Sunday, March 30, 2008

Why I Work

So I have decided not to make this post the usual I-Am-Not-Blogging-Because-I-Am-Working post (although I am, and therfore I have not been) and, instead, have chosen to show off our brand new Adirondack chairs. Two hundred and twelve bucks after taxes. Thank you very much.

Long story short, I saw them, I wanted them, and, therefore, I paid for them. The Wifey had seen them as well, and liked them, but balked at the price. The ones we had out on the patio before were plastic, and tended to get tossed about in wind storms. They had not gone any further than the far side of the driveway, but still, it kinda bugged me. These, hopefully, will stay put.

Of course, the first step was getting them home, which (with niece Cayla in tow) turned out to be a slightly dicey thing. As you can see, there wasn't room for much more in the boot (which only just closed) with the boxed chairs in it. And this is with the passenger's side seat racked up so that Cayla's knees were resting against the dash. (And she missed the seatbelt the first two times she grabbed for it.)

Now all we need is a fire-pit. And maybe some Tibetan prayer flags. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Mr. Heufel guides them in from the valet station in front of the hotel in town. It’s only a hundred yards from there to here, but I never see them until they can see the camp, tucked in behind a grove of trees. Americans: give them a fair price for a cab ride, and they’ll argue with you for an hour. But send them a midget, and they’ll follow him anywhere.

It seems to help somewhat that he doesn’t speak. I don’t think he’s actually mute. I just think he doesn’t like talking to people.

The concierge sends out their names each morning before they arrive. We make up notes saying that we have been awaiting them, to re-connect them with a part of their precious heritage. Out of a hundred or two, at least a half dozen fall for the line. Some weeks more. This time I count sixteen heads as Mr. Heufel leads them around the edge of the grove. Sixteen! It’s a fat week ahead for us!

I flounce towards them, my vintage skirt flapping up to show my legs, blouse flowing out from the laced-up, bodice-like vest which pushes my breasts up out of it like toothpaste out of a tube. Never fails. Men and women alike gawk at me. For whatever reason, the whole world associates sex with gypsies. If they’d ever seen real gypsies, they’d know better.

I’m no gypsy. My childhood ballet lessons are serving me well. Three years of intensive language study lets me mix an accent so that no linguist in the world could pin it down—and so that no one can try to hide suspicious talk by speaking another language. (And when Americans learn foreign tongues, they only learn as much as any five year old would know. That makes it easier.) My parents thought I would be going into international relations, or perhaps banking. This is much more fun.

Mr. Heufel gestures them into the park. None of the equipment works, but that doesn’t matter. Before the day is out, these dumb tourists will think they are in a magical land of faeries and gypsies, and they will pay lavishly to pretend they belong to it. Most of them will think better of it tomorrow, but by then we will be gone. Poof! Spreading—as far as they know—the American wealth, in return for which they will be sent detailed information as to their place in the clan, and to whom they might be related in America!

Joseph strikes up a gypsy tune on the fiddle. Fionka hoists the awning on the beaten up old caravan, and the smell of rich, warm goulash fills the air. Let the show begin!

God, but I hate that fiddle!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Brace Yerselves

The Wifey, who first saw this shot, remarked, and I quote, "Yikes! Those should not be put next to each other."

I have also determined, on reflection, that the amount of text I have above (and below) is not quite enough to keep the image from popping up (at least partially) in your browser. So, in the interest of full disclosure, or witness protection, or some such thing, I now present some meaningless blather. BLAH BLAH DE BLAH BLAH, TOWZOOOO YOWZOOO, DE-LA-DE-LA-DE-DA, VVVVRRRRRRRRRRRRRROOT! EESPAAAAAAAHHH!!!

Ready? Back to the text:

Which, point taken. And not that I would go out of the house thusly shod. But, in point of fact, a short time ago, and then again about twenty minutes later, this is precisely how I was shod:

'Cause, see, I wanted these new Tigers, so I had to try one on, just for the sake of form, never mind that I already knew from experience that the Tigers in size 11 would fit my feet like nobody's business. So for a fleeting moment (actually about 45 seconds) I was wearing one Onitsuku Tiger (in white on black with green stripes and yellow and red mid-sole foam layers) and one classic style Nike Oregon Waffle (in black on red nylon, which one of my bosses recently dubbed "Devil Shoes").

It was a significantly weird feeling. The Tigers in question are a re-issue of a model originally produced in 1981, but they are still palpably heavier than the Nikes. They also have a slightly more solid support platform-- thus the greater weight-- than the Nikes, which have all the support of a freshly cooked pancake. (Which is why I like them.) It all makes perfect sense in retrospect, but, still, it was really kind of weird.

This makes 12 pairs of shoes in my collection, an even dozen. If anybody asks, one day I'll post a picture of the entire arsenal.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Click here to create your own painting.

So, according to this thing over at, this is what I would look like if I were a painting.

Not sure how I ought ot feel about that.

I mean, not that it's noxious, but Kandinski it ain't.

I lifted it from Dawn.