Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bottlencks to creativity

Bottlenecks. That's a kind of weird word although I use it all the time. I used to usually use it in terms of how I was going to get something painted. Although not always. I have also used it in conjunction with poirposes, slide guitars and creativity blockages. Not so much with respect to nasal blockages. I guess some words beg its usage and others do not.

I tell you that to tell you this. Yesterday I brung creative bottlenecks into the house. Well not so much bottlenecks as hinderances. And not so much mental in nature as physical. I'm no mama's boy (usually) but even I cannot type with someone draped luxuriously across the keyboard demanding to be scratched behind the ears...on the butt.....wherever. Just scratch me. Now.

That's right, I went down to the local rescue mission and got me some winos. My how the neighbors stared when I brought them home. Dang jealous neighbors. And besides, they weren't really winos. More like beeros I'd say. I did say.

OK, that's wrong. I have no winos I can call my own. Like I always say, "I'm no actor, but I play one on TV." But what I did do was go down Lithia-Pinecrest road a spell, turn left into the sugar sand dirt parking lot of the blue metal animal shelter building and rescue me a cat. It felt pretty good. So I rescued me another one while I was at it. Now I have me two cats who I can honestly say are real typing impediments. Especially the boy. He's pretty needy. And persistent. And purr-ful.

This is Pepe. He's a boy. He's rambunctious. He points out gekkos and roaches that he thinks might need killing, but I have to do the dirty work.I took 9 different pictures of him just now, mostly capturing either his blurry ear or my PJ clad knee. No, I didn't just wear PJs yesterday. I wear 'em every day. So anyway, I am not a patient photographer. Here's the best one I could get with minimal effort.

This is Yuki. She's a girl. She's mellow. This is kitty and she's here to say/she's a mellow little kitty. Mellow and gray/.... oh, I see I have no hip hop in me this early. That's OK, I think I pretty much peaked with the Oscar Meyer sendup anyway. Anyway, she's a real lap cat and that's ok with me. Sure, she'll rip and tear with Pepe, but it looks to me like he instigates most of it. If they're good today I'm gonna ball up a piece of tin foil and give it to them. It's shiny and fast although experience has shown me that it is drawn with extrordinary frequency to underneath the refrigerator. Yuki, we're ready for your closeup now.

I got me a new coffee mug at the dollar store yesterday. It has a recessed handle, which in my book, and probably your book too although I suppose it's best I not try to speak for you, makes it pretty doggone high falutin'. I photographed it so as not to make you imagine the recessedness of the handle of which I spoke. So go on. Observe. I'll wait.

Now I shall supply a poem from my yout. Yep, still quoting from that comedy classic, MY COUSIN VINNIE.

This was a not so subtle attempt at an "insider" poem. It came out pretty good and was even recorded as a song. You can hear it if I can ever figure out how to record my old cassettes into wav or mp3 files.


Can you hear it stalking
dancing up and down your spine?
The fear is so exciting
the guilt is solely mine.
The words you know by heart
but the tune is just a ghost.
I'm the prince of paper promises
the king has been dethroned.

Did you hear the sixguns
blazing deep into the night?
Did you hide the evening's sorrows
in the haze behind your eyes?
For even as you run away
the lonely bandit smiles.
You know it's just a sixgun.
He knows you're just a child.

And did you read the papers?
Two more lovers bit the dust.
Such unholy desperados,
another notch that's born of lust.
The sun is setting slowly,
the sons are rising fast.
The first step is the longest
and just may be your last.

Well, it gets so hard to smile
when you're only twenty-one.
When you know that it's all over
though it seems you've just begun.
The laugh tracks cannot cover
those last tracks that you laid.
Not the life that you had asked for
but the life that you have made.

Just like a knight in shining armor
as the rust eats through your heart.
You went tripping through the windowpane
to finish at the start.
While the orange sunshine begged you
to come worship on the coast.
Then forgot to bring along the dreams
and that's what hurt the most.

Well, it gets so hard to smile
when you're only twenty-one.
When it seems that it's all over
though you know it's just begun.
The laugh tracks cannot cover
those last tracks that you laid.
Not the life that you had asked for
but the life that you have made.

San Diego, CA
15 Jan 1980

Answers to yesterday's disasterous quiz:

Ciao, main. Out.
Ramblin' Ed

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Just sitting here in my PJs, and yes, I find PJs quite comfortable. They're not binding or prone to crawling up in places that would prefer to remain fabric free, if you know what I mean. And I suspect that you do. These are green, though I also have brown and blue. I have a pair of electric lime green Caribbean Joe's, but the wife mutters unkind things way too often when I wear them. So, anyway, my point was really meant to be that I'm sitting here. In the morning. Drinking coffee. New Orleans style, with chicory. (I hope N.O. is still there. Will have to check.)

Got home from playing cards with mom last night and I had a message from an old navy buddy from Japan. He now lives in Ocean Springs, MS and his place was getting smacked around good by Katrina. Pascagoula was getting 118 MPH gusts, and Ocean Springs is just 4 or 5 miles away, so I know it was plenty crappy at his place too. I've mentioned him here before. He's the one I call Joe Mama. The one who drove us to New Orleans in a Porsche.

Anyway, his message sounded like he was plumb beat down and needed a friend. Said he was in Southern Georgia and would be for a while. Please give him a call back. I tried for 1 1/2 hours last night and have been trying again this morning. I get one of the following everytime I try: WE'RE SORRY. ALL CIRCUITS ARE BUSY; BUSY SIGNAL; SERVICE IS SUSPENDED DUE TO A HURRICANE IN THE AREA. If I ever get through I'm gonna try to make him come down here so's I can put him up and maybe make him feel a little better. If I am your friend then there's nothing I wouldn't do for you.

In fact, let's play NAME MY FRIEND. Here's how it works. I'll post a photo, unretouched for sure, and a little story about how we met, crimes we've committed, hangovers we've shared. Whatever. You have to tell me who they are. It's easy, sleazy. Readysetgo!

NOTE: OK, I was not clear. Several people have thought these were for real people. I'm looking for Speed Racer, Mighty Mouse, etc. as answers...if you answer at all. It was just meant to be a walk down cartoon memory lane. I guess the little made up stories I attached to each one threw you guys. I made it all up. I just wanted to use the cartoon pics and write some silly stuff to make you laugh.

This one is easy. We used to cruise Roppongi together looking for Swissair stewardesses. I hate sake. It tastes like badger piss and you'll never convince me otherwise. No, don't even try. I had a little 2 oz sake glass one night and just couldn't finish it. I wanted to because it was my birthday and this was a part of the celebration. But I couldn't get past the smell, the taste and the mental image of it's journey from badger kidney, down through all kinds of badger plumbing and into my glass. Homeboy here was right by my side through it all. Laughing and calling me wuss. Who is he?

OK, this here is my fashion muse. He turned me on to fine fabric, braces (suspenders to you heathens), bow ties, and accessories, such as an oh so jaunty bowler hat. I went to my first tailor with him. He guffawed when the inseam measurement left me wide eyed and shaking. We are tea drinking, National Geographic reading, librarian chasing, high class buddies. Why he's even a celebrity, albiet a B-lister for sure. Name this gentleman.

Well, home slice here autographs all of his pictures, so if you can't get this one then kill yourself. You're too stupid to live. Sorry, that's harsh, but life's tough. My bud here taught me to drive a stick and how to use the line, "Hey, wanna see me do something fast?" as a most effective pick-up line. He was trying to teach me how to be handsome and slightly dangerous, but I came out more slightly handsome and accident prone than anything else. I did use the "Wanna see me do something fast?" line, and got a little conversation out of one of those fine looking race queens. Made her smile, too. It was pretty cool. A start, anyway. She smiled and this is what she said to me,"Um, no, little man. off." Yeah, not much, but..... she DID talk to me. So, who be he?

Another one that will either be easy or hard, depending on if you know him or not. This was my sensai when I studied the martial arts in the Chinatown section of Cedar Rapids. He was lightning quick and wise beyond his dog years. He wore his karate robe with pride and dignity and was always happy to illustrate the fluid, cat like moves inherent in good karate parcticed right. We were impressed, no doubt about it. We took up a collection the third week, and humbly presented it to him with the suggestion he might use the coinage to buy a set of karate shorts to go with the robe. Identify the sensai.

OK, Speed Racer was pretty easy. But I'm gonna make this one easy, too. One of these people is my old high school buddy, school skipper extrordinaire, the girl with the illegal smile..THE RED QUEEN. Your assignment, should you decide to accept it, and by all things that are good and holy you should, is to identify the other friend in this yearbook photo. I'll give you a small hint: His first name is not Carl, nor does it rhyme with Carl (She said, "Carl, take all the money." She called everybody Carl.). Good luck. Name that personage.

This is Wally Cox, if he were a superhero. And this dude, is without a doubt one of the most underrated superheros going. There's no need to fear when he is around. I met him when he was going through a rough patch in Waukegan, IL. His second wife had left him and taken the pups (she was a bitch), his arms were small and stick like, making it difficult to be taken serious at the superhero job fairs, and he had begun to rely just a little bit too much on the Old Style beer to help him lubricate the wheels of a disappointing life. We wrote some really good, really tear jerking "she done done me wrong again" songs. But soon I was off to sunny San Diego to join a ship. We lost touch for a while. But one day, there he was bigger than life, in the Macy's Day Parade. With strings coming out of his butt and ears. Like he always said: "Whatever it takes." So c'mon. Give me a name.

This was my next door neighbor when I was a kid in Erie, PA. Well, up two floors and one apartment over. But close enough that I can say "I knew him when". You think dynamite comes in small packages? Well, bucko, you are so right. He was a dynamo. He had a destiny. He'd look you right in the ankle and say, "I'm gonna BE somebody." I never doubted it for a moment. The only suggestion I ever made was that maybe he didn't want to wear such flamboyant underwear.Or wear it quite so tight. Or on the outside of his pants. But of course, he did not listen. He never listened to me. Said I was always talking down to him and would start to get short with me. Ah, well. It's moot now. He made it work. He's world famous and I'm studying to be an insurance salesman. What's his name?

OK, that took a lot longer than I expected. Hope the effort was worth it. I live to make your morning. Now you know a little more about me and my sometimes amazing, always entertaining friends.

Ramblin' Ed

Monday, August 29, 2005

Going down to the Red Barn

If you ever grew up southern, and to the best of my knowledge you really only get one shot at it, then you'll be familiar with the term "took him out behind the barn". Sometimes woodshed was substituted for barn. Sometimes woodpile was substituted. Anyhoo, if your dad done it to you it meant you got a whipping. If it was said about someone else doing it, it meant to lose a fight to that person. Seldom was there any actual travel to a barn or woodpile involved. It was what we would call a colloquilism. Yep, we'd call it that even if we couldn't spell it. Now, why do I tell you all this? I don't know.

Yesterday we took a meandering road trip down to Manatee County. To a place just inches outside the Bradenton City Limits. A place called the Red Barn. Yessiree Bob, it was a giant flea market. It was me, Nong and DRE.

We took a left on US 301 and headed south. We poked along at the speed limit, thus confounding nearly every other driver with people to do and places to be. Alas, we did not care. We spied a 7-11 and stopped. Our goal was to purchase Snapples and soda waters. And we were successful.

Back in the Cherokee (Jeep, not Native American. Besides, a Cherokee Indian way down here would actually just be called a tourist.) and back on the road. Spied a fairly rotund hispanic man and his equally rotund but significantly more blonde female companion standing beside one of those big ol wood fired BBQ ovens you pull behind your truck. We stopped. Our goal was to chow down on BBQ ribs, baked potatos, onions and tortillias. And we were successful. The goodness of the rib meal is based upon how much sauce you end up wearing. We were wearing a lot. Had to sacrifice a bottle of Evian to the cleanup efforts. We hollered, "Thanks, Boss" out the window as we drove off. El Rotundo and his broad just grinned.

Back in the Cherokee. We talk and tease and enjoy the warm, warm sunshine as we putt putt along. It was a perfect Sunday afternoon in the Florida I remember. From the looks of all the cleared off patches that we passed, it won't be for much longer. But it was yesterday.

We stopped at a small flea market on the way. I think the town was Parrish, but you could get me to lie on that. Anyway by flea market I mean a largish collection of junk. Nong did find something she wanted. A gong. Yep, I typed that right. I said gong. I asked her what she'd do with it and she said, "I don't know, something." I told her, "Hey, maybe you could start cooking dinner at night. Then you could use the gong to call me." The sarcasm hit her, but bounced helplessly off.

Drive some more and there, folks, is THE RED BARN. But it is across the divided highway and we can't get in. So we go to the next light, hang a U-turn, and head back to the Red Barn. And go flying past it because there is still road divider between us. Hmmm. What gives? Those people seem to be on a different road from us.

So we decided to go around the block. And did. It was a pretty long way because we had to circumnavigate the Tropicana orange juice plant, and it's pretty daggone big. But we got around it fianally and back on the road we were just on. What the.....? How are they getting on that other road?

As it turned out, to get to the place, which was ahead of us on the right, we actually had to turn left and drive away from it and then pull a U-turn at an intersection that is hidden when you're on the road we were on. That's the kind of stuff that makes up every single one of my days. Yes, just that kind of stupid, intersection hiding stuff.

Bought stuff (elephant lamps, shorts, incense, ankle bracelet, etc. Woulda bought a Betty Boop slot machine, a real one, except I left my $699.99 + tax at home in my other pants) and then we headed on home. A good, fun day was had by all.

Saturday I somehow spent $665 at Bed, Bath & Beyond. It was Beyond all right. Beyond what I needed to spend. Nice stuff though. I gotta admit that.

I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination. I am fairly well off and rapidly approaching barely well off. But doggone it, I do enjoy being alive. Nice talkin' at ya.

Ramblin' Ed

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Tracking the dreaded Hurricane Butt, or, Who you calling Greg Brady?

I do not know why so many of my friends are women. I am neither a womanizer nor a ladies man. I am also not a lady boy. So why it shakes out that way is beyond me. In fact, I didn't even notice it for the longest time. I had friends all over the place. I enjoyed visiting them and enjoyed writing them.

So it wasn't until one day I was transferring my old, decrepit address book into a shiny new one with parchmentesque paper with gold gilded edges (A buck seventy nine at Eckerd's Drugs) that I noticed it. Laureen, Becky, Susan, Vicky, Mrs. Powell...hey!, these are all girls.

So I thought back on it and tried to remember if it was in way a "wanna be your girlfriend" relationship with any of them, and no, not to the best of my knowledge. Now, as Jethro Tull would put it, I am as thick as a brick, but still, at some point I would have had to notice if I was getting the come on. Therefore, I was able to reach the only logical conclusion. Friendmones.

Yeah, friendmones. Like pheremones, but different. When you give off pheremones it makes a woman want to throw you on the couch and smooch you up good, even if she don't know why. Friendmones makes her tell you about the funny stuff her cat does and invite you to go pick apples with her. I gots the friendmones workin'.

The drama all day yesterday here in the Tampa Bay area was tracking Hurricane Katrina. We got a live update, delivered breathlessly every half hour, with graphics and the apparently hot stuff VIPIR Radar. A lot of effort and air time for a hurricane that continues to move steadily away from us and isn't even giving us any rain to speak of. N'awlins, Biloxi and Pensecola TV tracking the hurricane so diligently I could understand. But the slight difference, as I see it anyway, is that it is moving towards them. We're looking at, and tracking, hurricane butt.

Me and tad talked long and hard about a business plan and marketing strategies for the production studio we want to start up. He's a terribly smart cookie, although that's where the cookie analogy stops. He's not particularly sweet, no chocolate chips or coconuts, and not minty, although I don't really get close enough to swear to the not minty part. But I suspect a pronounced lack on mintiness when we converse.

As we talked, I asked him, "What do I bring to the table? Where do you think I fit in?" See, he has the knowledge to run the place (I can help, but he is wa-a-a-y beyond me in knowledge), he has over the past decade bought and configured all of the equipment, and he has the local contacts. So I couldn't help but wonder why he needs me at all.

"Because, Edddd (he kinda draws my name out), you're gonna have to be the face of the company. You're gregarious (which I suspect is a sideways reference to me being like Greg Brady, eewwww!) and have fun talking to people. You're gonna do that stuff for us. And be a producer." Yeah, me as a producer. Right. "No, Eddd. Think about it. I never met a producer that wasn't very odd. You're odd too. You're eccentric. In a real laid back, southern way." I think I my have been complimented. Kinda. Or maybe not.

Anyway, thanks for all the comments yesterday. Really made me smile. Red Queen, sorry I was trying to coax your daughter to look slutty. It was just something to do. Jn, good luck with the nose hole. I understand, actually, that ice, a large needle, a small hammer and a block of wood is a quite economical way to get a nose hole also. If you go that route though, wear torn fishnets. It'd just be appropriate. And Murf...Murf...Murf. As always, you always crack me up. I look forward to your questions and the challenge of always not quite answering them for you.

Greg Brady, out
Ramblin' Ed

Oh, yeah. I had promised a poem.

You Were All Needed (When I Called You)

You were all I needed when I called you.
I had to have some shelter from the wind.
You were there, a shoulder I could lean on.
All alone and laughing with my friends.

I have never been what I pretended.
But no one wants their lonliness to show.
When every now and then I fall to pieces,
I think that you're the only one to know.

I think I'm lost and I can't hide what I can't seem to find inside.
I know you always knew me well
and understood my weakness.

Years ago we were so young and crazy.
And what has changed except we're older now?
Fewer are the dreams that seem worth chasing.
I grew so jaded and I don't know how.

I think I'm lost and I can't hide what I can't seem to feel inside.
I know you knew that I was prone
to slip into the darkness.

You were all I needed when I phoned you.
A helping hand holding on the line.
There's one of us that always needs decieving,
and that's the heart I'll have to claim as mine.

I think I'm lost and I can't hide what I can't seem to find inside.
I know you always knew me well
and understood my weakness.

The only one that knows me well enough
to know my weakness.


Saturday, August 27, 2005

Moving on

I suggested to a friend that we could drop worrying about a big story that, if you think about it, isn't much of a story. I believe it would have died some time ago if all "right minded people" would have just yawned and moved on instead of stopping to hurl continuous invective her way. That just helped turn a small human interest story into "news". I swear, we Amricans just love to have our politics all dramatical. I am, of course, talking about Sheehan and her ever growing entourage.

Now, as I think back on this and other recent events, I realize what a repetetive game it is that we play. We seize on an emotional, push button issue, choose up sides and expend great energy promoting our spin on it while expending equal or greater energy exposing the other veiwpoint as dangerously idiotic. This is my parody of a network newscast:

Our top stories today, Troops are going to be in Iraq another 16 years, Mars appears to have broken orbit and may be hurtling towards us, and Ted Turner wore a t-shirt that suggests he doesn't agree with George W. Bush. Let's explore that T-shirt story in depth. First, a report from Connie who is standing by at "Let's Anihilate the Idiots" world headquarters. "Sir, what do you think about today's developments?" "Well, Connie, it's a grave, grave situation, this Turner thing. I think if he don't agree with me he should be deported. Painted an ugly fuschia color and deported. We just gotta change the laws to allow the deportation of citizens who just don't 'get it', paint 'em all fuschia and deport 'em. Kill 'em, paint 'em and deport 'em. It ain't like they ain't got it coming."

It seems we don't get issues...but we got issues.

I finally got down to the La Cubana for a cuban sandwich. It was so worth the wait. I love those things. And Red Queen, would you believe that Babe's pizza is still open? I just told the wife that that is our next meal out.

Brothers Grimm was a pretty good ol' movie. I din't fall asleep through it, which is pretty rare. I was a bit put out at the price of a Slurpee, but the...well you all know about the looney state of movie theater prices.

Last night must have been national Blue Haired Children night. A lot of the girls were either punked or gothed out for the movies with hair dyed blue. You know, 13-16 year olds, dropped off no doubt, by their moms for Friday night at the movies. I got no problem with it. I wore a cowboy hat even though horses intimidate me a little too much to ride. It's all about their friends thinking they're cool and I'm ok with that. I think that ripped fishnet stockings look a bit slutty in the best of circumstances and am not sure they are all that appropriate for Junior High school students, especially considering all the child molesting lurkers Hillsborough County has produced lately (Jamie Lunsford was one of several to get national attention). But, since I am not their parents I suppose the decent thing to do is let the parents parent. I'm sure if they wanted my opinion I'd ask for it.

Well, I guess I've kinda wandered off my normal course. I'm headed over to see an old friend this morning anyway. When I come home I'll post a poem.

Ramblin' Ed

Friday, August 26, 2005

The strange case of the disappearing street performers

My avatars keep going "dead link" on me. You know, my icons. I like the street performer pics. They capture my gentle spirit. My wandering minstrelism. My lack of cash flow. But, like the very people whose essence they have captured, the links to these photos stick around a while and then move on in the night. C'est la vie. I put in a new one. For now.

I was watching a motivational speech yesterday and the little Ross Perot looking dude motivated me. I was as surprised as anybody. But, he said something really, really true. And true of me, too. So motivation took place.

I have off til Wednesday. Cool. Celebrated last night by going to an all you can eat buffet at Golden Corral and then to see 40 Year Old Virgin. As it turns out, I was no 40 year old virgin myself. But when I was twelve, it sure looked like I might be.

At the buffet I learned that where build your own tacos, soft serve ice cream, gummy bears or, and this last one is a little surprising to me, deep fried corn nuggets are concerned...well, just call me "piggy". I enjoyed myself and the company of my brother and some friends. The waddling out to the car afterward was just a bit embarrassing though.

Yesterday, my hero, The Red Queen, posted about coffee cups. She is indeed such a fine wench, although...well never mind. Anyway, that inspired me to pull a former ATF (All Time Favorite) out of the cabinet and press it into service this morning. It's a ship's cup, which are kinda smallish for my tastes, but nice and solid. You can drop 'em on a steel deck and they bounce. Nice and thick. Feel great in your hand.

I had this one personalized from the factory. I just took pics of it, which just saved a butt ton of typing. I will say this, the ship silouetted is the USS Gettysburg. Only reason is because this little rebel child loves the crossed US and CSA Battle Flag and the Gettysburg silouette had that as it's emblematic. So how could I not? The pirate flag? Well, that's the Senior Chief in me.

I was asked (seriously, I was asked) "Ramblin' Ed, what's with all the bling?" Short answer is: Because I can. I have always liked a lot of rings and 1 thick bracelet and 1 necklace. I don't know why, but I have. It wasn't til I divorced my first wife that I could start diverting some of my income from surviving and on into buying some nice shiny stuff. Before that, a combination of not enough income and living in high cost California and some lingering debtage had all pretty much kept me with no discretionary funds.

I got divorced, picked up some rank (read "additional income"), got a consolodation loan and suddenly had disposable income out the butt. If it's gonna be money you can spend on whatever you want then you don't care where it comes from. Or out of. So I bought a $3,300 diamond ring, $750 alligator boots and a new truck. Went kinda crazy for a while.

Then when I married the Thai girl, most of my big, gaudy gold and diamonds were presented to me as I watched, or rather TRIED to watch Everybody Loves Raymond reruns. I mean I might as well have taken them and worn them. Even though the wife would buy them for me I was always paying for them. "Teelac...I need you to give my allowance more $500 each month for 5 more months. My allowance now is not enough to pay for this, but I want to buy it for you." She has such a sweet, expensive disposition. There. The story of the bling.

Answer to another apparently burning question: Left then right sock, left then right shoe. Only variation from that is if left shoe string has a knot, then it'll be last because I need to sit down to fix it. Thanks for asking!

Last answer to some viewer mail: I am six feet one inch tall, nearly that around now, and right handed. In all matters Gummy (bears, worms, etc.) I am, like many people, ambidexterous.

That'll do it.
Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, August 25, 2005

This would have to be one of my first sailor songs. I mention being on line handler's (heave away, heave away) so I had to be on my first ship. And, as the title attests to, Jimmy Buffett was still a central figure in the way I looked at my travels and the way I wrote about them. It's true, James Buffett was a huge influence on me. That, and it's from the early '80s. Anyway, I wanted to share it with you. I used to be a pretty good story teller, and this is an example of that.

But before we get started good I gotta ask, Red Queenie...have those 'shrooms wore off yet?

Here goes:

Nautical Dreamer

First day of September in '79

is the day that I told all goodbye
"There's a whole world a'waiting for someone to grab it
and papa your boy's gonna try.
Tell Rhonda goodbye and make sure she don't cry
But the ocean, she's calling my name
I felt myself tremble as the sea softly rumbled
So I signed up. We're sailing at dawn."

When we shoved off that morning the ocean was stormy
the lady showed her darker side
Old bos'n he joked as he lit up a smoke
"Sure looks like we're in for a ride
Now heave away smartly, you marlin spike sailor
this lady don't give up her dead
when the voyage is over I'll teach you the ropes
In the alleys in old Trinidad."

The blue water will make you a man
and put callouses on both your hands
You can float this old tub in your own sweat and blood
and your woman just won't understand
That the ocean's your life
so you do it again and again

I turned seventeen in the South China Sea
so we passed around smuggled on rum
the captian, he knew as did most of the crew
but like good sailors, never let on
We had two months of Sunday's behind us already
If the course we had charted was true
and the weather was good, we'd hit Singapore Harbor
before even one more was through

The blue water will make you a man
and put callouses on both your hands
You can float this old tub in your own sweat and blood
and your woman just won't understand
That the ocean's your life
so you do it again and again

The journey's go by like a fast fading mem'ry
and facts get distorted with time
Storms, they get meaner. Hard times get leaner.
And the women age softly like wine.
The young, dark skinned beauty you held as a youth
she'll still hold you so close to her breast
though your skin feels like leather, your teeth have gone yellow
and now you've got hair on your chest.

They call you a crazy old sailor and tell you
the sea spray's affected your mind
it runs thick in your veins like the mud you call coffee
and keeps off the chill of the night.
And when the starboard side lookout yells, "There she is, boys!"
Let's bring this rig in 'cause we're home
The kiss of my Rhonda is still on my mind
Like a soft and melodious song


OK, well as you can see I was pretty happy with the whole sailor thing. I don't think I missed a single cliche, right down to the thick, strong mess decks coffeee. That was also the time when I had first started hitting liberty ports, back when we had lots of liberty ports and very few terrorists. I was just discovering that one of the easiest ways to meet women overseas, and to enjoy their company for a while, was simply to be an American man. They did most of the introducing, small talking and suggesting that maybe we'd be more comfortable elsewhere. Well, heck, I was only about a block down the road from high school, a time when my friends had all taken entry level jobs and commenced to working long hours for short pay, and here I was on a beach in the Philippines watching the slow, gentle rolls of the incoming tide while the young ladies came to sit by my side. Why wouldn't I think I had the best job in the world? In fact, I just couldn't imagine it got any better. (Then we went to Thailand. Then Australia. And then...and then....) Yes, the world was a truely wonderful place. Still is.

Peace, out
Ramblin' Ed

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Gotta stop tryin' to write at Oh Dark Thirty

It is about 6 AM. I sit here waiting to hear the sprinklers come on. They used to come on for an hour and a half once. Then I changed it to thirty minutes twice (6 AM & 8 PM), then to fifteen minutes twice and now I have them at twelve minutes twice. That's right, I live in a dynamic, everchanging world. A world of my own making. A world where well water hitting a plastic sprinkler head and going hurtling off across some dark corner of my yard is an event worth anticipating. Um...yeah.

I like words. Sometimes I believe that I could write that I pulled a band aid off of my second to last toe, and do it in such a way that it was not a statement but a story. That is partly a gift. But it is also partly a curse.

A curse, you say, how? Two ways. First, it is almost impossible for me to just say something. A thought starts out simple enough in my brain, but as it winds it's way out towards the orofice which intends to speak (and I started out to write "mouth", thus illustrating the affliction) my brain keeps tossing stuff at it like it was a cat running for the door and a kid was pelting it with play doh patties, many of which would stick. So you get this long, heavy, play doh encrusted (I know, there is nothing good that is encrusted or does that just apply to food?) cat of a sentence. OK, Ed, stop talking now.

Secondly, it is purt near impossible to give a simple yes/no answer. So there you have it. My afflictions laid bare. That is, however, probably prefferable to seeing me afflicting a laid bear. So I accept your thanks for sparing you that.

Reminds me of a joke, the punchline of which is, "So...where's that woman you wanted me to wrestle?" Hahahahaha...I sure do crack me up.

I am traffic averse. Don't like it. Mostly, I don't like other people too much and traffic is just lots and lots of other people with travel mugs and attitudes. You know it's true. With that said I must also add, I have no decent way to work. I used the little PC in my dash yesterday to learn that my average speed to work was a whopping 13 MPH. No jokes Buckwheats and Buckweena's, that WAS life in the fast lane. To steal a raw, wailing lament from somewhere..."Oh! Woe is me." (I hope that was Shakespeare. Chicks dig it when you quote Shakespeare.)

Right now it is just work and study. I am suprised I can post at all. Bear with me, it should mellow out next week. In the meantime AI, Gunner, Sk, Jn and Murf-doggy-dogg, I am immensley enjoying reading your posts and look forward to them each day like a hamster for new cedar chips. Which is a lot. Hamsters look forward to fresh, fragrant cedar chips just about as much as they look forward to anything. Dang anticipating rodents.

Ramblin' Ed

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Let me tell you 'bout..

I got this friend. She assumes, correctly, that she looks like a character from Scooby Doo. Now I won't tell you which character, because I don't know the character's name, but it's not Scooby because Scooby is way far cool and also a dog, and it's not Shaggy because he's a stoner. And a guy, too. So, as you may have surmised, this lady looks like one of the girls. Characters. In the Scooby cartoon. I tell you that because, well because I needed to get the blog going and I don't know where to start. (Plus maybe this shout out will keep her from suing me for stealing the picture off her website.)

So, my least favorite thing about phosphate trains. They'll have you sitting on Causeway Blvd for 15 minute stretches thinking, "Not sure I want to do this daggone* drive every single day". Then it'll finally pass and you'll be moving again.

I listened to Disc 2 of the Bocephus Box all the way to work yesterday and Tom Petty's Greatest Hits all the way back. Tom Petty got the nod only because I had left the disc I really wanted to listen to, Little Feat's Waiting For Columbus, in my truck after my unsuccessful dump run. Dang closed dumps! By the way, to make the double live LP fit on one CD they left off one song. Guess which one. Yep, that campfire classic, Don't Bogart That Joint. Don't...... bogart that joint..... my friend. Pass it over to me-e-e-e......

I cannot believe me. No, I don't mean when I tell myself something. I'm no liar. I mean the direction my life is taking. Guess what I did last night? For homework even. I studied Medicare Parts A, B and the new Part D, and Medigap policies A through G+, with G+ being one we apparently made up so we could stand out from the crowd.

I mean, I'm getting too weird for myself. I dress up nice with a tie and all (good move buying all those tailored suits in Bangkok), slick my hair down good and slather on the fu-fu juice. Still, inside I'm me and it's manifested something like this: "Hi, I'm Ramblin' Ed Abernathy. I have rebel flags on my pick-up, listen to Drive By Truckers and entertain fantasies that often include lingere models and dang amphibians. I am here to help you maintain your quality of life." Don't say it, I know....

I found Centerview Street again yesterday. I didn't know it was lost, but when I saw it I got a big "Oh yeah" moment. Had a friend there once, a long time ago. She cooked me an omlette in her underwear. Or would have if her mother hadn't made her go "put something on". Dang mothers who make people put something on. And of course her dad would have pummeled me if he had of walked in, although truth be told, some things in life are worth a slight pummeling.

OK, smarties. She wouldn't have cooked it in her underwear. She would have cooked it in a pan like any normal exhibitionist would have. I meant she was going to cook it while wearing...oh, never mind.

OK I have to go decide which of the 9 white shirts I'll wear today. Hmmmm, I think I'll go with the white one today. Then I have to decide which disc to cue up for the long drive in, slop some hamburger helper in a tupperware for a so-called lunch, put some buff action to the shoes** and read the funnies. Really, my peeps, there is much to do to get ready. So, um, later.

Boppin', out
Ramblin' Ed

*In my world, and often in my whole geographic location, the term "daggone" IS really a word.
** It amazes me how many people who dress nicely don't bother to maintain their shoes up to speed. Some one in scuffed shoes strikes me as somebody who will cut corners. Maybe that's the navy in me, but I had a Captain tell me once, "Don't just shine the toe, shine the whole shoe. Anybody who'd shine half a shoe would do half a job." That has always stuck with me.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Mr. Fix-it-Up, or, How to guarantee success

Night before last, 2 AM, wife tells me there's water on the floor.

6 AM, suspect washer,working on it
7 Am working on it
8 AM, mop floor again, continue working on it
9 AM working on it
10 AM, mop floor again, change out washers
11 AM mop floor again, grab truck keys
12 Noon, install new GE washer from Home Depot
1230 PM load 2 dead washers and a POS dryer in truck for dump run
1330 return from dump that was closed with a truck full of appliances. Realize that for some reason I can't get the theme song from Beverly Hillbillies out of my head.

1331 Pat self on back. Leak is fixed.

Hope you enjoyed your Sunday, too.

Got the sprinkler system repaired using a tech assist from Dad. Also repaired, or rather replaced, the 2 heads that line the driveway and end up frequently as road kill. Bowed to reality and bought extras while I was out. I fear that they shall get waxed again.

Figured out how to really track my mortgage online. Again, this was due to a parental tech assist. It was an eye opener. Out of $1012 sent, $148 went to principle. Not a real great ratio.

I also realized my attention to detail is slipping. I'll get a mortgage bill and I'll pay it, plus a little extra. I'll get another bill, and even though it may not really seem like a month has passed I'll pay it, plus a little extra. I've done this 3 times now and just now noticed that the last payment I made isn't even due til OCTOBER. Apparently, the statment comes to show you've made a payment right after you pay it. It also happens to have the next payment form, but the payment is not necessarily due right now. Like Dad said, if I don't start paying attention I'll have the place paid off in a year. Life has way too many details.

I did some yard work yesterday. You know, there's a 20 minute period here in the Tampa area that is perfect for yard work. Just as the thunderstorms are rolling in it gets comfortably cool and a breeze kickes up. You have about 20 minutes before the first lightning starts throwing down. I predominately use this period as "chainsaw time", but you could use it for whatever.

More posts from the Zoo end of my house.

I counted about 6 frogs on this window frame. At night, they sing to us. Oh daddy, do they sing to us. They're kinda fat and ugly which for some strange reason has caused me to form this sort of bond with them, although to be truthful, I'm not exactly sure they are feeling the bond the way that I am. Dang amphibians.

Another view. I was having to hold the camera above my head, and my neck being what it is, I was unable to see anything in the viewfinder. Still, this has an almost "casually professional" feel to it. I mean if you really open up to feel the vibe of it. Otherwise it's just an off center shot of some dang amphibians. ***ALERT ALERT: This is a git bigger picture. Click it for photo giganticism***

I call this a gekko. Probably mistakenly, but still I do it. And why? Because it's my yard and I can suspend the rules of polite zoology if I so desire. Don't like it? Then stay out of my yard. I also refer to the neighbor's Boston Terrier as a llama. BECAUSE I CAN, that's why.

Ramblin' Ed

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Mr. Happy go lucky

I'd say that for the most part that describes me. Others might use the phrase self-indulgent without causing me much concern. It's all in your perception, and I percieve me as an OK guy. Ergo, I'm an OK guy.

I did some stuff different today. I signed on and went to y'alls blogs first before signing on to mine. Dudes, y'all gotta understand, for me it's all about y'all. Ramblin' Ed cares about you. And you...and you...and yes, partially about even you.

Went to Celebration Station yesterday. It was hidden off on the butthole end of Palm River Rd., but visible from SR 60. Raise your hand if you imagine I cruised up and down SR 60 for a while, muttering and gesturing and wondering how they expected to make any money if it was impossible to get into the monkey lovin' joint in the first place. Oohhh...I see my hand went up first.

I wanted to ride the go carts. And I did. I took my 8 year old nephew with me. Key words: with me. I was going regardless. Since it was only 3 days between me deciding to go and him coming up for a visit, I felt I could wait to see if he wanted to go. I'm magnanimous...magnminus...I'm nice that way. In fact, nice would be my middle name if it wasn't already Edward.

Wife woke me up at 2 Am and told me the washer had leaked all over the laundry room floor. So I said, "Why the heck are you waking me up at 2 AM? I'm getting up in 2 hours and would have stepped in it then." She had cleaned it up, but now the floor's wet again. Since the floor will undoubtedly wet itself again but the blog won't write itself...well, you do what you gotta do.

Sorry about yesterday's post. But check this out. I went back to it probably a half dozen times and went over those pieces parts again and again. While it may not have done much for most folks, it made me very, very happy.

Jn is back from Peru and crashed out right now. She's already posted a good start, including a photo of a pirate boat that's made out of the skeleton of a dead bird. Those Peruvians are some kinda wacky, are they not? birdy.

I think sculpting with dead animals is all right. I prefer that only animals who died of natural causes, such as boredom or the embarrassment of being at a dinner party in the exact same fur as someone else, be used. But I'm not going to go into the shop asking a lot of questions. It's not like I'm "Ace Bigelow, Male Pet Detective" or something. One of my favorites has always been the dead toads/frogs that were posed up on their freakishly large hind legs, shellacked, and then posed wearing little hats and vests while playing tiny, frog adapted instruments. Yes, the little frog mariachi bands. The horn playing one was always my favorite. I could ponder for hours how hard it must be for him to play a trumpet. I mean, you know, he's really got no lips and all.

The drum player had it kind of rough also. Close your eyes. Clear your mind. Relax. Relax. Relax. Now imagine a frog playing drums. What do you see? Do you see very tiny arms? Are those little armies practical for playing a set of drums. That's right, "Heavens, no!"

AI suggested that I wear my wrinkled up memory shirt whether it fit or not. Well, AI, I'd have to leave it unbuttoned and tied down at the bottom. I've only done that once and even then I had to take it off and put on a t-shirt. I couldn't handle all the people who kept stopping me and wanting a picture and stuff. Apparently dressed in a tied off, midriff baring shirt I am easily mistaken for Jennifer Anniston. Who knew? But anyway, it's really not worth all of that trouble.

Gonna leave you with a poem. Besides the modified Oscar Mayer song, I really haven't posted much stuff. Waiting for the Coal Miner's Wandering Daughter to return. Now, let the (cheesy, forced) rhyming begin!

Quiet Place

Will you turn your head from my outstretched hand
pretend like it ain't something you can see?
Are you hard and rough? Are you big enough?
Are you just another lie that I've believed?

What I suspect. And I don't want to know.
Smiles apart and still the distance grows.
I will close my eyes to better comfort me
a quiet place beside a different road.

When our hearts beat close and times like those
Time's a friend I don't think that I need.
It's an aching hurt. And dark as dirt.
I ain't used to having thoughts like these.

What I suspect. Maybe I don't know.
Drifting smiles apart the distance grows.
I will hold my hand to the flame to see
if love is pain and I can make it grow.

I am tired and worn. Like my heart is torn.
Don't care my stories do or don't get told.
Murder twists like rage in a rusted cage
begs a steady hand to keep control.

What I suspect. What I think you know.
Our smile's a part of all we should believe.
The things you say, they will have their day,
but words lie trampled down beneath our deeds.

Will you turn away? That's a dangerous thing.
Calm ain't always calm as it might seem.
If the songs you hear but the words aren't clear
What's become of lies that I've believed?

I gave the heart that beat for you inside of me
you brought me lies that oh so slowly bleed.

Kamakura 22

Th-th-that's a wrap, folks.
Ramblin' Ed


OK, if anyone can find pictures of stuffed frogs playing in a mariachi band, let me know. I sure as heck couldn't find them. Ceramic? Yes. Dead and shellacked? No.

That's right, I reach out to you. If you can help it's kinda like an obligatin to do so. Go in piece.

Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A memory once served me

I have an aunt, an uncle, 2 neices, a nephew and a sister all in from out of town. Some are from further than others, but all are from abodes far removed from our city limits.

Today is Saturday, as observed upon Ed's Kitchenian Calendar (the same one once followed by the ancient geeks) and I would like to do a second post today from the comforts of my living room. The one with conditioned air. Please re-read paragraph one to familiarize yourself with several of the reasons this may not happen. I suppose if forced to choose between family time and an additional post, well, let's just say that blood is thicker than electrons. So you don't really want it in your keyboard.

As I stated yesterday, what follows now will be of little interest to most of you. It's peices of stuff I wrote as a teenager But somebody wanted this posted. And by somebody, I of course mean me.

A memory once served me to keep track of time
but yours was detached along dotted lines

I thought about the girl on the picture in my wallet
but then I think about her all the time
I guess it's no exception on a ferry boat ride

Picture me a little man
A lonely man, a thief
Come to steal your heart away from you

There's a girl in Milwaukee
name of Janet DeNiro
Got a hundred love letters of mine
When I look back in time
Lord, it seems so unreal
Though I sent them each one at a time

Hard pressed for promises, baby.
Hard pressed for time.
And I'd hardly give a dime to do this over.

Baby, now it's over. Maybe now we can be friends.

If anybody says they ain't been down
Then I say they ain't been trying
And anyone can see just by looking back at me
I write these songs

Chester McHenry came back from the ocean
with four missing teeth and a parrot named Stan
An old wooden leg that he took off for sleeping
and a thirst for the rum that he never could kill.

Appease me. Release me. Or otherwise, beat me, I cried
For time will not stop when another young dreamer has died
Poets have spoken, but no one has heard
And your brother lies bleeding 'neath more misspelled words
And I, in my ignorance, beg that someday I can see
That, I concluded, exposes the depths of my schemes

Stand fast by your dreams, my young citizen,
else they will leave you

That's when I go sailing
on a sea of Annie's tears
a cartoon friend, and me, and sometimes rain

If old men were angels
Then I'd be in heaven
but I'm in one hell of a town
We ain't got no skid row
one street where the bums go
No, it circles the whole town around

If heartaches cost money
we couldn't afford them
Then what would we do with our time?

You didn't really think
that the words and the music would rhyme,
did you woman?
Especially after
You'd known me a little while.
Running around
like a tattoo in search of a sailor
I offered you the chance to go for a ride.

Think of me as promises
that never will come true

I called you here tonight to say
the daily news has passed away
we underscored, we understood
it had to be this way

The revoloution's timeless
your opposition spineless
your brother's in the trenches
with the other son's of bitches
preparing for the onslaught
no matter what they once thought
God has breathed his breath
on men awaiting death
and they sing Amazing Grace

I laughed at the puppets
til I saw they were real

Once I felt like a quarter to noon
hopped on the first train bound for the moon
the ride was too long but was over too soon
left me stranded in Rome with nothing to do

Though I can't really blame you for trying
dressed down like a peacock in drag

Though reddened eyes betrayed me there
I only then had learned to see
and in a voice obsessed with Poe
the madman deep inside me speaks

Jesse James is out there somewhere
burning out a desperate rage
surviving like a desperado
and dying like a man his age

Then in fear you rush the walls
pounding them in hopes they'll fall
mixed with blood and sweat you know
there's another foot of fresh, white snow

I carefully built up my sandcastle dreams
and used popsicle sticks for the floor
I knighted a sandcrab and sent him to save
the beautiful princess next door

There was a fellow in St Paul
said he was running from the law
and asked if I'd be kind enough to hide him

The days are getting longer
and they're not what they once seemed

Will you promise what you promised
when you promised that you never would leave me
Remember what was spoken
we were tokin', we were floating away

OK, y'all I've just scratched the surface of the stuff I want to chronicle. About 1/5 through the first part. I was a prolific little dude back in the day. I just have a need to see it again. I cannot fathom how someone who knew so little about anything really (me), could write some of this stuff like he was an old hand (me again). Or maybe I just give myself too much credit. And by the way, the way I write, just because a line is really good doesn't mean the rest of the poem around it isn't crappy. I can say that honestly and without fear of contridiction.

Reminiscing, out
Ramblin' Ed

Friday, August 19, 2005

Somebody, you know who you are, knows why I posted this. And it hasn't fit since 1979.
Travelin' Ed cares about YOU

Sorry I didn't iron it first, but it's way too early for that.
Travelin' Ed cares about YOU

Hoover...Hoover...where the @#%#@ is Hoover

22nd Street runs right up to I-4. Right past my cigar factory, as a matter of fact. So if you don't mind, could someone tell that to google maps??

Google had me get on 22nd, then off and on to a toll road for 3.3 miles, which was just long enough to pay $1.25 to the nice lady in the hideous hawaiian/uniform shirt. Then onto another and another road before jumping on I-4 a couple of blocks from where I would have if I had just gone straight on 22nd like I will today. Dumb. I-4 to I-275. Get off, a couple of quick turns, hey I'm an hour and a half early so I'm coming back to this here Waffle house, and I should be there any second now.

Any second now. I say any sec....hey, I'm headed out to Clearwater on a six lane road? What happened?

Turn around, back to the area where Hoover is, poke around, poke around, poke ar....hey, that sign says LONG BRIDGE. CHECK GAS. What th...I'm headed to Clearwater again! Emergency turnaround. ABORT! ABORT!

Long, embarrassing story short, I left at 0745 for a 1000 interview. It was about a 40 minute drive and I arrived only 30 minutes early. Some was traffic , but most was me circling a 6 block square area like some deranged, I don't know...a deranged something that shouldn't be deranged but would circle it's prey. A tiger maybe. Or one of them Jack Dempsey fish.

I finally figured out what happened. And I was none to quick about it, either. Hoover was the last road before the CHECK GAS bridge into Clearwater. I'd be so intent on turning around and not making that unecessary side trip, that I wasn't seeing the street sign. Obviously, eventually I did. But by then it was too late for the Waffle House, which is just a darn shame. That's some good eatin'.

Turned out that it was a sales job. But I listened politely and the more we talked, the more I liked it. No cold calling, just responses to people who contact us for the information. I would be handed a list of names every Wednesday to call and set up appointments with. I'd get help getting licensed. Intensive training. Mentoring. Medical, dental, full pension paid by the company. And the part that hooked me, "We want real people with real integrity. If the people decide it's not for them, we want you to thank them for their time, shake their hand (and mean it) and tell them to give you a call if they change their mind. This company DOES NOT do high pressure sales."

I did not send this company my resume. I suspect that they got it off of Monster or HotJobs. The personnel director contacted me, we exchanged a few e-mails and the patience and integrity she spoke of yesterday was evident back then in her response to me telling her I couldn't make a Thursday interview because I was still overseas. "It's OK, we'll wait. Just call me when you get back and we'll talk."

Anyway, I've decided to give it a shot. If it is indeed true that honesty and patience, and the ability to make people feel comfortable talking to you, are the key ingredients to success here, then I think I would be very, very happy. If it's not, and I'll know soon enough, I gots feet.

I know it was boring, but some people apparently wanted to know. You'll know things aren't going well when I use this blog here to hit y'all up to "borrow" some money.

My Uncle and Aunt drove down from NC yesterday. And boy are their arms tired. Wait, that makes no sense. Anyway, Uncle Fred, who I'll call UnkelF, 'cause I don't use real names here, brought me ten 2 liter bottles of Cheerwine, though I lost two of them in a trade for a pound of Neese's Liver pudding, also a delicacy from NC and also ferried down from NC on that East Coast smuggler's trail known to all as I-95. He didn't stop to see Pedro, either. I seem to only know heathens. Pedro weeps.

I was asked if I can multi-task. Shoot!, I used to multi-task and do something else at the same time.

Tomorrows post will be of little interest to all but a few. I intend to pull out some of my old stuff and post what I think are some great lines and/or couplets from the stuff I was writing as a teenager. My imagination was a lot more mature than my brain, and I don't even know how that happens. Maybe I was one of them child properties or something.

People that don't drive the speed limit seem to hold it against me that I do. I was going to send a card, but the finger was quicker. I got nothin'. And bunches of it. So I'm fixin' to leave here and go check YOUR blog. It's what I do, because like my tag line says, Ramblin' Ed cares about YOU.

My peeps, Out
Ramblin' Ed

Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Lions and tigers and job interviews...oh my!

I called Ms. Boatright (if that isn't a good omen, I don't know what is. Actually, I usually don't what a good omen is. But I try) at Banker's Life & Other Stuff and set up an interview for this morning, 1000 this very AM. I printed out a google map to the joint. I already asked about parking because I wouldn't want to get there then be late because I was circling the block playing parking lot vulture. I shaved last night in the shower cause it's a nice close shave and also because I feel we could all do more things naked. And I am trying to do my part. I have my suit laid out and, in a move that is 180 degrees out from most people, I took off most of my jewelry so I could look a bit more conservative...and in need of a job.

I've just got one little nagging suspicion now that I've been on the internet and researched the company some more. I think there's a possibility they will try to hire me as an insurance salesman of some flavor. My understanding I was going to be an instructor, but now I wonder if my "instruction" duties are really "presentations" are really "sales pitches". Guess we'll see. I'm going to go if for no other reason than to get my feet wet in the interview process. I have sat here 3 weeks now. Mr. Goodman, a good man, stopped by and offered to take me fishing, but no one so far has knocked on the door and offered me a job. Dang lazy job offerers, all of them!

I went to COSTCO yesterday. We always shop on days that end in Y, so I was obliged. Anyway, it was interesting to note that I could buy both tires and shrimp scampi there. Kinda makes you go hmmmmmm, don't it?

You can't rent a wood chipper/shredder in this town unless you want one of them giant mauling behemoths, which I do not. Dad says I should just buy one of the $1400 ones I saw on the internet and use it til a hurricane rolls through and then sell it for $1500. An interesting concept, for sure.

Now that I've been here a while, and ESPECIALLY after my Pascagoula household goods arrived, I can find both dumps by myself now. I don't know about you, but I'm patting myself on the back.

You can buy Victoria's Secret underwear on the internet, and I did. They got a lot of stuff and the catalog is easy enough on the eyes. But I wasn't buying for myself, of course. That'd just be silly.

Ok. Y'all cross a finger for me at this job search thing today. Well, cross two since I mentally imagine crossing one finger makes it not so much crossed as crooked.

Ramblin' Ed

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Rurple Pain

I have a somewhat startling admission to make. I'm kinda a Prince fan. OK, fan is maybe no
t exactly the right word, but I enjoy his lyrics and music. It's kinda like a mild flu, I guess, in how it kept creeping up and creeping up, and then Wham!, you realize you've got the fever.

It started in San Diego at a joint called Dirty Dan's down on the Pacific Highway (not to be confused with Pacific Coast Highway, or PCH, which I lived on in Long Beach). They used to play Little Red Corvette and 1999 a LOT. Well mercy, people, it's not like you can NOT tap your toes and want to sing along a little. Those songs were, are, quite infectious. And I thought to myself, "Well, even a blind chicken finds corn once in a while", which roughly translates from the Ed-head as, "Well, eventually he was bound to do something I liked."

Then Purple Rain came out. I went to see it, but back then there was hardly a release we didn't see. We were young, employed, and bored. Most of us lived on a ship so we'd do what we could do to get off the ship for a while without spending beaucoups bucks, and that, in a word, was movies. So yeah, we saw a lot of them.

So I saw the movie not because it was a Prince movie, but because it was a movie, period. I liked it though. I liked it quite a bit. There was a spot where it dragged a bit, but the, the songs. I loved his stage presence. I went to see that movie 11 times. For some reason I never really wanted to buy the movie on VHs or DVD. I'd go see it in a theater again in a heartbeat. But still, I didn't feel that I liked Prince so much as I liked that movie Prince was in. Yes, denial runs deep for me.

The last straw was Ocala, FL in the late '90s. I'd say 1997. In fact I will say 1997, although there is about a +/-1 year error of margin. Or rather margin of error.

I had just drove down from Pascagoula on my way to see the folks. I did the I-10 East (for y'all northern folk, that's east/west in the deep south and a main artery for me as it ran from LA to Jacksonville with stops in El Paso, N'awlins, Biloxi, Mobile and Pensecola. Just west of Tallahassee I turned down and cruised small roads southward towards Tampa. That avoids a lot of the idiot snowbird drivers and the State Troopers they attract. On the back roads you go 85 MPH between towns and exactly 35 MPH through town. Do that and you'll be fine.

That's a feasable plan until about Ocala, where it is easier to just jump on I-75 than to deal with the development and congestion you encounter by trying to press further south on US 41. So I did. But first I stopped for a cup of coffee. I was sitting in the parking lot of a Sack n' Tote, sipping the coffe and listening to this great song. It had a real lively beat, really funky, and the lyrics were the best. But one line in particular hooked me: Act you age, not your shoe size. When the announcer said the song was Kiss by Prince, I decided then and there that I liked him. No denying it further. I've bought several of his albums and love playing them.

I have a love hate relationship with soft toilet paper. The softer it is, the more my butt goes, "Ahhhhhh." But also, the more easily it tears at the slightest friction. So what, am I perhaps a bit too aggressive?

Man, I like Skittles. No, I really like them. But as I've said many, many times after the first and only time I tried it, DON'T PUT THEM IN YOUR ICE CREAM. Really. Just don't.

Is there anything better than a bologna and cheese sandwich that is top browned? (My bologna has no first name/it's just dead cows and stuff/My bologna has no second name/It only costs a buck/Oh, I love to eat it every day/and if you ask me why I'll say/'Cause nothing make a big old turd/like b-o-l-o-g-n-a) Put the bread in a toaster oven with the tray in, put a bologna on one of the bread slices and a Kraft slice on the other. Top brown for a minute sos the bologna is hot and the cheese is melted. Remove and assemble. It's great. The bologna is cooked and the cheese is all soft and gooey but there's none of that annoying crunch you get with toast. Mmmmm, perfection.

I won't put salt on anything but french fries and cantaloupe. Everything else is fine without it.

Don't you feel a lot like Batman when you come driving up to your house and just as you're turning into your drive you hit the garage door opener and you roll right in, just clearing the opening door like you were zipping into the Bat cave where Alfred was waiting to tell you Commissioner Gordon just called and there's a problem back in Gotham City? Yeah, me too.

OK, the wife will no doubt be up soon and there's still some things I need to talk to me about. So, signing off. Keep the face. Or is that, keep the faith? I can never really be sure.

Ramblin' Ed