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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sunday without Football

i've got to stop this.  i can't keep writing.  

i think i just heard a collective cheer from the peanut gallery, otherwise known as the two people who subject themselves to this blog regularly as a form of self flagellation.  Well, stow it peanuts!  This isn't for you, you just might reap the reward anyway, that's all.

Incidental reward-reapers aside, the reason i must stop writing is the same reason i must stop doing anything that i actually like or enjoy.  It bums me out.

Let me explain, no, there is no time, lemme sum up.  Here's what happens.  By some miracle, i come home on a Sunday afternoon and find that there are no pressing demands on my time.  Meaning: my wife is at work and is not there to force me to acknowledge all of the pressing demands on my time.  So i ignore the laundry, the dishes, the house, the addition, the heater that doesn't work right, the grocery list i need to write out for the rest of the week's dinners, the ironing and the house (yes, i know i said it twice but there is a lot to be included in "the house" and it bears many repetitions.)  i don't ignore the kids, i check on them and find that they got their playstation working again and are happily selling their souls to Sony.  So, i grab the laptop and a glass of water and head out into the addition where, due to the broken heater, it is conveniently cold enough for a fricken who always dresses for the outdoors and i plant myself in my favorite rocking chair and spend the next two or three hours just writing.  If this blog doesn't satisfy all of your masochistic needs for self penance you might head over to the Journals and read the rancid raisins of my labor.  But that's not the point.  

The point is this: i had a great time!  i love to write, i love to create, i love to tell stories.  The world just won't let me.  Now that those two or three halcyon hours are history it has been back to the gristmill.  And my name is Gristom G. Gristle.  And when i realize that and that there is no actual point to my raisins, they will never get planted and grow into vines of their own, the world sort of gets a little grayer.  The edges lose focus and i lose a lot of the will necessary to put the next foot forward.

Call it lack of faith and i'll say, "true."  Call it manic depression and i'll say ,"possibly."  Call it life and i'll slug ye but the sad fact is that i think, the next time i have two or three hours to suppress the pressing demands on my time, i'll just watch tv.

Where's the remote?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Like Winter Without Snow

The little key in my back is starting to slow down.  The cup is getting dangerously close to only an eighth full.  Been living my life in one hour increments around all the duties and diligence and i'm having trouble enjoying it.  Now, i don't blame anyone, living or metaphorical.  i don't think They did this to me, nor do i blame Life.  i'm guessing that if i ever meet They and Life, they'll be complaining of the same thing.  i keep finding moments that make it worthwhile.  Precious little nuggets stuck in the cold, clamp of black earth and i dig them out and treasure them but as with most things, their gleam is truly only appreciated where you find them.  Like taking a shell from the ocean.  It never quite looks as shiny and perfect on your bookcase as it did right there in the tumult of the waves.  So i stagger along, with a weather eye out for more but is that living?  Could there be more?

i'll have to ask Dad and get back to you.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

from boxes to bedrooms

We had a blessed event recently here at the Coop.  No, no new frickens.  Heaven's forfend!  Can't handle the two we got now.  Any more and the monkey-to-handler ratio would be screwed.  We'd be outnumbered.

No.  No new monkeys.  (kinda sounds like a slogan, hmm, could be taken as racist though.  Not good.)  No, what we got, was out of the monkey motel and into a monkey heaven!  Yep, i finally finished the bedrooms in the addition.  

For the first five years of our journey of enjoinment, the Mynk and i rented a succession of cardboard boxes that more or less fit the criteria of "living space."  Mostly less.  For a year and a half or so, as we were looking and saving for a Coop of our own, we lived in a couple of bedrooms in the asylum that i was raised in, with most of the inmates still there.  i do not recommend moving one's family into the dwelling of and under the umbrella of their own parents.  That's one umbrella too many.  In our case it worked, incidents involving the police were few and far between and probably would have happened whether we were there adding to the chaos or not.

Then, on Independence day, we moved into the Coop!  Our own little wooden tent.  A rather drafty, painfully small, barely plumbed, ant infested, hardly insulated, frighteningly wired, scarcely kept-up, mouse house of a wooden tent.  We started gutting and remodeling on almost the first day.  On the second day the children of God ceased to remodel for it was bad and started laying plans to build a new dwelling altogether.  Remodeling the original coop is like restoring a LeCar.  You can, buy why would you?

Eight years, several fifty-five gallon drums of elbow grease, a couple of strained friendships, a broken down grandfather or two later, we have finished the two bedrooms.  Not the whole addition mind you, but just the two bedrooms.  So on Thanksgiving, the children of God blessed turkey and real, painted, trimmed and gloriously mouse free drywall and moved into rooms that actually hold whatever temperature you set the thermostat at without the heater running like an alcohol burnin' funny car doing the Paris/Dakar rally.

Yep, i designed a double envelope into my house.  Two layers of R-13 insulation with an airspace in between that actually lends some R factor by being trapped.  Double wrapped house wrap on the outside, solid spray foam in the ceiling.  This puppy is air tight.  If you fart with the windows shut, your ears pop.  As my old boss said, "you could heat that place with a candle," and he wasn't off by much.  

i hate it.

Here's the rub.  Over the years, i've gotten used to living in a thru-way for the local winds and breezes.  We've always slept under a pile of blankets to rival the thickness of our mattress.  Like pulling a nice soft, fuzzy bear on yourself every night and listening to the sounds of the woods and the wide world without, which is almost within due to the breezes whistling through the broken windows on their way to the rotted ones.  i was lulled to sleep by the sounds of katydids and hoot owls, fighting cats, skunks, cats versus skunks and chirping, whistling and beeping, booming frogs.  Leaves rustling was my lullaby.  It was like camping.  i love camping!

Now i hear the dust settle.

And it's warm.

Really warm.

Powerful warm.

And sometimes, someone farts.

Careful what you wish for.  Somebody open a window.