Saturday, December 24, 2005

It Must Be Christmas

It seems that every trip to the 757 is some sort of bizarre transit odyssey. I left with my friends Harry and Faith yesterday at about 2 pm, only to be broke-down in a solid wall of traffic in Woodbridge an hour later. The steering crapped out. We floated into a truckstop rest are and hung out by the interstate, watching through skinny scrub trees as hordes of revelers crawled past on the highway. Harry borrowed my busted cell phone and called Geico, a tow truck, car rental places, everything he could think of while I babysat Faith. Faith is six and incredibly well-behaved, but when she busted out crying from sheer frustration, I very nearly followed suit.

We spent an hour or two in a repair shop waiting room, where, much to my amazement, Faith had the time of her little life. She absolutely Cookie-Monstered a bag of pretzels and ran laps up and down the repair shop counter, burning off steam by dancing her little fingers along the railing. Everyone in the crowded waiting room was PISSED -- anyone whose car is broken down at night on Christmastime is. The counter guys were overwhelmed and furious, the other people in the waiting room were wanting to shout, I was tired as hell and Harry was hiking up the highway while I watched Faith...we were all pretty frazzled...except for Faith. Her good cheer really made the room come together in this mutual agreement to keep it cool. Because NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY wants to lose their temper and make a little girl with Down's Syndrome cry at Christmas. You definitely have to explain that shit to Santa Claus AND Jesus on Judgement Day.

I am not great with kids, but I tell you what: they are the glue that hold adult society together. How many fights have been avoided and ugly things swallowed in the heat of the moment, just because some little people were around?

We made it to Burger King and the three of us were ecstatic. Faith was so stoked she couldn't even eat, and I hoovered my Big Mac through a giant grin. Harry got her to eat through the age-old "I take a bite, you take a bite" trick, then grabbed her cup and headed for the coffee machine. I slipped a bit and said "Man, if you give that little girl a cup of coffee before we get back on the highway, I am going to punch you in the grill and steal the keys." He laughed...he'd just grabbed her cup by mistake.

We are all home and safe, the three of us. After a little drama, life is okay.

Here are some pictures of my current desk display. The theme was meant to be "Christmas Comes to the Plastic Psychedelic Jungle," but it's a bit more "Upside - Down Toy Chest" in reality. Hahwell. Merry Christmas.




Monday, December 19, 2005

Six of One, Half-Dozen of the Other

I went to visit some good old friends in Richmond this weekend, including Clarence the former prison teacher and a few gun nuts that are near and dear to my heart.

One of those gun nut friends is also a psychiatrist. His cabinets can be so fun and terrifying to open...I try to do it every time I'm there and he's not looking. This is the drawer to his bedside I opened it. Untouched. Six of one, half-dozen of the other if you ask me...


Sunday, December 11, 2005

His "Motherfucker" Was A War Cry

richard pryor 12/01/40 - 12/10/05
Originally uploaded by T r a c y.
Richard Pryor died on Saturday, which reminded me that he had not died yet. Obituaries and appreciations of his wit, crass humor, and revelatory honesty are all over the internet and print media now. Here is the Post's.

I can remember sitting up in my best friend's room hunkered over Richard Pryor albums played on a Fisher-Price record player. We craved raw, crass expression in all forms, but were trapped by the vestiges of childhood -- Pryor records on Fisher Price record players and parents that would have lost their minds if they knew how much we were laughing at entire routines about "niggers," "pussy" as a concept, and "fucking, " whatever that was.

My friends and I are not standup comedians, and never will be -- but Richard Pryor shaped us all the same. His timing, elastic, rambling storytelling and perfect profanities framed the way I relate my experiences to this day, and cemented my love for the word motherfucker. I still have the hardest time not saying it at work.

My grandmother has always said that smart people don't need to express themselves with profanity, there are other ways to make a point and get people to listen. Richard Pryor proved that brilliant people can take profanity and turn it into a rallying cry, that a nation of trampled and furious people can prop up motherfucker like the flag at Iwo Jima and fly it with pride.

This link will allow you to download three of my favorite Richard Pryor routines: part of "Live at the Sunset Strip," "That Nigger's Crazy" (whole album, which we memorized), and a routine as Mudbone called "Little Feets."

This will be available for seven days, or 25 downloads, whichever comes first.