Sunday, April 01, 2007

quaint vignettes from my charming rural idyll

Oh, you know what? forget about that. I'm here.

My new furniture is here and it looks GOOD!
Behold the goodness of my new furniture:
this small living room comprises the original cabin-sized house, which was added on to over the years.

my squat...i always think of that old Marantz speaker ad when I sit here

The gladdest moment of my career as a housewife was saying sayo fucking nara to the old stuff. Is this pathetic? I do not care. I genuinely enjoyed watching those disgusting floral atrocities sail off the back of the truck. My only regret? The recycle center frowns on patrons setting things on fire once they are in the crusher.
Oh yes indeed. I am officially a grown woman. My furniture MATCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!

I recently pulled the washer and dryer out of my utility room (not nearly as well apointed as Ms. Betty's, I feel certain) and set to work spring cleaning. One job rapidly turned into about seven. Right off the bat the flexible dryer vent just fell apart into a pile of flakes and wires. No problem...I ran in to Lynden and bought a christian one from the hardware store.
Then I dusted and swept and washed down the walls and floor. Noticing I had some wear spots in the paint, I leaped happily like a big happy leaping thing to where I stash the interior paint, under the kitchen sink (I like to touch up the walls every so often. Yes I'm a little obsessed.)Yay! paint! I love paint! I love to paint! I have an excuse to paint!

It had frozen over the winter. Nothing but a gallon-sized chunk of white guck with a bunch of clear crap all floating around on the top of it.
Same story out in the garage. ALL the house paint had frozen over the winter.
I now have five damn gallons of what a few months back was perfectly good paint out waiting to go to the recycle. PLUS I had to trip on back into Lynden and buy a christian gallon from the Do-It center.
Fuckin' buzzkill.

At the end of March the eagles are all laying eggs and hatching young destined to carry on the fine eagle tradition of standing around. Mr. and Ms. Mallard duck have vacated the back yard, and the seasonal lakefront we enjoy here at ranchoFirstNations has gradually receded, allowing the septic drainfield to function more or less normally again. The herons are no longer seen fishing behind the garage...and the swans have gone on to wherever swans go to when they aren't here. Now what we have in droves are starlings, house sparrows and robins.

Unlike their cute little British counterparts, the American robin is a thrush. They leave in the fall so fat and round and full of blueberries that they're just barely aerodynamic. They arrive in February slim from migration and ready to kick ass. The males pick a likely nesting range and suddenly whammo- they're stupid with testosterone.
If only a fraction of this aggression was spent in finding a mate or learning to read we'd be tit deep in robins with magazine subscriptions. But instead the male robin devotes his first week and a half back home to kicking other male robin ass. Any male robin. Including themselves.
It's true. They'll attack their own reflection in a glass window, not once or twice but until they flutter to the the ground and lie on their sides, panting with fatigue. If the neibors cats don't get them at that point, once rested they regain their origional determination to drive away the evil, evil reflection robin and start all over again. We have had them attacking the side mirrors on the truck, chrome car bumpers, and the shiny interior of a coffee can my husband had placed on it's side in the grass.

In comparison the male house sparrow is a mellow little guy. He'll chase another male rival off, but mainly he just perches on shit and chirps.
This sweet song consists of one note emitted with the aid of a battery powered police loud hailer:
about a hundred and fifty six times in succession.
Apparently the female house sparrow finds this impossible to resist. Once she has selected a mate the two of them will spend the rest of the season and on into the early part of the fall raising successive nests full of young, picking at invisible things, and rolling in a frenzied, feathered ball of orgiastic sparrow coitus on my front lawn.

Nature is beautiful.
...this one's gross.
Last week a former workmate of the Bikers' showed up at the door , pale as a ghost. The police had just released him.
He had gone down to the plant to pick up something he'd left there by accident.
And found his boss-my husband's former boss-lying on the floor in a pool of blood and fluids feebly trying to pull a screwnail out of the top of his head.

Oh yes.

Suicide with a nailgun is a less than optimum method by which to effect ones' own demise, turns out. Particularly if at the last moment you lose the courage of your convictions and your hand wavers.
And particular if the loads are meant to drive a much smaller projectile.

This particular nailgun was loaded with framing gauge nails. Since it was used to assemble pallets out of dunnage, in order to avoid blowing the nails straight on through the wood the percussion strip was the one you're supposed to use with smaller fasteners.
His skull stopped the head from penetrating.
He was awake when they found him. With his hair full of brain matter. Obviously regretting his decision.

Now why this man, in a country that allows private gun ownership, chose to do himself in with a fucking nail gun is a mystery. Also a mystery is why he chose to do himself on the mill floor. That he was trying to do himself is beyond question. The nailgun was still in his other hand, still pointed up underneath his jaw.

On the other hand, the guy who found him is now the plant manager.
You have never seen a guy less enthused about getting a raise.


  1. Completely ignoring the human tragedy unfolding (so, is he gonna be alright? Is he brain danamaged?), I gotta say your living room looks sa-weet. Metropolitan sophistication in Sumas! Who knew.

    I have that same coffee table, btw, only a million years older and beat to shit. Bought it at the recycle store for $25 and it's still on of my favorite possessions.

  2. *regarding the first part* Loving that living mom has a antique phone in her living room...the ones from the victorian era, with the wood in the frame...with the earpiece shaped like a bell. It is so cool.

    *regarding last part* Huh? What? WTF????

  3. w2: boy oh boy does he have brain damage. they've induced a coma and it looks like he's going to be incapacitated for the rest of his life.
    i totally found that coffee table at a garage sale! it's a lane! i refinished it and, so purdy!

    awaiting: i snagged the phone at a swap's a shop extension and it works! i so wanted one like your mom has though. my gran had that one.

  4. furniture is fandabidosy - so jealous. I still have the floral shite! Nature is wonderful and I love reading your take on it.
    But re: Mr Nailgun - well I guess the balance of his mind was truly askew and certainly is now. I feel more sorry for the poor geezer that found him.
    Hope you're feeling ok.

  5. matching furniture! you're all growed up now. *sniff* my big girl.

    "rolling in a frenzied, feathered ball of orgiastic sparrow coitus"


    "hair full of brain matter..."


  6. A Reader Asks:

    Why is it I keep coming back for more?

    It's gotta be the ba-YOO-diful furniture, no?

    Poor man. Did he have family?

  7. ziggi: oh thenkyew!/the poor guy that found him is the only one i feel bad about. he's doing ok, but it put some years on him.
    cb: next thing you know i'll be wearing nylons and driving a reputable car!
    mangonel: it is the irresistable bizarreness of the FirstNations experience./the guy had no kids or wife, which is good. otherwise i don't know. for his sake i wish his aim had been better, though.

  8. Furniture - attempted suicide? Furniture attempted suicide ? Which to mention - what to comment on ?

    An American Robin turned up in North England last year - to the horror of the massed ranks of twitchers it was promptly eaten by a sparrow hawk in front of their very eyes. True.

  9. A.You simply must get about 8 aerosol cans of Tour-Eiffel and reproduce the speaker ad!
    B.I thoroughly enjoyed your Audubonical dumbass Robin symposium. I guess female sparrows can't stand the males begging and pestering and eventually give in just to get them to shut the f*ck up. I'll have to try that.
    C.OUCH! In a country with 700 billion guns I am mortified that this poor man chose such a haphazard approach to cancelling his subscription to Life.
    Better luck next and learn. Life is a garden dig it! Hopefully he can get that through his thick skull.

  10. two things - matching furniture? SO beautiful. what have you done with FN, you grown-up, you?

    secondly. urk. i was just sick in my mouth, a bit.

  11. a) the furniture looks so great!! I am just overcome with jealousy right now because i would do serious bodily damage to someone for a new damn couch.
    b) i thoroughly enjoyed our trip thru Wild America, Sumas. CHIRP. heehee.
    c) holy shit. that has to be a bit more than a little traumatizing for YB's friend. Wow.

  12. Nice furniture.. oh and lovely big windows too - I like. And Spring cleaning and painting and cute little baby robins.

    And then you give us failed nail-gun suicides?


    'Regretting his decision' did make me giggle though.

  13. What everyone else said, about the cool furniture, the ball o' sparrows and the nail gun incident.

    Especially the sparrows. I love it when they get all spherical.

    Guac recipe is up! ;o)

  14. FN we are matching leather sofa twins......
    I love em.
    hurrah for matching furniture

    Have you sat on the nekkid yet ???

    Come on its leather, you just have to

  15. muttley: a sparrowhawk? you mean a peregrine or the one that's actually the size of a sparrow? because i woulda actually liked to have seen that one.
    i am sick, yes....your point?
    homoE: and the black sunglasses! and the necktie! oh hell yeah!(those actually used to be part of my old 'Neo meets Joan Jett' wardrobe)
    surly: now i have the look i wanted back in the 70's. so in thirty or so more years I'll have the loook i didn't know i wanted now. or something. help.
    claire: couch lust: not a pretty thing, but perfectly normal as long as it isn't indulged in a public place.
    spin: i have such mixed feelings about suicide...i've been on both sides of the issue, either wanting to, or seeing the horrible effects on the survivors...but anything worth doing, ya gotta figure, is worth doing well??!!
    danator: aren't they horny little sapsuckers? dang. they raise about four nestloads a season, too. guac'in there!
    beast; perhaps in style, though not in quality. sadly, my furniture is comprised of the peeled hyde of the feral naugha. naked naugha sitting is only fun in high summer, when its all sliiiiiidey. squeak! frrrrrap blat! reeep!

  16. Why not make the frozen paint into makeshift paint lollies?


  17. I remember back in the '60's, reading a very small article in a national paper, about a guy who committed suicide by drilling several holes in his head.
    A medical spokes person said, "It's surprising how many places there are in the brain which will withstand the entry of a drill without fatat consequences."

  18. Kristy1:51 PM

    What's a christian dryer hose? What's a christian gallon of paint? Huh? Huh?

  19. billy: dammit, you are crafty. i never thought of that. inform Martha Stewart at once!
    tick: speaking of new uses for the power drill invented in the 60' ever see that movie "Borehole" about the chick in britain who took a drill to her skull? was it trendy back then or something?
    kristy: All goods purchased in Lynden are christian, and holy. they are rendered holy merely be being purveyed within the holy city limits of that (repressive, unnaturally Dutch, bizarre, ultra conservative, secretly klan, extreme christian separatist) holy town.

  20. you know i'm jealous of the new furniture, right? i'm totally loving the couches. lovely reading spot. i think it's just waiting for me to visit and read a book.

    birds kill me. we have various bird types that fly down our chimney and make nests out of them every year. gets creepy in the middle of the night when all is silent and then - whammo, someone gets all happy in the chimney.

    well, i hope ole dude is now in the psych ward. cause if he's not, then he'll soon be 6 feet under.

    p.s. i thought you lived in washington? if i had known you lived in my hometown, i'd have visited by now.

  21. "...wearing nylons and driving a reputable car..."
    So glad to see you're back in form.
    And iin less than a week, too.Go, FN!

  22. Yeah, that furniture is the business. You've got me feeling guilty about our paintwork now though. It's a job I've been putting off and hate doing ... now I feel depressed.

    Sparrowhawks are fairly small birds of prey that seem to be turning up in towns in Britain more and more frequently. One hung around our garden for a while swooping down on the smaller birds and I can remember looking up at it on the roof of a neighbour - a bit frightening actually because it was glaring back at me with evil looking yellow eyes. Not the sort of thing that usually turns up in suburbia!

  23. Glad you're back! Crazy about the Yummy Biker's former boss. Not the smartest way to do oneself in. Not at all.

    But on more important things...LOVE your new furniture! And am coveting them from Philadelphia.

  24. nice remodel!

    the story about mr nailgun reminded me of my aunt who was a nurse, they had a guy in a wheelchair where she worked. He had tried commiting suicide by placing his head on a railway line, trouble was a train came from the opposite direction and took his legs off.

  25. dinamow: i can't allow myself to keep on feeling bad about it. thanks!
    betty: now i'm going to google:image that and see what the european version is. ours is almost exactly the size and shape of a thrush; very small, and only goes after the tiniest rodents and insects. cool; i love stuff like this!
    christine: i don't see why you need to covet anything I live in the land where CREAM CHEESE IS BORN. *homer simpson drooling noise*
    frobi: thanks! thats kinda awful, poor guy. but again, most of my sympathies go to the survivors.

  26. hendrix12:06 PM

    Love the new furniture FN (and the room and those big windows) it looks glorious!
    Verily you are a woman of taste and discrimination. But we all knew that anyway!

  27. re: nailgun - it wasn't l**ce, was it? because if i was married to g*en i'd totally try and fucking kill myself any way possible.


    ps: <3 living room set <3 Poor Bastard was covetous after we left your casa last weekend, dontchaknow.

  28. Gawd, but I love your furniture - and we've both used the same paint color. *Pinkie kiss*

    I noticed the robins going bananas a couple weeks back. I figured bootie had to be on the line.

  29. Leave it to you to juxtapose your quaint vignette with a nailgun suicide. That's gotta hurt.

    But onto the quaint vignette - ain't you stylin? Very nice. I also particularly like the suitcase piled just so with the chest of drawers and the plant on top. Enjoy your new digs.

  30. No didn't see 'Borehole'.

  31. how inviting. i want to come round and fart on the new furniture