Monday, December 31, 2007

Auld Lang Syne

Old Long Since, it means. At least, that's what my brain throws back at me from the recesses wherein the original spelling of whiskey and maps of the Hebrides reside.

I took the early part of the evening to watch You've Got Mail - just a darling little movie and so completely NYC. [Ed: Dear GOD, I forgot entirely about '84 Charing Cross Road' until I hit the IMDB link. What a fantastic movie...sigh...] I don't really care for NYC, generally, but one has to admit it is one of the strangest places on earth. I visited once, briefly. There is a photo - the exterior of the Met museum with a Rodin statue in the view and the park well below. I walked past the Degas statue of the ballet dancer in some surprise. Iconic and yet right there.

But what I meant was that the movie was so sweet and soft - a confection. Meg's wardrobe as ALWAYS was one I would wear today. I adore her nature - but of course she is another Scorpio female so that makes perfect sense.

I've been thinking a lot lately of the past. What has gone by, long since. I remember pictures, instances...my mind tosses images at me and I have to smile. Good times, yes...thus far, it has refrained from the...profane. A kindness...a kind of mercy.

I don't like New Years Eve anymore. I was never really a fan but that instance - that one darker image that I remember as each one passes casts it in stark relief. It was - what? - 2000, I think. We always vacationed in Boulder after Christmas, the Boulderado our home away from home and their NYE festivities the ones we attended. But this one - the music rolled as midnight struck and he turned from me. He turned away as everyone else kissed, even laughingly someone they didn't know that well. And I smiled and looked at my shoes.

So...that is the image I mentally hoist a glass to each time. A remembrance, indeed. To never forget that no matter how much one invests - time, attention, financial and that of love - that investment might ring hollow. It is, perhaps, a bitter view. It might even be that of a - of a kind of widow. Because that night a piece of me died away in the frigid mountain air. Even as the revelers sang beneath the windows.

Long since...I returned to that place years after just to prove to myself that I could do it - that I could go there, alone, and find it just as...healing. And so it was. And always has been. That front range calls to me and I ache to stand in that chill wind, to see the cold stones wending their way across the land, the snow lodged against their shoulders like furs.


Yes, a holiday that I spend in memories and at home. Where the cats snore and the cold is only slight and the land rolls away like a carpet.

Better than that chill time...that deep, wounding ice. Old long since...since I felt that lonely in the middle of a crowd. I can look, now, at that picture and not have to focus on the early morning clouds. I can see myself, healthiest I ever was physically and emotionally, and truly happy.

And new memories will come, new instances to be brought before me when that climb is no longer possible. I like that thought. I think I shall toast to it, instead.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Interesting Pixels

As found via Joan and one wonders why not before now due to my...er...diverse interests. Still, this snagged the brain matter and forced the addition to the roll and my morning run through.
"There was a lovely young lady there as well, alongside of us. With a pert
brown pony tail, Kevlar vest, fast draw holster and speed loading rig. The
handcuff holder at her six o’clock assured me that she was a law enforcement
agent. Or else the kinkiest woman I’d ever laid eyes on. Either one. Or
both.

And at the end of the day, does it really matter?"

Indeed, Sir.

And just prior...
"Sometimes this all takes on the air of a Shakespearian tragedy. With
nukes."

Yes. Heh...quite.

In a similar vein, I entertained myself with a showing of Casino Royale this evening. What an insanely sexy fellow what with all that angst and sociopathic lust. And let's not forget the hard body.

In other news...I may be ensuring my "assets" are memorialized. I've an appointment in a week to see if I can talk my insurance company into lopping off the useless flesh. Lord knows I've cost them very little in comparison to some. Seriously, I never see a doctor. Never get a script. Ungodly healthy until recently...and if they will allow this - well, I shall ask them for little more, I think.

But it does mean a self-portrait will be in order. Some Velvia might suit. But perhaps a roll of Neopan, too, for some B&W's...and of course, I am a fan of slide film...so lovely...

I used to have a friend [very much NSFW and not for those with delicate sensibilities] who firmly stated that a good digital is just as good and perhaps better than old film work but I don't know that I agree. His work is a mix, of course, of both. Hell, it's a mix of sane and not, I suppose. But I like some of it. We are in disagreement just now. It may resolve someday or it may not. Still, I respect his skill, love the piece I have, and what he did to one of my own shots.

So maybe I'll think about investing some cash in a really nice digital rig. But I have to say - I just love my wee SLR. I love the click of the lenses as they attach, that slick shift as the shutter snaps...it'd be hard to let that go.

And now I have to decide - go in to the office tomorrow or stay home for one more day. I am pretty sure it'll be the latter. Especially at this late hour. I can start fresh in the new year...a new year and a new picture...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Armchair Dreaming

It was a good day - Ranger met Ziggy at the park and had a really good time being a dog among other dogs. It does take him time to warm up to them but it was a nice, relaxed crowd this time.

I've been doing a lot of surfing lately, looking for places to go. May be a month or two before we can but surely we'll fit in some real time away...I hope to find a driving option so that Ranger can come along - unless the dream of his taking time in a training facility comes along at the same time...

I was thinking of Targhee because it offers a bit more than just skiing. But it being near Jackson Hole = $$$$. And no cheap Southwest flights, either...and too far to drive. This place is near there but more reasonable, I think.

I'd love to head to Boulder (neato webcam here) or maybe just stay near Estes and hike around RMNP as I once did with much pleasure. This place offers a bit of everything at a reasonable price and I really like their dog friendly attitude as well as the wide open outdoors for hiking and star gazing. Can you imagine the sky there?!

And of course there is the pinnacle of snow playground: http://ski.intermaps.ch/aletsch/
Click the wee cams to see the live shots. Someday, perhaps...

For now, we'll find a place - even if it's just Alpine.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Slathering Beasty

The crazed, fanged, furred fool continues to challenge my nerves and patience. Another growth spurt had him sleeping a lot the last few days. The creature is gigantic. Seriously. And his fur is getting darker all the time - the gentle fawn shade becoming more tipped in black.

We've been putting wee sacks of flour in his backpack so that he comes home from a walk tired. He'd been getting quite accustomed to the exertion. I worry for his hips and his rapid growth so not too much jumping yet and the backpack won't weigh much for a bit. But I can easily see him carrying a fair amount while backpacking in the future.
In other post-holiday news...I'm about sick and tired of the cleaning. Dishes never quite done, laundry waiting for attention, cat boxes and bathrooms all yearning to be free - of filth. And I am seriously not the best hausfrau.
I miss the old days when I had time to do what I liked. You have to PLAN around the dog because if left in the yard he will dig from boredom and frustration. I cannot blame him - he is hyper-intelligent and needs constant challenge to stay out of trouble. But a part of me wishes he would just calm down already. I know - I've about 3 years before that happens.
Trooper is back to work after a long few days off together which means I am in the throes of night shift pouting. I wish I could just climb in bed and read magazines but the dog won't have it. Instead, I'm about to wake him and load up the backpack for a chilly trip out and about. People ask if he is in training and we nod - easier and, frankly, I don't mind their thinking same.
If only he was the kind to sit beside you in the chair and quietly watch a movie. I suppose that's nice but doesn't take care of the intruder, does it? The beasty could take a limb off, I think. Over 40 lbs already and not even halfway grown. The vet trip next week will give us a more accurate rendering of his true age and genetics but for now...for now I try and remind myself that he is my protector and not just my tormentor.
Doesn't always work.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Yuletide

And so another year...it was a lovely, quiet moment as we opened gifts while still sleepyheaded. Trooper had a part-time to get to so we moved through the gifts with a purpose.

I'd set my sights on kitchenwares so my list was heavily laden with Williams-Sonoma goods and nearly all the list was presented. Yay!! He did a perfect job. (And I got the PRETTIEST APRON!!)

He loved his things, too. He isn't too hard to buy for - knife sharpening tools, Calvin and Hobbes collection, remote control helicopter and a very nice piece - a coin from Marc Anthony's time with the eagle standard on reverse. A luckpiece from long ago.

Ranger, of course, got his own things - a backpack, a juicy bone, a good bed for the kennel, and a new wooby. The cats care not at all - a can of tuna later will be all they need.

Now, the meal prep for the family - easy ham and trimmings type of thing. Casual and simple. Of course, I would have sworn I had 3 packets of yeast in the pantry - not quite. Not even one whole packet. Whatever could have happened?! How can I make yeast rolls without yeast?! Sigh...I shall just have to make them smaller and hope everyone fills up on the rest.

That's about it. Simple, quiet, relaxed...what else could a person ask for?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Solstice Silence

And because I'd nearly forgotten and then suddenly, there that mad man pranced in pantaloons in my mind.



Which leads inevitably to this.


To heal the wound...
Look at the stars and wonder at just how...tentative it all is. And that we begin again. We can begin again.

With a small tip o' the pointy hat to Billy who was there when called when winter had settled in the soul.

Calendar Daze

A long while ago I was freshly single and took a year off to recover. (Retirement? P'shaw. That small 401k fund was the best money ever spent. Seriously.) During that time I was very introspective. I wrote a lot. I developed my own B&W photos. I saw movies in the middle of the day in a very quiet, empty theatre. I hiked in the woods for miles and I swam silent laps in the backyard pool. It was a sort of...very long vacation. Mind you, I also lost about 40 lbs. Glorious...

At any rate, I came upon this gal and her incredible calendar information. The thoughts...the manner of considering time as seasons rather than hours, days and weeks...I took it very much to heart. And the folklore. When I was quite young we lived by the Atlantic and I knew the tides and the moon as it sliced and filled. So I returned again to the tides of life. It was still wintry but moving into spring when it all began. I watched my beloved garden bloom again. And in fall, the beautiful rushing gold and crimson leaves as I drove the familiar route to town - the glorious bit between the Atlanta Science Museum and Highland Ave.

Those senses were muffled again, though. Dulled over time as I returned to work and then rushed around, letting years pass before looking around me in surprise. I hadn't really noticed until we finally settled here. Not until the last few months have I really seen that it has been non-stop work, eat, sleep with hardly a moment to just Be.

The calendar reminded me...and the words here. Years gone...people born and dead...the same trees letting go the same leaves and bearing new ones again and wondering at our poor, brief selves.

I think it's time to slow down. To see the world nearby and not so. To feel the seasons change and know that time is moving and me with it. And that soon I shall not be able to do what I'd like within it. Just as it is time to slow down it is also time to get started - to care for those matters that need attention. To see the places I've so desired. To read the books and cook the food I crave.

The calendar pages will blow in the wind of time and one can either look away or seize it as a sign. Stop wasting it. Do. DO! Just DO already and quit wondering about When.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Carry On

As you were...

Hard to do that, really, but we're trying. Gifts to buy, decorating to do, baking to finish...but you still have that pause. Trooper isn't sleeping very well yet but that's to be expected. He's working through his experience as he has in the past though this time there was a difference...

Meanwhile, I try to do what I can. Mostly it's keep that damned dog from destroying my things. Look, I wanted a tree. I wanted a tree because last year there wasn't even eggnog around. I've been so consumed that I haven't even finished decorating it and here is why I am glad.

He appears to have an aversion to garland. What was amazing is that each piece was almost the same size. Purposefully nipped so that it wouldn't even be useful for present decorating.
What can you do? I turned my back for 5 minutes.
Of course, his fahtha declares that he was merely being a puppy.
Yeah...well...PFFFT! I am just glad no ornaments were within reach. Lesson learned.
Anyway, I popped in because I thought this bit by Billy very good and something to keep in mind.
Alright - off, now, to spend some money on foolishness while Cerberus sleeps.
Thanks, all, for the prayers and emails - we did not know how many friends we had...his Sgt even said so - calls coming in from as far as El Paso from senior staff inquiring as to his condition.
Blessed, indeed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Listening

That is what I am doing, now. Listening. Because Life appears to be trying to tell me something.

Oh, the Morrigan was right - I just mistook for whom.

There is great sadness in the house right now. Terrible If Only's and What If's that change nothing of What Is.

I can say so little of the facts except that...Trooper wishes he'd left later. I wish I'd bent over for just one more kiss. That I'd made that call just as he pulled away, delaying him that 30 seconds...that's all it would have taken.

Kiss them all, your friends and family. Hug them tight. And know that 30 seconds can change your life.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Other Spawn and Dreams of Woe

I had an utter failure of a dog walk earlier this evening so Ranger and I made another go of it. Earlier, a cul de sac was full of obnoxious kids which got him entirely out of hand. Just now, a pack of wild teens walked by - I purposefully halted our progress to let them pass as he was reticent to have them at our backs no matter how many corrections I gave.

As they passed, rude comments about what would happen if he attacked were exchanged between the, obviously, frightened boys, their bravado for the women entirely lacking. Gentlemen would stop and greet the dog, make the women there feel more secure, perhaps ensuring a later improvement in romance. I suppose I am old-fashioned and the girls surrender all without chivalry being proffered as currency.

At any rate, we bidded our time only to find the pack having settled near the house. Ranger was none too pleased and made casual water as comment. I suspect Trooper will have had the locals make a slow drive through just to disperse them to their rightful homes or at least inside and off the street. At least when I was a punk, we kept it quiet and shadowy...sigh...the good ol' days.

I am truly exhausted tonight -the last few weeks have brought a few bad dreams but all with a similar theme - dark voiced pronouncements. Sometimes from my own lips. To one thundering query of "What was the name of Mary's rose?" came my own rising from a bed, thrusting someone else to the ground and saying in a horrid voice, "The Sinners Rose". I said it so loud that I woke myself. Of course, I looked and discovered this interesting tidbit. I did not know I knew that. I don't think I did though it is possible I read it in the past.

Last night I dreamt of a map - old and soiled and somewhat puritan in nature - that same sort of scrawling ink...and a house in a town - tall gabled roof - and a warning that it was the most haunted place around. I entered - again, with someone - and instantly I could feel the clamoring of souls against the roof, battering to escape. Flying through and around...I know I said something immediately - This Has Been - this has always been - or something to that effect and again woke myself with my own fervor.

And I would not give it as much thought except that twice today the Morrigan flew near...this evening, she perched, even, on the roof rack of my truck as I left the office. I threw a bit of biscotti to the ground in the hope of pleasing it/Her...but it gave me a chill, I'll admit.

One wonders about this world and just how many strange coincidences there are. We go about thinking that it's all just so random and chaotic - and it is - but I believe there are patterns in that chaos. Look at the galaxies - you would think all that spinning and blowing up would create vastly different forms. But in the end they are all the same - light and then clouds and stars twinkling only to move apart and apart to make room for another expansion...

Have you ever seen Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth? Oh, if not you MUST. MUST. What this man had forgotten we could have supped on for decades. Anyway, it's late and I am sleepy and Ranger is ready for his kennel, too. Though, in truth, I may just leave him free till his father gets home. Perhaps he can fend off the dreams a while.

Here's to your own dreams being sweet...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Steve Tells It Like It Is

I really wish he'd marry my stepdaughter so they could have intelligent, beautiful, crazy chef kids...

This post is so spot-on and brilliant that I can't even tell you.
http://www.hogonice.com/2007/12/more_proof_that_ron_paul_is_a.html

I may not 100% agree with everything he writes - perhaps 96% - but he has a way with words that is insanely great. And especially when he isn't just writing about his tool - er - tools.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Seriously, Enough Already

Enough. Of everything.

Enough of that damned dog becoming Satan's spawn as soon as Trooper goes to work.
Enough of getting the majority of the dog duties - and doodies.
Enough of shoe snatching, leash pulling, running pell mell away.
Enough of the potato stealing from the pantry.

Yeah, that's just the dog.

And then there is enough already with the freaking Christmas lights, people! What ever happened to a tasteful gleam from the shrubberies and perhaps a nice garland around a pillar with a red bow?

Enough with my eyeglasses that no longer seem to work for my eyes.
Enough with the twisted seatbelts not only in my truck but in the passenger side of his, too.
Enough with the laundry, the dishes, the animal feeding, the animal food hiding.
And enough of this finger that just seems to want to get worse and worse.

Enough of the hands that won't let me sew on a button without going numb first.
Enough of the whatever it is on my face that itches and stays red all the time.
Enough of my body starting to really fail me in bits and pieces.
Enough of the sleep loss that has me heartbroken because a goddamned dog won't respect mah authoritay.

I need a vacation, people. An honest go away and not be with family or friends just fucking away already vacation. It's been a long time since I've done that. Telling you, Trooper. Get that spawn into a proper training facility and hie my ass to somewhere or you're gonna have to learn where the dishwasher soap nuggets are kept.

Now, I think I'll make some hot chocolate - the real thing - and lay on the grass out back and try to see the stars with these shitty useless eyeglasses that cost too much to already be outta whack. Man, it's a good thing he's on shift...I am seriously not fit for man nor beast, it would appear.

Is it very wrong of me...

...to find this damned erotic?


Just damn...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Golden

In the light of morning on his 7th day of being Our Dog, Ranger makes himself at home. I like this photo because it gives a sense of that calm before the storm.

He loves to lay on the table, a gift from a dear friend, because it allows him to see through the glass in the door and watch us busy with our inside lives.

He had grown so much already and - look at those delicate paws - he has so much more growing to do. His head just gets darker and darker and his once pristine belly is getting a dark mohawk of fur. How I love that crazed beasty...

It's been a couple of rough days, as night shift always is, what with work and home...the creature demands so much attention and time. I had no idea, being a cat person. He simply has to go out-out-out. I wonder if his long legs ache to stretch out. Thankfully, Trooper can run and takes him out often for that exhausting trek.

Amusingly, he's like a furry toddler. He will throw a tantrum when he's over-tired. Racing around, snapping, snatching up shoes while looking you right in the eye...I have learned to look for it and not be irked. We spend rather a lot of time together so we're learning...

And it's nice, those 5am walks where you can feel the stillness of the world and see the stars with sleepy eyes. We've a golden, sweet life, really. I need to remember that when my frustrations grow.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Briefly...

**These comments do not represent the views of my husband, his employer or those aliens that we keep catching on NASA film.**

Buy some Columbian coffee today. Tomorrow. And next week. Support the guy giving Chavez the finger.

""...Uribe had invited Chavez in August to help broker a deal with the FARC guerrillas, who are sympathetic to the Venezuelan leader's socialist ideals.

The rebels are holding 46 high-profile hostages, including three American defense contractors and French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt. It is offering to release the prisoners in exchange for the freeing of all imprisoned rebels.""

Friday, November 23, 2007

Recap of the Carnage

Appropriately, I can hear Ranger chowing down on his pig ear in the other room, laying on his bed and taking it easy - finally. He is like a small horse and he gallops through the house. Thus far, the cats have made rather brave appearances and Ranger took one good swipe to the nose which taught him that cats may look nice and softy but they pack a whallop.

The sound he is making is not far off from those of yesterday when we hosted my sister, my father and Trooper's cohort and his wife. She brought the most fantastic corn pudding - amazing stuff. My sister kindly brought chips for snacking and the paper goods - no dishes to wash as there were a generous plenty from the meal itself. I made my life simple with the use of the Williams-Sonoma Turkey Base for the gravy. It worked WONDERFULLY. Their Turkey Herbs were also very nice. Glad we made the trek to the mall for that!

We're casual types so it was a haphazard buffet line sort of affair. I'd prepared much of it the night before in order to avoid the "I need three ovens all at different temperatures!" situation. Pies, done. Sweet tater souffle, done. Scalloped taters, done. No, not alot of vegetables made an appearance, to be honest. It is a holiday meal intended for horrid starch filled bellies.

I was surprised to see the line at the Honey Baked Hams shop - it was my first time getting the ham so I had no idea. I thought I was being smart for pre-ordering and such. Well, they were so proficient that the long line hardly took 20 minutes to get through. My heirloom turkey - just beautiful! - was a bit expensive but so tasty!! I tried the old "start it on its breast" cookery but I suspect the delicate beasty would have done better on its back. My dressing/stuffing (yes, I offer both) was very close to mom's but...not quite right. I should have paid more attention...

My father was kind enough to get a Goode's BBQ pecan pie for us - those things are FANTASTIC. He said they had a gauntlet for pie acquisition in the parking lot. And a birthday cake for Dad. Yay! Another year this side of the sod! He was hilarious! A natural entertainer, he went to town. Of course, he indulged which is why we had Trooper drive to Houston and back with him - I wanted Dad to be able to enjoy his birthday without the worry of his driving back.

Anyway, we ate like kings, and then we all had to leave - our friends for their respective jobs (Troopers and Nurses tend to the same holiday sacrifices) and hied ourselves with Dad to Houston to meet our friends from up north. Ah...and I'd nearly forgotten...
As we were leaving, we happened to take another circular route out of the subdivision. It was fortuitous - Trooper immediately saw the little girl, walking in the street and then back on the sidewalk as we drove near. Then the mass of tears flowing could be seen and he halted the car and leapt out. Seems the little thing had gotten lost. She had no idea of her address, had nothing like the proper clothes for the weather on, and was half frozen. She knew she was 4 years old. We called the local officers who arrived quickly and they took charge of her. We understand her father was located and she was delivered to him but not much more than that. Still, I suppose he has something to be thankful for. It was a sad accent on the day...
We dropped Dad off and then headed out with our friends to a local IHOP for a lot of coffee and a wee bit of breakfast. Talked long and long and made plans to visit them in the post-Xmas timeframe. We do so love their small town...just across the water from Martha's Vineyard, it is insanely quaint. And we are able to squat in his parents' house across the street. LOL They spend the winter in FLA so we just have to schedule our visits accordingly and have free reign. It's hilarious. What I like best is they are friends that you can visit once a year and feel as though no time has passed. You don't have to call all the time or even email each other. It's just a comfortable "you know we love you" feeling that - well, I don't really know how to express it. It is a sense of timelessness.
So that was it. Now, Ranger is sleeping off his early morning romp with me (Trooper had to sleep in a little before shift) and his frenetic play time. Soon, it'll be time to walk again and maybe some play in the backyard. I can't wait to have him well enough in hand to visit the dog parks. Right now, he's trying to feel me out for dominance. I've had to pin his head down twice when he has gotten too rough. It gets the point across immediately and he turns the attitude around completely. We'll have that dance a few times, I know, before he stops trying. I don't mind. He's worth the trouble.
I hope your own holiday was just as enjoyable and without familial drama...as I took that pre-meal calming shower, I had a chat with mommer - how much I missed her and could have used her for the stuffing affirmation...the tulips I bought in her honor are blooming magnificently. Sure wish she could have been here...
As for the post-holiday shopping? You won't catch me anywhere near it. LOL MAYBE the PetSmart later for a 2nd bed and more pig ears...but that's it. I leave the battle to the rest of you. Now, I think a nice nap is in order.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Welcome Home, Ranger

There they are - a boy and his dog. LOL Well, a Trooper and his dog, anyway. It was hard to get the shot since they were both just so excited to be together again.

This dog is so smart - amazingly so. He has already learned about 5 different commands (in German). He kennels without concern or fear and hardly makes a sound at bedtime.

He is also very clear about when he needs to go out - just the shortest whimpery sound. Tonight was the real test as we had to take my father back to Houston and meet out of town friends there for a few hours. He kenneled all that time and didn't make a mess! We were just CERTAIN he'd have to relieve himself before we could get home.

As for the cats...they have learned when he is kenneled they have the run of the house again. Maximus is actually staying in the same room with the dog but on-high - just in case, I suppose. Jonesy has been in the same room but in hiding, taking it slow but thus far the bravest and first to venture out. Poor wee Doodlebug is taking the longest to reveal herself. Still, for hardly 24 hours? They are all doing so well that I have great hopes.

Ranger is a fantastic beasty. I just wish I could run - he needs that. Trooper says in time - doesn't want to have him taking a bad twist on the leash and tumbling them over each other. A bit more training at heeling - "Foose" - and they can be running buddies.

Tomorrow...the holiday rundown. What a day...this chef is tuckered...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Addition To The Family

It's been a rough few weeks - and I've had that deathly crud for over 5 days - so I've been preoccupied. But over the last weekend we tried to celebrate my birthday just a bit. I offered up a visit to a pet supply shop that is so darling...there, a German Shepherd Rescue group had several dogs available for a meet and greet.


If you could have seen Trooper's face....



So, that evening he hit the net and looked at one shelter after another. And that's when he saw Ranger. The very next day we went to see the fellow and he fell in love with him. The photo doesn't do him justice at all.

Ranger is at least a Belgian Malinois with perhaps a bit of something else tucked in there. Hard to know for certain, of course. And he's young enough to learn to leave the cats alone - I hope. I worry most about that but he seems quite smart so we're hoping we can work it out.

I haven't seen Trooper so happy. He has wanted a dog for a very long time and was kindly deferring it due to the cats. But if you'd seen the shelter...sigh...not a single run, no play, just a concrete cell...even if I'd had any qualms I could not have fielded them after seeing that place. One knows a county does what it can with what it is given but...surely someone could donate some fencing to allow them a bit more room...

Alright - so there's that. And now the general house cleaning to remove all dog temptations and the holiday dinner hostessing. Ranger is going to be spoiled rotten, I'm afraid...let's hope the application is approved and we can fetch him soon. When we left the shelter, Ranger was trying to come with us and I saw Trooper swipe away a tear - "He wants to come with us now..."

Sigh...what a softy.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day, 2007


"The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his". - Gen. George S. Patton


There are a lot of reasons this day means a great deal to me but - there is no need for balloons and ribbons - just quiet acceptance that there are those who did what had to be done.

I love this photo of Trooper's grandpa - V-Day timeframe near the Danube. He did what had to be done with a sort of "fine, next?" alacrity that the country boys had. They'd been hungry and poor. This wasn't so bad, in the grand scheme of things.

I am so sorry I did not know him when he was in fine form. But you could see it in his eyes - that young man with the devilish smile.

And the flowers...

Bless you, Grandpa - for going, for coming home, and for raising the boy into the man I love.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mr. Fix-it

That is what I shall call my massage therapist from now on. I've had a very painful and gimpy shoulder for months - it comes and goes but is always in the background, a stabbing pain near the socket of my shoulder. Well, today Mr. Tom fixed it. Perhaps only for a time but I care not at all. I can use my arm without wincing.

So, allow me to drop a plug for the man and the very nice studio - if you are ever in Austin and need to get that edge removed, please see Tom @ Austin BodyWorks. He is a slight thing and you would not think he had the strength to manage someone like the Trooper (who had to see him to get through academy's physical torment). But that man has muscles like the Hulk hiding beneath that easy exterior.

Like magic...he senses those sticking points, can feel the blockages in the fibers, and addresses them with no nonsense. Worth EVERY CENT. If you've a hitch in your giddyup, I hope you'll consider a visit.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Green

So Trooper has a fresh recruit, now...he seems a nice enough sort though about as green as they come. Like he says - in re: the old joke about the bulls - the kid wants to run down the hill and fuck one of them instead of walking down and fucking all of them.

It's a heavy burden, I'd think, to take someone without decades of skills and try in a few short months make them capable of staying alive on their own. He says the kid is like a robot - he may not be great at paperwork but you show him one time how to do something and he has it pegged. Unfortunately, ours is a very tough paperwork location - a lot of it and a boss who demands it be done right the first time.

How can you distill that knowledge into a handful of days and instill it in someone who hasn't known...well, things that a soldier knows, intimately? It takes a great deal of patience, thought, and a desire to never attend their funeral.

We were laughing with another couple over Halloween farewells - he's now SWAT and was once another acronym. Sharp, that one, and quiet. She laughed and said that he was always testing her, play fighting...as does my own. Pressure points and house clearing and backing with cover. Games but games that have meaning. Because you do not know...

With another couple the other night, Trooper was declaring that his recruit had no idea how easy they had it - the constant mantra amongst the force. With pure deadpan, his friend says, "Hard? Hard?! We couldn't even use acronyms! One guy ordered tea with lunch and got smacked!" Still, it is true that they appear to have been more than kind with the last bunch. I figure they needed warm bodies for the border and anything was better than nothing.

Still, this one is his. And the fellow will know his shit or he will not be cleared. That's it. Because there is no way in hell we want his photo on the wall at Academy. Not if what he does now can prevent it. He may be green and pliable now. We'll see what April brings.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Beauty

There is one composer that I hold in the highest esteem. One whose works just thrust into your soul and shiver you throughout...Ralph Vaughan-Williams.

A London Symphony is what ought to be played at my funeral but this - Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis is sheer romance, faultless love, desperate desire, unending devotion...it is God.

Bless anyone capable of making such sounds in the world. And bless that man for putting them all in a row...I needed that beauty just now...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Just a note..

Can I just ask that the universe bitch slap each and every driver of silver, grey, and black vehicles that decline to turn on their lights in the dim light of dawn and/or with fog/rain?

While we're at it - a cosmic wedgie to anyone who doesn't use that lovely improved shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass. That means you, gravel trucks AKA Bane of My Existence.

I'd like to thank all the parents who thought that sending your kids out without even a haphazard attempt at a costume to accost the neighborhood was a reasonable option. I taunted them. Openly. In front of their friends.

A thank you to ye olde video channel for the trip in the wayback machine to Who's Next. And Quadrophenia. Like I didn't feel old enough already. I miss Keith...crazy fucker...still best drummer born - thank goodness we still have Neil Peart.

With that, goodnight.



P.S. Gratuitous drumming - hardcore sexy

Friday, November 02, 2007

Night Shift

Once upon a time when we all lived in the forest...

So goes a favorite book that twists and turns people until their images - what they project - become truly what they are. And on this night, when facades fall with whispery soft tones...I remember...

I used to gather myths, used to know every hero and misstep on their path to fame - and infamy. For me, those ancient tales held kernels of truths and finding another tome made clear all that I knew. Heh...all that I knew...you see, that amuses me because I know very little, indeed, that is of use in the everyday world. Rather than an education, I gathered about me ghosts of the long-dead and their stories. I placed a veneer over the world that made it...palatable.

Arthurian tradition? Badon, I knew. Rhiannon? She bore men against her will as punishment - the torture cleaned up, I am certain, by those romantic Frenchmen. Cretien...Gwynn? Enchanted...held up one night. Poor Hypatia - brought down bloody because she knew two plus two and where the moon would rise. Yes, all these things I could relate but ask me not where that Civil War blood fell. Nor a thing about the proper place for a comma. And a percentage is still limited to slices of a pie.

Sometimes those echoes of a past far gone were deafening and modern marvels were put to good use to back them down. And sometimes ancient tortures, if the mood struck. If the moon was right. Years and years lost to that drowning out - the drowning. Even now, it is rare for those things to rise and press against the surface, to break through and come known again. Forgotten for so very long...

But once a year I give it ear. Anything can be staved off, you see. Anything. As long as you can give it time...later, later. So, the last remaining Waterford goblet and a toast to things...forgotten. Misplaced. Negated. Refused.

Olly Olly Oxen Free!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Día de los Muertos

Though they may be dead, we do not forget them...a lot of memories today...bless and keep them all, Lady and Lord.

(Try to ignore the political nonsense in the background and enjoy the music.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh, This Old Thing?

Just a quick note to those of you who adore the old stuff, fabric, costumes and the like. There is an auction soon of Tasha Tudor's historic 18th and 19th Century costume collection and if you are a fan, you should not miss it. I don't know what they'll go for. Prior auctions of millinery goods had fantastic prices.

I happen to ADORE Miss Tudor who is in her twilight years. Do go see them and take a look around. Her prints - what few are left - have trebled in price since I started considering them. I think they are a very safe investment. And a harkening back to simpler days...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Party

So the powers that be arranged a Halloween party for last Saturday - some Troopers, some not. Well, most not, I guess. But the theme was batted back and forth for a week before it was decided: 2nd Annual Pimp's 'N Ho's Extravaganza.

Once upon a time I would have had a wardrobe utterly suitable for just such an event. However, I was also about 4 sizes smaller. So I tossed aside the patent leather Vollers and went with the more forgiving Wolford. (Not quite that little number but like it...think feather boa neckline.) My favorite if now tatty Racing Stripe stockings made an appearance (they were once very popular at the law firm) as did the corset-heeled shoes, also too tatty for anything but costume-wear, now.

Trooper donned something with a Latin feel, not having a wardrobe wide enough to encompass the theme fully. When we arrived, the home was festive and the other "Ho's" decked out. The always-welcomed Catholic Schoolgirl look was there. And the more friendly "Daisy Duke" look was present. I was more...high priced call girl, I suppose. Which is appropriate since I have about 18 years on those wee things...

But the men...oh, they went all out. It was an incredible array of tasteless artfulness. I cannot begin to tell you. The alcohol flowed (everyone lived a drunken stumble from the location) but we made it an early night - leaving when the tequila shots were broken out.

And the theme song that kept playing in my mind? Scissor Sisters' "Filthy and Gorgeous".

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tales From the Cattle Sale

As promised, herein the tale of my first cattle sale. Imagine a long, flat county road with little to distract the eye and then a long line of cars parked on both sides of the blacktop suddenly appears. "People!", my mind thrust at me after so much "hay...more hay...nice round bales".

This, my friends, is the annual Cattlemens Cancer Research Fundraiser. We'd been invited by the locals at the Star Chamber Cookout. The Teasip security was evident and gently accepted Trooper's Maroon Out (Aggie) t-shirt while saying that there was a fee to park. (There wasn't but the rivalry dictated some form of mischief.)

My senses were all on alert - a lot of people, a lot of motion and too many angles to keep track of...I put on my kindest smile and we signed in at the guest table. I was "branded" with the alcohol bracelet and we entered into a stand of tents next to the cattle barn. For the most part, it was comprised of auction items in one tent and two tents of silent auction items - one of which was already finished. I forced Trooper in the direction of the open silent auction tent though all of him was tending toward the barn.

The variety of the items was astounding - everything from private hunts to a basket of Shiner goodies was there. But my eye was on the handmade afghan in the proper purple shade of the local highschool colors. It was very large - suitable to cover much of me rather than just a shoulder wrap. And as soft as a kitten. We wrote our bids down and then moved toward the cattle barn. On the way we met a few of the Star Chamber folks and spoke briefly. He was asking how one acquired one of those prodding sticks they were using on the cattle. He said he needed one for me.

Inside the barn it was cooler and far more crowded. We inched forward and I doffed my hat to not obscure the view of others. It was like a small school auditorium with a sunken stage area with round pole fencing (see how many terms I've already learned?!). We found Miss Kitty and her husband. I must have had my mouth open as he grinned and leaned in to me - "Your first cattle sale?" We both cackled and I nodded.

The seats in the front "orchestra" area were very old fashioned and, if I recall, had a Masonic or other such label on their bases - "courtesy of" sort of thing. We squatted in the aisle next to the couple as the sale proceeded. One bull was donated by the hostess of the cookout - a fine specimen, he filled that small fenced off area. A man to either side had a long stick that ticked at it, turning it away from one side and the other as it sought any way out and away from all those eyes.

It sold once for about $400 and then the auctioneer - who was fantastic - looked up to the stands. "Taking him home or going again?" he asked. Given the nod, he started up, "We're goin' again, folks!" and started rattling off the numbers amidst the appreciative applause. That bull sold at least 5 times before someone took him "home".

We went back out into the sunshine to check on the silent auction - I wanted to ensure I wasn't outbid on that afghan. I got a beer and saw Miss Kitty sitting, eating. We got our own BBQ and ate then went over and sat with her for a time. The cattle sale continued and I knew Trooper wanted to be back in there. We headed back to the coolness inside and this time we could see the seats in front were opening up. I went ahead and took one at Trooper's urging while he visited - he has met so many people and everyone was there.

One cow after another bull came by and you could feel the heat coming off them being that close. There was a hawker for the auctioneer standing by me, pointing out the bids and helping to raise the stakes a bit. His shirt was so starched that it would stand on its own if he leaned it against a wall. And then it happened...a cow came through, bowels released at the scent of so many humans and it trapped there. And the tail - the tail flicked with a final sort of "fuck you all" sentiment and sent excrement flying. I was tagged with dime sized splatters on my boots and jeans and even my hand was flecked. I laughed with the shock of it and the hawker came by and - God, he knew I was a city girl - he said, "Don't worry - that's money, girl. Pure money."

I tried to just smile and act as though I get splattered with cow shit on a daily basis and wiped off what I could on my jeans and waited patiently. Eventually, the sale ended and we headed back to the silent auction, washing my hands on the way out. We ran around with the rest of the crowd, checking on our bids and making adjustments. I didn't see Trooper when he upped the afghan bid after he saw someone near it.

They shooed us all out and the live auction began - oh, how I coveted that damned Aermotor windmill with its giant tower. The thing was worth 3 times what it went for in my mind...it was donated by one of the Star Chamber guys - the shaman. Seems he has a pasture full of the things, all different kinds. One thing after another was sold for at least its value with friendly competitive bidding and much instigation from the auctioneer.

Finally, the silent auction sheets were posted and lo, we won only one thing - the afghan. I was grinning as we all filed into the barn to pay for our items and then back to the tent to fetch them. We watched a bit and spoke with folks as the event closed down and tents were dismantled. Trooper was very handy in helping load the larger items into truck beds - cast iron cooking pits, picnic tables and benches, and the like. I stood and spoke with the representatives of the charity, getting details on what we might be able to do to help. Before we left one of the guys sent him to his truck to get a prodding stick - a leftover from last year's event.

And then, the sun set and we headed home, the afghan nestled in my lap and the cow shit forgotten. A true Texas time...

Ever since, when I "get out of line" he says "Where's my stick?!". I won't besurprised if he gets a mounting rack for it in the back window of his truck. Sigh...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Small Town News

So I've owed you guys a report of the small town doings of late. Let us start with Trooper being invited to what I have dubbed the local "Star Chamber". All the old guys get together each morning and talk of things. Of course, these are all the old guys of local politics so one gets a fairly intimate view of the way things work. Mind you, it is not for the ladies. I don't mind. I don't miss the likely fart jokes and such.

Anyway, from there we received the invitation to the Star Chambers' annual dinner event held for the ladies. I sort of enjoy that paternal aspect. All the gentlemen get together and grill about 100 ribeyes, assorted baked potato, rolls, cole slaw and other sides and host it way up on the hill - the best vantage point in town - at the home of the folks who donated the land for a school. We can see it from our front yard.

We've adored the home from afar as it sits like a modern castle on the hill. Up close, it is lovelier still. When you pull up the long drive you pass their cattle and their "tank" (think large pond). The house is fenced off from the cattle rather than the neighbors as there are none for a mile. When we arrived, I was immediately welcomed (as were my blueberry bars) by the women who had gathered in the kitchen. The owner offered a drink and I took a glass of wine quite willingly - you can imagine how my non-sociable self bristled when surrounded by at least a dozen of them. The conversation ran to what one did and most of them were volunteers for their respective churches. I knew that conversation would come soon enough - Trooper and I had discussed answers.

After my contribution to the dessert buffet was displayed we were summoned to the very large patio by one of the husbands - time to eat. Everyone gathered and the local shaman (I've no idea of his true affiliation but everyone looked to him for this task) gave the benediction. It was then we gathered to fetch our gigantic meal and I had a first look at all the men.

Mind you, these are almost all "gentlemen cattle barons" of a sort. They've worked for years and acquired the land and now just make hay (literally) and cows. Some were dressed in Texas Formalwear (creased Wranglers and starched western shirt or button down), some in their overalls and others still in whatever they'd worn all day. The women made a more colorful group, this being their chance to dress a bit for all the men.

Of course, we were by far the youngest there but it mattered not at all - I found their company so much more enjoyable. Great conversations ensued. We will never forget when Miss Kitty leaned over and said of her husband, "He hasn't heard himself fart in 30 years". A bit later, one man asked the other what he'd been doing earlier - kicking up so much dust. "Just discing", he says. "You were kicking up some dust yourself over there..." Farmers...

As we finished dinner and set to dessert the sun set and a delicious warm wind came over the hill - a wind like that on a beach after a long day in the sun. The stars were bright and as we looked a shooting star of generous size streaked across the wide expanse. What a glorious portent, I thought.

Everyone began to take their leave but the hostess - whom we'd hardly had time with - asked us to wait a bit so we could chat. A gentleman asked that we consider attending the charity event in a few weeks. In time, we made our way home in the dark, the cattle quiet beside us as we walked down the drive.


Perhaps tomorrow I shall relate the story of that charity function. And of how I learned that one ought not to sit in the front row of the cattle sale.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Making Exercise Tolerable

You know, I cannot think of a single person who truly just loves to sweat to stay in shape. Oh, those young things - they find it all manner of pleasing but when the joints start to age and the flesh hangs heavily? Yeah, not as much fun.

If you are like me, you look for things to reward yourself when you DO work out. And for things that are pretty. Darling Carushka has just that - assuming, of course, you don't have boobs. Ahem. So, I stick to the bottoms. Er...that sounds nasty. I prefer to purchase the pants, personally. (Say that three time fast.)

Thing is - and why it is blogworthy - there is a sale. You get 40% off if you type in HOMEPAGE as a coupon code at checkout.

My other favorite location (though I suspect them of all manner of liberal and vegetarian nonsense) is the ONLY place where you can buy a workout bra that will truly fit. This matters. A LOT. Anyone remember that scene from the movie "Switch" where Ellen Barkin jogs while holding her boobs? Yeah. Ahem. (I just remembered the BEST LINE from that movie - "You know how many animals I had to F**** to get this coat?")

Anyway...can you tell I am back on the wagon? 30 mins cardio and 50 crunches today.

Because I want my ass back, damn it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Spending Time

Ah, days of vacation passing by...yes, we've been taking a few days off together and it has been just fantastic. Of course, I don't sleep in like he does - my body just refuses - and I've had to still check the office email because people just don't get the concept of vacation. But...

We went to the TSU campus in San Marcos to see the Lonesome Dove gallery exhibit and stood in rapture at movie props. (I adored the final love letter to Clara.) If you are a fan of the movie, you ought to see the place as the exhibit moves on end of March next year.

We hit the Hill Country and just wandered the small roads on the way back home.

We've revisited his youth at Canyon Lake where he used to go while in the Army. They'd jump off a cliff into the water far below, avoiding the shelf of rock that jutted out. Here you can see the place - just above the orange sign that probably says something about not jumping off the cliff.

It was a very blustery day but we walked across the top of the earthen dam to get a better view and then worked our way via truck back to the park to get to that vantage point.

The kind lady let us in as the sun set for a free drive-around. We got out and he walked, his memory striving to bring back the place, the views, and he finally was able to erase the Now and find that path - behind a fence, now - that led to that place of youthful revelry. I watched the tall grass, all golden now, wave in the constant breeze and it was like being on a boat - it gave you a sense of the ground in motion. I've made a note to return again at sunset for a photo.

Yesterday, we took the back roads of our town - well in the back of things - and found many lovely old farms and homes. I'll bring my camera next time and get some pretty photos. He talked to a mother cow, too, her brand new calf laying in the grass. Seems she didn't like what he had to say as his catterwauling got her to do the same and reinforcements arrived, Bossy Bessy running, udders akimbo, to her aid. We laughed and drove on, not wanting to upset her too much.

And the gardening...we picked up all we need to revamp the entryway and got a good start on it last night as the sun set. I'll be out there again in a few while he sleeps in.

What a glorious time together...so many fantastic sights and quiet moments. He'll be FTO'ing soon and these times together will be few for the next 6 months. (Let's just say that this group of graduates appears to be that of warm bodies more than great candidates...or maybe his area just got the scraps...) It's going to take a lot of work to get that fellow into shape. But he's prepared to do so. This isn't his first time training someone.

What a grand life...and what a terrific place Texas is...sigh...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Evidence is Lacking

I've been very patiently clicking along, looking for photos of the debauchery near the Chatooga, land of the infamous pig squealing and V-man's favorite song. Sure, sure - a dirndl made an appearance. And a horny Zonker. And the ewe....but...is there no film of the music? Or did they all get so drunk so early that no one was capable?

I so wish we could have been there...not that I'd be terribly talkative. LOL But I like to think Trooper could have managed to get for Denny down the stairs without crippling him further.

So I consoled myself with a trip to the salon. Actually, it's not even. Just the usual hatchet job place but there is a young lady there with great skills with color and cut. I love talking with her - so much enthusiasm for the future...life hasn't beaten it out of her yet. LOL And she gently remarked on the caterpillars that lived over my eyes. Yes, I know...I've neglected them for 3 months, now...so I agreed to the wax, cautioning her that I am NOT a fan of the thin brow - that I have a fat face and need it for balance. She did a good job. And it was much faster than two days of torturous plucking.

Anyway, my hair is smelly but lovely. Poor Trooper - I said the same and he stuck his nose in and sniffed deep - then staggered away and barked. Yup, that'll teach him. (Private joke.)

And now...time for a soak in the tub, I think. Maybe tomorrow the evidence will present itself. I imagine it takes time for the brain cells to rebuild themselves...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Going to the Movies

I am a tremendous fan of film and the art that can take us away from ourselves. There are a few that remain very memorable for me and some scenes that are just so incredible that they never leave you. This is one - and not only for Meryls' insanely perfect performance (in one take, mind you) but also in that of the officer. The mad cheer in his eyes...perfect, perfect, perfect.



In a similar vein is Holly Hunter's work in The Piano. Without words she conveyed everything necessary to feel her yearning for expression.



She and Richard Dreyfuss are also simply fantastic in Once Around. It's not the usual family dark comedy because you are turned from sympathetic to antagonised in the same scene. Really artfully done...

I adore Big Night for its characters...and the cooking!

When I first saw The Night Porter I was surprised by it. How can such damaged characters be made into...their own saviors? Besides, one can see Charlotte Rampling dancing naked. Worth the price of admission, no? Trivia has it that this was the first scene shot for the film. Reminds me of old friends. Warning: this clip likely to offend - click with care. Definitely not safe for work.


And an old favorite, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. What a lovely, perfectly paced film. You cannot help but like the characters. Such romance...I have always adored Gene Tierney and if I'd ever born a girl, she would have been named Lucia.

And, the miniseries version of Jane Eyre with Timothy Dalton.


He is Rochester, in the flesh. Dark and cynical. Yes, it's poorly filmed but this is acting at its best - with perfect pitch to the mood of the scenes. And this is the BOOK - not someones romanticised version thereof.

If you like him in this, look for his work in Wuthering Heights. He is faery, indeed. These works will show you his true abilities - such that we've not seen since. And the Michel LeGrand soundtrack...sigh...


Ah, which reminds me of The Lion In Winter. Dead GOD, see it. But not for him, no. For darling Katherine. This is a hurricane of talent - a perfect storm of skills and script. So much fantastic dialogue that picking a scene is impossible. I do adore this quote from Eleanor, "I even made poor Louis take me on Crusade. How's that for blasphemy. I dressed my maids as Amazons and rode bare-breasted halfway to Damascus. Louis had a seizure and I damn near died of windburn... but the troops were dazzled. "



I adore Emma THompson - she has done such fine work in Sense and Sensibility. She is a gift to an author. But her work in Wit is so dark and cool...admittedly, very sad but...the words - the language...



I leave this for last - the St. Crispins speech from Henry V. I think Branagh did a fine job, too.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Is It Over Yet?

What a damnably hectic day...started early and kept on till late, I felt like I was being peppered with requests and tasks. And I was. So much that I couldn't get it all logged in to the new POS database AKA Big Brother that I am supposed to be using.

Yes, as if I have time to not only DO the task, I also have to LOG the task in great detail and update it. Grrrrr...so anyway, much of it wasn't even my guys' stuff which irks me greatly. However! I have finished. For now.

Next? Wrassle with Napster to get my paid for music to show up after loading the new hard drive with what it would give me. Looks like a dozen or so tunes were not being "approved". You know, I really don't mind at all paying for the tracks. I LOVE being able to get so many tunes for so little. I ONLY play legally on that front because I think it's wrong as hell to steal from an artist who is making perhaps 1o cents off the damned thing. But I think that the systems could do a far better job of making it very easy for the music to be YOURS once paid for. Hell, I'd pay extra if they'd do a sort of "backup" for me of all my purchases against future crashes.

In other news...this according to Defense Tech:
"The commander in charge of helping local Iraqis organize and fight al Qaeda and other anti-coalition forces said Wednesday that a raid last month netted a treasure trove of information that could spell the doom of al Qaeda terrorist smuggling operations in Iraq and, potentially, worldwide." Yeah, someone held all the eggs in one basket which means that the acquisition came from a fairly high source. Unless it's disinformation - always possible! But I dunno...I do hope the intel is sharp and valid. Of course, they waited at least a month to tell us which tells me that they either actioned it all very fast or they suspect its BS and are using it for PR. Reasonable.

There is this via the Military Motivator comment:

Gunnery Sgt. Michael Burghardt signals his defiance after being struck by an improvised explosive device on Sept. 19 near Ramadi, Iraq. The Marine refused to be carried away on a stretcher and walked under his own power to a waiting medevac. Among those attending to the Marine are Spc. John Adams (far left in front) and Pfc. Darin Nelson.

Photo by Jeff Bundy

Uh huh. Just so. God, that makes me grin. I am oscillating between hope and utter despair for this country. Just when I am sick to death of the people I deal with, someone like Michael there makes me cinch up my belt and try again.

Alrighty, then. Time to prep the "slicey taters" for dinner. Perhaps tomorrow I shall relate the tale of the Dinner At the Great House On the Hill of last night. Yes, more socializing. No, I don't remember anyone's name.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What It Takes

This is what it takes to get me through my day today. Because everything I touch is turning to crap, and because I forgot to make dessert yesterday for the event this evening...fracking hell!

Run, [Laura], Run


Meanwhile, this is my attitude about the world in general of late. Damn it, but this world is swirling around the drain...

"Yeah, Time to bring it down again. Yeah, Don't just call me pessimist.Try and read between the lines."



I am surrounded by crap and trying like hell to keep my mouth shut.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Relatively Painless

A long day but we managed to get a great deal done, my new friend and I. She knew of this very interesting little shop and we went there first. Just a shack, it had a lot of crafty items but the thing that got my attention was the pile after pile of glass shards and blocky bits in all the colors you could imagine.

I have a special affection for art glass - well, it starts with my deep appreciation for light and the quality thereof. Add in any reflection or refraction and I am just delighted. So I ran through these giant piles of shiny, glowing bits and picked out what I liked best. I cannot wait to "plant" them in the garden. Just fantastic...

Then we worked our way over to the mall. She's from a small northern town and had never - can you imagine? - never been to Sephora. She restocked on some stuff and got some new goods, too. She is the type that can do makeup really well - I have a staid and set plan and stick to it with only a slight variation or two for evening. So for her it was like a candy store.

She needed jeans, too, and found her favorite shop there. A damned size 8, she was fitting into these tiny pairs and I was trying really hard to not let the inner dialogue start. I look like hell these days and I know it. It's ok. This too shall pass. But I still had to admire her...

That was about it - she tried to talk me into getting this hairpiece from a kiosk. Wired, you can make what appears to be a fantastic "do" with just a moment or two of work. But it isn't me...it was funny - we had to take my hair down to work with it and she just looked twice. Yeah, I know - I look a lot better with it down. But it gets in my face, damn it. Still, my ego was happy to leave it that way and do the constant hair tossing bullshit necessary when it is down. She said I was getting the big ol' checkout from a Suit. Just the boobs. Or maybe my tshirt - it was the Operation Grim shirt from Rangerup. Do get one! Oh - the girls version is here.

Alrighty. Just need to figure out what to do with the rest of my night. Yeah, another part time. PFFT. It's only 8p but I am giving serious consideration to the bed. Well, let's see what else there was...(I've taken to putting links and thoughts into a file for later blogability.)

In re: Israel socking it to the Syrians - how did they get through the radar? Hacked it. God, that makes me grin. According to Defense Tech, "It now appears that Israeli commandos may have been involved as well. What a totally gutsy move. And, if true, it also shows that Israel took the target seriously enough to send in ground forces."

Trust me - the Israelis waited. They made sure. And they took care of business. Admittedly, I have been wondering lately about them - the capitulations of late. But they play a very good game - no fools, they. So, we wait and see. Because this is a very interesting little matter.

And last but not least this - found at Billy's. As he notes, "All fighter pilots worldwide are on notice: you just don't count, now, if it comes to a scratch-up with this thing." And as his brother related, "...watching in the company of tactical aviation combat veterans staring with their jaws hanging open and weeping." You bet. You damned well bet because that is flat out the most amazing flying I have ever seen or even imagined. If you don't know jets - if you don't know flight dynamics - you won't appreciate what you are seeing there. And what you are NOT seeing. Ahem. Yeah - that was for show. The real magic comes with no witnesses. Hot damn...amazing...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Local News and Blues

WHY do I feel the need for alliteration in every title? Hell, I piss myself off with the habit. Whatever.

Ok. So here's the thing - I cannot get out of my mind the thought of the fatal wreck of the other night. Trooper didn't work it - someone else did but the short version is that a gal was crowning the top of a largish hill on the highway when she ran off the road a bit in the left lane then launched her vehicle over the damned barrier and took the goddamned roof off an approaching van, killing the driver. He didn't talk about it except to say it was a gruesome scene.

Now, bad enough the twit who was probably fiddling with something in her car or driving impaired to have the death of someone on her hands...no...my concern is with the poor person going on about their business and being summarily plucked from this life in a way that no one - NO ONE - could even fucking think of in a drug-induced nightmare. How in the hell...forgive the language folks but...WTF?! As he was saying to another guy - you have to wonder if there was more reason behind such things. Did she need to die that moment? Or is life really that damned random? I don't think it is that random at all. So it's scary, that little piece of life.

In other news...Trooper and I are invited to the - well, the BBQ of the local hoi polloi. I will never fully understand small town life. Everyone knows everyone else, and people talk. I try really hard to not look like an utter slob as I get groceries and the like because, like it or not, I am representing him and DPS. This doesn't mean I am dolled up every moment but I am more careful than I used to be...

Tomorrow we were going to get lunch with some friends...I don't know how that will shake out but we'll see. He has scheduled some part time work that interferes with this entire weekend. I wanted it to be all of us and now it'll just be me and the other Trooper's wife...and I am just not good with people...he fills in my silences.

I don't pal around, I don't talk on the phone, I don't go to the mall. I am not like that at all. Sigh...You know how many gal pals I have? Two. I've never cultivated them - not even in school. Always the loner. And I guess...well, I guess it's just something I'll have to learn. This role as his wife ensures I will have many a BBQ, many a party and dozens of shopping dates to deal with. Being utterly unskilled in being social, it really...well, damn it. It bugs me.

But this gal is sweet as can be - just a joy - and talks like crazy so maybe my silence will be okay. I want very much to not seem like a standoffish bitch or to be that gal everyone thinks is stuck up. So I will try...I will try to be sociable and learn to converse and even to shop together.

And, in the meanwhile (because work is HELL lately and I don't know when I'll post again), allow me to leave you with a few of these - especially if you've waded through that morose pile of BS above. Bless you. Here's some music to soothe us both...I love Caroline Lavelle - and BT...





Sunday, September 30, 2007

Just the Usual

It's almost time for me to tackle the loading of the OS and Office Pro on the new hard drive of the home machine so I thought I'd take time here first to sort of gird my tech-y loins.

Here is a disturbing story about the CDC finding TX A&M rather lacking in security as it regards their "select agent program". Absolutely appalling.

And here, again courtesy of Noah and Co. is a story of how the Navy is bemoaning the current generation of recruits. The glorious tagline of "narcissistic praise junkies" made me spew coffee. Spot-on, that.

But most importantly, one can now ensure that the dog in your life isn't ridiculed for a silly Superman outfit at Halloween. No, for a bit more than $200, your dog will be ready to fight in this fine rig:

Courtesy of Organic Armor, they've alot more to offer.
Yes, Halloween approaches and I already bought the webs. I cannot WAIT to decorate the new house this year. Lots of kids so we should have a fun time. And I think Trooper may be off that night for a change. Let's see how many charming children I can educate in the proper etiquette of the evening. Each year I have to train a dozen or so. In my full witch rig, they stand before me, sacks held out. "Speak the words!" I command them with a raised brow. And then, laughing, we each do our part. I can't wait. I simply cannot wait.
How about we all don a costume and post photos? Just an idea...

A Call to the Crawl

Here - have a bit of this and steady yourself.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Does This Vest Make Me Look Fat?

Trooper was the media darling today. His phone rang off the hook as each station in turn wanted their piece of the story.

He's pretty good at it - able to reveal what is proper and making them happy while also remaining professional. I gave him my own criticism - I know he was leaning into the radio to hear the traffic but to a novice it appears to be a slouching walk away.

It makes me so proud of him...that's my man, I say to myself.

Of course, they've had about 8 fatalities in the last week and a half. Not only is there the familial drama and trauma, the emotional impact of dealing with it after the fact, and the ever-present media - no, when it's all over they have to return and take dozens of measurements and draw page after page of accident recreation. And then there are the reports...You and I get a frisson of horror just driving past a tarped scene. Imagine having to live with it day after day, description after description, for a month.

And those images don't just get deleted from their minds when the report is signed off on and filed away.

It's a strange life, living with it and knowing that you will be the one to whom they turn to talk about it, the one to nod and accept that they will need something to distract them from the work for a few hours...

For what its worth, folks...slow down just a little out there. At least leave yourself some emergency maneuvering room, okay? Because even if you wreck at 50 mph and the car stops - you don't. You're going 50 mph, too. Your body wasn't built for it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Misc # 3

Heck, I think that's the right number...

Anyhoosker, I am all alone. Aside from the furry brats. He's off doing that fun riot team training. It's been quiet all day and I've enjoyed it until now. Work done, I can go watch TV for awhile but...I think I might just go to bed and read a bit.

I have to find a nice doctor in this town. Too many things not quite right and I'm starting to get a little concerned. Trigger finger, consistent numbness in hands, strange stuffy feeling when I bend over...

And then there is the dental appointment to make in Atlanta when we visit next month. See, I have this thing...going to see a dentist is like...going to a firing squad. Totally phobic, I have to steel my nerves and I sit there in the chair stoic, frozen and just like some frigid bride, lie back, and "think of England". But I found this fantastic guy and a great office. He understands my issues completely. They're very calm and quiet and patient. I always make sure I have a hair clip so that I can take it out and play with it during the procedures - anything to distract me. I don't know what to say - I get all frantic just thinking about it.

So there is a lot of poking and prodding and expensive damned crap to come but I have to take advantage of the fact that my deductible is met. And...in truth...I think it's all related to the boobs. Okay, not the dental visit. But the hands...so maybe I can get that corroborated and start the further agonizing process of planning for that bit of joy.

It is either surgery or a similar level of investment in corsetry.

Add in to this whole mess the fact that my hormones are on a roller coaster this week...I'm tearing up over the Geico gecko for shit's sake. I mean, WTF?!

My sister emailed me about her job at the university in Chicago. This is a situation that she has festered in for a few years now. Before that she festered elsewhere. She is...I don't even know how to describe her. Smart, very. But too polite and quiet. Each job has essentially found her being treated like crap for very little salary. And I feel so sorry for her. Because she spent years getting degrees and is still just a mouse in a room of cats.

And she's asking me what to do...I shall tell you all a terrible secret - a shameful secret that I tell very few. I have literally no formal education. None. The last grade I actually remember with any clarity is 6th (bless you, Mr. Williams, wherever you are...). After the 9th, I went on to...other, more profitable, endeavors. As for 7th through 9th? I hardly recall a thing...a paper in lit class that the teacher read aloud - though thankfully anonymously...aceing cooking class while utterly "medicated"...having a panic attack at the start of a school year wherein you weren't handed your classes on a sheet of paper like in Chicago - no, you shuttled from one table and teacher to another in a room full of kids and parents and my father - my darling father who had done rather little for me in my life till that moment - let me hide my terrified face in his jacket as he picked the courses I would never attend and select teachers whom I would never see. In that moment I forgave a decade of failure. To this very moment, my love for him blooms on that stem of kindness.

Those are the snippets that I can remember and I get these messages from a woman with her - what is it? Doctorate?- and I absolutely cannot fathom it. How can a person get so many pieces of fine paper with pretty ribbons and yet not be able to cope with office politics? All those years wasted so that you can be a glorified admin? I try hard to make the supportive noises but after all this time I am running out of platitudes.

So if we happen to meet and the talk runs to alma maters and majors, you'll understand why I'll excuse myself to the Ladies or refresh my drink.

A strange night...perhaps it's just that I am so tired and full of stupid estrogen. It was a nice evening yesterday, though, as Trooper and I drove through the late night air to drop off reports at the office. An empty country road with just the dead skunks and crickets on the air...autumn is coming and, in it, I hear the words I read all those long years ago...

"Beware the autumn people. For some, autumn comes early, stays late through life where October follows September & November touches October & then istead of December & Christ's birth, there is no Bethlehem Star, no rejoicing, but September comes again & old October & so on down the years, with no winter, spring, or revivifying summer. For these beings fall is ever the normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? the grave. Does blood stir in their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss betweeen the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. The frenzy forth. In gust they beetle-scurry, creep, thread, filter, motion, make all moons sullen, & surely cloud all clear-run waters. The spider-web hears them, trembles - breaks. Such are the autumn people. Beware of them."

Ray Bradbury ~ Something Wicked This Way Comes

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Above The Law

There are a lot of "bad cop" stories in the news lately. Law Dog discusses one here. There is, as one expects, more interest in the few bad than the thousands of good stories. But for me the most important aspect is that men (and women) who are given so much power are able to think of it so casually.

No one is above the law and no officer wants to wind up in prison. What is already hell becomes an absolutely deadly nightmare. So what would possibly bring them to consider action that could lead to that? In the cases I've seen it relates to the ability to sweep it under the rug. And that means having supervisors who are as dirty as they are.

We can look at the story in Atlanta wherein officers entered this old lady's home and shot her dead. And the informant was running around Atlanta, being followed by the narcotics guys, calling the feds because he knew his life was very cheap just then.

This gentleman puts a great many of such incidents in one place. Bless him for his work. Even if it brings shame to some, we cannot hide from it. We can't shame ourselves that way - especially those involved in law enforcement. People who abuse their power should have it removed from them. There is no other way to maintain a respect for the rest, otherwise.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Messin' With Da Law

So it's his "4-day" weekend and, as usual, work still interferes - though, admittedly, by choice. He worked "OT" (it's actually a Federal traffic thing or another) Friday night 6p-6a, woke by noon and is now pulling a part time for a few hours. It's very hard for us because the long weekends are really necessary to recharge not only his own mind and body but our relationship. Still, the money is good and offsets other expenses just now.

I try really hard to not be overly emotional when we make these decisions about the extra work. Logic dictates that the best decision is to have the money. But it sure does make me pouty. The best cure for that is labor. I did what I usually do when it's a nice evening and he's working - I mowed the lawn. This, friends, pisses him off mightily.

See, he takes that duty (and the requisite edging, weed eating and blowing) as his very own - an expression of his rule over his castle. So when I do it he gets all et up. This is my main reason. Ok, two reasons. I need the exercise and it allows us more time to just be together. Otherwise, he'll be out there for three hours. On OUR time. This will leave Sunday just for the rest of our errands and fun. I think it's worthwhile.

However, I think the neighbor kids were laughing as my ass ate my damned shorts over and over.

Little bastards.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Back Seat Delilah

Oh man...the original album version is a lot better but...yeah, memories...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Five Fingers

Dear God - just when you thought the world couldn't get much more weird...you have got to see these. Perhaps a pair will show up in Helen soon?


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Content-edness

Oh, to be able to wax poetic on the subject of food like Ellison or marital aids like V-man...no, my content is always - well, it's not "cherce". This is partly because my past has to be vastly edited to prevent damage to Trooper's rep and partly because I work more than not.

So I try to think of other things to toss in here - instead of music videos - but there is such a...plethora of commentary on current events elsewhere that I don't want to always take that easy route, either. (Fracking hell - I DID want to mention this sale to all the CHL folks, though. The handbags are really nice.)

There is the Zonker method - whereby one posts something damned well interesting then disappear for a month, erase the page entirely and return with something else amazingly deranged and hilarious. But I haven't the mullet for that.

Perhaps I will write about what is on my mind lately and that is Gardening. (Yes, you guys can all move on and look at Grace for awhile.)

See, way back in the pre-Trooper days I had a garden - it was a leased house but it had just about the most perfect format possible. Add in that the septic field had to be completely relaid and the entire back yard was nuked - so I had essentially a blank canvas. I knew I wanted a pond near the highest point and a path meandering down and around to the pool. And I wanted roses. Lots and lots of them. Over the course of 2 years it became the most gorgeous place possible. I even had a spectacular old fashioned glider swing inside an arbor that was covered in roses and surrounded by all manner of flowers.

When I had to leave that place I absolutely wept over it. I was heartbroken. And I haven't really gardened anywhere else since then. Oh, I put in some vegetables here and some potted plants there but...the time has come again to consider that investment of time, money, and sweat. It will be harder, not knowing the area and the common plants. Even the soil is different - vastly so. And I want to do it all in a fell swoop so that the hardest labor is cared for in one horrid weekend, leaving hours in days to follow to plant and mulch. But the bones must be laid out and it is in that process that I find myself now.

And it makes me think - about how I am so much better at this sort of thing than nearly anything else. And most contented.

It's time, I think, to make that promise in plants...after all, a garden is a sort of...acceptance of place. A way of saying "I'll be here awhile..." A setting down of roots...it's time.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Misc.

One in honor of Trooper's riot team membership...


...and another just because the production is so damned good on that song - and we're all damned well singin' it. (Yeah, you can think of me as Cubicle girl...)



Rock on.

It's Official

He's now Trooper I. Off probation, he is now his own man. The children are happy...



Well, Jonesy's saving her celebration for later...


Congratulations, Darlin'!!

It was a long, hard road but we got here!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Going Places

Every now and then my mind strays and aches to see a new vista. I am very much a home-body but there are places I want to see. Luckily, many of them have webcams and I can visit, in a virtual manner, and gather some enjoyment from it.

One of my favorites is the Matterhorn Cam and other associated cams. If you hit this one before bedtime, you can see dawn rise over the alps.

This one is for my beloved Boulder. When I used to go every New Years, we'd stand at the bike stand and call friends and wave hello. Nice to see dawn on the Flatirons. The college has a nice cam, too. You can see just a bit or the whole front range. The Tundra Cam is most excellent.

I've always wanted to visit Alaska and the Squirrel Cam is pretty fun since you can see the temperature as well as enjoy the constant daylight.

Of course, I've a few old favorites that I'd like to see again...and some new places I'd like to get to know (the last mostly due to my love of Great Big Sea)...sigh...I reckon I'd better get a move on before I get too old to enjoy them. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the view from here...