Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Babies or Kit Kats?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden

In honor of Tiger Woods' most recent owning of another band of no-name clubbists (no, nevermind... I'm taking back that dedication; I don't care about golf), I'm going to share a little story about my time on the links*.

It was creeping up around Noon when we wheeled up to the Bandon Dunes, a golf resort snuggled up along Oregon's southern coast. Famed for its design with environmental conservation in mind, it was about as close to playing in nature as you could get, short of marching out into your local biome with an auger and drilling your own holes.

"BTuck, Skully... whaddayasay?" Roo asked from the bitch seat while looking to Brian, behind the wheel, and then me. "Hit the back nines today?"

"M'yeah," said Brian brightly with bilabial tongue click and smile. As Roo and I pounded fists, Brian flattened the gas pedal. We were jerked backwards and crashed through the rustic three-beam fence that separated the clubhouse parking lot from the course. This sounds far-fetched, sure, but when some young people come into money, some invest, some save, and some splurge on a monstrous golf cart with crash bar, two-foot lift kit and a six-cylinder engine. We didn't even think Brian liked golf... or Hummers, for that matter. The beast alone was bad enough, but the resort doesn't even allow golf carts. And we don't even like when Brian drives!

Sitting a tight, three-abreast in the golf cart, I felt the most vulnerable as the outside passenger as I white-knuckled the poorly-placed grab bar at my hip and windshield. Those grab bars are nice for the leisurely drive from hole-to-hole when you meet the occasional tree root fighting up through the asphalt, but when you're driving like the enraged banshee ghost of Babe Didrikson Zaharias is after you, it doesn't quite seem sufficient. The declining slope from the clubhouse to the links and out past the bluff and into the ocean seemed like a lethal complement to our excessive speed. As we headed downward and straight for the coast, the cart jostled back and forth as Roo's dreadlocks whipped behind him (and me, in the face... repeatedly) as he hooted and hollered with his arms ripping through the misty air.

As we tore over the seventh hole, a 410 yard sweetheart, we came to a roll in the fairway that sent us flying as we cleared it. Literally airborne. We were aloft for about five seconds, but it wasn't an uncontrolled launch or fall... it was almost as though we were suspended by a wire rig that kept us perfectly pitched and aligned. As we touched back down on the tee of the eighth hole, heinously distracting the foursome who was about to tee off. There was much club-waving and anger, but we didn't seem to care as we were once again aloft, easily a hundred feet up. Brian didn't mention anything about a shock upgrade.

We hopped and floated from hole to hole, admiring the course's integration to the coast and laughing at the ridiculous outfits that came straight out of Caddyshack. Brian took a golf ball to the face, which sent his glasses tumbling down into the dense gorse below. It wasn't funny at the time, but we have a good laugh about it now. I always tell him that it was a karmic thing; he really stiffed our waitress at the Tufted Puffin, especially considering he sent her out for bird's nest soup, whose primary ingredient happens to be saliva nests built by red cave swifts. Do you know how hard that stuff is to come by?

"Off we gooooo, into the wiiild blue yonderrr," Roo belted and Brian harmonized as I drummed in a militarily-cadenced fashion on the dashboard. It was at that moment that it was as if the front two strings of the invisible wire rig that was held us up were cut from above and we began a nosedive onto the green of the 53rd hole. Everyone braced for impact and I secured my seatbelt, figuring that upon our discovery, alive or dead, at least I'd look like the responsible one (but where was that seatbelt this whole time?).

As we plummeted and came to an elevation at which we could see the awestruck-whites of two putting golfers' eyes, we stopped, just feet from the turf. Just like that, and the cart's front, then rear, wheels touched down gently on the well-manicured grass. The two proper and classy-looking and golfers who had been watching the whole incident walked up to us with three scotches in hand.

"Where ye lads from?" they asked in very thick, Scottish brogues. They looked to be in their early 30s but sounded like men thrice as old.

The three of us just looked at one another in disbelief. Speechless.

A dejected "Ohhh," came from them, who now all the sudden sounded British and appropriately aged.

"Yaaaale," they said in unison like they'd heard it all before. In a choreographed fashion, they frowned and cast their eyes down towards the ground left of their shoes.

*this is a dream I had last night

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Down with the Shah, Up with Marjane

I caught Persepolis yesterday and it found a nice place in my heart. But this will not be about the beauty of the shadow theater-y animation or about how the organizers crumbled under the pressure by the Iranian government by pulling the film from the Bangkok International Film Festival. No, sir. No, ma'am.

Instead, I'm making the simple declaration that in the right time, under the right circumstances, I think I would have really like to have dated the young Marjane Satrapi. I think that, to a certain degree, any woman with Iron Maiden in her heart could easily have mine.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


While patiently awaiting my new physician in the reception area of my new doctor's office, I filled out my medical history (a very, very short history), wrote "ADOPTED" slantways across the family history section and popped the chained pen back into its little clipboard cozy. People are always so protective of their pens. Myself included.

I forgot my book at my office -- the book I'd brought from home with the intent of reading in the waiting room -- so I was left subject to the high-mounted television in the corner that was switched to CNN. Some sort of disco or electronica thumped from the flip-phone of older woman, young-grandmother age maybe. She played the same song three or four times, and it wasn't just a ringtone. She was probably watching a music video with eight times the budget of an independent film... her eyes were fixed on the screen and they danced back and forth. She had a simple smile of delight but I looked at her fingers and feet, neither of which were tapping. Who was this woman?

A guy slid into one of the seats nearby, along the right wall. He had the air of a affluent wildman, like Grizzly Adams with a lot of money. "Wildman" might be wrong, but he was really just in touch with nature. I could tell because of his long hair, heavy dependence on denim clothing (top two shirt buttons undone, exposing a mottled tan chest and whiting chest hair... his ponytail was doing the blonde-to-white thing, too), and pewter belt buckle with a turquoise eagle inlay. I never heard him speak, but I imagined him to have the gentle, lilting drawl of a gentleman from Northern Alabama who would not hesitate to drag someone behind his truck if they made an uncouth comment about God, his country, or his mother. Oh, and that affluent part? I don't know... he just had his cellphone clipped to his belt. He must have been important. Or a swinger. I could see him mystifying the ladies.

Across the room, just beneath the TV was a man who had assumed the Sleeping Wino stance across a couple of chairs. He looked uncomfortable as hell but apparently he was tired enough to sleep through the prodding pain of the hard plastic chair arms and CNN's incessant reports about efforts by the U.S. to destroy a glitchy spy satellite that had gone rogue and threatened to kill us all with poisonous fuel.

But the patient who really had my attention was just across from the man of repose. The man, of his early 40s, I'd guess, was watching a movie on portable dvd player that looked like it was meant for an sixth-grader. His eyes were two black pearloid buttons sewn too close together on his face and his brows met in a wrinkly collision between his low-set eyebrows. The way his gappy teeth pinned down his bottom lip seemed to indicate that whatever he was watching sure seemed to have him thinking.

A father and his teenage son sat near the focused man. As the father pointed out which parts of the intake sheet were important and reminded his son not to forget about his extended bout of irritable bowel syndrome last month, much to his embarrassment due to his father's uninhibited volume of speech, the focused man took an interest in them both. This man had opinions to share.

I missed exactly how he grabbed their attention. It was probably just an aside, a comment to himself that he said just loud enough so that someone in his vicinity would feel obligated to respond. Even if their response was heartless smile of acknowledgment, he knew that was his In. I heard the unmistakable sound of a vacuum, the sucking of people into a social situation from which they couldn't comfortably remove themselves without feeling like jerks, especially if they were nice guys.

I remember hearing him decry NASA and the satellite operations and the West's softness on terror. He was in disbelief that country would even consider electing a Black, Muslim president (although he didn't mind the Blackness too much). He was full of "facts," he was. Well-read, I'll give him that, but his comprehension skills could stand some refinement. The father and son were bobbleheads, nodding or pensively humming in agreement, whether they did or not. They were taking the path of least resistance. In the interest of passing time, I would have debated, but apparently they were in no hurry so I took it upon myself to bear their misery with a big, fat grin.

A nurse called me over and I handed her my clipboard. Fifteen minutes after my time with her and my new physician, who desperately wanted something to be wrong me so that he had something to do (I just needed an extension of a prescription, you see), I laid down my co-pay to the cashier and began down the hallway for the parking structure. Much to my surprise, the focused and fairly nutty man still had his captive audience.

"America's not a bully," he said defensively. "We just have a big back yard."

I smiled as I looked over my shoulder and caught eyes with the son. He was squirming anxiously, but that might have just been the IBS.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The horror, the horror...

Apparently I was in the original Nightmare on Elm Street. Go fig!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


It always makes my day when I make a new connection. Whether it's between myself and another by way of smallworld-like circumstances or whether it's realizing that Ol' Dirty Bastard sampled Blood, Sweat, and Tears on "I Want P****" (hint: it's not 'penis').

Connections make me smile, especially when they've been months or years in the making.