Monday, November 30, 2009

Walking Past the Magna Carta

Sorry for the lack of posting the last four days. First I was giving thanks, and then I was suffering what feels like Cold #1,386 this year. In fact, I am still suffering from it so who knows how much sense this post will make?

Today I will recount one of the most bitter experiences of my life. When I was in middle school, the Magna Carta went on some kind of whirlwind tour, complete with a tour bus that said "MAGNA CARTA" in ginormous dayglo letters, as if the Magna Carta were a rock star or something. It stopped in our town, and every single pupil in public school was forced to wait in a seemingly endless line to enter the brightly-colored tour bus and gaze upon the document upon which our own Constitution is supposedly modeled. I was hugely excited to be seeing this piece of history, and something written in 1215 seemed inconceivably old to me in those days. (Now that I have seen the actual Dead Sea Scrolls and other antiquities, 1215 seems so, you know, Middle Aged, not ancient.) Most of the other kids in line were just excited to get out of school for basically the whole day (I mean it - this was the mother of all lines we were waiting in), and the rock star-looking tour bus wasn't enough to interest them in some old piece of vellum. I, however, could hardly wait to see the actual Magna Carta.

Finally it was my turn to enter the neon-colored bus and see this seminal piece of Western history, and I wondered what language it would be in. I remembered hearing that there were four extant copies of the original 1215 version, and that two were in Latin, one was in French, and one was in the vernacular - Middle English, I suppose. When I got into the bus, some men told me gruffly to keep moving. Now I had not spent half my life in line with a bunch of brats who didn't care just to be told I got to walk past the Magna Carta without looking, so I dared to turn my head and look at the document. At that, one of the men barked, "Keep moving!" so I had to continue walking. All I saw was something that looked like a piece of yellowing rubber that had been scribbled on by a very dull pencil. Forget what language it was in - I didn't even get a good look at the thing!

To this day I have never gotten over the disappointment of having to walk past the Magna Carta, although later I learned there were all sorts of versions signed throughout the Thirteenth Century, so who knows which one it actually was? Just to add insult to injury, that evening in the local paper they had a story about some kid who had clearly gotten there much earlier in the day and was allowed to actually peruse the thing. They even had a photo of her peering at the glass-enclosed document with a puzzled look on her face, probably thinking, "What's the big whoop about this thing?" So all the adults in town could think the kiddies had an educational experience seeing an actual piece of history, and they had no idea they RUINED MY LIFE!!!

Famous Hat

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A (Hypothetical) Li'l Joint

My plant Dracaena Marginata (aka "Keith") is at it again - now it's bored and lonely, being the only plant in my office, and it is writing letters to hip hop artists. (I was the one who first imagined this collaboration, but Toque was the one who suggested Keith write the artists in question a letter.) Since the President is much easier to reach than the average hip hop artist, it has not actually sent this letter yet, but it would appreciate anyone who knows Li'l Jon or Li'l Wayne forwarding this on to them.

Dear Li'l Jon/Wayne,

I may just be a humble houseplant, but I am a huge fan of both of you, and I can’t help noticing that Li'l “Pottymouth” Wayne is in every hip hop song and Li'l “Dr. Teeth” Jon is in all the other hip hop songs. I feel it is time you combine your instantly recognizable li'l voices in what could roughly be called “harmony” and record a song together. I imagine it might sound something like this, after the radio sensors have bleeped out the naughty parts.

LW: Shawty got a Coke bottle figure
LW: Shawty say that I her favorite nurp urp*
LW: Shawty say that I a low slob
LW: Shawty give me a blurp jurp+
LW: Shawty wanna go down to China
LW: I wanna exploe her vurp urp@
LW: Shawty think that I a trucker
LW: But I a real murp furp#

Adults, feel free to look below to see what the censors bleeped out. Kids, don’t look!

* nitrogen user
+ botany journal
@ venation
# monocot flora

I hope this gives you some inspiration for this epic li'l collaboration.

Dracaena Marginata

Unfortunately, Keith would have even more trouble suggesting a "Big Joint" than a "Li'l Joint," because while it may be hard to reach living hip hop artists, I cannot imagine it would have any luck sending a letter to Big Pun and Notorious B.I.G. (dona eis requiem) suggesting they collaborate. Still, imagine how cool that would be! It could be called "Still Not a Hypnotized Playa."

Famous Hat

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Magic Bonomobile

Here are some photos of Rich's car, the Bonomobile. As you can see from this first photo, it is a sort of slate blue color in most lighting.

But just this past Saturday, a coating of dust settled on the hood that makes it appear red in sunlight. We wondered if it is from Rich's home planet, because that was the day he drove the Mothership home. (The official story was he drove her to the "airport" so she could catch a "plane" to head back "East.")

It was really noticeable when you looked through the windshield! See below.

And it was definitely on the windshield itself. What kind of crazy dust is this??

My car, Erin Caitlin O'Honda, is still green. I do not have a photo of her, but I do have a sign I made for her at a local Irish fest one summer. This is my first attempt to write in Celtic calligraphy, and in my opinion it didn't turn out too badly.

Famous Hat

Monday, November 23, 2009

Famous Hat Sings (and Sings and Sings and Sings...)

Saturday I had the best day! I went to the bank for $2 bills and also managed to get two Eisenhower dollars! Then I had a coupon for a free coffee at a local cafe, and then I drove to the orchard where my band played last month, because I still had almost $10 worth of credit. I got about $13 worth of produce, and the cashier said, "Let's just call it even." Awesome! Then I went home to see if my good luck extended to my washing machine magically working again, but no. When Rich asked me why I had attempted to use it when I knew it was broken, I said, "It had a whole week to think about its behavior so I was hoping that it had thought better of the whole thing." Having a Y chromosome, Rich just doesn't understand that machines think, so he pointed out that a washing machine is incapable of being repentant. Anyway, I brought my soggy laundry over to his house and finished it there. Then I played ePlush on his computer Aquinas and actually completed the word game! I had no idea you could even win it! It was a beautiful day so he, Kathbert, and I went for a walk in the woods. Some sort of magic dust got on the Bonomobile so that while it still appeared slate blue at most angles, in bright sunlight and through the windshield the hood appeared red. Rich took some photos, which I hope to post on here at some point. (I tried to get him to make a movie of it, but I'm not sure he ever did.) Then we went to a "pre"-Thanksgiving dinner with the typical fixings and Rich's world-renowned chocolate mousse for dessert.

Yesterday I tortured Rich by having him help me make another music video, which is featured on my previous post. He got so into making my hat dance that he said it hurt his shoulder! He even got the little mandolin to shake when I played a tremolo on the real mandolin. I had a problem during the first take; as I was watching the hat bounce around on the screen with its little mandolin, I started to laugh.

"It looks so ridiculous!" I gasped.

"Of course!" said Rich matter-of-factly. "Isn't it SUPPOSED to be ridiculous?"

Yes, but I hadn't realized just how successful it was.

While I personally have no interest in being famous, my hat is already famous, so it has no qualms about being in lots of music videos. Can you believe "Stupid Texan" has already been viewed by 80 people? That's like an average of ten a day! And I have many more songs for my hat to sing. I almost have A-Joz and Hardingfele convinced to do three-part harmony like the Andrews Sisters on a VERY brief song about Montauk Point, plus there is the "All-Purpose Tropical Song," a blues song about Georgia, a torch song about the Etruscans, and a disco song about Boethius. I can totally flood YouTube with videos of my hat singing! Judging by the response to "Stupid Texan," tens of people have been dying to watch a hat wearing sunglasses sing and play the mandolin.

Famous Hat

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Famous Hat Joint: Rabbit Lullaby

Here is another Famous Hat joint for my bunnies, Charlie and Cashmere. The lyrics are as follows:

Charlie, Charlie, you sailed away,
Cashmere, Cashmere, for a year and a day,
Charlie, Charlie, you sailed so far,
Cashmere, Cashmere, following a star.

You sailed to an island where the ocean was calm,
The sand was all white and the trees were all palm.
You played in the surf and you played in the sun,
Oh, Charlie and Cashmere, you had so much fun.


Your boat hit the sand and you hopped out to see,
You said, "I wonder what this lovely place could ever be?
The sand is so white and the sky is so blue!"
Oh, Charlie, I wish I could sail with you!

(chorus, bridge, chorus)

Banana for breakfast and banana for lunch,
Of banana you ate a whole bunch.
You slept all night in a little grass hut
And you drank all your water from a big coconut!


And here I am performing it:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tales from the Mothership

Richard Bonomo's mother has lots of great stories. In fact, I will tell you the best one today.

When the Bonomos lived in the Mideast many years ago, they knew a British man who once gave a wealthy Bedouin a ride home. This Bedouin tried to thank him by giving him a sheep, and it wasn't a cute little fluffy white sheep like what we are used to, but a big, smelly sheep with long, stringy fur like dreadlocks. Of course it is bad form to refuse a gift in the Mideast, so the British gentleman, thinking quickly, said that he was a very poor person who lived in a small apartment instead of a large tent, and he had no land and no sons and only one wife, so he had no way to care for the sheep. All the Bedouins were very sympathetic: "No sons! Only one wife! You must be a very poor man!" and so they agreed to care for the sheep for him.

Now in reality, this British gentleman was quite rich and lived in an expensive apartment in an exclusive neighborhood, but as he told the Mothership, he had nowhere to put a big, smelly sheep. The Mothership, who is Sicilian and not British, said her father once kept a lamb in the bathroom in their apartment for several days, and he even butchered it in the bathtub. She said that proved you could keep a sheep in an apartment. She was laughing so hard at him that the British gentleman exclaimed, "If you do not desist in this unseemly laughter, I shall be forced to retrieve my sheep and place it in your bathtub!" (Imagine someone with an East Coast accent imitating someone with a stuffy British accent saying that.)

Famous Hat

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Misanthropic Anthropologist

I was shocked to read that Claude Levi-Strauss died recently, mostly because I had no idea the guy was still alive. Back in the Cretaceous Era when I was in college, he was already considered the great-grandfather of anthropology. (No, he had nothing to do with blue jeans.) Good old (and I mean OLD) Claude was a month shy of 101 when he shuffled off this mortal coil, but the thing that most fascinated me about him was that by the end of his life, he totally hated humanity. What does it say about humans when someone who has devoted his life to studying them decides they are vile creatures?

My theory is that the esteemed anthropologist was studying the following types of humans, which is why he hated all of us:

Politicians: I just read that 1% of the US population are millionaires, but 44% of the members of Congress are. Who wants to be represented by people who have no clue what your life is like? I think all presidents should pass the "Abe Lincoln" test of having been born in a log cabin they built with their own hands. Bush failed this test miserably, as did his opponents. (Toque once told me a great Bush joke: an advisor told him there had been a plane crash in Rio de Janeiro and 53 Brazilian citizens had died, so Bush asked, "How many zeros is that?" OH!!) I don't get why people act like our current president is either the Messiah or the Antichrist, but at least he has some life experience that doesn't involve country clubs. (Though I would argue not enough to merit a Nobel Peace Prize, but that's another post.)

Frat Boys: This one goes without saying. When I was in college the average frat boy thought "interior decoration" consisted of a bunch of Christmas tree lights shaped like red chili peppers, neon beer signs, and stolen street signs. Chili lights and beer signs are of questionable taste but are morally neutral, but stealing street signs could be dangerous. Does the average member of I Tappa Kegga really need that stop sign more than the people at the intersection he swiped it from? Though I have to admit that it was hilarious the summer I subleted a room on Frat Row, and one evening we saw several frat boys running down the street with a giant theta. Oddly, we never saw any other frat boys from the de-thetaed frat house running around, asking people, "Have you seen anyone around here with a giant theta?"

Journalists: The average newspaper writer is supposedly unbiased, but you wouldn't know that from what any of them write. When the Pope recently reached out to dissatisfied Anglicans to offer them a home in the Catholic Church, the papers just went on and on about how Benedict was fishing in Anglican waters, without mentioning that the Anglicans have been begging for this deal for over a decade. And what's with the term "anti-choice"? I am totally opposed to abortion, but I am not opposed to choices. A woman could choose to only have sex if she knows she can raise the child, since in fact a child is supposed to be the end result of sex. She could choose to raise the child herself or give it to another family in a better position to raise it. Are these not choices??

Anyone in Hollywood: This one needs no other explanation, but feel free to refer to my post yesterday regarding my Oscar-winning screenplay.

Financial Types: If your friend lent you some money because you were broke, and you then came into a lot of money, would you not pay your friend back? Maybe even with a little extra to thank him? But if you work for a big bank and the taxpayers lend you a whole bunch of money, and then business improves, you do not feel the need to pay the taxpayers back, unless giving yourself a ginormous bonus counts. And then they wonder why people hate them...?

Famous Hat

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Oscar-Winning Screenplay

Yet again, Hardingfele gets the most bizarre spam that makes it sound as if she has been having an email exchange with someone. As you may remember, she was surprised to learn she was selling something unspecified. Now she has learned that she is searching for an unspecified position:


I am sorry for the late reply. Are you still interested in a part time position? Please reply back your full name and phone number and I will contact you immediately with details. Do not forget to attach your latest resume or CV.

Thank You and have a wonderful day.

Hardingfele does not remember looking for a job anytime recently, but you have to admit that it's awfully tempting to apply for such a mysterious position. (Hey, we do know it's part time.)

My spam continues to be dying people who wish to have me help them donate their considerable fortunes to charity, although I was enchanted by the name in one of them: Silver Koroma. What a fantastic appellation! In fact, I will use it in my Oscar-winning screenplay. And how, you may ask, do I know that it will win an Oscar? Easy! It will incorporate all the elements of the most recent Oscar-nominated screenplays in it. For example, gays are good but the Catholic Church is evil. Abortion and euthanasia are ways for men to set women free. And if actors want to win Oscars, they just play someone with a disability. So here is a synopsis:

Silver Koroma is a young woman with a terrible rhythm disability which has left her tragically unable to dance at nightclubs. She goes to a priest for confession to admit she is pregnant, so he does all sorts of evil things to prevent her from having an abortion, thus showing that the entire Church is a corrupt entity only interested in things like preventing murder. However, Randi the Brave Queer helps her procure an abortion, but the procedure goes wrong and Silver is left in a vegetative coma. Randi the Brave Queer turns off the machines keeping her alive, despite great personal risk to himself of messing up his hair, since he somehow knows this is what she would want. And she died happily ever after.

Remember, you can say you knew me when! Write a comment on this post and maybe I'll give you a shout-out when I'm accepting my Oscar.

Famous Hat

Monday, November 16, 2009

Finally Met the Mothership

So all these years we joked that Richard Bonomo was really a space alien and when his "mother" called it was just his mothership checking in with him? Either we were wrong, or he hired an actress, because currently he has a very delightful older lady visiting him who claims to be his mother. She even tells the same stories he does! Maybe they are both from another planet...?

Kathbert's father did pass on about a week and a half ago after a short battle with cancer, so on Saturday she, Cecil Markovitch, and I drove to New Mellory Abbey so she could buy an urn. It was much different than when she and Rich looked at gaudy fake marble urns in hideous colors for Mr. Why; this was a two-hour pilgrimage to a quiet place surrounded by lush trees, with an austerely beautiful chapel where we went to noon prayer, and then Kathbert bought a very reasonably priced, beautifully made walnut urn. They will also say a Mass for her father and plant a tree in his honor, even if he was a Lutheran. (When I told Palm Tree Fan that I supposed in a hundred years the monks would chop down "Fred's Tree" to make more urns and coffins, she said she laughed so hard that she almost spit water all over her computer monitor.)

That evening my stupid washing machine stopped working, so I had to drain it bucket by bucket. On the other hand, yesterday Rich helped me make the masterpiece prominently featured on my previous post. (It was a practice run for the hip hop video we will make at some point.) That will feature not only my Famous Hat, but others as background singers, including my Raspberry Beret (shown below). It was a little wider than the scanner, but you get the idea. I have owned this thing forever, long before the Prince song came out. I clearly remember wearing it in third grade for Halloween when I went as an artist.

Famous Hat

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Famous Hat Joint: Stupid Texan

My last post was so fantabulous that it inspired me to write a song. This is to the tune of "Arkansas Traveler" (aka. "I'm Bringin' Home a Baby Bumblebee") in the key of G, but it's called "Stupid Texan." Here are the lyrics:

I'm drivin' my Bugatti into the bog,
And I can't even blame it on the fog,
I'm drivin' my Bugatti into the bog -
I know! I'll blame a pelican!

They're towin' my Bugatti from the bog,
Famous Hat will mock me on her blog,
They're towin' my Bugatti from the bog -
Now I have a Bugatti hooptie!

(Note: a Bugatti is a $1.5 million sports car and a hooptie is a worn-out old ghetto car. If you don't know what a bog or a pelican is, then you need more help than I can give you!)

And here I am performing it:

Famous Hat

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Pelican Menace

Happy Friday the 13th! Arphaxad is too busy picking at the algae on the side of her bowl to write more of her story today, so I will just have to think of something to say. Luckily, as always, Reality comes to the rescue, this time in the form of the state of Texas. True story: man drives Bugatti into swamp and blames it on - of course - a pelican. There is even awesome footage of the local tow truck driver hauling the Bugatti out of the bayou with a regular old tow truck, not a crane or anything, although I suppose by then it was a lot less valuable than good old Erin Caitlyn O'Honda, my 2000 Accord. I did not realize that the pelicans are so angry with us that they are now forcing people in $1.5 million dollar sports cars that are handmade in France or something to drive into bayous, though you have to admit that "Bugatti in the Bayou" would be an awfully catchy song title. So keep that in mind if you are in Texas, especially if you are driving a Bugatti by a bayou. I'd suggest that you have a bottle of wine on hand so that if you drive off the road you can have beaujolais in your Bugatti in the bayou. My question is this: if these people want to secede, should we really try to stop them?

Last night I skipped Lutheran choir practice again, this time to attend a flamenco show. The music is so beautiful, with the gypsy guitars and the Mideastern-sounding singing and the intricate rhythms. The dancing was lovely too, and I was surprised by how much it resembled Indian or Indonesian dancing with the graceful moves they made with their arms. The women wore those gorgeous dresses with long trains and lots of ruffles, and everyone tap danced. The coolest thing was the last number, showing how Cuban dance influenced flamenco, and they played a flamenco version of a song we'd heard at the concert the week before, a very famous Cuban folk song about "Esa Negra Linda" with the chorus that goes: "Ki kiri boom mandinga" or something like that. Then again, last week they performed a Bach minuet as a guanguanco.

The season is once again upon us when people send us random stuff in the mail. This year we got something that was actually quite pretty, a paper "snow globe" that is flat and then folds out into 3-D. You can put your company's name on it and send it out as a Christmas card to your clients. Of course, we don't exactly have "clients," but hey, whatever. It's very pretty to look at.

Famous Hat

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Awkward Moments with Toque McToque

My office mate Toque (rhymes with puke, not coke) said I should write about her day today. It is her second-to-last day, and she keeps having awkward moments. In one of them, a faculty member she does not much care for stopped by to say goodbye, and she said, "You could hear the crickets chirping in the distance! It's not like we had a hugging relationship, or even a hand-shaking one, so it was like, 'Bye.' 'Bye.'"

Then she lost the faculty candidate she was supposed to guide from interview to interview. To be fair, this was not her fault; one of his interviewers intercepted him after lunch and said, "Come on up to my office right now," without informing Toque. You can imagine her panic when she thought, "Oh no! I've lost the faculty candidate!" Still, what could they do if she had, fire her? I mean, she's already quitting. (True story: I once worked with a girl who gave her two weeks' notice and then was so obnoxious that they actually CANNED her two days into her last two weeks!)

I thought it was really amusing that Toque McToque put up a little sign saying how she would miss us all, and thanks for the lovely parting gifts, since the sign was festooned with cute little smiling flowers. I said, "That is SO not you, Toque McToque," and that got me thinking... What people like Toque need to show their true feelings are cute little natural disaster signs. So now I present to you: Famous Hat's Adorable Warning Signs! Though of course you can totally tell from my superior artistic abilities what these are supposed to be, I will provide a handy guide anyway. From left to right, top row: tornado, thunderstorm, blizzard. Bottom row: flood (or classier "deluge"), tsunami, poison. (It was supposed to be famine, but I couldn't think of how to draw "famine.") I think these are such cute, cuddly depictions of hazards that they would surely stop motorists from proceeding any further to their death.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Unsolicited Humor Rag

Yesterday when I got the mail, there was a newspaper with a generic title that said: "This is your complementary copy of [Generic Title]." It claimed to be a humor newspaper, so I sat down to read it. It was very leftist in its humor, and I would have preferred more balance, but at least it did poke fun at some of the self-righteous and hypocritical types on the left, as well as all things conservative. I had gotten home very late from work and was planning to go right to bed, so the fact that Plant World was going to automatically switch off at 9:20 or so seemed to be a moot point. However, I got so into Generic Title that I lost all track of time until suddenly being plunged into utter darkness. For a moment I sat in the dark, wondering why the lights had gone out, and then I remembered that Plant World automatically shuts off these days. I started laughing so hard that the rabbits got scared: "Why is Mama sitting in the dark and laughing hysterically?" (OK, so they may not think of me as "Mama"; when I admitted as much at a dinner party regarding Charlie, a priest replied, "Toots." And Cashmere may just think of me as the Big Annoying Thing that Keeps Forgetting to Buy Bananas.)

The rabbits do seem really weirded out about the way Plant World now turns on and off when I'm not there. A-Joz says it's just as well to have them realize that my power over them has no bounds, at least that they can see. But I'm sure in a few days they will have even forgotten there was ever a connection between the Big Annoying Thing and the Lights Over the Plants.

If you really want to understand yourself, all you have to do is go to YouTube because it understands you. It will suggest videos that you might like to watch, and it knows. Believe me, it KNOWS. Whenever I go to YouTube, it suggests I might like to watch a choir perform a Baroque choral piece, or perhaps I'd prefer a live video of a salsa concert or the latest hip hop video. How about cassowaries chasing people or venus flytraps eating frogs? Or maybe a lovely explosion or two, or a multicolored fire. And you can never go wrong with hedgehogs!

Famous Hat

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Charlie's Extreme Close-Up

In case you were wondering what it is like to have a rabbit in your face, begging for whatever it is you're eating, here are two extreme close-ups of Charlie that Hardingfele took. We couldn't take any of Cashmere, who is a typical female - she ran and hid when she saw the camera!

Famous Hat

Monday, November 9, 2009

Single Green Plant Seeks Same

I'm beginning to think rodent intelligence is underrated. First there was the wily chipmunk that bit Hardingfele and then evaded the concerted effort to find it, then there were all the pictures people have taken with ground squirrels peeking into the camera at just the right moment. Richard Bonomo's new neighbor told him the squirrels put black walnuts in her driveway so her car will run over them and smash them open. Then yesterday a woman in my choir was saying how she and her husband were once hiking in the Rocky Mountains when they saw a very pretty bird. When they stopped to watch it, a ground squirrel started digging in her husband's knapsack. Later she was distracted by the pretty bird again, and then the ground squirrel started climbing her leg, trying to get at the sandwich in her pocket! Were they tag-teaming her? It sure sounds like they were in cahoots!

Since rabbits are not technically rodents but much more highly evolved lagomorphs, it stands to reason that they are even smarter. Charlie and Cashmere absolutely hate when I am on the phone and will do anything to distract me. Charlie once found a very successful strategy of hiding behind my popesan chair and peeking around the leg with one eye, which reduced me to helpless laughter the first time, but now I am immune. Cashmere usually just thumps her foot if I'm on the phone too long, although sometimes she does it the moment the phone rings. Also, Charlie has gotten horrible about begging to eat my squash. If I eat it plain, he has no interest; but if I put cinnamon, nutmeg, and a dash of cloves on it, you can bet he is right there, begging for piece after piece until I have to remind him that I want some squash too.

Plant World is spoiled rotten. Yesterday I bought it a timer and a humidifier. However, I had the timer set backwards so the lights switched on at nine in the evening. I thought I had fixed it to turn on at seven this morning... but it was already on when I got up, and the rabbits glared at me balefully, so I am wondering exactly what time it actually went on. Someday I will master this complicated technology!

Speaking of plants, Keith is very lonely now as the only plant in my office so it wanted to post a personal ad on my blog, hoping to find another plant for friendship and maybe more.


SGP (single green plant) searching for soul mate. I enjoy photosynthesizing, writing romance novels, and sending the President random letters. I am looking for another plant to join me in a northern exposure but very sunny window. I am a non-smoker but do drink once a week or so, usually dirty fish water. If this sounds like an ideal existence to you, please drop me a line. Photos preferred but not required. Here is an out-of-date photo of me.

Famous Hat

Please Vote for Sylvia!

Please vote for Sylvia as the Cutest Pet in Town!

Famous Hat

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Fish Fiction 6

I am very tired today, after going to a salsa concert last night with A-Fooze. Not that I'm saying my life is more exciting than yours, just saying I am happy to let Arphaxad blog today. Here is the next part of her story.

As I biked across the ocean floor, I felt some fear as larger fish swam by, and of course quite a bit of loneliness. I said a quick prayer to the Great Carp for a travel companion or two, and He replied with His usual sense of humor. I had not been biking three days when two fish on expensive new Boethius bikes pulled up alongside me. Glancing at their shiny bikes and shiny scales, I guessed they were the type of fish who were born with a silver hook in their mouths. This impression was further reinforced when they introduced themselves as Ardsley and Allery. Only sickeningly rich fish families bestow their hatchlings with such names.

“Where are you going?” Ardsley asked me.

“I’m biking across the ocean to Venice,” I replied. “They say its streets are made of water.”

“How droll!” Allery exclaimed. “We’re biking across the ocean too. Perhaps we will join you.”

What could I say? Maybe I should have been more specific when praying for companions. I imagined Ardsley and Allery would be shocked – shocked! – by how rough life was in the deep ocean. Why, the coral reefs weren’t even swept! On the other hand, at least they were company, and if they had access to unlimited trust funds, I might be able to borrow some money from them. I wasn’t sure how long my own meager funds would hold out.

“Where are you two heading?” I asked them, more to be companionable than because I actually cared about the answer.

“Why, it sounds as if we are heading to Venice,” Ardsley replied. “I hear the streets there are made of water.”

“It sounds quite droll,” Allery added. “Streets of water!”

“Vivaldi is from there as well,” I added lamely.

“Yes, of course,” said Ardsley. “Vivaldi. Quite right.”

“How droll!” Allery added.

“To Venice!” said Ardsley, and Allery echoed, “To Venice!”

I wasn’t sure how to take these two filthy rich fish who were treating my personal pilgrimage like some kind of lark. Would they get tired partway and turn back? Or would they actually have what it took to bike across the entire ocean? Then again, I did not yet know if I had what it took. It looked as if we were in this adventure together, whether I liked it or not.

Famous Hat

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Meeting Minutes

Sorry - it was a VERY busy day today. I was in meetings practically all day, even during what is *supposed* to be my lunch time. Just to prove it, I am posting the minutes I took during the Education Committee meeting, with incriminating evidence removed to protect the guilty.

Isn't that informative? We were in the tropics with live music, just a few clouds, and a unicorn. It was so sunny that the sun had to wear shades! Then a spider came along. The End. Don't you wish you had such interesting meetings to take notes for? This is what happens when a person doesn't get enough caffeine. Remember, friends don't let friends take notes while not under the influence of coffee! You can see the ugly results for yourself.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Had a Dream

Last night I discovered that this whole plan to buy grains and grind them in my coffee grinder is a lot better in theory than in practice. My bread machine had trouble stirring the heavy chunks of grain, and the dough never really rose. Plus it is very crumbly. I had to eat my sandwich with a spoon today!

I realized the bread was probably going to turn out weirdly, but what can you do at that point, other than go to a bluegrass jam session? I brought my mountain dulcimer Bubba Sue, since it was a "beginner" jam session and I don't really know how to play ol' BS. In fact, the only thing I had to use for a slide was the rabbits' hairbrush, since it has a round wooden handle. To my surprise, the jam was very crowded last night, and besides the usual guitars, fiddles, banjos, and mandos, there was a guy playing a horn, and he was good! I sat by a couple of older ladies who were fascinated by Bubba Sue and who told me I had a very lovely voice. I was kind of on the edge of things, so only halfway through did I realize the guy blowing the horn was someone who used to sing in a choir with me, and I had a little crush on him at that time. Then - it gets better - after the jam it turned out the older ladies who adored me so much were his mother and her friend! (Talk about making a good impression on your future mother-in-law!) And since the place was so crowded, nobody could really hear how atrocious Bubba Sue and I were.

But do you think I had dreams about that wonderful jam last night? No, of course I dreamed about my less-than-successful attempt to bake bread. Guess I'll be going back to using flour from the supermarket.

Here are some more totally awesome pix from Palm Tree Fan's trip to Arizona. She was bored in the car, so she took a picture of the mountains reflected in the rearview mirror:

Then she took what might the coolest photo I have ever seen in my life, of her car reflected in the back of a tanker truck:

And this has got to be the biggest saguaro cactus I have ever seen! If it takes 100 years for them to grow each arm, how old is this thing??? And do you suppose all the junior saguaros around it are jealous? They don't even have any arms yet!

Famous Hat

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Bus Driver's Tale

Bus drivers have the most interesting stories. Usually they are about crazy riders, crazy drivers, or other bus drivers who are crazy. However, one bus driver told me a story that made me kind of angry on his behalf.

He was a middle-aged man, and as many men that age are wont to do, he saved his money and bought a really sweet sports car. Mid-life crisis? Who knows? The point is, he had always wanted one and he could finally afford to do it. So he drove around happily in his new car for just a few months until deciding it was too much trouble, and then he sold it.

I suppose you are thinking, "Oh, those silly sports cars are so high maintenance!" That may be, but that wasn't the problem he had with it. The problem was this: he was constantly being pulled over by the cops, who demanded to know where he had gotten the car, and he was tired of them hassling him even though he could always prove that he had purchased the car legitimately. The problem was DWB: Driving While Black. Why a middle-aged black man would be any less likely to have bought himself a sports car than a middle-aged white man is beyond me, but the cops must have thought it was suspicious. I say that ridiculous male mid-life desire to drive a really expensive car knows no racial bounds. It's just how men are. But it is disheartening to think that just because your skin happens to be a little darker, you can't indulge in such luxuries. It could be argued that there are wiser ways to spend money, but who does it hurt if this man chooses to buy himself a slick ride with his hard-earned money? Whoever heard of middle-aged men going around stealing sports cars? And what I'd like to know is if those cops are hassling young white guys with sweet sports cars:

"Excuse me, sir, how can someone your age afford a car like this?"
"My trust fund!"
"A likely story. Do you have any proof of this so-called 'trust fund'?"

OK, so that would be ageist rather than racist, but I feel a lot more sympathy for the man who saved his pennies for years to buy a car than some spoiled brat who has never worked a day in his life racing around in a car his parents bought him.

Famous Hat

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween with Famous Hat

I hope all 4.25 of my readers had a fantastic Halloween. I went to a candlelight hike at a state park with Tiffy, A-Fooze and her lab mate, Cecil Markovitch, the single B-Boy, Anna Banana II, and Richard Bonomo, and none of them wore costumes, so I didn't wear the hazmat suit. (Then again, that could have led to some really interesting questions, if not a state park to ourselves.) As it turned out, nobody there wore costumes but the children. We were most fascinated by the lights we could see bobbing around on top of the bluffs now and then. I assume they were intrepid (i.e., crazy) hikers who were counting on their flashlights and the full moon to provide enough light so that they didn't fall off the bluffs and kill themselves. Then again, it would be a pretty cool story when you got to Heaven (or whichever way you are going): "Yeah, it was Halloween, and there was a full moon, when I fell to my death from a bluff at Devil's Lake!" That would be a much better way to say you died than, say, getting squished by a soda machine you were trying to shake the change out of, or the two poor fools who died when I was at the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona years ago. If you are going to die at Pamplona, wouldn't you at least want to die a respectable, manly death by getting trampled or preferably gored by a bull? Rather than, say, passing out in the street and then being run over in the early hours by the street cleaning machine? (I swear I am not making that up.)

Then yesterday Tiffy, Anna Banana II, A-Fooze and El Fiance, Richard Bonomo, and I went to the local corn maze, and I am happy to report we are all now "Maze Masters." We even have certificates to prove it (except for Tiffy, who forgot hers in my car). This is the second year in a row that we have been Maze Masters, but our first time as Mer-Maze Masters, since the maze looked like a mermaid this year. All the lines were curved instead of straight, which made it much more difficult, so we really earned that Mer-Maze Master designation!

Tiffy told us this weekend that when she is watching infomercials on TV, she has only one weakness and that is for food processors. The thing is, she is always very satisfied with them. She was raving about her latest purchase and how well it works with its three blades. (I can't say too much about it, since I don't want to be accused of advertising it, and besides I have no personal experience with it.) However, this did get me started wondering: if I had a TV, and if I watched infomercials, what would be my weakness? Do they ever sell exotic plants via infomercial? I mean, I don't even get spam about exotic plants! I am still waiting for the day when I get an email in my spam filter that says something like:

Cyclad browout! Do and you shop for exoitc plants, orchid, other frora? We are your source for all your. cycad needs. We have "sago" palm, cy cad, many beautiful frowels at cheapest price!! Also prant supplies dirt pots etc.

But alas, all I ever get are emails from people who want to send me large checks from African nations or set me up with Christian singles.

Famous Hat