Archive for May, 1996

An evening with an Arab

22 May 1996 at 5:05 pm
by Jonah

“You wanna go see Mo?” he asked me while talking on the phone. “What? Mo?
Sure!” I hadn’t seen Mo in forever, ever since he moved up to Detroit.
“You know Mo, right?” Dick asked when he got off the phone. Did I know him?
I would have become his 11th wife, had I agreed. “Well, don’t mention that.
He’s married now,” Dick laughed.

I’d coached Moteb (the Saudi Arabian otherwise known as H-T on the boards) on
history in return for breadsticks purchased from the snack shop until he left
to get married and transfer to another college. Before that I’d had several
midnight chat sessions with him on the Neutral Zone.

Driving down in Dick’s new car he got for $200, we peered through the foggy
windshield and belted out the lyrics to tunes playing on the radio. Every so
often, he’d hit the horn, which was in perfect tune with certain songs. We
walked into the Clarion Hotel and spotted them. Sting and his other were
seated at a table with Mo and his diminuative wife wrapped in a traditional
Arab head scarf. Mo has always been big, but he’s gotten bigger since I’ve
seen him last. His wife could understand English, and evidently speak it,
but instead she told jokes in Ababic and had Mo translate them.

Deciding to head to Darryl’s, we piled into Mo’s rental (this huge sedan he
somehow talked his way into renting for $26 a day). It was parked out in
front of the hotel. “See this red line?” asked Sting, “It means fire. Only
fire trucks can park here.” “It’s not my car. This is a rental,” responded
Mo. “Have you ever driven with a Saudi?” Sting tried to prepare us. I had,
once. He offered to take me over to my car parked in the far lot at UM.
There was a tape of voices howling in Arabic playing when he cranked up his
Amiga. This time, the radio was set to the alternative station. “Hey, we
were just listening to that,” Dick and I exclaimed as Mo turned it off.

He pulled east onto Airport, performed a Uie, and weaved in and out of the
lanes into the left hand turn lane on Airport, coming THIS CLOSE to a truck’s
bumper. “Crap!” came Sting’s voice from the back. “Hey, we had PLENTY of
room,” I observed from the front seat. “Yeah,” agreed Mo, “Jonah knows what
she’s talking about. You obviously know how to drive. Besides, it’s a
rental,” as we came THIS CLOSE to another car turning into the parking lot.
“Plenty of room,” I repeated.

Inside, a waitress said it would be a 20 minute wait for a non smoking table.
We opted for first available instead and went to sit down at the lounge.
The discussion turned to how Mo has this innate ability to get people to
give him stuff for free. A girl came over to take our drink orders while she
handed out cocktail napkins. “These are my friends from Bulgaria,” Mo said
to her, “Seriously!” “Okay,” she muttered. “And so you need to give them
something complementary since they’re visiting from overseas.” I don’t think
she caught that but just took our orders. Sting’s other ordered a virgin
strawberry daquiri, so I pointed to her and nodded that I’d have the same
when it came my turn.

As she returned to the bar, the buzzer they’d given to Mo went off. We
tromped back upstairs and followed the seater to a very cramped booth. They
agreed to push another couple of tables together while we waited. A waiter
came up to spread out cocktail napkins before we told him that we weren’t
REALLY sitting there, just waiting till they got us a better table. He
picked up the napkins and left. As we returned back downstairs, we wondered
if the lady with our drink orders would ever be able to find us.

For the third time, someone came up and asked what we wanted to drink. “Uh,
I think this girl was getting stuff for us,” Sting conjectured. The waiter
asked what she looked like. “Red shirt,” said Mo, “and glasses!” “Blonde
hair,” I added. He went off to search for her, then came back a bit later
with all the drinks except for the daquiris. “And who had coke?” he asked.
We all looked around. “I had a sprite,” said Mo, “but you can leave that
here. And could you bring us a pitcher of sprite? We’ll be drinking a lot.”
He reappeared with the sprite and the pitcher and then our daquiris. I
sucked on mine and mused to Dick, “I should have got a real one.” “Get one,”
he said, “I’ll drink that one.” When the waiter came back, I asked him for a
real strawberry daquiri. He asked for my ID.

At one point, the waiter asked Sting if he still went to University of
Mobile. “My name is Marty,” he said, “I just graduated.” Sting had
graduated, Mo had transferred, and Dick and I still went. Sting’s other is a
Spring Hiller. When he left, I asked Dick, “What do you think his major
was?” “Hmm? Business. Maybe nursing. But he looks like a business major.”
I asked Marty when he came back what his major was. “Business and finance.”
“Ha! You were right!” I exulted to Dick. Marty looked surprised but asked
us what we majored in. “Music,” answered Dick. “Political Science,” added
I.

Mo picked up on the conversation, asking Marty where he was from and his
major. Then he asked, “You married?” “No.” “You’re single then? This is
Jonah. (What’s your major?)” “Political Science,” I said. “Her major is
political science. She is single, and she’s gorgeous in this black dress…”
A few days before my 20th birthday, I went through a rebellious stage as a
result of the realization that there were only a few days left of being a
teenager. One of those days, I went to class in goth/stoner regailia,
wearing heavy eye makeup and “dressed” in a black t-shirt, black gloves,
black stockings and shoes. I walked into the computer lab after English
class to find Mo staring open mouthed. He mentions this “black dress” every
time I’ve seen him since.

A bit later, a pack of waiters laid seige to the table next to us singing
happy birthday and presenting the victim with pie ala mode. Mo caught
Marty’s attention and gestured toward Sting and his other. Marty disappeared
again to get some pie for the birthday girl. It is Sting’s other’s
birthday… but not for another couple of weeks. The pie accompanied by the
army of waiters arrived a few minutes later. Sting his other shoved the pie
into the box with their partially consumed cake as soon as Marty left, and we
all watched the al amode melt alone on the plate. I mixed some sprite from
the pitcher into the rest of Dick’s daquiri so Marty wouldn’t have brought
the extra beverage in vain.

Back in the car, Mo pulled out onto Airport with a semi truck blocking the
view of who was coming as Sting shouted “Oh crap!” from the backseat. It was
just down the road to the hotel. “Do you want to go somewhere else?” Mo
asked. “Sammy’s,” laughed Dick. “Sammy’s? is that a restaurant?” Mo passed
the hotel and turned toward the strip joint. “It is NOT a restaurant,”
insisted Sting, “Two words. Kenny Rogers. Roasters? Hooters?” Mo suddenly
accelerated past the intended target. He turned back onto Airport
announcing, “I’m pulling in front of a red Mustang.”

We made it back to the hotel safely anyway. Parking in a real parking spot
this time, we got out next to a car phone lying on the ground. “You want a
phone?” asked Mo, “take it.” I picked it up to turn it into the front desk
(not the first time I’ve done that at that hotel) but handed it over to a
couple of elderly rent-a-cops sitting on the tailgate of a nearby truck.

Then exchanging goodbyes, we left and listened to the radio all the way home.

Chickhood, classical guitars, and chocolate chess pie

15 May 1996 at 2:40 am
by Jonah

I washed my hair today. Which was good because it had been about a week
since the last time I did. It doesn’t get as icky after that amount of time
in the arid climate of Colorado, but by the time I returned to the South, it
was obviously past its time.

Because of this, my hair was down when I went to school to return a book to
the library. Instead of getting my grades, I got a little card in the mail
saying I had a problem with the library. I called them this afternoon when I
got up and found out that they couldn’t find a book I’d checked out for my
research paper. I’d checked out a bunch of books for that paper from UM and
the public library. A pile that reached past my knee when stacked up, as a
matter of fact. I’d returned them all after the paper got turned in. Well,
MOST of them. I found one under the seat of my car this morning after
talking to the library people on the phone and discovering that a book was
still missing.

I called Mark before I left, since I talked to him on the phone last night
saying I might come see him at school the next day. Leaving a message on his
voice mail, I drove off for school, wondering how the heck I’d find him.
He’s in a new trailer (the girls live in dorms, the guys in cottages and
trailers), and I had no idea which one. But as I prepared to get out of my
car in front of the library, he approached my vehicle. “Hi!” I said, opening
my door. Brad followed up behind him. “Jonah,” breathed Brad, “You look
like a chick.” I guess I did with my hair down and shorts and white Nikes
on. “Nice legs,” he added. “Nice legs,” Mark concurred. “Thank you.” “I
was expecting the jeans, flannel shirt,” commented Brad. “Yeah, well it’s
hot today,” I answered putting my purse with checkbook inside over my
shoulder. “You’ve even got a purse today,” Brad continued.

We went in to the library. “This is late,” I said sliding the book to the
lady across the counter. It was indeed almost two weeks late. She and the
workstudy looked in vain for its card. Then the lady who’s like second in
command over there came over to help. She found the card where she’d pulled
it waiting for me to call back. Satisfied, she crossed out my name on a bad
list and marked some other things. “Okay,” she said looking up at me.
“That’s it?” I asked. “Yes, we won’t make you pay a fine. We’re just glad
to have it back.” “Cool,” I smiled. “Now run before I change my mind,” she
ordered. I left the library quickly with Mark and Brad in tow.

We went over to Mark’s trailer. Girls aren’t allowed inside, but he lives so
far back now that no one notices. It’s pretty nice with a full kitchen.
Brad and I talked about relationships and meaning while Mark played
alternative music tunes on the classical guitar he checked out of the music
dept. Then he went to eat at the snack shop and I had to go home and cook
dinner.

In other news a quest I’ve held for a couple of years now finally came to
completion. I’d been searching for the perfect chocolate chess pie recipie
and found it tonight, quite inadvertantly. What I really wanted was a
chocolate chip pie recipe, so I flipped through cookbooks radomly trying to
find one. My mom has a whole cabinet dedicated to cook books, most of them
gifts she never uses. I finally cried out in triumph as I flipped to the
correct page. As I rolled out the pie crust, my mom asked what I was making.
I refused to say, as always. My brother, who is fairly perceptive, didn’t
ask but came over to the cookbook and started reading off the ones on the
page. “Chocolate chess?” he wondered allowed. “Chocolate chess?! Where!” I
demanded. There, right above the one for the chocolate chip pie, it was.
Since the pie crust recipie is for two crusts, I made one of each. We had
the chess tonight. And it was good. Real good. I’m happy with it, and
quite satisfied with myself.

button your fly

12 May 1996 at 3:05 am
by Jonah

I have nothing against flies per se. I mean, I’m sure they serve some useful
purpose in nature. Like climbing all over food that’s been left out while
regurgitating onto whatever they’re eating part of their last meal, which
many times consists of garbage or dung. But I harbor these swift insects no
ill will in general, provided they’re not harassing me with constant buzzing
or biting me or my animals. So long as they stay out of sight and sound,
they are safe from my vengeance. But woe be it to the tiny flying animal I
find within my vacinity.

The Bremers’ have a multiplicity of fly swatters. My house has one, which I
can never find when I need it and so am usually forced to resort to a rolled
up sheet of newspaper. But insects rarely find their way into my house,
well, flying insects, that is. We seem to have our fair share of roaches.
But

(A slight pause while I answer the ringing phone, have a short conversation
in which the caller and I acknowledge predicting each being on the other end
of the line, spotting a fat black fly, retrieving a fly swatter from its
roost on top of the fridge, and swatting the poor sucker into a window pane,
before handing the phone to someone else.)

But…

But after writing this much I went to a picnic (where I consumed a hamburger,
Sprite, and Cheetoes and played volley ball with cadets), the airport, made
rhubarb pies, watched a movie and shot off a bunch of fire works. So I
didn’t have much time to write about the day’s events.

We’re leaving for home tomorrow, probably around noon, and it’s after 2 now.

net blonds

9 May 1996 at 10:42 pm
by Jonah

I made supper tonight. Mostly. Michele made meatballs out of elk meat and
then gave me directions for broiling them while she disappeared out the door
to go lifeguarding. When they were brown (approaching carbonized stage), I
dumped them into a pot of spaghetti sauce on the stove and boiled a bunch of
flat noodles. I also slit a loaf of french bread in half lengthwise and
spread it with a mixture of mayonaise, olive oil, parmassian cheese, and
garlic powder.

That invisible pause was me taking the second apple pie out of the oven. Now
I’m tired. Cooking (and then cleaning up afterward) does that to me.

We had elk steaks last night. That was the first time I’d eaten the third
largest indigenous herbavore of this continent. Max and Jefiner got it while
hunting last fall, they could only bring back a hindquarter before a blizzard
set in. By the time they got back, a bear had taken care of the rest. It’s
tasty stuff. Didn’t seem quite as strong as venison.

I went over to the academy today to see if I could view my webpage with Max’s
version of Netscape. We never could connect, but I did get to Geof’s and my
brother’s. Max was pretty impressed with Ben’s. Then I asked him if he
could telnet. He showed me the telnet icon, and I connected to maf, my unix
accounts, and dragon’s lair, where Imzadi, Bigben, and Lorax were gathered.
Max was in awe. “You mean the internet isn’t just the Web?” Now he’s
convinced I’m a computer genius.

I gave Eli a hair cut today. but it’s not totally right. I’ll send this,
since it’s lightning, and fix his hair.

May 9, 1996

9 May 1996 at 12:14 am
by Jonah

Woohoo! Today I learned how to use Windows without a mouse. Oh, I had a
mouse alright, but I reached the chapter of DOS for Dummies that told how to
do it. Now if I’m ever in a predicament in which I’m rendered mouseless, I
can maneuver successfully around the screen, providing I can remember how.

I also vastly improved the user friendliness of this IBM. I learned how to
change the prompt, so now it reads, “Yes, master?> ”

Heh, Eli just “Ewwww!”ed at Jefiner picking her nose. So Jef wiped it on
him. That brought quite a loud reaction. Nathan and Eli were picking on her
mercilessly a bit earlier. Jef is extremely ticklish around the neck. Ugh.
Now Steph is engaging in chemical warfare.

Eli is dying his hair, or bleaching it, rather. He’s been making periodic
trips to the bathroom to put peroxide on it. Then he comes and asks me,
“Jonah? Is it getting lighter?” He also hasn’t shaved for several days. He
said I’ll have to help him shave it into a goatee. He’s trying to convince
the people at school that this all American, straight kid is plunging off the
deep end. He’s also considering glueing a stud to his ear, even though I
told him if he got it pierced, it would grow back before long. But he enters
the Air Force Academy June 27th, and the least things they can give him
trouble about the better. He’s got a big swim event or something coming up.
Then he’ll shave not only his face but his legs as well.

I just got finished getting the camcorder ready in case Basket decides to
foal very soon. Steph and Jef are supposedly going to check on her every
hour. Horses like privacy when it comes to shooting out babies, so checking
probably is only going to delay the process. The Bremers have never actually
seen a birth, if I understand correctly, and their horses have been rather
fertile. I hope she lets loose before we leave.

Max visited my webpage. He had a problem with the “what I plan to do with my
major: Rule the world” part. “You see,” he said, “that’s impossible because
_I_ am going to rule the world.” “But,” I replied, “it doesn’t exclude
ruling in tandem. It could happen in shifts. One after the other.” “Oh, I
understand. I always assumed that world dictatorships were for life.”
“Well, yes, depending on how long one lives.” “In which case it would be
for life.” “Exactly.” I’m to meet him at the academy to view my page on
Netscape tomorrow at 2:30ish, providing Basket isn’t bringing a new foal into
the world, in which case I’ll call him, and he’ll try to get out of his
meeting.

I guessed the correct answer to the trivia question at Safeway this evening,
so Jefiner and I rented a movie free. It was a chick flick, void of violence
(had a lot of violins in it, however, as Duncan pointed out). Eli and Nathan
left in the middle of it.

I made beigies (light brownies) today with apple sauce instead of butter
according to Michele’s directions. People kept asking me what was in them.
I’d answer, “Manure.”

Eli’s hair is slightly lighter… but nothing drastic. Yet. He’s thinking
about soaking his head in a bowl of peroxide tomorrow.