Friday, August 18, 2017

Active Seniors

My dad's face comes up on the screen, sweaty and pink, a brick wall behind him. "Hey there, son!" he says heartily.

"Why do I always catch you out doing something when I call?" I say, laughing.

"I'm playing pickleball!" he says happily, holding up a black-gloved hand. 
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One year ago: Theophobia
Two years ago: Gaming
Three years ago: Vanity

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Be Nicer

We're trying to find a place to put the papers that Katie is taking into work with her tomorrow so she doesn't forget them, because mornings are hard.

"Yeah, you get all worked up, running around....," I say, to which I receive a raised eyebrow.

"Be nice," she says.

"I'm not being mean," I say, "I'm describing."
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One year ago: Distracted
Two years ago: THAT Kind of Marriage
Three years ago: sketch 8/16

Because We Ate Them

"Think we can split the bottle of sake?" I ask Katie, who shrugs and nods. "We'll get the sake, and one order of avocado buns," I tell the waitress.

A few minutes later comes the small bottle of cloudy, slightly sweet nigori sake, along with two pillowy buns hugging avocado slices drizzled in a thick teriyaki sauce and covered in sweet Japanese mayo, and we raise our glasses with our usual toast ("To the popular vote") and dig in.

A few minutes later, a different waitress comes up and apologetically informs us that, unfortunately they are entirely out of avocado buns this evening, even as I'm raising the remaining half of one to my mouth.
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One year ago: Overenthusiastic
Two years ago: They're Too Short
Three years ago: Quiet Kids
Four years ago: Houseguests

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Streets Aren't Safe

I'm standing on 7th Avenue, leaning on a construction awning, waiting for the post office to open. Some people have joined me, forming an orderly queue, like we do in NYC.

A squirrel runs up, stares me right in the face, and stands on his hind legs, like he's squaring up, and in my shock, I step back quickly, which seems to scare him enough that he runs off.

"Thought he was gonna mug me," I say to the guy laughing behind me.
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One year ago: Misery Aficionado
Three years ago: Hoo Boy
Four years ago: God Lives in the Desert, So the Rest of Us Can Live Here
Nine years ago: For those still paying attention

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Times, A'Changin'

"Whoa," I say quietly to Katie as we hit the corner by the grocery store. "check out the refugee from The MC5."

"I don't know what that means," Katie says, but there he is standing on the corner, talking on his cell, but otherwise straight out of the 1960's: bell-bottomed pants and Cuban heels, slim suit jacket with no shirt, a red, white, and blue cravat, and some of the biggest hair I've ever seen on a white man in the flesh.

He goes into the grocery store, too, but we quickly lose sight of him in the aisles, until I see him leaving, still chatting on his phone, with a case of LaCroix sparkling water under his arm.

When I mention this to Katie, specifically his choice in cans of overpriced, flavored bubbly water, she says, "Of course he did."
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One year ago: You Just Don't Understand!
Two years ago: I'm a Liar
Four years ago: Sometimes You Gotta Eat Crow First

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Violence In Our Hearts

This part of Williamsburg, as it shades into Greenpoint, reminds me of the seedier parts of Tucson I used to frequent - single-story cinder block garages and warehouses covered in graffiti, weeds cracking the sidewalks, cyclone fences standing watch over empty, overgrown lots where wild green things eke out a meager existence in the space between stones. An overcast sky paints the whole scene a yellowish gray, while hundreds of miles away, white supremacists beat on their shields and throw Nazi salutes to the cameras like desperate divas throwing kisses to horrified paparazzi.

"I think there's a piece of me," I say to my friend as we stroll back to his workspace after lunch, "that is just fascinated by the violence, that glories in it."

"I mean, what you're talking about," he replies, as we walk slower and slower, "is really the human condition, right?"
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One year ago: Getting Better
Two years ago: A Brief Discourse On Style
Three years ago: Sic Semper Bullies
Four years ago: Brain Fart

Friday, August 11, 2017

We Wondered How They Stayed Open

"At lunchtime, they come eat here from the school," our server at the Mexican restaurant says.

"What year are these kids?" asks Katie.

"Fourth, fifth graders, and they just come in here and order food, but they're very well behaved."

"Man, I thought they were barely domesticated at that age," I say, shaking my head.
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One year ago: Fine Distinctions
Three years ago: Dead Food
Four years ago: Naptime!