I woke early and began picking up my "art" room, although "art" is no more than a euphemism for the disorderly spare room in which my hobby stuff resides.I tried to improvise songs with my electric kazoo, while playing green plastic maracas. My feeble notion of using the kazoo as a mariachi instrument still requires additional work, as well as, I suppose, the necessity for me learning more mariachi song words than "Guadalajara" and "mi corazon".
I figured out how to turn off the MS Messenger program, which had subjected me to spam IM messages, after a live AOL person helped me figure out how to do it. AOL customer service is improving.
I drove my car to the gas station, bought gas and a car wash. I like when the jets of water stream beside the car. My car no longer has that set of storm clouds of "needs a wash" across its white frame. I had put this off too long. This is my weekend to do things I put off too long, both chores and fun.
Last night, by the way, a teen girl ran into someone from behind on the freeway, who then ran into me. It was a bit of a jar, but I think I am fine. I will have the mechanic make sure my car is fine Monday, but it seems to drive okay. I did not really mind her error at all, nor did the woman whom the teen hit more directly. We were both teens once, I believe, although I did not ask the kind woman who hit me if she too had been one.
I stayed at the scene until the girl's friends came to pick her up on the Central Expressway, and then headed up to Rockfish Grill in McKinney. I was late to a dinner with my wife and her charming friends the vet, the vet assistant, and the twins. I palliated my (lack of) trauma in (rather ordinary) fried catfish, and survived. We had a nice time, although in loud chain restaurants I cannot hear very well.
After getting my car washed, I went to Trinity Trail for a hike.
I saw many butterflies--sulphurs, spicebrush, a monarch, and an orange-ish kind whose name escapes me. Cormorants stood on the dead trees visible from the "hiker's point".
I took out a Justice League of America kite I bought at Dollar Tree, and a 300 foot string spool I bought at the KB Toys outlet. The kite went directly aloft, and in fifteen minutes I had let out nearly all the string. I reeled in the string, slowly, and tried to take pictures of the kite for a future weblog entry. I have my digicam software hooked up to my new computer, so these may be my last throwaway camera photos for a while. As I walked back to my car, a convention of parents and teen girls looked ready to begin a major trail ride. I was glad I had not gone on with my original intention of a ten mile hike on the trail, as yielding to horses is something I prefer to do in limited quantity.
I came back into town, and stopped in at the Ole' Market, where three Mexican bakery items were available for a dollar. As is customary at such places, I used the tongs to make my selections. I think sometimes how when I was in college I was an Anglophile, who dreamed of living in the UK. Now I am a Mexico-phile, but happy to live in Allen, Texas.
I drove to the Discount Tire, because I had gone for months without getting my missing hubcap replaced and for weeks without fixing the tire that went flat a few weeks ago.The man behind the desk came and looked at my car, and agreed with me that the damaged tire seemed to be an anomaly in its wear pattern. He did find a nail embedded in another tire,though, which had to be repaired as well.
It turned out that a set of generic hubcaps cost very little money, so I had all four hubcaps replaced rather than spending a bit more on one Ford hubcap. The new hubcaps look very "hip", rather like something someone would put on a 1977 El Torino if that someone wanted to make an ineffectual statement that he or she were cool.
I spent the waiting time buying paperback books next door, of which I've begun Elizabeth Gaskell's "Cranford".
I thought of my dream of buying an old used car at a Garland "we tote the note" place (or on eBay), and then finding a group of people to help me paint it into an art car, to be auctioned off on eBay for charity. I will retain that idea in my memory until I can use it someday.
I drove to a new hair place near our home, called something like Great Cuts or Great Clips or or Great Scott Hairchops or Coup d'Etat or some other vaguely chain-sounding name. They insisted in taking down my name, rank and serial number (though I declined to tell them where I'd hidden the Ark of the Covenant nor how the other escapees planned to make it to Switzerland) into a personal computer. The woman who gave me a cut and a shampoo (and called me "Robert" every three point two seconds) advised me that now they would keep for posterity on-line that I require the number 4 shears. I share this vital information as a backstop against the data being lost in a global supercomputer world domination takeover, as my account here is permanent.
I believe I have written before that one can really do very little for one's fellow human beings, other than perhaps remember which shear best ravages one's hair. Now even that bit of responsible living will be handled by computer."You have a little curl", she said, emphasizing the "little" to acknowledge the fact that my hair is not like Art Garfunkel's, but instead at its worst has a vague upturn at the ends. She buzzed my hair back to something one might call "retired on half pay, without distinction", and I headed to lunch.
I ate at the Persian place nearby, where the new waitress did not know me, although now that I think about it, my favorite waitress is getting married this weekend. I found the first few pages of the Gaskell book quite amusing. The ribeye kebab in tandoori bread sandwich tasted wonderful.
I noticed as I walked back to my car that the Coffee Dreams meeting room might work for a small chess tournament. I now think in terms of venues, having gotten a curious e mail from the local Allen Hilton Garden Inn that the only room they could find for me on April 27 would rent for 300 dollars. I still wonder what I said wrong to get quoted such a high rental, as I explained that I had only 4 to 12 attendees expected. I suppose it's a subtle way to give a cold shoulder, but I'll take my subtlety in smaller doses, please.
Maybe the Coffee Dreams room will be more affordable.
I drove to Allen High School, where a neighborhood crafts fair was in session. I believe in supporting crafts fairs. This one featured a great deal of what I consider "country cute content", which I am sad to say does not describe me. It's funny how rustic is cool, but "country cute" is far less cool. I did buy a mix for taco soup,
a jar of wine jelly, and a little airplane that winds up when you pull it backwards, and then its propellors pointlessly turn.
Now I'm charting out my next move, as my wife needs to work on a big work project all evening, and I'm torn between a quick fishing trip and a movie.
This was a productive day, as I hoped it would be. But I still have what I can only describe as Spring cleaning to do, as well as mail art, poetry and similar pursuits to pursue.