Things have been kind of rough lately, what with Morgan's funeral and trying to comfort the greiving and doing a little grieving myself. I will post more later, but for now, well, *shrugs*. We're all a little lost, here.


Gone are the kings of the days of old:

Morgan Hetrick
07 December 1931 - 14 July 2004
(Pearl Harbor Day - Bastille Day)

þa ymbe hlæw riodan      hildedeore
æþelinga bearn      ealra twelfa
woldon cearge cwiðan      kyning mænan
wordgyd wrecan      7 ymb wer sprecan
eahtodan eorlscipe      7 his ellenweorc
duguðum demdon      swa hit gedefe bið
þæt mon his winedryhten      wordum herge
ferhðum freoge      þonne he forð scile
of lichaman      læded weorðan
swa begnornodon      geata leode
hlafordes hryre      heorðgeneatas
cwædon þæt he wære      wyruldcyning
manna mildust      monðwærust
leodum liðost      7 lofgeornost.

Then twelve warriors rode around the tomb,
Chieftan's sons, champions in battle,
all of them distraught, chanting in dirges,
mourning his loss as a man and a king.
They extolled his heoric nature and exploits
and gave thanks for his greatness, which was the proper thing
for a man should praise a prince whom he holds dear
and cherish his memory when that moment comes
when he has to be conveyed from his bodily home.
So the Geat people, his hearth companions,
sorrowed for the lord who had been laid low.
They said that of all the kings upon the earth
he was the man most gracious and fair-minded,
kindest to his people and keenest to win fame.

-- Beowulf (Seamus Heaney tr.)

Morgan Hetrick has passed over. He was like a grandfather to me; he occupied a special place in all the hearts of those who knew him, and now that place is as empty as an ocean drained of its water. He led a good life -- no-one can deny that. He saw and did things many of us will never see. He won and lost more fortunes than any of us would care to contemplate. More importantly, he saw to it that those around him shared in his good life and good spirits.

Forever imparting his seventy-two years of well-earned wisdom, Morgan knew the best ways to live, and the one secret to a good life: every morning, rain or shine (preferrably shine), you've got to get out there, strap on an airplane, and get the hell off the ground. Flight was Morgan's real passion, despite everything else in his life, and so long as he had an aeroplane to fly, nothing could faze him. And indeed nothing did: staggering from the wreck, Morgan told the EMT's that, if they could save him, good, but if not, well, that was all right, too. Because, you see, every good pilot knows that any landing you walk away from is a good landing -- this may not have been the best, but to the last he made sure that everyone else was all right.

So, cheers, old man, and as you fly the friendliest skies in the universe, remember to clip the angels' wings for those of us still here (and I hear the Magdeline likes Carribean boat trips).

We will miss you.


I Fought in a War

Suppose we should do the whinging now and get it over with. I haven't heard from the realtors in two days, and while that isn't much considering they mail doesn't come on Sundays, it bothers me. I mean, I want certain things fixed up before I go (I've said this before, I know), and the fact that they won't be is infuriating. On that note, I had a dream last night (sound of thousands of people cheering) that I talked to Mark in the English office, and they offered to let me teach a section of 2003 (or something odd, like 2843) but for only $2800 a semester without fee remission. Brilliant, no?

Also, I've been kind of stuck on the latest story, and actually realised that I need to go back and rewrite a page or so of it, because as it stands the plot doesn't make sense.

I've been reading The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, and finding them quite enjoyable, unlike Mr. Joyce's Ulysses.

They Might Be Giants have a new album out called The Spine. It sounds rather much like a return to their indie-pop roots (and a turn away from their odd *waves fingers about* mainstream pop nonsense, e.g. "New York City" from Factory Showroom and the like).

Also, Brooke (who I haven't mentioned at all in this blog and who will continue to remain anonymous... er... sort of) casually mentioned a band called "Iron and Wine", and they're quite good as well.

Because I'm an idiot and forgot to buy tortillas, I went off and made "Mexican Pasties" last night, which actually turned out quite well. I may have to try the pasty thing again.


Swastika attack on French mother

French politicians have reacted with horror to an anti-Semitic attack on a woman and her baby on a train.

A gang of young men cut her hair, slashed her clothes and drew swastikas on her body, before overturning the pram in which her infant was lying.(more)

This kind of stuff is simply frightening, for two reasons. One is that I thought we were past all this kind of violence, this idea of the subhuman/superhuman, inferior races, etc. The other is the disturbing fact that she was attacked by six men, and no-one else on the train intervened -- shades of Kitty Genovese. Plus ça change, non?
Fiddler's Green, or
Puttering all around the house (A maid?)

Not much else to report at this time, aside from the fact that it's rained almost every day (albiet off and on, not constantly) for a fortnight. I've gotten bored and decided to move most of the furniture in my apartment around, plus buy more furniture (bookshelves) in the future. I even had a Sketch-Up model of the room built and ready to go, but I hit the wrong button and the damned thing disappeared on me. Ah... technology.

So I've pretty much talked myself out of going up the Hill tomorrow, except that I need to print the Change of Address form off and I ought to buy a little half-gallon of milk (I know, I know, you're thinking "Geez, you wanker, you just went and bought groceries last Thursday, what's wrong with you?" but I put a lot of milk in my tea and coffee, you understand). I'll probably go up the hill, but not stop by the English Department and see what's going on, because, well, I should trust Mark, right? He's in a better position to know about who's in the program and who's not than Booker is. My only concern is that I haven't seen paperwork from the department yet, and I'd like to see that before I leave for Conway. I guess the problem is that I don't know what the next step is going to be, and I don't know who to ask about that. And then there's financial aid, for which I cannot apply until I am enrolled as a student, and that could be as late as the 16th of August. (grabs hair, pulls, makes various angry, frustrated noises) Incidentally, my estimated need for the coming semster is about $6000, including Tuition & Fees for 9 hours (three classes), Room & board, and books. It's not that bad, except that I'll need it really soon, and I'll have slightly less than 1/6th of it by the start of Fall term.

Nothing else at the moment, except that the pie was exceptionally good, as was the curry I made yesterday. I'm actually getting better at this whole "cooking" thing, or at least more experimentative, which is fun considering I never really got to play around before.


Your one-stop blather shop

All right, so a couple of updates:

1) I got a letter (via my folks) from MOHELA again, this time letting me know that they know where my parents live, thus precluding me writing them a letter to that effect.

2) I called Faucette Properties to let them know I hadn't gotten a new lease yet. The lady on the other end said they were very short-handed, but she'd get that out to me asap.

3) No word from the English Dept yet; I'll go in on Monday and ask them if there's something more tangible about me being accepted in the MA program, i.e. paperwork or suchlike. I need that stuff for funding.

4) I founded a new nation. No, seriously. Go here.

Also, I realise that my earlier statements re "being a writer" may, in light of recent posts, be somewhat questionable, and rest assured that I agree with you. On the other hand, there's all this stuff, so judge as ye are wont. I did get another three-quarters of a page written today, but then got sidetracked by British Adverts from the 80's.

Finally, I made an apple pie. It is baking as I type. Mmm... pie.


Pigs, Sheep and Wolves
or, how I learned to stop worrying and Love the Right.

Al-Qaeda 'targeting US election'

Al-Qaeda is aiming to attack the US to try to undermine the presidential election in November, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has warned.

Al-Qaeda is aiming to "disrupt our democratic process" -- so we'll do it for them. Ladies and gentlemen, this is how Fascism works. The party in power lies to stay in power, trading security for freedom. If they get away with this, mark my words, we'll have 5% of the population in a standing army, a draft, and suspension of habeas corpus. It's coming.

I know this sounds paranoid, but these people are pulling shit like this right out front and nobody squeaks. Madison, Adams and Jefferson are rolling in their graves. We've got to do something about these people -- they're taking what's left of our country and making sure no-one else gets it. I mean, honestly, if Reagan wasn't obvious enough (actor in the White House? Shall we make it more plain?), then Nostro Duce and his spoonfeeding by the Compassionate Republicans is pretty well evident.

Consider, too, the Republican Party's knee-jerk reaction to Kerry's selection of Edwards as his running mate: they began at once to run him down. Is this the kind of leadership we want, that will focus on destroying its opponants rather than building its country? I don't think so.
While I'm thinking about it, this is the downfall of our civilization. "Oi! You fat fuck! Were you screwed over by your completely voluntary surgery? We'll get you money!"


"You try keeping your mind in a pair of Ravens."

Not much to report. Called the hospital yesterday, talked to Ana for a good half-hour. Grizz seems to be getting better by the second -- although that's to be expected, given that he's no longer got giant bone spurrs growing into his spine and muscles. She says they might go home either today or tomorrow, depending on how his "war wound" is doing.

I aim to get some writing done this morning, maybe dig more through Aristotle. I'll probably talk to some folks in the Eng Dept soon, see what's going on there, but mainly I'm going to watch the mail for the next couple of days. If I don't see anything from Faucette before Sunday, I'm giving them a call on Monday for sure. I've got to have that lease signed before I go.

Project Britannia timeline is moving along. It's been fun, getting these kinks ironed out.

Finally heard from Ross (waves to Ross), who hasn't disappeared, only gone quiet for the time being. Still waiting to hear from Carlos and Jason, the latter of whom we may have to write off entirely. Ah, well.

the wanker.

You don't too often see a Sunbeam any more.
You never see a Fuller Brush man, or a dinosaur.
The voice of reason rules with an iron fist.
Please forgive me if I'm not prepared to handle this.
James McMurtry, Fuller Brush Man


"If you could read my mind, love..."
(or, Too Much Lightfoot Makes the Baby Go Blind)

Not much to report today. Still too muggy to sleep properly, although I caught a nap this afternoon in the "Alpha Male of the House" Chair. I also worked through the first and second chapters of Aristotle's Politics, which I was supposed to have read for PLSC 3953, Ancient and Medieval Political Thought way back in the Fall of 2001. God, I was such a waste back then. I'm going to pretend the majority of the past, oh, twenty years haven't happened (except for occasional moments with my parents, Scout Camp, Ana and Grizz, and roughly 30% of college), for the simple fact that it wasn't until I was about 20 that I stopped being a wanker (metaphorically speaking).

Anyway, never mind that. Aristotle is surprisingly understandable this time around, and I may end up writing a
on the Origins and Causes
of Justice
in both Man and his esteem'd

I have to write to MOHELA to tell them I don't live in Little Rock anymore, and I have to talk to the University to get some official pronouncement of my Grad School status. I also have to talk to Faucette about a) getting a new lease for the fall and b) getting them to come and fix my ceiling before the winter (so I don't end up heating the entire outside world). Don't let me forget, okay?

I've got the number for Grizz at the Hospital and will probably call him tomorrow. Ana's blog posts are increasingly more optimistic, although she won't tell me what his surgery scar looks like (too squeamish) -- did the cut all the way around, did they make a grid, what? Ah well.

And then there's this sort of foppery:
"Caith Maighe Tiuradh" - The Second Battle of Moy Tura, when the Gaels fought the gods of Ireland, won, and relegated them to living in barrow mounds for the rest of eternity. This is something beyond simple atheism; to the atheist's "God is dead," the Gaels added "Because I killed the fooker." Whether this is a profound insight into the nature of the Divine, or just the whiskey talking, is hard to say... (-- Witchvox.org, "Sean Ciall")

Back to Aristotle!


The Tempest, or
"Blood, Gore, Guts, veins in m'teeth."
Well, the old bear came out of surgery all right, got a new spine and not near as much pain as he used to have.

Not much else to say. Had a rough night last night -- lots of heavy thunder & lightning, woke at about 2am to somebody calling for their cat (unless they hate me and were just calling "here pussy, pussy puss!" in a high-pitched voice through my window). Strange dreams, too: back at camp, I had to deal with moving in to a crummy tent with Eric Stewart, plus I lost my chance at "the most beautiful woman in the world". Ah, dreams... if only they made sense. Woke up to discover the wind had knocked my ginger plant down the steps, breaking the pot in the process; it gave me the excuse to repot the rosemary I'd bought last week, so something good happened. I finished sorting all my files, and most of my paperwork is in neat and tidy hanging folders which I will summarily ignore.

Started reading Henry V today, in tandem with the Tao Te Ching (we'll see how long that lasts). I also discovered a factoid (about Leibnitz of all people...) that will help cement the backstory for Telax Moral.

Finally, I am now a registered voter in Washington County, which means I can vote this fall and not have to drive 150 miles just to do it.

(PS: do not in any way shape or form give money to "Food for the Poor, Inc". While they purport to be a Christian-based needs organization for pitful looking children and starving kittens in the Carribean, they in fact seem to do little else besides beg for money in every print and electronic medium imaginable. I've gotten notes from them on average about one a month for the past two years, and I only gave them a one-time $250 donation.
If you want to give money to somebody worthwhile, give it to Heifer Project, Intl.)


"Check again, Mr. Hayhurst -- are you sure you're walking?"
Well, the old bear is going under the knife this morning. I hope he does all right. Not that waking up early in the middle of a heavy downpour and severe thunderstorm makes me fell any better about it, but... we'll see.

Cheers, old man.


The Madwoman Rant:
or, Grievences Against Doing Right.
CAUTION: Vitrolic, Twentysomething-Angsty Rant

Okay, so, I dated a girl in High School (gasp! shock!) and we got along all right, but it never went anywhere. Flash forward a couple of years, I'm finishing up school, she's married and has had a child. Then her husband turns out to be an abusive drunk and she starts calling me, and I'm such a nice guy that I try to talk her through some of the mess she's made of her life. There you go -- nice guy. But now, because I'm a nice guy, she thinks I'm "the right one" and has latched on to me like the Old Man of the Sea. See what being nice fucking gets you? A bridle and a bride.

It's not that I don't want to be married, you understand. It's that if I ever do get married, she has to conform to certain standards. Interest, for one -- we have to both interest each other. This doesn't apply here: She's heavy conservative and I'm libertarian left, she doesn't have much going for her beyond the fact that she's a nurse, she's not intersting as a person, and -- of all things -- she said, "Oh, it's okay, see, I don't understand your Medieval thing and you don't understand my knitting". Excuse me? You don't understand the major facet of my life, and you think that because I don't understand one minor hobby of yours (despite the fact that I do, it's a physical escapism, I do talk to Ana occasionally while she knits, you know), that's all right?

In many ways she's like a Madison Avenue caricature of a housewife: old-fashioned, conservative, stylish, cooks & cleans & loves without question, "pumping out another unit every nine months", as George Carlin said. But look, it's like Vivian Gornick and Barbara Moran write: "adorable in her not-very-bright submissiveness, charming in her childlike delight in shiny floors, even forgivable in her spiteful competition for the whitest, brightest wash, Madison Avenue's girl-next-door is all the American male could wish for -- unless, by some miscarriage, he should fancy human companionship." Put cruedly, if I wanted a maid I could screw, I'd audition for the role of Senex in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

I've come up with a good line: "I can be your friend, even your confessor, but lover no and husband never." She doesn't seem to -- or want to -- realize the difference between a good friend and a lover. But when I delivered that liine she cried, and started whinging about how I never gave her a chance. Well excuse me, but there's no stipulation I have to give people "a chance at a relationship". There's a serious difference between being nice to someone and wanting to shack up with that person.

On the wall in my desk area I have most of a Christian bookmark tacked up which reads, "After a while you learn the difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. You learn that love isn't leaning but lending support. You begin to accept your defeats with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child. You decide to build on tomorrow's roads, for today's ground is too uncertain." I made this distinction with G-- C--, my "pain-in-the-arse (non-) simultanious-orgasm woman", and it's remained part of my philosophy since then. It is, however, an essential distinction this woman seems to be missing.

I'm a writer. I've written as characters all of my friends and family. I've shuffled their traits and dealed them like a tarot deck. But I do the same thing with everybody -- people I don't know, character traits I've only vaguely encountered, etc. In the process, I've written some pretty kick-ass women, many of whom, for whatever reason, manage to go on having functional (or dysfunctional) relationships with the male characters they're written with. And the truth of it is, this girl, this... K-- M--, she shares very few of the character traits I've written about. And this is important, you see, because all of those kick-ass women, those heriones, they're all distorted versions of the woman that I'd like to settle in with. Don't you see? She's not in my books, therefore she's not in my dreams, therefore... she's not The One. Not even close.

I realise, of course, that she wouldn't understand this in any way, shape or form, but then, I wouldn't expect her to; she wasn't written that way. She's like Brigit O'Shaugnessey in The Maltese Falcon: come on strong one minute, melt in your arms the next, and the whole time you feel like she's got something else going for her. (Astute readers will note that this puts me in the position of Sam Spade, a.k.a. Humphrey Bogart, but astute readers will also note that there isn't much of a happy ending to The Maltese Falcon, either.)

I just feel... I don't know... vageuly monkish about the whole deal. I want to help her out of her misery... but in many ways she reminds me of those old stories about the seal-women or mermaids, who seem to be drowning but will drown their prospective saviours instead. I don't want that.