Friday, April 18, 2008

Moving Day.

Hitching up the helper monkeys and heading over to WORDPRESS.

I'm too lazy to bother with importing anything so it will be a fresh start, yet the same old shit. So fresh, yet so stale! If you are ever waxing nostalgic, you can come back here to read or even go HERE for the wayback machine.

See you at WP, America.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It is not ours to judge. Rather, it is ours to mock, deride and poke with a stick.

Remember THIS POST, in which I dissed the dog massagers? Well, check out the comments because apparently one of them DID NOT APPRECIATE my tone. (And was too chickenshit to leave a name, as is often the case when I get negative comments or email.)** Here is my letter to you, Anonymous Dog

Dear Anonymous,

I do know what kinesiology is. And if you want to apply those techniques to dogs, well, how kind and helpful of you. And if people are stupid enough to pay you to do so, then I seriously need to consider a career change. Now if you'll please answer a question from me: Do you know what the terms "misplaced anger" and "pseudo-science" mean?

Your internet pal,


p.s. Hooray for being a crazy-magnet this week!

Teacher, teacher teach me more.

My mom is a retired teacher and school administrator. My dad's parents were the only teachers in his West Virginia mountain town, teaching grades K-8 in a two-room school for over twenty years.

I don't think there is anyone walking this earth whose life hasn't been enriched in some way by a teacher. It may have been a small encouragement or a huge push, but I know we've all had this experience.

Right now, this week, THIS FELLOW is trying to make the life of his students better. One student in particular, whose laptop was stolen a while back. If you can, please go to his page, click the link and make a donation. Thanks. (And thanks to Harriet for bringing this to my attention.)

The postman always honks thrice.

I sat at my desk this morning, happily typing away while the lazy mailman sat in his truck, honking once, twice, three times ('cause I'm a laaaady). I finally heard his heavy footsteps on the porch and the thud of our mail being deposited at the front door. Ha-ha, lazy mailman.

In the mail were notecards from you, Claudia! Despite your having addressed the envelope correctly, it apparently floated around the state of Texas for a while and is mysteriously stamped with the words "Missent to the State of Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts". Anyhow, they're fabulous and will be put to good use. You can "quote" me on "that".

Dear Zooey Deschanel: You can't sing. Please, please stop. For those of you who have been spared, her voice is eerily, chalkboard- scratchingly like that of Susan Alexander Kane's in "Citizen Kane." Ouch.

Among the things I loaded onto my ippppppoooood the other day was an orchestral version of "Carmen". And god help me, every time I hear the Toreador song I mentally sing along with the Three Stooges' lyrics: "Toreador, don't spit on the floor...use a cuspidor...that's what it's for!" And I laugh. Because I am disabled. You know, by my autism and arrested development and stuff. WHERE'S MY GODDAM MONKEY??!!


I find myself with much to do today and no real interest in doing any of it. Perhaps if I get myself off the computer I will find the will and the way.

Tally ho ho ho.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008



Here's a better picture of the logo on my shirt, for those of you who asked:

Admit it. You just laughed. Didn't you.



Ok, so I when I ordered Harriet her mug, I got myself one of these shirts:

I put it on for the first time today and off I went to do my walking. About mid-way through the walk, I felt someone pull on my left wrist from behind. Now, this all happened fast and my first instinct was to spin on my heel and raise my right fist because I didn't know what the fuck was going on. As I spun around, this woman grabbed my left wrist again and was shouting "EXCUSE ME!" at me because I still had my headphones in. I took them out and she said, pointing to my shirt, "I just want you to know that I think your t shirt is in VERY poor taste". Before I could say anything, she went into a rant about her disabled nephew and how dare I make fun of the disabled and on and on all the while still grasping my wrist. When she finally shut up I said, as calmly as I could, "First of all, you need to get your hands off me, right now. Second of all, Helping Hands is a real organization so fuck off." Before she could say anything else, I put the headphones back in my ears and left her in the dust.

I would never mock the disabled (everyone else, yes) and I guess I do feel a little guilty, although I can't exactly say why. But I would have felt more guilty if I had instinctually punched her in the face. There's always tomorrow.

Random factoids.

I like grits. With cheese and hot sauce. They are calorically equal to the piece of toast with butter I usually have with my breakfast and much more filling.

When I read in the local paper that Ministry will be playing in Austin this week, my first thought was,"I can't believe Al Jourgensen hasn't been stabbed to death yet". (Any of you who are unfortunate enough to know him will completely understand that statement.) My second thought was "Who the hell will pay $45 to see those guys?". Fo shiz, America.

I had a lot of email and phone contact with my Chicago friends this week and it made me a little homesick. For them, not Chicago.

I was looking through UT's informal class schedule and was horrified to discover that they offer a class in "canine massage". (You know, what most of us call "petting".) I'm tempted to borrow a dog and take the class because I think there could be a good article in that experience. At least.

Also while looking through that schedule I saw a call for instructors/course ideas for the fall session. I printed out an application for S., who might teach a cooking course of some sort and then I went back and printed one out for myself. I have a few ideas...and hell, if they'll approve canine massage as a course, how good an idea do I really need?

Another article I had brewing a few years ago came roaring back into my head yesterday and I'm going to try again to coax the subject to speak with me. For some intangible reason, the time feels right to approach him again. He's quite elderly and I'd like to get him on tape before it's too late.

And now, I am going to head out to the hiking trail with my newly refilled ipppppoooood. Yay!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

As the great sage Iggy Pop once put it: "Blah blah blah."

Eaten so far today:

Delicious poblano and onion and cheese and bacon breakfast tacos with homemade salsa, left in the fridge for me by my loving husband.
Part of a Greek salad.
Cherry pie flavored Lara bar.

Bought today:

Plants: French tarragon, Italian parsley, lavender.
Food: Yogurt, bananas, spinach, tabouli, apples, tamari almonds, wine, habanero jelly.
Other: Sandalwood soap, pants, skirt, skort, sundry household items.

Overheard today:

One of the bitchiest, most passive-aggressive tirades one could ever hope to endure. Thankfully, it was not directed at me. The "tirader" was a manager at Kohl's and the recipient of her bullshit was the cashier at whose counter I was standing. The tirade involved breaks and who can take breaks and who can go afford to go to Red Robin and who is poor and has to eat at Wendy's and all kinds of other earth-shattering topics. All of this while an entire line of people waited to check out. I was hungry and had to pee and I wanted to kill her. As she walked away, the woman in line behind me said, "God, what a BITCH!" loud enough for everyone including the manager to hear and for a split second I thought I was going to see a fight...but no such luck.

Views exchanged in an email with rockstar today:

Rockstar: Thought you'd enjoy this pic from the Tribune. It's J's old girlfriend being evacuated from the Blue Line this morning. Do you remember her?

Me: Yes, I remember her. What an insufferable bitch.

Rockstar: I had to remind S. who she was - she had, as she put it, "Willed that whore out of my mind." Also, my bartender at the Gold Star last night was JS. He said to tell you hi.

Me: Next time you see him ask him if he misses losing to me at Scrabble EVERY SINGLE TIME WE PLAYED.

Other stuff I did:

Figured out what I was doing wrong with iTOOOOOns. Finally. I am an idiot.
Spoke with my sister.

The end.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Why yes, I am living in my own private Idaho. Thanks for asking.

Thought I had while walking today: If Tammy Wynette came back from the dead and challenged Loretta Lynn to a fight, my money would be on Loretta. They both strike me as strong women, but Loretta has that Kentucky holler scrappiness in her and would send Tammy on a one-way trip to Fist City in record time. Would you fuck with someone who could "Grab you by the hair of the head and a'lift you off-a the ground"? I didn't think so. And yes, I am quite the deep thinker on my little jaunts.

S. and I have been invited to house-sit for one of his VIP clients and we quickly said HELL yes. It will mean a lovely long weekend in a gated, century-old mansion on a hill in the city's historic district. we want to swim? Sit on the loggia with cocktails? Walk in the gardens? Sleep in a famous author's bed? Dahling, we'll simply have to do it all! It's kind of like my "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" fantasies coming true at last.

I am almost finished with THIS BOOK and am anxious to hear from others of you who might have read it. I was a little surprised by the heavy-handedness with which the authors, advocates for mental health reform, remind the reader constantly that OH MY GOD STATE MENTAL HOSPITALS AND EVERYONE ASSOCIATED WITH THEM WERE HORRIBLE!!! Not that the horrors weren't real but one chapter outling the whys and hows of that would have sufficed. My own grandmother died under suspicious circumstances in a state mental hospital in West Virginia so it's not that I can't get outraged by this stuff...However, the authors don't do themselves or their subjects any favors by painting the entire mental health system as evil (one doctor is, in fact, referred to as "the devil".) Some of the patients were obviously disturbed. Others might have been considered borderline by today's standards. But how can you condemn an entire industry in retrospect? Were some of the treatments cruel, either physically or in their capriciousness? Yes. But the patients were treated according to the standards of medicine at the time. The authors are so unrelenting in interjecting their condemnation of the mental health field into the patients' stories that you're left feeling like they care less about these compelling stories and more about promoting their own agenda. So...that's been disappointing and I think it takes away from the individual stories being laid out in the book. Anyhow, Harriet and Claudia, I think you both mentioned getting the book. When/if you've read it, I'd love to hear what you thought.

In deadlier news, there was another partial baby bunny on the porch this morning. (That makes the tally Stevie: 3 Rabbits: 0, for those of you keeping track.) I read online that rabbit litters can range from 4-12 bunnies and I am really, really hoping that we aren't in for two more weeks of this. Stevie is still coming in for breakfast and dinner every day, so it's not like he's particularly hungry. Short of keeping him inside for a while (something that makes him and us miserable), I don't know what we can do. Rabbits, beware the ides of Steve.

Let's see, what you want to hear about the dreams I had last night, which included one in which my dad was driving about 200 miles per hour around a parking lot and another in which I was lost in Paris and was being followed by Steve Martin/Inspector Clouseau? No? Well then carry on with your day, America.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday...

The weather is absolutely perfect here. After an early warm-up to the 90's, we are now having clear, dry, sunny days in the mid and high 70's. It is ideal.

I'm going to be moving this mess to Wordpress in a week or so. Why? Because I got a kickass wordpress template with a monkey on it. That's why. I'll post a link soon. I am also considering starting a new, anonymous writing blog. My original intent in blogging was to use my blog as an writing exercise and a way to garner some feedback on my efforts without ever revealing anything about myself. Over time, my blog has evolved into more of a daily accounting of my existence and while yes, that is fascinating, I think I need to have another outlet. I enjoy writing this and enjoy the friendships that have evolved through it. But I am feeling like I want to go back into hiding a bit. We'll see.

The ex-charges and their folks came over earlier to take bluebonnet pictures* in our pasture and to have lunch. I don't miss working 50 hours a week but man...I miss those kids. They are so sweet. Their mom and I have been talking about the possibility of me working 2-3 hours a day next fall and I may decide to do that. I don't want to put myself in any kind of working situation that is too comfortable, though. Complacent me = uncreative me and I feel like I just pulled myself out of that, so...

Hope you all had a lovely weekend.

*Taking pictures of your kids in a patch of bluebonnets is nothing short of a rite of spring in Texas. It's very common to see people pulled over on highway medians and ranch roads taking pictures of their kids or pets, often with little regard for oncoming traffic. The charges' mom called me yesterday to see if they could use our pasture instead of, as she put it "making our kids potential roadkill for the third year in a row".

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Kill the wabbit!

So, S. arrived home late last night to find Stevie on the porch, just finishing up his evisceration/devouring of another baby rabbit. When S. came up the porch, Stevie reacted by jerking his head around, which in turn sent baby rabbit parts flying across the porch. Welcome home! I am a bit distressed by Stevie's penchant for young victims but I'm not sure what we can do about it. He's an outdoor cat and he does what outdoor cats do.

Minor fashion disaster looming: the dress I bought to wear to S's brother's nuptials is juuuust fitting. I haven't gained any weight so I am thinking that it's the new musculature I'm developing from walking. Particularly in the glutes (or "ass" as we laypeople call it). The dress was a pretty close fit when I bought it and it still looks good but it will not be comfortable to move around in for long. So, I am going to count points for a couple of weeks and hope a weight loss of five pounds or so will make it a little more comfy. And because I am a planner, I ordered a backup last night. The backup is nice but kinda "eh" so I really hope I can make the first one work.

I am just starting to get into the world of podcasts - if anyone out there has a favorite to recommend, please do. My favorites so far are DOWNTOWN SOULVILLE and the SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS casts. Oh, and my efforts to download stuff onto my ipaaad yesterday? Unsuccessful. Which I didn't find out until I was on the walking path with the headphones in my ears. At that very moment, I realized what I'd done wrong and when I got home I was able to sync the stupid thing up but GAAAAH. I need that helper monkey, stat.