"Awesome!" A Blog.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Hardy Boys: The Wailing Siren Mystery

Last Christmas I was given the complete first-edition hardcover Hardy Boys series, the same one I enjoyed as a child at our cabin during those long summers in Twain Harte. Until now it sat, beautifully aligned and untouched, on our living room bookshelf.

Tonight I finally had a quiet evening in which to crack open The Wailing Siren Mystery. As a lad of seven I'd never noticed how incompetent the other crimefighters like Smuff were written, nor how thickly the ethical lessons were spread via Frank and Joe. Good Christ, if some anonymous helicopter had dropped a wallet containing two thousand bucks into my speedboat at the onset of my mystery novel, the last thing I'd do is turn it in at the police station. I think the first thing I'd do is yell "Fuck, man! Fuck YEAH! Fuckin' A, Frank! Did you see this?! Two-fuckin'-thousand! Ha ha! Man, I am finally gonna...Iola...what the hell are you lookin' at me like that for? What? RETURN it? To who?! What?! The POLICE didn't lose this money, dude! Man, the pilot didn't drop this on accident! This is yeyo shit! Oh, Jesus. Stop it with your 'Dad this, Dad that.' Do me a favor, I think I just dropped a copy of Robert's Rules of Order off the side of the boat by the...yeah, right about...OH I JUST HIT YOU WITH THE THING WE STUN THE MARLIN WITH BYE FRANK"

And then it's all me, Iola Morton, chocolate fondue, bellybuttons, and two grand. Plus a new Hudson, which probably costs like $12.50, and a pound of weed, which doesn't exist yet, so I'm out zero on that action.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Have you ever been so tired that your head got really hot?

Today's main thing is that I am so tired my head is hot. Or maybe my head's hot because it's about to rain. I need to finally just sit down and make an index of the different non-intuitive things that my body does in response to certain conditions. It would start out something like this:

1. Head too hot: extreme exhaustion (or, it will rain)

2. Left knee is sore: the laser printer is about to run out of toner

3. Right ear canal itches: haven't practiced "home-row" skills in a while and am in danger of reverting to "hunt and peck" technique

4. Beard but not head dandruff: impending anxiety about the decisions I have made in life (I don't have a beard, so this one is theoretical)

The body is a complex, miraculous thing that gives us reams of feedback we never pick up on or interpret. Sit still and close your eyes for a moment and see what the first thing you notice is. It may be that your pants are uncomfortable, or that your heart is dying, or that you are digesting pork. There! There it is. Your body's unmistakable feedback.

Our cargo-pockets are so laden with dozens of sizes of iPods, cell phones, hip-top "sidekicks," Blackberries, and Palms, that we are distracted from the subtle signals our bodies give us. Try what I do, and pass a magnifying glass over your forearm in a lukewarm shower once a week. I find this really helps me get centered.

Monday, October 10, 2005

What I Saw on Sunday.

On the Sunday morning walk I saw something I hadn't seen in a while. No, it wasn't a friend vomiting into a box for three dollars—far from it, in fact. Someone had hired a skywriting plane to spell out WILL YOU MARRY ME? [plus a heart drawing] in the sky over our town. A tremendous and romantic gesture, to be sure, so I am of two minds about pointing out the following three shortcomings of its execution.

1. "MARRY" was spelled "MARY"

2. The total execution of the question took about fifteen minutes, and no doubt the lucky woman would have gotten the idea of the thing about three seconds after her boyfriend elbowed her and mentioned that now might be a particularly meaningful time to gaze skyward and read the slowly unfolding phrase which began, "WILL YOU M—." There's a lot of downtime while you're waiting for a little plane to arc back around and finish a complex letter. Maybe the pilot was the proposer himself, and called her once he'd started the message: "Okay, I've just written a 'Y,' do you see that? Ah, good. The completed phrase will read, 'WILL YARBROUGH PLEASE RETURN MY ROTOTILLER? - D.P.' It's for Dave Palmer over on Lorton. Whoops, I've just written an 'O,' do you see that? Listen, do me a favor and keep an eye on my skywriting for about ten minutes? I'm a bit rusty. Love you. Wait! Can you snap a few photos?"

3. It would have been so easy for the pilot to fly his little skywriting plane back across the equator of his heart drawing so as to create an arrow, but instead he made a beeline back to the airport. Perhaps he was low on gas. The last thing a newly engaged woman wants to see is the craft which has just skywritten her lover's proposal go chut-chut and take a strong header into solid earth at five hundred miles an hour. Particularly if he's the one at the helm, and she's accepted.

At any rate, it's better than my own marriage proposal, which was delivered on the memo line of a personal check.