It Is Happening Again

Shoes don’t vibrate. Sure, they can, if the water is warm, but then you have to think about the pickles. Put it this way: if a helicopter started to talk, would that mean you had to go to Macy’s to buy a shirt? You take all the flowers and put them into the sky, but they’re not running for office. They don’t care, so why should you? There’s nothing left that’s yellow, and you sit there with a Dixie cup, ready to cross the river.

If you don’t understand the paragraph above, trust me, it makes more sense than last night’s premiere of the Twin Peaks reboot.

I don’t remember the original being this weird, not from the get-go. Was it? It was more of a mystery, this small town where a murder happens and everything seems normal but there’s a lot of weirdness hidden (and then it became crazy). This reboot is just wall-to-wall strangeness, an acid trip, a series of odd scenes put together. Lots of interesting imagery and WTF moments, but if it’s just weird for weirdness sake without any cohesion, what’s the point?

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe David Lynch will tie it all together at the end, but I don’t know if I can stick with it for that long. I’ve been screwed over before (*cough* Lost *cough*). Or maybe it’s just specifically for Twin Peaks super fans and not anyone else (and there’s nothing wrong with that). This might be one of those shows that I don’t really watch all the way through, I’ll just read the Wikipedia recap when it’s over.

A Fistful of Dollars

I went to the convenience store up the street (I could probably say “down the street” but up seems more positive in some way?) and bought a few things. When the clerk gave me my change it was all one dollar bills, maybe 8 or 9 of them. When he handed them to me he said “That’s for when you go to the strip club tonight.”

My first reaction was, how did this guy know I was going to a strip club tonight? Kidding! My first reaction was to look around me to see who else was there and what they thought of the joke. Guy in his 30s. No reaction at all.

Warmer today. A day that said “summer is coming, time to put the screen door in and buy bug spray.” Of course, we had a day like this a couple of weeks ago, when we thought the seasonal switch had been turned on, and then this weekend it was rainy and in the 40s and I had to turn the heat on again, so who knows if this will last. May is a weird month (though not as weird as April).

The next Letter will be out the last week of this weird month, I promise. In fact, if I don’t get it in the mail by then I’ll send you nine dollars. All in ones.

One Of Those Days

Maybe I should have just stayed in bed.

Everything seemed a little…”off” today. I had this overwhelming feeling that I couldn’t catch up to anything or get things settled – no matter what it was – so I never quite felt comfortable, like there was this “thing” making me uneasy and off-kilter, an invisible saboteur making sure I couldn’t do anything. Maybe my biorhythms are off.

There’s a word you don’t hear anymore, “biorhythms.” Is that still a thing? It certainly was in the late 70s. It was a scientific (*cough*) way of figuring out your life and how things were going to go for you, based on various things like your mental state and your emotions and cycles and some mathematical formula. Or something. I recall a lot of numbers and wavy lines.

I also remember going to one of the department stores – it may have been Zayre or perhaps King’s, one of the chains – and buying a baseball game in a box based on biorhythms. I was so excited because I was obsessed with baseball at the time and this whole biorhythm thing sounded so fascinating! I couldn’t wait to get home to play with this new, expensive game. (This may have been it but I’m not sure.)

I think I opened it once. I never even played it. It was confusing and based on stats and math and I hated math, even as a geeky, bookworm-ish baseball fan. It certainly wasn’t “fun.” I went back to Scrabble and my Aurora Movie Monsters models (but never jigsaw puzzles – I never had the patience for jigsaw puzzles). There were several games – if you can call them games – based on biorhythms, including computer games. Like the one in the above pic, where it looks like the oldest brother from Eight is Enough is playing tennis with young Roseanne Barr.

Now I’ll stop talking about biorhythms because I can never remember how to spell it.

But things were just odd today. I dropped my laundry on a part of the floor that happened to be dirty, seconds after taking the clothes out of the dryer. I missed the UPS guy by a few seconds. I turned the stove on and checked it ten minutes later and realized I actually hadn’t turned it on after all. I spilled food on my jeans, which means I have to wash them tomorrow (since I have to redo my laundry anyway…). A check I was expecting didn’t come. Oh, and a drop of boiling water somehow splashed up from my tea kettle and landed on my eyeball. This is actually the second time it has happened to me in the past few years, so I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or simply intrigued (what, exactly, are the odds that someone will splash hot water in their eye – the same eye – while making tea…twice?). Recently I got some sugar in that very same eye. I should just go ahead and add some milk and a tea bag to the eye and complete things.

Have I earned a gin & tonic tonight?

Yes. Yes I have.

 

So Shiny

Maybe it’s my fault.

After all, I’m the one who said (in a post a few years ago that I can’t find right now for some reason) he was never going to shop (or stop) at Shop & Stop again after being nastily chastised for accidentally putting more items in the “12 items or fewer” line than allowed. (Seriously, the guy scowled and said “Don’t let it happen again.”) But this morning I found myself there once more, waiting in line for 25 minutes because they refuse to open up another register when it’s busy. For a moment I actually thought about going into that 12 items or fewer lane with my cart full of groceries, getting them all up on the conveyer belt before they could stop me. I’d feign innocence and apologize that I didn’t know what line it was, or maybe I wouldn’t apologize. I’d actually admit I did it on purpose. What are they going to do, tell me to take all of my items off and get in another line, making people wait even longer?

I finally reach the clerk and he mentions it’s really busy. I say to him that I noticed and that they should open another register. He doesn’t say anything, probably because there are four employees a few feet away at the lottery/trash sticker/returns booth just standing there, staring at all the customers lined up. They’ve also gotten rid of the end of the conveyer belt and replaced that area with a uniquely stupid turnstile bagging system. So now the clerk packs the grocery bags at the same time he’s scanning the items, which makes everything get backed up because the groceries stay on the conveyer belt longer than they should and the next customer can’t start putting their groceries on the belt. Oh, and some days the customer has to take their bags off of the turnstile and place them in the cart themselves. I’m waiting for the day when someone accidentally gets a finger stuck on the turnstile. Did anyone actually test this new system, or was it just OK’d by an efficiency expert the chain hired?

I leave the store, vowing to never return because there’s a great Shaw’s in town too I can always go to. And I do go to it right away, because Stop & Shop didn’t have a few things I needed.

The clerk at the register – someone I’ve never met before, a girl anywhere between the ages of 16 and 22, it’s hard to tell sometimes – starts to giggle and says something to me while making a circular motion above her head with her hand. I can’t understand what she’s saying so I lean in slightly and say “Excuse me?” She giggles again, points to me and says, “Your head…it’s so shiny! Tee-hee! Tee-hee!”

YES, THANK YOU, I LOVE HEARING OBSERVATIONS ABOUT HOW BALD I AM.

I didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t angry, just stunned that she would say this to a complete stranger, a customer she had never seen before. So I just say, with a light and bouncy tone, “Well, that’s what happens when you don’t have any hair!” She giggles again and says “So shiny!” She continues to titter while I pay for the groceries with my card. She hands me my receipt and I leave the store with my stuff, reminded that I am indeed so bald my head can be seen from space.

This wouldn’t happen if I just wore a hat.

PBJ

When I ended Professor Barnhardt’s Journal in December I had several good reasons for doing so. Those reasons where logical, logistical, maybe even economic (also: not a lot of people were reading it). There were many sensible reasons why I should stop doing it after 14 years, so I pulled the plug.

But you might have noticed that it’s back in the menu at the top of the page, because there’s one reason to keep doing it that overrides all of those sensible reasons.

Because I want to.

So…it’s back. Click! Bookmark! Post it on your site! Share!

New Saturday Evening Post column up too. This week I talk about the guy who was dragged off the airplane, David Letterman’s mom, Popsicle bikes (yes), and why I hated making Eggs Benedict when I was a restaurant cook.