29 June, 2006

Reluctant Viewer

...Anyway you want me/ Long as you love me/ It's all right...

I just watched David Smith play the guitar on a teevee show.

Okay, not so impressive.

He was sitting on a chair.

Also not so impressive.

He had both feet tucked behind his neck.

The best part was his exit: the chair glided silently off stage right, powered by an invisible mechanism.

I lie. The best part was his beautiful face.

(Bend Me, Shape Me; The American Breed)

28 June, 2006

Comically Animated

...woke last night to the sound of thunder....

"The night was sultry." --Throw Momma From The Train

It has been raining for four days. There is flooding and evacuations. The whole world is moist.

Because of the big BGE kerfuffle (rates freeze for 7 years, this year a proposed increase of 72%, lawmakers step in and legislate, general craziness), I decided we'd hold off on turning on the air conditioner until the very end of June. So the windows are open to catch breeze, changes in air temperature, dampness, sirens, firecrackers, pedestrian conversations, gunfire, birdsong, and the smell of sweet wet earth.

Thus, we are immersed in the ambient climate, which is, well, sultry. A tropical depression is feeding water to a stalled system up here, and there are whole zipcodes underwater. On a personal level, my skin is covered with a layer of moisture, whether sweat or steam or both I can't tell and honestly don't even care. It's almost not even worth showering anymore. The doors in the house have swollen to the point where, if they will close at all, they don't want to open again.

In short, I haven't had the top down for just DAYS. Primarily Decorative is whiny and blue.

To combat the blues, I seek funny. And, because it's the Internet, I find it.

A comic that's comic:Lulu Eightball.

To answer your burning question, no, dwarves can't dance. Animated fun!

Pure visual humor: The Perry Bible Fellowship

This Bollywood gem is enthusiastically animated. And comic, but not deliberately so.

Dissident humor merchandise, from Tom Tomorrow.

Dinosaurs. Children's books.Dinosaur Comics. Say no more. Thanks, Retropolitan. I laughed out loud.

Kreider's comic is funny/wrong this week. Plus, he slides a Nixon reference into the Artist's Statement. Probably not just for me, but I can pretend, right?

Funny, but wrong, again. I hope this prom gets rained out.

(Night Moves; Bob Seger)

25 June, 2006

Vintage Lust

...she was a bright red '64 GTO with fins/ and gills like some giant piranha fish/ some obscene phallic symbol on wheels/ little rivers of anticipation ran down my inseam....

Okay, I like having my thigh bitten as much as anybody, but this is ridiculous.

I am wearing exactly one garment, not counting shoes. Admittedly, this non-form-fitting sarong is not the most flattering, hanging bag-like from my bosom, but it's nice to be nearly naked.

The weather is deliciously hot, and mostly sunny. Except for the bugs, I'm delighted to be outdoors. The bugs! Thirty-seven bites on my legs! Yikes!

Even so, when we pull into the parking lot to rent a DVD for the kids, I do not want to go into the shop. Well, there are cars. Cars on a cordoned-off area of the parking lot. Vintage cars. It's a club. They're here every Friday evening.

....earlier this week....

"My car's got a bad oil leak, so I had to drive the 'Vette today," C. told me at lunch.

Poor you.

"Well, it's not my thing, really. It's Kev's mid-life crisis car."

There's mine.

"I know, you love cars, but I just never had a, you know, thing, for them."

Like horses. Girls go crazy for horses at a certain age. I never got that.

"Right, I LOVED horses. Well, I love all animals, but..."

Yeah. For me, it's cars. Always has been, since I turned, I don't know, twelve or something.

I am the granddaughter of a Detroit auto worker. I have Motor City in my blood. I am entitled to my lifelong love affair with all things automotive.

As regular readers know, Primarily Decorative rarely experiences actual car-envy, but I had a recent moment of green lust. It was, naturally, a convertible. Plus, it was red. Plus, it was a Jaguar. Plus, it was new.

I'd have wangled a ride, but the handsome black gentleman driving it had installed his daughter in the passenger seat.

Plus, I had my own kids in the backseat of my car.

So, go inside to look at DVDs or stay outside to look at cars? No contest.

In deference to the Enjoy! But Don't Touch! signs posted on most of the vehicles, I carefully lock my hands together behind my back before leaning in to sniff the leather, check out the instruments, admire the shine on the Bakelite, grin at the crank handles for the windows. I bite my lips together to avoid drooling on the paint. I love the fins on this one, the steering wheel on that one, the chrome hubcaps on this other one.

My first boyfriend had a car like this.

"Bet he didn't."

No? It looks just like his Nova.

"This is an Oldsmobile. The boy who built it, he wanted a Nova so bad but couldn't find one. So he got an Oldsmobile, which looks the same except the taillights, and then bought all these Nova parts and built a Nova on top of it, but it's really an Oldsmobile."

I look at the taillights. They are different. But if he hadn't mentioned, I wouldn't have noticed.

I congratulate myself for managing to not drip spittle onto the white leather interior of this lipstick-red '65 Pontiac GTO. A fella named Wayne tells me he's owned it for eighteen years.

"Restored it three times so far. Last time, cost me thirty-seven thousand dollars."

Wow, I think. That's a house. Not a nice house, not around here, anyway, but it's a trailer, at least. Possibly even a doublewide.

The Mustang fastback has been lovingly restored by the owner. In hideous seventies dark olive green.

"My dad did it. I helped," offers the five-year-old crewcut cutie in between licks of ice cream. He hands his cone to his father and digs around in the car. He brings out a photo album chronicling the restoration.

How long did it take?

"'Bout eight months."



I think about the time and money spent, and about how his wife knew where he was every minute of his spare time. I think about the money he did not spend on beer or football pools, and how his kid "helped' with his dad's project. Bring me that wrench over there, Junior. No, the other one, baby. Yep, thanks, son.

As hobbies go, I'm thinking this is a pretty good one.

But that may just be because I've got motor oil in my blood.

(The Key To Her Ferrari; Thomas Dolby)

20 June, 2006

Non-linear Journey

....go down with a smile on/ Don't bother to pack your nylons/ Just keep them pretty legs showin'/ You know it gets hot down where we're goin...

Sunday, 11 June, 1:19 AM, Bar # 7

For the first time, I buy my own damn drink.

Bin has bought some nasty shit called grappa, which I take a whiff of, deciding that the stuff I use to clean the toilet smells more appetizing. I taste it anyway. It's dreadful.

De arrives with On, and she takes the grappa. It's a challenge. She goads me into a large swig, merely, I suspect, in order to watch me make faces. (She admits as much later.) Bin goads Aunt Col into downing the rest of De's unwanted glass of grappa (the one I sipped) and she progresses quickly from having-a-good-time-tipsy to take-me-home-and-hurry-drunk over the course of the next three and a half minutes.

I'm comfortable, exhausted, not tipsy enough to be cheerful, and on these plush sofas, in grave, grave danger of falling asleep. So I leave three quarters of the only beer I bought, say farewell, and head out at my habitual cruising speed, which, okay, yes, is fast.

I'm motivated. I need to get my kids. I have plans, baby. For tomorrow.

"Sybil! Wait up! We'll walk with you, just hang on a minute!" Jib hollers me down. He's waiting for Aunt Col, his wife, to navigate the stairs.

De smacks him, and corrects his pronunciation. I fail to tell them that my grandfather, De's grandfather, Won's grandfather, was the only person who called me Sybil. And now De and Won's dad. As much as I like him, not Jib.

"We're coming, wait up awhile!"

I have to go in reverse to be as slow as you people.

As proof, I walk backwards. Until I bump into a random pedestrian.

Sunday, 11 June, 3:38 PM, the pool

"You all are the only family I've got, the only family I'm going to have. Won, Gay, and now you. You're it. You're all the family I'll have. Ever. So willya just shut up awhile?"

This is Jib's response to Nif, who complains that Jib never lets anybody pay for anything. I can only verify the last couple of days.

Friday, 9 June, 6:45 PM, the shower

Dripping, I answer my cellphone.

De's voice: "So Oe is coming to pick up the kids, if you can meet him downstairs in the lot outside the main lobby, that would be great."


The children gravitate towards their cousins- second cousins, actually- the children of my cousin, who must be first cousins once removed from me, which would make their children second cousins once removed to my children, and first cousins twice removed to me- as though they are magnetized. This is what always happens when we get them together. Fluff and Uck bond, and Cob and Fuzz are practically in love. My children. My cousin's children. Amazing.

They ride away in Oe's truck, with barely a backwards glance for me.

"So we're going to meet your family at the sushi place," says Ra to De as the three of us walk down the street. "I hope you don't mind, but my husband's going to meet us there, too. I haven't seen him in twenty days."

She thinks it odd when I ask if he's a truck driver.

De's mom walks in, kisses De, is introduced to Ra and Ra's husband. I do not wait. I lean over and put my arms around her neck, kissing her cheek, saying, "Hi, Aunt Col," in her ear.

She pulls back to look at me. "Who're you?"

I'm Cybele, Aunt Col.

"Holy crap!"

"Mahm!" De's voice carries all of its Michigan flatness in that scandalized syllable.

I'm introduced to Nif, of whom Cory spoke very highly. She's lovely. I greet Jib, Col's husband of eight years. I meet Gay, who is thirteen and did not want to be shuffled off with 'the kids' to Oe's house. I think she'll be frightfully bored with us adults, or maybe she'll listen and observe. They've had a longer ride than I, it being eleven hours from where they live in Michigan (Where do you... Won holds up his hand, palm flat, and points to a spot near the base of his thumb. Everyone who lives in Michigan shows where they live in this very way.) but seem ready to party anyhow.

Last, I hug my cousin Won, who was shorter than I last time I saw him. He's much taller now, and looks like my grandfather to me.

Saturday, 10 June, 7:52 PM, the Reception

I just can't stop hugging him! Won, I'm so happy to see you. It's been- has it? Twenty five years. That's terrible. So I can't stop hugging you. I can't stop hugging him.

"I can't help it, either," Nif reassures me.

"I'm gonna get another beer," grumbles Won. "You?"

He shuffles off.

"So in high school, a couple of my girlfriends and I were all like 'Oh, Won, he's so cuuuute,' but he never noticed any of us. So really we didn't get to know each other until we were both at the opening of an art show of somebody we both knew..."

Nif continues. The story of their romance is timeless in the particulars, but fresh in her face and her heart.

When the boquet is thrown, I see De take careful stock of where Nif is standing before turning her back. And here's the toss! I see the boquet in Nif's hands, see her pleased-but-mischeveous smile. I also see her let the flowers slide from her fingers into the clutching fists of ten-year-old Kit.

Kit leaps around, joyful.


Sunday, 11 June, 2:20 PM, the veranda

So we saw these little creatures, like, four or five of them, and they ran into holes in the mulch and gaps in the sidewalk. They looked like chipmunks, but they had bushy tails like a squirrel, so I thought they must not be. When I looked it up, they WERE chipmunks, pictures of just what we saw all over the net, but I swear I thought chipmunks had no tails.

"Only in the cartoons," says Won.


Saturday, 10 June, 4:30PM, the Wedding

The bridal party stands on the lawn in the park. I slip around behind a tree, trying to grab some good shots. The bride is in a gorgeous white gown. The groom is splendid in a tux. The boys, Yan, Nan, Cob and Uck swelter gamely in vested tuxedos. Kit is lovely in green, and Ra looks great in watermelon. The blended family is already blending beautifully. Ra is bridesmaid, friend to De. Cob and Uck are De's sons. Yan, Nan and Kit belong to On, the groom, whom I met minutes ago. I kiss him.

"Have we met?"

Oh. Right. I'm Cybele, De's cousin.

"Nice to meet you."

I guess shaking hands at this point would be silly.

Friday, 9 June, 8:45 AM, I-95 Southbound

We pass the amusement park known as King's Dominion. Actually, it's Paramount King's Dominion, but Paramount, since purchasing it, has not changed the huge sign that overlooks the highway.

I think of the first time I saw someone wearing a King's Dominion T-shirt. One of my little friends from elementary school.

So you've been to King's Dominion. Did you like it? I've never been there.

"Yeah, I been. Last summer. And it's King's Domillion."

Well, it says 'King's DoMINion' on your shirt.

"It's King's Domillion. I should know. I been there."

There are some people too stupid to argue with.

Sunday, 11 June, 6 PM, the parking lot

"Can we go for a spin? In the convertible? Please, Aunt Cybele?" Kit, age ten, has only just become my niece-by-marriage, or rather first-cousin-once-removed, but everybody one generation up gets the title of aunt or uncle, everyone one generation below is niece or nephew, and everyone of the same generation is cousin. It simplifies things.

De suggested that we drop the "Aunt" and "Uncle," and just have the kids call us by our first names. But "Aunt Cybele" sounds so sweet in my ears, I'd rather we didn't.

"Please, Aunt Cybele? I've never ridden in a convertible."

Well, alrighty then.

Saturday, 10 June, 2:30 PM, Main Street

Gay and I have been shopping.

"What are you shopping for?" she asks at the pool.

Don't know. Haven't shopped yet.

We see Won and Nif, walking back from lunch. They want cigarettes. The nearest drugstore is half a mile or more.

Come on, I'll drive.

"Yeah, Dad, let's go," says Gay, who doesn't smoke. Well, not yet. Or at least not in front of grownups.

Nif says, "I've never ridden in a convertible." Well, you know how Primarily Decorative feels about RagTop Deprivation. We go to the gas station, ride back to the hotel parking lot, exit the car to prepare for the wedding.

"Have you ridden in a convertible before, Won?"

"Once. It was a Viper."

Oh, shut me right down. A Viper. Jeeze.

Sunday, 11 June, 9:47AM, the elevator

Nan, Uck and Cob tumble into the lobby in rumpled, slept-in tuxedo trappings. The kids had their own room for the evening, while the adults went bar-hopping. I got mine back, and Gay went with Won and Nif, but the rest of them, On and De's five children, stayed.

Where are you going?

"Upstairs to see our mom."

They look as though they've been on an all-night bender in Vegas.

Friday, 9 June, !2:21 AM, Bar #3

"Would you?"

Would I what?

"Would you dance with somebody you don't know just because they asked you? Like De just did?"

I peer around the dark, frat-boy filled dance club.

Maybe. I guess.

"But you looked around first." Ra toys with her drink, her cigarette.

Well, honestly, I don't see anyone that I'd like to dance with, really. But Yes is my policy, so sure, I guess.

"Really? I never would. I wouldn't have the balls to do something like that."

Hmm. First off, it's just a dance, not a trip to Tahiti, and second, I think in the balls department, I've probably got a few to spare.

Saturday, 10 June, 11:50 PM Bar #6

It would be generous to refer to this place as a dive. And yet, I'm so comfortable here. There are people in black clothes here, people with piercings, two men with ponytails, a couple of black people and at least one Latino. All weekend, I've been wondering, where de black folks at?

We've come for the Kareoke. For Nif, because she loves Kareoke. I don't love Kareoke, but I love Nif. I met her yesterday, and I love her.

While we're waiting for Nif's turn at the microphone, we dance to the hopping eighties tunes the DJ spins. I dance, because I can dance. I am not paralyzed, so I dance. Falling from a great height onto asphalt and living, and walking afterwards, means I dance whenever I can.

We dance to 'Billie Jean', and oh how I miss the days when it was possible to enjoy Michael Jackson's music without irony. I sit for a break, but then the DJ plays The Clash, and Bin says, "You GOTTA dance to this," and he's right, and I do.

Nif sings a slow Beatles song. I dance with Won. I've never danced with my cousin before. He's taller than I am. I can't wrap my head around this.

Sunday, 11 June, 1:06PM, the clubhouse

Gay is in trouble.

After having specifically been probibited from this very behavior by Nif, who knows, Gay was making out with a boy. Oh, yes. In front of the kids.

Everyone thought it was so cute when Gay had her first dance with Yan, who is now her cousin-by-marriage.

Nif: (clasping hands at her bosom) "Her first slow dance!"

Aunt Col: (snapping many digital pictures) "Awww."

Won: (glowering) "That's my daughter."

And then it's time to leave our children in the care of Gay and Yan.

"No making out with any of the boys," warns Nif, meaning Yan, though at fourteen, Nan may also qualify as an eligible male.

Gay is shocked and makes protestations. And yet.

"I hope they'll be okay," Nif worries.

"Yan's a good boy," De reassures.

Sixteen is sixteen. And she's stacked, our Gay.

No-one listens to me.

So here we are, thirteen hours later, and Gay has been ratted out by her cousin-not-by-marriage, Uck. Who was upset about the excessive friendliness.

(I heard about Uck being upset and yelling and hitting his two step-brothers from Fluff, who was upset by the yelling and hitting. He mentioned nothing about any -ick- kissing. Guess how happy I am to know he's bothered by violence but not by affection?)

"She's our slave for the day," Aunt Col announces.

"Hey, Frenchie," calls Nif.

"Get me a beer," demands Jib.

Gay sulks silently. She knows she deserves this.

Won is still glowering. The kids are playing cards on the veranda. The shade is cool, the clubhouse cooler. The pool is like a bathtub, but that doesn't stop anyone except when it's adult swim.

Jib is in the pool. He waves to me. I wave back. He mimes holding a cup to his lips. He raises his arms as though embracing an invisible lover.

I wave to him.

He pulls two invisible antlers from his head, and mimes drinking from a cup.

I turn to Nif, who has her hair pulled into two bunches on top of her head.

Uncle Jib is insane. I think he wants a drink, but I don't know what all else he's saying. I show her what he said.

Nif laughes. "He does want a drink, but he wanted you to get me so that I would tell you that he wants Gay to bring it." She holds her arms up in an embrace and waves her tongue around. "This is now the international symbol for 'Gay'. Hey, Frenchie! Uncle Jib wants a beer!"

Gay puts down her cards, sighs, rolls her eyes, and walks to the cooler. What a production.

For the next seventeen years, we'll be able to say, "Hey, Gay, get me a beer."

Friday, 9 June, 9:30AM, I-95 Southbound

What is that building? GodDAMNit, every time I drive through Richmond, I see that building, RIGHT THERE, and it's gorgeous. What is it? What is it? If I could park the car on the freeway, I could jump onto the roof and find the hell out what the hell that gorgeous building is. It has been driving me a low-level crazy for years, just YEARS.

Kids, on the way home, we're stopping to find out what the heck that building is.

"What building?"

Never mind.

Sunday, 11 June, 7:04PM, the parking lot

Hugs are exchanged, and promises of keeping in touch, of getting together again soon, hints that Won and Nif should marry so we can all celebrate, talk of renting a beach house. The children are exhausted, all of them. I get in the car. We'll put a hundred miles behind us, and finish the journey tomorrow. But wait, Kit has left a towel. I hop out of the car.

"You just needed an excuse for another hug," my cousin De whispers in my ear.


There are tears as we pull away from our far-flung family members. Are some of them mine?

Guilty again.

(Drive South; John Hiatt)

19 June, 2006

Relatively Peaceful

...I'm gonna soak up the sun/ I'm gonna tell everyone/ to lighten up...

I walk, sticky with sweat, chlorine, and the steam that rolls off the street from rain that has not yet decided whether to be finished. Intermittent cool drops kiss my neck and arms.

I would say that the sound of the police chopper disturbs the peace of the night, but that wouldn't be accurate.

The gunshots two streets over did that already.

(Soak Up The Sun; Sheryl Crow)

18 June, 2006

Je m'amuse

...Who needs shelter from the sun?/ Not me, no, not anyone.....

BlondeStar Grab the shiny thing.

Learn English on Japanese TV

Reminds me of the commercial Learn English.(Not work safe, just so you know. Well, depending on where you work, I suppose.)

I don't know what movie this English lesson is from, but this guy doing anything is funny. Even being a dentist.

At the other end of the spectrum, CuteOverload.

And, right up my personal alley (I didn't mean for that to sound filthy, but somehow it did), the grammar police post a billboard. Like, for real.

(Who Needs Shelter?; Jason Mraz)

15 June, 2006

More Lies

...it's a mystery! - Tom Stoppard, Shakespeare In Love

From Paula Begoun's Beauty Bulletin:

Creme de la Mer The Essence: The High Cost of Aging Gracefully?

I wonder sometimes if the cosmetics industry simply has a sardonic sense of humor or whether it’s possible they merely don’t like women very much. How else can you explain a colossal company like Estee Lauder (which owns La Mer, along with an assortment of other skin-care companies, from Aveda to Clinque, which in combination sell an almost endless assortment of antiwrinkle and anti-aging products) launching a product that costs $2,100 and whose primary ingredient is seaweed? Or at least according to the ingredient list, it has a lot of seaweed—well, as much as 1.5 ounces can contain—along with a huge list of other ingredients.

Seaweed extract is the primary ingredient in this nonaqueous serum but which type of seaweed is unknown (there are endless types of possible seaweed extracts) so there is no way to evaluate its benefit for skin. Actually, I wonder how the FDA lets Lauder get around this generalized ingredient identification because it is definitely not part of the regulation. This product also contains silicones, emollients, more seaweed (the type is listed for this one), ingredients that mimic the structure of skin, an assortment of antioxidants, a tiny amount of niacin (in the form of vitamin B that can cause flushing, which is actually a problem for skin), and acetyl hexapeptide-3. This last is the ingredient that’s supposed to work like Botox, but of course it can’t; even Botox can’t work like Botox when applied topically to skin.

And just in case you weren’t sure the product was doing anything for your skin, they included a few irritating, skin-tingling plant extracts, including eucalyptus, lime, and citronella, to create the impression that it is doing something on your face. For this kind of money it should be doing something, but exactly what that is can’t be ascertained. Lauder has no published studies and offers no clinical evidence (other than press releases, which fashion magazines use as if they were factual information) to support the value of the product or the efficacy of the claims.

Along with seaweed, The Essence also contains an assortment of yeast extracts, saccharomyces lysate, micrococcus lysate, artemisa extract, and bifida ferment lysate. But whether or not seaweed or yeast in any form can affect wrinkles is still not known. Indeed, it is something ingredient manufacturers claim, but it is not supported by published or substantiated double-blind studies showing this to be true. Research from ingredient manufacturers is interesting, but obviously self-serving; somehow all their ingredients are always miracles. Trying to find independent research about these substances is difficult, and what does exist involves in vitro or animal studies (Sources: Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, March–April 1999, pages 155–162; and Wound Repair and Regeneration, January 2002, page 38).

I could carry on about how these various ingredients are theoretically supposed to affect skin, but at some moments in my career I just have to throw my hands up in the air and say I give up, the cosmetics industry is just crazy and I have no words left to explain why. I think I’ll go get a Starbucks latte…I can’t say I understand $5 for a cup of coffee either, but at least I know exactly what I’m getting!
-Paula Begoun,
  • Cosmetics Cop

  • You wonder whether some people have more dollars than brain cells.

    On second thought, wondering is probably unnecessary.

    13 June, 2006

    Transmission: Standby

    ...the top let back and the sunshine shining/ Cowboy baby....

    I'm back, watching the Olympics. Had a great time in Minnesota. I'll have a better post soon, but I just wanted to say hello and thanks for checking in.

    It was a wedding and South Carolina. Otherwise, everything is exactly the same.

    (Cowboy; Kid Rock)

    07 June, 2006

    On Nakedness

    ...it gets so hot the end of the day/ you may find your clothes getting in the way....


    "You know, honey, I'm really glad you feel so comfortable with your body that you take off everything the minute you walk in the house. It's just that it would be nice if sometimes, I'm not saying all the time, just sometimes, you'd wear something cute for a while. Just saying."

    --S to TG, the kitchen.


    "She's not wearing anything but that robe, Officer!"

    "Quelle domage!Zat ees not true! I am wearing also zeeze two shoes, voici, un, deux, two!"

    --C & NG, onstage.


    "I am not naked! I'm wearing underpants!"

    "Well, you're almost naked."

    "You're naked, too, then!"

    "No, I'm not. I've got on underpants and I've got my robe."

    "Yeah, but you're not wearing it!"

    --F & F, the dining room.


    "Sorry I had to take my dress off before hugging you."

    Oh, I didn't mind.

    "Neither did I, hrm hrm, wink wink."

    "It's nice that after fourteen years you still feel that way, dear."

    "Well, not just that. It was the whole girl-on-girl thing."

    --S & C, the den.


    "Oh, you wore it after all."

    I needed something to pin the robe to. If I flash somebody, I want it to be on purpose.

    --P & NG, the greenroom.


    So, how naked are YOU today?

    (Strip; Adam Ant)

    04 June, 2006

    Blended Goodness

    ...Baby you can drive my car/And maybe I'll love you....

    He catches my keys neatly.

    The silver one unlocks The Club TM.

    "You're kidding."

    Stay in the neighborhood, okay? Don't drive too fast.

    "You're kidding, right?" His young face wears a stunned expression.

    Your mom said it was okay.

    "You're kidding, right?" Still stunned.

    Go on, take your friends. Have fun.

    "You're kidding, right?"

    Not kidding. Don't you want to?

    His friend is watching us like a tennis match. "Why, what kind of car is it?"

    "Sure, I want to. But- you're not kidding."

    The convertible. He knows how much I love it. Go on, get out of here. There's room for all four of you.

    Still stunned, he goes, his older brother and his older brother's best friend and his older brother's girlfriend with him. Score one for the little guy.

    "She's crazy, " his mom remarks. "I think you need a refill on that daiquiri."

    Look, somebody tried to steal it a week ago. I just- you know, everybody should have as much fun as they can while I've still got it. I'm amazed at how many of my friends have never ridden in a convertible. It's so sad. So these guys, they'll- oh, no, I haven't finished this one yet....

    She refills me anyway.

    Okay. Why is Angel walking around with a shotgun in her hand?

    "That's not a shotgun."

    Looks like a shotgun. She's wearing one leather glove. She's nine. That is just wrong. It's not a shotgun?

    "I think it's a rifle."

    Two more daquiris later (for a grand total of four) bosom sticky with saliva and chocolate brownie, toes coated in wax, arm and torso drenched in Diet Coke, I'm ready to limp home.

    "I'm going to say something inappropriate."

    I've been drinking daiquiris, and YOU'RE going to be inappropriate?

    I love inappropriate. What is it?

    "Well, since I've recently licked chocolate from your breast, it's kind of a come-down. I'll tell you later.

    We ride, topless, watching lightning, at one or two miles below the posted speed. Fortunately, it's a short drive. The rain comes pounding down, washes me clean and cold, just as I've put the top up.

    This was to have been a cute little family barbecue. With the kids. You know, tame. Or so I expected.

    Guess it depends on who's pouring.

    (Drive My Car; The Beatles)

    02 June, 2006

    Juxtaposition, Again.

    ...the sweetest flower that grows/ You may search everywhere, but none can compare....

    I'm here at Crazy Ray's, where Ray will give you a hundred bucks for any heap you can drive, push, or entice by sorcery to his lot. It's three blocks from the landfill. It's an industrial area, and none too pretty.

    But what I smell is wild honeysuckle and sweet briar rose.

    Ain't the beer cold, hon? *

    (Wild Irish Rose; traditional Celtic)

    01 June, 2006

    Wednesday Wonkage

    ...I drive on her streets/ 'cause she's my companion/ I walk through her hills/ 'cause she knows who I am....

    A scrim of haze blurs the city skyline as I crest a hill. Also before and after, presumably, but I only noticed and can confirm 'as'.

    I love this weather. It's not juicy enough to send to PostSecret, but I am secretly in favor of a BG&E rate hike, because it gives me a damned good excuse to not turn on the air conditioner. I shiver in winter, though not so much this year (extra-mild, wonder what that forcasts), and I just hate shivering in the summer. I have gotten good at remembering to bring a sweater to the mall, the movies, or the grocery, but having to do so annoys me in that niggling low-grade fashion which is so irritating that it eventually triggers an explosion of rage with no apparant catalyst.

    This week, by special request, The Political Animal includes a tiki bar reference, and slips me a little Dick. He's been really good at that, which I appreciate, though I confess to being partial to Tim Kreider's Dick. I especially enjoyed Li'l Nixon (see Archives, 4/12/06) and the accompanying triviata.

    We missed it, you guys. It was towel day, and has been every May 25 since 2001. If I hadn't read about it on Wil Wheaton's blog, I still wouldn't know.

    And of course, Wil Wheaton would have reason to know about Kirk vs. Picard, though knowing his irritability regarding William Fucking Shatner, I'm a tiny bit surprised he posted it.

    So but the point is, geeks rule. And YouTube also rules, because it permits people to share things like this Giraffe Mocumentary. That Joel Veitch, he's a genius.

    On to some dry but mind-bogglingly useful sites.

    Do you know where your predators are? (For the three families in America who have not already discoverd this site.)

    Are you having trouble getting to work? Now, how you would use this site while driving is baffling, but if you're the sort to check the 'net before leaving the house, I suppose it might help. But if you're the sort to check the 'net before leaving the house, chances are you already know alternate routes and have built in two extra hours so that getting caught in a jam is just not a problem.

    Girls, do not dispair: I've got a link especially for us. Yes, with this weather, I too have been having mascara issues, so I went to the Cosmetics Cop herself to find a good waterproof one. Product reviews are helpful! Advertisments are misleading! Beauty products are fun!

    And this, while not exactly useful, is at least informative. Also not as dry as the previous triad, though I hate to think of it as 'wet'. It's Facts on Farts.


    (Under The Bridge Downtown; The Red Hot Chili Peppers)