Tuesday, October 26, 2010

me and the pretzel barrel

although i can no longer spell words like barrel and portentious, i have a good supply of ice cream in the freezer still. it's important to keep up with the times, and when the times suggest that what is important is the ability to mix frozen sweet and barreled salty snacks, i act. i walked to the store last night in a light mix of freezing rain and after-work perspiration. while i walked, i thought about the stars, and looked up to clouds and those falling shining dots that stung the bare skin of my face. i was in a footrace, though, me against the pavement, its inevitable icing over coming just after i stepped foot inside the store, rounded a man pushing a cart full of water bottles, and headed for the safety of the bakery aisle.

i've probably given this away already, seeing as i haven't mentioned french bread or twisted portugese loaves. with no baked-boiled bagels or pre-slit sub rolls in the cupboards i've already described, it's safe to say the bread aisle was a mere distraction. i was happy for the momentary look at the dollar-to-bread loaf exchange rate, failing to answer this decades-old question of inflation and relative wealth. it was too important for me to pick up snack foods and ride the storm out the old-fashioned way.

feet up, head rolling to one side as i watched the playoff game an hour later, i stared into the bottom of my melted bowl of ice cream. there were crumbs of salt and peanut bits, traces of the swirled foods laced into my dessert, and a reflection of my face, glaring back at me if only i could focus in carefully enough. i didn't want anything of the sort, though, and so i scraped once more against the plastic of the bowl. my spoon failed yet again to wipe away the grin looking up out of the wreckage.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

the problem with beverages

despite the many glorious years i have spent working in the beverage industry, i have to acknowledge some difficulty that exists when choosing the right thing to drink. first, there's the fact that water has to be modified with nutritional and flavorful additives to be even palatable, sort of the way older music regains its swagger when chopped, filtered, and pressed into service in the context of a new song. water, the kind from the tap or the filtration system, is that song you've heard ten thousand times on the morning drive show between six and nine am. no one's going back to plain water.

with that eliminated, there's always that american classic, milk, which now comes from cows treated with strange hormones. it seems they never make the promise to use zero hormones, just certain types of hormones will not be used. i am out on milk.

soda, while near and dear to my heart, isn't always a ten pm saturday with a novel type of beverage. declining in popularity, inevitably to remain a significant part of our culture as it takes on cigarette-like levels of high culture stigma, soda can't take us everywhere. it still does a lot, and of course if my career ever makes something of itself, it'll have a much bigger role than it's had in decades.

i do not trust the juice or essence of most fruits and vegetables. never having spoken latin, i feel uncomfortable in the way these items escape true description. their names not being their real names, i find it difficult to connect them meaningfully to any concept. as a compromise, i have told myself that i am willing to eat any and all juices of alphabetically shaped origin. bananas, however, are notoriously non-juiceable, and i have yet to decide whether things such as cherries and grapes resemble letters. there are those donut shaped peaches, but they lack an empty middle and thus are no more alphabetical than an orange.

other beverages are usually derived from elements of the above, and often require strange decisions regarding whether they should be consumed hot or cold. i find the idea of forcing heated water through a bag of dust to be frightening and thus will never bother with herbal or other teas and the like. by the time i have decided whether i am more comfortable washing the filth from the packet of herbs or letting the boiling water hopefully sanitize it, the desire to consume has inevitably passed me.

these options all leave me confined, confused, or crazy. i turn occasionally to sodas on multiple daily occasions, but since i trust the conniving swindlers in charge of public health policy at least somewhat, i have tried to reduce my own soda consumption, so i will soon schedule a doctor's visit where i will request that an iv be connected to one of those water carrier backpacks, allowing me never to drink again.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

struggles ever tried

yesterday was a bad one for my burr collection. i was standing just above and below this particular tree, finding myself stuck trying to superimpose my shadow on the shadow of the tree itself. the effect i wanted, so shadow of a shadow of a living thing, seemed delightful until i saw the nothing that came out of my idea.

in this whole process, as i implied, i was adding exactly zero burrs to my collection, as my corduroy shoes and wooly socks were unable to make contact with the hopeful seed pods of the forest while i stood there worrying about the layering effects possible in a clearing decorated with a single oak.

burr collecting is a pastime that can accompany numerous activities, from chasing butterflies to rolling around and past strips of exposed granite on a steep hill. i have collected burrs while fishing and while forgetting to call my mother. on my birthday, i had a solo picnic so the forest could give me some beautiful presents, and i found that it did.

the secret though is that the burrs pile up before and after the picnic, if not while you're sleeping off the seventeenth tiny slice of cake. there is no before and after to single-oak clearings though, because these islands draw you away from the rest of the trees and off into something burrless. the clearing has its own life, but it's shadowy in a disappointing way.

with all due respect to hats

it's completely illogical that something so effective at keeping rain off my face should be damaged by that same rain. is the new national motto of hats "we'll take the hit so you don't have to?"

if only rain were bullets, it would make more sense. hats - the secret service for the rest of us.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

all verification allowed

it's hard to tell yourself things that no person would accept from someone else. you will eat this and only this for the next two days, some random fool insists. oh no, you reply, no, i never make a habit of eating the same foods for more than three straight meals. random fools are arrogant, but random fools aren't usually persistent enough to deny you that.

when you're in the driver's seat, though, you'll wind up tricked beyond your wildest imagination. though time travel will never allow it, some future self might visit you from the following week, a point comfortably distant from the two days in question. oh past self, you say, if only you understood. you're going to eat the same thing for the next two days because you aren't going to move one inch from that bed.