362. Connectivity

The first text on my smart phone was from my downstairs tenant who scarfs my wifi at work… “Heads up:  Your wifi is down.” Wow, the first message of my day tells me that I have been disconnected from the world of Facebook and email and… oh no, my blog. I can’t be cut off from my psychic crutch!! What will my three secret followers held in a North Korean gulag do? I’ll have to call Dennis Rodman and Tom Cruise later to reset the linkage. International back channel diplomacy/espionage is not for the weak willed or timid tummied. It’s time to Growaset!

Well, it was coffee nation morning so I had to be off to the monkey cage. No time for silly things like cyber-connectivity. I was on my way to the beaten up couch and chairs where six of us would huddle and talk a bit too loud to be considered mannerly. Joel the rabble rouser was not in residence. He’s traveling in warm places this week and next. It’s a rendezvous with Sheila the mule in the Grand Canyon, which I will share in another post, after the preliminary hearing and terms of bail are set. Last week he tried hard to start an insurrection, suggesting that if he won the lottery he’d buy us all coffee for life, thus unseating and usurping my imperial rule. I had to beat back their fantasies of democracy. What if mules got the vote?  Do you think they would keep hauling fat tourists in and out of the Grand Canyon?  NO!!  I will never be usurped while I am busy surping my Sumatran blend. No coffee nation, no banana republic, no fundamentalist theocracy is or ever will be a democracy. But tyrants are people too. We serve a useful purpose among herd animals. Joel came to his senses and repentantly bought my coffee last Friday. A small but sincere gesture of rapprochement, which is French for detente.

Rob the young blood was already in coffee mode when I arrived. He apologized for asking me a serious question on No Thinking Thursday, but I allowed it due to the fact that we were technically ten minutes early. After all, I am a benevolent dictator. Steve rolled in wearing jeans and sneakers. Another paid day off for him. Sort of. He volunteers his accounting skills to the high school band, which he plugs shamelessly. “Hey, we’re having another spaghetti dinner next Friday. We raised all kinds of money for the marching band competition, which we hosted and won last year. FAMBU accredited. So we are.”

“And what does FAMBU stand for?”

“Oh, the Federation of American Marching Bands Unlimited. Don’t make the mistake that the last treasurer made and call them BAMBU, which is the Brotherhood of American Marching Bands Unlimited. They are posers to the throne of Martial Music. He was escorted off school grounds and roughly de-badged, that guy. Whew! We had to start with all new passwords. Lemme tell you, it was a hot mess.”

Mercifully Doug rolled in and shook hands around. I quickly diverted the band conversation to Rob and the Steelers. “So, Rob, the Steelers are done now, eh?”

“Yeah. I guess I’ll be pulling for the NFC team in the Super Bowl. I can’t get behind New England or the Broncos.”

Steve, “New England cheats all the time, right?”

All, “Yep. Steve, you go to one Ravens game and now you are a sports guru.”

Steve, “I don’t think Brady should even be allowed to play after deflate gate.”

Rob, “Yeah, the MVP of last year’s Super Bowl and he was almost suspended four games. You know the Seahawks lost that game because they were trying to make Russell Wilson the hero and not Marshawn Lynch. Wilson is nice and Lynch is not, i.e., marketable. And it backfired. So the cheater got the MVP.”

Lance, arriving fashionably late. “Let me strut my swagger, gentlemen.” Handshakes around.

Rob, “The Seahawks have never won a Super Bowl.”

BS,” Correction: they won the year before, remember? They crushed Peyton and the Broncos.”

Rob,”Oh, right.”

BS,”Doug, here is a trivia question for you. Name the only Doug who was the Super Bowl MVP.”

Lance-a-blurt, ” Doug Williams, Redskins.”

BS,” Thanks for your blurtation, Lance. You didn’t even raise your hand!”

Lance, with both hands in the air now, doing some full body butter churn torso wobble. “And, that was the strike shortened year… late 80’s, Super Bowl 22…”

BS, “Just shut up now! We were doing fine with our low football IQ until you came in showing off.”

Steve, “Deflate yourself, Lance.”

Lance, “I think not. My tee shirt says, Grown a set.”

Steve, “Don’t get me started…”

BS,”Uh oh, looks who’s riding into town. Cowboy Chuck!”

Chuck canters through the chairs with horse swagger, handshakes around.

“The girl asked me if I was in Coffee Nation. How’d she know?”

“Lucky guess or you look like the other five circus clowns in the back room.”

Chuck, “So have we solved the world’s problems yet? Cuz ya’ll was loitering like this the last time I was here…”

BS,” Which was two years ago.”

Chuck, “I can’t remember if it’s the second or third Thursday of the month…”

BS, “Shut up! Look, this is why you are a bench warmer and not a starter like Steve. He leaves one of the largest multinational corporations in the lurch almost every Thursday at 8:30 so he can run on our squirrel wheel. No excuses from Steve O. He leaves it all on the field, Chuckie. He’s a team player not some lone wolf who rolls along like a tumbleweed…”

Chuck, “I’m sorry, man.”

BS,”It’s alright, man. We just need to hug our way through it. We’re all glad that you’re here.”

Chuck, “Yeah, I need me some connectivity.”

All, “That’s right, right on. Come on down.”

BS, “As the late great Marvin Gaye said…

What’s goin on? Tell me what’s goin on. You know we’ve got to find a way, to bring some love in here today….what’s goin on?”

 

 

247. Inversions

Invert–verb (used with object)

1. to turn upside down.
2. to reverse in position, order, direction, or relationship.
3. to turn or change to the opposite or contrary, as in nature, bearing, or effect:

to invert a process.
4. to turn inward or back upon itself.
5. to turn inside out.
 

It’s 76 degrees Fahrenheit on the second floor of my office building here on October 27.  Cold Canadian air is due in a few days. Like a bookie I owe betting losses to, he’s coming in around the freezing point on Friday night to hurt me and force me to comply with his cruel will.  Frost will settle in by Friday night, and I’m not talking about poets. I can feel it like dogs can sense earthquakes before humans do. It’s coming with an urgency that will shiver our Mid Atlantic butts into winter jackets and coats and corduroy pants, uttering “Ahhhs” as we find our way into warm dry interiors. You know, at first flip flops were summer sandals before they became political reversals.  When folks change positions, we say they flip-flopped. This sudden temperature inversion will be a meteorological flip flop of seasons in a week. You don’t argue with cold fronts or tornadoes or floods or tsunamis. You just surf them out as best you can and hopefully you survive. You just have to turn on the furnace and bunker down, my downy blog peeps. We’ll get through this winter with good books and music, warm conversations over hot cider and coffee, and hearty meals with happy dogs curled underneath the dinner table. That sounds delightful and yet doubtful at the same time.

And this weekend we play with time again, turning our clocks back an hour. Why? Because Congress thinks it’s a great idea for the economy. Think about that for a minute:  the most untrustworthy weasels in the country set the clocks twice a year and tell us it’s a good, no, a great idea. Originally this time change was designed to help farmers maximize available daylight. Uh, how many farmers do you know? The ones I see working during harvest time drive combines and trucks with headlights. Hmmm. Trust Congress?

 Trust me. Don’t they tell the truth when they’re not lying? So do mimes.

 

It’s funny how screwed up people get as the seasons change. This morning I went to a supervision meeting at 9 a.m. No one was home. It started without me at 9:30 a.m.  But I’d given up on the meeting when one of the guys left a voicemail for me telling me he was going to be 20 minutes late to my house, where the meeting was not. I then got settled at my office when the meeting host called me to see if I was on my way to his house. I told him I was there already at 9; no one answered the doorbell so I left. He said he got to his own house at 9:06. (What do you do? Laugh, cry, scream. )  I chuckled and sauntered off to the coffee shop for a longer and deeper conversation with Joel, the resident decaffeinated attorney. He asked me to consider how many other appointments and dates I’d missed in my life,  which was not reassuring nor was it meant to be. (Attorneys live in the land of potential liability and what ifs.) I told him I did not care, that it all comes out in the wash eventually. But he insisted that I could have been famous if I had met my destiny earlier and not missed the weekly opportunity meetings along the way. I sensed he was massaging me to ask for a contribution to one of the many charities he serves.  Like an inverted Bill Clinton, he said, “I feel your pain.”  I said, “Billy Joel, that’s my knee.” Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, my 7p.m. appointment had already come to my office at 7a.m. God only knows what other appointments were missed or dyslexically rearranged by 10 a.m. on this, the last warm day of fall. I tell you, it’s coming like a new born glacier calf flailing down a fractured fjord.

I can feel it coming unglued. Last night my Washington Redskins beat the overrated Dallas Cowboys in the JerryDome on Monday Night Football, in overtime no less. It was awesome to see a beat up third string team defeat a highly touted first string team on their own field. Oh the inversions are everywhere I looked. You can’t pick out winners and losers, blog casters; you just have to play the game or let the weather do what it must.  Let me insert a slide to demonstrate how irrational inversions seem to be.

 You see, it makes little sense for warm air, which is lighter and should rise, to trap cool air beneath it and keep Mr. Sunshine hidden. However, if you fumble the ball or throw interceptions, Mr. Romo, an inversion occurs and the Red team marches the other way against the Blue team. Even in the colossal spectacle of the JerryDome, the modern day gladiatorial Cowboys were defeated by the rag tag, politically incorrect Redskins and their third string quarterback. Ooooh, that stings.
And now the crescendo inversion. I found a Peruvian 50 centimos coin in my pocket change last week as I fed the evil coin eating parking meter. It’s the same size as a U.S. quarter and that’s what I  thought it was until I noticed the different details. Huh. It appears to be silver like U.S. coins used to be. I’m keeping it for good luck. Perhaps I’ll drill it and make a necklace out of it. Chic inversion that.
So, don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour this Sunday at 2:00 a.m. Put an extra blanket on your bed. Never trust lawyers,  politicians or Jerry Jones. And may you find your own lucky charm this winter. Till next spring, invert something.