Wednesday, November 30, 2005

raul malo roo mauled


I have much love for Raul Malo and his work with the Mavericks, but that would not stop the pure giddiness that would flow forth from seeing this headline in any given respectable news outlet.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

your assignment

There were often days during my brief year of teaching in which the gifted little bastards would exhaust the lesson plan and leave me with some improvisational cat herding to do. It was then that I came up with an extensive list of first lines for children’s stories and passed them out for the kids to finish. They would each get a few minutes to add their parts and then pass them along to the next kid. I may not have learned them their grammar good, but I kept them entertained, and that’s all that really matters, as robots, foreigners, and foreign robots will probably fill all the jobs they aspire to by the time they graduate.

Anyway, I thought that some of you might also enjoy this sort of thing. I’ll leave you with one of the sentences. You can add your parts in the comments section, and I will then take credit for it and rake in millions if it appears to be a lucrative children’s story. Actually, it will probably just sit alongside my other, often rejected and misunderstood children stories, The Smoking Monkey That Could, But Didn’t and There’s Nothing Funner Than A Butterknife In The Eye.

I’ll be landscaping in Outer Brentwood and away from the computer all day. I assume you won’t need a substitute, but bear in mind that the nerdy kids will be taking names and that there are many nerdy kids out there.
Here goes:
"The angry squirrel crept up slowly behind the slumbering buffalo."

Monday, November 28, 2005

lou rawls mauled by 'roos

Let it be known that Rex L. Camino has nothing but love for Lou Rawls. Hell, everyone loves Lou Rawls. Still, I would wager that many among us would like to see this velvetty voiced crooner fight off a pack of the dreaded marsupials simply for the headline.
Throw in commentary by Don Cornelius and I would die a happy man.

news of the kinkajous and now the 'roos

Were you aware that the government can just storm into your home and take your kinkajou from you? This story has made the news because it happened to the idle rich, but I am left to wonder how many poor people have their homes raided and their exotic pets taken everyday.
Note to government: You can have my "night monkey" when you pry it from my cold dead hand.
But the other interesting fact from the article is that baby kangaroos can grow up to be violent, and that any obliging parent who ran out to purchase one for their offspring after a family watching of Kangaroo Jack is destined to have their impulse purchase end badly. I merely inferred this last part, but "roo maulings" are a very real occurrence and something one must anticipate on any given Australian golf course.
However, in my humble opinion, the inclusion of mauling 'roos and rabid kinkajous would greatly increase the entertainment value of golf.

Friday, November 25, 2005

thankfulness, the day after

My fat little dog and I have just re-gorged ourselves on Mrs. Camino's free-range turkey. I washed mine down with a glass of merlot. Carl was a bit gassy after his, and some of it was audible. He barked at it.
I am growing fat, but there will be time for exercise when I am not so thankful.

the fancy ones will also have rhinestones, but those are for special occasions...and special ladies

I have never shopped on the day after Thanksgiving, and I never will. The idea of wrestling with three generations of large women in matching puff-painted and sequined sweatshirts who conduct all their transactions in slowly written checks featuring butterflies and kittens or Dale Earnhardt has never appealed to me. I often find myself in line behind them at the grocery store or department of motor vehicles and have yet to come away from those encounters feeling that our time together was insufficient.

Mrs. Camino toyed with the idea of rising at five and joining in the festivities but reconsidered after we left the late showing of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire around one o’clock this morning. Also, very little of her wardrobe features puff paint or sequins, and she has yet to be so bold as to attempt a combination of the two.
I believe her Christmas gift has just availed itself to me.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

the day of the night monkey thanksgiving special

Gather the children around the screen and enjoy.*
night monkey V(thanksgiving)
*Don't actually gather the children around the screen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

an open letter to the mtsu athletic director

Dear Mr. Massaro,

I am writing to offer my services as head coach of the university’s football team. If hired, I promise to run a grab ass free football program with little tolerance for pussyfooting and the like.

My qualifications—aside from a junior high and high school football career coupled with years of collegiate and professional football watching—include having my picture taken with Bill Curry once.

camino and curry (1989)
How many times have you had your picture taken with Bill Curry?

That’s what I thought.

I have already devised a game plan to use regardless of the opponent. I promise to run the option on every play but one. It is an effective play on its own, but the added tension of defenses awaiting that non-option play will be enough to keep them off kilter and susceptible to our offense, regardless of the effectiveness it would otherwise have.

On defense, we will cheat, pure and simple.

But winning will take more than brilliant coaching. Great coaches like “Bear” Bryant and Tom Landry always wore really cool trademark hats, and this only added to their intimidating stature as legendary coaches.

If hired, I vow to pace the sideline in this. You can watch as our adversaries tremble in fear.

However, I’m afraid that this will do little to hold the psychological edge over our enemies if they also continue to see that damn My Little Pony of a mascot haunting the sidelines behind me. A pegasus is nothing more than a hornless unicorn, and a hornless unicorn has no place in football. It spooks no one outside of Vanderbilt and has only hindered the progress of MTSU athletics since its introduction a few years ago.

I propose to replace it with this:

Who among us can look upon this and not immediately feel the creeping pangs of terror deep within our gut? I cannot. With a mascot like this the battle is half won before we have even engaged our enemy. We have gotten into the heads of our opponents and instilled confidence in our fanbase. They will not hesitate to fill the stadium and shout things like “GIVE ‘EM HELL ‘JOUS!”

I will eagerly await your offer (though I would not hesitate too long, as my impressive plan of action is bound to garner attention from a few dissatisfied folks in Knoxville).

Rex L. Camino

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

yet another day of the night monkey

night monkey IV

a holy roller faux pax?

There was a rather large man strapped into a wheelchair on the Murfreesboro square a couple of weeks ago. He had an old tape player rolling a near-warbled cassette of an enthusiastic Baptist minister and a sketchbook opened on an easel, and he would look up briefly from his intense artistry to greet each of the passersby with great joy and enthusiasm. He seemed to posses a diminished mental capacity along with his physical ailments but was not there asking for money or trying and sell any of his artwork.

I had noticed him from a block away as he happily addressed the line of attorneys, couriers, shoppers, and other assorted business folk walking sparsely around the square on the slow afternoon. He looked quite happy in his overalls and religious sweatshirt, and I was even looking forward to engaging him a bit as I rounded the corner.

But he did not speak to me.

I did not walk by in a crowd. I walked by in an evenly dispersed line of pedestrians, and each of the others got a “How are you?” while I did not receive even a smile, though I was intentionally smiling at him. I felt like the one of diminished mental capacity.

So I stopped, turned around, and then passed back by him from the other direction. From this angle I noticed that he was drawing pictures of Christ on the cross despite the fact that he stopped after every line to look up at the courthouse and then back to his sketchbook.

I didn’t get acknowledged from this direction either, and I assumed that it was simply because I was coming from his blind side until I head him give each of the ladies behind me an “Afternoon”.

It was a bit unnerving for some reason. I have experienced similar feelings from the few panhandlers in downtown Nashville on Saturday nights who hassle others for a few dollars and then neglect to ask me. I never give it to them, but it is always nice to be asked, as I otherwise come away with the impression that I look poor and am somehow not good enough for the vagrants. Were they not covered in their own bodily fluids I might someday grab them by their frayed lapels and demand that they explain themselves through hooch breath and slurred syllables.

Look, I am not an intimidating figure. I do not walk around with one of these* on my head. I shave on most days and try to maintain a relatively kempt appearance. I was merely a simple man on the downtown square to pick up a couple of books at the library and receive my monthly buzzcut and listen to the gossip in the barbershop. I am the sort of person who wants to have a brief conversation with a mentally challenged religious artist on a street corner. I love eccentric, yet non-threatening characters in my downtown and make every effort to make them feel welcome.

So I tried three or four more times without success. On the last walk by I called out “afternoon” to him and received only a sideways glance and slight nod in return.
Am I to gather from this that I am evil?
* Special thanks to Aunt B for alerting us all to this Christmas must-have. I can't for the life of me understand how this isn't on Oprah's favorite things list.

Monday, November 21, 2005

another day of the night monkey

night monkey III

Saturday, November 19, 2005

your daily kinkajou update

When will Rex L. Camino shut up about the damn kinkajous?

It is a valid question, and I do not blame you in the least for asking it, but I think you will be glad that I alerted you to the dangers of the "night monkey" when you look out your window to see your neighbors ass deep in rabid kinkajou.

Yes, it looks as if this is an increasingly possible scenario, and only I hope that each of you on that day will be safe and secure, and that you will say, "It is as Rex L. Camino said it would be."

For instance, Pontotoc, site of the most recent attack, is now plagued with rumors of more bloodthirsty kinkajous on the loose.
Baby Luv, the small monkey that attacked owner Paris Hilton earlier this week, has turned out to be a kinkajou. However, I still don't blame the kinkajou in this case, as a civilized lingerie shop is really no place for a small monkey. Making the choice to either purchase lingerie or be with our monkeys is indeed a tough one, but it must be made, and millions of people make it on a daily basis. Not even the idle and super rich are free from this dilemma, and the young heiress has provided an example of what happens when we try for more than nature will allow.

Also, I think Baby Luv was understandably concerned about Paris’ purchase of a bullwhip with the lingerie.

Look, ours is a free society, and the mixing of lingerie, monkeys, and bullwhips certainly has its place, but things often end badly for one or more of the involved parties…or so I am told.

Perhaps my warnings have fallen on deaf ears, and there are those of you out there who still insist on a kinkajou of your own. Well, here is a pair for sale in Ohio. Be prepared to shell out two and a half grand and give some special attention to the female of the pair, as she, “is extremely territorial and protective of the male. She can and will attack on occasion to protect him.”

I have no doubts that your children will beam with the most exuberant expressions of joy when they find a pair of kinkajous under the tree on Christmas morning. It is only natural, and it will be a kind and loving gesture on your part. However, do not be surprised when a face full of jealous and angry kinkajou abruptly obscures their giddy smiles.

Still, it will at least build character and teach them that they live in a harsh world where, at any given moment, seemingly happy monkeys can leap on them and bite at their flesh. Many of us learn such lessons all too late in life.


I noticed this morning that esteemed Murfreesboro blogger, donut aficionado, and advocate against vibrating implements, A.C.
, has nominated this site for a 2005 weblog award in the category of best humor/comics blog.
Many thanks, Senor Kleinheider. We here at the Blog of Doom are honored.

Friday, November 18, 2005

pontotoc 'night monkey' attack (continued)

night monkey II

Thursday, November 17, 2005

pontotoc 'night monkey' attack

In other attacking monkey news...

November 17, 2005
Miss. -- A woman received 20 stitches after being attacked by a kinkajou, a racoon-like pet that escaped from a home five miles away. Sadie Hester, 82, said when she went out on the porch Saturday morning, the animal jumped on her, wrapped its tail around her arm and started biting her repeatedly.
The animal is often referred to as ''night monkey,'' but is kin to the raccoon. It is native to the rainforests of Central and South America and weighs 4 to 8 pounds.
Hester's son captured the animal and took it to the hospital to be observed for rabies.

This is a kinkajou

...which is not to be confused with a kinkyjew.

I hope that helps. But if it does not, this first installment of the "Blog of Doom Tasteless News Reenactment" should clear things right up. Apologies in advance to my many relatives in Mississippi.
kinkajou attack reenactment

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

paris' monkey attacks

I caught that headline and immediately thought, those poor French bastards. The immigrant riots have obviously left them ill prepared for things like monkey attacks, and those dastardly little simian devils are obviously seizing their opportunity.
However, I was mistaken.
The latest member of Paris Hilton's brood went a bit bonkers and attacked her in a lingerie shop recently. According to, Baby Luv the monkey clawed Hilton in the face while she was out shopping for lingerie at the saucy knicker shop Agent Provocateur. The New York Post reported that the monkey was then tied to a cabinet while Paris spent $4000 on lacy frippery.
So, as you can see, it was not a bad monkey attack at all, as I think the world was collectively pulling for Baby Luv in this one.
However, that last line did help me out a bit, as I am always at a loss as to what to do with my monkey when I'm out purchasing frippery.

a cedar bucket update

Hearts break every day in Murfreesboro. Carloads of vacationing families who ventured here in the hopes of having their picture taken with the World's Largest Cedar Bucket come away from Cannonsburg with a new sense of the world's cruelty and are often left to wander the downtown square in a zombie-like state with their thirst for gargantuan novelties unquenched.
It has been some five months since the bucket burning. In that time our hapless university football team with their My Little Pony mascot was able to railroad Vanderbilt's dream season, but it brought little joy to the citizenry, as there is a hole the size of one big ass bucket in our collective hearts that cannot be filled even with meaningless sporting victories.
But it was with mixed emotions that I read this story from the Tennessean on the bucket's rebuilding.
Do I want a new bucket? Yes, of course I do. But more than that I want vengeance brought down upon those who would take my original bucket from me. Establishing severe consequences for bucket terrorism is the only way to provide a safe environment for the new bucket, and faith in the security of the new bucket is the only way to ensure a rebuilding of the Murfreesboro World's Largest Cedar Bucket tourism industry.
But are we any closer to catching these culprits and bringing them to justice? The crime, according to the Murfreesboro Police Department, is still "under investigation". Very little has been said beyond that, and things are beginning to look bleak.
But I think the question we need to ask ourselves is this: Who profited the most from the elimination of the bucket?
It was the World's Second Largest Cedar Bucket, that's who. This bucket has bore the moniker of World's Largest Cedar Bucket since that fateful night in June, but I would venture to say that "prime suspect in the arson of the World's Largest Cedar Bucket" would be a title more befitting.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

this day in elvis history

Today marks the 49th anniversary of the release of Elvis' film debut, Love Me Tender.
I quite enjoy the Elvis films. I accept them for what they are often have them on in the background while doing other things. King Creole is actually a good movie, but that may have more to do with the presence of Walter Matthau than Elvis or the script. Any film with Matthau is a film worth watching. Elvis wasn't much of an actor, but he had a good screen presence and never got in the way of the other actors, and that was really all he was there to do anyway.
I have never seen Love Me Tender, but I do not care much for the song. Truth be told, I could really do without most of the Elvis catalogue between the Sun years and bloated "Suspicious Minds" era finale. Rockabilly Elvis and jumpsuit Elvis were something to behold, but the rest of it, in my personal opinion, seems a bit overrated. The Elvis Christmas album they were playing in the grocery store the other day was hokey at best, and his version of "Hey Jude" that I heard in the Memphis airport last week was a worse insult to the song than Paul McCartney running it into the ground at every all-star concert and sporting event over the past couple of decades.
But the worst Elvis travesty has to be "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" Songs in which the singer stops and talks to the listener are never a good idea, but there has always been something about the monologue in the bridge of "Lonesome" that is genuinely creepy. I have no doubt that my hell would be a continuous stream of the worst Elvis songs imaginable with reverb heavy monologues added to each, and that is the primary reason why I live a life so pure in spirit.
Still, I have a healthy respect for the king and find only fair to allow for a rebuttal:

Monday, November 14, 2005

i am no ike turner

Mrs. Camino and I have always been accident prone. We are both generally aloof and unaware when pets or furniture wander into our path, and we often bear the bruises to prove it. Just the other night I hit myself in the head with the car door, and Mrs. Camino has actually stepped on the rake end of a rake and endured the ensuing painful, yet cartoonish thwack. The blessing of a large and battering ram like head has helped me survive most of these encounters, but my lovely wife sometimes requires medical attention.
She was cleaning out the garage on Saturday when a pickaxe fell from the wall and struck her on the back of the head. It was the non-business end but still substantial enough and traveling at a sufficient velocity to inflict some pain. There appeared to be no bruising or swelling, and Mrs. Camino went about the rest of her day.
She went to work on Sunday afternoon but had begun to feel some dizziness and nausea. I took her to the hospital to get things checked out and make sure there was no internal damage, and the doctor found nothing on the x-rays. He thinks that it might have been a mild concussion, but it didn't seem to be anything significant. She is back at work and feeling better today.
However, she noticed that each of the nurses who took her from room to room asked about her accident. She would repeat the details of cleaning the garage and having the pickaxe fall, but something about the nurses and their inquiries gave her the slight impression that they were checking for spousal abuse.
I am her spouse, obviously, and this worries me a bit. She was accident prone as a child, and her parents had to endure many of the same suspicions when she would show up to class with a black eye, but there is something much worse about showing up at work with noticeable bruising. No one ever looks at her suspiciously when I am bruised, but it is an understandable double-standard.
It will probably be a good idea to have our children live in plastic bubbles.
I say all this just to let you know that I would never lay a hand on Mrs. Camino. I am much larger and could easily take her, but she fights dirty and is able to hold a grudge for quite some time.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

don we now our gay apparel

They were piping an Elvis Christmas album into the speakers throughout my local Kroger yesterday. A few of the baggers and check-out girls were wearing bright red Christmas sweaters with snowmen or reindeer, and the plastic pine tree was being set up next to the cigarette counter. The holiday season has begun, I suppose.
This always bothers me. Thanksgiving is its own day, and it should not be relegated to the position of Christmas' bitch. On Thanksgiving we get to eat much the same food as Christmas, but without all the pressure of buying gifts, going to church, or making conversation with family members we only see annually. The Lord provides us with the distraction of professional football on Thanksgiving to smooth the lulls in awkward conversation and provide a backdrop for our tryptophan fueled naps. We slumber until father Camino breaks out the Manheim Steamroller CDs, and then we eat more pie and go home with the majority of a four day weekend still before us. There will be a month until Christmas, and people will understand if we do a half-assed job of things in that time.
Hearing Elvis as I wander down the frozen waffle aisle in shorts and a T-shirt only makes me want to shift to that half-assed mode a few weeks early. Then again, it can be said that I already operate half-assedly, so I suppose that my holiday mode only employs a quarter-ass.
Perhaps I will someday have an assless Christmas.
Great. People will now show up here by googling "assless Christmas", and it is all because some of you couldn't wait a couple of weeks to start playing your holiday music.
I hope you're happy.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

at the sports observation desk

We got some take-out at the Chinese place last night, and I noticed something odd when I emerged from the Rexmobile in the shopping center parking lot outside the China Garden. I was parked between two vehicles sporting University of Alabama paraphernalia. I briefly looked around for any signs of Vol affiliation but found very little. I know that there are many true Vol fans out there, but few were partaking of the sesame chicken last night.

Allegiance, oddly enough, seemed to be around half and half when I first moved here in the mid nineties. There were and still are a high number of Alabamians in Murfreesboro attending MTSU, and this part of the state is relatively safe for expressing non-Vol loyalties. It didn't really get that orange around here until the national championship in 1998, and that is certainly understandable.

Victory allows for a noble spirit, and a noble spirit will embiggen the smallest man, cromulently speaking.

I think I have kept my fandom at the same level this year. The Rexmobile sports a UA tag on the front, and it was there during the dismal Dubose depths and my two years living in east Tennessee. I have a reasonable amount of Alabama clothing that I wear only at appropriate times. Weddings are fine, but funerals are a bit iffy depending on the cause of death.

Sports fanaticism is always interesting. There will be the cases of extreme, but they are to be found in any area of fandom. One of my dad's friends is an Elvis fan who has unironically decorated his den with walls of framed velvet renderings of the king and who visits Graceland once every two weeks. There are only twelve college football games a year, and that probably helps to keep many at a healthy level.

However, there is the story of the Alabama couple who missed their daughter's wedding because she scheduled it at the same time as the UT game. They made it in time for the reception and were somehow able to forgive the daughter for her insensitivity.

It should be noted here that the 1999 Alabama-Ole Miss game took place while I was getting married. Granted, it wasn't the Tennessee game, but I think it indicates relative sanity on my part. I probably could've even gotten married the next week during the UT game if Mrs. Camino had agreed to a big screen TV behind the preacher.

However, Bama lost that one, and it would've given the day a negative connotation for years to come.

Friday, November 11, 2005

shaven baby palm trees

Florida really isn't the place to go for fall colors. Dead pines will often turn a nice brown, but palms don't feel the need to render a bright orange or yellow or deep crimson. There were a number of young palms around our newly constructed hotel, and I managed to take this between meetings and before the flight home yesterday.
shaven baby palm trees
I am but a mere part-time landscaping professional, and "shaven baby palm trees" is perhaps a horticulturally inaccurate term, but any of you, if so inclined, are welcome to use it as a band name.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

this is the day of the expanding man

Last night we gorged ourselves on platters of seasoned beef and pork, beans and rice, and sweet plantains at a Cuban dive by the name of Gordo's that sits a block from Florida State. It was cheap, and I consumed way too much of it, but it was worth it. I'm sure I would do it again.

Buckets of Red Stripe can be had for next to nothing. I generally prefer darker beers at my Cuban/Mexican type establishments, but the shape of the Red Stripe bottle makes me happy.

Trips like these certainly aren't good for my health, but this should be the last for the forseeable future.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

the smell of the traveling rex (in case you were wondering)

The thing about hotel soap is that it makes you smell like someone else. It may be something that you only notice on a subconscious level, but it is there. Soap from a nice resort will make you feel like a better person, and soap from a neglected Super 8 will make you feel like putting out a Winston Light into a half-eaten plate of steak and eggs at the Waffle House while wearing your asskicking hat.

The soap at Holiday Inn makes me feel for some reason like I need to be fetching a drink for Chuck Woolery.

The soap at your nicer hotels will often take the shape of sea shells and will boast of being "French milled". My soap at home is square and "freedom milled", and I forgot to bring it with me.

Also, I can't seem to locate my asskicking hat.

But don't let that give you the impression that I am unable to kick ass.

Monday, November 07, 2005

tallahassee cash advance 2: the quickening

I did not exhaust all of the advance last time, and that was a mistake, as I had to pay the remainder back. That will not happen again.

This week will not be unlike a re-enactment of Brewster's Millions.

The bartenders of Tallahassee will rejoice at the sight of Rex L. Camino.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

duane & duane, episode 8

There were these.
Then came this and this.
And now there is this.
I thought I had rid myself of them, but that does not appear to be so.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

vacation, part 4: i am the egg man

We arrived back to Williamsburg sometime after midnight but were kept awake for most of the trip by the cigar stubs and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips, another of out traveling favorites. Checkout was at ten, and we had a few short hours of sleep before heading back out on the road.

The dilemma in travel is always whether to choose the speed and convenience of the interstate or the more interesting travel of the backroads and highways. It really isn't much of a choice if time is a factor, and we left Williamsburg by highway 60 towards Richmond.

People who live on highways also need convenience, and you will see the same bland national chains on the highways that you will find waiting for you off of every interstate ramp, but they will be sitting alongside old motor hotels with neon signs and art deco gas stations from shortly after world war II that now serve as video stores or hair salons. The newer gas stations will often have marker on poster board signs advertising discounts on bloodworms and menthol cigarettes.

You can't get cheap bloodworms off an exit ramp.

We finally jumped on the interstate around Richmond. Mrs. Camino had the need for an IHOP omelet, and I assumed there would be one nearby. There was not. We drove around the meager Richmond interstate system and a few of its highways, and I suppose that I got to see a great deal of suburban Richmond, but none of these brought us any nearer an IHOP.

However, there was something about Richmond that made me think of eating overcooked apple pie while listening to a Gordon Lightfoot in a trailer park somewhere. I have never been in that situation, but I assume it would conversely remind me of Richmond. I suppose that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Richmond tourism board probably won't want to work it into a brochure, but they should know that I have nothing against the city.

We found an all day breakfast place called "Aunt Sarah's" and settled on it. It is a local chain, and would thus be a sort of similar experience to Biscuitville on the first day of the trip.

Aunt Sarah's is a bit like a mix between Shoney's and Cracker Barrel. Each location I saw seemed to be housed in a vacated Shoney's, and the menu was typical breakfast fare with standards like burgers and hotdogs mixed in. Mrs. Camino got the veggie omelet, while I went with the eggs and catfish platter. The eggs were too runny and the catfish was overcooked, but I got to eat it out of a skillet, and that means something. Also, I had a side of pancakes with just enough boysenberry syrup. Mrs. Camino had toast and went with the regular syrup. She had it all on the same plate, and I watched as the syrup slowly creeped over to the omelet.

I guess this is what marriage is all about. No one is perfect. You can take that to mean that one person must learn to look past culinary sins like eating you veggie omelet with syrup on it or that one must learn to live with someone who gets really bothered by watching people do that sort of thing.

We are at the point now where she just watches me cringe. I have spent enough time in the kitchen making her pancakes and omelets just to watch her do it that I can hold my tongue when she does it at a restaurant, but it still doesn't make it any more bearable.

She is otherwise nearly perfect sometimes.

But seriously, syrup does not belong on eggs. It doesn't matter if you put it there intentionally or sat idly by and allowed them to come into contact. I should not happen.


We made our way from Aunt Sarah's back to highway 60, and there was a perfectly good IHOP sitting there at the turn.

From there the traffic and civilization slowly faded back into the typical forgotten highway scenery we had driven through from the coast. Then the road narrows into farmland and foothills. After Appomattox there is something eerily quite, and one almost expects to see soldiers left over from the War of Northern Aggression Between the States walk out into the road at any moment.

There are towns before you climb the Appalachians and then some in the mountains themselves. The highway serves as a Main Street to a couple of different towns that laid claim to the rare piece of flatland early settlers came across. Anytime I visit a new city I try and think of what made people originally stop and start to build civilization there, and that is easy to understand in towns like these in the fall.

We eventually hit Knoxville for a late dinner at Che Guevara's. It may be named after a commie, but the bastards still make you pay for your food. We were quite poor in our Knoxville years and rarely ventured out to restaurants, but Che's was always my favorite.

Then I began to fight sleep for the three hours back to Murfreesboro. That was when Mrs. Camino was kind enough to stay up and make sure that I didn't doze off at the wheel, but I suppose it was in her best interest.
I reciprocated by not telling her about all the hallucinations unless she brought them up first.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

nothing clings like ivy

I would say that about a quarter of you sing while driving. It is an informal and unscientific poll, and I doubt that all of you motorized vocalists realize that you are doing it, but spending the last couple of days landscaping on a the side of a busy road leaves me confident in this observation.

There is nothing wrong with singing in your car. I am planting a long row of English ivy that keeps Elvis Costello's "Nothing Clings Like Ivy" running through my head, but I am not singing it. There is something different about seeing a man singing on the side of the road. Your car is the extension of your home, and it is perfectly alright to sing and have any manner of loud conversations there. You can even stare without the slightest fluttering of self consciousness at the man planting ivy along the wall.
I do hum sometimes, but I suppose you can't see that sort of thing from the road. I also whistle. I will stop and watch traffic while drinking water and propping myself up against the shovel, and then I eventually plant some ivy.
I also talk to myself out loud quite a bit, but I somehow think this is less strange than if I were to sing.
This short week of landscaping marks the first time I've been back on this half job in about a month, and the narrow strip of land at this particular site alienates me on my end of the ivy line. I will be back in Tallahassee next week to sit in another windowless room under fluorescent lights, and I will probably enjoy too much of the free food and coffee and spend too much of the cash advance on beer and merlot, but I'm starting to think that I much prefer landscaping on the "work" end of it.
Then again, I suppose variety is good.
By the way, do any of you know what the difference is between ivy and kudzu? I would like to go along with Costello's knowledge of horticulture on this one, but I've always preferred the latter. I know that many of you are strict native plant types who find it invasive and out of place, but I always loved looking for shapes in it the same way you would look for cloud formations. It generally looks more interesting than what's underneath.
But I suppose that it will be ivy that overtakes and covers me while I'm standing there telling myself all this.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

why i hide from the costumed youth

We only had four small groups of trick or treaters, but that is probably due to the fact that I didn't turn on the porch light until Mrs. Camino got home from work around seven, as I am afraid of children--especially ones in masks who are accompanied by parents with mullets and puff paint sweat shirts standing on my driveway with generic cigarettes hanging out of mouths as they mumble through them to ask Rupert junior, "What do you tell the nice man?"
Rupert junior then just stares through his plastic Hulk mask while ma and pa become more demanding that he thank me. Seconds go by. He just stands there breathing through the tiny slit in the Hulk's gaping angry faced mouth while Rupert, the elder, suggests the "whoopin" option. Rupert, the younger, quietly looks back with the condensation building in his mask, and I make an abrupt and awkward retreat from all the tension building on my porch.
Then again, the full gimp outfit was probably not the best costume for me to don while dispersing candy.