Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Best Laid Schemes O' Mice An' Men, Gang Aft Agley

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 CafĂ© 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.


Buck said...

...the ones reading me in, say, some suburb of Biloxi.

I actually lived in/on a suburb of Biloxi... Keesler AFB... on three separate occasions. But I won't take offense, seeing as how I was there against my will and mightily so, I should add.

Great weekend, Jim. YOUR WIFE took the Roslindale pics, didn't she? She's better at that sort of thing than you are... but you know that. ;-)

lime said...

egads, it does seem the universe was conspiring to prevent all of us from getting where we wanted to be (i guess the car implosion beats universe implosion though....really our readers should be thanking roddy for taking a hit for them). i'm glad that roddy was operational for my transportational purposes but awfully sorry to hear he let you down in getting to avaroo's party. i wonder if the ability to induce a green automotive orgasm is something i could put on my resume...hhmm....

as for being strange relatives, would it frighten you to learn that my cousin and i are among the more mentally balanced folks in our extended clan?

you and your wife were the most graciously welcoming and fun lunch companions. thanks so much!

S said...

I'm sure that Lime enjoyed the crummy tour!
I dont think she quite had enough lemons though!

Jazz said...

Two of my favourite bloggers meet. Well hell.

Katney said...

I did not get a picture taken of me and my sweater. I did wear it, though. And now, we need to go pick up my 18 year old 330,000 mile baby from the shop. Wonder how much that will cost!

Suldog said...

Buck - Actually, Lime's cousin took the pics, so credit where it's due. In either case, better than me, yes.

Lime - Very much our pleasure, as I've said. And I forgot to mention the lovely socks! We've already worn a pair each and they are comfy, beautiful, and a great reminder of the fun day. Thanks again!

S - Yes, another six or seven lemons would have been better, but you can't have everything.

Jazz - "Well hell" I think that says it all!

Katney - Bless you. Here's hoping you don't take too big of a hit.

jinksy said...

I DO miss you at the weekends! And of course that was me - can't you see the patches to keep my stuffing in? Hope you forgive me for 'taking your name in vain', sort of, in my Procrastination post the other day...

John-Michael said...

SulDog, My Darlin' Friend, my cup of Joy is spilling over with these photos of two of my Life's most precious Gifts celebrating each other. Thank You, Jim, for this delightful visit in your World of oh-so-real Life.

Lovin' Ya ...

Samuel Johnson said...

I like your Robert Burns poem very well. Especially the bit about the moonlicht nicht tonicht.

Janet said...

I checked your page every hour yesterday. I'm glad to hear you weren't sick, but sorry about all the other trouble.

So much fun to meet Lime! One day I'm going to do a blog tour of the country and meet everyone.

Your Robbie Burns did not faze me in the least. I had a full semester of Chaucer. Nothing can scare me after that.

Sorry about the missed birthday party. I'm sure Avaroo was disappointed as well. Hopefully they'll fix Roddy correctly this time.

Thanks for the sweater pics. That was fun!

Cocotte said...

Lime was drinking water with lemons?? It was fun to visit you and see your side of the visit!

jill said...

glad you had a great visit!

sorry about the car....car problems sucketh!

i wish i known you wanted a stockpot - we would have picked one up for you. we made our first (and probably our last) trip to IKEA on sunday. we were amazed at the number of people walking out with just one pot. not a huge fan of the store, but deal was a good one.

Suldog said...

Jinksy - OK, if you say so, but the photo with your comment doesn't really look like the one of you in the sweater. Maybe the sweater one was taken before you shaved?

John-Michael - Someday, we will definitely have to get together, too. You're one of the nicest people I've never met!

Samuel Johnson - Coming from you, high praise!

Janet - Chaucer. They suckered us into reading him in high school by telling us it was full of bawdiness and debauchery, but what good is bawdiness and debauchery if you can't understand half of it?

Cocotte - I know. It surprised me, too. She could have asked for limes, but that's just the wacky sort she is!

Jill - Yes, it was a great sale, and I really wanted one. Had you bought me one, I would have made a big batch of my world-famous (at least in select parts of Watertown) beef stew and given you a heapin' helpin'.

That's a hint for anyone else, by the way.

lime said...

ah so glad to know you've enjoyed the socks already. that puts another smile on my face. :)

GreenJello said...

Ha! I fooled you into thinking I'm sweet and coy.

And I LOVED that your car either had a green orgasm, but was really incontinent. Too funny!

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Oooh bloggers stepping out of Blogland to meet, now there's a thought! Glad you had fun. x

Hilary said...

That's a shame about how the rest of your weekend turned out but I loved reading about lunch with Lime, on your blog and hers. And your/YOUR WIFE's photos were wonderful. As was that penny story. Too cute.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Sounds like time with Lime was loads of fun!

Alas, no sweater-wearing for me, tho I'd planned to. Loved the trolley/penny story.

Let us know how the car's doing.

Word Ver = mingsh

Karen said...

Nice that you got to meet up with Lime! I suppose everybody has one of "those years". For us it was 1985. Ugh... just thinking of it gives me the jeebie heebies!

Moannie said...

Lucky you to meet Lime, and lucky Lime to meet you.

I am surprised that you did not recognise a massive tongue sticking in my cheek, Jim...when you consider how that little adventure of my ancestors turned out [along with every over jot of land we once called ours] But thanks for the heads up...I shall be a bit more careful in future.

Kuanyin Moi said...

I'm very sad to report our beloved Poinsietta died after the harsh winds of this year. One day she was alive and kicking...the next one, she was fried! I tried to bring her back, but to no avail! Sob!

Sorry I haven't been back here for so long...time is flying by! Glad to see ya'll are as wacked as always..and so much to read!

lakeviewer said...

You should have received many more sweater photographs. I guess some people are just too shy.

Gennasus said...

Well, if things hadn't gang agley, you wouldn't have had half the content of this post to entertain us with. More ganging agley, I say!

As for school, not only were my English lessons blighted by Chaucer, I had to struggle through Shakespeare and Rabbie Burns too! That should be classed as cruelty to children

Woman in a Window said...

So sorry your car lost control again. Wondering what type of magazines it peruses while you're at lunch?

skywind said...

Oh, the funny grimace. LOL
Health information
Humor & Fun World

Chris Stone said...

Nice to see Lime... great comment on Burns... and love that story about Mr Rogers. What an interesting take on the Lincoln memorial.

S said...

Thanks for coming to my blog. Funny thing, when Lime and I met...oh like, 8 years ago in Trivia Madness, a couple of people mistook her for me because of the tie dye thing....

While we are not the same person, and we have not met in real life, I have known her almost the longest of all my online pals.
Nice to meet you too, Suldog!

Sarah said...

I can't believe I missed Mr. Rogers Day! Because of him I always wanted to be a peanut butter maker. Or work at a crayon factory. Or Queen Sara.

What a lovely tribute to him.

Dru said...

That whole part about green orgasms and incontinence made me laugh so hard that my hip popped. Who needs a chiropractor when they can read your blog! And I will never look at a penny the same again :)

Michelle H. said...

Oh GAWD! Jim is sharing his madness with other people. Scary thought.

Great you and Lime got together, but that waitress seemed a bit fruity.

Craver Vii said...

A fun read, with all the fun bits of info. I'll never look at a penny the same, either. That little boy with the blue sweater and baseball cap... does he have a halo??? You're hilarious, Suldog; twisted, but funny.

Cath said...

Well that was quite a weekend! Glad you got to meet Lime - she seems a fun meet! And that last bit about Twinks just made my heart melt...

Carolina said...

Oh I so enjoy reading your posts. Big smile ;-)

Mushy said...

Funny stuff...made my day.

ciara said...

i'm upset w myself because i forgot to wear a sweater & take pic :-/ i have memory troubles. i remembered like a day or two later.

sounds like a great time was had when meeting up w lime. glad y'all had fun. :)

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