A Thought For A Yesterday’s Morning

Yesterday morning was just a yesterday morning, usually quickly forgotten as a yesterday’s morning becomes nothing more than just that, a yesterday, then a today and then a tonight and then another yesterday … and well, let’s do it all over again.

But there was this from my living room window as a Bella sat tall on her cat tower staring me, eye to eye, wondering of just what it was that I was doing. Then. Just a few pictures girlfriend. Under chin rubs next. It’s too pretty.

I’m all for forward but a yesterday’s morning needs be remembered so as not to get lost in a today and then a tonight and then a tomorrow almost as if it never was.

Take pause. At the pretty.

 

 

Calling It a Weekend Short … But One Well Spent

Live and half head

I know it’s only Saturday evening but I’m calling it, calling it a weekend. I mean unless something extraordinary happens to me in my apartment between now and tomorrow night like one of my gang suddenly starting to speak and threatening to expose the shit that “only the cat saw”, aliens finally deciding that I should come along for the ride (please, no probing, at least not there) or the radiation from a meteor that lands in the back yard transforming me into a superhero or a porn star or a superhero porn star then this weekend’s story is done.

Now you can have the Cliffs Notes version or the extended one (But hey? Aren’t you aiming for us to read both? … shut up smart ass).

Cliffs Notes:

– Did another High School Football game last night, this time in Guilderland NY, a place that sounds almost mythical until you drive by about 300 strip malls and shopping plaza’s in the 4 miles from the Thruway exit.

– Ask the question of how far would you drive for free pizza and notice, while you’re eating it, a crapload of plane trails in the sky. Note that chemtrail conspiracy theorists were probably peeing themselves at the sight.

– Enjoy the hell out of the latest football game and the ref who seemed a bit Will Ferrell in his seriousness leaving you to wonder where he kept his cowbell.

– Also enjoy the hell out of the group of kids from Guilderland who form the plugged in pep band in tune with the student “Red Wave” section of the crowd. Mention to the really nice woman in charge of the band, who you remember from last year’s game and remembers you, how it would be fun if the student section changed up some of the typical football crowd chants.

– Try not to make eye contact with the three kids at your McDonald’s stop, before your ride home with BB, who are starting to grouse about the wait time knowing that it’s just not a conversation you want to get into with Mama Bear and the flamboyants.

– Tell Celie to “shussshh” when she says don’t worry about folding her stuff that’s in the dryer letting her know that, as domestic chores goes, you don’t mind doing laundry, you just don’t do socks or the flimsies. No, they just get lumped in a pile on top.

– Get knocked out of a fantasy basketball draft right before your 5th and 6th round picks because Mimi the Quirky fell off her cat window seat right onto the the power strip and restarted your PC.

– Talk to Bella like she were human about how nice it would be if today’s weather were the year round norm.

– Get that errant tan cow back in the fold.

– Accidentally have two extra cats slip by you and decide that they like the “new” of Uncle Steve’s apartment and proceed to eat all of the Bella, Cricket the Blind and Mimi the Quirky food. Apologize to Bella.

– Fight off the onslaught of stink bugs who’s lease on their summer digs has expired and are now converging on the house.

– Find something new on Amazon Prime or Netflix after finally finishing season one of the fantastic “Carnival Row” on Wednesday night and then season two of the mesmerizing “Dark” on Thursday knowing that whatever you find probably won’t rate.

– Wake up tomorrow for like 5 minutes and then say “fuck it” and go back to bed till Monday.

////////////////////////

Not Cliffs Notes:

Well another High School football game is in the books, me and BB making the trek again, this time to Guilderland NY, a place that sounds almost mythical as you wonder of it’s origins on the ride. Is it maybe a place of Middle Earth, as the name might imply, where all guilds originate and thrive but must stay hidden from Middle Earth’s GOP for fear of them discovering their magic? In this possible Middle Earth is Frodo the must see attraction as the latest barefooted kicker to take the football world by storm or does Sean Astin maybe summer here in a quaint little cottage named “Samwise”? Not sure. Just know that whatever mythology the name might sound to possess will quickly fade as you pass 300 or so strip malls and shopping plazas in a just 4 mile stretch from exit 24 of the NY State Thruway to your first left hand turn toward your destination. Sigh. So much for possible magic.

I did though, answer a question you may have asked at some point of just how far will you drive for free pizza. For me? Two hours and about 100 miles, though 400 miles short of being the man who would fall down at your door (plus some work and stuff after ya clean your hands and wipe your mouth). I also found out the answer to a question I never even thought to ask. How much will a pizza place try to charge your boss for paper plates and napkins on top of the price of six really large pies and four two liter bottles of soda, including, somehow, a Royal Crown Cola? 50 bucks in case you’re curious. Two bucks a person they said. Gotta give ’em credit for the chutzpah and adherence to shameless capitalism. 50 freakin’ dollars, for paper plates they would probably just send Billy, the delivery driver hoping he doesn’t get lost again, to grab at the Dollar Store next door in the one of the 300 plus strip malls / shopping plazas they’re located in.

PS…strip mall pizza place. If you’re gonna try an rook someone on the cost of paper plates you better at least make that cola a fucking Coke, not a dusted off Royal Crown.

But, to their credit, it was really good pizza, messy-finger square pies again like last week, and while I was eating that messy-finger square pie pizza and drinking the nostalgia of Royal Crown Cola I noted, in the skies above, an abundance of airplane trails, a crapload of them criss crossing every which way above my head and my only thought was that if there were any Chemtrail nutters in this here neck of the woods they were probably peeing themselves, after rushing to their bunkers, at the sight.

Once the game got started and I was in my usual spot with my usual parabolic I enjoyed myself again, as I always do on these Friday nights and my enjoyment was enhanced by the kids of the pep band, so in tune with the “Red Wave” student fan section. I was reminded of how much I enjoyed last year’s game here when I ran into their director, who I remembered, and she me, and helped her again find a place on the truck to plug in their little amp for the guitar. I also remembered her happy. Her joy at what she does with these kids, who fit right in on home game Friday nights where they might not otherwise and how she just couldn’t stop smiling. I felt like the big guy at the table by just being able to help them find an outlet for that amp. She’s exactly the reason teachers need to be paid more. About a dozen kids sitting cross legged in front of some upside down buckets, also all smiling, drum sticks in hand and at the ready, each sporting their own statement of them when it comes to hair or adornment but still playing for team, fronting a band that belted out classics coordinated with the student section. My only thought to her, at the end of the game, was that maybe the student section should change up the standard “THIS IS OUR HOUSE” or “YOU CAN’T DO THAT” kind of thing with something a bit more fun and left field like “MY MOM LOVES APPLE PIE” or “MY NEPHEW IS AFRAID OF SNAKES” or “THIS IS OUR HOUSE…TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF WE JUST HAD THE CARPETS DONE” … Yeh, Ok … but still, it’s an idea.

There was also the ref who was always with me in my spot, or should I say, I was always with him, almost stalker-like, who was ultra serious but in a Will Farrell kind of way. I just kept waiting for him to go for cowbell instead of his whistle so coolly tight on his left hand.

Then it was game done, a goodnight to the cool kids in the band (you’re in a band, you ARE the cool kids) who were happy to have aided Guilderland in their victory, a goodnight to their director and her smile and a breakdown of our stuff.

After my stop at the whatever McDonald’s that was there in Guilderland before my and BB’s ride home, a stand alone by the way, not one in any of the 300 plus strip malls or shopping plazas and a trying not to make eye contact with the three kids who were starting to grouse about the wait time, hoping to be heard in an “it’s all about me” kind of way, I gladly grabbed my large coke (Not RC) and large fries and headed toward the door, quickly, before getting into a conversation I didn’t want to get into with Mama Bear and the flamboyants.

Eventually, after gettin’ home about 1, hittin’ the rack around 4 and then being up again at 7 it was back to my regular Saturday. The usual routine, just lacking a bit on the sleep side. I do so like getting back to routine even if it is with a lack of sleep.

Pop my one weekly hamper of laundry in, run to Stop N Shop for the feeding of cats and a Steve, come back and tell Celie to “oh, shussshh” when she says don’t worry about folding her stuff that’s in the dryer, just put it in a pile in a basket, she says, while letting her know, as I always do, that I just can’t do that and that, as domestic chores go, I’m Ok with laundry, I just don’t do/fold socks or the flimsies (I also always make it a point to mention that I look away at the flimsies…with a dramatic southern belle-esque head tossed, hand fanning “Oh My!” Don’t want anyone to get to thinkin’ there’s a creepy goin’ on here). No, that’s the only thing that gets lumped in a pile, on top of the, of course, have to be folded.

Then it was a fantasy basketball draft at 10 as, even though I don’t know basketball all that well, I need something to get me past the fact that all of my all season long first or second place fantasy Baseball teams got knocked out in the first round of the playoffs…again, leaving me to, at best, come in 7th or 6th or maybe 5th. Then Mimi the Quirky fell off her cat window seat right onto the power strip and restarted my PC…two picks before my 5th and 6th round choices. I was drafting blind. Cricket understands. But Mimi was Ok, maybe just a little cat embarrassed. I reassured her of course while trying not to laugh, or at least not letting her see.

I cowboyed up and wrangled one errant tan cow back into the fold with much cajoling, patience and a bucket full of cow feed bribery while making friends with one slobbery big guy who wasn’t wary like the rest and was more than happy to be the stand-in for his errant pal when it came to handfuls from the bucket of bribery.

I took a moment or three to sit in a window with my Bella and talk with her, pal to pal, about how nice it would be if today’s weather were the year round norm before heading downstairs only to, accidentally, have two extra cats (Penny and Cujo) slip by and decide that they like the “new” of Uncle Steve’s apartment and proceed to eat all of the Bella, Cricket the Blind and Mimi the Quirky food. I apologized to Bella as she gave me that disapproving look I know all too well.

Penny - Counter

I also took measures to fight off the onslaught of stink bugs who’s lease on their summer digs has apparently expired and are now converging on the house. Mostly it involved me just flicking the window screens…but I did it with an angry raised fist “damn you stink bugs!” drama and authority.

Finally, I’m done, after realizing, again, that I’m a little old to be doing what was easy in my college years when it comes to sleep, or the lack thereof. Time to find something new on Amazon Prime or Netflix after finishing season one of the absolutely fantastic “Carnival Row” on Wednesday night and then season two of the complex and mesmerizing “Dark” on Thursday though I know that whatever I find probably won’t rate.

So even though I may be calling it a weekend early on a Saturday night I think I’m good. It’s been full. It’s had moments and they are moments that I’ll remember which is all we can really ask for. I’ll wake up tomorrow for like 5 minutes, check my fantasy football teams and then say “fuck it” and go back to bed till Monday.

Not a bad weekend called short at all.

Cheers to that my friends.

Friday Night Lights … What’s In A Name?

When I first noticed, as it rose above the end zone and above some of the crowd, I was struck, not just by it’s size at that moment but by the orange color of it (not a bad orange though, like that blood orange we’ve been forced to endure for way too long now, but a comfortable orange, a one of the warm, welcoming colors my mother loves so much. Oranges, browns, yellows, burnt reds, similar to my color scheme here in the Attic as a matter of fact, now that I look / think about it, the colors of open arms, the smell of a well spent kitchen and kisses on the cheek). Yes, I know it’s the first full moon to actually happen on a Friday the 13th in quite some time but when it first appeared, slowly rising, at the back of the end zone it didn’t have that eery feel we would so like to read into at this time of year.

No, it was just a majestic, mighty, warm orange thing, hovering and slowly rising, presiding and rolling over a cool breeze of another Friday Night Lights football game.

Later, as it continued its rise it placed itself behind a thin wisp curtain of clouds, illuminating them from behind, finally satisfying, with a wink, that eeriness we imagine of the season just minus some flying bat silhouettes, sounds of howling wolves and / or screaching crows and the maybe haunting creep of a children’s music box. I’m sure this moon smiles at such notions, more than happy to indulge us our needs of a goosebump or two. (the couple of pictures I have here don’t do it justice by any means)

But here I was on the sidelines of another game, watching the moon do what this moon does after another long two hour haul to just north of Albany following a time crunched Friday in my little studio because of such to grab a buck, to genuinely enjoy, once I arrived, the camaraderie of this TV broadcast crew, to be out in the feel of a not too cold yet, pre-fall evening … to just be out actually (don’t do much of that these days) and of course to get some free pizza. Damn fine pizza. Messy fingered square ones tonight. I know, some shit never changes. Ya just gotta feed me.

Though, initially, always dreading that four or so hour round trip, and cursing the need to do it, I find myself, instead, after getting the first week under my belt (last Friday), looking forward to it. I strangely like the often angry pressure of the making sure I’ve got everything covered back at the gig, maybe “motherf*****g” to the air a bit here and there, depending on who’s always last minute Friday crap has to be dealt with, but there is a real joy now, once I’m out the door and on my way. Me and “BB”, my little 2008 Scion XB box of a car. Not a Star Wars thing by the way, not a reference to BB-8, just “Blue Box”. BB’s color is more of a teal, but blue is close enough.

No, I do indeed look forward to it and I’ve got my routine down and a “BB” loaded with whatever I may need for my little weekly road trips. An overkill of a back seat packed with some extra sweatshirts as the season changes, a heavy windbreaker for the ‘just in case’, a change of clothes, my old work gloves and my new ones, some snacks in case I find myself off the road in some non-existent ravine and need something to survive on until help arrives and a backup Pirates’s hat … always gotta have a backup Pirate’s hat. Also a small cooler with some frozen plastic blocks cooling a few seltzers (and some Reeses anything, preferrably dark chocolate, bought to share with the on-field gang at halftime), the anticipation of the Malden (Karl’s Streets of San Francisco) truck stop on the NY State Thruway, the about half way point, for a large coke from McDonald’s to wake my nodding ass up along with a sandwich and then a call to my phone, at this half-way, for directions to whatever High School it is that I’m heading to this time. Thanks Google lady. You’re always way too kind to me amid my cursing’s press for time in Northway traffic.

This week it was Shenendehowa, a name, that, for the life of me, I just can’t remember, even if this week was the third time I’ve been there in the last year. I think it’s because, maybe, my first thought is always “Shenandoah”, damn you Jimmy Stewart and your wonderful Jimmy Stewartyness. The extra syllable just throws me off i guess, I don’t know. Whatever the case, that is where we were last night, with a full orange moon watching / rising / winking over us.

As I got myself set in my usual position of parabolic mic / grip / roadie / happy grunt on the Shenendehowa sideline, I remembered last year’s games. More specifically, I remembered the names on the back of the jerseys of the Shen football team from those games. Following the action with my parabolic is kind of easy, staying just a touch ahead of the play, dancing aside when necessary so as not to get rolled over, ready to catch the sounds of football’s violence as it comes at you or the singular, almost quiet sound of a foot to a ball, but it allows for some thought as you pace up and down the sidelines and I noted then, as I note now, that these guys just have some great names, names that beg reference.

“Fobare” – A misplaced ‘O’ and an extra ‘E’ away, in my mind, from being a really screwed up situation. It could be “Fucked ON, not Up, Beyond All Recognition..with an E..hhh?” Those Canadians always know.

I’m sure there has been written many a certain poetry to a football’s possible fiction. Well Shen has a “Cummings”, e e ie small plays with simple pointed purpose a “Lewis” and a “Carroll” though the only looking glass being one from the press box with a “Penman”, backwards ballcap, pencil and clipboard in hand to make sure it’s all chronicled correctly. There’s even a “Joyce” searching a pigskin’s grand odyssey alone, no Homer to be found among these ranks or a switch of gender to a different “Joyce” and that “Carroll” just trying to find an “Oates” (check the 80’s…he’s the one with a perm and a porn star mustache).

We could grill and “Cook” on a “Hill” overlooking a “Beach” just waiting our 30 minutes before going in for a swim.

“Woodrow” and “Hayes” have presidential dreams but they are trumped by an actual “Trump”. Now this “Trump” could be viewed as just an unfortunate or he could be looked upon as the one who teamates turn a loyal blind eye to when he is accused in a high school version of spygate or deflategate or just rationalize way too “Fahr” that these things aren’t really a big deal. I’m just wondering if this “Trump” gives “McCane” a hard time, even when he’s not in the room.

Short on cash? There’s a “Duchat” and even an extra “Bean” to cover expenses if need be.

“Joyner” just wants to belong while the “Lasher” brothers might just want to do what their name implies, lash out. Maybe anger management courses are in order.

Then there is “Ritter”, the envy of the clubhouse. I mean, who wouldn’t be green of a fall down funny dude who has two really hot female roomates?

For some of the rest? “Smith”? You don’t have to lie when checking into that motel you shouldn’t be checking into. “Dmyszewicz”? I’m thinking hockey may be more in your in future as no normal football name has only 2 vowels and “Stack”? Well, shit, you’re untouchable.

It was a good Friday night and then it was the usual of me and “BB” gettin’ set in a quiet parking lot, making sure we had all our shit in order and then turning around, hitting another McDonald’s on the way out for one more large coke’s awake and a large fry for the ride home all with this no longer orange moon, now a bright, illuminating white one, watching over us. It was so bright I probably could have driven without headlights.

Cheers Moon … and thank ya.

Indicators Of Fall … And A Friday Night Lights Return

Well, Fall is here. Maybe not officially according to the calendar but it’s here. Comforters have been pulled out of closets for cooler, more snug nights (Cricket the Blind knows our only one well),

long sleeves and hoodies are back in vogue in the evenings and breezes have a different feel and smell to them…oh, and Soylant Gre…Pumpkin Spice has forced its annual self back onto the menu…every fucking menu in the civilized world … (maybe even in some of the remotest of corner’s spots where pointy sticks are the utmost in technology, status and defense, insidious spice thing that it is). And if any of you sci-fi geekilly inclined (and I count myself among you) say “He who controls the spice…” I’ll brain ya with a headless horseman-like pumpkin as you savor your last taste of that nasty little latte concoction of yours while I threaten to actually send you into two different fictions.

We all have our own little indicators of the knowing of Fall’s arrival. Mom’s and Dad’s of the school aged for instance? They’re back in school now so it’s a return to routine. Or, it could be a new indicator as your little one gets on the bus for the first time, fearful, but for only one day and your tears for them only have to last until tomorrow. It’s Fall. Maybe for the teachers of said? YOU’RE back in school now as well and it’s back to YOUR routine as you cry a little inside at another Summer passed. It’s Fall. It could be for those in retail. Well, shit, you probably got your indicator back in July, in that company wide email reminder of the changing out of the floor sets early, as it’s impossible for consumerism to actually let us enjoy time as it happens on it’s own without ruining it.

But really, it’s that simple breeze, with the different feel and smell, the looking into a pre dusk sky that seems a little heavier or maybe the sounds of insects and birds getting on page, that tells all of us all we need to know of Fall’s arrival.

For me? My indicator? I would love to say that it’s the daily excitement of end of year, post-season hunt Baseball but I’m not a Yankees fan. That fall indicator for me, as a Pirate’s fan, came early this year, as it often does, just after the All Star break when there was hope for a moment but was quickly dashed and followed instead by another collapse (though I still watch as a FrankenBucco fan does what a FrankenBucco fan does). They are playing better of late at least, so there is that. Grab that batting title Bryan Reynolds!

No, my indicator comes when I’m standing on the sidelines, headset on with a local TV broadcast’s behind the scenes controlled chaos in my left ear amidst the din of a crowd, of my first High School Football game of the season. It’s also my first reminder of the also headsetted pacing, pacing, furrowed brow intense coach’s sideline masters of the obvious pacing talk-yell / play call / hand cupped shouts / exasperated waved arm-hand gestures to anyone in the room who will listen about perceived zebra slights akin to the exasperated waved hand-arm gestures you make to anyone who will listen at the Christening in that really nice Elk’s Lodge Hall (we should think about this place for William’s Confirmation, no open bar though, you know uncle Dave) for Jim & Mary’s adorable little Janey, who there were whispers about, when telling of cousin Ron never returning your shit / rah rah football talk. And it makes me smile.

I just wander and wonder the sidelines, keeping in line with the game’s action, with the anonymity of my parabolic mic to shield me while I listen to…

“Watch the Ball!” – as opposed to just what else a player might be doing while playing a game where “ball” is kind of in the name. Though, I could see maybe being thrown off  by the something shiny of #23’s gold heels. Fancy.

“Run, Run, Run!” always right in the middle of a play that has already been run.

“Pass, Pass, Pass!” the same.

“SNEAK!” from the player behind me as the quarterback was already done with his first down push. More of a football pavlovian thing, I guess, than anything else for a kid who was seemingly a little late to the party on the on field action, maybe his attention caught by those gold heels of #23 for a moment.

     

“Stay in your lane”

“Watch your man”

“Hands up”

“Your job is your job, their job is their job”

“Eyes on the prize”

“Ignore your mom taking pictures”

…and watch two grown men, coaches, jawing back and forth with a kid from the opposing team, all of 17 maybe, who I sided with simply because he held his ground with supposed adults, but mostly because he was wearing #42. He knows the answer.

This is my indicator. Drama. Rivalries. Serious silliness or silly seriousness. Cool air Friday Night Lights.

I was never a Friday Night Lights kinda guy in High School, couldn’t have given a shit really. I played baseball in town leagues after making then quitting the High School team to work a job in a local grocery store and a good buddy, who was a pretty darn good basketball player, did what we did. Football was not in the scope. The rivalry between Mahopac and Carmel Football back then? Whatever. Overturned cars or not.

But for me, what started as just a few extra, always needed bucks, walking the sidelines for these last 10 plus years or so has had me come to understand and appreciate the community that football inspires on these Fridays, of kids in their own section, painted, colored dressed, cool shades, ingenious signs or not so ingenious ones, sometimes even with full bands while they scream a lung within the comfort of their crew, the cliche’d, tried and true, but heartfelt chants, football staples and their Mom’s and Dad’s, though not painted the same, but equally adorned in the right colors chanting along with them is something that I applaud. More smiles.

It’s a pretty good indicator for me, even with the impending doom of winter, that, yeh, Fall is here.

Cheers all,

Mid-Weekend Notes From A Celie Manor Of Fur And Feather On A Hill

(From September 1, 2019)

Yeh, I know, what’s with this guy and the notes?

1. One of Celie’s bras tried to kill me. I will often drop my laundry on top of a few things of hers or her son Matt’s already in the washer, just waiting, and then eventually fold ’em, clean and dried, but the damn thing broke away from its paired bosomyness and tried to shank me. I don’t know how you ladies deal with the wires but I get the message. Girl power. Point.

2. Got up to feed the gang earlier, WAAAAAY too earlier, and saw Sweets at her usual spot, underneath that little pine tree in the back yard. Nothing makes me happier than to see that long, fat tailed, bouncy, pretty little Fox waiting for her friends, puppies Lewie & Georgia, to come out and play.

3. The play. I watched for a while.

4. Lost my freakin’ glasses somewhere between that “got up to feed the gang earlier” and “watched for a while”. An age thing maybe (yes, I checked my head and my other hand before you ask thank you) but after I grabbed my backup pair from the car, the one with the scratch just over my left eye that makes me look I have a twitch, I write.

5. Texted back and forth with a good friend of mine last night. It started with just me recommending a new show on Netflix, “Better Than Us”, a really well done futuristic, though well grounded and with a lot of layers Sci-Fi thing (warning: it has subtitles) but then it morphed into a conversation of the gang here at the house and the happpy chaos that it can be. I noted to her (and more with the notes, again, what is it with this guy and the notes?) that there is a comfort in the madness. A comfort that doesn’t know the actual madness that we live in right now, it is just theirs, small but big in it’s own way. She said that that might be good title for a book. “A Comfort In The Madness”. That, though, can be a bit far reaching as there is just so much madness going around these days. Maybe a good subtitle would help reel it in a little. “A Comfort In The Madness: Trying To Find It In Difficult Times?”, “A Comfort In The Madness: Simple Tales Of Fur” or “A Comfort In The Madness: Where The Fuck Are My Glasses?”

6. Still searching for them by the way. That left eye twitch is starting to make me feel lopsided. Lewie probably half ate and then buried them.

7. A good day. For all the difficult ones, and there are many, as I’m sure you all have your own and would agree, there are those that give you a bit of pleasent pause. Cherish them. In my case? Cats now and dogs and even birds are fed and watered and there is time, with my Bella and the Unintentionals, to find a comfort in the madness.

Cheers all,