Sunday, October 12, 2008

A meme for my friend

Utah Savage has tagged me again with a meme that I found very interesting just for the fact I’ve never really thought about most of this stuff.

Where do I buy my clothes?

The simple answer to that would be from Target or Wal-Mart. Now I understand that both of the places I just mentioned are not kind to their employees and families; buy almost all of what they stock from overseas where it is made by what is close to slave labor, and have pushed many locally owned businesses into extinction. The main reasons I have to buy stuff from them are availability, cost, and size. The clothes I wear are fairly simple: t-shirts, cargo shorts, jeans, sneakers or my hippy sandals, and if it gets cold a sweat shirt or hoody. I can be found pretty much year round in those items and if I do have to dress up in a shirt and tie someone has either died or is getting married which for me is pretty much the same thing. The availability angle in this is that I can drive three miles in just about any direction and have to deal with traffic going into or out of those stores. The cost angle is while there are other stores in my area selling this stuff they get their stock under just about the same conditions and just charge the customer more. Simply put in this blood red section of an already very red state there just isn’t any union, environment, or international worker friendly stores. The final insult in all this is that I am six foot, five inches tall. While Dragonwife and I have hit consignment shops for clothes for her and the kids they just don’t have anything that fits me.

Where did my furniture come from?

First and foremost let me state that I own nothing in the house I live in except my camera, any pictures I have taken, my exploited worker made clothes, and my ACME lonely guy blow up doll (her name is Ashley). I sort of pride myself in thinking that if I ever had to unass this place on a moment’s notice if hordes of raging zombie Republicans ever declared martial law all I would have to do would be to grab my camera, backpack with a few clothes, and wipe down and deflate Ashley so I could be out and gone real quick. So I don’t really want to be saddled with a lot of material processions. But anyway Dragonwife has bought all the furniture in the house from any number of different stores and put the salespeople and delivery guys through utter Hell on any number of occasions.

One time it was about 1997 and Dragonwife decided that the couch she had bought after we had gotten married needed to be replaced. Now I must admit that when she came to this conclusion I was laying on said couch and the way she worded her statement at first along with the look in her eyes left a great deal of room about what she actually wanted to replace. I actually liked the couch having laid on it enough that it had long since been molded to the shape of my body. In addition, it was the site of the most sexually active period of our marriage having been both a cushion to rest on and a platform for our more adventurous positions. In fact in the first house our garage had been made into a den with three rather large window panels and door segment taking the place of the garage door. Late one night after some movie we had been watching had the male, female leads begin a rather physical discussion about the birds and the bees, we ourselves were moved to do the same thing. After our discussion came to a climatic conclusion we then noticed that we had left the blinds on those window panels and the door up giving any neighbors who happen to be having a late night stroll a rather good show on and next that couch. Therefore, I was rather reluctant to get rid of the thing just for the memories.

But we did eventually go to one of the local furniture stores with Dragonwife having the salesperson pull out all the big fabric samples books so she could decide which “style” we would get. At the time Darth Spoilboy was two and he and I just wandered over to the kid’s section which had a television and VCR showing Barney the Purple Dinosaur. While being a sort of torture in itself I at least had a happy kid in a stroller watching television and a very comfortable recliner for me. At this point I began judging time by how many times I had to put a new tape in the VCR with Spoilboy calling for “dada” after Barney sang that insidious “I love you, you love me…” song. It was a good thing that we had entered the furniture store late in the afternoon since I had to rewind the two different Barney tapes twice and we were suppose to have dinner at a nearby restaurant once the new couch was ordered. Looking over at Dragonwife and the saleslady at the beginning both were deep in conversation about the various fabrics and shapes of couches that could be ordered. At the end the prim and courteous saleslady had devolved to a tired, ruffled mess who looked up at me with a clear desperate plea in her eyes for some relief. I’m sure from all the fabric sample books scattered across the showroom floor that in the two hours I had napped while Spoilboy had watched Barney every possible combination of color, shape, and texture for couches had been explored twice at least. Dragonwife, approaching something close to rapture, showed me a fabric sample close to hunter green and that would be used to cover a particular type of couch that to my plebeian style looked just like all the other ones but the differences were enough to come back and haunt me.

Several weeks later a delivery truck backed up to the door to bring us the new couch. I was the only one home and since it looked for all the world like the proper color I thanked the guys as they brought it in the house. Dragonwife came home a few hours later and quickly entered an unqualified state of panic bringing the fabric sample out saying the couch was the wrong color. After being thoroughly censured for accepting such a flawed product she called the store and had the couch picked back up that day. A couple of months later another couch was delivered but Dragonwife was at the house to intercept any errors and sure enough to her the color wasn’t right. Furious phone calls resulted to both store and the district office by Dragonwife as the delivery guys and I sipped cokes outside, but they brought her no sympathy. After taking the old couch they brought the new couch in and she signed for it even though she swore up and down that it was the wrong color. Needless to say to my untrained eye I saw no difference between the fabric sample and the new couch. I soon learned that the unpleasant experience she had with the whole ordering process along with small but for significant differences in the length, width, height, and bounciness of the new couch spoiled the physical fun we use to have in the den. So in a way I blame an off color fabric sample for a large part of any marital problems I have but Ashley doesn’t seem to mind.

Where do I live? You will have to deal with where I live in my mind and want to return in body.

For many people South Carolina is the butt of many jokes about the South and Southerners. Yes, with an education system that lets far too many kids leave school without the basics for life in the 21st century we do spend a god awful lot of time fighting over stupid stuff like a Confederate flag on the state house grounds. Not that I support the people wanting to keep it there who ignore the basic history of that flag which is hopelessly tangled with the institution of slavery then the tyranny after the end of the Civil War. It’s just I'd rather solve more important problems that affect us right now.

With that I have to admit there is no place in the world that I feel more connected to than the coast of South Carolina. The smell of the marsh at low tide, listening to the surf as it competes with an evening thunderstorm in a dueling symphony, the feel and taste of the ocean as I surf or play with my kids in the waves, and watching an osprey fly in the evening as the sunsets. For all its faults that is place I take comfort in during the bad times, that magnify my joy during the good times, and the place I come back home to every time I get the chance.

Favorite Books? I’ll list just two.

My favorites range far and wide being very different from each other. “Beach Music” by Pat Conroy brought to me a fascination with the city of Rome that I hope to visit before I die. As the book progresses though the novel returns the main character back to the Lowcountry of South Carolina in a series of events that can find its roots in the horrors of the Holocaust during World War Two. Out of all the characters I have ever read about the tragic story of his wife Shyla touched me to a point that I feel an actual pain reading about her suicide every time I pick the book up.

The only novel I know of by Carl Sagan, “Contact” brought the wonder of the universe to me and shaped to a great deal my belief that the universe is far stranger than we can fathom and full of unexpected surprises for our species if only we could abandon our ridiculous preoccupations with war and domination.

Favorite Movies?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy- for the human struggle to overcome the worst aspects of ourselves and the acknowledgment that despite our flaws that we do have the capacity to move beyond them.

Favorite Music?

Are you kidding me? Jimmy Buffett. But I do also dig all beach music, John Denver, Tom T. Hall, Charlie Rich, Charlie Pride, George Jones, and just about anything that makes me completely uncool to anyone younger than thirty.

Favorite Television Show?

Good damn question since while I really don’t have one I do like several. Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Lost, and probably a few others I can’t think of right now.

Who gets hit?

Colonel Colonel

Mike at Tongue in Check



Keshi at Viva Forever


Mike said...

Nice meme. I'll have to try to remember it when I get back in a few days. Nice choice of music too.

Leigh said...

Interesting answers, as always!

Utah Savage said...

Beautiful job Beach. Loved the long furniture situation. I am so glad I was never that woman. I never cared that much about the color of anything. Even a meme is chance for you to sink your writers chops into

Little Bill said...

Beach, thank you for being so courageously candid. I'm getting a much clearer picture of you.

Keshi said...

nicely done BB! :)

**The simple answer to that would be from Target or Wal-Mart

gee I never knew the States had a Target too hehe...

owww u tagged me too!! ;-)


Vigilante said...

What Lil'Bill says!

•♥•♥[V]♥•♥• said...

nice tag man.. you write a Ton.

Baba Doodlius said...

"Contact" was pretty good, but I liked all of Carl Sagan's nonfiction books better. "The Demon Haunted World" should be required reading for, well, everybody.

Beach Bum said...

Mike: Take your time, and my music is pretty fossilized stuff but someone has to buy all those 1.98$ John Denver CD's.

Leigh: Thanks, funny thing is that I was actually able to write something with my son playing "Rock Band" doing the drums.

Utah: The color things doesn't really bother me as long as there is a bar/bookstore/radio Shack/Best Buy/beach/theater nearby that allows me to leave her to the fun she likes. I was actually not happy with my little story about the couch. While a great deal of it was true I tried to mention the infamous "Ashley" to the store just to get a giggle, something that appears to failed. Ashely actually belonged to a friend of mine in the service who while lending his apartment out while he was away put a fully clothed Ashley out on his second store patio to tell us he was home with a chick and we could not bring our dates up or crash there.
When my friend left the service slight ahead of me he tried to fill Ashley up with helium to let her drift away but this time she naked. My buddy ran out of helium so she was filled the rest of the way with regular air. Once she was released the unintended affect was that Ashley did take to the wind but she only rose about sixty to seventy feet up before the breeze took her. We let Ashley loose on Fort Carson and that Saturday the personnel on post that day was treated to a naked flying sexual blowup doll drifting across the post. I am told that during a brigade practicing for a change in command saw Ashley drift across and the full bird colonel there was reduced to tears due to laughing

Beach Bum said...

Had to break due to daddy duty. Sorry for the bad writing in the above comment but I have little time to edit a bleeding post much less a comment with two kids and a Dragonwife.

Little Bill: No problem but I warn everyone who even metaphorically delves into the space between my ears, its awful mess and damp.

Keshi: Targets in Australia? At least it ain't Wal-Mart.

Vigil: Working on a family trip to California in a couple of years to see Dragonwife's sister. She lives in San Fran email me if that is a day trip for you. Would totally freak to drink a beer with you and Trophy Wife.

V: Thanks man, I like your stuff better.

baba: Read Demon Haunted World myself and Cosmos-in book form- and Pale Blue Dot. I plan on getting the others, how many I don't know, sometime.

Randal Graves said...

Damn, that's one hell of a furniture story. Good thing about those ACME dolls, deflatable and portable!

lime said...

dayum, you should have claimed that old couch for the den or something. you can't let things like that go!

MadMike said...

I loved this read. Beach we have a lot in common not the least of which is our mutual love for the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. I am waiting for it to be released on Blu-Ray. By the way does Ashley have a sister??:-) :-)

C.Rag said...

I understand exactly what you wrote about SC.

We have our Palmetto flag & door mat displayed proudly at our house. It's become really popular. I see people with the Palmetto stickers on their car & I ask if they are from SC. They say no they got it while they were in Charleston or Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head. Anyway, it reminds me of growing up in my home town, summers at Hunting Island, & college years in Charleston. One can't ignore the ugliness of the past or the stupidity of the present. I will say that I went to college for free because of the lottery system in SC. If only SC's K-12 would improve. I wish VA had the lottery scholarships that SC has.

Beach Bum said...

Randal: Actually I borrowed Ashley from another episode in my life. I trying to write that up now.

Lime: Wanted to keep it but I was overruled. You know how that stuff goes.

MadMike: The addiction to power is a curious item of study for me. I've had a chance to watch fairly decent people sample the smallest amount of power over people and it completely changed them. To have an object such as the "Ring" that could grant earth-shaking power then have various people have to deal with that temptation was a huge plus factor in the movie for me. Now I admit that what fictional characters do and what real people do are very but it was still interesting.

Beach Bum said...

C Rag: I've come to think that this state often still believes its in the 19th century. But as I step on the beach at Pawleys and watch the surf and smell the breeze I can't think of anyplace I would rather be.

Anonymous said...

Nice stuff....
thanks for sharing....

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