Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Owls Are Not What They Seem

I had a big digression here on Naked Mole Rats. Not important, though, so I got rid of it. They're rodents that exhibit social behaviors usually associated with bees and wasps and such. Really interesting critters, but not what this post is about.

'The owls are not what they seem' is a catch phrase from the TV show Twin Peaks. Twin Peaks was once my favorite TV show, although today Babylon 5 gets that honor. At least seasons 2-4.

One thing of note about Peaks: it is virtually impossible to be romantic immediately following an episode. At least for me. Good episodes leave me with a vaguely unsettled feeling. Pleasurable but not conducive to romance.

Another thing: the show was a David Lynch project. Others were of course involved, but Lynch pretty much set the tone and built the story. One of Lynch's favored themes is a dichotomy between appearance or impression and what is seen when one looks a little deeper or knows a little more.

When I write I am often pretty heavily influenced by Lynch and his approach to theme. Take this humble post as an example. I haven't said diddly about owls. That's because (just like I'm not talking about rats) I'm not talking about owls. Or Twin Peaks for that matter.

So what am I talking about? Same as last post. Part of the fun is figuring it out. Or not figuring it out.

After all, the owls are not what they seem.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Plow to the End of the Row

I try to limit music references to my music blog, but (obviously) don't succeed. The music I listen to is just too big a part of my life. The title of this post for example is also the title of an album I've been listening to a lot lately (the first from Adrienne Young - a few years old at this point, but I just got it recently).

One thing I find attracive about Young is her outspoken advocacy on agricultural issues. It is a little depressing that neither major party presidential candidate has addressed these issues much. At least not directly. Many of the issues they DO talk about have a strong if unspoken food issue component. Very strong in the case of energy.

I've been at least somewhat involved in food/agricultural issues for a good long while. And I'm not just talking about the fact that I (like many others) eat. When I was at the University of Minnesota (early 90s) I was a member of a student group that advocated more sustainable agriculture.

And I've mentioned before my heritage. I don't get all googly about it, but I am proud of the fact that many of my predecessors were farmers. Think of all the 'greats' you read about in history books. My ancestors - my people - were the ones who enabled those 'great deeds'. Hard to do great things if you've starved to death.

Agriculture is a rich source of metaphor as well. Take 'plow to the end of the row'. You have to see things through. It's not always easy or fun or comfortable. But you do it. If you don't, the seed won't set and sure as heck won't grow. Never get to see what sprouts.

Yep. Pretty fine metaphors.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pants (or why last week sucked)

Nothing makes one appreciate impaired mobility quite like no mobility at all.

My left leg tends to give me a lot of trouble. It is fairly stubborn about not doing what my brain tells it to. Which stinks.

Monday night after work, though, it wasn't just being stubborn. Might as well have been a log for all the good it was doing me. I went in to the bathroom at the end of my shift. Getting out was the difficult part. Took 15-20 minutes.

Not the way I want to spend my time waiting for my bus. Not fun. There is one funny aspect about this, though.

When I was through and had fastened my pants apparently I didn't do a very good job. About ten feet into the lobby they started to slide down.

When you're using a walker and your pants start to fall off you have two options. 1) Let them fall but hang on to the walker 2) Let go of the walker and try to grab your pants. Option 2 probably wouldn't work out, so I went with option one. And ended up standing in the lobby of an office building with my pants around my ankles. A slapstick comedian in the age of vaudville would be hard pressed to come up with a better routine.

The night sort of ended with a whimper. I got the whole pants situation worked out and, after resting for a half hour or so (and convincing the paramedics that were called that I could scrape up some mobility), was able to get on my bus and get home as if nothing had happened.

So I guess the moral of the story (if you believe such things exist) is this - sometimes simple things end up being much tougher than they should be. But at least you still have your pants on.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


"Bang!" is a song by Russian (then Soviet) hair metal band Gorky Park. It received fairly decent rotation on MTV (this was 1989, before MTV became what some call 'Game Shows and Hos').

But that is more something for my music blog. The bang that concerns me here is the sound of the maintainence being done next door. Being done for at least the last THREE HOURS! Bang! Bang! Bang! Brief pause. Whirr! (A bandsaw). Bang!

It's driving me nuts. Remember how I said I took a little vacation time to relax? This isn't helping at all. Shoots my anxiety through the roof. Which makes moving around even more difficult than usual. Making it tough to walk over to the next building to drop off my rent check. Which makes me even more anxious. See the circle?

Hopefully this weekend will be better. No banging at least.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Part three

I keep waffling on what I want to call this post. 'Part three' is the choice of the moment.

I had been counting down to something. I think I screwed up the math occasionally, but made sure to get it correct the last few days, since I was counting down to today. October 1st.

October 1 is the day I became a vegetarian. More or less. Since I don't remember the actual day I've just sort of assigned it to October 1st. It was late September or early October, so the margin of error is pretty insignificant.

Most years I really don't notice. It's the way I eat and I don't really think about it overly much anymore. The decision was made some time ago and it's pretty much a foundation of my self identity now.

I said some time ago. Quite some time ago. 1989 to be exact. 19 years ago. I'm 38. You do the math :)

This year is kinda a landmark. Half my life. Every day from here on will be another day more living as a vegetarian than not. Thus 'Part three'.

So I took a day of vacation off work to just have a relaxing day away from the day-to-day junk I have to deal with. I'm pretty much blowing the 'relaxation' bit. Oh well. Since my October 1 date is an approximation I have a little wiggle room to declare the next day I relax a little more to be the REAL halfway point.

I could start another countdown. Something I should get done, and starting a say 14 day countdown might encourage me to actually do it. That'd make me feel pressured though. I'll just commit to blogging about it eventually ...