Wednesday, October 18, 2006

#24 in the 47 Roanoke: Transit Epiphanies Series

Today, the bus was a veritable cavalcade of nut bombs.

It started at the bus stop in front of d'Bronx. I like that bus stop because then I can see all the early morning denizens of DB Coopers, the bar across the street that opens at 7 am. I am fascinated by Coopers. And I love watching the snooters who are so desperate they can't even drink at home at 7:30 in the morning, they have to go socially imbibe. I left the house too early today so I made my way to the DB Coopers stop so I could watch people leave and know that they were driving home (or to work!) in morning rush hour traffic and toasted, like Toast. No, not like MToast, but like wheat toast, but not as healthy.

So I sit down on the bench outside of d'Bronx with my coffee from the ultra-cheerful barista at Room 39. He's so goddam chipper it should be a frickin' crime before ANYONE has had their morning hit of caffeine. But I'm willing to forgive him for giving me too much happytude in exchange for the best damn java on the block. Two old street duffers shuffle to my stop and start asking themselves how they are. The first one says "Life is treatin' me like a dooooooggggg. A dawwwwg. Dooooohhhhhhhhggggggg." The second guy says he thinks he's going to Purgatory. He's going to come back as a native of a Third World country. Two frat rats, one in the feyest pink polo shirt I have ever seen stumble out of DB's. I check my watch. It is 8:45 am and these two buttnuggets are acting like it's 7:30 Friday night. They hoot and holler and climb into their red sporty stupidmobile and take off. I can be grateful that pinkshirted dickhead is NOT driving. One of the street duffers says, "Cain't b'leef they drink dat sheet. Serving it for 30 yearz!" ....and his bus is here. The 39. I never find out which Third World country he thinks he'll be reborn in.

The 47 arrives. The other street duffer gets on before me and fumbles with his fare. I swipe my card in time to the conversational cadence between the bus driver, an elderly African-American gentlemen and a woman. I enter on this line and I know that I need to wake my ass up in order to truly enjoy the ride: "What the HELL does a bunny rabbit have to do with the resurrection of Jesus?" I sit down and whip out my journal. This bus ride will be one for the ages.

Conversation continues in this vein as courtly elderly African-American gentleman adroitly proselytizes to the driver and another passenger about religious holidays. The bus driver, a young, spirited man who wasn't of the highest wattage sez: "If I see a fat man in a red suit come down my chimney, I'm gonna BLAST him!" The transit-preacher chuckles and replies, "Yeah, that's the only time I'd pull out my double barrelled. That'd be one dead elf."

I cannot write fast enough.

The bus driver and the transit-pastor continue to kvetch about the commmercialism of holidays and segue into Greek myths. Medusa with the snakes on her head? Those were dreadlocks. Yes, ma'am. Medusa was a sistah. So were Jason and the Aquanauts (sp) sez the buspreacher. The bus driver nods and says, "Yep. I seen it in the Clash of the Titans. I watch dat movie alla time." The preacher jumps on this statement and says that if the bus driver pays close attention to the Greek myths, then he will see they are about the suppression of the black woman. I cannot write fast enough.

Seven chattering Mexican day laborers get on at the West Side bus stop. They are boisterous and pleasant and I wish I spoke Spanish so I could understand what they are talking about. It is a mixture of spirited Spanish and some English but not enough for me to know what the topic is. However, two of them smile at me. I grin back.

The bus driver starts asking the preacher if he's seen Friday the 13th Part 2. It's his favorite movie. The preacher doesn't answer and begins to look at the rest of the riders.

A woman accepts a flyer from the preacher and as the bus nears my stop at 10th and Baltimore she reads, slowly, aloud, "Destined to Witness."

And I wonder what that means, exactly, for me.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Variegated Squash

I am between houses and beside myself. We don't have a closing date on our house yet. My husband has been packing like a rat for the past two weeks. He went on a cleaning binge last night that sent me to bed. He scrubbed the washer, dryer, fridge, freezer, stove top and then MOVED all those appliances to scrub the floors behind. Princess is right. I married a pod person. We went shoe shopping AT HIS REQUEST last weekend. Yep. He's an alien. Better guard the cow lips...

Stem cell research: They want my eggs? They can HAVE THEM!

Aside: commercial that I hate: anything that tries to sell me a car, especially an SUV. Commercials I love: That American Express one with Kate Winslet. Don't like AE. Would never carry one. Wouldn't mind getting friendly with Kate, though. The ones with the monkeys in the office who are throwing shred around and pointing their laser at the pants of that stupid schlub who is not cool enough to work in an office full of monkeys. Yeah, yer fired, dweeb.

Pimp My Ride is funny. Yes, it is. Those tricked out cars make me crack up.

Are you a member of LA? Princess and Les are. Carly is. She was inducted last weekend. Global, Sharon and Darling Nikki are. If you figure it out, you're a member. And if you figure it out, you have to buy the next round.

Friday, October 6, 2006

For THREE cents...

I would KILL my clothes dryer. And I almost did.

It starts like this: I like to do the laundry. Because, frankly, I just don't like the way my husband puts the soap in the machine (you can all just hold the anal-retentive-obsessive-compulsive-neurotic-behavior comments right now. This is my 'thing.' We all have a 'thing.' Yes, you do so have a 'thing'. This is mine. Deal.)

I am here today to tell you that YES, they CAN be trained. After enough kvetching about how my husband throws his clothes into the laundry--shirt sleeves rolled up, pants one leg inside out with all the crap still left in the pockets, sock donuts--he's Changed His Ways. Occasionally I find a tissue stuffed in a shirt pocket, but no more bellyachin' from me. He puts all his clothes in the laundry right side out, pockets emptied of cell phone, wallet, keys and scraps of paper. I feel I have no right to complain any longer.

But today, I wanted some heads to roll just like the change that was rolling around in the dryer. Seems I washed a small handful of change and instead of dive bombing to the bottom of the washer, they hid in the folds of clothes and made their evil escape into the dryer. Where they started bangin' 'n clangin' 'n tinklin' and makin' me crazee.

I opened the dryer and fished a penny out from under all the clammy clothes, shut the door and started things a-tumblin' agin. There was some more clangin'. There was another coin. I sighed, pulled open the door, found another penny and commenced to drying once again. I walked away and after a moment, heard STILL MORE metallic macarenin' in the damn dryer. I yank open the door and furiously toss EVERY DAMN PIECE OF CLOTHING onto the floor in search of the offending coin. It's another penny. I THROW everything back into the dryer, SLAM it (to make myself feel better) and PUNCH the start button again (to make myself feel more better).

I walk away to the comforting sound of clothes softly tumbling in a warm metal cocoon and contemplate breaking out the wine (it's only 8 am) because, obviously, I am in a genetically disordered mood and must require something to Take The Edge Off. Medicinal Purposes Only. But no, I just down my fourth cup of coffee and think about stealing all the money out of my husband's clothes when he comes home later.

Solution: Before doing laundry, steal all money in house. Keep in safe, noiseless place. Keep wine close.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

In Them Thar Hills

Last year, Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell was one of my favorite books. It came highly recommended by Himself (he knows who he is). Himself was pleased to know that this slim little volume was named a Best Book for Young Adults in January.
Ree Dolly knows her father would never snitch, skip a court date nor jeopardize his family. When Jessup Dolly seemingly jumps bail and neglects to show up in court, Ree knows without a doubt that he's dead. However, Ree's word isn't good enough for the sheriff, the bailbondsman, the court or the local ring of modern moonshiners. She will have to supply the proof herself or the ramshackle family home, sitting on valuable timberland, will be forfeited to the bondsman. Ree's determined search for her father brings her to the homes of dangerous men and sinister women--her relatives. No one will tell Ree where her father is, and Ree is severely threatened for asking. The friendship of her childhood friend, Gail, and the protection of her Uncle Teardrop, keep Ree under control and among the living. Nonetheless, only Ree has the power and tenacity to find her father--dead or alive.
The strong, sympathetic characters move through this frightening and compelling story with affection coupled with violence. Readers will turn pages quickly and devour the small restful pockets of description of a land and people as cold as the season. Woodrell's hallmark is his lyrical and bleak prose surrounding the singular dialect of the Ozarks. Fans of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, True Grit by Charles Portis, Addie Pray by Joe David Brown, or Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons will enjoy.