Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Birds, Books, Booze, & things hanging from my pants.

Nothing makes a guy feel more giddy than vacation-eve. After today I will be on vacation for nine, count them 9 glorious days. Blogging will be sporadic at best and I think I'll do a bit of cheating and repost a couple of blogs for the first week or two since only about a dozen people stumbled across them. But I'll think of y'all when I'm off messing around in New Mexico. Don't expect A Feedstore Chronicle on Sunday. If you need your redneck fix click here and catch up on, or reread one of the dirty dozen already posted. And don't be afraid to add a comment to an old post. I'll still see it.

Remember my post about me twinkle-toed son? Well he took another round of tap and ballet his summer, but he's had a tough time trying to decide upon his extracurricular activity for the fall. He wanted to take dance again, and then we got a flyer in the mail about flag football. Well, that seemed pretty cool to him as well. My four year old has been itching to play soccer (the only sport available for his age) so that was already on the agenda. I figured one activity per child was enough so I told the six year old he would have to choose -- tap or flag football? He wavered back and forth and finally with big blue eyes almost in tears said, "Please let me do both." So I gave in. Who knows, maybe the cross-training will help him tip-toe through the line and pirouette away from defenders.

My six year old wanted to know about his helmet. I told him you didn't use a helmet in flag football. "What will I use?" he asked. At this point I told him about the objective of flag football -- to pull the flag out of the opposing players pants.

My four year old who'd been listening in frowns, cocks his head to the side and says, "For reals?" Apparently yanking an object out of somebody's pants did not seem very appealing to him, but that didn't stop us from heading outside to give it a try.

You should have seen us practicing in the front yard last night. There we were in the front yard, all four of us with a pair of my old socks dangling from out hips. For a while my four year old refused to believe the object of the game was to snatch a flag from the other teams pants, but after a while he caught on, and what he lacked in size and speed he made up for in sheer determination.

Writing is going well. I'm up to the 10,000 word mark on Plundered Booty and hope to add five or six thousand words during my time off. This morning in the shower an idea hit me for a flash fiction piece that I wanna get down as well. It will twisted and ironic and less than 300 words long. The title? In A Perfect World ...

Something I learned this week ... Coconut rum and Sprite really doesn't taste all that good together.


Yes, this is the incoherent rambling blog, but what did you expect from a guy on the precipice of vacation?

I need to update the list of books on the right that I have recently read. They are, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling, Don't Look Down by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer, and Pigs In Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver. As an aside, I'd love to hear a few of y'all's recommendations on novels with a humorous tone.

Think I'll leave y'all with a humorous story of my own. Sorry for the long post but since it might be a while before you get another one I figured you could handle it. By the way this story is another true account from my bizarre life.

"Tweet, tweet," said the bird.
"Cheep, cheep," said the bird.
"Tweedly do," said the bird.
"Honk, honk, chirp, chirp," said the bird.
"Ring a ding, caw, caw, hey, hey, hey," said the bird.
"Hey you big hairy guy. Wake up! and get your fat ass out of bed," said the bird.

Okay, the bird didn't actually say that last part, but he might as well have since the damn Mockingbird did run through a complete repertoire of other sounds, including a phone and car alarm. And he did all of this between the hours of midnight and five A.M. for a string of five or six nights. In the giant bush that butted up against our bedroom window.

This story might seem like a stole it from that movie Failure to Launch, but this happened to me four or five years before Mathew McConaughey stripped down broke out his bongo drums.

Now my lovely wife would sleep right through that bird's screeching. I had to wake her up just so she would believe me. So then I started going out just before bed and shaking that bush as hard as i could. The bird would fly off only to return and torture me at the bewitching hour. There was no nest I looked. The next night I turned the hose on the bird. It flew away, but came back to serenade me once again.

This went on for a week. Lack of sleep does things to me. I become crazy, grouchy, irrational. At the time I was playing roller hockey. Add in a bit of physical fatigue after a game against a team from Canon Air Force Base (those guys hated me with a passion because in my first ever game I accidentally bloodied their best players nose, but that a is another story for another day) and I was in no mood to battle that bird.

But at two thirty in the morning it sang out. Loud and proud. I threw back the covers and stomped out to the living room. Clad in only my underwear, I grabbed my hockey stick and headed for the front yard. For a god ten minutes I cussed -- ranted -- and raved while pummeling that bush with my hockey stick. If those Air Force boys had seen that stick play they never would have mouthed off to me again. I beat the limbs until my arms ached and I was completely out of breath then I went back to bed.

My chest still heaving, I slipped quietly between the sheets thinking my wife was still asleep. After all she'd slept through the bird's concert there was no reason to think my avian induced rage had disturbed her beauty rest.

But then from out of the darkness came a voice, "You all right."
"What were you doing out there?"
"Beating the bush with my hockey stick," I said this as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

A few minutes of silence.

"In your underwear?"

More silence.

"What if the neighbors looked outside and saw you?"
"If they have nothing better to do that stare out their window at two thirty in the morning than so be it. One look at me in my underwear ought to convince them not to do it again." Then I rolled over and went to sleep in the blissful silence.

That morning I got up and went to work. Afterwords, I stopped by a friends to borrow their chainsaw and before I even walked inside to say hello to my wife I fired that thing up and cut that bush to the ground. My wife heard the noise walked out to the porch, looked at me and only shook her head.

To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my all time favorite books, but let me tell you, the title had a whole new meaning for me after that experience.


Chunks said...

HAHAHAHAH! Sounds like something I would do in a rage!

Have a great vacation!

Jenster said...

Haahaahaa!! I'm thinking a hockey stick and a chainsaw work waaaay better than a pellet gun!

So where about in New Mexico are you going? I used to live in Las Cruces and have been all over the state. I miss it. :o( Especially the scrumptious food!

I love how your son played you! And, more to the point, how you allowed yourself to be played. That's love. :o)

Have a great time on your vacation. I look forward to hearing about it when you get back.

Tee/Tracy said...

I've been to New Mexico. I love that place. You're going to have a great vacation.

That's really sweet that you let your boy dance. I know most Dads aren't real comfortable with that. He's going to thank you for letting him be himself one day.

As for coconut rum and Sprite - I've got another bad combo to tip you off on. Vodka and Crystal Lite. LOL. I wanted a screwdriver one night and went to the fridge only to be confronted with a nearly empty orange juice container, so I improvised. Yuck.

We seem to have similar taste in books. I also read JK Rowling and Kingsolver. You should check out my librarything account for more books you might like. (It's in the sidebar of my blog). Off the top of my head I can give you Brian Copeland "Not a Genuine Black Man", This is Not Civilization by Robert Rosenberg, and THEM - Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson.

Anonymous said...

Do not let him fool you he always goes out in his underware. Underware and a hockey stick is another combination I was not accustomed with. We only have one neighbor close enough to see any thing we do, which is way to much for normal people to see. We are the crazy people on our road. It is ok I would not want it any other way.

The fact that the rum and sprite did not taste very good together. He drank it...I have never known Travis to let any kind of rum go to waste. The pirate in him would not let him do it. There is alot of captain morgan in that goof ball.

Cicily Janus said...

Hey Travis...For suggestions of humorous books I would go with a few of the David Sedaris Books. I think you will find his writing, raw and hilarious. Something you should definitely check out.

Start with "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" And then go to "Naked"

I also challenge you to a Palahniuk Book. One I think you would like is Lullaby or Diary. Or you can go with Fight Club.

You should also check out Juhmpa Lahari's book, Interpreter of Maladies. Great book to learn the art of short story writing. Not that you need much education in this, but she does a marvelous job.

Hope this helps.

Enjoy your vacation and I will call you tonight to say goodbye.



Terrie Farley Moran said...

Have a great vacation!


alex keto said...

For off-beat humor, there is Douglas Adams and his series, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe."

Aaron said...

"For reals?" ROFL

I remember the days of getting up in the middle of the night to shoot the 'possum in the back yard that had all the dogs riled up.

Then I moved to the city.

Now it's 'coons instead of 'possums.


Anonymous said...

A fun, laugh outloud book is Celia Rivenbark's WE'RE JUST LIKE YOU, ONLY PRETTIER: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle.

Katrina said...

I bet there is a mockingbird out there who is going to miss you for the next nine days. Can you imagine what he told his friends.

"You're not going to believe this but I had the best time last night. Got chased by a man in his underwear with a hokey stik!"

Have a good vacation, Travis!

Brooke said...

Ok, you seriously have to start videotaping some of these antics you speak of!

Read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (I know, it's an Oprah pick but trust me on this). Beautiful, epic and DAMN funny.

Jennifer Archer said...

Travis, I keep finding old posts I missed on your blog that have me shaking with laughter. Love the mockingbird rage.
What a picture.