Monday, August 27, 2012

"I saw a deadhead sticker on a Cadillac."

My sweetheart bought me a Keurig for my birthday. It's silver 'n black and looks downright menacing, so I considered naming it Lester Hayes.

Remember how low he'd crouch at the line, all covered in Stickum, bumping-and-running the NFL's best receivers into irrelevancy? The rule banning the adhesive bore his name, and he had one of the best sports nicknames ever.

The Keurig is decidely sci-fi, however. USCSS Prometheus would be most fitting, especially considering the blue Quasar Propulsion Drive (QPD, or "Cupid" as it's colloquially known in space-geek circles) it uses to brew the coffee. Heck, this system is probably what they'll be using to make their joe aboard the actual craft in 2089.

Then it hit me:

My loyal murder, I am now the proud owner of my very own Wave Motion Gun. Even their sounds are somewhat similar, along with that pregnant pause between activation and overwhelming output. I drink coffee like it's water now. Really hot, awesome water. I'm now in a constant state of caffeination. 11:42 PM? @#$% it, let's show the Gamilons we mean business.

Star Blazers was hands-down my favorite show as a kid. It wasn't just the usual pew-pew-pew trappings, it was the characters and the context of their story. Alex Wildstar's sacrifice? Captain Avatar's declining health? That was riveting stuff to an 8-year old. At the end of every episode, a warning was displayed: "Only x-amount of days left..." No other cartoon had an expiration date like that. Even if they did make it to Iscandar, there was no guarantee they'd even make it back to Earth, let alone on time.

I won't spoil the ending for you, because I'm sure you've already opened another tab and can't wait to see for yourself. All I'll say is that, 33 years later, I've finally started to understand and incorporate this ethos into my life. In enough time, everything I own will be dust. How important, then, is the material? All that will remain is the affinity and regard I've had and hopefully received. How you lived is so very much better and enduring than what you lived with, or when, or where...

As for the "who", my relationships are certainly the better for it. If you can judge a man by the company he keeps, then I'm in good stead. This year has been a whirlwind of change and growth, one of those watershed periods that blazes by only a few times in life. At the very center of it now is love, appreciation, laughter, communication and understanding (and more coffee). There may be a great woman behind every great man, but the truly Great Ones stand right by your side.

Department of Randomness: 

Why was God using the plural here? If I've posed this question before, please feel free to contact the Department of Complaints at the number provided below.

American politics is entirely retarded. I won't split hairs or apologize for using the term, for that's precisely what it's become. Imagine getting a clogged toilet, calling a plumber and then watching him stand in the bowl with the plunger. By and large, Democrats and Republicans are not problem solvers - they are the problem. Look no further than the McCain/Graham/Obama NDAA, and listen to this:

When did believing in liberty become the kooky exception in a nation whose cornerstone was precisely that? Naturally, Ron Paul maintained his integrity right to the very end by declining Romney's conditional offer to speak at the convention. Alas, it's only August and already the party line-spewing ignorati are out in full force. I'm heavily relying on ear plugs, waders and vodka until November.

I like Neil deGrasse Tyson, but I want to hear his ruminations on politics about as much as I want to hear George W. Bush talk about asternom- astronautom-- THE @#$% STARS. It's like actors singing or basketball players trying to hit a curve ball. As for his point, the Muslim world did indeed have names for the various heavenly bodies, but the religion wasn't founded until the 7th century A.D. Is he suggesting that the Greeks and Romans were entirely ignorant of astronomy? You could take it all the way back to Sumeria, I suppose, and who knows how far before that?

Department of Complaints: 973-474-9050

I felt it yesterday, that first late-August breeze that carried more autumn than summer. This time of year is always my favorite, but I've so many wonderful memories this time around. The Carnival. Watching a foal at White Oak. Actual adult time "down the shore". Hours upon countless hours simply talking. Spying the Ring Nebula from the Paul H. Robinson Observatory. Eating, imbibing and retiring like a king with his queen for a day. Infinite "Ready Spaghetti" and "Flipper McGee" child tossing at the pool. Second breakfasts and elevenses at my sweetheart's Bag End. The Mets in a dogfight for last place.

My kids started school this morning. Summer ended right then and there, for all intents and purposes, and I hummed Don Henley as we approached the front entrance. My oldest has been through this ritual four times already, so it was decidedly old hat. Approximately 20 feet from the door, however, my kindergarten-bound youngest trembled, turned grey and vomited into my hand.

It broke my heart to see my tender little tornado, my irascible, daredevilish mustang, so affected. After calming him down and his teacher assuring us we could try again tomorrow, he let me carry him to the car. I could tell he was embarrassed, perhaps worried he'd disappointed. I told him my love for him will still be strong after the boys of summer have gone, then went home and made more coffee.