Monday, February 28, 2005

Mutley

Mutley takes five,
chin on his paws ...
awning, his choice of 15 Hondas.
Closing, his lids take a one-inch dive.

Pictures arrive,
Pork he can't taste.
Drooling, his pillow pools saliva.
Thinking, what black-and-white waste.

Night comes in haste.
Out of the road...
Howling, our pooch prepares for the race.
Tramping, he's fast. Unleashes his load.

Then howls low code,
short, short, long, long.
Ending, he slumps, eyes follow the toad.
Hopping in spurts of short,short,long,long.

Mut likes frogsong.
Helps frog survive.
Barking, he's strong; he's alpha; belongs
When he's satisfied,Mutley takes five.

...
Crazy weekend of traveling here and there trying to see people. Not always successful! I missed my bike, but had a good time. Still no pink wig.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Doobie Mamas

I went to a funeral today. It's a gathering at the temple around the mini temple where they burn bodies (I'm sure there must be a more official name for this). The body burning temple has a huge chimney that spreads ashes around the city when there's a funeral. It's kind of morbid, but really, kind of refreshing. Think, instead of packaging death in sweet styrofoam, Thais sweep it off their porch in the morning. Ehem, I digress. So, during the ceremony, I'm sitting in this circle of old ladies. It was all the usual sucking of teeth until one of the ladies whips a white, plastic jar from her bag and opens the lid. Like a pro, she spoons out a portion of white crystallic glue and spreads it on a ripe leaf. She rolls it. She pops it in her mouth and chews. Chews. Chews. The 40-somethings berate the Linkin Park lovers as a horde of huffing gangsters, but Granny is rolling a little more than her hair. oooooooooooooooey.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Silly, silly songs

I've always enjoyed a good silly song. It started with "John Jacob Jinglheimerschmit", but I've moved on. In fact, life at the moment has become a silly song FEST of sorts. Check out this one by The Flaming Lips.

she don't use jelly
i know a girl who thinks of ghosts
she'll make ya breakfast
she'll make ya toast
she don't use butter
she don't use cheese
she don't use jelly
or any of these
she uses vaseline
vaseline
vaseline
i know a guy who goes to shows
when he's at home and he blows his nose
he don't use tissues or his sleeve
he don't use napkins or any of these
he uses magazines
magazines
magazines
magazines
magazines
i know a girl who reminds me of cher
(reminds me of cher)
she's always changing
(she's always changing)
the color of her hair
(color of her hair)
she don't use nothing
that ya buy at the store
she likes her hair to be real orange
she uses tangerines
tangerines
tangerines
tangerines
tangerines
tangerines

Monday, February 21, 2005

The gut-wrenching agony of real irony

Today, I stopped into a tailor's shop to ask if my province has any pink wigs (project: Jem and the Holograms costume). I was chatting with the sweet seamstress there and it turns out she's a Christian. She knows some foreign Christians who come to the church from the surrounding areas and said if I want to go to church on Sundays, come to the shop and she'll give me a lift. I laughed and cried in a moment. Why is this happening now instead of 6-months ago?

The new group of volunteers came out to visit sites this week. The girl visiting me rocks. We went out to eat tonight with my school director. There are a bazillion restaurants in my province. We happened to run into a couple who are also new volunteers visiting site -- about EIGHT KILO from my house! Yeah, PC placed new volunteers EIGHT KILO from my house and I found out about it tonight... just because the new volunteers happened to chose the same restaurant as my director. I laughed and cried in a moment.

This is the state of things. Oh, the gut-wrenching agony of real irony.
I (and my gut) must rest.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Thermometer

There's a reason I haven't been able to find a thermometer in the country. A buddy's dad sent her one and this evening (EVENING!), it registered one-hundred-and-five-degrees! 105! I collapsed in a dazed heap at 2-o'clock and was unconscious until 4-o'clock. No wonder the schools are closed April. Whew.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

fun times

This past week was one of the best times I've had in a long time. Wooh!
Home again.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Acamping I will go

I'm out for about a week . . . headed northwest. I'll be leading some recycling activites at a life-skills camp. RE.duce, RE.use, RE.cycle! Like Mom said last night, even our bodies do that! Cheers.

Monday, February 7, 2005

Leap of Faith

"Our age is essentially one of understanding and reflection, without passion, momentarily bursting into enthusiasm, and shrewdly relapsing into repose . . . Nowadays not even a suicide kills itself in desperation. Before taking the step, he deliberates so long and so carefully that he literally chokes with thought. It is even questionable whether he ought to be called a suicide, since it is really thought which takes his life. He does not die with deliberation, but from deliberation."

Kierkegaard, Our Present Age



Amazing. How many times have you "died" from deliberation? Me? A thousand times over.



Waiting and thinking don't always mean death. There's a way that even waiting can be passionate. My challenge: To learn that waiting on the Lord (though sometimes gooey and grunge) can be like a leap, arms wide, wind peeling eyelids, suspended in space, wondering (not knowing/planning/deliberating--oy, me!) what's next. Cheers.

Sunday, February 6, 2005

Sticky tack, oh blue goo! How am I to remove you?

How to deal with sticky tack on concrete walls

  1. Pull as much off as you can with your fingers. This is almost as much fun as it was to play with gum when you were a kid.
  2. Scrape with a fork. This requires a little more concentration. Pretend it's extreme zen gardening.
  3. Notice the blue blob that still remains in spite of step one and two? Attack it with peanut butter, preferably the chunky kind. Peanut butter gets gum out of hair, right? Right?
  4. Enjoy the aromatherapy of peanut butter in the air. Does it bring back memories of mud pies and bike races? Now, whirl plastic gooey blobs with a wet wipe. Remember, wet wipes were designed for this kind of job.
  5. Notice the (now thinner) blue blob that remains in spite of steps 1-4? Throw some talcum powder on it. This will act as an abrasive and absorb any remaining peanut butter/wet wipe juice (fool the ants?).
  6. Almost there. Attack the talcum plastic mix like Grandma's silver before tea with the queen (whatever that means..eh). Then, stand back and enjoy...

The blue blobs on your wall!!

Here's the vote: What agent will eventually remove the sticky tack from my wall? Gasoline, WD-40, fresh paint, nail polish remover, a mixture of fish sauce and windex, sand and kafir lime leaves, nothing... it's a lost cause, or a nice painting?

Time will tell. muhahaha. Time will tell.



Saturday, February 5, 2005

Boom Boom and Bam Bam

Almost every small neighborhood I've walked through has a small store that supplies the neighborhood folks with ice, coke, gas, and little snacks. My neighborhood has two (I've just discovered they're fierce competitors, too). A couple in their late 60's runs the store where I buy my water. Sometimes, when I go by, Khun Yaiee has her younger sister with her. "Boom Boom", as she asks me to call her, worked for a GI durning the Vietnam War ... when Thailand had military camps scattered all over the place. Every time I see her, Boom Boom says, "I was best house girl. GI give me fruit. He puts everything in the fridge. We eat apples and oranges everyday." It's crazy to me that that one job, however long it lasted, put Boom Boom in a different "class" for the rest of her life. My supervisor met GI's, too, when he was very young. He said they gave him chocolate candy he had never before seen. It was the best he ever had, and when he talks about it, he's (really!) misty-eyed. Amazing. Last weekend, I talked with a Vietnamese kid who travels back-and-forth from Vietnam to Thailand. He said he wants to bring his American buddy home to visit Vietnam, but his parents won't let them. Even now, it's dangerous for USers there. The Vietnamese people are scarred. The soldiers who were there during the "Conflict" are scarred. I wonder what kind of memories our soldiers are creating today? Good and Bad. Bad and Good.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Lyrical artistry

I do so enjoy Paul Simon. I would love to see him in concert. Here's a collage of just some of my favorite lines.

  • --I'm gonna stand guard like a postcard of a golden retriever.
  • --Joseph's face was as black as the night, and the pale, yellow moon shone in his eyes. His path was marked by the stars in the southern hemisphere... and he walked the length of his days under African skies.
  • --In a couple of days, they'll come and take me away for the rest of the story ink.
  • --I need a photo opportunity; I want a shot of redemption. Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
  • --You've got the cool water when the fever runs high.
  • --Yesterday, it was my birthday. I hung one more year on the line.
  • --I know a man. He came from my hometown. He wore his passion for his woman like a thorny crown. He said, "Delores, I live in fear. My love for you is so overpowering, I'm afraid that I'll disappear."
  • --Just like The Penguins, The Moonglows, The Orioles and, The Five Satins; The easy stream of laughter flowing through the air. Rene and Georgette Magritte with their dog apres la guerre.
  • --He's a poor boy, empty as a pocket with nothing to lose.
  • --She makes the sign of a teaspoon. He makes the sign of a wave. The poor boy change his clothes and puts on aftershave. . . to compensate for his ordinary shoes.
  • --He is a foreign man; he is surrounded by the sound of cattle in the marketplace, scatterlings and orphanages. He looks around; he sees angels in the architecture, spinning in infinity..and he says, "hey, hallelujah!"



Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Usher en utero

The other day, I was chilling out at a local vo-tech school. One of the teachers there, who has come over a few times to hang out, is pregnant. She came over as I was biking away and asked what was playing on my walkman. I told her about some of the cds I brought back with me from the States, and she looked, suddenly, very serious. "Usher.. I need to copy your cd. My doctor says my baby will be happy if he listens to Usher."

Heh. Hmmm... Sure. Usher is snagging fans younger than he ever knew.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

The pair

Once upon a time, there was a girl who was exceptionally careless with sunglasses. She lost them with her lap as she stood to move a chair and found them again as 30-boxing boys trampled them underfoot. There was a pair with yellow shades--missing at school. The tortoise-shell framed? Left at the market. The extra dark ones? The counter at the post office. The Elton John pair? Road below backpack. The aviator specs? Who knows! Then, a happy day arrived. The girl went to a real mall that was fully stocked with immitation designer eye-gear. After passing over a hot pair of "Oakey"s, she settled on "V"ersace. They were bold, yet understated. Elegant ... and cheap! The weeks passed and the girl kept track of these shades as she had no other.



One trip to Lotus. One bathroom stall. TWO MINUTES of mindlessness! I pity the fool who wears them in public!



E GADS!