Tuesday, August 31, 2004

what i say goes...

aaaaahhh. it's good to be the queen of my little domain. Now that summer crunch is over I can get back to subjugating all the machinery to MY particular specifications. No catering to the anal whims of my testosterone-laced cohorts. I can get back to what I like most about being the only person on second shift: peace and quiet. I come in, get my list of things to do and lay out my own schedule for the night. A little bit of this, a little bit of that over there, and presto! the work is done, the mess is cleared out, several dozen unused monitors are shut down for the night and the world can rest easier knowing I am on the job. Brave, reverent, true: doing a quality job for my customers (even though they be stinking capitalist pigs).

Sunday, August 29, 2004

alone at last

my butt is numb from spending most of my shift in front of my monitor, my herniated disc is eliciting periodic stabs of pain from my spinal column and the time clock is determinedly tachinking away the minutes of life. But I finally have a moment to find out if this antiquated browser at work can post to a blog.

Friday, August 27, 2004

dusk in dallas

I take Camus out for a walk at dusk. The temperature has just fallen below 90 degrees but it’s not a comfortable 88 or 89. The humidity is so thick I think it’s pelting me with pinprick drops of rain until I realize it’s a tree pissing on me. I didn’t know for the longest time that there’s something inhabiting the hardwoods, primarily oaks and pecan trees in this neighborhood, and what people take to be dew or some such is really miniscule excrement pelting you in the face when you look up. Nonetheless, we continue our way west down the sidewalk and there’s still a good deal of pink tinting the edges of the clouds. Though the real sunset has slipped away there’s enough light to make out colors and to watch for the upheavals of concrete that might trip me. Camus hasn’t been this way lately because I’ve been working late and long hours so he takes extra time to stop and check his pee-mail. That’s fine by me; I get to enjoy the evening concert that’s in progress. The cacophony of locusts is peaking for the day and we’re enveloped in the sound of buzz saws that just fail to drown the sound of traffic. They don’t really sound like buzz saws but it is a sawing kind of noise. Each cicada has staked out its own tree. The thicker the population of trees the more cicada voices join in the chorus. As you proceed down the sidewalk the buzzes overhead, behind, and on the other side of the street fade as the ones ahead increase in volume. It’s great. I think the buzzing is not as robust as in years past. It’s also set to a higher pitch. Maybe the locusts had a poor winter and aren’t as big as usual. Tonight I also encounter many fireflies. The first of these “light bugs” are concentrated in a yard at the bottom of a slope, where there are 3 or 4 full-canopied trees and hedges along two sides of the house. I’m very happy to see the tiny bright gold lanterns glowing on and off. Later during our walk I pass four or five more concentrations of them. I notice some of them are neon green rather than bright gold. Finally, as we near our starting point I see a bird flying above the canopy of trees, then another, and another, maybe a dozen in all. At first I think maybe they are bats, but then get a better look at their silhouettes and see they’re all flying in the same direction, toward a particular treed area and realize they more closely resemble purple martins, probably headed toward a communal roost in the neighborhood. There’s no color left in the sky but the highest clouds are still slightly backlit when we get home. Mold has begun growing on me. I take a shower to remove it and the stinking insect repellant I’ve used to shield me from West Nile.

me encanta

I'm supplementing my meager knowledge of espanol by watching tv commercials on some of our local Spanish stations. Might as well use corporate money to further my education. This one is the equivalent of "I'm lovin' it" used by McDonald's. My brain doesn't see it that way though. It comes across more like "I'm enchanted" or "I'm charmed". yeah, charming, a fried piece of dead cow terrorized in its last moments by some masked man amongst a thousand other frightened mooing bovines.

The other phrase I've learned is "agarra calle" which is volkswagen's slogan. I think it's something like "take the street", or "catch the street." Many many years ago when I visited Mexico there was a widely used slogan among young people "agarra la onda" which was literally to "catch the wave" and meant "get it on" or "get with it".

I found a great "headline" for Jay Leno in the newspaper. It's an obituary index and one of the names is J. Deadmon. Dead-Mon, Dead-Man, get it? oh, yeah... I hope they use it. Maybe I'll get a free t-shirt or something. I'm usually willing to accept free apparel. Or free food.

sound of a tree falling

In his book "Into Thin Air", the story of the disastrous spring of 1996 when 12 climbers died on Mount Everest, Jon Krakauer describes allegations made by some that his mere presence as a writer/reporter added to the disaster by increasing stress to the psyches of both climbers and guides. The guides, said the naysayers, who were hoping for favorable publicity from the article Krakauer would write, may have relaxed some of their stringent practices in an effort to successfully guide more clients to the summit of Everest. The clients, thinking they might be portrayed as fools or inepts, may have pushed themselves beyond reasonable limits to avoid such portrayal. There has also been much discussion about the role of journalists who are present during news-making events; if and how their presence affects the actions of others and thus the outcome of the situation. I mention these ideas because as a newbie to this blog stuff I'm surprised at the proliferation of would-be journalists and diarists, both serious and non, who are members of this blog community. I wonder, does the fact they are writing about their surroundings change the way they interact with their surroundings? And if people interacting with the bloggists know they will surely be written about, does that change the way they act? Does a tree falling in the woods make a sound if no one is there to hear it?

Thursday, August 26, 2004

dog ventures

The dogs found a toad last night. Midnight, when I get home from work, I let them into our small back yard so they can check out the night life. Phoebe frolics; Camus snuffles. The tree-high critters are mostly invisible, tucked into wherever it is they sleep so it's the ground-bound things that are mostly on the prowl and thus prone to be discovered by the snufflejowls of Camus. Usually it's a gecko or large insect, but last night amphibian was the main attraction. When Camus can't be coaxed back into an air conditioned house for a milkbone I'm certain he's found something much more interesting. His nose jabbed constantly, focused on one area, in this case three or four terra cotta pots filled with spearmint and such. He suddenly jumped back a foot as if his nose had been electrified but immediately leapt forward toward the same spot. At this point, Phoebe, waiting on the steps impatiently for her buddy to join her for midnite snax, became alerted to the same movements I had seen and she ran to join the party. Camus grabbed the unlucky creature in his mouth but lost his grip. Too bad for him but good luck for the critter. In the dim area it looked like it could be a small rat. It had gone behind the air conditioner compressor and Camus raced around the compressor from one side to the other, unable to catch the thing. Phoebe "helped" by crowding in for a closer view. My night vision not being so acute as theirs I was forced to fetch a flashlight from under the kitchen sink to see for myself what it was. A Big Toad! A rare site the last few years and the first I've seen this summer. Camus was forced to forego his lovely toad and came reluctantly inside for his milkbone, drooling more than usual, and still looking toward the back door as if he were getting a carrot instead of steak.

"phoebe & camus"

"phoebe & camus"