Saturday, March 30, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

shit and its togetherness

Chase and I were chatting this morning about him maybe taking a day off this week and coming home, as he said, to help "get some of our shit together." 

He was quick to qualify this by saying that "our shit" didn't mean "my shit" and he didn't think it was MY job to take care of our communal shit all by myself and I don't bear the full shit responsibility and all that stuff but I think it's pretty clear that, whoever is to blame, our shit is definitely not together. 

If a doctor saw our shit, he would probably tell us to go to an emergency room right away. 

If we were moving somewhere, our shit would have fallen out of it's hastily rigged tie-downs atop our 1996 Astrovan and been scattered across 6 lanes of highway traffic. And, Chase added, we would probably just keep driving. Maybe we would pull over and make sure no one had died in the wreckage, but after that, we'd just leave our shit there. Wherever we're headed, in this pathetically undying metaphor, the shit there is better than the shit we have now. And probably more cohesive. 

So that's how we're doing. If you were wondering. 

In other news, it's spring in Texas which means it's 90 degrees and the AC in both our cars is broken. This is the kind of non-cohesive shit that makes me lose hope for the future, but it's also not what I was going to talk about. I was going to talk about how this means I always drive with the windows down, which 1) makes me think of my dad, because what doesn't. and 2) means that I feel very strongly, EVEN more strongly than I always do, that LEAF BLOWERS ARE EVIL. 

All the oak trees in Central Texas drop all their leaves within like 22 minutes of each other, at some randomly appointed day in mid March. It's cool because it lets me know when to start the countdown on death-by-total-immune-system-insurrection for my husband, when the oak pollen comes roaring back in 7-10 days.  But today, right now, it means that that mysterious segment of our population, those unknowable thousands, who somehow see themselves as constrained, drafted into some eternal fight against inevitability, that is modern "lawn care," ... bring out their leaf blowers. 

I would have some sympathy for this... drive? of theirs... I mean, I love a lost cause like the next Joss Whedon fan. Their whole life's work (outside of whatever their real life's work is, hopefully) is crafting this serene square footage made of plants that aren't supposed to live here, in a place where plants aren't even supposed to live AT ALL for like 3 months out of the year, with water restrictions from the city, and weeds and neighborhood dogs that leave pee spots and I really don't know what else goes on in their heads but it does seem hopeless and so I DO sympathise to a certain extent...

Except that RAKES exist.  You push them with your arms, and they are relatively quiet. They move leaves in a defined direction (not my face, usually, when I'm walking by, or my car's windshield, or your neighbor's driveway). And also using a rake does not burn loads of gas, smell bad, or automatically label you, to all right thinking people, as a dick. 

It's societally sanctioned littering. Like I don't like leaves. I think they're trashy. YOU TAKE THEM, lady walking by with a stroller. TAKE MY LEAVES. It's like leaving your huge car running while you grocery shop, throwing your trash in your neighbor's yard, and standing outside your house with an air horn for 45 minutes ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I don't understand why it's okay! 

We HAD a tool for this EXACT job and it WORKED GREAT. If I could be any fairy tale creature I would be what's her name from Sleeping Beauty but instead of spindles I would put my curse on leaf blowers and the King would order all the leaf blowers in the land piled into a giant bonfire I would watch the mighty conflagration joyfully and then be like "Okay King we're cool. Curse removed. I just wanted to get rid of the leaf blowers MALEFICENT OUT!"

Anyway, that's the current status. Really hating leaf blowers and otherwise more or less falling apart. But my caps lock key is obviously doing great. HAPPY SPRING

Thursday, March 7, 2013

it’s possible some outside observer could fashion a somewhat scattered and vague representation of my dad, from the pattern of my flinches… 
looking up at the night sky is out, obviously. he taught me my constellations. 
whole reams of music… everything from sloop john b to most of the beatles’ catalogue, miles davis, anyone who’s ever been on prairie home companion… the radio is a minefield.
woodwork, mechanics, the building and flying of planes and rockets. old front wheel drive saabs…
of course boats… canoes, sailboats… anything that floats, basically. these are all things i will not be discussing in any detail. 
picking up a kid from school today, i was pretending to be a normal whole person, rather than this collection of strange smells and stains and flinches in unwashed hair and yoga pants. anyway i was playing ‘idle chit chat’ and thought i could manage a brief exposition on making roman shades, and then i remembered my dad showing me how to sew…sailcloth of course. and then how to weave palm fronds together to make a roof on some spongey island deep in the neches logging cuts. some island he knew, along with maybe 15 other people on earth. an island that might as well be swallowed whole by the swamp, it is so unlikely i could ever find it again. 
i’ve spent no inconsiderable amount of time on google earth in the last year, hovering over the neches swamps. tracing the cuts, finding the pathways. my dad knew them so well, before a satellite ever thought to pay attention.