Wednesday, August 31, 2005






Sunday, August 28, 2005

Looking For

Where, what, could it be ?

I look up into spiraling green.

An accident of digital optics makes this ailanthus' late summer ascent into an electric-blue petitioning of heaven. I would like such a blue nimbus. Are there practices one can do for the attainment of such a thing ?

I look down. The path, as usual, is littered.

In classic black-and-white, ants swarm over a frosting-encrusted cake packet. What good fortune they have encountered ! How sweet life is !

At eye level I find drama. Life-and-death.

A wasp struggles to free itself from a spider web. One foot is stuck in gluey, elastic silk. It hurls itself forward over and over. The tenacious tether will not give.

Anthropomorphizing, heartsick, I watch.

I can't help myself. I put the camera down, pick up a twig, brace the leaf and saw. A frenzied vibration -- the furious buzz of survival -- travels up the stick into my fingers. It is startling as as electric shock.

Finally, it is free.

It remains motionless on the leaf as if stunned. It is probably dying. I walk away. What have I done ?

I look ahead.

New milkweed -- low,second growth after the field's recent mowing -- wears a carapace of yellow. I'd seen this before, last year, and concluded it was a fungal blight. I crouch and look. The blight is moving. Wiggling. Waving tiny black appendages.

So it's a nursery, then.

I remember a picture I'd taken a few days prior --

-- two perfect campions, blooming fresh among others already gone to seed. The green and white blousy flowers reminded me of bonnets, or leg-o-mutton sleeves. Of youth and beauty and innocence. Of times gone by. Of courtship. Of being adored.

Later, elsewhere, falling to my knees in shady pine woods,

I found what I was looking for.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Eyed Eye

I returned from an errand yesterday to find a message on the answering machine from DK, aka bicycle man, informing me, aka camera woman, that there was a new stretch of the river path open on "The Island" that I should check out. The Island is actually a peninsula, a little Waltham neighborhood surrounded by a wide and serpentine section of the Charles River. I'd been intending all summer to revisit it, ostensibly to photograph water lilies which, on my accustomed stretch of the river, are maddeningly far offshore. For all its macro-and-resolution talents, the little point-and-shoot Powershot A80 simply cannot zoom. It's not wired for it and that's that.

Of course it's past water lilies' prime season, and, to boot, The Island's lilies, what's left of them, were also out of macro range. One whole bay, though, was a floating carpet of lily pads. I stood staring across it in the hot sun and suddenly saw the graceful, unmistakable silhouette of a great blue heron. It was maybe 100 yards away and tiny. I pointed the Powershot in its general direction and squinted over my glasses at the LCD -- where was the thing ? I looked up into a myopic, astigmatic blur of untidy green, pushed up my glasses, sighted it behind a stump big enough to appear on the screen, focused on the stump, crossed my fingers and shot. It's called presbyoptics.

It was easier to photograph what was at my feet -- a worn, involuted, dirty lily pad whose granular encrustation turned out in post-production to consist of dozens of tiny bugs.

I'd last been to the Island about a year ago, mid July 2004. I remember that walk. It was the first time I'd seen dodder, familiar to me from the magnificent Weeds of the Northeast. The dodder -- that sci-fi, promiscuously tangling, orange filament, that bull goose looney of tendrils -- was threading riotously through the weeds beside a small pump house and sluiceway. I remember how excited I was to encounter this thing I'd only seen in pictures. It was like spotting a celebrity.

These were camera woman's analogue days, her days of photo albums and blurry, scanned and digitized film images; her days of photolab mailers, and pictures shot in stingy multiples of 24 through a lens clever enough to do both zoom and 2:1 macro. And I did, somehow, get close enough to a lily once to capture its yellow, flaming heart.

I could frame this past year with two shots of an Island pickerelweed, the first a dreamy, translated film image

the second, a hyper-real digital close-up.

Now what of this progression ? From unfocus to clarity ? From the embryonic to the fully developed ? From benightedness to enlightenment ? From muddle to crystal clear epiphany ?

Or maybe it's simply a technical issue ? All the better to see you better, my dear ? A confession: I slipped into Ritz Camera and asked to hold a Nikon D70 , the digital analogue of my old film camera. It was substantial, almost heavy. I peered through the viewfinder and focused. Zoomed in and out. There was the SLR world I'd cut my photographic eye-teeth on, not just the tight, compressed imago in the LCD screen. I sighed with greed-tinged nostalgia. Sweet, as the kiddos say. Swee-eeet.

I'd need about a gig of memory, right ? I said to the clerk. I'd done my homework. It's true. I wanted the thing, and had been wanting it for a while now.

I felt like the fisherman's wife. I was in serious flounder, flounder territory. From a hand-me-down 1960's Minolta 7s, to the Nikon N75 DK got me for Christmas, to the Powershot A80 I got DK for Christmas the next year and, well, have taken over and now what -- I would be emperor ! Pope ! God himself !

I handed the weighty thing back to the young man, thanked him and left.

Weighty. Weighty as what ? An ego ?

What is all this picture taking, anyway ?

Why, for example, was a middle-aged man in a bad suit and a worse haircut filming a pretty young woman and a chicken ? And why was a gray haired woman in muddy canvas sneakers taking a picture of them ?

And who's taking this picture, Flounder ?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Weeds At Last

Our closely scheduled, driving-intensive family visit in Kansas had me squirming for long hours in the back seat of the rent-a-car as vast fields of intriguing weeds flashed past. Finally, one hot, bright afternoon, we pulled up to a field beside the Kansas Historical Museum and I hopped out, camera in hand.

"I won't be long !" I called, and headed down a dusty little path. Dozens -- hundreds, even -- of grasshoppers leaped into the air ahead of me. The air, as usual, was thick with the buzzing screed of locusts and their kin -- a sound so loud and penetrating it's even audible in a speeding car with the windows up.


Local Color Local Colorless

The outskirts of Topeka are encrusted with mile upon dizzying mile of generic, geography transcending, could-be-anywhere mall commerce.

Walmart, Walgreen, Denny's, Chili's, McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, Outback -- the list is familiar, endless, and could be compiled in just about any American city.

Among the familiar, bland, corporate faces are smaller, local businesses -- maybe not beautiful in any conventional sense, but at least interesting. Well, I found "raw catfish nuggets" colorful, anyway.

If we'd had a hankering for corn dogs and satin freezes we could have stopped in at Bobo's Drive In, just as DK did with his family over 40 years ago. And if we'd wanted steak, we'd come to the right place. We counted four or five steak houses at a single intersection, including a "steak buffet." Steak was everywhere. Bobo's would probably have whipped us up a steak flavored satin freeze if we'd asked.

I contemplated doing a whole photo essay on the faux mansard roof, an architectural detail -- that's spelled a-b-o-m-i-n-a-t-i-o-n -- that enjoys a robust popularity in Topeka. But, to be fair, I've had the same thought here in Waltham. More than our share of roofs sport this depressing little add-on -- an attempt at elegance that falls so far of its mark that it seems the epitome of architectural pathos. I can't pin the faux-mansard on Topeka.

The Kansas City Airport Econolodge was the acme of our trip through the nadirs of midwest commerce. From the pasty, sullen young woman in the lobby's plexiglass booth, to the plate of stale doughnuts that had probably been sitting on the lobby countertop since the "Continental Breakfast" 12 hours before (and that was still there the next morning) to the aspirin-comb-and-condom vending machine in the stairwell that led down -- yes, down -- to our room --

it was a strangely grayscale, practically film noir experience.

And what were those giggles we heard through the wall ? The giggles in one male and two female voices. The strangely non-erotic giggles that seemed to go on for hours and hours. The giggles that never rose to frank laughter and that seemed uncoupled to any television sounds. The giggles that seemed more akin to snickering than to merriment.

The giggles that were still there whenever the jet-engine-loud air conditioner cycled off. The giggles that followed me into a nightmare of being tailgated so closely by a redhead in a convertible that I could feel the pressure of it -- improbably and terrifyingly -- on the small of my back. The giggles that were still there when I woke, screaming, half impaled on an econobedspring.

Are we home yet ? I muttered to DK.

The Rain The Plain

It grew dark

then darker.

The birds gathered far above.

"Look," I cried. "A tornado !"
"Oh, pshaw," replied DK.

Well, it DID rain.

Even on the Governor's mansion and beautiful sunflower gate.

We did NOT, however, need this.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Fuck You Fred Phelps

Hatemongering homophobe Rev. Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church is in a quiet suburban neighborhood of old, small houses in Topeka near where my husband grew up. The church itself is a tacky little job, little more than a house gussied up with some stuck-on faux tudor details; his parish, it is said, consists mainly of his extended brood of children and grandchildren with a few others from Topeka's lunatic fringe thrown in to add variety to the inbred, slack-jawed clan of crazy fanatics. Fred's apparantly even a sicker puppy than his bizarre and loathsome public actions would lead one to believe.

Phelps is infamous for picketing Matthew Shepherd's funeral, but his Topekan picketing goes back decades -- he'd picket a restaurant, for example, on the merest rumor of a gay employee. About 10 years ago my husband and I drove through a Topeka intersection where the Phelps clan, small children and all, were parading about waving their awful signs. Stokey, his parents' large, placid French poodle, was sitting quietly in the back seat, enjoying the ride. Suddenly he reared up and began barking wildly. He'd clearly picked up on some primitive vibe of hate filled menace.Or maybe there was some sulfurous stench that hit his doggy wave-length. We only knew that we were proud of him. Good dog. Very, very good dog.

The Westboro Baptist Church, these days, is draped with a huge banner that reads signifying that Fred's formerly monomaniacal homophobia has taken an unusually psychotic political turn, one that celebrates the deaths of 9-11 and of soldiers in Iraq as a well-deserved consequence of America's tolerance of gays. He's picketing soldiers' funerals now. He's also concluded in a breathtakingly unhinged bit of "reasoning" that last year's 100,000 tsunami deaths also represented an instance of God's anti-gay wrath.

So take that, Fred, you stinky, despicable troll, you pathetic, hatemongering buffoon. If my mother-in-law hadn't been in the car I might have mooned you.

Not In Waltham Anymore

Grid, not gridlock.

"The sky IS bigger out here." -- DK

Sign courtesy of the Kansas agri-women. Not a vegan in the lot.

Lawrence, KS. -- a sweet little University town. DK lived here (and in a dozen other little bungalows in hippie town) when he went to KU.

This was his own, personal grain elevator.

Friday, August 19, 2005


I am off to Topeka, of all places, until Tuesday.

Do you think I'll be bold enough to attempt some cheeky tourist photos, resplendant in my rainbow caftan, in front of the Westboro "God Hates Phelps" Baptist Church ?

Stay tuned.

Sans Seraphim

Our Governor, Willard "the Mitthead" Romney, like most Republican stalwarts, ran on a platform of tax cuts and governmental reorganization. He'd been a money guy, a venture capitalist, CEO type, who claimed he'd run a lean and mean Commonwealth, free from waste, bureaucratic redundancy, fiscal abuses and cronyism. Downsizing ran through his veins like a fine sparkling water with a twist. And, furthermore, he, erm, kinda sorta liked gays (ahem) and sure, women should have reproductive choice (cough cough) but, by God and the Archangel Moroney, he'd cut the hell out of taxes !

Yay ! cried the good citizens of the Commonwealth, waving their pitchforks, stampeding toward the voting booth as if it were a Filene's bridal sale. Let us eat cake !

Well, we all know how the gays and women thing is panning out. As the Mitthead's perfect hair and teeth vie to outgleam one other in the heady kliegs of pre-presidential politics, his social views have spiraled rightward. The joke used to be that this was "Taxachusetts." The Mitthead would be proud to transform us -- at least until November 2008 -- into Texachusetts. Yee haw.

Well, no. He's too patrician to utter a rebel yell. Instead, when confronted with how little he has really accomplished, he's been saying stuff like:

The agenda is as deep as it has ever been, probably deeper.

So, anyway, part of the Mitthead's reorganizational extravaganza was to merge the Metropolitan District Commission -- the agency formerly responsible for certain Massachusetts parks and roads -- with other departments involved in things like conservation. The result is something called the DCR,the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

I have no idea how many dollars his deckchair reshufflement has saved the state. Could be none, could be potsful. Two things, though, have hit home.

The first is the Mitt Romney Memorial Dead Pool. Our town's municipal swimmingpool -- once under the aegis of the MDC, now the DCR -- has been empty and in need of repairs for four years.

The Mitthead vetoed the funds to fix it. I expect that the Mitthead and his spawn need but hop into the Rover and buzz over to The Club when they feel the need for a swim. But what about the kiddos of Waltham, a slightly dilapidated, post-industrial, immigrant-rich city ?

Perhaps they can practice their new no-child-left-behind, MCAS-certified writing skills on the bone dry walls of the Mitt pool !

Or perhaps they can gather in the deep end and chant The agenda is as deep as it has ever been, probably deeper !

There's no end to the educational fun that can be had in the Mitt Romney Memorial Dead Pool. Botany, for example -- there's a whole little ecosystem of weeds pushing up through the crumbling concrete !

Why, one could even hold little MCAS teach-to-the-test sessions to prepare the kiddos for the rigors of the new school year ! The Mitt Romney Dead Pool could hold many, many little desks where the youngsters could sit and work on tough practice questions such as

What is Mitt's agenda ?

(d)All of the above

In fact, the Mitt Pool could become a Mitt School, complete with opportunities for vocational training !


plumbing and glass service,

and even criminal justice

could be offered, preferably by lowest-bid private educational vendors, to prepare Waltham's youth to be the Workforce of Tomorrow !

So much for the Dead Pool.

Second, there's the Typeface.

When the MDC became the DCR there was the pesky little issue of the outdated signage that still referred to the MDC. You could almost hear Team Romney muttering amongst themselves That's soo-oo Dukakis ! Clearly, something would have to be done.

The old MDC signs are are, like the parks and reservations they represent, lovely -- green, simple, with an elegant, serifed typeface.

They broadcast a sense of shade and rest, of dignity and civic pride, of the citizenry taking their well-deserved relaxation amidst nature. They say This is one of the most excellent things government can offer you -- safe, beautiful, natural wooded refuges. Partake of them, splendid citizens. You are worth it. You are our true treasure, hope and delight.

But suddenly, over the past few months, new signs have begun to appear,

signs whose stark sans serif block letters seem more appropriate for a military base or a state hospital for the criminally insane than for a park. What is the subtext of these screaming letters ?

Yes, you may have fun, but not too much and not for too long. There's work to do. And, of course, shopping. And soon we're going to privatize the hell out of these places, so if you don't work your butts off you won't be able to afford the price of admission. It will mean another change in signage --


but it's from someone else's bottom line this time !

And that, in a nutshell, is Mitt's agenda.

As deep and empty as his pool.

Time's Lap


Thursday, August 18, 2005


It was a cool, calm, bright morning, ideal walking and picture-taking conditions. I'd thought about driving to Prospect Hill until I remembered that it was a weekday and that Day Camp would be in progress at its base. I'd had enough of unruly children -- and unruly adults for that matter -- during our several days on the Cape, so I opted for the Watertown circuit of the river path. Joggers, cyclists and dog-walkers are known quantities. I have the ettiquette down -- approach, eye contact, beneficent smile plus or minus a brief, spoken salutation -- neatly, innately choreographed as any bee dance.

It had been a lucky walk, so far. Leaning over the edge of a wooden observation deck at the river's edge, I'd spotted a groundnut, intricate, self-contained and serene amidst the more blowsy and riotous weeds and vines. I'd seen one last year, one town over, in a similar habitat -- curled up in a mass of loosestrife and burcucmber next to the footbridge. After one or two days I'd lost sight of it. It had been swallowed up by August.

How many more Augusts will I see ? I once calculated how many more cups of coffee I would drink in my life. I used equally generous estimates of cups-per-day and remaining years and came up with an astonishing number. Today I let the thought drift off like a fluff-borne seed; the twinge it left behind faded.

It has not escaped me that I come to the river to receive teachings about death. But not just death, of course. Just when I think it's all about dying, I realize that this riverrine dying is, in fact, a going-to-seed -- a preparation for dissemination and insemination, for germination. Round after round. August after august. A seemingly bottomless cup.

It had been, as I said, a lucky day. And it would continue to be so. I was standing pathside, leaning over a goldenrod, thinking about light and depth of field. It was shady there, and the voluminous yellow plant was crying out for f stops beyond my tripod-less rig's capabilities. I'd turned the flash off; it gave weeds a harsh, deer-caught-in-the-headlights look. Like news photography: perps caught in the act. Or cop shots: rigormortis and a white chalk glare. My hair, long overdue for a trim, was falling in my eyes. I was peering over the top of my glasses at the camera's LCD screen.

Suddenly I heard footsteps. As usual I felt a brief ictus of self-consciousness, like a plant that shrinks from the touch of gaze. I returned to the yellow froth ; focused; held my breath; held still, still, still -- and snapped. The footsteps passed. I exhaled and rose. Something caught my eye. Something improbably orange. Orange as the touch-me-nots that, earlier, I'd tried to photograph. I turned and looked.

It was, incredibly enough, a monk. A Buddhist monk, complete with bright orange robe, shaved head and sandals. Astonished, I watched him disappear around a curve in the path. A monk ! Was this some kind of sign ? I squatted beside a droopy green plantain. What did it mean ? There were more footsteps. I turned and looked up -- another monk ! A small, orange-draped Asian man was headed toward me. What was the etiquette for this ? I stood, smiled, and said hello. The monk smiled, returned my greeting and walked on.

I did not think to gassho. I did not, though I wanted to, take his picture. I just stood there. On the empty path. I was -- what ? -- eblouie, bouleversee. Blown away, overturned. Had they been real, or had some archetype escaped from my subconscious ? I thought of a film I'd seen years ago, a black and white version of Joyce's Portrait of an Artist. It had featured a recurrant, dream-like image of a file of white-hooded Carthusians. Was I dreaming ?

No, these were real men, real monks. Serious men on serious earth. Living counterweights to the triviality and predation in the world. Exemplars of peace and detachment. Of non-greed, non-hatred, non-delusion. I was, in that moment, so profoundly grateful for the existence of monks that I nearly wept.

I looked at the small bright meadow across the path. A towering thistle, bee-wreathed, was exploding into white fluff. In the construction yard beyond the fence, the boom of a beautiful blue crane was slowly swinging across the sky.

As I waded toward it through a waist-high expanse of Queen Anne's Lace, I realized the river path was giving me another teaching. A koan, in fact, based on the it's -Margeret-you-mourn-for at the bottom of my final yet-unconsumed cup of instant Nescafe:

What is the last drop of a bottomless cup ?

It's here somewhere, I thought, squinting into the light.

It's got to be.

Cape Tod


Monday, August 15, 2005



Saturday, August 13, 2005





Friday, August 12, 2005

Mainly Plain

We'd been sitting in the den, doors closed, watching a dreary, existential French zombie movie. It had just built to its climax -- a hamfisted Orpheus allusion -- and was standing there beaming like a clever child waiting for praise. I snorted. The airconditioner was on in the adjacent room, and a fan roared in the doorway -- our attempt to eke a few more square feet of chill out of the remote machine. It was loud, and barely cool. The night, once again, was heavy and warm, quintessential August, the real cruellest month.

I got up and slipped out into the hot, dark living room, closing the door behind me. As the engine sound faded, a new sound filled my ears, enveloped me, a sound of a whole different timbre, a wide, fresh, familiar sound, interlaced with human voices from the adjoining yard. It was percussive, rustling, complex; it was alive in a way the roaring fans of the den could never be. I walked toward the window. It was water I was hearing. A sprinkler ? A hose ?

Rain ! Of course. Rain, rain on leaves. Rain pouring straight down through windless air.

"It's raining," I called. "It's raining a lot," I declared, "a lot." I had to make up for those three seconds when the nameless sound had amazed and confounded me. I went out onto the verandah and looked up the street. It was slick with rain, which was running down the gutters; the thick air was fragrant and alive with downfall.

As I looked out at the rainy night I felt nostalgia, a pure nostalgia, divorced from any particular object. A nostalgia, maybe, for everything: God, rhyme, meaning, desire, hope -- all those quaint, dear bibelots of life.

Rain, I muttered, clutching at the word. Rain.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Notes From The Weed Yard


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A to Z




Sunday, August 07, 2005




Last year on July 17th I rounded a bend on the river walk and found that the lush grass meadow was gone, mowed down to stubble by the invisible, inelegant custodians of the path. It was shocking, almost painful. Within weeks, though, a new crop of interesting weeds had grown as interesting as the first.

This year I was prepared for the inevitable arrival of the grim reaper. A few weeks ago when the gangly, towering sweet clover began to encroach on cycling and jogging space, he cut a narrow swath on each side of the path. He spared the three small meadows. I knew their reprieve would be brief.

Last year the largest meadow was predominantly a sea of tall grass, some with airy, elegant seedhead, others with more heavy, drooping wheat-like inflorescences. This year clover was the main theme, first big red clovers, then tall, branching sweet clovers. When the reaper arrived, the red clovers had long since blackened and collapsed into a lumpy rug on the meadow floor. The sweet clovers were going to seed. Between them there were Queen Anne's Lace in all stages of bloom and involution. Now there's just stubble.

Sometimes you just have to dial back to zero and start afresh.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Sacre Coeur


Who Made The Eyes


Oh Blessed Rage For Order, Pale Ramon

I knew it was a bad day at work Thursday when I found myself expounding on the concept of "entropy" to a fellow harried staff member. We were understaffed, and had too many patients. Chaos had muscled in early and refused to budge.

I recall one quintessential moment. I stood staring down the long vista of the clinic corridor, trying to decide what to do next. A patient stood in every open doorway staring expectantly back at me.

I thought of George Romero. Graves opening. Hungry zombies avid for my flesh.

Home stuff had been only slightly less unruly and disconcerting.

My pager went off early today, 7:45 am. Its obnoxious, overloud beep tore through my sleep, needling deep into my brainstem. I sat bolt upright, heart racing, head pounding (I knew I hadn't drunk enough coffee yesterday.) I staggered to the phone. Some patient of my internist colleague wanted me to change a prescription her neurologist had written. She wanted me to specify "no substitutions." It was not an unreasonable request. But had she even tried paging THE DUDE WHO WROTE THE PRESCRIPTION ? The neurologist ? Who was probably sleeping blissfully in even as we spoke ? Nope.

Never mind. I had to get some coffee into me. STAT. I took down the pharmacy number.

"It opens at eight," she said.

The pharmacy was not even open. I could have slept 15 more minutes. This was not a good beginning to the my longed for restorative Saturday. Zombies were headed up my driveway, plowing their way through the weed forest that's erupting through the tar. Note to self. Must mow driveway. Must hack down tree-like thing in front of garage door.

Once I'd gotten some caffeine onto my Jonesing receptors and the pounding anvils out of my head I decided to undertake that great antidote to disorder, housework. The house had been swiftly moving through the various degrees of untidiness into the first stages of abject squalor.

Clearly I had to start with the vacuum cleaner.

My son, The Lad, who lives in the attic has temporary custody of his ex-girlfriend's rabbits. Her TWO rabbits. Her two, big, muscular, unfriendly rabbits. They live with him in the attic in one penned off corner of the big space doing what they do best: shredding and shitting. Did I feel a twinge of resentment toward young E. on her month long junket in Europe as I fed and watered these beasts for my son last week ? Or at toward her Mom who won't let the "filthy things" into her probably pristine house ? You bet. Was I pleased when my vacuum cleaner went south after The Lad tried to clean up some of their effluvia last week ? Proving that Panasonic uprights and agricultural grade timothy do not mix ? Nope. Pas du tout.

Or when The Lad, after clipping the bunnies nails, had an asthma attack, scaring me to death, propelling us out to the all night pharmacy to get an inhaler ? Nope. Not pleased.

So I clearly needed to do some environmental intervention in the Lad's Room lest he perish from rabbit-induced asthma. For that, I'd need the vacuum. Which, as you'll recall, had died. I'd have to take it into the shop. That would take days.

I thought back. The vacuum had died once before. Its powerful little toe-threatening brush thingy had ceased to spin. I'd hauled it into the shop. It was, they said, "the belt." Could it be "the belt" again ? It was the same symptom. How hard could it be to replace a belt, anyhow ? I thought back to the patient who had tried to drain the abscess on his neck a few weeks back. With a heated needle. He'd jabbed and jabbed and squeezed and squeezed. When the redness had dipped below the collarbone he came in. "Should I have put the needle in deeper, Doc ?" he asked. Was I entering the same fools rush in realm ? What did I have to lose ?

I upended the thing in my room. Long wisps of hay and a dozen or so pellets of rabbit shit rolled out and scattered over the floor. I unscrewed a little metal plate and, sure enough, there it was. The busted belt. I peered into the depths of the machine. It seemed feasible.

So I called the vacuum cleaner guy.

"Do you sell parts ?"

"What kind of parts ?"

"Belts ?" I ventured.

"Sure," he replied, obviously not appalled. "Three bucks."

So, long story short, I fixed the thing, swaggered about, vacuumed the rugs, did the laundry and emptied the dishwasher. Soon I will change the litterboxes, mow the driveway and scrub the toilets.

Chaos, I am happy to report, is, at least for now, whimpering in the corner.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Affinities etc.


Uniform Hieroglyphic

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