Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Words like Mercury

How is it that I started out this week so ahead and by Tuesday I am behind and tired and stressed. I got so much work done this weekend and it still wasnt enough. Next weekend I will get no work done...how will I survive. I mean ok its not the end of the world yet. Nothing has been late. But its all like right on time and I have an exam tomorrow that scares me and I can't remember my words.

That is what is really bugging me. I have words. Great ones and good ones and I don't know maybe even fantastic ones and they float into my head and I put them together and I am content. Then I either write them down as fast as I can or repeat them over and over till I think they will stick. Sept I have not had time to write any down properly. There are some scribbles on some random notebooks and homeworks but I may never find those again. And the ones I tried to remember until I got paper. Well they just wont stick in the stress-fest that is my mind right now. I've lost two actual poems since Friday. I fell asleep last night reaching for my notebook. Today I was with Steph! and the other Jn talking about how they arent fit for science or whatever. And I said if I wasnt doing things I would be... and I was told to shut up because of course I am doing this. This is where I fit. But then I said yeah but honestly if I wasnt doing this I would be following that other thought of living off the land someplace and writing poetry. Sometimes its just what I want to do yah know. I just want to write. And words are such fickle creatures that when you want to write you have to write but then its time to go ot class (like now) or do homework or go to a meeting or go to bed. Then the words get cranky and leave. Then I am a sad Jn.

Maybe this weekend up at Ossippee?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

.:.:.Breaking News.:.:.

<><><><>We interupt your previously scheduled broadcast to bring you this breaking news announcement. <><><><>

Good Afternoon. I am Dan Tratopolis and I am here at the scene of what appears to be a horrific accident. Police scanners indicate that a car carrying two female passengers apparently lost control when crossing a bridge. It looks like they broke through the barrier and are now sitting stranded on the ice. Scanners also indicate that they are on the phone now with emergency services and that the police are currently trying to figure out how to get the girls off of the ice. They don't think it is strong enough to hold the car for much longer. The images you see off to the side are from SkyKam4 where Nadine Brewer is reporting. Nadine what do you see?
{helicopter noises}Thank you Dan. It appears that yes there is a car out on the ice and it does have two female passengers. Amazing. The ice is so thin it is a miracle that they didn't fall through.

{cuts back to Dan}Miracle. ::Cough:: yes one of those Nadine. Thank you. We are now out on the ice much closer to the car. Look there are the two female passengers. What was that? Oh my goodness! Folks this is amazing. There are reports of some strange monsters now out on the ice. We are sending you back to Nadine. Nadine?

{helicopter noises}Yes Dan this is crazy. There are large dinosaur-like creatures moving out from the trees and on the the lake. It looks like they are surrounding the car. Yes. The girls inside look terrified. Dan you had better head back to the van this could get messy.

No way Nadine. This is amazing. We are moving closer to the car. It is in fact surounded by dinosaurs that came from the woods near by. And the are closing in on the car. If we can get just a little closer. Yes! Look at this. Simply amazing. I think he is going to bite the front end.

{At this point a large green tail is seen to sweep towards the camera. There is some random flailing accompanied by screaming and some chomping and crunching noises. Then everything turns to static}

{helicopter noises}Dan? Dan? What is going on? They have moved away from the vehicle and are chasing after some people that were on the ice. Dan?

<><><><>We interupt this previously unscheduled broadcast of Breaking News to send you back to The World Spins Through Time which is already underway. If we find News Crew 3 and Dan Tratoplis we will be sure to let you know<><><><>

Monday, January 23, 2006


You cannot imagine how excited I am. Well maybe you can but I AM that excited. Like wet my pants excited. Like strip and run around the quad screaming excited. Like ring the stupid bell excited. Like set a couch on fire on the quad excited. Actually I have done none of these things and I don't really understand why they are things you do when you are excited but they seem to happen on campus in celebration. I however do not live on campus. I did my own little dances and smiled a whole lot, made some obligatory phone calls. You know the drill. We are going to the Super Bowl damnit!

Four years of wandering around this god-forsaken frozen tundra of a Red-Sox Nation where people care about baseball 370 days out of a year but only care about football when their team is good and think this makes a true fan. I heard so much about that stupid dynasty. So much about how the Steelers couldn't cut it, couldn't handle it. Four years of this garbage. Five even. When we came up here to visit campus the Steelers played the Pats in the playoffs and lost. I was heartbroken and beaten down and trod on and sad. (in memory enough sad things happened when I visited here that I donno why I came at all) That is when I decided I hated the Patriots on principle. I will admit that they are a good football team but that doesn't mean I have to like them-ever. I did cheer for them last weekend because I wanted desperately for us to meet again in the playoffs. This year it was our turn to win, to prove it to the Patriots that we had ourselves all together, but they didn't really bother to come out to play. This time it is them all balled up and we didn't have to beat them. For once I was surrounded by people cheering for my beloved team. Their teams had fallen one by one over the course of the season and they were left only the Steelers to cheer for. The most recent comers were those New England types with murderous "I hope you destroy them" "This game will be a slaughter" wishes for the Broncos. Well boys and girls we can in fact give you your dreams. Denver went home embarrassed and we are off to Detroit. Hugs all around.

But you do know what this means don't you? Our beloved Jerome Bettis, is gonna retire. He is going to the Super Bowl, in his home town no less. What a better way to go out than that. My favorite sign from the game was "Detroit recalls bus number 36 Super Bowl XL" No one can blame him at this point for going out with a bang like that. The question is, do they announce it after we win or do they wait a week or so? Also, does everyone else love his mom as much as I do? I tell you what, she should be doing those Campbell's Soup commercials except for I don't actually like them and as 5L pointed out, if a mom really cared about her boys wouldn't she make her own soup for um instead of opening up a can? Come on now.

mmm... life is good-Jn

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Originally uploaded by jnkcmd.
I am again sitting at work wasting time. The only thing is tonight I have more of an excuse because I am covering the 2000-2400 shift on a Saturday. Far more busy than the lazy 4-8s I usually work. I would never be able to read anything without getting crazy distracted, honest. I played with pictures instead. Mom convinced me a flickr was better than another blog so we are trying it out. I filled it up with word pictures from the fun room. Eventually if I like it I will throw on some more photos from other stuff. We will see.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Behold. . . good things

Can I just mention that I am the coolest person in the world. Yesterday anyways.

This is Myrtle. She weighs something like 650 lbs and lives in the big tank at the New England Aquarium. I fed her.

I also got to feed (and pet) multiple Trigger Fish, Bristle Fish, and Permit. This was after wandering around the aquarium when it was empty looking at cool stuff, watching the penguins for ages, and gazing longingly at all the amazon exhibits. I know more about the catfish parasite than the parasitology proff and I impressed the guys in the vet hospital with my 'vast' knowledge of herps and rain forest critters and mostly with the fact that I was too excited about my life and life in general to sit still. Did I mention that they also took us to the sea turtle hospital and I got to see wee Kemp's Ridley turtles (not so wee as to be just hatched... more like one year old wee) which are like wicked endangered. Oh and they have breeding amazonian turtles which is crazy cool cause turtles are so picky about breeding conditions (they are endangered too).

And the whole time through they were like "You guys seem to like this sort of thing more than we expected can we show you something else? Do you want to try this here? Would you like an internship? How about a job? I have a scholarship for students like you. Dr. Blend would you like to do a guest dive in the aquarium? These people in your area would love volunteer help. Here have some cool stuff."

The whole point of this was to take some pictures for StillPoint (which I rather detest on principle) and various other Gordon publications for the sake of the sciences. I don't really like pictures but I will be a freaking poster child if they let me play in that tank baby. Me and Myrtle man, we are tight now.

Skipping class -> SO worth it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

That would be a mistake

We have this game at my house. It seems really simple, almost accidental but who is to say. It goes like this. Someone sings a song. Someone else hears that song but doesnt learn the words. The song gets stuck in their head and is reborn in whatever words come out.

Past favorites at this game include:

- It's cheese that makes the world go round

- Over my head I smell bacon in the air

- Canned peas, they never get dirty

- Canned peas, canned peas out on the front porch

If you want to include inuendo changes we can include:

-My old dan is always ready

Mostly they are camp songs and mostly they involve food. (I am trying to think of any that don't and I am drawing a blank.) This is because 5L and Jn know a plethora of camp songs and most of our life together involves the kitchen in some way shape or form. Some songs are choir songs and some just happen to happen.

A reprint of sorts: Upon further review of the songs in question and taking in to account that Kt reminded me of another song, choir songs and camp songs are tied 3 and 3 and there are some extra random songs thrown in. However, I know I am missing several. Apparently there is also a new choir song that is sufficiently strange enough to warrant me being eager to learn it, but the housemates REFUSE to teach me. I'm just gonna wait it out. If it is worth it eventually they will sing it around me without thinking and then it will be mine forever... or until the corner of that 2x4 meets me on the forehead.

The current song up for distruction (distraction?) is called The Baby Sitter's Here by Dar Williams. The actual lyrics are as follows. . .

She's the best one that we've ever had
She sits on her hair
And she's tall as my dad

Now after 2 days in my house this song only resembles itself in tune and meter. I think I am going to wait to tell you what it has become currently because it is still becoming other than it was. However if you want to play our little game then just sing the song in your head for a while and see what ends up popping out. Be sure to let me know.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The words that came

I found the kitten on Argilla Road. It was soaking wet and near frozen and I swear it hadn’t eaten since the day it was born. I am going to admit to you that it did actually make me feel all good in side momentarily to pick the pathetic thing up and put it in my bag. I am not, nor have I ever been about the warm-and-fuzzy. I don’t do sympathy or pity and I don’t receive them well either, so I can’t tell you why I looked twice at the cat. But I picked up the sopping mass of bones and stuck in my bag, on top of the only dry articles of clothing I possessed.

It is easy now to look back on that night and sort of lose the perspective and the context of the night. I wonder why I didn’t put the thing up under my shirt so it could get warm against my body and take it home and crack a can of tuna for the both of us. Usually, I choose to forget that I was as wet and hungry and cold and alone as that stupid animal and had no place to come from or go to. I like to forget these things. It’s better that way, but sometimes, for the sake of a story, you remember.

I stood there for a while, getting no wetter or colder as I had reached the depths of those sensations hours ago, wondering what it meant in the grand scheme of the world that I had become the owner of a beast. I thought about taking it out and setting it down again, but really, from the time I lifted it off the sidewalk I felt responsibility for the thing. I mean if I set it down now it would die and it would be my fault. I finally decided to head over to Marty’s to warm up and think.

Now Marty’s Donut Land is a unique little refuge for those like me because it opens at midnight. It also happens to offer a free cup of coffee provided you have enough pocket change for the donut. On nights like that night, a hundred and six cents was invaluable to me as it gave me a space and a time to get warm and dry and fed without too much hassle. The folks down at Marty’s generally want to like everyone as that is the sort of small town I had been frequenting and they consequently wanted to like me. The problem is I am a wholly unlikable person by almost all standards starting with the fact that you can’t call me by name. I don’t have one. They resolved to tolerate me since they could do nothing better, and I respect them for their choice. They, in turn, respect my humanity by serving me a cup of coffee and always expecting me to pay full price.

So I sat there pondering the meaning of kitten ownership while my socks pretended to dry and my hands actually got warm wrapped around the mug. Until about a half hour ago I was the sole proprietor of a windbreaker with a broken zipper, a hooded sweat shirt, three t-shirts, one pair of pants, three socks with holes and one without, a knit hat and a pair of sneakers. Everything was wet except for one t-shirt and a pair of mismatched socks, which were only dirty, my back half of a Book of Common Prayer, and my harmonica that were all living peaceably together in my bag. Now everything was wet except for nothing, and I owned a cat that I suddenly cared very deeply for and could not feed. I couldn’t reconcile this.

It was one thing if I could not feed myself. This was and always would be my own fault. If I couldn’t find my own food and was too proud to beg and too moral to steal very often, I was the only one to blame. But this thing now living in my bag with my few other possessions could do nothing about the fact that it had been claimed and could not choose one way or the other to better its situation. It was at this point not its own fault that it was starving, it was mine. And just like setting it back down again would be some type of cruel murder so would not feeding it. However the only way I saw to feed it would be to ask for a handout which I had not ever done and would not ever do. Similarly, I did not pick up kittens, yet I knew there was one sleeping in my bag between my feet and it was hungry.

I flipped open the bag just to be sure. It opened its eyes at the disturbance, made a strange sort of tired and starving but at least warm kitten smile and went back to sleep. Yes it was there and yes it was mine.

I don’t know that I ever reached a philosophical conclusion to my problem, but I do know that I reached a physical one. I am still shocked when I remember myself standing up and walking awkwardly over to the counter. What I said was something like, “Look, I don’t do this and I think you know that, but I have this kitten now that I found tonight and so I guess its mine. It needs something to eat that’s all.” At that point I realized what I was doing, shut my mouth and went back to my cat-bundle to finish my coffee.

Much to my combined dismay and relief, my host came over after a few minutes of digging around behind the counter and set a dish of milk on the table. He asked to see the cat and after a few moments of inspection he introduced the kitten to the milk by my feet. I was too engrossed in watching my animal eat contentedly to notice that my host pulled up a chair and sat down. I jumped when he started talking.

He said, “I don’t give handouts because you don’t take them. This for me is an investment and since your partner is already eating his breakfast you can’t at this point say no because I know you don’t have change to pay for it.” I winced when I realized I was trapped but whether he noticed or not he just kept talking. “You may not have a name but that cat down there needs one. I will pay you the cost of the milk for his naming rights. You call him Marty. He can be a four-legged billboard if anyone asks you about it. I intend to protect my investment as well. If he ever gets hungry or cold or sick you bring him here and let me know. He is welcome here any time.”

With that he left the table and went to visit with some regulars. I put my wet shoes back on while I waited for Marty to finish, then I tucked him back in my bag and we headed out into the cold together. He was full and happy and therefore I was happy which is something I could not remember being for a long time.


Marty took fairly well to the vagabond life he had been born in to and eventually we found out that he was actually a she when she had kittens. There was some sort of contest at the donut shop to parcel out the kittens when they were old enough. One still lives at the shop and I think another ended up at the police station. Marty and I live in an apartment a few towns over and we do pretty well for ourselves. You might wonder how I got from this place to that one but well, that’s not a story worth remembering.


I am sitting here bored at work again and waiting for words to come. Maybe something profound from the ashes in my head. I watched both football games today. I wasn't really thrilled with either of them. The first because it was really like a non game most of the way through and the second because I wanted the patriots to win. Not because I like the patriots mind you but because I wanted them to play the Stillers next week. Now it won't happen...unless the stillers lose (which is inconceivable) and they decide to play a game of pick up ball next week and randomly televise it. Needless to say I was a very sad Jenn.

I'm bored. Lets see what words will come. . .

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I'm too cold to get up and make breakfast

I am going to get up shortly and my myself a proper breakfast. It doesn't happen as often as I would like these days. I realized that the majority of my words in the past while have been in a poemacious form and while there is nothing wrong with that I am going to add a little else for the purpose of update.

I am back at school and rather bitter about it. See I knew this would happen this me back at school business but I never really reconciled myself to this fact. So now here I am back and expected to go to classes and I don't want to go. No one asked me if I wanted to go. No one thought that maybe it would bother me at all. They just said your classes are at this time and this time. Get your ass to campus on time. I have only actually been to 3 class sessions so far too because my schedule is strange.

I have also worked a good deal right of the bat. Seems it is known that I am a sucker for DPS and can't say no to an open shift without a really good reason. I'm still not done covering the bits and broken pieces shifts while they hire new dispatchers. I keep pushing for a full like head dispatcher position and a hiring of me but we all know that won't happen. I don't know why i want that job anyways. In related news. KL is back on the north shore and she is gonna be 107. This makes me more than a little happy. I haven't seen her yet even though I was supposed to help her unpack last night. It just sort of couldnt happen and now I dont know when it will but I'm surviving. I havent seen her since like what spring break last year. Thats far to long a span for a friend like her.

Did I mention I am also a cranky pants? I have been all balled up basically since I got back in MA. I am still trying to figure out why. Part of it I think is that I havent been to church in forever. I missed it last Sunday because of poor planning and I am still not over that fact. I am also not really sleeping much or well or at all (coupled with working stranger hours this means an exhausted Jenn). I basically come home stupid tired and its like 5 oclock. I manange to scrounge some form of respectable dinner and make my way to bed. This needs to change but until I figure out the source of this malady I will just float through. I mostly need to get over myself and quit whining but when I am this tired pretty much everything is a huge deal. At least I didn't get sick.

The positive news from the front is that I have had good chats with several friends and forsee meals, outings, football games, or other mutual events in our futures. Some of them I might never see again because schedules are stupid but hey I'm not going to think about that yet. Me and MK are planning homework parties to keep ourselves on track which will be amazing if it works. No more of this imcomplete garbage for Jenn. We are also planning happy hippie communes in various places round the country. She wants to head to Chicago because the North East is deeply unsettling to her being and I am planning mine up around these parts because the lack of topography in the midwest kills my soul. The idea is to gather a group of like minded people and stick them in whatever house best suits them based on temperment or job/grad school opportunities. We are both currently accepting applications and want to start acting on our plans as early as this summer. I'm excited.

Now I will go eat breakfast mostly because i am bored with myself. . .

Words from AJC in the later morning

Sheeple (1/13/05- In Chapel)

Should it bother me
That I dont know what you just said?
I can see you talking
But your words don't reach my head.
Are you calling for peace or war
The new order or the old?
I'm just smiling and nodding,
Doing what I'm told.
I'm living the life of a sheeple
Moving in lines from class to steeple.
Is that really wrong?
Whatever. Moving on...


Friday, January 13, 2006

Words from RRC in the morning

All Fired Up and No Place to Go (1/13/06)

There are no more pictures on the walls
And the gifts were told where to go
Piled with letters and love notes
The night they danced in a red-orange glow

But there’s still anger in the making
Bitterness in the blood
Sweat and tears are coming
An impending foul mood

With me all fired up and no place to go
Nothing to see
Nothing to show
Nothing left to run around
It just gets me down

I scrapped all but memories
And would off those if I could
I want nothing more of this
No pain is better now than good

But he still comes to me in dreams
To haunt me while I sleep
And seeps in through dark corners
The memories I don’t want to keep

Now I’m all fired up with no place to go
Nothing to see
Nothing to show
Nothing left to run around
He just gets me down

So you caught me standing lonely
Screaming the air blue
Because I can’t make him leave me
Now you’re wondering what to do

Let me go. Let me punch the wall
And kiss me where I bleed
I never wanted him
Just you- That’s all I need

When I collapse in tears
Then you can hold me tight
Soon dreams of you will replace him
And I will sleep through the night

I’m still all fired up but please don’t go
I’m nothing to see
With nothing to show
But I won’t run around
He just gets me down
Sometimes I still get down


Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy hippie house

Sometime I am going to live in a house with a bunch of happy hippies. I kind of already have. Friend Adam doesn't actually like hippies but somehow he is friends with Ewal and he likes me too. There was going to be more about the happy hippie house here but it is way past my bed time (someone got me sick). Suffice it to say that Friend Adam was talking abotu damn dirty hippies so they were in my head...

Dancing in the Rain (01/09/06)

A harmonica is all I need
So long as he has his guitar
We’ll sing songs we’ve collected together
Share our life in your coffee shops and bars
Sure we dance when ever it rains
And we don’t like to wear our shoes
We believe in beauty and love and peace
But don’t you wish that you could too?

We’ve got a house with some big maple trees
And good friends who live around
I know you’re not be glad that we moved in
Afraid we’ll change the feel of your town
You’re thinking ‘Goddamn dirty hippies
It’s kids like these that we don’t need
Let a few in here and then
They’ll breed like rabbits, spread like weeds’

So what if I have some intimate friends
Who need shelter for a while
How can you ask me to do less
Than bringing them in with a hug and a smile
We believe in helping each other
We think it’s the way things should be
It’s what happens when you start to look for
Things like beauty, love, and peace

You’re worried about the droves of children
That we have not yet had
Thinking we will all starve to death
Or that they won’t know their dad
But our children won’t get rickets
And we will teach them how to read
They will know how to multiply
And they live with beauty, love, and peace

Yes, his hair may be as long as mine
And I don’t wear a wedding band
But we have our love and our music
We don’t need your five-year plan
I may not care for money
And he may not care for fame
But I promise you we have all we need
Beauty, love and peace,
Dancing barefoot in the rain


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Because I want it to fit

Dance with Both Feet (12/17/05- In a drummers basement)

Waltz back over this way
And share my bottle of wine
Baby I can see it now
We’ll do it right this time

There ain’t no use in hiding
SPACE My God can’t you see it
I can see it in those eyes
SPACE I’ve danced on far past this
My pretty purple darling
SPACE Your pretty purple something
You leave me no surprise
SPACE Doesn’t trust your bright light promises

SPACE You love me and you leave me
SPACE Do you think that I can’t see
SPACE I’m tired of doing right by you
SPACE When you can’t do right by me


(The purple is suposed to be scooted over a little bit but I can't convince blogger that it likes this idea. I have sort of cooerced it into compliance but I dont like my solution. If you know how to make it work can you let me know?)

Part 2: Where our hero meets a local

When I woke up an estimated 2 days later the sun was shining on me and I heard the gentle lapping waves against the boat. I had no clue where I was but everything was so peaceful it didn't seem to matter, that is until I sat up and remembered I had a head. I fought the pain long enough to stand up and lean against the side of the boat. I had washed ashore on what looked like paradise. The only thing that didn't exactly fit was the bedraggled man sitting by the tree line watching me. I chose that point in time to let the pain and unconsciousness win.

An unspecified amount of time later I tried this process again...and again...and again. Wake up blissfully, reactivate my pain sensors while lurching toward the side of the boat, and find a strange man staring at me. The only difference the forth time was that I realized I was approaching ridiculous and I managed to get myself to the beach before collapsing. The trees fuzzed in and out several times but never went completely black and after I puked up something like seawater I crawled up the beach to the man (who was still sitting in the same spot watching me) for lack of any better ideas.

His clothing was fairly shredded but you could make out the remains of a tie around his neck and he was sitting cross-legged on the remains of a sport coat. He was very dirty, very tanned, or both. He was surrounded by something that looked like watermelon rinds though they lacked the characteristic smell and he was staring trance-like at the ocean. There was a considerable period of awkward silence until I managed to cough up any seawater left in my system. He started speaking without turning to look at me.

"You look like you are dead. I am still not entirely comfortable with the fact that you are alive and by your performance earlier I don't know if you are either. However if you feel that you are and you find yourself hungry or thirsty please have some of my melon. I am willing to share exactly half of what I have left."

With that he procured a wooden machete from behind himself and sliced the remainder of the melon in half with a loud 'thwack' and handed it to me all without taking his eyes from the sea. I didn't bother to think about or taste the strange fruit; I just began consuming it in all of its juiciness. While I ate the strange man started talking again.

"When I have finished here, I will take you back to the village and someone will find you a place to stay. You are perhaps the youngest reporter to ever wash up on these shores and I am surprised that you managed to break in to the field so early. But I won't bother to ask you how because it doesn't matter any more."

"If you manage to get words out between bites I know you will ask how I knew you were a reporter so I will save you the time. This island entirely populated with people like yourself who arrived in the same manner. Either by some horrible accident or a cruel joke they were set a drift to end up here, the Island of Washed-Up News Persons. Your attire and the slicker give away your particular specialty. You are far too professionally dressed to be a mere wire-coiler. No, you must spend time in front of a camera, and the rain gear indicates that you were covering something outside, presumably the hurricane that recently passed through. An anchor man like myself would not be caught out in the rain on purpose."

"Whether you care to know or not I will tell you how I came to this island. I was lost in a tragic accident at a station Christmas party on the station owner's yacht. Two fellows began yelling to me that the engines were on fire and I must head immediately for the lifeboats. They cast me off before any of the others could make it to the boats. I fear that they all perished. It must have been very unfortunate for the station to have lose their best man but such is life."

As he was speaking my attention started drifting. I could vaguely remember hearing about a news anchor getting drunk and leaving a party by life boat. He had never been found and the nicest thing they could say on the news was at least it saved him from being fired as he was a good deal past his prime. I mentally shrugged and tried to listen again.

"You will like this island when you get over the fact that it is not actually paradise, you did not choose to come here, and you cannot leave."

With those last words his speech was over. Apparently his cue-cards in the clouds vanish and the trance was broken. He donned his sport coat, gathered the rest of his melon and the machete, and started walking. After about 5 steps he hurled the melon into the ocean without missing a step. I sighed the heaviest sigh I could manage and followed him down the beach.

Several years later one of the members of my former crew came ashore on the west side of the island. He had been covering a riot on a cruise ship and someone threw him off of the boat. He managed to find a life jacket floating amid the other junk floating around the wrecked ship but before he could make it back on the boat a deck chair caught him in the head. He was kind enough to apologize and offered to tell me about my fabled disappearance as the rest of the world knew it. I declined. I figure if I get bored someday while gathering coconuts I might bother to ask him but stuff like that just doesn’t really matter on the Island of Washed-Up News Persons.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Part 1: Where our hero gets mixed up in a beach resort struggle

A story by request. Among other things it includes: An East Coast Beach Resort, A Washed-Up Anchor Man, and something similar to water melon rinds. (I did not use an actual watermelon rind so improvised with more of something similar.) It is in two parts because, well because I said so. The story begins in small town America, not too far from the eastern coast of Florida. . .

I mean ever since I was a little kid I just wanted to be a reporter yah know. During the summer I would wander around the neighborhood asking the neighbors questions like I was a real reporter and when the family was eating dinner I would give them the news like I was the man on the TV. No one really paid me much attention but I knew I was destined for greatness.

When I was 16, I applied for at the local news station. I told them I roll up the cables or make coffee and doughnut runs or anything as long as they would let me ride in the truck. The man behind the desk called me a ‘cute kid’ which I wasn’t so fond of, but he also said ‘what the Hell’ and told someone to take me to the van. The crew was about as fond of my presence as I was of being called a cute kid but they were stuck with me. While I thought I was busy learning the ropes and being all kinds of helpful sorting through wires and passing out coffee, they all thought I was sloshing too much stuff on expensive equipment. (I didn’t find out this little detail until much later. It would have been a helpful tidbit to stick in to my back pocket for reference but life doesn’t always give you useful information before you need it.)

Now it turns out that a few counties over some Indians dug up a few skulls while beach combing and discovered an old burial ground. They were causing quite an uproar claiming they were going to run the mouse off their sacred ground and purify it by remodeling the resort into a family oriented casino. The folks down at the resort didn’t much like this idea and talked a lot about fraud and planting evidence and hiring lawyers. The good people living there at Vero Beach didn’t really care either way so long as there was something exciting going on. And they were right; this was exciting (or at least newsworthy) so we packed up our gear in the van and headed to the coast.

Apparently a half-grown hurricane heard about the mess too, and he decided to show up and add his two cents about who owned what. This meant we were going to spend a good deal of time trapped in a room in the hotel in question while Hurricane Howard took back what awnings and beach chairs he felt were rightfully his and the more diminutive parties waited for their turn to claim their share over at the courthouse.

The crew was determined to face this hardship professionally and courageously and they prepared by stocking the room with cheap booze. I was demoted from wire-piler to ice-fetcher when it became apparent that there would be no more reporting and thus no need to unroll wires and that the camera man could no longer support his own weight. On my forth trip to the ice machine (this time to get some for the camera mans head which met the table rather abruptly during a failed attempt to tango with the still plugged in lamp) someone came up with a brilliant idea to cover the ‘Storm of Epic Proportions’ for our friends back home. Since the camera man was less than conscious and the only person who knew how to get the perfect camera angle was the reporter that meant I would have to function in her stead. That is what they told me anyways.

I was ecstatic. This was my big chance. I threw on my just-in-case outfit which I then proceeded to cover with a rain slicker and we wandered out to the beach to get the really good wind shot. They decided it would look best if I was out on a boat roughing the waves but as the equipment was delicate, they needed to stay on shore. So they cast me off and when I was far enough away to begin the footage they went back inside.

I wasn’t quite sure what that meant except that I was wet and alone in a hurricane and I couldn’t get back to shore. My frantic attempts left me slipping and sliding and it wasn’t long before I joined the camera man in the land of unconsciousness.