Memorial Day 2007

For us, this may be the staunchest image of a Memorial and suitable for this day. That strangers will die for the sake of others is to me the sign of our own godhead. Let’s let my own personal hero speak to this day.

by Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

Through the travail of the ages,
Midst the pomp and toil of war,
Have I fought and strove and perished
Countless times upon this star.

In the form of many people
In all panoplies of time
Have I seen the luring vision
Of the Victory Maid, sublime.

I have battled for fresh mammoth,
I have warred for pastures new,
I have listed to the whispers
When the race trek instinct grew.

I have known the call to battle
In each changeless changing shape
From the high souled voice of conscience
To the beastly lust for rape.

I have sinned and I have suffered,
Played the hero and the knave;
Fought for belly, shame, or country,
And for each have found a grave.

I cannot name my battles
For the visions are not clear,
Yet, I see the twisted faces
And I feel the rending spear.

Perhaps I stabbed our Savior
In His sacred helpless side.
Yet, I’ve called His name in blessing
When after times I died.

In the dimness of the shadows
Where we hairy heathens warred,
I can taste in thought the lifeblood;
We used teeth before the sword.

While in later clearer vision
I can sense the coppery sweat,
Feel the pikes grow wet and slippery
When our Phalanx, Cyrus met.

Hear the rattle of the harness
Where the Persian darts bounced clear,
See their chariots wheel in panic
From the Hoplite’s leveled spear.

See the goal grow monthly longer,
Reaching for the walls of Tyre.
Hear the crash of tons of granite,
Smell the quenchless eastern fire.

Still more clearly as a Roman,
Can I see the Legion close,
As our third rank moved in forward
And the short sword found our foes.

Once again I feel the anguish
Of that blistering treeless plain
When the Parthian showered death bolts,
And our discipline was in vain.

I remember all the suffering
Of those arrows in my neck.
Yet, I stabbed a grinning savage
As I died upon my back.

Once again I smell the heat sparks
When my Flemish plate gave way
And the lance ripped through my entrails
As on Crecy’s field I lay.

In the windless, blinding stillness
Of the glittering tropic sea
I can see the bubbles rising
Where we set the captives free.

Midst the spume of half a tempest
I have heard the bulwarks go
When the crashing, point blank round shot
Sent destruction to our foe.

I have fought with gun and cutlass
On the red and slippery deck
With all Hell aflame within me
And a rope around my neck.

And still later as a General
Have I galloped with Murat
When we laughed at death and numbers
Trusting in the Emperor’s Star.

Till at last our star faded,
And we shouted to our doom
Where the sunken road of Ohein
Closed us in it’s quivering gloom.

So but now with Tanks a’clatter
Have I waddled on the foe
Belching death at twenty paces,
By the star shell’s ghastly glow.

So as through a glass, and darkly
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names, but always me.

And I see not in my blindness
What the objects were I wrought,
But as God rules o’er our bickerings
It was through His will I fought.

So forever in the future,
Shall I battle as of yore,
Dying to be born a fighter,
But to die again, once more.

The Texas Fete

What a day…I don’t even know where to begin. More unpacking in the AM while Trooper slept, then we picked up a couple pieces of furniture that were reupholstered, and finally were on the road to Christina’s for the Texas Memorial Day Fete.

Now, I had fine plans of getting a move on this morning and arriving with time to visit but the thing is this – Trooper simply will not be held to a timeframe on his off time. Now, if there was a definite deadline, he’d meet it but there is this contention we have about his off-time timeliness. I hate – and I mean fracking well HATE – being late. If I say I will be somewhere, I will strive to arrive 10 minutes early and drive around to arrive right on time.

Thing is – he’ll give me an okey dokey on my tentative timeframe but is more lax when the actual time arrives. So I have to remember this and save us both the aggravation – me the irritation of not being somewhere when I say I will and he the irritation of me being all pouty in the corner. LOL Just another of those relationship things – admit it, accept it, move on.

So in the rush to get on the road, I forgot the damned beer we were going to bring along. Not that is was needed – jeez, let me just note here that C&Co are the most generous providers of vittals that ever was born. Cooler after cooler with refreshments, platter after bowl of snacks, and a really lovely sense of…what is it? Hospitality! That’s the word. It’s an old fashioned sort of thing but it envelopes you there.

These bacon wrapped dove rolls were immediately proferred and devoured. Just drop dead fantastic! And in a bit, the roast pig haunch that just begged to be devoured. Of course, we couldn’t stay long since Trooper had duty calling at 5p. But we did some damage to the fantastic kahlua cake and the perfect fruit tart. I’ve never had one so wonderfully delicious. Blackberries as big as your thumb! Mmmm…

OK, so yeah, it’s all about the food. LOL But let’s review the people we met – certainly not all of them because there were just too many and everyone was spread out. But here…(Susan, of course you were the usual joy – what a terrific gal she is!!) – dear God, I think I terrified the Bride with my initial greeting. Seriously, my apologies, m’dear. I have an awful sense of humor and it doesn’t always go across as I intend. – suhweet. A gentleman. Trooper noted how kind it was for him to greet us in the drive as he left and we arrived. Very kind. – What a darling! You cracked us up, Missy! Good luck on your own new digs! The packing is easy – the unpacking is where you will slack. – you Mac people – I will not be assimilated! LOL A pleasure, Sir, to meet ya! – A sweetheart – the print is perfect, no? And next time try to get the better half to join! – The Maestro de Pork – thanks so much for all the labor that went into the feast. Trooper raved about those dove booby things. Fantastic! Hope we can have more time to chat next time.

And C? What can you say? The consummate hostess. Just an insanely genuine, kind, hyper-intelligent sweetheart of a gal. They broke the mold, dear heart.

Of course, thanks to my Trooper for hustling after very little sleep so that we could go and enjoy a bit of time with new friends today. He spoils me rotten, yes. But then I didn’t come into this entirely fresh. See?

You Are 37% Pure
Pure? Sure, you’re about as pure as yellow snow.You’re a downright devil. But you’re also a pretty delightful one!

Now, then – I have to refresh the blogroll, don’t I? How do you guys keep up?! And don’t forget – if you are ever in Austin and want to grab a bite, just drop a line.

And You and I

Oh, my past flew up into view today as this randomness came strolling through.

I have seen Yes about a half dozen times. I’ve seen Sammy Hagar hanging in the rigging in a Superbowl of Rock show in Houston (and had him stay an extra hour on his own dime at another show just because none of us wanted to go home). I saw Frampton on his opening tour of the states from high – ahem – in the stands of Soldier Field, watching gallon jugs of water flying through the air as though they were balloons. A hundred of them…lord only knows what it felt like to have it land on your head.

Bob Seeger opened for him. Heh.

So many great shows through the years and yet the last one I went to…I couldn’t say. Great Big Sea, I think it was. And I was much too old to do that pogo stick dance they were all having a ball with. I wonder if the days of the massive rock shows are over, really. The music today isn’t…well, can it be replicated outside of a studio? Sure, they can make it look good but…Wakeman and Co? Artists.

Anyway, I’ve no idea where it came from but I just thought I’d mention it. Now that I’ve unpacked the CDs (yes, all 300 of them) and re-alpha’d them (yes, I packed them in a rush and screwed it up) I can maybe find something nice to listen to while I try to make sense of this new office space. A little Trower, perhaps? Heh, yeah…artists…

I’m Just A Bill

I submit this for your Monday thought processes:

“What we’re talking about, ladies and gentlemen, is the nationalization of work, itself.”

That’s Billy pegging the nasty underbelly of this whole immigration bill issue before us now. Oh, one wants to believe that he’s taking it far beyond what reality will bring but I doubt it very much. A national ID hasn’t exactly been embraced since its first wee splash in – what? – 1996, I think. Bad enough the fingerprints on licenses (it was the only proof of true identity that couldn’t be hacked – until they scanned them and turned them into 1’s and 0’s). They have to get it one way or another and this just happens to be a more surreptitious manner.

Anyway, just something to consider as you settle into your chair this morning. Get a cuppa and think about it. Think beyond the obvious and peek behind the curtain – the heavy, dark curtain – that envelopes this thing.

Moved. Sorta.

Well, now – it was about 4 days without internet service and I hardly missed it. Yeah, right. But we’re cookin’ now!

What an insane week. We moved most of the stuff during the week over three days – and let me note right here that he did not let me help with most of the heavy stuff at all which is irksome. And he was working nights which means he is flat out exhausted.

We went to the PBR in San Antonio last night as a sort of reward and it was fantastic. There was one rider whose bull caught a horn in his chaps and nearly ripped them off – it did take off his vest! Not to mention stepping on the poor man a few times. What an amazing evening. Of course, we arrived home late so I tried to sleep in but for the cats…

And now, time to do some final loading – clothes and such – and then over the week some cleaning up there. I think we’ll make our deadline of the 30th pretty easily. If we can just get stuff done. We’re both so exhausted that we don’t really even like the thought. LOL

Anyway, nuff said. Time to get a move on.

All Boxed In and Strung Out

Hoo, boy…it’s a hot day out there. Okay, for Texas it’s a glorious spring day. Yeah. Except that I am in jeans and a t-shirt, hauling boxes to and fro. I know – there is an invention called “shorts”. My peeps, these legs – these wormy deathly white legs do NOT see the light of day unless they are over 500 mls from anyone I know. In my own neighborhood? Not on your life. Besides, there is that whole skin cancer thing. I lean upon that as a very good reason.

I’ve made a couple trips to our house trying to get the fragile and silly stuff moved while Trooper works. Mostly it was the framed photos and prints and that assorted kitchenware that I know we will not touch for a month. Still, it was up and down the stairs and in and out of the heat and I am now a wee bit tuckered. I think I shall make like the natives and siesta in the heat.

I find this whole blogging thing relatively irksome. I will see a thing and think it’d make a good post but then come posting time all those interesting snippets are lost. But I remember this one – the topic of “urban” vehicle decor. Namely, spinners. At least I think that’s what they are called. What on earth possessed someone to think that the one thing they needed most was a way to depict their vehicle as still moving whilst standing still? I mean, where is the sense in it? Oh, I know – one could call it a form of art or expression. But what of the base fact of it? What on earth would it matter if you DID seem to be moving whilst still? It seems obvious to me that I must be missing something really critical in the thought process.

And then there is the habit of boys wearing their pants around their groin. I daresay that if any of them knew from whence it came and the symbology of it, they would hasten to yank them back up and belt them for all they were worth. It comes from the prisons, you see. The punks had to wear their pants that way to indicate that they were punked – ready for the taking, if you get my drift. Unwilling, maybe. But it is the truth. So why do all these young men consider it a sign of…toughness? Is it trying to say, “Even if I was sexually enslaved in prison I’d still be a mo-fo, boyyyeee”? Sigh…I seriously cannot comprehend the concept.

But then life offers me a lot of those sorts of conundrums. I was meant for the Victorian Age, I think. I’d have fit in nicely. I think that is why I am so much more comfortable in the hinterlands. I don’t mind the city and amusements therein. But I don’t need it. Hell, I grew up in Chicago. I sincerely do NOT need it. I need a place where you can hear the birds and your thoughts. Where there is a vista, even if it is filled with blowing, waving hay. (Is it hay while growing or only after harvest? Must add that to the list of questions.)

I miss Georgia sometimes. The spring with the azaleas and dogwoods in mutual bloom and grace – that most of all, I think. Oh, it’s glorious and definitely a match for the bluebonnet season. But there is no wind there, really. Not like here – a constant wind blows so that even if it’s scorching outside you at least feel as though you could cool off.

Ah – I meant to remember this…it being Mother’s Day wknd and all. I was packing my office – much of which has not been unpacked since the move – and came upon a file case. The others were empty (they’d had mom’s ancient stacks of bills paid) so I’d assumed this one was, too. But no. Photos from her youth of family I don’t know, letters from us kids all filed separately, some crocheted pot holders that likely came from her adored Aunts, and other such things. Quite a coincidence, really. It didn’t make me sad – more…like she was trying to tell me something. And we were both pleased that the word got through.

So that’s the day so far. How I wish that damned granite table would sell. It’s on ebay and craigslist but no takers. We really dread moving it but we will if necessary, and store it in the garage. It’d make an incredible kitchen island top – or even a really special outdoor tabletop if one got a very sturdy wrought iron base. I don’t truly want to sell it – I adore its coloring and strong beauty. But I think it needs to move on along with the rest of the past. Slowly, I am divesting myself of the more onerous pieces of that detritus. But this one…well, I’ll miss it.

Alrighty, break’s over. Time to do some laundry and maybe get another set of boxes staged for the post-siesta load. C’mon sundown…

She Stoops to Conquer

That title is the thought that has been wiggling in my brain all morning. I’ve no idea why. It’s obscure and rarely heard so I cannot say where it is coming from. It would be nice if it could move on, now.

So this morning I have been sort of…moving slowly through the hours. I had a number of very detailed dreams last night and this morning’s final show had Ray and mom featured and then an old friend whom I no longer speak with. I woke sharply from it but that haze remained with me for a time.

That friend – well, allow me to preface this tale by saying that I am the type of person who has few friends and adds new ones very judiciously. I am very demanding – people have to be ethical, decent, good human beings. This is not to say they must be without flaw. But that they rise above them. There aren’t many of that sort so I have to be willing to be patient when meeting new people – to see what their characters are.

Unlike most people, I haven’t friends from my early life. They weren’t good people and I made bad selections. I left those days behind and so left them, too. One, however, keeps coming forward at intervals, trying to get me to respond. It is difficult.

Let us call her Lucia. I first met Lucia when I was 16. We were both wastrels and had similar interests. At one point, I was nanny to her first born and essentially raised the child from birth to her 4th year. Lucia was not a good mother. She had been raised thru a series of foster homes and it was reflected in her behavior. She had some gilded moments later, though, and could have risen above her situation. But no matter how much she – well, she had the soul of a thief and just couldn’t leave it behind.

I left their home when I was 22. My life moved from that of degenerate to one of decency. I don’t think that she ever fully accepted that I moved on from that place and time. There was a time wherein we again communicated and I helped her with a very sticky wicket…calling it “international intrigue” is not stretching the point at all. But once done with that, I could see her…damage. While I hesitate to call her a sociopath, she is definitely narcissistic. And I think perhaps well-drenched in that sociopathic pool. Nothing was her fault. Not any of her bad decisions nor their consequences. I grew tired of it. Tired, too, of the poor raising of not only her first child but that of her second.

And, of course, when Trooper came along I knew I would have to sever that tie. There is no room for her nonsense in our relationship. One day, she made it easy. Calls were made to my office phone – weeping, screeching, moaning and screaming cries for money. It was not due her. But that had no bearing in her mind. And so, I made a deposit and sent a note that stated quite clearly that this was our last involvement.

As you might expect, her mind turned soft and sweet after and acted as though nothing had happened. The casual emails were sent – I deleted them. The more pointed emails sent – again, I deleted them. An email giving tragic news of her first born was sent – I knew it for a lie and ignored it. And then, another, saying that the tragedy was averted was sent. Still, I did nothing. You would think the message (or lack thereof) would get through to her. But just the other day, Lucia tried again.

I grow weary of it, really. She only serves to remind me of mistakes made and sadder days. I wish that I could believe she was a different person, that we could start over. But I know the truth. That mercenary heart has not changed. And I will never look back. Not to that cesspool.

I have great respect for what this fellow says – “Chew through all of the umbilical cords which provide toxic nourishment, regardless of to whom they are connected and however long it takes.” I took his entire codex to heart, really. I am not who I was. I am better. I am…changed. And I refuse to have that drama in my life ever again. Thank you, Joel…you will never know just how much those afternoons meant to me.

Now, if I could just get his coffee making secret…god, it was good coffee…