Monday, February 25, 2013

The Neckbeard Hornbeast

No real post this time - instead, have a whatever-this-is that I just drew. From me to you.

You're welcome.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Simple Pleasures Part 5: Through Sweet & Out The Other Side

Some things just go together, like cookies and milk. But it just doesn't work out the way you want it to, and you're forced to compromise with something weird. And then, develop a taste for that other, weirder, thing.

Like, you're at a party, and there's the usual party stuff there; high fructose corn syrup, artificial preservatives, orange dye number six. You've got your slice of cake, piled high with that terrible frosting. And after one bite of that unnatural sensory attack, you're desperate for a drink -- but all they have are sodas. Check the cooler again; not so much as a bottled water. There's nothing you can do; crack, fizz, gulp. Palate cleansed. Also, you now have diabetes.

It's so sweet on sweet, one cancels the other out somehow. You know you just had a drink so sweet any other era of American history would have considered a canned dessert, but in the face of that Sheet Cake Blitz its somehow oddly tasteless. It's an strange sensation, like you've gone so deep into the Zone of Sweet that you've passed through, into some distant and unknown territory beyond.

Take me to a better (bitter?) place

I got a taste for that sweet, sweet unsweetness. And now sometimes...just sometimes...when I am passed the party cake -- or the doughnut, or whatever -- I deliberately crack open a soda, and travel to that distant land beyond the realm of sweet. On purpose, yo. Because I'm a sensory voyager. And I luuuuv the diuh-beetuz.

Monday, February 11, 2013

¡Dios Mío!: Kana's Money-Making Machine

As bloggers I'm sure y'all are familiar with that phenomenon in which a thought occurs to you, and then just keeps banging around in your brain with no particular plan or purpose, looking for something to connect to. Until someone springs up and cries out, "Oh, if only there was someone who could tell me a really good single-syllable synonym for immoral!" (louche), or "Is there anyone in the house who knows what that part of the brain is that's sort of seahorse-shaped?" (hippocampus) these thoughts just bounce gently from wall to wall in your brainpan, waiting to be applied.


I've had this sure-fire concept for a little open-air beach concession stand for about two years now; it's just bouncing around in here, waiting for the venture-capitalist of my dreams to come along and sweep me off my patent-pending. I'm going to write it down here, and see if that will help me get a little peace in my headspace. Picture this:

I wanna go back, to my little grass shack...

A little pentagonal open-air stand, counters surround; tall, hip-high stools on two sides. There's a central electrically-wired column inside to support a cold drinks case, a mini fridge, a shelf-display freezer, and a small TV. Oh, and to hold up the roof. Behind-the-counter space is one-man width, between column and counters. One of the counters is a flip-up, for the server to get into the stand; another has the register, another two are for customers. The fifth is a grill.

A picture's worth however many
words were just in that paragraph

It has a little whirring electric fan, a crackling FM radio, and dried palm fronds over the tin on the roof overhang. The freezer is stocked with chocolate-dipped bananas, popsicles, and ice-cream-on-a-stick products. The grill turns out kebabs, corndogs, and hotdog-on-a-stick. All the drinks come in the classic Coke bottle shape. You begin to see the overall, phallic theme to the wares of ¡Dios Mío!, sí?

Built right off the sidewalk at the beach, it's the weekend and after-school hotspot for the junior high/high school/community college beachgoing set. Everybody else gathers under the palm trees nearby, to watch the young and beautiful gobbling frozen bananas and hotdog-on-a-stick. It's called "¡Dios Mío!", and it'll be a huge hit. It's not just for pervy old men anymore, either; whether you're a cougar, an elderly swinger couple, or just a suspicious parent, there's room for everyone under the trees around ¡Dios Mío! We'll set up picnic tables over there, and a server will wander over every so often to see if you want to order anything...for anybody...*wink*

And the beautiful people come out to flirt with each other, be admired and occasionally get bought a soft drink.

We could have ads on the local radio stations, like:

Youth is no longer wasted on the young; come on down for a Coke float and to fan yourself and murmur, "¡Dios Mío!" Open 4 to 11 pm weeknights, 10am to midnight on weekends.


This is the kind of stuff that I while my winter months away coming up with...what do you think, guys? Would you patronize my concession stand? Would you tip? Or would you be down at the PTA, trying to get a petition signed to close me down for inciting lewd and licentious behavior? :P

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Belltower Promise

When I was small, my working single mother was alone in a new State with a baby and no support network. But she was a visionary, so she took us to church; i.e., a wonderful pre-assembled collection of sweet and compassionate people. Although spiritual, my mother is and was primarily a Science teacher, and she carted carrier, infant, diaper bag and purse out to that old stone church every Sunday morning not for God, but for a little compassion and a sense of community. Fortunately, they had it in spades.

We moved again when I was four, so only my earliest memories contain any trace of that place; the muggy heat of the assembled congregation, the subtle smell the old hymnals generated that filled the whole room, the big-girl purse I carried that contained nothing but a packet of travel tissues filched from my mother's own purse...the fact that the Sunday school's bathroom had a smirking frog painted on the the toilet seat lid. And, my first-ever regret.

Strange, of all life's firsts, to remember one's first regret, no? But I do.

The Sunday school/daycare, for the congregation's tiniest members, was taking a little excursion across the yard to visit The Church Itself. We were going to be taken up the belltower, to see the big bell and look out the windows. This was pretty rock n' roll stuff, for toddlers/lambs of the Lord.

Doesn't look that dangerous,
but appearances are decieving
I was delighted to be out and about, but when I started to climb the spiral paddle stair case, and I could see the receding floor between each paddle, I became frightened. My perception, warped by fear, made it seem as though the paddles were barely there; mere slips of solid matter to divide up the massive amounts of thin air. I had to go back downstairs and wait at the bottom of the tower for the group to come back down. It took ages and I felt miserable.

I regretted my cowardice almost immediately. Even a few short months later, and little Kana felt silly to admit she'd been afraid to climb those stairs. But there were no more belltower excursions in offer; the opportunity had passed. I grew older, and moved away -- we lived on a different part of the island, and I didn't see the church very often. Every so often, though, when our plans took us upcountry and we passed it, I would look up at the belltower and feel this strange sense of loss.

I grew up, and learned the word regret -- got to know it, had it over for drinks -- and eventually it made a home in me, as it does in most grown-ups. Fortunately my regrets are relatively few, but that first one -- that belltower one -- itched at me. Quietly, at the back of my mind, for nearly all my life.

Sorry so dark; but it wasn't Midday Mass, now was it?
Until this Christmas, that is! We went upcountry to see friends, and attended a Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at that old stone church. One of my mother's card-game friends is the current minister's wife, and after entertaining them with the story of my belltower misadventure, she asked me if I'd like to rectify (Ha! Church pun!) that lapse. I don't think she was ready for the level of passion in my response -- it took her a minute to catch up, because in my heart I'd been climbing those stairs for years.

"Oh, you mean, right now?"

OF COURSE I looked down
I did it! I got to see that bell, and I (most evidently) photodocumented the holy heck out of it. And, as ridiculous as it may seem, I did get a little panicky about two turns from the top. It's not that the stairs were as ludicrously insubstantial as my childhood fears had decided; it's just that there's a gap at all, so you can see how high you are. The trick is to have someone else walk right in front of you and not look down.

Although it was too dark to enjoy the view out the window, I felt terribly pleased to have finally made the excursion. I'm sure my mother's friend was quite concerned for the poor aetheist girl, who is so likely mentally ill...but thanks to her graciousness, I got to make good on my first-ever regret. I think in retrospect that it was better, more satisfying, this way. It felt like closure.

Some of you might now be wondering, Well, what did it look like up there? Don't worry -- I gotcha covered. The camera clicked probably once every fifteen seconds the whole time. Well, that's what adults do when they're taken on excursions, right? If toddlers don't, well that's their own fault. A grown-up went up that tower, and was very proud to do so., click, click!

This window was labelled, for some reason;
click to enlarge
Totally worth it