his hot & humid weather is obnoxious in far more ways than I will possibly be able to remember come January. Take, for example, the fragrance of my psychotic brother, Don. He's rather unhygienic, to put things mildly, but beyond that, he's a physiologic stinker. If you have the appropriate Netscape plugin, by now you're probably getting a little taste of what I mean. Nasty, huh? For those of you working with inferior hardware, let me describe my brother this way: it's a strong funky pungency, one that can be smelled dozens of feet away in the right circumstances. It's a bit beyond Limburger cheese and has a creepy sweet quality. I've read that this sweet odour is an indication of the chemical imbalances underlying schizophrenia, one of the psychological conditions with which my brother is supposedly afflicted. Several times this morning I urged my brother to take a dip in the stream, but all he would do was wash his armpits. Obviously the odour isn't coming from such easily-targeted point sources, since the problem is still very much there. I was trying to fix myself a ham, pickle and cheese sandwich at around noon and found myself losing my appetite. To salvage the experience, I resorted to humour. I wondered aloud if perhaps there are any extremely classy restaurants where such an odour is used to flavour sauces on pricey entrees. I could imagine the scene:
Waiter: "Sir, you might try the butter-broasted duck with our special Don Sauce. It has a rich tangy flavour. Here, let me go get you a sample."
Customer: "Emmm, this is good, if I may be so bold, what's in it?"
Waiter: "Well, it's our secret recipe, but to give you an idea, we have a stable of Dons living in special fermentation chambers until they secrete the perfect pungency."
I could also imagine a "Fred Sauce" made with an equally obnoxious extract of our old Australian Shepherd-mut dog's winter coat.
My brother found this riff all rather funny, despite its insulting qualities.
It is interesting, though, that a lot of horrible fragrances, when presented in the context of food, are regarded as evidence of gourmet cooking. I'll never forget the time Nathan VanHooser and I were hanging out late one night in my parents' kitchen. The cat litter box is just around the corner from the kitchen in a short hallway. Suddenly "the Kitten" (the name of the seven-year-old female black cat) decided to go use her box. The unseen commotion she made sent up a richly disgusting fresh fecal odour. But most horrible of all, as Nathan pointed out at the time, was that it actually smelled delicious.
gain I took a dip in the stream today, and again I worked on the dam a bit. Every time I go to make small improvements on my dams, I find myself becoming obsessed with the project and before you know it, I've created a wonder suitable for honeymoon excursions. I've been building structures in this stream since I was seven years old, but I'm older now, and it feels inappropriate to be playing around like some kind of overgrown Huck Finn. But I have to admit it's a lot of fun. I could be in the house playing Quake or Myst, but no, I'm dealing with a much more satisfying reality, one that is virtual in some ways and at the same time not virtual at all.
A boulder weighing perhaps 400 pounds has sat just downstream from the dam since the highway widening project that put it there some seven years ago. This boulder has long vexed me. I've wanted to incorporate it into the dam, but it's always been far too heavy for me to do anything but rock back and forth. But today I was just able to muster the strength to roll it over. I must have gained some strength since I last tried some four or five years ago. (I found this interesting, since I've mostly been a computer geek during those years.) I managed to roll the rock all the way to the dam, although the exertion required was unimaginable. I skinny dipped afterwards while Fred the Dog, tired, bored and vaguely impatient to get back to his dog house, watched me from the shade of a Chinquapin Oak 200 feet away.
Several mildly electric thunderstorms came through the area at different times and relative humidity was nearly 100% most of the day.
im and I had several email exchanges and even one of those AOL Instant Messenger chats. Things are kind of confusing in the aftermath of her learning of the musings. Now she seems to think I'm an egotist (she actually used the word "prick") with an extremely ruthless disposition, one who could only use, never really love. Her lack of faith, however, is complicated by continued profession of love for me. I tried to reassure her, but the fact that I couldn't come up with plans, promises and dates is something she took as evidence of my inability to commit to this romantic project. She doesn't understand, though, that I am this way about everything.
And then there's the issue of kids. I said I thought they were the creative works of the untalented. She wasn't happy about that sentiment at all. She's 28 years old and I think she's got a biological clock complex.
Kim ended up calling me on the phone. I said I was willing to try to make this relationship thing work, but I couldn't convince her of anything. She has this way of telling me all the things she wants to bring to the relationship and then snappily expressing doubts about whether I'm really interested. It's like she's baking me a cake and then says, "Oh, you don't like cake, do you?" What's more, she seems to suspect me of more connections to Virginia than are the case.
This whole episode was a terribly unnerving ordeal. I knew she was a Cancer but now I wonder if she has Venus in Scorpio (that's not physically possible, by the way). I know I shouldn't even be writing this, but I need to document some kind of conclusion to the recent burst of events.
Anyway, the story is that I don't know what is going on anymore. I don't know what else to do to make Kim happy. Suddenly I feel very tired.
But I'm planning on returning soon to Michigan. Hopefully some sort of mutual accommodation can be made when I get there. The funny thing is that we're already acting like we're stuck with each other, like we have to do our best to adapt and make do.
find it rather amusing that Al Schroeder, in his eulogy entitled "Closing Time" in part for the end of Fragment, still insists on calling it "Fragments," even after Gabby specifically complained about people doing that very thing in her letter of Sayonara. On a similar note, Spaceman hates it when folks call his webring "Little Bastards." No one, not even Spaceman himself, really knows what Little Bastard really is, but people should at least know what to call it.