Super enigmatics, or when modern conveniences inconveniently expire.
My DVD player has gone on to that great scrap heap in the sky. I think I paid $50 for it about 7 years ago, so I'd say I got my money's worth. Still. This all seems on schedule, as staring blearily at the tv while I got my drink on was all part and parcel of the same thing, I think. Now that I finished that ridiculously poorly written (yet freakishly compelling) Sookie Stackhouse series, I see more quiet nights like this, only with a GOOD book.There is a fairly short but good article in this week's New Yorker by Susan Orleans about chickens. I knew her from The Orchid Thief, but have been made more aware of her from her Twitters (as reported on The Gawker). I don't Twitter, or rather, Twatter. It's another level of the solipsism that so embraced cell phones, so that to be seen talking on your cell was as important (if not more so) than the conversation you were actually having. Hey! Look at me! There are not enough hours in the day to cover my busy, important life! Gack. I think some technology (DVD players, for instance) are just grand. Others, like Twitter, just make us stupider. If I sound like an old Luddite, I'm not. If I sound like an old curmudgeonly misanthrope: bingo!
Getting my house in order.
That phrase boomeranged around my head a lot this last week as I gathered up drippy plums, raked leaves, scrubbed lots of shit (some of it truly shitty) and just generally got stuff done. After months and months of sun and lethargy, with just a sprinkling of ennui, I feel galvanized, full of alacrity. Adding to my new found energy was the subtraction of hooch. Again. I am an on-again-off-again-teetotaler and this is a good time to flick the switch to Off.On Saturday, girly-man and The Broadcaster next door were doing their loud ass yard work, which was endurable because I figured it'll be the last until Spring. Last year they installed a flagstone path around their house and now they feel my pain of having to pull out every damn thing that wants to grow in between. Their solution, which I kind of like, is to burn it off with this little propane hose unit. So, they were in the back and The Broadcaster later told me: we heard a sound, like rain. Which turned out to be one of the huge pampas plants in the front going up in flames. I have a propensity to move next door to fire. In my early 20s, I lived in a studio overlooking the freeway and the space between my building and the one next door was about eight feet. As I was languishing on my sofa one day I heard the sound of breaking glass and then could see the flames shoot out of the window right next to mine. Several years later, I lived in a nicer, converted house and my kitchen overlooked a wing of the modern apartment building next door and their pool. Spookily similar: glass breaking, flames shooting out. Both times I was none the worse for wear, other than a momentary freak out. Now that I live next to the Alzheimer's Hospice, there have been two fires there, not to mention numerous visits from the fire truck, but that's usually because someone fell down. Frankly, I think they were happy to arrive on my street to an actual fire and not some poor demented soul lying on the floor.
Ultimately, it was a selfish weekend, as I passed on volunteering for a phone bank and hauling up to Mt. Vernon to protest Glenn Beck getting the key to the city. But the bulk of my politics are personal at the moment, and I'm busy overthrowing the old regime.
And apropos of nothing, I love this.
Happy Autumnal Equinox!
Even if it is nearly 90 outside......
Today I spent 3 hours doing something that does not come naturally: being nice to the public. Although I was seriously backpeddling days before, I agreed to participate in an arts and crafts fair here at work. Fortunately, a friend who also works here, and is geniunely the nicest person on Planet Earth, facilitated a goodly portion of the sales for me while I sat at another table (probably hurting their sales....) and tried to keep my snarky mouth shut. I actually made some money, always good, and it also kind of got the noodle thinking about future product shilling endeavors. Later, I passed a female VP in the hall who had bought some cards and thanked her for her patronage and she made a sound like she was sick in her mouth. Yep. I haz the social skills. In spades.
The Summer that simply would not fuck off.
My house is over 100 years old. The windows, and their frames, are the same age. When opening, I have to hold the window, that wants to come down like a fucking guillotine, aloft so I can wedge one of those sliding screens in it. Closing is just another side of the fuckery. Several weeks ago when the temperature dropped and the rains looked like they were starting in, I closed said windows and lugged the fans down to the basement. Like a short sighted idiot. Now: it's going to be nearly 90 tomorrow, and high 80s until Thursday. C'mon!It was a nice weekend. Saturday rained most of the day, which was perfect, as I had a lot of schlepping to do, reworking the dining area, which I've decided was more decorative than functional and now have it set up so that's where I write. In between dragging around large unwieldy furntiure from the 30s and cleaning, I would throw myself periodically on the couch and read yet another Sookie Stackhouse book. I'm going to have to cut the empty calories of these novels with some fiber, after I've finished the last one. It might be a good time to finally hit Moby Dick.
Today's post is hosted by 18 pounds of hair.
This is our morning ritual. I take a bath, and then while the tub is still holding the heat of the water, I spread out a towel and Dinsdale hops inside and tantalizes me with his biga belleh. We are getting on a little better now that I appear to have stopped the pissing behavior which was just killing me, and on it's way to killing Dinsdale, by way of me. The solution: clean out the cat box every day. What, you weren't!!!???, you gasp in horror. To which I say, fuck no. Life on the urban farm can get a little overwhelming and the cat box is in the mud room, which is out of sight and tends to be where I just throw shit that I'm ambivalent about (not that I'm ambivalent about my cats). But. Dinsdale, through his gross and stinky actions, has shown me the error of my ways. Or has me running scared, depending on how you look at.
But last weekend, I cleaned out the mud room, steamed the floors and threw crap out. I looked around beforehand and thought, you know, this is a pretty good representation of my psyche at the moment, and after I cleaned it all out, it really did feel cleansing. Like a high colonic for the soul.My five plum trees are bombarding my yard and lying all around like some Easter egg hunt gone horribly awry. The nights are coming up much faster now, and the chicken sisters have acclimated, now turning in before 8:00. Butters now lays a perfect, miniature egg every day now. Apparently, it takes about 3 weeks for their eggs to reach normal size, which in the case of Buffs, is large. I don't know if it is because of her new egg-laying prowess, but she seems to be less ostracized than has been the norm. And now when Ester gives her grief, she still cows, but sort of talks back, as well. And fluffs herself up so she's twice her size. Crazy chickens.
Happy Tuesday.
I was too knackered yesterday to manage a post: up all night with a squirting dog the night before. She's fine now: we did get to go to the vet, bye-bye in the car-car, which she likes and doesn't get much of and she deposited about a quart of hair.
One of my favorite sites is Flickr, appropos of nothing. Snarkiness is practically non-existent, and artists are very supportive of one another. I've made friends, sold paintings, etc. Recently I stumbled upon a woman in Texas who cares for rescued baby raccoons - which was an interesting balm to the horrific scene on the West Seattle Freeway last week. Here's a video of a couple of kits and if this doesn't make you want to run out and get some, you are truly made of stone. Not only cute, but weird as hell. When they're playing, it's almost like a switchblade fight and all that handwashing. Enjoy.
Happy 9/11!
But I kid. But a great article on Gawker was like a nice tall glass of whatever refreshes.
It's been a nice short week - usually short weeks are, perversely, really looonnnng. But this one went by at a nice clip and we're already butt up against another summery weekend, in the 80s. I for one will not pull my shirt front out in two peaks and declare that I'm happy as a little girl! But it does give me good weather for 'chores', although for matters involving heavy lifting I will wait for more autumnal weather.
Last night I came out back and became aware that I was being followed around by two chickens, not three. I called Butters repeatedly, checked all the places I thought she might be and then began to panic. I thought maybe she'd flown up into one of the plum trees and gotten out, so I'm darting in and out of neighbors yards, hissing Butters! when all the while she was luxuriating in a dirt bath - actually, Butters prefers mud baths - in a deep hole back at the ranch. That's one of the aforementioned chores: to create a sheltered place where they can have a dirt bath when the rains come. Although, Butters will probably love all that mud.
Dinner at Mary's, everything from her garden, and the return of my Obama Boner.
Mary called me towards the end of the day and invited me over to dinner, so I was able to watch the speech last night, as my television was put out of it's misery when we went digital. She lives on a hill, with a great view and gusts of wind that would make her tv go blank, but it was still better than listening to it on the radio. For one, as if I needed further negative reinforcement, there was the spectacle of the fucking asshat Republicans refusing to get to their fat asshatty feet, and the Kennedy remembrance/opportunity was something to see. I thought the speech was masterful, nuanced, intelligent and had spine. I think, especially with Joe Wilson's shining moment (um, Joe, why don't you just resign and slink back to whatever toxic dump you crawled out of), that the GOP has clearly illustrated they are just, simply, a party of ugly loons (no offence to beautiful birds everywhere) to the degree that would give serious pause to even the most scared-stiff, Fox-news-getting idiot.
Or not.
I'm just so sick of these people. There is really something wrong with them, something missing, blocked, deformed - I don't know. The temptation to write them off as just one thing - ugly, greedy, fearful, and far too concerned with things that really are none of their fucking businesses - is strong (and okay, that was more than one thing). But maybe they love their families (when they're not participating in some homoerotic scandal) or they make birdhouses or read to the blind - there has to be some vestige of reason and - well, fucking humanity left in these otherwise empty vessels. Driving in to work today, I think I happened on the way to live with this kind of poison: realize that they are defective, and do your best to refrain from being caught up in their bile, and regard them with the compassion that you would another creature that had been born without something a lot of us just take for granted: a soul.
Lulu thinks back wistfully on a time when she was the only one who begged for food.
Yeah, they're all coming into the house now. Butters is still a little wary of the cats, especially Sammy, who likes to chase. With winter coming, I expect that will increase, since I has to have mah chicken time. Hey: I'm perfectly cognizant of the fact I have skipped over into Eccentric Old Lady Territory, with only a one-way Passport. It's just me here. I get to do whatever I want. So there.
Butters is laying an egg a day - they're about half the size of a normal egg and very pink. I will definitely know whose egg is whose. She seems to have a bit more chutzpah now that she's with egg. I'm glad: for a few weeks, if I didn't single her out and feed her separately, she probably would have gone hungry. Now she knows to get in there right away, grab a food bit, and run like hell!
I'm in a sour mood today. This morning I got up to more Dinsdale pee, so I have to go home and fumigate. It's getting old, and I terrorized him with a roll of paper towels for a few minutes, I was so pissed.
Last night driving to Barnes & Noble after work so I could get the latest installment of the Sookie Stackhouse books (crack), I came across a total of five dead raccoons on the West Seattle Freeway. Two adults and three young ones. It was an extended display of incredibly sad carnage. I still felt it when I got up today.
Ah, V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N. Alas, O.V.E.R.
But I do feel rested, perhaps even more beneficent towards my fellow creatures. Both will be short-lived, I've no doubt. I had two lovely end of summer days and then three of rain. Most would be all boo-hooey about the latter, but it was perfect for me. I spent three days painting, with the rain spitting at the windows, with a backdrop of old Thriller episodes on tv. A chicken daisy chain, after they'd discovered where their favorite plant stand (for it's delicious flaky white paint) had gone to. I had some creme fraiche left over, so added a few dollops to their dinner. Chicken crackMy writing muscle has already gone slack and flabby, after 5 days away. But my painting muscle rose to the occasion. Hopefully, I can keep two balls in the air.
Girl: you'll be a woman. Soon.
Butters is about to make with the egg laying. She's been working on it since Friday, that I've seen. I came home early, and like some French farce, only starring chickens, I opened the coop door to Beulah in the nesting box, making her purring nesting sounds, with Butters about a foot away, squatting and both of them looking like I'd caught them in something. Beulah looked at me a bit reproachfully: aren't you home a little early? Butters just kept squatting.

I think Ester and Beulah's laying is a bit off due to this encroaching reality. Once she's up and laying, perhaps they'll all be simpatico. Like when women working together all start having their periods at the same time. On Saturday night after all the others had gone to roost, Ester puttered by and I noticed she was limping. I prepared myself for the worst the next morning, but while she was completely limp-free, I now had a swollen knee: same leg as Ester, and now I'm limping. Cue: theremin.

I have a 5 day respite coming up: time to start taking the show indoors. I have a deadline to produce product for, which I find to be a very effective kick in the pants. What I will probably find is that I've completely forgotten how to paint and need to start from scratch. I'm also going to start carving out the time to meditate. Perhaps new inner peace can combat old feelings of wretchedness. Who knows? So - see you next week, when this long summer is officially over.