Monday, December 31, 2007

I Was (nearly ) a Teenage Hive Queen

quick note: I'll be highlighting all the things in this article that ARE EXAGGERATIONS. ok? now onward.__________________________________

Finding this picture a few days ago sure brought back some shit, lemme tell ya:

You know why? Because I came close to MARRYING this guy.

My senior year of high school was a bizarre period of time for me. On one hand I was utterly miserable. My (straight) life sucked. On the other hand I had an after-hours thing going that John Waters would have envied. Plus, I was experiencing by then a kind of strange cult popularity at school that I had no idea how to cope with-puzzling when you consider that I wasn't particularly social and had no idea who most of these people WERE.
That notwithstanding, according to my parents I was nothing but DAMAGED GOODS.
That is a quote.

My misadventures began officially at 15. Shortly thereafter, my mother found my birth control pills (the less said about which episode the better.) At that time I was informed by both of my parents, point blank, in precisely the terms put forth below, that now

I WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO MARRY ANYONE WORTH A DAMN BECAUSE NOBODY WORTH A DAMN WOULD WANT ME.

Bear those words in mind. They're important to the rest of the story.

Marriage wasn't even on my agenda, of course. That's something that I gave no thought to even in passing...after eighteen years with a front row seat to my parents wedded bliss I wanted no part of that shit whatsofuckingever, thanks.

Now, in the late 70's, in my town, girls still married right out of high school. At least the 'nice' ones did. It was common practice to include a proposal of marriage in ones graduation commencement speech, in fact, which made graduation both overlong and extremely tiresome.

BILL: in his mortarboard, clutching his diploma "Oh, and....Mandy? Will you marry me?"
MANDY: and her syncophants, as one 'SQUEEEEEEEAL! OMIGODYESYESYES! (etc. hopping up and down and crying and hugging for ten fricken' minutes )


Meanwhile, my secret after school life continued CENSORED FOR THE SAKE OF THE STAINLESS STEEL AMAZON and an unemployed amputee. Other persons of momentary interest drifted in and on. Ganja and I became close acquaintances, along with speed, lsd, valium, cocaine and a vile screwtop concoction put out by Ernest and Julio Gallo called 'Ruby Chablis'. But once the sun rose I was Suzy Suburbia again, and never the twain did meet until the last time I walked out of those 'prison' doors in 1978. I figured post-high school life would simply mean 'more time to devote to CENSORED FOR THE SAKE OF THE STAINLESS STEEL AMAZON a bowl full of raw eggs. '

My parents, of course, had a completely different plan in mind for me. Some might say that it was an unbelievably insulting, stupid, outdated plan, a plan reminiscent of, say, Sharia law, or Chinese family values as they were practiced during the time of the Mandarins. Of course, I had not the vaguest whiff of a clue about any 'plan' at all until they sprung it on me. Even then it took me a couple of weeks to figure out what was going on.

My dad had a buddy named Phil. Nice guy. Nice house. Nice wife. Phil and his wife had mentioned in passing that they had a kid in Milwaukie High too, and did I know Ritchie?
Nope.I never gave it another thought.

Come the Sadie Hawkins dance my senior year, suddenly my parents are terribly interested in who I'm going to ask.
Huh? Same person I always ask; nobody.
Well.....why didn't I ask Ritchie?
Because I didn't know the guy.
Subject closed and forgotten.

Until the next football game. Was I thinking about going to the football game? It was a home game.
First of all, when have you ever known me to attend a fricken' football game?
Well....Ritchie was going.
.......well, good. Good for Ritchie.
Subject forgotten until...

You get the picture. Me, I didn't get the picture. Not the whole picture. No, the only thing I thought at this point was, if my parents were pushing him this hard, Ritchie was obviously someone I was not going to get along with AT ALL.
And I was right.
I did not know how right, though.
No, I did not.

In high school, four times a year every year we all did a pointless do-si-do from class to class for no good reason. My senior year, 1978, was the first class year that them there newfangled computin' machines were being used. As a consequence of this, and because everybody down in Administration was reduced to gibbering terror when confronted with DOS, I was mis-scheduled into Science I*.
With Ritchie.
Only, having never met the guy, I had no idea it was Ritchie at first.

What I registered primarily was the worst skin condition I'd seen up until that point in my young life-and I'd seen some doozies. He glistened. He oozed foul sebaceous oils. His blackheads were legion; he perpetually looked as though he needed a shave. He was studded with boils. Not zits, my friends. BOILS. And his boils had boils. Huge, angry, seeping boils; boils of an indescribable and horrifying purulence which swarmed across his face, neck and arms.
No, really.
The guy had boils on his ARMS.
Prior to this I'd had no idea one could develop arm-boils. But here it was.

And here he was, gangling, insectoid, overactive glands producing an ice arena of horror where feculent bacteria went curling with Satan, sniggering, hunch-shouldered, hands the size of hubcaps and feet like landing craft, sitting in the back of the class where his constant picking wouldn't distract anyone. He was a hee-hawer. He perched with his bony knees poking up on either side of the desk and his bony shoulders and elbows at random angles. Clearly, Mom cut his hair - and she used a mixing bowl. Mom also bought his clothes. Problem was, mom had failed to realize that her son was not 40 years old, or a size 'small'.

Now you'd think a guy like that would make up for it all by being Brainerd McBrainiac, right? Those are the guys who graduate high school and go on to make their first million three years later developing military software, right?
You would be wrong, in Ritchies case.

One evening my father happened to remark that his buddy said that Ritchie and I had a class together. Which one?
I had no earthly idea. I'd never met the guy, remember?
Lo and behold, a couple of evenings later, Ritchie came to our house after church. With mom and dad.

How mom and dad had produced Ritchie is still a mystery to me. You could detect a resemblance, and you could even see who probably contributed what to the pot....it was just...that....they weren't from the same....species.

There they were on our doorstep....nice mom, GIANT CARPENTER ANT**, nice dad.



My first and only thought was "Oh Lordy."

They all trooped in and a sad and obviously rehearsed little charade commenced.
Oh, what a surprise!
Well, we were just in the neiborhood!
Well come on in!
How ya doin?
You've met my wife, haven't you?
Hello!
And heres my son, Rich.....

...and here's my son, Rich....

...Rich, step up here, son; shake the mans hand.

....Look up. Up, son.

My son Rich....

I'd already wandered off by this point and gone to my bedroom.
But this time I got in HUGE ENORMOUS TROUBLE. You would have thought I'd set the joint on fire or something. They had a COW. Why couldn't I be nice? Why was I so rude? Why did I have to hide in my room all the time? Same shit, true; but this shit went on for DAYS.
What the fuck?

After that, whenever I went past Ritchie in the hall at school he'd turn crimson. He'd look at the ground and grin and snigger. Once I said 'Hi!' and he took off running. I wrote that up to embarrassment and nerdliness and didn't waste another second on it. I had other things on my mind, and they have been censored, for the sake of the Stainless Steel Amazon.

Another thing that happened after that episode was that suddenly my future became an increasingly common topic around home. Out of nowhere one of my parents would suddenly come out with 'You know, I figured you'd be engaged by now, like your cousins were...." or "Don't count on living here because we'll kick you out on your fanny as soon as you graduate." Which was reassuring.

Finally one night my parents called me into the front room and made me sit down.
Oh GREAT. What NOW.
Your mom and I think that you should......go out.
Well I couldn't agree more; I think I should go out too. Give me 20 bucks and I'll be on my way.
And we know....your dad knows...you remember...you know...you know Phil's son? Sure you do. You have him in class.
Yeah, I know him. I said 'hi' to him once and he ran down the hall.Oh well, you know, well, he's, hes just shy, is all, you know, a young guy, he's shy. He just has a little trouble, you know.
Actually no, I think there's something wrong with him.
No no no no no now thats not nice. There's nothing wrong with him! Him? Ho, boy, if his dad could hear you say that! There's nothing wrong with him, boy, you, you're the one who's probably scaring him half to death! There's nothing wrong with him!
I said 'hi' and he ran down the hall, dad."
No no no no no, now, that's not right, that's not true, boy, you're making that up, you gotta be! Hes, uh, a smart kid! He's a real smart kid, he is! No, boy, you're off the beam there, boy...

and so on.

The upshot was, a blind date had been arranged.
I freaked.
My parents threatened me.
I continued to freak.
My parents told me that if I didn't go out with this guy that I'd never set one foot outside their house again unless it was to go to school and come straight back, period.
Ah.
I'd just spent my sophomore year that way. I knew I didn't want to go there. So, I figured, what the fuck, right? Fine. I'd go out with the guy. It would be horrifically painful and awkward and then it would be over.

Problem was, Ritchie didn't have a car.

Problem solved: they'd drop me off at his parents house and we'd walk from there to the football game a few blocks away.
Yay.

As my date shambled along down the sidewalk beside me, leading each step with his head like a chicken, giant hands banging off his knees, I considered my position. The guy would not speak to me. The guy would not look at me. The guy would not respond to me even if I asked him a question. That covered the first block.
Conversation was out.

I drifted toward the center of the sidewalk. He started walking on people's lawns. Then he dropped back. I slowed down. He dropped back further. I stopped and waited for him. He caught up to me and stopped. I started to walk again. Three paces later, so did he. From this I gathered that whether or not we appeared together was obviously not an issue for him. Me either.
We were making progress.

We found a seat in the grandstand-rather, I found us a seat in the grandstand, as close to the exit as I could get and right at the very end of one of the bleacher seats. Ritchie folded himself into a sitting position, knees up around his ears, elbows stuck out on either side like rocket fins, big ol' canal boat feet flapped over at the end like a Don Martin cartoon. Actually not really but just pretend they were for the sake of the image.
And slowly, slowly, he began to slide away from me. Slooooowly. Sliiiiip. Scooooot.

OK then.

The marching band had just come onto the field. The game hadn't even started yet. I looked over at Ritchie.
Ritchie was staring straight ahead at the field, mouth gaping wide, eyes vacant.

And Ritchie was drooling.

Ritchie was DROOLING.

Ritchie had a long silver strand of drool hanging from the bottom of his lower lip. Because he was DROOLING.

I got up and walked home.

Three miles.

In heels.

My parents, of course, launched into a major enormous earth-shattering mega-cow when they saw me there. But something must have been different about me.
Yes, when I explained "Why did I leave? Because I looked over AND MY DATE WAS DROOLING, DAD," well, something seemed to register. They cut the dramatics short, and let me return to my room.

A few years later my mom was musing about how nice it would have been if I'd gotten married to that nice boy Ritchie they introduced me to. After all, he was Catholic, they knew his family and they were nice people, it had been discussed and they were all for it, and I wouldn't have had to look for work after I graduated. (Yes. Really.)
"He was slow, you know" I said.
She snorted. "There wasn't nuttin' wrong with him, Miss Picky," she replied.
I gave up.

Back in high school I'd had friends in Computer Lab. Remember, this was 1978, back when the students programmed the computers for the school district because the adults had no clue, good partying buddies who filled me in on the rest of the story.

Ritchie had been in Science I his senior year, not because of a scheduling mistake, as I had been. No, Ritchie had been in Science I because he NEEDED TO BE in Science I. And he failed that.
Ritchie was what they used to term 'educable'.





____________________________________

* science at about a 7-8th grade level. no caustic chemicals, nothing sharp, nothing that could catch on fire. the teacher spoke very clearly and distinctly.

**"where does this come from?" you might ask. too bad, I say; go ask your mom.
OK fine.
one day a buddy of mine was standing with me when he saw Ritchie coming down the hall. "See that guy?" he said. "One time I was sitting in class ripped on acid and he turned into a giant carpenter ant. He just sat there looking at me, chewing on his desk. I've been kind of scared of him ever since."
It was true, sadly enough. the guy really did look like a carpenter ant. he had a long round head, no chin, spindly little shoulders and a huge butt. and he was shiny. i never saw him eat a desk. i wish i had. it would have been cool.

______________________________
john waters? no....maybe his sister, though.
unemployed amputee? no...lots of amputees had jobs in the 70s.where feculent bacteria went curling with Satan? pure speculation. might have been hockey.

boofay eatin' places

When I was a little kid, we went out to dinner quite a lot. Nine times out of ten, if we went out, we went to a buffet.

Two reasons for this: first, my mother was not the worlds greatest cook. Nor was she the neighborhoods' greatest cook. Or even strictly speaking a cook, unless you also count 'laundry' as it was done in the Victorian era as cooking. Mom boiled EVERYTHING. It may not have been tasty, but it was clean, and it probably included lye soap.

Second, buffet restaurants were extremely popular back then. All you could eat for one low price? Hell yes!

Oregon had been hit very, very hard by the Depression. Everyone had a clear and living memory of it. Hell, I had a clear and living memory of it - even though it happened before I was born. I'd grown up hearing so much more than I'd ever, ever cared to hear about the stupid goddamn fucking Depression that I figured that I counted as a survivor too.  The impression I'd been left with was that it was a time in American history when everyone had been really depressed because there was a war, so they were too bummed out to work, so nobody had any money which of course meant that nobody could buy enough to eat. *

Anyway, right around the end of WWII some creative individual introduced the 'classy' buffet restaurant concept to Oregon. Institutional-style service presented with 'tony' atmosphere...or at least a 'Ladies' Home Journal' interpretation of that -in the Wild West! Like a perpetual 'high society' event, only open to the public! And looking back you can see that nothing probably appealed to the ordinary people of that time like the promise 'All You Can Eat'. Throw in some real linen, a bunch of plastic flowers and one of those whirly shoeshine things by the front door and success was assured.  I remember waiting in line for AN HOUR IN THE RAIN to get into the place and not whining because I was so excited the closer we inched to the door!  Not only any boofay, noooooo Paco.  This was the king of the Oregon boofay eatin' places...Obies' on McLaughlin Boulevard.

The first thing you saw as soon as you entered the place on the red wool carpet was the buffet line *cue angelic choir*.  Surrounded with plastic flower arrangements, gleaming with stainless steel, brass, nickel and glass...the brontosaurus-sized roasts, the servers in gleaming whites bustling by with huge hotel pans filled with gravy-topped cholesterol, backed by red velvet curtains against which the clouds of fragrant steam arose...it was pure Burlesque!  It was The Food Capades!  Oh, and the lighting...!  Dark and moody punctuated with bold and dynamic! Heavenly glory piercing through the darkness to illuminate the Miracle of Beets!

In addition to the track spots, Obies' had one of those revolving colored Christmas tree lights that shone down on the line of people ahead of you. If  you were there long enough, you could watch everyone turn from blue to red to lemon yellow to green and back. And as if this weren't enough, the salad line - your first stop - was filled with clear Lucite bowls nestled in ice, and the station had a hidden lexan base that was lit from beneath so that the ice in it twinkled like blue diamonds. For a little kid this was just about the pinnacle of class.

First came the salads. This was the mid- Sixties, so a lot of what was on offer bore little resemblance to salad as we know it now, much less Earth food.

 First, an obligiaory bowl of browning vegetation with oil and vinegar. Obligation having been served, next came the "GOOD" stuff. Macaroni salad (barf.) Three bean salad (barf.) Egg salad (barf.) Potato salad jaundiced with Frenchs' mustard (barf.) Jumbled bergs of multicolored jello on silver platters wreathed with savoyed cabbage leaves (barf), celery boats (barf), radish roses (barf), carrot curls (barely acceptable), cucumbers fanned like winning hands(barf.) Sheer fantasy and Jello took over at this point.  Since I was too short at the time to read the identifying tags, I've come up with my own names.  There was Glazed Caldera of Grated Carrot Studded With Flies,  Mausoleum of Green Jello With Sheep Eyeballs, the fearsome Aztec Death Pyramid Of Red Stuff With Red Chunks...Pink Toothpaste Shaped Like a Fish For No Good Reason...Weeping Cucumbers With Chopped Fescue and Crud Sauce...Pink Christmas Wreath of This Little Piggie Went Wee Wee Wee All The Way Home, Disgusting Fruit With Sheep Eyeballs In Disgusting Sauce, and  Mayonnaisey Mystery Situation with Paprika Dumped All Over The Top. For some reason this preparation was always tastefully garnished by jabbing a dolly into one corner. Yes really. She had cream cheese piped around her in ripples, forming a dress, with a sprig of parsley at her waist for a corsage. I have no idea to this day what the point was, but I still feel sorry for her.*

Next came the sides. Piles of rolls...clovers, dinners, soft, hard, butter, Parkerhouse, and plain Wonder sandwich bread. Bowls full of icy butter pats stacked in pyramids. Mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise and tartar sauce (and you better have tartar sauce if you run a restaurant in the Northwest, bucko.) After that, the hot vegetables...corn swimming in cream or butter, carrots the same, baked beans so heavy with molasses and brown sugar they trailed strands when a spoonful was lifted, green beans, oceans of bobbing peas, Matterhorns of mashed potatoes.

As you inched along you slowly approached the carving station, a small island of drama detached from the rest of the food. The carver wore chefs whites. He presided over the giant mountains of smoking protein beneath the infrared lamps, glowing eerily in the hot orange light.

The carving station was raised up a step, so that the 'chef' looked down at you. He was equipped with a Viking longsword and a long, needle-tipped meat fork straight from Hell. Despite which it reminded me of nothing so much as taking communion a Catholic church, complete with gleaming brass rail, candles, and mysterious shadows. We all took our turns, offering our plates, as the chef murmured "One slice or two?" and we replied 'One please'. In no more than three graceful strokes the dripping slice was removed, pressed between the fork and knife and deposited on your plate with a stylish half-turn that left it bunched up like a breaking wave of deliciousness. Body of Christ? Amen.

Three steps took you from the sanctuary to the dining room beyond, separated by a half wall. The transition was a little jarring...from darkness and steam and low voices and gleaming mood-lit food to a bright and noisy auditorium filled with Formica tables, bustling waitresses, men in brown suits and women in pillbox hats.

This was the era of the huge black purse, and they lay out in the aisles beside madams' chair like huge floating mines. I could be counted on to take out a couple as we sidled along between the tables searching for an empty place.

Now oddly enough I have no memories from this time of people actually putting food into their mouths and eating it. But eat they did. The usual stay was at least an hour, and during that hour you could count on seeing the same faces surrounding you and the same people standing next to you as you filed back in towards the line for another round, simply circulating, stopping long enough to empty a plate and then rejoining the line again.

I always seemed to get stuck in line between two old ladies, and old ladies always appalled me. Not because they were old or ladies, but because of the sheer amount of food they could pack away. The smaller they were, the higher they stacked the chow, and then crammed the bare spots full of rolls. Most of them had two dinner plates on their trays...one for whatever, and another strictly for salad. In fact the salad line was perpetually two-deep in old ladies staggering beneath the weight of their trays, circling like little sharks in baggy hose. I secretly guessed it was because most of the salady things didn't really look like food so much as they simply looked pretty. Pretty food doesn't count. And thus you don't look like a pig, and it doesn't get you fat.

People had a lot of odd notions in regards to food back then. I know, I know, it had to do with the Depression and everyone not having enough so you only took a small bit of what was offered and nice people didn't gorge and wasting food was a sin and a lady only nibbled...still, that didn't stop them from loading up on the groceries. They just did it sneaky.

One person would go back to the line, but that one person had to bear in mind all the specific requests from everyone else at that table. Once they returned everyone would take a fast look around, like meerkats. Reassured that nobody was paying undue attention they then swiftly portioned out the food and made it disappear.

My parents weren't quite that goofy, but I never did leave the table for seconds without someone giving me an 'as long as you're headed back...' request. Sometimes this was used as a tactic to trick me into trying new things-'Ha! Now you eat every bit of that before you touch the rest of your plate!' but I got wise and learned to let the bottom of the serving spoon merely dab a spot on my plate, then return and exclaim 'but you didn't say how much!' It was always the same thing, too. What, I have no idea. I only remember it as being some sort of godhorrid pink crap with chunks in it. I still have no idea what it was. It could have been just about anything back then; suburban Oregon was a (sinkhole) backwater, and food coloring was used with a very liberal and 'creative' hand.

Now the only places you see food presented with anything like that kind of homespun elan are a casino, or occasionally a wedding reception. Buffet restaurants are different places these days. It's more like eating in the school cafeteria now-the only thing even slightly different is the lack of announcements over the public address system, the kind prefaced with three 'dings' on a toy xylophone. The food is the same. Exactly the same.

Our high school cafeteria was supplied by SAGA Food Services Inc. The same truck that made those deliveries also pulled up to unload Christ knows what into the kitchens of every North's Chuckwagon Buffet in town. I think the only difference was the quality of the deep-fry grease. And I could be wrong about that.

Here in Whatcom county the flagship restaurant in the Izzy's buffet chain just went stern up. An era has come to an end. What began as a dutchified 80's version of buffet dining turned quickly into a blackened, greasy free-for all complete with women crying in the restroom. See? Just like high school. And this pretty much describes any buffet place these days, at least the ones serving 'Merican food...filthy fat kids running around butt wild, half-inflated balloons stuck against the ceiling ventilation grilles, plates stacked twelve high at the end of the tables loaded with uneaten food. Desperate waitresses who come by every 2 minutes scavenging for tips, offering you beverages and asking if everything's all right. Heavily pierced meth addicts, their checkered pants held in a bunch at the waist with a shoelace, wheeling bus tubs down the aisle. People greeting friends from across the room by shouting 'hey NIGGA!'**, or throwing rolls.

Still, no place offers the kind of "FEED ME NOW DAMMIT' gratification that you get at a buffet. And this is why the casino buffet is the biker's friend.

If you're in the middle of nowhere, you're probably near a casino. And all casinos have a buffet. Oh yes....come innnnnnnnn, hungry public, but first walk through the entiiiiiire length of our colorful flashing fun gamblinnnnnnnnnnnng parlooooooooor...and waaaaaaalk....and waaaaaaaaaalk...lookee at the freeeee moneyyyyy....it's fuuuuun......
This ploy probably works on rich elderly people with low blood sugar much better than it works on sunburnt fat people who've just left all their cash parked out in the 'motorcycles only' space, though.

The only thing you want around noon after a morning spent motorcycle touring is to take a whiz, offload some leather and poke some groceries down your neck NOW. Add a nice booth to sprawl out in, someone unobtrusive to keep your coffee topped up, and, most importantly, an endless supply of saturated fat, and that's called copacetic. You can get all that plus a pleasant background of hypnotic, coruscating jangling noises in a casino buffet. You also get a flashing display along one wall that enables you to play Keno at the same time you're putting away the macaroni salad, if that sounds like fun.

Is the food good? Strictly speaking? No. The food is edible for the most part, often delicious, but very, very rarely is it good. This is stuff supplied by factories, dumped out of plastic bags and cans into hotel pans, and sat over some hot water. If you want 'calories', rejoice. If you want 'good' you've come to the wrong place.

Only once have we run into anything that could be described as 'quality' food at a buffet, and it so happens that it was a casino buffet. It was a small place, somewhere smack dab in the middle of Absolutely Nothing Whatsoever, Idaho, just past...near...Idaho. Somewhere. I don't recall it's having been actually near anything. At all. Except wheat. Oh my yes, there was wheat. Lots of wheat. There had been wheat for quite some few hours by that point.

wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat.

And then suddenly plop in the midst of all this fricken' wheat, there's a casino with 500 Escalades parked all around it.

We parked the Dyna and trudged through the gaming floor, past the zombies plugged into their penny slots, pulling off our leather as we went. Nobody gave us a glance. We ran our credit card, found a booth, dropped our helmets and slouched up to the line.
And it was FANTASTIC.
Huge, broiled New York steaks. Bearnaise sauce! Lobster. Wild cedar-planked salmon. Eggs Benedict! CHILLED BLUE POINT OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL. An omelet bar! The coffee was Starbucks and the sides were glorious. Everything was glorious.
We just sat and looked across the table at one another in silence, completely amazed. Grateful. Unbelieving. Then we fell on it like rabid javelinas.

We did the same thing later on that day in Pullman, where, after a VERY, very very, veryveryvery, very very, extremely incredibly indescribably enormous motherfucking amount of time spent traveling through what must have been the source of wheat for the entire goddamn Earth, AND Jupiter, we happened across an all-pizza buffet.
One price, all you can eat.
Free refills on the pop.

The carnage was indescribable. I think the State police took our picture .

I don't think Idaho wants us back.









_______________
* For years I thought that the 'Great Depression' was simply a time in the past when everyone was just really, really sad. I had no idea it had anything to do with economics.

*Think I'm exaggerating? Were you American in the early 60's? Then you know I'm not. I know you remember this crap. You're probably just repressing it. And who can blame you?

**Yes, I'm sorry, this is true. Hereabouts the apple-cheeked offspring of two Nederlandischer parents frequently address each other with 'Yo nigga' ...and yes, it is terribly, terribly sad.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Time off for little muks

This was without a doubt the best Christmas I've ever spent EVER.

...but I gotta tell ya; I am so partied out.


I mean, lordy; I am partied OUT.

My boogie fu was unbeatable.

Think I'll take a bit of a blogging break. Maybe pursue some other interests.

...catch up on my reading. You know.

See y'all in a week!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Super secret cookies!!! and other recipes

Note: Don't have a big 'ol cow because you live someplace where they use mutated cooking nomenclature, standards of measurement based on the weight of King Henry VIII's gall bladder, or that have gimpy ovens. I'll post the link to the conversion site at the end like I always do so just keep your damn pants on.

I bake these wearing Jacqueline Kennedy dark sunglasses. SSSSSshhhhhh!!!!
Wack Up Smel the Cookies! caution: unnecessarily complicated
(all ingredients room temp. preheat oven to 350.)

First, you make a standard butter cookie recipe:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tbl vanilla extract
some fresh grated orange peel, to taste-can be omitted or other citrus may be substituted
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

also have on hand, but to one side...you won't use these yet:
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 LEVEL tsp finest grind french roast coffee beans
1/3 c butter, very soft
2 tbls or more honey
optional for decoration: plain or chocolate covered espresso beans
_______________
PART ONE: The object of this part is to end up with very dry, browned cookie crumbs, so go ahead and proceed by eye.
-Halve the cookie dough. Set one half aside and hold at room temp.

-Take the other half, chill for an hour in the fridge. Then...

-Roll this chilled dough out about 1/3 inch thick and cut into pieces about 3 in. big...pretty is not an issue.

-Put onto an ungreased cookie sheet, not touching-but if they run together, no problem. You might have to do them in batches. Only one sheet in the oven at a time!

-Bake these at 375 until they are beginning to brown on the bottom, about 10 minutes or so-check them and see.

-Then take them out, cool them a bit, and then turn them over and brown the other side, which won't take quite as long. Go ahead and peek in the oven all you like.

-When they're brown on that side, turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and let them cool in there while you go vaccuum or shop or something for a couple of hours. The object is to get them perfectly golden brown and crisp all the way through.

-When they are cooled off completely, run them all through the cuisinart until they're as small as they can get. Set aside.
*
Now for the cookies proper!
-Crank the oven up to 400.

-Take the other half of the ROOM TEMPERATURE cookie dough, chunk it up and put it in the cuisinart. Add in all the extra ingredients, blend thoroughly, scraping down the bowl and getting in all the corners.

-Turn it out into the bowl with the crumbs and knead it all together by squishing it between your fingers. You can add a little more soft butter if the mix is stiff.

-Press the dough out onto the counter with your hands until it's about 1/3 inch thick, and cut out rounds a little bigger around than the size of a walnut. (You cannot overwork this dough so use all the scraps too!) Scrape these up using a spatula and...

-Place them, not touching, onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

-Bake in the 400 oven for 7 or 8 minutes.

(-optional: if you are using the espresso beans for decoration, press one into the center of each cookie NOW while they're still hot and soft.)

-When they have sat a couple of minutes, try and pry one up. If it comes off clean, slide them off the cookie sheet and set aside to cool. They should flatten out and be crispy when they cool.

These will definitely Wack your ass UP.
________________________________________________

Spicy cheese dip!
1 1/2 lbs of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2/3 cup of wholefat yogurt- drained overnight in a sieve until all the whey is out of it (there will be a little less after it's drained, obviously)
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup red onion, minced very fine
1/3 cup jalapeno (for hot!) or anaheim (for not so hot) peppers, minced finely
1 tsp. 'Via Nueva' chili-limon spice (look it up on the web; I'm not your mother)
1/4 tsp or to taste garlic granules
1 tbl Knorr powdered chicken stock

Heave it all in the Cuisinart and whir it for a very long time, stirring it down as necessary. It will be kind of sandy looking. Oooo so good!
______________________

Tangy cheese dip-this has to set overnight in the fridge to get good.

1/2 cup feta cheese with kalamata olives (or plain feta with five minced kalamatas added)
1/2 cup blue or roquefort cheese
1 cup sour cream
4 oz cream cheese
1 shallot squeezed through a garlic press or minced very, very fine-DO NOT OMIT.

Once again, heave it in the Cuisinart and whip the crap out of it. Don't forget to stir it down every now and then!
___________________________

Smoked salmon dip-so easy a caveman could do it.

4 oz soft-smoked salmon, whatever cure you prefer (we use alder smoked with a cracked pepper cure)

4 oz cream cheese

1/3 cup either mayonnaise, drained yogurt or sour cream

Take the skin off the salmon but leave the peppercorns or whatever spices there may be ON.
Chunk it up, put it into the cuisinart with the other ingredients (I use sour cream) and whir until it's all a uniform smooth texture-scrape down as necessary. This cannot be over-mixed; it just gets lighter and fluffier.
_________________________

Chicken Livers Mit Schmalz-I am the only person who really really likes this at my house so I get to eat ALL of it! But it is SO GOOD. Really. It is. On a Wheat Thin cracker? Oh my yes.

-1 lb chicken livers, poached very gently in 1 cup chicken stock until just done through, cooled.
-reserve the stock and cool
-1/2, 2/3, or 1 cup rendered chicken fat, depending on how soon you want to die of arteriosclerosis (recipe follows)
-2 small or one large green onion, minced very fine
-salt and pepper to taste-I like lots of fresh-ground black pepper here.
(optional-softened cream cheese to taste)

-All cooled ingredients into cuisinart minus the stock. As the mixture whirs, add a bit of stock until you have a light paste consistency-(err on the side of thick; more can be added later.)

-Chill overnight. The mixture will have turned into a soft solid. If it is too hard, chunk it up and put it back through the cuisinart, adding a little more stock. It will be a light grey cardboardy color and very smooth and light, a little sandy textured.
-At this point you may also add a little cream cheese to taste if you feel the flavor is too 'rank' or 'livery'. Correct seasonings.

To make rendered chickenfat, or 'schmalz'
(This is something you make when you want stock, fat and cooked chicken meat for separate things, so plan ahead for chicken and dumplings for dinner or chicken noodle soup or something like that.)

1 fryer, cut up or whole
water to cover

-Bring the chicken and the water to a boil, cover and reduce to the lowest setting. Let it go for 45 minutes.

-Take the chicken out and let it drain into the pot. (Then cool the carcass aside and return the drippings to the pot. Strip the meat once it's cooled-if you save it on the bone it gets funky.)

-You now have 'chicken water', the beginning of stock. Cool this in the pot, then refrigerate overnight, covered.

-The next morning, the hardened fat may be lifted off the top of the chicken-water in solid chunks.

-Melt these over a low flame just until they turn clear, then strain them through a very fine sieve or a cloth. Throw away the grey crumbs you strain out, or give them to your cat; they love them!

-Now you have pure rendered chicken fat! You should have about 1/2 cup more or less.


links:
http://www.wwrecipes.com/convert.htm

This is a new one I'm trying. Let me know what you think of it. If it sucks I'll go back to using the other conversion sites.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Quaint vignettes from my charming rural idyll

Something that bugs the crap out of me are the photographs used for identification purposes in birdwatching magazines and manuals. Nine times out of ten you'll get a prettily presented birdie posing to it's very best advantage or doing something cute...very seldom if ever presented in it's typical state. For example, the blue heron:



If you were to try and identify a blue heron by this picture you would be shit out of luck. Blue herons never look like this, at least not out where you can see them. This is a social nesting posture. All their display characteristics are-well, on display. The 'whoop de do' on the head and the spikey feathers at the neck; the white shoulder epaulets and the position of the neck are all characteristic of the bird as it rests in a place only accessible by a nut with a ladder or a pirogue. It's pretty, but it doesn't do me any good.
Now this is more helpful:



Here's a heron doing something typical out where regular people can see them. It's standing on a private boat dock in an 'alert' posture. You'll also notice that there is nothing particularly 'blue' about it, probably because calling it the 'tall scroungy looking heron' wouldn't sound as poetic. Still, this is the heron you'll see standing in every field and in every ditch in Whatcom County, watching the cars go by. 'Oh, theres a heron," you could say, right before it comes leaping in through the windshield and tears out your throat.

No, ha, herons don't do that. And most herons are not poisonous. Mostly what they do is stand around looking like that picture. That, and jumping out of swamps late in the evening and flying across the front of your car like a giant pterodactyl and saying'GRONK'. I've almost gone in the ditch twice now because of these things. I'm not joking. Down on the corner of Goodwin and Sorenson by the haybarn where it always floods? Yeah. Watch out.

This has been a banner year for blue herons. The things are everywhere! I don't know if it has anything to do with the weather or what; they must have fledged a lot of young last summer or something. I can look out the kitchen window almost every morning and see one or two of them standing in the soccer field behind the house, or fishing in the 'seasonal lakefront' that forms at the corner of my fence line. My poor girldog nearly has a seizure when she sees one standing too close to "her" yard. She explodes out the dog door barking like a lunatic. Then again, if you look at it from her point of view, a heron is a big, freaky, pointy bird taller than she is; I guess that would be alarming now that I come to think about it. Maybe I should be more grateful she's on patrol. We are safe. Safe from blue herons, Guatemalan soccer players and women pushing baby strollers. And Mormon kids on bicycles. And the UPS guy.
************************

I noticed the return of the 4 resident nesting eagle pairs back on December 2. They've been sailing around the sky ever since, not doing much besides looking primeval and roosting wherever it pleases them to by night. They don't have much interest in their nests right now, besides keeping their claim staked. In any case it would be a never-ending job of repair given the successive waves of wind and rain storms we get here all winter.

After they fledge young, the eagles only stay around for a few weeks in January and February. I'm told they go then either up to the San Juan Islands or out towards the coast. I don't know what they do there...drive cabs, work at McDonalds...probably something that involves standing around. Eagles are good at that.
While they're here, though, they raise their families in the best American tradition...doing next to nothing, gorging to the point of bloat on bad food and making a lot of pointless noise.



Now, maybe I'm being a little harsh; I've lived so closely with them for so long. An eagle in the wilderness is a glorious thing, but then it has a glorious backdrop too. An eagle dragging an afterbirth across a calving pen is...not quite as glorious.
***********************

Once the ground is well and truly soaked down to the substrate, right around grimmest, bleakest late November, early one morning you hear the Trumpeter swans coming in through the low clouds. Hundreds of them. Later you find that your ungaraged car is now an entirely new color and texture. Say what you want about the destructive cloacal acts of the Canada goose; nothing dumps a payload like a Trumpeter swan. I don't know what they eat but it makes for some truly spectacular poo. Ever see a small plane pulling a banner behind it? Like that.

Like the eagles, the Trumpeter swans spend a large part of their time majestically doing jack shit. The swan, though, prefers to do this in mud. A mown hayfield glimmering with a winter-long standing puddle or a cornfield full of stubble suits them to a T, although you'd think it would be poky. As soon as they land they begin striding back and forth picking stuff out of it. What I have no idea. Rocks, sticks, bugs, wristwatches; whatever it is, they like it, and there certainly seems to be a lot of it too. A field that a flock of swans have visited will be as plowed up-looking after they leave as though a cultivator had run through it.

In the afternoon you can see them gathered apart into small groups to have what you can only describe as conversations...making quiet chickeny bucks and clucks to each other. All of them are by this point thoroughly splattered with mud and God knows what else...but if the sun happens to come out from the clouds the group will gleam like a beacon.

It's that quality of whiteness, their complete absence of color, that takes me by surprise every year. You think of a swan as white, but this is something altogether different; a perfect white, so perfect it's difficult to hold in your memory. You can clearly make out a group of swans even in the center of a field completely blanketed in the newest, whitest, cleanest snow.

A swan with no place in particular to go flies with a certain deliberation. Their wings stay bent in an air-collecting crescent shape when they move through the lower atmosphere, giving them a rather un-bird-like silhouette. And thought it sounds trite, a trumpeter swan really is whiter than white; the most completely white thing you've ever seen. A flock of them flying down the valley against the snow-covered hills looks like a flight of spirits drifting through the air.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My angel is married : UPDATED



...and for more celebrations, go here!!! the post, the video link...it's ALLLLL GOOOOOOD!!!!!

http://danator.blogspot.com/2007/12/hot-hot-hot.html

Monday, December 17, 2007

Helpful and NSFW Hints for the Holidays

1. If you catch on fire, don't put it out with a hairbrush.




2. New boobs are not always the answer.



3. There comes a point when your pathetic cry for attention will guarantee you receive exactly the opposite.



4. See 3.



5. See 2 and 3.


6.Yes, they invented 'Hello Kitty'. They also invented bukakke and hentai.



7. Sometimes it's the toys without batteries that are the most fun.



8. See 7.

warping a new generation

Last night the Goonybird and I sat up until way late and watched all three Lord of the Ring movies. Not only did he sit relatively still, he did really well, too. Once I explained to him that the monsters were just cartoons made by people who could draw really, really well he had not one problem with the scary stuff or the action. In fact he got right into the spirit of the thing and helped defend the Hornburg by running back and forth smacking orcs with his toy dog.

I'm really glad I didn't spend money going to see these movies when they were out in the theaters. As it was I drove the Biker out of the room by the end of the first one pointing out all the mistakes and correcting the backstory on everything. I do have to admit, though, when they got it right, they REALLY got it right. The Riddermark? Hobbiton? Orthanc? Gondor? The Ringwraiths? Oh HELL yeah. Not to mention Mordor, the Orcs, or particularly Sauron. Or casting Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf. Genius!!!!

Why, why, why, though, did they have to ruin the Ents??? The Ents could have been so much better. They could have taken 3/4 of the budget they spent on the oliphaunts (which I admit were cool as fuck and kicked serious ass) and redirected it towards making the damn Ents halfway decent. After all they are kind of an important story element. And for the love of fuck why do we have Legolas skateboarding down the steps of Helms Deep? What the fuck is that? Why?

Yes I am a Tolkein nerd. I own everything. Even the scholarly stuff. In different editions.
Ok, geek, even.
Fine, 'tard.
Ok, yes, I threw a huge screaming baby fit until my mother promised to go stand in line out in front of B. Dalton in the cold on the first day the Silmarillion was released in order to get a first edition in hardcover.

Why? Because I couldn't.

Why? Because I was competing in a debate tournament.

We placed.

Fine.

Meanwhile, it was really great to see the Goonybird get into the story. He really liked Frodo and Sam and Gollum. He 'got' that whole part of the story right away. We both woke up grandpa cheering when Eowyn cut the head off the Nazgul and killed the Ringwraith. He caught on to Theoden being nuts and Pippin feeling sorry for him. Not too damn bad for a three-year-old kid.

I have three days left before his mommy and daddy get back. I figure by that time I should have laid in a good, elementary groundwork in geek lore. And just think! Once he gets old enough to handle fireworks and ride a motorcycle...!

God help this child.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Paisley Baboon Very Making Leveraged Buyout!

One of my favorite things to do on the Internet is to look up por

One of my favorite things do do on the Internet is to play 'where will this lead?' The rules are simple...start someplace that interests you and read along. When you come to a question or a reference that seems interesting, go there next.

Yes, now that I have the interwebs I can take this game as far afield as I like. Gone are the days when I had to approach sensitive subjects from oblique angles in order to find an answer in a footnote or an obscure textbook. Now, by God, if I run across a reference to, say, 'looners' why I can just type that sapsucker in and get an answer that I really, really could have gone the rest of my life without knowing. Oh my yes.

So it was today, when I threw in my Rob Zombie compilation, cranked the gain to 11 and typed in the search phrase 'bunny man'. I ended up at the most interesting site just full of information about ancient Central and South American glyphs.*

Along the way I found St. Brigids Beer Prayer:
I would like the angels of Heaven to be among us. I would like an abundance of peace. I would like full vessels of charity. I would like rich treasures of mercy. I would like cheerfulness to preside over all. I would like Jesus to be present. I would like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us. I would like the friends of Heaven to be gathered around us from all parts. I would like myself to be a rent payer to the Lord; that I should suffer distress, that he would bestow a good blessing upon me. I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings. I would like to be watching Heaven's family drinking it through all eternity.
Which you have to agree is a lovely sentiment.

Also this picture, which the clicking that maketh bigness will make bigger:

And this picture of a hybrid carrot-man in formal attire:


...You see what kind of interesting shit there is on the internet if you just take the time to look? Who would have ever thought that the Victorians had this kind of biotechnology? I sure didn't. You could buy seeds and grow your own hybrid carrot man! How many hybrid carrot-people might there have been planted that, even as we speak, lie waiting for the day that their Vegetable Master calls them all forth from their dormant state to take over the earth? I say bring'em on. Wouldn't you rather be ruled by a race of sentient man-carrot hybrids? I know I would. And you got to admit this is one spiffy damn carrot. He's even got a monocle. Do you have a monocle? No you do not.

Anyway, this interesting site I found about the Mayans:
http://www.mayalords.org/mayafldr/index.html
There is is.
Apparently this guy has a real hard-on for proving that the Mayans recorded catastrophic astronomical events all the fuck over their buildings and pottery and everything.
In one of these events, there was this hugeass giant comet that circled the earth three times and burnt everything up. People jumped into the water to get away from it. Meanwhile the frogs and the fish were all jumping OUT of the water to get away from it. Basically everyone in Mesoamerica was either jumping into or out of the water. You would too.

Then, several hundred years later or so, another giant comet comes along, breaks up into four pieces and bombards the shit out of Yucatan and South Carolina. This somehow leads to the invention of an ancient form of handball that you play with your ass. If you won you got a sore ass. If you lost a guy with an obsidian knife hacked open your chest, grabbed your heart, ripped it out by the roots, took a damn bite out of it and then chunked it off the top of a pyramid.

Some years later there was a disasterous meteor shower, in response to which the Mayans decided it would be a good idea to start stabbing stingray spines through their dicks.

Personally, what I think this all is, is pretty fucking indicative of why the Mayan civilization failed.











________________________
Don't try this at home, kiddies. Well, not the above either. Anyway remember: I've had brain damage a lot longer than you have.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

My daughter is getting married an a couple of days!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

not terribly cheerful, but not too depressing.

I belong to several online groups based around dealing with the health issues of elderly people. I know exactly how much worse things could be on that front. We have been spared dementia, Altzheimers, diabetes and cancer. What is killing my father in law, the Playboy of the Western World, is the long, slow decline of arterioclerosis that DaVinci described as a 'sweet death'..no pain, just a lingering and deepening need to rest. Which he refuses to do. Gaah.

Still, the slow trudge towards the inevitable is wearing me down. Now that I have anything particularly onerous to do...mostly it involves a lot of driving. It's simply knowing that it's all ultimately futile and that I'm falling short of the demand. Like right now, here I am writing, and something is telling me that what I'm really doing is avoiding the man. I should be there with him. Doing what I have no idea.

Nobody teaches a course on how to do endings. I'd like to do this right for my father in law, instead of feeling resentful, guilty, confused and overwhelmed. The part where I deal with my own feelings, I can do. I'm doing it here. I can manage that part. I just don't know how to help someone die pleasantly.

Well, really...what do you do? What I wish you could do is simply ask 'So listen, you're old, it's time, you're dying. What would make this process more pleasant for you?' Of course nobody comes back from that place and writes any books...'Dying Doesn't Have To Suck' or 'More Class 'A' Narcotics Next Time' or whatever. And it's not exactly coming naturally to me. I want to fight, and that isn't appropriate at this point.

What I think I may do is go to the AIDS hospice and pick the brains of one of the people who work there. Do you know how bad this sucks, now that I stop and think of it? I'm going there because they deal with dying gay people. If there's so little out there for dying straight people, how much worse it must be for people who most folks think shouldn't even exist in the first place???
Anyway, that's the plan. To see it written down it looks kind of ignorant, but I'm not a gay man and I want to be able to advocate responsibly and in a sensitive manner on behalf of a gay man and help him through this, so that's where I'm going. You can make who you are a blessing and I'm going to try and do that; make my actions be a blessing instead of a burden.

This is the one and only thing I've ever take away from Native culture...if shit aint going to change, you better. It works, too.

Kids, don't feel all sorry for me here. I'm doing fine. This really is turning out to be a great holiday season for me! Really! Honestly! It's just that this is what's been going through my mind to work out lately so this is what I'm writing about.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Celebrating Festive! Green Alpaca Wagers All!

And now here, for your edification, is the TRUE and ACCURATE story on the 'Pot Brownies' myth!

Alice B. Toklas was a woman who enjoyed a good meal and loved her saturated fats. So legendary became her table that Ms. Toklas was prevailed upon to write up a collection of recipes: The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book.

In this collection are many delicious things. One of the delicious things is a narcotic party nibble she presents to us with the title
'HASCHICH FUDGE (which anyone could whip up on a rainy day)'

NOT BROWNIES. NOT HASH BROWNIES. NOT POT BROWNIES. NO BROWNIES. THERE ARE NO BROWNIES IN THE ALICE B. TOKLAS COOKBOOK. OF ANY KIND. NO NO NO.

And in fact her 'haschich' fudge is not chocolate and has no hash in it, but instead dried fruit and crumbled cannibis sativa (she also suggests indica in areas where obtaining sativa 'may present certain difficulties'.)

Her introduction to the method is priceless:

This is the food of Paradise- of Baudelaire's Artificial Paradises: it might provide an entertaining refreshment for a Ladies' Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of the DAR. In Morrocco it is thought to be good for warding off the common cold in damp winter weather and is, indeed, more effective if taken with large quantities of hot mint tea. Euphoria and brilliant storms of laughter; ecstatic reveries and extensions of one's personality on several simultaneous planes are to be complacently expected. Almost anything Saint Theresa did, you can do better if you can bear to be ravished by 'un evanouissement reveille'.

By fudge she means 'a gooey sweet thing'. I have no doubt that grated chocolate could be added to wonderful effect, particularly if the chocolate were one of the new high-percentage, low-sugar darks. Nevertheless, I present to you the recipe as she puts it down, with my paraphrase.

1 teaspoon black peppercorns,
1 whole nutmeg,
4 cinnamon sticks,
1 tsp. coriander
1/4 oz good bud, well cleaned and very dry
Pulverize all to a fine powder (a coffee grinder would work excellently here.)

One handful each, chopped fine:
stoned dates
dried figs,
shelled almonds,
shelled peanuts

Add all the above together and toss to combine.

Melt 1/3 c butter, and dissolve into this
1 cup sugar
NOTE: do not cook this mixture...simply stir the sugar into the just-melted butter and take off the fire.

Remove from heat. Cool until mixture can be handled, empty into bowl with other ingredients and stir together.
Turn out onto a cool smooth surface and knead to combine thoroughly.
Roll into a log, from which lumps may be cut and rolled into balls about the size of a walnut and dusted with powdered sugar. Try and do your best to let these sit at least overnight so that the flavors blossom. They will firm up but never quite solidify.

Ms. Toklas advises us that two of these are more than sufficient. Those of more robust or practiced liver may find that the suggested serving size must be adjusted upwards.


Hey, you know. I'm just sayin'. It's certainly not like I'd be making anything like this for Christmas eve or anything.
That would be wrong.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

ranting feminist!

One of the myriad reasons I started this blog was that I live in a very, very, very, ultra-mega conservative area of an otherwise reasonably 'Blue' state. Here, I am considered a dangerous rebel merely because I don't even fit the 'rebel' stereotypes the way I'm supposed to; FORGET the political views or any of the other weirdness. What it means is that every single day I find myself biting my tongue in the name of co-existence during the course of even the most casual social interaction. Living here has made me a lot more tolerant, but one thing that will ALWAYS ice the shit out of me are the women I run into every day, women in a free society agreeing to be slaves and raising their daughters as slaves, and calling it Christian.

We live in America and I am an American and I believe in that 'freedom of religious expression' stuff even if you don't; so that come Christmastime, if you want to plaster up 'Jesus is the Reason for the Season' all over your yard and car then go to it; you're right, after all.
As far as that goes.
You're right all the way up until you REQUIRE me to believe that the shit some of you think of as 'Christian' has anything at all to do with Jesus Christ.

Men who make their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters wear ankle-length dresses and walk behind them make me laugh. That has exactly WHAT to do with Jesus? Not letting them learn how to drive or work outside the home has exactly what to do with the Lord? NOTHING WHATSOEVER.
What it means is that your male identity and sense of self is so withered and tiny that you can't allow something with tits to imagine a life without a master. It means that what you want is a self-cleaning house slave with a vagina you can stick your dick into and pump kids out of. Any man raising a daughter who makes her submit to this kind of an upbringing should be put in jail for child abuse. How fucking dare you do this to another human being.
This is slavery training and you do it in the name of the Lord.

An adult woman in a free society who goes along with this shit deserves no respect whatsoever.

An adult woman who raises her children to believe in this shit deserves to be shot in the back of the head.

You have a choice in this country and look what you chose. Yeah, I know why most of you babes are foaming conservatives. Wouldn't life be better if everyone HAD to be conservative? And devout? Preferably your brand of devout? That way you would be totally relieved of that bad ol' responsibility for your own lives!

And then you could blame everything on men. Then you could pretend that everything was somebody else's fault.

Women like you make me ashamed. And sick.

The thing that really puts the cap on all that is the fact that you don't even know how to do your own religion right you ignorant chunks of fuck.

Jesus forgave a prostitute. Not just a woman, not just an unmarried woman who sinned, but A PROSTITUTE.
So what?
Remember what he said? Who among you is without sin then cast the first stone?
You all kind of forget that, don't you.

Do you know what it meant to be a prostitute back then? Just how far outside society you had to be in order to make a living fucking without getting killed?

A prostitute went uncovered-no veil. No chador. Nothing over her head. No hiding. That she was even acknowledged so far as to have this restriction put on her should be making even a retard suspicious at this point. If it was so bad, then why......even allow it?
But no! No, y'all don't even turn an eyelash.

A prostitute lived in a perpetual state of ritual uncleanliness. For her orthodox customers this meant the sacrifice of a few animals and the payment of a fine. For her it mean that Gods face and everyone elses' was turned away from her and that every waking moment of her life was lived under immanent threat of death.

In a society that offered the option of a temporary marriage (and still does) a woman desparate enough to resort to prostitution had to have a lot going against her. It meant that she was ugly, or destitute, maybe deformed in some way, or a victim of rape or incest who had been put out of her family, or a widow nobody wanted. Or maybe, worst of all possible scenarios, she had a riproaring sex drive for whatever reason...don't imagine that clinical nymphomania, hypersexuality or just plain liking lots of sex with strangers are modern inventions. In any case, a prostitute was a throwaway human being, nominated as such by the tacit consent of EVERYONE who allowed her to continue unmarried and alive.
That's right.
THAT'S FUCKING RIGHT.

Here's a group of hypocritical people ready to stone another human being to death merely because that persons 'sin' was obvious, when they all shared the same stain to whatever
extent.

Jesus came along and called them on this bullshit.

In one sweeping moment, one of the greatest moments in the New Testament, he cast all that into the sewer where it belonged. But he didn't simply stand at the sidelines and deplore it. He physically stepped into the middle of a circle of armed people who had the 'law' on their side, PREVENTED THE MURDER AND LET HER GO.
Your God did this. In a human, killable form. Because it was the right thing to do.

And you? Throw you daughters out onto the street for not being virgins.
Another sweet trick you like to pull is known as the 'abusive home birth'. My daughters midwife clued me in about this one. Your unmarried teenage girl gets pregnant? Then she has it. At home. On the floor. Without medication.
You utter bitches.

Now if you believe Catholic tradition (which most of you do but would rather cut your own throats than admit to- or are too ignorant of religious history to even know that you believe it in the first place), Jesus allowed this same woman, Mary Magdalene, to wash his feet and dry them with her hair.

Do you really understand the significance of that act?

Would you let pig lick your feet? Would you consider that an honor? No you wouldn't and you probably aren't even Jewish or Middle Eastern.*
A prostitute was lower than a pig in those days, and a pig was an absolute abomination and horror.
Now here comes a Middle Eastern man who is an orthodox Jew. And, arguably, God in human flesh.
As a human male in that time and place, he knew the score. He knew what prostitutes did. And of course as God he was perfectly aware of it; this was his creation, these supposedly his rules.
The point is, he knew what he 'risked' by coming into contact with her or even entering her home.

AND REFUTED IT UTTERLY.

As a middle eastern, single man he entered the home of an unmarried woman who had no male family members around to 'supervise'.
Furthermore, she was a prostitute.
As God in human flesh,
He accepted her.
He accepted her honor.
He accepted that she COULD honor him.
He acccepted her hospitality.
He accepted her on the exact same level with the exact same graciousness that he accepted everyone else...the lepers he cured, the men he called friends and brothers, his mother, the dying, children, ANYONE.

And when he did this he ended up having to tell his followers off and set them straight, because his followers were absolutely horrified and acted like a bunch of morons.

They still do.



_________________________
*Or a pig farmer (shhh, malc.)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

quaint vignettes from my charming rural idyll

THANK YOU ALL! You saved the day!!!

...Captain Pork Products emerges from the underbrush

I am impressed. I had no idea there were so many snack-like things in the world. I'm not going to say who's ideas made the cut and who's did not because then certain people (who know who they are) would be all like "Woo woo! I'm all hot! You're not snot! Loser, loser, loser-pants! Couldn't get in to the King of France! Underpants! Underpants!" and that's really immature.
We don't do immaturity around here.
*******************


Once again its time for the annual 'Oh My God We ALL Gonna DIE Festival of Morons" here in Western Washington as the rain rains and the wind winds.

Click for the making of bigness:


JESUS CHRIST ON A RED BICYCLE PEOPLE GET A GRIP.
This happened last year. And you all had the same exact cow last year. What the fuck.

Most of you haven't even scrubbed the high-water marks from last year off your living room walls yet and you're acting like this shit never happened before. You live in a flood zone. It flooded the first winter you moved in. It's flooded every year thereafter.
It just flooded again.
And every year we end up rescuing the same stupid group of you off your roofs and
out of your cars. Oh yes. Because when there's water over the roadway and it's 2 feet deep, and there's a current, with whitecaps, and migrating salmon, AND THE POLICE ARE GOING PAST IN ZODIAC BOATS WITH BULLHORNS TELLING YOU TO STAY IN YOUR HOUSES THE FIRST THING YOU SHOULD DO IS GO HOP IN THE CAR AND TAKE A FUCKING DRIVE!! OH HELL YES! LETS ALL PILE INTO THE GREMLIN AND HEAD DOWN TO WAL-MART!!! WE'LL STOCK UP ON BRATZ DOLLS!!!

Meanwhile here in the Zone of Mystery things are damp; we have rain, there are puddles...a few downed trees...it's a balmy 52 degrees out and my rose bush has broken blossom.

Recall, though; this is not the Zone of Mystery because it isn't zonal or mysterious. I've done posts on the weird shit we call weather here...upside-down canopies of rain, small local tornadoes, no flooding when the rest of the state is under water...

Seattle-King County weather -rain
sumas- SNOW
Seattle-King County weather -sunny, fair
sumas- HIGH WINDS, MICROWAVE OVENS
Seattle-King County weather - gale force winds, freezing rain
sumas- CHICKEN LIVERS


Come the heavy snows down south we'll see the same thing. OO look, a blizzard! Let's all pile into the Yugo and head out down I-5 with nothing registering on the fuel gauge and no windshield wipers, get in a wreck, sit in the car and drink piss for three days and then bitch about how the highway department doesn't keep the roads clear.

Then there's always:

" We were cold so we decided to seal up all the doors and windows with duct tape and fire up the barbecue in the baby's room and now we just can't figure out why we're ALL DEAD"

"The power went out so we plugged in every electrical appliance we own and turned them all on so that we'd know when the electricity came back and now we can't figure out WHY OUR HOUSE BURNED DOWN AND WE'RE ALL DEAD"

"We bought this really shitty 40 year old single-wide mobile home right at the bottom of this freshly-clearcut hillside and then the rain came and there was a mudslide and now my home is a 'not-wide' and so am I OH WHY IS GOD SO CRUEL"

" Well yes I've been sitting in front of the television eating Fritos for six years and I have a heart condition and yes as a matter of fact I don't drive but I had to go outside in the blizzard and shovel the snow off the driveway because I didn't spend all that money on plastic flamingoes just to let the rest of the place go to hell AND NOW MY STUPID ASS IS DEAD AND IT SNOWED ON ME AND NOBODY WILL NOTICE UNTIL IT THAWS AND THE NEIGHBORS' DOGS START EATING MY FACE"

"So we live in a 3 million dollar hillside home perched on two-by-fours bolted into a sandstone formation facing south overlooking Puget Sound and once the winds and the rains picked up there was this loud cracking sound and now we can't figure out why everything is upside down or WHY THERE ARE SQUID COMING IN UNDER THE FRONT DOOR OR WHY WE ALL DROWNED"

"I don't understand why I can't hike 2 miles down to the mailbox in a northeaster wearing nothing but a robe and barefoot in the middle of winter if I want to by God this is America and it's a free country EXCEPT OF COURSE NOW I'M TOO DAMN DEAD TO APPRECIATE THAT FACT"
******************
...Oh say, lets not forget the upcoming holiday season!

Nothing says "I care about my loved ones" more than dying on the side of a glacier as a result of your own selfishness and lack of forethought just in time for Christmas!

Imagine their festive glee as they celebrate a Christmas forever overshadowed by the anniversary of your stupidass demise!

Yes, throw out those tire chains, leave that gps locational device at home! The alpine summits beckon and the sun is going down...there's a blizzard predicted so lets bring the kids!!
Dress lightly! Adidas are fine! Oh, lets take the Volkswagen! NO, silly, the vintage bug; the one with no heater, bald tires and the tiny engine powered by burning scraps of paper! Now I'll forget to take a map and you put your cell phone right here in the washing machine. Did you tell anyone we had plans? No? Good! Spontaneity!
Now LETS GO DIE SLOWLY AND HORRIBLY!


Saturday, December 01, 2007

ALL CALL

Ok. I'm putting out an all call here, kids.

Every year I do the same damn hors d'oeuvres spread and I'm getting tired of it. Does anyone have a favorite new or interesting snack-nibble recipe they'd like to offer? I'm looking for savories, NOT COOKIES OR SWEETS...dips, spreads, canapes, cold tray items, things like that.
...THESE THINGS WOULD BE GREAT!


Please, kids...this is for my future son-in-law here. Tapas, hot dips, tiny sandwiches, any cuisine any tradition, any holiday. Complicated? fine! Ingredients? Not a problem!

Snack nibble recipes please!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ok, enough of that.

You are all wonderful people. The imput really gave me something to think about. A lot of somethings, truth be told.

Now here is a picture of a bald cat eating furniture.

...Because nothing says 'Happy Holidays 'like a picture of a naked cat eating some furniture.

No wait. Ok.
Nothing says 'Happy Holidays' like a pensive clown taking a dump.

It's a fact: Nothing says 'Happy Holidays' like Cthulhu awakening from his death-sleep in seaweed garlanded R'lyeh. Really.

... Except maybe a bedside lamp shaped like a weiner dog.

...one of these things. You plug it in.

Or a Mi-Go brain cylinder.
Happy Holidays! It's a Mi-Go brain cylinder!

Obviously nothing says 'Happy Holidays like the first four gospels translated into Juggalo, of course...

........Oh, yes. It's REAL.

Who can deny that anything says 'Happy Holidays' quite as sincerely as checking your outlets to make sure that electricity isn't leaking out?

Nobody, that's who.

Admit it. Nothing says 'Happy Holidays" like a dead jesuit in a fez.

...particularly one being attacked by offstage ninjas throwing flaming shiriken.

Nothing says 'Happy Holidays' like a picture of a cute baby who is nice.

...just as long as you don't piss it off

...because then it morphs into NINJA MAN BABY!

"HOOOOOOOWHAAA! EEEEEEEEYEEEOOOOWAAH! Die Jesuit die!"

...which you have to admit is better than if it morphed into, like, a pterodactyl


...except that it would be cool if it flew around and got in fights with other pterodactyls, and they were like 'HWAH! SMASH! HROAAAAAAAR!' and they crashed into a natural gas plant and it exploded and flames were shooting up everywhere and robots had to come put it out.

So, yeah. Nothing says 'Happy Holidays' like any of that stuff.

Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not a fun one.

I'm venting here. I have support and everythings ok...I just need to get this shit off my chest.

I am off today to participate in what is being euphemistically termed a 'caregiving assessment'. This means that all the people involved in The Playboy of the Western Worlds medical crapola are going to sit him down and tell him to quit fucking around: he needs full-time assisted care.

This is a good thing and needs to happen. There's no doubt about that. It needed to happen a year ago. It won't be a difficult thing or even a particularly negative thing, since what this means in the real world is that he moves down the hall from where he lives now and gets servants, essentially.

Once he gets over himself he'll undoubtedly start doing better since he will at the very least be getting his medications regularly and won't have to spend half the day putting on his socks and shaving because he can't breather and his legs hurt.

Meanwhile this little muk is going through some changes.

I've never watched someone die before. I want it to be over, dammit. I want to stop worrying, I want to stop dreading the inevitable. I want him to get it over with already. Unfair, cold and true. He isn't going to get better, there isn't going to be a miracle so just die already.

I want him to get better. He won't.

He wants to be better. He can't.

This doesn't stop him from pretending he is better or lying about his condition. This makes him do foolish things and make foolish decisions that make him get worse. He tries to maintain his life at a level he hasn't been capable of in years and fucks himself up and then we have to come to the rescue and pretend we think he is such a brave old cuss when all I want to do is shake him and yell at him for intruding on my life and making me scared. He has a staff-a good staff, a trained staff- on call 24-7 to change his pissy sheets and empty his urinals and shear him when he needs a haircut, and yet I get called in for a 60 mile round trip to do these things. He's deaf as a post and yet he is is proud to tell everyone he's 'too vain' to get a hearing aid. This means he misunderstands his medical instructions. He shrugs it off.

This isn't cute any more. It hasn't been cute in a long, long time. This isn't spunky or feisty. This is flat out fucking stupid. He doesn't want to be a burden.
He has been one for several years.
I wouldn't be this mad if dementia were an issue. It isn't.
It isn't.
This is plain spoiled brat.
Spoiled, German, man brat.


He was only back in his apartment for a week when he ended up back in interim care this last time. Between the last time I posted about him and now, what happened was, he was in interim care he picked up a cold, which he lied to the staff about. So of course; once you're home, go walking around outside in the wind and the rain all week long and go out to dinner and party and have a bunch of close encounters with germy people. Sure, that'll work. Come Friday he passed out twice in his apartment walking from one room to the next (and that's only what he's admitting to.) Of course he didn't use the call pendant; of course he didn't use the call button on the wall above his bed to alert the staff, of course he didn't put on his oxygen. What did he do? He got on the horn and started calling his buddies and asking them if he should go to the hospital or not. Well, lets see....you're in your seventies, you have six inoperable arterial occlusions and narrowing nerve channels. You have chronic low blood pressure, COPD, and every now and then for the last seven years all your vital signs just quit for a couple of seconds and YOU MOMENTARILY DIE...and you say you've just passed out? Well, I dunno....going to the emergency room....huh.

He had pneumonia.

He ended up in the hospital for 2 weeks. He's still in interim care and there's no end in sight on that front.

I couldn't do a damn thing for him because I had bronchitis. I could'nt get near the guy. On the one hand I'm scared and I want to protect him, and on the other hand I woke up one night and thought "maybe it would be a mercy" and "at least there might be some money left to pay off his bills if...".

I am angry at a god I don't really believe in. I need someone to blame I guess. This kind of a death is like a horrifically sophisticated form of torture...take a little, take a little more, take a little more, strip away the dignity by layers, gradually reduce the world to the size of a single building, and then to a single room. Leave the intellect intact....so they can appreciate the magnitude and inevitability of whats happening. It seems so planned. Something about it just seems well-thought out.

Screw it.