Here's the random pish that I've collected over the last week that didn't get blogged all over your happy little faces.
- On Friday whilst I lay prostrate on the grass, and my kids splashed about in their sandbox we all noticed that the Canada Geese started circling. It's July. Not only are the leaves already changing color, but the bloody trees are thundering headlong into Fall colors well before they should be. It's still rancidly humid. Presuming that animals really do know what is going in the world (I'm referring to cows lying down when it rains and that sort of thing - not because they read the New Yorker and listen to Weekend edition on NPR) I'm taking this as a sign of impending weather changes. In an effort to use my considerable influence on Mother Nature (like many women she is tempted by my masculine charms....) by forcibly wearing far too much clothing. At the end of last week and this morning I put on clothes that had legs and sleeves to them. Of course it's 93 degrees and like sitting in a pool of tepid custard outside right now. But I'm not taking this as a sign that Mother Nature doesn't fancy me. No - rather I think she just wants to see me skipping about in the backyard half naked. The dirty, little monkey.
- I should also note that on Friday my daughter brought outside a piece of bread and a fistful of soggy chocolate chips and placed them on on a huge tree stump in our back yard. The neighborhood squirrels have taken to gorging on the walnuts all over the place on top of her slide. So as a gesture of gentle persuasion she made them a walnut sandwich with a chocolate chip dessert. Which sounds sweet and nice but I then found her a few minutes later trying to soaking them in 40% Deet insect repellant because the chocolate was being swarmed by mosquitoes. That might not kill a squirrel - but it is the sort of flashback sequence employed in shit horror movies about how a small American town is enduring a massacre by a strange mutant beast.
- Being an election year Americans are arguing over absolutely everything at the moment. The most irritating thing that occurs out of this is that it always reverts to annoying stereotypes. Least of which is that there are two major distinct sides that come down squarely on a pro/anti basis that is so inanely untrue that it annoys the tits off me every time I encounter it. Oh, one party is influenced by billionaires unlike the other? Pull the other one. Still - this level of at-each-others'-throats nonsense is nothing compared to a near-apocalyptic ragefest that occurs whenever someone raises the, "what's the difference between a sweet potato and a yam?" question on an Expat website amongst Americans. Holy shit does that always end up poorly. I'm particularly partial to the conspiratorial people who chip in immediately with their contention that there is no difference at all. The only way to ease everyone's bloodlust during a flat-out screaming match liek the yam//sweet potato wars and unify all Americans as One Nation is for a British person to declare that hotdogs are fucking appalling things. Whilst I do admire the odd variety of wieners at the grocery store, most of them taste very much like what they're made out of. But stating the obvious fact that a pig-dick in a rancid bun made mostly out of wood-pulp is tantamount to cracking one out on the Stars and Stripes.
- There was a gay pride parade near me recently the same day as my birthday. I don't really care much about birthday stuff. I don't like the idea of people buying me stuff that I could have bought myself. Or for that making any kind of note that the day is allegedly any better or worse than the ones surrounding it. But a gay pride parade on the same day is a totally different matter. I considered having my family assembling a large wooden platform on the parade route. I would stand atop in Yul Brynner pants from The King and I - with my wife in a massive dress. As everybody minced past - both the general plebs supporting the notion of the day and the extravagantly dressed (or as tends to be on these occasions - extravagantly under-dressed) I - would yell "Head must not be higher than mine! A promise! Etcetera! Etcetera!" and, "You are very difficult woman!"
- In an effort to live a pure, hollistic life my kids and I spend as much time as possible in the back yard enjoying nothingness until the brutal humidity makes it feel like my gusset is crying. They don't let me do general yard work because it's too boring. But they will join in treasure hunts with absolute gusto. Which is a fancy way of describing me digging up things that may or not be the bodies of the neighbors kids while me kids play along side me. The end of last week and today are fine examples of this. The kids wanted to do something but not have me do anything constructive, so I thought, "....there's no one about - maybe I'll have a dig around and see what I come up with...?" I've been meaning to dig in one spot for three years but have never had really had a go at it. In the Spring I dug up a huge area and it was absolutely filled with bricks. It was almost un-diggable. This other spot is an area the size of two tennis courts that I already knew was much easier - with up to two foot in fine ash and kiln waste. My house is alleged to have been a cooperage in the mid-to-late 19th century before being a pretty decent sized brick and glass maker. I was skeptical about whether any of this was true based upon the other bollocks the neighbors had told me as well (orchards, meteorite strikes and a civil war battle come to mind). And because frankly kicking the ground in some places turned up any old shit the prior occupants couldn't be bothered to dispose of properly. Need I remind anyone of finding an engine block buried just below the surface of the driveway? Well....(all the blue/green glass is broken sadly) -
- I was talking to a woman at a playground today who asked where I was from. The strange accent I had, the England football shirt and me calling my son a, "daft pillock" probably clued her in to my foreignness. I told her I was English and what not and we did the usual conversation pieces (the Queen, James Bond, British people sound so clever, what the fuck made you move from England to a miserable donkey's anus of a place like this?, etc) until she asked if I home much. I said no for a variety of reasons - most of which are logistical (flying with two kids for a solid 20 hours each way doesn't sound fun or cheap) and logical (I would obviously end up in Bristol which was the last place I lived - at which point I may refuse to leave). While I was probably looking mournful - and making the counter point that I'm also worried to go home in case I don't like it at all (thereby crushing all my supposed memories of how nice some things are) she offered that I probably don't go home due to the complete and total social collapse of Europe. Actually she said, "the Troubles there..." - but by saying, "Troubles" quietly as if she was confessing that someone tried to touch her bottom, but that saying it is rude. After I asked her what she meant she mentioned some vagueness about how on the news they're always showing riots, breadlines and poverty-riddled people completely delirious due to their situation. She even managed to mention "socialized medicine" as well. I didn't have it in me to point out we live in central NY state - hardly the Utopia depicted by Thomas More. I did manage, "nah - it's like here but with more jobs and better food." I thought that was somewhat pithy. She looked a tad confused but then offered, "so did you move here because of the war then?" Sadly I'll never get to find out what on earth she was on about because my son told me he needed a poo and we had to leave.