August 11th, 2008 - Dayo de Mondo

Ah, August Monday. Pretty flowers, dusty drought-ravaged ground, pollen, microscopic bacteria, blue fibers, viruses, for me it all adds up to an allergic, itchy, jittery, stuffed up start to the day. Schwoo... (sucking sound) Caff! caff! cough! Itch, scratch. Quiver, scratch.
I believe that long before the world fries due to someone intentionally or accidentally pushing the button for The Big One, or shrivels from excessive Catastrophic Global Climate Change, we will all succumb to Global Allergy Syndrome (GAS). This manifests itself as an allergy to everything. The only solution will be to become "The Boy in the Bubble" or take the Space Elevator up to total deep space vacuum and find some peace where there's no microbes, overuse of cologne, anti-bacterial soaps, latex, animal dander, shellfish, dust mites, ragweed, sinus pressure, ChemLawn, not to mention the added vaso-constriction of bass-booming cars, train bells, airplane noise or motion-sensing vocalizing toys. Just the balmy absolute-zero zephyrs of the solar winds. My luck the snowbirds that live in the space trash trailer-park down the way enjoy solar wind chimes, and tacky dark-matter ornaments for their "yard."
I guess I'll just have to buck up, quit whining and enjoy my mom's flowers while I have the chance. Nice Asiatic Lilly, there Ma.
Definitely worth a little itching and sneezing.

While in Ashland recently, I couldn't pass up documenting this well-named bicycle, the "Break-Point, Aluminum Series". Usually they come with a warning sticker that says, "Not for jumping." My friend Karl, owner of the bike shop up there used to sell a bumpersticker that read: If Huffy built an airplane, would you fly in it?

This is my school. Beaser School. Home to the idiom, "Beaser-wheezer, lemon-squeezer, stick your head in an ice-cream freezer." My grade school from 4th to 6th grades to be more exact. It was also the school my grandmother attended kindergarten in. My grandmother died in the seventies at about 80 years of age. It's low-rent housing now. The coolest thing was (besides the bats in the belfry and the attic covered with eons of graffiti) that the silo-shaped tube on the side was actually a fire-escape for all three floors. Inside was a spiral slide, polished to a gleaming silver from years of kids butts sliding down it. Fire drill was chaos. I think I only got to slide it twice. The lower floors went first, and in theory they were outside and out of the way before the third floor started sliding, but it never quite worked out that way. Usually there was a screaming, crying, laughing pile-up four kids deep at the bottom. Finally they locked the doors for good, much to the dismay of all us 3rd graders. It was the end of an era.
I wish I would have asked my grandma if she sang the lemon-squeezer song when she went there...

Down the alley from my mom's house, the blue chicory plants grow. Kind of a cool plant, with the petals looking like they have been trimmed with pinking-shears. Usually you will see chicory growing out in the prairie, but this one is "out back by the trash cans" of some houses down the block.
I think I used to mow one of those yards for money to buy a chemistry set come to think of it. Some say you can make a decent "coffee-substitute" out of chicory roots. Just the mention of it would get my dad sticking his tongue out and making a face, saying "he had so much of that during the depression, he didn't care if he EVER saw one of those plants again!"
It's probably a good thing he's not around to see the alley now, because it has the most chicory I've ever seen in one place!