The Ides of Jam

Rather than get caught up in a belabored analogy casting Rush in a toga surrounded by chickenshit assassins, perhaps we should explain instead that every month we provide an opportunity for readers to embarrass themselves by emailing photos, which, after a momentary pause for the NSA to analyze them, automatically show up here. But if you’re wondering, the part of Brutus remains open.

The Ides of Jam [Flickr]

TJ/ Hey! I’m still alive; I’m doing pretty well; I haven’t cussed out anyone at work, so I still have a job. I’m about to head out to visit my mother for a couple of days. Luckily I have a car, and I can leave her house should she act insane (I’ve done it before). I think I’m mentally and emotionally stable enough to deal with her for a couple of days — we’ll see. I’ll try to check in later, but Mom usually puts me to work with chores when I go visit (actually, it’s just stuff she can’t do herself anymore because she’s aging, and I don’t mind helping her). So, there you go.

Love y’all!

@JNOV: Glad to hear you are doing well, wonderful JNOV. “I haven’t cussed out anyone at work, so I still have a job…”, I know the feeling very well. About mid-March the staff at work have their heads so far up their asses that I have to decompress, so I take 3-4 sick days around the Nativity of AARPrick for a mental health spring break so I am half-way tolerant of them during the last quarter of the calender.

No pictures..everything is brown and muddy. Maybe I can dig thru the archives for something.

@JNOV: Make sure you have enough gas for a quick getaway ….

@AARPrick: I concur, but I would say more gray and muddy. But we did have a glorious day yesterday, didn’t we? I uploaded a pic I took at the lakefront yesterday, when I called in sick and had a great day playing hooky–walking on the beach, going to the library, and eating lunch at one of my favorite Thai places.

It’s gray and wet in my part of Canada City today, too.

Just got back from a popsicle stick bridge building competition for Gr 7-8s that I run today with the local Professional Engineers and I’m kinda brain dead. Spent the last two weeks working out the final details. With some minor screw ups, it went well. My respect for event planners went a notch or ten today.

I have to admit that I’ve found this a lot more rewarding than working for the GE jack belch motherfucker who actually pays me. Even got my ugly mug on local access TV. Maybe I won’t look as stupid as I did on my last TV appearance on a Canada City TV trivia game show (fucking “Joni Loves Chatchi”–I lost because of that show.)

Anyway, I’m glad it’s over and I think I’m going to go to bed and get some sleep. I hope I don’t get the flu from the little buggers like I did last year (said flu drop kicked me for a month.)

@ManchuCandidate: It’s 68 (19 C) and sunny here in NYC … yet I am sitting inside watching Californication season 1 and sorting tax shit.

My husband’s the photographer in the family. Right now he’s in Nashville, Tennessee, with our son and his family at a hockey tournament our two stepgrandsons are playing in. Our son is their coach, and my husband is being the coaching guru for the weekend. (He coached hockey from the time our son was five clear through his high school years.) I’m doing the petsitting portion of the weekend: our cat Josie at this house and a couple of miles east at the other house the black Lab Luke, the dachshund Ernest T. Clay, known as Ernie, and the cats Elliott, Mack, Lydia, and Stella.

Instead of an actual photo, here’s a verbal snapshot of our front yard. A little while ago two robins were wandering through little patches of pale purple Crocus tomasinianus (the very earliest crocus), some clumps of snowdrops, and a big patch of bright lemon yellow winter aconites. It’s gusty from time to time so the neighbor’s windchimes are chiming in. The front door is open so Josie can go in and out at will in the 73-degree weather. The two little kids from three doors east are out on their scooters. It’s an e.e. cummings kind of day! mud-luscious and all that.

@lynnlightfoot: Where are you? Here in the NE nothing is stirring. Except the little crack willow outside the dining room is beginning to show buds. They will open like pearls and be very pretty for about 3 days. So far the weeping willows have yet to go bright gold and the hillsides are still grey-brown. They go cherry red when the leaves are about to open. But I’m jealous of your crocus. I planted some last fall. We’ll see how many the squirrels left me soon enough.

And there’s mud. Sheets of compacted snow and ice in the woods. And mud. Dogs like mud. They like to bring it inside.

The desert wildflowers are coming out here in So Cal. I’m planning to play hooky one day next week and take a trip down to Anza Borrego and see what’s what. If that works out, I’ll post on the next Jam.

Ach. I tend to take photographs of my nieces and nephews, and posting that would seem somehow wrong. But it is the same blandly beautiful weather here, and I am baking banana bread for the mister, who loves me, and everything, everything is right with the world- for right now, which, when you think about it, is all there is.

@lynnlightfoot: @Benedick: It’s starting to rain here, with snow(!) predicted for tonight, so I’m curled up inside with gardening books, dreaming. NOne of my crocuses came up–damn squirrels, I’ll set the cat on you, don’t hink I won’t–but a couple of early daffodils are blooming. I’ll pick them before the cold snap tonight.

Just added pics from my walk down to the Castro to pick up some stuff at Cliff’s Variety. Mr. SFL is working away in our garden, pulling out the tomatoes that somehow continued to produce over the winter. Will send in some photos from the vacation in about an hour.

@flippin eck: Yes, the weather has been really fair for the past several days. My brown referenced the dormant vegetation, but it has been showing signs of greening up, but I am 3 hrs south of Chicago area and we have had an earlier “mild spell”. The lake is always glorious on a sunny day. I loved swimming in it, but even as a lad, the water was darn cold until August to me.

@Benedick: I’m in Bloomington, Indiana. Latitude 39.10 N. We usually have a mild winter. I usually see the early crocuses and winter aconites in February, sometimes early February. Not this winter though. This is only the third day for the aconites, the second for the crocuses. Hang in there, it’s coming. A few years back I found some lines by Belle Waring that I love: “I don’t mind winter/Because I know what follows./ There are laws.”

@lynnlightfoot: That’s lovely. Though I’ve lived much more of my life in this country I still have my internal clock set for spring to begin with March. It doesn’t. As you say, it’s on its way. I planted so many bulbs last fall I’m dying to see what’s going to come up – as the actress said to the bishop.

@Mistress Cynica: We had woodchucks and squirrels playing catch-the-rodent all over the little terrace outside my study. Which set off very indignant barking which made jump in the air.

All the pix are gorgeous. My own contribution is a depressing sign that someone’s best attempt to stave off the economic blues is to milk the JTP meme.

We had glorious weather today, and the kids had a full day of hunting (and finding) crawdaddies and minnows in a creek behind our house. Water was cold, with chunks of ice in the shadows, but the critters plentiful.

I embrace Spring with a hardened heart, however. Turned down by two different potential employers in the space of five days. Fuck em.

Sheep should be showing up in a few minutes.

@Nabisco: So sorry to hear that. At this point, Mr Cyn and I are pleased when someone he submits a resume to responds in any way whatsoever. I guess employers are so deluged with applications that only 20% (in our experience) even acknowledge receipt.

@Benedick: I lived for fourteen years (from age 17 to 31) in or near Boston. I never got used to what seemed like No Spring. Having grown up in northern Indiana, I thought it was reasonable to expect spring to manifest itself sometime in April. Instead of which, the worst blizzards seemed to happen in late February or even mid-March, and such spring as Boston could muster was a wan, pitiful thing lasting a couple of days in May, maybe. I didn’t think the admittedly nicely long Indian summers were a sufficient compensation for the extreme brevity of spring. We decided to move to Bloomington after visiting my brother and sister when they were at Indiana University. Our visits took place in either fall or spring, both of which are glorious in southern Indiana. Luckily, we didn’t find out how hellishly hot and humid the summers usually are until we were already living here.

tj/breaking – Little Wolverine may be getting out of the hospital on Monday, less than two weeks after being airlifted in with second and third degree burns on his upper right body and arm. He was up and about in the pediatric special care unit today, standing and playing foosball with his dad, brother and uncle, going for a cruise in the wheel chair and climbing up on to a bed with just a little help. He has sort of a paddle splint on his right wrist plus some dressing under his shirt. The burns outside of the dressings just look like a really bad sunburn in the peel stage. Thanks for all the prayers and good wishes. Now let’s pray Bisco into a a job.

It’s “basketball tournament weather” here. Cold, partly cloudy and windy like fuck. The air is full of dust and pollen, tumble weeds are blowing across the highway and gusts will push your car or truck around on the road. A family of six was killed yesterday when the wind blew their car off the highway near Roswell.

The bulbs are up, everything is budding and my pathetic little patches of grass in the yard are green, but you still like to have a fire and a pot of beans going to ward off the chill.

@redmanlaw: Great news about the Little Wolverine.

@redmanlaw: Awesome news. Tough kid, good kharma, great hope.
@Mistress Cynica: I have to remind myself to be thankful I’m looking while employed. Actually, the missus is always there with a cold bucket of water whenever I get too mopey. But I got peeved yesterday when one of the interviewers thanked me “for my service” while showing me the door. Is that how vets feel?

@SanFranLefty: Thank you. I needed that. NZ looks amazing. If you did have to relocate for Mr SFL’s work, it could be worse.
@redmanlaw: I think we need to add Ewalda, JNOV, Beesco, Mr SFL, and anyone else in need to the job-prayer list. I plan to ask my Wiccan friend about appropriate spells/rituals. At this point, I’ll take a chance on anything.

@Mistress Cynica:
Oh absolutely. I have no problem moving there, other than the fact that it rains a lot and is rather remote. Although not having a lot of people around isn’t a bad thing.

Yes, there are many others in my life I can add to the job prayer list.

I’m heading out to play poker, but I thought I’d post this link to an amusing story about a 13-year old Salt Lake City boy who was getting more physical education than perhaps the school board had in mind:

@SanFranLefty: NZ looks like Scotland.

@Nabisco: Having the ability to hire someone really brings out the worst in people. Not to make light of anyone’s struggle to find a decent job but just to commiserate: I was once auditioned in a closet. A closet. And not the metaphorical kind. For a job that would have meant a very great deal to me. And I was too young to tell the casting director to go fuck himself.

@redmanlaw: Good news.

@lynnlightfoot: Actually we have ravishing springs here. Last year went on for weeks. I’ll send pics of the weeping cherries I planted when they come in bloom.

@Benedick: Those bright red buds are out here, I am expecting forsythia any day.

I had to limp my boat to the boatyard today. The transmission gave up the ghost at the end of summer, right after the incident of the numerous twisters. It will only go at an idle, so I had to go idle on down the bay at 5 MPH to the big yacht yard, so they can polish and paint her bottom, seal the leaks, and install the new transmission I got for christmas.

But it was warm and sunny and calm, 70 degrees, spring, but the over-wintering brant geese were still out on the bay in huge flocks. They congregate out in the middle of the bay, in the middle of winter, in huge flocks, floating together tightly bunched, acres of them. Its amazing, it was a beautiful day. No pictures, I was running the boat alone, no time.

@Dodgerblue: Ah, the sexism of it, I would often say, “hey, good for him,” but this kid was young and apparently vulnerable.

The reason I often sexistly say “good for him” when it is a male student is because I still remember two teachers in high school that I actually hit on.

That one in the pictures, I would not have hit on her, though. Nope.

@Dodgerblue: She teaches Utah studies? How did they not see that coming?

@Benedick: The operative metaphor is Ireland with volcanoes.


OMG, I *love* the NZ photos. I’ve always wanted to see where Xena was filmed in person.

I have such weird feelings about these teacher-student sex stories. They happen almost daily here in the PNW—what else would you expect in a climate that makes it almost impossible to spend time outside 7 months of the year, right? And we do have mental double standards when it comes to the involvement of male or female students. Obviously, it’s wrong because of an unequal power relationship between the student and the teacher, and the presumed lack of informed consent, of course.

I remember when I was 13, and the hormones were a-ragin’, I had a crush on my gym teacher, Coach Karnes (hi Coach!). He was in his late 20s, broad-shouldered, bull-necked, ripped… you get the picture. My rocket almost bust outta my pocket whenever I saw him. He was totes straight, but there’s no way I would’ve said “no” had he asked, and I wouldn’t have regretted it at all. I can’t speak for the female perspective of course, as perhaps that kind of fantasy/experience would be unwelcome. When I was 16, I had sex with a 24 year-old (who wasn’t a teacher, just a friend of friends. His dad owned the local Dodge dealership of all things), and it’s one of my happiest sexual memories, in spite of all the awkwardness and heart-pounding nervousness. Was it illegal? Yes. Was I physically and psychologically ready for it? Hell yes.

@SanFranLefty: “Ridiculously gorgeous” indeed. What a great shot!That mirror effect is so perfect – you should flip the pic when you show it – see how long it takes for anyone to notice. It’ll be mildly discombobulating for the viewer before they figure it out. Of course, I am easily amused. Your mileage may vary.

Also – If you learned anything from LOTF, it is you will never see a hobbit unless they want to be seen. I’m sure they were there.

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