breaking ground

Onto the new.
In my ongoing effort to prevent this now somewhat “mature” blog from sliding into repetitive boredom, I’m trying to establish a few “new” styles of entry that’ll hopefully help me write more interesting material, and give me something to “fall back” on when the creative juices aren’t exactly flowing. I know, how “creative” is this thing? Not very; but that still isn’t stopping me from trying to make it a little more engaging to the hardy few who do try and read regularly. So, in addition to my “one liners” idea, I’m going to again debut something I think may be worthwhile – new entries that look back on past entries and re-hash or re-examine them. I know that going back and talking again about something that’s already been talked about may not strike you as particularly “new” or original, but I think it has potential to be interesting for me from a writer’s perspective – and that, folks, is what it’s all about if I intend to continue filling pages with words. So, today I’ll kick off the new hotness part II – the “one (or two) year ago today” themed entry.

It just so happens that December 8th’s entry last year was my “best of 2005” roundup, and I didn’t feel there was much more I could write on that – so I cheated, and used December 7th’s entry (hey, I’m all timezone-impaired right now anyway, gimme a break). So, here, in another stunning display of my stylesheet mastery, is December 7th’s entry – one year ago today.

Happy Monday to us all. Writing this, it’s Sunday morning. I think we’re gonna use the day to put up the Christmas tree and hang lights on the house. I’d like to get out of my slump and finish the porch in the backyard, since the stone-saw magically starting working again yesterday. I had a feeling you know, that it’s brokenness wasn’t final. So I decided to put it in the garage and wait, just let it relax, maybe not cut bricks for a couple weeks. And just as I suspected, when I plugged her in yesterday to see if she had self-healed, she fired up right away. So, now I have no excuse not to finish… time to get off my butt and get out there. Cut the remaining bricks, make the final adjustments to the sprinkler-head positions, then do the cleanup, topsoil, and finally sod and plants. It may seem like a lot, but having a finite amount of steps until I can be “done” is really exciting to me.

The above is the centerpiece of this entry – another letter Shaine managed to scan in. You can read the backstory here. Looks like I switched to typing in this letter, probably because my handwriting was so deplorable in 6th grade. Anyway, where the last letter was only a tad on the fantasy side, with this one I’ve decided to weave an entire narrative of lies. I mean, read it; it reads like I was making up each sentence as I went. The part about Kristina was true, at least the gist of it. She got mixed up in some deep stuff early on when we moved. Maybe I’ll get into the whole Kristina thing one day, it’d make an interesting story I think. The part about the VCR and cable in my room was true too. I remember saving a lot of allowance and mowing more than a few lawns to buy that Goldstar VCR, $99 is a lot for a 6th grader. I loved that VCR, it enabled us to rent and watch Rebecca De Mornay’s And God Created Woman… remember the pool table scene?… I do.

As for the letter’s main subject, fighting, there are some loose connections to real events I suppose. I do remember the candy-stealing incident of that 1st Halloween… and I did somehow end up with the perp’s candy at the end, but I don’t think there was a single punch thrown in between those events. As for the supposed four other fights, they are bald-face lies. The one with Chad may have been based loosely on an afterschool tussle that actually did happen, but I certainly wasn’t involved. Seems I concocted all sorts of brave tales to impress my long-distance best-bud. I mean, I can recount nearly every fight I’ve been in, and I surely would’ve remembered five fights in one night… anyway, I was a pacifist. Well, if anything, I guess it shows I’ve always had a knack for narrative…

Sunday’s over, back to work in the AM… the weekend happens too fast y’allz, the stench of cubicle is still fresh in my mind from Friday afternoon – and I’ll be punching in again in a mere twelve hours. I did, however, make good use of the day. I put up our new dartboard (in accordance with the standard British pub rules, of course), cleaned/organized the garage, finally put away the Halloween decorations, and put the lights up on the house. We pulled down the tree and in-house baubles, but didn’t get around to setting it all up. Tomorrow night perhaps. Putting up the Christmas lights is always a chore, but today it was OK. Up on the roof in the cool weather, me neighbor across the way was also putting up lights… we shared some light-putting-up banter from rooftop-to-rooftop. At one point, our other neighbor came out and we were all chatting about thisnthat, and it struck me how “suburban” it all was. Here we all our, decorating our houses, shouting to each other from rooftops to driveways, sharing waves and smiles… and I deemed it all very good and enjoyable. In the end we all told each other our respective houses “…look(ed) good man,” and went about our business. Nice. Very homey.

This week is the Arcade Fire show in San Fran. I’m really looking forward to it. I hope they are as good live as I’ve heard, and that they’re worth the drive. Now I’m off to bed, goodnight.

So how do we take this full-circle? The reason I chose the 7th’s entry was the part about making up junk for Shaine – I figured I could write more about that than I could recapping my top 10. I was always out to impress Shaine, he was older than me – and a good measure “cooler” too. In 5th grade, we became an inseparable duo of mischievous friends. So, it’s only natural that, when my family moved away at the end of that year – I wanted to keep in touch, and, use my new cross-country anonymity to spin impressive yarns. So, apparently, I decided to send letters with completely made-up goings-on, inventing fanciful stories of daring-do and lawlessness. I mean, this is a guy who sent me three Mexican Redhair seeds through the USPS, years before I’d discover the virtues of weed on my own. In turn, I’d send him fireworks – which were abundant in the south. I don’t know how long we corresponded after I moved, but I can remember calling him every so often, especially on his birthday, which I remember to this day, and chatting about what was going on.

I can remember talking to Shaine once, and him telling me that he’d let his hair grow to his butt. I remember him telling me that his family had moved up north, and that he’d been smoking “marijuana,” something that, at the time, equated him with serial killers to me. It seemed like he’d become quite the badass since I’d left, and the scared child within me was kinda glad I’d managed to get away before joining him in his descent to juvie. Alas, I would make my own descent only a few years later – but in my pre-hoodlum innocence, who would’ve known? We stayed friends – despite my slower-than-his ramp into true adolescence – and we talked and corresponded for at least a few years. And, believe it or not, we still keep in touch to this day – although my keeping-in-touch skills are admittedly lacking sorely.

Remember how much I was sweating my India presentation? Well, it went great – better than expected actually; much better. Having that under my belt kind of “legitimizes” this trip to me, a trip for which, other than the presentation, the sole purpose was some kind of “meet and greet.” So, my guilt over not preparing and even coming in the first place has been soothed… and I’m back to feeling good about what I did and why I did it. That’s good, right? Yes; I think that’s good.

Leaving this country in just about twelve hours, I bid you farewell.

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