Weekend Update

I spent so much of Friday afternoon writing new words on old posts and new and old pages, that I am tempted to say I did a thousand words (and it was pretty close) already, and this post is done. But I wonʼt, not quite.

If you havenʼt clicked on Longer Items recently, I did an overhaul/addition to that page to link to (and create) Longer Items for most of the nonfiction I have posted here, as well as the fiction that had already resided there. The big project yesterday was revising and adding to the pieces of the Sam Spade critical essay that I thought I finished yesterday. (And I did, too; itʼs just that in writing that final portion, I realized there is a whole ʼnother theme to explore, one close to my heart in these strident Rightist days, one that arose from thinking about businessman Spade not as coldly heroic but as flawed or failed. One of these days…) Those who read the post early (say before 1:00 p.m. Iowa time) have some changes in store if you look again there or at the Longer Item complete essay.

I got back to work (employment work) the last days of this week as well, wrapping up the old NRFU operation by collecting my crewʼs bags and badges. I am busy this weekend, so I had to refuse a no-warning project on additional addresses that suddenly arose. But I go back and train again for the next/last operation next week. One of my crew members, in getting rehired, knew more about what was ahead than I do: s/he expressed pleasure that I was going to train and supervise them in this next task (all I knew was that my training is definitely scheduled now). Itʼs the government — information flows in mysterious and unpredictable paths.

my larger red notebook, containing all there is (so far) of the Sepharad story

I still havenʼt done any major new writing (or even dictating the still-only-handwritten parts of the Sepharad story into the computer). I should have taken a big lesson on getting the digitalizing of my hand-scrawled copy accomplished ASAP because of a near-(imaginary) disaster that occurred last weekend.

You may recall that on Saturday, with sister-in-law Diane visiting from Wisconsin, we celebrated their fatherʼs Fathersʼ Day a little in advance with a trip to the Potosi Brewing Company. It turned out that I got to be the designated driver (even though at lunch I enjoyed my complimentary small glass of their beer — I chose the IPA over the stout, amazingly, but appreciated the dry hoppiness of the brew with food). As I usually do, I brought along both my little Harrodʼs notebook (which came in handy to record a note on a community name*, stolen from one of the three villages that combined to become Potosi, which will now end up as a place in Quetzal County) and the larger one that I received as a joke gift upon retiring from the speech coach job at Andrew several years ago. I shoved some Google Maps directions for getting to the brewery into the larger notebook (and those directions were useful because my Garmin GPS once again failed to know the name of a community near us — earlier it couldnʼt recognize DeWitt, and last Saturday it had no clue about Potosi, thus frustrating my desire to show it off for the parents-in-law) and passed it back to Janet for the drive. She placed it into the pocket pouch on the back of the driverʼs seat once we arrived. And then we both promptly forgot all about it, and the notebook (and my only copy of the rest of the Sepharad story) went away with Bing and Betty once the day was done.

It worked out all right. On Sunday afternoon, once Diane had headed for her home again, I convinced Janet that we should go to Bing and Bettyʼs and get my notebook back (and her water bottle, which she also forgot in the car). We did, and it was lucky that we chose to go. Friday night had been another wild one around the area — furious thunderstorms with high winds. Bing and Betty had already lost one tree about a week earlier to wind damage, and on Friday night another, bigger one went down. As we arrived and passed through the parental garage, we found Bing in the back yard with a little hand saw, trying to clean the standing trunk of the rest of its height and of branches. It was too big a job for one 75-year-old man by himself on a step ladder. Although a chain saw would have been best (and a neighbor brought one over later that day, once Janet and I had gone home), between the four of us — Bing, Betty, Janet and I — we got through the twisted trunk and the extra branches attached thereto. Although covered in itchy sawdust, we felt good about helping out as we drove away a couple hours later (and with the neighborʼs help, Bing cleared everything and even took it all to their yard-waste disposal site in three loads on the neighborʼs pickup).

So good came of my thoughtlessness in bringing the notebook in the first place (I knew, should have known, that I would do no writing on that trip). But I still have to make good on the lesson about (almost) losing my only copy of the story. And I still have to haul away our own load of branches that blew down last Friday night, too! I also have the yard rakings from this Thursdayʼs mowing job, as well. I canʼt do it today because the truckʼs in for a regular oil change in preparation for driving plenty next week (those “Old Back to Work Blues”).

As that topic, going back to regular employment, brings me just about full circle on subject matter, it is probably time to close this one out. Tomorrow I think Iʼll add a bit more of Chapter II of “Mistakes by Moonlight,” and after that weʼll just have to see how it goes once I am a working man again.

* read the Wikipedia “Potosi, Wisconsin” article (clickable above) and you can probably spot the name I chose to make mine own

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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