Friday, August 18, 2006

and again UPDATED: Emerald Green Mammoth Global Freezing Plan

Question time!

Without the small handfull of pills I take every day, I would be dead in 2 months, on the outside. Dead as a brick. Gone.

Of course, that ain't gonna happen. Come Armageddon, when the Canadians start pouring across the border brandishing their gouda, you better believe I'll have already taken up my rifle and loaded my truck up down at the local pharmacy. (Oh for heavens' sake, yes, I'm premenstrual.)

Then I got thinking about what I'd do come the revolution. Seems like you'd want to stockpile gasoline, guns, ammunition and any and all kinds of drugs you could get your hands on, right? That's what the 'new money' would be. I might be thinking in 1970's terms, of course, which is the last time I in indulged in this kind of speculation (one of those real 'deep' stoner conversations, you know.) Maybe these days the list has changed.

Has it?

oo, i just thought of one....yeast.
to make booze with.
what, me farm? *snerk* yeah.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

one of the three things which nice people never discuss in company

All this happened 27 years ago this month.

Ok. So it's 1977 and it's August. Elvis the king, resting on his throne, is wondering why he's so tired and out of breath all the time. Me, I am 17 years old and the only unmarried non-virgin in a five mile radius.

I am at a religious family retreat that my mother has quite matter-of-factly blackmailed me into attending ( which circumstances are worth several cringe-inducing posts in theyownselves. ) Nice place, lots of trees, and not jack shit to do.

I hit the bookcase in the main lodge and started ripping through the collection. I'll read anything. They had a lot of anything.
'Hansi, the Girl Who Loved the Swastika'...I think you were required to own an edition of that if you were Born Again in the 70's...'Crossroads Collected Stories of Inspiration'...'The Billy Graham Story'...'Christy'-hoo, that was a ball of fire...'Intra Muros', a strange, self-published little book about a womans' visit to heaven that was also making the rounds at the time...and one slender volume on medieval art.

'A Meditation on Grunewalds' Crucifixion' is my best memory of the title. I'm almost certain the author was a Jesuit scholar. What this book was doing in amongst the lightweight 'Charismatic Catholic' selections I have no idea. I mean, this thing had footnotes. And despite it's somewhat lugubrious tone it made me very happy.

The type of religion being peddled on our social level was a religion of fluffy, happy niceness, where nice happy people had clean, nice houses and worshipped the Lord with upraised hands, a religion that sincerely believed that 'God never gives you any burden which you are incapable of carrying.' A religion so useless that when it happened that someone was handed a burden they couldn't seem to lift it simply went unacknowledged.

Now remember, these were Born-Again Catholics. So add to that the good ol' Catholic 'if you're not miserable you're sinning' mindset.

And yet none of it explaining how, say, infants born inside-out, for example, could have been expected by God to bear that kind of condition, or could have been 'not right with the Lord', but I digress.

I found more to admire in that book that in anything I had learned in catechism up to that point in my life.

I honestly think that Grunewald was inspired, offering up that view of the Passion . He had painted it to be used as part of an altarpiece*, for a monastery devoted to caring for people dying of ergotism, of plague, of cancer, of infection. He showed them a Christ that had suffered exactly what they had suffered, in all its appalling detail. A human Christ consumed with pain and dying, not already passed into nothing more than an anatomy study. Most importantly, in those pre-Vatican II days, the priest who served the mass had to look that Christ in the eye every every time he went to open the altarpiece. The same priest who later went in and ministered to people suffering identically, who looked similar.

So Christians did see torment. They did acknowlege the insupportable. They did think. At least
two of them had; and I had the proof in my hands.

Until that point my only comfort, or my only 'faith in faith' if you will, had been found in writings by Jews who had survived the Holocaust. Catholics romaticize suffering because life is supposed to suck at best so you work with what you get. Charismatics in practice completely denied it because life was supposed to be perfect 100% of the time and anything else meant you were on the Cannonball Express to Hell. The Jews said, 'This happened. It sucked. God was with me then and is with me now and I struggle to understand. "

It impressed me on a secular level as well. I would have never read it had I not been so utterly starved for intellectual stimulation at the time. I had never read an advanced work of nonfiction. I struggled to understand and I wished I had a dictionary, and I wanted MORE IMMEDIATELY.

In the meantime I was trapped on a ten acre tract in the middle of the mountains with a bunch of people convinced that God wanted them to go out in the woods for two weeks and act like retards. No chance of getting laid, I quickly found out.

No 17 year old wants to be anywhere with a parent anyway; it's excruciating. Now add the sheer embarrassment of watching a bunch of Catholics trying to 1. enjoy themselves, and 2. experience 'ecstatic' religiousity with no cultural referents. If I'd heard the phrase 'you shouldn't be so NEGATIVE' one more time I was going to ram a goddamn owl up someone's ass. So I dummied up and watched these (goofy fucking white people) secretaries and Taco Bell managers raise their hands and praise the Lord, throw away their medications and cast out demons and speak in tongues and perform healings and interpret prophecy and read from the 'Living Bible' and fall on the floor and knock over chairs 'fainting in the Spirit' and have to get stitches. Yes, really.
The Charismatic Movement was not pretty.

I was told that the reason for my dissatisfaction lay in being too worldly. I listened to rock and roll (that old devil!) and read too many secular books and, it was hinted, probably was not as smart as I thought I was, so maybe I'd be better off if I just stopped pretending to be better than everyone else and start joining in.

And you know, I tried. It was not in me. I hated myself, and I mentally apologised to God every inch of the way.

So in a very sideways and backwards kind of manner, I actually did increase my understanding of religion during the course of that retreat. I came out of there understanding that religion was ridiculous. I came out of there having seen what belief could be, what it could encompass, and I left knowing there was nothing worth having from these grinning dipshits singing "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart"

And yes, I gotta say, I owe it all to Jesus. That's why I think about converting to Judaism...something which, were it not for the fact that I am bone agnostic, I would do tomorrow.
That makes sense if you're me.

with thanks to Minka and DaNator for the hotmail how-to.

*should I explain this? here goes: think of one of those old-fashioned dressers with a folding mirror attached
to the top. Replace the folding mirror with the 'altarpiece', a painting on a decoratively cut piece of wood that usually had folding doors attached on each side, and every surface decorated. Replace the dresser with a sort of lectern or small console table to be used as the altar proper. The whole thing was meant to be used for serving Mass in a chapel or a small space. The painting part was removeable so you could carry it from place to place and make an instant 'church' . The table half could then be used for something else, which is why most of them got lost over time and only the altarpieces remain.
That said, some altarpieces were huge things, made for permanent installation in a church. Some were only one panel . Some were very complicated and had many folding panels with detachable angels and statues and things to decorate it. Some were tiny and meant to be carried in a pocket, and those are called 'devotionals' . Bear this in mind the next time you go shopping for medieval art.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

the 'IT' girl

I got tagged! Ms. DaNator nailed me with this one. Find her rockin', bitty-friendly bestiary here at

Would SOMEONE please tell me how to do links so they come up as a blue word underlined?

1. One book you have read more than once:

One? Oh Christ. Just re-read 'Watership Down'. Better than ever.

2. One book you would want on a desert island:

'The Big Waterproof Self-Propelled Book of Fold Your Own Oceangoing Watercraft'

3. One book that made you laugh:

'Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady' made me laugh until I started burping. Florence King's best.

4. One book that made you cry:

'The Dog Who Wouldn't Be', Farley Mowat. Anything where the dog dies, forget it. I'm done for. I haven't read the last chapter of that book in years, not since the first time.

5. One book you wish you had written:

The thought has never occurred to me. How about 'one author you wish you could write like'? That I can do. Ursula K. LeGuin. That woman has it all: brevity and talent, imagination, style, and content.

6. One book you wish had never been written:

'Malleus Maleficarum'. One of the most evil things ever written. I felt like I had to wash my hands after the first chapter.

7. One book you are currently reading:

'Thirteen and a Day'. It's a cultural study of American-style Bar and Bat Mitzvuot. On the one hand, the author's biases are firmly in place and nothing's gonna change them, dammit. On the other, it's quite an interesting tour of different varieties of modern Judaism.

8. One book you have been meaning to read:

Everything my bloggy buddies have mentioned. I need to cull over my comments for book suggestions and then hit the library with the list.

9. One Book That Changed Your Life:

'A Meditation on Gruenwalds' Crucifixion'. A straight up Catholic meditation by a scholar of medieval art . It explores, nearly inch by inch, a very unusual, deeply disturbing painting of the Crucifixion, and does so within the context of Medieval Catholicism. An amazing, enthralling, emotional insight. This book was partially responsible for fanning my interest in art history. I was impressed at the time that the author would have taken such a bizarre (to modern eyes) and gruesome painting as his subject. Not your usual sanitized Christianity. And at the time, I was so very grateful for that as well. Actually, I'm going to do a post about that, so thank you, Ms. DaNator!

10. Now Tag 5 bloggers:
I don't tag. I throw my memey breadcrumbs out on the pond and then wait for the bloggy ducks to gather. Then bomb them with pine cones.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

quaint vignettes from my charming rural idyll

Well, I hate having diabetes.
On the other hand, I get a kick out of the blood pokey dealies and the little monitor and keeping a record. If clinical depression and asthma had been this structured I would have been MUCH better at them. As it is, I only had to return to the eating habits of my hippiehood and voila! Normal-nay, fucking excellent numbers! Lost weight-5 lbs is weight-and I feel better.
Of course, eating like this will do very little to reduce the virtual Matterhorn of Red Meat in my freezer. See, and here I thought I was being all frugal and shit stocking up when I hit the sales, when what I was actually doing was accreting a BEEFY DEATHBERG.

Animals are stupid 1.
Driving down the road two nights ago. It's dark, you know, it's rural, I'm following the base of the foothills, so there's forest....and up ahead in the distance my headlights catch the twin eye-reflections of an animal in the center of the road. I slow down. I am smart like that. Hitting shit can just fuck with your whole day; especially given that out here there is the very real possibility that the animal in question could be REALLY BIG. Like a big stoner, or a cow, or a black bear, or a bull elk BIG.
It turns out to be a skunk. Medium sized, about as big as a housecat. And this skunk is right on the center line of the road, too. Playing with something with it's front paws. Just like a cat will play with a bug.
Yes. There is a wild animal, a wily wild beast of the woods, which is supposed to be all cunning and crafty and sly? Dicking with a bug in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, IN THE HEADLIGHTS OF AN ONCOMING CAR.
I slowed down and went waaaaaaay around it. It ignored me.
Having anal glands filled with the animal equivalent of napalm saved his cocky little ass this time, that and the fact that I drive a compact car. Little bastard is going to try that with a gravel truck one night and leave nothing but a grease spot on the road.

Animals are stupid 2.
My girl dog, Jett, desperately hates bees. Any kind of bee. Flies, she can snatch out of midair like a sniper. Bees she will chase and bark at and attempt to bite, or crush under her paws. Not a good plan as, being a dog, she spends most of her time barefoot. She will stand in the middle of the rug looking frantic with one paw buzzing and I will have to get a piece of tissue and dig a hornet out from between her toes, again, where it has been stinging and buzzing frantically.
Bumblebees she hates the worst. To her a bumblebee is a big, flying mouse and all mice and mouselike balls of furry evil must die, die die. She will close her jaws on a bumblebee, and the bumble will sting her, of course. Opens her mouth in shock, bee flies away, lands on a clover, and the dumbass BITES IT AGAIN. The first time I realized this was happening the poor thing came trotting up to me with her skinny little Lab-type face swollen up like a chow dog. When I opened her mouth to find out what the odd noise was, two huge bumblebees flew away. And I had to grab her collar to keep her from chasing them. The goofturd must have been stung in the face more than 50 times or more in her life. Hasn't learned a thing.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Yellow Jaguar's Evil Hand Closes In

Note: special last minute amendment.
Suggested by another Brit.
My administration seems to be turning into a puppet regime even before I assume the post.
Per Arabellas and Rockmothers' request I have decided to throw my hat in the ring for consideration as the City of Sumas' new Mayor. My campaign motto is:

I have no idea what I'm doing
But hell, you're used to that.

My platform has three planks (they used to make us say shit like that in debate.)

Plank 1- is to be located near the city compost heap. It is made of white pine. It is 6 ft. long. Be careful when playing on or around the plank. The plank is splintery. Do not play with plank after having consumed alcoholic beverages. Always wear appropriate safety gear when playing on or near the plank. Do not tease or molest the plank. Do not use if allergic to peanuts.

Plank 2-More nudity.

Plank 3- What ever I make up.

Proposed amendments to the city charter:
-More nudity.
-The official Deity of Sumas will be John Cleese. Churches not accepting the Cleesian Liturgy will be taunted a second time.
-Children out after dark bouncing basket balls on my sidewalk will be set adrift on an ice floe.
-As will Junkies out talking loudly and/or acting like dipshits on my sidewalk after dark
-As will drunk people out in the field behind my home having loud, stupid arguements after dark. Unless they speak clearly and at least one of them is hooting and crying, when it then becomes free late night comedy entertainment and gives me a an excuse to blast people with the hose, which is something I live for.
-The Wicked Witch of the West hat will be the Official Hat of Sumas.
-All the stupid ugly grafted cherry trees planted along Cherry street will be cut down and replaced with Pin Oaks. The street will be renamed 'Big, Uncircumcised Boulevard'.
-No,ha ha! Is my joking! No, the street will be renamed 'Sumas Avenue' and the street that's now named 'Sumas Avenue' will be renamed 'Michael'.
- El Nopal will be moved into the abandoned titty bar and the owner will thereafter will pay no rent and no taxes FOR LIFE. The former two mayors will be installed as his pretty potty pals and will wipe his ass and give it a little kiss on each cheek every time he 'votes Republican'.
-The Offical Pretty Potty Pal uniform will consist of a pair of 'Hello Kitty' underpanties worn on the outside of the slacks.
-My dog Opie will be Generalisimo City Development Coordinator for Life. God knows he'll turn in just as stellar a performance as the dumbass in there now. He will be in charge of the Sacred Bonking Rock of Justice and wear one of those little leather aviator dog hats, the ones with the little goggles, so he looks like a WWII pilot which would be so cute.
-The sites of formerNSA spy poles will be surrendered to the Current Administration and the land used for roadside shrines to Venus Williams' Sweet Thick Ass.
-All city council meetings will hereafter be run according to the ritual proceedure of the IOOF because it is fancy and there is marching. Aand everyone gets to wear medals and Napoleon hats. And there is a secret handshake too. But only I get to carry a sword.
-All Border Patrol facilities within the boundaries of Sumas will be surrendered to the Current Administration and turned into Happy Havens for Homeless Marijuana and Naked Men (Cute Ones with Nice Asses.)
SPECIAL LAST-MINUTE AMENDMENT...The municipal rodeo showgrounds will be re-purposed as the site of the annual International 'Beast 500' Nekkid Hoovering Races. Only I will call it 'Vaccuuming Races' because this IS America for cripes' sakes and nobody will know what I'm talking about if i say 'Hoovering'. Except maybe some people will think I am talking about J. Edgar Hoover and come expecting to see a bunch of balding paunchy men dressed in tutu's running a relay, which would be kind of cool, I guess.