Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Summoning Guts

I woke up this morning after spending half the night on the internet in increasingly horrified dismay from watching New Orleans & the rest of the Gulf Coast disappear/implode/stare stunned at the wreckage. And I thought, you know, I could volunteer. I should, why not? I'm unemployed, I'm healthy, I'm capable. So I see from the paper that the Red Cross here is recruiting volunteers to go down there for three weeks immediately. I'm sitting here with my phone in hand, shivering, thinking, okay, just make the call, just do it, change your life, do something worthwhile for once, but I'm scared as all get out. Absolutely petrified. Major life changes scare the piss out of me.

I did it. I called and I'm signed up for intensive "family services" training tomorrow evening at the Red Cross on Merrimon & then for 3 weeks at the Gulf. She asked me if I was okay with living with no electricity, no water etc & I said, sure, I even have all my own camping gear. She asked me what experience I had and I said, well, quite a lot with education and child care and pre-K and she said, we want you in family services. So here I go, I guess. Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa whoa. I'm terrified and elated and, man, A is going to have a complete cow when she hears what I'm doing, since it means she'll be home alone with the two crazy dogs for three weeks. Holy holy, guacamole.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

turks cap print

turks cap print
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
And here is one of the pieces of art I did today. This is supposedly going to be one of a series aimed at (you guessed it) the tourists. Assuming I get my shit together and make a bunch more. Don't you think it would look nice on somebody's wall to remind them of their trip to the mountains? Yeah. All nicely matted & framed & stuff. Or made into greeting cards, gicleed out the ass, and mass produced. I can dream.

Waiting for the Ink to Dry

I'm making art. I'm so excited - I can't believe I'm slowly, bit by bit, making art again. I spent all afternoon making two small linoleum cuts and now when the ink is dry I'm going to scan them. One of them I will then fuck with further, until it is a digital masterpiece. This one is for the mefi mail art swap. The other one I have a half assed plan to turn into a series and then into greeting cards, thus generating some much needed income to Felicity's household. Ah yes. It's like all this unemployment free drinking time has finally pulled my head together so I can do art again. About goddamn time. When I saw K last week, she asked me how my work was going and talked about my paintings, and about what a "gifted painter I was. Blew me right away.

Many years ago I had a British/Polish painter lover in New York. We didn't like each other much but we had sex like crazed weasels on irregular intervals for a few months. He told me that I couldn't be a writer and a painter; I had to choose one or the other or be doomed to suck at both. "Who do you think you are?" he said, in that goddamn knee melting accent, "William fucking Blake?"

And, not really due to that, but more to kids and jobs and life and shit, I slowly stopped making art and just wrote press releases and drank a lot. But now maybe I can add my own bad freaky art back into my repertoire - and it will be okay. That would be good. I lost 4 hours this afternoon just working on prints. Well, that and yelling at Jackson every 7 minutes or so. That dog will kill me yet.

My Demonic Laundrette

Enough with the self loathing. A & I made up and watched 8 solid hours of DVDs - 4 hours of Angel, 4 hours of Buffy. That is so sick I can barely stand to admit it. But what are you going to do? You have to keep your nerd cred up. And now I feel like Frankenstein: I got up from the TV and started lurching around with my arms straight out in front of me. My eyes are all blurry and my head hurts.

I went to the laundromat today and took pictures (well, I did my laundry too.) My exciting laundromat life. At least the Laundry Nazi wasn't there. She frequents the same laundromat I do, the one attached to the Amoco station conveniently across from the Westville. She brings piles and piles and piles of laundry, monopolizes all the carts, and (this is the worst part) critiques everyone else's laundry techniques. She goes around looking in the washing machines and telling people - me, for example - what they're doing wrong. Quite a lot, of course. No kidding. My laundry technique involves tossing all of M's clothes in hot water and mine in cold.

I guess she could be considered endearingly weird if I was a nice person. But, as was established in the previous post, I'm not. And so I always hope a demon will come crashing through the window & take her out. But unfortunately, she's the demon. My demonette laundrette.

Monday, August 29, 2005

I Suck

I made A cry and I kicked the one dog and snarled at the other one. I'm a horrible disgusting excuse for a person and I hate myself. I don't even know what gets into me or why I get all nasty like this sometimes, when I feel like I just want to be left the fuck alone and then I hate having people - or animals - around me. I should go way out to the woods when I feel like this, not try to be around people. Instead I come home & make everyone miserable and say, "I resent having to make dinner. I resent feeling like I have to take care of everything." Poor A. That isn't fair to her at all. It's not her fault I'm a stupid horrible guilt obsessed evil bitch from hell. I'm a shitty mother, I'm a worthless excuse for a human being. Although I'm kind of enjoying being nasty to that fucking dog.

God I don't know what's wrong with me.

6 hours later, let me add a note. My pissy fit is basically over. I don't know what got into me - it's always connected somehow to food. I used to love making dinner, I used to love to cook, and I used to make dinner every night. But somehow, over the past year or so as I have morphed from being Mom all the time to being, well, whatever alcoholic incarnation of myself that I am now, dinner has gotten to be a royal pain in the ass. Unless, of course, I have friends over, then I still like it. Although not as much as I used to, this is true. But anyway, I feel better. And A feels better. And the dogs are fine too.

And, to cheer myself up, I scared the shit out of myself: I kept hearing this creepy eerie high pitched squeaky shrieky squealy noise and I was sure that the cats had brought in another small rodent or bird to torture. I couldn't figure out where the hell the noise was coming from and I started wigging, checking every window, every corner, expecting to come across something truly horrific. I did. My shoes. My wet bad pair of Danskos were squeaking creepily at me as I walked around practically on tiptoe looking for a dying creature. I am an idiot.

Watching N'awlins Go Down With a Smart Redneck

I took M back up to school today which always leaves me a bit angst ridden. But enough of me.

New Orleans will soon be no more, according to everything I see. I guess this is the first time that the technology has existed to enable us to watch, in beautiful triple doppler and satellite, the destruction of a city. It's a strange thing. Terrible beyond belief, strange beyond imagining. I have never been to New Orleans, but, like many places, I have always wanted, meant, to go there. It's a big place in my imagination, in many peoples' imaginations: it has staked out a huge claim in our subconscious. And now, well, we wait and see. I am very glad right now that my brother hurt his shoulder on his last pass through the Caribbean evading hurricanes (my brother is a ship captain out of New Orleans, moving cargo & oil & etc around the Atlantic) and is recuperating with acupuncture at my Mom's house in south Asheville. So, what with the hurricane and the kid back in school and all, I of course went to the Westville with A.

We saw R, which was no surprise, since he is there a lot, and he was sitting with this guy with a big hat on. I thought at first that big hat guy was going to be a drag, because I saw the hat, the Nascar T-shirt, and heard the straight outta Madison County accent, but it turned out that big hat guy was really smart, and funny, and sweet. Big hat guy and A & me & R, who turns out to be more scarily Republican than I thought (figures, R is pretty much the only one of my friends who has any kind of money) got into this intense 3 hour conversation about global warming and weather and then, politics. Serious politics, which makes me stammer and shake, but on which I nevertheless have strong and intensely intelligent comments. Yes. They are very intelligent. Uh huh. At any rate, they're the ones where I talk non-knowledgeably about plutocracies, wax furious about Dubya, and explain the reality of socialism (it's a good thing) to whoever is listening. All 1/2 of them.

R started saying that Dubya had said that he now believed in global warming, which is bullshit. Then he said that Dubya had sent 1000 ships to the Antarctic to dump steel shavings which would produce an algae bloom which would combat global warming. That is some serious insane bullshit. Big hat boy immediately responded with Dubya scuttling the Clean Air Initiative, and I started talking about mercury levels, and how the krill in the Antarctic, which feed all the sea life, are not going to be helped by steel shavings, if in fact that is actually happening, which I doubt. I called my brother, who is up on weird science and all shipping movements, and he knew nothing about it except that he'd heard odd rumours of the government harvesting plankton off the Marshall Islands. Which is the kind of cryptic answer you tend to get from my brother. The conversation launched and moved from there, into what Dubya and his cronies do for the working people - nothing - and the destruction of the middle class in American - ongoing - and so on. It was good. And nice to be surprised and smack myself in the head for stereotyping, generalizing, and generally being an ign'rnt fool.

It's raining now and if Katrina comes on up here we will probably flood again. My friend C called from Baltimore with scuttlebutt and evil gossip and the news that she has bears in her Colorado backyard: all good. Well maybe not the bears.

Stupidity aside, thoughts and prayers, such as they are, for the Big Easy tonight.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Check It Out: Computer Painting

I did this with ArtRage. I am a very happy camper & this is some very seriously cool software that I am enjoying the hell out of. Also, it is free. Free is good. Free is what I can afford, especially since I bought two used CDs today: The Runaways & XTC. Well I need them. . . not to mention all the stuff M needs to go back to school tomorrow.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

God Help Me, It's More Mouse Blog

I might as well change the name of this thing to Mouseblog. Or flyblog - I haven't even been talking about the plague of flies. I swear it's like I'm living in some cut rate version of the Amityville Horror. I saw that movie when I was about 11 and it left a big impression on me: namely, that if a house ever starts dripping blood down the walls and shrieking Get Out at me, I'll leave. Without question. Without passing go and collecting my $200, even. A dumpster would be preferable. That may be why my whole vermin obsessed existence is getting me down so. I probably should leave the mice & the flies to their own devices & go get myself a nice clean little trailer in Enka-Candler.

Last night was serious horror movie time. I woke up around 4:00 am, convinced I had just felt a mouse crawl over my belly. I woke up hard, too, this was not one of those long slow dreamy half awake things. No, this was immediate full red alert: there is a mouse in the bed, all systems go. I leapt up and started tossing the covers around wildly.

My bed is a queen sized futon on a wooden Ikea frame. At the moment it has a rather lurid bottom sheet with bright pink circles on it, a flannel top sheet (white, with green bears and pine trees) and a twin size comforter that has blue sky and clouds on one side and Pooh Bear on the other side. Also, three or four pillows with assorted cases. You can see that I am one of those incredible Martha Stewart type housekeepers. Mostly, I sleep naked - no, this is not to freak you out, this is important information for this part of the story. So there I am, stark naked standing on my bed last night, holding the comforter up and thinking, "That was a dream, right? Just a terrible, terrible dream -" when I see movement under the sheet at the end of the bed. So I leapt from the bed to the dresser, tossing the comforter on the cedar chest while I was at it.

I have this fabulous new software - Artrage - so I will draw this for you momentarily. Actually, no, I won't. I tried, but it's too lame. However it is extremely cool freeware and you should go download it.

I really, really did not want to pick that sheet up and see what was under it. Fortunately, I didn't have to, because the little gray mouse came scurrying out from under it and promptly went under the pile of foam on the floor that used to be on my bed but then the dog peed on it (Jackson does this occasionally, usually in his sleep, yes he is the worst dog in the world, I quite agree) and then while I was drying it out he chewed it up so I just left it there and disappeared. The mouse, that is, not the dog or the foam. Actually, the damn dog wasn't in the bedroom, which was unusual. Theo inevitably sleeps under my bed. Jackson usually sleeps on the couch.

So then I realized that my worst fears had come true and there had been an actual goddamn mouse in my bed, scrambling around on my naked body and I am proud of the fact that instead of dropping dead at that exact point, or screaming for hours and hours or lapsing into a catatonic state, I actually kept a clear head as I ran the hell out of my room and to the kitchen, looking for god knows what. Well I was looking for a cat, but I knew that was hopeless. So I tried to get the dogs to go in there, but they sensed that this was not routine, and completely refused to go anywhere near me. I think they thought that possibly one of them had peed on the bed again, or something: okay, I grant you that often, when I show up stark naked and gibbering in the living room in the middle of the night, calling the dogs in a deceptively sweet tone of voice, it doesn't bode well for them. Sometimes it even leads to negative reinforcement. Dogs are such damn behaviorists.

I went and got a mousetrap out of the kitchen cabinet, and loaded it with peanut butter. I had to set it off first, by poking it with a fondue fork, and then it was a new jar of peanut butter which was really hard to open. Of course it was. It was 4:00 am and I was naked in the kitchen with a mousetrap, a jar of solidly sealed peanut butter and a fondue fork. Weaker souls would have given in to insanity at this point. I took the trap into my room, which made the mouse come out from under the foam and scurry under my bed. I watched it. I watched the little fucker run under my bed, along the wall just like the thing on how to get rid of mice that I read on the internet said it would. Which I can't find right now, but you get the idea. So I gingerly put the trap down, grabbed my library book (Peter S. Beagle, you can't go wrong) and went to sleep in M's room. Not long after that I heard the trap snap. But I didn't want to deal with it, so I didn't go back to look. That, as it turned out, was a dumb move. It took me a long time to get back to sleep, because I kept thinking that the mouse was after me again. I also thought for a long time about the goddamn cats and how they are fucking importing rodents, since I have no doubt whatsoever but that the mouse in the bed was the same mouse that Barbieri brought in through the bathroom window yesterday night.

Now it is Saturday morning. I found the sprung trap in the hallway, but no mouse. Goddamn it. This leads me to suspect that Jackson, smelling peanut butter, took the trap this morning early. It also makes me think that probably the mouse had some peanut butter last night and walked away. So when the cats came in for their breakfast this morning, I locked them in my room. Hopefully they're dealing with the mouse right now. God I hope so. And yet I am afraid to look. So now what do I do? I'm wearing the pajamas I grabbed last night off the cedar chest and my glasses. And here is a terrible irony: I am wearing my Mighty Mouse pajamas! I didn't even realize this until just now, but yes, my pajamas have Mighty Mouse in all his coked up splendor dancing around. Great. The glorification of vermin. Meanwhile, my glasses make me dizzy but I'm afraid to go in and get my contacts; I want to take a shower & put on real clothes but I don't dare. I'm just kind of generally afraid to go in my bedroom at all. AAAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Another Mouse and a Hangover

I woke up this morning around 5:00. While I was in the bathroom pondering just how hungover I was going to be today (very) Barbieri jumped in through the open bathroom window with a large lively mouse in his mouth. Yes, that would be the open bathroom window that's right next to the toilet which I was seated upon. So cat and mouse essentially went over me on their way to the floor. I got rapidly off the toilet and into the bathtub (my bathroom is not overly large) and pleaded with Barbieri to leave, just fucking leave, okay, please? Just please take that mouse the hell out of here or kill it or something, oh god? It's difficult to be brave when you're naked and hungover at 5 in the morning trapped in a small bathroom with a mouse and a cat.

I bravely fled, slamming the door behind me and then pushing rolled up towels against the crack at the bottom of my bedroom door. Than I stayed awake a long time, reading a really, really bad fantasy novel called Through Wolf's Eyes which I heartily do not recommend and thinking about how hungover I was. Very. Very hungover. I still am and it's like 7:00 pm and I just made and ate pork chops and collards and mashed potatos, although A is at work and M is off with his friends somewhere. Why is it that hangovers make me so hungry? And not hungry for salad or hummus or anything either.

Why am I hungover? It's directly attributable to my new status as a blogebrity. That's right. I am now a blogebrity and y'all had better be impressed and shit. Because of my blogebrity, this old friend of mine from like 20 years ago who read the Mountain Xpress article tracked down my phone number and called me and we went out and I, of course, got drunk. She was my roommate in Charleston when I was right out of college and not knowing what to do with my life - not much has changed there for me, alas. Damn her, she's beautiful and successful. Not that I was hoping she'd be fat and poor. Or anything evil like that, I am not so small minded, ha ha. Still, does she have to be quite so beautiful and successful? Also running a triathlon?

But she's not a blogebrity. I am. And we had a really good time, and I'm glad she moved to Asheville. And she's on her way to Charleston where she's going to see two of my other roommates and close close friends from 20 years ago, who I haven't seen in a decade or more, and it's all pretty cool, this blogebrity thing. Want my autograph?

Thursday, August 25, 2005


We had an earthquake last night. Seriously. Right here in Asheville. Look! That's Fox. They never lie. Of course.

WLOS said "Mountain Earthquake
An earthquake rattles the mountains, fortunately leaving only minor damage behind.
The 3.8 magnitude earthquake caused a small rockslide on Highway 209 about a mile outside of Hot Springs in Madison County. The quake struck at 11:09 pm Wednesday night. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it lasted 1.42 seconds and was centered in the French Broad River, about two miles from Hot Springs. Officials say earthquakes here are common because we are on a fault line.((Posted at 6:00 am, 08/25/05))"

Well, I felt it and so did M. I was just getting ready for bed, in fact I had taken my pants off, when the house shook. I couldn't figure out what had happened; it was the weirdest feeling. I kind of thought possibly a helicopter had landed in the backyard (it felt like a helicopter sounds, if that makes any sense) or maybe a demon had come up through the cellar floor again, so I put my jeans back on, thinking that it would be good to be dressed in case we had to evacuate or it was Armageddon or something. In case of rapture, it's best to be fully clothed. M was all freaked out and we looked out the windows, then got A out of her room to ask if she had heard or felt it, but she hadn't, which made her mad. She called one of her friends with a TV who told her that it was indeed a real honest to god earthquake. So we all stood around the computer to get the pitifully few details, as above. A then demonstrated how she personally would surf on an earthquake if we got another one and this time it was louder than her window fan, and I went back to bed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Both My Kids Are Home & Mouse Irony

M is home: impossibly tan, longer haired, several inches taller and sprouting his very first zit. Having both my kids safely at home always makes me realize how much of a subconscious worry thing goes on when they're not here, because I completely relax. I know they're both okay when they're right in front of me: it's great. We can all get on with the important family business of annoying the hell out of each other and also having weird family fun like visiting Sam's Club strictly for the free samples, and, of course, watching four Buffy episodes back to back. Ah, family. Blood is thicker than water and infinitely more drinkable by cute faux-British vampires.

So, I have explained to M how to pop zits (this is probably bad parenting, you're supposed to say "Don't touch them" I know, but come on. Get real. Everyone pops their zits.) and we went to Target and bought school supplies and T-shirts yesterday. A & I dithered over the school supplies and M kept saying, "Just buy the cheapest thing and let's leave." He is spouting a lot of canned speeches from his father the annoying auto didact & Civil War buff, but that will fade. He says he likes girls, which is worrisome. And, of course, he has commandeered the computer and I only have a few moments to type this.

Last night we had Mouse Irony: Barbieri jumped in through the cat door with a live mouse in his mouth. I shrieked of course & Barbieri was mildly annoyed & M barely looked up from Battlefield 1942. So then, in an effort to get me involved in this big fun game, Barbieri dropped the mouse by the stove. Where it promptly ran towards the wall and got caught in a trap and died like a line from an Alanis Morrissette song, although not as fast as one might have wished (which could also be said of Alanis Morrissette's music.) I had grabbed a big copper ladle thingy off the kitchen wall (noting, as one does at these times, how hideously dusty & greasy it was) and was planning to smush the mouse in a very humane yet final way except knowing, all the time, that I was actually probably not capable of such firm action. I kept yelling at M to get up from the computer.
"And do what, Mom?" he said.
"Anything!" I screamed. "Show some solidarity here!"
Then the mouse died and the cat lost interest and Jackson, who had realized that Barbieri had a mouse first (that hound dog nose) was going ballistic trying to find it, so I got M to pick up the dead mouse & the trap and toss it all into the trash. Which he did, bless him, although not without sort of shaking it at me first - god! That was awful! I screamed like a baby! - and also complaining that we (A vanished into her room at the very beginning of all this) were total wimps.

It's good to have him home.

Monday, August 22, 2005


wytheville va graveyard 1
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
Okay, I over ranted a little yesterday. Things turned out fine, although it does take 4 whole hours to get to Tamarack. But it was a beautiful day and A went with me and M & The Asshole got there at the same time we did. And (hell has frozen over, be prepared) The Asshole gave me some money. So I feel guilty for ranting and raving so much. Bonus: on the way back we stopped for gas & across the street was this spooky little old graveyard. Most of the graves were from 1830 - 1890, including a bunch of Civil War ones AND most of them were named Brown. That's The Asshole's last name. In fact there was one with his whole name (except a different middle initial) who died in the war. Synchronicity, yeah. I feel kind of weirdly guilty now, although it's difficult to believe that somebody with his name dying 100 years before I was born is connected to my being angry yesterday. But on the other hand, everything is possible. Ah strangeness.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Fury - a long and very angry rant. With bad words.

I have to drive to West by god Virginia and back today. Why? Because my exhusband is a no good low down lying sack of mule shit, of course. I curse him with the strength of a thousand curses! Let his eyebrows become caterpillars and crawl down into his mouth at night! Let his bones crack incessantly! Let him never get a human operator but only suffer the hells of 1000 voicemail systems, and occasionally Betty from Calcutta!

Or I could just, you know, kill him. Which is so, so tempting, but would be wrong. Unfortunately.

My understanding was that my ex (hereafter to be known unimaginatively if accurately as The Asshole) was going to drive M straight from the beach in Delaware to Asheville YESTERDAY. The reason that this was an understanding instead of set in stone was because The Asshole basically refuses to speak to me, preferring to communicate only through M. And since The Asshole, who has a lifestyle akin to that of the Unabomber, doesn't have a phone and of course M's cel phone doesn't work in godforsaken Junior, West Virginia (yes, really. Yes, that's really where he lives.) I have barely heard from him all summer. Originally, M was supposed to be home 2 weeks ago. But then they asked if he could stay an extra 2 weeks so he could go to the beach & see The Asshole's other son, M. I said yes. Even though it meant I would only have M for one week before he goes back off to school. BECAUSE I AM AN INCREDIBLY NICE STUPID PERSON AND I LET HIM KEEP M FOR AN EXTRA TWO WEEKS SO THAT THEY COULD GO TO THE BEACH WITH A BUNCH OF MY FRIENDS FROM BALTIMORE AND I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT CONCESSIONS OF ANY KIND TO THAT FUCKING LOSER ASSHOLE ARE A HUGE FUCKING MISTAKE!

So, M's phone did work at the beach and I did talk to him several times, and it was all understood that he would be home yesterday evening EXCEPT that when I talked to him yesterday afternoon at 4:00, fully expecting that they would be on the way here it turned out that they were still at the beach because T's car had broken down and why this should have concerned them I do not know. And M said he really wanted to come home, since his dad was acting all mad and crazy but that they had to go home to WV first. This makes no fucking geographical sense of any kind.

Do you know that the Asshole told me that he had never used a cel phone before? And he seemed proud of this fact? What a pathetic loser. But do you know what? I am even more of a pathetic loser because 15 years ago I thought his frozen-in-the-ice-for-1500-years act was cute and adorable. I was so dumb.

Just for the record and to confuse everyone with my incestuous historical love life: T is the current girlfriend of my ex boyfriend B. She is also the sister of N, who is the woman The Asshole had an affair with while I was stupid enough to be married to him. Naturally. Because my life works out like that. And of course I am immediately wondering if maybe now she and The Asshole are together, since he doesn't fix cars out of the nonexistent kindness of his heart. Not that I care at all, just out of a kind of morbid train wreck curiousity. And because, well, EWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!

Then M called last night around 11:30 and he was all alone at N's house in Baltimore which set off instant alarms here, since it seemed like an indication that The Asshole had fallen off the wagon, and that's where I stop being funny and/or cute. So I checked trains and buses and planes and thought I would try to get him on a plane from Dulles, but then A pointed out that 1) not only does he have a metal plate in his arm & does not have a doctor's letter and/or his X-rays & today is Sunday but 2) he doesn't have a picture ID and even kids need one of those these days. M said he would call back when his father got home. He didn't. I stayed up until 3 waiting. I called him but his phone was turned off.

The Asshole called this morning at 7:15 and said he was driving to Elkins (next to Junior, where his mom lives) and would then drive to Tamarack, in Beckley WV, the sort of halfway point between here and there, and I could get M there at 7 tonight. He was extremely nasty about this as well. The fuckhead. I was so angry I could just sit there and shake and then I had to call my mom & tell her that the big meat dinner she had planned to welcome M home had to be put off until tomorrow and she immediately started in on the "Well, you should have expected . . . do you want me to come with you. . . " stuff which made me snap and yell at her. Because for my mother is always my fault, or always any woman's fault, because men are idiots and can't help themselves and women are supposed to work around behind and through them and if things don't go right it's totally the woman's fault, because men can't help themselves. AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so angry with The Asshole and I'm angry with myself for this whole godforsaken summer thing and letting M go with his loser father in the first place even though I KNOW this is actually NOT my fault at all, goddamn it, except, as A says, for the part where I married a ridiculous psycho to begin with. I have no problem with driving to Tamarack, except that I wanted for once that The Asshole would behave like a semi normal human being and plan this out a couple weeks in advance or something. I offered to drive to Roanoke. I offered to drive to fucking Baltimore but The Asshole clearly had no intention of bringing M home anywhere near the time he originally agreed to.

ON TOP OF ALL THIS, DO YOU KNOW THAT FUCKER HAS NEVER GIVEN ME ONE THIN DIME IN FUCKING CHILD SUPPORT ALL THESE YEARS AND NOW HE OWES ME SOMETHING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF $30,000?!?!? AND YET I NEVER ASK HIM FOR ANYTHING BECAUSE IT ISN'T WORTH TRYING TO GET BLOOD OUT OF A STONE AND IF BY CHANCE HE DOES HAVE A JOB AT THE MOMENT HE WOULD QUIT IT OUT OF PURE MEANNESS THE MINUTE I TRIED TO PUT A LIEN ON HIS CHECK? Jesus fucking christ. And M called me to ask me for spending money to take to the beach and when we were in Baltimore and he was supposed to be going off with his dad I had to give him $50 or his dad wouldn't take him to the aquarium or the zoo or anything? The man is a fucking nightmare.

And I have this noble thing where I feel like M needs to get to know his dad (who often goes 8 or more months without a phone call or postcard to his son) and that he has to make up his own mind about his father so I never talk bad about him or anything, NO, I AM SO FUCKING NOBLE IT HURTS. DAMN HIM TO HELL!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Party, Party: The Social Fliss

I went to a party tonight in Black Mountain. It was a very nice party, a joint birthday party for C, who was the host, and my friend J. There were more people there than I thought there would be, and I didn't know most of them when I first walked in. I was a little afraid that I'd found the wrong house, but I figured, well, a party is a party is a party. Thank you Gertrude Stein. Then I saw some people I knew, including my friend C, who announced after making the rounds that "Every man here is married." Damn. I had suspected as much. I did talk to two small boys about frogs at some length, and that was cool. Adults hardly ever want to talk about frogs, and I really like frogs. There was also a guy there who sang, and he remembered every Saturday morning cartoon show theme ever, including all the words to Land of the Lost. That was most awesome. I'm not sure why Land of the Lost keeps coming up lately (except as an extremely unsubtle metaphor for my life, okay) but for some reason, it's been the topic of conversation both online and off. It was a lovely party but I was very focused on not getting drunk, something that always tends to throw my social skills, which are alcoholically based, off. I succeeded though. I have to not be hungover tomorrow, because:

a) I am taking all the animals to the cheap shot clinic at Lake Julian. That will be horrifying and traumatic and I will probably qualify for free mental health care afterwards.

b) I'm going to another party tomorrow with the Asheville bloggers and I won't know anyone there except J moonbird and I want to be all charming and delightful and stuff. In the vague hope that there might be some single guys there. Also to get more people to read this blog thing. Also to meet some new and interesting people who don't say "You have a blog? What is that?"

c) the most important thing: M is coming home tomorrow!! Yay!! I am very excited except I'm worried that he won't love me anymore after so much time with his father. I know this is a pathetic & unworthy worry, but there you have it - it's mine. Also it means I will have to deal with his father who makes me nervous as hell. M will be pleased though - on Sunday we're going over to Grammas for a huge meat dinner with Uncle B. M goes back to his vegetarian hippy boarding school on the 28th, so he's going to want to stock up on as much meat and fast food as possible next week. I think it's getting to be time to officially bid farewell to my waistline.

Then I have also been invited to a party in Hendersonville on September 3, which I'm looking forward to because that will be all my old Charleston now in WNC friends, and it's always totally great to see them. At that party, I can relax. They already know the worst and they still invite me over once in a while. Yeah.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Coming Out of the Closet: Fantasy & SF

I am a geek. This is no big surprise to anyone, right? Unfortunately, I'm not the kind of geek who makes tons of money and has all these mad technical skillz. No, I'm the pathetic kind: the comic book reading, SCA meeting attending, dreaded voluminous fantasy and science fiction reader! I read voluminously, that is, I don't read voluminous things. I do try to stay out of the billowing subgenres. Mostly. I don't read the real dreck - and yes, there is some real dreck out there - but there are also great writers. Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Elizabeth Hand.

I tried to hide this for years. Not only my general geekiness, but my taste in books, because it is wildly socially condemned. You'll get a better reception saying that you disembowel puppies every morning for breakfast than you will if you say you read fantasy and SF. Yes. Yes you will. Most people back away in pity and horror if they discover that you read that weird stuff. That weird stuff that only total and complete loser nerds read. My entire family - except M - is appalled by my taste in literature. Because it isn't literature, it can't be, it has nothing in common with Literature at all. You can bring up Garcia Marquez and Borges and Mark Helprin and god help you, Edgar Allan Poe all you want. Their work isn't fantasy. It's something else, something good. Well, I'm old enough now to be proud to be a geek - what the hell - and I don't care anymore. I'm happily reading my way through Guy Gavriel Kay and Charles de Lint and Terry Pratchett; I have the new Neil Gaiman on early order from Amazon, and I don't even try to hide them before more acceptable books anymore. I'm geek and I'm proud, damn it! Sing it, sister!

The only problem is that now I've gone and gotten a library card. This is historically unwise of me, somewhat akin to starting a land war in Asia. I have this trouble with library cards: I'm not good at returning things on time. Not good at all. Not because I haven't read them yet, because I usually read them within 48 hours of borrowing them, but because I get busy and I just can't get myself over to the library (or the video store, which is why I now owe not only Orbitz but Blockbuster significant - more than $10 - sums of money.) Once things get really late, my own particular neurotic form of conflict avoidance kicks in, and I just can't stand to bring them back so late. That gets worse every day, and finally I have to move to another state. Or something. So A is concerned about my library card. She's also disgusted by the books I'm bringing back. She read some Terry Pratchett by mistake a couple years ago and has not yet forgiven me for the sheer weirdness of it all. That's okay. She is partial to time travel historical romances, which are clearly (except for Diana Gabaldon, only not the last couple books, because in the beginning of the series each book covered like 20 years and now, the books are even longer yet they cover 2 or 3 days, which I understand is because she doesn't want them to get old, but come on, nobody has that eventful a couple of days, also I hate the daughter with an unholy passion, she is so annoying) a vastly inferior form of book.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Fun with Paint Shop Pro

drugstore cat collage
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
My computer genius friend J came over and got my computer running again. Albeit a bit slower. Hmm. But, so far, it isn't crashing like it was. He said there was too much dog hair in the case, which prompted my friend L to ask: "How much dog hair would be the right amount?" At any rate, I became inspired to play with pictures. With this stunning result. This cat, btw, is available for purchase at the Kerr's Drugs on Patton Avenue. I was meandering around there yesterday with A & her bandaged foot, waiting for a prescription, and I was moved to photography. Kerr's is full of nifty stuff. I like this cat. He has a certain plastic presence about him that I find mysteriously appealing, don't you think? He creeped A way the hell out, which is just bonus. And he's 50% off, only $5. Maybe I'll go back and get him.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Trials and Tribulations of Poor A

A got a job a couple weeks ago at a nice new Italian restaurant and she likes it. Unfortunately, they are big on wine, and A somehow neglected to tell them that she was a bit unsure (read: she couldn't do it) how to open wine properly. This is, of course, my fault, since I forgot to teach her how to use a wine key properly. I can't imagine that I did this, since my own father taught me at about age 12, and I know M can do it, but A somehow missed the lesson. So it became necessary that A learn to open wine, and quickly too, Mom, I might have to do it tomorrow. I called in J, who has major serving experience, and went to the supermarket to spend my unemployment money on cheap wine. Like that's the first time THAT has ever happened.

I've been using my unemployment time wisely, mostly honing my drinking skills. I've gotten pretty damn good at it, actually, but wine isn't really my thing. We had a bottle at home, Crazy Llama, which I bought last winter at Earthfare using my usual wine buying guide: buy the one with the coolest label. This encourages good packaging and design. At Ingles, the choices are somewhat more limited. I was disappointed to find that the bright blue wine had a screw top (can you imagine?) because I thought some blue wine experience would be very helpful if our careers continue on the paths they have been on lately. But I had to buy the expensive stuff, the $6 a bottle stuff. We opened many bottles of wine, and then, of course, we had to drink it. Wine doesn't keep, and thanks, I don't need more vinegar. Being as I am a gourmet cook and all, I have like 6 bottles of exotic vinegars. Not that I ever use them but hey, they're there - it turns out, by the way, that balsamic doesn't clean windows well. So we called in my friend D, who brought another bottle for practice. I made coq au vin with the basically undrinkable even by us, which is saying something, llama wine, and all in all it was quite a successful evening. A has been opening bottles like a pro ever since.

All is good in A's life, and in mine, because I feel that now it's her turn to support her aged mother, and as soon as the restaurant really gets underway, she will hopefully make enough money to do just that. Except, as is often the case, at some point in the last few months A has managed to piss off the toenail gods. In June or early July, she somehow stubbed her foot at the beach and the toenail turned upside down or something and eventually fell off. A, who is a definite person, and a little stubborn, refuses to wear anything but flip flops. So, one toenail down. It was traumatic at the time, but we have mostly forgotten it, even though looking down at her feet in the omnipresent flip flops can give you a kind of unpleasant swooping feeling in the stomach when you notice that the big toenail is missing. I suggested painting it, but that was vetoed.

Then she managed to do the same thing, only with gusto, to the other big toenail. It was very gross, and, of course, the dogs, especially Theo, insist on licking all wounds on all people and animals in this house. Incessantly. You have to drag them off. Sometimes I worry that they have developed an unholy taste for human blood and might be tempted to kill us in our sleep, but then I realize that they much prefer having someone around with thumbs to open the dogfood cans. So, it was disgusting looking, we had to keep hauling the dogs away, A complained, but it was bearable, until she went out last night (in sandals, duh!) and somebody stepped on it. Somebody wearing steel toed work boots.

She called me from her bed this morning on the phone, demanding coca cola and excedrin and saying that she couldn't walk or take off her shoe. It was really totally unbelievably beyond gross: the toenail was sticking up vertically from her foot. We tried. I am not the medical type. I don't quite faint at the sight of blood but I do turn pale and have to leave the room, or I flap my arms around a lot and make weird crooning noises. I tried being all tough, made her soak it in water and hydrogen peroxide, gave her antibiotic ointment and a gauze pad and duct tape to wrap it up in, yet still she felt this wasn't enough. She objected to the duct tape and said it hurt too much to cut it off or even get her shoe off and oh god, what am I going to do? I suggested that I was going to the laundromat and that she, the one with the close personal relationship with the toe, could deal with it while I was gone. We dithered around like this for several hours. Remember that A's day starts at noon, always. Finally, I decided to be strong, and I boiled the pruning shears.

I took the sterilized pruning shears in to her room to cut off all the toenail but it was no go. I had to flap my arms around and hoot, and A said, "Mom, what the hell do you think you're doing?" "Invoking a healing dance, sweetheart." I said. "It's big in the Congo." "Okay." she said, "I am not dealing with this right now. You're crazy." So I took her to the Sisters of Mercy. They were glad to have her; they cut the whole thing off, said it was all infected, told her she couldn't go to work for 5 days or put any weight on it, gave her a ton of drugs and charged us $300 on a credit card I really shouldn't be using and argh, I hate medical care or the lack thereof in this country.

Now she's eating pizza & drinking beer with her friend on my porch. I am the server tonight. Ah well. You shouldn't piss off the toenail gods for they are uncanny and quick to anger. Gah.

Thank You Mountain Xpress

Big thanks to the Mountain Xpress for saying nice things about my blog! Wahoo! Publicity! I am famous! Worship me, oh my minions! Bring me soft pillows and chocolates, and while you're out there, walk my dogs, okay? I am very happy although a little nervous that now I will get all kinda stalkers and stuff. Note to stalkers: there's a ladder in the shed. I go to bed around 11 - it's been a long cold lonely winter, boys.

Blind Hound Climbs Tree; film at 11

Actually, alas, there will be no film. My camera is great, but not great enough to capture Jackson and Theo, who even as I write have apparently treed something in the dark, dark backyard. I wonder what it is - a possum? A said she'd seen a possum a couple weeks ago. Do possums even climb trees? If they have those dogs after them, hell yeah they do. The most determinedly terrestrial species in the world - me, for example - would probably climb a tree to get away from the noise they're making. At least they're getting some exercise - Jackson was halfway up the tree. I guess that's why he's called a Treeing Walker Hound. He did it the other day too, when a squirrel had the temerity to venture into the backyard. I really thought he was going to make it to the top. That's the thing about being a blind hound: you have no boundaries. Nothing is impossible, because you can't see it. It's all just a slightly different shape of floor.

If I was my neighbor, I think I might be creeping around in my backyard in a loincloth with a blowpipe and some poison darts by this point. Or a ninja suit and a katana. Or just a shotgun. Thank all the gods that she has dogs too - and she's a nice person. Of course, her dogs are quiet. But they didn't used to be, and we both know that, so I have a little slack.

I'm cranky and bored and my computer died this afternoon. It is now miraculously resurrected but I can't figure out what happened earlier today and I'm worried. If the computer dies, wtf will I do with myself? Clean the house, go hiking, get a job, create great art? What a dreadful prospect.

Monday, August 15, 2005

My Attractive Dogs

A and I had another meat filled dinner at my mom's last night, and to recover (we both felt a little strange afterwards; I think all the meat is beginning to affect our brains and soon we won't be able to digest anything but blooooooood. . . yes, I have started watching Buffy again, why do you ask?) we walked the dogs up Haywood Road to the Ingles to buy catfood. I had never taken Jackson out on Haywood Road for a long walk before, and, as I expected, it was a little traumatic. He gets into the Ray Charles/Stevie Wonder swing the head thing and drags me along behind him, which is kind of problematic when cars are whooshing by 6" away. What I didn't expect was that every second guy on Haywood would fall in love with him. "Whar'd you git that Walker hound, honey?!" was the soundtrack of the evening, along with "Good Lookin' Dawg!" and "Hell, that's a nice hound!" The funny thing is that Theo is also a totally beautiful dog who appeals to a completely different demographic that is a force in West Asheville: the hippie chicks. They oooh and aaah over his beautiful long golden hair. This, btw, is one of the reasons why we used to think that he was Jim Morrison reincarnated. Also, he likes the sound of his own voice, chews up my underwear and tends to brood when he doesn't get his own way.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Meat and My Mom

A & I had dinner with my mom & older brother last night. My older brother just bought a very slick gas grill and so he wanted to try it out. In our historic family tradition, this was an opportunity for waaaaaay too much food: big steaks, baked potatos, garlic bread, huge salad, grilled asparagus (this was my contribution in an effort to try to cut the meat a bit) and strawberry rhubarb pie. Tomorrow night we will have ribs. And corn and potato salad, in case we were feeling skinny or something.

My mother is just not up on the vegetarianism/eat less meat/a salad can be a meal thing. Back in the day when I was a vegetarian, or mostly one, a trip home was a real ordeal. I remember my younger brother and A and I in hysterics one Christmas visit over the MEAT THREE TIMES A DAY menu. My mom, at that point, considered chicken a vegetable - also bacon. Haven't you ever seen a bacon tree? A nice potted chicken? She just can't wrap her mind around a daily menu that doesn't go like this:
Breakfast: eggs & bacon or ham slices or sausage or corned beef hash.
Lunch: Ham or turkey or roast beef sandwich. Maybe with more bacon. Perhaps some beef broth based soup to go along with it.
It's purely miraculous that we didn't all die of heart attacks at the age of 16 or so. And if we were being vegetarians at the time, or had brought vegetarians home for a visit, this was cause for terrible concern. So the menu would be altered thus:
Breakfast: oatmeal and bacon, or eggs and bacon, or fruit and bacon. You. Will. Eat. Bacon!
Lunch: Chicken sandwiches. Or chicken soup. Or just possible, grilled cheese sandwiches with chicken soup or tomato soup made with, you guessed it, chicken broth!
Dinner: Chicken. Or possibly fish. Because you can not have dinner without some form of animal protein. It. Just. Is. Not. Possible.

It's a generational thing. She's a sophisticated, smart woman and a cordon bleu quality chef, but the idea that you might have fruit for breakfast, yogurt for lunch and a salad for dinner is completely beyond her. Part of this is that, damn her, she has never in her life gained an extra ounce no matter what she eats and even, in the seventies, went to a spa to gain weight. That I didn't inherit her metabolism is hideously unfair, IMHO, as is the genetic sweepstakes that gave my brothers blonde hair and blue eyes and me brown eyes and brownish reddish hair. And myopia. Did I mention the myopia?

Ah well. I don't need to fit into my jeans ever again, do I?

Big Fun with Flickr

My wonderful and fantastic friend Riot Sauce surprised me with a Flickr pro account and I am having too much fun! I'm uploading like every picture I have, plan to spend the day scanning and adding and obsessively organizing everything into sets. This is most awesome. So check out my pictures, y'all! I am even putting up pix of my family & my friends, but since I am, like, so considerate and all and I don't want anyone to get c & p'ed into something like this (which is seriously funny, btw) I have created a private set. If you are my friend or relative email me and I'll add you to the friends list so you can see pictures that my friends and family would kill me for posting to the general populace, like my daughter in a budweiser T-shirt and John Deere baseball cap, my son holding a chicken, and my older brother grilling steaks in his bare feet.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Mouse Update and MAJOR GOOD NEWS

The mouse I suspected was under the computer was, in fact, under the computer. It came out and looked at me while I was in the kitchen last night, trying to call my friend J. The damn thing had balls of steel - it just sat on it's haunches and looked at me while I crouched on a kitchen stool and screamed, leaving, in the process, a somewhat disjointed message on J's phone. It only left when the dogs came in to see what I was screaming about. I called my other, brave, ex farm wife friend J, and she came over and poked about under the computer for a while, but no mouse. I text messaged A to warn her that there was a confirmed mouse in the kitchen. She came home and looked at where I was then standing on the back porch and said, "the mouse is right there, behind the kitchen door. That is one brave mouse; it's just looking at me." So I climbed off the back porch and over the fence to the front yard and then, being as we are rational human beings, A and I did the only thing possible: went to Dennys, leaving stern injunctions with the animals to deal with the situation. They hadn't dealt with it when we got home & locked ourselves in our rooms to sleep, but at around 7:15 this morning, judging by the sudden eruption of sound, they did. The mouse with balls of steel (who actually was kind of cute in a star of a Disney movie kind of way, and I really really really hate mice, so you know this mouse was like the Brad Pitt of the rodent world) is no more and has received a burial in the trash can.

GOOD NEWS: My friend D in San Francisco is the mother of a 7 lb 2 oz baby girl which makes granddaughter number 6 for my friend N in Baltimore, who dashed off to SF to be there for the birth. YAY for D and her beautiful new daughter!

Linky Goodness

The 50 SF/Fantasy novels all Socialists should read as presented by China Mieville, who is, if you haven't read him yet, like unto a god. Damn. I can see that now I'm going to have to go to the library this afternoon after all and hope they don't charge me too much for Sailing to Sarantium, which Jackson of course mostly ate. He also ate a book of stories by Ursula Le Guin, but not as badly. I am a Socialist, btw, or I was one in New York, where that's a choice on the voter registration papers. I have only read 15 of these 50 books, I am sad to say. Perhaps it's because now I am only a dead yellow dog Democrat.

Hey y'all I have extended my ability to copy HTML and as a result you will see a nice list of links which will continue to grow over there in the sidebar. Be impressed with my mad editing skillz, okay? All of these are extremely cool blogs & I recommend them if, like me, you would rather sit on the internet all day than do anything worthwhile. Or even if you are a good person with a job who is dutiful in their day to day lives, unlike me. As I said last night, I'm just not into confronting reality right now.

fish n plant

fish n plant
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
This is what I got/made (combined, I guess) for my friend J for her birthday. I carried it down to the Flying Frog, too, and put it on the table to surprise her. I was helped in this whole endeavor by A, whose original idea it was, and by the container gods, who gave me the idea of using the big plastic dog biscuit bin to carry the fish safely downtown, and by the parking goddess, who reserved a miraculous space for me on Haywood Street.

I like that gargoyle - now I want one. That's the problem with birthday shopping, you see things you want, like gargoyles and these really totally adorable octopus windchimes that I saw at the florist. Ah well. Maybe when I get a job! Anyway J really liked it and that's the important thing. Yay happy birthday to J! You'll always be 4 years younger than me, you lucky beeyatch.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Dream and Birthday and Newspaper

Dream: I dreamt that I had another little boy. He was about 2 years old, looked very Irish yet kind of like M. We were somewhere that kind of looked like Federal Hill in Baltimore and we were walking to my friends' C & S's house. Which is odd, because it's nowhere near Federal Hill. Anyway, as we crossed the street, there was a parade coming. I stopped to show my son the parade: guys in kilts with bagpipes and drums, right, the usual. Except for this very Irish looking young guy who was walking in front, in a kilt, declaiming poetry. In the dream this seemed perfectly normal and I also realized that I knew him - not only knew him, but had had a ONS with him about three years before. I stepped into the house just as he saw me and he came in after me. We made nervous small talk and he said "Well, I'm glad to see you're clanned now."
"Clanned?" I said.
"Yes," he said, "When I knew you before you didn't have a clan at all."
"Oh" I said, "Yeah - but this is just for now, yes, I have a clan now, but you know, things change, I'm not really a clanny type of person."
And then my friend S, but older and more sort of patriarchal, came into this big hallway of this gorgeous house where we were standing and he looked at the guy I was talking to and then he looked at my son and then he looked at me and he said, "Oh, I know who this is." And I realized that this guy was my son's father, and he realized it too, in sort of a blinding flash, and it was all very weird indeed. Weird enough to wake me up, actually.

Birthday: Today is J's birthday. I would post a picture of her present here IF the little photo icon on the blogger dashboard worked but it does not work, at least for me. I combined a betta fish and a round bowl and a miniature peace lily and a bunch of cool marbles and a plastic gargoyle and some beads and sterling silver wire into this very cool little ecosphere type thing for her and she really liked it which was nice. Bettas are great: I had one named Fang when I was at the Maryland Institute who lived for about 4 years. I completely neglected him but he just kept on going.

Newspaper: This blog might be in the Mountain Xpress next week. Woot! I guess I had better come up with some funny entertaining political type shit to write so I can gather legions of fans and turn them all into a death defying Army of Evil and we can Take Over The World or something. Possibly arrange pizza delivery to West Asheville.

Oh, and as a postscript, yesterday Jackson decided to dismantle the dining room because he was convinced that there was a mouse in there behind the bookshelves. Today he thought it was in the computer corner. Goddamn I think he's right. I moved the shelves out and in the process found a bunch of mosaic supplies and printing ink and my plastic Silver Surfer model, also the iron, that I had been missing - and then , sitting here, I heard a suspicious scuffling beneath the computer desk. Gah!! I bet this improves my writing. Or makes it choppier, briefer, and more fearful, anyway. It's kind of hard to type with your legs up by the monitor, I must say.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Language & Kids

So here I am getting my shit together by smoking a cigarette & remembering my son M when he was first learning to talk. Oh well okay - I want to write it down now while it's in my head.

M started talking at around 11 months during a trip to the Baltimore Zoo - in the now defunct and always sadly abandoned African Village he managed to pet some goats through the fence from his stroller and shouted, wildly overjoyed, "A Dog!! A Dog!!!" After that, he created a system of classifications we used for years - and still use, sometimes. Adog, said as one word, was any furry animal and some people, particularly those with beards. Buggo was any insect, reptile or fish. It also meant the woods - wherein, of course, most buggos are encountered. Ap was food. All birds were quack-quacks, and helicopters, of which he was fond, were whub-whubs. Garbage trucks were buddy (this came from a very nice garbage man who used to holler Hey Buddy! at him when we watched them come through the alley, a high point of our week.)

I have always liked the way small children classify their world. It's like the way they draw: this stick and circle is always a tree, this circle with dots is a face. I tried for a long time to do this with my own art: draw things exactly the same every time and just move them around. It's the most basic form of language: the naming, descriptive index in which things are static but circumstances move around.

Thus, you feed ap to the quack-quacks in the park and if you're lucky a big buggo will rise up to the surface of the pond for some ap too. When you're driving through the woods it's helpful to point and shout "Buggo! Adog!" because they probably are out there. As you get older there are more points of reference: a moo, a baby, sister, vroom vroom the motorcycle. But the building blocks stay the same.

I Have to Get My Shit Together

I really do. This has been a great vacation but it's gotten ridiculous. I'm broke, I'm bored, and I'm PMSing and furious with myself and the world. I had all these plans when I started this work hiatus and I have accomplished precisely NONE of them. All I've done for the last 3 weeks is drink & be hungover, surf the internet, eat, read and sleep a lot. I need to grow up, stop drinking & smoking, get a job and get my shit firmly together.

Here it is nearly noon and all I've done is clean up the puddle a dog left in the hallway last night, snarl a lot and surf the net. The house is trashed, the grass needs to be mowed, the garden is full of weeds, I've gained back the 7 pounds I lost in May and June - enough. Enough. I'm tired of being the oldest known living worthless drunken slacker chick. I'm tired of living at the Westville Pub.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Women After 40 - here we are

I met a woman tonight at the bar who has just been divorced after 21 years of marriage, two mostly grown kids, and she's talking about having a baby. I know why she's talking about having a baby, because I talked about it too, for a while. We all do. Hit your forties, hit the kids growing up, the men have left for younger pastures, and what exactly do you do with yourself? If, like me, like her, like a lot of my friends, you started having kids in your teens and early twenties, you have no fucking idea. It's the first time in your adult life that you've been without kids to care for, a husband to take care of and . . .what? What do you do? I told her to get a puppy. It's the same as a damn baby only the time frame is less. No, I told her a lot of other things too: mostly: there is light at the end of the tunnel. And there is. A strange light, maybe, but light.

She said that she was afraid of becoming one of those women who are so self reliant that they don't want or need men.

Hello, I said, I am one of those women. And I'm happier than I have ever been in my life before. So don't knock it, sister, until you've tried it. Not that I wouldnt' take a man, because I would, but what I am now is picky to the nth degree, and it's serving me well. When/if I find a guy - it will be right.

Add this to the whispered menopause conversation I had earlier (upshot: menopause comes when you're not having regular sex: I'm not, therefore the odd perimenopausal shit I'm getting at 42, my friend T is having it regularly, thus she is just getting a few symptoms at 46. Life is unfair to the utterly single. Big surprise, that.)

And here I am: I went to eharmony tonight out of mad boredom and they told me, after 45 minutes of filling out their damn quiz, that they couldn't help me. 1/5 of the people who try eharmony are hopeless, they said. It's nothing to do with you, it's just that you're unmatchable. HA! I have heard the stories that they're actually Xtian creeps, now it's confirmed. There were tons of questions about my beliefs and observances, which basically add up to a bunch of odd semi Wiccan vaguely Buddhist things (don't walk under ladders, bless your new home with salt, spring water and garlic, keep an amethyst crystal in your glove compartment and one on your computer, relax all grip on possessions, this too shall pass and nothing really matters) - and there didn't seem to be a line item for those. There were a lot of questions about going to church. I used to go to Friends meeting in Baltimore when the kids were small: it was a blessed hour of silence. Then I got sucked into making Simple Lunch, and once they figured out how good I was at it, it was all over. Generally that's been my church experience: whoa, you can cook? And cater? And will?

Or maybe it was the part where I admitted to smoking & drinking heavily. Anyway, eharmony has disowned me firmly. I am proud.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

scary mannequin 2

scary mannequin 2
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
This guy is in the window of a spooky little store on Haywood Road. For years he has haunted me - and for years I've wanted to take him out, buy him some new clothes, and show him the world. Then return him, and take a long shower. Eeeeewwwwwwww!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Time, My Daughter the Witch & the Inevitability of Drinking

Two people asked me for the time tonight. The first one was hurrying on his skateboard and he shouted back over his shoulder, "Do you know what time it is?" It was 5:20 and this was not good news to the skater, who redoubled his efforts with a howl of despair and sped away. (wow, that's really terrible writing. Go me!) The second was at the bar (I was at the bar too, that comes later) and when I told him it was 6:00 he was very happy and relaxed into his beer with an audible sigh of "god, I'm where I'm supposed to be when I'm supposed to be there." All of which led me to tell him how he was the second person who had asked me for the time and how different their reactions had been. Which nobody else is interested in, I guess, except me, but I think, it speaks odd volumes about our relationship with time.

My daughter is a witch. This is no big surprise, she comes from two families with a long and proud history of witchcraft and odd psychic phenomena, but I guess I didn't expect her to take to it so easily and so well. She reads palms and does them well. She read my friend J's tonight at the bar and found a long ago secret - well - what do you expect, really? J sniffled a little, we turned our heads politely and then hugged her. Poor J - there you have it, A is a witch.

I had no intention of going to the bar tonight or of drinking at all. I went to the laundromat & the library & I was going to settle in by the whir of the dryers with a Charles de Lint novel but then J called me and said, I'll meet you at the pub, I'm buying and somehow, as always, that turned into multiple pitchers of PBR. I'm not sure how exactly this kind of thing happens.

But I guess, thank the gods, it does.

Monday, August 01, 2005

My Mom

My mom drives me crazy. No, she doesn't, she's wonderful. It's just that she's 78 now and I think she should no longer be allowed to read the newspaper. Every time I see her or she calls she has another completely bizarre story to tell me that's purportedly from the paper. She looks at a picture and comes up with an entire story to go along with it that has nothing to do with the actual picture or article. Or she reads an article and somehow processes it upside down and backwards in her head until it comes out, well, different. For some reason (and I know I should be more patient and understanding, age comes to us all, there too will I be and sooner than I think, etc., etc.,) this makes me go completely berserk. Internally, of course. I don't actually put on a bear skin shirt and take after her with an axe. However much I might like to.

Last Wednesday I went with her and her charming if completely gaga friend Jill to see Ladies in Lavender. I hated it, btw, it was so slow that I couldn't stand it and I spent the entire long, long, long movie trying to figure out how I could just leave. "Uh. . parking meter? Bathroom?" I calculated how long it would take me to quietly gnaw through the wall and I counted the little lights along the path. Then we went out to dinner after I, seeing my pal D though the window, had dashed in to the New New with a completely random story to my mom of urgent computer confabs (she is afraid of computers) and slugged back some Makers Mark fast. At dinner she told me at some length about the new underwater movie theatre that had just opened in my neighborhood. This was all based on one picture of the Dive In Movie that they do monthly at the Malvern Hills Pool. I tried to explain this; it took a while.

This morning she called me all excited about this article about ebiblio, the rare books finding company. Turns out it's based in Asheville. My mother was convinced that the article said they were hiring and she wanted to get this important information to my brother right away. She also thought they were doing the same thing as the old dotcom startup ebrary that my brother worked for back in the dotcom days. It took me forever to explain to her what the article was really about, how companies like this actually work, how they make money & etc., & etc. God.

Then I felt guilty as hell for not just letting her run with it - wtf is my problem anyway? Why can't I let her get all excited and ignore the "truth" behind the article. It doesn't matter at all. I should just shut the fuck up. STFU, Fliss! Bitch that you are. I don't know why it bugs me so much when she does this. I can't understand this stupid need I have to correct her, make sure she gets it right. It just makes her feel bad and then I feel worse. Gah. Gods save us from the complicated geometry of parents and children.

I got all worried about M last night and then dreamt that I was with him, his father, and his father's stepfather John Kefover the painter. They were "restoring" old books by rubbing this silver leaf stuff over the covers to fill in the cracks and I knew that they were then going to sell them as valuable antiques. I was trying to tell them that they would destroy any value the old books actually had but then I figured it was pointless. John gave me a set of Chinese paintbrushes and I was very touched. M called this morning and he is totally happy and cheerful - I miss him terribly.

My dog is eating a dog training book right now. I wonder if it will all sink in?