Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Cheating the Sandman

Cheating the Sandman
29 September 2004

My trailer-mate Scott has taught me a little game that I’m calling Cheat the Sandman. When you work midnight shift, he has convinced me that you can manage to fool yourself into thinking you get a full “two day weekend” out of a 24 hour break. We have managed that by staying up until the afternoon after getting off a mid and catching a few hours of sleep in the afternoon. Get up at about 6 and eat dinner and then go back to bed around 10pm. Get up at 8am and then stay up until about 2 or 3 pm and take a nap until dinner and then go on shift at 8pm. And there ya go…two days for the price of one!

So playing Cheat the Sandman yesterday, I rode my bike (finally) with Scott up to the big PX on North Victory and also did some shopping at the bizarre. Not a bad ride at all. They have finally partially paved the back road to North Victory (except where the old retired tank treads are still in place as speed bumps), so the trip wasn’t too bad on the backside either! Found the third season of Will and Grace on video at the PX. I have so many DVD’s stacked up to watch already, but had to have this one. Bought a few odds and ends, but mainly wanted to go to the bizarre, so we headed over there next.

I was looking for a gift for my friend Barb at the bizarre. I had seen a booth that had some great local made pottery objects that made me think of her every time I was up there, so I have been wanting to get something for her for some time now. Barb used to be a potter before she gave it up to do massage therapy.

I found a beautiful table-top clay tea lamp holder. It has a base and then a top part that has an Arabic saying on it. The words are written into the clay circling around it with the middle of the letters open to the inside of the lamp so the light will shine through the openings in no particular pattern. The woman at the booth had explained that each piece has its own story. This particular piece has a verse that say’s in Arabic, “You can love as many as you want, but you will always return to your first love. You can move from house to house, but you will always long to be home.”

I thought that the beginning part of the poem was so appropriate since I always had the impression from Barb that her skills and love of pottery will always be her “first love” and the massage is a better gig from the cash-flow side of the equation. Either way, she has a blessing for working with her hands. She is one of the people that helped me get relief from my herniated disc and back problems more than a couple of times. She practices Rolfing which is a form of very deep tissue massage. It is not for the feint of heart, but it was the only thing that gave me relief when I was twisted up like a pretzel!

Hopefully she will love it like I did. I have a knack for being a bit too artsy in my taste of modern art objects. Just ask my friend Rachel who is the keeper of the “Major Award”, a very modern interpretation of a flying fish in stainless steel that I bought at Market Days on Halsted Street a few years back. The “major award” namesake being taken from “The Christmas Story” where the father has won that goofy lamp of a flapper girl leg in the fishnet stocking that the Mom “accidentally” ends up breaking.

On the ride back, Scott wanted to take some pictures of the tank yard off to the side across from the helo pad and in front of Communications Hill here on North Victory. I think the sign said, “Hanks Gently Used Tanks.” He also wanted to get a shot of the courthouse on base where the Saddam trials have been taking place. Should also note here that we are really getting “UpTown”. They have been putting down sidewalks around here almost as fast as asphalt was being laid down the main street of the Red Light District in Santa Elena, Guatemala!! I’m waiting for the white picket fences and flower beds to go in next. What is happening to the nice country feel we used to have going on here?
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