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Confessions of a criminal mind

I did absolutely nothing yesterday. And I mean nothing. I was paralyzed all day by the mountain of things we have to finish up before we leave. Even now when I think about making a list, my normally borderline OCD brain just wants to check out.

We’ve made some progress on the cross-country trip plans, though. That is something to toast! We’ve decided to take the northern route and hit Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore, and possibly the Badlands in South Dakota, before dropping in on TA’s Kansas brother and his brood.

Saturday some friends threw us a little bbq and that was really, really wonderful. The food was yummy (bbq’d salmon, grilled asparagus, polenta, corn salad, potato salad, tabbouleh) and after we stuffed ourselves silly, we saw the new Will Ferrel movie about the race car driver (I thought it was “eh” but loved every bit with Sasha Baron Cohen. My god, that man is a genius along the lines of Peter Sellers sometimes.)

Sunday hung out with our high-powered Washington friend who said that if we ever wanted to visit DC, we should let him know. We can stay in his condo… at the Ritz! He’s super connected and said it’d be a cinch to get us VIP passes to anything we wanted. All we’d have to do is take the train from CT. I smell me a weekend of wonderment…

Sunday night we had dinner at TA’s eldest brother’s place and it was good. Good because his brother confessed to now being on board with evicting Drunky McToothless. Apparently, Drunky has been writing checks on TA’s father’s account and having TA’s father sign them, then distributing them to his “friends” who’d apparently done “some work” around the house. Hmmm, lemme see: replacing a kitchen faucet for $500? And other random scams?

TA is looking forward to tossing him out on his ear. This is one of those TA characteristics that I love. He is normally a very sensitive, patient and charitable person but if he smells a rat, his “I hung out with hoodlums and know the deal” personality comes out. It mostly involves 1) observing with Clint Eastwood High Plains Drifter Steeliness (patent pending,) 2) waiting for the other person to do or say something and then 3) acting.

For example, the other day when we were in Santa Cruz cleaning out the house, a guy pulled up in a truck and proceeded to walk right past TA (who was employing his Clint Eastwood High Plains Drifter Steeliness, or C.E.H.P.D.S.) and back to the yard. From the yard, this guy collected buckets, tarps, brushes and other painting supplies and began loading up his truck. TA just stared at him the whole time and when it seemed the guy had retrieved everything, he said, “Is that your ladder over there?”

Guy: “Yeah, that’s mine.”

TA: (in full C.E.H.P.D.S. mode) “You might want to get that too.”

I kept waiting for a coyote howl or for some tumbleweed to come rolling by. And he rode on in the friscalating dusklight. (thank you, Owen Wilson.)

The thing is, I know how to recognize someone who’s bad news or whatever, but I don’t know how to deal. This is the one advantage of TA’s having grown up in fucked up lower-income suburb—he knows his way around the criminal mind.

9:32 a.m. - 2006-08-22



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