Friday, June 29, 2007

project 365 #180: damselfly

There's a lot to be said for getting the picture of the day out of the way by 8:00 a.m. I explored further into the secret mystery park (I refuse to give the location, because there is nobody there at 7:30 in the morning and I can let the dogs off leash to run and run and run and nobody, but nobody, is going to mess with my newly found morning peace) and went under the highway, which was very cool. Then this fortuitous bug flew by my nose and posed, which was extremely nice of him. I said thank you.

Went briefly to DL last night and it was interesting as always. I hung out with my friend C, too, which was fun. Other than that, it was work. And the grocery store, always a thrill a minute experience, right?

However. My underwear is falling off again today. I must therefore post a small rant about underwear and how idiotically difficult it is to get decent underwear these days. I know all about this, since, thanks to my dogs, I have become something of an underwear expert. I have been shopping for underwear on a weekly basis for several months now and I have this to say: contemporary underwear industry? You SUCK. It used to be that I could find bikini underwear - which is my underwear of choice - in lots of funky patterns and/or materials, cheap, everywhere. Now, everything is boy shorts and they look dumb on me and I hate all the other options, like briefs, which are just too gross for words - ditto thongs - or anything else in the strange and confusing world of ladies' underwear. Nevertheless, I must persevere. So I bought a pair of bright green lace boy shorts with bright pink lace trim the other day on the theory that they were so ugly, they were cute. They keep falling down. They're not the only pair of new underwear that has this issue, and the old ones, forget it. The elastic has gone and they're all just one small misstep away from making Haywood Road history. I'm starting to feel like an Art Frahm painting about to happen and since, actually, I do need celery, the resemblance could get even closer this afternoon. As amusing as that is, I don't want to be in the Ingles parking lot with a bag full of celery and my undies around my ankles. But I may have no choice. If only I could sue.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

project 365 #178: theo in the den

Not having the internet at home is getting really old really fast. Where are all you technical wizard types when I need you? Help!

I have now discovered two distinct places on the television machine, though. First I found the Sci Fi channel, home of such awesomeness as the giant shark and man eating crocodile movies, which as we know I am partial to, and a lot of inexplicably military focused futuristic space dramas, which I am not so fond of but will watch if the alternatives are all boring "realistic" shows in which people who have more money than I ever will make stupider remarks than I ever will in their giant unrealistic homes. I like my fantasy straight up, thanks - the more out there, the better. And they have ghost hunting programs, bonus, even if the ghost hunters are all nerdy wannabe hipsters with unconvincing snarky lines and Bigfoot hunting shows with surprisingly huge budgets in which the Bigfoot hunters, who have a lot in common with the ghost hunters, fly all over the globe as delineated in a charmingly old fashioned lines on a map to talk to just this side of drooling Bigfoot Scientists whereever they may be. Yay, Sci Fi channel.

The other channel I like is only two clicks away (not on the remote. There is no remote since Django ate it lo these many months gone and also the buttons on the TV are wonky and when you go to adjust the volume it usually changes the channel, but that's another story.) and it's Animal Planet, which mostly has truly horrible, unceasing commercials but also runs that Planet Earth documentary that I'm so addicted to on Wednesday nights. Last night they did forests and caves and showed baobab trees in Madagascar with foot long exploding flowers that were stalked by hand sized lemurs with giant eyes, causing me to become near catatonic with glee. Then they showed giant Texas cave salamanders who looked like flash animations of themselves and cave fish and cave crystals and horrible alien bacterial life forms called, appropriately, snotties. Too cool. In between they ran a lot of ridiculous commercials for dumb pet stuff, but who cares? Baobab trees!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

project 365 #177: 15 minute craft project

Oh, and I forgot to mention that my internet is no longer working at home and I totally cannot figure out why. This made yesterday's car insurance debacle even worse since I couldn't look up my records. Help, somebody, I need help with my stupid home computer and internet connection. I could call Charter, I know, but their tech support consists of an endlessly looping robot tape telling you to reboot your modem. Tried that 16 times already and that's not it; this is more complicated.

So yesterday I did manage to make another Martha Stewart Of The Trailer Park craft item! Yes! It will fall apart soon as do most of my crafts but in the meantime, be impressed! I will give you directions so you can make one of your own and also, since there is a really, really good chance that you, whoever you are, are much more patient and detail oriented than me, yours will be better than mine and will not fall apart so quickly. It will be good. You can give me credit for the idea.

You will need:
4 sticks. Twigs, really. Your dog will be happy to help you with this part.
4 nails. Small ones. I used 1 big nail and then 3 small nails because I used the big one first and realized that, hey, now I had a big pointy nail sticking out the other end. I decided to ignore it. Also, you'll need a hammer. Unless you use a clog or something.
A piece of screen. I have no idea where you get this. I found one. I think it's from when D cut the screen out of my screen door to make a ghetto doggie door. (aka "A hole in the door")
A staple gun. Single most important tool in my life.

Lay the twigs on the screen in a rectangle-ish sort of way.
Nail the twigs together.
Cut the screen at the corners sort of so it kind of wraps around the twigs. Does that make sense? You can figure it out.
Wrap the screen around the twigs and staple it. You might need to hammer the staples in.
Cut off the extra screen in the back and the dangly bits of screen on the corners. I haven't done all the corners yet as you can see from careful examination of this fine photograph, lower right. I'm going to get around to it as soon as I find the scissors again.
Hang on your wall with cup hooks and hang your earrings up.
Yay! You are talented and creative! Also, cheap!

project 365 #176: tripped out wildflowers

Yesterday SUCKED. This is Monday's picture which was blurry & boring so I tweaked it into a sort of mid 60s album cover thingie. Monday was okay as far as I recall. I was tired. I went to work. I ate polenta and mushrooms for dinner and read most of The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks which reminded me that Iain M. Banks is one of the best writers around. Wait, was that the night that I watched that hilarious Harpies show on the Sci Fi channel? That was brilliantly awful. I mean really bad. I mean so atrocious it was fantastic.

But yesterday was Tuesday, which, as I may have mentioned, SUCKED, went like this:
1. Car insurance cancelled out of the blue, rendering me afraid to drive.
2. Turns out I hadn't paid my car insurance in several months because, well, I'm a dysfunctional idiot and I sort of forgot.
3. Had to borrow S' car and drive out to Arden and give the insurance people THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Rendering me broke as hell.
3a. Good thing I hadn't gotten around to buying the new tires that money was earmarked for.
4. Now my car is legal again but still totally unsafe what with the bald damn tires and all.

Monday, June 25, 2007

project 365 #175: grass and tree

Yesterday we were supposed to go out to Bat Cave and thence to Lake Lure to take pictures of fat tourists. And we (me and S and puppy Mojo) made it to Bat Cave to visit with our friend D but we didn't make it back down the mountain and into Lake Lure. It was just too nice up there sitting on D's porch drinking beer and talking and being continually buzzed by hummingbirds and watching the dogs play so instead of fat tourists I was forced to take pictures of, like, Nature and shit. Sheesh. It was very relaxing and great and there was even a nice afternoon thunderstorm. Then S & I came back into Asheville where we met C for dinner at the Westville and then went over to his house to admire his garden. I confess, after D's & C's gardens this weekend, I am feeling terrible garden envy and am almost, but not quite, tempted to dig up some of the back forty and see what I can get to grow in this mostly dry almost July. I feel lame only having a few containers of plants and like my Earth Mother cred is all getting ruined.

So everything was nice and mellow and I went to bed at a reasonable hour and all, only to be awakened by the forever damned smoke alarm outside my bedroom at 3:30 this morning. It was really going off, none of that low battery chirping, no, the full throttle wail siren "you are going to die!" mode. I leaped out of bed and got on a kitchen chair and disconnected it and then took the battery out and then spent the next two hours in a state of terrible heightened paranoia whereby I was sure that even though I could smell no smoke whatsoever no matter how hard I strained my nose and also poked it into places where it didn't want to go like the attic crawl space and behind the bookcases just in case, horrors, an electrical outlet had suddenly decided to go berserk and caught randomly on fire, the house was nonetheless on fire and about to kill me and the dogs. Around 5:00 am I decided that if the house had actually been on fire for over two hours I probably would have noticed some change in my environment so I drifted back off to sleep only to wake up again at 9:00 - I am theoretically supposed to be at work at 9:00. I hate Mondays. I hate possessed smoke alarms. The internet tells me that it may have been the humidity that set the damn thing off in which case I guess I am doomed for the rest of the summer.

This has happened to me once before - I had mercifully forgotten the last possessed smoke detector in my life. That was in the bat infested farmhouse in northern Baltimore county where we lived in the late 90s and it also happened in the small hours of the morning not long after we moved in. It was actually worse, though, in that the kids and my boyfriend were all there as well and I believe that M, who was quite small, was frightened and crying and A, who had just started high school, was yelling as she often did and the dog was barking and I'm sure, although I don't remember it, that the cats, of which we had many then, were underfoot. Meanwhile, my boyfriend was wobbling unsteadily on a chair at the top of the stairs trying to disconnect the smoke alarm. Which finally he did, which did not faze the smoke alarm one iota. No, it just kept right on wailing away even though we had pulled the battery out. Then we had to disconnect it from the wall by main force and even then, with no power source whatsoever, it continued to shriek. I remember a conversation between me and said boyfriend about whether we would actually set the house on fire or perhaps electrocute ourselves if we just cut the damn wires with a pair of scissors, goddamnit. I swear to you that this is true. Not only did it never shut up, but then we chucked it far, far out the window towards the woods and you could still hear it chirping distantly which is why I found myself, soon after the sun rose, burying a smoke alarm deep in the earth by the state forest. I felt like a murderer - a very tired murderer who had really pretty much had it up to here with the murdering business.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

project 365 #174: end of the storm

A totally wasted Saturday and damn, does it ever feel good. Not only was it wasted - I mostly just puttered around the house, going in circles, discovering that I'd bought the wrong vacuum cleaner bags, slowly tidying up the top of my bureau and that sort of thing - but I ended up taking myself out for some retail therapy in the evening and spent too much money. Yay me. I feel good about it because, you know, a person simply cannot have too many nearly but not quite identical black skirts. And I put the plaid halter top back because I think perhaps I am just a little too old for halter tops. Alas. Also, it wasn't on sale.

I went out to that horrible "mall" by the airport; the one where, in a triumph against everything that architects and engineers and even mildly green people have been saying for decades now, you have to drive from store to store. It's as much as your life is worth to attempt to walk from the freestanding Old Navy to the more or less freestanding Target because those soccer moms are out for blood, yo. But sometimes I go out there anyway because, after all, I am an American and there is something about fluorescent lighting and big SALE signs and relentless, endless loops of Elton John that warm the very cockles of my consumerist heart. Then this giant thunderstorm hit with insane rain and crashing lightning and the lights at Target, where I was attempting to buy the right vacuum cleaner bags (they don't carry them, the shits) went out briefly to a chorus of delighted screams from the teenagers who haunt this shopping wasteland. So I couldn't leave for a while which is how I seem to have come home with a Pilates exercise ball, complete with DVD of, no doubt, highly fit people exhorting me to bend a lot and three pairs of highly dubious underwear.

I was supposed to go to a party this evening and I backed out, which I feel bad about since it was a party for a good friend who is suddenly moving to DC, but unfortunately my whole self went into lameness mode and there was just no way I could be around people. Sorry, L - I know there were a ton of people there and I'm sure I wasn't missed - let's go grab a beer next week or the week after?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Obligatory Dog Blog

So yesterday I adopted a suggestion of my mother's and went and got the dogs a couple of those huge butcher bones from the grocery store in the hopes of keeping Django so occupied that he wouldn't trash the house or try to escape from the yard. Although I must say that even before the bones, he's been waaaay better lately. Saying that out loud, or, as in this case, in print, makes me feel all itchy and nervous like the gods are watching and about to strike with a loud shout of "Hubris!", a pointed finger and a thunderbolt that makes the dogs eat the couch and then go on some kind of terrible furniture shredding rampage around the neighborhood. But I will say it, and I will also say that the giant bones worked like a charm. They're pretty creepy though - they're all shrinkwrapped but when you unwrap them there is just no escaping the reality that this was until recently inside some large bovine type. I mean they're sinewy and sort of slick and it gives one, even one who is pretty damn far from her long ago vegetarian days, pause.

The only problem with the bones is that they give Django an acute case of bone paranoia. He can't let go of his bone because then, you know, it might disappear or Theo or I might seize it or, or, something. Something bad could happen. So when I got home last night and he was doing his usual ridiculous wiggle all over to show me how overjoyed he was at my return, oh person with the dexterity to open cans, (Django's tail was already cropped by the time we found him, cropped way too short, too, and so when he goes to wag his tail he ends up wagging his entire body instead) he couldn't drop the bone or actually come near me in case I snatched it. It was hilarious; he was so torn about what to do and there was Theo getting petted but he couldn't come near me but. . . you could watch the wheels clunk slowly around in his little pointed head. I mean, you can see his point, because I want his bone so bad - all day I think, gee, wait til I get home when I can take Django's big spitty bone and just lie down on the rug and gnaw on it for a while. Yeah.

I could make a really dirty joke here and so could you but I won't. Anyway, I'm not into interspecies romance.


Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
Another drawing done and yeah, I'm getting weirder and so is my art. It's cool though, having this whole new kind of series coming out of my subconscious and also, hey, I actually finished it. What does it mean? I have no idea but oh well, why not? Come on, it beats the hell out of another picture of the dog and accompanying boring dog blog post, right?

I went to Drinking Liberally last night and met Cindy Sheehan's former lawyer who was a really nice guy from New Orleans. Also, some other new guy named Chris gave me a lengthy and unexpected compliment comparing me to Boadicea and going on a bit about female leadership and stuff. Since I am totally not a leader at DL anymore unless it comes to beer consumption (forgot to pay my tab again too, damn it, it's clearly early-ish onset Alzheimers, probably time for the ice floe except, of course, there aren't any anymore which means that we'll soon have near toxic levels of grandmother build up) I was a bit confused. But whatever. Take the compliments where you get them and, after all, why not Boadicea? I clearly need a war chariot. I think it's the long red hair that gets to them even though it's not all that damn red lately and I need to get my ass to a hairdresser forthwith. And I would, too, if I hadn't earmarked all my money for other frivolous shit. Like dog bones.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

django in dog bosnia

django in dog bosnia
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
Part of the reason that Django's being so good is that he finally has the backyard set up the way he likes it. It's a good thing I have cool neighbors. And it's a good thing that L gave me the term Dog Bosnia, because without it I would never have come up with a way to describe Django's mad exterior design skillz. I was trying to figure out a cute nickname for him this evening, like, what or who does nothing but destroy things? Who also preferably begins with a C, like Commando, so he could be the Canine Commando, except that of course, Commandos are supposed to be stealthy and smart, two factors in which Django is utterly lacking. Daleks are all Kill, Crush, Destroy so I could call him Dog Dalek except that he's more like Lick, Hug, Destroy. Or Lick, Pee, Destroy. Which is just not, I don't know, Dalek. The Hulk destroys stuff, but only when he's mad, whereas Django is pretty much 24/7 destruction. Is there anything (besides my dog) that is purely bent on destruction but in, you know, a cute way? There must be something and it's probably Japanese. Maybe Mothra - Dog Mothra.

project 365 #171: django fetch

Django's being good. Scary good. Other than dragging his food bowl into the den, where, presumably, he could lick it shiny clean at his leisure in carpeted comfort, he's done nothing horrible in days. In fact, he's discovered how to play fetch. Sort of. He's got the chase the ball thing down, but he only has the give the ball back to be thrown again thing intermittently. Usually late at night when I'm in bed, at which point he'll bring me the lovely, drenched tennis ball hopefully.

Other than that, I'm working, being efficient at work (scary, I know) and I saw my therapist this morning and he made me think all kind of deep thoughts which I think I've kind of forgotten. These 9 am therapy appointments are kind of a problem, because I have to hit the absolute magic point of caffeine at 9 am. Too little, and I might as well be still be dreaming; too much and frankly, I'm too damn wired to get anything done, to quote a cartoon I saw long ago.

Now I have to go and drink beer with S and Mojo the puppy. Bye!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

project 365 #169: hidden

project 365 #169: hidden
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
I think I'll turn that shirt from yesterday into a pillow, since Django has eaten all my throw pillows now. Actually, though, he's being very good for Django. He's gotten the dog yard into the kind of state he likes - completely strewn with trash, stuffing and bits of plastic and crap everywhere, and that seems to be keeping him content for the time being. There has been, amazingly enough, no further terrible dog destruction recently. Knock on wood. Knock on, like, all the wood you can find.

I came home last night and collapsed for about an hour, then did laundry. I used to have this weird fantasy that I would one day meet a guy at the laundromat but I've laid that one to rest. The only guys who hang out at the laundromat are either Latino, which would be fine if they a) spoke English, b) weren't mostly married and c) weren't so damn short or, if they're not Latino, they're scary freaks, which would be okay if they a) didn't have scary freak girlfriends already, b) spoke English as opposed to crack addled Madison county-ese and c) weren't so damn creepy. There are occasionally a few reasonable guys at the laundromat, but they're too much like me already: they keep their eyes on their laundry and try not to attract attention.

That's cool though, because I'm not really in the market anymore: I've lost interest. I've realized that there are far worse things than being single for the rest of my life and also, having young M gone is giving me my first long spell of total solitude in a long time and it's glorious. I had forgotten just how great it is to be the only person in a house messing up the dishes, for one thing, and for another I get to crank my own music whenever I want to and lie around and read books naked whenever I feel like it, which is most of the time. Being alone rocks and what I really need is not a boyfriend so much as a robot who will walk the dogs twelve times a day and then turn himself off or possibly into a Pilates instructor because, as I am realizing to my sorrow, it wasn't the hideous shirt that was making me look fat so much as it was the fat that was making me look fat. Damn.

Monday, June 18, 2007


I look hideous today. I woke up in the middle of the night with what felt like a horrible hangover, which is weird, since I had hardly anything to drink last night and then I couldn't go back to sleep and then when I finally woke up for the day I still felt hungover and exhausted and miserable. I suppose this is what happens when instead of my usual healthy regimen of drinking too much at least one weekend night and lying around eating too much through both Saturday and Sunday, I get more or less enough sleep and go to work every day. Great.

No weekend = no laundry. Hangover (undeserved though it is) = not caring about clothes. Which all adds up to = I'm wearing a black skirt with an uneven ruffly hem and the Ugliest Shirt in the World. This is a little poly/cotton number I got at Wal Mart on a horrible crazed whim. It's black with a giant technicolor vaguely psychedelic pattern on it in various pinks and teals and yellows and it doesn't, somehow, hang quite right and the poly is more prevalent than the cotton, so it kind of slides around on my skin unhealthily. The neckline is unbecoming and it makes me look fat. Also, insane, but that pales in comparison with the fat factor. Why am I wearing it? I don't know; maybe I'm bewitched. Maybe because my children are gone: the only other times I've ever worn this shirt my children have kindly pointed out to me that it is eye searingly ugly and I should burn it immediately, because they will not be seen with me wearing it. I put my skirt on inside out too but I figured that out before I left the house, thank god. In an hour I have to go do a photo shoot in public and I'm dreading it. I think I need a sign that says "Ha ha! I am wearing this hideous shirt IRONICALLY! See my total hipness!?" While I was thinking about this sign it occurred to me that signs would be helpful in general and perhaps I should patent and market little head mounted plexiglass sign holders so that everyone could wear one explaining their bad fashion choices and/or their sexual availability or lack thereof. Like, I could also have one that says "Despite my atrocious taste in garments and appearing (okay, not just appearing - french fry and beer created) gigantic fatness factor, I am actually very attractive and, hey, single!" That would draw in some quality guys, no doubt.

So, uh, if you happen to see me wandering around today with a camera trying to look anonymous, which is hard in a shirt as ugly as this one, remember that I'm wearing it IRONICALLY. As a statement about the post modern service economy and the price of rice in China or something. I don't care what. Something terrifyingly intellectual, left wing and opaque. You figure it out. I would never just put on a shirt like this and go out the door in a miserable state of lost my keys I don't give a shit what the fuck I'm wearing god I hate Mondays-ness. I mean, really.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

work work work work

I'm bored and I'm at work and I haven't had a day off in 8 days and whine whine, bitch, moan and complain. Yesterday I had to sit through two talks and take pictures and I learned waaay more than I ever wanted to know about the mineral specimens that come out of the Elmwood zinc mine in Tennessee. One of which is pictured here - which is the mineral specimen and which is the speaker? Damn good question, really. Yesterday I was tired and cranky; today I'm awake and cranky and I'm not sure which is worse.

Other than that, I have nothing new to report. I've been staying home and reading and Django has been trashing the yard. He destroyed my watering can, which is now in a million pieces around the yard and he took my new bright green bra off my dresser and is carrying it around. It turned out to be too small anyway and was on clearance so I couldn't have returned it, but still. There's something terribly embarrassing about trying to chat with your gardening (male) neighbor while your dog is traipsing around you with a lime green bra dangling from his jowls. It occurs to me that rather than bother with going shopping I should probably just hand Django ten dollar bills to eat. He also peed on my bed at some point yesterday - little fucker. He hasn't done that in a long time and I think maybe it was because he spent Friday at the vet's but really, there's no excuse and of course I didn't discover it until I went to bed and then had to track down clean sheets and scrub the futon with Dr. Bronners and flip it over and all that fun shit that you really, really want to be doing at 10:30 at night when you're exhausted. So I closed my bedroom door today.

Friday, June 15, 2007

project 365 #166: child with hailstones

So there I am, cracking geodes on Pack Square, hanging out with my coworkers, smokin' cigarettes and takin' pictures for my job, when the temperature begins to drop. We're under one of those funky little pop up carnival tents with the geodes and some of the roughly 300 signs I've spent the last week making in Illustrator (which signs have gotten progressively funkier, but that's neither here nor there.) So. It's getting colder and the wind picks up. Then, this very cool hippie lady (one of those super uber hippies who live around here, the kind who have seen everything and done everything and now are living at Earthhaven and yet have maintained a certain modicum of sanity?) comes running over to us and she says, "This tent is gonna go." And we say, "Oh, no, thank you, but we're fine." "Oh yes it is," she says firmly, grasping one of the poles, "I was at a Rainbow Gathering in Colorado one time with one of these and. . . " And just as she said that, the wind began to switch, the house to pitch, and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch.

Then the rain kicked in. I said, "If we get it in further towards the building it'll block some of the wind!" as three people, a tent and two buckets of rocks were lifted skyward. Somehow, with the help of another magical materializing guy, we got it in towards Pack Place JUST as the hail began to really hit. This is when I booked for the door and left the three of them there. Not because I'm an abject coward (although I am, and the hailstones PLUS the lightning PLUS the wind PLUS the thunder PLUS the river that was washing around our feet got to me a bit) but because I am a Photographer. Goddamnit. And I took pictures. And it was all very exciting and kind of felt like a 70s Sci Fi movie as people flocked around the windows and it was all lit up inside while outside some kind of wacked out weather apocalypse was going on and all our other coworkers came dashing up from the museum downstairs to see if we were still alive and/or to bring the tents in and we watched the one stranded volunteer near the flume wait patiently and I bummed a cigarette from a friend of mine and her little girl, pictured here, dashed in and out collecting hailstones.

High drama at work. I don't get a weekend for another seven days, so stuff like this must sustain me. Which isn't hard, since it was AWESOME. Also awesome is coming home to an empty house, putting on sweats, sitting back with a smoke and just, thank the gods, not having to talk to anyone or do anything for anyone or anything at all but just be. Right now at work I have to be nice all day to tons of people and run around and be helpful and stuff. I'm actually very good at this but it takes a toll and when I get home? I simply cannot be around homo sapiens at all, and since I don't have to right now, it's glorious. Oh, and when I got home? The deck was dry. No rain, no hail here in West Asheville, maybe five odd (very odd) miles from downtown.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

project 365 #165: django and the plunger 2

I've been having all kinds of deep thoughts on and off all day, which is quite something to deal with when you're also run off your feet busy. But I have and they've all been prose worthy wonderful bits of bloggy goodness, too. Unfortunately I no longer remember any of them. Them's the breaks. I do remember something about a line that went on about the evening light and an air of unbearable poignance which it adds to the most prosaic things so clearly it's probably all for the best that I've forgotten most of it.

I started watching a deep and meaningful movie, too, to wit, The Fountain. I think it's a good movie but personally I'm either too ADD or too something, possibly dumb, because I lost track completely very quickly and then I lost all interest and started drawing. Which half finished drawing is here for your inspection. I'm putting it up half done because I have a bad history of needing to do things all in one evening or they either never get done or become heinous and I like this so far, so, if it gets all awful, at least I'll be able to look back at the beginning and sigh nostalgically. And think about the poignant light.

Of course, it wasn't what I set out to draw. I set out to draw a camel. I've been watching Planet Earth on Wednesday nights and it's affecting me powerfully. I just want to draw camels in the desert and Tibetan foxes and polar bears and stuff. Grasses swaying in the wind. This is unlikely to happen. I know it's unlikely but one can hope and anyway it's something to mutter about to myself as I alarm the neighbors by pacing back and forth to my seizure inducing kitchen light (it hasn't recovered from the mysterious 1/3 power outage yet and barely gives any light except in sudden blinding flashes) and wandering around in the flickering rain outside in my gnome pajamas looking to see if the damn dog took my phone.

He didn't. All he ate today was my knitting, and that's a blessing in disguise. Now I don't have to finish that horrible hat.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

project 365 #164: neighbors chimney and sky

M is leaving tomorrow and to this end his father is here. He was going to take the bus, but after I looked at all the decimated Greyhound schedules and realized that getting pretty much anywhere at all in West Virginia or Maryland entails 15 odd hours in a bus with several midnight transfers in small unknown towns (and bus stations are always so scenic and folksy at 3:00 am) I decided that despite M's incredible coolness factor and much vaunted toughness, I personally was not going to be happy if he was on a bus heading north. Yeah, I love living in a country with no public transportation worthy of the name. So his dad drove down from WV and they're heading back up tomorrow, thence to Baltimore and thence to the Delaware shore.

I wish I could go too but alas I must work madly all weekend. It's busy as hell at work and I'm actually busting ass right now and coming home wiped out. The next four days will be even worse and I have to find someone to hang out with Django now too. Today he wasn't too bad - he tipped over a shelf on the deck and then ate everything on it. That means that he completely destroyed all my cacti, which were about four years old and super cool, a brand new Boston fern (he shredded the plant, the roots and the pot), the log carrier, the large pruning shears and the Coca Cola thermometer that the kids got me for Christmas about five years ago and of which I was rather fond. He also took the plunger out of the bathroom and ate that. For dessert, I guess. But here in Django world, this counts as a fairly mild daily tax. Except it doesn't leave a lot out there for him to destroy, which means he might turn his attention indoors next.

Argh. Want to come over and just hang out with my dog while I'm at work?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

bridge at malvern hills park

Well, Django's back. That didn't last long. Unfortunately, A's life seems to be too complicated right now for her to take care of what is, after all, her dog and thus there was a whole terrible late night argh argh argh thing with hysterical phone calls and shouting and all that sort of delightful thing. So naturally he's back at my house. He seems a bit chastened and quieter though - he's been back for almost 24 hours and he's only gnawed a bit on one of my Danskos, and since it's one that he already chewed up months ago, the extra damage is not too bad. And the fence reinforcement also seems to have worked. On the other hand, M was home all day with him today and that always helps; tomorrow will be an acid test. God. But I guess we all knew that of course I don't have the guts or toughness or whatever it is that is required to be like my mother or any of the sterner women of a previous generation who had no trouble banishing destructive dogs. Pity, that.

In other news I finally used the Barnes & Noble gift card my brother got me for mother's day and I am deliriously happily planning to never leave the house again except for work. Katherine Kerr! Charles Stross! Charles de Lint! and Iain M. Banks! Also, I got myself more Modest Mouse - The Moon and Antarctica because Tiny Cities Made of Ashes is one of my favorite songs in the whole world. I most heartily recommend, by the way, the Pandora Modest Mouse station. So far of everything I've plugged into Pandora, that one comes out with the most diverse and coollest mix and I listen to it all day at work and it makes me happy. Plus it pretty much always plays not only Ike Reilly but also the Apples in Stereo and this is good.

Monday, June 11, 2007

project 365 #162: arch and tree

Okay, we're giong to talk about sex. Yeah, surprising - we never talk about sex. Well, tonight, baby, is the night, as is so often put into song, most triggered, god help us all, by Rod Stewart and that really dumb song beloved of classic hits radio.Tonight's the night, baby, and. . .

And, well, as George Carlin most famously said, sex is like pizza: pretty damn good even when it's not that good. And way the hell better than nothing because quite honestly, my fingers or some creepy toy made in China by child slaves (I don't know; maybe it's cool with other people, but the thought of Chinese political prisoners manufacturing vibrators just kind of sends a cold unwelcome chill over the whole experience. Above and beyond the thought that you're going to have to wash the damn thing and how that's possible in a one bathroom house where children, dogs and casual relatives think nothing of strolling in to chat with the current occupant of the throne is the sort of thing that leads one to come up with nightmarish dreams of the sort that drive a saint to worldly liquors.) are just not all that really fun. Fun, no. Good for getting you to sleep, sure. Enhancing loneliness, yeah - brilliant at that.

But. Sex. Sex is a strange thing. The only time in your life you can really take it lightly is your early 20s, when your body is just raging a thousand hormones and running amok and your early 40s, when it's kind of doing the same thing. Granted, I personally was my horniest in my mid-30s (naturally, this coincided with a lengthy period of miserable celibacy) but that was when sex seemed to me to be a Very Important Thing. At that point in your life it's all bound up with babies and the house and foreverness and all that stuff. Which must be brilliant for the people for whom it works, and slow silent death for those it doesn't and sort of bemusing for the rest of us. But sex isn't that important, you know, really. Unless you're in love and when you are, well, gods help you, because I sure as hell can't and neither can anyone else.

So, uh, I'm concluding, having gone exactly nowhere with this blog post except to say, look, sex is awesome. Go have some. And when that sex is mixed with some kind of love and connection, it's even better. And so. And yeah. And talk at y'all next time.

Addenda: What I really meant and wanted to talk about was that connection and how important is it, really? Of course I don't have much of an answer and this morning in the shower I was musing on sex and love and reflecting that the last time somebody fell in love with me it was an unmitigated disaster, dear god, let's hope that doesn't happen again, but the last time I fell in love with someone it was just. . . good. Not totally reciprocated, no, but that was okay and, well, the whole thing was more than okay. And I miss that and I know how damn rare it is, when the whole thing, the sex and the emotions and all are in sync. I suspect it's asking a lot, looking for that to happen again. It's never easy and it gets trickier and trickier as you get older and acquire more and more baggage, although in some odd ways that you wouldn't suspect some things get easier, like honesty. By the time you're my age you've pretty much heard and told all the lies and it just no longer seems like it's going to shatter anybody's world if you don't fake an orgasm or act like you're falling in love. That's a good thing, all in all, I think. At least, I hope it is, since it doesn't seem like there are a whole lot of other options.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

project 365 #160: surreal films and cool music at the new french bar 5

So yesterday my friend A who used to live in Baltimore but now lives in Portland called me up to tell me that her boyfriend's band, Madagascar, was playing here in Asheville at the New French Bar. I gathered up my friends S & J and we went down there to see them, knowing nothing whatsoever about them except that T is in the band and they were from Baltimore. I told S & J that it could be anything from hardcore to classical; I had no idea and fortunately this did not scare them off. We got there to discover that it was one of those strange artsy evenings like we all had in art school whereby there were a whole bunch of 20 somethings projecting strange 1940s surreal films by a woman named Maya Deren onto a screen covered with glitter while bands played the soundtrack. It was all very serious and artsy and people glared at us when we talked and at first I was cranky because I get that way when forcibly exposed to culture since I am determinedly lowbrow and really only like movies that have either giant monsters or swords or explosions or magic in them and preferably all four.

But then I started getting into it, partly because the whole evening took a delightfully surreal turn, since the Rebelles were performing at the Diana Wortham Theatre in Pack Place which is directly behind the New French Bar. The Rebelles are Asheville's own homegrown burlesque troop and they have this huge following and the theatre and the bar share a courtyard. So the Rebelles audience began spilling out into the film/music audience and it was totally awesome with Rebelles wearing glitter hot pants and garter belts and stuff and inexplicable mimes and a guy in a sheikh robe and so on amongst the crusty serious art students watching the films in devoted silence and the bemused New French Bar patrons who had just stopped in for a drink with their dogs.

Then T's friend J played some of his songs which were quite wonderful and then he played with Madagascar and then they just played - saws and accordions and drums (T has a totally clear drum kit which is very sweet and I wish I'd gotten a picture but by that point I'd put the camera away) and guitars played with bows and so on. It was great and then they all came back over here and we stayed up until around 3 or 4 or so drinking beer on the deck. They are all really nice and it was fun and made me nostalgic for the days in my life when this sort of thing was fairly commonplace. I think I need to get out more and do different stuff besides just sitting behind the Westville or at Broadways smoking too much. Not that there's anything wrong with that but the change was good.

Anyway Madagascar is on to play in Athens tonight and then a whole bunch of other places and you should go and see them because they are not only great musicians but very cool people as well.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

project 365 #159: behind the westville pub at sunset

So you probably didn't think I was serious about getting rid of Django, did you? Neither did I, but then I came home last night and discovered that in the three hours he'd been inside he had knocked over a big vase, shredded the artificial flowers contained within (okay, yeah, but I swear they were cute and just the thing that odd corner needs, besides, I just fucking got them) shredded a shoebox, gotten up on my dresser, taken a bracelet and eaten that, gone into M's room, tipped over his hamper, spread his laundry all over the floor and eaten some of it. That's all I know about but jesus. So I snapped and called first my children and then my mother to tell them that I was taking the dog to the pound in the morning. A called back and said she would take him - she's the one who found him in the first place, after all - and I said, good. Fine. Yes.

I had been in a really good mood yesterday afternoon too and looking forward to kicking back at home for a couple hours before meeting some friends at the Westville for either the movie or the trivia. So after I calmed down a bit I made myself a stiff vodka tonic and carried it out onto the deck to drink it while I called my mother and she told me that anyone else would have gotten rid of the dog a long time ago (my mother, who is tougher than me, has no qualms about summarily dispatching dogs who mess with her furniture.) I listened to this and sipped my drink and thought, wow, it sure tastes mild considering how much vodka there is in it. Oh well, I haven't had a drink in a week or so, I've probably forgotten. Then I went back into the kitchen to make dinner and that's when I found the glass of vodka sitting on the counter next to the empty bottle, because apparently what I did was take an identical, empty glass, fill it with tonic and ice, and drink that. Without noticing. Because I guess it's all over now and soon they will have to come and take my drooling self off to the moron ward.

This morning of course I felt guilty about Django (he's not that dumb; he was all cute and good and obedient this morning) and I started reinforcing the fence, thinking, I cannot take another perfectly healthy beautiful dog to the pound no matter how destructive he is, I just can't do it. Maybe it will work this time. Maybe if I. . . But then A showed up (with J; naturally, argh) and I handed him over without much of a qualm. I did make a few weak comments about possible joint custody and so on but hopefully that won't come to pass.

Although, like A, I too am locked in a dysfunctional relationship and I wouldn't put money on Django not returning to trash the house some more in the near future. Argh.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Free to Special Home

django and his new toy
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
Slightly used Springer Spaniel, 10 months old. New home must have large (over 2 acres would be good) fenced (I suggest 10' tall stockade fencing, sunk 3' deep into a concrete trench, also, electrified.) yard and be prepared to walk dog (good luck with the leash training thing, there) for 2 to 3 hours per day. New family must have Buddhist attitude about possessions (they weigh you down and should not be taken seriously) particularly furniture. New family must NOT care about furniture. Bad with kids; good with other dogs; dubious with adults; god only knows how he is with cats but outlook not so good.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

project 365 #158: morning walk by the river 5

I took the dogs for an hour long walk this morning, from one end of the river park to the other and back again. This gives me a whole bunch of possible angles to blog from - there's the "Goddamn there are too many people in Asheville nowadays why when I was younger the park was deserted" rant and then there's the "Nature sure is gosh darn beautiful, isn't it?" pastoral odyssey and, for a third and final possibilty, there's the "The dogs are so crazy; you won't believe how many times they took a shit this morning" amusing dog story (of which there have been, yeah, way too many lately.) So many themes, so little time:

This morning when I got to the park I was surprised at how many people there were at Carrier Park and all of those people were totally fucking annoying, as is always the case with the New Asheville. But the river was lovely and all the trees were reflected in extremely tree like reflection grandeur. Then the dogs, who were not happy at having to stay on the leash, took way too many shits: I hate carrying a bag of dog shit around although I grant you it is pretty much a superior weapon should I be accosted by new Ashevilleins from Florida who are mad at my dogs and don't properly appreciate the true glory of the morning.

In other news, I've been staying home and being misanthropic lately and at the moment I'm kind of thinking this trend is not going to change any time soon. I seem to have lost my taste for going out and, since this is probably an unequivocally Good Thing, I'm just going with it. Also, my kitchen is remarkably clean, which is partly because of the Blessed and Holy Dishwasher. I love the dishwasher. I mean I love it. I mean I stand there in the kitchen at night and tears come to my eyes and I say in a hoarse whisper "This is like some kind of fucking almighty amazing miracle, you know that?" I have only ever once had a dishwasher before and I just can't believe the glory of it all. It's so incredible; I'm nominating the dishwasher for Best Invention Ever and also, a la Scarlett, as god is my witness, I'll never go dishwasherless again. Unless someone sells me a funky amazing 1920s bungalow for a price I can afford without one, that is.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

project 365 #156: rainbow over patton avenue

It was one of those days where I spent hours in the car so it's fitting that the picture of the day should be taken at the lengthy red light at the corner of Patton and Louisiana, where I was between the laundromat, where I was of course doing laundry and the K-Mart, where I was going to buy M some swim trunks and where I ended up buying a blue bean bag chair on the theory that every carpeted, panelled 70s den must have one. Too bad they didn't have orange. Blue will do but orange would have been better. So anyway, there's a rainbow in this picture. That's like the fifth rainbow I've seen this spring, which must be some kind of record. Maybe the little people are actually getting serious about giving me the gold. That would rock, except that, of course, somewhat in the same way that I never check the numbers of my lottery tickets against the actual winning numbers, I don't believe them and so I don't go trying to find it. Unsurprising, is it not?

Monday, June 04, 2007

project 365 #154: django and new toy after an hour

Yesterday I indulged in some serious retail therapy, or, well, it would have been retail therapy except that what I was doing was replacing several of the pairs of shoes that Django has chewed to shreds over the last year. Still fun but not quite as fun as, say, buying totally new and different shoes. And I bought a bunch of frames at K Mart and right now, in between bouts of struggling with Adobe Illustrator, which I am attempting to teach myself (I am "working" at home today, woot) by making some big signs for the museum, I am framing art. Except that naturally I bought all the wrong size frames even though I had a list with me and now I have to go to Michaels and get more frames. And find that one drawing that has vanished into the moving vortex - the only drawing that I want to find and, naturally, the one I can't find. Argh.

Last night was another party party night with S & Z & H & D & J & me all whooping it up on the incredible wobbling deck. It was lovely but of course I had had nothing to eat all day and so I gave up and went to bed while the party was still going on. This is rude but alas, sometimes necessary and miraculously I feel okay this morning, if a bit annoyed since M is out of school as of today which means that he and his friend C are taking up altogether too much space in the house clumping around, eating extravagantly spiced up ramen and leaving the bowls, along with almost empty glasses of coke and gatorade, everywhere. The steps are all fixed up and my nice landlord D performed miracles and even built a really goofy little railing where the old steps were on the deck to keep us from drunkenly falling off it. And my friend D is here right now; the fence is done, although Django can still get out of it, goddamn goddamn, and he's putting in a new dog safe - i.e., cheap and destructible - screen door. Things are looking up.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Visual DNA test thingie

I thought this was surprisingly accurate. Heh. Besides, all my picks were, like, the least popular which proves that I am a special and unique snowflake - and also that there is noone like me which I had kind of figured out but whatever, oh well.

project 365 #152: auds django and theo on my bed

My daughter A came over last night. She's in the terrible throes of mid break up (again. Yeah, but maybe it will stick this time?) and was feeling at loose ends and lonely. So, since M was over at his friends' house for the night, we sat around and drank beer and talked and it was very nice. I did have plans to do nothing whatsoever last night - I have discovered the Sci Fi Channel and it is good - so it took me a little while to switch gears but then it was fun.

Supposedly my new landlord is going to call me or appear at any minute this morning to fix the steps to my deck of death. We call it that, or sometimes the Collapsapalooza stage because, as I explained succinctly to someone at DL the other night, it was built by hippies. Out of hemp. Well, no, not actually out of hemp - out of untreated lumber of various sizes and a whole lotta nails. This being Asheville, however, you can say "It was built by hippies." and everyone immediately understands what you mean: a certain unique je ne sais quoi approach to home improvement, done with a fine disdain for the structural engineering of The Man. My various carpentery friends have been under the deck and declared it not quite on the verge of imminent collapse. I would be more inclined to believe them if they didn't emerge from under there so quickly, looking a little worried and suggesting mattresses or bales of hay under it. Yeah. Maybe a lot of small trampolines. Then they ask me if I have any lumber lying around and say that well, probably it wouldn't be a bad idea to shore it up some. When there are more than 3 people out there it sways like the Titanic during those last fateful moments, which is a bit unsettling and makes me dubious about the current plans to host the blogapawhateverwhatever annual party here in July. Bloggers Killed In Freak Deck Accident makes for a good headline and possibly even a Metafilter thread full of dots but it's not really what I want to do this summer.

Also, young M went right through one of the steps the other day, which is why I played the Summon Landlord card which is also why I rolled out of bed this morning and started cleaning like a lunatic. Now he is 15 and thus inclined to thump about a bit, but still. The board just broke right in half and all the steps look to be in the same condition, which is extremely unnerving all the time and particularly if you happen to be wearing a skirt and high heels and are cursing the dogs at the top of your lungs for wiggling out of the (still incomplete, sheesh) fence when you have to go to work. Not that that has happened. More than five times.

Friday, June 01, 2007

project 365 #151: theo at the park and watercolorized

Gah, I'm hungover. I should know better than to go to DL and then, I should know enough to come home earlier and then I should know better than to invite my friend S over for even more drinks. Of course, I don't apparently know any of this which is why I'm crouched in my office with the worst headache ever and a raw tongue from salt n' vinegar potato chips.

Technology has gone too far. I heard from a friend who is in similar desperate straits to mine (the lack of male, uh, company desperate straits, not any of the other desperate straits in which I routinely find myself) and she took the bold step of approaching a guy she knew slightly and found attractive while he was crouched over his laptop at a local bar. She was all coquettish but he was busy and uninterested, at least for now. "I could talk to you the week after next," he explained, "because I'm busy next week." No, she was busy the week after next. So he added her to his Google calendar and had it send her an email telling her to talk to him in 3 weeks. Hilarious. But wrong. So, so deeply wrong.

Oh, and if the titles of the various posts & pictures & stuff are getting confusing, it's because I got all muddled up with what day it was, as in it's like the 152nd day of the year and stuff. Which is not a natural way to think of the calendar and so I had to add it all up and then go back through my Flickr Project 365 set and find the places where I had skipped a day and then renumber the ones after that. So I think I fixed it on Flickr but it won't update on the blog and frankly I just can't be bothered. At this point the blog is pretty much getting yesterday's photo anyway and you know what? That's okay.