Monday, March 30, 2009

Let My People Go

Well, my possum friend has finally died or moved on and the bathroom doesn't smell like rotten marsupial. I'd be happy with this development except for the fact that in willing the poor wretched creature to die or disappear, I seem to have unleashed forces greater than that of mortal man.

I now have a flea infestation in the bathroom, I'm assuming from the decayed possum underneath the floor. I also assume that these fleas are carrying all sorts of exotic diseases and pestilence that will require lots of painful tests, probably involving the butt.

This is fairly puzzling since the bathroom is tiled and they don't have anywhere to hang out before attaching themselves to my legs when I walk into the bathroom.

Then I'm working in the yard Saturday and notice all these baby locusts. I guess they're locusts, they're bigger than a cricket and look like what I suppose a locust looks like. What am I, an entomologist? I just know they're hard to kill and travel in packs and they're going to destroy my crops.

Well, OK, they'll destroy my lawn.

So already I've been struck with two of the 10 Plagues of Egypt. I'd say boils are coming next, but if you've seen a picture of me from 15 to about 25, you'd realize that one is a little late.

But what I don't get is what did I do? How did I piss off Moses? I don't have any slaves building my pyramids, hell, everyone knows I'm a friend of the Jews. Why, some of my best friends are Jewish. Wait, that might be the wrong thing to say.

Is it possible that some sloppy celestial bookkeeping caused me to get some Egyptian pharoh's (they still have those, right?)bad juju while he's getting all my rewards? Who do I see about this? I don't want my water to turn to blood.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dad's Career Advice from the Army

"If you walk around fast holding a pile of papers or a clipboard and act annoyed, people will assume you're doing something important and stop bothering you."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Playing Possum

For the past couple weeks I've had a possum under the house. Oh, excuse me, Mr. Hahvahd La-De-Dah Fancy Pants, I've had an opossum under my house for a few weeks.

It hangs out in the area between the bathroom and the bedroom, so sometimes at night I can hear it gnawing on support beams or electrical wires or important plumbing. There's a small vinyl door in the back of the foundation that allows you to get under the house, and every morning I'll reinforce it with bricks and boards, then the next morning I'll see where the filthy beast has dug a hole or moved the bricks to get under the house once again.

I've been under the house exactly once. If you like the feeling of crawling on your stomach with about one inch of clearance between you and the floor above you waiting for some feral animal to bite you in the face, you'd have a ball under there.

I've been trying to ignore my new tenant, but he's really making my bathroom stink. It smells like a wet dog or something in there, although since I'm single once again, that's probably the least unpleasant smell in there, what with the absence of potpourri or whatever it is that the ladies use to make the place smell like less of a cave and more of a place where civilized people can attend to their bathroom needs with some modicum of taste and class.

However, the last few days I've caught a different odor. I'm thinking my little furry nemesis has finally died, because something is definitely rotten under there.

So basically I'm a newly single guy with a rotten smell coming from under his house. This can't look good to the neighbors.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Starting All Over Again

So I'm going through a divorce. Not what I wanted, not anything I really even saw coming, but there it is. Bottom line, nobody is really at fault, we've just sort of drifted apart the last few years, I guess more than I noticed.

The first week or so I would have given anything to stop this, but after thinking about it, I think we'll both be a lot happier after a while, we just have to go through some bad stuff right now.

In fact, sometimes I'm pretty happy and excited to start a new life, then I'll start freaking out. How the hell do I act now that I'm single? I wasn't that good at dating in my 20s, and mostly got lucky because everyone was drunk all the time. Do I even know any single people anymore? Am I going to have to buy a corvette? Am I going to be the creepy old guy hitting on girls and getting laughed at? Are there really women out there that will listen to my stories and learned opinions on stuff like Dolemite and Naked Raygun? Do you think they'd still want to do it with me? These are just a few of the questions that keep me up at night.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Luck of the Irish

I've been going through some pretty heavy emotional stuff lately. Don't really feel like getting into it right now, but let's just say it felt great to get out of town for a while.

Why was I going out of town? Well, Santa had the foresight to get me a ticket to see The Pogues on Monday night in Atlanta. He really does see all.

I was told by friends who had seen them previously to be prepared for a fun, if shambolic, event. I was told the band would be tight, but Shane MacGowan would pretty much just slur a bunch of garbled nonsense over it, relying on the crowd to, you know, actually remember the words.

But holy crap were they awesome last night.

Shane would do sort of mini-sets of 3 or 4 songs before shuffling back offstage for a couple minutes, and his opening remarks were completely incoherent. I loved seeing all these people doing the 'what the hell did he say' face to their shrugging friends. But as soon as he started singing, he sounded exactly like the recordings. And all those tin whistles and accordions and banjos and what not sounded great. The crowd was singing every word, I overheard the bartender mention they ran out of Guinness by 9:00 and a good time was had by all.

The last time I really listened to the Pogues a lot was when I actually lived in Atlanta, so I kept getting strange little flashes of deja vu or nostalgia or something, especially during "Thousands are Sailing," which is a song I didn't think they'd play.

The song is about Irish immigrants in America, how they still miss their homeland but are making lives here at the same time. Now I'm part Irish, I'm not exactly sure how much, and while I think that all that Irish history stuff is pretty cool, I also think that if my great-great-grandfather had wanted me to get all weepy about Ireland, he wouldn't have gotten on the boat.

Anyway, I can distinctly remember playing the song around Christmas after getting back from a shift delivering food. For whatever reason, the lyrics, "Did the old songs taunt or cheer you, and do they still make you cry," and "So we raised a glass to JFK and a dozen more besides/ when I got back to my lonely room, I suppose I must have cried" suddenly made things clear. I had to get out of here. I had to move back to Gainesville. I wasn't exactly unhappy, but I don't suppose I was that happy either, and I could feel myself getting comfortably trapped. After months of rejection, I had stopped sending out resumes, and could feel myself getting more and more comfortable working a couple hours a day and walking home with a wad of cash.

So I ended up going back to Gainesville with my tail between my legs. Sure, Gainesville was another comfortable trap, a way to stay in a holding pattern for another year or so before actually growing up and/or doing something responsible, but at least I was happier, I guess, and sort of working on a plan, which would eventually lead to the holy path of library science.

And yeah, I realize that delivering food in Atlanta was a far cry from digging out a railroad or whatever, but still.

So while I still have flashes of bad feelings, the Pogues (and my hosts) helped a lot, at least for a little while. I think they're only playing a couple more shows in the U.S., so if it isn't sold out, you should really, really go.