Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bastards on Parade

"I've lost all the time I have in this world, I spend it unwisely, unwisely I see. I can't get it back,and I can't move forward, I'm broken and empty its over for me ... If I could undo all the wrongs that I've caused... fall to my knees and pray for swiftness and just...
but I'm just a fool, a fool driven to dust and the world ain't going to change for me."

Second chances are rare in this world. But I have been blessed with one. I have made a great many mistakes in my life. And while I don't think that I have hurt anyone but myself for the most... I still am grateful for the second chance to begin my life over. So far, so good. But like the song says, I can't promise to be strong.

Not that I am likely not to repeat some of my mistakes. Well, I may. I will try not to, but you know... things happen. I admit to my frailty as a human being. My follies in life are somewhat legendary. But be that as it may... I am at least trying to be a better person. Isn't that what matters? I hope so.

The Rose Bowl is nearly upon us. Go Ducks! Have a safe and happy New Years all!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


It’s the end of Christmas and the coming of the New Year. Time to dump the tree and take out the trash.

Time to do that mentally as well. So I sat down at my computer today and began to go through photos of the past year that I don’t need to keep. Oh a few I’m moving into a “memory” file like a couple of photos of Larry’s family and good old Buddy his dog. It’s wrong to covet someone’s dog isn’t it? Damn I miss that dog! I used to consider… not very seriously… stealing him. Ha. Oh well, a dog takes more attention than I have to give now anyway.

There are other things to dump in my mental dumpster. These next two photos are pictures I took tonight of my old house all lit up. The people who bought it have done a wonderful job improving it. So at least it is well cared for and loved. It would bother me much more if someone lived there and abused it. This is the house that my sister-in-law cheated us out of… girrrr… but that can go in the mental dumpster now as well. I no longer belong to that family of lunatics, bank robbers, cheats and back-stabbers.

Out with the old name… in with the new! I still do not have my stuff all changed. You would think that the DMV would accept my divorce decree… all notarized, etc. But no… I have to produce my birth certificate AGAIN despite the fact they just saw it the last time I renewed my license a year ago. Sheesh! Home Land Yeah… go a head and give illegal aliens a license… but actual citizens, bring out the dark room with the dingy light bulb and let the grilling begin. Legally, according the State of Oregon, that’s my name. So I’m going to use it. The bank accepted it. SS won’t and I have to drive 45 miles with the same crap the DMV wants. Okay… this is what I have to do. I’m just going to accept it. I’m leaving my animosity over the issue behind in 2009 as well.

My boring old life goes in that dumpster. Yay! Okay… so I can’t afford a lot. Nothing is new there. My car is still out of working order. But I am having fun for a change. It’s a nice thing. A good thing. Not that I don’t still have bored moments. I do. Vacation has been good for that. DH is still tied up. He filled in a great deal of time. But my favorite frog has filled in a lot of that dead space. My family, the rest. Squeaky built a twig and berry unit in the snow in our parking lot! I am sure that my neighbors are thankful that we live here. I let him leave it. No one complained or removed it… the new snow has pretty much made it look inoffensive. Lorn fell in the snow and cracked the back of his lap… then asked me to kiss it. Ah… NO. But I got a great laugh out of it.

Unsuitable frogs have been pluted. I’ve got that narrowed down. Today I removed three. For the time being, I have no dates for a few weeks. For those who do not know, today’s date was not what I am looking for at all. Nice man. Nice meal. Nicer when it was over.

The last thing I did was go through my clothes. I dumped so much stuff that no longer fits. That felt very good. It also made a lot of room in my room. Not that I ever have much at a time. But I tend to hold on to things way past their due date. I think… oh I can keep that to paint in. I had things that were my mom’s. It’s been 11 years since she died. It was time to let them go too. That part was hard. They still smell like her.

There is one last emotional thing. X. The divorce gave it an end that drew some lines. It was time for that too. I mean, I was dating and all with his blessing, but X has greatly reduced the time he spends here and has stopped expecting as much from my time. Over the past year we have moved from verbal assault into a good peace. I hate conflict. The reduction in stress is huge. I’m sure it is for him as well. I like him happier.

What things are you tossing in the 2009 dumpster, if you don’t mind sharing?

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Big Lebowski - Gutterballs

Oh yeah! I wanted to see this today... hope you enjoy it too. Yeah, yeah oh yeah... what condition my condition was in.

Okay... you can all blame Tara for this post. She did one of those things on Facebook where you take a quiz and find out what movie character you are. I'm The Dude! Of course that's what three or four of us ending up being, including Tara and Laura b. and myself... but hey... dudes attract dudes it seems. How could I resist with all that dudage?

I tried getting a writing prompt from Squeaky. I said... what is the funniest thing you remember from childhood? He insisted that nothing funny ever happened. I find this disturbing. Surely he had a few laughs. I did! I thought my kids were hysterical. But then Squeaky is the most serious of the bunch. So I gave up on that.

I think Squeaky suppresses things. I asked him if he remembered getting his drawing titled "B Bunny B" in an art display at the town to the left's art museum.

He said NO. But I know he remembers it. They even had a gala opeing for it... well and other kids art work... with sparkling cider and party weenies, etc. He was very proud of it then. But Squeaky is a writer, not an artist. So maybe it wasn't as big a deal to him as it was to his parents. If I recall correctly, he was wearing his first cast on that night.

Squeaky is an emergency room child. All of them have done lovely things to their bodies over the years. But Squeaky does the best injuries. Let's see... there was the time he was playing in the pick up bed and fell out onto concrete and split his head open. I had a devil of a time convincing the insurance folk that it was not an auto accident just because he had been in the back of one. Sheesh... learn from this.... never mention a vehicle at a hospital or doctor's office or the insurance companies fight over which one has to pay... medical or auto.

Then there was the time that he was playing with the neighbor kid. Did you ever have one kid sit on the ground with his feet up... you sit on them and then they launch you? Well Squeaky broke his wrist the first time that way... the day before he began kindergarten... with his left hand and yes, he is left handed.

Then there was the time when I was on the committee that decided to remove the old wooden play structure at the school and replace it with nice, new plastic stuff like they have at restaurants now. Yep... conviced the powers that be that we needed something nice and safe and then with the help of the PTO, we raised the money to do it. The SECOND day our safe playground was open... Sqeaky falls off a platform not two feet off the ground and somehow managed to break his elbow in three places... on the fresh new bark dust. Miraculous really when you think about it.

A very irrated principal called me in to tell me my son claimed he was hurt and needed his mom. Too late, I was on my way to see him after seeing Squeaky's arm. I said, well yes, I would need to take him to a doctor. He felt that Squeaky should just shake it off and go on with the day. I said "Bob, he has two elbows on one arm... that's just wrong." That one required a specialist. Squeaky tells me on the way home that when he fell, he got up and was goofing around and said "I broke my arm" as a joke... then he panicked when he realized that he really couldn't move it... then he ran to find me. Good thing I worked at the school and was handy.

Its all pay back. Every child injury for what I put my folks through over the years. Oh well, at least none of them played football. I count myself lucky that there were no severed parts to reattach and though all have had stiches, not in the number that I amassed. Yet if nothing else, all the things I managed to do to myself did teach me to be able to ignor blood and parts at weird angles... to keep my calm. If you the parent acts scared, it scares the begeebus out of your kids. I think I may have mentioned before that I tend to laugh at them when they get hurt. Now Bear does it with Turkey. My great legacy to my daughter. Ha.

Okay... as for my day, my favorite frog made it a nice one with emails and a call later, though he was exhausted. I really enjoy this one. He's funny and smart and has done a lot of things that are interesting. Ended my social evening on a great note. As for the other frogs... have a date at noon for luch to meet one, another frog who lives close returned from family holiday stuff... and a new frog peeped in.

Life in the pond goes on.

Well I hope you had a good day. I love to laugh and laugh I did. I hope something gave you a great giggle or two today. Do any of you have plans yet for the New Years Eve thing? If so... whatcha doing?

Now here is another bit of Mr. L to amuse you... please... laugh, it's good for you.

A tribue to The Dude in my favourite movie of all time, The Big Lebowski set to the classic looking out my backdoor by Creedence Clearwater

And remember... The Dude abides! And so do I. Now I promised my favorite frog that I would do something for him... I best get on it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Good Rats... 1,2,3,4!

Almost New Years... so how about a good old drinking song? The first voice you hear on this is none other than Shane McGowan of The Pogues. Cool beans! What could be better than The Dropkick Murpys AND Shane Mc Gowan? The answer? Not a whole lot!

Hey I had a nice day... hope you all did too. Not that I did much that was exciting. Okay there was one happy one! Otherwise... A nice normal slow Sunday. I opened my day talking to my current favorite frog. This time I am not telling which. Go ahead and guess if you like. Not really important is it? Naw. A different frog asked me out on a date this week. Hummmm.... this one lives fairly close. I will meet him and give him a fair chance, but I have to say... I don't think I have much in common with this one. He is older than me. No Sean Connery. But you never know unless you try right? Fair is fair.

Otherwise, I worked in the house for a time. Did a bit of grocery shopping. These boys here all think they need to be fed. Imagine that! Let's see... Boo popped in for a bit and drove me around, spent a bit of time with his old mom. Then he took Max up river to visit Max's friends and to get him out of Dumb Potter's Hell. I ran into Max's current gal friend while shopping. I've actually known her for a very long time. So it goes in Dumb Potter's Hell.

Squeaky is home again and he and Lorn are fighting the good battle on any number of games. I have not seen X much of late... we are settling into a good pattern of letting each other live their lives apart. But we still touch bases daily. His crap of a boss left town without paying him is wages for the week. Girrrrr... people like that bug me. So I have worried that he had what he needs. Its the holidays for heaven's sake and no one should go without. But he is holding his own.

The Bear has been difficult to find. What's up with that Bear?

I have been thinking a lot about rain. Yes... I know, what a weird thing to think much about. But you see, I was born on a very rainy day and for years on end, it rains on my birthday no matter where I seem to be living. Granted, it is the rainy time of year that I was born.

I loved the rain in California. There, where I grew up in Fresno, it would rain hard for an hour or so, then the sun would break through and the day would turn to glory! As a child I would rush outside and push a stick through a leaf and set it free in the wild gutters, then run along beside it until it spun around the corner and down the rain grate into the sewer below. I never tired of that game. The stick acted the way a bow does in a kite to make the boat worthy of the rushing water. Very cool beans.

Here when it rains, it drizzles, mists or pours for hours on end. There is no glorious end to the day filled with blue sky and golden light. No Maxfield Parish finish to glory in. No leaf boats to chase. Heck... no gutters to float a boat in either. Just dull, grey, misery followed by more. So today I thought of rain. How it makes my hills as green as Ireland and crazy rainbows that come and go but have no pot of gold. Only drab grey. (For those of you who are sticklers for spelling... yes, that is too a correct spelling of grey. Go look in any store that sells art supplies.... grey is the color on the acrylic or oil tubes. So there! No corrections please!)

I miss California rain. I miss sunshine on Christmas vacation. Yeah... it was the norm when I was a child. I feel like I can grow moss if I stand still here. But it makes us green... and gives us enough water to loan to California. Everything has a purpose in life. I must try to have a better attitude. And here, earthquakes are rare, but they do happen. We rarely have floods, though there have been those as well. I am glad not to have snow... so let it be, I tell myself. Be thankful. I am. But it took some thought to get there today.

Speaking of grey. You have heard C4C urge me to get back to being creative. I relent, dear... I have decided to take back up my pen and ink. I've even chosen a subject matter for the fun of it. But I must put it on hold for a time yet... wait for Tax-mas. My supplies are gone. The years have been long since I last tried my hand and I am rusty. Its like handwriting... it goes to hell if you don't keep it up. Have you written anything in long hand of late? I've gotten so used to typing that my handwriting skills are crap! So I must spent some time exercising that flabby muscle that once drew like I breathe. That's my plan for 2010... to get that back and to begin to do things that once made me very happy.

I forgot to mention something important. Sebastien sent me a wonderful Lighting Bear T-shirt. Sebastien... I have been remiss... look for something very soon in your mail box! Thank you sir for your prompt response! I LOVE IT!!!!! Oh, and DH is designing and making a frame for my print too. Soon I will post photos of both my T-shirt and MY LION! Goodness I love that wonderful piece of art work. Thanks and thanks again sir! I can't wait to get my room redone so that I can properly hang it.

Well, there you have it. My Sunday in a nut shell. And my big plan for the new year. I have others of course. I still intend to keep looking for the right frog who will turn into a prince. I still plan on following my Murphy's rules for life. I will continue to do my walking thing and getting my life back on track. I am hopeful for this new year.

What is your plan for the new year... or do you have one?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A wee bit chilly here!

Well... remember I said that things in December generally go up and down like a roller coaster? Yeah...
Christmas did not go as planned at all. There really wasn't one. Through a series of bizarre events... including Max using the wrong pin on my debit card and freezing it solid until this morning when their offices were once more open to have them unfreeze it... to odd stuff up on the Bear's end. We called it off until Monday. So it goes.

So I drug a tiny turkey out of my freezer... thawed it the incorrect way in a sink of hot water, stuffed it and threw together a modest meal.

All four of my boys were here... Max, Boo, Squeaky and of course, Lorn... plus the kids dad. They watched strange videos that held no interest for me and played video games LOUDLY and joyously.

As for myself... I retired to my room.
Max and I had a brief battle. So I did the adult thing and dressed up his Batman statue in drag for the fun of it. Ho ho ho.

My frogs were about in various ways and places. DH was visiting his family out of town... communication was very brief. Spoke to the new ill frog, who was alone for Christmas.
Met another bran new frog on the phone. Interesting. But for the most part I spent my Christmas evening on the phone with LA frog and had a great time doing that. One of those people who have no trouble making conversation.

Today began with a wake up call from LA and then on to the business of getting my debit card back in operation. What a hassle! Now I have a new pin and have to remember to remember it... or I'll do what Max did and freeze it up myself. Yikes. Otherwise, just about as mundane a day as I could wish for... and believe me, mundane is sometimes very nice!

I've put the boys on alert... tonight is fend for yourself in the fridge and cupboards. I am off cooking duty. I hardly eat much anymore and after 36 years of making nearly all the meals, I am burned out. Its too cold to do much of anything outside. So I'll stay inside, nice and toasty and work on a post for Monday. I think I feel a story coming on.

So that's it my friends. This is my Saturday Evening / Sunday post. I hope you all had nice holidays. Mine was fine... I am not complaining other than I wanted to watch those little boys open presents. I get a real kick out of that. Santa can't wait until Monday. I understand Turkey was dancing with joy. Ha. Must have been fun to watch. But there will be other years. At the end of the day, I was smiling and happy. You can't beat that.

How did your holiday go?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Believe in Father Christmas - Greg Lake (HQ Audio)

Lovely. I know this is a time for family and friends... so no regular post today. See you the day after Christmas.

Please enjoy some musical Christmas stories.

Video Clip

Originally created and produced in December 2004.

And one to make you laugh.

Enjoy our animated version of Bob & Doug McKenzie singing The 12 Days of Christmas! Stay tuned afterward for a trailer for the newly animated Bob & Doug show, coming soon!

You can click out when the trailer comes up.

Merry Christmas everyone... if you celebrate or not... if you believe or not. Have fun, be safe. Enjoy!

Tenacious D - Friendship

Friendship is rare! And so... for my friends, one and all... yay! Thank you. You improve my life and make it light up like the brightest Christmas display... and to those who love and care for me. Very much appreciated.

Things are crazy today in Dumb Potter's Hell. Remember the alternator? Well... X graciously put it in and the dumb thing still did not charge. So it goes back to the guy who guaranteed his work! He can give me my money back and I will buy a new one. Done and done. No more car problems thank you! I have no patience to waste on it anymore.

Nor do I have time. In six short days I am headed back to sanctuary... and beyond that I must be able to get around. Geezzzz... Now I've got Boo (aka Wubby... Wubbigale and B-wreck.) in on it too. Driving me about to get this and that... tomorrow to get the "book" to be sure that X feels confident that he did indeed install it correctly. I almost did the unthinkable today and contacted my father on the issue.

And so tomorrow I will get the book, let X figure it out or not and then return the damned thing and buy the bran new one that I should have gotten last week. Again... live and learn. But thanks to those who meant well and thanks to those who helped. Intention does matter.

As for the frog pond. Yikes. Today I had the worst of experiences. Let me say this much... a sweet man told me has an illness that will slowly kill him... and wondered if I was still interested. I guess it's hard for me to avoid the nine levels of hell after all. I am certainly doomed to experience them. Because, I am afraid to go there. If I had a relationship with him beyond texting back and forth for a very short time... and had time to build a fondness for him... yes. But not now. How very, very shallow is that? And yes, I feel really rotten about it, but am still too selfish to be the person that he is looking for... a much better person than I.

Otherwise, I spent a great deal of time on the phone with LA via several calls. Missed half of my football game later in the evening in fact. Not that is was all that important of a game. The Beavers did not do us proud for O tonight agains BYU's Cougars. They fell down and stayed down. They are not Ducks.

I was still upset after that. I can usually sake things off. But I still felt truly bad. But again... my sanctuary guy... DH came through and kept me from becoming the mess I was willing to be to punish myself.

Have you ever had a completely insane conversation that seemed to make total sense at the time? Well that is where my head goes often. That another person on the face of the earth can join in so readily is way beyond bizarre. I cannot begin to discribe it... but I keep all converstaions that I have on file and can review them as I please. (It's an order thing that I have.) I can look at it and read it back... line for line... I am still amazed by it.

It began with the sad football game... somehow ended up on the Red Sox, which he purposely called the White Sox to get me going on a rant... the Raiders...the history of abused races... a possible encarseration if Dumb Potter's Hell actually had a jail... what we would do to end up there...Cajun cooking for New Years...Rose Bowl... the side effects of medications... something positive for me that I refuse to define...visits from people we don't want to see...and what we will do next week... including finding a particular nudest colony... a place where he nearly died and didn't... thank you God... pieces of poo otherwise known as people in my life and his... frogs, frogs and more frogs... guns and abuses...stupid things that we said as kids and regretted...closely followed by a series of good nights laced with really weird stuff between that I cannot begin to explain... and how much I have been missed.

Yeah, part of me still feels like crap. But another part is going to allow me to sleep after all... like a basset hound after a good root through the garbage can. What's a bit of indigestion after a good root? I may pass gas and snore... but I will sleep well and hard.

Some nights its all you can ask for.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Yay! My car is coming back to me today! It's been sort of a struggle, this alternator thing. I know... I thought I had it all figured out. Take it to the guy who fixes it for money. But those people in my life who care about me stepped in.

First it was X... who insisted that the guy wanted too much for the alternator itself. Okay. So I made phone calls and yes, they were charging about $50 more that I could get the exact same one myself. X promised to put it in for me... to save bucks. Cool beans. So I found one and told the guy that I would come for it.

Enter Mikey P. who knows a guy who rebuilds them for half the price I would have spent to get the new one. Very cool beans. So I have X take it out and give it to the Bear to take home to Mikey P. Who took it to the guy who fixes them. Then I began to wait. It was supposed to be a one day deal... turned into two days, then three days. But the Bear and Mikey P. loaned me one of their cars yesterday... so it was not so bad.

Sounds like a children's story doesn't it.

There was an old woman who had a car.

Her alternator broke... she thought she might croak!

Croak... oh no!

(That's why I don't write children's stories. Ha.)

Only the guy said the thing was so fried that all that was left to use was the case. All new parts inside. The price went up. But still less than what I would have paid for bran new. It has a guarantee too. So cool beans.

Tonight I picked it and Squeaky up from the Bear's. I wasn't planning on bringing that kid back yet... but he's going back again tomorrow when I return their car. He's so intense that one. I was so happy that got the guys pizza from Dominos. Now I recall why I don't care for their pizza. It just isn't very good.

So tomorrow I am taking X out for breakfast to repay him for his trouble. Then I will take Squeaky back to Bear and get to spend time with Mikey P. Jr. and my growly girl. Then she will drive me back and my car will be ready at long last.

Like Joni Mitchell says... don't it always seem to go that you don't what you've got til its gone?

Yeah, I'm in love with my car.

Here's wishing you all a nice, automotive repair free holiday season... and please, please be careful out there on the roads. People get crazy this time of year. I myself will be happy to be safely ensconced in my sanctuary a couple of days before New Years drinkers and three days after. I hate to be on the road at that time. Scares the crap out of me. I hope everyone stays home. Besides, that's when the government makes a good little pile of revenue off of fines and court costs. Don't let them get cha!

Monday, December 21, 2009


This tribute has some special meaning to me. Hubie Crawford was someone I knew for a short time while in college. I met him when he was hanging out on the patio by the cafeteria grill. There were a group of us who met whoever happened to be there between classes. He was a very interesting older man, who had played with some of the greatest jazz and blues musicians. I wonder if C4c remembers him?

As it turns out, he died a little over two years ago from a possible reaction to a new blood pressure medication. That was sad news. Probably one of the nicest people I have run across in my life… and you know how I am… I talk to just about anyone. He was full of fascinating stories and had an outstanding music collection that he happily shared. If nothing else… and he was much more than this… he gave me a good education about music.

One day we were sitting at the table and everyone got up to leave for class but Hubie and me. We sat there quietly, just smoking our cigarettes. Time passed by… after a long stretch he looked at me and smiled. “You know when you are truly comfortable with someone when you can enjoy silence together.” He said. He was right too. I was very content just sitting there in his quiet company. Being silent is something that I do not do often enough. Ha. But I liked that so much that I have carried it with me all these years.

So, in the memory of a funny, talented, kind man. Mostly silence on Oodles of Funch today.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brother To Brother By Van Zant.wmv

I found this recently and loved it. Hope you enjoy it too. But then... I have been a fan of the Van Zants, all for ages. Like air they are. Refreshing and solid as well. Hummm... odd combinatioin huh?

Not much happened today. The Columbia was like the ocean with waves lapping at the shore. I love it when it gets a bit wild. It turns the color of the sea when it rains and today, rain and mist it did.

Without the car to get to the school, I am left to walk where I can. I don't much care for it. It's hard to tell what my feet are up to with the dumb glasses that I picked out last time. I'm gonna have to go back to the oval frames I used to wear that allowed more space. Live and learn.

We in Dumb Potter's Hell are not very particular about our roads... and sidewalks are sporadic. Lots of pot holes and places to twist an ankle. I am careful now after the last whoops. But I did get to see the river rock. Nice.

Here's another favorite of mine...

The Ballad of Curtis Lowe by Lynyrd Skynyrd from the All Time Greatest Hits album

Frogs are fairly quiet. Except for DH of course. But that's another thing altogether. Not really a frog at all. But a good thing. As for LA we began early with a phone call. But he is working long hours. I expect he will crash and burn up soon if not already. I am about there myself. Just after I closed my blog last night we were back on the phone again. He really is funny and I laugh an awful lot. I like that very much.

Otherwise, I am dependent on the kindness of the people in Dumb Potter's Hell to do my shopping etc.
Our ex-bus driver took me to the market today. That was very cool beans. Bear could not make it, but will come tomorrow instead... and take Squeaky away too boot. I am all for that. I will still have Loren and Max here but they run on autopilot well.

I got quite a bit of work done in the house. Yay! I am getting a mattress soon... thanks to Bear. Maybe I can sleep in a real bed again somewhere other than DH's house. I find that I sleep like a rock there. I'd like to do that here too.

Been many years since I slept laying down like that. My chair is comfy, but hey... you can't beat stretching out. (I know most people do not sleep in chairs and it's not considered a problem generally speaking.) But to re-cap for those who missed it... I had two boys who were at an age that required privacy. Eh-hem. And only two bedrooms. I did not require privacy at the time. Now I have taken over the room that used to be Max's. And I require my privacy very much these days!
So it is a good thing.

Well there you have it. Time to knock off for the night and visit those sugar plum faires who eluded me last night. Not that I am complaining... I'm not. It was worth it. Big grins.

Here's to hoping that if you want one... yes, some don't... I hope you have someone to snuggle up to tonight to make your night as bright as can be.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Well I made it to "winter vacation" as they say in the land of politically correctness. I have until Jan.4th.
How cool is that? Of course I'm stuck here, but... meh.

The year after the "Christmas branch"... my boss began this thing with our school's "Giving Tree". It's there for the kids to donate food or presents. My boss at that time, another great guy, decided that someone should have this tree. It's a shame to kill it then toss it before its time. He decided that it would be our tree. So every year since, I have been the happy recepient of a fully decorated by the school children... happy tree. This is the 2009 model. Squeaky will have a cow... he doesnt want a tree. I was going to turn it down but thought that since I was not off to LA, I might as well keep it for my last Dumb Potter's Hell Christmas. It has become a tradition.

I nearly survived the assault of goodies... but today, was waylaid by a cute batch of kids with a made special for me cookie. I ate it. I had to eat it. All those happy, giving faces! After the mocha that Boo got me earlier, they all launched me onto a sugar high that I am still trying to come down off of. hee hee

Frogs are multiplying. I am not sure what to do about it. I have this problem... I like men. Oh yeah... that one. I really like them all. So far my strategy is to let them thin themselves out unless they do something very dumb... or I meet them and decide that's not going anywhere for whatever reason. But I do not meet many in person.

LA has changed his plans and wants to come here to meet me. Now this is one interesting frog. He works like a demon. 14 to 16 hour days until his job is finished... straight through weekends. He has a nice car... his baby is a pretty blue corvette. His kids are all grown. Lots of good stuffs there. We even have almost the exact same heritage, including the Irish grandfathers. He used to race Sprites... my dad raced Sprites... in the same organization. Eeerie. Ha. Too funny.

Meanwhile back in the pond... Deer Hunter and I remain in constant contact. New Years is still on. He likes my Bear... but who wouldn't? He's invited Squeaky to come and stay with me whenever he wants. I am done for the day.

The last thing I want to mention is that I had a visitor

to my humble library... Santa! He's also our sternwheeler captain on regular days.
He and three voulnteer firemen! They left me with a bag of goodies... just what I need. These I promptly gave to Squeaky for safe consumption. That boy is better than a disposal.

The Bear came down to take me to WalMart for my drugs. The not fun ones. I guess you can't have it all.
X opted to put in the alternator for me. Then Mikey P. (the world's best adopted son on earth) took my old alternator to have it rebuilt with a guarantee... for a fraction of the cost I was going to spend. What a hero!
I got to hug and kiss cousin J and thank him again for the rescue. Kissed and hugged turkey. I think I scared Curtis out of their house onto the safety of the porch outside. Kissed my Bear of course. Brought Sqeaky along for the ride... so I wouldn't forget anything. He's not very trusting and refuses to be kissed except under duress.

My day is done. I'm done in. I'm off to visions of sugar plum fairies and a few last chuckles over the cussing out. Its been a good day. I'll be hoofing it for a few days but the Bear has promised to stop in on the way to P'land tomorrow. Cool beans.

Harper Simon - Berkeley Girl

Well the music god handed this gentleman down to me. Thankful I am. I could not have found a more appropriate song for today's post. Enjoy Paul Simon's little boy. I certainly do! And now for the promised fable...

Once upon a time there was a girl called Miss Bliss. She went to a crazy school and learned how to be free. There was a short stint in Seattle that convinced her that California was still the place for her. So back she flew... in a hurry to find TyeDye and J waiting. Big plans were in the makings. They would all fly... when you could for $22 round trip to Berkeley... where they would see the fabulous Rita Coolidge in concert.

Miss Bliss was really looking forward to this. To be home on solid ground where she knew how her footsteps would lead, was a thing to marvel at and once again, she could stretch her wings and fly when the mood struck her.

The whole matter was left in the hands of J, who assured our ladies that a great time would be had by all. He had a good friend who would happily put them up for the weekend. There would be music, alcohol and whatever else might come up. So Bliss called daddy at work and requested an ungodly amount of cash... which he gladly gave his darling daughter. If daddy did nothing else, he relented to Bliss's desire to play and did so with both parents blessing.

The flight there found the threesome in high spirits. The trip from the airport was smooth and soon they were knocking on the door of J's "good friend who would gladly put them up". The girl who peered out of the crack in the door looked hesitant, but opened it and gave J a good hug. Over his shoulder she glared at the two girls who did their best to look friendly and hopeful of welcome. It was not meant to be. Immediately she took J aside into her tiny kitchen. There words were exchanged and a feeling of unwantedness crept over our gals. J won out and they were given a dutiful but cool welcome.

Because Bliss cannot recall the girl's name, we will call her W. The source of W's agitation soon manifested when J kissed TyeDye. There could not be a more sour face on the earth. Bliss noted this as the couple continued to smooch. This was not going to be good.

W had issues. She had something... MS perhaps and walked with a pronounced limp. She did not like anyone doing anything for her, though they all tried to be helpful and cool about it... clearly there was no right action beyond the gals vacating the property. But that of couse was not going to happen until after the concert. The visit was doomed. May as well try to make the best of it. A pipe was produced in the hopes that it would mellow the situation out. Indeed for a time, it seemed to do the trick. Unfortunately all they had was a pipeful and W was still in a snit.

TyeDye and Bliss decided to go find some booze to make things better. (Yeah, like alcohol makes it better!) The problem was their age. You cannot buy alcohol in California unless you are at least 21. Neither gal was. But they did as youths do... waited outside a liquor store until a likely looking fellow came along to cozy up to in the hopes he would buy them a bottle.

A few bright men passed them by and gave polite refusals. Along comes Kenneth. A long hair. A hippy type. A likely dupe. The girls amped up the charm and flirted. He went into the store, came out with his purchase and settled into chatting with them. It did not take much to convince him that he was invited to the party if he was to provide the I.D. Soon the three of them were headed back to W's with the booze.

Poor W. She was a serious student, unlike this group of party fiends. She took one look at Kenneth and refused to let him in. It probably did not help that there was necking going on when she opened the door... then shut it in their faces. Okay. There was a roof top and the three plus J started totake the stairs. W stopped them and insisted that Kenneth must go. Matters went from bad to worse when it became obvious that she felt Bliss was the problem. It could not possibly be TyeDye because she had this girl's dream guy. It had to be Bliss.

The situation was laid on the line... Bliss cold go off with Kenneth or she could send Kenneth away. Kenneth offered to take her in. So Bliss made one of those impulsive choices and wandered off into the night with a man she only knew by his first name. How dumb is that? Pride was behind some of it. Lust was a major player. Besides, the gauntlet had been tossed and Bliss was not one to back down. She hugged and kissed TyeDye good bye and left into the night, promising that they would hook up again the following day.

Summer nights in Berkeley were nice. It was warm, but not too warm. She did not mind walking. Eventually she began to wonder how far Kenneth lived. They did not seem to be moving in any particular direction. What was the deal? So she asked him where exactly he was taking her.

He did not answer directly. Pointed and she followed along. The bottle, which they had taken was dwindling fast, but the buzz was holding strong. When Kenneth sat down in some bushes behind a house and pulled her down next to him, she became a bit uncomfortable. But he could kiss. A few swigs from the bottle and they were getting pretty hot. Bliss asked again where he lived and Kenneth replied. "We can't go to my house... my girlfriend would not understand."

Bliss sat back. Girlfriend. Bliss did have a rule about that. You do not screw around with another woman's man. It causes untold troubles. She stood up, dusted herself off and said she was not going to do this. Take her back. Now. Kenneth did not agree. There were harsh words and in the end he agreed to take her somewhere else. As far as Bliss was concerned, her mood for Kenneth was shot.

The safe place turned out to be an all night coffee shop. Kenneth was hungry, so he orderd and ate. As it turned out, he had no money... so it was on Bliss's nickle. She began to fume. The night was a complete wash and so was Kenneth. Looks are not everything. When he finished eating he began to worry about his girlfriend. Bliss did not want to hear it. She asked him to point the way back to W's. They parted at the door, Kenneth muttering about a cock tease and Bliss stomped all the way up the street to the apartment.

It was one of those security buildings. Bliss looked at the locked foyer and considered waiting until someone came out and trying to brush past them. But it was very late and chances were that no one would be leaving or arriving. She looked at the buzzers to the boxes. Which one was the right one? Yikes. She took a chance and pushed one. She waited until it was clear that nothing was happening.

A man walked past her, stopped and asked if he cold help. She shook her head and pushed another buzzer. As the man entered the alcove behind her... an answering buzzer sounded and Bliss quickly stepped inside, being sure to pull the door tight. The man said something and pounded at the door. Bliss ignored him and took the stairs at a run.

When she reached the right floor, the door was cracked open and TyeDye waited. Nothing needed to be said. They hugged and that was that. Bliss was again safe. W glared at her from her bed... it was a studio sort of deal. But said nothing more, content that Kenneth was not present. Bliss crawled into her sleeping bag and promptly fell into a good hard sleep. Morning came with thunder. W insisited that they leave. Concert tickets could not be had anyway. The weekend was a total bust.

The flight home was uneventful with one exception. A strange short ancient man in an expensive overcoat sat next to Bliss on the shuttle to the airport. He spoke softly through a big bushy mustache. He asked her where her boyfriend was. Bliss snorted and said that she did not have one. He said that he could not believe this. He flattered and flirted. Bliss had a good couple of laughs.

Especially when he asked her to marry him and go to Acopulco. She refused, of course. It was part of the game he was playing at being young for a moment. No harm in that. When they arrived, he took a pin from his lapel and pinned it... with shaking hands while she waited calmly... as he grouped with her halter dress to secure it. Nice old man. Sweet really. The pin was the head of a walrus. She giggled and asked him if he was the "egg man". He looked puzzled, then smiled and said he'd be happy to be whatever she wanted. Bliss smiled back, kissed his cheek and said good-bye. When she looked back, he was grinning as he waved.

Bliss was very impulsive. Always a problem. But always an adventure too. Through most of it... but not all and not nearly enough... TyeDye was there to rescue her when she needed it. There is much to be said for making new friends and Bliss loves that to this day. People and their stories fascinate her. She was aware then as she is now that impulse leads down dangerous paths. Some have turned out great, others have been truly awful.

But always... TyeDye was there, waiting to open the door to safety. God bless you babe... I loves ya like a fat kid loves cake! (As the Bear is fond of saying.) Thanks for what was... what is... and what is yet to be.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jan and Dean - Little Old Lady From Pasadena

Holidays when I was a kid were great as long as we were home. I have tried to recreate that for my family. But you know, you make your own traditions. Things change with time.

But the times we went to my grandmother… Gertrude’s house… yikes. Not good. Gertrude was a very no nonsense woman. Moreover, she did not like kids. I was not exactly a little lady. She did disturbing and crazy things. Like insist on drying you off after you’ve had your bath…. What I don’t know what dry feels like? Will I rub my own skin off? I think it was more of a deal where she couldn’t wait for me to be in bed and out of her hair. Escape!

Whenever she had to go to LA to visit her mother, I was sent along. Going anywhere with Gertrude was a life and death experience. As an adult I was summoned to accompany her on a trip to my mom’s house from California to Ruch, Oregon. They did not want her to drive alone. Swell. There we were on Mt. Ashland… on a grade so steep that it has bail out pits for semis that burn up their brakes. Gertrude stops in the middle of the truck lane. Dead stop. I say “What are you doing?” as I crane my head around looking for death on 18 wheels. She turns to me… oblivious… and says “Grandpa always told me to shift into low on a downgrade, but to be sure and stop the car first.” So I said “GO!”

On that trip and every insane journey with that woman, she told me the same exact thing. I know the words by rote. “You mother and father should have stopped with two children.” I am baby number five. “I simply can’t understand why they did that! Children are too expensive. You eat up all their money.” About that time my mind went to its happy place and avoided further words.

Going anywhere had its punishments on top of possible death on the freeway. Here again, she repeated well worn words. “Well we have to go to (fill in the blank of any type of store you’d like) and I know you expect to get something. So what do you want?” In all the years I was stuck as her diversion, I was never able to convince that woman that I wanted nothing from her more than to be let out at the edge of the freeway where all I had to fear were serial killers, rapists and drunk drivers. We hit Robinson’s in L.A. one day on the way to GG (great grandma).

I was determined to not get a blasted thing. She was determined to force me to accept something. “Well you must need something… what about underwear or a negligee?” The idea of buying a lingerie with my grandmother mortified me into losing my resolve. In desperation I looked around me and saw shoes. I found the cheapest, ugliest shoes that were ever designed and pointed them out. I left with them and later burned them in the burn barrel. Sorry cows! We all have to make sacrifices in this world. On the way home she rolled my head up in the electric car window, nearly snatching me bald on the right side of my head. She claimed she was concerned about the wind on my neck. Does wind hurt you? Well electric windows do!

She was a nightmare on holidays. They began with a comment. “That’s not a good color on you.” Or “That dress makes you look fat.” I’d think okay… I know where I am and wander off to find my delightfully evil cousins. At least they were fun and likely to set fire to something or drag me into the alley for a toke… which of course then made my grandmother one of the most hysterically funny people on earth. I had co-conspirators to share my glee and secret thoughts were passed back and forth across the table. Still hold a grudge against M for killing my turtles. Criminal!

But always there was Great Grandma. Now she was a lady to a tee. Even did her gardening in a huge hat and elbow length gloves to keep from getting a tan. Never weighted more than 95 pounds her entire life, but ate like a mastiff with proper table manors. Married Morris and lost him in the Spanish Flu epidemic… never remarried. There can only be one Edgar. It was GG who named me.

I spent my summers with GG. Drug me to all her endless social functions. She made me curtsy when I met someone. Okay… that was a bit of a drag, but you know I did not mind so much. It made the other old people laugh. She made me take an afternoon nap well into my teens. She would set up my crib that she bought when I was born for me to sleep in… until I was so big that my lower legs stuck out between the bars… with the hand embroidered quilt she made just for my visits.

She would ask me what I wanted for diner and make it. She not only cared to inquire about my life, but made it seem like she was fascinated with it. She had a brilliant mind and had interests in science and history that enthralled me. When she died at age 103… she was still sharp as a tack and never confused our names or faces. She even read the newspaper daily. Her house was full of books and great smells. A cast iron cat sat on her fireplace base. GG’s house was more than a house, it was my summer home and I loved it and her very much.

My biggest regret in regards to GG is that she never got to see Boo… who was 2.5 when she died. I lived too far away. I had called her a couple of months before to tell her that I was coming in the summer. She very calmly told me that she would not be there but to kiss him for her. I can’t honestly say that I was surprised when they called to tell me she had passed away. 103 is an incredible long life.

As for Gertrude, who was never called grandma… well she really wasn’t mush of one. I think that Gertrude always envied how much we loved GG… was mystified by it. I should say that I did love Gertrude in spite of her lack of enjoyment of my company. She was a shrewd business woman who had a one track mind attached to a bulldog’s under bite. She was formidable and imposing. But she understood duty and never failed to perform it when called upon. A card carrying Daughter of the American Revolution who held every office in Job’s Daughters and Eastern Star. There was no school function that she missed for any of her eight grandchildren, though she hurried through them like her girdle was in a serious twist. She showed up when it was time. Yet the difference between Gertrude and GG is clear… GG was always there… 300 miles away or right next to me… and like my mother, she is there now in the whispers that blow up to my head from my heart.