The heavy breathing of the July Dragon has abated somewhat but we are still experiencing those 'lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer' of lyrical lore. These balmy days cause Lord Wellbourne to meander down the path of metaphysical inquiry. The early mornings and early evenings are given over to grounds maintenance and just enough housework to prevent being designated a toxic waste site.
The rest of the day is spent wandering the highways and byways of Etherea. It's the land where imagination, dreams, and life's dilemma-solving exercises have made their home since I invented it in my childhood.
Here are but a few of the myriad musings that engage my mind daily; shortly after the sun clears the pine tops:
Why does Friend A blame Friend B for what was clearly Friend A's fault? Why does Friend A find it necessary to include Friends C thru Z and situations 1 thru Infinity as excuses for his just being a jerk? Wouldn't it be easier to acknowledge the screw-up and say 'I'm sorry'?
If the world is really going to hell in a hand basket as presented by the environmental, financial, and political communities, shouldn't we all be growing reeds and taking basket-weaving classes? I can't be the only one who hates going anywhere without the appropriate accessories.
If the cap on the oil leak in the Gulf actually stays in place and stops the projectile petroleum vomit--does that mean we can expect projectile petroleum diarrhea somewhere else? Physics says it's gotta come out somewhere. May I suggest Dallas?
Is being able to communicate anything to anyone, anywhere, anytime really a good thing? I think the world was a much happier place before radio, television, and the internet. Ignorance was bliss. The world was your back-yard. The universe was your home town. When was the last time you experienced real bliss?
I don't understand the hoopla over Haiti. I was in Port Au Prince in 1990. It was a dirty, corrupt, crime-ridden cesspool then. Although I am sure there were good folks there, everyone I encountered--from cabby's to merchants--were only interested in what they could get out of me with the least amount of effort. I was robbed three times in six days. Actually I was robbed in one way or another all six days but only three times not sanctioned by law. So, 20 years later it's a dirty, corrupt, crime-ridden cesspool where people are angry about not getting the help they need despite the billions in Federal and International aid--a lot of it from common, every-day good-hearted people. The US has been bolstering Haiti for decades as a counter-balance to Cuba. Is Cuba that big of a threat? What the hell is Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands for? And don't get me started on New Orleans. A city of that size built where the Mississippi meets the Gulf AND below sea-level. A city that spent its capital on everything but infrastructure. Nope, can't feel a lot of empathy there.
Who invented 'political correctness' and is he/she still alive? Why?
Lord Wellbourne does not do well when mercury rises in the absence of central air. He does not wish to offend any of his Gentle Readers' sensibilities. Lord Wellbourne just wishes that stupidity would go the way of small pox. Or at least not given the opportunity to reproduce. Does the world need more Brittney Spears'?
Lord Wellbourne, however, makes no apologies for his comment referring to Dallas. Couldn't happen to a more deserving place.
Lord Wellbourne is also trying to figure out why he keeps referring to himself in the third person. It may be time for a brisk stroll around the margarita pool.
Aerum Centralis is an invasive species. It is native to areas south of New Hampshire and west of Vermont. It most often makes its way this far north when people of Southern origin move here and build new homes. It is better known by its common name: Central Air. The next house that gets built around here with central air is going to have me as a live-in welcoming committee until September. Then it will be ME who's the 'invasive species'. And I warn you, I'm not that easy to eradicate.
Honestly, the demon-spawned twins--Heat and Humidity--have nearly driven me to distraction. In Texas I had central air. In Maine I have windows. Texas wins. I feel like a gardenia corsage three days after the prom. This time last year I was plotting out a rice paddy in the back yard. Today I'm contemplating a cactus and yucca hedgerow. This extraordinary heat keeps one in a continuous state of inelegance. The cats are strewn about various pieces of furniture on the porch like something Salvador Dali would have painted. I have so many fans going it feels like I'm in a Celine Dion music video. You know it's hot when deer are bold enough to come into your yard and drink from the bird bath--while you're weeding a flower bed ten feet away.
It's supposed to rain this weekend. Lordy, how we need it! On the other hand, She- Who-Must-Be-Endured is reveling in this Saharan nightmare. She is perpetually cold and now she is finally 'comfortable'. The rest of civilization is drowning in its own perspiration but she is rising like Venus on a clam-shell from the permafrost. I do believe that this is the first time in my existence that I have ever envied the frozen fish fillets in my freezer.
I know it's unseasonably hot in other places and I feel for my Gentle Readers living wherever they are. For my friends living in the Southern Hemisphere and who are experiencing Winter---please send a self-addressed, postage paid cargo container to Fernbrook Court ASAP. I'll reimburse you immediately upon arrival. And, please, no fish sticks for dinner. I'll settle for an Eskimo Pie.
Greetings to all the nieces and nephews of Uncle Sam on his 234th Birthday! Here at Fernbrook Court we did it up right--Maine style. There was pasta salad loaded with lobster. There were moose burgers and hot dogs (not made of moose; the regular red-skinned kind). There were deviled eggs which I added blue food colour to so the blue yolks in combination with the whites and the paprika looked very patriotic. Steamed clams and oysters, lobster rolls, wedges of good Maine cheddar. My mother contributed an amazing apple pie. That is to say, she dictated and oversaw the production from peeling apples to putting the slices on plates. But the best part was the homemade strawberry shortcake--home-grown strawberries, home-baked biscuits, served with hand-whipped cream. I never want to see another whisk again. The place was crawling with neighbours, friends, and relations. I was gratified to hear the oohs and aahs as folks wandered about the grounds at what I have accomplished in just a year. After several lively games of croquet, some highly embellished story swapping and heartfelt remembrances everyone went home.
As my mother was settling into her chair she playfully scolded me for not telling her I'd invited all these people. I told her I hadn't invited them and that I thought she had. When we were both convinced that neither of us had issued invitations we just looked at one another and laughed. People just showed up because they somehow knew we'd be glad to see them. God bless America.
And a very happy Independence Day to my fellow citizens and all who believe in and strive for freedom from bigotry, tyranny, oppression, and intolerance. This is America. We ain't perfect and sometimes we ain't pretty. But as a whole we are sincere and we mean well. I'd like to think that all of us, collectively, are the welcome mat beside the Golden Door. Not so that foreign powers can wipe their feet before walking over us but as a place to pause and feel the warmth of a generous people waiting to embrace them and make them feel at home.
Anticipation is a delicious dish and should always be served warm.
I was taken aback by part of a comment that June made after my last post. She has a friend who doesn't want to read the books that June recommends because she "doesn't like to learn new words". EGAD and OMG! Writing and reading are the greatest developments of the human species. It's what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. With the possible exception of domestic felines. Jezebel sits next to the laptop and corrects my spelling and grammar. This friend of June is a communications anarchist! She's engendering a mutiny upon the human race! She should be pilloried--immediately after that word is defined for her.
Perhaps her lexicophobia is due in part to the confusion of word meanings. So many words in the English language have multiple meanings that can derail the rational thinker's train of thought. For example--just the other day I heard it announced that Prince Albert of Monaco was engaged to be married. To a commoner. It's a rather dismissive description for someone who isn't Royalty. Despite being an accomplished human being, this beautiful young lady is a commoner. She's about to marry Royalty. I hope she doesn't believe marriage is going to 'up her ante'. I mean, after all, getting paid a lot of money to do little or nothing except cut a few ribbons and pose for photos isn't exactly contributing to the greater good is it? I guess since their faces are on the currency they assume it belongs to them.
The word 'common' is an interesting word and shows up frequently in our daily language. Let's take a look at some other examples, shall we?
Common Ground: A mythical land where people of contradictory opinion seemingly create a level playing field from which each opponent can plot to seize the moral high ground.
Common Market: A place where everyone from everywhere is invited to make money fulfilling supply and demand. Except for those who have more demand than supply and vice versa. The only one making a profit is the landlord.
Boston Common: (This also applies to any city's 'common'). A pastoral area set aside in an urban setting where people of all classes, creeds, and colours can ignore one another equally.
Common Courtesy: Thoughtful consideration of others. Practiced by thoughtful, considerate people and is becoming rarer as these people are on the verge of extinction.
Common Sense: The application of practicality. Something everyone has access to but rarely utilizes. Invoked by people in judgement of others. Politicians use it as a campaign vote-getter but widely ignore its existence until they can figure out how to regulate and tax it.
Common Soldier: An oxymoron. There is nothing common about soldiers. They are extraordinary individuals.
I hope this little exercise helps those who fear words and the power they have. They are healing balms in the right mouths and hands and weapons of acute destruction in the wrong ones. Choose your words carefully--you may have to eat them someday. It's a common fact of life. Please pass the salt.