Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We Missed The Point And I Built A Machine

We Missed The Point and I Built A Machine.

It’s a lot like when we said
We miss you, we love you, we hate you, we forgot you

It’s a lot like when we started
Saying “we” instead of “I”

Rube Goldberg taught me a lot
About life, the taking of life and living.
But I also took his class on explanation
So I never really got to the point, did I?

Someday I’ll figure out how to connect
Two seemingly unrelated things
Today’s not that day
A causal glance to the beginning
Proves this well enough. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

An Explanation of My Definitions.

It's come to my attention that I may have been using a certain word wrong. In a couple of my previous posts I've used the term Northern Americana. Now, I know I got the northern part right. I know this because I can look at a map and clearly see that where I live is north of most other places in the U.S. The word in question here is Americana. Now I've long understood the word to be an encompassing term to describe culture in America. But according to a few definitions I've read, Americana refers more to physical objects that are considered part of American culture. The things I've discussed haven't necessarily been physical, but definitely more intangible.

But, there is a discrepancy. I have also seen a few definitions that describe Americana as simply American Culture. So, while I may be wrong in using Americana, I may also be right. I'm banking on the latter.

Basically, what I'm trying to do with some of my blogs, specifically Important Lessons From The Country Cafe, is examine some of the enjoyable,sometimes questionable, but always acceptable things I see while living in the northern U.S. I personally believe that the things that I've mentioned and will mention are pieces of what might make living here unique and different.

I hope this clears some things up, if it really bothers you that I may (or may not) be using Americana wrong, I apologize. I just really like how it sounds.

Important Lessons From The Country Cafe. (Vol. 3)

In case there was any doubts that the fall was over, the snow a couple nights ago should’ve put those to bed. It’s still hard for me to imagine a place that doesn’t have snow in December, even though I have friends who live in those places. I guess I’ll have to go and experience it for myself to fully convince myself. I know there’s some who seek out these places every year because the concept of enduring the cold for 3-4 months is hellish. I just don’t think I could ever be one of those people. Below zero temperatures and multiple feet of snow is something I believe is engrained within me. So regardless of how much I complain, I don’t think I could live without it. It’d be like complaining about the color of my eyes. But that hasn’t stopped me from observing and dissecting the coldest of seasons.

Winter is strange. It comes every year. But it still tends to shock a majority of us, but we never admit it. But that’s just a trait of Northern people. Instead of letting ourselves get wrapped up in the wonder of things, we seem to get angry at those who do. I’ll admit that I’m one of those people who drive well under the speed limit during the first snowfall but then yell at those who do the same thing after I’ve gotten used to it.

There’s another trait that northerners have that really shines during the winter and that’s the belief that we’re all psychics when it comes to the weather. Everyone has their own little theory. If it was a particularly dry summer, then the winter will come with a bountiful amount of snow and vice versa. If it’s blue skies and sunshine on Monday and Tuesday, then you can guarantee that Friday will bring a blizzard. Perhaps it’s just luck, or a game of odds, but all these predictions tend to come true at least once. That’s all it takes for these predictions to become fact.

There are a few other things related to winter that I intend to touch on later. But for now I’ll leave you with just once lesson that I’ve just recently learned.

Lesson #1: A good server will insult you. In fact, they will say things that would warrant a fight back on the playgrounds or in the bars. But if they are quick with a refill of coffee, then all is forgiven and encouraged.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In .9 Miles Send Me Off A Cliff

In .9 Miles Send Me Off A Cliff

Guide me to the light
And I will faithfully follow
Speak to me without a hint of life
And I will gladly give breath away

Accurately reveal the turns ahead
And I will close my rumored eyes
Utter the legend of a home
And there I will reside

Scold me for my disobedience
And I will weep onto the dash
Calmly correct my mistakes
And I will erase what’s left of my pride

Turn angry and sentient
And I will promise to be unaware
Guide me into the sky
And I will swerve where no road exists. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

And Only The Song Ever Talked About Dying

And Only The Song Ever Talked About Dying

It’s dead now.
You may have believed
That it had finished over a year ago
But for the first time in your prophetic life
You were wrong.

In a strange and wholly enjoyable turn of events
I came to the realization
That I could strip away the dead weight
Of my perceived mistakes and long list of shortcomings
All it took was two 3 hour drives.

I still listen to that tune
In fact it’s one of my favorites
Just the other day I stopped inches from that downtown deadzone
And backed up a long line of people
Waiting for their turn at the red light.

I had to hear that song,
But this time it was to hear the background vocals
And not the frontman,
The one you said
You’d die to meet.

I wonder if I’ll ever get the chance
To tell you my new story
Of how I dodged my way through a labyrinth
Just to see that band


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Important Lessons From The Country Cafe. (Vol. 2)

When I think about the idea of Northern Americana (remember, there's still a difference) I can't help but think about how intricate the consumption of alcohol is to it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that we're all a bunch of drunks or that the only unique thing about the northern midwest involves alcohol. But there is no denying the fact that alcohol in some sort of form makes it's way into many activities while also being an activity in itself.
The problem is, when it comes to alcohol there's always a price. Sometimes it's minor, sometimes it's massive, but there's always some sort of price to pay. For most people, like me, it's a hangover the next morning. Now what's fascinating to me about hangovers is the nearly endless list of remedies that people have put together over the years. For me, it's a plate of biscuits and gravy with a side of hashbrowns and cheese at the Country Cafe.
Even in my injured state I was able to take my seat, order my food, drink my hot chocolate (they were out of coffee) and learn a few things about the world.

Lesson #1: There's something oddly welcoming about an empty cafe on a cool rainy day.

Lesson #2: There's also nothing quite as depressing as an empty cafe on a cool rainy day.

Lesson #3: Regardless of the large windows that reveal a nice view of main street, questions about the weather will be thrown at you. This isn't because the people asking you are blind or oblivious, it's a test to see what kind of person you are.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Important Lessons From The Country Cafe. (Vol. 1)

I live in a one bedroom apartment with low ceilings, a leaky shower head, threadbare carpets and cracked cracked tiles. There isn't a lot of space for all my things, and I'm afraid of saying certain things too loudly due to the thinness of the walls. But, even in the face of these things I love my apartment for a few reasons, most importantly though is its proximity to a little local cafe.
The cafe is a typical slice of Northern Americana (there is a difference, just ask Garrison Keillor). The coffee is served incredibly hot, or just not quite hot enough. The food is good, but leaves you questioning your life decisions as you stare into the little pool of oil left behind. The decor is inviting at first, then as you finish your third cup of coffee it becomes confusing. The walls are pink with green trim, the wallpaper border is this rustic looking pattern of apples in a bucket. This is paired with multiple wooden signs depicting sliced, whole, and quartered apples. But there isn't a single item on the menu with apples in it. The servers are polite and demand politeness in return.
The clientele is the most fascinating though. The cafe serves a wide selection of people. The usual helping of senior citizens with strong opinions on just about everything. Factory workers just getting off their shifts. Construction workers in the summer, hunters in the fall and just a few people like me who have motives, other than eating, for being there. The patrons of this cherished small town establishment have taught me a few things as I eavesdropped on their conversations. I have held onto these lessons for awhile but now I wish to share them. Here is a few nuggets of wisdom that I heard today. More will come as I hear them.

Lesson #1: Wishful thinking is something all great men possess. Apparently seeing 14 deer, five of which are decent sized bucks and not taking a shot of any of them because you know that the biggest deer in the world is still out there speaks volumes about how strong your character is.

Lesson #2: Nicknames are earned. Once you have earned your nickname you will tell every person you meet your nickname and how you received this nickname. Upon telling your story to someone you have now qualified them to receive there own nickname someday unless they already have one, if this is the case you must listen to their story as a courtesy. This process can be repeated multiple times with the same person.

Lesson #3: If you drink your coffee with sugar, you are a pussy no question. Cream is okay, only if you use it in an attempt to support the local dairy farmers. I support the local dairy farmers.