I was thinking that I would like a cat. I would want my cat to be the best cat it could be. Except that now that I own furniture, I wouldn’t want it scratched up, so I’d have the cat de-clawed. And certainly wouldn’t want my cat further decimating North America’s dwindling songbird population, so I’d attach a bell to its collar. And I wouldn’t want my cat to go out fornicating and making little cats I can’t keep, so I’d confine it inside. Then to keep it from humping my leg I guess I’d have to have the cat neutered. Then I’d have this foul-tempered little beast roaming my apartment, playing with irritating plastic toys, and shitting in a box. I’d probably start cutting off more parts.
In short, what I’d really like is a warm lump of soft fur that I can pet in my lap while I watch rented movies. Therefore, I will go to Walmart this evening to find a soft hot-water bottle and solicit the donation of one feline pelt from a local shelter. Good old Mister Snoogums.
Our volunteer boat captain made a garbage run to Ship Island today and offered me a ride out on our 40-something foot work boat. It’s an old Second World War landing craft. He dropped off supplies and picked up some garbage, our tractor and three ATVs that need fixing. I got some nice photos of the island and the ride out.
I didn’t take one photo. My agency has the worst safety record of any federal bureau, and I saw it in action this afternoon. I could have got a picture of a bunch of Mississippi boys on the beach trying to remove a stuck trailer hitch from our “Mule” by tying a rope from the back of one ATV to the hitch and pulling in opposite directions, Levis jeans-style. It didn’t work– both vehicles got bogged down in the sand– so, tension still applied, one of the guys got in between and hammered on the hitch to try to loosen it. I still can’t believe it as I type this. The photo not taken could have been an instant Internet sensation, but I am not that kind of bastard. I offer you this inadequate narrative instead.
This morning the weather forecast was foul. A line of thunderstorms was approaching and most of the state was under a tornado watch. The ferry boat was canceled. A visiting school group was canceled. The sky was dark and gloomy all morning with impending doom and then around noon the sun came out and it was warm and bright. Hmm.
One evening when I was about eight, Long Island was under a tornado watch. Tornadoes were so unusual there that I thought that was it: we were all going to die. Because my mother seemed unruffled by it I took the news pretty calmly, but was disappointed at the injustice of it.
I work with a lot of Midwesterners. My boss said to get under a heavy object like a desk. One of our elderly volunteers told me they used to get into the bathtub. There aren’t many bathtubs at work, but there are lots of desks; I figured I would survive this one if it came.
I killed a yellow-rumped warbler on the park road. There was a small flock of them perched on the road. One of them didn’t fly away fast enough and I hit it with the van. Man, was I pissed. Why were they perched on the road? They eat insects and berries. Maybe there were insects and berries on the road. I don’t know.
That’s the fourth animal I’ve killed on that road. When I first started working here, I ran over a snake. I mean really flattened it. I thought it was a stick in the road. But it didn’t feel like a stick. Another time a stupid squirrel ran right into my wheel. And another time, and this broke my heart, I squashed a spring peeper in the parking lot. It was a spring night, and I’d just finished a night walk when I realized that there were frogs in the parking lot. I tried so hard not to run them over.
Anyway, I started taking yoga classes again after a two-year hiatus.
On the way back to the office, I was listening to NPR. Terry Gross was interviewing Tim Curry. He even has a campy laugh. Then some guy reviewed Woody Allen’s new film. He said that the dialogue sounded like a Victorian translation of Ibsen. What on earth does that mean?
I saw a big red-tailed hawk with a young squirrel on the park road. I wonder if the bird offed it right there on the pavement.
The Dead Sea scrolls are on display in Mobile so we went to see them. The exhibit didn’t fit well into the small exhibit room at the Exploreum museum. It felt a little disorganized, but I’ll file this under “something to do because it’s there and you may never be able to do it again.”
Less impressive was “Hostage” which we saw this afternoon. I like Bruce Willis, and if you like him too you might as well go to see it.
I went back to work today, and I feel okay, but I actually felt better yesterday. Odd? The bookstore manager told me this bout of cold comes with the specter of relapse if I’m not careful. Darn. I skipped the pool again tonight, but I’m itching to start swimming again. I hate to start something like that and then just drop it.
My folks are delayed by snow in the Northeast. I hope they arrive promptly and safely.
I called in sick today, though I feel a lot better. This is the sick day I should have taken three days ago.
Not feeling like cooking, I decided to order a pizza. Not that Mississippi offers a fine selection of local fare, but I am in the mood for a pizza. I called the place down the street. They had pretty good pizza for a while when they were under different ownership last year. The original owner bought it back recently. Last time I went there half of his menu was unavailable; he said he was “easing back into the business.” When I called tonight to order, he said he isn’t delivering except on weekends.
So I called Domino’s:
“Is there a minimum for delivery?”
“Not that I know of.”
“Okay, I’d like a small pie…”
“Our smallest is 10 inches, with thin or thick crust, but we don’t deliver it.”
So there is a minimum.
“What can you deliver?”
“Medium or large.”
“How big is the medium?”
“About a quarter inch smaller than the large”
“Okay, you’re going to have to work with me here. How big is the large?”
“I’m not sure. It’s eight slices.”
“The diameter. What’s the diameter?”
And so forth. This on the heels of playing phone tag by myself with the Red Cross all week. The lady wouldn’t call me back. I was trying to attend a class that I now find out is canceled. I could go on and on about this lady. She’s a real bureaucrat.
Customer service here in the Hospitality State can be total shit. Please O please God tell me I’m not that bad at my job.
I’m feeling better, but still coughing. I’ve probably coughed up a pound of snot by now. My voice was shot after giving two tours. Maybe I even sounded sexy, if sounding like Lurch from the Addam’s Family is sexy.
A bunch of New Yorkers came to the island today. It’s nice to hear the accents if nothing else. For about an hour after noon, a cloud of gnats emerged and chased almost everybody out of the fort, including most of the people on my tour.
I’ve come down with the crud going around work. I slept a good part of the day and that helped for a while this evening. Tomorrow we’re supposed to get the fort ready for the new season. Saturday the ferry starts running and we get into the “God forbid anyone should call in sick” part of the year.
I’m cooking some frijoles negros con arroz. Smells good. After I eat I may go back to bed.
“NYPD Blue” has been on for twelve years? Is this so? Tavis Smiley says so. This means it was on when I started college. It’s been on for a good chunk of my life. This also means I haven’t watched the show regularly in a decade. I remember David Caruso always saying “Are you all right?” to the hot female cop in like every episode. After he left the show to pursue his doomed movie career in, oh it must have been 1994 I guess, I made up the first and only David Caruso joke:
What do you say when you see David Caruso on the subway?
No thank you, I don’t want to buy any batteries.