Friday, September 21, 2007


Housekeeping post!

As of now:


I would just rather blog and leave it at that.

Thank you for the sheep.

And the ninjas.

That having been said.........

and laugh your ass off like I did!

Oh you totally want to be assless. G'wan.


Hi! We here at Paul would like to make an absurd and ultimately meaningless policy pronouncement. I don't expect anyone to run out and have this tattooed on their ass, but then again I'm not you and I'm not the boss of you either. Stop copying me. Stop it. Moooooooom they won't stop copying me! You're a doofus! No, ok wait-I'm a doofus! Ha!
No, you can't say 'I know you're a doofus ha' if you're copying me! Moooooooooooooooom they won't copy the right way!

1. Do be advised that this is the 'Me' show.

Me has no problem whatsoever using that little 'trashcan' icon down at the bottom of the comments posts.
Neither does me feel like me needs to give anyone an explanation if me decides me is annoyed and uses that little trashcan icon at the bottom of the comments posts.

Me also uses comment moderation, word verification and address blocking ALL over the place like I just don't care. Which I don't, by the way. I've been doing it all along.

Remember: It's a big Internet.

2. Trolls suck.
Trolls suck and blow simultaneously.
Trolls are bad and suck one hundred times of suckness of the whole galaxy and Mars and the Earth and infinity.
Here at the 'Me' show, it is always open season on trolls. Have at, dear fellows! Load heavy and fire at will!
And be advised: If I can find your troll-ass e-mail, I will post it, so prepare to explain that NAMBLA membership the next time you apply for a job online.


I struggle to maintain an atmosphere of friendly, understated elegance in my comments lounge. I've spent a lot of time and money selecting a caterer, choosing the furnishings and carefully arranging the objets d'art so that each one is displayed to its best advantage. I've come to think of it as a place where people can relax, exchange ideas, maybe nibble on the hors d'ouevres, have a glass of Cristal, page through the most recent Kirk Johnson photo essays...we keep it sophisticated here at Paul.

We do not have flame wars in the comments lounge.

That kind of thing takes attention away from what is truly important around here, which is ME.


The thing that really makes my hemorrhoids flare are pinworms. Debaters! I mean debaters!
I majored, ok? I used to compete, a'aight? I already know it's bullshit.

This is opinion and personal experience here at the 'Me' show. Editorial comment. It's not a goddamn forum.

Really. Please. You aren't going to score points with rhetoric, or by archly pointing out logic flaws, 'Oo! That doesn't follow! Oo! How is that germane? Oo! I think you need to revisit your sources! Oo! I think E. Power Biggs is the unsung God of the Bach fugue!'

It's not my problem that you wasted all that time in college learning an intellectual skill that STILL doesn't make you right.
Neither is it my fault that you don't have the courage to just call the cat a bastard and make a fucking statement of conviction without peeing yourself.

I mean, I don't expect that to stop you; go ahead and try...It'll be hilarious, of course, and people will mock you, and you'll skulk off snuffling with your lip all pouted out and go back home to your parents house, sit in the dark squalid foetor of your basement bedroom in your lil' flannel cowboy pajamas and play your clarinet and cry; 'waa, waa, waa, I'll never be one of the cool kids' with the sound of our vicious laughter ringing in your ears and everything, but for GODS SAKE don't let that stop you! Long sentence, huh. I do that here all the time. I am outta control. I tell you what, people like me shouldn't be allowed to lower the tone of public discourse. Woooooo. I'm crazy.
oh yes, and:
Do, please, I beg you, DO come here and try to crush all who oppose you by criticizing their grammar and punctuation mistakes, however minor. EVERYONE respects that.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How the pigs ate my shoes (I get to it eventually)

The Yummy Biker is related to a lot of people out this way. His family were original homesteaders, and once they got settled in they lost no time in marrying everything that didn't move fast enough. The further out you travel, then, the more likely it is that any old person we meet will come up and exclaim 'Hey! Biker! I used to babysit you!" which embarrasses the Biker and cracks me up.

One of the families we're related to are the Funkyhauers.

Years of rural isolation, poor or no education and strange German notions of what does and does not constitute 'edible' had left the Ferndale branch of the Funkyhauers registering about a six out of ten on the 'weird' meter. Now for the majority of the Funkyhauer bunch, this was only a state of mind; they looked and acted 'normal'. They had money; they owned property, everyone was employed.

Grandma Funkyhauer was a woman so self-effacing, so bereft of initiative and so subservient that she was actually transparent when the light hit her right. 'What a lovely woman' was the phrase most often used. I never saw her smile. Not once. Not even in a photograph. Grandpa Funkyhauer farmed, and as far as I know he didn't have a tooth in his head because he never smiled either. In fact he seldom spoke (and never to me.) He didn't have to. His least whim would be not only obeyed by Grandma, but anticipated. There isn't a single adjective to describe how unsettling and somehow sinister this was to watch.

Their son, Dim Funkyhauer, had been a childhood friend and partying buddy of the Bikers from way back when. When the Biker and I rolled up to their property that first time, then, he was expecting to find the same cheerful hippie couple he remembered from the past; fun people we could be friends with. What he didn't realize (and didn't for some time because he is a guy) was that at some point during the intervening years, Dim and his wife had 'relinquished the world' and had become 'Born Again'.

Really, really really really really really, really really REALLY 'Born Again'.

Exactly one nanosecond after they met me, their single mission in life became bringing the Bikers' foulmouthed whore girlfriend before the throne of Christ.*

The Biker, to be fair, had never been exposed to ecstatic Christianity and had no idea whatsofuckingever that the Funkyhauers were being anything other than simply nice... strangely, determinedly, bend-over-backwards, too-friendly, Stepford-nice. As someone already familiar with born-again culture, I smelled bullshit.
Sure enough, the bullshit started immediately. Every single time the Biker left the room Dim and the little Mrs. started in. (Of course, they had too much innate respect for the Biker to importune him thusly. ) 'Aren't you concerned about going to heaven? Aren't you worried about your daughter growing up without God?' etc.

Apparently, 'relinquishing the world' meant 'living in medieval squalor in an uninsulated travel trailer waaaaaaay out in the unincorporated county'.** They cooked on a woodstove and took water from a hose stuck in through the kitchen window.
And the bathroom window.
When the front door slammed, the entire back wall of this trailer would flap out a couple of inches and then smack back, re-nailing itself to the frame.
It sat somewhat back from the main road, surrounded with wrecked cars and derelict farm equipment, sagging outbuildings roofed with corrugated aluminum, blackberry bushes, junked excavators, part of a collapsed radio tower, a dismantled railroad bridge, a schoolbus and an indeterminate number of dogs and chickens in varying stages of mortal illness. The only evidence that it was the inhabited structure were the twin dirt ruts that ran up to the door. And here lived Dim, his wife Cowed, his malevolent eldest daughter Orla, his feral middle daughter Grenade, and his infant son Loolis.

These children spent the first five years of their lives at home, naked, filthy and shoeless. The only time they left or wore clothes was to go to the store or to church. Because they were barely able to make themselves understood verbally they communicated by screaming and hopping up and down. They ate dirt. They pissed where they stood. They killed the chickens, tormented the dogs, dug up the garden, threw rocks at passing cars and bit one another until they bled.

This was 1988. Dim Funkyhauer owed no one a single dime. Not only that, the man was making 25.00 an hour plus full benefits; extremely good money indeed for that time and place. (not including overtime and whatever came in from his own welding and machine shop.) I imagine that's done nothing but go up over time...he still works for the same place. Never missed a day. So why did they live like this?
Where did the money go?


A few years later, at the insistence of ourselves, his pastor, the congregation and his parents, Dim built a house. Partially. It remains unfinished to this present day.
It had no insulation, no sheetrock, no flooring and no interior doors...and exposed utilities that would have made a code inspector piss himself in terror. They used a woodstove for heat and cooking. Of course they now had running water, sporadic electricity and walls that didn't flap in the breeze, and this was a step up, all things considered. For a brief while the children were bathed and sent to school (very, very briefly) and even started wearing clothes voluntarily.

Unfortunately, all this 20th century up in the house meant paying for things like building permits and utilities, which Dim found both worldly and appalling.
Dim decided that this would not do. He embarked on a self- sufficiency crusade. Dim was going to live 'off the grid'.

One of these projects was raising pigs for meat and market.
This isn't a bad idea. In fact it was one of his better ideas. And his husbandry couldn't be faulted either, in the beginning. He built a huge enclosure for the pigs on the back of his property in a stand of alders overgrown with blackberry bushes. The pigs flourished on the forage, the alders flourished on the extra manure, and the blackberries died and never grew back.

Then autumn came, and Dim lost interest. The pigs were huge Volkswagen-sized beasts now and not terribly habituated to human contact. They broke through the enclosure at whim, which was repaired with pallet and wire. They tore out the electric fencing, which suited Dim fine because it 'sucked power like a vampire' according to him. They screamed and called all day long for food.
Neighbors began losing animals.

The 'care' of the pigs fell to Dims' wife...tiny, chubby Cowed.
Cowed, who suffered from 'migraine headaches'.
Which turned out to be cancer.
And killed her a year later.

I came by one morning while Cowed was just struggling into a coat in preparation to go take care of the pigs. She was carrying a washtub full of corn and shucks, chicken waste (they'd just slaughtered) and date expired dairy products. We loaded up a wheelbarrow and took it out.

The pigs were waiting for us. You could see them standing lined up along the fence-now nothing but a series of sagging, splintered pallets that Cowed had wired together or tied with whatever came to hand. Each pig had its forefeet on the top rail and each pair of eyes watched our every move as we approached. When they caught a smell of the food, their mouths opened in unison and saliva gushed out in a flood over their teeth.

Cowed and I stood well back and began hucking the pigs their breakfast as far as we could throw. These animals were good- they'd leap up and snag a corncob out of midair like a dog. They were fast and quiet, too, and had long, sharp teeth. This came as a disquieting revelation to someone whose previous exposure to swine had been cute baby piggies at the fair.

While we were doing this, one of Cowed' s gloves came off and fell into the pen. I jumped in after it, like a doofus, like a sandwich, like a big roast haunch of fat broad, and waded out into the pen through the churned up pig-mud to retrieve it. I grabbed it, looked up, saw the pigs racing towards me and jumped back over the fence. My shoes stayed behind, sucked off by the mud.

I stood on the other side of the fence in my socks and watched the pigs race over to the spot and root my shoes out of the mud, fighting and squealing.
'That wasn't' very smart," laughed Cowed.
"No, I guess it wasn't, huh, " I said, while the screaming pigs furiously tore my shoes into small pieces.


*and the ironic part of this is that I was ALREADY saved. (yup- that's right. my name is writ in the Blood of the Lamb in the Book of Life.) i must have told them a hundred times and they simply never heard me.
this was a sad, funny relationship. they were trying to 'help' us without our catching on, while we were trying to help them without them realizing it.

Why they thought this pleased Jesus was never determined since they were the only members of their congregation who lived this way.

Hey! I have a lot of time on my hands this afternoon so I've added a new feature. Every time I exaggerate in recounting one of my quaint stories from days gone past I'll highlight the suspect passage in RED. Then I'll give out with the true fax at the end, in the overly-lengthy footnotes that nobody reads.
Ready? Here goes!

1. Some of these people were actually quite fleet of foot.
2. Not really transparent. Very anemic, though.
3. Oh fine. So sometimes they also visited relatives, went to a restaurant-imagine the managers face when he saw them pulling up-or took a trip to the beach. Just, not always fully clothed. Yes, really. As in, the kids might fall out of the car dressed only in shirts, or wearing only one shoe.
4. Actually only ATV sized.
5. Sandwiches can't jump. Ha!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

new shoes

Unlike my husband, my daughter and Imelda Marcos, I never give footwear a second thought. I can go into a store, pick out a pair of shoes and leave in under 15 minutes. This is a fact. This is all the attention I figure shoes are worth. Nobody looks at my feet anyway.

At any given time I own 5 pairs-sandals, riding boots, dress flats, everyday walkers and slippers. All of them are black. Black goes with everything.

This morning I was stumbling around for about 45 minutes before I remembered I'd left my everyday shoes out on the porch the night before. I'd been gardening and at some point during the proceedings I'd stepped in some dog crap, so I figured I'd leave them out overnight, let them get rained on and then finish washing them off under the hose the next morning.

But it was still raining. Furthermore the shoes had been blown over and were both brimfull of water.
'Wear another pair' said the Biker sensibly.
"Where are they?" I asked.
The Biker dug out my riding Docs and my dress flats. Both were coated in dust. "I put them on the shelf in my closet so I'd remember where they were" he explained, which makes perfect sense if you're married to me.
The Docs and the dress flats wouldn't do.
" I think I saw another pair out in the truck," he said, and off he went. Thank God one of us has a functioning brain.

I keep a spare set of clothes in my truck at all times, bra, pants, shoes, hat, shirt, everything. Every truck we've ever owned, I've had to do this, because I tend to trash whatever I'm wearing if I'm out on a truckable errand. I seem to end up in the river a lot.

The biker came back in and dropped a pair of white tennis shoes on the floor. They were flattened and moldy. "They've got something on them," he said as I uncurled them and chunks of crud fell out. "What is that; paint?"
I looked.
"Oh, that's blood," I said. "Remember when I fell off the cliff at Larrabee park?"
The Biker sighed.
I had not told him about the time I'd fallen off the cliff at Larrabee park.
There's about a year there where a lot of things happened that I felt it best not to tell him about.

Back when I had first started taking Prozac I was prone to doing thoughtless, spur of the moment things because I no longer got that automatic jolt of dread that a change in brain chemistry used to cause me. See, formerly, that would happen and then I'd have to talk myself into or out of whatever 'X' idea happened to be. Once that jolt stopped happening, I just automatically assumed 'Well! must be a good idea then!" and off I went.

It usually wasn't a good idea.

The time I decided to climb the cliffs at Larrabee park is a case in point. I've never rock-climbed in my life. I'm not a climber. Hell; I'm not an athlete. By any stretch of the imagination whatsoever, am I athletic. No.
And yet, I decided on that afternoon that clambering up the filthy, pointy, muddy rocks surrounding the bay during slack tide was a fine idea. Why? Because I wanted to see what might be growing on them up around the spray line. I had my identification guide in my little backpack.
I had my plastic bags, cuttings knife and damp paper towels in there too.
I had the comically oversized tennis shoes with no tread left on the soles that the Bikers' cousin had given to me when I'd lost my shoes in her pigpen earlier that day.

Some three hours prior to this event, swine had eaten my shoes.

I was ready.

When I fell off the cliff and slid shins first down the green, scummy, barnacle- clad rocks, one of these shoes passed me and landed in a tidepool full of rotting dulse. The other shoe had deep furrows cut into it all the way through the sole.

I limped back to shore, took them off, took off my bloody socks, buried them in the sand- which for some reason seemed like a really good idea at the time- and carried the shoes back up to the truck, a distance of about a mile, by which time I'd almost stopped bleeding. I threw the shoes behind the seat and drove home barefoot.

This had happened in 1993.

I bought new shoes today. It took me 10 minutes. They are black.
As soon as I left the store I sat down, took the old scody ones off, put my new shoes on and threw the old ones in the trash.
Then I went home, rinsed the dog crap off my other shoes and set them in the sun to dry.
They still have tread.