My philosophy today

People don't change, they just become more so.

At least, that is what I have decided after contacting a few old friends on Facebook.

I guess the fun is in discovering which parts of the person became more prominent, and which parts sank into the background.

That's all for now.

Remember, anything is possible on a Wednesday.

A quote from Lemony Snicket

"If an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say, in a pleasant and hopeful voice, 'Well, isn't this too bad. I don't have my left arm anymore, but at least nobody will ever ask me whether I am right-handed or left-handed,' but most of us would say something more along the lines of, 'AAAAAh! My arm! My arm!'" -Lemony Snicket

Happy birthday to me

I had this crazy ass dream last night.

There was so much crazy in it, I can't even explain, but I'll try to explain a little segment.

We were out visiting at my dad's house, and Grandma Ruth was there, and a few other of my dad's siblings- although strangely, there was one lady I had never met before- but anyway, we ordered a mail order "novelty corpse" to enhance our group reading of a certain short story. The novelty corpse arrived, and we opened the casket. There it was. A dead body of a man in a suit. It stank. We felt gipped, because it was clearly not fresh. Then, the stomach started to rise and fall, like the guy was coming back to life! The whole family was gathered around the casket, waiting in suspense for the dead to rise again- but instead of coming back to life, his stomach broke away from his body, shot out into the air onto the floor, exploded, and then the remnants of it just shriveled up into this little stinking mass on the floor. Other parts of the corpse started doing the same thing, until we were surrounded by all of this gore, sort of lurking and stinking around the living room.

We determined that Uncle Dennis definitely had had something to do with this, and we had to save him before he got charged with some horrible crime, because he had probably made an entire business of selling these corpses to people. To determine what we should do to help him, we would definitely have to hold some sort of a family meeting. And to hold some sort of a family meeting, we would definitely need to eat popcorn. So then we made popcorn.

What the?

Musical Moments

Some songs are just special. (It just struck me that I've begun this post horribly. I sound like an info-mercial for "songs of the seventies"!) Anyway, there are a few songs that give me a little rush, just at a certain moment. I don't know why. Here are some of the moments:

1. The first eight chords of Elton John's "Yellow Brick Road," before he starts to sing.
2. "Pilate's Dream," from Jesus Christ Superstar, when he sings, "and then, the room was full of wild and angry men!" That just gets me! I love it!
3. The Counting Crows song where they sing, "down on Virginia and Loloma," because it took me (and Gina) two years or so to figure out what they were saying- and Gina figured it out, actually, I had nothing to do with it. Viginia and Loloma are apparently streets in Seattle. When you listen to it, it sounds like, "downdaverglalama," so you can tell why we had some trouble.
4. For almost the same reason, the line in the Indigo Girls song, "Galileo," when they sing, "maybe you squandered big bucks in your lifetime- now I have to pay!" Gina corrected me on this one. I always thought they were saying, "maybe you squandered six bucks in your lifetime- now I have to pay!" and I thought they were being really petty to write a song about someone owing them six bucks!
5. The Pixies, "Wave of Mutilation," the whole song, actually. It makes me feel like a suicidal teenager, but in a good way. I always think of the ending to Harold and Maude when I hear it. (I won't give away the ending, for those of you who haven't seen it - although I find the prospect of someone who reads this blog and who hasn't seen "Harold and Maude" very unlikely.) (Unless Robyn hasn't seen it?)
6. There's a Beethoven song, the name of which escapes me, that just builds and builds and builds. The whole thing, again, but it's really stupid that I can't remember the name. Ah, well.
7. The Beatles, that medley on Abbey Road, when they sing, "there used to be a way to get back home". Yeah, man. I dig that.

Perhaps next time, I could list all of the non-famous bands that get me. Right here. But that's enough for today.

Feel free to mock me!

And for tomorrow, remember, folks: Anything is possible on a Wednesday.

The picture behind the title

The new picture, in case you were wondering, is of me and my Grandma Ruth, for whom this blog is kind of sort of named- because she told me once that cellar door is the most beautiful phrase in the English language. Behind us is a nice view of Irwin, Pennsylvania. Behind her also, I just noticed, is the dog, Meatball. You can just barely make out his legs. It must be around 1976 or so. Grandma Ruth still lives in Irwin today.

New thing in my closet (The most boring* thing I've ever posted)

I made this new sweater shelf for my closet out of the old refrigerator shelves. They seemed so nice and old school, I couldn't let them go with the fridge.

It's a bit odd, as shelving goes. It's made of plastic tie downs, too, all strung together, and there's no way it's ever leaving this closet. But what am I, featured in Better Homes and Gardens?

Anyhow, I like it. You shouldn't hang sweaters, you know. (Although I guess, technically, I'm hanging them now, aren't I?)

* I guess I should make it more exciting and tell you that my hair caught fire while I was making this, and then on the way to the hospital, Mama called and asked me to pick her because she was getting out of prison, but somehow I got drunk on the way and she got run over by a danged old train...)

The truth about vegetarians

I met one of my friends for lunch today. She teaches high school health. She recently assigned the kids oral reports on nutritional topics. A certain student was doing his report on vegetarians.

The student began, "Well, they're all tree huggers."

Student in audience: "What? They're all trained hookers?"

Another student: "Why does he get to do his report on hookers, and we all gotta do nutritional topics?"

I'm melting!

The fountain melts a tiny area of ice off of the pond.

The lifeguard seats on the lake stay year round. Care for a swim?

Three unrelated conversations

1. When I was a kid, visiting my mom on the week-ends in San Francisco, if there was poop on the sidewalk where we were walking, my mom would point it out to me and yell, "Ew! Shit!" She was looking out for me, in her very non-politically correct way.

2. Yesterday, the temperature climbed up to 45 degrees. Zelma and I had a playdate with Aden and his mom, Nataliya. Zelma was drinking a lot of water from a sippy cup, and I commented, "Zelma is drinking a lot of water today."
"Yes," said Nataliya. "Well, it is getting hot, so she might need more water."

3. Kirk called one day and asked me to take care of his fish for him for a week. I didn't know he had a fish. "Oh, yes. It's in the basement. You've seen it?"
"No, I haven't seen it."
I have a key to Kirk's house. Does he think I just go over there and snoop around when he's not home? (Okay, maybe I have, once or twice, but I was just looking for his DVD of "Better Off Dead", I swear.) Anyway,
"Well, it's in the basement, behind the bar, in a barrel. Toss a handful of food in there every day or two."
Fish are already barely qualified as "pets" in my mind, being that you can't actually "pet" them, but they are nice to look at-- unless you have your fish hidden in a barrel behind the bar in the basement. He's an ice fisherman. Perhaps he's just trying to dabble in pet ownership to impress his new girlfriend, who has four dogs, two cats, several fish and a few hamsters, but maybe he didn't get the part about owning a fish tank, too?
Nah. Seriously, he has a pond out back, and he must be wintering his one surviving fish inside.

What does wonky taste like?

Brian thinks that Wonky Steve should have a breakfast cereal. I wholeheartedly agree. But what would it taste like? Would it be Wonky's honey bunches of oats? Steve bran? What?

I have to admit that, out of all of Zelma's toys, Wonky Steve sure has the most personality.

Anything is possible on a Wednesday

Is that a small bit of green I see? Is that Spring? Is it possible that things will once more grow here, living things?

Tuesday Trifles

Marsha called me the other night.

Marsha: "It's supposed to be really warm tomorrow."

Me: "Oh, crap! I'm getting a new refrigerator tomorrow, and I was going to put the food outside!"

Marsha: "Well, it's not getting much over thirty."

And then I realized just how low our standards had sunk. Not much over thirty is now really warm. Funny thing is, it did feel really warm.

What with the time change and all, it's really odd to have it be light out, and yet still have the world be half frozen.

The refrigerator came. None of the food melted in its brief residency outside.

The delivery guys called and said they would be here in half an hour, then they showed up two hours later, smelling like marijuana and wearing reflective sunglasses indoors. They were very happy delivery men.

The fridge is nice. The other was getting a bit dodgy- broke down last summer for a spell. The new one gets better energy efficiency.

Music for Mondays

This is the anti-Flashdance. (When I was ten years old, I watched the movie "Flashdance" something like twenty times, because I lived outside of Pittsburgh, and it's like the only movie ever made in Pittsburgh or something. How screwed up is that? Zelma has to be 32 before I'll ever let her watch Flashdance- I mean, the main character is a beautiful stripper who also works in a steel mill. Which means that she likes being a stripper, because she obviously doesn't do it for the money. And she has just about 0 body fat. And she takes her bra off in front of people during casual conversations. The ultimate moral of the story is that, if you sleep with your boss, all of your dreams will come true.)(Okay, that was a tangent. I love the video above because it's the anti-Flashdance. I mean, she's dressed as a Dalmation Ben Franklin? And Wayne sees that, like, immediately? I so love the Flaming Lips.)

The fearless freaks

I've recently become a huge fan of the Flaming Lips. I was already a moderately enthusiastic fan, and then I recently saw the documentary on them, "Fearless Freaks". Now I love them. I want to invite them over and hang with them. They are, as one fan in the movie put it, "one of us".

Their music is great in the same way the Beatles' music was great. (I sense I cannot say this without some kind of protest from my father, but I'll go on.) Like the Beatles, they started out with some okay rock music, but then progressed, becoming better and better musicians and experimenting more and more, until they were fantastic psychedelic pop. I guess the Beatles were the first to do that, but the great thing about the Flaming Lips is that they are still together, making music. And the Flaming Lips are the first to do many other things, like release an album with three separate CD's that must be played simultaneously on three separate stereos. (I can't do that. I don't have even one good CD player in the house.)

And, like the Beatles, the Flaming Lips are from a not-often-formerly-thought-of-as-hip place: Oklahoma City.

The Tie Breaker

I don't know how it happened, but there was a tie between Exhibit A and Exhibit B.* What do you think we should do? Please vote in the new poll.

* I can't believe I have ten readers! Holy crap! (Okay, nine. I voted.)

What nefarious plot was working against us?

We went to Colorado for Brian's Grandpa's funeral and it was actually a very nice funeral. The minister had known him well, and he had many Biblical quotes ready that had to do with fishing, because that was something Brian's Grandpa had excelled at. We sang a bunch of hymns, and when we sang, Zelma sang along. She sang along the way an almost-seven-month-old-baby sings- random notes and nonsense words, but a nicely kind of noise, anyway. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen. Of course, I'm not at all biased.

I guess the trouble probably began with the room temperature potato salad we ate after the service. Brian ate a big plate of it, whereas I just had a little dollop. We didn't give any to the baby. Brian later became very very ill. It was probably food poisoning. We somehow managed to fly back home, and after we got here, I got ill, too, though considerably less ill than Brian had been. I still couldn't get up out of bed for longer than five minutes for the better part of yesterday. Zelma appeared to briefly believe that I didn't love her anymore, but we made amends and all is good between us now.

I suppose things could have been much worse. Our flights went well and the baby doesn't seem to have caught anything. We had a nice visit with Mumsy and Kathleen - if you just ignore all that sickness and death stuff.

If you know us, you know that we also had food poisoning on the day we were going to get married, and we had to postpone the wedding. The anniversary of that day is March 9th. We generally celebrate it by eating something nasty that I have baked. Now, since the dates of food poisonings are so close, perhaps we can celebrate each year not just for a day, but for an entire week.