Wispy Midnight Clouds

There's a full moon up there tonight.  But I'm not so foolish as to try and go  out and enjoy it.  It's in the mid 30s, and that's not enjoyment weather for me.  However, when I was walking my neighbor's dog earlier, I was quite taken by how the moonlight plays across my tin roof.  I've been here in San Antonio for three years, and I still get a kick out of these tin roofs — they seem so exotic.

I hate to let a great full moon go to waste.  When I lived in the Big Bend, I would walk around the desert on those full moon nights without even taking a flashlight.  I could easily see the coiled rattlesnakes in the arroyos or goat paths, and step around them.  You could count on the ground the ants (those diligent creatures, always on the move) without even bending low.  I used to lie on the hood of my '69 Coupe de Ville and watch the wispy midnight clouds drift across the sharp-defined disk on the moon.  I could read by that silver light whenever I needed to reference my set of Burnham's Celestial Handbook, the three volumes of which would comfortably perch on the lip along the windshield where the recessed wipers hid.  The entire desert shone in clean monochrome — the little waxy leaves of the greasewood bushes glittered with a riot of tiny silver ovals.  And the bats, jittering about in impossible zigzags, were charcoal silhouettes; in fact, they seemed to be the only black forms playing about in this world of silver objects which shone in various degrees of luminosity.  Even the dark nighthawks, with their round woody songs, wore a reflective lateral stripe across their wings.  But the bats, they were all black.

Tonight I know those bats are still wintering far to the south in Mexico.  I want summer now.  I want those bats returned to their proper San Antonio roosts up under the I-35 overpass by the Market Square.  Texas is only half a thing without our Mexican free-tailed bats.


I've been nursing a cold today and watching, over the internet, several episodes of Torchwood.  Jennifer was right to caution me about the decease in quality after the rather promising pilot.

The show is a spin-off of the current version of Doctor Who.  It's along the lines of a X-Files and Men In Black.  It seems uncertain as to whether it's geared for children (such as Doctor Who) or adults (like, say, Firefly).  The adult aspects, such as prevalent bisexualism and flirtations with existentialism, are in constant struggle with an adolescent playfulness along the lines of Biggles and Harry Potter.

I shouldn't carp.  It does not pretend to be more than simple entertainment.  I've seen more than half of the first season.  All in all, it's fun stuff.  I'll keep watching.

One of the nice things about the show is that it's set in Cardiff, the city where the show is produced.  They probably could have done a decent job making it look like it was set in London, but they didn't.  They played up the visual strengths of Cardiff, and created a script so that it made sense for this top-secret alien-hunting organization to be headquartered in Wales.

And I find myself thinking, why not San Antonio?

It's a beautiful city.  And I'm not opposed to ripping off someone else's work.  That's the definition of our art and culture in this country.  Besides, what successful American TV show wasn't stolen from the British?

I've already created the perfect underground headquarters in my short piece about tunnels which were created by an ancient civilization beneath San Antonio's Tower of the Americas.  We have chupacabras, ghost tracks, Tom Slick (world famous cryptozoologist, deceased — or is he?), a gigantic unquenchable mulch fire, and all sorts of wackery I'm forgetting — or don't yet know about.  You see, I'm still convinced that in the sub-basement of the Southwestern Research Center (Tom Slick's brain child), a 21st Century spunky Nancy Drew could very well stumble on the mother lode:  an advanced breeding colony of Venusians; Nessie's little sister in a huge, murky tank; and a couple of Yeti-Bhutanese hybrids working in the secretarial pool.

Yeah.  Time to start shaking the trees for investors.

It's no more ludicrous than Torchwood … or American Idol.


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