Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".

"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







Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Coalesced

Sometimes I feel disconnected from the world, from my life.

Whole days can pass, and I don't really feel as though I belong in my world...like somehow, my mind was transposed with someone else's, and they must be feeling the same way wherever I should be, confused, lost, wandering aimlessly from room to room, task to task, wondering how they got there.

Sometimes, I feel as though I have been shattered, a fragile glass bubble exploded outward into dust, adrift in space and time.

And then he touches me, a simple caress, a hand to my face, back, or arm, and I am collected, brought back to myself, un-shattered...I am where I belong once more, coalesced.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm Not Dead Yet

I'm just all kinds of busy - working communications at the track and doing a flat ton of sewing that needs to be done by Monday. I'll post something of substance soon...well...I'll post something, anyway...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

If I'm Crazy It's 'Cause I was Driven There

Lately I've noticed a great deal of...erm...questionable driving here in Redneck Central.

Some examples:

1. While heading out to somewhere for some reason, sans Evil Genius thank goodness because the language got a little...colorful...in Rosie my beloved Astro Van/Mule, a car preceded me onto the local two-lane state highway. There's a fair bit of traffic on this particular road, especially large trucks trying to cross from one highway to another. The area has grown, too, into something of a bedroom community for Atlanta, so we've got a lot more cars than we used to.

So. This car preceded me from our little side street onto the larger, faster state highway and...well...that's pretty much all he did. He didn't accelerate. He just sort of...drifted. The state highway is a 55 mph road on a slow day. Most people ignore that limit entirely and drive as fast as they're comfortable...or as fast as the fellow in front of them. The fellow in front of me? Thought 30 was dandy, thankyouverymuch. He would speed up a tiny bit, then drift back down to about 30 again when he realized what he'd done.

Now, I'm a patient woman, and I know the limit means that's the fastest you can go and not a serving suggestion...but 30? On a 55 road? One with hills and gentle curves that trucks often barrel down at ungoddessly speeds? He had a Handicapped...excuse me, Disabled Person...tag. I may have made the snide comment that perhaps the disability was intellectual rather than physical. On and on he went, drifting across the lane this way and that, not-quite-speeding-up and slowing down again, traffic building up behind us. I wondered aloud if he simply enjoyed a parade.

Rosie's an Astro van, something larger than a standard mini van but smaller than a cargo van. The slow fellow was in a little white, four door somthingorother. The cars behind me couldn't see him. I realized one or two of them thought I was the problem. Terrific.

The highway has a few passing zones, but wouldn't you know? Every time we reached one, he'd speed up a little and there'd be oncoming traffic spaced just wrong. At one point, I had hope - we reached almost forty!! But no...the speed got to him and he had to slow down again.

Eventually, Someone lost his patience, leaned over, and communicated his feelings about all of this with the horn. The released a torrent of similar communications from the vehicles behind us...including the police officer caught in this unpleasant mess! Perhaps our friend up ahead thought it was a lively chorus of appreciation, because he kept on his merry way while we turned off the road and visited the local liquor store for reinforcements.

The line of traffic stretched back more than a mile, when we last looked at it. A stretch of highway that should have taken ten minutes to traverse? Almost thirty.

2. Someone and I were on our way to help some friends of mine move on Sunday. We had some good, open highway driving ahead of us, the kind that is pleasant when you have a beverage, a snack, some good music, and a friend along. We were headed South, possibly a tad faster than the signs posted o the side of the road advised was legal. Who, me? Speed? I have no idea what you're talking about.

I was in the left lane, because I was going faster than the traffic in the right lane. That is how it works, in case you didn't know (But you know, don't you reader? You're not one of those people who pull into the left lane going primly the speed limit and refusing to budge when faster traffic come along, are you? I didn't think so.). I was passing a slower vehicle, but it was taking a moment because he wasn't that much slower. Along came a little red, sporty, mommy-and-daddy-bought-me-this car. It was going even faster than I was, but I had a car beside me and nowhere else to go. Ah, well...if he slowed a teensy bit and waited a moment, I would finish my pass and move over.

He didn't like that idea, though. He though running right up to my bumper was better. Perhaps he thought he was assisting me with some sort of rear-end drafting technique that he learned while watching NASCAR, or more likely at the local dirt track because contrary to popular belief, NASCAR drivers do actually know how to drive quite well.

The car beside me chose that time to speed up a little. Not much...just enough to delay my pass a bit more. Young squire behind me decided I'd slowed down, so he fell back, surged forward, fell back...you get the idea. Finally, I'd pulled ahead of the other car enough to move over, and was just turning my blinker on to indicate my plane when the red car zipped between the too-small gap and raced up to leap into the lane ahead of me...where he promptly slammed on his brakes. I didn't touch mine, nor did I disengage the cruise control. He sped up a little and did it again, fluttering his brake pedal. Again, I maintained my speed. He sped up, slowed, and we repeated the process for a minute or two. Finally, he hit his brakes hard, cutting his speed drastically enough that I tapped my pedal, disengaging the cruise control and slowing slightly. We were still above 70 at this point, but decelerating.

The lad in the red car finally swerved violently into the right lane, cutting off another car, and flipping the bird to the world in general. He then exited, having made his point. I don't know what it was, but he made it. Perhaps he thought he would educate the stupid bitch in the Astro van about what the fast lane is for. I have news for you, sonny - I've been driving for longer than you've been breathing, done hot laps around Road Atlanta and Atlanta Motor Speedway that made actual race car drivers whistle (not that I'm bragging or like to go fast or anything), made it from Atlanta to Colorado in twenty hours, and done the Atlanta perimeter highway (a 68 mile circle) in 38 minutes (not that I'm admitting anything, officer). You have no idea what fast is. When your other one drops, maybe I'll show you.

All I could do was giggle and say "Oh, no, he waved his finger at me, now my day is ruined. I am chastened. Oh, the shame. Oh, the agony. I may never recover from the terrible finger waggle." Punk.

3. Yesterday, we were pulling into a drive-through for lunch. We were again helping my friends, this time with the Evil Genius in tow. He was hungry. He insists on eating regularly, unreasonable child. We had to make a left turn, and the establishment we'd chosen is near a highway exit, so it's fairly busy. We watched traffic pulling off the highway, several cars making right turns into the place we wanted. On fellow, in particular, caught our eye...because he was turning so slowly we could have painted the White House pink before he finished. He didn't move any faster once in the driveway of the establishment...leaving several cars, ours included, with our butts hanging out on a busy state road. His minivan wobbled this way and that, first towards the fuel pumps, then towards the drive through...pardon me, the drive-thru...than towards the pumps, this way and that. I could have pushed his vehicle faster than he was driving it, even with a bad knee and wearing the wrong shoes for the job.

He wavered into the driver through lane, then...stopped. In the middle. Where no one could get past him. He stopped and sat. Then he backed up a bit, seemingly intent on parking. I moved to go around him...and he pulled forward and stopped again!!

Finally, he moved enough out of the way to go around...after Someone once more reached over and reminded me what the horn is for. I'm not much of a honker, more content to quietly seethe or fling colorful, creative curses at people when I'm not simply being patient. Someone, however, feels that one should let other drivers know when they're being ass-clowns.

When we left the drive-through, the mad from the van was standing outside the vehicle, looking around like he didn't know how he'd gotten there. He was poorly parked. His tags were Wisconsin tags...I wonder if he'd driven all night? Or perhaps our Georgia sunshine had overwhelmed him.

That's just three examples...I have loads more, mostly from the last few weeks. What the Hell, people? Has the pollen gone to our heads??

What kind of roadway fun have you been experiencing...or am I the only one?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thoughtfetti

We've been busy 'round here at Casa de Crazy.
~~~~~
Friday we brought the Evil Genius over to his Grandma D's house (where his father lives, now) so he could spend the weekend with Daddy. While we were there, Someone and I weeded and re-planted Mizz D's memorial garden - the one she planted for her daughter who died of cancer a few years back. It was in sad shape, and I'd told her I would help with it. Someone and I worked on it together, although Someone did most of the real work - I just planted stuff. A couple of the flowers:

~~~~~
On April 15 (Mum's birthday), Tiger Kitty finally has her babies. Whew, she was starting to look like a cat-balloon, she was so big. We knew where she was hiding them, and on Saturday we went and payed a call. She was content to let us pet her and the babies, too. Good grief, they're cute! Anyone want a kitten??
~~~~~
Seems like everything is ready to pop.
~~~~~
Sometimes, it's OK to pea in the yard...
~~~~~
This morning, Ki (one of the indoor kitties) decided to wake me up by sneezing on my face. Nice.
~~~~~
How was your weekend?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

But Imagine the Drumstick!

When I went outside, my heart sank. The pen that I just knew I'd closed was standing opens, all the occupants gone. There wasn't even a feather left behind, just some scratched up earth. The day was dreary, the light grey and wan, and I was pissed.

How freakin' difficult is it, really, to close a dang gate? Someone else must have been in there and forgotten, or been careless. You have to close it just so or it won't latch.

I stomped down the steps, muttering to myself - I put a lot of time, money, and effort into those birds and I just had to get them back.

I called out to them, a warbling coo ending with "...chook, chook, chook, chook, chook..." that usually made them come running - it was the call I made when I brought them treats. Not a peep, not a feather, nothing. The world around me was hushed, almost muffled, not a breath of wind blowing.

I called again, still no response.

I came around a grove of trees and saw one hunkered down on the ground. She stood as I approached, towering above me. She seemed happy enough to see me, and she began her hopping run to get to me. She tripped on a hummock and went down on her knee, squawking.

I got her back into the pen and wondered where the rest of them had got to, if they'd been loosed on purpose, or even stolen. I wondered if I would ever get them back, my experimental, fifty-foot-tall, one-legged, buffle-headed ostriches.
~~~~~
If you think reading about them is peculiar, try seeing 'em in your dreams.

Friday, April 16, 2010

They Should Come With a Mute Button

A Play In One Long, Loud, Pointless, Endless Act

The Principles:

Tween 1, a voluble lass who thinks herself witty, charming, and adored by all who chance to be within earshot.

Tween 2, largely interchangeable with Tween 1.

Tween 3, quiet, seemingly shy, with an affected lisp that she undoubtedly thinks is endearing. It is not.

Secondary Characters:

A determinedly cheerful waitress.

An adult male and two adult females who may or may not be the parents of one of more of the Principles. An adult male, two adult females, and one Evil Genius who are the unwitting, unwilling audience to the play.

The setting: TGI Fridays on a Thursday night, three adjoining booths. The party including the Evil Genius is in the first booth, the Principles in the second, the other adults in the third.

Determinedly cheerful waitress: Welcome to TGI Fridays, my name is DeeDee and I'll be taking care of you tonight, what can I get you to drink? I can get you something from the bar and we have soft drinks and water...

Evil Genius party places their drink orders, uncomplicated, and peruses menu.

Tween 1: (directed at Tween 2 in a cheerful manner) Ohmygod, Ashliegh totally hates you!

Adult Male: Start spreading the neeeewwwwsssssss...

Tween 2: (seemingly unconcerned) That's OK because I hate her anyway.

Adult Male: I'm leavin' tuhdaaaaayyyyyyyy...

Tween 3: Mumble. Lisp.

Adult Female 1: I need a refill. Waitress!

Adult Male: I'll have another one.

Adult Female 2: I want another one, too.

A glass is thunked against a table surface several times - either the meeting is called to order or someone is signalling the need for more libations.

Tweens 1 & 2: What? I Can't hear you!

Tween 3: Mumble!

Tweens 1 & 2: Oh.

Determinedly cheerful waitress: Ok, here are your drinks, are you ready to order? What can I get for you? Did you want that dressing on the side? I'll get that right in for you!

A lull of thirty seconds ensues.

The entire unoccupied staff of the restaurant begins marching through the dining room, clapping and singing something unintelligible which may or may not relate to the natal day of a patron. The Tweens are enraptured and squeal with delight despite the action taking place o the opposite and of the establishment. As the staff pass back by the Tweens' booth, they demand to know of there will be more singing, and ask for cake.

Tween 1: I want cake!

Tween 2: I want cake!!

Determinedly cheerful waitress: Next time you have to come sing with us!

Tween 3: Mumble. Lisp.

The Tweens now launch into a twenty minute run-on sentence of a conversation peppered with "cake", and claims of "It's my birthday", which grows louder whenever staff members pass by. The Tweens inform one of the Adult Females that they have told the waitress it's their birthday. The woman sounds annoyed at having her drink disturbed and growls "Oh, Meredith, you didn't" between swallows.

The Evil Genius party has their meals at this point and are trying to have a conversation, but it's difficult between the audio assault coming from the speakers, and the Tweens merriment behind them.

Finally, the Fridays staff come clapping past the Evil Genius party, perform their song and dance for the Tweens, and ask whose birthday it is.

Tween 1: Oh, it's not my birthday.

Tween 2: It's not MY birthday.

Tween 3: It's not my biwfday.

Determinedly cheerful waitress (at maximum volume): Alright TGI Fridays Patrons, we're not sure whose birthday it is but give it up anyway!!!

A song ensues, the staff wnaders off, and the Tweens giggle about their success in scoring a free dessert.

Determinedly cheerful waitress (at the Evil Genius table): Can I get you folks anything else?

Younger Adult Female: A mute button (as she points discreetly over her shoulder at the Tweens)?

Determinedly cheerful waitress: Oh, ha, ha, yeah, I hear ya...

The determinedly cheerful waitress wanders away.

Adult Male (voice slurring): You're getting a spanking when we get home. Yep. You're getting spanked!

Tween 1: Yup, uh-huh.

Tween 2: Yeah, right.

Tween 3: Mumble. Lisp.

Adult Male: Yeah, spankings all around...

Member of the Evil Genius party: Is it just me, or does he sound creepy?

The Tweens continue their barrage of shrieks, giggles, commentary on the patrons around them, and general Tweenery until they depart for the restroom en-masse, at which point the two Adult Females decide they wish to go outside and pollute their lungs, volubly bemoaning the fact that they can't bring their drinks with them.

The Evil Genius party, having paid their tab, beat a hasty retreat before act two can commence.

Close curtain.
~~~~~
Whew.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jiggety Jig

We're home again.

We got home last night, but I was too tired to blog. Whew.

Hidden River? Beautiful site. Hot tub. Pool. Forest. River walk. Shaded, level campsites with power and water hookups. Indoor, flushing toilets and lovely hot showers. Clothing usually optional (this weekend it was not, because the event was open to the public. The lady who runs the place is feisty, fun, and has a tart sense of humor (she said she was going to keep me because I made her laugh)...I like her. Her daughter's a nice gal, too.

Sadly, the event was something of a bust in the numbers department. There were a few vendors, some terrific presenters, and a handful of attendees, but nothing like the numbers they were hoping for. We managed to have a lovely time despite selling very little for my friend. I think we may have had the best sales of the event, though, which is really sad.

Getting there was an adventure. The next time someone gives me directions that include "Drive for a while through a lot of nothing, then turn at the light with the Hardees on the left corner", I'm saving myself four hours of driving in circles wondering where the heck I am and Mapquesting it. Luckily, despite our four hour detour, Someone and I kept our senses of humor and managed to extricate ourselves from almost-the-middle-of-nowhere and get to the site, and we saw some lovely countryside while we were wandering. The thunderstorms didn't help any, though.

Set-up was fairly quick if not painless - too much caffeine and too little water combined with lack of sleep and unhealthy eating make for a visit to the woods halfway through getting the 10 x 20 up. Bleh.

We slept very well the first night...but the next morning had a rocky start. We woke to the vibrating thrum of an Air Force squadron landing on the van. Or, it could have been four-million and two mosquitoes. Huge ones. Hummingbird size, at least. And they wouldn't die when we smooshed them...they would rise up and taunt us! Mosquitonators! I risked life, limb, and my forty-acre butt to climb out and find the repellent. Once we were spritzed down, the critters left us alone, but not before trying to carry off the van.

Days were spent not selling anything, and evening were spent schmoozing with the other vendors and campers around the fire, drumming, dancing, and singing. Relaxing, that.

Yesterday we stayed open as long as we could...but packing had to happen, and we busted our butts to get it done. An ant bit my toe, but I soldiered on. We left late in the afternoon and were home just after ten last night, and today I'll be feeling that pack-out and drive...but they were worth it.

The cats were very happy to see us - they like Mum well enough, and the Evil Genius is their boy, but they missed their adult humans, and told us as much by holding us down all night and stepping on my face this morning. It's good to be loved.

Now, if you'll excuse me (and even if you won't), I came home to a jungle and have some planting to do...and it's too nice a day to just sit here blogging. How was your weekend?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hittin' the Road

Here's hoping the road doesn't hit back!

Someone and I are off to the Southernmost portions of Georgia, leaving the Evil Genius behind with Mum (poor Mum, she's going to need a week to recover from four days with the child) to frolic and play while we sweat, groan, and...umm...hey, get your mind out of the gutter!!...set up a booth to vend clothing for a friend of mine. We're going to a nice little place called Hidden River for the weekend. I've been sewing and sewing, and slacking and slacking, and I hope I bring home empty bins and a fat cash box for my friend - she's a terrific lady who deserves a little success. Alas, I fear I'm not the person to garner that for her, but I'll try my dangdest.

Meanwhile, I am sick as a dog because the trees insist on sending out pollen in the spring - unreasonable, if you ask me - and I have allergies that come and go and generally wait until it's least convenient to strike. Bleh.

We'll be camping, and I'm hoping the mosquitoes haven't hatched out yet, but even if they have I shan't let them spoil our fun...and, work aside, it should be fun.

There's no Internet there and I haven't pre-posted anything, but I'm sure you'll manage to have a good weekend without me. I, however, shall suffer terribly without you, dear Internet. See you Monday!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sensory Input

What I see: A sky so blue, so rich, I feel immersed in it simply by looking, awash in the heights, the depths, the smooth, cool, silken clarity of it. Pink popcorn tree (ornamental cherry) shouting for attention with a profusion of blooms, pale ruffles curling delicately around themselves, nestled in the nascent leaves along their branches, shaking themselves in the breeze. Lima beans in the window, reminding me of Jack's magic beans that grew and grew, striving towards the sun, newly sprouted but already vigorous. Sprouted herbs waiting to sink their roots into the earth, leaning towards the window and the sun, feathery dill, tiny wee oregano, eager basil, future pickles and sauces and pesto. Pea vine climbing the string we put up. Bird's pet plant from which he has already harvested a pod, peas eaten raw and in the moment and enjoyed. Tomato plants trying to grow beyond seedling stage, dreaming of salads to be. Sunlight dappling the ground, urging things to grow! grow! wake up and grow!

What I hear: An auditory crazy quilt of birds, each one trying to convince all the others that he is the finest. Someone and the Evil Genius discussing math, and dragons, and vermiculture. Tiger Kitty (the not-very-wild wild cat) out front, mewling little meowls, ready to have her kittens and demanding one of us come outside and pet her, dang it, because OW! And aircraft droning in the distance, counterpoint to the buzzing of the carpenter bees busily turning my front steps into sawdust.

What I smell: A breeze that would be fresh but for the pound of pollen per breath. Sunlight on wood, on earth, on growing things. Breakfast, recently eaten, of onion, garlic, mushrooms, and spinach sauteed in butter and olive oil, eggs scrambled in, sausage/cream cheese dip and grated cheese added, English muffins toasted and buttered. The faint acrid scent of sheets that were wet and want washing. Cut grass, sweet.

What I taste: Remnants of garlic and onion, hints of strawberry jam on a buttered English muffin, the tang of cranberry/pomegranate juice on my tongue. Pollen, borne along the breeze.

What I feel: The gentle brush of breeze on skin. The rough skin on the bottom of my foot rubbing against my leg. Fullness from breakfast. Sated, content. Tired. Soft kitty fur against my cheek.

How 'bout you?

Monday, April 5, 2010

So, What Does It Mean...

...when you dream you're driving through Europe in a cute little convertible with Clint Eastwood, and you stop at your French grandmother's Italian chalet (because doesn't everyone think "chalet" when they think of Italy??) for the night and he won't sleep with you and and you tell him you know he won't sleep with you because he's scared of you because you're so much younger, but he's hiding behind some excuse and you think letting the age gap keep you from having fun is specious, and you also know that he won't take some movie roll because it's the male lead and he thinks he can't carry it off any more, but he's making some other lame excuse about the script, and he's pissed off because you're right so he goes and sulks in the bathroom all night and you sleep alone, leave together the next day, part ways a little while later, and then your French grandmother calls and bitches you out because you left the bathroom of her Italian Chalet a shambles and she has to replace the heated tile you tore up and you have to explain that you never even saw the bathroom because Clint Eastwood wouldn't let you in because he was having a hissy and you didn't know it was torn up, and who has a chalet in Italy anyway?? and she's all "Well, if it was Clint Eastwood, then..." and you think that sucks because if it was you who'd torn up the bathroom, her head would be spinning around on her neck and she'd be breathing fire?

Someone and I agree is may mean it's inadvisable to eat jalapeno cheese fries before bed. What's your take?

Sorry for the absence - it's Spring, the days are behaving themselves nicely and demanding I go outside and air out my lungs (and fill them with pollen which will have me sneezing, hacking, coughing, and rheumy eyed, and isn't THAT a pretty mental picture?), I've been stressed about some things at Casa de Crazy, and I'm getting ready to set up and run a little booth for a friend at a show next weekend, which partly means I have a ton of sewing to do (among other things) and can't even be bothered to separate my thoughts into real paragraphs but instead am forced to write in run-on sentences.

I'll try not to be so lame next time I write...at this rate that'll be sometime in 2012.