I see many people publishing ‘random thoughts’ – seemingly a cortex data dump. Well, my thoughts are not random. They are very specific and salient, except that I just don’t know what they are yet. But then, oh yeah…
- I have been intrigued with Professor Worm, a fellow blogger, for some time. I bounce into his blog to be entertained and always learn something from his caustic take on the absurdity around us. I did just that the other day, and he blew my socks off.
Sometimes I think I have a handle on a particular subject and feel that I have a bit of knowledge about most of the nuances around the subject. While I’ve never been knowingly associated with alcoholism, I have seen Days of Wine and Roses and have read books and have been part of discussions of the subject in psychology classes. I knew nothing.
Professor Worm discusses the subject as I have never heard is discussed. He grabs you by the throat and takes you on his horrific journey with alcoholism, and then you follow him out of it. The post is graphic and will shake you.
This essay is not a recommended read, it is a must. Do so.
- A while back I found a site that said that they would recommend certain of my posts if I provided my blog address and a RSS Feed. Well, that was a deal breaker because I don’t know what a RSS Feed is. How come every time I nod off technology takes a whopping big leap right past me? Can someone tell me what a RSS Feed is? Use small words.
- I just made some iced tea and it reminded me of when I was in a little hotel in Middlesborough, England (except they prefer to call it Great Britain for some reason). Most people stick up there noses at the mention of instant tea and make those weird gagging sounds. But when I travel I always bring instant tea with me because it is easy to concoct the drink with tap water and ice from that ice machine down at the end of the hotel hall, except this little hotel in Great Britain did not have an ice machine anywhere. It seems that British folk are allergic to ice.
I looked forward to calling the front desk because the lady there was really cute and had a really cute accent but I learned that we really had a cultural problem. Is there anything absurd with requesting a bucket of ice?
“May I help you sir?”
“This is Jerry in room 212 and I would like a bucket of ice.”
“I beg your pardon, sir?”
“Yes, I need a bucket of ice.”
“Did you say a bucket of ice?”
“You did say ‘a bucket of ice’, sir?”
“Yes, thank you.”
“Very well, sir.”
I could only figure that my Texas accent was getting in the way of gentle communication. I was wrong.
Forty minutes later I opened the door to a light tap and saw a porter standing there with a pail…a-bucket-like-one-would-milk-a-cow-into….filled with ice with the price tag from a local hardware store still on the pail.
I don’t know. Maybe I should have asked for a bowl of ice. But I got my iced tea.
- Just because I’m from Texas does not mean that I am a heathen. We do have indoor bathrooms, ya’ know. But sometimes it occurs to me that I may not be terribly sophisticated.
You probably know what I French Press is. Well I was in that same hotel in the lovely burg of Middlesborough on the Tees river early one morning and I was sleepy and stumbled down to the hotel restaurant and immediately ordered coffee. Now every God-fearing Texan knows that coffee comes from a coffee pot and is usually served to a customer in a coffee cup filled from a coffee pot. Except in the ‘bucket of ice’ hotel.
The waiter placed a French Press filled with stuff in front of me.
‘What the hell is this’ I grumbled to myself.
Now for those people from Waco and Dallas and San Antonio and Burkburnett – I gotta’ explain this contraption. What was placed in front of me was a tall closed jar with a pour spout on it and a stupid rod sticking straight up in the air right from the middle of the top of the jar. And, get this. It was filled with water with coffee grounds floating in it.
Early in the morning is not a time to present me with puzzles. Who can analyze anything with only four synapses firing? I just wanted a damn cup of coffee. Was that so hard?
I studied this alien artifact very carefully. Maybe the rod sticking out of the top was some kind of carrying handle. Perhaps they drink coffee with grounds in it around here. So what could I do?
I tipped the French Press to my coffee cup and poured some sort very weak coffee complete with coffee grounds into my cup. I heard a gasp from the next table.
There was an elderly couple sitting there. She had her hand to her mouth and was whispering something to her husband. As I raised my cup to my lips, she cried out. “No. Oh no. Do not drink that!”
She then took charge of my life. She called the waiter over and ordered me more coffee-in-a-jar and a new cup. When it all arrived she then instructed me to push down on the handle very slowly. It seems there was a screen at the bottom of the handle and when I pushed it down it captured the grounds and pushed them to the bottom of the jar. Now it made sense…one pushed the grounds through the hot water to make the coffee. Finally I had my coffee.
She politely asked, “Where have you been traveling from?”
“Texas,” I replied.
“Ahh,” she nodded.
- My dining needs are basic. I don’t care for French food and can talk knowledgeably about Spaghetti and Meatballs. I don’t like hovering waiters and people filling up my glass after I have only taken a sip. I don’t like menus that I can’t understand and my eyes glaze over when a guy stands at the table to verbally list a myriad of things that he thinks I should eat. I will drink wine at the dinner table only when every one else is. And cold soup sucks.
But I know how to play nice. For quite a few years I had to meet with client companies in far off cities and for some stupid reason they always considered it important to take me out to eat at the most sophisticated place they could find and thought it was a cute joke when I asked if there was a Denny’s around somewhere. So I learned to contend with weird food and hovering waiters while mentally craving McDonalds.
John, my boss, and I were on one of our too many trips to New York. We finished our meeting in the World Trade Center and by some miracle we were left alone. We were hungry and we didn’t look forward to the cab ride to our mid-town hotel and then searching for something to eat so we said “What the hell,” and took the elevator way, way up to Windows on the World. We had eaten there a few times before so we were relatively comfortable about it as long as we steered clear of the cold soup and we could actually get iced tea instead of wine.
As you know, Windows on the World and the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan are no longer there. But if you had eaten there you would know to be cautious about sitting next to the window because it is damn disconcerting to see airplanes flying below you. So John and I sat one seat removed from the windows and ordered our food and iced tea and received a prize with our meal….a little thing wrapped in what seemed to be yellow crepe paper served on its own little plate.
“What is it?”
“I don’t know.”
“Maybe it is candy. Are we supposed to unwrap it?”
“I don’t know. Does anyone else have one on their table?”
We nonchalantly, and with a sophisticated air, cautiously canvassed the restaurant with our eyes.
“There’s a guy behind you that has one.”
“What is he doing with it?”
That was our cue. We would do nothing with it. We ate and drank our tea and talked and avoided looking out the windows and passed on dessert. The check arrived and he fished for his corporate credit card and glanced up and said,
“Wait. He is picking up the yellow thing.”
“Is he unwrapping it?”
Then John started laughing. He finally blurted out that there was lemon inside. You squeezed the stupid thing over your tea and the crepe thing kept the seeds from falling out.
“We don’t belong here, do we?”
“No. We fly home tomorrow.”
“But this is good information. Someday we will be sitting at a table with a bunch of people and there will be yellow things and we will be very suave in squeezing it over out tea and everyone will be in awe.”