, beautiful, they left the Jaws in the GMC. And used Dollar General cheap Chinese-steel pry-bars to break the seal. She was breathing, but barely, when they opened the Bell Jar.”
“Holy Plath! You had me on pins and needles there for a second!” Tanya almost shouted, nearly waking my wife down in the salon. Prosaic to a fault, she has never believed my ‘fairy tales’, and that’s OK with me.
“So what’s ‘Predjudiced, Daddy?” Tanya asked. As simple a question as one could imagine, but with no equally short answer:
“It’s like, when people don’t like schvartes, even before they meet them.” I tried, as a first approximation.
” And that includes octaroons and mulattoes?” Tanya wanted to know the techie-facts on the subject.
“Yeah, I guess. Miss Jane had no objections, in principle, to being saved from her  depressive angst by ‘her own kind‘, but by a Mister Darkie?! No way, Jose.”
“‘Darcy,’ I believe it says in the original.” Tanya pointed out, but exhibiting at least some signs of impending slumber.
“Well, the fellow in the picture in the Finger Lake Times, Heroes save local scribbler sure looked more like an Obama than some washed-up Romney.” I told her, hope against hope that politics would bore the goddess to sleep. It worked wonders.
“So she was pried and predjudiced? Nice story, Daddy. I love you…. in spite of everything.”
“Leila tov, matoki.” (‘good night, sweetheart’) I kissed her face.

Now I just need to try to fall asleep myself.

For OBL, an inspiration always.