fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Friday, August 31, 2007

Beauty in the breakdown

Dad had surprised me during my visit by staging a little family reunion. Uncles, aunts, cousins. Well, darnit. I packed only jeans and t-shirts and serveral of those of in the "what?-you-don't-recognize-this-brand?-I'm-sure-Lindsey-or- Nicole-was-arrested-wearing-this-brand-Duh!" SoCal trashy chic vein. Oh, and this to die for silk scarf dress concoction, that just packs so well. But not workin' east of Las Vegas. Not in Central Missouri. I could really use something J. Crew Factory Outlet-ish.

Alas. I will never graduate from the little kids' table.

Speaking of trashy chic. I am crushin' on this little part of town near my dad's lake house. In a world of cookie-cutter focus-group-okay'd concept restaurants and keiretsu'd, fluorescent lighted and ISO-9000'd big box retail chains, my heart belongs to the 10 cent skee ball business plan. This strip of dilapidating bumper cars, rusting batting cages and Granny's fudge stores (and those are good pecan turtles!), will soon be made extinct by the evolution of more efficient, adaptable beasts of the entertainment, enter-tailing and eat-ertainment marketplace. In the meantime, I find some beauty in the breakdown.

And this statue? Was this left by a group of time traveling alien beings as a foretelling? Makes me wonder.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Be careful what you fish for, um, wish for.

Take a lake, add worm and hook, and you might get your wish.

We are visiting my father on his lake for a couple of weeks. This is a very different part of the country. The thing that strikes me most is the wonderful end of summer concert put on by the grasshoppers, june bugs and crickets. The party is loud and only gets louder when the sun goes down. I like to lay in the tall grass and just listen to the surround sound. Perfect syncopation, perfect improv.

Looky there: Anna lost her first baby tooth.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Of pink and fork blog photography

I intentionally took the photo of the window with a bit of bright pink wash hanging to dry. Never enough pink.

The fork photo I took in a moment of sarcasm: "I'm going to photograph my fork from this hip café for my blog, make it all artsy and sublime-like, because I'm all hip, artsy and sublime like that." But then, I liked the photo. This is very likely the start of a wave in fork blog photography. But your fork will not be as hip as my fork. I'm too hip. Too hip for my fork.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Fashionable FAQs

Readers of this blog are probably the only people in the world to agree that a foray into this fashionable part of town in 90-degree weather sounds like a dandy idea. If you are ever in this part of the world, you will likely want a little information on the Fashion District. Here, some fashionable Frequently Asked Questions:

Fashion District FAQs:
1. Is this 100% cotton? Do you have a match?
2. Why is the bald man such a grumpy meanie?
3. What do you mean we're messing up your "system", grumpy bald guy? There's a system?
4. So, it's really, really, really okay to park in front of the sign that says, "Absolutely No Parking. Tow Away Zone"? Really?
5. Is the little guy folding the fabric flirting with Jenny (bottom photo)?
6. Why did Jenny get her fabric for $0.50 less a yard (see FAQ 5.)?
7. How hard could it be to make red-and-white striped interlock? Why does it not exist?
8. Wendy? Wendy? Has anybody seen Wendy?
9. Is that Wendy over there stroking and talking to that black-and-white popelin in a French accent?
10. Lunch? Or trim store? Trim store.
11. Oilily reprint for $1.99/yd? Urban legend or Holy Grail?
12. What is that smell?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The tortoise and the Home Depot

This old guy belongs to my neighbor. Or, rather, he belongs to the neighborhood. Or, rather, the neighborhood belongs to him. This desert tortoise was found under the deck of the house next door many years back when new owners moved in. The neighbors across the street took him in. Desert tortoises live a long time. This particular gopherus agassizii must be at least 60 or 70 years old and he's in his prime. It is an endangered species, native to the Mojave and Sonoran deserts here. Unfortunately, once they have been held in captivity, they cannot be returned to the wild. This guy does not know that rule, however. He was born to be wild. And he makes a break for it every once in awhile, probably looking for a date. I distinctly remember looking out the window while having a very yuppified telephone conversation with a VP of a company in Denmark that went something like this, "I have a dynamic vision for your product and if I licen--Oh! The tortoise is heading toward PCH!" That's Pacific Coast Highway. "I'll be right back!"

Well, the tortoise broke out of the neighbors the other day and we are taking care of him for a few days while the neighbors are out of town. He's funny company. He saunters into the house when I least expect it. Here he is on my cutting mat on the floor. From this desert tortoise, I have picked up the following lessons:

1. Have a hard shell.
2. Grow old gracefully.
3. Eat lots of leafy green vegetables.
4. Tuck your head in and then ram creatures much larger than yourself.

To Item No. 4, see that bony protuberance beneath his head on the underside of his shell? Well, if he spots a nice fleshy bit of ankle, even the ankle of the nice giant feeding him the juicey cucumber, he may be inclined to ram that thing right in the Achilles tendon. I don't know why. We all get angry sometimes. I wear these inch-thick wooden platform clog things and, for all his effort, all he hits is the wood: He gets all shaken and I don't feel a thing. Ramming ankles has worked for him since the age of the dinosaur, but now, there's a new natural order of things. Wooden clogs. Sorry, pal.

Following the life lesson in Item No. 4, this week I took it upon myself to tuck my head in and ram full force into the giant creature The Home Depot. I can almost hear your collective mirth, "Now, that was stupid!". I had a pretty good reason: I paid in full for a repair to be performed to my garage door. Alas, said contracted repair never commenced. That's a reason for ramming, right? Calling the store did not help, because no one answers the telephone. I kid you not: I have a call record of at least 20 attempts. No answer. It's a huge place. No one answers the telephone.

Thus must I resort to the black hole of all customer complaints, the 1-800 number. I explain my grievance, I think, in terms even the orange-aproned ones will understand:

1. Here's the contract and receipt for a service to be performed.
2. No one will do the service.
3. I'd like somebody to come and do the work.
4. Duh.

All of that was explained to several very nice Customer Care Representatives at the magical 1-800 number ("Well, okay, I'll check online, but, well, I really don't need to the Internet to know that nobody is fixing my garage" That middle image is a screen shot of my order status. "NA"). I have spent hours on hold. Alas, to no avail. Hence, I must dig into my arsenal and pull out the fax. I have written a letter and I would like to fax it. I would like to have your fax number, helpful Customer Care Representative. My letter will explain everything and I won't have to let my life slip away minute by minute on hold.

Huh? Helpful Customer Care Representative, am I to believe that The Home Depot corporate offices in Atlanta have no fax machines? Really? Are you sure? You'll recognize it as sort of a gray box, which beeps, then squeals, then makes are fuzzy static-y sound and then--behold!--spits out what looks like a photocopy. But it's not a photocopy: Remember Star Trek and those transporters? Sort of like that, not quite the same technology: Fax machines are only for paper. It's kind of last Millennium, but it's still pretty cool. All the big companies have them. Even little companies. Even I have a fax machine! Both Customer Care Representatives Martha Jo and Michelle assured me, swore up and down, that there are no fax machines at The Home Depot Corporate offices. No fax machines and no good reason that no one would answer a telephone at the local Home Depot store. Uh-huh.

Okay. May I please speak with a manager? Uh. Well. By manager, I mean a superior, a person with the authority to can carry through on a decision. Somebody like your boss, maybe? A person that gets paid more than you and gets to tells you what to do and you don't get to tell them what to do? Anybody like that around there? Maybe the person you were introduced to on the first day on the job before you were chained to your cubicle? That guy?

There's no guy like that? No fax machines and no boss? No fax machines and no boss. And you're telling me I should call the store? Look, they don't answer the phone. And you don't have a fax machine. Or a boss.

I have hit the Home Depot's inch-thick wooden clog. Faxes to the boss always work! Faxes to the boss are the bony protuberance for ramming for humans! No such luck: I'm shaken and The Home Depot doesn't feel a thing. It is the new natural order of things.

What's this? Today, the mailman brought me an automatically generated postcard from Mr. Scott H. Baxter, President, The Home Depot Home Services. Scott H. Baxter! President! Dude! You must be the boss! You've got to introduce yourself to Martha Jo and Michelle. They swear you do not exist! I appreciate the postcard, but Martha Jo and Michelle should be able to tell you everything about my home service experience. Or non-experience.

Scott, uh, Mr. Baxter, President, you wouldn't happen to have a fax machine, would you? You should really get one. And then fax the store here and tell them to answer the phone, please. And then, my garage door? Please? I paid and everything.

Scott, Mr. President, It turns out that the California Contractor's License Board has a fax machine. Beeps, squeals, works and everything. Seeing as how I have this nice fax all written up here, I'm sending it over there. Maybe I'll hit a fleshy Achilles on The Home Depot yet.

There's that fable about the tortoise. Never underestimate the tortoise.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Dear friends,

I received a very odd email in my yahoo.com email account with the subject line "Cool Summer Styles". The email appears to have been sent by me (!). I did not send this email. I did not open it, either, as it must contain something vile.

Please do not open any email from "me" with "Cool Summer Styles" in the subject line. (Anyone who knows me and knows my love of words might recognize that I would avoid such a pedestrian qualifier as "cool". I am not quite sure which insult is greater: The vileness to usurp my email identity or, that in their pretense of being "me", would write "Cool Summer Styles".) I do believe this is a targeted and malicious effort, as why else would "Cool Summer Styles" be included directly with "my" email? The perpetrator would have to know me and know what I do.

Please note that there was an empty space after the "@" and before the "yahoo.com", like this:

@ yahoo.com

I do truly hope that this rancor does not touch you, friends. To the contemptible perpetrator of this ruse, I offer my vitrolic acrimony:

Not cool. You are so not cool.

Liebe Freunde!

Ich erhielt eine sehr kommische Email mit dem Bereff, "Cool Summer Styles". Diese Mail stammte angeblich von meinem Email-Account (!). Ich schickte eine solche Email nicht heraus.

Bitte keine Email mit dem Betreff "Cool Summer Styles" öffnen, denn ich kann mir nur vorstellen, dass etwas abscheulich dahinter liegt. (Nur nebenbei, "Cool" ist ein Wort, dass ich meide, linguistisch nicht mein Stil. An sich abscheulich, dass jemand meine Email usurpieren will und dabei so geistlos "cool" anwendet.)

Zu vermerken ist, dass eine Leertaste zwischen dem Affenschwänzchen "@" und dem "yahoo.com" wie folgt plaziert war:

@ yahoo.com

Ich hoffe sehr, dass diese Schändlichkeit Euch nicht getroffen hatte. Zum Täter, verbleibe ich mit vitriolischster Bissigkeit:

Not cool. You are so not cool.

Ansonsten Euch allen verbleibe ich mit liebsten Grüssen,


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Practice petals

The very hip and adorable couple across the street is getting married and have asked Anna to participate as the flower girl at the ceremony. Anna is taking her job very seriously. Face it, there is a lot that can go wrong. I've seen flower girls chew their hair, hit ring bearers, refuse to wear shoes, not throw flowers, pick up flower petals once thrown, even sit down on the job. And there is that urban legend concerning the flower girl who left a puddle instead of petals.

This is a job that takes practice. Here, we see Anna, very early in the morning, practicing her different flower girl techniques using these Styrofoam packing piece practice petals. Among her best moves, the Gentle Scattering from waist height, the Joyful Toss high into the air, the Forward Thrust as far down the aisle as possible, the magical Raining Down from wiggling fingers, among others.

She cracks me up!


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