smörgåsbord

You have to see this in person.

Thirsty?

For the past three years, I occasionally become intrigued by a collection of food and drink photos in what apparently was an old break room in my newspaper building’s basement. When I first asked about them, I didn’t get a straight answer about their origin. My response after that was something along the lines of, “Well, it was the ’80s. I guess we can be thankful it doesn’t look like The Max.”

I haven’t thought about that room in a while, since we haven’t had a new reporter in a while. Typically, I make them walk around that giant building with me during their first week, because parts of it are weird and creepy and they barely know who I am.

A couple hours ago, I got an email from someone in San Francisco who was doing a reverse image search of these bananas.

This shit is bananas ...

B-A-N-A-N-A-S

An identical print is in his office, and he also was intrigued. So he wanted to know what I knew about them.

Now I’m intrigued all over again, since my response was “Um … kitsch?”

I really want the assortment of cheeses photo

One day, I will learn of your secrets.

I didn’t do a good job of cropping the color image. As I should have gone to bed 2½ hours ago, I really don’t care.

32

A decade ago, I dressed in a tux and developed a taste aversion for tequila (and, thankfully, not birthday cake).

Today, I’m up at 4:30 a.m. because I left work after midnight and decided I wanted to make fettuccine Alfredo.

I’m 32. I’m frickin’ 32.

I worked today because I used my floating holiday for my anniversary. We didn’t have anything spectacular planned because we both have grownup responsibilities this week. We’re saving the fun for our trip later this summer, a trip that isn’t our official honeymoon. I like how we have this informal agreement that all our trips thus far don’t count.

Our trip to Hawaii at some point next year probably will be our official honeymoon, despite plans to see Bill and Karen and, hopefully, two of Theresa’s children. I really hope I can see Shonda and Michael, but there are some logistics to work out, especially since they have jobs now. They’re growing up so fast.

As I said earlier, I worked today. Never mind that it’s almost dawn. It seems weird to call June 23 “yesterday” because I haven’t gone to bed yet. I’ve effectively stopped celebrating on the day unless it’s a weekend. I’m instead breaking it up into seeing an interesting concert at the Garage on Wednesday, fancy dinner on the Downtown Mall on Friday and then some drinks.

I originally had a point to this but I’m starting to fade. I have lost my train of thought.

Holy crap, I’m married and 32. Five years ago, I was in the Chimborazo house, fresh from a road trip with Bill and Karen and Bill and Karen hadn’t realized they were in love yet. September marks three years of working in Charlottesville. October marks three years of living in this house. It seems a lot closer than that.

Time really starts to go by fast.

faith and fully mine (unofficially)

Nicolecita

Nicole Louise Cobb

Today, my mom told me what my birthday present is: She’s paying this month’s car payment, which is the last one. Once the bank processes everything and hands me the title, I’ll officially own a car outright for the first time since 2006. Because I am an idiot.

Long story short, I bought a car in 2006, traded it in a year later and then — when that car died in a long, hilarious chain of events when my life partially fell apart and I drove more than 8,000 miles over the course of 60 business days — I bought Nicole Louise Cobb. (Inexplicably, I neither explained what happened to my second brand-new car, Marian, nor formally introduced Nicole … also, some of my friends think Marian and Nicole are/were the same car.)

So, a little more than nine years later, I officially put that youthful indiscretion behind me and focus that money on continuing to make certain Nicolecita keeps rolling and looks that nice when I get her washed.

And some frivolous things. I mean, I fully intend to be responsible with this cash I have never seen the entire time I’ve been employed professionally, but I want some trifles and more ridiculous (if that’s even possible) trips before having to be responsible for a minor (or minors) for at least 18 years.

First order of business is a road trip to New York before summer’s over. We’re taking Nicole.

I bet at this point, you’re wondering about her name, if you don’t know the story. Nicolecita is a term of endearment. My car-naming scheme is that their namesakes are characters in the universe of every piece of fiction I’ve written. Nicole Cobb is a writer/photographer who HATES her middle name.

Nicolecita is the proper Spanish diminutive of Nicole. The rules get strange when things end in a vowel that isn’t o or a. And Nicole isn’t a typical Spanish name, if it’s one at all. I didn’t intend on calling her Nicolecita — it just happened.

the distance

In roughly 30 days, our new editor starts and Lee will start packing up. And some of his duties will definitely be mine until he gets settled … or permanently. I still don’t know which.

One of our new reporters will start the same day. Hopefully, we’ll at least have one more lined up, as we’ve down three at the moment.

One of our new copy editors will be about a month in. I sat next to him in Jacksonville. I don’t know how many times I need to reiterate that my life is a bad Charles Dickens novel.

If everything falls into place perfectly, my car, Nicole, will be paid off in enough time for me to blow that money I haven’t seen in the past six years on my brithiversary week.

Bill and Karen get married next weekend. A week from now, I’ll be drinking in Richmond with our mutual CNU friends and his Chester friends who have become my friends, just like old times. And then we’ll have the Great CNU Wedding. It’s about time: Bill said a few years ago that he never has to worry about anyone telling embarrassing college stories in front of Karen because she was there for all of them.

But I need to remember that, although we’ll be amongst friends, I cannot swear if I speak during the reception. I had a dirty mouth going into journalism and, in that field, swearing is a badge of honor. I’m typically mortified when I’m near anyone’s children. Or get into an animated conversation with my mother.

The second half of this year is going to be different in a good way. But everything feels so strange. It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since my first full year in Chimborazo, that it’s about to be 11 years since I sat on a couch on Deep Creek Road in Newport News and decided to chronicle senior year in college, that the woman who is sleeping in the other room while I play the Cake discography and stay up at least 30 more minutes because I don’t need to be at work until 2 p.m. is the woman I met 13 years ago because I got lost.

This week, I spotted my first grey hair north of my eyeglasses.

I made a half-joke about 15 years ago on Wednesday, and it stopped being a joke when I realized 15 years ago was 16-going-on-17.

But it’s not a problem, because if you asked me exactly 13 years ago today where I saw myself in late April 2015, I would have said sitting on the couch I share with that woman I’d been dating all of two months.

Hooray for being right about the future at time.

go ask alice

When I was in ninth grade, our long-term substitute-turned permanent English teacher had a segment on poetry in which she required that we all memorize a poem. Some chose rap. Some chose pop. Some chose serious poetry.

I chose parody.

I still know bits and pieces. At one point, I could recite, but alas, not sing, “A-sitting on a Gate,” which is called “Ways and Means,” although the song’s name is “The Aged Aged Man” despite being called “Haddock’s Eyes.”

I want to memorize it again. I shouldn’t be that hard, since I know the lyrics to way too many songs as it is.

It probably would help if I knew the tune to “My Heart and Lute,” which is called “I give thee all, I can no more.”

I’ll tell thee everything I can:
There’s little to relate.
I saw an aged aged man,
A-sitting on a gate.
“Who are you, aged man?” I said,
“And how is it you live?”
And his answer trickled through my head,
Like water through a sieve.

He said “I look for butterflies
That sleep among the wheat:
I make them into mutton-pies,
And sell them in the street.
I sell them unto men,” he said,
“Who sail on stormy seas;
And that’s the way I get my bread –
A trifle, if you please.”

But I was thinking of a plan
To dye one’s whiskers green,
And always use so large a fan
That they could not be seen.
So, having no reply to give
To what the old man said,
I cried “Come, tell me how you live!”
And thumped him on the head.

His accents mild took up the tale:
He said “I go my ways,
And when I find a mountain-rill,
I set it in a blaze;
And thence they make a stuff they call
Rowlands’ Macassar-Oil –
Yet twopence-halfpenny is all
They give me for my toil.”

But I was thinking of a way
To feed oneself on batter,
And so go on from day to day
Getting a little fatter.
I shook him well from side to side,
Until his face was blue:
“Come, tell me how you live,” I cried,
“And what it is you do!”

He said “I hunt for haddocks’ eyes
Among the heather bright,
And work them into waistcoat-buttons
In the silent night.
And these I do not sell for gold
Or coin of silvery shine,
But for a copper halfpenny,
And that will purchase nine.

“I sometimes dig for buttered rolls,
Or set limed twigs for crabs:
I sometimes search the grassy knolls
For wheels of Hansom-cabs.
And that’s the way” (he gave a wink)
“By which I get my wealth–
And very gladly will I drink
Your Honour’s noble health.”

I heard him then, for I had just
Completed my design
To keep the Menai bridge from rust
By boiling it in wine.
I thanked him much for telling me
The way he got his wealth,
But chiefly for his wish that he
Might drink my noble health.

And now, if e’er by chance I put
My fingers into glue,
Or madly squeeze a right-hand foot
Into a left-hand shoe,

Or if I drop upon my toe
A very heavy weight,
I weep, for it reminds me so
Of that old man I used to know–
Whose look was mild, whose speech was slow
Whose hair was whiter than the snow,
Whose face was very like a crow,
With eyes, like cinders, all aglow,
Who seemed distracted with his woe,
Who rocked his body to and fro,
And muttered mumblingly and low,
As if his mouth were full of dough,
Who snorted like a buffalo–
That summer evening long ago,
A-sitting on a gate.

righteous fury makes me hungry

That line never gets old. It’s from 301/302, and was used literally. I’m using it metaphorically.

Additionally, I cannot tell you why I own this film. As in I was in the DVD section in Circuit City, read the back cover and decided that this movie was going home with me.

But I digress. I think digressing four sentences in is a record for me.

I have mentioned countless times over the years that my existence mainly is fueled by anger and spite. That hasn’t necessarily been the case for the past three years. Sure, some people have only heard me laugh at someone’s expense. Someone else commented that, until my wedding, it wasn’t known in some circles if I was capable of smiling. I completely spazzed when this happened recently.

But I didn’t have the constant simmering rage that has been a constant friend since times immortal.

Then two delightfully enraging things happened this afternoon in rapid succession. One of which was a challenge.

No one dares challenge me.

I’m currently smiling, because I’ve been quite cheesed off for about 10 hours now. I want to call it the real deal, but I’ll know for certain in the morning.

It’s the real deal.

Anyway, here’s a song I love now because I saved an album from going into a dumpster.

Don’t give in, 2000 Man.