Monday, August 31, 2009

All Day And All Of The Night

I have terrible news. Grandpa's grange file is now in enemy hands. True. They came for it last night and were turned back at first. The police came and they fled. But later -- much later -- we had it out again, and they rushed the house from three directions and I couldn't fend them off.

Of course the police wanted to know what was going on. And of course I was reluctant to get into the whole thing about the shadowy underworld the Grange Sisterhood inhabits. If somehow they've been able to fly under the radar for the last 70 years, or whatever it's been, they're not going to believe me now.

What am I supposed to say? There's a vast rural conspiracy to turn the town back into the country? And they won't be satisfied till we're all milking cows and scooping up after horses? It's all true, but you know how it sounds. So I put threw them off the trail. And they gave me a roll of yellow tape as a souvenir and left.

But the truth is this: Town people, mostly young men, who go into the country unwittingly are being systematically killed. All as the result of some kind of terrible test that most town people cannot pass, having loose morals and more eagerly reaching for their zippers. The country folk have trained their horses as assassins, leading them by a grove where sham orgies are taking place between grange people, men and their matrons, and it involves the various allurements of farmers' daughters with cinched up cutoffs and very white cheeks. And apparently overseeing the whole thing is a shadowy network of country women led by a giant Peruvian queen and her daughter.

I know it's laughable. But I had dinner with them and saw the thrones! And I had this one file, that went up to 1963 or so, whenever it was that Grandma and Grandpa stopped taking part in grange events, dropping out in anger or being shunned.

I'm not completely unsympathetic to the grange people. Actually I wouldn't mind seeing a little more countryside around here. The town can be very depressing. Especially areas like Skidrow. And I would like to get rid of fly by night carpet stores. So to that extent, I hear ya, sisters. And the idea of a greater morality on the part of our young people, naturally I resonate with that. But where I draw the line -- and I say this without apology -- is when the guy is simply kicked to death without warning. I think everyone deserves a second chance.

Plus, it's hard to be too sympathetic because of what happened, with my windows being shot out and my doors kicked down. What a terrible night, trying to doze off here and there, sitting there at the windows with my sacred swords and Grandpa's guns. The wind blowing through the shot out windows flapped the curtains in my face. And the coldness made me feel like giving up. But I tried my best to stay up.

Then about three in the morning I heard their cars again. Lights were flashing at the south and the north and there was some activity at the other sides of the house. I shot a few rounds which made them take cover. But they knew it was just me and a sleeping old woman in the house. So they moved in, shooting from three different sides. The windows were shattering everywhere, and pretty soon the doors came in, the north and the south. And in a second they had me covered.

They demanded only one thing, the file! So what choice did I have but to go to the freezer and get it? I moved a pack of frozen pork chops and there it was, in a well-marked freezer bag. I'm really strict about this, making sure the things in my freezer are orderly and used in a way that minimizes the damage freezer burn causes.

But I got off pretty well. They could've killed me. And what I was imagining didn't happen, which is that they would bring in a chain and put it around the freezer and drag it right through the front door. But why would they do that? Since they could just as easily open the freezer and take the file out. They might've done it just to show me they meant serious business. Which I know they did.

Fortunately, I remember enough of the contents of the files to put down the main points.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Grange File -- Well, Hush My Mouth

First, if I am assassinated before getting this posted, you will not be reading this sentence until something happens. If worse comes to worse, I need to make a final request to whoever comes into my house and finds my body: If my computer is still running, you must finish paraphrasing the contents of this file at my right hand. But if the ones who assassinate me have taken the file, there will be nothing at my right hand. In that case I will need you to push the "Publish Post" button on the screen.

But let's say the assassins have also damaged my computer. You will have to open my Blogger account on a different computer and find my list of posts. The one you will look for is called "The Grange File -- Well, Hush My Mouth." (Blogger is saving drafts for me.) You will need to open it and see how far I've gotten. If it's anything beyond these paragraphs of instructions and perhaps the next introductory paragraph, then please see that it is finally posted on my blog. And please cover my body with a sheet so Grandma isn't traumatized, should she wake up.

Then call the police. I believe we can assume the police will know what to do when they find a body at a crime scene. But if they seem to be ignorant on the subject, I think the procedure is that they should rope off the scene of the crime, draw an outline of my body in the chair, and call the county coroner, who will pronounce me dead. Then you can expect a pack of rabid funeral home wolves to arrive, fighting and clawing each other to see who will ultimately make money off my funeral. Please do not let them take me through the north door. I hate the north door!

I spent the better part of an hour going through Grandpa's "Grange File" and I will summarize the contents of everything that is relevant to our present day concerns. Wait! There was a shot! About scared me to death! Someone literally just second ago shot through the window! Glass is shattered all over the place. I'm on the floor behind the big chair, with just my keyboard stretched out. Terror! Terror! (Kind of dirty back here. Hope I didn't tear my pants on the chair lever.)

OK, it's been quiet for 10 minutes. Back up. Definitely going to skip summarizing this stack of recipes for grange meals. Also the more benign grange board meeting notes. Although it is interesting that in '56 they changed from giving out 50 year pins to the more expensive gold watch. Were the Eisenhower years that prosperous? Must press on... Another shot! Oh crap! And from the north side, that one could've taken me out! There's a hole the size of a walnut in the wall just above me! This is getting dicey. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Run spell check on that.

There are sirens in the distance, so I might be OK. I had my back up against the wall for a while. There's a big delay. I'd hate to die without getting this done. I don't want an asterisk next to my name at the graveyard, meaning you died less than honorably with unfinished business.

I just saw some headlights coming up the hill, then suddenly go out. Someone's pulling in the drive. I might need to finish this tomorrow, if I make it through the night. I've got a towel over the monitor. It's not completely dark but close enough. There's a wicked breeze coming through the shot out windows.

Oh my God! A brick just managed to get itself heaved, presumably by someone doing the heaving, right through my bedroom window! Is this the end of the world? Is this how it ends? No! The sirens are getting closer! I could see all kinds of shadowy motions through the broken glass. There's limited escape for anyone up this hill. The car's gone. It was some big old lumbering '50s model, the kind the grange people like. My heart's pumping wildly, like the motor on an antique washing machine.

I ran to the north side and looked across the way toward the school. The police are on the way! Meaning this file is going to have to wait. I don't know what to do with it. OK, I stuck it in the freezer under some old pork chops. Need to get those out. Looks like some freezer burn. Need to start marking the meat packs with dates. That's a good tip for any food buffs out there. Use your meat in the order you freeze it, going in chronological order. You can save a lot of money by buying it on sale and freezing it. But your savings will not be as great if it's spoiled by freezer burn.

The police are pulling into the drive, like Gangbusters, parked all cattywampus, their headlights slicing through the gun smoke at weird angles. Meaning I need to hit "Publish Post" now in case they turn out to be some corrupt cops and kill me at the door. I hate it when cops go bad. But that's another opinion for another day.

Pray for me ... and check the meat in your freezer. It's always later than you think.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

No Solitude In My Own Cellar

Yesterday was an anxious day. I was in the cellar and found the grange file in the box. So far, so good.

But I clung it to my chest, knowing there wasn't a backup copy. I hate the idea of not having a backup copy. Blame it on computers. It's so easy to lose things.

I know we used to go see the country music show at the park when I was a kid, and we'd all be lined up to get autographs. It seemed normal then but if I was a kid now I'd ask for two, just in case I lost the first one. And, come to think of it, I don't have any of them anymore. So I should've learned my lesson early on.

But there was no time to take the file somewhere and get it copied. Anyway, I might be waylaid on the way and then my enemies would have the file. Do they know I have the file? Maybe it was hooked to a wire and set off an alarm back in the grange barn when I moved it, meaning a vast force of hooded assassins and their horses will be coming for it. These are the kinds of thoughts that go through your mind.

Holding it to my chest, I felt my heart racing. That's real. That used to happen to me when a teacher was about to call on me, or worse, at the end of a really contested eBay auction. I had an auction sniping program that literally made your final bid with the shot of a Thirty-Ought-Six. I used to win an auction and open the windows to let the smoke clear. It gives you a heart attack. I envy guys with a pacemaker, because that's a good backup.

As soon as I had the file, I realized there was no solitude in my own cellar. Other people had been there -- the original house builders as well as family members in the years since. And anyone could suddenly appear. So I got up and with haste went upstairs. Grandma was turning. Must not let her see me coming from the cellar or see the file. The living room has had people through it. It's our main room.

Outside! Eventually my path around the half acre was like the kids in the Family Circus comics. Over by the well, by the pussy willow trees, by the shed, in the garage, by the tiny grove, at the south corner, next to the well, on the roof, where the old trellis used to be, in the blackberry patch...

All along the way I felt the mounting breeze, starting off slow and easy but building ever more steadily till it was a pleasant light breeze. The pages could've gone falling to the ground and been blown randomly toward the north. Or they could've spontaneously combusted in the light of the sun -- they'd been mostly in darkness for decades.

I thought I might sit on them, but any kind of dew on the ground would smear them. A couple of the summer's last moths flapped an irregular course near me. Moths! Moths eat paper, right? You need a cigar in your suit pockets to keep them away. And I wasn't wearing a suit.

I stopped in my tracks. Gotta get a grip. I've already had a million chances to lose the file. Need to consider the odds. I should've stayed in the cellar. I returned to the cellar, haunted by the ghosts of all those who'd been there before. It was oppressive, as I can plainly attest, but it was a more controlled environment.

So there I was. At the end of a mad trek around the property. Back in the cellar. Finally settled, I looked down at the only copy of the file I had ... and with the greatest care and trepidation, opened it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Farewell To Twitchelmore (Tweets)

I just lost some guy I kind of liked. Twichelschnitzel or something like that. He's big into literature, apparently the obscurer the better.

I like hearing obscure literary stuff -- like obscure esoteric religion, everything -- but there's no time to be an expert at everything.

And Twichelschnitzel seemed like an expert of the obscurest of the obscurest. A great little niche if you're willing to ignore the general.

It's kind of liberating actually that he dumped me unceremoniously. Now I can talk about him and reflect on what we shared for a week and ½.

Thanks for a great week! I looked him up later. It was Twitchelmore.

Working With The Sacred Back Scratcher On Twitter (Tweets)

I could get more followers by divining them in with a sacred sword, but it's bad karma to use your powers for self-defeating ends.

I already have enough problems with it because I always forget. Then the power rebounds. And I end up in the cellar drain, cooling off.

There's even consequences for substituting a sacred back scratcher, believe it or not. Because it's all inner work, it's easy to mess it up.

But surely it wouldn't hurt to divine a couple. I'll just pretend it's a regular back scratcher. "Eye of the tiger! Yoni and Cutlass...!"

Arcing it back and forth slowly in front of my screen like a metronome, rhythmically, seeing the light flash through the scratcher tines...

With the cushion as the base, the hanging hole is the third eye, the tines at times the tiger's claw, and at times the hair of the gods.

I gaze into infinity, knowing again that it is inner work. Past even the gross corporeality of my brain lobes, into the light unseen...

...Now I'm bringing the tines toward my forehead. This is the approach of the tiger. "Mean you well?" I mentally ask, with caution.

Closer and closer the claw moves in. If I flinch, if I even flickr, it will be the picture of doom. ... Let me slow down ... This is deadly.

My eyes are trained on the tiger's claw. It's trying to head fake me. But I stand my ground completely, and gaze back with eyes of power.

My mental intensity in the face of this deadly encounter is unwavering. Like my dog looks at me when she needs to go out.

Now I'm thinking of fire ... the fire of destruction first. And second I gaze at the tiger's claw with a pleasant fire, like a fireplace.

It is backing off. Backing off more. And finally backing off completely. I lay the back scratcher down. I stroke its wooden length.

The work is complete. But what I'm wishing for? It really is not for more followers, but for those LIKE ME, who I would enjoy reading.

This is my last tweet: Why can't I encounter ME in the world without it being literally ME? But a 2nd. That's my request, O back scratcher.

The Cellar Dweller (Tweets)

~In the cellar you can set your mind at ease. In the cellar you'll be cool but you won't freeze. In the cellar it's as nice as it can be...~

Just added myself to the twitter directory under: #humor #wisdom #spirituality #weird #obsessive

I put a fake town though.

Humorously wise, spiritually weird, and obsessively paranoid about everything. Are there followers for a cellar dweller such as I?

I have vaulted all the way to #299 of those with "weird" for a search word at wefollow. PLEASE, I must not fall into the 300s again!

Good grief, I just realized, I can't be blocking porn merchants and people with naughty profiles. I need the numbers to stay above 300!

So...I'm having a sale for followers...any crumb may follow me. You will stay until I get actual people to replace you. It'll be extra work.

Quick, say something humorous... Uh... I just watched "West Side Story." Now I'm looking for the sequel, "East Side Story." ?? No good?

OK, that's not funny. How about this? The Republicans don't want hetero- or homo-. They want BI-partisanship!

I just slipped to 300 on the wefollow rankings. With a down arrow. So thanks a lot. (It's my fault for blocking that naughty profile lady.)

But 300 is still pretty good. Better than 310, which I hope I never see. But I'm going to need your help. Everyone follow HARDER, c'mon!

300, wasn't that the name of a famous movie a few years ago? I didn't see it but I think it had to do with 300 guys doing something weird.

I like weird movies, the weirder the better. Like Kafka stuff, The Castle, Trial, &c Or Fellini's 8½. Any movie bluffs out there, BLUFFS?

But being in the 300s is closer to the cellar, which I like. If I were in the top 100 or, God forbid, the top 10, I would die from anxiety.

So be careful what you wish for. I'm now GLAD I'm at 300. If I go lower, so much the better. In fact I may need to drop out completely.

Everything's Coming Up Roses (Tweets)

Coffee primes the pump.

Free your head. Just don't be surprised if it doesn't come back.

Everything's coming up roses. Bad news for tulips.

When plumbers dance, of course they're clogging.

It's 10:18, time for local weather on the 8's. Dry and warm everywhere that it's not wet and cold. (See ya in 10 minutes.)

OPEN-MIC NIGHT: ~I sing because I'm happy~ (Big grin.) ~I sing because I'm free~ (Demonstrating no handcuffs.) ~His eye is on the sparrow~ ?

If you can`t do it right then don't do it. Do not do it if you can't do it right.

Guess which way the Wright Brother's fight or flight instinct led them.

Millions for tribute, not one cent for charity!

Someone was giving the secret to being a great conversationalist. I had my conversation when I was a kid and they immediately baptized me.

Drastic Climate Change Forecast for Kansas: Kansas, you think you have a Brownback NOW. Just wait till the average temperature is 110!

In The Cellar You Can Set Your Mind At Ease

Who among us hasn't yearned for a nice basement drain to lay in, curled up naked, enjoying the coolness that cellars always have? There are places perhaps more romantic, more exotic, and sunnier, but there's nothing quite so refreshing that's usually so close at hand. If you're without air conditioning upstairs, you do have it downstairs, on the floor, on the lowest part of the floor.

There are things about the cellar that I don't like that much. I associate it with storms, because we'd always grab the first aid kit and a radio and head to the cellar. And the bugs. There are strange crawling things in the cellar. Bugs with two heads. Bugs with 100 legs. Bugs with pinchers, stingers, hooks, offensive stink emissions, poison. It's a wonder bugs get along as well together as they do, with the vast offensive and defensive equipment they're always packing.

And there are things about the cellar, besides the coolness of a low drain, that I like. Such as the shelves of food we used to have down there. Grandpa would be bringing in baskets of stuff from the garden, and Grandma would be boiling it and putting it all in jars. This is what they used to do. They had some interesting stories of keeping food on hand back in the old days. Meat buried in hardened lard. The iceman putting ice through a hole in the wall. The milkman bringing his cow to the door.

I started off OK last night in bed. But I soon became very restless, tossing and turning. I couldn't sleep, so worried, so conflicted, so stewed up about everything going on in my life. Vast and terrible scenarios were playing out in my mind like a war. So I got up and went to the cellar. It's been cool lately so I didn't take off my pajamas. But I did lay there on the floor for a while -- I left the light on and looked at it dangling up there till my eyes got fuzzy and I slept. It does seems like when you're as low as you can go it puts your mind at ease more easily.

I woke up a little earlier because of the discomfort and stretched. There's some pain from being on a concrete floor. But I stretched and that made it better. I brushed off a couple of two headed 100 legged poison-pinching bugs and decided to sit at the chair and little table. I pulled out that box of books, from the same place down there where I found the Sex and the Single Girl book last year. I was picking through it. It's all musty.

Suddenly my eyes perked up. Down in the bottom was a folder and some papers having to do with the grange. The past comes calling!

Looking around the cellar, I came to one unmistakable conclusion. The cement floor, the drain, the light bulb, the furnace, the table, the chair, the boxes, the books, the shelves, and everything else my eyes beheld ... Other people have been here! I do not know when, I do not know who ... Maybe it was just Grandma and Grandpa and our family. But over the years, at some time, whether in building the house, which seems certain, or since the house has been built, which equally seems logical, Someone has been here!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Steaming Tirade

Two days of sacred sword work and my usual exercises has me in an internal fury, in rage. I'm steaming mad at dirt.

Rage is a funny emotion because it's very focused. We talk about anger so often at arm's length. But there are dimensions to anger that you forget till they rise up fresh. I need to get some plastic tips for my swords because my wallpaper is turning out very ugly.

But it's good to be alive. And there's no big reason for concern, since this is just part of it. I know it could get to be too much, but I will work through in time.

At this point, there's enough channeled invective to melt lead. I'm kickin', struttin', talkin' trash everywhere I go. My dog is very sensitive to the sound of words and phrases, so I have to keep reassuring her she's "a good girl," and it's nothing against her. So I'm making nice to keep the dog happy. But when she's out of the room all bets are off.

Left to myself, I'm seething. Countless imprecations flow forth. I'm being specific and naming names. I've got it bad and that ain't good. I'm willing to lay it on the line. Every ounce of power I can muster is at the ready. There's a bubbling, sputtering mess of something that has everything below my chest in a state of agitation. Mentally, I'm at the wheel. I can see afar with crystal clarity. I'm ready to stomp.

Maybe by the time I'm ready to act some of it will have died off. But right now there's no loss of energy. It's Gog and Magog, baby. Wrestling versus Rasslin'.

You know it's wrestling if you do your job and go out for drinks. You know it's rasslin' if you drink and leak.

You know it's wrestling if you're unencumbered by grudges. You know it's rasslin' if you're unencumbered by arms.

In wrestling you win on points. In rasslin' if you're alive.

And to think I'm usually so mellow, so easy going. Stand back!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rotating The Sacred Back Scratcher

I'm just sitting here. I can't even fathom anything about what I'm supposed to be doing with the Grange Sisterhood affair. At this point it's a mush in my mind. But of course I do know something about sacred swords. I'm very clear on that.

And thank God for laziness, because I was too lazy to get my swords out of their cases. Because it prompted me to reach over and get this back scratcher. Which has been very helpful to me in terms of focusing my thoughts.

Yesterday I had it pictured the other way around, with the white thing at the bottom. Today, just for the heck of it, I rotated the picture, and ... Whoa! There's some powerful universal influences happening here! But I'm not afraid ... "Good back scratcher, relaaax...," stroking it, then cutting it into a million pieces with one of my swords. The pieces scurry around my floor and are immediately beamed up.

Just a little joke there.

But seriously, the energies of the re-dubbed sacred back scratcher are way different when it's flipped on the other end.

It's like a person standing there with no arms. I've got it setting here and I'm gazing at it. Gazing, ever so deeply ... gazing... My eyes are crossing, relaaaxing, ever more...

Then in one compelling snap, my mind is suddenly at rapt attention and I bring my eyes to the hole at the bottom. No longer is it a tiger's eye. I don't want to spell it out what it is, but if you turn it around it reminds me of Dick Cheney. But, hey, everyone's got one. I'd hate to go through life without it. You know, keep it clean and everyone's happy. My dog was scooting hers around on the floor one day, meaning it was time for a bath.

But I'm looking at it from the front. Which is a very procreative view. Mother Nature perhaps, then gazing into infinity. And there are male energies as well. Nothing with the traditional form, but that's to be expected. For as should be obvious, the traditional form suggests limits, bringing in comparisons. But what we see here is limited only by your imagination. And I'm imagining some very bold strutting. Like a Cutlass XL850, the stallion of swords!

O, the energies are too much there, to be sure!

I will just work with the thing for a while... My fingers are grasping it, not my palm, right around the indentation toward the top... Holding infinity at arm's length... Very lightweight... Dangling... I bring it up to lightly scratch my chin... Tickles... The front hole is a little close... But there's such energy I gaze in... It's happy to see me... I'm gazing on universal procreation... I see all species being born from a common source of light... They are enveloping each other with joy and yielding... A seagull snaps up a tiny fish... I am the last one to see it flash brightly in the sun... Fish sounds kind of good tonight...

I cover the whole bottom part with my grasp... I can picture it blowing a hole in my hand from the back... But I hope it squelches it... Then from the front, such procreative power, I might end up with three more fingers... Hope not, people already look at me funny... I'm about to do something that no one should do... Here goes...

[Flip, whap.] That's right... I flipped it completely over and it's horizontal on my desk in front of me, the head to my left... Now it's time for a full body massage... Pressing it up and down... I have a tiny cloth to cover the butt... Working out its tensions... We don't get many back scratchers in here... Tell your friends... Now a few light karate chops... I've seen massages on TV... I think we know each other pretty well by now... I take off the cloth... Give him and her a light slap on the butt... And flip it over... Bring it back to the upright, prone position... Then lay it aside gently, because I'm nearly finished... I close my eyes, then open them -- I'm finished.

Like that, it's over. It's no longer sacred. I toss it back over and it makes a loud noise when it hits my oatmeal bowl still setting there from this morning.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pulling Out The Stops

No more sitting here waiting for something to happen. You know how it is, once in a while you get all down, morose, biorhythmically stagnant and drained? I think that's been my problem. I should be charting my cycles on a calendar.

I'm a big believer in the cycles of being interested in, engaged with things. And there's the cycles of ideas. I was just looking at some notes of high flown ideas I had a few days ago. But in the meantime I've gone from that to this. Maybe my new resolve today is just a matter of a new cycle beginning. Or maybe I'm jump starting it simply by willpower. I like to think I have an active role in my destiny.

Like when I chased the hiatus from the house a few weeks ago, that was a high point. If you remember how it went, it was a wild time:

The promise therein awoke me to a new determination and I was back in the living room. The serpent had dodged me twice and thought we were going for the best two out of three. But My Lady [Dulcinea, the Lady of the Lake] beckoned me to swing what I've got, then I heard her whisper, "Now." I spun that sacred sword through the air with such raw fury and dead aim that not only was the serpent's head immediately severed but it lay at my feet like a dozen separate pieces of meat, like a ginsu knife demonstration.

That's powerful stuff. But somehow I let it slip. The whole thing about sacred swords -- the power that you call forth when you're working with one -- I sometimes forget that.

But it's time to get it back. I'm going to do it right now. Let me amend that. The sacred swords are in their cases in one of the other rooms and I'm kind of lazy. But I can do it with anything. A wand. A walking stick. Whatever. So right here, today, I have a back scratcher. And because I'm using it for sacred purposes I will temporarily dub it a sacred back scratcher.

I'm not so dumb about these things. It could be a weed. It doesn't matter what it is. Although of course it'd matter for some things. Like if you were trying to cut off the head of a fierce hiatus, you'd have a lot more success with a sword than a weed. But for getting yourself psyched up, stimulating your cycles, jump starting them, this plain old back scratcher will do the trick just as well. And it has the obvious practical value as well, like if my back starts to itch.

So let me do some work--

Holding it before me... Notice in the picture the padded section looks like the thing in a Ouija set... Very occult... Velcroed on... OK, I'm holding it before me... That tiny hole at the top is great... And I have the tines facing away from me... That's taking the energy going up my spine and rotating it outwardly... Oh, I felt a little tapped out all of a sudden, so I'm turning the tines back toward me... It looks like a tiger claw coming at me... Very good for the power... I'm absorbing the tiger's energy... And the little hole, of course that's the eye of the tiger... What an eye!... It has no back, I'm looking into the eye of infinity... Three thinner tines in the middle, two broad at the end... The maker of this back scratcher was working with archetypes... The curvature below the eye is evocative... Like the breasts on a Peruvian princess or queen, bringing power into me to face them... Then the narrowness going down... I can see forms, shadows, aspects of energy... New birth as I get down to the cushy bottom of the thing...

Where I grasp it, it's varying, but mostly toward the bottom... I'm going to rotate it and direct it toward the clouds outside... I'm taking it in a circular direction, like a sword cutting through an enemy in slow motion... The movement of my right arm is alive... Now I'm grasping it also with my left hand, and bringing the tiger's claw in toward my forehead.... I'm focused on the eye of the tiger... My eyes are meeting it... As the "Tao Te Ching" says, I want my enemy to be at his full strength... We might go out for drinks later, like professional wrestlers... At this moment I choose to wrestle, as does my opponent... If it turns into a rasslin' match, all bets are off... A quick jerk of the scratcher toward my left breaks the tiger's glare, meaning I won that round... That is strong.

I'm now holding it horizontally, breathing out the energy, and I'm more relaxed... But my jaws are still clenched, I'm going to work with that... I could snap this SOB in two, seriously... But I have too much respect for it, and if my back itches later on, that will have been a rash thing... But I'm letting the energy go from my hands and holding it loosely... I gently clasp the tines and cover the tiger's eye... Beautiful tiger, let me share your strength... Then a sacred scratch of the tines against the palm of my left hand... Symbolic of giving it a taste of blood, though not literally... He drinks my blood... He's not tamed but we're in a partnership, me the senior partner, he our the vice president in charge of back scratching... The power I seek is nothing I will claim forever, for I know the ways of the shadow... Also very beautiful ways...

I'm holding it upright one more time... Proudly erect yet one with me... Now I relax it all together and dismiss the energy back into the universe, keeping back only about as much as you could carry in a lunch box, just a small portion... (Very important, as in not having leftover manna)... And with my right hand, I toss the once-sacred back scratcher back on my pile of stuff... There it is, back to being nothing more than a normal back scratcher.

Now I'm up... Eyes closed... Must not lash out... Completion...

OK. You can see how serious I am in wanting to get to the bottom of this whole situation. I feel my cycle is starting again. That I will be back in the flow of things! From here on out I'm pulling out all the stops.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Everything's Coming To A Head

First, let me say I'm thankful for the special honors, the "Already Classic" designation given to my post on the mule, or whatever it was, standing still, standing alone, something. But I can't rest on my gold stamps, no matter how many arrows they have inexplicably piercing them. I must press on!

I have a strange feeling that everything's coming to a head on this whole Grange Sisterhood affair, with the Peruvian queens, princesses, breeding thing, and the killing of young men. And to say I feel it's coming to a head is a major statement, because the roots of this affair apparently go back somewhere between 50-70 years.

It could be coming to a head relatively soon, which in that context could still be years or decades away. I hope it's not decades because I'd like to live to see it come to a head. Let's say it takes decades. I've announced it's coming to a head, which in that case would be meaningless. But whether it comes to a head in the next few weeks or a year from now, that's still pretty soon. I don't see it coming to a head today or this week. It'll surely take longer than that to come to a head.

The thing for me is to be ready, more or less prepared for when it does come to a head. But since I still am not sure what I'm up against, what the parameters of the thing are, to determine when it will come to a head is hard to do. I only know the bare essentials and really not even that. I know there's horses involved. And some strange esoteric lore about mules. And as to the Peruvian queen, I did meet her, or someone posing as her. It seems so complicated I ought to just sit down and figure out where we are.

Is it a mystery? I don't know. Is there another Peruvian queen? I don't know anything about it. Is Grandma in on it? All signs are pointing "No." A lot of people don't get bedsores. I feel kind of stupid, but I do know something's going on. Even if the Grange Sisterhood simply exists to maintain the old ways, they're doing it in a funny way. Wouldn't it be funny if nothing was really going on? But how to explain the horses kicking people to death? And all the Peruvian stuff with Lemuel.

All this somehow touches me. And my best guess is that it appears to be coming to a head.

It's hard for me to believe this simple little house might be the nexus of a rural conspiracy going back 50-70 years. But there has to be something about it, because I'm electrified with anxious anticipation, worrying that everything might come to a head and overwhelm me.

I'm going to cut this short today, because I need time to return to the cellar. I'm starting to think the "Sex and the Single Girl" book might have been just one aspect of this whole story. I'm kicking myself that I haven't gone through the things in the cellar before, and I had a whole year.

I could've been on top of this way before it came to a head.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Local Man Receives Blogging's Highest Honor

This is a day for pride. I've felt fairly proud of myself all day.

Now that one of my posts -- The Mule Stands Alone -- has received the respected "Already Classic" designation and the right to display the certifying medallion, I feel that I have every reason to be proud.

It hasn't always been this way. I've been around, I've done my work quietly, not expecting a lot of recognition. That's been fine. Just doing a good job to me is reward enough.

But how nice is is to finally be recognized for something and to receive certification of the same. I appreciate it.

Being local -- not international, not an automated aggregator, etc. -- is a rarity these days. But that's the way I've always been. Local, right here on the scene, looking out for the well being of my family and community.

When you apply that to blogging, this is where the local guy can shine. Because we're looking out for things that the international bloggers and the automated aggregators are bound to miss.

How good it is to finally receive some glory, to be able to put that on my list of accomplishments, achievements, and to know that it was well-deserved.

I'm honored, blessed, and humbled.

The "Already Classic" Designation

I take my own writings very seriously. I try not to let a single syllable fall to the ground. Each is like a precious sparrow in my sight.

When I write something the process is not always a joy to behold. I'm stymied, then when I get stymied, I get steamed. And when I get steamed, it comes out badly. At those times I let it set. Maybe I take a nap. Do something fun with the dog. Paint the garage.

Then I come back, reinvigorated, and able to conclude whatever it was. A short piece, like a tweet. Or a lengthier blog post. Sometimes it takes a lot out of me, sometimes the demon sparks are coming off my fingers and I'm blazing.

For the most part, I feel like I can pat myself on the back and say, "It's a job well done."

Well, in that spirit, through the many months I've been here, I've thought from time to time that a piece now and then was especially worthy of high praise, perhaps a prize. But the prizes do not come for those of us who labor more or less in the shadows.

If I'm ever fortunate enough to become a wealthy person -- like if I ever go into politics and turn bad -- I will use some of my wealth to recognize those who labor in the shadows. But I'll need to know where to look.

Therefore, I'm hoping to set an example for others like myself, who think they've done a good thing now and again and want to honor themselves. For this purpose, I've come up with a designation for particular pieces to go by, called "Already Classic."

If it's very good and deserves more than my own acclaim, benefactors will know where to look, when a writing is tagged or marked with a graphic, which I will commission in the next several weeks if it can be gotten for under a few hundred dollars, "Already Classic."

A number of my pieces deserve the classification. But I'm willing to forego past glory. Just be aware that the future is wide open, starting with my "Already Classic" "The Mule Stands Alone" post.

UPDATE: I came up with the "Already Classic" graphic in just a few minutes, saving myself a few hundred dollars. I think the graphic itself deserves an "Already Classic" designation. So consider it done.


I saw a cute checkout woman at the store, Tabitha. It's like West Side Story: "Tabitha, Tabitha, there's never been a name like Tabitha."

There was some mild horseplay going on between her and the bag boy. They actually included me, "He says I'm going to kill my cat!"

What? Does he mean he doesn't think you can take care of it? "Yeah, but I had FIFTEEN cats back in __name of town__." How playful it was.

~I've just met a girl named Tabitha, and suddenly that name will never be the same to me. Tabitha!~

It's funny, when you pay with a debit card they have the ability to call you by your first name, which she did. Like we knew each other!

~I also met a girl named Lemaperu, and suddenly that name, which I'd never heard before, will never be the same to me. Lemaperu!~

And walking down the aisle, I'm suddenly struck by the beauty of a big blonde next to the meat case. I hope it's not obvious, my staggering.

But it's August -- fresh August -- when an old man's fancies turn to the things of romance, and everything you see is a vision, so stunning.

Mrs. Hunley

It's a cozy little world I have here (Twitter), 18-30 of the wittiest, wisest people in the world.

I wish mrshunley would follow me. She looks like a kindergarten teacher. I'm older than her but I'd call her Old Lady Hunley.

How do you communicate with people to tell them to follow you if you're following them? Do you just sit and wait patiently?

C'mon Hunley!

It's a crazy system that I can see her but she can't see me.

It's like I'm mute behind a one way mirror.

Mrs. Hunley, Mrs. Hunley, men have named you. You're so like the lady with the mystic smile. Is it only 'cause you're lonely they....

...have named you, for that Mrs. Hunley strangeness in your smile. Oh do you smile to tempt a kindergartner, Mrs. Hunley,...

...or is this the way to hide a broken heart. Are you warm, are you real, Mrs. Hunley ... or just a sad and lonely, lovely work of art?

The Mule Stands Alone -- Already Classic

I'm giving my blog post yesterday the rare "ALREADY CLASSIC" designation. "The Mule Stands Alone." (I'm printing a certificate for my wall.)

What a mossy day. I was so full and free, thinking enough thoughts for three people. They ought to name a Ray Charles album after me.

Some writers look for the mathematical and archetypal complexities hidden at the heart of religion and myth (Dan Brown, Joseph Campbell)...

But I'm busy examining the complex relationships of Peruvian queens, impotent American men, and all this relates to the breeding of mules.

You start connecting the various random events of life and you can come up with some interesting conspiracies.

Sex and the Single Peruvian

It's been over a year since I was poking around in the cellar and found the book Sex and the Single Girl by Helen Gurley Brown. "The unmarried woman's guide to men," it said.

Back then I was almost willing to exclude Grandma from the likely suspects who could've owned this book. But the dates, the fact that my aunt and mom were both out of the house well before 1963, led me to one inescapable conclusion: Grandma was a lech. Or at the very least, scientifically interested in affairs of the heart.

The "True Confessions," "True Stories," "Secrets" magazines that were always around the house also factored in as a clue.

I put it out of my mind, that book, since Grandma and Grandpa had been married forever, so why would she want or need an "unmarried woman's guide to men"? Unless, unless, you see the pieces are falling into place. The whole thing with the Grange Brotherhood or Sisterhood (more likely at this point), the sex games designed to ensnare and kill foolish young men, the Peruvian queens, a dynasty the extent of which I haven't begun to discern. These things can't be merely coincidental.

And both my grandparents were in with the grange people all those years ago. Until whatever it was that separated them and put them in disfavor or semi-disfavor with the group. Then it was hardly ever mentioned. Except I knew we avoided the countryside like the cooties. And I remember Grandpa oftentimes had a cold shudder go up his spine that even people unfamiliar with him could feel across town. I could feel it. That's why they kept me out of kindergarten till the following spring. I had some kind of rare, congenital frostbite.

Anyway, if the Grange Sisterhood is trying to keep all this hidden from me, they're not going about it in a very good way. It's more likely, since I was invited into Lemuel's home and was present when Peru and Lemaperu were dressed in full royal garb, that I'm meant to be in on it. For whatever reason. Breeding purposes, I'm thinking. Possibly recruiting. Or taking over the horses. I just don't know. Maybe no real reason. Maybe they just want to rub my face in it because they can.

But Grandma sleeps on. There's no way she's in on this at this point. Unless she's-- No, that's crazy talk. Able to separate from her body? That's total nonsense. But what keeps her alive? And how come I never see bedsores? What's she made of, linoleum?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Mule Stands Alone

From my post yesterday, one sentence stands out and has been screaming in my mind ever since I hit the ENTER button:

So the mule exists by itself and dies alone after its servitude.

That's right, the mule stands alone. Which is what Lemuel is in his own home. I'm not big on names but look at his name, "Lemuel," which could be easily split as "Le muel." Then it's just a matter of flipping the EL and you got the exact animal. Hush my mouth.

And I like to think more highly of myself. But what do Peru and Lemaperu think of me? What do they see when they look at me? I'm unmarried, middle aged, no prospects, living with a widowed grandmother. I'll tell you. They see a mule in servitude, existing by itself and prepared to die alone.

Now -- go with me here -- what if the entire Grange Brotherhood is just a proud facade? What if the brothers are simply a barren of serving mules, keeping some level of pride by running around the countryside spying from every tree, when in actual fact there's a Grange Sisterhood pulling the strings?

Well, the answer is, I'd say, What is is. If that's what's going on, the rest of us would have to adapt, assuming they've fought it out over the years and are considering the matter for the most part resolved. Maybe this is why Grandpa dropped out, too much testosterone to stand it. And yet, and yet...

I'm racking my childhood memories and not coming up with much. He died first. Grandma lives on in a kind of perpetual existence. He worked hard and brought home the bacon. That's what a mule does. He took care of a lot of the heavy maintenance stuff around the house. Like a mule. In fact, now that I look back, every chore that you'd give over to a mule, if mules could do chores, seems like it was Grandpa's to do! Then he finally died ... after this dumb servitude.

Excuse me a minute. ... I creeped over by Grandma's room to make sure she wasn't up and talking on a radio. Everything seemed normal. She's sleeping. At 104 there's no way she's doing a whole spy thing on me. Surely not. The Sisterhood can't be depending on her for information.

So where does all this leave me? I think things are pretty much the same. I need to just go with the flow. It does knock down the whole idea of the glory of one day being the head of the Grange Brotherhood, which might still be a decent, honorary thing to do. But if the Sisterhood has a place for me in their service, there could be something good in that too. One thing they still need us for, I hope, is our service in reproduction. Which, I understand, brings with it some rewards.

But as for Lemaperu and sweeping her off her feet and romancing her, all those dreams I had -- she's a big gal, she'll probably sweep me off my feet. And as for romance, if she's as hardhearted as I'm starting to think, she'll have a whole biology lab with her. Checking my temperature, her temperature, charting our cycles, when you plant things by the light of the moon, sex almanacs, various horse manuals extrapolated for use among our own species, etc.

Then at just the right moment, by the light of the full moon, my head silhouetted against the moon, I'll let out a bray of victory, several sisters will appear, throw a bucket of cold water on me, and I'll be immediately kicked out of the room.

But an actual mule doesn't care. As long as he has something to chew on, some hay, and a warm barn to bed down in. They just go with the flow.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lemuel's Queen and All About Mules

Lemuel and his wife, Peru, were very gracious as I arrived and sat with them.

I should probably note that Peru was enormous. A full head taller than Lemuel. And literally Peruvian. Lemuel met her in the circus as someone who could charm any animal. She's an Amazon. A jungle charmer. Obviously the power behind Lemuel.

Her name Peru is a nickname she got in the circus. Her actual name is something not meant to be pronounced except on ceremonial occasions or in mystical pursuits among her people. She definitely was not among the matrons at the dances, but off doing who knows what. In private being their Queen.

We sat in the parlor and Lemuel and I passed the time with small talk about the weather, how the week was going, and, of course, horses. I didn't really have much to say about horses, not knowing much about hippology, except I commented on how beautiful horses are -- a fact no one can argue with -- and how they're obviously more evolved than the mule.

Peru was looking at me with a piercing gaze. Through the evening I noticed, and it wasn't subtle, that Lemuel jumped to her every command. She was first in all things. Such a powerful bearing! Queenly.

But back to the mules. This is interesting. Lemuel agreed with my last point about horses being beautiful, then went into a scientific explanation of how we get mules, something about the horse having a multiplicity of genes, as do we, and they're configured and triggered in various ways. According to him, horse breeders are an insulated priesthood, no one knows where, working with and breeding the first, original line horses, tinkering with very refined acupuncture equipment and DNA. They're very esoteric and he said they burn a lot of incense.

Peru was staring straight ahead, like she was in a trance.

Lemuel, with all his expertise, which I envied, mentioned the horse's stubborn gene, the brute gene, the asexual gene, and the like. I didn't say much in reply, just nodded and uttered assent. I know better than to argue with anyone who buys horse feed by the barrel! There was one moment, though, when I was a little embarrassed, when he said "asexual." At that Peru's gaze dropped just below my belt.

I have this thing that goes on in my head. I call it paranoia. So it seemed like I shouldn't say anything or move. I certainly wasn't going to move my hands to cover myself down there at that point. Just let her stare and pretend I didn't notice.

I started to sweat, and I was hoping Lemaperu would hurry up and make her appearance. Finally, I broke the ice and asked whether I was "given to understand" that they had children, pointing to several tapestry icons on the mantle. Lemuel said they had a daughter, Lemaperu, who would be in shortly.

So we started in again with the topic of horses and mules -- all very interesting stuff -- but no sooner had we done so that Peru suddenly broke our train of thought. She clapped her hands, one loud, imperious, insistent clap. Lemuel rose to his feet, walked ceremoniously to her side, bowed, took her hand, and escorted her out of the room. With his free hand he waved for me to follow. Then he motioned, Back, back, back .... in other words, keep a respectful distance.

What I saw next was hard to believe. They had a double sized room with rich carpets and tapestry, and near the wall a platform, and on the platform two thrones and one regular easy chair off to the side, not on the platform. Lemuel led Peru to the bigger throne. Then he sat in the easy chair off to one side and motioned me toward a chair across the room.

All at once he stood, so I stood too, but Peru remained sitting. With that, a woman practically as big and important entered the room, not looking around, but advancing toward the other throne. She bowed her head gracefully at Peru, her mother, and was seated. Then Lemuel sat as well and I followed his lead.

Peru said in an official voice, "Our daughter, Lemaperu!" I nodded and said, "Glad to meet you." She nodded and that was it.

When no one said anything -- I was a little scared -- I waited for a little bit, then cleared my throat, and asked Lemuel to explain about the asexuality of mules. The women didn't seem to mind the natural vulgarity of discussing animal reproduction. And it was refreshing for me, who knew that animals "did it," of course, but just didn't know there were so many interesting details.

He went into a long explanation about equine reproduction, that it's a lot like the way we mate. The basic plot was that they go into heat and that the two genders come together in such a way that they end up with a colt. But a mule, he said, being the product of two different strains of the ancient hippoerectus, some kind of tiny prehistoric horse, is denied the heat function necessary for it to mate and reproduce. So the mule exists by itself and dies alone after its servitude.

Anyway, grange servants soon showed up with take-out from the Olive Garden and escorted Lemuel and myself to a different room. They were obviously going to serve the Queen first and her daughter. Lemuel and I were several rooms away and when it was time for us to eat, enjoyed the leftovers.

There didn't seem to be anything interesting to talk about, so I just asked him a few more perfunctory questions about mules, horses, mules at the Grand Canyon, and trivia, like how many legs does a mule have, etc.

And that was all I saw of the women for the evening. No pitching of woo. At the end I shared a nice handshake with my brother male and went home. All in all it was a great, great time!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

All Things Being Equal (Lemaperu)

All things being equal, whether I meet Lemaperu or not it doesn't make any difference. If we marry, all things being equal, that'd be OK. If not, all things being equal, whatever.

Whether she looks one way or another, all things being equal, it's all the same. She may think I look like a troll (which I don't.) But all things being equal, she might see it that way.

If Lemuel and his wife want us to marry, all things being equal, it could happen. All things being equal, it'll be up to Grandma and me as well.

All things being equal, though, I'm feeling very complacent about the whole thing.

I guess I need to shuck this "all things being equal" outlook. It's like I died and went to Hindu heaven. Which, because of transmigration means I'd be right back here, all things being equal. So there's no reason to leave in the first place, all things being equal.

I need to shuck it, if that's my choice, because it's sapping my ambition. All things being equal, it's six of one, like that. I'm literally drifting off from thinking of it. All things being equal, why not sleep the day away? Why even go to Lemuel's? Why worry about the Grange Brotherhood? Why exploit my expertise in group dynamics, human environmental science, and the lifestyle sciences?

All great questions, all things being equal.

All Things Being Equal

I want to write my morning post about the phrase and concept of "all things being equal."

All things being equal, it's as good an idea as any. All things being equal, what's the difference? All things being equal, my blog's the same as others. All things being equal, whether I have two readers or 40,000, who cares?

There's plenty of scurrilous knaves out there, like Charles Grassley, Glenn Beck, and Kim Jong Il who are doing their thing and I'm doing mine. All things being equal, that makes me pretty bad. Which is not the way I want to say it. How about this? All things being equal, these evil guys are out there doing their thing, and I, being a good guy am here doing my thing.

Just because all things are equal doesn't mean life's an indistinguishable stew. And stew would be the perfect analogy. All things being equal, you don't have stew without all the ingredients together. The potatoes, meat, carrots, gravy are what make the stew. Every two bit hobo in a train jungle could tell you that. And all things being equal, his word on the subject is the same as mine. Take his word for it.

All things being equal, I should have more patience and confidence than I have. But all things being equal, whether I do or don't doesn't make much difference. I should have more patience and confidence because, all things being equal, I should live in this moment in a singular way. Doing so means not looking ahead. And doing so means trusting my abilities in the moment. But all things being equal, of course I'm going to look ahead. So the thing to do is to be patient and confident while looking ahead because what's ahead is just more of what's now. All things being equal, it's crazy to say I'm going to be patient and confidence now but I'm not going to be 10 minutes from now.

I've always had egalitarian ideals, all things being egal, I guess. That's how we got the Eagle as our American symbol, because of our eagalitarian ideals. They cast about, looking for just the perfect bird to be the symbol, and, all things being equal, thought, what about the sparrow? The sparrow would be a great American symbol, in my opinion, because it's lowly, uncolorful, yet a hard worker. What could symbolize our hard scrabble immigrant forebears better than that? Pecking at the ground to eek out an existence, living in an unheralded yet persistent way, flying high, flying quickly, but not offering flash or seeking vainglory.

But all things being equal, they said, Yes, the sparrow is great. But what's so great about being lowly? What's wrong with some color and size? And hard scrabbling may be our way of life but it's not our ambition. And to peck at the ground to eek out an existence, we want to do better. And as far as being unheralded, we'd prefer heralded, of course, all things being equal. And a little bit of flash -- a lotta bit of flash -- is cool. And what bird is more pimped out than the eagle? (The ostrich and peacock come to mind.)

All things being equal, I think I'll quit now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lema, O Lemaperu!

I haven't even seen her yet, that I know of, but I'm so very much in love, perhaps, if that's where it's meant to go. Surely I've seen her. Wouldn't she had to have been one of the farmers' daughters at the grange dances?

But I wasn't overly impressed with the farmers' daughters. At least not like I am in my fantasies of the perfect farmer's daughter. Pinkish red top, some midriff showing, skimpy, cinched blue jeans cutoff shorts, little white socks (is that good?), whatever for shoes, tennis shoes, I guess. Then of course up here, the face, the head, the hair, all in the pert, sassy, sparkly, wild kind of way I like. And smart, smart enough to see through all of it. Then she could get rid of the costume and be a normal women, the kind I could love.

It's funny I was actually more impressed with the matrons, once the husbands had relaxed enough that I didn't feel like I was about to be kicked to death by one of Lemuel's horses. It's funny in a couple of ways. One, that I would be more impressed by them than the farmers' daughters. But the farmers' daughters have other interests. Or they're playing the part in such an amateurish way, the luring, tempting, testing, all that. Youthful ignorance. It's worth analyzing fully but I don't have time now.

Two, it's funny because the matrons are either my age or younger. Even though they are matrons, I tend to think of matrons as much older. But these gals are still relatively young, they're just matronly before their time. But they were having a better time, dancing with me, bumping and meeting in a looser way. Like they were ashamed of being matrons.

This looks like a job for the human environmental sciences. But I'm pressed for time.

Now my big concern is hoping I haven't put too much into this invitation to be with Lemaperu. Maybe they've already pledged her off to one of the local boys. Maybe a lot of things. And, there's no telling what Grandma might say, since she's the one who needs to give me away. If I get her woke up and explain to her what's going on, perhaps she'll keep sentience long enough to offer her blessing or long enough for me to guide her signature on some of the paperwork. The old customs die hard. Like a really good car battery.

Anyway, we're up to Wednesday, with it being impossible this week for time to speed by. Certain logistical troubles arise whenever you use the time speeder once you've stated a particular day of the week something is going on happen on. It's easier to lose three weeks than one day. So I wait just like everyone else, except I can't wait for Thursday to get here!

Lema, O Lemaperu! I hope you're lying in wait for me. I hope to walk you up the path. I hope we're holding hands before the evening's through. I hope your mom and dad leave us in the parlor. Maybe we'll go out and brush the horses. Maybe I'll see the moonlight in your smile. Is there even a moon out? I need to check the calendar. It's mid-August, when a man's fancy turns to romance.

Hold out your hand, my darling! Let me guide you to our love bower. As we sit and swing and enjoy those movements together, may the lovebirds that inhabit the world's flower trellises sing with their sparkling notes the songs that celebrate the union of man and woman, lovers who will find themselves lost in each other's everlasting company!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Zestfully Clean! You're Not Fully Clean

I've got an old advertisement running through my head, "Kansas City, you live in a hard water town! You're not fully clean unless you're Zestfully clean!"

I think I live in a hard water town too. How do you know?

I'm thinking I visited a soft water town a couple times, a couple different ones. I got in the shower and it felt like the water was slime running down me. Like there was something water repellent in the water, no joke. My first thought was that there was something wrong, then it occurred to me that this must be what soft water's like. Very bad.

But could that be the whole story? In that case, since these have been very exceptional, soft water towns are rare. And I don't ever want to live in one. Give me the hard stuff! Hard water, hard lemonade, hard cider, hard coffee. I'd hate to drink soft water coffee if it felt like slime going down my throat. I'd have to leave out the cream just to slow it down.

I'm open to suggestions or explanations as to why those towns' water felt slimy in the shower. I definitely didn't feel Zestfully clean, since I'm sure the water didn't stick to me long enough to do the trick. Water needs to stay on you till you towel it off, not hit the exits at the first sight of skin.

To me it seems like water ought to be water. Leave it alone. Then there'd be no difference. But of course I know things can be altered, like in a lab. You have an evil scientist with a theory that with just a little molecular shaving he can trim the essence of water out, leaving a tiny bit of water and the rest all slimy husk. Then he's hustling the true essence out of the country to some Iron Curtain country that wants to kill us by drought and bad showers.

Sometimes they use their powers for good, like I normally do, although I'm not bold or callous enough to be tampering with people's food and drink. Rice is a food they always seem to be tampering with. Because it takes forever to make rice the old fashioned way. But, again, these scientists -- evil or not -- are in the lab extracting the essence that makes it slow to cook. Then you've got some worthless mush left behind with a weakened husk. It cooks fast but what do you have?

Rice Krispies goes all the way. Rice Krispies is rice in the same way a locust shell you find at the park is a locust. That tiny Snap, Crackle, and Pop they brag about, is a tiny explosion, as the natural elements are reacting against moisture. Too much tampering. It really could happen -- since things have different effects on different scales -- that a terrorist could sculpt a giant Rice Krispie, roll it into a major city, pour milk on it and take out several buildings and countless lives. Then Snap, Crackle, and Pop wouldn't seem so cute.

As good as it tastes -- and marshmallows seem to add a molecular elasticity that make it very delicious -- I prefer the old fashioned rice. But I don't know what you'd have if you tried to cook this worthless rice in soft water. It might come out as dry as what you put in. Or it could be there'd be a complete breakdown of both. A steaming seething pile of powdered rice and water husks in a pan. In which case you should remove from the heat as soon as possible.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Date With Lemaperu

I wrote about my sit down with Lemuel, the old horse keeper at the grange. That was early afternoon yesterday.

Then late afternoon, early evening, I stepped outside to see how summer was going, and there in my path I saw a gift basket from a bed and bath store with a gift card from the Olive Garden. Hmm, strange coincidence, wouldn't you say? Since this is exactly what I gave the guys in the trees along the road going toward the grange. Somebody must've been shaken down! And now they're being used by the Grange Brotherhood for what? to mock me in some way?! These were my first thoughts.

But I was pleasantly surprised and very much pleased to discover it wasn't that way at all. And that this was sent or put there by Lemuel and his wife. I don't know these people, of course -- Lemuel by sight, and his wife is probably one of the matrons. But according to the card there's at least three people in his family, including a daughter, Lemaperu. Obviously named after her dad and if Lemuel's wife turns out to be Peru, then I would say the name must be a combination of both. Like when Sam and Antha named their daughter Samantha.

What a nice gesture this is! Under the card there was a note that made it even more delightful, that they are inviting me out to their place on Thursday night for dinner. I can see where this is going and I like it a lot. Lemuel and Peru (if that's her name) are probably looking for a mate for Lemaperu and want to fix us up. That'd be OK with me. I've been single long enough and there's no prospects.

As for having to go out and find a mate on your own, I've never been a big fan of that custom. I like the old ways, where families arrange these things for you. Then you just lay in your bed with a sheet covering you, writhing there, waiting for her to show up as quickly as possible. For this silk is always nice, like with a nice southerly breeze pushing the curtains. A record playing something, music. Maybe a bottle of bubbly if you drink. Like that.

I was always afraid I'd end up with nobody. And that's the way it's been so far. I used to have this thought that when I became of age that I'd go uptown and stand by the electric company on this one particular corner and ask women passing by if they wanted to marry me. But then the electric company moved just about the time I became of age, so I was essentially lost. What now? And as it turned out I never married.

I've had many flings in my mind, I should confess, so I haven't been entirely shut out. I've followed a few in my car, so I definitely know where they live. Unless they've moved, because I'm not keeping track of these things with any kind of ongoing dedication. It's mostly in the spring, when a man's fancies turn to the things of romance. Those are the times you most want to keep your eye out and follow them home.

And now -- this is amazing -- one has followed me home.

Honey, we've never met. Perhaps on the dance floor, I didn't get your name. Excuse me, miss, are these your shorts hanging on the line? I might know you. If my instincts are honed. We shall see where it leads, perhaps we'll date, then marry, then alternately dwell in your father's and my grandmother's home.

The imagination runs wild, as is its function.

But I must slow down. And if I'm going to have dinner with them not forget my head. I need to lead with my head. Every group dynamics, human environmental sciences, lifestyle science, pavlovian trick I can think of! When it's love, it's love. But everything else needs help.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lemuel's Number One On Google (Tweets)

Crazy thought. Irate customer to waitress: "I'm not paying for this second fork!"

My article "A Sit Down With Lemuel," which I just wrote, is ALREADY number one on Google if you search for "Sit Down With Lemuel"! Amazing!

Lemuel is a really nice guy, who I had the privilege of getting to know this morning. He trains horses to kill people, for a good purpose.

At first he came at me with a gun. But I talked him down with "The 3 R's" of group dynamics. I specialize in human environmental science.

I'm going to be scarce here today. Having conquered both Lemuel AND Google, I'm going to unwind with a well deserved nap.

A Sit Down With Lemuel

The other day I specified the 3 R's of group dynamics, which "R" of course, 1 aRrange; 2 Reconnoiter; 3 Ruminate.

I like to say if you're not aRranging things, things are being aRranged for you. You must be proactive but low-key. People don't really notice. They just think you're being helpful.

As for Reconnoitering, this is another way of saying Keep your eyes open, but also to be deviously aware. It's also something that you have to be very proactive about. And out of the 3 R's -- and this doesn't just go for group dynamics but for all the human environmental sciences -- I think this is the most enjoyable. Because you're using all your senses, engaging your subjects while observing them.

Sometimes with reconnoitering, I know, the observer fears he or she might tamper with the subject too much, but it depends on what you're trying to achieve. Because some are going for knowledge for knowledge's sake, such as to chart general behavior, and, say, you wouldn't want to have a table there saying you're charting general behavior! Just like if you wanted candid photos you wouldn't say Smile and say cheese.

In a lot of my engagements with people I'm not looking for objective information, of course, because the engagements are primarily social, and I can't step back behind a one way mirror. Believe me, I'd love to! If I could live in a house or skyscraper that was full of one way mirrors, I'd move in a heartbeat. Then give me 30-40 assistants to massage data, and maybe one or two to massage me, and we'd have a great time. We'd be looking for secrets, charting secrets, doing psychological experiments till we were blue in the face. Fun stuff, too, like college students shocking unwitting victims, to prove something about original sin.

But as it is, I'm flying solo. And I don't really call my forays experiments as such. I'm doing what I do to make it to the next level. To get the understanding to give me a happier tomorrow. And, let's say it helps free the country and lessens rural paranoia, bridges some divides and opens up a free flow of trade, not to mention the sharing of ideas, etc., that'll be good too. The third R -- Ruminating -- is in this to some extent.

But let's return to Reconnoitering. I decided to do some reconnoitering of the grange complex. I know things are relaxed at certain times, like Sundays. I don't know where the rural people all go on Sunday morning, so I'm just guessing. The thought occurred to me that they bury themselves in a box of soil from their ancestral land, then close the lid and lay there to recharge. Or it could be they're in church. Either way, the morning is relaxed. There weren't any of the black hooded, black veiled guys in trees, leaving the country vulnerable to interlopers.

I drove out and parked in the same place as usual. Everything looked deserted. The grove, the field, the grange itself. Some of the farmers' daughters shorts were hung on a clothes line. I decided to saunter over and take a closer look. My verdict: Very interesting. My further verdict: Who says Reconnoitering isn't the most interesting R? It's where you get to use all your senses.

After some lengthy reverie in that vicinity, the gentle breezes helping my reverie immensely, I next decided to check out the barn. The door wasn't locked, but that didn't seem unusual, since it's just a barn. I opened the door a crack and didn't see anyone. So I went in. Soon I could hear some noises. It was the horses rustling around, eating, snorting, neighing. I thought of the old joke that horses are nothing but neighsayers, which brought a smile to my lips, playing across my features, enlightening my eyes, and perhaps flaring my nostrils with delight.

My joy was suddenly interrupted by a call from down the other end. I saw a man step from the shadows with a gun and ask me what I wanted. It was Lemuel, the horses' keeper, who, it turns out, lives in a small house behind the barn. From where he stood, with the door behind me open, and the morning sun streaming in, I must have looked like a silhouette. Bad aRranging, but I was caught unaware!

So using my best group dynamics tone (what I call the old We're all in this together tone), I said, "So there you are! I'm glad I ran into you!" That immediately disarmed him because now he knew I wasn't just sneaking around but was looking for him. Then a bit of flattery, "These horses are beautiful. You do a heck of a job with them!" Then some commisserating. I immediately sat down on a barrel, fanned myself with my hand, and said I was still a little tired from Friday night, and that I knew he must be too.

In a few seconds we were like close friends. I pulled over another barrel -- careful not to have him between me and the sun [aRranging] -- and we had a good old fashioned sit down. I was careful to keep my head at a lower level than his.

He told me his story, his love for animals at an early age, the revulsion he'd always felt at immorality, the need for people to go to church, how society is a complete waste, and so on. I nudged him a little -- verbally -- and asked why he wasn't at church. His answer astounded me, "A game toe," one of the exact same things I suffer with, and what I have to thank for my disability benefits. We had that in common, so we were totally on the same page. Same foot too, the right, and even the same toe, the big toe!

The things he said about morality and immorality, I really, really resonated with. And how society is a complete waste. It was all right on as far as I was concerned. (Meaning that's the story he got, since a lot of Reconnoitering is nothing but strategic agreeing with people.) Several times I trumped him, because people like that too; it lets them know you're really paying attention, plus, it lets them know you respect the progress they've made in life and your optimism for them to take it further. Like if he's giving an anecdote about some terrible thing -- let's say the ravages of rock music on religion's popularity -- I have a worse one.

We got on the subject of horses, which of course is his real pride. I buttered him up like a Thanksgiving turkey. Each of these horses he trained. It's his signal they go by when they kick some immoral person to death. It turns out he used to train animals for the circus but quit when a monkey bit the big toe on his right foot. So that's where he got the game toe! Interesting. But why'd he quit? Because he felt like such a failure at the time and swore he'd never again work with animals. Then he moved to this area -- back ages ago -- was tested himself like the others are, passed the test, and eventually got the job from the old guy before him who died, etc., and he's been at it ever since.

He was happy to meet me, he said, and said he was impressed how I passed a very difficult orgy test a couple weeks ago. Somehow I knew better than to dare touch my zipper. He complimented me on my great discipline -- my morality -- and said he knew I was a rare breed. My intuition told me he was sizing me up to take over his job with the horses, just like he got it from the old guy before him, but I didn't say anything about it.

We parted as close friends. Lemuel. A nice guy indeed.

Now I'm back home to Ruminate, which, in part, you've been privileged to witness.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pop, Ice, and Olive Oil (Tweets)

How do you spell knockwurst? You DON'T spell knockwurst, it's always on the job!

Just got back from the store. Needed some pop, ice, and olive oil.

Hell Is Other People (Tweets)

I've learned the secret about meeting other people. It's simply never worth it. The butterfly is not your friend. Stay in your cocoon!

Like in the Tao Te Ching 80: Neighbor lands are juxtaposed. Each hears the barking dogs. Folks grow old and die and never once exchange a call.

It's why I like to hang out at my blog at Blogger. There's no lonelier place on the internet than Blogger. You never see a single soul.

But I'm also something of an evangelist for everyone going to their respective corners and staring blankly at the wall. Or possibly reading.

So remember, don't write, don't call, don't drop by, don't leave your home, and you'll be happy. Maybe get a dog. Dogs are OK.

My Head Screwed On Straight

Umm, huh, umm [moving my head back and forth], just want to make sure my head's screwed on straight. I can't keep it straight, everything I've been doing lately and saying. With time not being quite itself -- being sped up sometimes -- and an unremitting flurry of meetings, theories, schemes, friends, enemies, not to mention a real lack of understanding of Grange Brotherhood history, politics, and ways, I really don't know where I am.

So it's time to simplify things. I'm the good guy. But I'm still going to have a hard time saying the Brotherhood's the bad guys. Some are, perhaps, some aren't. Probably most of them are good in the same sense that people are generally good. Good until you turn your back on them, then they're the same stew of semi-good and 75% evil that all of us are. Pelaging Dr. Freud!

My own concern is to do like -- who were those guys, the Utilitarians? -- to advocate for the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Theoretically, because when my head isn't screwed on straight I wonder why I should care. I've got my guns and sacred swords if everyone gets out of hand. But I hate suffering, that's it, as necessary and unavoidable as it is. So I don't hate suffering at every level, since that would be to deny existence. And whether this is the greatest Creation there could ever be, etc.

So much suffering is simply perspective-driven; wouldn't it all have to be perspective-driven, if there's a suffering soul or consciousness? We've got it that even the Highest suffers on our behalf, which would suggest something intrinsic or objective. Then there's the whole matter of the Highest's choice in this matter, unless we take the Highest out of the realm of being just another character like every other character. If we think of the One somehow without a Two, it's even humorous to think of the One suffering; the perspective of it would be artificial, no doubt to use the wrong word, a thing of choice, chosen, therefore not wholly an intrinsic matter except insofar as Grace and Love are seen as separate from Being Itself. And with that, we're working with lingnastics and putting too much of ourselves into it...

Anyway, there's interesting ways of looking at things.

Then there's gift baskets and gift cards, which is what I really wanted to get to. I'll keep it short. The black cloaked figures along the road between here and the grange have loosened up toward me since that first Friday. This is positive. Like I said in a tweet yesterday, quoting the great song, "Sometimes good guys don't wear white." To further loosen them and find favor, I used some of the money from my savings account to buy for them gift baskets for their wives and/or significant others and gift cards for them. What they were specifically were some gift baskets from a bed and bath store, with towels, bath lotions, powders, etc., and the gift cards were each for $25 from The Olive Garden.

So on my way to the dance, the black cloaked figures in the trees were already trying to wave me on and wave at me. But I slowed down. At first they were looking suspicious because I seemed to be acting suspicious. But, like I do, lifestyle science stuff, I laughed and acted very inclusive -- we're just folks here, you and I -- and called them down from their tree and gave them one of these baskets and cards. You should've seen the look on their faces. Like, No one's ever done anything for me. This is the greatest gesture anyone's ever done for me, etc. I'm waving it all off, but they're still lathering it on thick and at length.

I made good time, though, and got to the grange way early. Since I'm trusted now, I went over to the barn and saw Lemuel brushing the horses and sharpening their shoes. The matrons were putting on their dancing clothes, like a costume party. The various orgy people were going through last minute choreography refinements. The farmers' daughters were cinching up their cutoffs, setting aside what it appears they normally wear, sack dresses and wool socks. And I saw other women and men going through their preparations, unbuttoning the top button to reveal cleavage, or, for the men, setting their zippers askew and pulling out cloth to give the slightest hint of underpants.

When the dance got going, I stayed inside quite a bit, but once in a while I could see the horses heads bob by the window as they were going to the barn or back to the grove. There's a great honor in all this procession work. They put a lot of pomp into it, especially with a fresh kill. Death isn't cheap to these people. They honor it by going to the extra trouble, which, frankly, I think the horses love. They have very little else to live for, and if horses watched TV I'm sure they would cherish the opportunity to see a well-placed shoe in slow motion, perhaps set to the 'Chariots of Fire' type of music.

But I didn't need to see it all this time. I know what an idiot kid looks like, his zipper down, then a horseshoe imprint in his forehead wasting him. Still, it makes me sad to think, One little mistake like that ... fatal ... what a waste! This will be something I bring an end to if I'm ever fortunate enough to be in a position of power with this organization. Because I feel for the parents at home, looking out their window, wondering what's keeping Billy. And to me Billy deserves more of a chance than this even though life sometimes says No.

Inside, I danced with a few of the farmers' daughters, who, while looking as hot as a fireplace poker, are so engaged in their part of allurement that there's very little actual life to them. Plus, I'm way too old for them. Mostly I danced with the matrons. The men trust me now so there was barely any surveillance from the curtains. A few of the matrons were decidedly forward, being aware that I'm now an old hand.

One tipsy gal had her arms around my backside and grabbed each side; there's two sides divided by a line down the middle, I should note, and she simultaneously had a handful of each, with the kind of grip we usually associate with chefs working with pizza dough. I'm thinking I might have some bruises. As close as this put our front extremities, there could've been some misunderstanding, and I'm lucky the horses and husbands were otherwise occupied.

Everything is working out neatly. The level of trust is so high. I had a wonderful time!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pull Of Fiss And Vinegar (Tweets)

I was pull of fiss and vinegar tonight when I got home from the dance. So I think unfortunately I might've overdone it on the silliness.

You be the judge [opening the curtain and with a wave of the hand stepping back]:


I love the great director, Alfred Hitchpeepee.

Even though he was born in a different peepeetry.

He made a great movie called "The Birds," that included crows, sparrows, finches, and the tufted mammarymouse.

The critics gave him two thumbs up, with rubber gloves of course.

Which of his movies is the best has been a BONE of contention with movie buffs for years.

I Guess Everyone IS Looking For Some Tush (Tweets)

Ah, passing the time with paradise people / Paradise people are fine by me... (from the song 'Abergavenny.')

I shall win over the Grange Brotherhood with gift baskets and gift cards. Let them know, "Sometimes good guys don't wear white." (Standells)

I'm at the grange dance, just checking in. I heard some weird sing-song children's songs in the distance, but it's just fields for miles.

I've had a few dances, including one dance with a very amorous matron. She had hold of something behind me and pulled me close. She's drunk.

I'm going to have to check myself for bruises back there, which is going to require a good mirror, privacy, and some craning of the neck.

If You See A Red Dog Running Free

I woke up today in the greatest mood, with a song that I heard yesterday running through my mind. It's on repeat mode because it's the only thing I can think of.

The song is "Abergavenny," by Shannon. I have a 45 rpm record of it and it's also on an LP. I love it, stuff like this, "Taking a trip up to Abergavenny, Hoping the weather is fine, If you should see a red dog running free, Well, you know he's mine." And it's also got some great stuff about "Paradise people, fine by me." So, wherever Abergavenny is, "I've got to get there and fast!"

I love that "red dog running free" line. I take my dog for a walk and she used to run free. But now we have a roaming cop in the area all the time, who I call Deputy Dawgcatcher. And he's constantly on the lookout for vicious curs tasting freedom. My dog was running free one time and I saw Deputy Dawgcatcher coming into the area, so I have a deal with my dog, when I give out a high pitched shriek that only she can hear, that means "Come." Then we're walking along, my dog on her leash, and we crossed paths with Deputy D and he pointed out to me some other guy over there whose dog was running free. He's got to cite him.

Anyway, we don't want dogs running free that are going to kill us. But most wouldn't!

So I'm having a great morning, in the greatest mood, with the greatest song running through my head. If you know the record, it has that marching band in there. It's very nice.

Speaking of bands, tonight's the Friday night grange dance, Johnny Hotshot's band, the works, the grange people, the horses, matrons, farmers' daughters, black hooded Grange Brotherhood. I'm definitely going -- especially as everything's loosening up very nicely for me. I'm fitting right in, making some decent alliances, etc.

There are always ways of dealing with people to your best advantage. Put on a good face. Listen to happy music. Get yourself stoked up about your own qualities. See yourself divinely led, divinely inspired. Know you've got the entire divinity right there in your heart. Crap, it isn't rocket science, it's better. It's the secrets of the universe in a one inch cube right behind your navel. With the spiritual superhighway leading right by, with several on and off ramps to your brain. People look at you and they don't know what hit 'em.

Then you've got all the instincts it takes to arrange things, chairs, tables, gift baskets, flowers, smiling, touching shoulders, commisserating, strategic yielding, other people's wisdom taking your breath away...

That's the way I'm going tonight, with gift baskets and gift cards. A modest investment in gift baskets and gift cards will pay off handsomely. Wait and see!

But as for this morning:

Sunshine forever, lovely weather
Don't you wish you could be.....
Ah, taking a trip up to Abergavenny
Hoping the weather is fine
If you should see a red dog running free
Well, you know he's mine!


"Abergavenny" music and lyrics by Jack Geller & Frere Manston, performed by Shannon, aka Marty Wilde, 1968 recording.