Friday, November 30, 2007

Shredding Miss Kitty

Yesterday was my day for Driving Miss Kitty. I called her in the morning to see if we were going to the mall for Christmas Shopping--a task I dread as much as mopping the floors. (I hate dealing with floors.) Because if we were going to the mall it would require entirely different shoes and a warm coat because it's an outdoor mall. It would require steeling myself for a grueling day of carrying packages and running around like a madwoman to retrieve her abandoned credit card only to discover it was in her wallet all along.

And she has this thing where if she buys something for one of her kids she has to buy it for the rest of the family. Two children and Two Spousal Units equals 4 of everything: 4 containers of butter brickle. 4 containers of caramel corn. 4 oven mitts with brownie mix inside. 4 pairs of Santa Socks, even though they were in women's sizes. I feel bad for the dudes. What does a guy want with a snowman oven mitt containing a package of brownie mix and a pair of women's knee socks with a bright red reindeer pattern?

Anyway, instead of the mall we went to Target where we purchased yet another pair of nail and cuticle scissors and an emery board. Since this new obsession is much more fun than Bug Lights I haven't yet pointed out to her that we've bought at least 5 pairs of scissors and 6 or 7 emery boards in the last 2 weeks.

Then we had to go find a shredder. I haven't blogged about the shredder before because it has shredded my nerves too much. You see, her last live-in caregiver made the Colossal mistake of shredding an ENTIRE PIECE OF PAPER thus ruining the blades and destroying forever the sanctity of her shredder. Miss Kitty tears everything up into TINY PIECES before she puts it into the shredder. Because otherwise you might wear it out.

Indeed, the shredder had seen it's last days. It was probably the original model of shredders and it weighs a ton. I don't personally see why she needs a shredder with that much capacity and a motor that is the equivalent of a Hemy or a Mack Truck but hey! In a household where even the medicine bottle prescription labels must be carefully peeled off the empty bottles and shredded I guess its important.

However, I don't think Target is the best place to buy a shredder. Since she lives a mere 2 blocks from an Office Depot/Max, I tried to encourage a trip there to look at quality shredders at affordable prices but no. Her son had gotten his at Target and her sister had gotten one for 25 dollars so the case was closed.

I don't recommend a 25 dollar shredder, but her sister is the same person who decided that Miss Kitty really didn't need to fix the air conditioning in her house since she wasn't sleeping upstairs anymore and the only super-hot place in the house was upstairs. Cheap is the word I think I'm looking for. Frugal. Thrifty. Bonkers.

After at least 10 minutes of dithering over the Target Shredders, we picked one and I loaded it into the cart. Well, in case you haven't shopped for a shredder, I think I should tell you that it is as heavy as any other major appliance like a fridge or a washing machine.

We hauled it home and into the house. I had to pull the old useless shredder out of the cubby it was in and put the new one in there. On a whim, I decided to TEST the new shredder to see if it worked.

And the battle was engaged. I got one notebook piece of lined paper to feed into the shredder. Miss Kitty had a meltdown. She ran and tore her name and address off of an envelope and handed that to me for shredding. Anything larger was going to break the new shredder, she was sure of it! I tried to explain that such a small piece of paper was not going to trigger the auto-feed mechanism that turned on the blades.

Should I cut this story short? The new shredder didn't work. Not with big paper, not with small paper, not with any paper. I had to box it back up, heft it out to my car and return it. I also had to heave the old shredder back into it's cubby, even though it is broken, because otherwise there would be an empty space and that is not to be tolerated.

I put my back out. I don't know at what stage I did it, but I did it good. I felt that telltale ping as if I'd pulled a muscle entirely off of it's anchoring bone, and I still had to hoist that thing out of the trunk and into the store.

As we were parking Miss Kitty noticed we were right next to a very large SUV that had a nice big Boxer dog leaning out the window and slobbering happily at the passers by. And I was taken aback to hear, "Look at that tall dog! Have you ever seen a dog that tall? That is a TALL dog. I mean, really, really tall. I've never seen a dog that tall, have you? Really. It's a TALL dog."

And it was then that I realized, for all the inconvenience and hard work and struggling over unneccesary purchases and rigid methods of doing things, I loved my job. As I sit here with an ice pack on my lower back, thoroughly bombed on pain meds and shredding entire REAMS of full-size paper in my own shredder, I must admit that I love driving Miss Kitty.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Got Something For Your Punk Ass

During a recent convivial dispute with a hoodlum friend of mine, I was told, "Don't make me send my homie's after you!"

To which I replied, " Don't make me go through the Proper Channels!"

Monday, November 26, 2007

Memory Malfunction! Must Recharge!

I was comparing memory loss stories with my friend who just had breast cancer. She said that chemo brain is just as bad as fibro fog, and I believe her! Chemo would tend to kill off those vital little critters called brain cells.

She said that the worst is when you are supposed to remember something in a pinch but your brain just won't cough it up.

"That's when I implement my most vital survival skill, " she said. "It's called Guess and Go!"

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Got Gold?

While talking with my friend Jeff about our mutual, unending, soul-grinding poverty, I said that having friends you can laugh with makes up for all the gold in the world. Well, almost. He just shook his head and said it reminded him to go buy a lottery ticket.

"What would you do with all that money if you did win?" I asked.

He replied, "I would finally have the money to buy the one thing I've always wanted."

"What's that?"

"The Best of the Accordion Masters CD"

Friday, November 23, 2007

Turkey for Breakfast

Well, I hope all of you had a Great Thanksgiving. Mine was pretty good, I made a ton of food and enjoyed every bite of it. I've had a house guest for the weekend, who is a lot of fun but whom, upon entering the house, seems to explode in every direction. Clothing and shoes on the floor, luggage in every room, paperwork and paraphernalia on all the surfaces and wet towels all over the bathroom rods and floor.

Which makes my head want to explode and that is why I have nothing in particular to say.

Plus, I need to sleep off the triptophan.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fabricating Imaginary Infrastructure

There I was at the grocery store, just chatting away and all excited about getting what I need for Turkey Day. "Do we want to do the homemade cranberry sauce or the canned stuff" "Do you like marshmallows on your sweet yams?" "Yes, I love that! So let's get some marshmallows." I was having a high old time when I suddenly became aware that this entire dialogue was actually a monologue. I was talking to myself. And ANSWERING.

I've been doing it for years and years. It's my dirty little secret and a habit I'm afraid I may not be able to break. I will be an old biddy in a poorhouse yapping away all day long and they will think I am totally demented. What they will fail to realize is that I was that way all along.

If I'd had a family and children and a rewarding career, maybe I would not have had to develop such a companionable inner life. But I never had that so what I have instead is a Jolly Time all by Myself.

It's just so embarrassing when I get caught! Like I really like to TALK in the shower. Sure, ORDINARY people just sing in there, but I have entire murder mysteries. I speak in foreign accents, too. "Thatsa Right, Guiseppe, I buried-a the body in-a da Olive Grove!" British Poufs and Aussie Croc-Wranglers chat back and forth about silly and inconsequential things. Jimmy the sniveling lickspittle likes to chime in with this bizarre statement, "Oh, NO! Not the BIG LOG, Eddie!"

Once I was in the shower and I caught myself saying, "Blood and Gore! I'll rip him from limb to limb and kick his dead body all the way to the ocean! AND I'll come to his funeral in a RED DRESS!"

It was then that I realized the neighbors can hear every word through the hollow echoing tile walls and floor. It even dawned on me that although I make fun of Invisible Guy and Obsessive Compulsive Girl and Night Terror Guy, they may just be saying the same things about me..."There goes Imaginary Friend Girl!"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

You Can Call Me Al

Yesterday some pompous style-windbag was saying, "The look of layering is soooo important in fashion right now!" I just wanted to shout at the tv, "Well I don't THINK so! I beg to DIFFER! My layers of Fat and Flesh are NOT sooooo important!" But then I retracted that imaginary statement because, Hell to the Yah! It's winter! Starting with a thick layer of adipose tissue before donning the thermals, the polar fleece socks, the jeans, the sweaters, the coat and the scarf just makes Good Sense.

Yesterday the amusing Miss Kitty came up with another stunner. She was telling me some meandering story about how all the guests at her son's wedding are connected to each other. She said, "Her name is Sylvia but they call her Jean."

"Is her name really Sylvia Jean, then?" I asked.

"No, it's because her mother's name was Agnes."

It's time to start the pre-Thanksgiving prep. I like to make my cornbread stuffing up ahead of time. This year they were out of Jiffy Mix so I had to make my cornbread from scratch.

I used to just dice up the celery and the onions and toss them in but later on I learned to simmer them a bit first in the chicken broth.

I love my gigantic bread bowl. You can mix mass quantities of stuff in it and it never overflows.

Here's a question to ponder for the ages: Why is it that you can take perfectly soft fluffy marshmallows and harmless, easily-dissolved teeny little Rice Crispies and when you combine them together into Rice Crispy Treats they make this lethal concoction that cuts up the inside of your mouth into shredded flesh strips?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Nature Abhors a Vacuum Cleaner

I had the same vacuum cleaner for about 18 years. It was a little Hoover Upright Devil and it worked just fine. It didn't have any attachments, though, so the baseboards, drapes and upholstery just continued to develop layer after fine layer of Old Cat Hair.

When it finally sucked its last breath, I bought a very nice Eureka The Boss Smartvac. Except I don't see what's so smart about it. In fact it doesn't seem to be the least bit intelligent. And it has the weird habit of popping the front panel open and projectile shooting it across the room every time I turn off the power. I can only figure that this is to remind me to check? if the bag? is full?

I spend just about as much time fitting the door back and latching the hinge as I do with the actual vacuuming. However, my drapes, baseboards and upholstery are looking spiffier than ever before.

Yesterday, I did a good, thorough cleaning and used every attachment that the Smartvac has to offer. I noticed that I didn't seem to have as much suction as I thought I should have, though. It had an odd sounding noise as well, sort of far-away sounding. After vacuuming the entire living room and bedroom, I noticed that I had left the dial on the hose option rather than the floor option. But I couldn't tell that much difference in the quality of the vacuuming either way. So I think it might just be a dummy dial. Just something to make me think I have a very Smart Vac. If it was so smart, it would have TOLD me in PLAIN ENGLISH that I needed to change the dial back to floor when I was finished with the hose.

I've already picked out my next vacuum. I'm really going to upgrade next time. It may take a while, but my next vacuum cleaner is going to be a MAID.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


We never had any dogs when I was growing up. My Mom had an incident with a dog that went mad, once, and the neighbors had a little black nasty thing called Corkie that barked incessantly until it turned up shot in the head. It wasn't us! We were away that day on a trip to Mongo. I still cannot stand the sound of a barking dog to this day, because of the stress that ran through our spinal columns from that dog yapping all day and all night long. It's so interesting, but dog owners themselves never seem to notice that their dogs never shut up!

Another bad thing about dogs is that they don't live very long. 6-8 years is a short life span, and what that means is your beloved pet is going to DIE right in the middle of your childhood. Why do people do that to their kids? All they think about is a cute puppy. They don't look much further forward than the beaming faces of their little ones when they bring it home for the first time.

What we had was Cats! Or rather, One cat for our whole lives. Before we kids came along, Mom had been given an old Siamese named Cougar. Here he is:

By all accounts he was very crabby, but he loved my brother Paul! Cougar he lived to a ripe old age and when he died, we got another Siamese just like him. And named him Cougar. I suppose we would have named every cat Cougar through the ages but it just happened that we never had another Siamese after Cougar #2.

Here is Cougar, a mere kitten. He was so mellow. We were taught to pet him so the fur didn't go against the grain; how to brush him and pick him up so his feet were supported. He had lots of respect; in fact in our house you weren't allowed to boot a cat out of a chair just because you wanted to sit in it. You chose another chair or asked the cat if you could join him. You did that by picking him up and putting him on your lap. Cougar was so mellow he'd always share! Of course I am exhibiting none of the proper cat care techniques in this photo. I appear to be giving him quite a mauling.

This was the first day of school. Paul is demonstrating the proper foot-support cat holding technique.

I have no idea where we were headed, but this was our Sunday Best. My little brother Jimmy must have been sooo excited, his hands are clenched in sheer joy. Cougar is getting older and filling out, but Paul still does the holding.

This was a lazy Christmas afternoon, Cougar is taking a nap with a visiting friend. Why, oh WHY are those pictures so askew?

Paul was about 21 in this picture and his lap is still the favorite choice for Cougar. I still think about him. He lived to be almost 20 years of age and I still have a soft spot for Seal Point Siameses.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Live Long and Prosper

Around about Halloween I read somewhere on somebodys blog that she saw this little tiny girl all dressed up for trick-or-treating. She had on an embroidered peasant skirt, a Mexican blouse with a shawl, and her black hair was wound around her head in an old-fashioned braided crown.
When the child turned around the blogger could see that she had painted a black unibrow on her forehead.

She was dressed as Frida Khalo!

I loved all the unique and homemade costumes, much more than those icky plastic and shiny rayon ones that came from the five and dime. The masks were sweaty and your mouth always got wet, and the costume itself never had any FIT to it. I was a big one for having things as realistic as possible. Somehow an icky knee length thin nylon Princess Dress with glued on sparkle flakes just wasn't REAL enough for me.

I wish I had pictures of all my Halloween costumes through the ages, but I don't. In digging around I did find this one:

That's me; a Dice. With my faithful sidekick Spock.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Toys R We

Here I am, Little Miss Pink Ponsonby in my tomboy phase! Isn't that just the cutest thing EVER? I love the way I'm holding my hands so my fingers are touching. And check out the hand-me-down boy shoes and socks from my older brother. I'm sitting on the side of the tractor tire sandbox that we never got to play with because it was always wet and damp from being in the shade and besides it was the neighborhood-wide public toilet for cats. The pink plush toy must have been something I dragged around with me as a Linus Blanket. I wasn't much on dolls at this stage!

Later on I was all about the world of Creative Design. Does anyone remember Sparkle Paints? I would have done those for hours except I think the box only had about 4 pictures in it and then you were done forever. And I remember so distinctly that the green sparkle tub was totally dried out. I love my red smock and my intense focus on The Arts.

Toys were such a part of our household, and I never realized how much until I started looking through the really old family archives. Here is my baby brother in the midst of a typical day of chaos:

He's sitting on the floor watching TV while licking the pan of fudge with a giant spoon. He's got his toolbox, airplanes, jigsaw puzzle and record albums nearby in case he wants to switch it up during the commercials.

These pics are so fun! But my all time favorite has to be this one:

My brother Paul: Poster Child for the NRA. Pow! Pow! Pow!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

T Veeeeeee

This made me laugh! It's about cats!

I love the show BONES. It's like Joan of Arcadia meets The X Files. I loved both those shows so I love BONES. It's one of those rare tv shows where I ended up loving Each and Every character! Usually, like in the case of Grey's Anatomy, I end up being bored and hating on a few of the sub-plot lines because I het the actors. But with Bones I love them all and am so happy to find out the next chapter in their lives. Like when Booth gave Bones the little Smurf. And not the Smurfette that she had always wanted but the Brains Smurf because she is so much more than a cutesy female.

But the highlight of the night was when Dr. Hodgins says, after digging up a time capsule and finding a gigantic floppy disk and a 'Classic Coke': "That is so 80's it makes me want to push up my jacket sleeves."

That is soooo Miami Vice!

And then there is KITCHEN NIGHTMARES. You know, I really like that Chef Ramsey. I know he is a hard ass but he is so cool! Last night's episode was practically a 'feel good' experience! The family loved each other! They turned their food around! And I wanted me some of them pretty piped mashed potatoes on top of that Irish Stew. Who does that in real life? PIPES out of a pastry bag? Mashed potatoes? Onto the top of an Irish Stew?

AND! That odious Cameron the Bare Chested Soap Opera Star got booted from the competition on D.W.T.Stars! It was such a win-win week in T Vee!

And now an excruciatingly personal self-remark that the men will please leave the room for: After 500 months of doing without, I am having a REAL period. I say, YIPPEE! I still have HORMONES!


Save the Veals!!

I grew up in that magical, psychedelic era when people suddenly sprouted social causes like pinfeathers on a baby chicks back. What had been all dullness and conformity in the 50's, suddenly became wild and free and full of righteous anger, rebellion and expression. There were activists for women's rights, animal rights, Black Power rights, equal rights, free love rights, prisoner reform rights...and so many others that I can't even think.

Because it was all so new and so happening, it was often confusing. Like when my cousin Skeeter Jean thought that a 'Save the Whales' rally was actually a 'Save the Veals' protest. After all, what kind of hard life did a whale have when compared to the horrid confinement and ill treatment of those sweet little baby veal calves?

Or like when I found out we were supposed to be burning our bras. I had just gotten my first bra. I needed it. I didn't want to burn it! It was from J.C. Penney's and cost almost 5 dollars! My mom would KILL me if I burnt that bra.

Anyway. It's no surprise to me that for all these years I thought, when The Doors were singing "God-Damn the Pusherman", that they were actually singing "God Damn the Butcher Man!"

You know, like a Vegetarian's Theme Song. Ha, ha, ha! Save the VEALS!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's a Gas!

And now for my Right Royal Pet Peeve Rant of the Week!

What if you went to the store in the morning and you saw a dress you liked and the price tag said $10.00. But when you went back to get the dress after thinking it over, you saw that the price had gone UP by five bucks! When you asked the store clerk why the dress had suddenly gone UP in price, you were told that the price of fabric had risen in the world market by 20 dollars a yard. You would be incredulous! "What does that have to do with this dress that was manufacture last season at last season's prices?" Why would the price of a dress that was already bought and paid for suddenly fluctuate according to the current prices?

Well, that is what they are doing to us for this gasoline situation! The gas in those underground tanks at the gas station has been bought and paid for. Why should the price suddenly soar up on a daily or even hourly basis just because there is a 'crises' in the oil supply? The next time they buy gas, they can raise the price but how disgusting that they are making us believe that the pumps can go up or down according to the market whims of the moment?

Well, it seems they have us over a barrel. Pun intended!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Food Follies

It's been a busy weekend. I did lots of cooking, lots of entertaining, lots of cleaning up afterwards and lots of napping!

I made cherry nut bread without the nuts, but it fell in the oven. It reminded me of when I was a kid learning to bake cakes and one time I opened the oven door and gave the cake a good jiggle when it was half-through baking just to see how liquid the center was! Can you believe it? Of course the cake fell like Babel. And I got the brilliant idea to fill the crater with chocolate pudding, and the cake was a success! Good save! And I've been a top-crack little chef every since!

This time I did no shaking...well, maybe just a little...but I was able to save it by cutting it up and arranging it prettily on a plate and none the wiser were my guests!

I also made chocolate/butterscotch chip cookies with just a handful of oatmeal thrown in for texture and nutrition.

And a whole bunch of those cream cheese appetizers. I don't know the name of them but you use Poppin' Fresh Doughboy crescent rolls and instead of making the crescent shape you leave the dough in one piece, kind of roll it out a bit or pinch the seams closed and them spread any kind of filling on it. Roll it up, cut it into pinwheels and bake according to the package instructions. These are cream cheese/black olive/mild green chilies; chicken and cheddar and Mayo/ and Ham and cream cheese.

When Jeff called and found out I was baking cookies, he did his best Cookie Monster impersonation and started chanting, "Cookies! Cookies!" in that rough Oscar voice. I told him they were for my guests and he replied, "Let them Eat Cake!"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

First of all, my apologies for not posting for a few days. My keyboard wasn't speaking to my computer. No interface whatsoever. And it was hard on me, haaaaard! I felt like I was being forced to go cold turkey off cigarettes or heroin or something. But it's all better now.

I got another haircut to fix the one I got before. And now I just want to know...

Do I look like Jon Bon Jovi?

Or Owen Wilson?

You decide.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different

I had a mysterious occurrence today! A serendipitous, synchronicitous event!

I went to WalMart. I had my list in my hand. As I was filling my basket with all the stuff from my list, I really needed to cross off the items as I got them so I didn't forget anything. So I looked for my pen. It wasn't in the little side pocket where I keep it, but it's not unusual for it to be down in the bottom of my bag, so I scrounged around for a while, but since I had just cleaned out my purse, it was easy to see that I had left my pen at home.

A lifetime of writing upside down and at an awkward slant has taught me that ball point pens do not work for me. Nor do those popular gel pens. I have to have an extra-fine point felt tip pen. I really like the Pilot Razor Point Pen Extra Fine. They are almost impossible to find and I really horde the ones I have. I keep tabs on them. I don't let them slip away. In fact, I usually carry a normal, serviceable but cheap Bic in my purse for loaning out should anyone ask. That's how close an eye I keep on my Pilot Razor Point Pens.

I was disappointed that I had left it at home but just kept on with my shopping. Kitty litter, cheesecloth, laundry detergent. Bug lights.

While standing at the tin foil and plastic wrap shelves, just preparatory to reaching for some gallon size Ziplocs, something fell out of the sky and tapped me on the head and rolled away on the floor. I looked down at my feet wondering what in the heck it could have been when what to my bright shining eyes should appear but a Pilot Razor Point Extra Fine Tip pen!

Did God just borrow it for a moment to tally my deeds and then toss it back to me? I was not touching the cart or the shelf, so I could not have dislodged it from anywhere. I never put a pen behind my ear so it didn't fall out from there. I looked up, I looked down, I looked from side to side and all around. There was no one in sight.

What are the odds that some other person uses that very same pen and accidentally lost it in that very place on the very day that I happened to be walking past and needed one? If so, did they leave it in mid-air? I ran all the possible explanations through my computer mind and could not come up with a single logical reason where that pen came from.

Wow! Many Happy Returns of the Glorious Day.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

What the Hell Time Is It, Anyway?

Okay. So last night before going to bed I set my little bedside clock ahead one hour. Because it's Fall Forward, right? Who falls backwards? You fall forward if you fall down the stairs. But if you need to spring out of someones way, you Spring Backwards, don't you?

That's the way my mind works and I can never rearrange it any other way.

So I am very glad that my computer knows more than I do, and set it's own clock to the proper daylight savings time change. When I awoke I was two hours away from reality.

Plus, I had to run around and try to get all my clocks changed within the same minute so they would be synchronized. Otherwise I keep racing to the computer to double check to see if it's still the same minute. I don't want a house full of clocks that are minutes apart from each other. It's no wonder I gave up wearing watches. The strain of setting the time on all of those would surely cause a rift in the time-warp continuum. Yanking time around like that could cause the earth to suddenly stop on it's axis and head back the way it came. I'm just warning you, is all. Is all.

I don't know what idiot invented this whole clock-adjustment thing twice a year but here it is only 5 in the morning and my internal body clock thinks it's six. For at least the first week after changing the clocks I have to think, "Now, what time is it REALLY?" so that I can adjust to sleeping and eating. My body will want to eat dinner at 3 in the afternoon and I will want to go to bed at 7 o'clock at night.

It's like a torture device to keep the masses opiated. This is probably when "Great" Leaders plan Wars, or when the Illuminati seize another 3rd world country to exploit it for commodities. Everyone is too busy trying to figure out what the darn time is, and they can't pay attention to the World at Large.

Okay, now. After this rant, it's time for tea.

I think?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Donate Today!

Ah, what a Diverse and Astonishing world it is, to be sure!

The other afternoon a young scroungy looking couple came up my stairs and started pounding on the neighbor's door. I know for a fact that Invisible Chinese Man never has guests, not once, No Not Never in the 12 years I've lived in this apartment so I thought I would kindly inform them that they had the wrong door. The wrong apartment. The wrong stairwell.

Scroungy Dude was affable and charming in a boggled, stoned sort of way as he headed down the stairs but Scroungy Chick was surly, non responsive and perhaps not quite a sentient being? as she stood 2 inches from my screen door with her back to me the entire time the Dude and I were conversing.

When the doorbell rang at 2:15 AM this morning I was therefore not surprised to see the Return of the Scroungers. When I peeped through the spyhole and asked who was there, the Dude said in a cheery, WIDE AWAKE voice, "Oh, we rang your doorbell by mistake! Don't worry about it!"

I again repeated the sage advice that they were in the wrong stairwell and went back to bed.

I know that all human beings come auto-equipped with a self-correcting device. It collects data and registers ones whereabouts so that one can more easily return home without having to consult a map each time. It's how rats find Cheese in a maze. It's how Sheep return from far pastures to the barn. It's how lemmings find the sea.

I would think that 20-something scroungers could find their own doorstep, but maybe their genetic coding has been compromised by all the Meth?

The people, and I use that term laxly, that the Scrounger Kids belong with are a loose collective of dykes who live upstairs on the other side from me. I don't have anything against dykes except maybe their haircuts, but you really don't want them living next door to you! It's the fights, the beer brawls, the cursing and spitting, the cigarette butts flung into the shrubberies. In short, it's like living with a passel of filthy dragoons. Or perhaps a low-born horde of salty sailors on shore leave. Or maybe even a bevy of foul-mouthed truck drivers endlessly congregating in a honky tonk down South.

It's 4:45 am now, and I never did make it back to bed. Too much torment and angst coming from next door. It's not really a party, per se, more like a gathering of fierce young heroines and their chosen hero. There has been quite a debate going on, and from what I gather, one of the gentler dykes is ready to be bred. She wants a baby and she wants it now. She is quite seriously haranguing Scrounger Dude to see things her way. He is holding firm to his ground, but the combination of being directionally impaired and just so stoned he can't stand upright without swaying to an imaginary samba beat, is causing that ground to turn to quicksand.

Her powers of persuasion are greater than his befuddled senses can withstand; his muttered and slurred proclamation of "I'm not ready to be a father!" was quickly voted down. She said:

It's not a FATHER it's a DONATION!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Ritual Beheading

This morning as I was blithely slicing away at my legs, I noticed that I still had the plastic guard over the razor blade. This led me to ponder the whole process of haircuts and shaving.

There is real scientific fact behind the belief that the phases of the moon effect our world. Like the tides, for instance. And how people go lunatic on the Full Moon. So I never had a problem with my Great Granny's rule that you never cut your hair when the moon was waning. It would stunt the growth of the hair. You had to cut your hair when it was waxing so that you could have longer, more luxurious hair.

I don't know why I would want to get my hair cut during a time guaranteed to make it grow faster, since it grows like a weed anyway and haircuts that are too frequent are anathema to me.

I consider a haircut to be a ritual beheading. Good for the soul, very cleansing, a great way to make a statement about change and purpose in your life, but if you aren't careful you end up with nothing but a stump for a neck and no longer able to navigate through life using your brain and your eyes.

Yesterday I got one of those VERY bad haircuts. It's a fact of life, practically a scientific fact, that whatever instructions you give the hairdresser, they do the opposite.

I only have two rules: Don't give me a dyke haircut, and don't give me an old lady haircut. I'm heavy, my bone structure got lost years ago as it sunk deeper and deeper into the fleshy, fatty bog that is my face, and I just want to have trendy hair to make up for my biological, genetic and willpower failures.

I went into one of those 12 dollar places--impulsive, I know, but when the urge for a haircut is upon me it's like itchy hives until I can get one--and I was immediately happy with the decor. It had antiques and real art on the walls. That's an amazing bonus as far as I can tell: It just means a guarantee of a great haircut, right? Someone with decorating taste would be up on all the best, new trends in hair fashion, correct?

Sure, if the place had been decorated like Ikea. But these were antiques. And the staff was Vietnamese. Don't make me go on. You can see where this is going. All I wanted was some of the bulk cut out of the back and sides so I would stop looking like Bubble-Hair Barbie. I didn't want anything off the length and I didn't want my bangs shorter and I would like some more chunky layers using the texturizing scissors.

What I got instead was a poufy, super-short, non-layered, short bangs style upon which texturizing scissors never came into play.

And the girl told me, "You look really stylish from the back." I'll be sure to walk backwards, now, until the next waxing moon phase.

Then! The 12 dollar haircut morphed into a 20 dollar haircut. Why didn't I see this coming? Somebody has to pay for all those antiques and art, after all. I was told that the 12 dollars was actually for MEN, but women have to pay 15. Then, I was told that there would be a 2 dollar surcharge for using my debit card for any amount under 20 dollars. Then the girl said, "So, that's 17 dollars and what do you want to leave for my tip?"

She actually DEMANDED a tip from me! And I caved in! Standing there with my short, shaggy hair that only looks good from the back, I actually gave that woman a 3 dollar tip.

Which brought my total up to 20 bucks which means that she didn't have to charge the surcharge after all and probably just gave herself a 5 dollar tip on the sly.

Let me pull out of that math slump now and go on to say that it has just dawned on me that if the waxing/waning moon thing works for the hair on my head, why wouldn't it work for the hair on my legs? I could save a lot of money on disposable razors and blunt far less of those plastic safety covers while trying to wear away the hair like erosion on sandstone. And the money I would save could be horded up and spent on a really GOOD haircut. Someday. When the moon is waxing.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Food Bank Halloween

I hope everyone survived Halloween. I have friends who can't stand it and friends who ignore it and friends who are so into it that they plan and make their costumes for a month in advance.

This year I went as a fibromyalgia sufferer in flannel pajama bottoms, a XXXL white tee shirt with a warm fuzzy sweatshirt over it, baggy socks and mattress head hair. I was so into the spirit of my duds that I took myself off to the food bank to stand in line with the rest of the halt and lame.

I stood next to a perky older gentleman who was witty and pleasingly snarky. He was very entertaining as he pointed out how young people have no clue and don't realize all that they are wasting in life.

Behind me was an old geezer pushing a urine-soaked double baby stroller. I presume he brought it to carry his groceries in but the smell was so overpowering that people all down the line were holding their noses and gagging. One lady, probably high on meth, hyperactively announced to everyone that she couldn't take the smell and was leaving. Her friend said, "Don't leave me in here!" to which she replied, "Why not? I don't know where I am anyway!"

Everyone seemed to know everyone else, and the jolly camaraderie was infectious. One young man joined us and crashed the line telling the urine-geezer "I should slit your throat from ear to ear, Nigger, for dragging me down here so early in the morning." This statement, although terrifying to me, made the whole crowd including the geezer laugh with joyous abandon.

While I was pondering the social acceptability of the "N" word in this crowd, the Perky Gent got all excited. He had glimpsed a large flat of Halloween Candy that they were giving away. This got everyone off the subject of slitting people's throats, and onto some sweet reminisces of Halloweens Past.

I piped in with the story I'd seen on last night's news, all about how people bring their kids in carloads and droves to Land Park where the rich people live so they can trick-or-treat in safety and get really good loot.

Perky Gent said, "Nobody would bring their kids to Oak Park where I live. You are lucky to get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into 8 slices. One guy gives out a single walnut to each kid. Man, I told that dude to stop handing out walnuts nobody wants that shit!"

The Young Man said, "That nigger will get his throat slashed from ear to ear one of these days!" and everyone fell out in gleeful chuckles, returning the conversation to happy stabbings, slicings and dicings.

I felt so safe and warm.

Perky Gent got his food first, and made a remark that as a senior citizen he deserved some help carrying all the bags of groceries. He loaded up his arms with bag after bag of heavy canned goods, and along came Young Man to help. He grabbed one bag and headed out, leaving Perky Gent with all the rest. He looked at me and twinkled, "Young People!"

So now I am glad it is November. It's time for the rains and the fog and that crisp winter feeling in the air.

So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world.
- John Clare, November