Friday, September 17, 2010

Translating for Jim

Suldog, aka Jim, tagged me for a meme. Now, I normally don't complete those. I find the answers to them interesting when other people do them, but generally speaking the questions are not ones that will provide much of an interesting window into me, so I pass them by.

However, Jim is in the midst of quitting smoking. This is an endeavor with which every person who smokes or has smoked, or known someone who did or does, wishes him the absolute best because it is famously difficult for good reason. It has given him Nicotine-Deprived Brain Syndrome, of course, and that's a malady that requires the assistance of friends. One of the times I saw a friend of mine in the grips of this affliction he was desperately trying to pry the hatch off of a remote controlled car, in order to install new batteries. Brian was using a hammer, when a screwdriver was needed.

This guy had a masters in something or other, I believe it was geology but can't completely recall, and as he thwacked the little car, rather lightly, with the hammer he seemed to be crooning to a god of misfortune as he did:

"I'm getting frustrated, stumped! Hate this, haaaaaaatttteee this," in a small, sing-song voice.

A nearby friend gently took the hammer away, and started replacing the batteries on the car for Brian's waiting son, who was looking at Brian as if he was completely convinced his father had popped a crucial artery.

So when friends have their thought process eaten whole by withdrawal, when normally nimble minds are turned into a raging, fire-breathing beast, stumbling through the Japanese urban centers of the filmscape, I stand at the ready offering my support in the only way I can. By making fun of them in as kind and truly supportive a fashion as I can.

Let's Go:

Jim asked: 1 - You have a choice. You can have your nose replaced with a second set of your genitals, or you can have your genitals replaced with a second nose. Which would you choose, and why?

The Greek chorus supplies: Oh no, there goes Tokyo, Godzilla!

Helpful notes from Jim's sane brain: So you get that I didn't give a lot of thought to asking women this question, right? That I'm not trying to be demeaning, or anything? Because I'm really not.

Duly noted, Jim, I do know that about you. Never fear, and also, most women do know that men are obsessed with their Wee Willy Winkies, even as they run through the town. They don't seem to get that women really aren't. However, despite being descended from literal Puritans, I have no problem admitting that I have all bits and parts in working order, and they are staying where they belong, Jim. I don't have a problem saying, writing, thinking or referring to a vagina, but I don't want one on my face. Now lest you want me to pop you in the slats, wherever they may reside, let's translate, shall we?

Translation into non-withdrawal-induced question: Which is the worse fate: Being naked in public, or being stricken with food poisoning miles from the nearest lavatory?

Answer: Food poisoning wins by a mile on that with or without nearby facilities. Whereas it wouldn't be a treat for the general public if I was to be beamed in, stark naked into the average thriving metropolis, that's unpleasant for other people more than it is for me.

Jim asked: 2 - Do you think I give a tinker's damn?

Notes from Jim's sane brain: This one I stand by. Semantic arguments can be fun, dammit. Do I smell toast?

Answer: It depends on whether you believe the phrase to be "Tinker's Damn" or "Tinker's Dam". To the first? No, I do not believe you give a tinker's damn. Now, do I believe that if I set you to repairing a dam that you would do a tinkerer's job on repairing it? Let me think about that as I clutch my oars, grab a boat and load all of my prized possessions into it, okay?

Jim asked: 3 - If you suddenly found yourself transformed into a cockroach, would you step on yourself?

Jim's sane brain: Normally I'd reference Kafka playing softball somewhere in there, but I'm under a strain.

Answer: Only if I get to pop in from an alternate universe to do so. In the alternate universe I have a goatee, because those are the rules of the alternate universe. People with goatees are known for stomping, really they are.

Jim asked: 4 - If fuschia was a smell, and avocados were polar bears, why not Toronto?

Jim's sane brain said: *whimper* I think I've started hallucinating. Somebody get me a donut, please! Donuts fight off the DTs, I'm sure they do.

Translation: Are you a fan of surrealist art? If you are, does that mean you keep trying to melt your clocks? Do dream about people speaking backwards while falling from the sky, clutching sheep?

Answer: I'm only a fan of light surrealism because my brain tends to go off on tangents anyway. My ability to free associate is rather too well-developed as it is, and now that you've mentioned that? Yeah, incoming sheep from my sleeping brain, thanks a lot, Jim.

Jim's sane brain: Hey! I didn't even ask that question!

Answer: But my magic eightball assures me that you wanted to. Take this pastry, it's glazed, you'll feel better.

Jim asked: 5 - Does the fact that Deep Purple isn't in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame piss you off? How about the fact that Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers ARE in there? I mean, come on, not a bad singing group, but that's like putting Eddie Brinkman in Cooperstown.

Eddie Brinkman, whom I really liked as a player, but come on...

Jim's sane brain: Don't you dare translate that!! That one I really meant!

Translation: Oh, okay then, never mind

Answer: Eh, no it doesn't tick me off. Not in the way that Christine O'Donnell ticks me off. I save my outrage for things that matter to me personally, and whereas I like Deep Purple, I'm not about to get het up about them on any level.

Jim Asked: 6 - If you were Eddie Brinkman, would you be pissed off now?

Straightforward answer: Seeing as I'd have to Google him to even have a chance at knowing, you're stuck out of luck there, Jim. I'm too busy trying to help a friend quit smoking in any way, shape or form I can to bother much with the inner workings of Mr. Brinkman.

Jim asked: 7 - Artichokes or Hand Grenades?

Jim's brain: I wish this day was over already!

The Greek Chorus Supplies: You can do it, Duffy Moon!

Translation: How hungry was the poor sod who first tried to eat an artichoke?

Answer: I know, right?? I'm guessing he was hiding from someone lobbing hand grenades or finally got tired of playing with his...never mind.

Jim asked: 8 - What's that smell?

The Greek Chorus Supplies: Everything's coming up roses!

Jim's sane brain: No really, is someone making toast?

Answer: You can do it, Jim. Just hang in there and keep trying.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dawn Patrol

When a dog landed on my head promptly at five in the morning, for the fourth day in a row, it occurred to me that this routine was getting old at an astonishing rate.

"Gah! No," I whimpered, pulling the pillow over my head, "Zaphtbleghack."

My husband's moans of distress were somewhat deeper, but not meaningfully more articulate.

"Stop it, you evil dog!" He cried, "Stop it!"

But he was heaving himself out of bed as he said it. You see, Rob had the bright idea to start jogging in the morning, instead of in the evening, and had declared, "I can take the dog with me! She loves to run."

Oh, she loves to run, alright. She can also evidently tell time, too. This led to her two new nicknames: BeealzePud and Pudcifer. Rob made it through ten days of these merciless Dawn Patrol awakenings, initiated by the World's Cutest Alarm Clock. She needs to be that cute to escape a Throw-Rug's fate, as I take my sleep rather seriously. However, it's impossible to be angry with anything that damned excited to see you. Bags began to form under Rob's eyes. Exercise is supposed to be good for you, not drive you into an early grave. I intervened and together we formed a plan to break up Puddles's routine enough that she would never know if it was a walk day, a run day, a sleep-late day or a "leave us in peace as we drown our sorrows in coffee" day. I took her on walks, Rob took her on runs. Pretty much everyone got in some coffee drinking. Don't think I didn't see you, cat. Leave my mug alone. Throw-rug-in-the-making.

We all get into routines and sometimes have to alter them when the routines start controlling us too much. Whereas I'll miss the summer, and days spent reading in the shade between dips in the pool one thing I won't miss is our crazed plum hunt this summer.

We have a plum tree in our backyard and that darned thing could feed a village. Seriously, if anyone has any advice on how to stop a plum tree from bearing fruit, I would just about erect an altar and worship you daily if you tell me how. Not even the biggest plum enthusiast known to god or man could possibly want that many plums. I don't even recall if we had such a bumper crop last year, but this year, having gotten the aforementioned living Fraggle, Puddles we were keenly aware of the fruit. Let's just leave it at: Puddles over-indulged one day and the hunt was on. We were a couple possessed by the desire to destroy all plums for reasons best left entirely to the imagination.

The problem was that the dog was far more skilled at finding the plums with her nose -- an organ so large we don't call it a "sniffer", we call it her "snoofer" -- than we were with our pitifully limited, human eyeballs on the wood-chips that constitute our ground-cover. Eventually the blasted things fermented, and that actually made them easier to find, seeing as (I'm not kidding) there was the never-to-be-forgotten Day of the Drunken Bees.

Overall it was a good summer, a wonderful summer, really. There is a hint of Autumn in the air, the mornings are once again chilly and small patches of leaves begin to turn. The chicken wire over our window wells prevented any more baby bunnies from meeting a gruesome fate, and the neighborhood is populated by the ones that made it to adulthood.

Every other morning, a routine that proved to be much kinder to his over-forty knees, my husband sees two plump, blinking Owls perched in the trees, slightly larger than our dog with a wing span that made him gasp.

It's not just the weather I'll miss about summer, it's that the world around me tells so many stories during the season.

I hope you are all well. It's been a real treat reading your blogs, and your stories again.