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April 5, 2000
a year ago
two years ago

Burning Hell Money

A pretty cool day, all in all.

Ever since knowing Geoff did Hell Money things I had been thinking of getting some for myself. Today John had a lunch meeting, so I got go fend for myself for lunch. I went to the Asian market that's next to the Gondolier and found a brick of Hell Money in 10,000 dollar notes. I paid for it and some joss sticks and then meandered into the eatery part and got myself some marinated, grilled pork on rice noodles. They packaged it up for me nicely and I brought it back to work with me.

The day was brilliantly sunny, nearly summer warm.

The food, when I opened it at work, was very Vietnamese style. Fresh raw vegitables of all kinds with the sweet and spicy sauce for the noodles and meat. I really, really enjoyed the lunch and bantered, online with folks, while I ate.

Work was expected. Installs are coming in late and we're having to test them late, so everyone has piled on and is doing everything they can. It seems that the basic functionality of things has settled down, so that's useful.

I also discovered, surfing a bit while I was thinking about code and a bug, that U.S. Airways had a sale on airline tickets, and that I could get a fare, in June, that was even less than the amount I'd paid for the fare that I'd just used. That was kinda cool. A sign that this would work.

We went home while it was still light. It is still odd to do. John had fun examining the Hell Money and the joss. When home John wordlessly went into the garage and came back with a coffee can, still with the lid. I knew that it was a rarity for us, so I appreciated his sacrifice of the can as he knew I was going to be burning stuff in it. Then, while he was busy with things, I went out into the yard, picked the side of the house where there was the least wind and settled down.

I looked up and the sky was like someone had taken a giant cottoncandy machine and poured every color sugar they could find into it and then flung it up in the sky and swirled the colors with giant, puffy thunderheads of grey and black. Blue was the sky, the kind of blue that the mountains might cry. The setting sun made everything glow bright and warm and I thought, there is no better shrine roof than this...

So I lit three joss sticks, bowed three times and planted them into the earth. I let them burn a while, the sweet smoke swirling around me and chasing away small insects. I realized, then, that the wind chime John had set on the table on the porch were tickling sweetly with every breeze, and the sound of them was very appropriate. After a bit, I put a small candle in the bottom of the can and lit it and then started tossing Hell Money into the fire, a few bills at a time and as I gradually worked through half a packet of 10,000 bills, I offered up thoughts, thanks, and hopes. Prayers.

It's been a long time since I've actually settled somewhere and prayed. Really prayed by gathering all my thoughts and hopes and things that I couldn't really do much about and let them become conscious things and let them go. It's not so much the childish wishes as if for some genie, but most the whole adult realization of what it is that I can do and what I can't do and thankfulness for the things that are beyond my control that do work out and a way of letting go of the things that aren't under my control that aren't working. To just offer up thanks for everything that has been good in my life, so far, was a good way to realize everything that is good. To offer up regret for the things that I haven't done well in the recent past is an excellent way for me to realize what I really wanted to do. To offer up hope for future things meant that I got a clearer picture of what I needed to do next to reach the goals that really are important to me. And then to think through all the things that really weren't under my control gives me the very clear ability to just let go of those things. Leave them up to God, the Ancestors, or whatever Powers there be that might or might not be favorable to me.

I need to do this more often.

I had no idea what to do about dinner when I finally went back in after the sticks had burned down to ash. There were Grands croissents, so I baked those and then decided to make sandwiches with some of the tomato soup that was left over in the refrigerator as well. So I thoughtfulled at an eggplant that was languishing in the veggie drawer, so I thick sliced it and sprayed the slices with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper and stuck them into the oven as well, to roast while the bread baked. The roasted eggplant, ham, some cream cheese I discovered, and a lovely red pepper relish all went on the croissents and it all went really well with the tender flakiness of the bread. The soup helped finish it off nicely, with just a touch of chopped chives for accent.

John loved it as much as I did. Yum. Impromptu food.

Fezzik was still limping, so John called All Pets and found that we didn't really have any choice of appointments until Friday night at 6. So we settled for that and for yelling at Fezzik whenever he licked the paw in question. It'll be good to fix the limp so that he can walk with the puppies.

I called U.S. Airways to reserve the ticket and asked them how I could redeem the coupon that John had gotten for me from the last flight. He said that the only way was to go to DIA and pay for the ticket at the ticket counter there. There wasn't any way I could just read something off of it in order to get the discount. I had physically present it. Ugh. I had a 9 a.m. meeting in the morning. Turns out, however, that the counter opened at 6:15, and if I actually got there before 7 a.m. it was likely that I'd actually make my 9 a.m. meeting. Of course, it was already 11 p.m.. But the whole concept of actually getting that price plus the $77 off made it seem doable for only two gallons of deisel.

John thought I was nuts, but he also didn't have to go with me. I could just take myself off on my little adventure and he would have Borax to get him to work when he needed to be there. So I went to sleep as quickly as I could and set the alarm for 5 a.m.

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