As my lovely wife wrote yesterday, it looks like things are beginning to bloom for us here in Maryland. The tulip tree is about two or three days away from exploding, the crocuses are blooming in neat lines along our flowerbeds, and the daffodils sprinkled around the house are waking slowly.
Day two with the new mattress is going well; I’m not sure about Jen but my back has felt better, my neck doesn’t hurt anymore, and I slept with three cats stapling me to the bed. Putting the futon frame underneath didn’t make any noticable difference to me, but it might have helped Jen somewhat.
I talked to the project manager for the drainage project this morning, and among other things, he told me this process has taken the better part of twenty years to get going, and that it’s too late to tack an extra 40 feet of piping onto the end of the line. So that means we’re most likely going to suffer more drainage issues in the future; my guess is that the folks out behind us are going to have a swamp for a backyard (as their back lawn comprises the majority of the low land.) Swell.
Meanwhile, Jen got an unsolicited email this morning from some woman who suggests that a personal relationship with Christ will make her life better. While most of the Jesus-thumping letters I’ve seen have been of the ranting, poorly written variety, this one is at least spellchecked. I’m going to weigh in over here on unsolicited religious emails, especially the ones that are six paragraphs long and signed by “Sister Mitzi”:
I don’t really care
I didn’t ask you to proselytize
I’m happy for you
and you’re tight with God
I don’t need you
to get all Fallwell on me today
You’re born again
what’s your fucking deal
if I want to talk to Christ
I’ll do it myself, alright?
Jesus is just alright with me, and I’m pretty sure he’s OK with my wife too. I’m happy that the carpenter made a difference in your life, but don’t try to bulldoze your beliefs on her or anybody else. If she wants to find God, she’ll do it herself—if there’s one person in this world who has a healthier respect for and understanding of religion than my wife, I’ve yet to meet them.
(special thanks to Night Ranger, for allowing me to bastardize a truly horrendous song.)
Addendum: I suppose I should clarify a little here. I’m not anti-God, or anti-religion. Actually, I’m the opposite: I respect the right of any citizen of this country to practice whatever religion they choose, just like I don’t care if somebody wants to marry a water buffalo—their beliefs are their own. What I resent is the overbearing way some folks push their God on other people. What I mistrust are the motives of large groups of people who believe their way is the only way. On the other side of the coin, we have a good friend who recently asked us to come visit his church and hear him play one Sunday. There was no subtext, no ulterior motive, and no proselytizing. The sermon was down-to-earth, the people were friendly, and the door was left open.
This, in my mind, is the correct (and polite) way to approach someone else’s faith. Especially in these times, when “faith” is such a loaded word. Thanks for giving me some hope, Dave.
Upon looking closer at my hosting package, and doing some followup name searches for an as yet unnamed project, I realized that I could have purchased the domain “ofhammers.com”, and then pointed my address to http://bag.ofhammers.com.
But in hindsight, that would have been a pain in the ass to describe the link to somebody—not as bad as del.icio.us, but almost.
“So, it’s h-t-t-p colon forward-slash forward-slash bag dot ofhammers—that’s one word—dot com.”
“what about the double-u double-u double-u?”
“no, bag dot ofhammers dot com.”
“don’t you need the W-W-W? Everybody else has that in their address.”
“no, it’s just bag dot ofhammers dot com.”
“I think you need the W-W-W, dude. That’s not gonna work.”
You get my drift. (I’ve had that conversation several times. I also had a conversation with the know-it-all bizdev douche at the dot com I worked for who grilled me on why our company name didn’t resolve without the W-W-W. I finally had to tell him to complain to IT, and resisted the urge to punch him in the face.)
In other news, I busted out the ink and brushes for another hush-hush project last night and made about fifteen illustrations in an hour, and it felt damn good. There’s something liberating and free about brush and ink; even though the illustration market is already flooded with it, I’m considering doing some more.
Tonight I think I’m going to sit on the couch next to my wife in the same room as our crackledy mattress and sketch some more for the untitled project, and then maybe clean up the rest of this here site; specifically, the archive section currently blows up all to hell. I’m also fighting the urge to redesign the entire damned thing. When I first started, blue was liberating and different from my old site, but now I’m over it, I think.
When I was a kid, I had a friend in the third grade named Eric. We both liked to draw pictures of Smokey & the Bandit, the trucks from Convoy and the General Lee on tabloid-sized sheets of construction paper. (With the exception of the Dukes of Hazzard, we had never seen these other shows; I knew what they looked like from the 4″x5″ HBO program guides my parents got in the mail.) One weekend Eric invited me over to his house to sleep over, and we spent our evening watching Bo and Luke outwit Roscoe over a huge bowl of popcorn and ice cream. When it came time to sleep, I found that Eric had bunk beds—a novelty for me—and that the mattresses had a peculiar crinkling sound to them. Every time I shifted the slightest bit, the mattress made a sound like somebody strangling a Hefty bag. Later I realized that they were plastic-covered, which was probably a smart idea for a boy of nine, but my mattress at home was soft, firm, and quiet. Eric snored, and his room smelled funny, and between the smell and the snoring and the crinkling, I was ready to go home the next day. We continued our artistic pursuits at school, but I didn’t sleep over there again.
When we were at the IKEA the other day inquiring about a return policy on our mattress, the lady behind the counter informed us that there’s no official try-out policy for mattresses, and lowered her voice to suggest that we leave the plastic on to prevent any “accidents.” My first thought was to tell the woman that we don’t piss the bed, but I realized later that she meant something else. Now that I think about it, I’m kind of offended by that.
Regardless, we tested it out last night. Once I got over the novelty of sleeping on the living room floor again, and settled in, it wasn’t too bad. Besides Sage pacing the perimeter and complaining (he doesn’t like plastic bags) and the crackling as I adjusted my position, I didn’t sleep too badly—my main complaint is that our comforter is very heavy and it made me sweat. It’s still too stiff for Jen, so we’re going to try the futon frame underneath tonight to see if that will help the situation.
The list of things I’d like to have, but have been putting off buying for an indeterminate amount of time:
A new pair of sunglasses. My old pair, which made it through about three years of heavy usage, finally bid farewell in the airport van on our way to the hotel in Rome. Arrivederci, il mio amore!
A new cellphone. You’ve heard me complain about this before, and I think this will be the first thing to get updated. Most likely this weekend…
A usable car radio. The unit in the Jeep has been doing well in the cold weather, but now that it’s getting warmer, the important part of the NPR report I’m listening to fades into staticky oblivion. Crutchfield actually has a Blaupunkt CD deck with a removable face for something like $$130 right now.
A good high-capacity clothes dryer. Our little General Electric dates back to President Ford and uses more electricity than a Vegas storefront.
A new router for the house. The current model seems to be dropping in and out randomly; I’m still not sure if it’s the router or the DSL modem, however.
However, I did finally pony up $40 to buy a replacement power supply for my Powerbook after the old one bit the dust. If I can’t have a new laptop, I’ll make do with Ol’ Reliable, here. And while I’m at it:
NuPower G4 upgrade I’d love to be able to speed her up, and for $280, that ain’t a bad deal.
In other news, the bed was delivered this afternoon, which means we have a few nights of testing ahead of us. Cross your fingers, people.