Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Tale Told By A Nine Year Old

...Full of sound and fury, and the occasional political snippet. I present to you, my son the Bohemian's turkey saga:

One Thanksgiving Turkey

One particular Thanksgiving a very special turkey was on my table. This is the unusual story of that turkey and how he came to be there.

Joe Turkey was born on a turkey farm, just like other turkeys, and he lived in a pen with his brother turkeys. He looked like all the other turkeys but Joe was different. He was smarter than the other turkeys, and he didn’t want to end up as someone’s dinner. Every day he wondered, would today be his turn? Would he end up being killed to make a nice Thanksgiving dinner? One day, at last, he found out it was his turn! He had to find a way to not get killed, but how? He had no time to think of a plan. Suddenly the pen gate opened. One of the turkey farmers came in to get another turkey. Joe ran out as fast as his turkey drumstick legs could carry him!

Although he was scared, Joe kept running. He didn’t want to get killed! A man jumped out from behind Joe and grabbed him. Joe sunk his talons into the man’s face, and he kept running. “Get that turkey!” a man shouted. Joe ran into a barn to hide. As he was looking for something to disguise himself with, he heard a sound behind him. It was Joe Biden, the soon to be new Vice President of the United States. He had given a long speech to the turkey farmers earlier that day and was taking a nap in the barn.

Wham! The barn doors slammed as the turkey farmers came into the barn. They were holding axes, and pitchforks. “Hey!” yelled Joe Biden. “What are you doing in here with those?” One turkey farmer spoke, “We’re here to kill that turkey!” There was Joe, and Joe Biden. Joe Biden licked his lips. “Looks like dinner to me, let me tell you some thing about Joe Biden, Joe Biden likes a good turkey dinner.” One turkey farmer said “get that turkey!” Joe flew out of the barn skylight. The farmers stabbed the ground.

Then Joe fell down out of the sky. He must hide. Slash! An ax fell next to him. It was Joe Biden! Away the hobbling turkey ran. But Joe was snatched by a turkey farmer. A boy held him on the block and, slash! Joe’s bloody head fell in a bucket. Then Joe’s headless body was plucked and papered (prepared, dammit - I missed this one in the editing!). Later my mom bought his body at the store. Joe‘s body was roasted with a delicious stuffing. And that is the story of how he came to be on my table, on this special Thanksgiving day.

This, I feel, is a story destined to be a classic, right up there with the Story of The Mince - an old family favorite (What? You've never heard of a Mince? The small, badger-like creature that was originally the contents of the now-famous pie? Come on...really? Sheesh...!)

Happy Turkey Day to all!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's like gasoline on a flame-

I'm doing a week-long lecture on North Carolina pottery and the origins of the face jug, starting later today. Oh, and I'm giving my lecture to 4th graders who will be making their own face jug in the coming weeks. I'm just sick enough to be excited about it too.

I'll be in later this week and catch up with everyone on my blogroll. Hope everybody had a great weekend!

A few of my babies (the pottery, not the books)

Addendum: I guess I should have clarified - I'm giving a lecture on NC pottery and using pieces of my collection (and Bea's) to illustrate. I did not make these - I wish I did, but who has the space or money to build a groundhog kiln, much less burn one? Nope, they're just a part of my collection!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Picture Takes The Place of Words

I'm having a hard time lately, coming up with the happy or funny fodder I feel like my readers want to read. Obviously that is all in my grumpy, dissatisfied head, because what blog reader doesn't love a damn trainwreck, especially when it's someone else's?

There's just a lot of crap going on right now in the land of Tapdancing. I could list it off like Prince Humperdinck, ending with, "I'm swamped!" but that would be far too much levity for my all-pervasive Black Celt mood, and really, most of what's weighing on my mind is other people's problems and my inability to solve or handle them.

So, to blow the cobwebs out of my head and maybe jump start the old metabolism, we took a long walk through the woods on Sunday. The fall color is just about peaking here in the Piedmont area and I had a big time taking pictures of all the loveliness (it never fails to improve my mood, to go and immerse myself in seasonal beauty). I played around in Photoshop with a couple of them, looking for a more artistic rendering of the same old still life and these are my favorites.
I love this filter - it makes a ho-hum photo look both dramatic and ethereal - and it's a lot easier than trying to write words that don't want to be written right now!
And yes, Ms. Q - I will make copies for you to mat and frame!
Edited to add: I submitted these pictures over at Written Inc.'s thematic photograph for this past week. If you haven't seen this site, go check Carmi out!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Brief But Suggestive History of Cleo's Parties

Flat out - they are the stuff of legend, and anyone who's lived in Raleigh for any period of time has attended one, or knows someone who has. No, seriously. I've broken the ice at more than one gathering by discovering a fellow alumnus of her infamous 16th birthday. That was the party that set the bar for the rest. When we arrived at it her mom was hitting the beer bong (among other things), and she was in good company, which completely freaked out my nice Catholic girl friend Ms. Q and our hopelessly square and preppy escort. They totally cramped my style that night, dammit!

Ask Bea about the birthday dinner party where she had to sit in the shitty seats with my sister-in-love, a vile bitch of an English teacher, assorted sycophants and bizarros, and my older brother, who can put even the truly illiterate to shame when he chooses to. Oh my god - he jumped up and down on that teacher's last nerve, with his deliberate dumb redneck-isms, to the great delight of the rest of us. And the birthday party that I dragged Bea to, where we ended up outside (because Sweet Baby Jesus, it was Open Mic Night inside the party) hanging out with this pair of brothers who were talking FBI conspiracy theories, and how their dad had been on an insider track for something like Roswell or Hangar 54, or something like that. I kid you not, and they were (in my opinion) a delightful reprieve from the usual attendees of those parties; overly theatrical, gushing and patently insincere. The kind of people who bring me out in a Tourette's rash, and make me want to scratch my privates publically, just so they'll go away. Hey - don't judge - it works.

So I knew when we went to Cleo's birthday party this past month that something would happen, because come on - something always happens at her parties. Bea and I arranged to stay the night, so we could tie one on responsibly, We arrived armed with mighty pillows and a bottle of Captain Morgan. In retrospect, we really should have known better than to go with the Captain. He is a bad influence, and has caused me to walk on my ankles or worse, sing like Ethel Merman on more than one occasion, but take him we did.

There were some old familiar faces at the party and it was great fun to reconnect with them, but there were a few new faces, one of which was a guy who had been around Cleo's party circuit for awhile, but somehow we had never met him. He was cute, articulate, self employed, liked cats, and most importantly, single. He also took a shine to Bea. Once the Captain kicked in, I assumed the role of Drunk Buddha, and advised Bea that she "needed to go break a few rules" that evening. The not so drunk, and infinitely wiser Cleo handled the finer points of luring the proposed couple out on the deck, and clearing the house. Then, taking Drunk Buddha (me) by the hand, she went upstairs to wait it out. We giggled together sitting up in her room, just like old times.

Now the rest of this saga can only be related by Bea, as it is her story to tell. She has not been very forthcoming, seeing as how she is very firmly a nice girl, who immediately feels guilty for sins of the flesh, but she did write this recently, and this, so maybe I'm the bad influence, not just the Captain!