Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sleep-deprived ramblings of, um, the sleep-deprived.

Sometimes I wander in here and think to myself, "Gee, I should post more."  And then I think, "About what?  You have no life."  "Well, I think...stuff,"  I argue back.  "Whatever," I tell myself.  Then I wander off again and go watch Doctor Who.

So, yeah.  I think...stuff.  Here's some stuff I'm thinking right now, in the hopes that if I type it out here then when I finally go to bed my brain will shut the fuck up and let me sleep.

My beagle has natural eyeliner.  It's gorgeous.  Why the hell haven't humans developed natural eyeliner?  I know you can get that shit tattooed around your eyes but I can't imagine a situation where I'd be desperate enough that I'd allow a heavily tattooed man named Snake anywhere near my eyeball with an electric needle.  Come on, evolution, do something useful!

Windbreakers are a fashion Don't.  You end up with a sweaty torso and cold arms.  What's the point?

I suck at decorating.  We moved into this house last year and all the walls are still bare.  I just have a really hard time spending money on something that serves no function other than to fill up space on a wall and look pretty.  I'm missing the Decorator Gene, I guess.  The one that makes you care if your curtains match your throw pillows (most of my curtains are actually fleece throws, anyway) or prompts you to spend hours in Home Depot earnestly comparing the curved towel rack to the straight one or makes you re-paint a freshly painted room because the ecru paint you thought you applied looked more like taupe after it dried.  The gene that thinks books should be bought with an eye for creating a pleasing tableau and not for reading.  (Bwuh??) Decorating, how the fuck does it work?

Attempting to help a 7th grader do geometry after 24 hours awake and 3 glasses of wine leads to madness.  MAD.  NESS.

I tried to Twitter but found that if I had anything worth saying, I'd already said it on Facebook.  How much social media does an anti-social person need?

Someday, I will wear a tiara.  And I will rock it like a fucking rock star.  Hell, yeah.

My dog is the prettiest dog in creation.  I try not to trumpet it about too much, because I know other people are fond of their inferior dogs and I don't want to hurt their feelings, but it's true.

See?  I'd like to have an adorable cat to go with the pretty dog, but my husband would leave me.  Cat hater.

One more glass of wine and then to bed.  The wine is good; it has a picture of a German midget in Leiderhosen on the label, so you know it's a quality Reisling.  It's temporarily killed my ability to knit, anyway.

Oh, well.  I'll be back.  Maybe.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Quest For the Holy Vehicle Registration

And lo, the gods did cease from pissing on me as is their custom, and instead chose to smile on me, and deliver unto me from the hands of Grizzly Adams in coveralls a Voyager of Plymouth, battle-scarred from an encounter with the road traveler's bane, the dreaded Deer of Kamikaze, but hardy and still eager for action nonetheless, and for a fair price.

And there was much rejoicing, and I arose the next morning and directly went forth in my Voyager of Plymouth (pausing only to deliver a sounding kick to its predecessor, my longtime nemesis the evil Grand Prix of Dodge) in search of the Sacred Texts that would render me Legal in the eyes of the Lawmakers in this land.

And I went down into the town, and thence to the Shop of Auto Parts, that I may purchase Bulbs of Light for the Lights of Head and the Lights of Brakes.  And thence to the House of Court, that I may fill out forms and pay my taxes and thus receive the first of the Sacred Texts that would render me Legal in the eyes of the Lawmakers in this land.  And thence to my Place of Work, where the Machine of Fax had previously received for me the second of the Sacred Texts that would render me Legal in the eyes of the Lawmakers in this land.  And thence to the Station of Inspection, where High Priests in greasy ball caps would perform a series of tests to determine my worthiness to receive the third and most important of the Sacred Texts that would render me Legal in the eyes of the Lawmakers in this land.

And the gods did chuckle and rub their hands together in anticipatory glee.

Lo, the High Priest came to me and said, "I cain't get the back hatch open to replace that brake light, is it locked or somethin'?"  And my husband said unto him, "Damned if I know, let me take a look at it."  And they went to the Garage, a dark and noisome place, and did wrestle with the Voyager of Plymouth, and spake imprecations unto it, and were defeated in the end.  And we went from there sore grieved, for we were not deemed worthy to receive the third and most important of the Sacred Texts that would render me Legal in the eyes of the Lawmakers in this land.

And my husband spoke unto me, saying, "Let's head up to the dealership, maybe they know some tricks to get this thing open."  And so we journeyed to the Dealer of Plymouth, and were met by a cheerful man who took our Voyager of Plymouth into the back room and treated it most ominously with tools and imprecations until the back hatch relented and opened, revealing the glory within.  And the cheerful man gave me a warning and said, "The lock actuator's screwed up but she'll open all right if you don't try to lock it!"  And there was much rejoicing. 

And on the journey back to the Station of Inspection a dire buzzing and clanking was heard, which filled my heart with fear.  But my husband was unafraid, and said to me, "Someone's dropped a bunch of pennies down onto the front stereo speaker!"  And I was disappointed, because I could not crank the Aerosmith, but as we came to the Station of Inspection my spirit was revived.  I entered into the place and said unto the High Priest, "Hey, we got it fixed!"  and he replied unto me, "All right!" and declared me worthy to receive the third and most important of the Sacred Texts that would render me Legal in the eyes of the Lawmakers in this land.  And directly I received this Text into my hand the Heavens opened up and choirs of Valkyries sang unto me, "Go Marli!  It's your birthday!  Go Marli!  It's your birthday!"

And we went up past the town and into the Bureau of Licensing, wherein I presented my complete collection of the Sacred Texts that would render me Legal in the eyes of the Lawmakers in this land.  And the Priestess smiled upon me, and gave unto me a Tag of Temp, to be displayed on the Voyager of Plymouth to signify that I am Worthy.

And then I took me home, and sent forth messages through the Phone of Cell and the Book of Face, preaching of the Glory of the Car that Runs.  And then I rested.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I hate cleaning.

My house is currently a mess. Now last Thursday I went and had my wisdom teeth out and I spent a few days lying around on painkillers (and a fun few days they were, too) but I don't think I can use that as an excuse anymore, because the stitches came out yesterday and I've since been spotted eating a cheeseburger and fries. No, I'm going to have to clean. I'd rather go through dental surgery again.

It never stays clean, is the problem. I could clean this house so spotless it would make Martha Stewart cry and slap her momma and within 8 hours the furniture will be buried under piles of newspapers, school papers, catalogs, and random teenagers who wander in off the street and drop crumbs everywhere. The floor will be awash in Fisher Price Little People involved in a series of complex tactical manuevers designed to take out the Weebles entrenched under the couch. Penicillin resistant molds and fungi will elect democratic leaders in the fridge, and someone sometime will have wiped the kitchen counters with a jelly-encrusted dishcloth, and there will be a small child stuck to the countertop, whimpering.

I haven't the nerve to tackle all that.

I don't know where it all comes from! No matter how carefully I guard the doors, how thoroughly I go through the mail and discard every piece that's not a matter of life and death, how many dishwasher loads I run, eventually I have to sleep. And when I'm asleep, it happens. I awaken to a blast site. What's scary is it happens even when I'm the only one home, which means my suspicions are correct and my son has Pygmies living in his room that come out when the house is quiet, although how they can breathe in there is anybody's guess. Burglars could ransack the joint and I'd never know. It would probably be an improvement.

There's another reason I don't like to clean. When I clean, I often come across items that are important. I think to myself, "Self, go put this up so you know where it is." So I do. And then I never see it again. Apparently, "up where I know where it is" has a wormhole in the bottom of it, and all my important items are floating around in outer space with all my mismatched socks. At least when my house is messy, things are out, where I can see them.

Oh, well. I suppose tomorrow I'm just going to have to suck it up and do it. Hooray. Nothing like giving the family a clean canvas upon which to strew trash and detritus. I'm drawing the line at baking cookies, though. Ain't gonna do it. I'll buy some, but I'm not baking.

Friday, January 20, 2006

I am obsessed with my hair.

It's my new hobby, really. One of the cheaper hobbies I've started. When I got into cross-stitch I spent a bunch of money on Aida cloth, floss, kits. I have a cross stitch kit I've been working on for approximately 11 years. Eventually I'll finish it. I took up knitting and made a baby blanket and a buttload of scarfs. One of the scarfs is 8 feet long. I couldn't remember how to bind off the edge. Belly dancing, which I still do for fun sometimes, got expensive for a while. But I still have everything I need for it, so it shouldn't cost me any more money.

Now it's my hair. At RenFaire last year I bought a hairfork because it was hot and I wanted to get my hair off my neck. That first hairfork was like a budding druggie's first hit of crack; I wanted more. I began spending hours online, looking up hairsticks and hairforks. I found message boards and chatrooms dedicated to people who take their hair waaaay too seriously. And then...I became one of them.

A whole new world opened up to me; a world of oils, and seamless combs, and hairtoys, and alternative shampoos. I started small, with a couple of carved bone hairsticks with bunnies on top. I like bunnies. I wanted to try oiling, as my hair was dry. I tried flaxseed oil first, because it was on sale at Walmart and my main goddess is Holda and she gave us flax. I didn't like the smell. I tried coconut oil, also from Walmart, and recommended by several of the longhairs at the sites I'd been visiting. It made my ends crunchy. Yuck. I still have a big tub of it; I guess I can cook with it. I tried jojoba oil. Yay! Nice soft hair, and I add lavender oil to it, so I smell yummy.

I've developed a fear of salons, based on horror stories I hear about women who go in for trims and come out looking like G.I. Jane. I don't want to look like G.I. Jane. I learned to trim my hair myself. I discovered the techique of "search and destroy"; going through your hair looking for split ends and snipping them off one by one. I spent three hours doing this one day. I told this to my best friend and she was concerned. I've managed to cut it down to once a week, an hour at a time. I don't find many split ends anymore; I think I've killed them all.

I learned about apple cider vinegar rinses and began doing them religiously. I heard molasses and honey were good to hair so I began experimenting with them. I learned how to do braids and buns. I slept with a concoction of honey and conditioner in my hair because I was told that would lighten it. I bought jojoba oil and lavender essential oil and pure aloe vera gel and rosewater and herbal shampoo bars. I came home from every trip to Walmart with a new hairtoy. I bought a boar bristle brush and a goofy looking satin sleep cap that makes me look like an insane reject from Little House on the Prairie. I began winding my hair up in strange looking coils before bed so it would be curly when I got up. My husband just sighed and rolled his eyes.

What's the point of all this, you may ask? Lemme tell you, Sunshine: My hair is shiny! And it grew an inch in the last month. Did I forget to mention I bought a tape measure for my hair? Anyway, from forehead to ends it's now 32 inches. My goal is to grow it out enough so that I can braid it into a long flexible club to whack the people who ask me when I'm going to cut my hair.

It's a good hobby to have. Especially if you're cheap.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A medical triumph

I'm healthy as a horse, I am. It took two doctor's visits and a round of blood tests and an abdominal ultrasound (during which I learned I have pretty kidneys, pretty ovaries, and a long slender uterus; I'm a little concerned about that ultrasound tech) and a good old Well Woman exam to detemine this, but there's not a bloody thing wrong with me.

Of course, I haven't gotten the results of my pap smear back yet. It's quite possible my cervix has been colonized by hostile alien spore bent on world domination, but if so they're not visible to the naked eye.

What kicked off this latest round of Pony Up The Co-Pay was a trip to the ER after I woke up one afternoon and discovered my back was actively engaged in killing me. Oh, it was being just vicious; I couldn't move. Only liberal quantities of Valium, Flexoril, and Percoset could bring it back under my control. I don't remember much of the next three days, incidentally. My friends tell me I spent some time on the phone, and then they snicker. I really don't want to know.

So anyway, by the time I got back to the doctor (two weeks later) my back didn't hurt anymore. Undaunted, he poked around until he found something that did hurt. My abdomen. He ordered blood tests, pee tests, ultrasounds. Nothing found. I told him I was making a list of everyone I knew and prioritizing them in the order I was going to smack them with a board when I finally snapped, so he gave me some no-kill pills and made me schedule a Well Woman check up.

Today I went in for the Well Woman exam. One of the first things they discovered, during the breast exam, is that I am extremely ticklish. Then I got to climb up into the stirrups and pretend to make a wish while the nurse practitioner went prospecting with a shoe-stretcher and a 3 foot long Q-tip. Then she started poking around on my abdomen and found the same sore spot the doctor had found.

"You know what I think this is?" she said. "A loop of your intestine goes right up by there, and if it's full and you push on it it could cause pain like that."

Yep. After weeks of doctor visits and tests and having blood drawn and peeing in cups, the official diagnosis is that I am full of shit.

My husband tells me that all the time, and he doesn't charge me for it.

Still doesn't explain the back pain, though.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Spiders. Ewww.

They have too many legs, for starters. Any creature in possession of more than four legs needs to be smacked with a rolled up newspaper. Unless it's one of those really big nasty wolf spiders that's capable of ripping the newspaper out of your hand and smacking you back. Those things need to be smacked with an anvil.

They're fascinating wee beasties, to be sure. Once when I was small I saw one of those little fuzzy jumping spiders creeping up the side of the chicken house, stalking a fly. I hovered over them as the spider inched forward, now scuttling a whole inch, now freezing as its quarry turned towards it. Finally the spider was poised, quivering, just behind the fly, and then it sprang! and Mr. Fly was spider poo.

I read somewhere that at any given time, one is within three feet of a spider. This is information I could have lived without. The way they move creeps me out. They skitter. They're the only living creatures that have the ability to skitter, except for kittens, and kittens have the advantage over spiders in that they're cute and fuzzy and they don't have poisonous fangs that cause oozing necrotic wounds.

I fully understand that they occupy an important place in the ecosystem, and without them the insects would take over the world and turn over management to Disney, and they won't hurt you unless you hurt them (actually, I cry "Bullshit!" at that statement, having been chased down a Hobby Lobby aisle by a wolf spider with a bad attitude and Murder on its mind) and yadda yadda yadda. Fine. Let them go about their business more than three feet from me. Icky little things.

The only movie that ever made me scream out loud was Arachnophobia. And I'm the girl who once watched Faces of Death while eating a big plate of spaghetti. Those eyes...those dead eyes on that horrible malevolent spider...stuff of nightmares, that is. Yeah, I know it was a puppet. I don't like those things, either, but that's another story.

One time I was lying in bed and I noticed a spider crawling across my ceiling; one of those nasty fuzzy black ones. I watched it narrowly as it inched its creepy way directly over my head - and then let go! I approached the speed of light as I exited my bed, and spent 30 minutes tearing my covers apart trying to locate the foul thing. I couldn't find it. I spent the night on the couch. I am convinced that the horrid thing did it on purpose; it was probably hanging out in its web, getting pretty bored, not much action since we hung up the no-pest strips, so it decided to wander out and find someone to traumatize. Mission accomplished, hideous fiend.

I really have no point, other than that I don't like spiders. Some people do, I know, and I regard these people with deep suspicion. But hey, as long as they keep their eight-legged freaks away from me, we can all get along.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Martians have landed! Oh, wait...

I was listening to "The War of the Worlds" earlier tonight. Notice I said listening. I'm not talking about that Tom Cruise crapfest that's currently playing in theaters and will be out on DVD in approximately three hours, nor am I referring to the 1953 version starring a bunch of people no one's ever heard of and featuring Martians so stiff and awkward they make the Muppets look like the Bolshoi Ballet in comparison. No, I'm talking about the Mercury Theatre's radio adaptation of H.G. Wells's "War of the Worlds", starring Orson Welles, first broadcast on October 30th, 1938. The broadcast that caused mass panic across the countryside, because the people who had tuned in late didn't realize they were listening to a play. Well, not really mass panic. But a fair amount of panic.

I, like just about everyone else who has ever heard the story, laughed at the dooferosity of people who would mistake a radio play for the real deal. (I just made dooferosity up. It's a good word.) "Jeez, Grandpa," I said. "Were people really that gullible back then?" All he could say was, "It was a simpler time." There was no way he could tell me that would make me understand, no way to explain to this child of the 80s about a time when people spoke the truth because their word was all they had, and the Voice from the Radio was Authority, and people believed in their Government; no more than I can explain to my child of the 90s what it was like before the Berlin Wall fell down, and our enemies were Russians instead of Islamic Fundamentalists. You had to be there.

But I've been gifted with a little more than my fair share of imagination, so I brought home the CD ($5.99 at Wally-world, and it came with a free pop-up picture), popped it into my disk drive, and let'er rip. It started out a little cheesy at first, with the announcer, well, announcing, and the music playing in the background; it had been digitally remastered but you could still hear some popping and hissing. As the announcer made the first interruption of the dance music to tell the audience that several explosions had been witnessed on the surface of Mars, I began to picture myself as a housewife of the thirties, listening to this broadcast for the very first time.

It's about 8 o'clock at night, probably the first chance I've had to sit down all day. I've been cleaning and cooking and doing laundry all day (no microwave or clothes dryer for me; I've got to cook the food the long way around and run the wet clothes through a mangler and hang them on the line to dry), the kids have been underfoot. The husband got home from the factory about 6; we had supper, then I washed the dishes, got the kids cleaned up and put into bed, finished straightening up the house, brought in the clothes from the line, and now I'm going to sit here and listen to some nice relaxing music while I do some sewing. But what's this? Explosions on Mars? A strange metal cylinder landing in a field? This must be important or they wouldn't interrupt the program...my sewing is forgotten as I and my husband concentrate on the glowing dial of the radio, listening hard, hearing a tale of flames and fog and death...

There would be one radio in the house. In 2005 I have a radio in almost every room, along with cable television that gives me 24 hour news and an internet connection that does likewise. If there's something I want to know, I can go searching for it, and find it fairly quickly. People in 1938 did not have that luxury. They relied on that one radio to give them their news, and they did not learn anything that the broadcasters did not want them to hear. We can be skeptics these days, because we can compare sources easily; people back then had to trust what they heard coming from that radio. What they heard on the night of October 30th, 1938, was that Martians had landed in Grover's Mill, NJ.

People who had turned in from the very beginning of the broadcast knew, of course, that they were listening to a dramatization. People who came in a few minutes later only heard what sounded like genuine news interruptions of a music program. And they did sound genuine; even I got the shivers, almost 70 years after the fact. Halfway through the program there was a station identification break, and then the tale morphs into a monologue by Orson Welles; by then it's clear that this is a play. That first half of the program, though, is...just wow. I could sympathize with all the people who thought it was real, and understand why they did; those were some talented actors who, with the power of only their voices, convinced a million people that they were doomed. Proof once again that there's nothing so frightening to people as what their imaginations can conjure up. Modern horror movie makers would do well to make note of that.

Orson Welles was later heard to remark that he presented this program in this way because he was concerned at how much faith people put in anything that came over the radio, and he wanted to demonstrate how dangerous that could be. Of course, he also said that the whole thing was just supposed to be a play and he had no idea people would take it so seriously. Whichever is true, the bottom line is that he pulled off a stunt that had people outside shooting at the Grover's Mill water tower, thinking it was a Martian machine. That's an accomplishment anyone should be proud of.

Grandpa was right; those were simpler times. My mistake lay in confusing "simple" with "stupid". I no longer think the people of the 30s were doofernuts for being taken in by this marvelously presented program. I envy them their faith in the Powers that Be.