Thursday, June 29, 2006

Brewed Fresh, and on the Side...

...the maple scone.
 
My favorite pastry at Starbucks is the maple scone.  It is one of those things that betrays my otherwise sophisticated sensibilities is my love of all things maple. 
 
On the east side of town, at the several Starbucks (Starbi?) I frequent, they rarely have the maple scone.  They usually have the blueberry or the cinnamon instead.
 
But lately I've been hitting a Starbucks on the west side.  And every morning, wow, the maple scone is there, waiting for me.
 
I first began eating maple scones in 1996, when I was in DC.  Every morning, I'd get off at the Archives/Navy Memorial metro stop, go to Starbucks, and get a traditional coffee with a maple scone.
 
The maple scone has changed a bit over the years, but no matter.  They have never ruined it.  
 
Sweet maplely goodness.  The maple scone itself is not the brightest spot in my life these days, but its reappearance in my daily life is just another sign that the other things that have changed are all for the better.
 
Here's to you, maple scone!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I Don't Mind...


I like Yoshitomo Nara. But this creeped me out, and it made me a little sad.

The Dave

Thumbs up to The Dave. He's been on my blog list, but never so prominantly. Enjoy!

P.S. Jamie who? Nevermind he just redesigned his blog, etc etc.

Fy-errrr

Today my pleasant workday was interrupted by a fire drill and evacuation of my office building. 
 
Since I am the male with the office closest to the mens room, it is my extra task to go into the mens room and urge anyone inside to evacuate.  Sure enough, there was someone in one of the stalls.  I did not recognize his shoes.  I announced that the fire drill had begun and that we must evacuate the building.  Mr Unknown Shoes grumbled.  I then announced anyone staying could perish in the imaginary flames, and I left him to die.
 
I then went back to my office.  At first I did not leave, but then I decided I would be a bad example if I did not.  Actually, one of the guys I work with told me that.  He also suggested that a fire drill is a great time for female watching, and he was right.  That is one of the things I love about my work.  I learn new things every day. 
 
The building management had advertised previously that there would be an ice cream social today.  Since they also had the fire drill, they set up tables on the way back into the building and passed out ice cream bars and ice cream sandwiches as we milled back in.  Mine wasn't even all that melted.  Nice job.  I wonder how much ice cream is kept on hand in case of a real fire?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tuesday Talkback

Moan.  Talkback.  Repeat.

"Monday Moaning is a joke. I've called several times with significant moans. And all you print is somebody who doesn't get his newspaper or lost his cat." - Rocky River

You got it all wrong.  Tuesday Talkback is the joke.  And that would be Tuesday Talkback where "somebody...lost his cat."  Not Monday Moaning.  Get your features straight.

"Get the troops out of Iraq and send the planes back in. That's how we get results. They like to bomb - let's give them some bombs." - Mayfield Heights

Sir, you forgot to add "kill them all and let God sort them out."  What do you think this is, Kosovo?

"Who is responsible for mutilating the trees in the Cleveland area? As a newcomer to Ohio, I have never seen so many magnificent trees whose leaves and branches have been cut to accommodate utility wires. Trimming trees is one thing; destroying them is another." - Rocky River

Who is responsible?  You answered your own question.  It is those "linemen" from First Energy.  Did they not have electricity where you came from?  Or perhaps not trees?

"The thanks I get for serving my country and losing a limb is to be treated like a criminal at every airport in the nation. 'Thank You, America.' " - Seven Hills

What, was your limb in the way of a utility wire?  Thanks again, First Energy!

"Why, when the Lakewood Police Department has so many officers on each shift, was it possible that none of them was patrolling on Franklin Boulevard when that man was so severely assaulted? A new library and YMCA is the least of our problems." - Lakewood

There is just no money in stopping assaults.  Not when there are all of those moving violators to fine.  And don't you want a new library and YMCA?  Or is obnoxious, stupid and fat the new look in Lakewood?

"To those who put up the flag for national holidays and then leave them up for several days, flying it at night and in inclement weather. Where is the respect for Old Glory?" - Garfield Heights

We live in a disrespectful world.  So far this week we don't respect crippled vets at the airport, trees near utility wires, assault victims in Lakewood, the Iraqi people, or people who lose their cats -- and you get bent over the flag being left out in the rain.  Well, I wish I had your problems. 

"How can people be so inconsiderate and cut their lawns on Sunday mornings at 8? I work all week, and it's the only chance I get to sleep in. These people can afford someone to do it during the week." - Solon

Nice of you to spend other people's money thinking what they can afford Mr. Solon.  While 8am may be a little early, I like to cut before it gets too hot.  You work all week?  Bah, like that makes you special.  If you want to be holier than thou on a Sunday get your lazy ass out of bed and get to church already. 

"I'm concerned that people may be seriously injured by inconsiderate shoppers rushing out of Marc's with loaded carts and having no concern for people on the sidewalk." - Berea

At my Marc's you can't get the carts pasts the posts on the sidewalk.  Life is tough all over.  It is hard out there for a guy trying to save three cents on a can of tuna.

"All the beer drinkers at the summer concerts. I went to see Bruce Springsteen at Blossom and had to get up a dozen times to let the same people run back and forth to the bathroom." - Parma

As a Browns season ticket holder who sits at the end of a row, I feel your pain, and I offer you a suggestion.  Here is what I do.  The second time anyone gets up before halftime, I tell them, "You have a bladder like a woman.  Do you pee sitting down?"  Then they stay away.  Especially the women.

"To people who ignore walk/don't walk signs, especially with small children. Those signs are designed to let vehicles go ahead without hitting a pedestrian. If you're gonna ignore it, just run right in the street." - Lakewood

Out in Lakewood, no one is safe, from assault on the sidewalks, to assault in the street with a deadly Buick.  Kill them all and let God sort them out.  (Hey, how many times can I use that this week?)

"To the guy from Mentor who keeps ragging on Cleveland Heights. 'Don't come here. If you leave us alone, we promise we'll leave you alone.' " - Cleveland Heights

Kill them all and... ahhh, nevermind. 

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Youngstown, Part Five (for Kat)


Some things do change. Sometimes change is better, sometimes change is just different. For instance, my sister Kat when to Taft Elementary School. I am not sure which Taft it was named for, but let us assume it was William Howard.

Taft as Kat knew it is gone. New Taft sits in its place. Only one remnant of old Taft remains...


The stone "TAFT" from the original fascade of old Taft -- was removed and refabricated into this sign on the Avondale Avenue entrance.

In a small way, this new school is an oasis in a wasteland of decaying homes. Not everything old is worth saving. Old Taft is gone.

As gone as the garage that once sat at the end of our driveway...

Posted by Picasa

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Checkpoint Near the Border

Friday evening I had a few drinks.  I stopped drinking at a reasonable hour though, and well before I got behind the wheel of my car.
 
I drove through South Euclid on Mayfield -- to get a little Taco Bell on the way home. 
 
The South Euclid Police had a sobriety checkpoint set up.  And I got pulled over. 
 
Happily, I was well past the intoxicating effects of the beers and margaritas I had consumed earlier.  And after answering a few questions and BSing in general with South Euclid's finest, I was on my way to a Meximelt and Baja Gordita. 
 
When I asked them, they told me I didn't swerve or anything.  They called it random, and they were stopping every fifth car.
 
It is a little scary getting pulled over.  I try to balance my slight resentment about it against my recognition that they are trying to keep the city streets safe. 
 
Still, I might think twice before making another "Run to the Border".  Because if it weren't for that, I wouldn't have been anywhere near this checkpoint. 
 
Guess I'll go to White Castle next time.  East Cleveland at 2am?  Suits me fine. 

Saturday, June 24, 2006

When I'm With You

I never needed love
Like I need you
And I never lived for nobody
But I live for you
Ooh babe
Lost in love is what I feel
When I'm with you

Maybe it's the way you touch me
With the warmth of the sun
Maybe it's the way you smile
I come all undone
Ooh babe
Lost in love is what I feel
When I'm with you

Baby ooh I get chills when I'm with you oh
Oh baby my world stands still when I'm with you
When I'm with you

I never cared for nobody
Like I care for you
And I never wanted to share the things
I want to share to with you
Ooh babe
Lost in love is what I feel
When I'm with you


-- Arnold Lanni

Friday, June 23, 2006

Youngstown, Part One

I was in Youngstown for business, and I made the mistake of driving to my old neighborhood.

I did some research a few weeks ago on my old house. Mom, Kat and I lived there for just four years. For me, that would have been seventh through tenth grade. I was doing some real estate research in Mahoning County when curiosity got the better of me and I typed in my old address.

After reviewing court records and real estate records, from best I can tell, our old landlord sold the house back in the late 90s to a man who owned several rental properties in the neighborhood. He bellied up, and the bank foreclosed. Problem is, this fool had let the property turn to pot. He didn't maintain it. And while it wasn't perfect when we lived in it, it was clean (sorta), and our old landlord kept it up (kinda). It is amazing how quickly a house can fall into disrepair.

The house went up for public auction twice. The first time, it was valued at $20,000, with a minimum bid of two thirds that. No bids. The second time, it was reappraised at a mere $6,000, with a minimum opening bid of $4,000. No bids.

So I pulled up to the corner of Rush and Florida, and I expected to see a disaster. But I still was not prepared for what I saw.


We lived here for four years. It wasn't a great place. It is unbelievable to me to see it this bad. Vacant, windows missing, lawn overgrown, garage gone. Amazing that no one has burned it down just for fun.


Someone left my bedroom window open.

I drove down the street to Joe's old house, and found a similar situation.


Joe's dad drank himself to death after the steel mills closed. His life was over, and he killed himself slowly, with Black Velvet and Kools.

I went down to the end of the block to what was once Consolidated corner store. Kat and I used to buy candy and snacks there, some groceries too. They sold fresh ground beef, grinding it while you wait.


What once were storefront windows had been bricked in, and then the building otherwise abandoned. Looking at it now, it is hard to imagine that the neighborhood kids would hang out here, play ball out front, and run in for Cokes. But I know we did. I was there. Posted by Picasa

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Youngstown, Part Two


The ride through the old hood continues. I pull up to the Boulevard Tavern on Southern Boulevard. We ate here many times. It was close to the house. They served a fantastic veal parm. It still seems relatively intact. Yet it is almost lunchtime and there is only one car in the parking lot.


There used to be this bakery that made excellent pepperoni rolls. Somewhere along the way, the bakery left, and now it is a used car lot.


I drove by Lorie's old house. Lorie and I would sit on her porch and play Trivial Pursuit. She'd scheme over beating me at trivia, I'd scheme over how to cop a feel without getting slapped. Her family has long since given up this place, and it never looked like this when I lived there. I was in touch with Lorie just the other day. She is doing fine, and she and her daughter will probably be moving back to Indianapolis. I hope so.


I drove by Ally's. It was still there, after all this time. I bought my first cigarettes there when I was twelve or thirteen. No matches at Ally's. They wanted to sell you a lighter. And I was buying. I prefered Scripto, and I knew how to alter them to make a five inch high flame. It was like lighting your smoke with a blow torch. I went from Marlboro to Camel regulars to finally Parliament. I was the only kid I knew who smoked them. Even trying to fit in, I was still uncool as fuck.

I pretty much gave up smoking when I turned 16 and left Youngstown to move in with my dad. I didn't think my dad would put up with that shit. Maybe he would have, but it was a part of me that was better left behind. Posted by Picasa

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Youngstown, Part Three


I drove by my old high school. It looked better than I might have expected. The sign -- Wilson's mascot is still "The Redmen" -- whether or not your sports mascot is racially sensitive is the least of your problems in this city.
I remember the pep rally and bonfire at the beginning of my freshman year. Someone stole the big custom painted wooden football schedule sign from the grounds of nearby suburban Boardman High School and threw it in the fire.



I remember this bully Tony, who pulled a knife on me in the locker room during gym class. I swallowed hard and called him a pussy for using a knife when I was prepared to fight him with bare hands.

I remember scheming to firebomb his house if he didn't leave me alone.


The JFK moment for my generation: I was in Algebra class in this building when I heard about the Challenger shuttle disaster. Tommy broke up with his girlfriend that day... passing her a note that read, "too bad you weren't on the space shuttle today." Tommy always had a way with inappropriate words. Posted by Picasa

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Youngstown, Part Four


I drove by my old junior high. Adams is still there. The corner store where we'd buy 16 ounce Cokes in dime deposit bottles on our walk home from school was long gone. I remembered the racial problems we had there. I remember when the police came in dressed in riot gear to patrol the halls. I remember my first fist fight, and several more after that. I never lost one that was one-on-one. And I never won one that wasn't.



I remember when Brian thought I had narc'd on him for smoking pot in the third floor boys room at Adams. I hadn't narc'd -- but when I came in and saw they were smoking pot, I left immediately. And as soon as I got back in the hallway, I saw Mr. McKelvey coming to check out the boys room. They thought I'd sent him in. They got suspended for the rest of the year. And on the last day of school, they were all by the corner store, waiting for me, after I came out with my bottle of coke. They took my coke, held me down and beat the shit out of me. There was nothing I could do but take it. It was as inevitable as bad weather. My mom called the police, called the school. No one cared, and nothing came of it then.



Brian got sent to a boys home about a year later for something else entirely. A few weeks later he was killed in a fire there. It was deliberately set, but unsolved. Good, fuck him, I thought.

Later, I learned who set that fire. Steve turned himself in after graduation. Someone mailed me a newspaper clipping while I was at college. It said he would be tried as an adult.

I had no idea he'd done this. After he'd done it, while he was still keeping it to himself, Steve would ask me if I ever felt bad about Brian. I'd tell him that I did, a little bit, that no one deserves to die. It wasn't how I really felt. I was glad he was dead. I wonder if things would have turned out differently if I had told him that. I wonder if he could have kept it to himself. I wonder if I contributed to his guilt.

Steve was a messed up kid, but basically decent. Brian was just a fuck. No one missed him, no one cared.



I'd seen enough. I'd seen too much. I remembered far more than I ever wanted to. If there was ever a place that needs a great fire, this is it. I saw the sign for Cleveland, and I tried to put all of this back behind me again. But this place will always be a part of me. The anger and despair, the misery and corruption, the stark realities of a world so spiraled down and out of control that the best you can hope for is to escape merely singed. Posted by Picasa

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sipping

Pommegranate green tea.

Watching the storms roll in -- wish I had my camera -- left it in the car.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tuesday Talkback

I don't give them hell. I just talkback to those moaners and they think it is hell.

"I think I'll just quit watching the local news. All they say is 'go to .com .com .com .com.,' so I may as well go to .com and not bother watching the news." - Avon

Better yet, just be ignorant. You'd be a natural at it, I can just tell.

"I wish all these Bush-haters and protesters would give it up already, and get behind this president, so we can end this war instead of fueling the enemy and killing off our kids. A country divided will never survive." - Maple Heights

How many things are wrong with this moan? I keep losing count. Tell me, how many times has this country ever really been united? Yet we remain the lone superpower. Go figure.

"It's nice that they have a place to take your phone books for recycling, but for some of us it costs $7 to get there. You would think they would have something more accommodating: for instance, a mall." - Parma

Here's a better idea all around: save your phone books and use them for kindling this winter.

"All the PA basketball announcers at NBA home games are getting out of control. Too much hoopla for the home teams and the players." - Parma

Here's a man with no sense of the theatrical. But I bet he does a little dance before he dallops the sour cream on his pierogi.

"To the clubs or restaurants that are so cold that you need a sweater or coat over your summer dress. I also think these places would sell more beverages, alcoholic or otherwise, if they would keep it warmer." - Euclid

If you think you know so much about how to run a restaurant, I invite you to try it. See you at bankruptcy court in six months, doofus.

"You ought to be fined if you don't take down the garage- and estate-sale signs you put up all over the neighborhood within 48 hours of the sale's conclusion. When I get there, I find it was last week." - North Olmsted

Better yet, how about this: If you show up for an estate sale just to find out it was last week, you should get to kill someone on the premises, and then take their used bed linen and eggcups for pennies on the dollar. Yeah, that'll learn 'em.

"Shame on people who have dogs and cats and let them run around and use other people's yards for their dumping grounds." - Cleveland

Just do what I do. If someone walks their dog on my lawn and lets it take a dump in my yard and doesn't scoop it up, I run right out, put the owner in headlock, and rub his face in it. I'll tell you, word gets out quick! I don't have any problems with those bastards anymore.

"Architects are proposing another glass box for the county offices in downtown Cleveland. Do these architects ever consider energy costs or are they only concerned with awards for themselves?" - Middleburg Heights

Uhhhhh, instead of aethetics, you would make energy costs the primary consideration in the validity of a design? I don't know that a glass box is any harder to heat and cool than any other building, but what a bizarre thing to be fixated on. Now, if you want to debate the aesthetics of a glass box versus other forms of architecture, bring it! At least we were spared that Frank Gehry skyscraper.

"During these hot, sunny days we have been having, I have seen infants and toddlers fully exposed to the blazing sun in strollers, without visors, hats or shade of any kind. They were blinking, squinting and rubbing their eyes." - Lakewood

For god's sakes, can't kids even be out in the sun anymore? Do we have to protect them like little cult objects? How's a kid supposed to live? Stop pussifying the children!

"The red-light cameras are nothing but taxation without representation once again. They need to go." - Cleveland

You know, Cleveland, you live in Cleveland. You are one of the few who is actually represented by the people that can put a stop to this nonsense, and you could vote the bastards out. I do appreciate the sentiment, even if your logic is shite.

"No one said 'great job' to the booth workers who put in over 22 hours of training, setting up and starting at 5:30 a.m. on Election Day, and all for $122.10. Wow." - Broadview Heights

President Bush learned his lesson after Mike Brown. Everyone else learned by example. You don't compliment someone for doing a helluva job when the job they've done is hellacious.

"Does anybody remember when Larry Dolan bought the Indians and said he was interested in bringing, not just one, but lots of championships to Cleveland? Thanks, Mr. Dolan, you have been able to bring us the sixth lowest-paid team in the American League and not one championship yet. Will anybody ever buy the Indians who actually wants us to win?" - Painesville Township

If you want to root for money, go root for the Yankees. The average IQ of the fanbase for each team will then go up.

"To the person who found my $25 that I forgot in the change return at Giant Eagle in Parma. I hope you spend it wisely. It was from my Social Security money." - Parma

Quit blaming everyone else for you being a fool. Like it is anyone elses fault that you left your money behind. If that money was so important, you'd have managed it better. Idiot.

"The United Church of Christ in Cleveland whose TV ad shows a woman with a walker being ejected from a pew. No denomination would do this." - Cleveland

I especially like the UCC ad with the crab. "We welcome everybody, even openly gay couples." "I pinch." I love a church with rubberized mats. The UCC rocks, and it has room for surfboards.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

A New Girl in My Life?

Today I went to the office to take care of some odds and ends (mostly
odds). And then I went back to the APL to return the kitty trap.

I trapped nothing with it. Not even Rufus, the local stray that
neighbor Pam feeds and takes to the vet once a year. Rufus would not
be fooled by the trap, and apparently not the local skunks either, and
not my erstwhile and estranged Kerrey cat. She is more than two weeks
gone now, and I would like to think that somewhere, out there, she is
being taken care of by someone, and that she is not lying dead in a
ditch somewhere. (Mr. Bebout helpfully reminded me that there are no
ditches in University Heights.)

So I returned the trap to the APL. And instead of taking back the
cash deposit I put down for the trap, I donated it to them.

And then I went to the adoption area, as I understand they are
overloaded with cats and kittens.

My feeling right now is not to train a new kitten. They can be so
destructive. And they usually don't have any trouble getting adopted.
It is the adult cats that sit there for months, leading lonely and
caged existences. It breaks my heart.

So, I'm thinking that I'll get a new kitty. Probably an adult.
Probably a female. And there was one I saw that I really liked. And
she liked me too. I stuck my fingers in her cage and she rubbed up on
them and purred. I looked at her info: female, approximately 6 years
old, fixed and declawed in the front. The paperwork said that her
owners dropped her off because they were moving and couldn't take her
with them. I'd hate to think I could ever be in a position where I
was moving and I ended up having to bring my cat to the APL.

Anyway, the adoption fee would not be much, since she is an older cat.
And she has already been there a couple of months. The poor thing,
living in a cage for two months! No wonder she liked me paying her
attention.

She has beautiful, tortoise-shell colored fur, kind of a mix of orange
and brown, with yellow eyes. She's a big kitty, like Kerrey.

Well, I couldn't quite bring her home yet. I am all ready for a new
kitty. But bringing her into the house... not quite the right time
just yet. Still a little too much upheaval. Once that is all
resolved, then I'll go back. And if someone else hasn't already given
her a home, I will give her another look.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Blogs I Enjoy

If you look to the right, you'll see I've rearranged a bit. Mostly additions, a lot of renaming, and some re-ordering.

If your blog is not listed, and you would like it listed, please let me know.

If I listed your blog and you don't want it listed, also let me know that.

If I used your name and you don't want me doing that, I'll change it. Again, just let me know...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Purge

Today, I am going to leave work at a decent hour.  I am going to go home, and start a hillbilly burn pile.  Or least fill up a bunch of garbage bags. 

I just have this desire to throw things away.  To clear out.  To vanquish.  To burn.  And to reclaim the space. 

Liberate myself from the junk. 

Goodwill pile.

Craigslist pile.

Whatever you want to call it.

It has all gotta go.

He who controls the past, controls the future.

I have this bad habit... sometimes I throw things in a box, and then the box get stashed somewhere.  I went to the Andy Warhol Museum last year, saw he did the same thing.  They had on display some of his boxes with the contents spilled out.  Somehow my junk pales next to Andy's.

I have to quit thinking that future historians are going to want to sift through my stuff.

I have to quit thinking that I am helping the environment by keeping all this out of a landfill somewhere.

I have to quit thinking and just throw away.

If I find later I needed that, I'll buy it again.  Otherwise, I am not gonna miss it.

Made Again

I have been here many times before
In a life I used to live
But I have never seen these streets so fresh
Washed with morning rain

I have seen this face a thousand times
Every morning of my life
But I never saw these eyes so clear
Free of doubt and pain

Like the whole world has been made again

I have been here many times before
In a life I used to live...

And it's all because you made me see
What is false and what is true
Like the inside and the outside of me
Is being made again by you

And it's all because you made me see
What is false and what is true
Like the inside and the outside of me
Has been made again by you

Like a bright new morning
Like a bright new day
I woke up from a deep sleep
I woke up from a bad dream

To a brand new morning
To a brand new day
Like the whole world has been made again
-- John Helmer

A Great Day For Freedom

On the day the wall came down
They threw the locks onto the ground
And with glasses high we raised a cry for freedom had arrived

On the day the wall came down
The Ship of Fools had finally run aground
Promises lit up the night like paper doves in flight

I dreamed you had left my side
No warmth, not even pride remained
And even though you needed me
It was clear that I could not do a thing for you

Now life devalues day by day
As friends and neighbours turn away
And there's a change that, even with regret, cannot be undone

Now frontiers shift like desert sands
While nations wash their bloodied hands
Of loyalty, of history, in shades of gray

I woke to the sound of drums
The music played, the morning sun streamed in
I turned and I looked at you
And all but the bitter residue slipped away...slipped away
 
- Gilmour/Samson

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

ESC Covers Tuesday Talkback

ESC fills in ... and here is his Talkback:

"TV commercials showing a car making a jackrabbit start, traveling at a high rate of speed and then slamming on the brakes. A fine example for our young drivers to see." - Parma

This was obviously written by someone very old and driving a Buick 40MPH in the left lane. Young people like to drive fast. Young people have money to burn on over-priced automobiles. Auto makers prefer to actually sell the cars they manufacture. Figure it out.

"How can somebody drive a car, talk on the phone, smoke a cigarette and make a turn? Put down the phone. Let's enforce that cell phone law." - Sagamore Hills

I'm sorry, what? I was drinking, smoking, talking on my phone, drinking a milk-shake and typing on my laptop while driving down 77 at 40MPH in the left lane. Figure out the number of appendages needed for these tasks and win a prize!

"I'm tired of the trend of several magazines having 15 to 20 pages before you get to the index for the actual content of the magazine." - Kirtland

Switch from the soft-core crap you are obviously reading and switch to real porn. The problem will solve itself.

"To whoever broke into my car and stole my library books about traveling and weddings. Could you please return them to the library on time?" - Cleveland

You're better off. Stay home and stay single, that way you can not only save your once-future spouse your incesant bitching, but the rest of the world as well.

"The proposed leasing of the Ohio Turnpike by Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is just another hare-brained idea. The billions of dollars in leasing fees will be passed along to the motorists in the payment of higher tolls, just as in the case of the Indiana Turnpike." - North Ridgeville

Stop bitching and just find another route. Don't want to add another whole ten minutes to your commute? Stay home and watch church on Channel 5...But wait...

"Channel 5 should be ashamed that they can't endorse any religious programs. They should be proud that they would stand for the word of God." - Maple Heights

Get your ass off the couch and drive to church! (Just don't take the turnpike.) Believe it or not, God was quite popular before the advent of television. Besides, maybe WEWS actually is endorsing religion by airing absolute crap and helping to eleviate sloth.

"To Judge Mabel Jasper: When was the last time you lived in the hood? We don't like drive-by shooters, even if they are A-students." - Cleveland

I like drive-by shooters. Thinning the heard I like to call it. Darwinism in its most post-modern incarnation. Besides, if they survived the public school system with all A's and the worst thing they do is a drive-by, I say they deserve a medal, not a jail sentence.

"To the United Church of Christ in Cleveland that wants to ban babies who cry in church. That is very inappropriate, in my opinion." - Cleveland

However, a screaming brat whailing at the top of their lungs during the sermon is much more appropriate. Keep your screaming ankle biter at home and watch church on channel 5... Oh wait.

"I work in a supermarket. Why did everyone wait until Memorial Day to do their shopping? Then they get in line and complain about waiting. Come on, you people. Half of you had four days to shop. Why wait until the last minute?" - Medina

I agree! What is with those damned customers buying things in your store and paying for your job. They should all just go to hell.

"The public TV stations have so many fund-raisers, why don't they just go commercial?" - Cleveland

They Wouldn't exactly be "public television" anymore. They'd be Channel 5.

"The people who have garage sales and price their stuff like it's worth gold. Your mindset is wrong. Garage sales are meant to get rid of your junk, not make money. And please don't put 'huge sale' in your ads, with only two little tables. It's a waste of my time and gas." - Highland Heights

Or, to put it another way, "I am a cheap garage-sale whore that doesn't like the fact that you value your own things. You should sell everything for five-cents and make my shallow scavaging existance mean something."

"Those horrible cottonwood trees people have in their yards should be cut down. Such a nuisance with all those white things blowing around. Winter is bad enough in the winter, not in June." - Parma Heights

Hoorah! Down with all trees. They are so inconsiderate with their cleaning the air and creating shade. Fell them all! We should all stop hugging the trees and start stranglling them!

"How do the addicts [and some times other people around them] on those intervention shows get away with doing drugs on national TV and not get arrested? Am I missing something here?" - Parma

Apparently you are missing the really good drugs. Then again, you do live in Parma.

Thank you, ESC! I nearly did a spit-take on the third one! -- Audient

Labels:

David Cross Tells It Like It Is

Testify!
Analrapist

What a fun and sexy time for you!
Bob Loblaw

You don't need doubletalk... you need blah blah blah
Chicken Dance

Missing Arrested Development...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Break Time

Taking a break...

If anyone wants to guest-write the Talkback, let me know. Here are today's moans -- there sure are a lot of them!!! Have fun.

Toodles.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Costa Del Slough

The hole in the ozone layer
Is all right by me
Makes England warmer in the summer
Them tropical guys had it too good too long
High time they learned to sing a different song

And anyway, what's wrong with the odd melanoma
If it gets us all out of the coma

-- Hogarth

Saturday, June 10, 2006

What the Fax?

Fax attempt: No Answer
 
Call:
Me: Hi, what is your fax number please? 
Receptionist: It is xxx-xxxx
Me: I just tried to fax you at that number.  Is your fax machine turned on?
Receptionist: I don't know.
Me: Can you check and see please?
Receptionist: I don't even know where our fax machine is.
Me: You don't know where it is...?
Receptionist: No.
Me: I see.
Receptionist: Maybe you could just try again, and if doesn't work, call me back. 
Me: Sure.  Why not?
 
Fax attempt: No Answer
 
Call:
Me: Hi, I am the one trying to fax you.
Receptionist: Yes, I just checked with xxxxx, the general manager.  He says the fax machine is on.
Me: I see. Well, I guess I can try yet again.
 
Fax attempt: OK
 

 

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Fiction, Untitled

Randall pulled into the bar parking lot and then walked across the street.  Ryan's house was a short walk off the street, third on a three house lot.  A tiny place, just big enough for Ryan's stereo, guitar, clippers and cat.  And his skateboard.  Ryan was taking time off from the salon because he broke two fingers skating down some steps at the campus.  His mom was a trauma nurse, and he'd set the fingers himself.  Found his own pain medication, and took leave of the salon.
 
Randall had called him earlier that day.  Ryan told him that with his fingers, he could struggle through only two haircuts a day.  But that he'd have time to squeeze him in before his dinner plans.  Be there at 6:30.  Randall glanced at his watch: 6:40.  He hoped he wouldn't mess up dinner.
 
Walking up the drive he saw Ryan.  A long sleeve t-shirt draped from his drawn-out body only reminded Randall of Ryan's heroin days.  Isn't it a little warm for long sleeves?  But Ryan's heavily tattooed arms probably would have hidden any track marks he might have had.
 
Ryan motioned at a wicker chair.  "Have a seat, I have to make a phone call."  Good, thought Randall.  I'm late, but he's not ready for me.  Randall slumped into the chair.  He hadn't slept the night before.  And he didn't even really listen to Ryan's half of the phone call.  
 
A moment later Ryan threw his phone across the yard.  "I just got dumped."  It's going around, said Randall.  "What, you and Jeanie?  You've been together for two years!"  Randall nodded.  "Me and this chick, it had only been two weeks."  But it is amazing how quickly you can fall for someone in a short time. 
 
"She told me I wouldn't be able to handle her past."  What about her past?  "Beats me, she didn't even tell me.  Fuckin' bitch.  Yeah, here I am calling her a bitch, when an hour ago I was planning to make her tilapia on the grill.  Wanna stay for dinner?"
 
They went inside.  Ryan poured Randall a glass of the sangria he'd made for her.  Randall took off his tie and shirt, sat in his suitpants and undershirt on a kitchen chair.  Ryan got his clippers.
 
"So why did you end it?"  It was complicated, explained Randall.  Sometimes after a relationship cools down, you have comfort.  Sometimes it is just complacency, and you only think it is comfort.  You can commit to improving things, it is easy to mouth those words.  But if you still only limp along, then it is time to open yourself up to other possibilities.  "When you used to bring Jeanie around, you had this look on your face of awe and amazement.  But the last couple times you brought her her, you just looked annoyed."  I've been hearing that a lot today, thought Randall.
 
"Is there someone else?"  No, not really.  "Not really?  Then there is."  No.  There are lots of others.  I meet people all of the time.  I just don't act on it.  But now I am thinking that maybe I'm ready to.  That what I am looking for can only be found elsewhere.  I promised her that I would let her go before I'd ever cheat on her.  She doesn't believe me now.  She insists there must be someone else.  Sometimes it is easier to believe that there is.  It is almost better to have been beaten out by someone else, than to have simply failed on your own merits.  But she didn't fail.  It isn't a matter of blame.  It just wasn't right.  It may have taken two years to figure that out, but better two than seven or ten.
 
"Well I am giving you a sweet haircut.  A ladykiller."  Ryan gave him the same haircut he always did.  But it looked good, as always.  This was why Randall had followed Ryan through three salons and kept his private number in his Rolodex at work.  "How's that look?"  Randall ran his fingers through his hair, pulling it, checking for even length.  Is this side just a touch longer?  Ryan nodded.  "You know, most guys wouldn't even notice that. But you have such great attention for detail.  I like that.  I'm detail oriented and a perfectionist.  Other guys might be pissed that you saw that.  Me?  I'm glad you cared enough to notice, and I want it to be perfect."  He took both sides closer in around the ears, and evened it.  
 
Ryan could be high as a kite and still give the perfect haircut.  Even if he needed just a little prompting this time.  And with two digits taped together, Randall was amazed he could work the scissors at all.  "I know it was just two weeks, with this chick.  But you don't lead someone on like you care, even for just two weeks."  Yeah, you don't do that.  "Two weeks isn't long, but it was the greatest two weeks I can ever remember, till this evening."  Oh, I know.  These last two years, we had some great times.  I wish it could have worked out differently.  I didn't want to hurt her.  I wanted her to be the one.  "Does anyone ever really find the one?"  I don't know, but I hope so.  I still want to believe.  I am looking to have my faith restored.
 
Ryan started sweeping the floor.  "You want that fish?  I picked up steak too.  There's lots of food."  No, I've gotta go.  Gotta head home.  I don't know what I'm going to find at the house this evening.  But I've got to try to get some better sleep this time. 
 
Ryan hugged him.  And Randall drove home to an emptier house.      

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

There Is No Other Way

FIRST OBSERVER
The eye sees, the thought flies.
The eye tells, the thought denies.

SECOND OBSERVER
I will prepare for your returning.
(Is there no other way?)

FIRST OBSERVER
The word falls, the heart cries.
The heart knows the world's disguise.

SECOND OBSERVER
I shall expect you then at evening.
(Is there no other way?)

FIRST OBSERVER
The bird sings, the wind sighs,
The air stirs, the bird shies.
A storm approaches.

SECOND OBSERVER
(There must be other ways ...)

FIRST OBSERVER
The leaf shakes, the wings rise.
The song stops, the bird flies.
The storm approaches.

SECOND OBSERVER
I will have supper waiting.

FIRST OBSERVER
The song stops, the bird flies,
The mind stirs, the heart replies,
"There is no other way."

SECOND OBSERVER
I will prepare for your return.
I shall expect you then at evening.

FIRST OBSERVER
The word stops, the heart dies.
The wind counts the lost goodbyes.

SECOND OBSERVER
There is no other way.
There is no other way.
 
-- Stephen Sondheim, Pacific Overtures
 

Fly By Night

Why try? I know why
The feeling inside me says it's time I was gone
Clear head, new life ahead
I want to be king now not just one more pawn

Fly by night, away from here
Change my life again
Fly by night, goodbye my dear
My ship isn't coming and I just can't pretend

Moon rise, thoughtful eyes
Staring back at me from the window beside
No fright or hindsight
Leaving behind that empty feeling inside

Start a new chapter
Find what I'm after
It's changing every day
The change of a season
Is enough of a reason
To want to get away
Quiet and pensive
My thoughts apprehensive
The hours drift away
Leaving my homeland
Playing a lone hand
My life begins today

-- Lee/Peart

 

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Open Letter to Senator Mike DeWine

Dear Senator DeWine:
 
I voted for you six years ago.  Like every other politician, I do not agree with you on every issue.  But overall, I think you've done an exceptional job and served Ohio well.  Under more normal circumstances, I'd be happy to vote for your re-election this year.  Unfortunately, this president and his unprecedented assumption of power make that impossible.  Unfortunately, you and he are of the same political party.  And while I really don't like your Democratic opponent, it looks like the best chance of turning back this executive power grab is for this country to elect as many Democrats as possible to the House and Senate. 
 
Unless you and the rest of the GOP finally do something about this president and rein him in, you're going to leave me with no choice but to hold my nose and vote for Sherrod Brown this November. 
 
Senator, you have served this state well, but this is too important.  We have to end the torture in the name of our great country, the evaporation of our civil liberties in the name of perpetual war, the erosion of our freedom in the name of that same freedom.  We have to rein in a president who never vetos bills, but instead issues signing statements which controvert legislative intent, upon which he then relies in order to ignore whatever laws he deems inconvenient.  Yesterday afternoon, our president's biggest concern was defacing our constitution because somewhere boys are kissing boys and they might want to make a life together.  You'd think this country had no real problems to address. 
 
Senator, you can still earn my vote.  You have stood up from time to time, on the filibuster and on ANWR for example.  If you lead as a true conservative and fight to restore the balance of power, I will be happy to vote for you again.  If you continue to enable this Christianist imperialist president to damage our country at home and abroad, then I will have to vote for your opponent. 

Tuesday Talkback

They moan, I talk back. It is cheaper than therapy.

"My beef is with the telephone company. First, they sell people caller ID so they can see who is calling in. Then, they sell other people privacy manager so the people with caller ID can't see who's calling. What a racket! Al Capone isn't dead. He's working for the phone company." - Lakewood

What year is this? This stuff started, what, TEN YEARS AGO? Talk about a delayed reaction. Why don't you moan about Bob Dole and Steve Forbes running for president too?

"Every day I drive to Warren for business, and the price of gas this week has been $2.59 a gallon. When I get back in Cleveland, it's a different price: from $2.85 down to $2.67 now. Who's really fooling whom?" - Maple Heights

I don't know what you're trying to say, but I'll say this: You live in Maple Heights and drive to Warren every day. That's not smart. It isn't as if Maple Heights is a better place to live than Warren. This makes no sense. And neither does your moan.

"LeBron says he won't talk to a sportswriter who picks Washington over Cleveland in the playoffs. Yet he'll wear a New York Yankees hat in his interviews. C'mon, LeBron." - Lyndhurst

If he was wearing a Washington Nationals hat, then this moan might be coherent. But I'm being generous, of course.

"Telephone menus are the worst things ever invented. Oh, for a live voice on the other end of the phone!" - Rocky River

Another phone moan, ten years late. Now, most phone menus are frustrating, but do you know what is really frustrating? Getting a live person on the line, explaining your problem, only to be transferred to another live person, so you have to explain your problem again, and then you get transferred again, etc. etc.

"Reading the paper today, U.S. ordering troops to get ethics training. I think that should have read we are ordering our Congress to get ethics training." - Seven Hills

Blah blah blah, next.

"It's incomprehensible that our Marines could have done what they are alleged to have done in Iraq - the killings. That they were on their third tour of duty. One tour gets our armed service people post traumatic stress disorder. Bush needs to put his money where his mouth is and have a draft or else get out of Iraq." - Shaker Heights

Ohhhhhh, the D word. Bush has been anti-draft ever since he stopped drinking. A draft will only put a whole lot of people into the military who never wanted to be there. That may make for good situation comedy, but it doesn't make a good military. But it is yet another failing of this administration: they say we are in a perpetual state of war since 9/11, and that is why they must trample on our civil liberties -- yet what has been done to grow the military? Instead they cannot reach recruiting goals.

"This is to the couple at the [Tops Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival] at the concert with Southside Johnny and the Ashbury Jukes. You had a very tiny baby with you exposed to all that smoke and that very loud noise. And that baby was screaming. And you took him outside now and then. When he's older and you're wondering why he can't hear, remember that. Was that concert all that important?" - Lakewood

Aw, baby's first concert! Baby's first ribs!! Baby's first hearing loss!!! Man, it is the special moments like these that make me want to be a dad. That and baby's first hangover, baby's first head wound, baby's first homicide. Yeeeah, good times.

"I often wonder where do people go to find somebody who always picks up the check for them? I can't even get a waitress' attention to take care of me." - Westlake

I don't know who you think is picking up checks for random people, but it sure isn't the waitstaff!

"Why does LeBron James always wear a New York Yankees baseball cap when he's being interviewed on TV? Is he trying to tell us something?" - Parma

Maybe he is telling us that, like his hero Michael Jordan, he has baseball aspirations as well.

"As an independent voter in the state of Ohio, I am wondering how corrupt the Republican Party is that rules the state of Ohio. Every time I turn around there is something in the paper about the corruption in the Republican Party. Anywhere from free gifts, free tickets, free, free, free. Is that the way we are governed here?" - Lyndhurst

Uh, yes. Ohio, land of the free, home of the straight. Or at least, that's what it will be if a certain bigoted candidate whose last name rhymes with "Snackwell" has his way.

Labels:

Monday, June 05, 2006

Torture Update

Andrew Sullivan calls it, once again. I find myself recalling the old saying, all that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

But please read what he writes on this. It is that important.

Gone, but Not Forgotten

Tomorrow will mark one week since I've seen Kerrey.  I am coming to accept that she is probably gone for good.
 
I am sad, but I will be ok.  I am still holding out some hope.  If I never find her, I can try to pretend that she is ok, and has found a new home.
 

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bitter Suite

III. Blue Angel

The sky was Bible black in Lyon
When I met the Magdalene
She was paralysed in a streetlight
She refused to give her name

And a ring of violet bruises
They were pinned upon her arm.
Two hundred francs for sanctuary and she led me by the hand
To a room of dancing shadows where all the heartache disappears
And from glowing tongues of candles
I heard her whisper in my ear
"'J'entend ton coeur"
I can hear your heart

I can hear your heart

-- Derek Dick

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Momo's Dance Party - Rush Tribute Band - House of Blues Cleveland 6/2/06

MDC, Mel and I went to see Momo's Dance Party on 6/2/06 at HoB Cleveland. We had a lot of fun and we enjoyed the show. If you are a Rush fan and are looking for a live Rush fix, these gentlemen will do in a pinch while we all await the real thing. Random sightings of Geddy Lee at Toronto Blue Jays games does not a Rush Tour make. They boys are back in the studio, and a new album will hopefully be out in early '07 with a tour next summer.

Before the show, we took in dinner at Fat Fish Blue -- wonderful as always. MDC had the black bean and crawfish ravioli, Mel had the Jack Daniels pecan chicken, and I had my favorite blackened catfish. We split a swamp bake and buffalo style crawfish tails as appetizers, and washed it all down with pints of the house beer, Fat Fish Brew.

The doors opened for Momo's at 7:30. We arrived at HoB at 8:30, and they were already on. The event staff told me that they just started and that this was their first song. I take him at his word, and accordingly, here is the setlist:

Limelight
Bastille Day
The Analog Kid
Dreamline
Distant Early Warning
The Big Money
Red Barchetta
Broon's Bane
The Trees
Fly By Night
Natural Science
Red Sector A
Show Don't Tell
Vital Signs
Freewill
2112 (in its entirety)

Intermission

Bytor and the Snowdog
Tom Sawyer
Driven
Stick It Out
YYZ
Drum Solo
Vapor Trail
Xanadu
Force Ten
The Pass
Subdivisions
Lakeside Park
The Spirit of Radio

Encore:
Summertime Blues
Hemispheres (prelude only)
Working Man
Finding My Way

Of the three players, I was especially impressed with bassist/keyboardist/vocalist. The sound of his basses was dead on. He played the right basses, a Rickenbacker, Fender Jazz, and Steinberger. He sang very much like early Geddy Lee, and could hit the notes in 2112 the way they were intended. There were a couple of times that he was searching for the melody, the opening of Natural Science, for instance, and a few times that I thought he was flat. But overall an exceptional job on both vocals and bass (although he muffed the solo in Driven...he knew it too, you could see it on his face). The keyboards were a little more problematic. Sometimes they were too low in the mix. And some of the sequencing did not sync up well.

What I would say about the three players is that while they all knew the music and (most of the time) knew their parts, they weren't always playing as a unit. I don't want to be too hard on them. They obviously love the music, and it shows. And while there were some songs they played that they knocked out of the park (2112, Red Barchetta, Fly By Night, Bytor, The Pass, Subdivisions, The Spirit of Radio) -- there were some songs that didn't sound ready, like Red Sector A and Show Don't Tell. Truth be told, I don't think even Rush plays Show Don't Tell that well live. If Momo's dropped it from the set, I wouldn't blame them.

It was not a perfect show, by any means. But the talent and effort were evident, and I think they have the ability to improve and tighten up. Most of the problems they were having with tempo and playing together are the sorts of problems that playing out more and playing together more often will solve. I don't know how long they've been playing together, but I get the impression that they intend to keep doing this for awhile. And they should be able to work out some of these issues.

They did use sequencers to sequence the same parts that Rush would sequence when they perform -- but with mixed results. There were a number of times the sequenced part fell out of sync. They were usually pretty good at adjusting and recovering quickly.

I don't mean to dwell on the negative, or be overly fastidious. Really, it was a good time, and I'd go see them again. And in the name of constructive criticism, I'd suggest they work on the following things:

1. Improve the microphoning of the drums. The drummer was playing all the tough fills, but they would be better appreciated through improved microphoning.

2. Improve the wireless on the guitar. The guitarist had several guitars, but kept running into problems with his guitar cutting out. That was really too bad! He nailed the Freewill solo, all the harmonics in Red Barchetta, etc. Yeah, he did jump in with the wrong lead on Bastille Day after the first chorus. These things happen!

3. Practice and practice together! It is hard to find the time, I know. But it pays off: The good news is that some songs were very well executed. Accordingly, I am confident that most or all of the rest will eventually be too.

I give them credit for this: whenever something did go wrong, they didn't let it bother them. They put it behind them, moved on, and played well. For instance, after a rough Show Don't Tell, they went into Vital Signs and completely bounced back.

And there were some other little things I enjoyed. The bassist didn't look like Geddy, but he dressed like mid-80s Geddy and had a lot of the same moves. I liked when he and the guitarist both danced around during The Big Money just like Geddy and Alex did on A Show of Hands. The drummer was like Neil in that he just looked intense and pissed off the whole time. I thought the arrangement of his kit looked awkward, but hey, whatever works for you.

I also saw Tina (Panatina) from rushtour.com -- always cool to meet someone from the board. She loved it. And really, when Rush takes three years between tours anymore, Momo's was just the fix we needed.

Friday, June 02, 2006

My trip to the APL

I went down to the Animal Protective League office down in Tremont.  It seemed unlikely that Kerrey would have ended up there, but I thought it was still worthwhile to ride and down and look, just in case.

I looked at their book of Found Animals -- apparently, if an animal is found, some folks will keep it at home to take care of it, and submit a picture for the book.  She wasn't there.

I added to the book of Lost Animals a copy of the sign I made of Kerrey.

I then went through several rooms of cats and kittens, looking for my Kerrey Cat.

Lots of beautiful cats and kittens, sad faces, yearning faces, the kind that say "Take Me Home!"

Kittens get adopted so much more easily.  Fully grown cats have a tougher time.  But there were so many seemingly wonderful adult cats... but no Kerrey.

One of the workers suggested that it was possible that she was around my home, just that she had not presented herself for whatever reason.  She suggested I borrow from them a cat trap.  Essentially, it is a cage with a pressure plate in it that connects to a swinging door.  It is about the size of a large cat carrier.  The idea is to put food deep in the back of it.  The cat smells it, enters the cage to get to the food, steps on the plate, and the door closes.  I had to sign off on an agreement that I would not leave it set and unattended, that I would not try to catch wildlife in it, etc.

That would be just my luck, to catch a skunk with it.  More likely I will catch Rufus, the local stray that neighbor Pam feeds and takes to the vet.  I am not looking to catch Rufus. 

But this weekend, I'll give it a try.  I'll set it up, and check on it every 15 minutes or so.

Random Non-Kitty Thoughts

MDC and Mel and I are going to see Momo's Dance Party tonight at the House of Blues.  They are a Rush tribute band.  Just $10 for tickets.  They supposed to be playing a four hour set!  I love Rush, but I don't know if we'll stay for ALL of it...
 
So the FBI is permitted to obtain a search warrant and raid a congressional office?  What a nice precedent.  Think we'll ever see that precedent applied to the White House? 
 
I went to Starbucks today.  Usually I just get the coffee of the day. But when I like to treat myself, I order a venti triple non-fat valencia latte.  And today felt like a day for such a treat.  They told me they discontinued valencia syrup.  WTF?  I just had one of these last Saturday!  One bottle of syrup and they can't make room for it?  I went with the regular coffee of the day.
 
I haven't been to Wendy's since I blogged about their chili.  I pass Wendy's every day on my way home from work.  I am pleased that just because I drive by it, it doesn't mean that I have to stop.
 
I might get this CD. Or just download it. 
 
I finally caved and picked up an iPod.  It seemed to make more sense than dropping the same money on a CD changer that would go in only one car.  I picked up the 60 gig one, with 20 hours of battery life.  Finally, an iPod that will play an entire transatlantic flight.  Now, I just need to travel more.
 
After years of not availing myself to an ongoing open invitation to my Uncle Greg's and Aunt Becky's place at Bethany Beach, I am going to go this summer.  Not sure when, but I want to make it happen.  I haven't seen most of them in years.  Even Brent, who flew out here for a few days when Rush was in town for the R30 tour -- that was summer of 2004 already!  When I was living in Alexandria, I made a point of getting up to Delaware to visit.  That was 10 years ago now.  The last time I saw some of them was at my cousin Jim's wedding, I think. Jeez, that was in 2000?  I've got to go visit them before we all forget about each other. 

Still gone

I am going to visit the APL down in Tremont.  It isn't likely that she is there, but I think I should at least take a look. 
 
Also, I am going to call the veterinarians again.  And there are a few more vets further out I am going to call as well now.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Two Nights

She's still gone.

I had hoped the rain and the storms would drive her home. But no.

I looked around all my bushes again, just to make sure she wasn't quietly sitting under one of them. No.

I spoke with the neighbor kids. They'll look for her. They haven't seen her though.

I even looked around the house again. I thought, what if she crawled into the back of a closet and died? But nothing.

Kerrey has always been a "love on my terms" kind of cat. She doesn't like being picked up. She won't let just anybody pet her. And when she is done with the petting, she is bound to let you know with a little nip. Knowing that, I find it hard to believe that she'd be readily adopted by someone who would happen upon her.

But that said, I would pick her up. And she would sit on my lap. And she'd purr up a storm for me.

MJ had the day off yesterday. Every couple of hours she'd walk around the neighborhood calling her name. I took a walk around last night. MJ took another walk around even after I fell asleep on the couch.

I took another walk around this morning.

Minicat seems unfazed by all of this. I guess that's a good thing. I picked her up and cuddled her and she was all about the attention. Minicat is only a couple of years old, so I figured the day would come when it would just be her. I just didn't expect it to be so soon. Kerrey is only 11 going on 12.

With her gone two nights now, this is the longest she has ever been missing.

I emailed my ex-wife. She lives only a few streets away. When we were together, we'd let Kerrey outside to play. After we separated, Kerrey became an indoor cat again. Even though she hasn't lived at the old house in years, somehow I thought maybe she'd find her way back there. Tam said she'd look for her, keep an eye out for her. When Tam was growing up, she and her family moved into a new house five miles away from the old house. Shortly thereafter, their cat took off and found her way to the old house five miles away. Granted, that was an immediate reaction to a change of surroundings. Kerrey hasn't lived at the old house in over 5 years now. But I'm trying to hit all the possible angles.

Apart from that, all I can do is wait. And hope. And accept that whatever happens, happens.

Thank you, everyone, for the outpouring of support. I appreciate all of your comments and emails. I am not intending to fish for more by writing more about this. Just that it is obviously on my mind and I wanted to let you all know where things stand. Thanks again.