Sunday, April 24, 2011

I'm a few pages into the second volume of the Byzantine trilogy.

I've been thinking a little about what person I'd like to be in the empire. I can't think of one. Maybe a nice, busy nun, far from the seat of power. The kitchen garden would be pleasant.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Goodnight, Irene. She was the first empress of the Byzantine empire when Charlemagne was coronated emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Umm, she mutilated and murdered her own son to attain the position. And so closes the first volume of the Byzantine trilogy.

Charlemagne asked her to marry him. Didn't sound like such a bad idea to her, but her citizens flipped. She was overthrown, exiled and dead shortly after.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oh, well.

I consider it a mission to remind people that Fleetwood Mac wasn't always a pop band.
Now the driver has a valid Louisiana license. I'm done.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

That's the story, Kate.

Without the parts that recount how little the left hand knows what the right is doing in GA -- positively, ambidextrously obstructive.

The whole business was stupid, avoidable, boring, frustrating and expensive.
Kate wrote to tell me that I've been too cryptic about the Georgia saga. Now that the boy has a valid driver's license and insurance, I'll try to recount events to the best of my knowledge.

It does not involve anything so heinous as an accident or DUI. It's a tale of ignorance and neglect, a failure to recognize that valid "communication" in our current society extends beyond text-messaging and Facebook.

Let's go on:

On a spring day in Decatur, GA, the boy is stopped by an officer for "driving too fast for conditions," whatever that means. In the course of writing that citation, s/he finds that the registration of the vehicle has expired, the car has not been registered in Georgia, the driver's license has expired, the driver has failed to transfer his driver's license to GA, and there's an "open container" in the car, which the driver insists to me is an empty beer can.

A smart, responsible person would have hustled his butt to the nearest office of the GA Department of Driver Services and taken care of four of those things, and presented evidence to the Dekalb Recorder's Court. Not this one, though. He drops the citation in the glove box and never looks at it again.

He does get the GA driver's license sometime down the road.

The court date comes and goes. The driver doesn't look at regular snail mail. Who uses mail anymore? Duh.

Years pass. At Christmas in 2010, he re-registers the car in Louisiana, the Dekalb Recorder's Court grows impatient, issues six warrants for arrest and suspends the driver's license for "failure to appear." The driver doesn't know this because it didn't show up on Facebook.

The driver is caught driving with a suspended license and gets hauled off to the pokey. The driver calls Daddy.

Daddy bails the driver out with the help of the driver's local friend, and finally, the driver appears in court. Daddy pays fines.

The driver goes to the DDS to reinstate the license. No go. Daddy calls the driver's mother. There are more charges outstanding. The driver goes to the courthouse, pays fines, and finds that there are more charges outstanding. These are turned over to a probation service.

And that's where I come in, dealing with the probation service, the Recorder's Court and the GA DDS. I am doing this because the driver has relocated his sorry self to Louisiana and is working.

And here we are.
Good food is always good news.

Lyman and I have been erratically trying to develop a go-to stir fry recipe for years. The other day he came across Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry.

We've made a few changes to bring it more in line with our tastes. First, a teaspoon of grated ginger ain't nothin'. We use a tablespoon of minced. Second, two tablespoons of sugar is way too much for us. If we want something sweet we'll buy ice cream. So we dropped that to a pinch, about a teaspoonful. Third, we added about five minced dried Thai chiles for heat. Fourth, we added a carrot, thinly sliced so it would cook quickly.

And for variation, last night we used pork tenderloin sliced into thin strips rather than chicken. Rather than browning that early, we waited until the veggies were nearly done, so the pork wouldn't dry out.

It was good. Worth doing regularly.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I feel sharpish. Don't ask me to cook. Or help you.
It was an amicable parting.
Georgia and I are quits.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Good Lord. I've talked to Alice twice. She was much more cooperative when we'd paid fines.

I call it inspirational music. I caught up with this woman in 1978.
Got it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nothing better than a Byzantine background when you're dealing with a Georgia court.

I'm loaded for bear. Now I need to find the bear.

UPDATE: The comments have lapsed because I am dealing with real life. If you have anything to say to me you can use the email address in the header.

Friday, April 08, 2011

That's enough of that.

The main heresy running around Byzantium and the Eastern Empire as opposed to Rome is iconoclasm.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

It doesn't improve my mood when I tell someone I'm from Dallas.

"What part of Dallas?"

"Dallas, the city."

"But what part?"

"Dallas. I mean Dallas. Oak Cliff, Oak Lawn."

"My dad lives in Dallas. He's lived in Garland, Allen, and some other places."

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

I do not know how many times I have to admonish you to stay street-legal, you idiot chilluns.

We are looking at $4000 worth of cascading expenses because you wouldn't take the time to register your car in Georgia, of all places -- stringent traffic laws. Or bother to address a ticket.

You are not bulletproof.

UPDATE: For two days, I have been talking through closed loop telephone systems. I want to shoot somebody.

Friday, April 01, 2011

I can do entirely without Stephen Tyler, but where are the other choirs doing "Lean on Me"? Do you have some?

Of course, there's the classic:

Maybe this one:

For kicks, because there's a pretty woman backup saxophone:

That alto sax is Kate St. John. She's just a few months younger than I. Now, I know I have worse genes than a lot of people, but really.

She works with Marianne Faithfull, which, if you're my age, gives you confidence in the resilience in the human race. The women, anyway.

Unanimously we will flow into the mystic.
Maybe we'll go with this one:

It soothes me, if not his mother.

I don't think that music exists to describe the conversation that passed between the boy's mother and I this morning. We're civil. We might even like each other, given time.

She doesn't sleep under stress, and I don't eat. We're very helpful.

What would you posit?

The outside scent is orange blossoms. Yes, the satsuma trees need spraying for smut.
Our big, bubbly, bouncing, blond 35-year-old baby boy is coming in.

I've been making space. I wonder if I could have fit into those black jeans I bought in 1991. Or breathed, if I did.

And I took those dresses I bought with my mother in 1990 off to a Baptist mission store. The dresses were pretty, still are, if more befitting a thirty-year-old than a 54-year-old, but they did represent the last shopping trip I took with my mother. She always pushed me a little harder than I would have gone, and I never regretted it.

The boy will be hungry, and that spells some serious expense.
When I married Lyman I thought I was surely out of the woods with children. I had chosen not to have any, he had a vasectomy.

April Fool's!