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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mermaids

John William Waterhouse, R.A., accepted 1901
Had a dream last night that I was a mermaid. I wasn’t one of them cool, sexy ocean dwelling babes, no. I lived in a nasty tenement in a bad part of town. Which town? Dunno. My subconscious neglected to fill me in on that though the joint put those funky Alphabet City dumps – you know, with the bathtub in the kitchen – in mind.

Oh and I was a smoker. Yeah, that’s another thing that Hans Christian Andersen neglected to mention. Not only did the little mermaid, me in this case, NOT give up her seaworthy finny-ness (I found a better witch – one who’d let me live on land AND in the ocean. Yeah, ya gotta shop around), I was rather fond of Benson and Hedges and Jamo.

It's a mermaid thing. No, RILLY!

In any case, I’d been at the local lying in, having just given birth to a wee baby girl swimmer.  Though the baby was healthy as all hell, I had to leave her at the hospital – docs wanted to observe her, do some fucking research for a few days. Bastids. I had no choice but to walk back to my fourth floor walk up.

I did and promptly filled the tub, flopped in, lit up a smoke and changed out from legs to my MUCH more comfortable fins. And then I stewed. I wanted the kid back and NOW!.

Just then, my boyfriend – a full time land dweller – walked in. This wasn’t the baby daddy. No, there wasn’t one actually. In dreamsville, this one anyway, we mermaids rocked the parthenogenesis action. Yeah, us mermaids, we were totally one up on the Amazons

For some reason the dude was there not to bring me daisies and chocolate covered cherries (because, dammit,  I’D JUST GIVEN BIRTH) but to stab me. Why? Dunno but it seemed that it had something to do with nefarious docs who wanted to dissect me for research shit. Yeah, great!

Last thing to go through my head before my fierce former warrior boy woke me up was Oh, FUCK NO! I am NOT getting offed today.

Yeah, I was annoyed and pissed versus afraid. That’s good, huh?

Semi-related but not actually so much – Mermaids is one of my fave Cher movies.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tidbits

Where does that word – tidbit – come from?

Dictionary.com has this to say:
c.1640, probably from dialectal tid "fond, solicitous, tender" + bit (n.1) “morsel."
The British version is titbit. I always snicker when I see that word. Yes, I’ve the maturity of a 13 year old boy. Not proud of that but, ya know, I y'am what I y'am.
c. 17: perhaps from dialect tid tender, of obscure origin
Huh. I'd hoped for something more giggle inducing.
~~~~~~
Our new pal, Mechagodzilla
I never get tired of Godzilla movies and, the other day, TAB found a marathon happening on the TV. Awesome!
Battra–looks like a cute puppy, no?

Mothra vs. Godzilla
Godzilla vs Mothra: The Battle for Earth with special guest star Battra!
Godzilla vs. Megalon
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 
 Ya know, I’d never heard of Mechagodzilla let alone Super MechaGodzilla. And Battra? Who knew!? This marathon was def educational.
~~~~~~
Muumuu – did you know? You can buy brightly patterned muumuus at Walgreens. Yes, a pharmacy that sells polyester, fringed sacks. Cheap too!

Yes, I actually thought about it. For all of a sec before I yelled at myself Snap out of it!

They look so comfy and bright though!
~~~~~~
Back in Book Land – it seems that this is pastel season. The Recommended Reads shelf was oh so appropriately hued. And, now that you mention it, yes, they DO all look like Great Beach Reads for upper middle class mothers.

Elin Hilderbrand is heavily represented with Barefoot, Beautiful Day, Silver Girl, The Castaways and A Summer Affair.

With a couple exceptions, these are about happy weddings, happy, exciting, safe affairs, big, successful, happy careers in the arts and happy families (who may or may not have secrets – cue ominous music here).

In a similar vein:

The Lake Season, Hannah McKinnon
Set in the weeks leading up to an idyllic New England wedding, this “enticing and refreshing” novel sparkles with wry wit, sweet romance, and long-kept family secrets.
The Vacationers, Emma Straub 
An irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca.
Cozy, sparkling stories for and about privileged women who don’t need to worry, not even for one tiny second, about money, career, health or their respective places in the world.

PASS!

Oh and nearby there was an entire table of hardcovers dedicated to that ignorant, dimwitted, right wing lie machine (no, not talkin’ ‘bout Trump…this time) Bill O’Reilly.
A) Looks like he’s keeping his ghostwriter very busy
B) What’s with the killing theme? No, never mind, I really don’t want to step any closer to that clapped out, maggot riddled, fever swamp that he, doubtless, thinks of as a keen intellect.
Is this Barnes and Nobles' last attempt to sell these suckers at full-ish price before sticking them on the Oh God, Puh-LEEEZE Buy Me shelves? That being the last step before they're sent back to the publisher where they'll get the fate they so richly deserve – pulping.
~~~~~~
On the meditation front – I’ve tried going down to the seawall without my camera to experience the sunrise, the play of light on the wavelets, the clouds, the gulls zooming overhead. I breathe deep, take in all the magical spring scents and just BE. Doin' great, right!?

Yeah, I’m good for two minutes before I race back to the house for the old Canon because Damn, that’s some fabulous orange goin’ on!

Maybe the act of capturing the beauty around me (attempting to anyway) is, in itself, a form of meditation. Hmmmm? Could be!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Book Land

I was in my local book emporium yesterday. You might well wonder Why ‘the fuck you in Barnes and Noble again so soon? Weren’t you just there on Tuesday!? You couldn’t possibly have read Tim O’Brien’s Tomcat in Love in that short time!

No, no I didn’t. Though I’m a mondo fan of O’Brien – LOVED The Things They Carried, Going After Cacciato, If I Die in a Combat Zone and In the Lake of the Woods – I just couldn’t get into this one. I tried. Honest!

Billed as a dark comedy, I was simply unable to get past the main character's tremendously obnoxious self to appreciate the humor.
 Although the book is being positioned as a comedy, Chippering is a most obnoxious companion, so terribly self-deluded, self-absorbed and self-satisfied, so pedantic and boorish, so convinced of his own charms that the unfolding drama of his pursuit of revenge becomes discomfiting. We want to root for his ex-wife, but through the Chippering ""song of myself"" we don't hear her, or know her. (source)
Agreed! Possibly, I’ve known a few too many dudes like this and, rilly now, one would be a superabundance. They're not funny, to me, and I've no interest in reading about 'em.

Back into Book Land I went where I was, near instantly, assailed by panderingly annoying, flat out irritating and occasionally misleading cover art.

The Courier by Gerald Brandt – JAY-zuz this one’s worthy of Playboy or Penthouse. There’s no way in holy hell that I want to be seen in public reading something that mega reeks of bean flicking and carrot waxing. Hells bells. 50 Shades of Grey, which really, truly IS a fuck book, has a more subtle cover!

I had to know, is this paperback just an onanism accessory for the sci fi crowd?
A far-future science fiction debut set in San Francisco—action adventure with a cyberpunk tone.

Kris Ballard is a motorcycle courier. A nobody. Level 2 trash in a multi-level city that stretches from San Francisco to the Mexican border, where corporations make all the rules.
~~snip~~
Witnessing the murder of one of her clients changes everything. Now she’s stuck with a mysterious package that everyone seems to want. (source)
So then, that’s a big fat NO and now I want to read it BUT I don’t think I can get past that cover. I'd be embarrassed to even stand in the checkout lane with it. Maybe I’ll download the iPad version. *sigh* I much prefer ink on paper but, in this case, I think I can make an exception.

Katie Ashley’s Last Mile has a similar sexy time cover. I looked it up just in case this was another case of bad, deceptive, SEX SELLS cover art. Nope. This is a danger romance for girls who prefer bad boys and fancy themselves as always up for big, seemingly-skeevy-but-not-really adventure.

PASS!

What’d I end up with? Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning.
Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius who uses the gift of deduction and reason to solve the most vexing of crimes.

Warlock Holmes, however, is an idiot. A good man, perhaps; a font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart flatmate.
So far, it’s funny as all hell, engaging and, frankly, it was hard to put down so’s I could write this.

‘scuse me, I gotta go back to Holmes and Watson. K?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Possessed!

Clorox, the Redding demon
My handsome man!
In case you were locked in a closet yesterday, the day was astoundingly, breathtakingly beautiful. I’d thought Gee, this’d be a good day to hit Nantasket and then I discovered that the tide was out – it was prime beach scrambling time here at home.

Off I went, down our nameless stretch of sand and surf, up, over and around Nut Island, then down to Parkhurst Beach. Glorious. Just fucking awesomely glorious.

It was obvs that, after its morning shower, the planet had spritzed on the expensive shit – Spring Ocean #5. The Amazing Bob noted that, It smells so good that, for the first time ever, I wish I had a bigger nose.

After walkies, I came home, opened all the windows and suddenly, weirdly became possessed by Clorox, the cleaning demon. I went through giant piles of old papers. Mortgage app docs from 13 years ago – FILED! (mortgage is paid off so…ummmm…did I really need to file those versus toss?) Old grocery and ToDo lists, junk mail – TOSSED! Newspapers and mags – RECYCLED! And then I found a box of old snail mail. In it was a six year old thank you note from Oni’s father for cookies and fudge we'd sent him for Christmas. Bruce died a few years back – seeing his handwriting, reading the note, it felt like he was still here with us.

Marie Kondō, in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing asks:
Does touching the object ‘spark joy’? If not, get rid of it.
In a review at The Washing ton Post, Elizabeth Tenety notes that:
Kondo’s approach sounds harsh, but consider her reasons: “Are you happy wearing clothes that don’t give you pleasure? Do you feel joy when surrounded by piles of unread books that don’t touch your heart? Do you think that owning accessories you know you’ll never use will bring you happiness?” she ponders. (Spoiler alert for hoarders: The correct answer is “no.”)

I'll be keeping Bruce's note as well as all the wonderfully thoughtful cards from my fabulous sister Celeste because, yes, they spark joy.

Today' gonna be another stunner. There’ll be more tidying, more purging and maybe even some dusting. I might even *gasp* empty out my bedroom closet. I hate to disturb Rocco though – he's claimed it as his own.

First, a trike ride.
The beach roses are blooming!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Love Stories – Jen and Oni

Today is Jen and Oni’s 20th anniversary. Yes, it's 20 years ago today that my two besties (apart from The Amazing Bob, of course) became a cosmically twined, awesome duo.

I asked her for an early, Christ Almighty, we are SO in love memory. She shared a way cool piece from their very first camping trip together (yes, they've been known to sleep outdoors in tents, on the cold, hard ground and everything! //shudder//)
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Despite growing up here in Massachusetts I'd never been to the Cape Cod National Seashore on the Outer Cape. Oni planned a weekend camping trip during our first summer together. We left Friday after work and arrived at the campground in Truro at sundown. I was stressed about putting the tent up in the dark, but OniI had it all figured out. He turned on the car headlights and pointed them at the site.

Et voilà! Illumination. Brilliant!

After we were set up, Oni invited me to hop on to the back of his mountain bike; it was time to show me the the beach and the magical giant sand dunes.

Oni pedaled us the mile and a half downhill to Campground Beach. The sky was so clear. I remember seeing the Milky Way for the first time from the back of his bike.

Oni, grilling on the roof of our Cambridge digs.
Amazingly we arrived in one piece and stowed the bike in the beach grasses.  The dunes loomed before us like dark giants, coaxing us to perch atop their shoulders and take in the view.
It felt like I was on a different planet. I loved the alien feeling and was just so happy to be experiencing it with Oni.

We laughed so much that night, drinking in the ocean breezes, gazing at the stars, sharing stories and listening to the rustling beach grasses. The ocean twinkled in the star light.
After we finished a couple of Sam Adams atop what felt like our own personal sand dune, we raced down its face to dip our toes in the cool Atlantic. Time passed in a blink.

Jen hiding from the paparazza.
Oni started digging in the sand and uncovered phosphorescence, which I'd never seen before. The sand had little glowing bits in it! Who knew? Somehow this was hilarious and we laughed some more, feeling like the only two humans on the planet.

Finally it was time to make our way back to the campsite. I felt awful that Oni was going to have to double us uphill, all the way back on his bike so I tried to talk him into just walking. Nope, he was determined to pedal us back so I tried to make myself as light as possible and held on for the ride.

We've been happily together ever since, laughing at things that aren't really funny and just enjoying the ride. As Oni says that beach was the perfect place to feel the force of nature and the power of the universe. The universe confirmed what we suspected, that our place was together.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ed. note – DAMN STRAIGHT!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Roller Derby?!

While The Amazing Bob and I were at the Saint Mary's School Geezer Day event, Jen and Oni were…wait for it…at the ROLLER DERBY!

What?!!! Roller Derby?! That still exists? Rilly?

I remember seeing TV Roller Derby matches on Saturday afternoons back when I was a bored kiddle in the ‘60s. The “sport” had way more in common with the brand of wrestling which starred the likes of Andre the Giant and Gorilla Monsoon. The derby was, quite possibly, more truly violent though.

That old Raquel Welch flick, Kansas City Bomber, comes to mind. Unholy Rollers too. You know, the players are all angry, uneducated, steel hard women with messy, down at heels pasts. They make the rent money on wheels versus backs – sadly nasty scenarios with a whiff of porn for skewed minds about it.

So then, Jen and Oni are fans of skeevoid, violent, faux sports drama? Ah no, roller derby’s not the same now as back then. For starters, they play on a flat, not banked, track.
Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction around a track. Game play consists of a series of short match ups (jams) in which both teams designate a jammer who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team. The teams attempt to hinder the opposing jammer while assisting their own jammer—in effect, playing both offense and defense simultaneously. (source)
Janocide!
Janocide's daughters cheer her on
Yeah, it’s still a contact sport BUT it’s no longer intentionally, gratuitously violent. It’s also not a paying gig – not the leagues around here anyway. The women do it for fun, camaraderie and exercise. I guess it’s like the Over 40 Baseball leagues except on wheels, played inside and, ya know, sometimes you get knocked over.

The players names, however, def hark back to that earlier danger-ville past. Jen’s BFF from high school is a member of the Salty Dolls in the Cape Cod league. Her nom de roue is Janocide and boyhowdy her press shot’s scary! The monikers and sneering pics are meant as arch goofs on the sport’s historical rep.

I told Jen that I MOST def want to go cheer on the Dolls at their next match! They might be playing the Western Mass Destruction or the Quabbin Missile Crisis Established 2010. We’ll drop a bomb on you, baby. Not sure which but, man-o-man, I’m psyched!

And finally, some wise words from Kamikaze Kitten:
You can't jump the apex with both feet on the ground.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Show and Tell with Geezers

‘Member how I said that yesterday was an open house at Madison and Julianna’s school up in Hoosick Falls? Well, as it turns out, this was Grandparents and VIP Day! As The Amazing Bob and I walked into the school gym, I noted “gee, there's an awful lot of old people in here this morning.” He helpfully pointed out the the sign which explained why – it's Grandparents Day.

OOOOOOOOH!

You'll find it, I suppose, no great surprise, that I was the only purple haired, fluorescent tie-dyed T wearing granny in attendance. The only deafie with fingerspelling grands too! OK, the only deafie period.

All us fossils were seated around tables, sipping coffee, picking at quiche and bagels when the kiddles filed in to serenade us. TAB tells me that one of the tunes was Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Wow, just motherfucking WOW! Though I couldn’t hear it (duh!), tears were streaming outta the old orbs.

By the by, this is, likely, my fav version of the tune. The absolutely brilliant and gone WAY too soon, Richard Tee’s on keyboards and Simon’s singing solo.

In any case, after the mini concert, the kiddles all funneled back to their respective classrooms for arts and crafts. We got to join in! Hands was the theme of the day.

In Julianna’s room, collages were the thing. She traced our big paws, then her own wee ones – cut them out, pasted hers over ours and put a heart shape on top of each. JESUS, I was tearing up once again!

In Madison’s class, the kiddles were more free form with the art. Madison’s beautiful, trippy drawing puts Joy Division’s cover for Unknown Pleasures in mind. Madison’s is much cooler though. N'est–ce pas? Yes. Yes indeed.

We then had to fill out interview sheets.
Where did you grow up? Never a simple question for me to answer.
What games did you like to play when you were my age? Hide and Seek, Red Rover, Tag
Did you have pets? Me  no. TAB  a cat named Rocky. (Cool and now we have Rocco!)
What was your favorite class? Art (duh)
Did you like to read? YES!
Fav book when you were my age? Anne of Green Gables for me. Treasure Island for TAB.
I forget the rest of the questions now but we did stick to non-fiction – not always our first impulse. Then it was picture time! A pro photographer was there to capture us four clowns together. Madison was melting over top of TAB and I and Julianna was on my lap. Can't wait to get the prints!

And then we got on the road for the long drive home where Coco and Rocco had mini guilt trips to lay on us. They never stay mad for long. Probably because, moments after we walk in the door, I dispense the catnip treats. Yes, I do know how to distract and bribe our furry beasts.