Monthly Archives: April 2011

You call that a deck?

My brother and me made some progress last weekend.

I know little brother had wanted to help me build the whole deck but a man’s gotta know his limitations and I certainly know him and ours when we get together and theres beers involved, so I’d asked Phabulous Phil to put the rest of the girders and the deck joists up last week leaving my brother and me free to concentrate on the decking and the stairs and I was dreaming about all the concrete I get to hand-mix this weekend when-

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-my phone rang. WHERE ARE YOU?? the currently-out-of-town Miss Carol shrieked. THE KILLER STORM IS HEADED YOUR WAY she screamed. I had no idea what’d been going on. I’d been blissfully working away doing my thing. ARE CUTTER AND TUG OK???? CALL ME AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME!! she wailed and hung up.

Mr. Antic and Mrs. Frantic punched me in the face.

My blissfulness burst bubble-like and I ran to MR.GREENE. hurling myself homeward in a souped up hip-hop, mostly profane, sprint for home to save the maybe cowering storm ravaged Cutter and Tug. I cussed everything.

And as I drove I did the usual dickhead shit.

I rode peoples bumpers with all my lights on high until they moved over, giving me the middle finger “you’re Number One” salute and smoking tires at stoplights like a doped up teenager racing his first hopped-up-testosterone-laden kiddie car.

Yup. I was that marginal guy you want to empty a clip into.

And I got home, and I walked the sodden dogs in the drenching rain and took a shower and it all stopped and the sun came out at sunset and I realized with a stupid giddiness I’d survived yet another non-event and how wonderful it is to be alive and I thought I’d just grab another coldie when-

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– I remembered how much concrete I get to hand-mix this weekend. So anyway.

Where was I?

Winter’s Bone.

Miss Carol LOVED this book.

I think I did.

Set in the Ozarks, Ree Dolly needs to find her bail-bond-jumping father before the courts call in the tab and Ree and her two little brothers and brain-addled mother all get kicked to the curb.

I fucking loved Daniel Woodrell’s prose and the way he shone a light on mountain life.

Folks, them’s hard people.

I’ve read other books with ancillary stories about mountain people- be they Sierra Madres or Appalachians- and I don’t know if it’s the constant contact with mountains and all that rock and hard stuff but holy jeebers you don’t want to mess with them. They’s HARD.

At first I hated the obscurity and obliqueness. I thought there were parts of the story that were being kept from me, that I wasn’t privy to ’cause I wasn’t a mountain person, ’cause I wasn’t an Ozarky native son.

But then I tackled my Mr. Narcissism and wrestled him to the ground and sat on top of him and thought that maybe that was EXACTLY what Mr. Dan was trying to accomplish.

You are left out. ‘Cause you don’t belong.

And I think that’s the beauty of Winter’s Bone.

So, yeah, I think I love this book too.


Man, I hate walking you guys, I said.

Cutter trotted ahead and strained to look up at me.

Why? he said.

Tug tugged in a different direction.

‘Cause it’s a chore, I said. Just another thing I gotta do every day.

Cutter stopped and sat and stared at me. So we’re a CHORE? he said.

Well, yeah, kinda. I said.

I mean, I gotta walk you guys twice a day every day no matter what, I said, feeling peevish and feeling like I was losing something.

Dude, Cutter said. You’re kidding, right?

And he got up and shook his coat clean and clear and Tug said, kidding right? while he was licking the grass.

And Cutter said, You really don’t get it do you?

Maybe not I said.

We LOVE parading you around every day, he said. It’s what makes us sensational, he said.

Sensational Tug said, sniffing the air.

Bogged down.

I knew the big bog down was comin’ up ’cause it’s just me now, but I didn’t think it’d be this bad.

Phabulous Phil and his crew are waiting on windows so they can side the house and finish drying it in. I’ve been working on the window quote for weeks now, trying to juggle building code and DP ratings and manufacturers pricing ineptness.

Even the ever ebullient Miss Carol tried to help and finally caved, cursing.

I mean, who knew guv’mint could make simple shit this hard?

Everybody put your hands down.

Finally, though, the window angels sang their clarion call and all the various codes and ratings and seemingly endless minutiae coalesced and the window package is finally ordered. Can I get a woo-hoo?

So anyway-that’s why I haven’t done an update on The Little House of Horrors-it’s boggin’ baby.

I’ve been working six days a week for the last month or so, leaving only Sunday to try and get something done on The Little House of Horrors.

But Sundays are when Miss Carol wants to make us brunch and because keeping Miss Carol happy is always a good thing, that shortens up Sunday. Add to that shortening up picking up the generator from Phabulous Phil and any materials I need from Home Depot and an hour’s drive in each direction and all the sudden I’ve got about three hours to get anything done, and that’s if I’m out the door by sixish.

So yeah, progress is very slow and very lame and fully sheathed in LOTS of cursing and hatred for The Little House of Horrors.

But that’s all supposed to change this weekend. I’m taking Friday and Saturday off and my little brother and his little cupcake and his kids are coming down and we’re supposedly gonna get the deck built.

I hold out hope. But.

Normally when my brother and I get together everything needful just kinda dissolves into laughter and seemingly endless beer drinking. We rarely get together, which is probably a good thing, but when we do? We rock.

So we’ll see.


What is going on with this shit?

I mean really.

Listening to commercials pushing all the various pills and drugs that’ll make our lives better and more hopeful and then catching the lawyerly disclaimers slurred in messily at the end, I had to wonder.

Do guys really neeeeeed Viagra?

And it’s not like the thought snagged an underlying need or want, or anything.

It’s just that I’ve never ever even dreamed of needing anything even remotely like Viagra. I mean, c’mon, what dudes are having a problem with THAT? What the fuck has happened to men?


But, ya know what, if by some odd happenstance, I was, I don’t know, somehow crippled by sissiness? The commercials for That Pill make me laugh out loud.

“Check with your doctor to be sure your heart can handle it.”

What guy’s heart can’t handle it? What guy would worry about something as trivial as a heart attack when he’s gettin’ it? Are you kidding me? What has happened to men?

“You may experience blurred vision”

Um. So who cares?

“If you experience an erection lasting longer than four hours you may want to seek medical help”.

You’re kiddin’, right? I’d be livin’ LARGE. That just sounds like Miss Carol’s gonna be a little bit sorely happy tomorrow.

So yeah, I don’t get it.

But then again, maybe I’m living on the periphery.

Maybe I’m not seeing the whole picture.

Quantum Theory.

wave-particle duality – superpositions – quantum tunneling

I’m not quite sure why I ever bought this book.

infinite-sum wavefunction – zero point energy – allowed states

And I’m definitely not sure why I EVER decided to read it.

quantum randomness – light polarization – the many worlds interpratation

But I did and I did and somehow kinda queerly and eerily I’m glad I did?

wavefunction collapse – decoherence – separate universes

‘Cause the author, Chad Orzel, makes quantum mechanics and theory almost understandable.

Allllllllllllllllmost. Maybe?

the quantum zeno effect – entangled photons – quantum teleportation

So would I do it again?

a/V> + b/H> and E = hf and 1s + 1/2s + 1/4s + 1/8s … = 2s

Not a chance.

It’s an interesting ride, but it was like wearing ill fitting jeans.

Don Quixote.

So this is how it goes.

About a year ago I gave up on local radio, ’cause the churn rate is just way too high. Same songs over and over and, like, over again? Softly caressing and mind numbing.

Even Howard Stern was getting a little tiresome. Same old, same old. Yawner.

Am I getting cynical?

So I turned to books on CD to keep me company while I drive MR.GREENE.

I love reading and didn’t want to not read something good, so I chose fluff to listen to- Lee Child and Clive Cussler- that kinda stuff.

It’s like eating marshmallows. You’re never gonna be full.


The other day I was in the library looking to replenish and I saw Don Quixote. And I said, well shit, I’m gonna get me some refinement.

I mean, I certainly kinda sorta know the whole Don Quixote story but I’ve never listened to it and I’ve certainly never read Cervantes’ 1605 novel.

So I grabbed both volumes and scurried to the check-out counter. I was kinda surprised that the book spanned 35 CD’s but I was all, like, hey, whatever it takes to get me smarter. Right?

Maybe not so much.

I hate to highlight my shallowness, but by the third CD I was over it. Don Quixote was a crazy old man and he’d already gone through several fucked up adventures and I’m thinkin’- there’s still 32 CD’s left? Where is this going?

So yeah, I got bored.

And I went back to the library and dumped Don Quixote and picked up a coupla more Lee Child Jack Reachers and Clive Cussler Dirk Pitts ’cause sitting in the shallow end and eating marshmallows sure can be nice.