Thursday, July 30, 2009

August Babies Birthday Bash

I'm surrounded by Leos.

Many years ago now my DH (born in August) and I had come to the conclusion that we were missing a lot of friends' birthdays and that August would be booked solid with the cake and gifts if we tried to make even half of them.  We decided to throw a collective birthday in our backyard, and to make it more sane, everyone would bring just one gift and put it in a box.  The August Babies would draw out their gifts at random.  We put a price limit on the gifts back then.  Nowadays we just say, don't go too overboard.

Anyway, we played blind-man's-bluff, cooked over an open fire, drank too much, talked until we were hoarse, and generally had a good time.  Such a good time, in fact, we had to do it again the next year.  Bigger.  That time, anyone could invite or bring anyone.  We made it a potluck.  The house got hot, we crushed a lot of lawn, and I think we had a kiddie pool full of hot water filled via a contraption hooked to the shower head and run out the bathroom window.  We laughed loud and often.  A good time was had by all.  The gifts got crazier, too.  A lamp that looked like an alien head.  Ear candles.  A huuuuge bra.  I seem to remember a Dilbert candy dispenser.  Maybe it was the following year, but an inflatable cellphone pool toy showed up, and became a perennial gift--it seems to turn up every year.  And of course we had the flying things--flying pigs, flying cows, flying bat.  But covet-some gifts showed up too.  Handmade pottery.  Art.  Brand new DVDs.  Bottles of premium liquor.  A giant zucchini.

Okay, maybe that last one wasn't coveted.

Somewhere around #2 or #3 we started the tradition of the firepit 'bardic'.  A rockin' lobster wall hanger showed up, and we passed it around like a baton.  The bearer of the lobster had to tell a joke, a story, sing a song, or be doomed to press the button and rock out with the Lobster of Shame for our entertainment.  When we had music available, belly dancing was also an option when a turn came up.

Each year we had more people, more food, more fun.  We hit a critical mass with the booze--no matter how many people showed up we always had lots of everything left over.  A keg would be a waste on us.  Perfect; more money in the budget for meat that way.

We moved onto acreage and one of the first big projects was to level a large area for a firepit and procure seating to accommodate our August Babies Birthday Bash.  Seating is still one of our biggest challenges.  Anyway, we now have an Aussie bbq (a huge bbq is on my lottery list) in addition to the firepit for cooking, and the trees we planted are starting to cast some much-needed shade.  We have a gazebo too.  But sometimes it's all for naught--we've been rained in before.  We set up a copper firepit in the house, filled it with water, and floated rose candles in it.  The cats loved it.

We often have work parties beforehand--some have been a huge production with their own feasts and free t-shirts, others have been smaller and at the same time more intense, clearing brush and making sure the paths and stairs are mowed and safe and the firepit area is clean and free of nasty pokey plants.  Some years I hand wave them and do most of the work myself.

Last year was poignant.  My DH was overseas.  He got up very early and called us from a war zone--everyone got a chance to say hey.  The connection was horrible, but we all laughed and talked and I have to admit I got choked up.  I made a movie, but sadly the data was lost.  I'm hoping to reclaim the one and only DVD so that I can make copies.  It'll be fun to watch again, especially the sushi races and the safety dance (not the one you're thinking of.)

All our ABBBs have been special for some reason or another.  Someone turns an even decade, the full moon is up, we're early enough for the meteor shower, or it rains, etc. etc. etc.  This year, after a round of frantic emails, I rescheduled my original date so that we could have one of the original August Babies back home at the time of the party.  He'll probably still have a fair amount of sand in his boots when the party begins, and he'll have such stories to tell ....

And the tradition goes on, and on, and on.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Weather and Glass

My sleep schedule has turned around with the weather.  I woke up at 4am.  I may have to take a siesta today, though.  Good time of year for it.  Sleep through some of the heat of the day.

Having an early-to-rise sleep schedule is good news.  I typically get more work done inside and out.  I anticipate much writing, and I'm going to work out while I can still have the door open and the fan on full blast.  Working out indoors any time after 8am is really not a good idea, and outside after about noon is a distinctly bad idea.  Yesterday some of the paved areas I drove through were at about 105 degrees F.  I write less and more poorly when I haven't exercised, so making sure I get exercise in is important.  I watch the clock now and get upset with myself when I fail to slip the exercise in and have to wait until the next day due to heat load.  I suppose I could just do yoga.  

Speaking of working out, I'd been resisting even simple walking for a couple of days because I thought I'd bruised my foot when I got a cut from what I thought was a rock, running around with the dogs on a river trip.  The pain was quite sharp and localized and it aggravated me that I was limping with such an otherwise minor injury.  Turns out there was a piece of glass stuck in my foot.  I pulled it out last night--ahh, sweet relief!--and put some antibiotic ointment on it.  This morning my foot feels great.  The boy provided first aid on this one.  I thought it would be good practice for him, and I was right.  I'll have to let him know that when he cleans a wound out he should take a really close look at it, especially when the patient says something.  You know, like, it feels like there's a splinter in there or something.  Do you see anything?

It's only six a.m. now and I can feel already that it's time to close up the downstairs.  In another hour I'll have to close up the upstairs too.  The heat load we're carrying in the attic won't be reduced appreciably with these warm-ish nights, so I expect that the upstairs will be warmer at the end of the day each day until this weather breaks.  It's one of those infinite money kinds of things.  If I had the $$$, I'd have someone install an automatic fan up there to help vent out the heat at night.  But, so long as we have our lovely daylight basement where it stays about 70 degrees without AC, I don't have anything to really gripe about.  We're lucky to have an area to retreat to.  I really feel badly for people in upstairs apartment buildings without AC!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I received lots of mixed news today.  Good, bad, weird, exciting, scary, all at once.  It's going to take me a while to settle down to sleep.

Anyway, the boy has been 18 for a while now.  He's a man.  Ish.  Like many men his age, he's both eager to meet his future but unclear about what he wants it to be.  And that's the thing.  Creating a future is a tricky thing, especially to so many young people to whom it seems things just happen.  After all, they've had their whole lives planned out and scheduled for them up to this point.  

He hasn't been cast adrift yet, but I've been more than hinting that the creation process must now begin and that the clock that measures how much more time he has to live at home has begun to tick.  To me all the possibilities are clear, and if I were him I would be exploring like crazy, researching those possibilities, discovering new ones, searching for my passion and joy and getting prepared for what I want to be.  I'm happy he's content at the moment, and I'm glad he has some plans, but they're typical tentative, small-scale, short-sighted things or so far flung (like being a colonist on Mars--not an explorere but a settler when everything's set up (he's assuming this will happen in his lifetime, a hard suppose)) that he can afford to be very hand-wavy about what he'll do in the meantime.  Normal, normal, normal.  I'm not concerned, and I refuse to start bossing him and directing him because then he'll never learn this stuff.  If I do, it'll always be forces outside of him moving him around like a puppet rather than he himself moving himself around learning what it's like to be an adult.  It's hard to watch him flop about on the ground, though, when I know he can fly.  It's the classic 'if I had to do it all over again, I would' moment in a parent's life.  

Patience, young mother.  He too will learn, and he will soar.

Friday, July 24, 2009


The spawn will begin fencing classes soon.  They've had a few lessons, but this will be more intense; five days in a row, 90 minutes a day.  They're excited, I'm excited ...

I don't know what it is inside me that resonates so strongly with swords, lace, leather, horses, chivalry, renaissance art, and romantic gardens; the trappings of western civilization a few centuries ago.  Maybe I never fully grew up, but I think it's more than that.  

I know that even during the renaissance, when so much knowledge and aspiration exploded outward and changed the world forever, things were pretty primitive.  The medicine usually made you worse, not better.  Wealthy young men and women dropped dead of poisoning from the lead in their makeup when they sat close to the fire.  (The heat opened their pores and softened the makeup at the same time, increasing the absorption rate to lethal levels.)  If the makeup didn't get you, the plumbing did, if you were so lucky as to have plumbing.  Your other option, of course, was to take a chance with public wells, river water, or to cherish the secret of a clear spring.  People who didn't have wealth or influence often starved, lived in deplorable conditions, and had no voice in their fates.  I'll just mention the judicial system and conditions in jails--that should be sufficient to give anyone a chill.  

So it's not the real renaissance that I connect with.  Or is it?  After all, despite numerous technological disadvantages, oppression, ignorance, poverty and crushing environmental and political pressures, I marvel at all that people achieved in that time, technologically, philosophically, artistically.  I guess I love the veneer, and the courage that formed the foundation beneath it.  From where I sit in my own flawed century, I look back and respect the ideal more than what people were as a whole.  I don't know if I would survive for long, never mind achieve anything, if I were thrown back in time, even with all the advantages I have in knowledge of things like germ theory, insulation, mechanics, physics, chemistry and all the other stuff that was a mystery to them but part of a high school education to us.  Anyway, I couldn't feel superior to the renaissance man (or woman.)  Our civilization is a veneer too.  Also beneath it we have courage, and perhaps a little something more--an odd hope that we will have peace and basic needs met around the world.  But we carry our flaws with us, just as our ancestors did, as individuals and as a species.  We aren't better than them.  I think the best of what we are is connected to the best that they achieved, and maybe it's that connection I feel so keenly.

Anyway, I'll always love the art of the sword, and the fashion, how they valued wit, and the image of a knight and his lady, the gardens, the fountains, the music, even the social niceties that often merely served as a means to deliver back-handed 'compliments.'  It's what I love, and what I write, and I'll be a proud and pleased mom to see my children raise their swords and salute each other before engaging in a traditional sport that speaks to my soul.  


Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Once upon a time a young lady went to a college and discovered a thing called the Society for Creative Anachronism.  She and some others were very interested, interested enough that they helped form a college group, complete with a seneschal, secretary, treasurer, etc. and made it a formal, official club as far as the college was concerned.  This group also created an SCA appropriate name and device and set to getting all that approved.

Many all night costuming sessions, archery practices, attempts at armoring, and a couple of children later, the now older lady is getting drawn back into the SCA by some very good friends, one of which hearkens back to those times of yore.  

It's back to the sewing table again.  I'm not hand-sewing this time, though, like I did my very first tunic dress waaaaay back in 1986.  Or was it '85?  And yay, my gambeson still fits!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

The girl made observations today.  She said (paraphrased,) "at sixteen you get your first car, at twenty one you get your first drink, and at forty you go over your first hill, and I guess there's another at eighty."  My BFF observed that maybe at forty you get your first tattoo.  I observed that the girl skipped the part about the first really bad boyfriend, which I estimated to fall at about age 25.  I was about to say that I missed that landmark when the girl piped in, "that's when you got Dad."  Through the laughter she added (defending her opinion) that he beat people up for money, among other things that were strikes against his character at the time.  It was quite the list.

Yep.  Apparently I never got over my first really bad boyfriend.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Image Meme

From karindira: a meme of ten pictures.  Hers are here.  

• Post ten of any pictures currently on your hard drive that you think are self-expressive.
• No captions. It must be like we're speaking with images and we have to interpret your visual language just like we have to interpret your words.
• They must ALREADY be on your hard drive - no googling or flickr! They have to have been saved to your folders sometime in the past. They must be something you've saved there because it resonated with you for some reason.
• You do NOT have to answer any questions about any of your pictures if you don't want to. You can make them as mysterious as you like. Or you can explain them away as much as you like.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Idea Monster

My idea monster likes cookies.  Apparently he also likes black tie cheesecake because I received a whopper of an idea in my idea inbox today after a nice dinner and dessert at Olive Garden (courtesy of a gift from my beloved INK comrades--thank you!)  It might become a short story, but I suspect that it's more of a novel-length idea (as usual, argh.)

I really don't need another novel idea.  I've already got enough projects to keep me busy for the next decade, easily.  But I don't like to let these things pass me by, because I never know what's going to write itself, and what I'm going to be struggling with for years.  I prefer to have a variety of projects at various stages.  It's one of the habits I nurture so that I'm never blocked.  If I'm having trouble writing on one project, chances are very good that switching to another project will get me writing again (and often I can come back to the blocked project with fresh enthusiasm and ideas in short order.)

Usually what I do when I have an exciting idea is I open a new file, type a few sentences and then save it under a memory-jogging title.  

How do you keep track of ideas (if you bother) and do you ever come back to them?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Return of Insomnia

Ugh.  I did everything I could to get to sleep at a decent hour tonight.  Quiet evening.  Editing.  Hot bath.  Reading.  Yet here I am at 2am again, unable to sleep.  I think I'll take my laptop to bed and hope that I'll doze off eventually.  Oddly, I seem to do better with the light on, and right around 3am I finally nod off.  

Something's haywire.  Not sure what.  I'm hoping I'll be asleep in less than an hour, but at the moment it doesn't look promising.

At least I get added writing time!

Ooo, I'll try some tea too.

I hope everyone else, especially M&E who are at the hospital following M's heart surgery, is getting quality rest tonight.  Sweet dreams.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Drinking and writing

Most people who know me know I like to have a drink in the evening--either wine with dinner, or an after dinner drink.  If I'm spending the evening watching a movie or hanging out with friends rather than sitting at the computer (hopefully writing) I sometimes have a second drink.  I don't when I'm writing unless something is wrong with my head or I'm being dumb.  

I have lots of reasons.  One reason (it's not just laziness keeping me from hopping up the stairs for seconds) is that for me writing while impaired is a lot like driving when impaired.  I'm a big girl (around 165-170 pounds) but not big enough for two drinks while maintaining a clear head.  And I never want to drink so much that I develop a tolerance.  It's not only hell on the liver, but it's expensive, and alcohol is very, very high in calories.  I don't even want to think about how much physical training I'd have to do to maintain my (not very) svelt figure (such as it is) if I drank a lot.

I believe some folks feel (I've heard this in an indistinct way, not specifically in reference to anyone I know) that it relaxes them and gets them into a frame of mind conducive to creativity.  Well, in my experience a relaxed, dreamy state of mind or buzzed, fuzzy connection with reality generates cliche'-ridden dialogue, dense, purple prose and a lack of sensual clarity in scenes.  When I'm painting it's even worse.  Ironically, I tend to drink more when I'm painting than when I'm writing.  Might explain a few things ... and it shows I'm not as serious about my painting as I am my writing, if the comparative time expended on these things wasn't already an indication.

I'm unwilling to get rip-roaring drunk (Kami thinks about a double workout and shudders) to compare sober writing with drunk writing here on my blog, and I haven't preserved any written-while-blotto scenes--they weren't worth saving the very few times I've written under the influence of more than a solo drink.  I don't want anyone to do it as an experiment, but, if you happen to have written something while smashed, and kept it, I hope you'll offer your findings in the comments.  Maybe we could even have a first draft drunk vs. first draft while sober contest or something.

Anyway, even if I discovered that I did in fact write better while drunk, I don't think I could pursue drunk writing.  My body may be a transitory, temporary thing, and it is possible for the written word to be quite lasting by comparison, but I love life too much.  I want to enjoy the experiences outside of writing as much as I enjoy writing itself, and it would be difficult to do that in a body that's falling apart.  I listen to the struggles of dear friends with serious health problems and can't bear to think of deliberately debilitating myself when I could (and do) have the very thing that they strive for and dream about.  Health.  Hell, I know a few who would do anything for a pain-free hour.  I have those all the time.  Life can be really unfair.  

For another person, I guess having a working liver versus brilliant prose might seem an equitable trade, assuming they're a fair judge of their own work.

Besides, it would be really hard for me to collect those real-life experiences that comprise much of the fodder for my fiction if I'm impaired, whether it's with liver disease or constant drunkenness or excess weight (my knees are in really bad shape--I'd be immobilized if I was heavy.)  Rock climbing.  Paragliding.  Scuba diving.  Hiking.  Skiing.  Playing with the dogs.  Gardening.  Martial arts.  I'm thinking about taking fencing this autumn, and I'm gleeful that I have that chance.  

When I think about an ideal self, I think of a writer with both physical and emotional strength and clear eyes, a sharp mind and reflexes even quicker than her wit who's explored the world, listened to interesting people--a woman who loves her friends and family who love her in return, and who can respond effectively in an emergency.  That's within my reach.  I don't want to piss it away.  The chance to become my ideal won't always be mine to have for the effort.  That's life in a physical body.  Mine is sacred.  Body and brain are entwined, so, no drinking and writing for me.  

Even though wine is really, really tasty and it's so nice to sip.  And Navan ... mmm ...

Time for tea.  It's also nice to sip, and I don't have to watch how much I drink.  Yay!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Itches and Feedback Dilemma

'Tis the season for spider bites, I guess.  I called the advice nurse and it sounds like I won't have to go in about it unless it starts to get extra icky, or I have red streaks or bright redness or I lose circulation in my foot (?!!)  In the meantime it's an itchy pain in the ankle.  I'm continuously distracted by it.  To keep it from really getting to me during the critique session today I covered it with a pirate-themed bandaid.  

Which, the critique went really well.  I'm not sure which way to go, because the group was pretty sharply divided.  I don't want to leave it alone until I'm done with the book either, because I know me, and me usually doesn't get back to feedback-focused editing unless me does it right away.  I'll sleep on it.  Tonight I plan on shaping up the next submission to the group, the next chapter in the book, and then I'll send it out.  I don't want to procrastinate on these subs. 
 If it weren't for David Levine's timely reminder about the meeting, I would have missed the deadline (I thought I had another week, eek!) and then I would have been in trouble.  Well, sort of.  We all would have had a nice round of drinks at my expense.  This time I'll have it all done in advance, and that'll give everyone more time to read, too.  Winners all around, except the Lucky Lab I guess.

Back to writing now.  I'll leave you with It (short for It Runs In Front of Me) in kitty zen meditation becoming one with the loops.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Another Journey Coming Soon

Looks like I'll be going to Istanbul for a week.  The song always goes through my head.  But also, mosques, magical cisterns, turkish baths, baklava, islands, golden treasures, dancing, amazing music, drums, seafood, sailing ships, carpets, veils, hats, dark eyes, big smiles, busy streets, dates, eggplant, spices, silk ... a place where many cultures meet, a destination so famous it seems cliche' if a world traveler mentions they've been to Istanbul.  I felt connected to Ireland.  Istanbul will truly be a foreign country for me with very little to internally reference it except what I've read in history books.  (I'm ignoring Hollywood references.  Yuck.)

As per usual I won't say much about it until I get back, for security reasons but also because there's only so much readers can take of the squee and the packing and all that.  Also as usual I'll take lots of photos and do a series on Turkey when I get back.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

My noses can smell roses now

I'm better!  I'm better I'm better I'm better I'm better I'm better!!

I still have a cough, but I'm not draining all available fluids out my nose!

I wish I had something more profound to say than that, but that's all I've got for now.  That, and some minor writing news.  I got another story shipped off to a market, and brand new shiny little flash that I've since figured out how to make better than it is.  If it bounces I'll deal with it then.  I really should let some of these things sit longer before I fold them into paper airplanes and send them on their way.  Also, I sent off the next chunk to my current novel-in-progress (as opposed to the novel in perpetual edit, or so it feels like at this point) to the Lucky Labs.  Just barely in time, too.  The plan is to turn in a chapter for every meeting.  If I miss a meeting, I have to buy a round of drinks for the whole group.  Ouch!  It's certainly motivational.

Last of the writing news, I still have two stories that are out past the average response time.  One is only overdue by a couple of days, the other by twenty days.  Best thing to do now is to keep writing. 

In moments of the cute, I saw a small child neatly sitting inside a box just the perfect size so that I could only see her from the ears up.  She looked like she belonged on the set of "Fellowship of the Ring," the scene where the little hobbits listened to Bilbo Baggins tell the story of the trolls that turned to stone. The cute seemed lost on her sibs, who milled around and looked bored while waiting for food. 

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Grim doesn't care if you're gay

Mortality is everywhere, part of everything.  In some ways it seems fair in the sense that I know that nothing, even the universe itself, can opt out of irreversible change and ultimately a loss of existence.  Death is ugly, but it doesn't discriminate.

Everyone deals with this in their own way.  There's science, religion, willful or intellectual or emotional ignorance, spirituality, medicine (both as a science and a religion,) philosophy, artistic achievement, fame, pouring hope into progeny ... all kinds of ways to look at the ticking clock or avoid looking at it or ways to defer it to the future.   When all the seconds are gone in a human life, though, the next of kin are presented with questions and problems that society has too-often shielded from them.  Singing la la la will not make these things go away.

One set of questions and problems connects with same sex marriage or the lack thereof.  I think the celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence is as good a day as any to look at this inequality in a land where supposedly all men are created equal.  We're still working on that, apparently.  It was written in part in defiance of the Divine Right of Kings.  Now I think we need to examine laws that are establishing the Divine Right of Christian Heterosexual Fundamentalists.

When it comes to organ donation, there's no time to take things to court.  This beautiful livejournal entry snagged from this post on David Levine's livejournal says it far more eloquently than I can, and the comments are just as enlightening.  It seems that the last moments of life and the first moments after death make the tragedy of inequality even more clear.  These kinds of decisions belong with the spouse.  The law agrees, but the law doesn't agree about who is and isn't a spouse, and therein lies the major problem.  There's no 'escape clause' or 'domestic partner equivalent' to get around this problem, either, so don't go blathering on about how it's all taken care of.  It's not.

BTW, this is yet another good reason to get out, and get out fast, of a marriage where you don't have a trusting, understanding relationship.  People get married and stay married for so many strange reasons.  I wonder if they question why marriage is important to them.  Do they think that signing a paper will magically turn their infatuation or drama into a loving partnership and their family into a working, healthy one?  Anyway.   Chances are that your life, and your death, will be in the hands of your spouse if you have one.  Is that what you want?  

Philosophically, spiritually, morally, is it right to deny that right and responsibility from gay and lesbian couples?  To me, it seems that it's even more important that these decisions stay with their chosen partners, not their parents, and not their kids.  

For example, although I get along great with my mother, she never has understood nor will she ever understand my pagan beliefs, my love of history, the emotional connection I have with romantic notions of knighthood, codes of honor, or how important writing is to me, and so on. She would not think to put a sailing ship or a sword or dagger in my coffin with me or coins over my eyes.  If asked to, she'd be at a loss as to why, and it would cause her a lot of pain and anguish at a very hard time in her life.  My sister would do it, but she wouldn't believe.  It would be a senseless, strange thing to her.

My DH doesn't have identical believes and loves, but he knows mine very well.  My children are closer to the mark, but I'm too much of a puzzle to my kids for them to work out what my wishes may or may not be.  They're too busy trying to figure themselves out.  I think they could manage, but they're not on the same footing with me as my DH.

My spouse and I are on equal terms.  We're the same generation, together by choice, and we have a resonance that even our most beloved blood kin doesn't share.  If I was in a same-sex relationship, the gap between my beliefs and lifestyle choices and those of my remaining parent would be even wider.  She wouldn't condemn me, and she would likely accept my partner, but I know it would be hard for her.  She wouldn't understand.  I would need understanding, as total as possible, just before my death, and my spirit, such as it is, would rest easier afterward in the hands of someone who not only knew me well, but celebrated me for who I was, as I was, and found that beautiful.

The law recognizes this.  Though many marriages are abusive, unequal, badly patched affairs, even these often are (scarily) improvements on the blood kin relationships that surround them.  One way or another, spouses are chosen, and unchosen, in the fullness of a lifetime.  Free people are allowed to make those choices, even if they're bad choices, and free to live with the consequences.

Domestic partnerships aren't the same legal animal.  They aren't up to the task in many legal areas.  Organ donation is one of those areas.  At least my entire family is in agreement in the matter of organ donation.  Many, many families are not.

I don't think marriage should be a legal institution at all.  But it is, therefore, everyone should have access to it legally and at the exact same level.  Everyone.  I hope that this administration makes the changes necessary to finally bring this ridiculous inequality to an end.  It could save many lives, and soften the pain of many, many deaths.  

Death doesn't discriminate, but alas, human beings still do, even in America, land of the free and home of the *brave.  

*If we're so brave, why are so many Americans afraid of same sex marriage anyway?  It's not like the USA needs more 'breeding pairs' like some people claim marriages are supposed to be all about.  Yikes.  Marriage is a partnership, not a people farm!  If it was, then I guess infertile marriages should be broken up too.

Oops, I think I said that with my outside voice.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Background Check

You know, I've forgotten some really important things.  Like, I was in a serious car accident on my birthday in 2001.  How could I have forgotten that?  

I remembered (or half-remembered, or decided that knowing was kind of like remembering) a lot of things while filling out the thick background check packet.  Like, I still have my Oregon driver's license number memorized.  And, I apparently had a student ID number at the university I went to.  I always thought it was just my soc. sec. #.  I got to see how many credits I actually completed when I studied physics.  Ouch.  And, I took more classes than I thought I did in horticulture before the dizzy spells from hell forced me to drop out.  I really couldn't drive safely like that.  

Anyway, back to the car accident, I ran into a sorcerer.  Literally.  His house was just a couple of blocks away.  He walked me to his place, a beautiful historic landmark btw, and got me water and let me sit long enough for the shakes to settle a bit, and showed me his library of arcane books.  He gave me some that he had duplicate copies of.  One of them, Riding the Horse Backwards, turned out to be a fascinating read.  Some of the others looked like important books, but they were dry and difficult to read.  I started a few, but didn't finish them.  Some were essentially recipe books and aren't meant to be read cover to cover.

I sent all this stuff, each bit of data a reminder of my past, in an envelope marked confidential along with a notarized statement that everything I submitted there was true to the best of my knowledge.  The best of my knowledge is pretty poor, but thanks to a lot of research, I think it represents the skeleton of truth.  It's up to the researching officers to put flesh on those bones.  But flesh and bones will not reveal me.  For that, they'll have to talk to me face to face.  That's one of the best ways to get to know a person.  Once you find out whether or not they're related to a human predator or if they've been arrested for prostitution or whatever, that is.  

Much as I like to get to know folks face to face before I can say I know them, I have to admit that there are some seriously good liars out there that could shine me on forever and I'd never know it without a background check.  Now I'm going to be under a magnifying glass.  I wonder what else they'll turn up that I've forgotten?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Day in Pics

Sometimes I clean. Yes!  It's true. 

No, seriously.

Shut up!

Okay, this time I have proof.  With massive help from the boy and a little IKEA shopping trip, I replaced the falling-apart wire shoe container of doom with a sofa table that's just perfect for tucking away our gizillion shoes that we wear on a regular basis.  I don't even want to think about what we've got put away.  Why do we have so many shoes?  Back in the day, people were lucky to have two pair--one for working in and one for Sundays.
 Anyway, moving on ... this morning when I found myself at loose ends, did I get in some serious writing?  No.  (I did send out a story, though.)  Did I eat bon bons and watch movies?  Too easy.  I decided to tackle the evil kitchen cabinets from heck.  I got the one under the sink with the garbage all prettied up, and then tackled the really nasty one that the girl and I toss whatever won't fit anywhere else into.  Some of the stuff in back was dusty, and there was flour in there from way back when I had to store a large sack of flour in there temporarily.  It was bad, waaaay bad, but now look how Stepford wifey it looks!  Yay!

It was too gorgeous not to go outside after my forays into the yuck of my two worst cabinets, so I went out, first for a stroll, then with a camera because the late afternoon sun was just too good, and the sky ... well, you can see, it was ugly.

The heart is a calla lily.  I hope that eventually the lilies will take over one side of the firepit.  Burgundy clematis trail up a trellis (with bonus tiny image of goat in there.)  Clematis are difficult to establish and hate being transplanted, but once they're yours they're yours forever and are some of the most rewarding and reliable bloomers in the plant world. 
A bug enjoys the shade inside a canterbury bell.  
And no, I'm not going to kill the bug.  I don't care!  Look how cute the little antennae are.  I mean, really.  And if it had a face, I'm sure it would be an innocent face.

Last but not
 least, the catness, It Runs in Front of Me (Katherine,) posed for me.  Y'all may recall the sad story of IRiFoM.  Thrown out of a moving vehicle, she hit the pavement hard enough to scrape up her face.  She took refuge from the snow and sleet (literally, this was a couple of winters ago) in our garage.  
The boy mistook her for Huntress, our other tuxedo kitty, picked her up and, when she didn't protest, took her inside where she's been ever since, except when we take her to the vet.  That she doesn't like so much.  But this?  Napping in the middle of a pile of clean blankets and pillows ain't bad.  She's shiny, a healthy weight, and has no problems with parasites or chronic illnesses.  I like her because she doesn't barf on my stuff and she actually uses the litter box.
Speaking of which, the cleaning around the shoe area?  OMG.  Cat barf had actually splashed onto the wall.  I was scrubbing Huntress upchuck across two large surfaces.  She'd decided to go for it from the top of the dividing wall between the entry and the stairs.

Stupid cat.  But it's clean now, so it's all okay.  And that, ladies and gents, has been my day.  So far.