Tuesday, August 07, 2012

X and Y. And Z.

As Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh famously said; "Sometime you win.
Sometimes you lose.
...it rains."
It has been a very strange and busy sort of week; to give you an example, the last of the four pictures above is where I spent my suppertime yesterday - standing over a fifty-year-old tank full of well-fermented used food in Corvallis.

And they say that modern times lack romance and adventure. Piffle!

Anyway, I've been too busy to post; it's almost nine p.m. and I'm still at work, so I'll just throw out a couple of random musings.

Hopefully I'll post something more coherent this weekend.
One great thing about my job is that it takes me to some of the most beautiful parts of Oregon, not just the ones with filthy foetid septic tanks. This is Sunset Beach, on the Coos County Coast.
The high seacliff is formed from the Eocene Coaledo Formation, and this 35 to 40 million-year old marine sedimentary rock is well known for it's fossil shells;
As I was fossil-hunting these three girls wandered up and caught the fever; here's the middle daughter carefully pounding an anadara sp. out of the siltstone:
...she did it nicely, too, and went home with a good fossil.

Just to the south is the spare, rock-bound, haunting loveliness of Cape Arago...
...with the bizarre manicured beauty of Shore Acres, the remnant of a Jazz Age Mitt Romney's pleasure dome, perched uneasily nearby.
Merely steps away from the formal rosebeds and the koi pond are the fierce upthrust rocks of Simpson Reef and the violent collision of land and sea; the contrast is at once soothing and disturbing.
My work there was all too brief, but I have been away from my family for long days, so as spectacular as the scenery was I was glad to return home.

The poor little cat is still slowly dying. Steroids have fought to reduce the ruthless growth that is destroying her from the inside, and she has improved a bit in the past weeks. But she is still visibly thinner, and weaker, and, less adorably, tends to lose bowel control at random moments. The worst part of such a death is the theft of dignity, and she seems to be ashamed, and slightly aggrieved at every episode.
I am already grieving for her. For all that she is no more than a small domestic predator, we have shared quite a long while together - more than fifteen years - and I will miss her small silent presence and soft fur when she is gone.

As you may have noted, my beloved Timbers are having a terrible season, and today I received word that our goalkeeper, Troy Perkins, was dealt away in a straight keeper-for-keeper swap.

I am not one of those who swooned for the man as a player.

For one thing, I kept the goal myself back in the day, so his shortcomings were painful for me to watch, and he did have them; his positioning was not always good, his distribution out of the back frankly terrible, and he was not a particularly effective leader of his defense.

But he was an upright man, never willing to speak a comfortable lie when the truth would better serve.

As a player he was strong, and brave, and a good shot-stopper. He loved the team, and he loved our city, and he spoke to those fans who loved him in return.

He never quit - well, once, but only for a moment - and I will miss him, our first #1. I wish him well wherever he goes.
And the truth is that his loss is not our gain; his replacement is not a solution, and the woes of this season appear certain to go on - we will be unbelievably lucky to avoid the wooden spoon.

But onward, Rose City!

Last Saturday I volunteered at our local Rose City Rollers flat-track derby club - again - but this time had the strange experience of men's roller derby.
Merby, as it's called sometimes, is not the same game. The men are huge, and their mass more than makes up for their lack of skill and tactical experience.
The "Bro City Brollers" played a pick-up team from our derby gals and won handily. It was hard to watch the very talented gals block a guy fifty pounds heavier and get nothing - it must have been like wrestling with a Hereford.
And the guys didn't really have to block; they were so huge they just stood there and took up practically the whole track. You could see how frustrating it was for the women, used to using their speed and strength against opponents with similar size and weight.
When I hear people going on about how unfair life is I think about things like this; the fact that men are usually larger, and stronger, than women is unfair. That a mere Y instead of a XX should make someone so much less vulnerable is not kind and is not fair.

But it is also a sort of unkind and unfair that is the product of nothing more than Nature's cruel caprice, and not anyone or anything's "fault".

Nature and genetics will no more listen to your complaints than the ocean will respond to the pleading of a drowning man.

All you can do, and, perhaps, the best thing you can do, is what the women did that night; pick yourself up and throw yourself at that object again and again.

You will lose. That's the unfair part. You will not, cannot, win.

But you will not be beaten.


Lisa said...

Sorry to hear about your beloved kitty. Fifteen years is a long time. I once had a kitty with cancer, also, and you will know when the time comes. Meanwhile, lavish sardines and jack mackerel upon her and tell her what a good kitty she was.

She will remain ever your companion, even when she is released from this earthly vale.

FDChief said...

She's going hard, poor little moggy. The loss of bowel control is difficult both on us (for the mess) and her (for the indignity).

For all that, I will miss her little soul when she is dead.