Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nuclear War!

So this:

is what a nuclear missile silo looks like. There's a nuke under there, probably pointed at Iran or something. That big white, pointy thing, that kinda looks like a mini-Washington Monument, that is a super-powerful antenna that can apparently get through the electromagnetic pulse that is emitted when the missile is launched. And apparently, you can walk right up to it. To them, in fact, as there are at least 11 in this small area in northeastern Colorado.

I can't decide whether to be disappointed that there are no guards with M-16s mulling around or at least mutant dobermans or something... or if I should feel safe because if, in the US, just anybody can walk up to these things and take pictures, that means we're pretty confident in our national security. Though I feel bad for all the farmers who would get cancer and die should we feel the need to actually fire one of these things.

But that's pretty cool, I think!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Politico Rant

I am definitely one of those people who, like Jay Leno, wants to see someone go to jail.

The whole AIG thing is such a mess, and I understand that they didn't do anything ILLEGAL, per say, but just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right. I love democracy, and I love checks and balances, but sometimes, the most powerful government in the world needs to remember that it's the most powerful government in the world. Take advantage. I don't care if it's illegal, throw someone in jail! Boost the morale of all of us peons that keep getting left behind in this Western world of scandal and corrupt businessmen. Tell the ACLU to sit this round out, tell Congress to sit down and be quiet, just be a leader. Take one for the team, here.

What's the point of being the most powerful country in the world if you can't even protect your own people from internal threats?

I'm kind of OK with the concept of a benign king. Americans seem to have trouble taking care of themselves.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I ain't gettin' mad, Joker...

I been mad all my nat'rul life.

I’m in the midst of a battle. A battle for friends I shouldn’t have to fight for, battle I’m tired of waging. It’s wearing thin, threatening to unravel the blanket of cool confidence I have so carefully stitched. A battle against all the juvenile mind games in which I have always refused to participate. Are battles this tough, this petty and cruel, really worth it, in the end?

I guess it’s no one’s fault but my own that I’m in this position. These feelings are all my own. I could have kissed more ass, could have been less opinionated, could have forgiven more easily for the bad decisions people seem bent on making. Or could I have? Was I the excuse everyone was looking for? Did I allow people to get out of friendships they didn’t want, to get out of jobs they didn’t want, to express a maniacal and irrational anger at their lives that they couldn’t express without some kind of external irritant. Let’s just blame it on the new girl, no one will ever know any better. Well, I know better. Only, as the new girl, my say is limited to where to meet for a beer once a month and pretend we all actually like each other. Only, as the new girl, I see it so clearly.

Only, I did like them. It was genuine. Their dislike of each other is also genuine, deep, manipulative and hidden. And I offered an alternative reality. Perhaps a reality they didn’t want to face… what do you do when someone actually WANTS to be your friend and isn’t just pretending in order to get something from you? I guess if you spend years acting out this little drama, its hard to think anything else. They are all so used to be used that they are instinctively suspicious of the one person who isn’t using them. It's sick and twisted, and I've tried my best to be friendly and supportive and forgiving; I'm not doing it anymore.

I have several people telling me to cut my losses and book it. And maybe I should. Sometimes, things are exactly what they look like and exactly how they feel. A bunch of lonely, miserable people trying to drag me down with them because I am a chance they had at being happy, and that goes against the status quo. Nothing to read into it, nothing to say, nothing to do. It is what it is, and it is something I don’t want—or need—to be a part of. Any of it. Scrub it clean and start again. Wash, rinse, repeat. It’s not like I haven’t done it before.

I heard a quote on an episode of NCIS yesterday, something akin to “The worst people are often the most liked.” I wonder if Donald Bellisario knows just how true that is.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Day in the Life...

Bored. Droopy-eyed. Drifting. Daydream about horseback riding. Daydream about what is not here and what is not now.

A lack of interest in their lack of interest.

Cold. Chill. Clammy hands.

How long? How far? How much. Tired of being dismissed. Angry, irritated, resigned. Sigh. Excluded, exiled, estranged. Social rejects rejecting one another. Forced integration. Introverts, we, all of us. We, none of us. Threatened, endangered, a species apart. The only species that thrives on the misery of solitude. The only species that pretends to need it...

Is red hair really the only thing that sets me apart? Would you even look my way if I had the plain blond tresses of my youth? Would the second glance be worth it? And the third? Was the third date worth it? Did my fiery hair disguise something else?

Click click click of keyboards. Sniff, shuffle, clearing a throat, silence. Don't look away from your computer screen, to see only the blank faces, mannequins at work. No laughter, only disguised, below-the-surface happiness or disguised, below-the-surface anger. Don't show it. Only quiet.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Stream on Consciousness Post...

Taken during a break from work...

Click, scroll, read. Click scroll read. Repeat. Indefinitely. Repetition repetition repetition. Repetition of movements and thoughts and actions and breaths. Of blinks and coughs and little twirls of hair around your fingers.

If you were a character from...
but you're not; you're you. But if you weren't you, who would you be? Who would be you?

Who do you want to be?

Look at all the people smiling. What do they smile about? Lovers, poets, friends, memories, jokes. Joke's on you; sarcasm, anger. Hidden behind a smile. They smile because they don't know what else to do. Do they laugh at you or with you or without you? What is the secret behind their laughter? Why is it secret from you?
You laugh because they do. You laugh because it sounds foreign. It sounds like another you, a you on a plane, a you with a suitcase, a you in an ao dai or in a jalabiya, a you speaking words you don't know. You laugh because maybe you forgot how.

A fly buzzing in a fluorescent ceiling light. Its January. Is it the first fly of the season, or the last? Escaping the cold, escaping the wet, escaping the exhaust and ice and smog and sweat. Escape.

Who is worried, and who isn't? How can anyone tell behind the mask of computers we hide behind? Is her arrogance worry? Are his angry cusswords worry? When he shrugs, does he shrug from nonchalance or does he shrug with worry? Does it matter? If such things are only, are all, ephemeral, if this computer, these post-it notes, those mechanic pencils, the voices I can hear echoing up through the wooden staircases and concrete walls... if they are only here for this moment and none other, should I type? Should I take notes? Should I write? Should I listen?

What is the life of a hermit if not one without the constant worry, hate, anger, fear of others?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Frozen Dead Guy Days, part IV

We also managed to make ourselves locals. Jonmikel was approached all day with “Hey you live here, do you know where…” and even found a couple of local chics to hit on him while I was away getting beer (no contest, of course!). Later in the day, we planted ourselves at a local bar, made buddies with a door guy and a bartender, got to stay in the bar when everybody else was kicked out to make room for the band, received several comments from people who loved my hair and to let us know how lucky Jonmikel is to be with a redhead, and got the owner of the town’s liquor store to buy us drinks. Not bad for a day-trip!

Fun with PhotoShop!

Nederland Town Hall... quaint, huh?

That's Elephant Revival up there, can't you tell? They really are much better live than they are on their album. Also, the beer/music tent was packed to the gills with revelers, with no room to dance :-(

Us, becoming locals at the bar!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Frozen Dead Guys Days, part III: The Coffin Races!

Also, self-explanatory. You make a homemade coffin, dress a member of your party up as a dead person, and take your homemade coffin and your homemade dead person for a run through a playground. Logical, right? Oh, and do a Chinese fire drill. Aren't those fun? Don't you feel incredibly non-PC when you say/do it?

Please Note: none of these photos are mine; I gave Jonmikel's camera back to him for this round.

Hauling fake dead people in a fake casket is pretty tough work...

Chinese Fire Drill!!
Really, does anyone know the origin of our famed Chinese Fire Drill???

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Frozen Dead Guy Days, part II: The Polar Plunge!

Sorry for the inundation of photos, but I feel they speak for themselves:


Retro Bathing Suit Man

Everybody's got a little Elvis in them...

The safety dudes enjoying a float before people start jumping in...

Running cold after the plunge...

The Caped Crusader

This kid was dressed in a "Death" costume, and then he lost his mask in the water and was really upset...

The little guy almost didn't do it...

The dry suit the safety guys (firemen) wore while sitting in the water...

Norway vs. Sweden!


The Belly Flop

The Piggy Back Jump... she threw her nice faux-fur hat to the firedude sitting on the side before jumping in...

So in order to jump in, you had to sign a waiver that basically said: "If you die, it's not our fault." We didn't jump only because 1) there was no one to hold our stuff and 2) we really didn't have the $40 to spare that it would cost us to jump in. Maybe next year...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Frozen Dead Guy Days, Part I

So there’s this frozen dead guy. He used to be frozen in Norway, which is where he lived and died and froze (because Norway is cold). He died, he froze, and then he was shipped to a cryonics lab in California, where he hung out as a frozen dead guy in liquid nitrogen. His family wanted to take care of dad/grandpa (as good children are wont to do), so they take frozen dead Grandpa in and keep him at an average of -60 degrees F in a shed in Nederland, Colorado, where the happy family dreamed of inventing their very own cryonics lab (presumably without being scientists) using dry ice (or, “Po Man’s Liquid Hydrogen”). Grandson gets deported for overstaying his welcome (green card), and Daughter (Grandson’s Mom) gets evicted because she’s living in her house with no electricity or plumbing and with a frozen dead dude, all three of which are apparently against the law. But because Daughter was do distraught that her father might defrost, the city adopts a (get this, its great) Grandfather Clause (I know, right!?) for the anti-dead-guy-in-freezer law, and a local environmental company and a cryonics preservation company band together to assure that Grandpa stays frozen and sanitary. They even built a shed for Grandpa, in honor of him being dead and frozen. In double the honor, the town holds Frozen Dead Guy Days every March (beginning in 2002), featuring several delectable events, such as a parade (can’t have a festival without a parade!), coffin races (with homemade coffins and homemade dead people!), a polar plunge (in which people strip down and jump in a frozen pond, fun for the whole family!), a ball (with a “best dead person” costume contest), and pancakes breakfasts (which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like). Also, live entertainment! We headed up to them thar hills to see a band that is supposed to be much better live than they are on their CD (Elephant Revival, and they are!!), as well as some other unwashed hippy bluegrass bands (the best kind!).

Scenes from the Parade:

The obligatory old farm equipment pictures!

The covered pedestrian bridge over Boulder Creek, the main pathway to the beer tent!
You can really see in this shot up around the edges how its getting blurry... yeah, water got INTO my lens, and then proceeded to fog up the inside of the camera... I think it may be time for a new lens...

The bustling little town of Nederland, CO... this is the town's 1700 people mulling around after the parade

Bear! Rawr!

Jonmikel and his long hair

A hearse in the parade passing by the town's original Panama Canal Steam Shovel!

Snow prophylactics

She got lost in the parade...

Mini-Bear! Rawr!

People in the parade... these guys all went on to compete in the coffin races (to be featured in a later post)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Orleans, 1/15-16/09

After scoping out St. Louis Cemetery I (the others were a track through the ghetto and not high on our "let's walk to it" list), we navigated our way through a dog parade (complete with those soppy dog owners who dress their dogs up in pink sweaters and such), played with a pit bull puppy, and established ourselves at a hole-in-the-wall bar (I bet you didn't know there were any of those in the French Quarter, did you?) serving crayfish. Only they were out, so we had shrimp at the crayfish price and red beans and rice. We walked around, did some shopping, walked along the river, putzed, and ended up at another seafood-and-beer place for dinner, followed by a stroll along Bourbon Street to take in the shenanigans. We then stepped it up a bit by closing out a jazz bar with wine. One of those dark, seedy, brick-lined bars off a more lonely street, packed full of wine drinkers in slinky, stylish clothes. Our final stop for the night was the Cafe du Monde at about 1 am, experiencing the daytime tourist destination the way Louis and Lestat experienced it, dark and damp and full of smoke and shifty conversation. Locals and the homeless mingled freely, sipping coffee and licking powdered sugar off sticky, dirty fingers, absorbed in one another and hardly taking notice of the only tourists venturing that way so late at night.

The next morning we hopped a ferry to "historic" Algiers, across the river and made up of rows of dockyards and storage containers. We also managed to find some quick and wonderfully messy peel-and-eat crayfish at an eatery we visited yesterday, and we caught a cab to the airport while I picked shellfish entrails from my fingernails. Never could get that pealing right.

Andrew Jackson proudly surveying his very own Square

St. Louis Cathedral

Loved this set of townhouses in the French Quarter...

As an aside, our cab driver to the airport was a fabulous guy from Haiti who looked like he had lived long and hard. He had an almost understandable French-Caribbean accent, and I'm pretty sure he came to New Orleans for the voodoo. :-)