Extremely Average #21: She Took My Breath Away

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Blog entry by Ecocandle posted 01-23-2010 04:12 AM 2074 reads 0 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 20: Angry Beaver Part 21 of Extremely Average series Part 22: Heroes »

Since I began blogging, I have taken to carrying around a small notebook, pencil, sharpener and eraser. I am more of a pen person, but using a pencil feels right to me. I was at the bar in the Dublin Underground, drinking an RC, no straw, my usual drink. This is my favorite place in Iowa City. It is a friendly place.

I was really focused on writing down some thoughts about possible future blog posts. I didn’t notice the woman taking off her coat and sitting down one seat over on my right. I didn’t hear her order the glass of white wine, or notice the look on the bar tenders face when he first saw her. I was scribbling away, when I felt the slightest tap on my right elbow, and as I looked up, she said in a French accent, “What are you writing about in zee little book?”

Normally that would be a pretty easy question, since I was the writer, and it wasn’t one of those tricky multiple choice questions, I should have been able to fire back an answer immediately. It wouldn’t have been a problem, had I not looked up. Had I kept my eyes on zee little notebook, I would have been able to say something like, “My woodworking blog”. I saw her face first, and my response was, “I…um…It’s…huh…I don’t remember. What was the question?” I was having trouble breathing. She giggled and pointed my notebook.

I then went into a somewhat incoherent rambling about it being notes for a blog which I have been doing since Jan 2 of this year, and lots of other details, which just kept pouring out of me. The little voice in my head was screaming at me, “You are blathering like an idiot” I was pathetic. She sensed that this could on for a while, unless she intervened, “What is zee blog about?” This second question let me gather myself a bit, and I took a breath and said, “It is about woodworking.”

She wore a white silk blouse, black skirt, and had short ebony hair, with the sort of face that launches a thousand ships. I think she said that she liked woodworking, but my head was still spinning a bit and I missed some of her response. It wasn’t until she mentioned something about retiring from French national gymnastics team, after she grew 6 inches her senior year in high school, and had been a lingere model for the last 7 years, that I was able to focus on what she was saying again. It was a good thing too, as she asked me another question, “What is the URL for zee blog?”

She had her iphone out and typed in the address as I gave it to her. Since I knew that if I opened my mouth I would begin to blather on like the idiot again, I sat quietly and fidgeted with my pencil. “The photos are tres beau, did you take them?” I was a bit less shaky by this time, so I said, “yes, I enjoy photography.”

We talked a bit about photography and then she asked, “So you have the wood?” At that moment I felt the urge to tilt my head slightly to the right and raise my left eyebrow. Tragically I suffer from the rare affliction eyebrowus parallelus, from the Latin, which means the inability to raise either eyebrow without raising the other simultaneously, thus keeping them parallel to the eyes. She quickly corrected herself, “Do you have a favorite wood?” To which I said that I like hard maple and walnut. She reached over and touched my arm, looked into my eyes and said, “I would love to see your wood.” Damn eyebrowus parellelus!

She held out her hand and introduced herself. Her hand was warm. Her expression was kind and calming. I guessed that I wasn’t the first guy to stammer in her presence. Feeling at ease, I said, “It is nice to meet you Sherri Seurat, my name is Brian Meeks.”

Her father was an avid woodworker, and she was the great granddaughter of Georges Seurat. We talked about photography, her modeling career, her grandfather, and I was much less of an idiot than I had been in the beginning. I don’t know how long we talked, but every minute was a delight.

I was telling her about my little workshop when she asked, “What sort of air filtration system do you have?” I said that I don’t have one, but I wear a mask. The look of shock on her face startled me. “You don’t have zee air filtration system? Don’t you know that air quality is important in keeping your lungs healthy?!” Her voice began to rise. “My father never took care of himself; he breathed that dust every day until he died.” She got up from her seat, sobbing, grabbed her coat and fled up the stairs. I was stunned, but I followed her and went outside just in time to see her hop into a cab and drive off. I watched her head off along the river towards the mountains. The beauty of the setting sun was lost on me. It looked cold and sad.

Thirty-seven minutes later I was loading the Jet AFS-1000B Air Filtration System into my car. I am pleased with my purchases. It has a remote. I can breathe again.

-- Brian Meeks,

33 comments so far

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 3394 days

#1 posted 01-23-2010 04:21 AM

I do like it. I am amazed at how much cleaner the air is already. It has only been running since I started writing the blog piece. I didn’t realize how dirty my air was, until I cleaned it.

-- Brian Meeks,

View Chuck 's profile


88 posts in 3528 days

#2 posted 01-23-2010 05:21 AM

ok, I finally have to ask. Just what line of business are you in that provides you the spare time for such extensive blogging and woodworking? More to the point, how can I join?

-- Chuck, Washington D.C.

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 3394 days

#3 posted 01-23-2010 05:33 AM

Chuck. I work, doing social media and customer relations for We are a SaaS (Software as a Service) company. Our new online recruiting tool is in beta and is designed to help HR Managers and Recruiters manage their relationships with staffing agencies.

The answer to the time question is a bit tougher. I started exercising, using the Wii Fit Plus on Dec 22. I have lost 10 lbs, and am sleeping about 3 less hours per night. I was horribly out of shape, obviously, and now that I am getting healthier, I have more energy. Basically, the extra 3 hours, has given me the time to add blogging and the photography of blog stuff to my day.

....or maybe I am an alien with a time machine…I will let you decide which answer you like better. On an unrelated note, the ebony is plentiful on Xrsis 6, and actually costs less than 3 globats/bd ft.

-- Brian Meeks,

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3437 days

#4 posted 01-23-2010 05:47 AM

A lady who speaks French, loves photography, and cares about your air filtration? I would suggest looking for her and writing “Marry Me” on your receipt and handing it to her. My first wife would not have let me get an air cleaner if my basement had the toxicity level of a chamber in Auschwitz :)

Congrats on your purchase and glad you are happy with it.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3443 days

#5 posted 01-23-2010 05:51 AM

thank´s for the story I always had thought those story´s only cuold have two endings the great happy
and the sad you nearly made but to turn this in to a three happy ending´s (sea/talk to a beuityful/interresting
women that has knowledge of what you do, learned a lesson and geting fresh air is realy a lot to accomplish
in just a few hours. my hat of for you sir


View Trikzter's profile


42 posts in 3584 days

#6 posted 01-23-2010 06:25 AM

Thanks for another great blog Brian.

-- Rick... A tree knows more about wood then I do.

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 4113 days

#7 posted 01-23-2010 06:39 AM

I really love reading your blogs. A smile comes to my face and thinking how could you let such a catch get away?
I do believe somtimes our short meeting are mear tools to help us along our way in life.
You never know she may come back into your life and take a look at your wood.
Thanks for sharing how you come to have yourself a new filtration system.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 3394 days

#8 posted 01-23-2010 07:18 AM


I am glad you enjoyed today’s blog. The wonderful thing about writing, is that if I want there to be a mountain in Iowa, or a French lingere model, hanging out at the Dublin, I can make it come true. Had there really been a woman similar to Sherri, I would have probably run away long before I learned of the tragic dust related death of her father…Women are mysterious and scary…especially the lingere models.

For the record: The Dublin Underground is real, I do always drink an RC without a straw, and the mountain pictured, is actually a little ways from Iowa City…the picture was taken just outside of Ketchikan Alaska in June.


-- Brian Meeks,

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3453 days

#9 posted 01-23-2010 08:56 AM

Tell me, is the Wii fit boring like an aerobics video workout or is it challenging? Not for me but my wife was thinking about it. You are a fabulous writer! Congrats on the 10 pounds.


View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 3394 days

#10 posted 01-23-2010 09:09 AM

The story of my Wii Fit Plus is a good one. The weather was miserable here in Iowa and predicted to get worse, so on Dec 22nd I headed up to Des Moines, to my parents place, lest I be trapped and unable to see them for Christmas. I knew that I needed to get some exercise and I have coveted the Wii for a couple of years. So when I arrived and mentioned that I wanted to run into town, they actually live in Polk City, a small town near Des Moines, and pick up a Wii. That morning my father had seen an ad for a combo pack which included the Wii Fit Plus disk and Balance board. Off we went.

That night, I was not only enjoying my new video game console, but I got mom and dad to try it out too. The next day Dad and I went back and bought one for him and mom.

The Wii Fit Plus, with the balance board, makes exercising a joy. There are arobics that one can do, but there are also 60 or so other games that work different parts of the body. Since I returned from my parents place, I have put in over 30 hours of playing on my Wii. It is a blast and is done is such a way that exercising is fun. I have 2 games, that are not exercise related, and though they are also really fun, I prefer the ones that came with the Wii Fit.

-- Brian Meeks,

View Kacy's profile


101 posts in 3413 days

#11 posted 01-23-2010 09:32 AM

You had me going until you mentioned her name … I’m positive that it was Sherri Seurat doing adductor crunches next to me a the gym this afternoon! Or, maybe she said we could go get a sherry in her Fiat—I was having trouble concentrating as well. :)

-- Kacy, Louisiana

View Bill729's profile


241 posts in 3409 days

#12 posted 01-23-2010 10:09 AM

Brian, Do you already have a router? Seems like you’d get a lot of bang for your buck out of one of those (and I don’t think you should even feel the need to buy Festool—unless you really want to).


View stefang's profile


16662 posts in 3662 days

#13 posted 01-23-2010 12:15 PM

Very entertaining and enlightening Brian. I can’t help wondering how the story would have ended if you had purchased that air filtration system before going for your RC. I guess the moral of the story is that we should buy our woodworking stuff before doing anything else.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3723 days

#14 posted 01-23-2010 01:59 PM

I thought that might be you in the Dublin, or The Dub as we say, but I thought I’d look foolish or worse if I just walked up and said, “Hello, are you Brian?”, or something like that.

I guess I missed Sherri, but I did see you chatting up that older woman at the bar, the one with the street crossing guard’s reflective vest. She looked like she could have used some time on a Wii Fit Plus herself. I was a little shocked when she swore loudly and slapped you, stalking (or waddling to be precise) up the steps and out the door.
There was the sound of a large diesel engine and of a big pickup truck peeling rubber.

Well, I’m glad you finally met Sherri. It was good that she gave you good advice about the air cleaner.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View woodchic's profile


841 posts in 3685 days

#15 posted 01-23-2010 03:23 PM

You cracked me up this morning…..................Great little story to remind us all that we need to take care of our lungs and to buy a good filtration system such as the Jet AFS-1000B Air Filtration System. They need to make a commercial from this!!


-- Robin Renee'

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