ArtLung: Joe Crawford Moorpark & Los Angeles, California, USA. Since 2001. May 2008

June 1st, 2008

The Misc on the Bus Goes Round and Round

I had gotten in the habit of blogging every weekday for the last few weeks, but broke that streak by not blogging on Friday or subsequently, until this lovely Sunday morning. So, yes.

What is to say, exactly? The answer is that there are quite a few random datapoints I could mention. Here are a few:

Kill Ugly Radio, a blog I’ve mentioned before, linked to this 1980 performance by Frank Zappa in Albuquerque of Harder than your Husband and Bamboozled by Love. A very interesting find, and I love hearing Ike Willis singing, regardless. The addition of Jimmy Carl Black (“The Indian of the Group“) is particularly fun on Husband.

Last week I served my jury duty service in Ventura County, and when I say “served” what I mean is that after 5pm each day, I called to see if my number was being called. I was in group 047. Last week was a short week owing to Memorial Day, so it was a four day week. I liked those odds, so rather than claiming financial hardship, like I have every other time in my life I’ve been called, I agreed to take a shot at it. For Tuesday, Group 001 was called. I thought, hey, this is auspicious. That’s a long way from 047! For Wednesday, it was 002 to 012. That was an elevenfold jump in the number of groups. Thursday was 013 to 037. That more than doubled the number of groups. I was really expecting to serve on Friday, losing a day of work, but also getting a valuable chance to carry out my civic duty, but when I called on Thursday night the groups called were 038 to 046. Yes, that’s right, I was saved from jury duty last week by a counter that seemed to echo a million bad film and tv shows featuring countdown timers. With only 1 digit left, the red wire was cut, and the heroes and the Earth were saved. I’ll take it.

WiiWare has been fun. Leah mentioned Super Mario Bros. And this weekend we’ve added Galaga and StarFox 64 to our roster of classic games. Tony was really intent on StarFox and digs it. I’m not very good at it, and in two-player versus mode I spend all my time evading Tony and not quite getting into position to shoot him. It was fun watching the boys play Super Mario though, but even more fun watching Mom play. They seemed mystified by the fact that this Mom-creature totally pwns this game, and is far better at it than them. It makes me chuckle every time. The thing that especially gets me about the game when I think about it is that Leah and her ex bought that game system for their one year old. They might as well have gotten their one year old a trampoline or a bike! Dev did eventually play it, but the innocent self-deception makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. 19 year old parents are funny! I mean, in retrospect, and along with laughing at them I am totally respecting their commitment to raising a child when they were barely adults themselves.

But yeah, funny. I’m actually chuckling again, as I think about it.

The Passing Strange Soundtrack did indeed come out, and it is awesome and moving and yes, I laughed, I cried, it was much better than Cats.

Swimming was good this week, though Friday I got a little freaked out by a largish woman who does things to kickboards. The first thing she does when not swimming is take a kickboard in one hand and slamming it loudly, bellyflopping it, first to her right, then to her left, and back, this is while standing in the shallow end. THWACK! right side. THWACK! left side. And again and again. It sounds like torpedoes being deployed from a patrol boat (perhaps the famous PT-109, which I once did a model of when I was a kid). This is disruptive, but I can ignore it. The other thing she does, much less ignorable, is take four kickboards and smash them down into the water, holding them there for half a second, then pulling them up, then pushing them violently back in the water. Maybe this is some upper body exercise? All I know is that the effect looks and sounds like she’s violently trying to drown someone who is struggling against her, and she is having none of it. DIE, KICKBOARDS, DIE!!! is what I imagine she’s saying to herself. Friday was especially odd because as I was exiting the pool, she asked me “sir do you want a kickboard oh sorry.” All one breath like that, but she only decided to ask me as I was climbing the ladder to get out. NO I DO NOT WANT A KICKBOARD! was in my head but what came out was “No thank you.” Her exercise routine freaks me out.

Gas prices are a factor in everything these days, but unexpectedly, both our driving kids cited it as a reason to avoid the 4.5 mile drive to our house. We’re going to micro-subsidize this cost for Alex by a few dollars a month. I do want her to figure out what her gas mileage is though. It seems she puts in gas the same way I did, which is like five thimble-fulls at a time. Once while still in high school I believe I put in 75 cents of gas. This was at the AM/PM mini mart in Point Loma at the corner of Lytton and Rosecrans. I believe at the time that amount of money bought a little under a gallon. And actually, I think I made Chris get out and actually pay that night. I’m pretty sure he found it at least as pathetic as me. I think I made him go pay because I was too embarrassed.

Hacky sack! I’ve been carrying around this hacky sack (actually, a Sipa Sipa) for 18 years but have not gotten it out to try and kick it around for a long while. With my swimming I’ve gotten some better flexbility and wanted to try it out. I managed to cajole the boys into trying it out with me. The first time I tried this with them was five years ago, when the boys were 10 and 8. They’re much better coordinated now. It did develop a tear in the past decades but Leah fixed that for me. Thanks lp!

I blogged about my Mom this week, and she did indeed have a bad week. But things are looking up and there’s a plan to restart chemo at a gentler dose, and she’s feeling better overall. Love and prayers go out to her and her health. Sometimes it’s really hard to live far away from my folks.

I guess that’s it for now. Next week Leah will be going out of town, so that’ll be different. I expect she’ll be blogging about that as the time comes for that. I expect to be busy as well, with some new deadlines on a project at work and a long dormant project coming back to life, too.

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