Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Summer of '74

Frugnup: Soih dkjl elllsj j slsoo.

Foxxfyrre: Weird?

Frugnup: Uioj djllkj k?

Foxxfyrre: It's weird that I can understand what you are thinking.

Frugnup: Xuu k doghtu, pt.

Foxxfyrre: So whatever you are thinking, I can understand without any one of us talking. And you can understand my thoughts too. So, what do you mean I am thinking strange thoughts?

Frugnup: IIlkkn yiie tks l lotzk. Kzth dkdl oth.

Foxxfyrre: Oh that. It's called music, well it's a song that was going through my head that I haven't thought about in years.

Frugnup: Oolap deeten mope latta.

Foxxfyrre: Music can put us at ease in tense times, or it can express feelings about almost anything. When someone writes and plays songs, people may have felt similar feelings and just listening to that song can have all those feelings come flooding back.

Flugnup: Htt tllk contt lit?

Foxxfyrre: The song I was thinking of is really a love song, but it brings back some fond memories for me. I guess it kind of eased my nerves to think about it. After all, it's not everyday I get abducted from the middle of a clearing in Bloggingham forest.

Frugnup: Ljdl up dkie mo.

Foxxfyrre: The song is called, "The Air that I Breathe" and it was played by the Hollies. I first heard it in the summer of 1974.

Frugnup: Hio dkj wwz dljo MORE TELL PLEASE.

Foxxfyrre: OK, I'll tell you about that time, but I thought you alien guys were more interested in experimenting and probing humans?

Frugnup: Hopllehlk distker MEN IN BLACK! Hakopler lsk gnip GOVERNMENT lkji opunt COVER UP. LEADER kjlop dljo BUSH ljk lji ANAL PROBE jkli EEEEWWW! NOT US!

Foxxfyrre: I thought as much. Only governments could stoop to that level to keep information from the public. I guess they are responsible for crop circles and animal mutilations too.

Frugnup: OUI.

Foxxfyrre: Did you just think at me in French?cancan_file0003

Frugnup: Uhmmm.....Hok ljo ljk PARIS ljil wek lspe SHORE LEAVE lji slho wdr CAN CAN GIRLS ljil LONG WEEKEND.

Foxxfyrre: Yeah, they do know how to party in Paris.

Frugnup: Joes ljol SONG lji SUMMER 1974?

Foxxfyrre: It was a different summer for me. I just finished my last year of Junior High School and I wasn't looking forward to High School. It's an awkward age for most humans anyway. I didn't mind the school work, but I didn't want to move to another school just because we passed a grade. There would be way too many new students from other Juniors Highs, and many of my friends would be going to different High Schools. I had a good circle of friends, but much of that circle would be broken up this year. I had one very close friend that I knew was going to go to the same school as I. His name was Paul and we had gone from Elementary through Junior and now into High School together. We did everything together, and I was glad that he would see me through the next year too. Both Paul and I had girlfriends in Junior High, but both would be going to different High Schools. This was another reason for us not looking forward to the next school year, because everyone knew you didn't start High School without a steady girlfriend. At least that's what Paul and I believed.

Frugnup: Xjill ihng GIRLFRIENDS kljd h popls?

Foxxfyrre: No, no, it's just that schools can be very competitive and sometimes mean. Teenagers can be very cruel to one another, but no, it's not a requirement that you have a girlfriend when you start High School, but it could be much more fun if you did have a girlfriend when you started. You'd have each other for support and such.

Frugnup: Klujd, UNDERSTAND I DO. K dio dsa. TELL MORE I.

Foxxfyrre: Every summer, Paul and I used to find some sort of work that we could do to make some money. strawberries_lg That year, we thought it would be fun to try out strawberry picking, because we found out that they pay their pickers at the end of every work day. We decided that if we went out Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, we would have money for the weekend and maybe put some away for bigger purchases later on. We headed out early every workday, and went right to the fields. We had fun that summer. Paul would always have the row right beside me, and we would have picking races with each other. We would make plans for the weekend, summer, the next school year, and even college. 51AS4MSEK2L We would talk about anything that came to mind like girls, sports, girls, the future, why they cancelled Star Trek, why Wild Wild West was cooler than Gunsmoke, girls, and..., and...It was a big teenage list of important wonders--and girls.

But there were times that we were silent. We both brought portable radios with us, and enough batteries to make sure neither radio went dead. If we weren't talking, we would be singing along with some songs. But one song, would stop us in our tracks. We wouldn't sing along. We wouldn't even pick strawberries. We would just listen. The song was 'The Air that I Breathe', and it would literally have us frozen while listening to it. We would be silent for a while after it came on the radio, but after one of us broke the silence we would have our deepest teenage discussions. Maybe it was because we missed our girlfriends, which yes in hindsight were crushes, or maybe it was because it put us to wonder if real love would ever come our way. Whatever it was that the song had over us, it was all consuming at the time, and it sent us spiraling in all directions of what ifs.

Frugnup: Klljo sljiw SONG, lkjil dojg FIND LOVE?

Foxxfyrre: No, not really. We did start school and found and lost girlfriends, and High School wasn't as bad as I thought it would be at the time. But what that song meant to Paul and I, went deeper than that. It affected us in ways that I really can't explain. You may think it gave us a false impression of what love is, what falling in love is, or what making love is, and what it's all about.

But in just four short years later, everything changed...

Everything stopped for me....

There was light, but I couldn't see it...

There was sound, but I couldn't hear it....

Everything around me stood still....

And a peace...

And an awareness.....

Came over me...

For my eyes met Lola's....

And then I knew.......

....And there was nothing more I needed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fugitive Update, by Lily Putian Skirt

This is Lily Putian Skirt reporting:

I am currently following up on leads on the whereabouts of that elusive fugitive Foxxfyrre The Serf. It seems that he is no longer hiding within city limits, but has now been hiding out in the suburbs of Bloggingham. As you can see by the fresh footfalls of Foxxfyrre's size 10 shoes, he found it necessary to stop at this tree. What would have brought him here, only to turn around?
Strange character this Foxxfyrre, but there has to be a reason for stopping here, I'll have to search the entire area. There's got to be something, a man just doesn't walk up to a tree and turn away later. And I don't think nature was calling at the time.
The entire area seemed clear, but there is something underneath this unusual white powder that seems to have blanketed Bloggingham. It's a crumpled up sticky note, and I think I recognize the stationary. Yes, it's the personal stationary of Mimi Pencil Skirt, ace reporter of the Bloggingham Herald. Let's see, hmmm, it's quite cryptic but I'm certain it is a note to Foxxfyrre. It says, "I know you've had some luck at the archives, you might not like where it may take you. M.P.S." On the reverse side of the note there was another message, but written in a different hand. I can only assume it is a reply, but it is just as cryptic. It says, "Might have a definite lead on the meme thief. Operatives in dating sites, I know I'm close, F.T.S." I can only assume that F.T.S. refers to Foxxfyrre. But this is a large area, so I'll scout around some more.


Following the trail of footfalls, they led me to this platform and again the trail simply turns about on itself. Why? I'm not sure. Curious, this Foxxfyrre fellow. I decided that I should follow the spiraling trail before this falling white powder obliterates all signs of his trail.

I followed the trail which seemed to become a dead end in the middle of a clearing in Bloggingham woods. Using every tracking skill I know, I laid and listened for any sounds, or lack of sounds from the woods. He may have been able to backtrack his trail, but I know if he is still somewhere in the area, there would be signs because the trail just seems too fresh. If he didn't backtrack on his trail, and there is no other signs of his whereabouts, the only explanation is straight up, but this reporter is not going to entertain any alien abduction theories, or other mysterious types of disappearance theories. I may have been born during the day, but not yesterday! The trail simply ends here, right at this footprint to my left. Not ready to give up the search, I radioed ahead to have Taco my trail-tracking Tabby brought to the woods to help with the search. The white powder is quickly deteriorating all signs, so speed is of essence, or the trail might be lost.

Once Taco was on the scene, he followed the spiraling, intertwining footsteps, but each time ended up at the same dead end. I don't think Foxxfyrre has the influence for a helicopter pickup, or other such nonsense. I'm not ready to entertain any kidnapping theories either. Not till there is proof. I'm sure the conspiracy theorists will have a hey day with this one, but as far as all the evidence is concerned, I will simply have to dig up more clues.


Until I have more evidence on where Foxxfyrre the Serf, fugitive of Bloggingham is hiding, this reporter will keep you updated as it's uncovered. Until then Lily Putian Skirt signing out.
----------------
Disclaimer--No I didn't just put my Grand daughter out in the snow so I could get pictures for this post. These are pictures of the first snowfall in early November in Quesnel, British Columbia. Jodi and George just couldn't resist taking Lily out into the snow. And yes, they had to dress up Taco in Lily's clothes to go out and play in the snow too. By the looks of it, Taco seemed more up and enthused about it than Lily seemed to be.



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Snail Mail Surprise

When I first started with the internet many years ago, opening my email inbox and seeing the 'You have 27 new items in your inbox' message used to be an exciting thing to see. Unfortunately, over the years, spammers of all flavors have crept into the mix and some of that early excitement has waned. I love to get emails from all of my blog buddies, my "realife" circle of friends, co-workers, and family that has moved away. Out of that favorite list, double or triple that number of emails would be from that everfamous Dr. Samalamma von Dinoppooha, or Prince Yaanabo Sansosadmi who has passed away, but has megabucks his banker/lawyer/wife/mistress/son/daughter/illegitimate child/cousin/embalmer/taxidermist/hair dresser would like to hide in your own bank account. Then there's those 'You have been chosen', or 'You have won the Irish-UK-European-Yahoo-Google-Whatchemacallit Lottery to a total of 10,000,000.00 Euros'. Then there is the Porn Mongers that have every type of kink that you could imagine, or never even thought of imagining, wanting you to become their Slave-Maid-Lover-$%$#Buddy-Hetero-Homo-Metro-Beastro-Yuffy-Fluffy-Anthropo-Ultimo-All-For-Only-$1.99-This-Week-Only-mo. It's enough to make you want to 'Spooge' (Don't look up Spooge in the Urban Dictionary, my bad).

The only good thing about all this spam--it's not on paper. No one killed a tree to send this garbage to you. Unlike the garbage that shows up in everyones Snail Mailbox. Flier, after flier, after flier, and they just keep coming. Because snail mailboxes are of limited size, they have become crafty and stuffed what won't fit in the box into Wednesday and Friday newspapers. All this snail mail spam comes sans porn spam though, which makes no logical sense in my world (which is aquamarine by the way), for you would think Porn Mongers would be adamant about sending out hard copy (I know, my bad x 2). To make matters worse, the only other thing to look forward to in your snail mail box are your monthly bills, the ones you haven't or can't set up for ebilling yet. No one writes the old fasioned way anymore, so that favorite list that comes to your email inbox is in no way duplicated in your snail mail box. It's come to the fact that you know you just have to go empty it for fear that the mail carrier has been given the power to fine people for overstuffed boxes.

Every once in a while, you do go out to clean the box out and do find a pleasant surprise amongst all the fliers. Last year, I went out and in the box was a parcel pick up notice. The parcel was a Pennsylvanian Mug that I had won in a contest on Gale Martin's Blog, which Lola immediately took possesion of and has used ever since. And then there was today, I went out with my Heftybag in tow, because you know you are just going to fill it and place it directly in the dumpster *ahem* paper-only recycle box. In this batch was a letter from Picture.com, which had two cellophane windows in the envelope, one for my address, and a larger one that included a photographer's proof of this picture of Lily smiling through the envelope window.



My first reaction was to start laughing because this picture makes me giggle every time I see it. My second reaction was, "How did the mail carrier get Lily's picture." Then I noticed the sender on the envelope, then I really got excited. Early in October last year, I submitted my picture of Lily to Picture.com to enter it in an amateur photo contest. Picture.com has many categories of pictures for amateur photographers to submit their photos in. I submitted mine in their Children section for the contest. Then, once your submission is approved, you email everyone you have ever known (framming, that's friend + spamming) to go and vote for your picture, and rate it on their site. More votes, more chances to win is how I believe it works. I only put a quick link to that rating page on my facebook page. As far as I know there has been very few votes submitted for this picture. Excited as hell, I put all the fliers, bills, deals, carpet cleaning coupons all back into the mailbox, and went to show this letter to Lola so we could both open it and share the excited giddiness together. This is what the letter stated:

Dear Frank:

After thouroughly reviewing and discussing your photograph, I am pleased to inform you that our Selection Committee has advanced your contest entry to semi-finalist in the Children category in the Interational Open Amateur Photography Contest. Your photo will now be automatically entered into the final competition to be held in the Winter of 2008....

.....In celebration of you unique talent, and the priceless moment you have captured on film, we also wish to publish your photograph in our forthcoming anthology...

Endless Journeys

Library of Congress ISBN-0-7951-5247-7

.......

Sincerely

Jeffry Brian

Managing Editor

P.S. Frank, you should be genuinely proud of your accomplishment. Of the thousands of photographs we see each year, only a fraction can be published. We are pleased that your photograph will appropriately achieve the recognition that a national publication can give it. ...

The only scary part about this, I hope I didn't miss any deadlines. I have to send in an authentication form they provide to prove I'm the owner/photographer of the picture to keep copyright of the picture. And with snail mailbox garbage collection only once a month, I know I'm late as usual. Express post, here we come! Now, anybody know the URL address of Gerbers? I've got a famous Grand daughter in the works!

Oh yeah, I still have that mailbox to empty. Nah, I'll wait till the overdue notices come in.

* * * * *
If you'd like to help increase Lily's chances of winning prizes as well, click here to rate the photo nudge, nudge.

* * * * *

So, tell me, what colour is it in your world? You know we all want to know.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Band Meme

Tagged by the Queen of Memes, and we all know that a royal command cannot be refused without severe penalty. I don't think I have to worry about the One Legged Man stealing this meme either. Mimi was quite adamant about tagging the entire blogoshpere, so this would include the One Legged Man by default. I'm sure that he would not be stupid enough to steal a meme, and then have to complete one himself anyway. He is crafty, but I don't think he'll hand in two memes, right??? So I'll take my chances with this one.
This meme is called The Band Meme, and it's quite simple to complete and fun to do.
You are about to have your own band's CD cover. Follow these directions to the letter. My tagee list is at the bottom of this post. It's fun and requires no thought at all. Go to......



1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random



The first article title on the page is the name of your band.



2. http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3



The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.



3. http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/



The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.




4. Use your graphics program of choice to throw them together, and post the result .
This is my result.

So there you have it.

My tagees:

Just one and I know she's been tagged, but the more pressure the better

Maggie of Decption Road


Monday, January 07, 2008

For Fluffy

I really don’t know where to start...
I mean...
Well....
I feel like I’ve lost my best friend.

No,

correction...

....I did lose my best friend.

Give me a minute....

Okay...

Okay...

They say it’s better if you just talk about it, but how can you put 32 years of devoted, unconditional love into just a few words.

You can’t.

You just wake up, like any other day, start your routine, and then in an instant everything is changed.

Today was that day.

I got up, called for her, and she didn’t come, but that in itself is not that unusual. She can be quite stubborn and independent sometimes. I called for Bootz too, my cat, but she just meowed from the dresser where she liked to lay at night. So, all as it should be, I got myself out of bed to start my day. If Lola hasn’t beat me to it, I would check their bowls, putting fresh Whiskas out for Bootz, and a bowl of dry Pebbles cereal out for Fluffy. I tried every type of pet food for Fluffy, but she only seemed to like Pebbles. I’d fill their water bowls, and then I would put on a pot of coffee and get myself ready for the day. Hearing me fill the bowls, Bootz would come running and start brushing between my feet like cats do, but Fluffy would never come and do that, she would wait until Bootz had her fill and then eat when she felt hungry. She never begged or made a fuss about food. I liked that about Fluffy. I was always a sucker for animals that would look at you with soulful eyes and a whimper to get a table scrap morsel.

If Bootz or Fluffy were tableside beggars, I know I would have to phone Jenny Craig to see if she has a pet plan, because I wouldn’t have the heart not to pass them some of whatever I was eating at the time. I could just see the commercials, Kirstie Alley, Valerie Bertinelli, Bootz, and Fluffy showing their before and after pictures, and their fat clothes, while I would be sentenced to a 12 step program for pet over feeders. A fate I’m glad we’ve all been spared.


After showering and getting dressed, I went out to the mailbox to check the mail, and get the morning paper like I would do every morning. I can remember trying to teach Fluffy to fetch the morning paper, but her stubborn nature became very apparent at a very early age. Many a morning I would drag her outside, show her the paper and try everything I knew about training animals to fetch it in, but to no avail. She would just look at it and sit on the paper and refuse to budge. It didn’t take me long to give up on my futile paper fetching training and just go get it myself every morning. But to my amazement, Fluffy seemed to have learned that the paper was something to sit on, and every morning she would plant herself on the table sitting squarely on top of my paper while I poured a fresh coffee. It would become a staring game which I always lost and would have to pick Fluffy up and put her on my lap to even get a glimpse at the morning news. She may have been stubborn, but she did like her attention too. I guess, as an afterthought, I never had a soggy, chewed paper to read.


It was when I poured my coffee and had my paper in place ready on the table to start our staring game that I found her. She just lied there, lifeless, under the kitchen table. I’ve had many pets in my life, but none have had the impact of Fluffy. I stood there for what must have been only minutes, that seemed like hours, before I ran to wake up Lola for I didn’t know what to do next. I usually am usually rock solid in times of crisis or emergency, but this was my pet, my Fluffy, and I just couldn’t wrap my head around what was happening. I knew Lola would know just what to do or say to get me through this. It’s not that Lola wouldn’t be upset too, but Lola didn’t have the same attachment to Fluffy that I did. When we first got married, Lola couldn’t warm up to Fluffy at all, because she didn’t care for hairless pets. But that changed over time too, for I know Lola loved Fluffy just as much as I did, but I know she wouldn’t admit it.


Lola did take care of everything for me and Fluffy. She phoned Jodi and my parents, she calmed Jason down too, for he took it quite hard as well. For the first time in a crisis, Lola was the rock, and I was the puddle of mush, but I knew she was taking it hard too. She just wasn’t letting me see it so she could be there for me. I knew, we both knew that this was going to happen someday, but we aren’t fanatical about pets...I mean...We knew we would lose Fluffy because she was really getting on in years, but we were not the type of pet owners to plan lavish pet funerals, buy expensive plots and such. But we were also not going to let a Vet dispose our beloved Fluffy either. We planned a simple little pet funeral in the back yard with a nice pet memorial. Fluffy was a special member of our family, and this seemed to be perfect to remember her by.

My entire family did come and bid their personal farewell to Fluffy. They came at different times, and bid farewell in different ways. My mother seemed to take it especially hard. It was mom that got Fluffy for me in the first place in spite of my dad’s objections. Dad always felt that you shouldn’t give animals to anyone as a gift because the person may not be prepared for the responsibility of a pet. He argued that a pet would be a novelty gift at first, but once the novelty wears off they would have to take responsibility for Fluffy. She argued that I was fifteen years old and could take good care of Fluffy. Dad was proud that I proved him wrong that Christmas those many years ago.



And now I’m bidding my own farewell to my beloved Fluffy. I will never forget that Christmas morning in 1975 when I got the whole family up to open gifts. Mom always had little Christmas tricks that she loved to pull with presents. She would wrap small things in big boxes, wrap batteries separately if a present needed batteries, all in an effort for me not to be able to guess what the presents were. Mostly I could guess and often guess right. I had no idea about Fluffy though.


She was a real surprise.

To my Fluffy,
If there is a pet heaven, I know you are happy.
You were the best Pet Rock a person could ever have.
I will miss you
Fluffy Sirianni, December 1975-January 2008



Fluffy and Cocoa (Mom's Cockapoo) at play 2002

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