like a foolish man who built his house on sand

Do you remember that developer who went to Dog Island and was so struck with the near pristine beauty and untouched nature that last year he bought up a bunch of beach front land and gave it to his old university to figure out how to build it up and make a ton of money off of it?

Well, it turns out that they still haven't figured out that the land they intend to build on is dissapearing at the rate of several feet a year. Bless their little hearts. I hope their final grades don't depend on making something work down there.


long weekend, small posts 3

I've never yet met anyone who doesn't want a baby pygmy goat as a pet as soon as they see them at play. Me, I intend to use a goat cart when all the oil runs out.

long weekend, small posts 2

A memorial service is not the time or place to be a sketchy, selfish jerk. Everyone is already miserable enough. Drama started at a funeral is going to stick around for a long time.

long weekend, small posts

I can't think of a less appropriate song to sing at a young man's funeral than "Loving You," especially when done by a woman described as "almost a mother to him."


let him climb the rigging like his daddy used to do

This whole end-of-the-easy-to-get-oil-supplies thing may not be all bad. Can you imagine all those god damned huge cruise ships stuck in shallow water, listing, useless, filled with squatters because they can't get the fuel to run and ruin? Once again, maybe the world's ports will fill with sailing ships, the sound of wind on canvas, people braving the heights above pitching sea and rocking deck. Instead of pushing our way out with chugging engines and pouring smoke, we'll go back to traveling the oceans at the whims of nature. Going to sea should be an adventure, not an excuse to shop.


still don't believe it

Jarryd was a local co-op kid. He never had a mean word for anyone, and that includes people he should have. What is there to say when a friend dies? He was loyal, he was funny. He could charm anyone, from arresting officers to attractive women, with a smile and a laugh. I tended to run into him just out and about; he was the kind of guy you actually stopped to chat with for a while instead of just saying hi and rolling on.

What is there to say? He died at 22, too damn young by far. I hear he was just making a smoke run from Cabos. All the times I saw him get stumbling drunk, all the drugs he took over the years for fun, all the time he should have been in mortal danger - and a quick trip for cigarettes caught him. Don't ever fool yourself, death is completely random.


go go godzillla

I'm building a little town. I was going to give it some funny (to me) name, possibly based on a beer brand or semi famous inventor, but it seems to have acquired the moniker Tiny Town. So it goes.

I've got a couple of buildings done. I work on it at night after work, when I'm watching American Gladiators or 30 Rock. I can't just sit and watch tv without something to do with my hands. Some folks knit. I spray paint and cut and glue beer boxes into funny little buildings. This one's my favorite.

I gave it shutters and a set of blinds, and even a fire escape hanging off the back. Clear windows - some of them purple. It's a two story, downtown home for wee people. I've also got a Spanish-style apartment building and a Nathans hotdog stand. Next I might make a skyscraper or a water tower. I intend to pull together, not a village or a small town, but a city complete with slums and head shops and a university.

Some of my friends are getting in on the fun, too. And this fall, after we've put together what we see as enough little buildings and cars and such, we're going to go out behind a friend's warehouse. We're going to drink beers and set up the entire city. Once it's laid out and perfect, we're going to put on a mix cd made for the occasion - maybe start with Ride of the Valkyries or Fuk Shit Up by the Blatz - and then we're gonna ATTACK TINY TOWN IN AN ORGY OF GODZILLA-LIKE DESTRUCTION! WE'LL STOMP AND RAMPAGE! WE'LL DROPKICK WEE MUSEUMS AND BURN MINUSCULE GAS STATIONS TO THE GROUND!

It's going to be awesome.


one man, one pan

I meant to make sausage and cabbage and taters to eat separately. Mustard on the sausage, vinegar on the cabbage, butter and pepper on the potatoes. Cooked them all up together in the cast iron skillet my Aunt Lynn gave me. Added some soy sauce, plenty of garlic, shakes and shakes of black pepper. About the time the cabbage got soft, I tasted the pot liquor. That ain't three dishes, buddy, that's one fine soup.

Most of what I write works about the same. I'll think I've got three or four ideas that need working out, but actually it's all just different flavors in the same story. But you never can tell starting out.


roll it up

You know how there are certain activities that seem to require certain statements when performed? Evidentially, when you make sushi you have to say, "It's like rolling a joint." At least, that's what nearly everyone came up with as we put together all sorts of delicious fish and veggies and mango slices with rice and seaweed last night to celebrate Mother's Day.

Food and drug comparisons aside, you know what I think I love best about our family? We are just so damn funny. Maybe not to anyone else, but you get all us kids together with mom and dad, and we can crack each other up for days. Lily's sly, May's the actress, Jessie just jumps in sometimes with a line that puts you on the floor. I nearly got out of breath helping to make dinner, just from the jokes going around the room.

Thanks, mom. I sure love you.

sun screenings

The Tallahassee Film Fest hits screens all over town this weekend. Go to the site, choose some movies, go out and see them. I want to see God's Cartoonist, myself. What could be better than a documentary about noted Christian fundie cartoon tract maker and general wing-nut, Jack Chick?


not feeling it

Like 90% of the adults in this town, my friends and I tend to meet up after work on Fridays for "happy hour." Since we're all fairly poor and tend to be rowdy (that is to say, some of us are Not Welcome Back at certain local bars), that usually involves gathering at a home or behind the warehouse where one of us runs a business. Different locations lean toward different outcomes, from giant bonfires and bb guns to political arguments over too much whiskey.

Growing up, I wasn't part of a group of friends. Okay, to be honest, I sort of had no friends at all. Weird kid, socially awkward, liked to read - you hear me. I used to watch commercials where little gangs of teens or preteens got together to eat happy meals and josh each other and just long with every cell to have pals. Hell, that's probably why I loved The Goonies so much.

Somewhere around 17 or 18, I started figuring out the whole making friends thing. I suspect I just wasn't meant for school-based social circles. I've made my peace with that time, and I've had plenty of good friends and tight crews in the past 14 years since I got out of high school. But I still have a problem saying, "nah, I'll catch y'all later. I don't feel up to hanging out tonight." That nervous ninth grader is still in there somewhere insisting that I have to take any chance for a social life.

I didn't sleep well last night, and I don't particularly feel like happy houring later. I'll get the calls of "where the hell are you? grab a twelvepack and come on!" and feel guilty about making a quiet dinner and maybe watching a movie. But, it's sort of a happy guilt. I've got buddies that like spending time with me, honestly. When I'm not around, they look for me. I sort of wish I could go back to middle school me and tell me that the hard times don't last.

Maybe that's why I'm generally cheerful now. I feel bad for people who peaked in high school. Anyway, unless my mood changes by the time I escape work today, my friends can do this one without me.


raw oysters and boiled srimp

I miss Posey's. If I sit here and think about it for a second, I can smell the mix of beer and smoked fish and river that permeated the dollar-lined walls of the dark front room. I grew up sitting at those rough-pine tables, eating poor man's oysters (that's saltines with cocktail sauce for you who weren't graced with a Florida childhood) and picking mullet off the bones.

When I was little, the back room wasn't yet set up as a bar. My sister and I would wander back there to the pool tables, unused in the afternoon, and try to sink the cue ball while the grown ups had a few Buds and a couple dozen raw. Getting older, nothing beat calling up a few friends on Sunday for the drive to St. Mark's, squeezing in between bikers and slumming college kids for a table outside. If you've never watched the river while downing the best the Gulf has to offer (and the cheapest Milwaukee has to offer), brother, I feel sorry for the state of your soul.

When visitors came into town, especially those from up north who wanted the true local experience, Posey's and Wakulla Springs were the two spots we had to hit. I swear, one of my yankee buddies almost fell off her bench seat when a twelve year old in a "I spent a wild weekend at Posey's one night" tshirt brought us out our beers. Another friend of mine had her first hushpuppy there. She wasn't sure at first, being a picky eater at the time, but two bites in and she was already headed for the counter to order up a basketful.

When Dennis swamped St. Mark's, part of my life got washed away. I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I have any idea what the actual residents felt, or that I was impacted like those who lost their homes and jobs. But, damn it, that doesn't mean I don't still mourn, years later. I guess they're fighting right now about building some sort of convention center and so on down that way, and I can't say I blame them. I don't think there's more than a couple hundred residents of the little village now that the tourists and the refineries have both left the scene. But I can't say I wouldn't love to ride on down there now that the weather's warm and sit up by the railing and listen to some dude cover Buffet while I pick that good, good mullet.


where's my bribe check?

I expect my "stimulus" money next week from the gubment. I guess they want us to buy stuff and make it not look like we're sliding into an economic depression. Thinking about it, I can't help but note that pretty much any sort of big kid toy - tvs, stereos, ipods, cell phones, cars, computers, new sneakers, giant blenders, power washers, kegerators - are made wholly or partially outside of the USA. Which seems to undermine the whole point of the experiment.

That in mind, I plan to use my bribe check to pay utilities and support American artists and small business owners. That's right - time for a new tattoo. Can't outsource your body mods!


you were a little baby very long ago

As most anyone reading this knows, I come from a sprawling bunch that's sort of half Addams family and half Louisa May Alcott's March family. 3 sisters, me, mom, stepdad, dad, stepmom, uncles, aunts, cousins, shirt tail cousins, best friends, former bandmates, grannies, friends we didn't know were cousins until years after we bonded - you get the idea. With this many of us, we've got birthdays and odd little celebrations scattered throughout the year. But for my core group, the folks I sat down to dinner with most nights growing up, birthday season is upon us.

Today, my baby sister hits 19 and granny's marking 81. Sis is a bright, smiling, singing girl. I believe she once called herself the white sheep of the family. She got dad's natural physical abilities - no training wheels for her bike, no sir, and the day she got her first rollerblades she was going up and down stairs in them. (Me, I think if man was meant to roll on wheels we'd been born with them.) As a preschooler, she used to like to do pull ups on whatever was handy - the freezer door, monkey bars, my outstretched arm. Well, it turns out that translates to musical ability, too. I can't carry a tune in a two handled bucket, but she took to the mando like a hamster to cheery tomatoes. She's aced her first year at FSU. All this, and she's so damn sweet natured that you can't hate her for it.

Granny's on the other side of life, looking back. And, I tell you what, I know people in their 50s that aren't half as healthy or on top of things as she is. She still drives her little red nu-bug around town (although, to be honest, she is the only person that I, grandpa driver that I am, have ever been behind in traffic and found myself thinking, God damn it, please speed up!). She could stand on her head into her 60s, and would for her grandkids' entertainment and delight. She walks daily, travels the world when she can, and tells crazy stories about my alcoholic biograndfather when I take her out to lunch from time to time.

Next up in the birthday play list comes my sister May (guess what month), then myself two weeks after. One of my greatest pleasures comes from throwing great big parties, complete with a keg of beer, a table of food, show-style fliers as invitations, and usually some theme I can force on my friends. (Pirates for my 30th, for example. I need to figure out what I'll throw together for this year.) And so on, through the summer.

When we were kids, birthdays always involved spreading a sheet on the lawn for an outside supper; juicy juice (a real treat for us hippie kids); a friend or two over to spend the night; books and outdoorsy toys; and a cake by request. One year May figured out she could get two key lime pies from mom - one for her own pleasure, one for the rest of us.

Birthday season, I love it! Bring on the shrimp salad and red velvet cake!