shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


Sorry for the interruption. Blame the (now-gone) head lump, the road and the weather. Much to report, so...

The Valentine's Day Present That Involved Kinko's

I would highly recommend that everyone make their Valentine's Day present at Kinko's. Because you have to make it and it can be done as cheaply as $1.47. That's right, $1.47 for a one-of-a-kind present. People who buy their presents have to spend way more because they didn't even make, they bought. What was this masterpiece of economy, you ask?

One of the first presents I ever bought Christopher was Sherman Alexie's poetry collection "The Summer of Black Widows," because we'd been talking about Bigfoot/Sasquatch legends and there's a whole set of Sasquatch poems in it. There's also a set of seven poems called "Totems," which are just what they sound like. They are short poems entirely composed of names--of foods, of cultural heroes, of movies, of fictional characters, of religious figures. In short names of the people and/or cultural reference points that exerted a huge influence on Sherman Alexie. Half the fun is figuring out what the theme of each poem is. We decided to write our own. I finished mine but never gave them to Christopher (and he still _has_ to finish his). The whole exercise requires a lot of thinking about not just what you like now, but what you liked 10 years ago, what you read or watched obsessively when you were 12 or 21, and on and on. If you're going to be honest. Which I was. And I had the little seven bound up into a simple, giant chapbook that cost a whole $1.47.

Maybe I'll put one up here sometime when I'm feeling lazy.

In the Pines, In the Pines, where the sun never shines

So, we loaded George Rowe the Dog, Poster Boy for American Values, into the car on Friday afternoon and headed for the mountains around Asheville. (It's really hard to travel incognito with a celebrity like George in the car. Damn you, paparazzi! Can't you just leave George alone?) Richard had already purchased coffee cake with cultural heritage and other necessities like beer by the time we rolled into The Pines, which is a little complex of cabins stuck in the 1950s. (We had to plug the coffeemaker in next to the bed because there were no outlets in the kitchen. Not sure that's a '50s thing, but it is odd.)

Because the country is on high alert, and the Weather Channel was too, Richard and Christopher felt like we needed our own alert system, so we'd know how to behave. They based it around dangerous animals. Most of the weekend was spent at Grumpy Orangutan. We were briefly worried that we might have to move up to Deadly Asp, or even the highest level, Rabid Killer Whale. But then we bought 20th Anniversary Trivial Pursuit (which I LET the boys win, ahem, LET, LET) and things settled right down.

We saw cemeteries and navigated treacherous roads and visited a Rose's (where the sun really never shines) and met a half Sioux-half German who "travels the old roads" and is obsessed by race. All in all, a damn good President's Day. I highly recommend it. You'll want to make sure there's plenty of booze if you try the same thing.

The Treacherous Ice Storm

And it turned out it was a Very Good Thing we were out of town, because the worst ice storm in Lexington's history hit while we were away. We got home to power (yay!), but every single tree in our back yard is um, laying in the back yard, and most stoplights are out. Giant split trees and downed power lines are just everywhere. Over 50,000 people in our county are without power. Our street is packed with cars because the YMCA is a shelter. And we just get to feel really lucky, because we came home and everything was fine.

But remember, we're still at Grumpy Orangutan, so remain alert.


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