And speaking of places I’ve lived… My grandmother’s house, in Dunbar, burned last weekend. I found out from Bill, who went the extra mile and sent pics, including this one. Ugh.
The whole thing is quite upsetting. I spent many thousands of hours in that house, almost literally from the day I was born. My grandparents had it built in the mid-1950s, and my grandmother was still living there until shortly before she died a few years ago.
My mother and aunt inherited the house, and sold it to a single woman. Reportedly with a single leg… I’ve never met this person, but I don’t like her. Because she was living in my grandmother’s house! What right did she have?! Yeah, I know, she bought it. But that’s just splitting hairs.
I imagined her in there, day and night, scratching up the hardwood floors with her peg leg. Just dragging it around, and cutting deep grooves everywhere… I always wanted to buy the place, mostly to keep such strangers out of it, but I’ve got my hands-full paying for one house.
And now it’s been burned-up. The woman reportedly had a lit candle on an end table, got up from the couch to get more Funyuns or whatever, and knocked a pillow against the flame. Simply excellent.
I was wild when I found out, and believe I actually shouted the phrase, “Why the hell does a one-legged woman need to burn candles anyway?!”
My mother and aunt both shed tears over this turn of events, and I’m just hoping the place doesn’t need to be bulldozed. Because if that happens… I’ll probably be joining them. And I can’t have that.
I went to my first HTML class yesterday, at the University of Scranton. It was good, for the most part. I’ll go into more detail at a later date, after I’ve gotten some distance from it, but there was something quite annoying about the day. I’d better not write about it yet, though.
The instructor is good, and clearly knows his stuff. And much of the mystery surrounding code has already been erased. By the end of the day we were actually creating terrible, rudimentary websites by hand. It was amazing to me.
One of the most mind-blowing things about the day was lunch. We were allowed to run wild in one of the campus “cafeterias.” And I put the word in quotes, because it’s not like any school cafeteria I’ve ever visited. Holy crap-nodules.
It was like an upscale buffet. There were various stations here and there, each manned by a chef. They had a person cooking up Chinese stir-fry, a place where you could get a Thanksgiving-style dinner (complete with hand-carved turkey), several interesting sandwich options, and a freakin’ brick pizza oven. It was incredible.
I had something called a Five Alarm chicken sandwich, fries, and a brownie for dessert. And it was all good.
Three of us from class sat together, and the other guys were pretty funny. They seemed to have the same outlook on life as I do, and we had a good cynical time.
We were surrounded by a sea of 19 year olds. Nobody paid much attention to us, but it made me feel fairly vintage. They probably thought I was someone’s Dad, or there to fix the chicken rotisserie.
While we were eating, a girl walked past wearing a Hurricane High School sweatshirt. There’s a town near where I grew up called Hurricane, and I wondered if she might be from there. I thought about asking her, but decided it might not be such a great idea; visions of Roman Polanski danced in my head.
During lunch I also learned that I’m eligible to buy software through the school, at a hefty student discount. I’m seriously considering Dreamweaver, which I can get for roughly half what Amazon is selling it for. It’s something I’ll be obsessing about for the next several days.
Overall, it was a pleasant experience. I kinda wish I’d signed up for the full Web design certificate, instead of just one class. I think I could get addicted to continuing education; I actually go into it with the proper attitude now, and want to learn. Unlike my previous experience with higher education…
Before I call it a day here, I want to alert you to yet another Smoking Fish sighting, right here. Thanks guys! I appreciate it. And keep the pictures coming; we’re on a roll.
Also, there are still 359 of you who haven’t re-confirmed your subscriptions to the new, improved mailing list. That’s a lot of folks who won’t be gaining access to the super-secret updates…
The old list has been retired, and won’t be used again. You must re-subscribe, or click the link inside the email I recently sent you. Either will work, but you’ve gotta do one or the other. Or you’ll be leading a sad, Nancy-less existence.
So, if you’re not sure if you’re subscribed, it would probably be a good idea to do it again. If you’re already in the database, the system will tell you. No harm, no foul.
And I’ll leave you now with the Question of the Day… Actually two of them, since I’m not overly confident about either.
I don’t have any tattoos, and barring a drunken bad decision (always a possibility), I’ll never have one. I’m not really a tattoo kind of guy, when it gets right down to it. Although Mark Maynard tried his best to talk me into having the Smoking Fish soldered to one of my arms. Um, no.
My question: do you have one you regret? Or, do you know someone who wishes they could go back in time to the day they decided to get a certain tat, and have a do-over? Tell us about it, won’t you?
I know a woman who has an extra-large Tweety Bird on her right shoulder, flipping the middle finger. I laughed when she showed it to me, thinking it must date from her reckless teenage years. But it turns out it’s only about a year old — and she’s roughly my age. No regrets, she says. Even though such an emotion is warranted…
So, use the comments section for that one.
Also, a few weeks ago there was a photo of Barack Obama all over the news, shirtless on a beach. Then, a couple days later, a similar topless photo of Vladimir Putin appeared. Both were highly disturbing, in my opinion. But whatever.
I’d like to know what politicians or world leaders you’d LEAST like to see shirtless. They can be living or dead; it doesn’t really matter, does it?
I’ll get the ball rolling with the person who jumps immediately to my mind: Janet Reno. Sweet shit!
So, there ya go. Do with that what you will, and I’ll see you guys on Monday.
Have a great weekend, my friends.