Thursday, July 31, 2008

This guy may be a

gun totin', god fearin', golf club swingin', conservative Republican from Fortucky, but he can still get down with his bad ABBA-lovin' self.

Rock on, Terry. I would've given you the sundae. Or maybe some Swedish meatballs.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Welcome Home

Keri is on her way back today from visiting Burt's family in Minnesota, or as she fondly calls it, "Home of the Hot Dish." Ah, family vacations. Almost everyone I know has a family vacation story. I have several, but those are for another day.

Today I want to welcome Keri back with a special little memory about a family vacation we all took together one year. All ten of us, including Grandpa Joe, spent a week on a houseboat on Lake Shasta. That's right - ten people, four of them bratty teenagers, and one tiny bathroom. Good times.

On our last night there, our parents had the grand idea of holding a talent show. This was the year that "Yo MTV Raps" debuted, so Keri and I decided to write our own rap song for the event. Our brothers (both sporting fine mullets at the time) provided the background beats. I still remember the first line.

Here's a little story
We'd like to tell
About a family vacation
That was
For some reason our parents were less than amused.

And so I give you, straight from the summer of 1988:

D.J. Parachute Pants and The Flashdancer

Yes, that really is our hair. We were totally tubular!

What's your favorite family vacation memory?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Welcome to ABBA Ranch, King George

King George, previously of my favorite Boy Most Likely To...arrived on Friday. He was a little bit shy at first and spent one worrisome night hiding in the closet, but today he seems to have made himself right at home.

I find myself just calling him plain old King and singing him ridiculous cat versions of Elvis songs. You ain't nothin' but a tom cat.... eating all the time.... I'm sorry, Boy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Book Review

The other night I had dinner with my friend Wren - something we haven't done in far too long. Wren is an amazing woman in so many ways. She always helps me to remember that we must constantly remain open to whatever life brings our way.

And look what life brought my way via Wren. A new book! Wren swears by it and has insisted that I pass it around to all my other girls when I'm done...those inclined to care about tickling pickles, that is.

I've only made it through chapter two (titled "Meet the Penis & The Land Down Under), but so far it looks pretty good. Of course I can't be sure yet as I don't have a pickle. I mean, I don't have a pickle attached to my body. I mean...well, never mind. I don't know who Dr. Sadie Allison is, or how she became such an expert on the subject, but she seems to really know what she's talking about.

I think my favorite part of the book is that it is filled with random shaded boxes called "Sadie Sez." Interspersed through the different pages of fascinating facts and technique advice are these little gems filled with extra Dr. Sadie pep talks like the following:

Do you know the ONE technique that elevates a great blowjob into an outstanding blowjob? Enthusiasm. More than paint-by-the-numbers know-how, true oral sex artistry comes from wrapping energy, emotion, joy and rapture into your orgasmic masterpiece. Try it!

I can almost imagine Dr. Sadie jumping up and down and waving pom-poms above the headboard, can't you?

I also love the cover and think it's very appropriate. After all, who hasn't practiced zen and the art of stifling your gag reflex on a kosher dill?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Country Creatures Part 2

The weather in Bear River is almost always different than it is in town, especially during the summer. When I leave the house at 7 a.m. it is usually bright, sunny and warm, and I'm usually in short sleeves and flip flops. A half-hour later, mid-way through the descent down Wildcat Road, I realize that I've again dressed completely inappropriately as it's foggy and drippy and remains that way through the rest of my commute into Eureka.

The ride home is exactly the opposite. It's a glorious moment when I turn onto Bear River Ridge Road and the sky cracks open to reveal a bright blue without a cloud in sight.

The other day as I turned onto the ridge and looked down into the Eel River Valley I had to stop and get out of the car just so I didn't run off the road. I was standing in sunlight, but the fog was creeping in from the coast and over the trees. It reminded me of the winter ocean in its eerie beauty, and I just had to get a picture.

I got back in the car and continued on my journey across the ridge. Suddenly right in front of me was something I'd never encountered there before: a giant turkey. I see lots of turkeys here in the valley, but not like this one. The wild turkeys are thin and nondescript. They wander around in large groups and always run away when anyone goes near them. This turkey was different. It was big, fleshy - even flashy with its bright red....well...thing on its neck. You know what I'm talking about.

What really set this turkey apart, though, was his attitude. He stood there in front of my car glaring at me. Then he let out a loud, "Ggggooooobbbbbble!" I'm sure he meant to have an exclamation mark on the end.

I thought he was adorable. I grabbed my camera and rolled down the window to capture him in all his turkey cuteness. It was then that he ran over and started trying to peck my arm. I screamed and rolled up the window quickly as he continued to yell at me. "Gobble. Gobble. Gobble!" He then started pecking at the window. I thought he was going to break it he was hitting it so hard with his beak.

I stepped on the gas a little bit to try to get away from him, and he moved out of the way. As I stepped on it harder I heard a loud thunk coming from the back. The damn bird was trying to jump onto the back of my big boxy Element. He was squawking and flapping his wings and pecking the back window as hard as he could. When I stopped, he ran to my side of the car and began pecking at the window again. When I tried to go, he moved to the back and repeated the same bad behavior. I was too afraid to go faster because I didn't want to hurt him. I was too afraid to get out of my car and shoo him away because of the visions of missing eyeballs and bloody stumps. So I rolled down the window a tiny bit to try to reason with him.

"Listen, " I began. "I'm really sorry about the whole Thanksgiving thing. It started a long time before me. Remember that year I tried to go vegetarian and went with a tofu version ? With the gross cashew gravy? Don't I get some points for that?"

He was not impressed.

"Okay..this year...I'm going with chicken. Trust me. You and your kinfolk are safe. You can go pick on someone else now."

He seemed even more agitated than before and tried even harder to stick his sharp beak through the crack in the window. There was only one thing left to say.

"Turkey. I'm really sorry about this, but get the fuck out of my way."

I stepped on the gas as hard as I could, praying that I wasn't running over his skinny little turkey feet and leaving him in a cloud of dirt.

Fifty or so feet later I stopped and looked behind me in the mirror. There he still stood in the middle of the road looking extremely flummoxed, and I could hear his faint gobble in the distance. I picked up my camera and took this really poor shot through the window.

Just as the shutter clicked he started running toward the back of my car again, and he wasn't limping a bit, the little bastard.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tomatoes and Contentment

I don't often go back and read my old journal entries, but sometimes when I'm tired or lazy or in heat or just not wanting to write I find myself flipping the pages back to weeks or months gone by.

I try to always write first thing upon waking before the night visions are gone and the coffee has lifted the morning fog. Sometimes there are pleasant surprises to read like the bizarre dreams described that I now have absolutely no recollection of or the snippets of small moments in time that seemed insignificant but now seem particularly beautiful.

Sometimes there are not so pleasant surprises, like how trite and overemotional I often sound, or how silly the words are now that I've gained some time and perspective on whatever it was that I was struggling with.

Yesterday while sitting in the morning sun I was flipping through some of January's journal pages, letting the memories I had put away stream back in for awhile.

This past winter was unexpectedly difficult in many ways. The harsh weather coupled with the physical as well as mental isolation of the dark months were sometimes almost too much to bear.

I expressed this in pages and pages...and pages....and pages, sometimes writing the same thing over and over in some sort of strange compulsion. Reading the words made me wince and flinch and twitch and want to throw the whole thing in the river. But just as I was about to fling the notebook away in disgust, I turned the page and saw something different. Apparently on January 19 I had become so tired of my own overwrought angst that I had grabbed a marker and scrawled in large red letters,

"All I want this year is heirloom tomatoes and contentment."

That's it. Nothing more. I think I just wanted to stop the whining and sum things up so I could get on with it.

Tomatoes and contentment really doesn't seem like that tall of an order, but somehow they've both been eluding me. And so, it's taken me six months, but today I took matters into my own hands and at least tried to get on with it.

After a few hours with my hot pink rubber superhero boots and a spade,

I'm half-way to having heirloom tomatoes.

And after the manual labor, a sunny afternoon spent with a book and a homemade chocolate chip cookie at my own private swimming hole on the beautiful Bear River, contentment may not be as far off as it seems.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Country living creatures part 1

It took me awhile to get used to the residents here in Bear River Valley. I'm not talking about the ones who live in their own cute little houses a mile or so away. I'm talking about the ones who live in my cute little house.

The first thing I noticed upon moving into our funky old schoolhouse was a baby bat living in the rafters of the porch. Next to it was a big fat wasp nest.

Then there was the squirrel (the gray fuzzy kind, not the kind wearing the wedding ring,) under the porch.

Then there were the mysterious creatures running around in the attic. To this day we're still not sure if they're more squirrels, rats, feral cats or all three.

We've also found raccoons in the laundry room, lizards in the bathroom, frogs in the kitchen and spiders as well as the ugliest bugs imaginable just about everywhere.

Most of these creatures are fairly easy to get along with, and we all go about our daily lives under the same roof tolerating each others' habits and quirks. In fact, when Squirrel has to work the occasional night or happens to go out of town, I now take comfort in the noises coming from the attic and the fact that I'm not really alone.

A few weeks ago I noticed that the fringe was coming off of a beautiful blanket my mom had given me for my birthday last year. I kept finding small pieces of gold and red fibers all over the house. Then I started hearing rustling noises coming from the corners at night, and we kept finding little brown pellets in places where little brown pellets should not be.

Squirrel has a serious aversion to rodents. Anytime he sees a glimpse of one he starts ranting about the bubonic plague and swinging his machete around wildly. It amuses me to no end.

Last week Squirrel had a job interview. He took his freshly ironed clothes and put them in a suit bag so that he could change in town. Luckily Bee is very generous with the use of her apartment while she's at work, so I went to raid her refrigerator while Squirrel was changing clothes. Suddenly I heard a shout from the bedroom. "There's a mouse in the bottom of this suit bag!"

I giggled, "Don't let it out at Bee's!" and ran to look at it. The suit bag was lying on Bee's bed. I gently lifted the corner, and the first thing I noticed was a giant nest made of lint and red and gold blanket fibers. " little hoodlum..." I whispered to the mouse and pulled the whole top of the suit bag up. There staring at me was not one...not two...but four little mice. Quickly scooping up the bag, I let them out downstairs where I knew they'd be a nice meal for the stray cats living under the building.

I kept laughing at Squirrel while he muttered under his breath about diseases and traps and went on his way.

At home later that night I had almost forgotten about the little stowaways until I opened up the top drawer of my dresser. There, amongst the tangled piles of panties lay the remains of what used to be a fun little collection. There were massage bars with distinct bite marks and chunks out of them. There were pieces of edible pleasure balm spread all over the bottom of the drawer. There was a hole nibbled in the motion lotion, and it was leaking everywhere. And the brown pellets. All over my lacy underwear. I was suddenly not amused or feeling very neighborly anymore.

I spent the next evening buying traps, smearing them with peanut butter, spreading them around the corners of the house and listening gleefully for that satisfying snap.

This is war, you little bastards.