Monthly Archives: June 2003

Helter skelter!

Published by:

Okay, just one more. See previous entry below. Now, imagine 10-year-old running into the bedroom this evening and screaming (for comic effect), “I’ve got blisters on my fingers!!” I almost choked I laughed so hard. Mom put her up to it . . . she knows The Beatles, but I haven’t gotten her up to the white album yet….

Golden slumber parties

Published by:

Okay, I promise, no more Beatles-related titles. But I couldn’t pass up that one. Though, of course, there’s nothing golden about a slumber party from which your daughter has to be rescued because she has burned the tips of her fingers making smores, goofing around an outside fireplace at 11:30 at night. I was already asleepish, though the newly rowdy teen boys across the street, who have gotten through their entire adolescence without making a disturbing sound, have suddenly discovered the joy of teen girls, and there are suddenly long, loud conversations in the street under my window at hours of the night at which only teens would converse. Well, teens and other people who aren’t trying to force themselves to get up and run at 5:30. But you get my point. Which was?
Oh, yes, the slumber party. So, Lee goes and extricates Hannah, who has now learned that wood in a fire will actually heat up before it bursts into flame, and that there may not be any evidence of such heat, and that perhaps fingers are better kept away from wood so heated. Not too bad, but she was in a lot of pain last night, and, of course, exhausted from staying up hours after her bedtime. Despite her extremely nasty disposition, she was allowed to return to the party this morning because we really didn’t want her to be The Girl Who Had To Go Home for the rest of her life.
Of course, her not sleeping meant her parents didn’t sleep, and of course I could feel every bit of her pain. We’re fairly strict parents who don’t generally HAVE fire, let alone let our children play with it, so she hasn’t had the chance to really burn herself yet, but I understand that other folks treat fire differently, and so she may be a little bit deprived. Deprivation over — she knows the pain of second-degree burns. Then, having not slept much of the night, we were awakened around 4:30 by The Wrath of God, in the form of a big, heavy, loud thunderstorm that lasted about four times longer than one would expect — I mean, how can there BE that much rain in those clouds? The thunder was deafening, and the lightning was so close and low that it seemed like the house jumped with each flash.
So, I didn’t run. Lazy bastid.

No deposit, …

Published by:

Dead snapping turtle on the side of the road out on 151 has seen better days. Noticed this morning that the birds have pretty much picked out his innards, leaving the shell and some bones, and I thought: there should be somewhere you could take the shell and have it re-turtled. But it doesn’t work that way. No deposit, no re-turtle.

Please try to throw only fresh fruit….

I Feel Fine

Published by:

I had a brief flirtation (lasting for about half my shower this morning) with the idea of titling every entry with a Beatles song title. I thought of it like the blues, that out of the limitations, I could create something freeing. Then I realized it was just the endorphins talking. You’ll be happy to see that that fabulously stupid idea has been discarded. Except for today.

Endorphins because I got out this morning for a quick ride. Should have run, but I have been jonesing for a bike ride all week, and it’s been impossible because of my schedule and the heat. Nice and cool this morning, in the 60s, but I didn’t have much fuel, so I ate breakfast before I started, and in the hills my stomach and my lungs were competing for oxygen. Stomach always wins, even in a game of rock/paper/scissors. It just swallows them all.

Anyway, the whole Beatles thing is because Bekah gave me The Beatles Anthology on DVD for Father’s Day, and until the Tour de France, there’s just nothing to watch on TV, so I’ve been immersing myself in Beatlemania all over again. It’s very well done. Did you know that Jools Holland was one of the interviewers? I couldn’t have been more surprised. Only complaint is that the music comes up very loud compared to the interviews, so then I have to sit ready with the remote at all times. But I’m a man, that’s my job.

Took the little hole in the dining room wall that’s been there for months as a result of the Great Plumbing Leak and made it into a much much bigger hole, got the drywall cut to replace it, and then declared it Too F’ing Hot to continue. We live in an old, insulated, well-shaded house that is pretty easy to keep cool most of the summer — you just have to close the blinds on the south side, run the attic fan in the morning to change the air, etc. But when it hits the 90s for a few days in a row, there’s nothing to do, and I’m not going to have air conditioning, which I hate, for the six or seven nights a year when the heat is just unbearable. Unbearable heat is part of the point of summer. I run past all these big dumb houses on treeless lots and there’s never a single window open, the heat pump is humming all the time, and I can’t imagine living like that, all wrapped up tight in my house forever. We have windows open all year round — in fact, despite the cold this winter, I don’t think there were five nights when our bedroom window wasn’t cracked open at least a little. And in the summer, I like to open up the house and experience the summer. (Though I’ll admit, it would be better experienced with a pellet gun handy, because those damn birds are noisy at 5 in the morning) (And I need something larger to deal with the backup alarms on the trucks working in the sand mine down the street).

Today, a wedding! Hoo ha! Much fun.

My year of living nostalgically

Published by:

Just for the record, I have voluminous reunions to attend this year, and none of them are the result of my very vague undergraduate graduation date (but, take your pick: 1982, 1983, 1985, any of these have claims to legitimacy). For starters, there are not one, but TWO reunions of the Scotia-Glenville High School Class of 1978 (more information at the school’s page at and the alumni page at the S-G Schools website. First in July, the second in November. Then, sharing the weekend with International Talk Like a Pirate Day is the 100th anniversary celebration of The Daily Orange, and frankly I can easily see a lot of arrrrhhh! going on there even there weren’t an official day. We always had a fondness for bad Long John Silver imitations, we did. And on top of all that (and this in spite of my possessing the ankles of a 20-year-old and the blood pressure of a teenage girl), this November it will have been 20 years since we decided to get in over our heads and see what it was like to be young, broke and married. So, now we’re one out of three – – that’s not bad!

Hey, don’t update me, man!

Published by:

If you can put a variation of that phrase together with Dick Whittington’s cat, your mind is officially as scary as mine. Blogger has been updating, so I’ve been unable to post. God only knows if this will work.

Summer is officially here! Not because it’s sweltering (though it is), not because I come home every night to find a tribe of kids in my driveway playing with the hose (though I do), but because last night we had supper at the pool. We belong to a little pool club that’s been around since the ’50s at least, just about 10 minutes away. It is always on the verge of being sold for development, but every year it opens up again and we spend four or five nights a week lounging around the pools. Something of a delightful throwback to a time when everyone wasn’t expected to put a pool in their own yard (membership costs less than the chemicals for my own pool would). Our area has several drive-in movie theaters, as well, so laugh at little Albany if you wish, but in the summer this area kicks ass. Summer, unfortunately, lasts eight weeks.

Too hot to bike. Too hot to do anything but lounge by the pool. Need to run out and find new pants for a wedding tomorrow, and then a-swimming we will go.

Pansy dishware

Published by:

Or perhaps dishwear, the jury is still out. Bizarre search term of the week, and apparently a lot of people are coming to this site from a posting at Disturbing Search Requests. Welcome. You’ll come for the pansy dishware, but you’ll stay for the glycerol ester of wood rosin. (I am so going to regret that.)

Well, finally, it’s beautiful and hot. Got in a quick 18 mile bike ride after work, and I was just dripping by the end. Important rule to remember when using the aerobar: don’t change handlebars when a car is passing you. You change handlebars when a car is passing you, you’re gonna make a mistake, you’re gonna have a bad time. (Sorry, I’ve had that South Park skiing episode jammed in my head for several days. That and a number of lines from They Might Be Giants, such as “She doesn’t have to have / her dB’s record back now….”).

Say a little prayer to whoever is the patron saint of turboprop aircraft, as I’m off to Rochester tomorrow. I so don’t want to go. The people are making me go. I really don’t want to do this. Arrgh. The only thing worse than driving to Rochester and back is flying to Rochester and back. Nothing against the Flower City (or the Flour City, for you non-revisionists), but it’s just far enough away to be annoying, and not far enough away to justify an overnight. Great bike path, though. Won’t get to play on it tomorrow. I don’t even get frequent flyer miles for this debacle.

Hey, somebody remind me, I’ve got to write about a slew of reunions coming up. Plus, that whole eating-pizza-at-the-Varsity-with-my-little-girls thing. But first, I need to get a new keyboard for this thing, as the right shift key is becoming less and less sporadic in its operation, and not in favor of shifting things. I know the younger generation isn’t all worked up over capitalization and spelling and those niceties in this, the computer age. But, even though I remember well pleading with our Personal Use Typing teacher to PLEASE let us take our tests without having to capitalize (this was back in the day, son, on heavy manual typewriters — when hitting the shift key was Man’s Work, and carbon paper was treated like gold leaf), I’ve grown fond of capital letters, largely correct spelling, and any number of the special characters sitting up above the digits, reachable only with that darned shift key.

By the way, if you’re looking for photos, click on the Fotolog button to the left. It’s much easier than posting them on this site. Go on, click it; you know you want to.

— Mr. Johnson, returning to this pretentious sign-off device, remembers when typewriters had no numeral “1”. You do, too, but you won’t admit it.