Thursday, December 31, 2009
This is what I was dealing with as I did so...thankfully, the ancient camera doesn't take sound so you cannot hear me chanting "give me the crazy chicken...chicken...CHICKEN!"
Nor the ending of "don't take the stuffing out, you fool!"
Ranger - 98 pounds of sheer love and torment. As for the yard? Mudpit. The upside down pool served to protect the worst corner - it needs to be moved again. Sigh...an ugly terrible mudpit.
Except for the lettuce. Sorta. Can you see the mess just near the remnants? I KNOW! It's a really sad little lettuce patch but it is still going strong!
And yes, so are the radishes...and the oregano. A second lettuce patch is coming up, too.
Enjoy this snippet of my NYE fun. If it makes you feel any better something bit the shit out of my thumb as I tried to get the lettuce. Ants, probably. Payback is definitely due.Meanwhile, I think I shall pour a glass of something. Of course Trooper's working. They all are. Except the new Corporal. Hmmmm. Oh, well. If it all goes well, Ranger may just have some company soon...professional company. Keep your fingers crossed and prayers said. And please - stay safe and happy this evening!!
Monday, December 28, 2009
"Violence has erupted at most of the EDL's demonstrations. In total, nearly 200 people have been arrested and an array of weapons has been seized, including knuckledusters, a hammer, a chisel and a bottle of bleach."
Those are weapons. There. Now. How long before we are brought to that same low standard? Well, perhaps not those of us watching for it...
Friday, December 25, 2009
I take a moment to think of them...
It's late and I know I ought to be in bed. An early rising, a dish to prepare and then a drive to see family...It was difficult to get in the spirit of things this year - starting too late to be much good. I rely on the hope that friends know I love them even if the wrapping is late.
I love that new header - a delightful drawing by Sulamith Wulfing. It is precisely what I feel about the holiday. Perhaps a bit too Scandihoovian for some, and a bit arcane. But I love it all the same. That kind of peace - that acceptance that the child you feel yourself to be will still be present in the crone that you will become. I believe that will be true. I hope so.
I wish, sometimes, that it was like this - still...innocent of so much. Simpler. And I think that shall have to be my motto in the days to come. Pare back, downsize, be glad for the simpler things and surround myself with them. Perhaps that innocence will wend its way to me.
Now, this is a bit of fun and lighter fare - I have to say I love how he shakes that tail like a stripper at 2:45a, eeking out that last dollar bill. Wait - that wasn't terribly holy, was it? Sigh...well, so it goes. This one courtesy of those guys.
It takes one hell of a pilot to fly that "badly". I know my taildragger friends will give it a special glowering eye.
Oh, Merry Christmas to all of you, you delightful few - my dear friends.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
This is a really fascinating bit of science - real science - on the matter.
Back in the day I hunted weather across the states. I was rather familiar with clouds and their impact on the weather. It was unmistakable, and is so to anyone - even a child. What disturbed me during a visit here with this man was his absolute resolve about "warming". There was no argument permitted, no discussion at all because HE was a SCIENTIST. He just KNEW and there was no reason to bother trying to explain it to dumb little people like me. He turned his back, sat at his SparcStation and I knew...
It was in that moment that I saw the truth in this: people staked careers on the thing. Their income. Their entire persona was wrapped up in this belief and to look at it from any other angle would be to deny themselves of themselves.
I've always felt that we could certainly muck up an environment - that is a simple enough fact. But a planet? A system that we cannot possibly comprehend since we don't even know what lies under the entire skin of the thing? What forces are at work below us? What of the continuously expanding volcanic activity the last decade?
Too, a daily visit here always reminds me that what we have - what is under our feet - is a very brief oasis. We are fools to just stand on the crust and imagine it will last as it has been for the last thousand years. Better if we were to start kicking off this dust and finding a few alternatives in the galaxy. Maybe not as kind, perhaps hardly even tolerable in comparison to this glorious idyll. But it is either that or agree that we, too, are temporary. That humans ought to just go quietly when this world fades. And it WILL fade.
When I was quite young it seemed to me a foolish thing that adults knew of this fact and yet did nothing. And we do nothing even now. We hunt among our closest companions using the most crude methods of propulsion and imagine that it will help.
I'd always thought we'd be past that by now...but I suppose we are still in our cradle, playing with our loud toys and thinking we know our world, entire.
H/T re: video - Ghost
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
And this? That unholy trinity never so obvious as in this little heartrending snippet of their lives...
Her beauty and her beast each giving her what they could for those 8 minutes. Even if it cost them...
Friday, December 18, 2009
How many years gone? A decade...
My slow workday permitted musical distraction and a soundtrack crept up on me. I'd forgotten so much. Or allowed it to slip aside for sanity's sake. Either, neither, both.
It's a terrific movie - but not if you want something simple and, well, American. But if you like...something different...do try it on for size. And do not miss out on the soundtrack. Perfect for that certain evening...
Wish (Komm zu mir)
Somebody Has To Pay
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
But what about after the holiday? In other words - What About Me?! Or, as it were, You?
Well, if you are in the Austin area, consider this...
BookPeople would like to thank all our loyal customers and friends with a
special New Year's Day discount. From 11 AM until 11 PM, almost everything in
the store is 20% off. CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY, all day on January 1st,
It's an interesting shop, right in the middle of town and near some nice shopping so one could have quite the diverting expedition. (Ed, they also host a great many author events there...hint, hint...)
If you're looking to get anything at a good price, this is the day and the place to do it!
Monday, December 14, 2009
I was the best prepared and trained person in that class. (I shot this - loaned by a dear friend.)
Yeah, I know. Damned frightening to be honest with y'all. Of a row of about 5 people NONE knew (or at least practiced) indexing during the range test. The class boss and RO had to tell them no less than 3 times to stop it or go to the back of the class.
My only issues? Forgot the Safety step on the first shot (and I'd had issues with that during my test run the day before - "Go equals Safety Off!") and then, in the 5 rapid fire I limp wristed shot #2 and it was a flier. Otherwise? A 245 out of 250. And just before the last series my friend (an RO that day) stepped close and whispered "you already passed". I grinned like a moron.
There were a few things I would have done differently if I were them but the overall experience was good - very professional, very organized, very adult - as in they did not speak to us as though we were fragile children.
Now...I have to wash my boots - again - that were mired in mud at the range. As was my truck...thank goodness for 4WD. Just have to wait on the state. But yes, it may be that Trooper can find out who gets my packet and ensure it gets moved on out. They have been seriously inundated with them and there IS a backlog. But you'd be amazed at how much detail they have to work on for each packet - during work hours while also getting their job done.
I'll be happy to get my card by springtime.
Which - ahem - may be the time I finally manage to get my Springfield. Damn It.
(Yeah, I know. If you want the best, you get to wait for it.)
Still, I rock, you know.
Just thought it needed sayin'.
Friday, December 11, 2009
The place, now, is unfamiliar to me - so much more gentrified than ever it was in my day. Rather, it was dank, dangerous, and far too often uncomfortably cold in the winter. The landlord was cheap and the coal that was stuffed into that basement was metered out in a miserly fashion. Our 2nd floor apartment did not have the benefit of rising heat like those at the top. What came from the few aging radiators was sporadic at best. Hardly enough to thaw the mittens we stored there after play.
We were so young, my brother and I, that we didn't really notice it most of the time. One slept in thermals or flannel nightgowns, huddled under the blankets. You would wake to frost on the inside of the window pane, the single and ancient glass hardly sufficient against that kind of weather. I used to get up in the night and trace that feathery ice foliage with a finger, or blow warm breath on it to melt a spot away. The daylight rendered it mundane but in the night it was like a fairy tale world.
My mother would sometimes try to reach the owner, force him to understand that it was not for her but for her kids that the heat needed to be turned on. Indeed, he would wait far into the season before starting up that furnace. But she also knew that pressing a man that could put her and five kids out in winter was a dangerous thing. It was a kind of internecine war she fought. It was a battle she fought for many years and I think it made her old far too soon.
Once, when it was unbearably freezing - perhaps he was on vacation - mom had us all make beds in the kitchen, that oven set to warm the room, the door to it opened. She put blankets at every entry to keep that heat inside that room. It was so very cozy...I can recall that there was a kind of golden glow in the room...and we all managed to live until the morning and the hot oatmeal that was our winter staple.
I walked a rather long way to school - compared to today's kids - trudging along in the street where the cars had knocked the snow down a bit. Most of the sidewalks did not get shoveled. You dodged to the walk when the slush was tossed by the wheels then plodded onward. I don't really recall being overly cold on those walks. Sometimes it was quite nice - bracing, one might say. Crystalline cracking snow...blue, almost.
But mostly it was a trial, that cold. How long did we have to wait outside before they'd open the school doors where we could start to thaw? Would they make us go outside for recess? (Of course they would - they needed a break, too.) Did my gloves thaw and dry in the cloak room or would they become icy weights by the time I got home, useless and chilling my hands more than they'd be if bare.
How I laughed that one time - we'd moved ever so briefly to Virginia - when they closed the schools because there were flurries. Flurries. I got on the bus, so much more mature than the giggling kids, and mentally mocked their pleasure with my city girl disdain.
I haven't lived in that kind of cold since. I love to visit the snow. There is a part of me that needs that chill, that crunch under foot. I require that inhalation of icy needles to be happy. I haven't been in over 3 years, I suppose. There is a kind of...mourning...as if that season moves on without me. It doesn't need me to continue its frost and thaw.
But I need it.
Without that deathly freeze the spring doesn't rise in a soul...or so it seems to me.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Yes, this is the back door entry point and the sacrificial towel for Ranger's large paws. A week of rain and cold ensured it was put to use. As were a number of other mud towels...my sister laughed at how well he knows to stop there and wait as each paw is wiped. Sometimes he bristles at the delay, allowing you the rear two but wanting to go-go-go with the front two.
Of course, he sometimes has to hide his rawhide bone overnight and retrieve it, nicely seasoned, in the morning. Each episode demands one look carefully because that front left is going to be needing more work. I love to give him the "Were you digging?" admonishment - he immediately goes into the subdued and slightly apologetic stance. I imagine him thinking to himself, "Well, I am a dog, you know."
But now...now it's time to slip on the collar and take a walk in the rather chilly air to get the mail. It gets us out of the house, anyway. And his friend, Cowboy The Cat, always tags along. It must look silly - the giant dog and the wee cat prancing down the road together...
Their ketchup is the best made and their canned goods definitely superior. Their fire roasted versions are definitely worth stocking in the larder. Can't wait to get mine!
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
I have to remind myself daily of that. I try to really bring to mind those things I have and am permitted. I look at that deposit and know that it is very good money for what I am asked to do. But the rainy, cold weather and my persistent sickness makes it hard to be...optimistic. (Add in that all the fun people are gone and I am left with the "Socialist And Proud Of It" or the "I'm A Dumb Blonde Ruining The Lives Of My Kids" to converse with. No more snarky jokes. No more support of my anarchy. It is very quiet.
Then there is the surprise Saturday obligation - getting my CHL - that Trooper sprung on me. I am not ready. I haven't shot the loaned AMAZING 1911 in a month. (Seriously - it is an absolutely perfectly tuned weapon.) I am concerned about doing well under pressure. I am afraid I will perform badly in front of staff that know my friends and Trooper very well. I don't want to embarrass them. So it means tonight and every night this week I have to cram - I need to know that gun intimately so that I can do it right the first time. Irked, yes. But proud a little that they think I am good enough to do it cold. Still...it gnaws at my "I hate to fail" foible and makes me blink hard against it.
So I was surprised at how comforted I was just now with the most simple of things - homemade organic raspberry jam. I know! It's red stuff with annoying seeds (because I don't own a chinois). But...it absolutely floods you with the scent and flavor of perfect berries. I had prepared it with far less sugar than the packet of pectin advised so it isn't cloying. It also isn't very jellied because of that. Instead, it just melts across the warm buttered toast and I can savor it...I ran my finger around the little container to get the last bits and thought about the beauty of those jewel-like things. Delicate, and so different in their organic form. A true gift of their whole goodness given to me to enjoy.
These small gifts serve to remind me - all of this commotion is really just inside me. I can choose to let it go, take a kind of zen view of things and let them roil past. It is only my need to fret that brings about these fears and trepidations.
To be more simple, more calm - that is what I ought to work on. Let go. Let be.
Monday, December 07, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Second - no matter what the above implies, I love me a geek. Like these. It's lovely. Just lovely work.
Third - I was not aware of just how much the dog loves cold weather until the other evening. He took his antler chew bone (indestructible!) and was prancing, bronching, leaping and tossing it around in joy. Grunting was also heard. And then he did his mad-eyed tail-tucked run around the yard, dropping the antler right where he intended to stop and change direction, only to haul ass back with it. Over and over until he finally had to stop at the water bowl. He cracks me UP with that business. And so wolf-like the rattle of bone in his teeth...
Fourth - why does the moon have to be out on a perfect star gazing eve like that night was? The sky was lovely but...muted. Made me wish for Marfa again...
Fifth - just how bad is it when my biceps hurt from carrying two books around for 3 hours? Pitiful, sad pudgy arms...
Sixth - I love waffle fabric. LOVE. Thermals, you know? It's like being swaddled. Cozy, warm, soft...
Seventh - there is no seventh.
Eighth - people are all romantic all around of late. Even a dear friend is unable to escape it. It thrills me to pieces, hearing the news from him. I can't wait for it all to come out, eventually.
Ninth - why do those wacky Mormons all seem so damned nice?! I want to just smack their nicely coiffed and attired selves. And ask for makeup tips.
Tenth - I want to go shooting. I want my gun and I want to shoot it. MINE. This is the reason doing business with friends is difficult. But Trooper is on the job - I suspect it is only a matter of a few more weeks...but now he has scheduled my CHL for Saturday and I am NOT READY. (I don't like tests. Have I mentioned that? Hey - we can make that #7.)
Bonus: Trooper is off for the evening, blacksmithing. How's THAT for sexy? He stinks something wonderful after. Mmmmm....
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."
~ 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
- Become a fan of PW.
- Desire a cookbook.
- Ask husband to attend event with you.
- Discover the event will take nearly 4 hours but only after you get there.
- Do Not Feed Him Before The Event - this is vital.
- Ensure he is already feeling under the weather.
- Have him wear his pinchy boots.
Forgive the editing of the photo - by the time we got to her, Trooper was NOT about to allow me my creative photo options that I'd had in mind to preserve our anonymity. Smile, click, let's go.
He was at least able to speak with the immediately recognizable MM - PW's husband. They chatted about the ranch and cattle. But he also had his holster on and had to wear his jacket the entire time and it got quite warm...
I don't know what to say about the signing. I was thrilled to be there. But the venue was too small, the crowd quite large, and there really ought to have been 2 sig - er - autographing events, I think, to allow not only the crowds of fans to adore her but to allow her a break. She was EXHAUSTED! I felt so badly that I just went through it in something of a blur. Like the photo, yes. I wanted to just let her get on with it and let the others - nearly another 50 - behind us get through. All told there had to have been over 500 people...
We paused at the end, giving her husband one of Ray's cards in case they ran into trouble on the road. He seemed genuinely appreciative though, like her, just damned tired. The kids were with her sister and she, too, seemed sincerely thankful for our sticking it through. She gave a perfect "thank you" and a "we know this sucked really bad" sort of wan smile. It helped me - Trooper was quite polite but nothing helped him until we got to the Waffle House - the only thing open on the way home. He figured it also had the highest odds of a fight which would allow him to let out some frustration. (I mock! Mostly.)
I'd write more about it but at this point it is likely best to let that sleeping dog lie - much like my bedraggled husband just now. As it is, I am no longer allowed to use the words book (now "large pamphlet with covers") or signing (now "make your mark"). It's best to just let it all go...and maybe make him that pot roast recipe...
My first sig - er - Make Your Mark event? Memorable. Let us suffice with that: Memorable.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
I am capable of making a meal from few ingredients, making do with very little, and I inherited my mother's hatred of waste. Trooper's grandfather used to, as a child, go to the woods with his friend and find the pine knots there. They would sell that fat wood to the housewives to start their kitchen fires. It wasn't much but it put a jingle in his pocket. It is that kind of drive to make it that has been bred out of the young. A mere generation - that's all it took.
When one sees the rare young person capable of taking care of themselves it truly is notable. That is a sad thing, indeed.
There is much more to say on the matter but I let the links above do the talking - they do it so much better than I...
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Well, fuck me running...as though that beast wasn't slick enough...huh. Must confirm this with my associate. [Wanders off, mumbling...]