Monday, 22 April 2013
....North Florida, that is. And I checked out a couple of them on my way back north after visiting with family
The Econfina River, near Perry, Florida, runs a mere 44 miles before draining into Appalachee Bay
The Chipola River is the largest tributary of the Appalachicola River, and sports 63 springs along its course
The Suwannee River, subject of song and lore....
Another shot of the Suwannee
The largest of these three would not cover a shirt button
These are tiny puffballs on a pine log
Back to the theme now, this is the Econfina Creek, north of Panama City. Econfina means 'Earth bridge' in the Creek Indian language. There is still a natural bridge over the river.
Mountain Laurel, now at the peak of its flowering
Thursday, 04 April 2013
April is Mountain Laurel Month in north Bay Bounty. The bushes along the Econfina Creek are putting on a showy display, as the Wild Azalea and Mountain Laurel are blooming simultaneously
These Black Vultures thought I looked downright tasty....
The rains of late have swollen the creek
Saw the Azalea first..
The one flower just couldn't stay awake
I should have more pics this weekend, when the bloom is at it peak.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
I think I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree
I’m unhip to any script with more buzz than a bee
I ‘ve never seen an eagle that was bald-faced as a lie
Nor was any essay I have spied as bright as fireflies
No one ever wrote a note as well-read as a beet is
No rumor’s near as scorching as August’s brutal heat is
No volumes of prehistory appear in pouches upon wallabies
Or Newsweeks in the yellow beaks of any birds of paradise
I don’t believe that sailors speak any saltier than a clam
And nary a bear was e’er compared to a lover’s candy-gram
I’ve never found a frescoe as sumptuous as a feast
Or met a metaphor sans flaws; the end, to say the least.
Thursday, 14 March 2013
Iran has declared its intention to sue Hollywood over what they claim are unfair depictions of their country. Among the movies that have aroused the country's ire are Argo*, 300 Spartans, The Wrestler(??), and "Not Without My Daughter".
The lawyer representing Iran will be French attorney Isabelle Coutant Peyre, who has in the past represented Carlos the Jackal (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez), the imprisoned terrorist whom she has since married. Other clients include a serial murderer jailed for life in Thailand, Zacharias Moussaui, the so-called 20th 9/11 bomber (life in prison), and Roger Garaudy, a Muslim convert who denies the Holocaust as well as Israel's right to exist (240,000 fr fine and a suspended sentence).
I guess Iran isn't in this to win.
Stories like this make me want to do atrocious things to images of their prophet, just to see the apoplectic faces in the inevitable crowd reaction shots. I don't want to do this out of pure meanness; or just to rattle cages, although both are factors. I don't want to immerse a Mohammed figurine in a tall glass of HE'BREW beer, Photoshop a pic of him carrying his young bride's books to elementary school, or with six-pointed stars tattooed on his arms and bared chest, I don't want to do these things because I hate Islam, I don't. Islam has been the fount of many ideas and acts that have benefited the world. Most Muslims just live their lives in the same manner as Americans, they work, marry, provide for their families, and hope for economic stability.
The image we have of Islam is that of the most media-hungry factions, the America-haters, the Jew-haters, the haters of their own fellow muslims who worship the same God in a slightly different fashion My modest goal is to make the head of those hard-core radical muslims explode, their blood vessels bursting in righteous, ideologically pure fury. So sue me.
Iran, I'm sorry, you only speak through your attorney? Very well; Mme. Peyre, would ask your client why, if they don't like our movies, do they watch them? Why don't make their own? Why did you marry a terrorist? Have you ever won a case? Have you no shame? Would you be interested in defending Tom Delay in his appeals process?
* Up for an award as the Clumsiest Phrase of the Month
Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Alienation is my normal state. Everywhere I go, I see people who are engaged, full of life, in tune with each other. At least, it seems that way from the outside. I suppose I look the same to them; a with-it guy, who makes trends instead of following them.
Most summer days, I throw a frisbee with a friend, Ray. Ray's tan is even and dark, he looks like a lifeguard on Baywatch. I burn and peel, even though I use a sunscreen, a product Ray swears causes cancer and refuses to apply. Unless a girl comes along and watches us do our tricks. Then Ray will borrow my bottle, and ask the bikinied teen to put some lotion on his back. Before the cream has disappeared into his skin, they are laughing and know each other's names. Then they either trade phone numbers, or just disappear between two beach houses to smoke a blunt. i don't smoke, maybe I should, but I get all quiet and withdrawn. Actually, I just become more aware of my withdrawnness. Girls like guys that are confident, guys like Ray, who don't withdraw, but laugh easy and touch their shoulder right when it is called for. Quite often, I am looking for a new frisbee partner a few minutes after Ray turns on the charm.
I saw Joanie, Ray's conquest of the day before, at Swank's beachside bar around noon. She was sipping a wine cooler. I was nursing a grudge; the doorman had let the group in front of me inside without paying the cover charge. They seemed like old friends, even though i had seen them pile out of a car with Kentucky plates. I closed the gap, and tried to laugh my way into the bar with the group. The bouncer caught my arm. "Two dollar cover charge, man."
"You didn't charge them.'
"I know them. Don't know you. Two dollars, you're holding up the line."
"I come here every day. Me and Ray Willets. We play frisbee out back..."
"Is Ray coming today?"
"Uh, most likely, he's already here..."
The doorman, his name was Jonas, let me by. "Tell Ray he owes me one."
"One what, and why?' I thought, "For letting his little buddy in for free?"
I pulled four bucks out of my back pocket. "Here's my two, and two for Ray, if he doesn't come in the VIP door." I stuffed them in his pocket, never taking my eyes from his. I could feel the girls in line behind me checking me out, liking the 'tude I did exude...
No, that's not how it went down. I walked past him into the dark foyer that opened into an over-sized tiki hut full of with it people whose clothes either fit perfectly, or their casual looseness looked right on them. Behind me, I heard Jonas laughing with the next bunch in line. I looked back, and they were all looking at me with big stupid grins.
I was standing at the corner of the bar, waiting for the bartender to decide it was time to take my order, when I saw Joanie. She was wearing the same almost-string bikini from yesterday. I remembered with a pang how good that butt looked walking away with Ray. They never came back.
"Hi, Joanie." I had to tap her on the shoulder to get her to look at me. She started, as if stung by a gnat.
"Oh, Hi." It was obvious she did not remember me.
"Dick. We met yesterday". She didn't look at me until I mentioned Ray's name.
"Is he here?"
"Not yet. Can i buy you a drink?."
She raised her glass to chest-level. I am so stupid.
"I'm waiting for Ray, too."
Then a surfer-type nudged his way between us. "You ready for another?"
His gaze passed over me. I wanted to walk away, but didn't.
"Friend of yours?"
She dismissed me with a quick shake of the head. "No, met him yesterday."
Thanks, bitch. "Well, it was good seeing you again, Janie." She did not even notice that I had deliberately mispronounced her name.
I took a swig of my beer as I walked away from the pair. naturally, some spilled down my chest. I was ready to throw the plastic glass at the wall and leave, maybe go next door to LandLubber's, maybe to friggin' New Guinea.
"Dick! Over here!". It was Ray, and he was talking to two gals at the high end of his age specs where chicks were concerned, Twenty-nine to thirty-one, i pegged them.
"This is my good friend Dick. Dick this is Amy, and this, this is Darlene." He put his arm around her as he said her name.
"Nobody wears cut-offs any more.'Amy said.
"I do, I get twice the life out of a pair of pants." Ray laughed.
So did Amy. Then she and Darlene excused themselves. We watched them as they headed for the restrooms.
"Nice," Ray opined. "Even yours."
"Mine?" I felt defensive all of a sudden.
Yeah, I been chatting you up, chum. We can score with these two. They might even play with each other a bit. I have a sense about gals that munch carpet, you know..."
"Ray, I don't need you to get laid."
He popped me on the head with his frisbee. "Yes, you do, Mr. Jones. you need all the help you can get."
He leaned in and in a whisper, he said "She's a nice girl, Amy. Smart, reads. But she's like you, too obsessed with her self-image to relax and enjoy life."
I started to protest, and took another frisbee-slap. Someone laughed, I know it was me they thought was funny.
"Darlene is giving her this same speech right now, doofus. You just talk to Amy, don't worry about whether or not you are gonna see those ta-ta's, and you just might. I think she likes you already."
"She laughed at your joke , not you." He saw the girls making their way through the crowd.
"Here they come. One more beer, a swim, and then you tell them you've had enough sun. Darlene, or Amy, if you've done your share of talking, will then suggest that we get a drink up in their room." You offer to drive Amy, And I will go with Darlene. the rest is up to you."
"Damn, I can't do this, I thought. And suddenly the girls were a few steps away, and Darlene whispered some final instruction in Amy's ear.
"I wanna watch you guys throw the frisbee" Amy told me. Her friend and mine were studiously ignoring our interaction.
"Sure, if you want, I can teach you to throw."
"Cool, I am ready to learn something new. Let's go."
While I racked my brain for a comeback, we followed the other two outside.
I gave up, and took Amy's hand, she gave mine a sqeeze. It was going to be a good day after all.
If I don't screw it up.
Once upon a midnight dreary,
while I pondered Weak and Weary,
a niche magazine, like Fishing Lake Erie
or the urologist's rag, Peeing Clearly
They come monthly, along with others,
Bus Boy Journal, and Prison Mothers
I should unsubscribe, but it's so hard
remembering to send the enclosed card
Thus, Tire Review and Commercial Lights
Go unread, until the day I have free nights.
My copies of Line Dance and Weave and Loom
Would fill nine or ten doctors' waiting rooms
Don't become like me, with all this mail
crammed into your box daily, without fail.
Please write deceased on the cover of each
copy of Reptile Retail, and Medical Leech
Foist stacks on old friends and boarders
Or risk accusations of being a hoarder.
Sunday, 10 March 2013
This unfinished story just re-surfaced during a perusal of old forgotten files. I forget where I was going with this tale, but if I get enough encouragement, I will attempt to finish it.....
The end came faster than I wanted, but not as fast as I needed. Like a once-brightly shining nova, my luster dimmed until I was just another star in the night sky. I speak, of course, about the crazy years, the lost years spent in the studios of the best photographers, the crazy parties that lasted until we were dragged from the trendiest clubs in the most Now locales. The money that flowed through my hands, never reaching my pocket or bank account. But what did I care? I could always make more; I was a star, a commodity, my assets were a gold mine without apparent end, such was....
My Life As An Ass-Model
Never heard of an ass-model? Neither had I. Oh, hand models made a small splash in the fashion world, and there was more work for a hand model, it's true. Look how many products need an attractive hand to hold them; not too many advertised items benefit from being clenched between buns, no matter how fine. And mine were fine, that's not bragging, just fact.
No, ass models were more like stand-ins, substitute butts for the actors and actresses who leveraged their brand by appearing in ads for their own perfume, or line of clothing. Many actors and actresses can emote on cue, but surprisingly few have rear ends that can display arrogance, friskiness, sublime sensuality, or insouciance at the drop of a director's megaphone. Mine could do this, and more, all within the space of a 1-minute intro for the latest exercise-machine infomercial.
My ass had attitude, was how Phillippe put it. Phillippe was my agent; he discovered my ass, and saw its potential right away. "Zose bun-muffins, in my hands, zey weel become legend." This was not the kind of talk one looks forward to hearing in the shower room of a Detroit jail, where I was facing nine months and a day for stealing a pizza. I would have gotten away from the cops, I was a competitive runner and broad-jumper in high school, But the pizza-box was an aerodynamic drag. I could have thrown the pie away and made a clean getaway, but I wanted that damn pizza, a double-pepperoni with olives and onions, and some rookie cop managed to catch me as I scrambled over an alley fence that, sans 16-inch box, I could have sailed right over. Damn cops ate the evidence right in front of me as we drove back to the station house.
"How about I make you a legend right now?" I said as I whirled one hundred eighty degrees, fists out, ready to defend my as yet unsullied honor. Phillippe blinked, but I stopped my fist just short of his hawklike nose; he wore his towel over his shoulder, and I saw immediately that his interest was not prurient.
"Magnifique, tres bon." He stepped back made a square with his hands through which he looked at me. "Can you you do zat again, zis time right-to-left?" By zis, I mean this time, the men under the other shower heads were watching our interaction. One suggested that not hitting the little frenchman would be a sign of weakness, though he put it in less delicate terms. I knew he was right, but Phillippe was talking fast now. "Le fighting move. Can you do eet from either direction?"
"What is your game, man?" I was thinking the guy maybe liked rough trade, and that wasn't my game.
"Phillippe, I am called", He stuck out his hand, which I declined to shake, mindful that some bad characters were waiting to see how this was going to play out.
Then realization dawned on him. "Perhaps ees not best place to discuss rump" he says. "Szhust meet me in cafeteria, later. What's to lose?"
He had me there, I had 270 more days staring me in the face; might as well hear him out. "Okay." I said. "We'll do lunch. but you had better leave with me, or it'll be your ass that gets talked about.
Over soggy fish sticks and mushy broccoli, Phillippe explained himself. He had been caught trying to take a jay of kind-bud on the 9:40 Air France Flight to Montreal, and given ten days in the hoosegow. He had been eyeing my backside for the last three days without my being aware of the surveillance.
"I am sorry eef I was too forward, but I did not want to get out before offering you a zhob, no, a career."
"As what?", I asked around a mouthful of stale biscuit.
And he made the pitch for work that would be my ticket off the mean streets. I never thought that listening to another man describe my rear end would get me excited, but I had never before heard of ass-modeling, either.
"From every angle ees ass of yours perfect. Needs tan, but zat ees all." He asked me to describe my exercise regimen.
"Shit, I just survive, you know. I live in a 10th floor walk-up no elevator, but that gig is over now, me being a week late with the rent."
He was writing on a pad. I read pretty good upside down, and saw the word 'stairmaster'. "I snatch purses, do dash-and-grabs at department stores with a couple of black guys I know. He wrote "treadmill" after a 2 surrounded by parentheses.
"And you eat..." Yes dumb-ass, I do, I started to say before realizing he was asking me what I eat.
"The stores throw out their old veggies around midnight Tuesday, before the trucks bring in the weeks fresh produce."
"You cook zese? You fry, saute, bake..."
"Raw, mostly". He dutifully jotted that down on his pad. Then looked up at me. "How about bread, pasta, rice."
"I like brown rice sometimes, never liked sandwiches, I just eat the patty out of a hamburger, Dad told me that noodles were made from worms, and that ruined me for any pasta.
"Starch goes straight to make ass bumpy like cheap white cheese. No salt, water retained go straight to derriere."
"Ees good, you stay on low-carb diet", he said, as he took the biscuit from its place on my tray.
"You go before judge tomorrow afternoon, non? I get out in morning. I make phone talk, you agree work for me, is places we go like never you dream of."
And he went on and on, until the guards chased us out. He was a scout for a modeling agency. Several, in fact, he freelanced. He wanted to be an agent, and he felt that I, at least, part of me, would be Phillippe's ticket into the hoity-toity world of high-fashion.
"We start little. Model for art classes. We get portfolio started, is little job on movie set. No, not porn movie. Is lead actor let himself go a bit, cottage fromage on cheeks, lack definition. Say yes."
I did. Phillippe was true to his word. A lawyer I could not afford came to get me in the morning; he brought me a suit of clothes that smelled expensive. They fit me like they were tailored. Phillippe had a good eye.
In court, the lawyer testified as to my good character, although he had trouble remembering my name. Phillippe showed the judge the contract I had signed on the walk from the jail to the courthouse. The judge motioned me forward; when Phillippe stared towards the bench, she stopped him with a glare and a growled "Mr. Nivennes, you may not approach the bench!"
In a whisper that I could barely hear, the lady judge asked me, "Did you read this document before you signed it?"
"No, your honor."
Well, you should have. But I've seen your record, and I don't care what sort of business deals you make, as long as they don't include Detroit, and you don't ever come in front of me again."
I started to thank her. "Don't thank me, just turn around slowly, nice and slowly. Walk back to your seat, slowly, not too slowly, though, and flaunt what you got on the way."
I felt cheap, used, but I complied. I head her mutter a 'damnfine' under her breath.
"Time served", she banged her gavel. "Court dismissed" , And Phillippe and the nameless lawyer escorted me out the side door to the 'processing:out' window.
Friday, 01 March 2013
Yes, Congress has declared a new national holiday, Sequester, to be celebrated not on a particular date, nor on the 1st-7th Sun-Sat of Jan-Dec., but whenever common sense and the need for all concerned representatives to come together, for America’s sake, and leave theirs and their party’s interests in the locker room. Yes, whenever these vectors reach a pre-set tipping point, Congress goes home, and advises all Americans to stay in theirs. Word of festivities will spread like wildfires, which will spread like there is no money available to hire anyone to fight them.
The origins of the Holiday are murky. In an uncommon spirit of generosity, Democrats and Republicans each give the other Party credit, when the truth is that both organizations worked equally hard to make this most memorable event a reality.
The excitement really starts to build after the Weather bureau lays off its workforce, and winter storms surprise delighted Mid-Westerners with their unforeseen ferocity and length. Sad news for the kiddies; the FEMA parades that pass through disaster-stricken towns have been largely canceled. But hey, there is always time to play in the choleric mud puddles, and see which of your pals can make his tummy growl loudest.
As usual, The President and First Lady will preside over the Budget Cut Roll on the White House lawn. It is always a fun time, watching the amusing antics of the lobbyists, laughing as they fight over the pre-allocated funds spilling out of the pork barrel, bouncing and bumping its way downhill.
Across the nation, policemen, firefighters, garbagemen, and their families are all eagerly planning what to do with their unplanned, open-ended vacation time. Do they go to Grandma’s house? Take the family to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Europe even? Or do they get involved in stay-at-home family-oriented activities and games, such as Stretch The Dollar, Life Without Cable, and, if Congress keeps it promise to ‘make every day Sequester day”, Bungee Dumpster.
But the serious side of the Holiday should not be forgotten, The nightly vigil, the silent gathering of Americans who scan the horizon, hoping to be the first to spot The Great Non-Partisan, who, they say, will unite the political parties, the houses of the Senate and Congress, and the Executive Branch into a waste-fighting, efficiency-oriented machine with the common goals of paying down the national debt in a responsible manner, then going forward with a sensible budget that is forward-looking and visionary, yet grounded in solid financial reality.Not everybody believes that such a being exists, although everybody wants him to be real.
And so, we wait, with friends and extended family, standing around the cooking fire, knowing Dad will navigate the crowded streets with their darkened traffic lights and uncleared wrecks blocking lanes. and bring us whatever food he could afford, wondering when the holiday will end, or whether Congress will make every day SEQUESTER DAY!
Joiwind and I, a nation of two