Saturday, October 25, 2014

folks are friendly around here, so they ask me if i've had a good weekend, and wish me a great day, and things like that, really friendly. maybe they don't want to know this, but when they ask me what i'm doing this weekend i say, well i adopted two little girls, six and nine, this weekend, and that was a huge ordeal but every weekend is an ordeal anyway, so much so that i'm totally exhausted come monday and ready to go and just teach which i'm comfortable with.

in fact i went to court twice on friday, once to county court in the morning for the adoption and later to the municipal court to finally clear up this speeding ticket i got for going too fast in a school zone, when the sign said speed limit twenty when flashing, but wasn't flashing because it was broken. i'd thought hard about contesting the ticket, and simply telling them if your sign is broken you can't expect people to know the speed limit is twenty. but the day i'd gone into municipal court i got this huge spell of dizziness, walked like a drunk, was barely able to get in the line there at the court, and considered going directly to the hospital but was afraid to even drive. on the spot i decided not to contest the ticket but instead to take the class which allows you to strike it from your record, and now, having taken the class and got my form notarized, was going back to that municipal court to get it cleared up.

in the morning there in the county court, everyone was up early, and we were all dressed up, and the girls were very excited. they had another family in there; i suspect the boys' parent or parents had died or disappeared, and their uncle was taking them in, along with three he already had, and was looking a little haggard and fresh from the night shift. they had a lot of teddy bears for the adoptive family, both adoptees, in this case two boys, and original kids, in this case three others, some younger. the bears disappeared in a hurry. they had to run and get more for our kids. it's not like we don't have enough stuffed bears around, we have millions. they take up corners where space is precious and just sit there being soft and cuddly, and maybe people appreciate them and maybe they don't. i don't.

but anyway the county court was formal, strict, well behaved, and we were all dressed up, though now, having said our vows and told the judge we were all ok with what was happening, we were free to leave. we were parked over by the bail bond place and one of those places had little glass marbles stuck in the building. the kids picked at a few of them and they fell out and glowed in the light. there were others; they were having plenty of trouble, i figure, keeping them on the walls. morning was showing up. the courthouse obviously put the families first to put everyone in a good mood because most of their day was robberies, murders, divorce, etc. we were the diversion, i figure. we were a family who was all ready to say yes, who was charming even when we were noisy, unruly, poorly behaved.

the municipal court, on the other hand, had bars on its windows, and almost everyone who was there, by definition, was a little angry about some ticket they had gotten. one teen had spent a day in jail and she was like, whatever, i'll pay the money, just let me out of here. several were like me. they had sped or somesuch, and taken the course, and the course is a good idea, they want you to take the course, mostly because if you behave for a year everything is ok on your record, but the big thing is, if you behave for a year you get in the habit of behaving, and pretty soon you just behave because that's the habit you've got yourself into. so they say, take this course, oh yeah you still gotta pay a few hundred bucks but whatever, take the course and everything is cool. one guy wanted to pay on installments, twenty bucks at a time, but they wouldn't let him, they'd give him an extension, but they wanted the whole couple hundred bucks or they wouldn't strike it from his record. this time i wasn't dizzy. i had all the paperwork. i wanted to be done with it.

today was all tennis and soccer. the tennis started at eight in the morning, and my son won a lot, so that made it a good day, it all looks better when he wins, even if his opponents are slightly wacko. later in the afternoon it was soccer and swimming. it was a bright blue-sky day, no wonder everyone's in such a darn good mood, late october the weather is stunningly gorgeous, you can go outside day and night, there's an economy, people are busy and happy doing whatever it is that they want to do. they seem to be friendly because they're used to the way things are and things usually aren't so bad, though even the best of us end up in court every once in a while with those speeding tickets, since they're out there pulling over nearly everyone they can. but that's just the way things are. it's still a great place, anyone can tell you.

Friday, October 17, 2014

new story

Not It

enjoy! comments welcome, as usual!
homecoming weekend here, which means that as much traffic pressure that we get, cars on flint, millions of cars on nineteenth, cars on twentieth, people parking on our street, etc., it's bound to be as bad as it'll get this weekend. kansas is coming to town, and this is a team that we are supposed to be able to beat, so people are relatively upbeat about the football possibilities.

i was walking three miles a night barefoot, this was back before the rains, in the summer when there was stickers and dog poop, and then i upped the tempo. i ran half the track, about half-k, every time i caught my breath until i'd been running three or four half-k's a night, then five or six. but at night, middle of the night, i'd get up to use the bathroom, and my feet would be in excruciating pain. every muscle and bone seemed to be contracting and making it difficult to walk to the bathroom. i thought, i'll get over this, i just need more practice. at night again, i'd take off my shoes. it felt wonderful, the grass on my feet. when it was wet i'd confuse patches of mud with dog poop, but i'd take a shower when i got home.

i started running more, barefoot. pretty soon i made it all the way around the track, about 1 k, then i made it 1 1/2, almost two. i was proud of myself. i had a slow pace, but the ground didn't bother me, it felt great on my bare feet.

middle of the night, though, that was different. when i woke up i could hardly even make it to the bathroom. my feet seemed to crumple beneath me in terrible pain. i didn't have this pain when i ran; it was great. but at night, and the following day, it was hell. i was limping everywhere. and it didn't help that i wore shoes in the day. i could hardly go anywhere.

so i gave up. one weekend, i just stopped going out at night. no walking, no running, no shoes, no barefoot. i just went to bed at night, and tried to heal my poor feet. and sure enough, within a couple of days, i'd regained all five pounds that i'd lost in the previous month.

but worse than that, my entire legs started falling apart, and i was still sore. finally though, after a few days of this, i went back out. this time i took shoes, and kept them on. this time, i only walked, and if my knees hurt, i just kept going. i got back into my original equilibrium.

my daughter dropped a "rock chalk jayhawk" sign on my wall, as if to say, go kansas. so i dropped a red raider on hers and said, you let us win the football, we let you win in basketball. which is pretty much true. it's not generally close, so it's not really a rivalry.

calendar time. i'm gearing up, psychologically, to make a good one. i'm using all my dad's photography these days, and it's working well. it takes time, and i don't have time, that's why i'm gearing up, so as to make time, so as to get it done. i have to be awake at night, able to put together twelve months. then, it'll happen. i look forward to it; i'm ready.

The other thing is the poetry. i've become fanatical about it, nearing a thousand, getting a decent show for all fifty states. i now have one in each season for almost every state, i'm closing in on the last few, and i'm trying to make it so i'm no longer relying on the singletons as much; in states like california and pennsylvania, i'm adding easily, effortlessly. the usual suspects are difficult. delaware, new hampshire, maine, hawaii. what am i supposed to do? hang in there; it's looking much better.


Thursday, October 02, 2014

so tonight sir paul mccartney arrived in lubbock for a concert, and that gave me a certain personal feeling, to be only about five blocks away from a beatle, although one could say, for sure, that with tickets being about three hundred, and a major security setup, there was probably no way i could actually meet him, or even see him. i thought, maybe he's the kind of guy who likes to go out for a walk. but if he does, it surely won't be near the arena, where all these huge ticket-holders are lurking and there are thousands more students than there used to be, even last year.

i have this kind of fascination with fame, though a friend pointed out that social media has been the death of celebrity, as there's no such thing as privacy anymore. i think paul is the only one of the beatles who is still actually out there touring, but there are plenty of other old bands that still play once in a while and whet the appetite for the old days. the other day they had blood sweat and tears at the fair, and a friend of mine had tickets to give away. but it turns out the fair gets these ancient bands because the parents will bring the children, and then the children will spend a lot of money and get cotton candy, etc. i missed that one too. i could hardly remember a single blood sweat and tears song, though i knew there were several.

with the beatles though, there are millions of songs, and though sir paul only wrote about half or whatever, he still can get out there and represent the history as it came down through the ages. to me, it's interesting just to be in a town that has concerts; for the most part, these are second-tier concerts, but sir paul requested to play here because he has a thing for buddy holly, and always has. he considers buddy holly to be the man, the guy who got him started, the one who got his hook into the rock-pop genre.

a friend of mine told of a gathering of songwriters, guys who write for george strait or brad paisley or whoever, and then get together themselves, to play their own music, when they have a chance. these friends were talking about small intimate settings as opposed to the united arena, but the idea was to get closer to the creativity itself rather than just the music. it's fair to say that, from my point of view, the most interesting thing was just to hear people's feelings about the whole thing. i have friends who go to every concert, reasoning that life is short, lubbock is small, and if one has money and an opportunity to make a memory, one should. but a much larger percentage of us are holding back, not paying these huge prices, hoping for something better. and i like hearing what they have to say. my sister believes the music industry has tanked, it's finished, you can't make a living like this, but i'm more interested in, when kind of life is it, when you do? are people like sir paul actually having fun? getting drowsy as usual, falling asleep at the keyboard. working on poetry a lot these days, check it out, it's extensive.