Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Weight of Fall

Fall. That lovely time of year when the days are warm and the nights are cool, the backyard campfires send pungent smoke curling into the sky, the pumpkin spice lattes flow freely, and the spent leaves fall from the trees making it almost impossible to detect the piles of dog poop I need to scoop up before the depositor of those poops steps first in them and then through my back door into my kitchen..

And then there's the ragweed.

(Photo credit: Reticulated Writer. View of the bike path near downtown)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Day 31: If we were sharing a box of wine on my porch

Tonight is the last night of July, and I'm pretty happy that I managed to only miss 2 days this month. I'll make those up, of course, because my OCD insists on it. Coraline has written -- or at least inspired -- some of the most popular posts this month. One of the reasons I haven't been blogging as much is because I thought my life as a single grandmother might not be nearly as interesting as my life as a single woman living alone was, but apparently I was wrong. I intend to encourage Coraline to start her own blog as soon as she can write.

As always, I appreciate everyone who comes here to read and stays until the end of the post. Blogging experts advise choosing a topic for a blog and then sticking to the damn thing in each and every post. Other rules include posting consistently and keeping posts short so readers don't have to scroll. I'm pretty sure my batting average wouldn't get me into Little League, must less the pros. My rule is I do what I want, and you all get what you paid for.

All kidding aside, I, my ego, and my Muse Dolores do sincerely thank you for reading.

And now, on to tonight's random, rambling one-sided conversation which really would not happen if we were sharing a box of wine for realz. I would let you talk sometimes, especially if you wanted to ask me something about myself. That's if, OC, we were sitting on my front porch sharing a box of wine. (It's OK if you drink something else as long as you bring potato chips and chocolate to share.)


If we were sharing a box of wine, I would counsel you that experience tells me cucumber slices are a poor substitute for potato chips no matter how much salt you put on them.

If we were sharing a box of wine, I would tell you I've decided to stop checking out books at the library. And that's significant because between the 2 of us, Coraline and I always have at least 50 books and videos checked out. It's obscene really, but they let me take them for free, and so I get greedy. I've decided though that I really need to read the books I own, both hard copy and on my Kindle, instead of putting the library books first and never getting to the ones on my personal shelves.

The other day I took back a full bag of books so heavy I could barely carry it. I kept only one book, the latest by Louise Erdrich, titled LaRose. I'll still check out DVD's, but no more books for a while. I feel lighter already. I'm going to get rid of a lot more books in August too. It's not right that I should feel so weighted down by paper and words. Sometimes I think I'd like to live in a hotel and just visit my house.

If we were sharing a box of wine,  I'd tell you about the play I'm in, titled Semple Gifts. It's a play about Aimee Semple McPherson, who had a crazy interesting Pentecostal life. I'm playing one of the lead roles, so I'm glad it's reader's theatre so I don't have to memorize a long script. Apparently someone else was cast in my role, and she wasn't very reliable and quit or something. I don't know for sure. I said yes when the playwright/director asked me, because I miss theatre so much. I think it's going to be good. The music is fun, and I learned a lot about a pretty influential woman in American 20th-century history. We would raise a glass and toast Aimee, and the irony would not escape us, because she was probably against drinking, at least on paper.

If we were sharing a box of wine, I'd tell you every time I have a birthday, I feel like I become more and more transparent, and someday I will become utterly invisible. I'm finally tempted to lie about my age, and I hate that. So vain. Only a couple of people really give a shit about my age, and that says more about them than it does me. You would try to reassure me, but I'm a realist. I would appreciate that you tried though, and then we would probably end up talking about dating -- which I'm not going to do here.

If we were sharing a box of wine, I would tell you I sometimes buy the best presents! Coraline's favorite birthday present from me was definitely her magenta Kindle Fire that came with Amazon's Freetime. That means  she has access to hundreds of books, movies and games free for a year. Her addiction was immediate. And scary to me.

But I think the best gift I gave her was 8 cans of shaving cream. Often after I've finished my shower I'll call her in and wash her hair. Then I'll give her a big pile of shaving cream to play with and she'll stay in the shower running up my water bill for a while. So I gave her her own shaving cream so she could play with it out on the glass-topped patio table.

She had a ball. I had to get my hands in there too, and it felt so cool -- smooth and squishy. Eventually though, she had to come in for dinner, and by then she was covered in foam from her forehead to her feet. I had to spray it off with the garden hose. I thought the cool water would feel good on such a hot day, but she started whining. "What is the big deal?" I said. "It's only water."

"It's not that," she whined. "You got my clothes wet, and dark pink just isn't my color. I need to get these off."

1st world problems.

If we were sharing a box of wine, I'd tell you I have such shitty luck with gardens.  My community garden plot is in a new bed that sits right under a tree. Not only that, the soil is loaded with weed seeds that grow like fucking tribbles, That's my plot there. Not the one you can see. The one on the other side of the tree.

My garden in my yard suffers from the same fate. Too much shade from the neighbors' trees on either side. The neighbor to the north is growing a massive patch of poison ivy up the trunk of said huge tree while my poor tomatoes are pale and sickly looking. I think I should probably give up and put my energy elsewhere next year. Coraline thinks we should just grow raspberries, and let people pick as much as they want. I'm not sure that's the answer either.

If we were sharing a box of wine, we would laugh about this. Because we either need to laugh or run screaming from this country in terror.

If we were sharing a box of wine, it would be empty and I'd mention that it's after 3:00, so I should get to bed. Feel free to crash in the guest room. I'll open some windows and turn on a fan.

What would you tell me if we were sharing a box of wine?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Day 30: 44 Things

I don't know why I'm compelled to do this silly thing tonight. I used to love reading these when people would do them on Facebook. That was back before people could click a button and share an article or a video, back before my Facebook feed looked like the evening news. In the midst of all of that sharing, I noticed a friend had taken the time to do this tonight, so I decided to do it too. Since I didn't have time to write both this and a blog post, it's going to be a blog post whether it wants to be or not. Feel free to add your own in the comments. I'd love to read them.

44 Odd (and not so odd) Things You Don't Know About Me

1. Do you like blue cheese? Yes. And all of blue cheese's cheesy cousins too.
2. Have you ever smoked? Yes. I still miss it sometimes, even though I quit decades ago. I still dream that I've started smoking again. I think it's because I grew up thinking smoking was something adults should do. Also, it's a bitch of an addiction.
3. Do you own a gun? No. I just stick my index finger out and my thumb up and say, "Pow! Pow!"
4. What is your favorite flavor? Chocolate. I hate having to choose favorites though because I also like banana, strawberry, grape, blueberry, carrot, potato chip, and wine flavors. 
5. Do you get nervous before doctor visits? Usually. Not so much now that I've found out she'll treat me much better if I let her think I'm a retired Lt. Col. It's not my fault they fucked up my records.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? They're disgusting. I buy the ones without nitrates -- or is it nitrites? -- that are supposed to be better and cost the earth. Mostly I don't eat them, and I don't feed them to Coraline either.
7. Favorite Movie? I hate choosing favorites. I'll say Sound of Music although Crossroads (the one about the blues) is a close second. I've watched the cutting head scene at least 100 times. I'll post it below. White Christmas is a good one too, as is Prancer.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Water, if I have to drink in the morning. I prefer to sleep in the morning.
9. Do you do pushups? Do I look like I do pushups? Fuck, no. Pushups are hard on my wrists and make me feel clumsy and weak.
 10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? A little silver J that I used to wear all the time until the chain broke. It reminds me of who I want to be. I also have a queen necklace, but I think I'm allergic to the metal.
11. Favorite hobbies? So many. Playing music, gardening, reading, cycling, socializing, karaoke, crocheting, collage/art journaling, acting. I'll post some of my hobby art soon.
12. Do you have A.D.D.? Probably, but I've never been diagnosed. I never get done all that I want and even need to get done.
13. What’s the one thing you dislike about yourself? One thing? See #12. I could go on and on and on, but why do so? The thing I berate myself most about is not writing enough though. So I'll say that one, because being overweight is so trite and most of us dislike that about ourselves.
14. What is your middle name? Jo. 
15. Name three thoughts at this moment. This is probably a really stupid thing to post on my blog. Standing on concrete all day in a hot market with no AC apparently destroyed enough brain cells that this is all I can write tonight. I need to go to bed earlier tonight than I usually do. I think that every night.
16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water. Wine. The blood of innocents.
17. Current worry? Sending Coraline to all-day kindergarten in a couple of weeks.
18. Current annoyance? Once again I don't have enough hours in the day to answer this one, but I'll choose the way my neighbors park. Total disregard for their neighbors, while at the same time complaining about how there's not enough parking. It's pretty crazy. And annoying. Also, while I'm whining, I've had a rash under my eyes for weeks now, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to face #5.
19. Favorite place to be? My front porch with friends. But again, I have a lot of favorite places. The friends part is most important. The bike path along the river is a close second. Ugh. Favorites.
20. How do you ring in the new year? I usually go to a party with a large extended family of relatives and friends who have allowed me to be a part of their family. We consume many delicious homemade pizzas and lots of booze, sing karaoke, talk, laugh, toast with champagne, shoot off poppers, hug.
21. Where would you like to go? Ireland. Montana. Seattle. Arkansas. Anyplace.
22. Name three people who will complete this? I don't know. Surprise me.
23. Do you own slippers? Of course. I live in the midwest where we have winters. I own several pairs.
24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Really? Black. 
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Nah. Too cold and slick. Egyptian cotton for me. Or flannel in the winter.
26. Can you whistle? Certainly. I just put my lips together and blow. 
27. What are your favorite colors? Black, teal, and blue.
28. Would you be a pirate? Not unless I can be the captain.
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? "Let It Go."
30. Favorite girl's name? Josephine.
31. Favorite boys name? Joe.
 32. What’s in your pocket right now? Nothing, but only because my cell phone is beside me on the desk.
 33. Last thing that made you laugh? I was at a friend's house tonight, and his dad, who is in his 90's was telling us about hitchhiking across the country back when he was 16. He has some great stories.
34. Best toy as a child? When I was 4 my cousin bought me a guitar at the grocery store where he worked. He was in high school. I was visiting my aunt and uncle for a week, and she took me grocery shopping. I saw that little guitar up on the wall and I wanted it so bad. I might even have asked for it, although that wouldn't have been something I'd usually do. I didn't expect to get things. When my cousin came home from work that evening, he gave me the guitar. I was so thrilled. I took it home with me, and my mom made me let my cousins who lived up the street play with it the night I got home. One of them broke one of the strings. Of course. It's still one of the best toys anybody ever bought me.
35. Worst injury you ever had? I tripped and fell face first into a brick hearth. You don't want to hear the details. I lived though.
36. Where would you love to live? Dayton, Ohio. Although I've heard good things about Austin.
37. How many TVs do you have? One. Computers are another question.
38. Who is your loudest friend? I have lots of theater friends. Do you really want me to choose the loudest?
39. How many dogs do you have? One. Crow Cocker, a 90-pound autistic blackish standard poodle. He's a good dog. If only he could brush himself and pick the boogers out of the corners of his eyes.
40. Does someone trust you? I hope so. I try to be trustworthy.
41. What book(s) are you reading at the moment? American Gods, LaRose, and Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction. Plus Pippi Longstocking and a Pixie Hollow book with Coraline.
42. What’s your favorite candy? Dark chocolate with sea salt. Or salted caramel. Or homemade marshmallow. What's with this favorite shit?
43. What’s your favorite sports team? Wright State University Lady Raiders. 
44. Favorite month? Summer.

Now it's your turn!
(Template in the comments.)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Day 29: Dildos I wouldn't buy

I realized today when my son sent me an article about dildos it was time to stop writing about politics. No, not that dildo. I have no idea how a person would use that dildo, assuming it's even a dildo and not some kind of fish from deep in the ocean. People will call anything a dildo these days. For example, did you know you can get Pokémon dildos to poke yourself with?

Ooops, sorry. My mistake. Pokemoan dildos. Capitalizing on the captivating Pokémon Go game that's so popular, these hand-made dildos are sure to go fast. Pokémon Go is so ubiquitous my daughter even caught one in my van the other day. I couldn't see it, but she showed me a photo of it on my steering wheel so I have to believe it was there. It's not such a stretch to believe some poor woman is going to discover she's got one in her vagina some day.

Or she could just put one there herself.

I'm not sure if my son was trying to get me interested in Pokémon Go by telling me about these dildos or what. I'm probably the last person on the planet who is not playing , but I do have reasons. First my phone is too old. Its memory is shot. And not only that, I'm simply not interested. I have a dog, and walking him gets me out of the house. 

Not only am I not interested in the game, I also don't find these dildos very appealing, although a couple of them are almost clever. Like the grass-type Pokémoan named Bulby that has a seed tip. I mean .... a seed tip!?! That's so penile. Somebody was stoned when he came up with that one. Oh, and I have no doubt it was a he.

 And then there's the one named Squirty that's a water Pokémoan. I don't get the appeal of the little turtle shell. It kind of looks like a venereal disease, or maybe a turd, but I'm sure Pokémon fans would recognize the need for a turdle shell on the dildo named Squirty that doesn't squirt.

The one that's most disturbing, is the one named Piky, because Piky is an electric-type Pokémoan and he's .... he's ..... I said he's. See this is what happens when you start giving names to your dildos and butt plugs. They become almost human, and before you know it you've got a camera crew in your house filming a documentary about lonely misfits who fall in love with their life-size dolls. (No offense to any reader who likes to fuck life-size adult dolls as long as it's consensual.) I digress.

Look, it's probably just me. I don't play Pokémon Go, so I don't get why somebody would want a lightning bolt plugging up their rectum. I don't judge though. It's not a real lightning bolt, although I do think playing with these sex toys could invite trouble and possibly other real Pokémons into your private orifices. My van was locked and one still got in. I'll just let you imagine where that might lead.

Finally, there's a fire-type Pokémoan with a flaming tail named Charmy. Supposedly he "gives intense orgasms everywhere [he] goes."  Umm, sorry Charmy, but I don't believe that. First, that pointy tip looks like it could cause pain. Maybe even a rupture. And second, that's not the way orgasms work. Poking a flame-shaped dildo into .... well, any orifice at all does not produce an orgasm. I find that claim quite disappointing and not at all charming.
I've never understood the veins.

So there you have it, all you Pokémon fans. Number one on nerdy Christmas lists all over the world. Order early, because these babies are custom orders, and they're shipped from Australia. What will those crazy Aussies think of next? Light saber dildos?

Nevermind. They've got those too. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Day 28: Deal me in

I'll get back to writing about something else tomorrow night, I promise. I spent the past few nights watching the DNC, in case you couldn't tell. This night I spent obnoxiously posting the juiciest bits of Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech on Facebook. Even I can hardly believe I paid a senior $5 to get drunk and do my outside-of-class practice typing when I was in high school so I could go to basketball practice. I'm a modern miracle I type so fast now. (Is it still called typing even though it's not on a typewriter?) I digress.

I had to watch, because history was being made. And that really matters to me. And also, even though I know I was drinking the kool-aid, the kool-aid tasted delicious to me! And that matters to me too, because I can get cynical at times. The speeches made me feel hopeful. I'm not even sorry about all the kool-aid I drank. Burp.

And the other thing that matters to me is getting some sleep, so I can go to work tomorrow and stand on a concrete floor for a few hours and try to avoid the woman who works next to me and who thinks Obama, and really all black people, are .... Ugh. I can't go into it. I just want to avoid talking to her.

Before I retire though, I do want to share what I consider the most important of those quotations from HRC's speech with you. I mean, it's important if you think the survival of the human race is important, and I realize some of you may be cynical and fed-up enough that you're not sure. I only have to look at the precious face of my granddaughter to know that I am sure. So here are the words. 

"A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man you can trust with nuclear weapons."

I made it big, because it's absolutely the most important thing that came out of what I considered to be a fine and inspiring speech. If there is any man in this country who should not have his finger on the button of a nuclear weapon, it's Donald Trump. Many things are important. One thing could destroy this planet as we know it.

Don't worry. I have more to say about vaginas before the month is over. And I owe 2 extra posts for the week I was celebrating my birthday. After tonight, we're back to our regularly scheduled programming.