Tuesday, March 24, 2009
And sometimes, not so much. However...
Gang aft agley? I think people could make up total nonsense, attribute it to Robert Burns, and nobody would ever call them on it.
The lilac heather gloaming
Ur the loch beyond the licht
Ye were tarnin’ keen the thistle
O’er the moonlicht nicht tonicht
If I had put that out here without telling you my theory concerning Burns, some of you would have swallowed it. Not YOU specifically, of course, but some of you - the ones reading me in, say, some suburb of Biloxi.
Well, not all my plans went agley, but enough of them to warrant the title. This was the weekend of the great lunch – the one thing that went perfectly - and then the green puddle and the missed birthday party and the trip to the repair shop. In addition, there will be photos of sweaters. Something for everyone, if everyone wants to hear about pizza, leaking heater cores, and cardigans.
On Saturday, I met Lime, live and in-person. She was exactly as advertised – friendly, funny, and with a permanent mischievous gleam in her eye. She was in town to visit her cousin (who turned out to be a fantastic bonus gift at lunch, extremely quick-witted with high-quality wordplay and jokes.)
MY WIFE and I met Lime at Forest Hills station on the T’s Orange Line. We escorted her in Roddy The Wondercar (more about him later) to The Pleasant Café in Roslindale. We didn’t MAKE her ride the subway to a place convenient for us. She decided to do so of her own accord. She comes from a place without such a thrilling sort of public transportation, so she wanted to experience it during her weekend stay in the city. We, being somewhat insane ourselves, understood perfectly. While making plans for this rendezvous, there was some question about whether her cousin and her cousin’s son would be joining us. We were told they wanted to do so, but there were some small logistical problems. Then, after we picked up Lime, she informed us that they had been in a minor auto accident that morning. Things looked bleak for meeting the extended family. However, while we were riding toward the restaurant, Lime received a phone call from her cousin, and, yes, they would meet us there in about fifteen minutes. Great! We improvised a plan wherein we would kill a few brain cells with alcohol until they arrived.
We gave Lime a short crummy tour of Roslindale and we were soon at The Pleasant. I've given you plenty of description concerning The Pleasant in previous posts, so I won't go into that detail here. Suffice to say it was still everything it's ever been, as was the food, and that's a good thing. Soon enough, the cousin and her son arrived. We had a few more drinks, some great pizza, various main dishes following the pizza, and the jokes and stories flowed freely. It was one of the most enjoyable lunches MY WIFE and I have ever had with relative strangers. Actually, they turned out to be more like strange relatives, since it was not unlike meeting some family members we hadn’t seen in a few years. Lots of laughs, good food, and, upon parting, we said that it would be wonderful to get together again the next time Lime was in town, and we meant it. It was not the type of facile lie one might say to a person he or she could easily avoid for the rest of his or her life.
Here are a couple of photos of the historic meeting.
This is Lime with a whole bunch of lemons. She asked for a water with extra lemon. The waitress at The Pleasant, aiming to please, gave her many extra lemons.
Here's how we felt about meeting each other.
And here's how we really felt. We're full of good food, happy to have met, and sad to be parting (although that doesn't show here.)
Now we get to the stuff that went agley.
On Sunday, we were supposed to go to a birthday party for Avaroo. I was definitely looking forward to it. Where else could I go where someone lived who kisses me on top of my bald head and I’d also get some cake? However, a few hours before we were scheduled to get on the road, I decided to go to the store to get a newspaper and some cigarettes. When I went out to our garage, I was shocked to see a huge green puddle under Roddy The Wondercar.
My first thought was that having such an august personage as Lime sitting in him had made him so excited that he somehow had a huge green orgasm. However, upon further inspection, it appeared that he was just incontinent. I felt embarrassed for him. More than that, though, I was angry. Roddy had been in the shop just last week for work on his cooling system. It was not a good feeling to see that I would now have to bring him back to have his bladder sealed. I expected that if anything needed repair in the near future, something to do with fluids would most definitely not be it.
I could have filled Roddy with water and taken a chance, but since Avaroo and her part of the family live over an hour’s drive from us, it would have been foolhardy. I couldn’t reasonably gamble on Roddy not peeing all over the highway while we were on our way, and an overheated seized engine is no fun. I’ve had one before, so I know.
(That seizure, of a car previous to acquiring Roddy, happened while we were on our way to my father-in-law’s funeral. That was just one of the myriad joys we experienced during a twelve-month period wherein my father died, MY WIFE’s mother died, we were told by our landlord that he wanted us to vacate our apartment during the week of Christmas, MY WIFE’s father died, and then, as mentioned, the car decided to commit suicide in solidarity with all of the other deaths going on. It survived, though, costing us a few thousand dollars for a new engine. We paid for that, rather than just buying a new car, since I was still making payments on that poor depressed Cavalier and didn’t want to be sending $185 a month off into the ether for nothing. That was easily the worst year of our married life. The fact that I got through it without reverting to my previous usage of hard drugs is testament to both MY WIFE’s restorative powers and the fact that I couldn’t recall my dealer’s home number.)
Anyway, not only would we now be missing a chance for birthday cake, we had also planned on stopping at IKEA on our way. They were having a sale on stockpots and I wanted a new one. Now I wouldn’t be getting one. That might seem like small potatoes in comparison to everything else, but if I had small potatoes, then I wouldn’t need a new larger stockpot. And, on top of that, tomorrow I’d have to take Roddy to the shop, make damn sure they did the repair right this time, miss a day of work, and as Burns might have said, all was traveling ta the wee buildin’ wae the half-moon on the door.
Then... Well, see, I had already decided on the title for this piece when I sat down to write it. Let me tell you what happened halfway through, back up above near where the photos are. The Cro-Magnon computer we have at home froze and wouldn’t let me save what I had written. I was fairly apoplectic. If MY WIFE hadn’t been in the room, I might have picked up the damn computer and thrown it out the window. I would have been somewhat sorry had it landed on top of an innocent squirrel, but it had pretty much crushed my spirit at that point, so tough luck for any unlucky random squirrels.
MY WIFE was there, though, so cooler heads (hers) prevailed, the computer didn’t go flying through the window and crush an innocent rodent, and, through some sort of black magic that I probably should be more afraid of than I am considering it’s Sunday morning and all, my writing was still there on the screen after I completely shut down the computer and then re-booted it. Maybe it was good karma from some sort of squirrel deity.
That’s enough about the weekend; more than enough, really, excepting the part about Lime and her cousins, which is just about right. Let’s finish this up with something nice.
On Thursday of last week, I ran a piece about Fred Rogers. I promised that anyone who sent me a photo of themselves wearing a sweater would have that picture published here and be given a link back to their blog. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I’m a man of my word. So, here are the photos, with appropriate attribution.
Janet, from Adventures In The 32-Aker Wood, is first up. She sends a photo of herself, and also one of her lovely kids. At least, I assume they're her kids. And her Mom made all of the sweaters. Nice!
Next up, we have what I believe is a fraudulent photo. I'm having a hard time buying the fact that this is Jinksy from Napple Notes. I suppose it's bearly possible...
Here is Green Jello, looking sweet, coy, and entirely ungelatinized.
Jeni, over at Down River Drivel, did a nice piece about Fred Rogers. Find it here. Here she is with Maya, both of them wearing their sweaters. More photos at her place.
Finally, let me give you a nice little story concerning Fred Rogers and his trolley.
As you probably know, Trolley is a character in The Neighborhood Of Make Believe, as well as the conveyance by which we get there from Fred's "real" house. Here is a photo of Fred with Trolley.
Thimbelle tells this lovely little story about Twinks, her daughter.
When Twinks was a tiny girl, we would watch Mr. Rogers every morning together. Twinks especially loved the Trolley, and always waved at the TV whenever Trolley came into view. One day, when she was not quite three years old, we were shopping, and she spied a bright, shiny penny on the floor of the store. As she held it out to me, I said "Oh, look! A penny!" She shook her head no, and said "Look, Mama! Mista Wojers! Twolley!" Because in her magical little world, that *was* Mr. Rogers and her beloved Trolley, right there on that penny.
To this day, I can't pick up a penny without thinking of Mr. Rogers! :)
Soon, with more better stuff.