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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Digging In The Dirt

Tagged with a meme Questionnaire by Cowtown Pattie that I'm reluctant to complete on account of it requiring me to dig purposefully into my memory. I'm not very good at that; and before you all wail about how this site is nothing but the regurgitated memories of a pompous old fart falling into "anecdotage", to borrow a word from the Great Burgess, let me explain that those are all unbidden memories flung out at random from this fizzing vortex mind. Any attempt at retrieval of specific information from this boiling cloud is most often met with contemptuous disdain; I am given tablescraps, but of some other meal. No: the only way I'm ever going to find answers to these specific question is to ask them to myself, then immerse myself completely in a muck of work. That is the only way the answers shall appear - while I'm supposed to be thinking in microcode.

So, what the hell was I doing Ten Years Ago? Grieving, and trying to deflect it through unremitting work and overindulgent childcare. At this time on this day ten years ago my stomach was churning at the leaden approach of November and the descent into christmas. The whole month of November, black November, was the sacrifice I paid for a functioning Rest of the Year. Two years before on November 5th - Bonfire Night - my wife was taken unexpectedly to hospital. Two years before on November 30th - St Andrew's Night - she was, now so expectedly, Taken. You bargain with yourself, those early days: you realize that breakdowns are a luxury when you're raising young children, that you must keep going no matter what. So you buy eleven months of seeming normalcy with one of black despair. Well, one-and-a-half when you count the other mortgage: five years before my wife, my firstborn left us; paving the way, I suppose, a week before christmas. There was, however, an unexpected good that appeared by magic in the dying days of that year: I was offered - unbidden as a memory - another job, in another company, that turned out to be another world entirely from the one I was used to. I made an escape.

Jump ahead now five years further to Five Years Ago and I'm two years into my fourth life, my current life, and floating in my pool in the middle of October; it's lunchtime, and I'm floating on blue water, soaking in sun, smoking a smoke, sipping a pepsi, and reading a book - and so was she, my redemption. Life was good and I was grateful. It still is, I still am.

Four years further still, One Year Ago, I was sore still: I'd had surgery in July, but I was still in some pain, still am. But I was also with my Goddess in New York, living the life in a Midtown hotel in Manhattan; she for a conference, me for a tag-along. What a magnificent city, and what magnificent blisters we grew on our feet. We must have walked a thousand miles of street.

Yesterday I went to work - which is most unusual, because I work from home three days every week and that was supposed to be one of them. Driving home through Box Canyon and - my G-d - the blackness, the damage: but every single home, but one, an oasis of green fauna, saved by firefighters. The one home destroyed we'd never known was there though we'd driven within ten feet of it every single time we'd turned that right-angle bend that ramps uphill and into the winding mountains. And there it was - There? Right There?? At the turn. But no: not any more. Came home, had PickupStix for dinner, worrying about our van, which we've driven into the ground, and which yesterday and today has been chugging to a stall whenever it comes to a Stop. Just once - just this one time - I wish the concept of "Give Way" at road junctions was comprehensible to americans.But they can't wrap their heads around it: here in California they call it "Yield", not "Give Way"; and though there was until this year exactly One "Yield" in Simi, they changed it to a binary "Stop" because that's what everybody did there anyway. I think the mistake was calling it "Yield": what stupidity. Here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, we Yield to No Man.

Would you in your daily life ever ask a husky gentleman to list Five Snacks He Enjoys? Would you? But the Internets change everything, don't they - including ones manners. Vinegar chips. Those thin little potato Stix things. Granola bars (no, really!) Those are all the sins I can remember, Father.

There are not Five Songs I Know All The Words To: though I have better luck when drunk. I'm totally useless at lyrics, and usually those few snatches of a song I do remember have been totally misheard. However, in the depths of a bottle of whisky I can assure you of the following, and will insist on demonstrating: Irish Rover - Pogues+Dubliners; New York New York - Sinatra; Delilah - Tom Jones or Alex Harvey; Release Me - Englebert Humperdinck; Nobody's Child - Alexander Brothers or Glenn Daley. Guarenteed you sniff around the darker regions of this blog, you'll find a sampler of two or three of those songs hidden in the links.

Five Things I'd Do With 100 Million Dollars: Hah! I'd spend it all on sweeties and curries. Damn yer eyes!

Five Places I'd Run Away To: Gretna Green, my wife would insist. New Orleans. Oregon. North Carolina. Manhattan. Somewhere I hadn't been but like the idea of? Salzburg, Bohemia.

Five Things I'd Never Wear: I was once compelled - in a public swimming pool in France - to change my forbidden shorts for a frenchman's pair of "slips", as they call them - "Speedos" to you and me. I still shudder at that. No slips; no thongs, that's me. Though I'll wear a kilt I will not wear one of those stupid shirts with the frills down the front (they're named after Montrose, I think?) nor ever those ridiculous ballet-boots with laces that wind up yer leg to yer knees. And I'd never wear a bow-tie or a cravat as everyday fare.

Five Favorite TV Shows: Carnivale; The Wire; Wosspuss-SVU... dangit - I can't remember. Crap like that. I never remember my favorite shows until I've just missed them.

Five Biggest Joys: No Desert Island Disc exemptions here, so they'd be my Wife; my Kids; my Banjo; Opera; and Shopping.

Five Favorite Toys: Banjo; Computers; Games; iPod; and our car. The nice one.

Five Fine Folks I Tag with This Meme: It ends here. It ends Now!


Blogger Cowtown Pattie said...

Thanks, FCB! Some of this was tough to read, but nothing like it was to live through. Hugs.

Carnivale! I forgot about Carnivale! Two words: New Season

What about Deadwood? Those are the two best HBO offerings out there.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Lexie said...

You have pretty cool blog here. What's up with these weird posts?

Anyway, I like your blog and will proably be back.

Take care.


Oh and another cool site is a weight loss for kid site about other weight loss stuff.

11:34 AM  
Blogger DarkoV said...

FCB Your last ten years of life are enough for most people's 25. How you've maintained your humor and humanity is quite the admirable thing.

On a lighter note. This lexie fellow has been visiting me as well. What a pain in the backside is he.

1:10 PM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

There you go - Deadwood!

I was thunderstruck when I realized - as in, probably the very last person on the planet to - that the dialog in Deadwood is iambic pentameter. For the longest time I thought it was just weird and affected, but then POW! All became clear.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Cowtown Pattie said...

Iambic pentameter?

Hmmm, F---, c---s-----,c---?

I never knew....

3:03 PM  
Blogger Whisky Prajer said...

I hear so much talk about these shows, but rarely see a one of them until our little movie store carries the DVDs. Man, if cable companies offered an "HBO Only" package, I'd be all over it.

3:50 AM  
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