Monthly Archives: February 2011

Guns.


I own guns.

There.

I said it.

Not a lot- a coupla rifles and a pistol grip 12-gauge. I don’t have any problem with guns or with people owning guns or with people carrying guns concealed or otherwise. Shooting guns is FUN. If you’ve never done it, try it. Honest.

I’m not one of those people that believe if you get rid of guns you’ll get rid of senseless killings. Setting aside the extremely random shoot-em-ups, people will find a way to kill one another if they really want to, whether it be by bullet or knife or baseball bat or rock.

Nor am I one of those people that believe that if we don’t have guns the wurrrrlllddds guuuunna ennnnndddd.

I just think playing with guns is like gay marriage or abortion or breast implants. If you’re an adult and you wanna do it and you’re not hurting anyone else, fucking do it and please, oh please, can’t we just STOP talking about it? (I can’t wait to see the e-mails I get ’cause I just compared guns to breast implants)

So I was surprised by my reaction to something that happened on Sunday.

I’m down on the Island, working on the doggy dreamhouse, and I’m ferrying shit up the ladder from MR.GREENE. when I see two little kids standing huddled at the end of our dock looking like little kids do when they feel like they’ve been caught doing something wrong.

They’re practically standing on top of the NO TRESPASSING sign we have on the dock that Miss Carol and me hope’ll litigiously protect us were anyone to get on the dock and get hurt. I don’t really care who uses the dock as long as they don’t set in on fire or something.

So I wave to the kids to let ’em everythings fine and I’m cool with it and I go up the ladder with another load and when I come back down the two boys are walking across the lot towards the road. Just walking and talking and cutting up and looking like kids everywhere.

Except they’re both packin’ shotguns.

These boys couldn’t have been more than 10 or 12 years old and they were carrying those big ‘ole guns the way a mechanic carries a wrench. Nonchalantly bleah.

Initially? I was shocked. And even though I have no problem with ’em, they’ve been portrayed for soooooo long as things sooooooo inherently evil that to see them outside of a TV show or a movie is, I don’t know, unsettling? Guns, I mean, not little boys.

But as I watched those kids walk up the street I had to marvel at where I’m at geographically and where we’re at societally. I mean, can you imagine an urban metrosexual coming down here and seeing two little boys openly packin’ heat?

I let my mind run around in it for a little bit and then just shrugged and went back to humpin’ materials up the ladder.

Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Update. Finally. Right?

Last week was gonna be the week My Brother and me were gonna put the deck up.

But The County and Mrs. Weakneed Engineer and Mr. Dickhead Inspector and everybody else that makes building a house a nightmarish breaucratic clusterfuck had other ideas.

Get this.

The County requires a nailing inspection before we cover the exterior. I’m not sure why, I’m kinda baffled by what The County thinks we might be using to hold this house together, but hey. You do as you’re told.

So we had the first one. For an hour and and half Mr. Dickhead Inspector stared at nails, making notes. Phabulous Phil kept looking at me, winking, going WTF? is with this guy?

So he had issues. You gotta realize- every time Mr. Dickhead Inspector can flunk me he can force me to cough up $50 for a re-inspect. Tiny money but gnat-like annoying.

So we fixed those issues and called for the re-inspect. And Mr. Dickhead Inspector found new issues. Gosh go figure. Some of the issues were things that he said had to be engineered before he could sign off on them. Do these guys drink together and dream up this shit or what?

Soooo. Instead of hitting Mr. Dickhead Inspector in the head with a hammer until my arm got tired and burying him in the bay, I called in Mrs. Weakneed Engineer. She’s a he but maybe only barely.

Short aside- Engineers are the folks with the knowledge, the know-how, the collegiate training to calculate all the shit that needs calculating to build stuff like bridges and skyscrapers and maybe, just maybe, a tiny 1600 sq. ft. house.

And so Mrs. Weakneed Engineer thought way long and way hard and came up with the engineering solutions necessary for us to satisfy Mr. Dickhead Inspector’s and The County’s overbearing wants.

And we did them. To the letter.

But before we could even call for the $50 re-inspect Mr. Dickhead Inspector called me to say he had problems with what Mrs. Weakneed Engineer was proposing. It just goes round and round, right?

Loooooonnnnngg story short? Mrs. Weakneed Engineer folded immediately and Phabulous Phil and I had to spend the weekend getting other opinions and forcing Mrs. Weakneed Engineer to come out to the site so that he, um she, could get a first hand look and honestly? she, I mean he, agreed with us and told us he’d (she’d?) re-do the engineering letter to The County and Mr. Dickhead Inspector.

So loooooooonnnnnnngggggg story shorter? My Brother and me managed to get up three (as in 3) girders for the deck. They are the pale fleshy white things hanging horizontal on the pilings in the picture.

It’s FUN building a house.

Bad Girl.

Ya know?

There’s a reason some people win the Nobel and some don’t. There are books you read that’re really good and books you read that’re really great.

This one’s really great. Honest.

It’s kinda a chick story about a life-long one sided love affair. The bad girl keeps popping into the good boys’ life for brief visits over the span of their life constantly re-igniting his never ending lust and love for her over and over again.

It’s kinda like the Time Travelers Wife with the chick driving the bus.

And it’d be timelessly boring except the writing is sooooo fucking good. Translated from the spanish by Edith Grossman it’s lyrical and endearing and constantly cool.

If you’re a guy you want to hate the bad girl but you can’t. It’s that damn good.

And hey, on another note, like anyone cares- a LOT went on last week and I just haven’t had time to digest it all yet and that’s why I’m posting lame shit about books.

But that’s assuming anyone cares.

Fight Club.

Ya know- when you’ve been married for decades and centuries shit shifts.

Blaring, glaringly, mega-watt spotlight on this weekend for example. What looked like, on the cover, a fun filled couple of days partying rapidly deteriorated into something not so much.

Saturday was my brother’s long awaited divorce party. We were girded and ready. What’s four or five hours of driving to drink in the sweet, sweet, nectar of freedom, right?

Even if that freedom roams freely about until three or four in the morning and Miss Carol and me have to get up at five sos’ I can drive MR.GREENE. back home again. Hey, whatever.

Then.

We have brunchy brunch with our friends who’re housesitting and dogsitting the boys and the Bloody Mary’s spill over into the beers kinda flowing with the eggs and sausages and before you know it, it’s starting all over again.

Then.

We saddle up AGAIN and drive to P-town where I’m thinkin’ we’ll be honeymooning in a hotel room overlooking the Elizabeth River swapping spit and body fluids all afternoon.

But then.

Miss Carol decides it’s nappy nap time. ALL afternoon. Into the night. To the point where I give up on the honeymooning and spit sharing, and take a lonely shower and wake the somnambulant Miss Carol so’s we can catch the water taxi to Norfolk and the Mr. Anthony Bourdain Show.

So then.

Miss Carol wakes up cranky. Honestly? It’s the reason I DON’T take naps- I always wake up cranky and hating everything and everybody. I’ll sleep when I’m dead thankyouverymuch.

And the much more then?

I’m no where NEAR Mr. Perfect. In fact, I’m Mr. Asshole lots of times. ‘Nuff said, right? So we endured the evening gritting it out like only peeps married for a VERY long time can and do. And then we endured the rest of the night. And then we endured sharing a hotel room. And then we endured an early morning ride back home.

And now we’re enduring tonight.

Is marriage and its’ decades and centuries spent together fun, or WHAT?

Looooooser.

I want to be a winner and yet I can’t.

For my birthday, along with the tickets to see Anthony Bourdain (my personal god), Miss Carol gave me a bunch of those scratch-off lottery thingies.

Thanks babe. Can you maybe steady the pistol while I blow my brains out?

Jesus.

These glittery jewels of scratchy hope are the most despairingly tiny little roller coasters of dashed dreams I’ve ever seen.

Their glitzy little whispered promises of $20,000, 10X, $50,000, bonus prizes, and millions and millions, make your palms sweaty and your nerves twitchy.

So you get caught up in it and you scratch.

‘Cause you’re drawn in. Who doesn’t want free money? And pulled in, you play the game, whether it’s matching PAYDAY NUMBERS or Aces and 8’s or bingo numbers or, my fucking favorite- The Super Bonus Crossword.

And you work it and you sweat and you hope and when the scratchin’s done and the scratching shavings are everywhere?

Nothing.

Nada. No way baby, not here, not now, not today, not never, now get your ass HOME boykins.

But, even through the relentless loserness, I keep trying, keep thinking, keep hoping, that my fortune is just a scratchy scratch away.

What DO they put on those things?

And just like that.

9 days after they rolled onto the property we’re framed. Phabulous Phil says we’re not dried in until we’re black (30# felt on the roof and walls) but I’m feelin’ pretty damn topped out and I’m hopin’ Phil’s gonna be flying his flag off the roof tomorrow.

It’s so goddamned amazing I’m fucking beside myself.

I mean, who says you can’t draw up your stupid dream on page after page of stupid graph paper? Huh? And who SAYS you can’t wear down county gov’mint ’til they finally acquiesce? Hmmmm? WHO SAYS???? HUH!  AND WHO-THE-FUCKALL-SAYS-YOU-CAN’T-MAKE-IT-HAPPEN????????

HUH!! ‘CAUSE YOU CAN!!!!

And who says you can’t throw yourself down in the muddy mess that will one day be a driveway and just revel and wallow and roll around in it and stare up at the bright blue sky and bright white scudding clouds and smell the fresh new lumber and squeeze your eyes shut and think-

It’s a house, baby.

Phabulous Phil.

I have to be careful here.

I don’t want to get all gay about Phil ’cause one of his kids might find this and read it to him and then he’d seriously kick my ass.

But ya know what? He’s flippin’ amazing.

I’m not sure if his son Nick and the boys work as hard as they do because they love and admire Phil and strive mightily to please him or if they’re terrified of an unhappy Phil.

Maybe some of both of it.

Whatever it is- Jesus monster they work their fucking lungs out.

A week ago Phil and Sideshow and Johnny and Crockett and Nick showed up and started framing our little hacienda.

Phil strode onto the scene of our lonely pile driven tapestry, settled on the motorcycle that is his company, started shit up and grabbing a handful of throttle, dumped the clutch and burned rubber, pushing his crew relentlessly.

Day after day he drove them mercilessly. And yet they didn’t seem to mind. Nick and the boys sprinted lumber and spat nails and made my poorly drawn feeble ass dream an amazing reality.

And they did it refreshingly happily. Day after grueling day.

I don’t know how Phil does it, but I want to bottle it and patent it.

I wanna say I love the Phabulous Phil but I don’t wanna get my ass kicked.

Serious.