Monday, May 27, 2002

Greetings! It's Sunday and I'm sick again. Yep, this time I've got an upper respiratory ailment. Wonderful. Just as well though, as my "neighbor" across the street is into some serious macho revving of the chainsaw lately. Bill is his name and junkyards are his game. He's got this big, rusty, piece-of-junk-called-a-backhoe parked on the piece of land he is molesting, cutting every tree in sight and working his way into the forest, up the hill behind my quiet neighbor's land. He shows up almost every day, parking in the street across from my humble abode and begins creating a terrible din of noise pollution with every imaginable piece of gas powered equipment he can get his hands on. Truly annoying.

I've been a good neighbor though, allowing him to use my hose to flush out a mouse who had nested in the radiator of his "piece-of-junk-called-a-backhoe." I even talked to him. I don't trust him though, as he is one of those "Flatlanders" who asks one-too-many questions. He's from the West like me. Funny though, as I can see how much I have changed, becoming a suspicious, callous New Englander, cautious to give too much information and staying to myself. Guess I'm a true New Englander now. Bill has shattered my peace and quiet you see.....him and the jerk down the road who buzzes by here on a day-to-day basis on his little gasoline powered toys. I think it is time to think about a move. I've got equity now....finally.

Enough bitching. I am advertising a new blog - webpage - ezine that I just stumbled across. Didn't even know it was there. Banshee Studios it is called and Caitlin is one of the editors. Cool site and nice works to read. Speaking of reading....

When I am at a loss of what to write, I read. This never fails to stimulate my neurons to begin firing again. Lately I've been reading, "Troublemaker and Other Saints," a collection of short stories by Christina Chiu a Chinese immigrant. I'm on a Chinese author kick now that I've returned from my two week jaunt in Beijing, China. I've also ordered, "Son's of Heaven: A Novel," by Terrence Cheng, which had the following review:

Anyone who has ever seen the photograph of a young Chinese man standing before a parade of moving tanks, waving his arms in the air as if he had the power to stop an army, has probably never forgotten it. Although the student uprising at Tiananmen Square in Beijing was 13 years ago, the photograph of the unidentified man standing before tons of rolling green steel in the name of democracy inspired Terrence Cheng to write this novel, which does not tout opposition to Chinese policies but, instead, captures the very human side of political turmoil and its inadvertent destruction of families. Writing from the perspective of the dissident student, his brother the soldier, and China's leader at the time, Cheng paints a tragic picture of what happens when brothers are caught at opposite ends of the spectrum in a place where clear-cut loyalties are not a choice but a requirement. Packed with emotion and desperation, Cheng's novel speaks for a man who needed a voice. Elsa Gaztambide
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

I can't wait to read that one. Amazon just makes it too damn easy with only a click here and a click there.....and it's on your doorstep. No wonder my finances are screwed up.

It's not just books I read that stimulate my writing, it's blogs too. Shirl (or somebody) got me to thinking about my Cub Scout days today......

When I was a young kid, joining the Cub Scouts was the thing to do. So, trying hard to not be any different than the other kids (even though I was), I joined. Well, unlike the other kids, I found that wearing a uniform was not my bag. I had no pride in it and was constantly being scolded for not wearing the uniform right, forgetting my scarf, unbuttoning too many buttons and not wearing my cap. Besides all that, I didn't seem to want to BE SQUARE and I certainly did not want to OBEY THE LAWS OF THE PACK.

I had to practically be seduced into going to my "pack meetings" and I hated my den mother. We got together and went over stupid rules, read boring crap from a boring manual and I cringed as other "cubs" were nominated for various awards of achievement and praised for their various promotions. I never got past the rank of bear nor did I care to. I didn't care to advance to the much coveted rank of Webelos. The wicked den mother's son was a Webelo. Nathan thought he was a hot shit too, not only because his mother was the den mother, but because he had achieved the coveted rank of Weblos. Big deal. I discovered that Webelos not only wobble but they fall down too.

One Friday afternoon my mother dropped me off at the pack meeting amidst my kicking and screaming protest. Once inside the "den" I was immediately humiliated because I was dressed in inappropriate attire for the field trip we had planned that I was supposed to have known about. They took me along anyway, partly because they couldn't reach my mother on the phone. We started out on a well-worn path at the foothills of Mount Franklin and quickly advanced to the less frequently traveled horse path into the depths of the mountain desert landscape.

I was actually having fun until Nathan decided to drop his Webloid-ass back a bit and continue to badger me about my attire.

I was a quiet kid, smaller in size but not in temperament, for in the back furrows of my mind I was fighting a battle of an alcoholic father, low self-esteem, physical abuse and lots of sleepless nights. All I usually needed was a little tormenting to throw me right over the edge and so Nathan obliged. I lurched along the trail, taking Nathan's onslaught, blow by agonizing blow until I had had enough. I honestly didn't know there was a cactus behind him.

I pushed him....HARD.

The field trip had to be cancelled that day because Nathan had to be taken to the hospital. It seems he landed smack dab into the middle of a prickly pear cactus, eighty percent of his body coming into contact with the spiny needles. His legs happened to find a Spanish dagger cactus, becoming impaled in three or four places. Aside from the obvious, the greatest worry for Nathan was the Spanish dagger, which at the time was reputed to be semi-poisonous. Served him right.

Needless to say, I was kicked out of Cub Scouts.....Permanently.

I was all of nine years old and already I had a reputation, which would prove as the years wore on to only get worse. I was the only kid at that time (in 1965) to get kicked out of Cub Scouts, as far as I knew.

I was happy on two counts. I never had to wear that stupid uniform again and I got even with that mealy mouthed milquetoast of a den mother's son.

Ah well, another sordid story in the Anderson files......




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