Saturday, September 02, 2006

2 Posts, One Purple Brown Eye


There is a hot spring in the desert north of Death Valley where cool people go to take off their clothes and soak in the desert ambience. I know it as the Saline Valley and you can probably Google it and come up with something.

This is what happens to guys who think they are impervious to the normal ravishes of wind and sun.

No, there is nothing wrong with the color of this picture. OK. So there IS something wrong. My arse is not supposed to be as purple as my sweat pants.

My sister bought me those sweat pants because she loves purple and knows I'll wear purple and be proud. I have photos from all over everywhere wearing purple sweat pants and a purple bandana. Yes, my sister bought me that bandana as well. It has diagrams imprinted on it on how to tie knots and actually saved the life of a friend of mine. OK, so maybe he wouldn't have died, but what kind of story would that make?

Just west of where we are, the Sierra Nevada mountain range shoots straight up like a prison wall for thousands of feet. This is the back of those beautiful Sierras. This is where the tectonic upheaval can be seen as graphically as a diagram. That plate crashed into this plate, and the rock was lifted straight up and there it is...

Straight up rock is attractive to rock climbers because it gives you something to climb. I suggested to my friend B, who was with me at the time, that we go explore one of the tight canyons (think bad guy hangouts in Westerns) that pock these walls like an old man's wrinkles. He knew I was a climber (and a nut) and decided to go along with whatever it was I was going out to do.

We worked our way up deep into a thin canyon (think fifty feet wide, sheer walls on both sides). B struggled and managed to climb a twenty foot, almost dry, waterfall. This is where, on our return trip, the bandana came in handy.

Most people can climb UP something that they can't climb down. Most of the reason for this is psychological, but there are physical aspects as well. You can't see what is beneath your feet without moving them out of the way. This sets people into a panic and makes it even more difficult.

"I can't get down!" is often heard by those who have just climbed up.

"Well, why the hell did ya climb up there to begin with?" is what is most often heard from the ground.

B was just trying to keep up with me. It was a bit my fault that we found ourselves twenty feet up a sheer waterfall and no way down but to climb--backwards--without falling. There were rocks and stuff awaiting our arrival on the next tier down. We wanted to disappoint them.

It was not going to happen. The first and hardest part of climbing down something is going over the edge. Again, you can't see your feet. It is like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. It goes counterintuitive to living. It is the opposite of being careful. It is a hard thing to sell at a flea market or garage sale.

"Only fifty cents for the climbing over the edge of a cliff backwards."

"No thanks. How much for the lamp?"

I got B into this and now I was going to have to get him out of it. I could climb down and back up, which meant I could go get help, a rope, a bunch of caring naked people...

But I remember seeing a long piece of webbing tied to a tree not far back up into the canyon. Some climbers were in there exploring and had anchored to a tree. The tree was dead but big around. The piece of webbing had been tied tightly to it in such a way that you could never untie the knot. It is probably why it was left there. Rich climber kid with little need.

A piece of webbing is flat and very strong. It is hard to cut with a sharp rock, but that is all I had. It is very hard to tie safely, because most knots will "slip" because of how flat and rigid it is. There is one knot, called a water knot, that ties webbing real secure. The only trouble was, I had forgotten how to tie it. The webbing turned out to be about twelve feet long. I could tie a loop and slip B into it, and still be able to safely lower him about eight feet down the wall. At that point, he was free to fall or work his way down by himself, whichever he prefered. If only I could remember how to tie a water knot...

I've mentioned PDL before. Pops always calls it PDL. "Pure Dumb Luck". The longer I live, the more I am convinced it is hereditary. There is a PDL in your pool. In my pool. Maybe I have two PDL genes in my pool? One, a purple one. Who knows?

PDL made me wear the purple bandana out to explore this canyon. PDL made my sister buy it for me oh so long ago. PDL made B realize that I was wearing instructions on my forehead, and I tied a water knot and lowered B down to where he was beyond fatal falling, and then I climbed down and led him, foot hold by foot hold, to the ground.

But that's not what this post is about. I mean, come on, look at the picture. I've got a purple arse. You want to know more about how it got that way. I know I would. I'm curious and sick like that. If you've got a scab, I want to pick apart how it happened...

I was laying flat on a rock naked and stayed there too long. OK, I also fell asleep. But I don't think I was asleep for more than an hour, tops. Maybe it was more like two.

And the thing of it is, I had been warned. A woman passed by me and said in a matter of fact tone of voice, "Sir. I think your ass is burning. You might want to put something on it."

I'm part American Indian. Not a big part. Maybe a sixteenth. Up to an eighth. We've got an Indian horse thief in our family tree and he was hung on someone else's tree. This means our heritage went a little secret a few generations back. So I'm not sure. It's Choctaw. They grow corn. That's about it. Nothing super romantic about that. They went to reservation peacefully so they could grow corn. That's all they wanted. Corn.

"Momma, that's why I'm so corny..." I used to tell my sister.

"And my sister would say, "huh? Here have some purple."

I tell you about my heritage because it has a bearing on my purple arse. I don't burn very easily. I'm Scots Irish and English but I seem to have inherited Choctaw skin. I've got a bit of pigment in me. It helps, when you live your life outdoors.

The woman said "Sir. I think your ass is burning. You might want to put something on it."

And I said, "That's all right, I'm part Indian."

And the woman said "Not THAT part, you ain't," and continued on her naked way...

It got me to thinking. Can you have an Indian head and back and arms and shoulders, and an Irish ass?

I've got an Irish ass. Whaddya know...


If you look over underneath some new thingies a fine blogger named "Dogbait" helped me fix, over in my sidebar, you'll see a button called "Hot or Not" and a picture of me in those now famous purple sweats with a pensive look and a short beard that never lasted but kept coming back like a weed whenever I was neglectful with the razor.

I'm runnin' about a 9.5 with that picture, which, to be honest, is an amusement to me and a bit of an absurd lesson in "image" and "perception".

I mean, OK. Physically, I haven't been disadvantaged. I made the ten percent. I've been called "handsome" and "good-looking" and "cute". I'm tall, not short. Strong, not weak. I still have all my hair. I'll even talk about being "good looking" as if it were a significant element to the make-up of my life. I mean, let's face it, we are all shallow folks in some regards. We like our cakes pretty, our cars pretty, and the person standing at our sides, as well. Even if they are just traveling through...

We want pretty or handsome friends. Blech... Gaghh...Ad nauseum...

But the fact remains, doors open for those who look better than those who look worse. It is a fact. Looking smart, for example, helps you in being smart. Look at Einstein. He knew how to look smart so people would listen to him. For him, it was the hair. Einstein had very smart hair.

I've been playing on Hot or Not for the past week or two. I'm without an adventure on the horizon, so I thought I'd explore the world of dating online, people watching, and posers...

I click you, and if you click me, we can talk. That's the gist of it.

I've met some nice women folk, if only "online". A combat medic on her way to Baghdad. A nice artist. A mother of four kids. A nursing student. And many others.

The ones that scare me are the ones earnestly looking for love. I don't want to hurt them. Hurt their feelings. Mislead them or crush them under the weight of their own longing and loneliness.

I'm just a guy trying to make connections, (maybe drag a few women over to read my blog) and see if the internet can be used as a tool for shrinking humanity even further. I'm not looking for a parking spot for my Johnson outboard, if you know what I mean. Maybe, I secretly want to make a little wake in the lives of others? Who knows? The point is, I'm having a lark and seeing where and/or what, lies down that cyberpath.

Perhaps nothing?

There is a picture of a woman from Portland on that site that just glazed my donut eyes right over. Absolutely beautiful in a way that reminds one of those old Coca Cola posters. Remember "It's The Real Thing"? This blonde woman is the real deal.

She says she has two kids. She loves dogs and csi. No type A's allowed (not moi!)... Oregon born and raised...

I figured, I'd be a shoe-in for at least a friendship. I'd amaze her with my tales of wow. I'd show her what a soppy, warm guy I was. We would become pals. I'd protect her from the internet predators who just want to ravish her and clean out her fridge. Her dogs would meet my dogs. I would get to look at her beautiful visage for as long as I was nice to her.

I sent her several messages.

I was as charming as I am capable.

I was as flattering to her as I could be without sounding like a stalker.

I tried.

I got this back from her. Before you read and think about it, realize the picture that began this post is in response to this reply. I am the purple dude. I have fantasies and weaknesses for beauty too.

Hi Scott,

I'll be upfront...

I was attracted to the main picture..

but not the others..

thanks and best of luck to you


Now you know why I pulled this particular picture out of the pile.

Take that!!

ADDENDUM-- For many Americans, the expression "brown eye" might mean something besides getting a moon. In some rustic cultures, it means getting a moon.

I like to check who googled what, sometimes, on my site meter stats. Some poor hapless Floridian just got mooned when she (probably a she) googled "eye make-up for a brown eye"...

Tee hee...

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