Friday, February 27, 2009

Hungry Like the Wolf

Wednesday I had lunch with someone (postworthy in itself), and that someone is one of the eponymous wolves of this blog, in fact the wolf. Lunch was at Sushi 101, also postworthy since sushi is a rare fish indeed in rural South Carabunga. And it was delicious. But I digress.

This particular friend, whom I shall refer to as Best Writer Girl Friend (or BWGF), became my friend in the early '90s. If you think waaaaaay back to that era, you might remember the two titles that were violated to form the phrase in question. They are Women Who Run With The Wolves, and Dances With Wolves. The former was the female empowerment bible du jour, and the latter was -- in case you were unborn or living on the moon at the time -- a wildly popular movie. The title refers to the protagonist's honorary Native American name. No doubt in PC-world I should be able to name the tribe/nation and dialect, but excuse me, I haven't seen the movie. And it was a movie, people.

[Oh, and anyone who confuses wolf-bitch with that appalling pop-culture artifact, cougar, should expect to be mauled in a dark restaurant sometime very soon. We are watching you from the shadowed booth in the corner, and we are sharpening our pencils. ]

Women Who Run With The Wolves' popularity coincided with the advent of female friendships in my life. Prior to my thirties I had had only one or two close friendships with women. I was profoundly distrustful of women, whether because I am one and know too well our faults and duplicity, or because I was raised with brothers, by a mother who was beautiful, intelligent, briskly efficient, and keenly sarcastic. She had no patience with the girly life (simpering and eye-fluttering produced a snort of derision) hates fussing over clothes, thinks makeup is a chore, and would rather read a good mystery than go to the mall.
Entering my thirties I had the good fortune to encounter a therapist who had a practical approach -- she encouraged me to find emotional sustenance in people other than my therapist and my husband, in activities other than therapy or marriage. She also gave me homework: read Women Who Run with The Wolves. So yes, ma'am, I did. The book has endured some backlash but I think it has held up well, and it will always hold a place in my heart and my psyche. My affection for it may have to do with my childhood obsession with The Jungle Book. NOT the Disney mishmash; but the authentic, humid, deeply British yet anti-colonialist Kipling original, beloved by my passionate nine-year-old heart and woven deep into my subconscious.

As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur belled
Once, twice and again!
And a doe leaped up, and a doe leaped up
From the pond in the wood where the wild deer sup.
This I, scouting alone, beheld,
Once, twice and again!
As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur belled
Once, twice and again!
And a wolf stole back, and a wolf stole back
To carry the word to the waiting pack,
And we sought and we found and we bayed on his track
Once, twice and again!
As the dawn was breaking the Wolf Pack yelled
Once, twice and again!
Feet in the jungle that leave no mark!
Eyes that can see in the dark--the dark!
Tongue--give tongue to it! Hark! O hark!
Once, twice and again!
Hunting Song of the Seeonee Pack, by Rudyard Kipling

Having done my homework, I set out into the wilderness of suburban life. One community theater audition later,* I had several friends, all women. I nurtured these friendship all the more fiercely for the novelty of sisterhood. I am very glad that I did. Two of those friendships (hi Tinkerbell) have lasted fifteen years; without the two of them, I would have missed out on a great deal of joy, and the best things that have happened to me since have been all the sweeter for sharing with them. One of the two is BWGF, without whose support I would have given up on writing long ago.

Fast forward a couple of years. BWGF's then boyfriend, who had been taught to understand the importance of sisterhood and not get in our way, referred to her circle of friends/writers as "that pack of wolves you run with." Which phrase, being pretty funny, lodged itself in our lexicon.

Another coupla years, and a glass of wine or two over lunch with the wolves, and I went home to report on the state of the pack. During that post-prandial post-mortem, I received my honorary faux Native American name: I am Lunches With Wolves.

I am not entirely sure whether the phrase was uttered by me or The Him. I have a tendency toward confabulation and often co-opt his stories, as he co-opts mine. So I will split the difference and say that we came up with it. (but I'm sure it had to be me.)

To BWGF and my she-wolf friends, old and new, and a nod to Kipling:

Here's to the she-wolves who've kept me sane,
the sisters who ward from impending pain,
who welcome the night with a wild refrain:
Once, twice, and again!

When's the next full moon?

[*The show was Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and I was Emilie the courtesan. You know, the writing desk.]

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Do You Take In Your Coffee?

In case anyone is still unconvinced, today I will relate an anecdote supporting the contention that coffee is a drug. Albeit useful, legal, and available at most beverage purveyors throughout most of the world.
Because of the sensitive nature of the topic of addiction, and to protect persons depicted, we will refer to the addict in question as M.E.

Said addict keeps (or kept) her coffee in a heavy glass mason jar, the kind with a hinged clamp-type lid thingie. That is, the already ground coffee -- like many addicts, she insists that the best coffee is freshly ground, and buys her black smack uncut: whole-bean French Roast is her preferred fix.

M.E. is clumsy, which she attributes to congenital dorkiness but this observer suspects may be a symptom of brain damage caused by her addiction. Yesterday she dropped the jar of coffee and the lid broke. Because of the clamp thingie the lid remained in place and she chose denial rather than dealing with the situation immediately (another likely symptom of brain damage). She put the jar on the shelf.

This morning she shuffled into the kitchen (six -o-freakin'-clock), dazed, hands almost imperceptibly a-tremble, and pulled out the stash and the joe-bong. When she opened the jar, the cracked lid finally fell apart. She stared in dismay at her stash, noticing the flakes and bits of broken glass that had mixed with the grounds by the action of the original impact and subsequent handling of the jar.

Here is where the ugly truth of addiction asserts itself.
This was good coffee, M.E. thought, the organic stuff from Mexico that Beth gave her for Christmas.
There was no other coffee in the house.
She hadn't scored any at the grocery store because it was the end of the month and she was broke and this jar was supposed to last her one more week until she could afford more.


She did.

M.E. brewed it knowing that her joe-bong, a cheap $10 made-in-china model, had a tendency to back up and send the grounds flooding over the filter and into the pot.

She brought some back from
Honduras last summer.
Which it did.

Having one or two brain cells left, she chose not to drink this brew (and by "chose" I am indicating that she thought about it). She dumped it in the sink and carefully rinsed out the pot and the basket, and wiped out the basket tray and the water reservoir (for the uninitiated -these are components of the joe-bong, known as a "coffee pot" in the medical literature ). These actions indicate that she understood the potential danger of ingesting broken glass.

At this point I expected M.E. to dispose of the rest of the tainted coffee. I'm sure you would think the same. Those of you who are not twitching husks of your former selves.


She did not.

M.E. carefully adjusted a new filter, fiddled with the basket mechanism, and checked the position of the pot several times to ensure adequate filter function. She brewed another pot. Successfully filtered (we hope).
And drank it.

Don't let this happen to you.


*ps - does anyone else savor the delicious irony that coke is smuggled in huge honking crates of coffee?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mayhem in ImaginationLand

I've resisted posting about Tigrrrl's antics because I swore to myself that I wouldn't, and I struggled mightily to resist but as it turns out, here I am exploiting my child. I promise this will be the ONE AND ONLY time. I've made a deal with Rae at Us In Tejas. She will handle future Tigrrrrl awesomeness, and I will preserve the fiction of parental responsibility.

But just this once.

FYI: a) I did ask for, and receive, the author's release for the short story. Not the vocabulary list, but I feel that was implied; b) all spelling and punctuation (including quotation marks) is true to original; c) we recently watched The Civil War as part of American History, and are covering Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome this month, along with the Civil Rights Movement;
d) Tigrrrl refers to her own private world as ImaginationLand. Where animals talk, women wear whatever they please any time of day, words may sound like English but have meanings known only to native speakers, and men are accessories. Also beads and sequins are major food groups.

First, "Use the word in a sentence" exercise from 2/06/09

1. Interrupt: "Do Not interupt Me, John."
2. Support: "Why did you support Them, Bregro?"
3. License: "Show me your license."
4. Cunning: "You Ain't As cunning As my cat, Bob."
5. Marriage: "Marriage is a Pain, Carol, I Know That."
6. Publish: "You Ai'nt gonna Publish No book, even in Fifty years."
7. Minimum: "Your Minimum is just one I bet."
8. Supply: "Don't you dare supply Them with ammo!"
9. Naturally: " Naturally, it'd be Nice if you were gone, Troy."
10. Bluff: "You are Soooooo gonna have To bluff, Cassie."

Points for use of contractions, and a fine ear for dialect. We'll work on "ain't" and "gonna" next week.
#1. John must be her future husband.
#2 " Them" is possibly a new political party in ImaginationLand. There are several already. Bregro is a new stuffed animal who is currently headlining in her war games --I mean fantasy world.
#3 The light was yellow when I entered the intersection. ALCOHOL NOT A FACTOR
#4 "But then so few people are, Bob."
#5 This is fiction, right? Therapy will help, right? Maybe Carol is Bob's wife.
#6 I take this personally, since i'm the only aspiring writer in the house. Not only will she publish before me, she might have a Pulitzer before she finishes college.
#7 I really hope she's not taunting Bob and Carol about their inability to hold their liquor.
#8 An alarming turn of events. Looks like Them is trying to stage a coup.
#9 Troy is either her second husband, or the captured leader of Them. I'm guessing about this. I'm afraid to ask for clarification, don't want to open that whole Extraordinary Rendition/ Waterboarding can of worms again.
#10 Poor Cassie. You are in soooooo far over your head.

In some ways being her teacher sucks, because I have to correct things like spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation, and who wants to mess with this kind of perfection?
And it's obvious I'll be scheduling a parent-teacher conference for a little chat about some more therapy sessions with Dr. Pat. Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart.

Next, A vocabulary exercise from 2/13/09, "Use five of this week's words in a story." FYI: We do not live in or near Tulsa. We have never lived there. We do not know anyone who lives there. Ditto Oklahoma. Okay, She has a great-uncle in Tahlequah, but that's a stretch. We live far, far east of the Mississippi. Why Tulsa?

Let me set the stage first. Here's what I'm picturing:
Late afternoon settling into dusk. Action: A crowd of townspeople carrying torches and pitchforks, led by our protagonist Bregro- a sergeant in the local National Guard unit, "Sarge" to his friends -- has laid siege to the IRS office.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma.
"I'm To struggle To Adjust To This New Tax?!" said The sergant. "am I To suffer unwillingly and unneedingly?!" He said. "You government Tax People are just Plain vulgar, no other word for you!?" said a woman in The crowd. "You Tax People are unjust!" said a 15 year old boy. "Obama must Change Tax amounts or we strike!" said The Mayor. The result of That day was agonizing.
[the last she threw in for extra credit. She can count to 5, I promise]
Here I thought she didn't pay any attention when I listen to NPR. In six sentences we have unfair treatment of military personnel, class warfare, the rise of political consciousness among the nation's youth, pressures of interest groups on the transitioning administration, labor activism (or possibly civil disobedience), the influence of local government in the democratic process, and lastly, historical commentary.
I think I'll put off teaching about the French Revolution for a couple more years.

The storming of the Bastille.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Long, Dark, Nap-time of the Soul

Sunday afternoon is naptime. Sundays are in a different space-time continuum than other days: you can nap for three or four hours and wake up and it's still not suppertime.
Every nap-moment is 24k gold. Just so you know that I am sacrificing precious napping minutes posting this.
"Oh, you really shouldn't," you say. "Really. Please."


Before I go to my not-eternal rest, I give you two totally unrelated items.

Appearances to the contrary, this is not something I ordered by mistake at a sushi bar. Sushi looks waaaaaay better than this, and I'm not just saying that 'cause I like it.

Exhibit A.

This, good friends, is SCIENCE. By resident (mad and rad) scientists Tigrrrl and Me. On the left, meet Model of Animal Cell. Right, Model of Plant Cell.

Exhibit A (1): ANIMAL CELL

Not quite clear enough... let me adjust the magnification here... Aah. Better.

Cell membrane (saran wrap) CHECK
Nucleus (grapefruit slice) CHECK
Nucleolus (green olive) CHECK
Cytoplasm (peach gelatin) CHECK...

Also included in this smorgasbord are peanuts, mandarin orange slices, gumdrops, wild rice, spaghetti and a few of those little hot peppers from a bottle of pepper vinegar.
Those were the ribosomes, I think. No...mitochondria.

Exhibit A (2): PLANT CELL
Wait... let's get a closeup of Plant Cell...

Nucleus (lime slice. --lower left. The lime was a little gnarly, so it fell apart. This may indicate cancer.) CHECK
Nucleolus (black olive) CHECK
Chloroplasts (pumpkin seeds dyed food coloring) CHECK
Vacuole (grapefruit section) CHECK
Golgi Bodies (flat rice noodles) CHECK
Endoplasmic Reticulum (wiggly rice noodles) CHECK
Cell wall (brown tissue paper) CHECK.
Cytoplasm (grape gelatin) CHECK

These have been sitting in my freezer for...well, a while. Let's not go into that. Mostly they were just too cool to throw away at first. That and I couldn't stomach taking their photos when they were newly formed because they were gelatin and that was just too disturbingly...glisteny.

So I saved them just for you.
Homeschooling is awesome.

And in closing, our regular feature...
You want another look at those SHEWS
Today's Shews: western stitched flats by Mootsies Tootsies. a.k.a. HA!chacha Redneck New Yorkers
Mood Implications: Outta my way; or I-can-just-sit-here-and-still-be-dancin.
These were rechristened last night when me and my friend Holly were looking at them and her sister said hey, they're red and black, and I turned my tootsies to this fetching pose and said, "No, they're red-and-yellow-and-black-and white......"
Whereupon Holly and I looked at each other and sang in unison, "They are precious in His sight!"
(Church can have that effect on some people.)
So these are now my Jesus Loves the Little Children shoes.
And yes I wore them to church this morning, because after all I was ushering.

Nightie Night.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Get Out Your Insulin

A Valentine's Soliloquy

I am going to take a break from the snark, just this once, to thank all my friends for being my friends,
[not really us. Although if it were, I'd be the girl in the middle.]
and also to my family for being my family,
[not really us. Probably.] photo by Gregory Perez
click photo link to KEXP Blog.
and to both groups for putting up with me. I acknowledge my many flaws, among them

saying unkind things,
forgetting important things a LOT,
saying I will do things and then not,
being loud and angry,
being loud and happy,
being loud in general,
saying embarrassing things that make others cringe,
saying vulgar things that should make me cringe,
oversharing in general, [this blog is an attempt to divert some of that from y'all]
being a slob,
making everything I do wrong someone else's fault,
rarely admitting when I'm wrong,
creating needless drama,
talking about my dogs all the time,
saying things that sound like I'm one-upping you,
talking during movies,
talking while I'm eating,
talking when I should be doing something else
going on and on about stuff ....

Okay we don't have time to finish this list here.

This is not a substitute for trying to improve my behavior. I'm just saying thank you, and I'll try harder, and I love you all and don't deserve you, and I know it.

I would like to say to those friends who have stayed around for a long time (though you may often wonder why you have): one of the joys of growing up is having friendships that can be measured in decades. It still astounds me whenever I think of it. Such friendships are rare, and I savor them all. Thank you.

[also not me. But it should be.] photo by Emilie Wood. Click on image. Go look at more of her gorgeous photos

Gotta go. I've got something in my eye.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Back in the Saddleblog

Brief but ghastly and violent bout of something (food poisoning? flu? cholera?) silenced me for a few days. (NOTHING can shut me up for very long.) As I'm too weak to type -

no, seriously.

(Exhibit A)

I'll stick to pictures, mostly. Just for today.
Exhibit B: Define"promotional."

"Promotional Ficus"
1. It was at the very back of the SupahWa'Mart
2. Between the Plastic Slippers Final Sale and the cargo door to the Way, Way Back (Authorized Personel Only),
3. On a shelf containing 2 other lonely ficii, and nothing else,
4. With no explanatory signage, posters... nothin.

So, help me out here...?

Continuing Features:

Yesterday's Shews: gaga-geometric canvas sneakers.(a.k.a. Barbie Bowling Shoes). Comfy and perky.
Mood Implications: Perky, "Look at my sassy li'l self!" attention- seeking; or, conversely, "very bad day ahead, these might sustain me."

Today's OoA: B/W photo of Grampa Alberto and family.
Coral Gables, Florida. c.1942(?).
That's Daddy on the right. The little scamp.
[Edit: he does not have a black eye. Bad photo of photo]

Exhibit A is an illustration from The Window at the White Cat by Mary Roberts Rinehart (publ. 1910)

Monday, February 9, 2009


1) I really need to do something about that.
2) It's Monday.
3) Again.
4) On the bright side, we got the Christmas tree taken down yesterday.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pop Culture Maven

It says something (not anything good) about the level of cultural discourse that is my natural milieu, that I recently had the honor of explaining the meaning of camel toe and polterwang to my circle of friends. On the same day.
I am not going to define these terms here, because my Mom reads this, so look at the links if you want clarification. (Mom, I'll tell you in person if you're curious.)
When the first of these terms dropped and met with confused silence, The Him's guy radar went off and he left the room very quickly. I ordered the other males to leave then, so I could utter sacred words of revelation, so they'd hear it from their wives later and not from me.
This event illustrates the downside of being a word junkie. I am attracted to unusual words, slang, acronyms, jargon, and all of that. I derive pleasure from knowing just the right word. This may sound very scholarly and elevated, but seems to result in me being the one who knows all the bad words. Is there such a thing as borderline Tourette's? Granted I take a childish delight in being the one knowing, but as I am a blurter, opportunities for saying EXACTLY the wrong thing to the wrong person are exponentially increased.
On the upside, it will generate myriad opportunities for embarrassing my daughter when she is a teenager.

Today's Shews: (post-church): black leather thong sandals. It's 72 degrees here, people. BTW my feet are not hairy, the sandals are a little frayed. Oh and you can see what I was talking about viz. wide feet.

Today's OoA: brand new Calphalon cookie sheets, a Christmas gift from my BIL. Those cookies are tasty, let me tell you. I'm eating one right now. Not a single one burned. Thank you, Hank.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I've Got Bette Davis Eyes

Thanks to Amy for putting me onto this Quiz, and to Ava Gardner would have been my dream self, but Bette kicks butt, so I'm happy. Soooooo thankful I'm not Joan Crawford.
I've followed Amy's prescription and highlighted the most important element.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Bette!


You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"

Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Stand up for yourself... and me.
  • * Be confident, strong, and direct.
  • * Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.
  • * Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.
  • * Give me space to be alone.
  • * Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.
  • * I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.
  • * When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.

What I Like About Being a Bette
  • * being independent and self-reliant
  • * being able to take charge and meet challenges head on
  • * being courageous, straightforward, and honest
  • * getting all the enjoyment I can out of life
  • * supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me
  • * upholding just causes

What's Hard About Being a Bette
  • * overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to
  • * being restless and impatient with others' incompetence
  • * sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it
  • * never forgetting injuries or injustices
  • * putting too much pressure on myself
  • * getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right

Bettes as Children Often
  • * are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit
  • * are sometimes loners
  • * seize control so they won't be controlled
  • * figure out others' weaknesses
  • * attack verbally or physically when provoked
  • * take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings

Bettes as Parents
  • * are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted
  • * are sometimes overprotective
  • * can be demanding, controlling, and rigid

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at <

Friday, February 6, 2009

Velcro Words

I have just coined this term, if anyone else has already coined it too bad. Mine.
[ It occurs to me I'm going to get legal hate from the Velcro people.
Oh like they're going to notice. I wish. Anyway "Hook-and-Loop fastening Words" has no panache.]
Etymology: derives from "velcro tune, " another term I like to think of as mine, those little melodies that once lodged in the brain become a form of torture.
Its a small world after all, its a small world after all...
You're welcome.
Velcro words are, however, largely benign, and the associations are pleasant if distracting. They are words that stick to the brain. Little cockleburrs attracted to our mental fluff, our grey matter (so much less icky to think of it as fur)
xanthium strumarium

The generation of Velcro Words is user specific. They are attracted to whatever makes you tick: hobby, vocation, belief system, anything. If you're a word person it can be any savory word, snood, archipelago, mortician, rampart, imperative. For me its usually costume related: textiles, sewing tools and methods, archaic garments, accessories, fastenings...
No wonder I chose "velcro." A reflexive Velcro Word!

Photo from Wikipedia. Caption reads: The hairshirt of St. Joseph of Leonessa (d. 1612) in the Church of Giuseppe in Leonessa, Italy.
aka cilice [SILL-iss], hair-cloth, sackcloth....! So that's what sackcloth is.

So the word that prompted this musing was "hairshirt." [Thank you, Word Mechanic] I first encountered this word, I don't know, junior high? I ran to the dictionary. I was that kind of kid. A word nerd. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, smart people, the Bible -- these are all we had before Google and Wikipedia. For those who are not word nerds, religious fanatics, or seminary students, a hairshirt is a purposely uncomfortable garment worn in penitence for real or imagined sins. Popular in the Old Testament, and the Middle Ages, when guilt was an international sport. The Hebrews wore them publicly as part of the mourning ritual [the sackcloth and ashes thing]. In the Middle Ages you were supposed to wear them secretly, under your clothes and armor and whatnot, but I'm betting that penitents engaged in hairshirt oneupmanship.
Enough about that. Back to the velcro. Velcro Words become enmeshed because they excite the imagination and stimulate a cascade of questions. Little bolts of electricity go darting off to other word files. Smoke rises from your brain.
Mine went something like this:
Hairshirt...was it kind of like burlap? what kind of hair? human or animal? camel hair? [I preferred to think human. As it turns out, I was wrong. Usually goat hair] whose hair? did it have to be your own, or a family member's? did people sell their hair to hairshirt makers? [bzzzzt bloodbank spermbank ] did one donate it to the cause ? is that what they did with novitiates' hair when it was cut off?[bzzzzt A Nun's Story audrey hepburn romanholidaygregorypeck tokillamockingbird ...] RESET
who made hairshirts? did you have to make your own? did someone make a living selling them, and did they sell other penitiential gear? [bzzt cat-o-nine-tails, thorny crown] was the shirt woven or knitted? how thick was the yarn? how was it spun? [bzzzt drop spindle, dreidel, lap loom, pot holder] was it dyed, or was that considered frivolous? maybe they dyed it with blood? did they come in sizes? were the sizes deliberately mislabeled to maximize discomfort? did you wear it bathing, not that there was much bathing going on...did one forswear bathing to keep the shirt dry, or use hot water to make it shrink and embed itself...let's not go there/RESET wait, did anyone die from a hairshirt, like an infection or something?
I should note at this point that I'm not Catholic. Why I knew things like all that when I was 11, I have no idea. I used words like forswear in conversation. I did not get asked out a lot. A word nerd is above all else a nerd.
One of the joys of velcro words and the questions they raise is that the questions are often subliminal. Years later, one reads or sees something and BLAM you think "So that's what that was referring to..." [Note: "sackcloth" above was a BLAM].
The Him refers to these as "lightbulb moments" and did so long before Oprah sullied it with self-improvement (go wear a hairshirt and leave our words alone!). His favorite involved a Monty Python bit, "...are all your pets named Eric? ...Kamal Ataturk had an entire menagerie named Abdul..." which produced a BLAM decades later when he read an article in National Geographic that biographied Kemal Ataturk.
Yes I just used biography as a verb. Horrible but oh so satisfying. I will get hate mail for that. GOD I love English.
In closing, this is not a cockleburr [source]:
I thought it was an animal, perhaps related to this. And I was scared.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ahoy, it's me Meme

Got this blog-tag-meme thingie from Rae --I guess the purpose of these things is random rambling fodder, right? --
The game rules are as follows : Goto photos>goto folder 6>goto photo 6>upload/ramble/post>exe.tag (6)
I am incapable of executing any set of directions (most people who know me would stop me right there) without finding multiple interpretations. This means that I am impressively analytical, or that looking for an out is a reflex. (The search for the Letter of the Law Defense is ingrained.)
Or that I'm pig-headed and contrary.
Or that I'm a youngest child.
So here are two, with their respective rationalizations.

Literal Interpretation of Rules.
6th folder "Animals" : formerly entitled "Wildlife" because that was one of the sample folders on my new laptop and it amused me to put pictures of my dogs in it next to the Wildebeests or Thompson's gazelles or whatever they were. I felt that a little hard time on the savannah would make the dogs more appreciative of their cushy life here.
6th photo: Oreo. July 2008. Oreo belongs to someone else. (Zat is net meyh ket.) This photo was taken 6 months ago (appropriate) at a friend's lake house. Not her cat either. Lake House Friend Susan and Cat Friend Loren were both members of the team (me too) that went on our Presbytery's Honduras Mission trip last June. We all gathered at Lake House in July to debrief and re-une, eat, water-ski, swim, eat, look at pictures, etc. Loren brought Oreo because we considered him our mascot, because...
In May we had all gathered at fearless leader Rev. Fred's church to pack the crates of supplies and equipment for the trip. Families and friends participated in packing and then we all sat down to dinner and then Communion, a very moving experience in such a small and informal group. After dinner the kids ran around outside and Loren's younger brother found Oreo wandering, weak, and pitiful on the church grounds. Since the kitten was dehydrated, and tiny, a search was conducted for mama cat and other kittens, but none were found. Loren's family took the kitten home, and kitty's health and prospects were of much concern to Loren during the trip (okay, us too).
All of this explains why Oreo was at the Lake House. But the reason I have a picture of him (more like 6 or 8) is that he was appallingly cute and was at that precise moment playing with a giant bug. How could I not?


Possible Interpretation of Rules:
Folder #6 AFTER the "Date Taken" folders: Family
Surprisingly, there is no "Me" folder, so this ended up here.
Photo #6: pre-haircut mugshot. January 2009. Whenever I'm contemplating a change (house or self) I take some Before photos so that when InStyle or People wants to do that photo spread I'll be ready, you betcha.
Before pictures of self must be sans-makeup, in bad light, with uninspired expression, thereby maximizing the After effect. The left side of my face truly would have created maximum Beforage since it's sporting dermatitis (again). But I decided that it was about the Hair, not the Face, so there was my out. (See what I mean? Always an Out).
This particular look (taken 2 weeks ago) is the shattered remains of my pre-missiontrip haircut in May, which was quite kicky and carefree at its inception but had been rendered much less so by the predations of overgrowth, DIY trimming, and rancid degeneration of abandoned color and highlights. I surrendered to gray about a year ago because I'm too lazy and too broke to maintain the red I like.
I am happy that this is the Before picture.
BONUS: this gives me a justification to post my little slideshow of the NEW kicky and carefree 'do. A sample at left in my ID photo.
Proper After photos are taken in good light, with working-it-girl! expressions, and as much makeup as my irritable skin will allow.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Grab Bag

Today's Shews: Teva river shoes. Drip dry, aerated, excellent traction, all-weather vehicles.
Mood Implications: Brisk Efficiency mode, vaguely techno-eco-chic
These little gems are almost bare-foot comfortable. I have big, wide feet, my Dad's genetic inheritance, and most shoes hurt, so I go without most of the time unless the temperature goes below freezing, it's snowing, or I'm in church. I often kick my shoes off in the car and put them on only when I have to go into a place of business. I take "No shirt, no shoes, no service" very personally -- though I have always wanted to see how fast I'd get served if I was shirtless, or if doing so would be worth it to get away with the barefoot thing.
Also they're so ugly they make me feel very European, which helps on some days, since I don't smoke.

OoA: Thomas' English Muffins
Dad is forgiven for the giant-feet DNA, because he is generally awesome otherwise such as bringing lovely and thoughtful gifts like this. Daddy brought me these from Town when he was last that way. [Women in the South are allowed to call their fathers "Daddy" all their lives without censure. So its a good thing i live where I do.] We don't get Thomas' here in these parts. The indigenous brand is "Bays"which are innoffensive - they do not sink to the level of, say, Hydrox -- but just not up to the gold standard. Thomas' are part of my family's birthright courtesy of Dad's brief but gloriously remembered employment at the Thomas' bakery in NYC. The Thomas' Stories are part of our holiday repertoire, like 8 part harmony hymns, Uncle Ray's jokes, and the entire score of The Music Man. Thank you, Daddy.
And I confess I kind of like the big feet, they make me feel sturdy.
Last but not least, Must Look:

Monday, February 2, 2009

[Blank] of the Day

Today's Shews: brown leather driving mocs w/shearling lining, supinate wear, paint splatters. Default shew setting.
Mood Implication: (+/-), have not yet left house at time of post.

Today's Object of Affection: [henceforth OoA]
"Bonjour" coffee bowl. 4 for .49/ea. at GoodWill. This holds more than a pint of coffee. And it has French on it.