Happy Birthday, sort of, to me
In a dream last night, someone asked me how long it had been since I stopped drinking and I really couldn't tell them. In the morning, I realized that I really had no count of days, which has been pretty standard in Sobriety Attempts 1,2 and 3. So I checked, and it was 6 months on Monday. In so many ways, this trip has been far different from the others. For one, for the first couple-three months, it was really Mrs.-Crazy-Toad's-Wild-Ride-Which-You-Will-Immediately-Be-On-As-Well-As-Soon-As-You-Make-Contact-With-Her. No fun for anybody. In the half year of ruminating on this and many other things, it occurs to me that the hungry, hungry drunky hippo inside sort of lurched out as soon as the drink stopped and flailed around in a bad temper and then finally stomped off. Then things got a little more managable, but I was still Old Faithful, a fountain of rage, seemingly bottomless, until suddenly I was not. And there have been times in the last several weeks that I have experienced moments of profound happiness. This is a boat I'm not going to rock.
On Saturday, a friend from out of town - also an alcoholic, but still practicing because you know, he's in control - ahem - called and was so drunk I couldn't wait to put the phone down. I feel no proclivity to prescribe or even counsel: when someone is in their 60s, they and they alone are in charge of the rest of their lives. Which doesn't mean it doesn't sadden me terribly - it does, because he's such a marvelous creature and a joy to be around: sober. Which hasn't been for a while now.
Anyway, this morning, listening to NPR and now the sabre-rattling (more like rattle rattling) of the Repubicunts, I've decided I'm going to get ready to music from now on. I just don't like where it takes me - hissssssssssss: anger - and I'm happy Barry pulled it through, but the subsequent douchbaggery I can miss. So - that's my reward for 6 months of being on this fragile wagon.
That Infernal Vernal Equinox
The first day of Spring was spectacular. In the mid-sixties, with a little haze over an otherwise completely blue sky, lots and lots of chicken time (Ester and Butters will now come onto my lap with encouragement - Beulah is having NONE of it, no-thank-you-very-much,-but-I'd-still-very much-like-some-cheese). Of course, with nice days out come the power tools and the mowers and weed whackers, but that didn't even bother me. A friend came over and we just sat and jawed. I was telling him what a pain in the ass my little black cat Sammy was (make no mistake, I love him dearly, but he can be one of the most annoying creatures I've ever been around). Sammy is all about the butt-hole and the mouth - his, rather. He spends long, luxurious spells alternately licking and flehming. Which makes his oral tendencies - he has to mouth everything, all the time and his standard greeting (if you let him get close enough) is to shove his mouth in yours - all the more unpalatable. As I was telling my friend this, as if to demonstrate, Sammy got up on the coffee table and mouthed the lip of my near-beer bottle - See!? I tell my friend: Just like That! - and I go to remove him and he did this sort of paralytic spazz-out and ended up knocking over my very hard to find Red Wing chartreuse bowl and I watched in slow-mo as it fell to the carpet and broke into 3 big pieces and a bunch of shards, which Sammy immediately made a move to start mouthing. Ouch. I'm not that wedded to my things, but this one hurt a bit. Still, a wonderful day.
Daylight Savings You Kill Me
I have an overly keen sense of time. For example, if I have a function and everyone is supposed to come at seven, I will generally be a dervish for the day coming right up to the 7:00 hour, and then I am ready, and waiting. I don't consider this an asset - more like a hindrance, because rarely is anyone else on my clock. That's one of the reason daylight savings time throws me so off kilter. I think we should always have the Monday's after DST off, so Monday I stayed at home and readjusted my internal directives.
The girls are happy with their extra time out. The cats are getting itchy and now Dinsdale is poised like a ninja every time I open the door. Fortunately, he's such a lard ass, he's relatively easy to catch when he does manage to Papillion his way out. I discovered that CBS's web site has most of Star Trek online. This has made me very happy. I would have bought the series long ago but it's so inexplicably expensive. These shows ran non-stop on tv for so long, I think they're in my DNA. Ridiculously comforting, they're mostly just wonderfully comedic. The episode above, where Spock woos the Romulan leader so they can abscond with the Cloaking Device: she gets up to change into something 'more womanly', and leaves the room in her tunic that hits her ass and that's pretty much all she's wearing, and comes back in a full length gown. Above is a little Vulcan foreplay.
It's the little things, people.
So much for Spring
It's rainy and windy and cold and while I have to shift gears from la-la-la-it's Spwingtibe! I'm also a little relieved, as I produce very little - last year, nuttin' - painting when the weather is nice. I'll be happy if it's crappy all March and April - well, maybe a few weekend respites in there for chicken-hanging-outing. Right now I'm working on a piece of Ester. It's an image I'm determined to get right, so I've decided to paint 3 more when this one is done (chances are, when this one is done, I'll go: oh, hell, that's good enough). But the current one is called Ester Spring and I want to do the rest of the seasons. We'll see.
Listening to NPR this morning, the lead in was something to do with a discovery about chickens in Scotland. I'm always of two minds when I hear anything about chickens: one the one hand, it can be some lovely benign story, or it can be some kind of horror. This one wasn't. They found that chickens in Edinburgh were exibiting male and female characteristics, right down the middle. These abberations, which appear in nature, are called gynandromorphs (not hermaphrodites, as I'd thought). First, I thought of this:

Then this:

But he/she looks like this. Wattle long on one side, hen-sized on the other. The story is here: it also includes a slide show of gynandromorphs.

Dusk with chickens
It's now light enough that I can let the girls out for a half hour or so when I come home, to stretch their legs and eat any bugs which may have escaped their notice in their morning time. Last night I went outside to put them back in for the night, and it was still very light outside and Ester and Butters were still putzing around. I sat in one of the adirondak chairs and hung with them until Butters, last girl out, finally made her way back to her house. A lovely evening.
Near death-by-chicken
I used to watch The Simpsons with something approaching religulousness. But when I moved in to this house 4 years ago, my reception of Fox was like watching tv in a snow globe and eventually I just weaned myself off the station entirely. But last night I fired up the computer, which has only had an internet connection for a little over a month now (I'm gradually sort of bringing myself online, it would seem) and watched the latest episode, and to those who say that the Simpsons has outrun it usefulness and isn't funny anymore, I say Oh fuck off. The sense of the humor is consistent, the figures almost archetypal in their familiarity and the five or six good laughs I get are worth investing 30 minutes. Last night Lisa was tasked to explore her family tree and she tries desperately to find someone in her lineage who isn't a complete loser and ends up finding out she's part Black. The title of the episode is The Color Yellow. Just the opening credits were enough to make it worthwhile. My Sunday nights are complete, once more. Thank you, Jebus.
Although it is 20 days before it's official, Spring continues all around. The plum trees are beginning to show some foliage, which means when they flesh out, I will no longer be visible to the guy in the house next door, who I've caught staring in at me several times. Ew.
It was a low key weekend. On Saturday, I decided to make a homemade chocolate cake, from Bittman's How to Cook Everything book and I was unimpressed with the results, especially since I accidentally omitted the baking power, so they were little flat, baby shit brown Frisbees that I couldn't even feed to the chickens (apparently, they're not supposed to have chocolate, much like dogs).
And on Sunday something happened which I've seen previews again and again in my mind: as I was coming down the steps with some leftovers for the girls, Butters made a dart right under my foot and I did a weird mid-air maneuver and missed her, but lost my footing in the process and fell down the remaining steps, landing with a combination thud and smack on the flagstones. My first thought was to make sure I hadn't landed on one of them. I hadn't, thank God, and my next thought was, okay, what did I break. Turns out nothing, but today I'm hobbling around like an old woman who lures children into her candy house and eats them. So, look out, kiddies.