Tuesday, July 31, 2007

project 365 #211: art still life

I woke up this morning with a Rhett Miller song in my head. This isn't surprising, since yesterday I finally got it together to put my Wal Mart special CD player thingie in the car - you know, it's one of those tape deck adapter things attached to a cheapass Walkman - and the CD I grabbed was Rhett Miller, The Instigator. This is because yesterday I was in the mood to emo out to that song that goes Am I Gonna Be Lonely For the Rest of My Life? In fact, I wanted to not just emo out but emo out at full speaker cracking volume and wail what's left of my lungs out as I drove down 240. Which I did. And it was good.

Then I listened again to the rest of the CD - most particularly, to this one song - the one that gets stuck in your head - and it goes, I kid you not, like this:

You come and you glow,
You hum and you hover
I cannot believe you are my lover.

Dude. Dude, you're fucking Tinker Bell. Did you not notice that she was a little on the short side?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Felicity with her purple/pink highlights

My friend Susan took this on Saturday evening. Yeah I dyed my hair and yeah, it turned out well. Yay hurrah and I wish I was a little happier today but I'm kind of down. Bah. It's funny driving into downtown the day after Bele Chere - I always expect there to be more detritus and maybe some drunks laying in the street but it's amazing how fast they clean it up and the city goes back to whatever it is that passes for normal in Asheville. There's nothing out there now to point to the madness of the weekend. Well, there is a large black wooden box sitting on Biltmore Avenue; it kind of looks like a short vampire's coffin, like maybe he was out and about and got too drunk (the blood of Bele Chere attendees is 80 proof) to drag his coffin back under the parking deck where he usually lives and now he's stuck in there until nightfall when he might just wake up to find himself in whatever subterranean vault the city keeps all their Bele Chere oddments.

Actually I had more fun this year on Saturday night at Bele Chere than I maybe ever have. C & S & K & J and I got completely toasted and wandered around running into people and taking pictures for several hours and it was actually a blast. Usually I'm too cynical for Bele Chere and also I always have to work and I get into that "I hate all tourists get the fuck out of my way" mode but this year, with enough people and ample beer, it was totally fun. Didn't see any music though - but the people watching alone was enough.

I have no internet at home again and so today I have to spend hours on the phone with Charter, which I'm not looking forward to. I can't believe how miserable having no internet at home makes me: I am such a web junkie. I get reduced to playing solitaire on the computer, mopily listening to ancient mp3s and watching bad horror movies on TV. Also, eating too much, although I don't think I can really blame that on the lack of computer. Turns out that Asheville pizza really does deliver to West Asheville now and hooo boy, after years without pizza delivery (I hate Papa Johns and have ideological issues with Dominos) I can see that this is going to be a terribly dangerous trend.

Friday, July 27, 2007

project 365 #207: haywood road panorama

I'm taking a brief break from working the museum booth at Bele Chere to soak up some air conditioning and let my ears recover from the thousant times damned Kiss Country Karaoke stage, which is unfortunately located about 20 yards from our booth. Did you know that people actually do karaoke to Californication? Yeah. Me either and I could have lived for the rest of my life without hearing it.

Bele Chere is staggering right along. The last guy I talked to had a big old black eye and scrapes all over his face. His eyeball was so messed up I dared not look, so I missed where he had Only God Will Judge tattooed around his neck. I was also trying not to look at his hairy, sweaty chest, oh lord. His girlfriend was maybe a little heavier than one should be to wear a skin tight wife beater and jeans with a large belt buckle under the muffin top and you know, there's a limit on the amount of bright blue eyeshadow anyone really needs. But what the hell. That is the special beauty of Bele Chere. Yargh.

I Would Just Like To Say

that I dyed my hair mostly purple last night with streaks of other various colors and it looks amazing and I'm going to get my eyebrows done this afternoon which will also be amazing and, while I was driving in to work this morning the cock Rock station played Smoke on the Water, the whole thing, unironically, and I cranked it up as far as my long suffering car speakers will go and bounced happily into town. Yeah. Deep Purple, baby! Fuck this natural hair shit. Fuck letting the gray show. Fuck it with bells on.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

project 365 #206: garlic bouquet 7

My friend D came down from Bat Cave yesterday and took N back up the mountain for a couple of days. She left a huge bouquet of black eyed susans on my table and a big bouquet of garlic tops on the doorstep as an exchange for N. It was a fair trade, I think, although N will occasionally do dishes and stuff, but the bouquets beat him out for decorative purposes. I called her last night to thank her, because the flowers are wonderful and the garlic tops are incredibly excellent (they do all kinds of funky things like bend into spirals and grow new bits and they kind of look like something from Beetlejuice; most satisfying) and she warned me that garlic flowers, while scenic, are not perhaps a good idea for an indoor arrangement due to their, uh, olfactory qualities. I ignored this and put them on my dining room table. Well. Let's just say that absolutely no vampires will ever come in my house now. I am so safe.

I finished Harry Potter last night and I feel, frankly, kind of let down. I should be all happy but I need more details; I need to know exactly how every minute of Harry Potters life progressed or something. What I want, specifically, is Harry Potter and The Mid Life Crisis. But somehow I don't think it's going to be forthcoming. Just a minute ago I started to write it but then I got hit by a magical wave of sanity so I didn't. Y'all can imagine it. It involves alcohol, regrets, divorce and dead end jobs. Yeah. Welcome to adulthood, Harry.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

project 365 #205: crane in biltmore village

I go hang out with my mother for an hour or two at least once a week and yesterday was one of those days. Yesterday, actually, was one of those days period. I had to go to a community planning meeting thingie and I had to go to the bulk mail place with a mailing (and I hate mailings) and then my landlord called because my neighbor called him to tell him my dogs were out which meant, of course, that I had to go back down to my car and drive home to find out that the dogs were happily on the couch with N and had in fact only been outside the fence for like 10 minutes. Too much driving hither and yon makes Felicity a very cranky girl, not to mention that 3 block uphill slog between parking space and office.

Anyway after work I drove over to my mothers to find that instead of an hour or so sitting alone with her getting the news of the aged - "So and so died. And you know so and so? Broke her hip. That other neighbor? Cancer." It's a rip roaring good time, let me tell you. - she had invited some other neighbors over to drink this Italian bubbly wine that she has just discovered and fallen in love with. I have not been drinking for the last two weeks but, alas, soda water is not an option when my mama has her heart set on some Prosecco. So I had some Prosecco and it wasn't too bad: it didn't give me an instant splitting three hour headache, which is my inevitable champagne response. It also didn't give me a buzz or induce in me any desire to drink anything else. The whole not drinking thing is freakily easy, actually; the only problem is it makes me misanthropic and disinclined to company. That's probably okay and bonus, I think I'm starting to lose some of the beer weight, which was the major impetus behind the whole thing.

This neighbor's husband recently passed away. I knew this, but naturally as always in such circumstance I have no idea what to say. Also naturally, I end up inserting my foot deep into my mouth. My mother had me open the wine, which is like champagne in that it's scary to open. My father installed a deep fear of champagne corks in me early on because he always saw opening a bottle as one of those big opportunities to wax enthusiastic about the possibilities of champagne bottle related death. That cork is under pressure - it could put your eye out. Or ricochet through one ear, bounce around your brain and then go out the other ear. Or, in some temporary suspension of the laws of physics, go straight through your heart! Argh! Be afraid! So of course I had to bring this up. "Hope I live through it!" I said brightly, aiming the bottle away from the ladies. "Shut UP," whispered my inner sane person, but it was too late. The cork came out.
"Look!" I said happily, "I survived!"
"GOD!" shrieked my inner sane person. "Will you shut the fuck up? Her husband just DIED."
"NIce to know I can live through opening a champagne bottle" I babbled on.
My mother was beginning to look a little desperate. I couldn't seem to stop. "To life!" I said cheerily. No, actually I didn't go that far. I think maybe someone stuffed an hors d'oeuvre in my mouth. Thank the gods. I really can't be trusted out of the house.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I've decided that what I need to make my life complete is to make a movie. And not just any movie, no - what I want to make is a Giant Possum Movie. Possibly the only giant possum movie ever, although you can never be sure, given cable tv and their eternal search for the most horrific cheap movies in the world. For all I know, someone in Hong Kong could have beaten me to this lucrative possibility years ago. But I don't care. I'm going to make a Giant Possum Movie, by god, and it's going to be the best damn Giant Possum Movie in the universe.

See, the other night I was sitting out on my deck with my friend C and the conversation turned, as it so often does, to possums. When the conversation turns this way, I am honor bound to mention the huge possum, almost as big as Theo, who lives near my old house and marches down the center of the street in broad daylight, fearing nothing. He's right to fear nothing, because everyone who spots him, human and canine alike, does the same thing: they make a kind of eeeyarrgh, urk noise and run away. Which is the sensible thing to do. So I said to my friend C, "Suppose possums are like fish? And they just grow and grow until they get hit by a car or something?" "Yes, Felicity," said C sardonically, "Possums are just like fish!"

Nay sayers, bah. It's possible. Although if it was true, you'd think someone might have spotted a house sized possum or two strolling through the neighborhood, which would, let's face it, be awesome. Well, bad, yeah, but bad in an awesome way. Therefore I am going to make the movie. And if my movie possums are not only gigandor but also shoot laser beams out their eyes (while, naturally, making that particular and specific I am shooting laser beams out my eyes right now noise - that's a very helpful noise, that is, without it you wouldn't know when to drop flat on the ground because the presence of the giant lizard or robot or whatever wouldn't necessarily have alerted you to the fact that dropping flat to the ground might be a good idea right around now) well, that will just be bonus. And I think I can make this movie pretty cheap, too. Possibly in Photoshop.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Long Weekend

It's funny how some people can manage to live their lives in planned and sensible ways and never seem to be troubled by demons or ever even experience that thin, sharp edge between the world we know and the abyss, but others are always right there, right on the boundaries. I've spent some time staring into that black hole myself and that's probably why I'm drawn to other people like me, who know it all too well. Which is what happened to a good friend of mine - he slipped off the edge and was holding on by his fingernails. So I rented a car on Saturday morning and drove up to Baltimore and picked him up and spent the night on his boat and then drove him back down to Asheville yesterday where now he is asleep on my couch: thin, spent, shaky. Hopefully a bit wiser. Hopefully he will feel better soon. Hopefully he won't do this again. Hope is a strange and wonderful thing.

Driving 1100 miles in 36 hours is always interesting. There are all kinds of vignettes in my head right now, from the patient cat by the Virginia Burger King door to the clouds and deep sky of the Shenandoah Valley. My ears are still ringing a bit from the good stereo in the rent a car and I'm still swaying a little from the night on the boat. I hadn't slept on a boat in oh, about 10 years I guess, or more, and lying there unable to sleep, listening to the stays clang on the mast and the water and wakes shaking the bow up and down made my head go into overdrives and layers of memories and old senses.

It was a pretty heavy weekend. I'm tired. I'm putting up a few pictures on Flickr soon. I didn't take very many. It wasn't really a picture taking trip. Things are all in flux again and that, I think, is the way it goes when you make that choice to live a little closer to the edge than many do. But I wouldn't have it any other way and somehow, I think I did something right, since I was able to do what I did this weekend.

Friday, July 20, 2007

project 365 #200: day 200 self portrait

I'm kind of on a much needed social hiatus right now - staying home, reading a lot, even, gasp, watching TV. Although now that we have TV for the first time in almost 7 years, the inevitable has happened: there's nothing on. 60 odd channels and nothing anyone in their right mind would want to watch on any of them. I knew it. But it's been pleasant anyway and I'm planning to keep on like this for at least another week or so. And I'm fucking around with Photoshop, as this image makes clear. When one picture a day is no longer enough, you must merge a few.

All this healthy living is getting me to the river most days. Yesterday it was beautifully foggy; today was clear and thanks to my canine alarm clock, we got out the door at 7:00 and walked all the way to the campground on Amboy Road from Hominy Creek Park. Django never slows down for even a minute, which would be totally awesome if he hadn't figured out that there's a place he can jump in the river one last time just before he gets into the car to leave so that he's all lovely and soaked and muddy. He has a thing about water, that dog. Last night he did something truly weird: he brought a sock from M's room into the kitchen. This is not at all out of the ordinary, but then - and I watched this, I swear it happened - he dumped the sock into the waterbowl, pulled it out and happily carried the drenched and dripping sock out to the backyard. Because dry socks are no longer enough? I have no idea. Socks taste better when wet? Even Django can't handle the taste of one of M's socks without dilution? Who knows?

Postscript a few hours later: You know, I absolutely have to stop thinking that my life is boring or, gods forbid, writing about it in this blog. Because every time I do that, things suddenly get hairy. It is possible now that I will be embarking on a brief, fast, longdistance serious road trip this weekend. In fact, it looks very possible. Like, probably. Details when I get back if I go. But sheesh - just thinking that I never do anything or go anywhere but work, the river & home never does seem to fail to send me right out of my usual orbit.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

project 365 #199: Haywood Road sunset

Tomorrow is Day 200 of Project 365 and I'm already getting performance anxiety. On Day 100, I got everyone at my house to jump and I took their picture and it was cool. Frankly, I was a whole lot cooler 100 days ago. Right now I'm in a bit of a funk and I'm trying to change my entire lifestyle or something so that I can sort of get my shit together at least temporarily. This is hard to photograph because it seems to involve a lot of staying home and reading fantasy novels and walking around in circles talking to myself. Trust me, you don't want to see that. Even, or perhaps especially, since I do most of this great wisdom seeking in my hot pink with giant hot green limes on them capri pajama pants and my vintage (by dint of the fact that I still own it) 1988 14th St. Leave Me Alone oversized T-shirt. It's a fetching ensemble and it goes well with my ubernerdchick glasses. Also, I have mysterious bug bites that itch like crazy.

And ticks. No, not the kind that make you twitch, although, actually, there is nothing like the feeling of a tick strolling around on your body looking for a good place to settle down for a leisurely lunch to make you twitch. This morning I knew there was one on my back, which made me keep reaching my hand up behind my neck to casually probe around under my shirt. This is a complex maneuver that is extremely difficult to manage casually in an office setting, like, oh, don't mind me, I suddenly have this urge to root around under my clothes, it's nothing, really. You can get away with that once but by the fourth time people are staring, believe me. And you really don't want to say, "Uh, sorry, I think there's a tick or two on me." People are so squeamish these days, sheesh.

I finally found it about an hour later in my hair: fortunately, I was alone at that point. And then, of course, I spent the rest of the day jumping about and rubbing myself all over just in case that tick had friends and relations along for the ride. I didn't even go to the river this morning, which seems unfair - I only went over to the calm, tame (one would think,) orderly environs of Malvern Hills Park. Why no river this morning? That would be because the nifty Timex clock radio which I bought for young M for Christmas from the clearance rack at K-Mart for $11, which he naturally spurned and which I finally opened up and installed in my room about 3 weeks ago, just up and died. This has made me furious, because among other things, it took me at least an hour to decipher the manual and actually set the goddamn thing. But I liked it because the numbers were constantly changing color and all those hallucinogens I took in the early 80s has made me fond of that sort of psychedelia. Damn planned obsolescence. Damn Timex. I never even licked the stupid clock and yet it metaphorically ticks no longer.

Oh and hey, my friend Z took a good picture of me a coupla weeks ago with the fantastic bumper sticker I found in my basement which is now on my car. Is love better than Schlitz? I have no idea. I don't think I've ever had a Schlitz (does it even still exist, that harmoniously named lager?) and these days I'm leery as hell of love.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

hideous roadside shot improved dramatically

So this is how I spent my Tuesday night. Well, I spent the first part of it having a brief and inexplicable sort of panic attack but then I hunkered down on two computers simultaneously and created this masterpiece so that I could improve Sunday's picture, which was so utterly lame even I couldn't bring myself to put it into the project 365 pools or my set. Now I like it better even if it isn't the worlds best photoshop job. Yeah, I know - it looks like one of those collaged flyers we used to make at Kinko's late at night in the 80s except in color but see, it's on purpose. Really. Absolutely. Sure. And if you believe that, can I trade you a handful of beads for that nice bungalow? I love doing weird stuff on photoshop but I get irritated when I have to start fucking around pixel by pixel, which is why I will never be one of the great designers of our time. No, I will just be one of the weird designers of our time, which is totally okay with me.

See, here is the terrible original shot, which yes, I took from a moving vehicle, specifically S' car on Swannanoa River Road, which we were navigating enroute to see the new Harry Potter movie. A little photoshop made it much better, n'est ce pas? (That right there is French for Innit, which itself is, like, British for amirite. I am so cultured and international and all, ya know.)

The novelty of the project 365 thing has kind of worn off. It's more than halfway through the year and I'm getting tired of having to take a damn picture every day. I feel like all of Asheville has been photographed unto a fare thee well already and, frankly, at least during the week, I just go to walk the dogs, work and then home. It's dull in real life and even duller in pixels, I'm afraid. Hopefully I'll get my inspiration back soon because the past couple of weeks have been a slog photographically. Much as I love my camera, I'm sick of yanking it out all the time.

In other news, spurred on by the Harry Potter movie, I, like thousands of other losers fans have been rereading the books. Well, actually only the most recent one, which I read in several gulps. It was better than I remembered it being and now I'm really excited for the new one to come (yeah, okay, I pre-ordered it from Amazon, what? You wanna make something out of it, muggle?) even while the part of me that will forever be eleven years old and addicted to sequels is hyperventilating at the thought that it's the last one ever. But then, if I'm tired of taking a photo a day half a year into it, I can only imagine how much JK Rowling wants to off Harry Potter and his posse by this point. So more power to her, and here's hoping I get off my ass, write a book my own self (a better book than the last one I tried to write, in 1994 or thereabouts, which got a bit too, uh, complicated) and the legions of Harry Potter losers fans snap it up and send me tons and tons of lovely moolah so I can actually buy a bungalow with something other than a handful of beads.

Monday, July 16, 2007

My Quick Review of the New Harry Potter Movie

1. It's not as good as the last two Harry Potter movies.
2. But it's still better than many, many movies.
3. Is it better than the giant crocodile alligatorsaurus movies on the Sci Fi Channel?
4. Yes.
5. Daniel Radcliffe needs to learn that in acting, there is more than one way to express anger.
6. Just breathing loudly and tensing one's neck muscles is not enough.
7. Maybe he has asthma.
8. All that gasping got really annoying after a couple of hours, though.
9. There was a girl - well, actually a woman, I think - sobbing loudly in the theatre through the last part.
10. So what with all the angry Harry breathing on screen and the sad moviegoer snuffling in the audience, there was a whole lotta wheezing, coughing and other lung noises going on. Even the occasional moan.

The whole Harry Potter thing is still just so damn cool, though, that it makes all the breathing noise oddities okay.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

project 365 #194: chicken hill

It's been another party party weekend and jesus, I can't wait to go back to work and leave all this mindless frivolity behind. I tell you, I am too old and feeble for this kind of relentless fun pace. I need a long dark period of angst and stern internal reflection, preferably in a bleak wintery landscape somewhere, to recover.

Friday night there was an opening at the art museum which was actually quite fun and then, afterwards, my friends S & C & I went over to our friends Z & H's for a small impromptu dinner party, which was totally fun. I took this picture on the way over there, by the way, and I actually think it is quite good, although not, alas, as good as I thought it was when I looked at it drunk, at which point I thought it was probably the single best photograph ever taken. Still. It's not bad. Then S and her puppy Mojo came over here, which led to me being hungover yesterday but not too bad, since I was able to put my new bed together! Yes! I am no longer sleeping on the floor and it is good. I also went to Aldi yesterday and to Ingles and issued a lot of stern commentary on the high prices of groceries and how I'm not going back to the goodamn supermarket for at least a week, do you hear me, an entire week, and certain teenage boys should pace themselves in their consumption of beverages if they expect to be drinking anything but water come next Saturday. This was received with the utter apathy it rated.

Then last night was my friend J's birthday party which was very nice. There were mojitos and good food and everybody - well, the female everybodys - was wearing pretty summer dresses so it all felt very sophisticated and grown up and it all put me into a state of complete and total garden envy, since J & K's garden is amazing, as is Z & H's and all I have are some resentful tomatos in a container by the fence. They would like me more if I watered more often, but what can you do? Besides, obviously, water more often. I'm way too lazy for that. I miss the old days, when water just fell from the sky.

Today I have not done one single goddamn thing except lie around and moan and eat Fritos. It's pathetic and I swear I'm not going to do this again next weekend or even the weekend after. Nope. No. Uh uh.

Friday, July 13, 2007

project 365 #193: underside of 40 2

Wednesday was my brother's last night in town so he and I and young M went out to dinner at Thai Basil. It was excellent beyond belief - even my jaded NY brother said it was about the best Thai food he'd ever had. It is not cheap. But it is most delicious. In other news, last night I went to my friend J's screening. She is a filmmaker who does gorgeous stuff and this film, which starred another friend who did a long fast in the woods some years back, was most excellent. It was very cool and fun and I had a good time and felt all artsy and shit, which is always good. Tonight I will be enhancing that artsy feeling by attending the art museum's opening of their paper dress exhibit, for which they requisitioned my lava lamp. Then I'm going to see another friend play music. All good.

Except. (Okay, if you are male and/or squeamish, you may wish to exit here.) It is that time of the month and, good gods almighty, yet again it occurs to me that periods are the single best argument against intelligent design yet. I mean, I'm sorry, but I hate my stupid period. Yes, I like the part where I go, oh yay, dodged the pregnancy bullet again, but that part is only about 15 seconds long and could be accomplished via a simple email from my uterus. The rest of it is cramps and tiredness and my fingers are all fucking swollen so I can't even wear my amethyst ring and my back hurts and I'm not even going to go into the part where I turn into a homicidal/suicidal psychopath for a week or two previous. And I can't go out to the woods because of the bears and I can't swim in the ocean because of the sharks and I can't swim in the Catawba river because of the piranhas and I can't take a bath because of some weird old wives tale that we were earnestly told was untrue in the helpful brochures given to all fifth grade girls in 1976 but probably is true anyway. Those same brochures and the informative folder in the Tampax box tell you to exercise for the cramps but if you exercise you bleed too much and then you'll be walking home from the park leaving a trail of gruesome spots behind you which the dog might lick up, causing utter illness in your soul forever and firing up that old hidden worry about dogs possibly developing a taste for human blood and starting to sneak out at night to chew on babies and anyway you're too damn tired to exercise. Also, I'm tired of waking up in a pool of blood and I'm not happy about the way my period just gets worse and worse as I get older yet my older friends only utter sepulchral laughs when I complain about this and tell me that I have seen nothing yet.

Despite all this, the prospect of menopause fills me with even more daunting horror because then, as far as I know and rumor has it, I will overnight sprout a million wrinkles and chin hairs, begin cackling, dry up altogether and never have sex again. I mean, fuck. This sucks. They tell you it's natural but natural is not always so great, you know? Typhoid is natural and so is cholera and so, apparently, is the way my upper arms and belly are changing shape and not for the better. Bah. The whole thing is completely fucked up.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

project 365 #191: wildflowers in jug and sky

You know that cartoon character with the little rain cloud over his head? The one who walks around in a continual shower? AKA the truck driver from the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy who was actually a rain god? Yeah, well, that has long been metaphoically me, I know, I know - but it seems to have moved into the realm of actual physical reality and that's bothering me a little. I mean, if some metaphorical thing in my life can take on tangible reality, why can't it be my vision of myself as the prom queen? Or a lottery ticket? Or that Frankensteined metaphorical perfect boyfriend?

But no. No, instead I manage to walk the dogs during what was apparently either a very localized (not unusual in WNC, where if you don't like the weather you should walk a half mile or so) or simply the only total downpour of the day. It started as I got out of the car at the river with the dogs and ended after our walk as I drove home. By the time I made coffee the sun was shining and birds were tweeting and my soaking clothes draped over chairs in the dining room near the panting, drenched and smelly dogs all looked bizarrely out of place.

I would take this in my stride if my cookout hadn't been rained out on Saturday and if it hadn't been raining, yesterday, outside my kitchen window, where I was, but not on the deck. Until I'd been there for a couple minutes, that is. Yes. Again, having it rain on one side of your house and not the other is uncommon but not totally eyebrow raising in Asheville - but it followed me. The rain loves me. And I would love the rain right back except if I really wanted just to stand next to the tomatos I'd use a bucket.

Monday, July 09, 2007

project 365 #190: waterdrops on rugosa begonia

My new boss started today and I barely saw her. This is good, because I had wild nightmares all night last night about new bosses in general and all the terrible havoc they can wreak, particularly if they actually happen to be long toothed undead types but noone will believe the poor worker. Hate it when that happens. Between that and the dogs deciding that there were long toothed undead types right outside about four times between 1 and 5 am, I didn't get much sleep. Why does this kind of thing always happen when you absolutely have to be on top of your game the next day?

It rained again. This is the second time in three days which is some kind of a record for this summer. It poured on my cookout Saturday night which seemed a trifle unfair, given that it hadn't rained in months and had to pick my mother's birthday party to soak. We were grilling under umbrellas, but it all turned out okay. Still, it's so dry that the rain doesn't do anything but run off the ground, which is so hard you can't possibly dig a finger in to see if it's wet or not. Judging from the potted plants, it's not.

project 365 #188: moms birthday party 5

My mom turned 80 on Saturday and we basically celebrated all weekend long, which of course entailed a lot of cleaning and cooking and running around and so now that it is Monday, I am tired. Cheerful, but tired.

I've also noticed that I use the word kickass way too much lately. It strikes me that this isn't necessarily a bad thing in that having a lot of things going on in ones life which one can fairly refer to as kickass can never be a bad thing, but perhaps I should branch out into other adjectives. Like awesome or sweet, maybe, bleargh. I use those too much too. Anyway, the dinner on Friday night? Kickass. The slightly rained out birthday party pictured here? Kickass. And my friend S' party on Sunday? Totally kickass, dude.

Work? Ass kicking, which is just not the same at all.

Friday, July 06, 2007

project 365 #186: yancey county road hills sun wires

Well, I took young M up to Yancey county yesterday for his old hippie school's reunion. I still can't quite believe he wanted to go to it, given his usual comments about hippie jail and so on, but he did and off he went, giving me what would be three lovely days of peace except that tomorrow is my mom's 80th birthday and I'm having the party by royal decree. Which also means that my younger brother is in town and wants to do stuff, so I'm doing stuff. Like having a small temper tantrum/snit, which I did last night. I got over it eventually, though, and I promise I will not forget to take my PMS pills again. Although I was right. And if he does it again, I am so telling Mom. Then he'll be sorry.

There is this well documented effect of families: they turn everyone involved into a 15 year old. 15 year olds are such a total joy to be around - that's why the gods decreed that multiple births in humans would be exceeding rare. Otherwise, if we had litters like puppies, they would all turn 15 at once and the species would have died out long ago through perfectly justifiable teenicide. So when all the theoretically adult members of a family become simultaneously 15, as is wont to happen across America on the 4th of July or Christmas or something, it can get a bit hairy.

But it will be okay. I just have to remember my PMS pills and the fact that I did leave 15 behind me long ago. Even though I went and bought expensive hippie shampoo and conditioner at 8:00 am the other morning so that young M would not suffer the disgrace of inadequately perfect hair at his reunion and it turned out to be the exact same shampoo and conditioner that I used myself at 15 and the smell catapulted me right back into anxieties about pimples and boys, both of which, I am sad to report, have changed alarmingly little over the intervening "few" years. And the conditioner sucked, too. My hair is all snarly and cranky now (like me, okay) and the no doubt totally natural smell in it will not fade, which is giving me a headache. You cannot go back again.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

project 365 #185: 4th of july fireworks 9

Yeah. Fireworks. The 4th of July. Patriotism. All that good stuff. It was really fun - went down to the Asheville Brewing Company for the special Drinking Liberally and all the usual suspects were there as well as some new people - although the guy who said he was going to come and burn a flag didn't show, rats - and my younger brother, who flew in for my Mom's birthday on Saturday, came too. Big fun; we wandered up to a church on Aston to watch the fireworks, which were awesome and I also got out of downtown just before the giant exodus clogged the bridge. This is also good.

My new neighborhood, being posher than my old neighborhood, doesn't have as many fireworks. I kind of lament this in the same way that I kind of lament the absence of crack whores, death wish kids on scooters and stray pit bulls. Which is to say, I know it's weird to miss these things, but damnit, I do. I'm not sure I really like suburbia and also I worry about the neighbors showing up at my door with torches and pitchforks at the new house. My recycling clinks so and it's not all organic juice bottles. Actually everyone is very nice and I do like the new neighborhood - it's just not what I'm used to. I guess I can get used to it; hell, I leave the car windows open and the doors unlocked and so far noone has strewn the contents of my glove compartment across the lawn. It's like they're not even trying. Who can understand the suburbs?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

project 365 #184: cardinal on stone fountain

This guy and his wife/girlfriend/significant other live in the holly tree in the Pack Place Rhino Courtyard. I want to get pictures of the whole family but so far I've only got him. Last year they had a particularly demanding child - I watched them try to teach him how to fly and it was hilarious. Parenting techniques and parental exasperation cross all species' boundaries, I swear, because the totally fed up look on both the parent cardinals' faces had to be seen to be believed as their youngster squawled and hollered from first the tree and then the ground and then the tree again as first one and then the other parent swooped down, said something encouraging and nudged him a little. Then they would get fed up and yell at him. Presumably he eventually learned to fly and left home and his parents breathed a sigh of relief and then, not having learned a damn thing from their traumatic experience with a teenager, started the whole proceedings all over again this year. Which is sort of what I did 15 years ago but now it's all coming back to me in terrible clarity as I imagine it is to Dad Cardinal, here.

In other news, here is a list:

Holidays Dogs Hate:
4th of July
New Years Eve

Holidays Dogs Like:
Labor & Memorial Day

Holidays Dogs Don't Care About:

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
For the first time in 182 days, I did not take a single photograph yesterday. Was this for some heartfelt political/social reason? Hells no. It was because I'm the Queen of the Space Cadets (I am, I swear. I have a hat and everything.) and I just completely spaced it out. I carted the camera everywhere I went, from, uh, home to work and then back home again, big exciting Monday - and it stayed in my purse. Drat.

Don't worry, fans! Hee hee. Or rather, don't get up false hopes - I'm not stopping the project now. Picture a day, picture a day - it goes on. I already took some today and they promise to be excitingly lame and boring and stupid! Yeah!


Yay be there. Yes yes. And we can talk about why "Scooter" (hee. Yeah. His name is Scooter. What a dork! Heh heh. Rhymes with dooter. Patooter. Grown men and right wing ones at that who still cling to seriously stupid boyish nicknames are kind of reprehensible, don't you think?) Libby was pardoned and can't someone, anyone find a fuckable intern for W so we can, please oh god, impeach his evil lawbreaking ass? I know, it would be rough on the intern but she'll just have to give one up for the good of the cause. I know it won't work for Cheney - maybe a bucket of water? Has anyone tried the old bucket of water trick? He'd so melt.

Monday, July 02, 2007

project 365 #182: django and mojo are buds 2

My friend S brought Mojo the puppy over to play with Django yesterday. Those two are so bonded. They played for hours. Theo is highly disinterested in puppies and also he's going through his yearly I Hate Summer thing where he itches all the time and just wants to lie in a hole. So every time Mojo comes near him he warns him off with a short growl and snap combo that makes Mojo leap backwards. Do not disturb Uncle Theo, kid. But Django adores him and that makes up for surly old Uncle Theo. Besides, watching Mojo go straight up in the air and then back at Theo's snap is highly entertaining itself. Almost as entertaining as when either Django gets Mojo's collar and drags him around the yard or when Mojo gets Django's collar and tries (very cutely) to drag Django around. Puppies. Ah.

project 365 #181: album cover dianna charles adam

Saturday's picture of the day. Everyone else got ticks on them in this field but I thought I had miraculously escaped tickless. Until this morning when I was sitting there with my zen guru therapist trying to avoid his searching and cogent comments and questions about why I am constantly at war with myself when a tick crawled down my arm. I threw it out the window and now I'm all eeped out trying to figure out where the hell it had been hiding for the past two days. Ah, Mondays. Sudden ticks.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

So, this is just a little bulletin from the planet where we start drinking beer and smoking heavily at 4:00 pm, okay? Things are good here. We call it the weekend, and it has been lovely. My friend E came over and got my computer back on line, which is why there are suddenly a bunch of new pictures on my Flickr stream. Yesterday, after several Baltimore phone calls, my friend C and I drove up to Bat Cave to see if A & D were still alive, since their phone had been out for like a week. They were. There had been a phone knocking out thunderstorm. Their daughter is out of town and they were in no hurry to reestablish connection with the outside world and who can blame them? We hung out for hours on their lovely cool porch and then wandered up the alpine meadow past their house where everything is lovely and green and washed in a sort of muted glow that makes us all look like we’re posing for an early 70s album cover. Impossibly cool. Even though A had a giant beetle on his ankle which hissed so that we could all hear it and which eventually made A change from someone who was saying, “Wow! Check out those stripes on him!” to someone who was saying, a bit pitifully really, “Please get it off me.”

In other news, M is home. He called last night while I was still up in Bat Cave to ask if the house was locked, which was the first I’d heard of him coming home – although, you know, I’m quick that way and figured that that statement was pretty much a hint that he was, like, almost home – and then when I came home, lo, I was right and M is back. Already the ice cream is gone.

Giant thanks and kudos to E, frequent commenter on this blog, who sacrificed several hours of his Sunday evening to fix my computer and hang out with me and S. Big enormous thanks. This is awesome.