Tuesday, October 28, 2008


The last grapes are in and processed = harvest is "over" = happy, beer-sipping Ryan. Harvest is only "over," of course, in the same sense that moving is "over" once you've unloaded all your stuff into the new house, but before you've unpacked and set-up paintings and Ikea chairs. It feels good, though, to return that U-haul and take a break for a fast food dinner, doesn't it?

Here's one of my favorite pictures of the season:

This is Jeronimo. Whenever I play a jazz CD in the cellar Jeronimo tells me (and I'm confident Stanley would approve my translation) "this music is crazy dead." I like to think that in the off-season Jeronimo is a modern music critic for a Duranguense branch of The New Yorker. He is unaffected by any song under 160bpm. Which is fast.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Return Service Requested

I rarely have dreams that frighten me or make me stop to ponder things like, "Yes, it would be strange if my Oldsmobile morphed into a rapid-fast orange baby elephant mid-commute and I got pulled for speeding and the officer asked me if I wrote the percussion music for Stomp, wouldn't it?" Last night, however, I had a strange dream.

I woke up in my parents house, and walked into my sister's room, where my Mom, Dad, and sister were looking out the window. "What's up?" They pointed out the window and I looked out the window. There were no trees or lawns or roads or anything, just black space and stars and these crazy technicolor flashes, almost like lightning bolts, shooting around intermittently. "I think the fabric of reality has ripped," my Dad said. "Does this mean classes are cancelled?" my sister asked.

We stood staring out the window and I wasn't scared, exactly, but it was one of those dream-moments where you know you're going to die in like twenty minutes, but you're not sure how to feel about it. I don't know if I knew it was a dream. I woke up in the middle of the night and looked out the window, and there were trees and lawns and roads. I haven't quite been able to verbalize the strangeness of this dream yet, but unlike most dreams, I haven't slowly forgotten it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

While Writing This Post, I Was Also Cutting Hot Peppers and, At The Computer, Rubbed My Hands in My Eyes and Almost Died

Over the years, here's what the owner of the company I work for has called me, in chronological order:

Then, "Ryan."
Now, "Chief."

Am I devolving?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Bilingual transit humour!

Recently, I conceived of a risible addition to the catalogue of jokes, and I should like to share:

Q: Did you hear about the sign they displayed on the train in México when said train was running late?
A: It said "On delay"*.

*Pronounced like ándale, you see.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Ode To Magazine Racks

I am an incessant bathroom reader. If, at any given time during the day, I foresee spending more than 20 seconds in the bathroom, hands free, I absolutely must have something to read lest I shrivel up and die of an overwhelming boredom. If I had to go like right now, I would spend twenty minutes pre-relief foraging through a bookcase until I found just the right novel to take into the bathroom and read half of one paragraph on page 127 before flushing the toilet and stuffing the book back on the shelf, thinking, "Until next time, buddy." At friends' houses I'll read anything within arms reach. I'll read the bottom of your Kleenex box (Dites adieu aux nez irrite), your hand soap bottle (Contains aloe vera for its moisturizing benefits - Provides rich, abundant lather - Leaves hands feeling clean and silky-soft), or the instructions on your tube of Crest (pea-sized amount in children under 6). I heartily appreciate any water-wrinkled magazines or quotebooks left on the toilet for guests. While some find those Sign-This-Book-If-You-Use-The-Pot books tacky, I find them extraordinarily entertaining.

My need to consume information spills into my lunchtime as well. I don't want to talk to co-workers while I eat. And I don't want to stare into the acres upon acres of pasture and vineyard. I want to read, for the third time, that article on the effects of extended cold soak on anthocyanins in 1996 Lodi Cab Sauvs. I have read every readable piece of paper at my work. I have read the inventory sheets from the early 80s. I have read the time cards for the pickers, and worked out the math to determine who is working most, despite this having no bearing whatsoever on my life. I have read that random book on holistic cures for arthritis.

I don't know who I would blame for this, or whether it is even a problem.