Monday, May 31, 2004

A hand

If you find a blog that has not received a comment, I would encourage you to drop a note. I remember how that first communication felt, and feel privileged to do the same for others.

My blog has no links. If you are the first person to provide an initial comment on 100 sites, I will link to yours. Of course, I would like to stipulate that your site not have any offensive content.

Saturday, May 29, 2004


There are some in life who, when presented with strife and controversy, rarely take the time to defend their position, even when doing so is clearly in their best interest. I found this to be especially true of the deer residing in Ridgefield, CT.

The people of the town seemed to be infuriated by what they saw as one of natures preposterous woes: fawns and bucks feeding upon their landscaping, or bending their bright shiny auto fenders in suicidal road crossings. They where in no mood to lie down and take it while these savage ruminants gnoshed on their rhododendrons, and they had put forth some extremely militant solutions to the problem.

The animals themselves appeared unable to marshal an opinion on the matter, and though I am not a confrontational person, I took it upon myself to defend them in the local paper.

To the Editors:
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as a new resident, compliment the citizens on a lovely town and chastise each and every one of you for your ignorance.
That a person could live here and find deer to be an imposition is simply comedy at its highest level. Us, with our rancid, pollution spewing homes, sitting upon porches while taking in breathtaking woodland and resplendent scenery, all the while cursing to Hades a few deer eking out a meager sustenance while risking their necks to cross hazardous roads. Up in arms shall we be at the temerity of velvet horned, satin coated animals for treading across our pristine vistas.
Let us free ourselves of this tyranny, fire up the cement mixers and pave the whole town, assassinating wildlife as we go along.
In closing, I would like to state that I look forward to meeting all of you, and eagerly await the myriad of subjects you will in the future find to complain about.

Todd Vodka
Irreverent Rabble-Rouser and Deer Smooching Hippie Whacko

Monday, May 24, 2004

Simmer message to taste

This afternoon I wanted to accomplish two things: To get rid of an old saucepan I have, and find a way to publicize my blog. Here’s how I combined the two.

First I hung signs and posters all over town. They were attached to message boards outdoors, taped to street signs, affixed to bicycles and posted in the university’s hallways. Then I put little strips of paper with my blog’s URL on them inside the saucepan, and placed it on a park bench just beyond the back window of my favorite place to enjoy a beverage. Next I went inside, ordered an espresso and sat with a copy of "My Antonia" on the other side of the window. In the course of two hours I must have seen 50 people take the address out of the saucepan and replace the lid. Some of them came in the café after they did. And one of them even asked me what book I was reading.

Here’s what the signs said, in big black letters: Free Pot behind café Coffee

Friday, May 21, 2004

I didn't know that was the last time I'd see the place

When I was young I was wild in the suburbs. I camped under the stars, lived out of a backpack, overnighted in parks or empty lots. In the daytime I was at the beach, in the deafening wash of salt and sun I walked and swam from jetty to jetty. ‘Had conversations and more with smiling dilettantes and curvy young ladies. By 5:00pm I sauntered into The Clam House for either bartending or valet duty, slathered with salt under a clean yet wrinkled shirt.
In the evening there was money in my pocket which glided in eager procession to the top of some bar. Maybe a new waitress would accompany the smoke and music and evening abandon. Sometimes I woke in hovels or mansions and cared not which. I somehow knew it was lost time that was being spent.
Yesterday, many years later, I went fishing by the Mill Pond. The Clam House has long since been closed, but the building remained shimmering in moonlight. It stood as a wink to the past. This time, though, when I looked over, it had been razed. The hot anvil that seared through me would not tear free. My treasured rod clunked to the ground.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

A bit

My apartment has a lovely patio, which I like to refer to as my lanai, in the Hawaiian fashion. My attempts to resist the usual trappings of bachelor life have led me to put planters out there with flowers and vegetables in them. I have been enjoying my tea there in the morning.

Once as I was walking out a sparrow fled from under the awnings. I knew she was watching, so I didn’t peek around for a nest until finishing my tea. When I was done I looked, and there was none.

A few mornings later as I was sipping I noticed a smudge, not bigger than a fingernail, but somehow attached to a pebble. Something inside me plead for deeper examination, and when I looked closer I saw the tiniest egg, broken open, with an embryo in the beginning stages. I was horrified, and surprised to hear myself say aloud "I’m sorry".

I was with a good friend last night, the evening after the discovery. We unloaded some wood from his father’s truck, had a drink in my kitchen and ate dinner. We spoke, about important things as well as not. But the notion of the egg did not cross my mind then, and I did not bring it up. The impact this discovery had upon me seemed to have no place in my conversation, no ability to declare. Somehow, afterwards,that made me feel a bit like the egg.