Sunday, June 29, 2008

Reading Between the Lines

I have a flesh friend who required that I learn to read between the lines. It took years but I think I have finally acquired some skill in that area.

"oh come on over any time... any time at all."

Now don't be foolish and drop in unannounced. You might get a very chilly reception, regardless of what was said. What was said and what was meant are often two different things. There are some things you say simply because it is the polite thing to say.

I hadn't seen my friend for a couple of weeks so I was a little surprised yesterday when she called about 4:30pm. First, that's way later than is usual. Way late. Then she asked me if I wanted to come over. I wasn't sure if that's what she really wanted or not, but I begged off anyway. Too hot. It was too hot and I didn't want to leave my apartment which was about 15 degrees cooler than outside. When she said 'maybe tomorrow' I said, 'yeah... maybe tomorrow.'

She called a few minutes ago and asked if I wanted to come over. I couldn't tell for sure if she really wanted a visitor or not. I was almost on the verge of saying 'oh sure... why not. I need to get out of the apt. for a while' but fortunately I heard it. I heard her little 'tell'. Its something in her voice... a little something. I can't even describe it, but it was there, so I passed on coming over.

I think my friend was relieved. I know I was... relieved that I picked up on the tell. You could hear it in her voice.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Can The Supreme Court Be Bought Off?

It sure seems so.

So, the big oil company kept appealing and appealing until the courts let them off with barely a tap on the wrist. What the hell is going on... there is no justice!! There's only GREED!

Remember the Exxon oil spill in Alaska in, I think, 1989? Remember seeing the pictures of birds buried in gobs of oil? The rocks buried in oil. The water like thick blood. This because the self-admitted alcoholic captain was asleep at the wheel. The community/fishermen who lost their only livelihood was awarded a settlement in the billions of dollars by lower courts. Now the Supreme Court has stated that Exxon needs only pay $500 million. The reporter stated that it worked out to $15,000 to each fisherman. WTF... $15,000?!?! And these oil companies make BILLION of dollars profit in three months. I repeat.... WTF????!!!!!!

All I can do is shake my head in stunned amazement. Typically I would be angry as hell (and I may come to that emotion later) but right now I only shake my head... surprise doesn't even count any more. This kind of thing has been happening all too often over the years. It no longer surprises me. I'm almost speechless.

I wonder what part of the constitution the judges were reviewing. Since the Supreme Court only has the task of making sure things are 'constitutional', I really really want to know. I hope a news source will report on it. If you, reader, know, please share the general highlights in the comments section. I sure would appreciate it.

If I hear anything I'll add a post script.

This so has me shaking my head in wonderment, and not in a good way. Geesh!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It Must Be a Sign

No, I mean a regular sign. The market across the street took down the old sign and put up a new one. It must be all those bags of rice he sells.

The old one comes down.

The new one is up.

Hard to read this far away, huh. I got no zoom... sorry.

It says:
(oriental words)
Fruit Vegetables Meat Seafood Kitchen Ware

It looks nice because its new, but I gotta tell ya I kind of like the old one better. Its like older homes. They look more interesting than newer ones. The signs basically say/said the same thing.

This man/family works hard. The market is open 7 days a week. During the week he/they work about 12 hours a day... maybe a little more if customers keep coming in at closing time. On the weekends its open about 7 hours a day. Always open.

I mentioned the selling of rice above. I'm guessing its rice. A lot of people purchase something that comes in a large white bag and is about as big as a 20+ lb bag of dog food. Most people carry it on their shoulders. He's even delivered it to one of the tenents upstairs, but I couldn't see the writing on the bag so I'm left to guess.

It ticks me off when stupid dumbass thugs keep putting graffi on his building. Or any building (which includes these apts.) He works hard enough as it is then he has to periodically paint the side/front of the building... over, and over, and over..... If the little pricks get caught, nothing really happens to them. Hell, if you kill someone you can bail yourself out in a few hours.

Oh boy... don't let me get started. I just meant to share what a hard worker the owner is and it looks like he must be doing okay since he can afford a new sign. Good for him.

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Installment 5: Dinner Anyone?

I continued to be surprised by the "suite" when I found it had its very own well appointed bathroom. I found everything I thought of looking for.... Larry, Daryl, and Daryl could not have known how to stocked it. They would probably be considered lucky to simply find a bathroom. Knowing how to use one in an appropriate manner was still an unknown. I don't mean to be snooty, but come on guys.... facts are facts.

Even though I didn't have any fresh clothes to change into it did not stop me from lingering in the shower. It felt wonderful. I tried to wash all the fear and tiredness off of me and let it all just drain away.

A dusting of powder on the inside of my clothes followed by some thumping to knock off the loose stuff helped to freshen them. It was as good as it could get, considering the circumstances.

Now I was really hungry. I grabbed the dinner voucher and went downstairs. The lobby was once again empty. A small lamp was sitting on the counter and had been left on to dimly light the room. I stepped outside. A wooden walkway with a bannister on the river side went between the motel and the bar. Small golden lights had been strung along the railing to help a person find their way. If the motel and brothers weren't so creepy it would have been a romantic touch.

I hesitated at the door to the grill. Oh please please let it be at least semi normal... PLEASE. Muffled music could be heard. I pulled my sleeve down far enough to cover my hand. I wanted to keep from touching the door knob as I opened it and stepped inside. I stood there for a moment looking around and trying to get my bearings.

"Hey... close the door. You're letting the skeeters in!" someone called out. I close it quickly. I tend to follow orders when I'm the new kid on the block. Well, at least until I have a chance to scope things out. Besides, I didn't want to let skeeters in, either.

I walked quickly to the end of the bar and sat down. Things looked okay. I guess. Just a few hairy guys sitting around. A couple of them were playing pool. A guitar twanged from the juke box. Willie Nelson, I think.

Inhale... exhale. All will be fine.

A burly guy in a sleeveless plaid shirt was behind the bar. I felt like asking if he was Larry the Cable Guy, but thought better of it.

"I've got this voucher for...."

Before I could finish the bartender pointed to the wall. "Thar's the menu... take your pick."

Most of it sounded like deep country vittles... skunk tail soup, frog leg appetizers, grits and gravy. I spotted something familar.

"I'll have the burger and fries, please. Well done... everything on it. Is your beer cold?"

"You betcha. Whadda think we are... hillbillies?" He laughed at his own joke. Or else he was laughing at me. I wasn't sure. I faked a smile as though I knew.

"I'll start off with a glass of beer while the burger's being fixed."

He was already at the tap with a large mason jar. Not a 'real' mason jar, but one of those glasses made to look like a jar. It had handle. That's what tipped me off, you know, that it wasn't a 'real' mason jar. I'm fast if nothing else. He half-assed slid it down the counter to me and then disappeared behind the register.

The grill must be back there I thought to myself as I took my first gulp. And I do mean GULP. That beer was so good I could have drank it all at once, but I remembered to pace myself. Half of it the first drink and the rest on the second. Man, did that hit the spot or what. You know the spot. The spot where it hits on a completely empty stomach. I felt a little lightheaded for a moment.

I casually glanced around. No one was paying any attention to me. I must be getting old because I prefer it that way... don't pay me no never mind, boys. Two yawns forced their way out of me. This was going to be a dine and dash night, for sure. Another yawn came up just for punctuation.

It didn't take long for the burger to come. It was as good as any I've had in the city. I ate quickly, mainly because I was STARVING! I topped off the meal with my second drink... another beer. Its all I could handle. Besides, I didn't see Long Island Ice Tea on the menu.

I searched my pockets for any loose change and flopped some coins on the counter for a tip. I didn't count them. I didn't want to feel bad about being so cheap. I wasn't cheap. I was just broke.

I left and got back to my room without incident. (That means I didn't stumble over into the river.) Oh that bed looked like one of heaven's clouds. I closed the doors to the balcony but left the windows open a crack. Since the windows didn't have any shades I turned off the light, got out of my boots and jeans and climbed into bed. I was asleep immediately.

I became aware at some level that I was dreaming. Weird, too. I tried to tie a yellow ribbon on a tree, then it turned into police crime scene tape. A purple rat tried to make friends with me as a zebra blew his warm breath on my face. It smelled of dry hay. Then I seemed to be watching myself watching myself dream. That's not a mistake. What I mean is that I seemed to be three different parts of myself. I felt my physical self turn over and the river breeze cooled my face.

Scene fades to darkness.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

How Kewl Is This!! A Plethora of Historic Information

This is from an article on - Its about what was found in a Maryland plantation attic... 400 years of documents!! From big important documents to small notes about everyday items.

"CENTREVILLE, Md. - For four centuries, they were the ultimate pack rats. Now a Maryland family's massive collection of letters, maps and printed bills has surfaced in the attic of a former plantation, providing a firsthand account of life from the 1660s through World War II."

"Historians are used to dealing with political records and military documents," said Adam Goodheart, a history professor at nearby Washington College. "But what they aren't used to is political letters and military documents kept right alongside bills for laundry or directions for building a washing machine."

Goodheart is working with state archivists and a crew of four student interns to collect the documents, which were found stuffed into boxes, barrels and peach baskets."

How juicy is that!! The full article can be found here.

Installment 4: To Bed or Not To Bed

(Sandy (aka Dusty Duck) started a story on her art blog; she has passed it on to me. The first three parts can be found here, here, and here.)

I could feel my adrenenaline building as I stood in the dark, dusty and deserted lobby.

Oh gawd, what have I gotten myself into now.

I knew there wouldn't be an answer, mainly because I didn't have one. Yet.

The edges of the room began to darken as the sun drooped behind the trees. I could hear shuffling sounds on the porch coming closer, becoming louder. The screen door creaked in protest as it was slowly opened. In shuffled three of the oddest people I have ever seen in person. They looked like they just came from the movie Deliverance.

I heard myself gasp internally.

"Oh. Hello. I didn't know anybody was here. Welcome to the River Rat Motel. I'm Larry. This is my brother Daryl, and my other brother Daryl."


"ah... a.. hello. My name is... its Suzie Q."

(What? Do you think I'm really going to give them my name?)

"Are you from Princeton?" Larry asked suspiciously.

"ahh....No, why?"

"Oh... no reason I guess. My brother Daryl applied for admission a couple of years ago and we never heard nuthin. I was just awonderin."

I just stood there dumbfounded. I'm sure my mouth was open. I couldn't seem to process that piece of information.

Finally Larry shuffled behind the counter. "May I help you?" he said stiffly.

This is where I should have said no and left, but it was getting dark and scary out there. It was dark and scary inside, too. This is called a dilemma.

"ah... I'm not sure. I was thinking about a room for the night, but..."

Larry didn't wait. "Let me see if we have something available."

There was a small puff of dust as he turned the page of the register. "You're in luck. Our best suite is available. Would you like to register now?"

"Would you mind terribly if I checked the suite out first before I made up my mind?"

It was Larry's turn to look a little dumbfounded and that wasn't easy.

"Of course. Daryl, would you take Ms. Que up to room 13, please."

I turned quickly to see which brother it was going to be. The one sitting at the table got up and shuffled towards the stairs. Don't they know how to pick up their feet?!

I followed but kept a safe distance behind him. I wondered if I should ask him if he was the one who applied to Princeton, but I didn't want to start a conversation. I wasn't sure if he could maintain one. I wasn't sure if I could, either.

We turned to the right at the top of the stairs and stopped in front of a door. The "suite" was apparently right over the lobby. Daryl opened the door and switched on the lights.


No... really, my mind said W. T. F. when I saw the room. I clearly spend way too much time on the pc and texting. Texting!!!! Ohmygawd, did I have my cell phone with me? I wanted to pat my pockets to see but I didn't want to give Daryl any ideas. I mean I didn't know one Daryl from another, know what I mean. But the room.... the room was lovely.

"WTF?!!" I repeated.

"Huh?" mumbled Daryl.

"a...nothing. This room is lovely" I said in total disbelief.

It looked clean, and light, and..... and useable. It was so incongruous I struggled to wrap my mind around it. The screen protected windows were open and a gentle breeze fluttered the white lace curtains. A french door lead to the balcony and beyond was a breathtaking view of the river even though it was getting dark.

I went over to the bed and turned down the covers. The blanket and sheets looked new and unused. The pillows looked puffy and full. There was a subtle fragrance of rose petals in the room. I felt myself relax a little.

I turned to Daryl who still stood in the doorway as though he was not allowed to come in.

"How much is it a night?"

Without missing a beat, Daryl replied "$39.00. That includes a voucher for dinner and drinks at the Grill next door and a continental breakfast in the lobby tomorrow morning."

I blinked. Then I blinked again. Was I going insane?

"Okay, I'll take the room for the night."
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Friday, June 20, 2008

ohmygawd! Okay.... who just farted?!?!?!

From an news article:

"MIAMI - An uninvited passenger created a smelly situation on a plane in Miami.

American Airlines Flight 915 from Miami to Bogota, Colombia, was delayed Wednesday night after a skunk was found in the back of the cargo hold, discharging its foul odor throughout the aircraft, airline officials said."

The article says the plane took off two hours later. Ya know, its been my experience that you don't just get rid of shunk odor that quickly. I feel for those passengers.

I haven't had any direct confrontation with a shunk's odor, but I have driven by shunk road kill. The odor was overwhelming and seemed to want to linger in my mouth like forever. The closest I want to get to a shunk is in a cartoon. Have you ever had to deal with one?

We're going to be hot here today. Not hot like Southern California or Arizona, but hot enough. (around 90 degrees) I ran to the store this morning to get sandwich makings and to check out a digital converter box for the television. They were out of the cheapest ones and I refuse to spend more than $10. My tv is very very old and it could bite the bullet at any time. I've also been thinking about trying to reduce the amount of time I waste watching it, and this will certainly help me do that, come next February. (okay, okay... I've also been noodling getting a new tv. One of those nice thin jobs. One of the smaller sized ones. I'll be tucking away money into my savings account. After all, I have seven months to save. Don't laugh. It could happen.)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

hahaha... oops! I stuttered....

As cat's momma commented, yes, I did have trouble posting so there's three entries saying pretty much the same thing. (and fyi.. the brothers broke up their own sqabble, too, when they each got some pain going between them.)

I normally would take the extra ones down, but since they each say something a little different I'm wondering if its interesting to compare versions. ? (The shorter the message, the more tightly I'm sprung, I guessing.)

I'm glad someone mentioned it. I might not have noticed on my own. It was a good chuckle for me, too.

Who Ate My Damn Cookies!!

I've tried several times to post an entry via Picasa2 and failed. Something about my cookies not set right. I tried to follow instructions, but it didn't work and I'm already on too short a leash. I'll try later. So... did ya'll survive another Friday the 13th?

I'm watching the boys today. They spent the night. Mom is working and didn't have anyone to look after the little 'sweethearts'. Oh crap, Darius is beating up Vyron. Gotta go.

Where Does The Time Go?

 I'm watching the boys today. Mom had to work and didn't have child care. I had forgotten how loud little boys can be.... the younger one seems to only know how to talk REALLY LOUDLY.

I finally got official notification that the IRS has snatched my stimulus payment from me. Its a relief to have it in writing, because just a little over a week ago I got a notice that the payment was coming. Coming. Not coming. Finally... an answer. And as sweet as it would have been to get a little extra cash, I would have just spent it on gas or some other luxury item. And it was nice to see my tax balance take a jump down. Besides, now I can hold my head high knowing I've paid my share to maintain our corrupt government. (LET POLICITIANS PARTAKE OF THE SAME RETIREMENT PROGRAMS THAT THE PEASANTS HAVE TO.... and that's all I'm saying about that. Gump me!)

Okay, Darius is beating up Vyron. Gotta go.

Later: I can't find my broom now. The boys were using my broom and mop for horses... then for something to stick under the bed to try to get that elusive toy way back in the corner. Sigh.
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Where does the time go?

 Wow... its been four days since my last entry. It doesn't seem that long ago.

I'm watching the boys today. Mom and boyfriend both had to work today and they needed child care. (these pictures are from the last time they were over.)

We've finally gotten a few days of spring weather... the good kind. The kind where the sun is out, the grass is green, but its not super hot. Perfect.

Well, Darius is beating up Vyron so I gotta run.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Failed

I failed. I failed miserably. Today was going to be the first day of the rest of my... oh... no, not that. Today was going to be the first day I started restricting TV time. I think it lasted 45 minutes. I don't wanna talk about it. Except to say... tomorrow is another day. And I have things to do so my chances are a little better. I will see just how tenacious I really am.

Watercolor Demo (4 minutes)

I like to watch Ng Woon Lam paint in watercolor. He also has some videos on youtube where he uses oil... but its the watercolors I like the most.

Wanna Take a Trip Down Memory Lane?

This trip is best taken when you are in a relaxed mood without pressure to get dinner cooked. Have your sound turned on for added effect. Now, if you please, may I introduce you to Daisy Cottage. I hope you enjoy the tour.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Can I borrow that?

I just had a big chuckle over someone's blog entry. (I don't suppose its kosher to use someone else's story, but I don't have anything else. Now you have a better idea of who you're dealing with... )

A true story. A grandmother, tired of telling her young grandson that she wasn't going shopping, finally grabbed a flashlight and held it up to grandson's ear.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm seeing if there's anything in there. Nope. I can see the light reflecting off the wall over there. Empty, just as I suspected, otherwise you would listen to what I'm telling you."

Grandson, not believing her... yet not quite sure, grabbed the flashlight and held it to his own ear. No light on the wall.

"You're lying!"

"No I'm not... you're just not tilting your head the right way."

Grandson tries it again from slightly different angle. And we all know how important timing is, don't we. Just as grandson was trying it again, a car turned the corner and its headlights reflected on the wall.


Grandson goes running and crying to his mother in the next room ... "MY HEAD IS EMPTY!! MY HEAD IS EMPTY!!"

Doncha jus luv it.

Grandmother was appropriately berated by boy's mother, grandson was appropriately reassured, and lots of folks got a great laugh.

I took liberties with the dialogue, but since I'm stealing the story anyway, what's a few liberties here and there.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

How Do You Rate?


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Nothing In Particular

Lots of little things popped into my head this morning. Things that made me think oh...good for the blog. Of course now that I'm blogging they've all disappeared.

I came across a site called Gardening in Canada, and it made me think of a Canadian cyber-friend of mine who loves to garden, so I decided to post the link here. (pssst... you didn't hear this from me, but the site has two photo galleries, one of which is for gardens. I couldn't help but think it might come in handy if I needed a picture of a basket of veggies to draw. Know what I mean? Of course there's the ole 'get permission to use it', but really... isn't a squash just a squash no matter who took the picture? And yes, I will ask for permission when the time comes. You know what a procrastinator I am, so it may be unnecessary.)

I pulled an old CD off the shelf... Amazon Rain Forest. (The kind you find in a bin that screams "take this crap off my hands, PLEASE!".) Oh yuck... the case was so grimy. I don't just get dust around here. I/we get grimy dust...sticky and black. Its from living next to the freeway (and busy street.) I can only imagine what the lungs look like. (hold on... I need to go have a cigarette.)

Okay, the last comment in parens was just for effect.

I turned the tv off this morning. Its all a matter of habit and boy do I have a habit. We'll see how long I can hold out. Friday television pretty much sucks, anyway.

Enough of this yaking. Time to go do something. Anything.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Sandy asked for a picture... she must be hungry

 I think that's what she asked for....

The pot was turning out to be a 'miss' so I had to add my secret ingredients. Two squirts of ketsup and a pat of margerine. And yummy... that did the trick. The pot of beans is now rated a 4 out of a possible 5. (Good thing I live alone.)
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Is It Raining? Or Did You Just Spit On Me?

PhotobucketThis reflects the kind of day we are having around here. Rain. Lots of it. Most kids on vacation would say It Sucks! but its actually a good thing. Last I heard the snow level in the mountains was about 150% of normal/average. If it was sunny and warm all that melting snow would cause flooding.

I've currently got a pot of pinto beans steaming up my kitchen. I think its the perfect day for it. When they're almost done I'll slip in some cooked hamburger and a small can of tomato sauce. Once they've joined, I'll take the pot off the heat and let it sit for a while. That gives the different flavors a chance to meld together. (I wonder if I should put up a do-not-disturb sign while the flavors marry. hmmmm)

Its hit-or-miss with my beans, but I gotta say... when its a hit, oh be still my heart. Or tongue, as the case may be... Yummo! (I don't talk about the misses.)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Have You Heard About It? Its coming up!

Drawing Day is June 7th... next Sunday. Go here to read about it. I don't know any more about it.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Another Monday

PhotobucketNothing much going on here. I'm almost reduced to talking about the weather, but I'm going to restrain myself as best I can. You know, for your sake.

I got a fair amount of things done today on about $25. Mailed some things at the post office (as opposed to a mail box), stopped at a shoe store and got a pair of beach sandals, and went to the grocery store and picked up a little fresh fruit and veggies.

I KNOW! I KNOW! It's just like talking about the weather, fer gawd sake!!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Tasha Tudor, Children's Illustrations

I was watching Antiques Road Show and someone had brought in an original illustration of Tasha Tudor. The very small illustration was charming. The woman who had brought it in said she had met Ms. Tudor last year. She was taking a garden tour of Ms. Tudor's home and Ms. Tudor came out and folks got to meet her. The woman said Ms. Tudor looked fragile, but well.

She's currently 92 yrs old and I got the impression that she was still illustrating. That intriqued me so I googled her and got the above web site. It looks like the family is using the web to promote her and ah, other things. (Might as well use an opportunity, I say.)

For a fuller history, here is wikipedia's entry for her.