Monday, January 30, 2006

I think

There is a lyric from a song by Hem that I think sums up how to think of the sort of feelings I had in my recent poem surface...
Do you carry every sadness with you
Every hour your heart was broken
Every night the fear and darkness
Lay down with you
I interpret this to mean that you should be careful not to carry too many of your sad thoughts along with you for any distance, and that you should let go of them almost as if they were grains of rice that you let slip from your fingers as you walk along. Some may stick to your hand, and you can follow their trail back, but they should not be a burden; they should not constantly fill your hands so you cannot hold anything.

That view of things is very helpful to me.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


at the surface
I am calm
my mask in place
hi, thanks, sure

beneath the surface
strata of thought, conflict
hungry, appointment, get to work
I want her, why can't I sleep, am I OK
what will remain when I die, will anyone care

inside the bubbles
of thoughts
more thoughts gurgle
grasping for my attention
mmm sheer cups, what is that harmony, where are my keys
I like Earl Grey, that's too sweet, I don't get the joke

random thoughts
move like fluid
never stopping
never quiet
never done

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Life just happens

So I feel the "write a poem" feeling again so I think one will fall into my head and run out of my fingers pretty soon. Look out for it, with any luck it'll be as good as the last one I wrote which was way to mushy to share here.

Wow. The new microwave oven is way quieter than the old one.

So the singing is getting pretty good for Once Upon a Mattress. We're actually getting the harmonies done and learning all the bits. Our musical director is really sharp and good to work with. The practices are a great distraction from pretty much everything.

I had the most vivid and wierd dream on Monday morning. The family was on vacation in a motel that was actually on the tarmac of an airport and when I returned to my room after a shower and putting the children to bed in a separate building, the air conditioner (which was made of cast aluminum and about three inches by three inches by three inches) was spitting out sparks and hot air and so I went to the desk to try to get some help with it then I lost my way on the way back and bumped into a coffee table and met a man who was dressed in a tux just like everyone else except me who was in a bathrobe. It got stranger and more detailed from there. Oh yeah, all the rooms had mahogany wood paneling and mismatched curtains.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Party Time

Our neighbor and long time friend Ann turned 90 and had a little party. We saw a few old friends there too. Here's the pix...

Happy Birthday Ann!

Meessa soooooo tired

Oh. My God. Take six ten year olds, a bunch of toy weapons, Star Wars movies, Star Wars video games, some hot dogs, a half dozen bags of chips, and lots of soda. Add some sleeping bags and camp mattresses. Shake together for a full 24 hours. FUN!!!!!

In between doing laundry (whoopee!) we spent most of the afternoon and evening telling the thundering hoards to not swing light sabers in the house, to not spill their cans of soda, and to "Play out there, not in here!" We finally got them to calm down long enough to actually watch some of the movies, although they insisted that they needed several "breaks" so they could make lots of rude noises while they jeered each other through yet another game. Talk about party animals.

Note: Do not allow underage drinkers to have caffeine ever again. Not even a little.

We retreated to the family room and had festive adult beverages. Jessamy bravely stuck by us while Andy abandoned ship and hung out with friends.

We watched Minority Report starring that most gifted of actors, Tom (every single character I have ever played is exactly the same no matter what the script says) Cruise. The movie was pretty good even though it didn't have any naked boobs in it. I don't know how one expects to tell a story about precognition of murder without flashing a bit of nipple, but apparently Spielberg was able to do it. The holographic computer displays and blue everything got to be a wee overdone, but the cars they drove were hella sick. (I frequently employ colloquial phrases that the youths use just so I can keep in touch with the younger generations. It also bugs the hell out of them and that's fricken funny.)

We spent the morning abed after verifying that the party guests had all survived the night. It turned out to be a splendid choice!

Friday, January 20, 2006


Here comes the weekend. How did that happen? This week was kinda tough. I got less sleep than usual and the extra hours of rehearsal added up to one tired Bob. At least I'm witty which makes up for sleepy sometimes. I got some cool stuff done at work, but there are still some undone projects that are bugging me.

The rehearsals are going well. I'm unlearning some bad habits like singing during rests. Even the clapping stomping fiasco got better. There is hope after all. I like the people running the show, they are very organized. The Musical director has a very good demeanor, serious but easy to work with. So far no one in the cast seems to be flaky in the least. The cast looks to be about 20 people, so it should be fairly easy to get to know everyone. I haven't seen the theatre, but the rehearsal space looks better than some I've seen.

The director asked me last night if I could play Sir Studley (duh). OK, I only get about five lines, but at least I won't just be Knight 2.

Tomorrow should be fun with about eight ten year olds here to watch all the Star Wars movies in series. Both of the older kids have conveniently found other places to go. Hmmm.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A beautiful bona fide princess

I joined the cast (chorus) of Once Upon a Mattress at West Valley Light Opera today. So tonight was the first run through with the chorus. I have done the show twice before, but the last time was about 12 years ago. (!)

I have finally become old enough that twelve years does not sound like forever, except the young lady playing Lady Larkin in this production noted that she was seven when I played Sir Harry... hmmm. But I digress.

So I remember the songs pretty well, even some of the harmony I'm supposed to be singing. When we got to the entracte, I remember the part I completely blocked out. The entracte is a clapping, finger snapping, stamping, and spoken rythmic piece that sounds really cool but is hard to do properly. It is the sort of thing I do badly. I tried to keep up. I don't think I'm going to be the one people are turning to to see how it is done, if you get my drift.

It promises to be lots of fun and take lots of time.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Kinda different, eh?

It took a couple of hours to re-doodle the template and make a new picture for the upper left there. It was fun grueling.

Oh yeah, my friend gave me a very handy gift. (get it, handy?)
I'll get her back somehow...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Who's your daddy?

Well, we went bowling this afternoon. The Children of The Other Books were going up against the Dickens Family Parlor cast. I know I have been bowling before, but I can't remember when it was so I guess it was more than a decade or two. Therefore, when I started I had no idea what the heck I was doing. Luckily my teammates and an onlooker or two gave me a few pointers. In my first game, I bowled something like 56. In the second game I bowled 117, opening with two strikes.

So eventually, we totalled everything up and Otherbookistan had bested the Parlor People, by about ten points on average. We all had a ton of fun.

Here's a pic of our esteemed directors holding the trophy.

At first I thought I might not have much fun. After I go the hang of the game it was a blast. I'm going again.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Yes, I did

Yup, got the camera. It was so cool I had to show it to nearly everyone at work. I may in fact be a geek. It takes better pictures faster than the old one and it has a much larger screen so one does not have to peer at the shot to try and tell if it is Aunt Martha or Uncle Joe. (Nice mint balls ya' got there unca Joe!) I wanted to take a comparison shot of both of the cameras, but that would take a THIRD camera which I don't have.

Then it hit me like a bolt of fabric! SCANNER!

By the way, I really HATE the HP software that came with the scanner. It is one of those dumbed down things where they feel it necessary to completely re-invent the user interface so it is NOTHING LIKE what you have become accustomed to in Windows. Absolutely nothing is intuitive and everything has cutsey names. And there are like four popup dialogs to get anything done. And one more thing, all of these stupid packages insist on creating a new folder called "My something or other" and having some sort of album management thingy, and preventing you from just saving the scan as a file where you want to put it. ARGH!

Here is the freaky picture.

Sorry it includes my stupid hand and not a nifty boob. One does what one can.

I crack myself up!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I got nuthin.

Well, except we got a new-to-us car for Sharon, and a notebook PC for Jess. We've needed these things for a while and we finally got round to gett'n em.

Oh, and we've got weeds, dishes, laundry, pets, and homework.

And tomorrow my camera gets here, but the stupid site where we ordered the action figures still can't be contacted about the flubbed order. And there's a hundred and one things to finish around here, including that book I'm reading about...

The Meaning of Life. (seriously)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Don't Stop

On the radio today I heard a song that was pretty overplayed in its time, but for me for today it really said something. The song was Fleetwood Mac's Don't Stop

It was a difficult weekend, a friends father died which reminded me strongly of my father passing away, then today I went to the Deli to get some lunch. When I arrived there were posters and notes detailing how the proprieter had been killed in a car accident. It was so sad. There were pictures of his family and notes from his children. His wife was also badly injured. They were a VERY nice couple and they were very attentive and happy to see me and my friend that eat there often. It's hard to think that someone can be there one day and gone the next. I cried. (Big surprise huh?)

Then I heard the song. I know it's incredibly trite, but hearing it helped me to feel better about all of those things that were troubling me.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Dance Dance Revolution

We attended the Dickens Fair Reunion Ball last night.

We all looked gorgeous.

I tried to learn the rotary waltz, as opposed to the cross-step waltz that I do only passably well. Apparently I am not a fast learner.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

E_Lisa Eve_abeth

Sharon insisted I show you all this picture of our friend Elizabeth and our friend's friend Lisa Eve. We think they are really the same person in some sort of time warping sort of twist of fate thingy. That or they were just plain-old separated at birth.

Freaky, isn't it. You decide.

I was running low on the staple beverage around here, The Bombay Sapphire. So my super duper honey Sharon The Magnificent got more, BEFORE I ran out. How cool is that!?

Nothing says, "I love you" like 1.75 Litres of imported gin.
Am having martini to celebrate. (Actually just finished it.)

(68 days to my blogaversary!)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Sampson and Delilah

Isn't that the guy who gets his hair cut off and loses his power. I got a haircut and went from super hot shaggy to normal looking and now my neck is cold. I do not, however, feel any less powerful. Hmmm.

Oh and I bought a new camera! (The kind that the super hot Maria Sharapova uses!!!) Yippee! It has a bigger display (who doesn't want a bigger display?) a thinner body (who doesn't want a thinner body?) and shoots faster too (who doesn't want that, eh guys?). I totally crack myself up. Prepare yourselves for the onslaught of more-snarky pictures.

Today (ok tonight) we were looking for the missing kitty and we found a neighbor that says he saw her on New Years Day! Hooray! Maybe we'll find her yet! Woo hoo!

Monday, January 02, 2006

The great flood

Our back yard is at the bottom of a gentle slope which ends at our house. This means that when it rains we get lots of water in the yard which all wants to run through the garage. To counteract this nasty effect we have two pumps to move the water from the back yard around the house and out to the gutter. Both pumps connect to the same pipe. This works great.

Most of the time.

When leaves clog up the pump inlets they don't work as well, pumping about half of the water that they should, or less. This makes the pumps run all the time to keep up with the rain water, then they overheat and stop running.

Not so good.

This morning it was raining likes weasels and ferrets. So the pumps sucked and sucked until they had sucked in enough junk into the inlets that the one right next to the garage door did the aforementioned "stopping". Of course you find this out when you open the door from the house into the garage and you see a half inch deep river going by.

Not so good.

This has happened before so we have moved many of the things that can get ruined up off the floor, but you still get a very wet garage floor and whatever is on the floor gets wet and nasty.

"Bob, how do you ever take care of this problem?!" you say.

"With my bare hands", I say. Well, more or less.

So the first thing you do is put on the rain gear, cause it's still raining like weasels and ferrets. The rain gear consists of a jacket that rides up in the back when you squat down to work on something that is below ground like, um... a sump pump for instance. This helps the rain run down the small of your back. There are pants too, but you decide not to put them on since you want to get right to the work. (This is a foolish mistake by the way) Then you put on waterproof gloves that go up to your elbow. You hope that the water you need to reach into is not deeper than the distance from your hands to your elbow, but no promises here kids. Then you get on with the fun part.

You go out to the sump pump and wade through three inches of water that is running under the door into the garage. Unplug the pump that is mysteriously not running. Wonder to yourself if Orchard Supply Hardware is open or not, and how long it was since you bought this $90 pump. Pull up the concrete pump cover. By now the dogs have joined you and are attending your every move. If it moves they sniff it. Then you reach way into the water and undo the coupling that fits the pump outlet into the pipe that runs round the house. Once you undo that (with the dogs sniffing you) you pull up the pump. Of course the inlet is clogged.

Unclog the inlet, then plug the pump back in. It doesn't run of course and then you see the steam rising from the pump motor which tells you that the pump has been getting really hot even though it was submerged in very cold rainwater. Then you notice the water coming in the pipe that leads back to the other pump. "Golly, that makes things worse." you say to yourself except you don't say golly.

Pump one seems to be out of comission so you turn your attention to the other pump in hope that it will be working.

It is, but only a little.

You pull the pump up out of the muck and unclog it too. Plunge it back into the water and voila you are now pumping lots of water back into the hole that the other pump goes into. Hmmm. So you hold your gloved hand over the open end of the pipe where pump one connects until the other pump catches up with the water and shuts off.

Now you think, "Maybe the stopped pump will work now that it has cooled off?" You plug it in and lo and behold, it runs. Cancel the trip to OSH.

You reconnect the now working pump. Of course the water is about an inch deeper than before. Remember the elbow length gloves that you hoped were long enough...

With water filled gloves you tighten the coupling and plug in the pump. Yes Virgina, both pumps are on GFCI protected outlets. You watch intently as both pumps drain the sumps enough for you to reach the bottom. Luckily you can reach the bottom by kneeling on only one knee in the muck (remember the pants decision?) so you can grab handfuls of waterlogged leaves and twigs and mud.

As you throw the muck aside, the dogs inspect every handful and come over to you anxiously as if to say, "Hey, that's good muck. Why are you throwing it away?" Then they get in the way of the next handful you are throwing. FYI, wet dogs don't care if you throw mud on them. Then the dogs run in the house to tell the family about the great muck that is getting squandered by the alpha male. Luckily they don't track in TOO much mud, but of course they're pretty wet so they drip on the floor. As you watch the water receding you hear your wife muttering in the house about the wet dogs.

Things are starting to settle down. With muck cleared, pumps running, and new floor mats right near the dog door, you go into the garage to rescue any items that are in danger, and change out of the rubber boots and back into sneakers. Trudge back into the house and change out of the clothes that were clean 45 minutes ago.

Head straight for the pantry and get down the rum. Pour three ounces of rum over some ice and cover with cherry cola. Blog.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Well we had a little party on New Year's Eve. Jessamy and Diana went dancing in Berkley.

Nathan was there. (He brought Cher)

Lisa and Lisa were there too!

We had some drinks.

Then we went tubbing, and the afterwards the ladies reclined on the bed.

It was fun. We wish you had been here too.

This next part is Sharon typing under the influence.

Right now we're listening to "Oh, brother, where art thou" which is cool bluegrass music. And I've drunk too much!!!!! (See above picture!) And why does Google have a happy groundhog? I can't spell, this is the 15th mistaike I've made!