Thursday, June 22, 2006


Well, the Playboy of the Western World is IN!!!
My biker took him down today to pick out a place, and he decided on a one bedroom apartment on the fifth floor with a full kitchen.
This is SO VERY uncharacteristic...I fully expected him to choose some cheap ass little closet of a room facing an airshaft or something and instead he goes for the gusto! Right on!
I simply cannot describe the happiness and the relief I feel knowing that he will be taken care of in style for the remainder of his days, eating good food, having his cleaning taken care of, being chauffeured around town...
Oh, that reminds me.
We now own a rare edition Porsche, fully restored.
The Porsche belonged to the Playboy; it was his Tail Gunner for 20 years. As long as he's alive the biker plans to use it to usher him around in. That car is his pride and joy and just because he can't drive it any more doesn't mean that he can't ride around in it and profile.
Does this not rock? My family is safe and taken care of.
Lately I have been making the commute every morning to the Stainless Steel Amazons' new place to babysit the Goonybird while she settles in. Poor kid; she has projects at work and finals at school, all in the same three-week timeframe that she had to move out of her old place on the hill. And that was a giant pain in the ass; dealing with Mr. Tiny Weenie the landlord and his wife Mrs. Suffering Martyr, who decided on the spur of the moment yesterday to fly up from California and show the place that evening. Gosh, thanks for the advance notice, bitch! Appreciate it all to hell! So we flew on over there yesterday, after she had pulled a full day of classes and work, and did a blitz clean on the motherfucker.
Guess who called an hour later drunk as a whore and changed her plans?
I hope someone flies her plane into a big steaming pile of SAVAGE REPUBLICANS.
Whoever owned the property my daughter just moved into evidently never heard of them there newfangled inventions, the lawnmower and the weedwhacker. No wonder the deer thought it was Platos' Retreat; it was so overgrown they may as well have been in the middle of the wilderness. Fortunate for me, though. I love nothing better than taking a neglected patch of green and making it into a showplace. So while the Goonybird wanders around in the Goonybird-high grass watching ants I reclaim the place from the forest.
Fuckin you want to talk about blacberry vines.
Jesus Christ on a red bicycle.
The things are over the top of the house where it faces on the uphill slope. It's like unearthing Pompeii. I found the old deck; someone removed it from the house and hove it into the stickerbushes. Which grew up through it and nailed it securely to the ground. I found their blue coffee mug too. And 100$ worth of their old dead landscape plants that they neglected, and the spare bits of sheetrock from the remodel, and some pvc pipe, and...yeah. All covered by evil thorny wands six feet long and arched over higher than short little me can reach. What makes it really bad is that blackberry has a mounding habit; new canes loop up and then die back at first frost, then next years growth loops up over those dead canes, die back, and so on and so forth, year after year. So for every live cane I take out I remove twelve dead ones, thorns intact. What you end up doing is coring out the old stuff, chopping it up with a limbing shears and then hooking it out with a rake. That leaves a hollow igloo of new growth overhead. Then you lop those at ground level, hook a potato rake into the canes up overhead, and then pulling the whole mass inside out...hopefully making the wands flop away from you. Doesn't always work like that. I am well perforated this evening.
I spent some very unhappy childhood hours battling these evil things. In Oregon, Himalayan Blackberry is an uncontrollable monster, three times the pest it is here in Washington because the growing conditions are so ideal. Any cleared land that isn't kept clear comes overgrown with blackberry before the year is out. We used to take them out as a (resentful, uncooperative, drunken, bitching at the top of everyones lungs, crying, fighting, driving off in a huff) family effort and every year someone would get taken to the emergency room to have a finger or a toe reattached, an eye bandaged, or a gash sewn up. These things made you MAD after awhile. Pretty soon the whole bunch of us would be battling away grimly, slashing away for all we were worth. I remember my grandmother using her silver paper shears.
Back then you didn't cut them down and haul them off; that would spread them like a plague. The canes were cut down, chopped up with hatchets, meat cleavers, axes, rose shears, loppers, k-bars, butcher knives, whatever came to hand- and then gasoline poured over the whole plot and set alight. And that was just about enough to keep them down for ONE YEAR.
Ah, but now, now it is just me.
Me versus the blackberries.
I have time, and I have the drive. And this time they aren't EVER coming back. Know why?
I also have ROUNDUP.


  1. Embrace the blackberry bushes and make jam!

    problem solved

    Yay! im first

  2. It rocks!!! Dead pleased for you.
    Sympathies to the SSA - sounds like its a bitch of a month for her. On the upside though she's obviously got a great mum to help her!.

  3. yes, blackberry jam rocks, but there are places where blackberries should be and places where blackberries should not be, and i'm guess that growing over the house like an alien life form falls into the latter.

    reminds me of the battles i had with Lantana camera while I was down under. Nasty fucking south African shrub vine thing with beautiful scented flowers that took over every fucking bit of ex-rainforest in Queensland. A big chunk of our rainforest restoration work involved clearing huge swaths of Lantana, which has a growth habit very much like blackberries. The thing of it was that not only would the root stock come back if the ENTIRE ROOT SYSTEM wasn't dug up from the ground, but also any tiny tiny bit of root or stem larger than an INCH (i kid you not) that was left in contact with the soil would also re-sprout, so every single piece had to be collected and destroyed in fires that would have made Dante pee his pants. Ah, good times.

  4. oh, glad to hear the fam is settled and well. that is good news. also about the porche. whoo-hoo mama!

  5. frobisher: YOU embrace the blackberries. my jam-making opporutnities are not in any way limited by this policy of scorched earth i'm waging. oh HELL no. i like 'em-just not in MY neiborhood, in other words.
    hendrix: it does! and yeah, its always everything all at once when college is involved. at least this is the last year.
    and i am great.
    cb; oh crap, lantana. yes indeed. it's vigorous here in zone seven, but i had no idea it was a problem in australia like that. thats horrible.
    good for you for doing your part.
    and good for me for having a limited edition classic porsche!!!!

  6. YAY on the Porsche, and on the playboy, and on the SSA (for being so incredibly busy, and yet doing a great job of handling it)...

    I'm so glad things are working out.

  7. Blackberry jam? Blackberry wine!

  8. You're a bitchin' mama fo' sho'! Those bushes are gonna be sorry they messed with you and yours! Give 'em hell! I have no words o' wisdom here... none... seems like you know quite well how to tackled them things! ;-)

  9. I am keeping very still and quiet....I can see the mad gleam in First Nations eye.

    Otherwise the family situation rocks...hurrah

    ***does celebratory Beast dance***

    Feck I forgot i was playing dead

  10. Go, Round Up, Go!

    And yaaaay for the Playboy!

  11. Hurray. What a relief your dad is safe and sound. The porsche and you fucking rock - your daughter is very lucky to have such a great Mum.

  12. "Jesus Christ on a red bicycle" is now my favorite expression. Stand back as I incorporate it as often as possible...

  13. You know what? I like blackberries. They had taken over one of the 'backs' in my Victorian village part of my childhood, and we used to take ice-cream tubs and pick as many as we could. Tasty. Then I trod on a thistle. Happy memories.

  14. So when is the ceremony for the pinning on of the FAB MOTHER AND DAUGHTER IN LAW medal and can I come and wear a hat and gently dab the corners of my eyes with a white handkerchief?

  15. christine: thenk yew, thenk yew...
    mj: tastes like gittin drunk to me!
    mizB: nothing like a problem you can literally hack and slash your way through!
    beast; thank you beastie! now, are you sure you're finished? did you flush? paperwork all done?
    *is glad i don't have those lower intestinal issues*
    whinger: judiciously applied in tiny but effective pinpoint blasts, to be sure. yay for the playboy indeed!
    rock mother: well thank you. hell, im still trippin on the 'luxury hotel' part!
    mutha: straight from the alaskan wilds, by way of the Yummy Biker, straight to you.
    noshit: i have the same memories, thistle and all. victorian neiborhood, too. except we lived in the only ranch style. is there anything better than hot blackberries off the top of the bush? yummm!
    ara: ooooo. idea. but dont worry about the hankie hat; predictably, it will be clothing optional.