Monday, February 19, 2007

Recycled memories and new hairdos

The last seven days or so seem to have forced me to remember things from my past.

While riding my Honda Ruckus from work last week, the scent of the air took me back to my high school days, when I would walk home at night after working through the dinner rush at the family restaurant. Pockets of cold winter air would meet a breath of warm air on a certain turn of a dirt road leading to my house. It seemed to bring a sense of comfort after a long day of school and work. Last week's experience was no different.

On Friday, at a bowling alley going away function for a co-worker, the oily smell of french fries instantly took me back to 1983, when I spent Christmas break with my mother. Mom managed a pizza joint at the time in this little Wyoming town of about 300 people, if that. I probably hadn't thought of that memory in a decade or more. A guy named Moose, who had an uncanny resemblance to John Denver, befriended me, and taught me how to play pool while my mother baked pizzas in the back.

Then, Saturday, I clicked on the news on CNN and saw that a certain pop star shaved her head bald. I was reminded of Sinead O'Conner. This particular singer isn't anything like ol' Sinead, so I guess baldness is where the similarities end. Oh well. I never got into Sinead's music too much, but I respected her stance as an artist, and one who didn't want to be in the business just to receive awards and accolades.

Tonight, Glory made calzones. While watching her make them, and inhaling their aroma, I was transported back to 1988, when I was a freshman in college. The university had greasy, cheese and sausage-packed calzones for sale in the evening study hours --and they delivered to the dorm rooms! I don't know if I accomplished much while studying, but I sure accomplished packing on 15 pounds that first semester.

It's interesting what sounds, smells and sights will cause us to remember and reflect. Also interesting is what we sometimes pine away for. It would be great to order up some calzones and invite Moose over for a game of Nine Ball at a tavern somewhere. Perhaps afterward, I could walk home, feeling the warm and cool air on my face, while listening to Sinead's "Nothing Compares to You" on the Walkman.

Yeah, that would be great.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Super Mutant Hero Family

I think our family could be one of those super mutant hero families that we watch on screen and try with which to identify. But those celluloid freaks got nothing compared to what we've got going on.

Forget Rubbermade Man, or whatever his name is. Forget Recycled Number 2 Plastic Girl. Forget the Amazing Blow Torch Boy. We've got the Super Mutant Hero Family that puts all to shame.

In our supersecret hidden lair headquarters, our army of six stops crime and even ordinary everyday life with our superhuman arsenal of superhuman strength and superhuman abilities.

Superamazing Juggling Pregant Chef Ladymom: This woman defies imagination with her superhuman ability to manage a plethora of skills, all the while managing the home with feats of agility and grace. Her belly expands by the hour with a Superhuman Baby Boy who wants to leap from the womb more than two months early. She soothes everyone's supertempers with her supertalented fingers on the piano. Possessing a superkeen mind, Superamazing Juggling Pregnant Chef Ladymom is a walking encyclopedia and dictionary that freely dispenses information to The Superamazing Confuser, The Superamazing Organizer Imagination Pixiegirl and the Super Superamazing Devours Everything Yelling Boy.

The Superamazing Everywhereman: Everywhereman is, well, everywhere: at home, at work, at church, at the gym, teaching classes, not teaching classes, paying bills, taking the mutant family to doctors, dentists, midwives, friends, neighbors and everywhere and everyone else. His 1986 Olds is an on-the-road miracle of motoring by being able to take Everywhereman on his and the mutant family's quests for employment, health, recreation and nutrition. Everywhereman also battles ridiculers and scoffers on his Honda Ruckus Superamazing Scooterbike when on quests for fuel savings.

The Superamazing Confuser: Able to blister the cognitive abilities of all in her path, the Superamazing Confuser shreds her opponents by keeping them off balance through a barrage of questions and comments using her patented multi-tiered attention span system formula approach. She is effective in rendering her targets helpless by causing them to wonder what they were asking her in the first place. It is expected that Superamazing Confuser will soon possess superior eluding skills, matching her verbal ability to do the same.

Superamazing Organizer Imagination Pixiegirl: Don't let her petite, doe-like features catch you off guard. Pixiegirl lives in the world of rigid organized imagination. When she asks her hapless victims to play, they play HER way. Forget about playing regular Horsey. Forget about playing the usual game with dogs, cats and bears. No no. There is a certain way all is done, and those in her clutches won't know how -- even if they ask. Oh, and pick up those toys, or she will do it for you. And be sure to keep the night's water glass on her dresser, just so.

Superamazing Devours Everything Yelling Boy: The Boy is a whirlwind of teeth and lungs. No banana is safe. No ear is immune. He specializes in making his presence known and remembered. Often noticed for his pleasant features, The Boy rubs it in with charm, but then asks for payment in food and attention. He also has the ability to amplify his demands by a factor of 10 decibels with each passing minute.

Superhuman Baby Boy: Has not yet arrived, but if his moves in the womb suggest anything, he will put everyone in the Super Mutant Hero Family to the test.