Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Starting Over, Over And Over

It's funny how we wait for the New Year to start fresh when a new year could start at any moment. People across the world don't even agree on when a new year starts. If you're Julius Caesar you could just randomly decide to shove it up a couple months. Even the time of day is an arbitrary convention. We start a day at midnight but we used to start it at noon and there's really nothing wrong with 3:18 either. Beer-thirty is as precise as we get around here, and even that has been creeping earlier and earlier during the pandemic.

But people do love the idea of a clean sheet to write on. We want to be able to count down to a moment everything can change. Back in the dark ages when I used to write longhand on a legal pad, I had entire paragraphs squashed into the margins and circles around things with arrows pointing to where they really ought to go and cross-outs and underlined bits in boxes tagged with their ultimate destinations, and then I'd sort it all out on a typewriter when I was done. A clean sheet meant little to me. All my stuff was on the marked-up sheet. I wanted every word of it and I could rassle it into shape later. I feel that way about life too. I'm not going to start over; I want to pull all those good bits out of the margins and figure out what order they go in, and what I should cross out, and there's always room to come up with more.

Still, you get a year everyone agrees is truly a crappy year, we're all ready to crumple up the paper and pitch it at the can, and maybe set fire to it first. So that's what we're going to do. Now what?

That's when we really need to pay attention to the truth: that a new year starts every second. And that's good news, because a lot can happen in a second.

I got the only Christmas gift I'd specifically asked for. I wanted to be able to feed Studley a Christmas worm. He doesn't show up every day. But on Christmas morning that angel came in from on high and chikketed at me from the window, and popped around to the back door for his worm. Studley Windowson was special to me even before he demonstrated that he knew me personally and was willing to land on me (and my friends) for larvae. That was because I could pick him out from all the other chickadees. The others are every bit as worthy, but only Studley is missing two toes on his left foot. And caring about Studley leads to caring about his kids, and his food, and the native plants his food lives on, and his whole, world-wide web.

Meet Dot
Last week I was looking at lesser goldfinches on the feeder. They're flockers. Six years ago I didn't even know they were a thing, and now I recognize them as among my most common visitors. I know the sounds they make and I know how incessantly and adorably they make them. The other day I noticed one of them had a white spot on her head. I didn't know if someone had pooped on her--I mean, that has to happen sometimes, right?--so I paid attention later, and sure enough, she kept coming by, and it's definitely part of her feathers. Dot! Now I can pick Dot out of a big chirpety bundle of birds. I can tell how she approaches the feeder a little differently, and which azalea branch she favors. I have a new bird to care about. I can care about Dot, and thus even more about the rest of her flock, and second by second my caring can expand until it fills up the whole world. It starts somewhere.

In one second, a boy soprano can lift the top of your head off and send it to the stars. In one second, as you wait out the exquisite tension before a chord resolves, you can feel that ache pulled right through your heart and come out clean on the other side. In one second, you can really notice a bird. You can love any little thing. And then you know how to love the whole world. And that will cause you to change your life faster than any resolution will. 

We can all do it together. We can start anytime.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Tavern At The End Of The Street

We measure things in lifetimes, and not necessarily long ones. Even a five-year-old talks about things she's known her whole life. It's hard to take the long view, if you're a human, which is why we're sucking up all the fossil fuel as fast as we can just in case we wreck our climate beyond redemption later. It's just the way we are.

Right down on the corner, there used to be a terrific little restaurant called Bernie's Southern Bistro, with a faithful staff and a friendly outdoor patio, and if you wanted to get your blood congealed to bacon-grease consistency, this was just the place to do it. Hush puppies, blackened catfish, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, fried could get a salad. A "Fat Boy Salad." Everyone loved the place and now it's gone.

The owners of the building had renovations in mind. So for a couple years now it's been accumulating layers of graffiti, and finally now it's being stripped to the rafters. Plenty of young people talk about the old Bernie's as though it were a Portland institution, and for a short lifetime, if you're twenty, it was. But before it was Bernie's it was the Chez What? before the Chez What? moved down the street and then folded.

And before that, back when the street ambience ran more to plywood and iron window bars, it was Johnny's Jar Room, noted--although not widely--for serving beer in Mason jars. And before that it was the Homestead Tavern. It was the Homestead when we moved in 42 years ago. Our dog Boomer used to waltz in there for a bowl of Heidelberg and the barkeep would call us up to fetch her back. Boomer didn't smoke but if she had she could've done it right at the bar. Stuff changes.

Naturally, like everyone else, we figured that was all there was to know about 2904 NE Alberta Street, because history begins with us. But that was before the siding was removed, revealing a spiffy Coca-Cola mural dating from 1948. The owners had no idea it was there but it can't be saved on account of the high lead content of the paint. The nanny state doesn't allow unabated lead because it could lead to lower intelligence in children who might then grow up to believe wearing face-masks in a pandemic is sissified or treasonous, and we can't have that. Below the Coca-Cola mural was BILLY ROWE'S in gigantic lettering. As it turns out, Billy Rowe and his wife Doris owned the tavern in 1943, despite being Mormons, although God smote them for it years later, when they both died in a head-on crash. The churchly allegiance of the oncoming vehicle's driver is unknown.
I guess it was Duke's tavern after that, and no one seems to know when the mural was sided over, even though it happened well within Dave's lifetime and he grew up ten blocks away. We forget. We forget. It's just the way we are.

Now, before the new fa├žade goes up, we can see the massive old planks of the building, presumably original, dating back to 1922, when the streetcar ran through. But squint harder at those planks and you can see what really came before: old-growth Douglas fir forest, home to life in crazy abundance, razed and ruined not that many lifetimes ago, never to return. We forget. We forget.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Sound Of Rapture

I caught it out of the corner of my eye last summer: six broccoli plants in a row, taking a bow in a rolling wave, like stumpy Rockettes. It didn't make sense but it was graceful and lovely. And then I noticed the choreographer: a crow had taken off abruptly from one end of the broccoli bed and set them rocking. It reminded me that another thing that invariably makes me happy is wingbeats. Wingbeats! The flappination of air!

Everybody's all about the bird songs, but I like wingbeats so much that sometimes I stand under the bird feeder just to hear them properly. I still don't know that many bird songs but I can distinguish different species' wingbeats at my feeder with my eyes closed. And as long as I keep them closed I'll never know I'm wrong.
Dave and I were on a trail on Mt. Hood one time. It was a dark narrow corridor, the trees nearby on both sides and meeting just above our heads. Then there was this sensation, a throb, a premonition. Like your last breath before the Rapture. And a moment later a raven came up from behind and flew right over us, slow, not much faster than we were walking, so that we had time to feel its majestic percussion. Flap. Flap. Flap. I'm telling you, it was holy. And so much better than the Second Coming, in that we didn't have to worry if it was too late to join the right team. We knew we were exactly where we belonged: on our home planet, which we get to share with an iridescent black angel.
Pigeons, on the other hand, have many fine qualities, but I don't care. They kind of bug me. And one of the things that bugs me about pigeons is how noisy their wingbeats are. Looks like they're smacking their own wings together over their heads, and that's just so inelegant and sloppy. That's if you can get them in the air to begin with. Their indifference to being stepped on bugs me too. Weird shiny little head-bobbers with a bad diet. Even the iridescence is all wrong. Ravens shimmer in a shifting sheen of purple and green. Pigeons look like an oil slick.

But I do know Studley's wingbeats. Flibberty flibberty. They're a certain pitch and a certain speed and, most important, a certain distance away. Like, if they end up on your hat? It's Studley.

The sound of a normal wingbeat has to do with the air turbulence. But owls have engineered fluff on the leading edges of their wings to muffle their sound and can fly almost silently. This is real handy if you want to sneak up on a shrew. And it's right considerate too, from the shrew's standpoint. It's bad enough getting turned into an owl pellet without having to suffer that last bit of panic and dread.

When it's my time to go I hope an owl brings the news. If not, a chickadee will do. That's it's own kind of rapture.

Merry Christmas, y'all. Here's something: listen for the wingbeats!


Saturday, December 19, 2020

He'll Have A Butt Light

By now, everyone has already seen the documentary My Octopus Teacher or been told they have to. It's an excellent show and will no doubt result in a tragedy of captive octopuses.
There's something about the deliberation and languid grace of a resting octopus that is irresistible to humans, and the eightness of their affectionate arms seals the deal. Plus, these are not the golden retrievers of the sea. You have to earn their consideration.
Of course, there's no telling but what many of us in your damper climates already harbor an octopus and don't even know it. They are masters of camouflage, and everyone has a crevice or two. This is why we wear swimming trunks.

Octopuses in the proper mood are particularly cuddly because they are almost entirely made of fingers and pudding. There are only a few types of octopus that have any crunchy bits.

This is one thing that distinguishes them from their fellow mollusks, the squids. Squids have a rigid internal portion called a "pen." The pen is there to stiffen the squid. Speaking of that, male squids do have one arm with a copulatory pad on the end of it. According to the literature, it is one of his left arms, although it seems to me that all depends on where you start counting. With the copulatory pad, he can directly reach a female squid in her pertinent privates or, alternatively, wrench off the arm altogether and present it to her. Gallantry is not dead among the squids.

There is a rarely-seen squid that is nevertheless known to be very common, because its pen, minus its original squid, washes up on shorelines all over the world. This is the Ram's-Horn Squid. Its pen is shaped like a curled ram's horn; it's plumb adorable. From time to time people have netted this squid alive but up until recently no one has seen it in its normal environment, which is quite deep in the ocean. As a result, not all that much is known about the critter, the only living member of the Spirula genus, or the Spirula family, or, in fact, the Order of Spirula. Just this one dude.

For instance, they do know that it comes up in shallower waters every so often, because it turns up in albatross guts, next to all the plastic. And it is "thought to" spawn in the wintertime. I do not know who specifically thinks that. No babies have been seen. It's pure conjecture as far as I can tell, and will continue to be cited over and over until someone sieves up a swarm of summer squidlets. They might just as well claim that the Spirula family congregates in late November for roast shrimp with plankton stuffing and screams at each other over the ethical implications of the food chain.

But the other day, a deep-diving unmanned ocean rover spotted a genuine Spirula in the squishy flesh, and the squid-science world went nuts. The squid was three inches long and shaped like a tampon with a big eyeballs on top and lime-green light shining out of its fanny. It was oriented eyeball-up and butt-down in contrast to the way scientists always "thought" it would be. Captured ram's-horn squids tend to keel over on their sides or upside-down, but that could be the despair.

Scientists assumed they oriented themselves the other way because their pen is filled with gas for buoyancy and one would think it would be on top, but it wasn't. This does solve the other problem of the butt light though. It makes sense for the light to point down so that predators underneath it have trouble seeing it against the water surface reflections; not that this helps any with the albatross.

So presumably with the new video of a healthy ram's-horn squid, we have added to our knowledge, but this is science: one must be wary of leaping to conclusions, especially with a sample of one. it could be just what that squid does. What if aliens visit Earth and discover the shorelines littered with durable Carhartts and Kevlar vests, but the only human they find is Gandhi? They might conclude people keep their legs folded up and are peaceful. Boy, would they be wrong.

Thanks to Friend Of Pootie Mary Treiber for the squidly scoop.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Drawing The Line

Big line at the bank today. I wasn't expecting a line because nobody goes into an actual bank anymore, but it was a Friday and I guess the Pay Day thing still applies.

That's how banking used to be. You got paid on Friday and you spent your lunch half-hour standing in line at the bank. That's how you could get cash money which you could exchange for beer. It didn't get excreted from a pore on the outside wall and it sure as hell didn't travel through space and reassemble in money molecules inside your account, from which you could withdraw it on your phone

Of course, nobody needs cash anymore. The grocery store is happy to dispense cash with your cauliflower, but mostly you don't need it. You can pay for absolutely anything absolutely any old way that doesn't involve cash. I don't know what street beggars are doing now, if they don't take cards.

I know you can take photos of your checks with your phone and shlorp them into your account from the comfort of your beanbag chair, or even at a stoplight, but I don't know how it's done and doubt my phone would cooperate. So I walk to the bank and hand my checks to the teller once a month or so. There's never a time a three-mile stroll isn't in order, and I don't have anything else I need to do. It's not like there's a line.

Until today. And the line appeared to have something to do with it being Friday and more to do with the dearth of tellers and the fact that one gentleman occupied one teller for the entire time I was there (that's a lot of mysterious banking), and the ATM outside was broken. The line was out the door because we were all spaced out, man.

The fellow in line in front of me did not recommend himself to me as an attractive font of conversation. He stabbed irritably at his phone and groused about stuff and eventually made it to the vestibule, from which he beckoned me--"They're letting two people in the vestibule"--and so in the name of visible progress I entered the vestibule, a small enclosed space, and the man continued to stab at his phone and grouse, with his face mask stationed under his bulbous nose, and I excused myself back outside, causing a cascade of back-stepping in the outdoor line.

By the time I graduated to all-the-way-indoors and stood on my assigned painted spot, the man ahead of me, Nose-Boy, got to a teller who wanted to know how he was today, or so she said, and he growled "Well, I've been standing in line for forty minutes," which was demonstrably not true unless he was there for twenty minutes before I showed up, which he was not. And he spluttered all of this with his face mask parked under his nose.

I know the tellers, who have to spend all day in that building with everybody's dangling or aerosolized secretions, would have loved to ask him to pull up his face mask. But people get tired of having to scold other grownups. And it rarely works out. This fellow wouldn't have taken it well. He was already put out by everything. The tellers have to make a calculation: risk severe unpleasantness accompanied by more spewing, or count on protection from the high ceilings and the Plexiglass? I didn't even have to work there all day and I didn't tell the man I was leaving the vestibule because his stupid nose was hanging out. I'd do the same thing as the tellers did.

Nothing. God Bless America.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Losing Our Esses

For the duration of the 2020 baseball season, I hear, the Toronto Blue Jays played their games in the stadium of their farm team, the Buffalo Bisons.

The Buffalo Bisons. I don't know. That's a little on the nose for a team name, isn't it? It would be like if Marmot, Oregon had a team called the Marmot Big Fat Rodents. Also? The plural of bison is bison.

Which makes "bisons" wrong in the exact opposite way people are currently getting plurals wrong. Something has happened to perfectly good plurals. Lately, people have been losing their esses all over the place. It's a field of "irises," people, not a field of iris. And it's "ospreys," not a family of osprey. And it's "octopuses." (Or octopodes.) And, well, it never ends. You can't just drop the S willy-nilly and think you've nailed it.

I do understand that this is English and as such it is destined to be confounding. When you've got a big muscular language like ours that has plundered every other language for spare parts and an operating system, nothing is going to make sense.

But it is sort of helpful that a thick swath of our nouns gets pluralized by adding an S. Not all of them, of course. But that S can get you a long way, and you should not be unduly afraid of it.

Some nouns do not get an S because they're considered "uncountable." Rice, for instance. You don't buy a bag of rices. The grains are countable, and get an S, but the rice, not so much.

There are irregular plurals. If you have more than one mouse, I'm afraid you've got mice. Or meece, if there are a whole lot of them, or mousies if they're especially cute. A lot of the nouns that are the same singular and plural, like bison, are animals, such as sheep, or deer, or fish. You can have fishes, but they're usually biblical, and come with loafuses.

And sometimes the plural spelling of those animals is different depending on whether you're chucking them under the chin or hunting them. So you might keep a bunch of rabbits as pets, but you hunt rabbit. (Or wabbit.) Perhaps people say they're hunting elephant because they prefer to think that elephants are uncountable, which they emphatically are not. Shame on them.

But this business of dropping perfectly good esses is getting out of hand. We grow crocuses, not crocus. We plant agapanthuses, not agapanthus. Where does it end? Nasturtia?

You'd think this is the kind of thing that happens when you've scolded too many people for using extraneous apostrophes with their esses over the years. Maybe they've decided to skip the whole thing. But the apostrophe people are not the ones dropping the esses. They're fine with the way they spell and punctuate, and feel it is helpful to give a plural noun a nice apostrophe to help hook the S onto the word.

No, it's the people who strive to get it right that get it wrong. The first time they heard someone say "a bed of iris" they thought: Oh no. I've been saying irises all this time. But clearly this is some sort of Latin thingy and thus, because only erudite people know Latin, it is correct. And then they hear similar incorrect plurals, and rush to catch up to the erudition bandwagon.

And even so, nobody calls buttholes "ani."

It's hit or miss. Somehow we all know to say "asters" and "daisies" but go all to pieces over trilliums or dianthuses. We talk about mallards but suspect there are wigeon. I looked to the experts to find out why some things never take an S plural, and found this:

"They form a lexical category in Guiraud's sense, that is, a non-arbitrary set of nouns with common features at the level both of the signified and of the signifier, and constituting, from a diachronic perspective, a matrix having enabled membership of the category to develop until today."

Apropodes of nothings, the plural of bullshit is bullshit.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Peeing On The Commons

Before you say anything else, let me tell you up front that I Do Not Have A Lawn. Don't even bring it up.

And I know my opinion is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. All the right people say it is. But here goes: I don't like your graffiti. It's ugly and annoying. "But it's meant to disturb," you say. "The whole point is to get your attention and shake you out of your bourgeois sense of complacency." Mission accomplished. Why is annoying Murr a good thing, again?

"What's more important," you go on, "someone's precious capitalist property rights or the lives of the disenfranchised?" False choice, cupcake. You can care about many things at once. And your spiky initials ain't saving anybody. Neither are the penis drawings.

Yeah, fuck off. It's not your building. If you had a job you'd own something too.

(Just kidding. I was just wantonly tagging the blogosphere, there. Sorry you had to see that.)

So let's break this down. As a matter of record, I too believe, as a property owner, that the ownership of private property is an inherently bad idea. I do believe that the acquisition of property in and of itself leading to the unearned accumulation of wealth is a stupid economic model. I believe most property should be held in the public commons and the rest parceled out in an equitable manner.

And I guess you're reclaiming the property you deface as a public space. So why you scribbling all over the public commons, you little assholes?

There are a lot of opportunities for freedom of expression that don't need to be sandblasted off. You can write opinion letters. You can bark in the park. You can go to city council meetings and yell your fool head off. You can knock on doors and ask people if they've been saved.

Graffiti. There's nothing curated about it, which is one of its charms, you say. It's democracy in action. It's The People taking over the town square. Well, goody. Keep the noise down, okay? This isn't art. This isn't worthy discourse. This is like spewing out reams of misspelled ungrammatical incoherent diatribe and random hate speech and calling it dialectic. Oh wait, that's the internet. I'm not wild about that spray job, either.

Visualize how you feel when your precious creation is plastered over by Nazi racist bullshit. No problem, you say? You can just spray-paint over it? Swell. Now we're down to the public-discourse level of urinating spaniels.

I remember, before tagging really took hold here, visiting capitals in Europe and seeing beautiful stone buildings--goddesses, really--that had been standing for five hundred years, their skirts now drenched in graffiti. Should people deface thousand-year-old petroglyphs in the desert too? Who gets to decide?

It was chaotic and depressing and ugly, and ugly matters. Beauty has meaning, is worth pursuing. It's in the eye of the beholder, you say. Fine. This beholder is affronted by your self-indulgence, your celebration of your own presumably stunted spirit, now set gloriously free. This beholder thinks it's ugly, pushy, and rude. You're no Banksy. You aren't merely expressing yourself: you're shouting over everyone else. Half of your precious "message" is I was here, and you didn't catch me.

So you do it under cover of darkness. You like that thrill of getting away with something. Shit, honey. That's what recreational drugs are for. Leave the damn windows alone. Let the restaurant owner scratch out a living without having to scratch out your sophomoric philosophy writ in Krylon.

It doesn't matter how worthy your efforts are--they reek of vanity. You want to make a mark, see if you can improve someone's life without taking credit. Am I doing that, you ask? Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. If I'm doing it right, you'll never know.

Art, my Aunt Fanny. Also? That shit's not music. That's just a lot of yelling.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Sweet Fancy Moses

We're winding down on this weird-ass year. I've got December 31 penciled in for the big earthquake and have some peanut butter on hand, but beyond that I will remain, as always, unprepared. The future is famously opaque, and I plan for it mostly by not speculating. Whenever disaster hits, I can comfort myself by realizing I didn't waste all those uneventful years worrying. "Make friends with prepared people"--that's my motto.

Because you never know. Folks in Boston woke up on January 15, 1919 and fretted about the flu pandemic and groused about wearing masks like they had been for months, but never once thought about what they'd do if they were overtaken by a 25-foot wave of molasses.

Nevertheless a storage tank, fifty feet tall and containing 13,000 tons of molasses, burst all at once and sent a river of goo through the North End at a rate of 35 mph, and no one's outrunning that sucker. (To compare, the great floods of molten basalt that formed much of Oregon could readily be outrun by anyone able to trot six mph for three days and nights in a row, but for the most part resulted in little human injury due to us having not been invented yet.)

People nearby reported hearing machine-gun sounds and were justifiably concerned, but it was only all the rivets shooting out of the exploding tank, which isn't much safer a proposition, bystander-wise. The flood tipped over a streetcar and knocked buildings off their foundations. Best you could do if you found yourself in its path was duck behind a flour silo and hope for cookies. As it was, twenty-one people perished outright, and as the flood cooled and thickened, there was no possibility for rescue. Victims had to be chipped out and bagged for resale. Those North End Italian boys really put the snap in gingersnap!
Strictly speaking, the Molasses Flood of 1919 was predictable in retrospect, which is the least useful sort of prediction. The steel in the silo failed to meet even the lax standards of the time; rivets were flawed; testing was neglected. Hints that trouble might be in the offing, such as a deep groaning sound whenever the tank was filled, were ignored. It leaked so badly it was painted brown for camouflage.

There was, additionally, some rumor that the tank had been overfilled in anticipation of the passage of the 18th Amendment, a.k.a. Prohibition, in order to maximize the availability of rum. The Amendment was indeed passed the very next day, but the U.S. Industrial Alcohol Company insisted it was distilling molasses not for rum but for industrial and military purposes, and there was no law against war.

Nevertheless, citizens brought a class-action suit against the owners of the tank; for its part, the company blamed the explosion on anarchists.*

Basically, the disaster was a result of naked, unrestrained capitalism. There was nothing good to be said about it, except that the area smelled like cookies literally for decades, and once again the world was able to observe that we are all the same under the skin, once we're glazed with sugar.

*not kidding

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Against The Wind

It's easy to justify driving your car when you're going to Costco to pick up a shipping container's-worth of food and paper products. But I was just going to buy a little camera and decided to take my bicycle. I used to ride it daily, but it's been moldering in the basement for a while. At the last minute Dave surprised me by offering to join me.
Huh! Back in the '80s he found a bike at Goodwill for $15 and bought it on a whim. It was a classic, and identical to the bike he rode in college: a bright orange Schwinn Varsity. The sucker weighs in at a smooth two hundred pounds if you take the saddle off, although that makes it marginally less comfortable, and you do need a strong dwarf with a wrench to take off the wheels. 
He rode it straight downtown to surprise me at work, and we rode home together, uphill, and then he stashed it in a dark corner of the basement. Fifteen years later he peeled a felt of dust off it and joined me on a half-day trip, after which it was dispatched to an even darker corner of the basement. The geyser of inspiration for Dave to ride a bike has a fifteen-year periodicity, and I guess he was due again. So we hauled out our bikes, pumped up the tires, blew up one of them with a boom that dropped war vets for a mile around, and eventually spanked them into working condition.

Our route took us along the Columbia River on a dedicated bike path. It was swell! It was grand! The temperature was mild, ospreys wheeled in the sky, herons struck picturesque poses along the shoreline, wishes were lavishly granted. I marveled once again at what a wonderful invention was the bicycle: with almost no effort at all, we were gliding along at a nice clip, with Mt. Hood smiling in the blue in front of us. We were strong! We were sailing! There was no limit to our powers! We rolled smugly through the acres of SUVs at the Costco parking lot and found, to our amazement, a bike rack right out front. It didn't have a scratch on it. I bought my camera and we headed home.

Within a few blocks we were back on Marine Drive and nothing was right. We ran into something a lot like Shinola. We were pressing miserably into the wind, pedaling hard just to stay ahead of our own dark impulses. Here's the thing. When the wind is at your back, you don't even notice it. You think you have superpowers. But a headwind is debilitating. You'll brave the rain; you understand the rain. You're fine with pushing up a mountain; you understand a mountain. You expect to work harder when you've loaded up your saddlebags with heavy things. But you can't see a headwind. You can only feel it, and it feels pervasive, and wrong, and deeply unfair.

Still you battle on, with salt in your eyes, inching closer to home. But you can dream. You can imagine flipping it around just one more time, just to feel those righteous sails billow, to be mighty and invincible again. All we need is one U-turn, and we're suddenly awesome, we're right back in charge. Just two white kids flying into the future we so deserve.