Fairy-able (If you get this picture reference, I think you are tough and awesome)

So here I am, feeling pretty tough. I went to Rick's Rentals and rented a Kango 900 (Jackhammer) to rip through a ceramic wall. Four inches of concrete inside a ceramic tile surface. And in the middle of the concrete, a layer of metal mesh. Even when you get the concrete to smash up it just hangs there like a coat on a coat rack... made out of concrete. The mesh wire is very sharp. It ripped holes right through my leather gloves.

Once it is all off of the walls and laying on the floor like dirty laundry, made out concrete and ceramic tile, I have to load it into a bucket and take it down three flights of stairs into a trailer that in about three hours (or once it is full) I will have to take to the Tompkins County Dump.

It is strange getting older. One of the most exciting things I did when I first moved to Ithaca was getting my Tompkins County Dump sticker. Instead of paying to have my garbage picked up every week, I take it myself. It never costs more than the three-dollar minimum. I really like going to the dump. Strangely, it makes me feel accomplished.

I listen to NPR at work and on my to and from work. On my way to the dump David Dye, the host of World Cafe', announced Rufus Wainwright as his special guest. I was excited because I would be able to listen to the special without the distraction of a Kango 900.

I've gone to the dump three times in the last three days. The first day, I arrived early, it was cold and there weren’t many people there. I had to back the trailer a good thirty yards into the trash building. There, you just throw the crap out of the trailer and take off, but it's not a gigantic trailer so backing the thing up is difficult. My truck does not have a hitch so the Pathfinder I'm driving is unfamiliar. I joked with the ticket taker at the dump on the first day about backing this thing in there. I said with a half way grin, "How many tries do I get?" The dude was nice. He smiled and said, "As many as it takes." It took a little wrestling with it and a couple 'pull all the way out and start overs' but eventually I got it in there.

Day two. It was almost 50 degrees, the sun was shining and Rufus Wainwright was coming up next on the World Cafe'. On my way there I decided I would just open the hatch of the truck and blast Rufus through the speakers so that I could hear it while I emptied the truck out. Well when I got to the dump, the line to get in was huge. The place was a mad house, people flying everywhere, throwing away coats, coat racks, laundry, (real ones) concrete, everything. I was observing the scene with great pleasure. My window was down and I was enjoying the time spent not loading this trailer, until my buddy from yesterday waved my truck in. He said, "You got ta wedge her in between them two trucks there, but leave room for the tractor to get out." I smiled and said, "And how many chances do I get today?" He was already off to count how many people were in line. Well, I almost took the rearview mirror off of the passenger side of the Pathfinder (which was a bit of a misnomer). I started over about five times. I had my sunglasses on but I think all of the guys that were laughing at me in line could tell I was looking at them laughing at me. I just smiled and tried to be "one of the guys." I gave them the smirk and nod that said, 'you know these Pathfinders, bad backer uppers.' They gave me a look that said, 'You’re an idiot.' It was cool. In these circumstances, I always maintain composure.

I wish I could have taken a picture of the way I finally got that thing in there. I was about ten feet away from my intended target area. The truck and trailer were at a right angle, the corner of the trailer kissing the taillight of the Pathlesstraveledfinder. Big deal I thought. I'm in. Yes, I'm completely blocking the tractor but I have a rapport with this guy and if he has to move it, I'll move it. I just got out of the truck and started unloading as quickly as I could, maintaining composure. Some guy started yelling at me in Spanish, which turned to English. He was saying over the Rufus Wainwright crooning, "You half to turn eet the oppizit way bro. Eets's OK man, you're still young, you half time to learn steel."

I wasn't embarrassed. I was concentrating on emptying my ceramic tile so that the other trucks could get in. I felt that I had dodged a bullet. I made it and I was almost done. Really, the entire ordeal crescendoed when the tractor crushing cardboard turned off and all of the sudden my radio sounded louder than it needed to be. Rufus Wainwright continued to the Coda saying, "this next one is called Gay Messiah." "...Siah, ssiah ssiah" echoed off of the dump walls. David Dye said, "the songs from Want 1 were a bit like Fairy Tales where you seemed to be the hero." Rufus replied, "Yes, there's a lot of Fairy in this Fairy." Yup, pretty tough. I was feeling pretty tough all right.