Friday, April 04, 2008

Five? I'll Bet I Could Give You Ten


I was lying down briefly, after I had gotten home and unloaded my day (bags, papers, put away, put away,) and I debated taking a nap (too late). I started reflecting over this past week…a lot of it not so great, and read my email...most of it not good at all, and I thought, “Try and think of five things that were pretty good about today.” Hmmm:

1) I saw so many varied, blooming trees and noticed how incongruous that pink and white tissue seems against some of their urban backdrops, but I’ll take it where I can get it, including my varied daffodils. I’m especially enjoying the white on whites this year.

2) I finally started working on another blog piece today after having just posted yesterday so “score” on that. I didn’t get it finished, but it will be. I hope I can produce more.

3) I ran by the grocery store tonight. In the language of Bush, “Didn’t want to. Did. Glad.” When I came out of the market, it was twilight and birds were twittering about, settling in for the night. I looked up at this sickly tree, and there were two birds in the branches. I stopped and had a conversation with them. I asked them why they stayed apart when they should be joining the other birds. That it would be nicer and they could get all cozy and warm. Then I had a pretend conversation between the birds. I admit it. I’m not ashamed:

Girl Bird: "Yah Yah Yah. You with the berry in your beak. I know your type. I’ve seen you on the ground all fluffed out and strutting around. I’ve seen you flying around gathering twigs and grasses. I know what you really want."

Boy Bird: "All the mod cons, my little chickadee."

Anyway. They flew off to the others. They took my tip on the bird pajama party. They can spin platters like...."Rockin' Robin." Tweet. Tweet.




4) I went to pick up some books on hold at a library. They use the machines where you check yourself out. For some time now I could swear the machine was saying, “Please do not forget to take your libary card.” Today I was sure that’s what it said. There were people next to me, using the other machine. It repeated the phrase. Others waited. I turned to them and said, “It’s true.! It’s saying libary.” We laughed and discussed that this is what it’s come down to at the libary. When I went outside, right by the front door, there was a holly tree. I looked down. Berries. I was at the liberry. I should have complained at the dest. Driving down the road, I heard an amblance.

5) In the checkout line at the grocery store, I picked up the new issue of OK magazine with Britney Spears on the cover: the issue that’s been all over the place this week, “Britney’s Slim Down Secrets! How She Lost 15 Pounds in Four Weeks!” I held the issue up to the cashier and said, “…and here’s Britney’s secret. That photograph was taken in 2003. I read the gossip blogs on the ‘net. I make it my job to spread the truth. Her secret is a time machine." The cashier could not stop laughing. I told her, "OK magazine lies. I do not lie." Laughter. I was playing to a solid house. When I was done with my checkout she said, “Thank you for making me laugh.” I wondered. Who makes me laugh?


That’s five. What could ten be? Let’s see.




6) My mountain laurel is blooming. Lavender blossoms.

7) I sent a birthday card to a friend and did a bangup job with it. I would show it or describe it, but he reads this blog, and he hasn’t gotten the card yet, so….

8) Tattoos that made me laugh. Last night when I couldn’t sleep, I was channel surfing and caught part of L.A. Ink. The artists were at a convention, and one woman wanted to pick up some ink from a former colleague in Chicago, a remembrance of when she lived there. He sketched out a rat with a banner beneath it saying “Chicago.” At first she was reluctant. He said, “Chicago has rats.” She agreed and let him ink a rat on her wrist. Tonight, I saw a woman in a short sleeved top with what I thought were two black panther tails curling down her arm. She lifted up her sleeves. On both arms, down the back, F holes. “Like on a guitar,” she said.

9) Listening to my iPhone go off and hearing my ringtone: the opening staccato rhythms of The Dropkick Murphys doing “Shipping Up To Boston.” I keep seeing Jack Nicholson driving over the Bunker Hill Bridge in The Departed. I love crossing that bridge at night.

10) Explaining steamed spotted dick.

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13 Comments:

Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Blogger just ate my fabulous comment. Here's a more concise version:

glad you're able to find 10 things to be grateful for. Gratitude practice is SO POWERFUL.

Take good care. Thinking of you with love.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

....and there's Reya. ELEVEN things to be happy about.

11:19 AM  
Blogger m.a. said...

I'm grateful that I get to read some new words by Cube! And I think that this is going to be a pretty awesome spring because I can think of quite a few things to be happy about as well.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Hello M.A. Glad to see you are still blogging.

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Pascal Ébert said...

I apologize for this "drive-by" comment but hate to read an entertaining post and not leave a few words behind. I like to think that I was raised better than that.

Your anecdote on Britney Spears made me chuckle for a couple of reasons. First because I like to see that others have similar conversations with strangers. Second because of a nearly forgettable exchange between my daughter and me this afternoon.

We were waiting to cross the street and I thought that I recognized Britney Spears in a car that had just sped by.

To my daughter I said: "Was that Britney Spears?"

"That's mean," she replied, "why do you say things like that, Dad?"

I still maintain that I saw Britney today in the back seat of a 1975 Caprice station wagon heading north on Madison Avenue.

12:35 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Pascal:

I don't know what made me laugh more. The "Caprice station wagon" or the "North on Madison Avenue."

I went over to your blog. My late friend, Deatra, used to live in a neighborhood where the people behind her were from Thailand. They left their Christmas lights up year round...lit....and it always got her fired up.

One Christmas we met after work for drinks and dinner. I took her out into the Washington suburbs where I knew this crazy man "overkilled" his house (he still does....but he doesn't do Easter, Valentines, etc..like he used to). We got out of the car and stared in wonder, laughing so hard (booze induced) we could barely stand, in the cold, tears streaming. I told her we had to stop and get back in the car, because I had heard stories that this man took his decorating seriously and had come out of his house with a shotgun once before when people stood laughing at his house. That made her laugh even more. I never seem to laugh like that anymore.

1:09 AM  
Blogger I-66 said...

Cube, there is a question that has been bothering me...

Is explaining steamed spotted dick more gratifying than eating it?

9:32 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Yes

11:10 AM  
Blogger Hammer said...

Leave Britney alone!

LEAVE HER ALONE!!!

[cue to Hammer sobbing...]

Alright, sorry, that was too easy.

No birdie pajama party would be complete without "Surfin' Bird." Preferably with either the Ramones or Cramps version.

Ah Boston... how I miss it sometimes...

DC life's fine and good but there are days I just shake my head and wonder, "Why the hell did I leave?"

(I mean, other than January, February, the utter lack of sweet tea, and one of the most unattractive accents you'll ever hear come out of the fairer sex's mouth...)

Okay Cube, you need a laugh? Picture this... (Apologies in advance for the length of this anecdote.)

Hammer in his mid-20's, living in Boston and hitting the downtown bars with his friends - all New Englanders. The Richmond accent? Absolutely golden. "Hi, my name's Hammer. And your name is... Lisa is it? Why Miss Lisa, I declare! It appears you ruh-quire another Zima." In this group of friends is my co-worker Carla, a loud, feisty, and super-skinny 5-foot-nothin' woman from Worcester. What Carla lacks in body mass she more than makes up for in attitude, accent and volume. Carla and I have an arrangement to bail each other out if we're being hit on by someone we'd rather not be. Just flash the "Help me!" signal, and that's the other person's cue. We haven't had to resort to it yet, but that's our deal.

So our group's at a crowded bar near Copley somewhere, and I've peeled off to get another drink, and this super-drunk, about-as-tall-as-me-and-built-like-an-NFL-linebacker insane woman crashes into me, literally, and about knocks me out with her 180-proof breath as she belts out, "Oh my Gahd I just lahv your accent! Where ah you from?!?!"

And she won't let go of me. Literally. She pays for our drinks, and so like a good Southern boy I stand there and drink my draft Harpoon IPA with her, but it's "drink" in the "chug it, say thank you, and escape" sense. So I pound it, but before I can make a semi-graceful exit, she grabs my shirt and yells out "Bahtendah! Ahnatha round!"

So now I'm thinking, "Politeness be damned, where the fuck is Carla?!?!?!" I catch her eye across the bar - she's standing with our crew, and everyone's just dying laughing at my predicament. Carla shakes her head, puts her drink down on a table, walks about halfway towards us, and with that ear-splitting-shrillness that only she can hit, yells out across the bar, "Get away from my husband you bitch!!!"

All conversations in the bar come to an immediate halt. My other friends? Jaws on the floor.

"Whaaaaat?"

Carla points a bony finger at us and yells, "I SAID GET AWAY FROM MY HUSBAND YOU BITCH!!!"

Large Marge yells back, "Fahk you you bitch! I'll kick your ass!"

Carla shakes a bony little fist at L.M. and yells back, "Bring it on!"

The bar, silent to this point, completely erupts.

I run across the bar to Carla, pleading, "Baby! Baby! I'm sorry! We were just talking is all! We were just talking!"

She yells back, "I swear to God I'm going to fucking divorce you! I'm sick of this shit!"

Entire bar lets out a "Ooooooooh!"

So yeah, we didn't stay long after that. The entire rest of the evening? We just can't stop laughing - I mean non-stop full-on hyperventilating crying laughing. At the end of the night, one of the guys looks over at me and says, "That was pretty fucking funny, but seriously kid, you need a new wingman."

Ah Boston...

How I miss you...

6:06 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Hammer: Now I am missing Boston. I miss laughing like that. I still have one or two friends like Carla who are very adept at getting into the moment and playing the scene. As for Surfin' Bird...there are no bad versions of it. I love them all. I wish the Cramps were out touring. I'd like to see them again.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Hammer said...

Funny things was, I had NO idea she was going to do that. I was banking on something a little more, ah... what's the word?

"Subtle."

She was a character though, lemme tell ya.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Hammer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Hammer said...

Oh, and The Kills are playing the Black Cat on 5/2. If I spot a glowing red dot across the room, I'll know it's you.

7:22 PM  

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