Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just Not Quite Right...

*In the process of straightening out my clothes closet the other day, I ran across some old T-shirts of mine. One was from the time Steve and I went to go see Kiss at the civic center in Peoria back in '91. After deciding to wear it, I was told that no one want to see a 40 year old in a belly shirt. As rude as that statement may have been, the truth of it is quite evident. I also ran across my seemingly endless stack of Jimmy Buffett shirts. But the thing that knocked me most off center was a black T-shirt that was printed with simple white block lettering. This shirt came into existence somewhere between '87 and '89 or so, as best I can recall. Back in the days when the T-shirt shop at the mall was right around the corner from Garcia's Pizza in a Pan. It was something I had done in an attempt to find a cute/charming way around what seemed to be a simple question. Four words are all that are there. And even for all it's economy, that simple phrase was nothing more than a smokescreen on my part. The shirt did nothing more than to let me not say what I was really feeling at the time, because I was afraid to. Now it's 20+ years later, and that shirt still haunts me. Why? Why can't it just get tossed into the bin for donation to Goodwill without any further thought? Why have I kept it all these years? And why, after a conversation with someone, would the person that brought me to the point of having this shirt made suddenly reappear in a dream? Something must not be right in my head. And still, that series of events digs and pokes at my mind. Two decades. That's the amount of time gone by. I couldn't begin to comprehend the amount of material that I've forgotten in that time frame, but this refuses to go away. Of course, I'm not really letting go of it, either. The question was asked, all those years ago, on a bright, sunny day in the parking lot of a McDonald's near the EIU campus, 'She wants to know why you're so interested in her'. There was an answer on the tip of my tongue in a flash, but I held it back out of fear. So I did my usual dance of avoidance and hemmed and hawed until I came up with the genius answer of "I don't know why". And that's what the shirt says on it. Should it have said "I think I love you"? Maybe. That would have been the bold thing to do. Most likely pretty stupid as well, but I am amazed at how effective the combination of bold and stupid can be. Did I really love her at that time? Looking back, that's the label I put on that collection of emotions and actions. And maybe I did know it then. And even if I did, would that shirt have made any more difference in the outcome of the situation than the one that I actually had made? Just too many questions left scattered around. Is this what obsessive behavior is like? I mean, it's not like I'm camped out in front of her house or anything, but why should this still have such a pull on me after all this time? Do you just never get over the loss of a 'first love'? Or is it that I so regret my handling of the situation that my memory refuses to let it die? All that storm, all that mess, from finding a T-shirt. And even though I found the shirt, the answers remain as distant as they ever were.

*The 4' X 18" oak log is pretty much flattened out on the back and is about ready to start receiving some abuse on the front side. Who would have thought that a year and a half wouldn't be enough time for something like that to dry out completely.

*There are two phrases that have have haunted me for years and years and years: "You're a nice guy, but..." and "We need to talk."

*Nice to be chatting with Eve again, even though after all this time it's still just business as usual.

*The folks went up to spend time at some resort/campground in MN with the SIL's family, and it sounds pretty much like the weather crapped on them the whole time. Makes me pretty glad we didn't end up going up there.

*The top of the heap for me in the various beers I've sampled lately would have to be Breckenridge Brewery's Oatmeal Stout. Way way down at the bottom would be Lienenkugel's Creamy Dark and Berghoff Midnight Dark.

*Been getting some previews of rather fall-like weather around here lately. Guess it had to start happening sooner or later, even though I disapprove.

*Moving through the past few days in full-bore Quest mode has left me feeling a bit frayed around the edges.

*Sheri's b-day is 5 days away and the plans for what we're going to do still remain quite nebulous. It does somehow involve Chicago, that much is certain. We know what hotel we're going to stay at, but beyond that, no real decisions have been made. Be nice to get that squared away tomorrow, if possible.

*It wasn't quite lime green, and it wasn't quite neon green, but it was somewhat close to both of those colors. Fortunately for me, it wasn't quite opaque, either.

*Whatever cold bug it was that knocked Sheri flat for four days seems to have only given me a glancing blow on the way out the door. Good for me, bad for her. A weekend lost to illness is never a fun thing.

*I've never really worked a lot with glass. Mostly because I don't know how to. And I'm really not fond enough of being cut by glass to go through a prolonged experimental stage. About the only way I had found to do any type of shaping or cutting was to use a rod saw and to keep everything wet. Tried heat splitting, but didn't have a lot of luck with that either. So, I kinda gave up on glass. Until last night. I'd had some ideas for a couple of projects that involved including some glass bits, and a couple that involved bone. Neither material is one that has a dust that you really want to be breathing. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to drag out the wet grinder and see what it could do with both of these materials. Turns out that it doesn't work badly on either. Just not something you want to have to use for removing large amounts of material, since it takes forever. But, the constant water bath keeps the material cool, and eliminates just about all the dust generated in the grinding process. The one thing to really remember, though, is that glass slurry is still an incredibly abrasive and irritating material. Which explains exactly how I managed to grind a big patch of skin off my finger in the blink of an eye.

*Been having a yen to play Memoir '44 lately, so maybe I'll do that tomorrow. I think I'll run the Normandy Beach scenario and see what happens if I play the Allied side this time around.


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