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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How Many in One Day?

Tuesday morning everyone was prepunctual, including Limes. I had to smoke the sidewalks to fit in all the miles and still be at the office as early as I knew they all would be. It was an unspoken early arrival day - everyone knew, though it was never discussed. I pulled in and was assisted upstairs with my bags of stuff I'm always carrying. Everyone had hot coffee in hand. One of us had stopped at Starbucks ;} and home dudes had stopped at the places where the clerks give them a free cup o' Joe for who knows what reason. Maybe some people are still kind to pleasant young men who give them lots of business.

Matt led the parade up the stairs, giving the blow-by-blow, hour-by-hour details. He pointed, gestured, imitated, pantomimed and acted out everything he had taken in so deeply from the deck Monday. The others listened, once in awhile asking, "Is that right, Limes? Is that how it went down?" I replied, without variation, "Matt has it, homes. He watched it all very carefully, informing me of what was going on as it happened." We crowded into that little space on the deck between building and barn, peering that short distance north, shoulder to shoulder, packed in close, coffee cups steaming.

When we went inside for our sales huddle, Cesar had a story to tell. Cesar graciously volunteered on Monday to take a day off because we were slow at work. He visited a friend and at some point in the day, decided to go to Arby's for a meal. After placing his order at the drive-thru microphone, he pulled up behind a car. Soon a car pulled in behind him, and his life became a surreal sandwich.

Although the Arby's worker had his food bag extended through the pick-up window, the driver in front of Cesar would not move forward to collect his meal. When a few minutes passed, all the drivers in the long line began to get twitchy. Horns were honked and citizens stuck their heads out their windows to holler words of encouragement to the driver in the front car.

Soon enough, Cesar decided he'd never wanted an Arby's sandwich badly enough to wait as long as this was taking, but he couldn't move his car forward or backward. He decided to step out of the car and have words with the driver ahead of him. As he approached the door of the car, he got a little hinky. The man was slumped toward the door, his head resting on the window, eyes closed. What? Another dead body in an unexpected place? Not that Cesar has ever experienced that line of thinking before, but just the same morning . . . . perhaps the man was sick or injured, and Cesar is a good human being. He opened the car door and the man's body slumped out toward him. Cesar's heart kind of sank and he noticed other drivers beginning to step out of their cars to come and see what was happening.

The man's body gave a mighty shake. "Oh, man! I fell asleep. I just worked a double shift and I'm beat. I fell asleep right here in my car." He put his car into drive and roared off, not even collecting his Arby's meal he'd paid for. Cesar picked up his own and the other man's lunch and drove off, thinking, "I can't wait to tell this tomorrow."

In my ears right now: Lucinda Williams - the dark, the hip-hop, the sentimental, the passionate love ones and the suicidal. I don't believe I'd care to sleep on a bed of nails. Someone got me going on her music again. I'd forgotten how much I am drawn to her even when the particular song might be repelling.

Something that charmed me: The Las Vegas skies as I came to work this morning. Usually we have solid, light blue with nothing for visual relief or solid, dark gray with nothing for visual relief. But the California storms have sent us a skyfull of widely scattered stratus clouds. At sunrise, there were colors ranging from peach to fiery orange, from blue to black. Some areas where completely dark and cloudy, but up in Red Rock, the sun shone on Turtlehead Peak where I nearly expired on a hike one time and on the caramel and brick colored faces of the rock formations. And the wind howled on.


  1. I love Lucinda's car wheels on a gravel road voice. But only for a few minutes at time. I did that at Taco Bell one night. Woke with a burrito on my lap. I want to start a blog word verification dictionary. Today's word was relly-what they listen in Britain when the telly is broken,

  2. I like several of her personae, but I probably most like the sweet one. Little Angel, Little Brother. I once planned to dance at my wedding to Sweet Old World. I don't appreciate her tips of the hat to hip-hop as much. Burrito, indeed! It's a crunchy taco supreme for me. Relly is pretty funny.

  3. I'm a fan of old neon signs (yeah, I'm a bit of an oddball. I admit it). I bet that Arby's sign looks spectacular at night.

  4. Oh, Kirk, then you'd love our Neon Sign Museum and Neon Sign Cemetary here. The museum, of course, is all tricked out to draw the tourists and their dollars. But I like the cemetary where some really recognizable old, huge signs lie on the ground in segments waiting to be promoted to the museum.

  5. Oh, yeah, that's right, I forgot. You're at the epicenter of neon signs, huh?

  6. Ubiquitous! Drowning in them. In truth, I'd love to get the Badger to go to that cemetary with me and aim his camera at some of those old, famous signs. The only issue is the chain link fence surrounding it. . now, I'll let it be known I have repeatedly jumped a chain link fence for good purpose in recent years and one of my blog followers is a witness to this and may testify to that. But I'd be concerned about taking the chain link with camera, tripod, etc.

  7. The camera and tripod might get damaged if you threw it over the fence, so you better not try it.

  8. I have spent many years protecting the cameras and tripod. I know when to take a bullet for the team.

  9. Not appropriate to talk about taking bullets in Las Vegas. I get goose bumps thinking about it. neon is a wonderful art form I'd like to see that museum. maybe I can get a flight to Nellis instead of Riverside. This afternoon's word is sapen-the stupid missing link.

  10. Oh, Tag! I didn't even think of that. And, of course, that photographer has also taken a bullet in the streets in Las Vegas. I was asleep at the wheel there. Duh.

    Let me see if I can dig up at least some pictures of the Neon Museum. I seriously doubt I'm going to be hopping the fence to actually take any at the cemetary. If you fly into Nellis, I'll send home dudes to pick you up! It would be a ride to remember.

  11. No definite plans as of yet to even go to California, but I will factor home dudes into my plans. tonights word verification dictionary entry is toringoa-a Small island bicycle for the beaches of american samoa. Not in current use.

  12. Limes, if you said the phrase "take a bullet" without thinking about what happened the other day, maybe that means you've gotten over it. I see that as a positive step.

  13. Well, yes, either healing or as distracted as I sometimes get on a busy day. Actually, I felt badly after it was pointed out to me and I re-read it. It seems insensitive and I didn't intend to be insensitive. I was just focused more on dishing with you about protecting and camera and tripod . . . Note to self: one should think before speaking.