Release Weekend!

Well, we're hot in the rush of release weekend, hours and hours of work. It just occurred to me that, no matter what you've heard, this is not like herding cats.

It's more like herding three-toed sloths.

"I'm on that! Oh...that's interesting, is it a flea?...Hmmm...What are you working on? ..Heyyyyyy, bananas!"

Tree is a Magic Number

Well, I've been getting in after 10 every night for more than a week, and the Brunette has been out of town. So I don't know when it happened, but a big, ginormous, huge branch fell out of a tree and is stuck in the tree in our garden. The trouble is, the leaves on the branch don't look at all like the leaves in the tree, or any of the trees in our garden.

Where did it come from? Perhaps the beavers have run up here from the lake and learned to climb trees? Weird.

There's a picture here, on Little House in the Co-op.

Monkey Business

Ok, here's a little message from our founder.

Certified

I just stepped out for dinner at Taste of Jerusalem. Because I was alone, eavesdropping was unavoidable. Two women at the next table went from discussing the relative popularity of malaria and AIDS to complaining about some new personnel requirement. I probably misremember the acronym...

"So, these people will just be told that they're the MPRO. If they don't get any training are they going to care?"

"Is there any incentive connected with being the MPRO?"

"No, no carrot or stick. There's no extra pay or anything; it's just something extra they have to do. I'm sure they'll just shrug and toss the notice in the trash."

"Maybe you could do something to encourage them to learn about it. I know, you could give them a certificate."

"Yeah! That's it, a certificate! What a great idea."

The Release Man Cometh

And the Brunette Goeth Away

We're bearing down on the end of May, our supposed release date. As always, the work hours rack up during these iterations and the blog hours decrease. On the other hand, the Brunette has flown away to St. Louis to help our friend move. Generally, this means lots of entries about lack of direction and listlessness.

Not sure what the combination will bring to you faithful readers. Stay tuned.

Against Gravity (Gary Gibson)

So, I had swung by the Krispy Kreme on the way to my imaginary Great Uncle's place. I don't know about you, but being on a diet and living within range of a doughnut shop is much akin to torture. You can't really blame me for giving in to the doughnut once in a while, especially when a visit to Great Uncle Leadbelly is on the menu.

Can you?

At any rate, I rap my knuckles on his door and get no response. I glance down the hall in both directions without noticing any activity. I imagine my great uncle living in the Republican Retirement Ranch and Relaxation Rodeo in Monkey County, but I'm not really sure what he likes about it. He's always been a little bit of a loner, and his nature is in the deep end of conservative to the extent that he's not a big fan of any kind of community.

"Community is only two letters away from Communism," he mutters as he putters around his small apartment.

Since he's never involved in anything, I'm a little concerned about him not being in his apartment as I knock now, especially since we've been scheduled for a week or two. I pull out my mobile phone to find out where he has wandered off to.

I can hear his phone ringing on the other side of the door. The ringing stops abruptly.

"Hello?" he answers through the cell phone.

"Great Uncle, let me in!" I say to the door.

"I'm sorry," he says through the phone. "I can't do that."

"What's wrong, Great Uncle?" I say to the door. "I've come to discuss this book with you. Remember? Did you read it?"

He responds, but I've been talking to the door and have forgotten the phone. I put the lobe back to the phone and ask him to repeat.

"Go away," he says, leaving me stranded.

"You're not upset about the book are you?" I shout to the door. Maybe I can embarrass him into letting me in. He might not want anyone to know he actually reads, and he certainly wouldn't want anyone to think he's responsible for a little civil unrest. "You know it's just a book, right? It's got nothing to do with reality."

"I hardly think," he replies soberly (through the phone), "that you are one to lecture me on 'reality'."

"Oh, Great Uncle," I say. "This is America. You can't really imagine that a president would use a terrorist attack as an excuse to whip a religious support base into a frenzy and then start trampling on our civil liberties, can you?"

There is no response from Leadbelly. Maybe that wasn't the best argument. Two apartments down the hall, a door opens and an elderly woman peers out. She darts her head about like a nervous mouse. I shyly wave, but she pops her head back in and shuts the door. Did I see someone slip out behind her and run down the hall? Nobody runs that fast, surely.

"C'mon Great Uncle," I say. "You like law and order. You're all into supporting the government and junk. They're not going to arrest you and take you away to some secret warren in the jungle. You've never done anything that would catch their attention."

"In Against Gravity," Great Uncle Leadbelly points out, "it wasn't Kendrick who fraternized with the wrong people."

So that's it. Kendrick was arrested for knowing someone (his wife, actually) who maybe might have known someone else who was against the government.

"You don't want them to see you with me? Is that what you're saying?" Silence from the door and the phone. This is frustrating. I turn quickly at a scraping sound in the hall, but I still see nobody. "But Great Uncle, I've brought doughnuts. Krispy Kreme doughnuts."

I'm now constantly wagging my head back and forth trying to keep an eye on both ends of the hall. It's useless. I know in my head that these pensioners can't be flickering around the complex like super-animated rodents, but who really knows what goes on at these places? C'mon Great Uncle.

"What kind?" says the phone, eventually.

"Jelly. Raspberry jelly."

I think I hear breathing, but see nothing as I jerk my head around. Then, the breathing sound stops. Hurry, Great Uncle, hurry. Suddenly, the door flies open, Great Uncle Leadbelly grabs my collar, and he yanks me in. He closes the door after a quick look up and down the hallway.

"Great --"

"Shhh," he interrupts. "Doughnut first."

I give him the doughnut bag and settle down on the couch for a good talk about Gary Gibson's Against Gravity. Great Uncle Leadbelly will do anything for a good doughnut. I guess it runs in the family.

Green Light, Green Line, Green Belt

Metro Sculpture
Wow, a whole week without a post. I do have two book tales waiting for typing and another two to write, but nothing interesting to say today.

This was a relaxing weekend with a birthday party, a pair of visitors, some planting, and a little bit of painting. January is coming fast. The Brunette finished her third painting yesterday, while I only started putting paint down for my third. My paintings are getting smaller as I worry more about production time. In December, I'll be painting on M&Ms.

Pressure at work continues to mount as we get closer to our release date. Not sure how much I'll be able to do here in the blog until after the release. In the meantime, here's a picture of a woman I saw on the Metro last week. It must be hard to get your artwork around town and rely on public transportation at the same time.

Iron Chef - Final

Iron Chef Entries

The Secret Ingredient: Walnuts

My Entry: Walnut Falafel (left)

The Brunette's Entry: Fig, Walnut & Gorgonzola Cheese on 5 Grain Nut Bread (right)

We had a great time at the Iron Chef party. Everybody had wonderful dishes, especially our hosts. And I'm not just saying that because the Brunette won the competition. That was just icing, so to speak.

It's a shame we had to leave to go listen to griping at the New Deal, but we had so much fun we agreed to do another Iron Chef party. The hard part's figuring out when.