Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Saturday: I got up early--awakened by worried, neurotic barking of Bo and Jangles, my mom's mutts--and cleaned my mom's gutters. No, not some weird, gross metaphor--I actually climbed a ladder and dug out the rotten leaves and helicopter maple seeds and the sand-like material that washed off the asphalt shingles. I then drove the remaining material down the pipes using the hose. Tough stuff. Manly stuff. (Also over the weekend, I toted some bags of topsoil and mulch around, changed a lightbulb or two, hung a plant from an eave, and loaded 200 lbs of salt into the water softener. Etc. I am essentially a mule for Barb.) When the gutters were done, I showered and drove over to the Half-Priced Books at 86th and Ditch. I spent about an hour there trying to find something of interest. Not much luck--a book of the collected poems of Rimbaud and Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus. I also poured over the DVDs but I just can't seem to bring myself to buy a movie what with the Netflix and all.

I left THAT Half-Priced Books and drove over to ANOTHER Half-Priced Books in Castleton. I took the circuitous route and passed by my childhood home--eh. Still the horrible dump it was last summer. (Oh, and the summer before . . . though the strip mall where I took some of those photos (Carriage Cleaners) had been demolished and replaced with a shiny new Kroger.) I did find some two DVD collections worth purchasing at this one--the complete seasons of Iron King, and the same of Super Robot: Red Baron (the "million-horsepower super robot!") I'd found the former poking around on Netflix but I'd never seen the latter; I watched one bizarre, laudanum-fantasy episode (here is the opening sequence) which didn't make any sense so I can't wait to watch and not understand the rest of them. The protagonists belong to SSI (Secret Science Investigation) but at least half the team's undercover gigs involved working at / owning a car dealership . . . and the delivery of this information is so pointed that I feel it must contain some kind of cultural relevance that I'm missing. The only drawback to SR:RB that I can see is that the episodes are subtitled instead of overdubbed. I know, I know--it's supposedly better this way . . . but it's the shitty mismatched overdubs that make this kind of thing even more pleasurable and silly.

Got home, had a few Speckled Hens on the deck and watched a duo of blue jays build a nest in the poplar in the backyard. Took mom to see Pixar's Up Saturday night. Great movie. Absolutely perfectly crafted movie--even the over-the-top Disney Patented Emotional Manipulation™ was textured enough to be sincerely moving without being eye-rollingly mawkish. The influence of Hayao Miyazaki was huge--certainly in the lush-y, magical quality of the imagery . . . but also with the themes of flight (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky) and starting over and all of that. Great movie.

Sunday: nothing to mention during the day. I went to a few places and looked for bargains on clothes. No bargains were to be found. Went to dinner at my step-sister's in Greenwood--an eight-course chef-prepared meal, each course paired with a wine. It started off with vodka and caviar and ended with buttermilk poundcake. In between (what I can remember anyway--a lot of wine (and vodka)): Vietnamese egg-drop soup, almond-crusted halibut, braised lamb shank, seared fois gois served on a Belgian waffle and at least one other course I can't recall. If only I'd taken the printed menu with me . . . a menu, of course, that was designed in Papyrus. Mom and I got disoriented on our way back from Greenwood. I had an excuse, however: too much wine and a total unfamiliarity with the southside of Indianapolis.

Monday: weather was gray, hot, muggy, atmosphere charged for a violent storm. Typical late spring/early summer Indiana weather. A few more chores around the house and then the long drive to the airport. Flight was only about half-full so--once the door were closed--we all scattered and got our own single seats. I completed part of another small drawing which I had to stop when we landed. It was early when I touched down--only 5:30 or so--so I decided to skip the cab and see how difficult the bus to Roosevelt Ave/train to Steinway routine would be. It wasn't bad, maybe three times longer the a 10 minute cab ride. The bus ride took a long time--we inched down Roosevelt Ave--but it's pleasant to just sit and stare out the window. Home, dinner, etc.

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