Sunday, October 24, 2004

Shiver Me Timbers, Matey!

There are few things in life so liberating as a pirate costume. I've been a costumed character before--my most famous role was the Humana Women's Hospital Stork. But working at this year's Zoo Boo was the most fun I've had in ages. Not only did I get to look like a pirate, and talk like a pirate, but little kids actually BELIEVED I was a pirate! No one at the health fair ever believed I was a real stork. I invited countless 4 year olds to "join me pirate crew," and offered them a share o' me treasure (tricker treatin' candy.) I pointed to the rubber skeleton in the shark tank and solemnly informed them, "That be what happens to a pirate who can't swim." In return I got giggles, looks of awe, and got to see two of the funniest costumes ever. One was a kid who couldn't have been more than 5, dressed as Elvis--late Elvis, with the huge sideburns and oversize glasses. Those are some sick parents.... The other one was teeny, like maybe 3 or 4, dressed like a giant trout. From the front he was just kind of white, with a pointy head; then he walked past me, and there's this huge poofy stuffed fish tail and body kind of waving back and forth as he walked. I almost fell over laughing, it totally destroyed my pirate demeanor for about 30 seconds. Arrrr.... That be a good one.

I'm trying to resist the impulse to political post as the election draws closer, but it's hard. This new "Wolves" commercial from the Bush campaign pisses me the hell off. Not only is it a feeble attempt at fearmongering, but it strikes yet another blow to the environmental movement's attempts to re-educate the public about real wolves. Nice going, Mr. "I'm a good steward of the land." Only if the land doesn't contain any trees, plants, or animals on it. Pbbt.

Monday, October 18, 2004

The Joys of Marginal Living

There are few perks to having your employment situation in flux, but one of them is my ability to still be in my pajamas drinking coffee at 10:30 on a Monday morning. Another is the fact that I didn't have to make any special arrangements at all to accomodate the Heating Repair Guy's visit to relight my pilot light today. I wondered why it seemed so cold in here lately.... So since I've got no heat, other than the sketchy electric wall heater on the porch that will probably eventually cause my death, they're going to come by sometime today to relight the olympic flame within my ancient boiler. I'd do it myself, but a) I can't figure out where the pilot light actually IS, and b) I'd rather not blow up.

So my new Action Lifestyle (TM) has continued apace since the canoe inaugurated me into the world of adventure! I', so the week wasn't all that exciting. I began a much needed overhaul of my painting webpage. (It's not done yet, so no comments about "this link is broken" "that picture won't load", etc. are necessary.) I started painting a new army for Wargods of Aegyptus, and it's not dwarves. I drove around Crown Hill cemetary with some friends and finally found Dillinger's grave--I'd missed it the last time I was there. And Thursday night was the annual piligrimage with the southside gang to a local haunted house, though this year it was actually a haunted corn maze. Yes--the corn itself is haunted. It was actually pretty cool, about 2 acres worth of cornfield with a huge and fairly complex maze mowed into it. Navigating it in the pitch dark was highly entertaining, and for some reason I ended up in the front of our little party of five. I tried to explain to my fraidy companions that the person in front is in the least danger--the spooks wait until person #1 passes them before they leap out from between the cornstalks--but they heeded me not at all. So we wandered around, getting muddy and disoriented by the occasional strobe lights within the labyrinth. We were impeded slightly by the rain, which went from a gentle sprinkle to a steady patter over the course of an hour, and finally a nice young gentleman in a hockey mask with a chainsaw politely asked us if we'd like to be guided out of the maze so we could dry out. We ended up standing by a bonfire, still getting rained on but in a warmer way, drinking hot chocolate and enjoying ourselves. So I guess my week was not completely adventure-free! October is the bestest month, for sure.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

16 feet of adventure!

16 feet of adventure!
Originally uploaded by hamaker88.
Just Call Me Mr. Danger!

I know that for most people, the words "Adventure" and "Cathy" are synonymous. It should come as no surprise then that I've been coveting the canoes and kayaks at the outfitter store in Broad Ripple all summer. I'd pretty much decided that me affording a canoe (even a used one) was about as likely as, say, Hal publishing his dissertation on the Origin of Catfood. Then, lo and behold! I'm walking past the outfitters a week ago Friday, and before me, sparkling like a shiny Royalex sapphire, is This Boat. Knowing I can't afford it, I take a casual look at the price tag.... and discover that I can, in fact, afford it. It's cheap, paddles are included, and I'm smitten. The next day I went back to mull it over and ask all sorts of smart questions about it. Before I knew what was happening, they'd thrown in a roof rack and I'd handed over my credit card.

I'd been planning a camping/hiking trip with RG for Sunday; when I called her up and told her about the canoe, she said "I can't believe you did that. You're nuts. Ooooh--we could go canoe camping!" Fortunately she's an experienced canoer and camper, so I trusted her utterly..... Right up to the point when it was pitch dark, 40 degrees out, and we were still paddling around the lake trying to find the intended campsite. Then my faith wavered. But only slightly! Within minutes of our agreement that maybe we should give up on the intended campsite, we'd made landfall, gotten a fire started, tent pitched, and dinner going. I wasn't even in total agonizing pain the next morning from all that paddling! Yep. An Adventurer is Me.

We also stopped at the Oliver Winery en route to the lake. This is not because we are wine buffs, but because Indiana's blue laws prevent the sale of alcohol on Sundays--except at small private wineries such as this one. The place is lovely, and the wine was excellent... as excellent as wine can be, really, considering it's not beer.

So yeah, Hal better call his publisher. It'll be a short book, though--"It comes from a tupperware tub in the bathroom closet. The End."