Thursday, March 20, 2008
Spring is finally being forced to take a very reluctant foothold on northern Illinois. I personally suspect that some type of legal action was needed to incite the beginning of spring this year. We’ve had some nice temps, but the sun seems to be spending it’s time elsewhere. It’s almost like October out there, but with more mud. Most of the snow has melted away, but the weathermen keep saying some more is going to show up tonight. To the tune of 2-6". Oh, goody. I was really really hoping to be able to destroy the last few remaining muscle fibers in my back. Actually, it might not be a bad thing. Maybe it will cover up all the trash, dead plants, and whatnot that seem to have found their way in to my yard over the winter (at least for another few days). Then it will be time to trade the snow shovel for the rake and the mower, and the battle of the yard will begin once again. In the spirit of lending a hand, the Thundering Herd has demolished the grass under the south maple tree, and seems to take great delight in finding new and exciting ways to encrust themselves with mud. So much for having 3 nice and clean, soft, good smelling dogs. I see much grass seed in my near future, which, the Herd will no doubt find terribly tasty. That won’t do anything to stop the immediate appearance of more brown pawprints on the carpet and furniture, though. I also greatly enjoy the little mud nuggets I find strewn in every level of my bed. On the plus side, the new (to us) vacuum cleaner does a bang up job. NEWS FLASH!!!! For those of you who may not have been paying any degree of attention at all: what you just read was the exact moment in time when I got even older. Whatever meager supply of Cool Points I may have had in stock were stripped from me at the exact instant I expressed any degree of enthusiasm whatsoever for a vacuum cleaner.
Boy, ain’t watching the economy go completely down the crapper just the most fun you’ve had lately? I could just poop. A savings account is now worth less than nothing, the value of investments is dropping at the speed of light, and all I can see in my head is Kevin Bacon at the end of Animal House standing in the street and screaming ’All is well!!’ I think I’ll go hide under my bed for a while. Like a year or two. Figures that the time right after DeKalb announces that the ne high school is going to be built within eyeline of where we live now, the market tanks. Again, I could just poop. Although it would be a good time for us to buy a new house, unloading the one we have would be highly problematic under the best circumstances. Now that one bathroom has gotten remodeled (Yay, but with a $2500 price tag), all that we have left to do to make the house marketable is to redo the other two bathrooms, replace the furnace and maybe the hot water heater, and paint the outside. Looks to me like we’re gonna take the bus down to loansville. Then, with any luck, we can get out of this freakin town. Between the gun wielding nut jobs in the streets and the tax weilding nut jobs in the government, not to mention the fact that the town now looks like any other suburb between here and lake Michigan, all that adds up to a good reason to move along. It was a really nice town when I first moved here. Now, not so much. So I will trade some equity for a new bathroom vanity and hopefully be able to parley that into a step away from DeKalb. Perhaps somewhere with a nice outbuilding....
To anyone who may be interested, I seem to now have a spare toilet. Not to imply that you would be interested that I have an extra toilet, but more along the lines that should anyone be in less than desperate need of a toilet, I currently find myself with 1 more than I can actually use. Hmmmm. That’s not quite right, either. Crapper, anyone? Works fine, plain white, good for a basement, which is exactly where this one came from. I fear that should it continue to reside in my garage for too much longer, the seeds of mischief will sprout, and I may find myself undertaking some Herculean prank. Plus, Sheri has forbidden me to use it as a planter. Not that I think anyone will be interested, but should you be, just sent enough postage to cover shipping, and I’ll drop it in the nearest mailbox for you. Otherwise, I fear the garbageman will once again be giving me the look of death from curbside on Wednesday morning. If the toilet alone isn’t enough to get your interest, I’ll sweeten the deal a bit further and throw in a ping pong table. It’s only been used a few thousand times, and handsomely complements any decor.
While watching the nation’s economy crumble, and at the same time contemplating taking out a substantial loan, I did what 99.9342000475 % of Americans do when faced with a similar situation: I went shopping. Despite the programming of my Y chromosome, I didn’t go looking for monstrously annoying subwoofers, a glasspack muffler, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, a 970" LCD plasma laser nuclear TV, or a really good (or bad) lap dance. Instead, I hit the art department at VCB. In my defense, I was wearing my leather jacket at the time. On the surface, it was a simple errand. Go to VCB and find a replacement for the brush pen that had run dry. In, out, and back home in less than half an hour. That’s how it would have gone, had my chaperone been with me at the time. But there I was, alone in the art department. I managed to restrain myself somewhat, I think mostly because I didn’t get a basket and was limited to what I could hold in my hands. In the end I left with 5 brush pens, 3 bottles of pearlescent liquid arcrylic, and a small pad of canvas paper, all to the tune of less than $40. Hey, but when I got home and discovered that I didn’t have a brush for ink, I avoided temptation and another trip to VCB by salvaging the components of the brush pen that had gone dry. So there. What do I have in mind for all these wondrous components, you ask? Right now, nothing. I have a tiki to finish carving first. By the time I get done with that, I’m sure some ideas will have bubbled to the surface that I feel like pursuing. Either that, or it will be warn enough to get back out into the garage, and I’ll start work on something else. I mean, really, Halloween is right around the corner, if you stop and think about it.
I have come to the recent and abrupt conclusion that Lab Week is just over 5 weeks away. Ordinarily, this would not be a problem, but this year, it just may be. Having made a commitment to provide puzzles as a form of entertainment, I find that at the moment I have only the base mechanics for 2 out of 5 complete, and none of the actual layout or artwork is done. Now that i think about it, neither one of those has been playtested. I haven’t bothered to acquire any prizes yet, either. Unless I get my scrawny little ass in gear, I am gonna be up shit crick here pretty soon. I can’t remember how long it took me to do last year’s puzzle, but I do remember the process involved more than one redo. I’m thinking this could end in a less than good way......
I think I have also given up starting my morning glories inside this year. Something about the idea of having 7 containers of dirt in the house along with 3 curious dogs just doesn’t quite add up.
The February events at NIU have faded from prominence in the local news, at least somewhat. Merchandising has caught up with grief, now mass printed T-shirts and factory produced ribbons adorn people and vehicles all over town. The makeshift, but earnest, memeorials erected in the days immediately following the event are slowly coming under the influence of the weather. Long dead flowers, water soaked notes, and the odd stuffed animal or two jut from piles of melting snow here and there around campus. Shock has given way, at least a bit, to politicians making grandiose speeches about what should or shouldn’t be done with Cole Hall. The mention of a $40 million price tag for demolishing the building shocked most people back to the here and now, even more so when it was suggested that the state foot the bill. Who gets to decide whether the price of tearing down the building outweighs the grief it represents? Who should shoulder the financial burden? Seems like too much to consider all at once. With each side of Cole Hall being the size of a large movie theater, the notion of losing that amount of lecture space can’t be a good thought for anyone at the colllege. But I don’t think I could easily sit and take notes knowing that someone had been shot to death right in the spot where I was sitting. Then I took the next mental step. Working at a hospital, I have more than once considered how many people have died in the very place I work. Just last night a 24 year old woman died as a result of a car accident. Did she have plans for today? Did she have a pet at home that wonders where she is? What of all her family and friends that are now dealing with her sudden exit from the world? Is her life worth a $40 million price tag? Why were all the news helicopters not in the sky broadcasting every moment of the event live? Was her passing any less tragic, violent, unexpected, or undeserved? I can appreciate how much easier it is too grab the remote and sink into the couch it is than to even think for a second that every moment of every day, there are people dying all around the world. People you may have really liked if you knew them, kids, forgotten elders, total assholes, and people of every stripe in between. It does make me grasp how the idea of heaven has such an allure. But, having wandered far from the original topic, I find myself no closer to an answer to the Cole Hall question. I think for now, I’m OK with that. When you find youself out in the world today, try to keep in the corner of your mind how temporary an event we actually are. Let that temper your actions and keep you more firmly rooted in the moment.
Been a quiet week for games for no real good reason I can think of. The only recent play was thanks to the Princess Cowgirl who admitted to enjoying Monopoly, and that was all I need to hear. I dragged out the really nice 60th anniversary edition set that I have, and commenced to grabbing every property I could get my hands on. Now, if you are indeed a resident of the USA and have not played Monopoloy, first of all, you have blown my mind. Secondly, I will not bother to describe the game, as I think it is part of the Constitution that all Americans must have played the game at least once in their lives. If you haven’t , you are required by law to move to Canada. Sorry for the inconvienience.
*A mocha, Spidey Super Stories, and rubber bands-thanks for an interesting weekend, Kittyluv.
*How long can someone operate in survival mode before losing it? Hopefully we won’t find out anytime soon.
*Is Ms. Sparkly Drawers on her way to IN? We can but hope.
*It absolutely REEKS in micro. Even more so than usual.
*Why the hell did Amazon M show up in my dreams this week?