Friday, May 30, 2008

You've got a sensitive conscience, Dan, and that's not my favorite part of you

Crowe said that to Bale in 3:10 to Yuma. Crowe had another great line, saying, "Even bad men love their mamas'" as he threw the railroad bounty hunter off of the cliff.

I'm not a big fan of westerns and the whole white hat/black hat thing. Could never get into John Wayne and his tough guy "I'm gonna kick your butt, you varmint", persona with the guys and his "Aw shucks, pretty lady" with the women. I grew up watching movies in the 70's with their sad sack anti-heros and all. Maybe that's why. Plus, on Saturday afternoons we had a lot of swamp dwelling monsters and radioactive, city destroying insects to deal with. But, with that bit of trivia out of the way, I pretty much enjoyed 3:10 to Yuma.

You ever been walking through town, you and a friend, and you each thought the other was leading? You thought you were following them somewhere and they, in turn, think they are following you. So you kinda meander all over the sidewalk, drift away from each other then over correct course and bump into each other until finally one of you says, "Just where in the heck are we going, anyway?" And the other of you turns and says, "I don't know. I thought I was following you someplace." Used to happen to me and FRL a lot back in the day, in San Diego and, surprisingly enough, Olongapo, Philippines. Two meandering fools. Anyway, we're still fast (as opposed to quick, I suppose) friends and the phenomena is known, I believe, as Asynchronous Buddyism. Or at least it should be.

Not much going on. Still sitting in a hotel in Irving, Texas and calling it Dallas. I have tomorrow off and intend to go exploring. Maybe hit a dance hall in the evening if my yankee co-hort is up to it. I have been listening to a great station that plays the singer songwriters I like. I tuned it in and they played Billy Joe Shaver followed by Todd Snider. There was some Robert Earl Keen and a few others that escape me right now. They are all folks who have been around a while and have been pretty prolific. They all have large followings for their shows, but you just DO NOT hear them on the radio. All things considered, I could move here just for the radio station.

It's the stupid economy, out
Ramblin' Ed

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Waiting for the third shoe to drop

OK, Irving , Texas.
Strike one, my smoking room turned out to be not. I am carrying my good cigars with me.

Strike two, what do you mean Irving's dry!?! It's 2008, who still votes themselves dry? No, seriously.

Strike three...well, I'm just waiting to see. Hopefully it's not womens burkahs or something.

Dang trogledyte Texans.
Is there vengence up in heaven or are those things left behind, out
Ramblin' Ed

Friday, May 23, 2008

Little pictures have big ears

I did not get out in Denver as I had hoped. First off I wa busy working and the city was actually 15 or 20 miles away. I stayed in what amounted to a little hotel village near the airport, a dot of 7 hotels, a Bennigans and a Ruby Tuesdays, surrounded by prarie and tumbleweeds. And squished prarie dogs who, apparently, for all their scurrying around, aren't all that fast. Or maybe they're just not nimble. But they flatten out nicely, little tan dots on the blacktop.

Here are some pics from my one day off in NM. And yes, I know I am no Annie Liebowitz.

Hard to follow the road, actually. There were just bits and pieces of it. Mostly you'd drive a couple of miles and it would dump you on I-40. Disappointing. But I'm taking credit for the drive anyway.
RT 66 getting ready to end on me. Again.

The suburbs. Note the telephone box. CVS or Walgreens can't be far behind.
It was hot. I know, I know... it's a DRY heat. The beer was not hot . twas tasty, too.

The title is, of course, an obscure John Prine lyric from "Sam Stone"

With a two pack habit and a motel tan, out
Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Alba Qwirky

You gotta love a town that you need 2 days to learn to spell. I'd get started, I'd get finished, it wouldn't look right so I'd throw in another "u".Yep, Albuquerque. Pretty place. If I was gonna be here a couple of more days I could go see Shooter & Charlie again. Yeah, Charlie Daniels' Volunteer Jam is headed into town. I'd go see Shooter again. And this time I'd buy a T-shirt.

I do have one and two thirds days off here before hopping over to Denver so I intend to cruise Route 66 for a little while and also possibly head towards, or even into, Santa Fe. It's all high desert and mountians, not so much condos and strip malls like I left behind. Maybe soothe the soul a little bit for a change.

Left my camera at home and that sucks! I knew I'd be in New Mexico and Colorado and I knew I'd want pictures. If I could get little Canon-san to snap off pictures using my telekinetic powers well,.... well actually I'd still just have pictures of a desk drawer.

Schedule has been brutal. Boston 2 days - home 1 1/2 days - Albuquerque 4 days - Denver 4 days - home 2 days - Dallas 4 days - Miami 2 days - then, hopefully, home for a couple of weeks. Here's hoping. I know I will be rewarded in the long run, but in the short run I'M TIRED. I have been on the road so much tht I am literally getting on planes and forgetting where they're headed.

OK, I don't forget the final destination, I just forget the transfer airport. I knew I was coming here and that the flight from Tampa was at 1340. I always have to get the paper out to verify the airline because I bounce between US Air and United like a bingo ball. So anyway, I guess United was having issues with a flight or something because a rep met me at the head of the line and asked me where I was flying to. And I just looked at her because, truthfully, I had no idea. I went for the paper and instead she asked what time my flight was. "One forty," I said. "Oh, then you're headed to Dulles." "OK." I mean, what else could I say. I knew Iwas flying to an airport to change planes and hadn't really paid attention which one, although if asked to guess I'd have said Charlotte or Philly.

I must have seemed "special", if you know what I mean, because she directed me to a self serve kiosk and offered to help walk me through it. "It's alright," I said with a smile, "I'm actually pretty good at this."

I am telling you, there is nothing for me to blog about. We road tripped out to rural Hernando County and bought a 9.8 HP outboard for our fishing dinghy, but so far all I have been able to do with it is hang it on a saw horse. I didn't even get to wipe it down, DRE did that. The fella selling the motor was way out in the woods and had a 4 year old son who, not once, not twice, but three times referred to me as a blockhead. Kinda cute, quite anachronistic, and after the first time, not particularly appreciated.

Well, gotta go get some free hotel chow, shave my whiskers, and head for work. Yes, I know it's Saturday but TSA, much like rust itself, never sleeps.

It's better to burn out.....
Ramblin' Ed
PS: I wrote this the next day, so I included it. Read it slowly, not quickly. It's more a lament than a ditty.
Rode 18 May 2008

Been on the road again
Nowadays it's another plane
City after city after town
Lights dance and call me here
Put the rental car into gear
Like it's gonna bring me up
or calm me down

In my hotel room
If I can tell the truth
Looks just like L.A. did, and Boston too
A sort of sameness, as it were
Of days that jumble into blur
And the cell phone's thin line
Holding me to you

Been working without end
Get some money more to spend
A hearty well done, son, now hit the road
Could you by the way
Swing out Vegas way
There's still money to be made
Stuff to be sold

Another hotel room
I gotta tell the truth
Could be Denver, could be Baltimore
Stucco walls and crappy chairs
Running out of underwear
Changed my flights again,
But I'm homeward soon

A tradeoff I made when
We needed money more to spend
I know I'm thinking what you're thinking too
A lonliness that fades to blur
A quietness that still disturbs
And the cell phone's thin line
Holding me to you


Friday, May 09, 2008

Easily happy or happily easy?

I was thinking like I do sometimes. Like I do when the Adirondack chair is pulled up tight under the tangerine tree, while the sweet smell of the delicate white blossoms wafts in and out, in and out, coaxing forth memories of my sun soaked youth. Questions tug at the sleeves of my thoughts, wonderings of great and not so great import, each waiting its lazy turn to bask in the briefest of ponderment before flitting nervously off. Am I happy because I’m easy? Am I easy because I’m happy? Yes. I think I am.

In the soft recess of the sultry semi-shade I am a true southern son. I know the heat as an old, dear friend. It’s the kind of friend that you may sometimes discount, but whom you ignore at your peril. A friend who’s hot, heavy, humid breath on your arms, in your hair, and certainly in the small of your back, slips and slides, winking with an easy smile and thinly veiled menace.
Yes, I am a southern son. Magnolias welcome me home as surely as the Spanish Moss could not possibly be more indifferent to my comings and goings. Salt marshes give way to brackish creeks that wander off into the cool, comfortable shade of knobby kneed cypress trees. The sun kills that which cannot shake his burning stare, but, benevolently, grows in a tall and graceful beauty that what it could not kill. I am a southern son. I understand beauty hides a dangerous bent.
Take me somewhere trouble don't go. Make me someone trouble don't know, out
Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Out on a limb without a paddle

Gonna recount something that happens to me. Before I do, I just want to point out that I'm nothing special. And I'm not saying that you don't have the same experience. I doubt it, but I ain't calling you a liar if you say you do. Here goes.

I get coffee in my eyes a lot. I get it in my lap a lot, but that's from watching TV at 0400, in a recliner, with the coffee cup open and my eyes not really. Snooze then dump. But in my eyes, that's a little more inexplicable. Well, not really inexplicable. More inelegant. Yeah, that's it.
I use a travel mug. Lid off at home and lid on in the auto. It's my life and I choose to live it moderately dangerously. At home (or in the office) I'll hit me off a big ol' swig and pull the cup back down. It's a rather quick motion because I'm a rather slothful guy. The un-drunk coffee dutifully sloshes back down, meeting up with the coffee that never had a chance , and they collide into a little wave, with a sea spray-like effect that projects hot coffee into my eye. Kinda sucks, but other than being more careful, what you gonna do?
Been traveling and working and teaching and landscaping. For those of you that wrote... ok, more realistically, those of you who thought about writing but didn't.... to see if I was OK, I am , thanks. I mean, not to put too fine a point on it but I could have been lying in a bleeding, misshapen heap at the foot of the stairs, if I had stairs, and none of you would have inquired about my absence. Shame on you. Both of you.

But I have been most busy with work, teaching lessons that are written and writing lessons that will need teaching.It is a very rewarding job, in a mind numblingly boring sort of way. I can cut, paste, and powerpoint with one hand. Yee-haw.

I would have to say that that's all for now. There was more, of course, but I have forgotten what it was. Oh yeah, I was gonna tell you what a good show PBS's "Carrier" turned out to be. It shows flight ops naturally, and port calls. But it also shows cleaning the berthing compartment, NJP, and other less than sterling moments of real navy life. I used to be in the navy. Now I'm just some sort of public television navy groupie. Dang.

There's a girl in my back seat, asleep in her bare feet
And my trunk's full of Shiner Bock and Lone Star, out
Ramblin' Ed