Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".
Nolite te bastardes carburundorum!
"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." - Penn Jillette
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
So...give it a listen and feel free to tell me what you think - good, bad, indifferent, I'm happy to hear from you.
I doubled B's vocals on melody and did high and low harmonies, in case you were wondering.
I'm hoping this thing will go viral...so feel free to pass it along.
Friday, January 29, 2010
I really don't have anything against people selling themselves online - Russian mail order brides and Chinese inflatable adult novelties don't bother me a bit (although why you'd post a comment in a language not the same as the blog post is a mystery to me - how the hell is my average reader going to know what you're selling??) and I'm even OK with you trying to rook folks into spending their money on your pirated, legally questionable, virus riddled programs and crap (even parasites have a place in the grand Song of the Universe - dissonance resolved make harmony so much sweeter)...but I'm not OK with you doing it on my blog, with a readership I care about and don't want bothered with advertising I'm not being paid for (What? I'm not averse to turning some coin, and sidebar ads are easier to ignore if a reader wants).
If you want to advertise on my blog, then write me a polite, well written e-mail in ENGLISH (because I only speak three languages with fluency - English, Bad English, and Typo), and I may consider it.
All that said, I am disabling anonymous comments on this blog for a while...maybe even permanently. I'm tired of sifting through notification e-mails and seeing comments longer than my original post about stuff I don't want or need in my life (and isn't this blog all about me??), and I only have one beloved friend who posts comment anonymously...and she can e-mail me or call if she wants to say something to me (I love you, K darling).
If this chaps your ass, I am sorry...but your smooth cheeks apparently mean less to me than my sanity, serenity, and an irritant-free life.
Edit - Grr...I can't disable only anonymous comments, so I've opted to allow only registered or open ID users...if that's a pain or makes it impossible for people to comment (and I'm begging you, if you have any trouble commenting, please e-mail and let me know because your comments mean more to me than I can ever find words to express), I'll switch to word verification until I am home from the cruise, at which point I'll turn verification off and enable comment moderation instead...both of which are a pain in my derriere but better than those thrice-damned spammenters. Sigh.
I guess I could put a positive spin on this and view it as a compliment - my blog is worth spamming. It's an honor I can do without.
For your amusement, I present my query letter as it would look if I wrote it honestly:
Dear (insert agent name here)(shiver a little for daring hope this.will.be.the.one),
I am not worthy of your esteemed attention, but I am hoping you'll see beyond the just-fell-off-the-turnip-truck dust on my dungarees to the polished, erudite author I just know I can be with a fair amount of time, effort, editing, complete re-writes, and liberal applications of cash and vodka (or rum, or gin, or adult beverage of your choice, because we both know you're buying unless I've accidentally written a best-seller, and what're the odds of THAT happening??).
My name is (who the hell cares? We both know you've never heard of me). I wonder if you'd be interested in representing my work of interminable length (nah, not really...insert actual word count here).
(This is where the slick author inserts a synopsis of their story, starting with a really catchy hook...but where I begin to flounder in earnest because I wrote the dang thing and now I have to sum it up? If I could sum it up, it would be a short story and I'd market it to a magazine and open up a whole other realm of stress and rejection opportunities).
I just know this is going to be a best seller (did my nose just grow an inch?). I will gladly (and with great alacrity)(seriously, Formula One drivers wouldn't match my speed) forward a sample chapter to the rubbish bin of your choosing, upon request.
Please love my book so I can stop writing these thrice-cursed query letters and start being neurotic about something else!!
PS - please, please, please, please, please, please don't think I suck!!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
And that's enough of that.
I'm packing for a cruise, leaving next week for ten days in the Caribbean with Mum and a whole bunch of quilters. I expect I'll be taking many, many photographs and then boring you silly with them when I get home. They will be colorful, bright, and cheerful (if a tad artsy-fartsy) and shots in black and white will be made purely for artistic purposes.
I will cheer the fuck up, or else.
Meanwhile, still your cries of despair at the thought of my absence for ten days - I COULD blog from the ship, but since I haven't won the lottery yet...I'm pre-blogging some stuff for when I'm gone. Although...we WILL have mum's computer (Bob the Wonder Computer is staying home this time) and maybe I can piggyback someone's wi-fi...but don't hold your breath...
Monday, January 25, 2010
My friend Kit pointed me to this song sometime last year - I listen to it fairly frequently. There's something about the sweetness of the female singer's face that reminds me of Kit...and the juxtaposition of the lovely voices and music, poignant and powerful, and the vehemence and language of the lyrics tug at my heart.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
There are times I curse this sickness
turn my face skyward and loose soundless howls to the heavens
stare into the grey beyond for endless hours
oblivious to the rest.
Back and forth we've gone, this sickness and me, since I was a child.
31 years, closing in on 32...
So long, so deep, so present has it been in my life,
I have very few memories of a time before.
Was there a time before it colored everything,
coated it all in this residue of sorrow?
There must have been,
because I remember
how it poured slowly over the horizon
a stain in the light that no one else saw
creeping closer and closer
until it covered all the world.
The cure, for me
is worse than the disease
I lose me
and while I may not like me
sometimes even hate me
I don't want to be anyone else
because better the me I know
that the one I don't
So I endure.
And here I am, enduring...
when I should be rejoicing...
I am in love...and loved...
I have a brilliant son
and beloved friends
and am packing even now for a cruise with Mum
ten days in the Caribbean
but it just doesn't matter
and I can't seem to care
can't seem to feel anything
but this futility.
I hate, hate, hate feeling useless, worthless,
though I may be
I don't have to like the feeling
Ignorance is bliss.
I am not ignorant.
I want to cry all day
paste on a smile
because it's not
but why should anyone else have to suffer
or deal with
my stupid misfiring neurons?
Double, double fuck, fuck, fuckery.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Sometimes, I hit a wall;
When I leave home for a week or more, the middle of the trip is always rough. I hit my wall and want to be home, safe, hidden from the world;
When I'm writing, sometimes I can't figure out how to get to point B from point A and I think it's all shit and I can't write worth a damn and wonder why I bother;
When I'm trying to deal with the Evil Genius, who can be relentless in his pursuit of attention to the point of ignoring repeated requests to give me five minutes to do this one thing (usually try to finish a sentence or put away some dishes or work on some art project or another) and I think I must be the worst mother ever because he ought to come first, oughtn't he?;
When I am looking at the photographs I so carefully cropped, mounted, matted, and so carefully placed at the gallery, or the photographs I made into cards, mounting them on unique, textured papers and sealing them into protective bags, and they sit ignored and I begin to convince myself it's because I am not, after all, an artist but rather a no-talent hack;
When bills come in faster than I can pay them and people are counting on me and I can't fucking breathe and I can't turn around without running into something else I've failed to do;
When I look in the mirror and all I see are dull eyes, dull skin, a dull mind, extra chins, extra belly, extra ass and I can't remember ever feeling young or lively and certainly never sexy or even remotely desirable;
When I'm trying to capture the wisp of a song, always just out of reach, always a little off, never quite right, elusive, maddening, and I know my voice can't do it, that I don't have what I need, what it takes, that I'm not good enough, never was, never will be;
When I inventory my life and realize that I do nothing, make nothing, provide nothing of any value to anyone, that I live by the grace of others and not by my own effort or ability, that I cannot even earn my own keep;
When I know I am in the middle of the mire and it doesn't matter because I'm useless and it's pointless and there's just nothing, nothing, nothing I can do about it;
I hit it hard.
It's unforgiving, as is its wont; it's a wall, they're like that.
I hit it again and again, sometimes day after day, sometimes minute after minute, battering myself against it in a continual exercise in futility.
Damn wall...always there, waiting for me to get up and fling myself at it one more time...and I never learn, because I DO get up and hurtle towards it one more time. One. More. Time.
I don't have an ending for this one...I'm still thwacking myself against this stupid wall.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
There were buildings, cars, everything left as if the people had been there moments before but were now gone.
I wandered from room to room of my grandparents' house (on my mind of late and setting for many of my odd dreams), only it wasn't their house at all. It was some other place, inside.
There was one room that was stone, grey and dark. A fireplace sat cold and empty, an old-fashioned parlor chair before it, moth eaten and mostly frame and tatters. Cobwebs stirred in a chill breeze that touched only those ephemeral spider-leavings. All the rest of the house and grounds were colorful, sound, save this room.
I was looking for useful things to scavenge. I was alone, and it was quiet...there were animals in the world, I'm sure, but none here. Not even birds.
A toy helicopter hovered into view and began shooting tiny wooden missiles at me. I hid in the wine cellar with an empty bucket.
Then I woke up because a cat stepped on me and meowed a demand to be petted (obviously having decided that my need for sleep was superseded by her need for affection).
So what the Hell was that all about??
Monday, January 18, 2010
I have a dream that one day no one will be judged by their clothing, weight, sex, piercings or tattoos, but rather by how they help to build our fellowship of humanity and give it strength, grace, endurance, and beauty.
I have a dream that people will wake up and see how finite our resources are, and work to preserve, recycle, and reuse before we run out.
I have a dream that who, where, or how a person worships won't affect how they are received by their fellow man.
I have a dream that one day, NOT noticing the color of a person's skin will no longer be a crime.
I have a dream that my child, and your children, and their children, will not have to live in fear of their government, but will rather find themselves free to simply be, love, speak, and do.
I have a dream that who we love will one day be less important than how we love - and that our laws will reflect that.
I have a dream that one day teachers will be free to teach, without fearing their students or lawsuits or restrictive policies or gangs or unions or indifferent administrations.
I have a dream that people who home-school will one day be left to do so in peace without fear of hounding from DFACS, teacher's unions, school boards, and people who know nothing about it but will lecture endlessly about how parents are ruining their children's future because we care more about really educating our kids than about making them into mindless drones.
I have a dream that one day soon I won't have to worry about filling out all these so-called "voluntary" tax papers and fork over a chunk of what our household earns, but will rather be free to spend it and donate it as I/we choose.
I have a dream that we will no longer blame and punish victims for simply being victims, but will champion them against their abusers, rapists, perpetrators of violent acts, or oppressors. And that we will stop keeping them victims when they are ready to be strong, to be survivors, to move on.
I have a dream that one day, our bloated legal system will be torn asunder and made anew to better reflect the needs of We, the People, rather than they, the lawyers.
I have a dream that one day people who do harm to the innocent will come to justice...whether the innocent be child, woman, man, or animal. All living things deserve compassion, mercy, and equality, don't they?
I have a dream...that one day...the gods of all men willing...there will never again be a person on this planet who isn't free...that there will not be one person unjustly imprisoned for speaking truth, for questioning law, government, religion, or convention...that no one will have to fear losing their children because they believe differently, eat differently, look differently, or even act differently. That no one will ever again have to fear the men who come in the night with guns, torches, threats, violence, anger, hatred, fear, domination, ignorance, badges, handcuffs, unjust laws, pain and death.
I am still dreaming.
G'night, sleep tight, and dream deep.
Friday, January 15, 2010
1. What is your occupation right now ?
I'm not employed traditionally. I'm a writer, musician, photographer, and a Mum. I don't get paid much of anything for the first three, but the last one comes with all the hugs I can handle.
2. What colour are your socks right now?
Socks? What socks? If I was wearing some, they'd likely be the mismatched blue, recycled cotton ones...or the stripey, fuzzy blue ones. But, no socks.
3. What are you listening to right now?
The Evil Genius making a soundtrack for the incomprehensible game he's playing on the living room floor, and the thoughts thundering around inside my head.
4. Last thing you ate?
A cheese and crockpot-roast quesadilla.
5. Can you drive a manual car?
6. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
7. Do you like the person who sent this to you?
I'm right fond of her.
8. How old are you today?
Old, old, old...years beyond counting and worn down by time. Or 37. Take your pick.
9. What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Hockey, at the moment.
10. What is your favourite drink?
11. Have you ever dyed your hair?
12. Favourite food?
As an Aquarius, I reserve the right not to choose a favorite. We're like that.
13. What is the last movie you watched?
Backdraft, here at home with Someone.
14. Favourite day of the year?
Again with the whole Aquarius thing...although I like the idea of "today" being my favorite.
15. How do you vent anger?
Depends - sometimes I get quiet and internalize it, process it, get over it...and sometimes I bitch and moan and get loud...and sometimes I write it out...and sometimes I cry. Whatever suits in the moment.
16. What was your favourite toy as a child?
17. What is your favourite season?
Autumn, when Summer bows his head and asks Nature for one last dance in her crimson finery, the air is crisp and clean, and I can go outside without worrying about boob sweat.
18. Cherries or Blueberries?
Both, thank you.
19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back?
It would be nice, but I won't be crushed if they don't. I don't like manipulative questions like this.
20. Who is the most likely to respond?
21. Who is least likely to respond?
22. Living arrangements?
A little crowded, a little messy, a little chaotic, a lot of love.
23. When was the last time you cried?
A little while ago.
24. What is on the floor of your closet?
Floor...and some shoes...and a whole herd of fuzzy animal slippers.
25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to?
Technically Mum, since I've known her my whole life and we're friends...but for the not-related-by-blood type, K.
26. What did you do last night ?
Watched hockey, watched Someone and the Evil Genius play chess, laughed, cried, contemplated my mortality and came out the other side of a particularly dark patch roughly intact. And then I saved the world from certain destruction. So...more of the same, really.
27. What are you most afraid of
Failing my child.
28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers?
Cheese all the way, sometimes with avocado on because my fat cells get lonely and want more neighbors.
29. Favourite dog breed?
30. Favourite day of the week?
What day is it?
31. How many states have you lived in?
Excluding confusion, misery, disarray and panic? Six.
32. Diamonds or pearls?
33. What is your favourite flower?
I love the morning glories that bloom deep blue on the front porch - how they greet the day with trumpet blasts of color and determination to reach ever higher; and I adore the sunflowers that turn their heads to follow Papa sun through the day, grinning at him and blazing back with all their joy; and the deep velvet richness of the blue, purple, and black Iris in the front bed that invite errant fingers to stroke their soft petals...so...no favorite. I'll love them all, thank you.
Quick, alert the media! I have photographic evidence...
Wait, what? Some men cook? Really?? I don't believe you - I'm blogging this.
Don't worry - no one will believe me - they'll think I photo-shopped it...
Your reputation won't be tarnished.
Hey...nice nuggets. Of okra, I mean!!
Now ain't that purty??
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
This evening, the Evil Genius wanted to play with his new Monopoly game (thank you Aunt J, my ex-sister-in-law, aka my sister-out-law), and wondered if I would play with him. I've put him off with other games and toys lately, busy with my own thing, and he was so hopeful...I decided that blogging could wait, housework could wait...my kid needed a round of Monopoly.
Someone had an errand to run, but he offered to join us when he got back.
The three of us sat at the dining room table and played for nearly three hours. The Evil Genius had plenty of opportunity to work with his math skills and to learn about negotiating and calculating the potential benefits of a deal versus the pitfalls. He had ample opportunity to remember (and be reminded) not to interrupt other people when they're speaking, to keep track of his turn, and to read cards and instructions.
He even saw what paying an honest compliment can mean to a body - I drew the Community Chest card that claims the reader has taken second place in a beauty contest and won some money. He offered "Well that makes sense because you're beautiful..." Whoof...seven years old and already knows how to lay it on thick!
He had his dinner while we played - fish sticks and baby carrots and the most basic food group of all, catsup (studies show that little boys are fifteen percent catsup and get cranky when their supply is low) - and played past his bedtime a bit. Someone suggested we finally end after two more turns, and we agreed. We ended up about even, no clear winner - each of us had monopolies on the board, each of us had buildings and cash. We'd helped each other out, laughed, chatted about nothing and everything. The TV wasn't on. No news or talk show on the radio. No one on the computer paying only half attention to what was going on. No one on the phone. We focused on each other, on listening and seeing and being.
When we were done, and I'd gotten the Evil Genius off to his room, I realized that tonight...tonight, we felt like a family. Sweet.
Family isn't always who you're born to. Sometimes you have to build it with bits and pieces, a ragtag collection of people and critters and love and elbow grease.
It's not always blood...sometimes it's choice.
Monday, January 11, 2010
I had to call the public utilities folks this morning, take care of some business. The first option on the automated-phone-annoyance-system was to speak to a real, live, human-type customer service representative. City of I-ain't-sayin'-because-I-don't-publish-where-I-live, I salute you! Everyone else who has one of those systems? Take notes.
They were friendly and willing to work with me - score one for me!
I had to call my son's insurance carrier this morning, take care of some business. After a few button pushes, I got a real! live! person! She asked me to rattle off about five-million numbers, then stopped me partway through because I was trying to be quiet and not wake anyone sleeping in Timbuktu, but she apparently is hearing impaired and needed me to speak up. Sigh. I repeated myself a little louder (sorry, Timbuktu, but you can always take a nap later) and when I was done reciting all the numbers in the correct sequence and stopped the bomb, thereby saving the world, she thanked me for being so well spoken.
Huh. I guess people don't often e-nun-ci-sate. Must make doing her job fun, especially in Redneck Central where we're also rather multi-national and therefore blessed with accents of all shapes, sizes, depths, thicknesses, and flavors.
Another string of numbers plus two name-spellings later, she told me I should be the voice for a phone system. I had to laugh - that's long been a weird little aspiration of mine.
She was helpful, informative, and polite. Score one for the state of Georgia and their Wellcare system (thank you for paying taxes and funding my child's health care), and two for me.
I had to call my auto insurance agent this morning, take care of some business. Yep, it was that kind of morning.
A person answered. The phone. A person, not a computer or recording, actually answered the phone!
He was a pleasant sounding man. He worked with me to resolve my concern.
He was awesome. Helpful, polite, even slightly (but not offensively) jocular. I scored the customer service trifecta today. The world's coming to an end. Hold me.
Someone and I have come up with the next food sensation. It's going to make our fortune.
Wanna know what it is?
OK, OK, stop begging!
A bacon, fried egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich made with - brace yourself - Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the bread. We may even batter it and deep fry it for that little extra kick to the arteries.
If I see this on the market before I get the franchise going, I'll know you sold me out.
And no, we haven't actually made or eaten one of these things. We may be crazy, but we aren't stupid.
I can feel February creeping up on me. It's trying to all sly. "Who, me? I'm three weeks away, what're you talking about?" but I can feel it breathing down my neck.
I was born in February, which does nothing to recommend the month to me. My friend K was born in February, which somewhat redeems it.
My friend B dies on my birthday in 1997, which shoots it right into the toilet.
People die in February. Valentines day has always been a disappointment to me, and my birthday a non-issue.
It knows I don't like it, so it doesn't make any effort to be nice, and it's the month where I am most likely to crash (moodwise, not in the car) and crash hard.
I do like calling it "Feblueberry", though, so there's that.
I'm boycotting the first part of the month by letting my mother take me on a cruise. Generous of me, I know, to give up twelve days of moodiness, doldrums, and sheer misery for the Caribbean, twenty-four hour food, dancing waiters, expanding two pants sizes, and the opportunity to wander around islands exploring architecture, rain forests, and beaches...but I'll suck it up and go for her sake. I'm a giver like that.
Someone and the Evil Genius will be left home with a minder, a bowl of kibble, and some bottled water.
I totally disregarded Mizz Suzy's advice on short blog posts. I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Aunt Becky is having a contest, and this is part of it. Feel free to go enter and completely screw my chances of winning (not because you're mean or anything, but because my entry into and contest is just ensuring SOMEONE ELSE will win. Lottery winners owe me...big time)
1) Dave and I have a long-standing feud over cheese in a can. He thinks it’s food of The Gods while I think it’s probably Of The Devil. Your take? Oh, dear. I have to cop to guiltily enjoying E-Z Cheez type simulated food products...especially on Pringles. The shame. Place a little slice of Slim Jim on top and you have Redneck
2) Is there any way you can think of to make the elder Gosselins go away? I AM ALL EARS. Have we figured out how to create tears in the space-time continuum? No? How about wormholes? Still working on that? Perhaps a portable hole...? No? Dang - I'm fresh out of ideas.
3) Who is your ridiculous “I can’t admit this to anyone in polite company lest I be banned from life” crush? I don't know that I have one...I have a rabid fangirl crush on Mike Rowe, but that's hardly mortifying. I DID once have a crush on a cartoon character...does that count??
4) If you could fuck it all and pursue your dream (assuming, of course, you were going to be GOOD at it), what would that dream be? I can't really pin it down...there are several things I would do if I could make a life of them - write, sing, and/or photograph. All three would be brilliant.
5) They say “living well is the best revenge.” I think they are wrong. Do you? I think revenge is a waste of time. Getting on with life is a better solution for me, because it doesn't feed the drama.
6) What is the most humiliation you've experienced in public that you’d be willing to admit to The Internet? On a flight to France (when I was all of 13 or 14), the stewardess got so pissed at my continued requests for more peanuts (because 4 nuts to a foil pack is so filling, how could I want more?) on my brother's behalf (because he threatened to kill me if I didn't go up and get him more to eat - who the hell brings teenagers on a ninety-hour flight without feeding them frikin' breakfast first??) that she brought an entire plastic garbage sack full of peanut packets, dumped them on my lap, and loudly declared that THIS should satisfy the little American piggy and I should not ask her for anything else. I could have happily crawled out onto the wing and finished the flight there. My brother ate the nuts and grinned the whole time.
7) Are you honest with The Internet? Like, if I came over to your house tonight (heh)(I’m coming over, yo)(heh) would I be surprised at who I found? You might be surprised to note that I bear no resemblance to the flower I use for my picture...but other than that, Casa de Crazy and its denizens are just as depicted in the Blue Nowhere...sometimes more so. Come on over - I'll make pigs in a duvet!
8 ) If you could have one talent that you don’t currently possess, what would it be? Hmm...I was going to say convince people to pay me for my art (writing, music, photography), but that sounds sad. Also, I'd really like to be able to play the fiddle. Sooo...I'm going with fiddle.
9) There’s not always room for Jello. Is there? Not always...but it does have its place.
10) What’s your guiltiest of the guilty pleasures? Whew...I dunno...Krispy Kreme doughnuts? Lindt Lindor Truffles? Movie Theatre popcorn? Starbucks? Sushi with K? Longhorn with Mum? There are so many...and I'm an Aquarius...we suck at picking just one thing...
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
It's one of those don't-know-which-way-to-turn sicks. I keep a trash can by the toilet for such occasions - that way I don't have to choose what to clean up.
Don't yell at me, though...I have a headache, too.
You know what's nice about being sick today? When I asked Someone if he minded if I stayed in bed a while, he didn't even flinch - he got up, played with the Evil Genius,m even offered to make me tea. he's played checkers (a game he does NOT like) and fielded the unstoppable spate of chatter the lad produces with nary a complaint. And he didn't ask me to make his coffee or fix him something to eat when I got up...and he did dishes!
I may go lie back down again...vertical isn't suiting me right now...
Waaaah. And bleh. And...sweet...
Monday, January 4, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
I had no choice but to run barking down the driveway, confirming to any doubting neighbor that I am really quite mad.
Not once, but twice today.
Really...barking, growling, baring my teeth and generally behaving like a raving...well...bitch.
On the upside, I don't think I'll have many people knocking on my door asking for donations to their cause.
Permit me to explain.
Two of my neighbors on the cul-de-sac have dogs. One (I'll call him Z) is allegedly a Jack Russel, but I think it's also part horse - the thing's as tall as the Evil Genius! The other (I'll call him B) looks to be predominantly Boxer, but probably also has a horse somewhere in its lineage.
Both neighbors let their dogs run loose, unsupervised, for most of the day. The dogs run, tumble, fight, and act like dogs do. Unfortunately, the dogs like MY yard for their playground.
Z is a pretty good dog - still a puppy, he wants to run and jump and play and doesn't understand that the Evil Genius is afraid of dogs jumping on him. Z jumps up when he's excited. He also runs away and hopes we'll chase him, and we will occasionally oblige him.
B, on the other hand, likes to plow right into the Evil Genius, doesn't even try to play. He likes to get up on the front porch of Casa de Crazy and eat the cat food there, and menace the outdoor kitties. He has torn landscape timbers out and chewed them up, leaving chunks (with and without nails) all over the place. He's pulled out garden stakes, too, and shat in my iris bed. I've tried being gentle with him and disciplining him, but I can't buck his human's inattentiveness.
This morning, I heard excited barking on the front porch. I knew who was out there, and my patience was thin, so I ran down the stairs, threw open the door, and began barking and growling as I ran the dogs off the porch. They had one of the cats cornered, and I don't doubt that B, at least, would probably have loved to chew her up if he could only catch her.
So I chased them down the stairs and up the driveway, wearing house clothes (jeans, loose top, bare feet, hair undoubtedly looking like something nested in it last night) barking and growling and showing them my teeth - acting like a dog protecting its territory, which seems to be the only thing they understand. Z lives closest and is the smarter of the two, and he ran home, sat in his yard, cocked his head, and said something along the lines of "I believe I am living among mad people."
B ran into the cul-de-sac, where he likes to lurk anyway, and barked - "I ain't skeered of you..."...then tried to come at me. I barked, growled, showed my teeth, and radiated angry dog attitude, and he decided that there was something more interesting at home.
I hoped that would be the end of it...but no. No, apparently seeing me go after their dogs meant nothing to the neighbors (or, more likely, they had no idea it happened), because the dogs were at it again later in the afternoon. This time, I was barking before I opened the door, and the dogs scattered...they knew I meant business. Perhaps they've seen The World According to Garp and have concerns.
I don't hate dogs - on the contrary, I am rather fond of them. As with children, I don't care to be subjected to ill-behaved ones, and blame the humans responsible for the beasts. I am sure Z and B are perfectly nice dogs, and I don't doubt their humans mean well (it must seem kinder to let them run and play than to lock them up)...but they're scaring my son, frightening the cats, eating the cat food, have gotten into my garage and chewed things up, torn open my trash and scattered it, taken a beloved crockery bowl from the porch and shattered it, and B, at least, is often out at night. He's dark brown and likes to run at vehicles coming into the cul-de-sac. I've nearly hit him. My roommate has almost hit him. Several others have almost hit him.
I've spoken to Z's humans...but it looks like I'll have to do it again. They said they would keep him in their fenced back yard...which would be fine, if they could manage to keep the gate closed! I have tried to make B's human understand that his dog scares the crap out of my kid...but he protests that B is just a big baby and really very sweet, and lets him run.
I don't think it's right that I can't go outside without wondering if I'll have to deal with not-my-dogs. I shouldn't have to fear going barefoot in my own yard, and my kid shouldn't have to run back into the house in a fright because some dog has knocked him down and damn near bitten him. I shouldn't have to simply hope the dogs won't dig up the garden and ruin our crops, and I shouldn't have to buy twice as much cat food because the dogs are eating it, too.
I now have the onerous task of taking this to the neighbors and asking them - again - to please keep their dogs according to the law - in a fenced enclosure or chain well within their property lines unless they are leashed with a human attendant...and leave unspoken, for now, the threat that I will call animal control if I must, because I will not be denied the ability to enjoy my own home or have my son refuse to go outdoors because of careless pet owners.
Ugh...I loathe confrontation...
What would you do?
Friday, January 1, 2010
Someone is kneeling down, tying his shoelace. The Evil Genius is wandering up the drive from a wooded patch, shoes crunching the gravel. As he approaches Someone, he calls out "Dude!" Someone looks up. Evil Genius repeats "Dude!! DUDE!!" Someone responds "What?", head cocked to one side. Evil Genius says "I love you."
Someone looks at me and says "Oh, wow, he got me..."
I have this tile hanging above the kitchen sink:
It was a gift from Mum a long while ago. This morning, the Evil Genius wandered into the kitchen and read it aloud, then looked at me. He didn't think I was wild or wacky, he said, but I am pretty wonderful. I allowed as how he hadn't seen my wild or wacky side because I'm his mother, and kids don't always see that side of their parents.
A few minutes later, he wandered back into the kitchen and said "I think I know your wacky side, too, but just not your wild side." Because we play together and I'm silly with him.
I kissed his forehead.
"And there's the wonderful side" he said, and scampered back to his room.
Right now he's outside with Someone, helping with yard work and gardening stuff. It's chilly, and windy, and the kid looks like a homeless child in his too-large jacket and my gardening gloves..and I don't know if he's more help or hindrance...but he's happy out there with Someone, and he told me this was going to be the best January ever because his birthday's in a couple of days AND he's never had a garden before but now he will.
They're out there because Someone loves the outdoors and is delighted to have our overgrown, underloved yard to potz around in...and I needed a few minutes to write, a few minutes free of the constant barrage of questions, comments, and noise that streams from the Evil Genius like light from the sun.
I'm having a rough day, you see...I can't maintain happy, and have to crash now and then...need to wallow in the swamp a bit. I have things on my mind, worries gnawing at me...I got a deferment on the power bill, but only for a week - I have to pay it then or off it goes - and water and phone are long past due...and I am feeling the fear that any mother can relate to - how will I provide for my son?
I don't like feeling helpless, or useless. I don't like being a burden, either. I need to win the lottery.
So one more thing the kid said that made me smile - I was talking to Someone about winning the lottery, and the Evil Genius told me "Don't worry, Mommy, when I grow up I'm going to take care of you so you won't have to worry about bills or anything, and we're going to buy a cruise ship and sail around the world..."
Thanks, kid...I love you, too.