Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Why Portland Oregon Is The Way It Is: C.H. Piggot - Crazy As A Shithouse Rat

In Portland Oregon, on Marquam Hill, there is a small white castle, an utterly charming little building that is supposed to have been brought from Scotland - taken apart carefully, drawn and numbered, loaded aboard a ship and reconstructed in Oregon.  This story is, sadly, not true, but it's romantic, isn't it?  No, that little slice of fantasy is Gleall Castle, Piggots' Folly.  

C.H. Piggot was a lawyer, and he also owned a brickyard.  The entire castle is made of bricks painted white, and there isn't an angle in the place - deliberately.  Mr. Piggot was, at that point, merely eccentric.  He designed his pretty home, had it built, lived in it for two years, and then went broke.

At some point in the story, he also developed a whomping case of the WTF's.  There are no adjectives that can pinpoint the exact tenor of his nuttiness.  But he wrote a book that gives you a pretty good idea of what his wife and kids had to put up with: Pearls at Random Strung, or, Life's Tragedy from Wedding to Tomb, by C. H. Piggot.  You can read it here:  


But you probably won't. I know you people.  You're all...adult, and stuff.

But if you love reading crazy people writing like I like reading crazy people writing, you need to deal with this Victorian crackhead.  This is some prime crazy people writing.  I can see him suddenly rushing out in the middle of an important meeting to go hunt up a quill pen and some paper to write down some of this stuff, and everyone in the room rolling their eyes and sighing.  I can see his kids at school sneaking and sliding down the corridors and hiding in the bathrooms after this work of sheer wahoo nuttiness was published, because....it's a doozy. 

Some gems:  

(Paraphrase) Human hair is made of vegetable matter, and bleeds out your intelligence when it is cut.  Eating dark colored vegetables will prevent baldness. And never wash your hair, or cut it; just give it an 'electric' washing with the tips of the fingers.  Cutting your hair makes you stupid.  Having an underweight brain also makes you stupid.  Smart people have heavier brains, and long hair, which they assumedly never wash.

All the human stomachs in the world are either acid or alkaloid; the former class should live in an alkaloid country, the latter should not.

(Paraphrase) Half of all suicides are caused by overheating of the spinal cord during sleep.  Never let that spinal cord get overheated. The life you save will be your own.

Every person in the universe that sleeps with one particle of clothing more under him than over him, hearafter, should be beaten with a stuffed club.

(Paraphrase) Moles have the best hearing in the animal kingdom.  Coming in at second is the woodpecker.

(Paraphrase) After you have retired for the night, inject a quart of soapy water up your bunghole to prevent tuberculosis, which is caused by thousands of invisible worms.  And hold it there.  A quart. This is guaranteed to 'knock the worms silly.' I...just... daaaang.

 If you read Patience Worths 'A Sorry Tale' - and mind you, Patience Worth had been dead, deceased, popped her clogs, met her maker, gone to join the choir invisible, some years before she dictated this...story, about...things...to Pearl Lenore Curran - and actually made it through the whole book, ha ha! (inside joke) then you will ADORE 'Pearls At Random etc.'  

 God, this guys' poor wife!  Now if she wrote a book, boy, I'd be on that thing like a thing that is on another thing quickly.  Can you freakin' imagine being married to this fuckin guy?

Well, no you can't because you haven't read the book yet, and you probably won't, but you should.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Hippie Household Hints!

 I can tell that you need to get your kitchen and household shit together.  Luckily, I am here to give you a shot upside the head and set you on the right road.  Cease your long downward spiral into household entropy.  Read on, Grasshoppah.

-A Long Stick.  Are you a short little shit like me?  You need a 3 ft. long stick in your kitchen.  You will not believe how you got along without this simple, helpful object.  You can poke bugs.  You can test your fire alarm without standing on a chair. You can ooch things from the top shelf and catch them in a towel. If something falls between the refrigerator and the wall, you can hook it out.  

-More than one of every stovetop kitchen utensil.  If you want to cook big, you keep a pot of soapy water in the sink and just swap out and rinse as you go.  Around August, when the garden gets going, you will thank me for this advice.  And remember:


-Kitchen scissors, two pairs.  One regular sized, one barbarian sized with all the grippy weirdo things on it, like a jar lid gripper and a bottle opener and that kind of shit.  Spray paint them bright obnoxious orange so if some dipshit steals them, you'll be able to find them and return them to their rightful place.

-A Dyson Vacuum.  This Dyson motherfucker knows what he's doing.  A Dyson vacuum is worth every single dime you pay for it.  And if you run out of things to vacuum, you can just lie on the rug and trip on the amazing design.  Yes, I know the dude ends up inventing Skynet, but for now, just enjoy the suction.

-Braggs Aminos.  This is unfermented soy sauce, and that 'Propoganda Soap' company puts it out.  The label makes for endlessly interesting reading.  I know people who put this stuff on everything, and that's a bridge too far for me, but it certainly won't kill you, and it doesn't taste bad.  It tastes like a mixture of fried mushrooms, soy sauce without the sharpness, and brown miso.  That flavor profile.  Loves red meat and is a perfect ingredient for a marinade.  Anything where there's tomato, onion, red meat, beans, will be improved with a dash of this stuff. Plus you get aminos. AMINOS MOTHAFUCKAH.

-Chopsticks.  Drop something down the drain?  Chopsticks to the rescue. Get the good ones, tableware quality, long and thin. Got one of those coffee to go mugs with the long plastic straw, and the straw is getting all weird?  Run some hot water through there and get in at it with a chopstick.  Clogged mustard or ketchup squeezie? Chopstick. Clogged hole in the coffee maker basket? Chopstick. Got long hair and no tie-ties? Chopsticks. If you are particularly dexterous you can even use them to eat with, like a fork and knife, and to cook with too.  Chopsticks are basically amazing.

-One (1) metric shit ton of dish rags.  I make my own out of old towels.  You cannot have enough clean dishrags around, and terrycloth is the way to go.  Anything that needs a serious soapy water cleaning, any big spills or overflows?  You will be calm and unruffled, for you have one (1) metric shit-ton of dish towels to deal with that shit. Throw them in the washing machine and lo!  Reuseable! Wow!

-Leftover paint from the last time you painted your kitchen.  Put four golf ball - sized rocks in the can to help re-mix it when you need it - just shake it up for a minute -  tighten down the lid, and when you gouge a huge chunk out of the paint during a random ninja attack, you can touch it up.  Also good for those dings and scrapes, and the place where the blueberry pie filling splashed.

-Low-splash bleach.  This is just bleach with a little gel in it.  This is also the difference between lots and lots of ruined clothes and being able to wear your favorite 'Deadpool' t-shirt while you clean out the bath tub.  Whoever invented that stuff is BRILLIANT and I love them.

-Manual can opener.  Take your pick.  I used a 'Bossie-Bully' for years; also known as a 'halberd' style opener. You jam it into the metal by main force, and then lever it around the top of the can using the seam as the anvil.  Problem is, I'm clumsy, and sometimes I'd come down on that can like I was killing Hitler and the contents would come geysering up, which is counterproductive.  It's also hard on the hands and wrists if you have arthritis.  Get a good clamp-style opener, the one where you turn a key on one side, and don't cheap out on this - get the big blocky one.  Power outages gonna happen in the New Normal.

-Magazine postcards.  Reading a book?  Instant bookmark.  Poor little bee or a lost spider gets in the house?  Put a clear waterglass over the lil' dude and then gently slip that postcard under there, nudge the bug up onto the paper or the glass.  Now flip it over and you have a covered container with a confused bug inside. Take it outside and let the poor little buddy go. Who knows, he or she may end up subscribing to Hot Rod.

- Many pegs for hanging many things on in the kitchen, pantry and laundry area.  I don't like to dig around in a drawer looking for shit.  I want to reach out and grab it when I need it.  The Biker and I designed a kitchen where all the tools and our teflon pans can be hung up, not getting damaged or dull, ready to go. 

-A magnetic bar up on our refrigerator that holds our knives.  Up high, in the open, out of reach and grasp of grandchildren, the knives aren't clanging around in a drawer or getting all weird in a knife block. And I have a word to say about fuckin' knife blocks. Those things are not clean.  I dropped one once at a garage sale and it split apart and the sheer amount of nasty greasy guck inside it was like 'Nope, not gonna invest in one of those EVER.'

-A shop-sized air compressor.  You do not know how handy one of those things are until you own one.  Particularly on a really hot day when you've been out sweating in the garden. Whooooo!  Breezy!  Shit; close that garage door down and turn up the tunes and you can have yourself a 1980's MTV video party all by yourself! "Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down...."

-A food dehydrator.  And not the punkass round ones they sell, but a regular deluxe big square box shaped one with trays and a fan.  Mine was built in California by some hippie commune back in the late 1960's; I still have the manual for it and there's a picture of Captain Spoonbender and Moonchild Wolfwoman and Turmeric Peace and their kids all standing there happily on the cover.  Food dehydration was a big deal during the live foods-Jethro Kloss era, and this thing was built like a tank.  It has served me faithfully for close to 20 years, and I use the hell out of it.  I don't waste a lot of food.  Thank you, unknown hippies.  Ya did good.

-My spray cleaner.  It's a spray cleaner! It's a bug killer!  It sanitizes! It kills mold and fungus! It leaves no streaks!  It cuts grease!  Add one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol to one tablespoon of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid in a 32 ounce-sized spray bottle, add water, stir to mix, and get cleaning.  You spray it on a hornet, that hornet dies.  Then you wipe off your window and look, you have a clean place on your window you can see through!  I spend nothing whatsoever on spray cleaners and haven't since 1978. Zero. This stuff is the shit.  It will remove stains in cloth, clean toilets, tubs, sinks, walls, the top of the fridge, spray it on the floor and run the sponge mop over it, wash the car, wash the aluminum siding on your house, the deck, your front door, your windows with a squeegee; it's excellent.

OK listen.  I will break this down into American dollar and cents.

1 regular sized bottle of Dawn original dishwashing liquid - $1.99

1 regular sized bottle of 99% rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol - $2.99

Any random 32 ounce spray bottle - .68 CENTS.

You spend basically 5.68 cents on the whole shebang.  One mixed batch in the spray bottle lasts you at least three months (unless you're really filthy.)  You re-use the spray bottle.  Water comes out of the tap. You get to break down the tablespoons/ounces bullshit because I was an English major. These supplies last for YEARS.  Now tell me I don't have the tiniest little carbon footprint in the fuckin' world. 

-Dawn original dishwashing detergent

-Rubbing alcohol 90%

-A little tiny electric fan. I hang it up on the kitchen wall right by where my dish drainer is, and the dishes air dry in nothing flat.  Also useful for cooling off hot food quickly so you can dig in if you're really hungry and can't wait.

-TUPPERWARE.  I have more Tupperware than Carter has little liver pills.  Tupperware is awesome.  There is a dude that comes around to all the local swap meets and fairs, and all he sells is old Tupperware, and I hit him up every time.  I've probably put his kids through college.  Since I hand-wash, no problem.  Arguably one of the most perfect utilitarian designs ever conceived, too. 

Huge upright storage freezer In The Kitchen.  Not out in the garage or the shed but In. The. Kitchen.  Right where we can work out of it.  We run onto half a beef or some game out here, the big storage freezer is always right there handy and ready to be filled.  It's full of frozen chili, stew, soups and stock, and all my processed produce - me and canning do not get along - so again, we use the hell out of this, and the arrangement just makes good sense.  When it's in the kitchen, see, you don't end up throwing away a bunch of freezer-burnt stuff every year because you forgot you had it.  It also gives you more surface area for those grandkid masterpieces and saucy magnetic charms.

-1975 edition of The Joy Of Cooking. (Among those in the know, the 1975 edition is the BEST edition. Yup. I am just that cool.)  If you are a Boomer aged person, this is your cookbook.  It has all the food you remember, with all the correct methods laid out in a useful and easily grasped manner so you can make that stuff turn out gooooood.  It also has a section before each category that talks about the hows and whys of cooking and ingredients.  Why does food brown?  What is it about eggs that makes things stick together?  Just as a useful teaching guide, this has got to be a classic of the textbook category. It is a tool.  The cover is sturdy and stains wipe off.  It's got a sewn binding. It has an impeccable index and table of contents. It has two red ribbons in the binding so you can mark your place. I use both - one for the last thing I cooked, and one for the thing I am presently cooking, or perhaps the place in the index I need to visit next.  Plus a recipe for possum. Yes. If you have a possum that needs cooking, The Joy of Cooking has got your back.

The only other thing I can think of that you could use that I know would work like magic is My Biker.  And you can't have him.  So fuck off.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

No, No, You Can't Take That Away From Me

 I have a list of things I must have.  Most of the stuff on that list is food. There's other stuff, but yeah, I'm doing food this time around.

NOTE: I quit smoking dope a couple of years back.  One of the weird side effects was that while I still get cravings, it's not just for any stupid thing to stuff into my face anymore. It's always for something specific, and nutritious.  Food actually tastes better now, and my appetite has diminished!  So hey, all hail 'realizing that I'm not 16 anymore' shall we?

Food was a big weird deal when I was growing up.  My mother used it as a weapon.  And she was from the generation that believed that if you boiled everything you ate, it was safe.  Which is great as far as cauliflower goes, but not so much steak.  And yes, boiled steak.  That thing went in the pan and the lid went on and that chunk of cow turned grey all the way through.  All the people they knew, that whole generation, they all did that shit, and I figured OK, this is old people food.  

But see, my mom would figure out what you liked, and when she got mad at you?  Off the menu it went.  Permanently.  Me and my dad both.  We used to love it when we had company; she'd make a big, huge, serve-yourself taco spread and it was like "OMG vegetables!  Cheese!  Ground beef!  Salsaaaaaaaaaaaa!  There is a God!"

By the time I moved out we were down to stew Every. Single. Night.  And I mean stew done up in a pressure cooker.  


  You remember that sound?  That steam release valve rattling?  I remember that fuckin' thing rattling around for two solid HOURS.  She'd light up a smoke and be into Merv Griffin or doing the T.V. Guide crossword and that thing would be whistling and rattling and sputtering out grey watery stuff, and I'd creep past thinking Please God No.  Everything that came out of that pot was like the victim of a transporter mishap.  Those chunks were big, kids.  Mom didn't have the lung capacity left to go around chopping shit up fine. So carrots, potatoes, onions like dead jellyfish you find on the beach, green beans...but it was all the wrong color, and it all fell apart like an old snowman the instant you touched it.  And the meat?  No.  You could knit with that stuff.  It would all separate into long strands, and the fat was all melted out, so you got this little goober of stuff doodling around in there.  It was ghastly.  And she didn't give a damn.  Not one.  Hell, she grew up eating oatmeal three meals a day during the Depression. Plus, she was a smoker - no filter - and her taste buds were dead.  My dad?  He'd stop off at The Red Lantern on the way home every night, have dinner, get plowed, come in and shove whatever was slapped in front of him into his face; he didn't care.  His sense of taste was vacationing in Canada.  He wasn't registering a damn thing.   

So.  List follows.  

I must have:

Fried Chicken. Mashed Potatoes. Gravy.  This is a perfect meal.  Hot or cold. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack.  Cold fried chicken and a tall glass of cold milk is one of the great lunches in the world, period.

Meatloaf. Cream Gravy. Mashed Potatoes.  This is also a perfect meal, but you have to do it right.  You don't let that poor meatloaf boil in there.  You pour off the juice halfway through the cooking time and use it in your cream gravy.  Oh Hell Yes.  You can even make a sandwich with this meal. Let it all set up overnight and then put it between a couple of slices of bread. That cream gravy plays the part of the mayonnaise.  Just let it be.  Blop on a few spoonfulls of cold mashed potato and then lay a slab of meatloaf on there, and chow down.

Now, I do not mean you should eat disgusting gross meatloaf that has had a bunch of fucking ketchup or tomato sauce or BBQ dumped all over it.  THAT IS NOT MEATLOAF.  No Tiki meatloaf abominations either, like people putting slices of pineapple on that shit. DO NOT DO THIS AMERICA.  Meatloaf is a beautiful thing.  Don't abuse it with your depraved tastes.  Let it be free. Put it in the pan, get your hand wet, or use salad oil, and smooth the top all over until it's a glossy and perfect dome.  Let it spend the last 15 minutes of cooking time right up on top of the oven under those heating elements so it gets all brown and smooth on top.  THAT is a meatloaf and it is glorious.

Spaghetti Bolognaise.  Yes you have to put that minced chicken liver in the sauce, with the tablespoon full of strong black coffee.  If you don't, you fucked it up and now you just have plain spaghetti with tomato sauce that is lonely for it's two buddies.  Still, it's better than having no spaghetti with tomato sauce at all. Anything is better than that, face it.  I have this very dish almost every morning for breakfast, and I drown it with

OLIVE OIL.  Gotta be the good, nippy Spanish stuff.  Extra Virgin Cold Pressed.  I will put a quarter cup of olive oil on there.  I will even drink a shot of olive oil plain every now and then, because I crave it.  Why?  I do not know; but I have the arteries of a 16 year old track and field star.

Pork Chops.  Now, I can take or leave a hot pork chop,  but a cold pork chop is Heaven.  One of my favorite lunches is to wander around my garden, eating a cold pork chop and drinking a Bloody Mary.  It is a perfect combination of all the senses.  And the Biker can make a glorious pork chop that makes lesser pork chops hide in shame.

Kim Chee.  I love this shit so much that thinking about it makes my mouth water.  Kim Chee is better than puppies.  Not cooked puppies or raw puppies; I'm not a monster, I'm just saying to mean that Kim Chee is one of those perfect combinations of flavor.  Up our way we have a little lady who has a shop called 'SUJINS' FERMENTATION.'  It is in downtown Anacortes. This lady, Ms. Sujin, this woman touched by God's hand, makes kim chee that is so delicious that you will weep for joy and gratitude.  She makes it in huge clay pots that she buries for a year in her back yard, and what comes out after that year is a miracle.  And she makes all different sorts too; it isn't about just Napa cabbage.  The Korean people have a whole galaxy of fermentation-preserved vegetable combinations and there isn't a bad one in the bunch.  When I was down there this last time I ate a whole jar of it.  I jones for this stuff. But the best thing is that Kim Chee is like chicken soup - it cures whatever ails you.  If you have any digestive disorders, kim chee will fix them.  It replaces all your tired ass, worn out gut flora with beautiful, brand new, healthy flora, and gives your insides a good encouraging pep talk and fixes you up so that by the end of the day you feel better, everything that needed to get gone is gone, and your stomach is your friend again.  Kim chee on rice with a splash of toasted sesame oil is another breakfast favorite of mine.  And if you doubt my claims as to it's superhero status, look that shit up.  It's one of the most healthy things you can eat on the face of the earth.

Now one of you is going Waa Waa I don't like spicy food.  

Fuck ya, you pussy.

Kim chee doesn't need to be red hot.  Yes, it has lots and lots of red pepper in it, but it can just as easily be mild red pepper as it can be hot; the Scovilles don't change the delicious flavor.  Ms. Sujin makes mild, nippy, hot, and 'hot enough to eat it's way through two decks of the Nostromo' varieties of everything, so even your pussy ass will be able to enjoy it.  Kim chee?  The only health food that I believe in 100%

...except for CHICKEN SOUP.  I was taught how to make chicken soup by Shirley, that lady in the picture there standing next to her husband. 

That is the old Dave's Delicatessen down on 3rd and Morrison in Portland, Oregon. They were so good to me there, and I miss them so much.  I always came out feeling full and happy.  Bless them both.

The soup has to cook for three days. This means overnight too. Yup. You just turn it way down to almost nothing and cover it with a little gap left open for the steam so it doesn't get that stale, crock-pot taste. And you don't boil it, ever.  The top of the soup must just shiver a little. You must stir it a lot so that everything breaks down and releases it's essence.  If you want to scum off that grey,  curdy stuff that floats on top, go ahead. It can be kind of liver-y tasting.    Now from this beginning point you can go in hundreds of different directions.  You can strain and clarify it, add some this and that and make regular chicken stock.  You can eat it as is if you don't mind picking out bones, but don't because it's gross.  You can strain it, reduce it, and just season up the broth to drink; there's nothing left in the solids anyway; throw those down at the corner of the garden for the birds.  Put that finished broth in the refrigerator, it will set up like pudding overnight and any stray solids will have sunk to the bottom, ready for you to scrape off and feed to your gimp.  Chicken soup is MAGIC for children.  You have a kid with any kind of a complaint, you feed that child some nice warm chicken soup in a mug and just let them sip on it, and it will cure that child.  I tested this on my own child.  She grew up and got a career in engineering.  Coincidence?

El Yucateco Green Chile Sauce.  Do not eat this ever.  You will die.  It will kill you.  I have been eating it for so many years it's nothing to me whatsoever except DELICIOUS.  It has a fruity, flowery, almost a citrus flavor, a real green pepper flavor that loves eggs like Mickey loves Minnie.  With Huevos Rancheros, or Chorizo with eggs?  Now I'm hungry.  On top of plain old refries and cheese is the best way to eat it, though. I drown it. The whole top of that bowl will be green once I'm done. You can do dog work for a whole day on one bowl of that.  Once again, the combination of beans, cheese and chiles is one of the most nutritious meals you can eat. You'll be the healthiest corpse in the mortuary.

Cabbage Rolls.  A Roma lady taught me how to  make these when I was 19.  She and her whole family were on their way up to the Feast of St. Anne celebration in Canada, and the whole huge group of them had chartered a flight and a block of rooms where I was working. To thank us, she and her daughters made hundreds of the things and everyone on staff was called into the office and we all feasted.  Now what she was making was exactly halfway between a knish and a cabbage roll, but her version had apple vinegar and a metric shit-ton of sweet smoked hungarian paprika (You can find it in bulk at a halal store.  And no, it's not hot, ya pussy.) - I know this sounds kind of appalling but believe me, it works.   Every now and then, I get a ferocious craving for these beauties, and nothing else will do. It has it's own unique delicious, apart from every other food.

Raw Oysters. Oh get over yourself.  A little raw oyster that has had a happy life, innocent of all toppings, seasonings and sauces, is an entire tour of the ocean in every single sweet, mild, ethereal bite; all textures are hinted at, all the places in the sea, and all the creatures.  A small raw oyster that's been purged correctly is a masterpiece, something you think about and eat slowly.  It is the only food that I will drink wine with, and I want a very light, mild white wine, not dry at all, but just enough fruit there to put the period at the end of the sentence. I will linger for an hour over a plate of these; twelve happy, innocent creatures who gave their lives to a grateful human.  A Penn Cove oyster can bring me to tears.

Chow Mein.  Good old sleazy, goopy chow mein.  There are times when only fake ass, white people chow mein will do.  And it has to have a little soy sauce on there too. When covid hit hard, a few months ago we were getting scared, and it got to be too much, I looked at the Biker and said 'Dude, we need some chow mein,' and he said 'OMG we do!" and he made some chow mein, a huge pot of it, and it saved our sanity.  This sounds ridiculous, but it's true.  Maybe it's a childhood memory thing, because for him and I, going to a Chinese restaurant back in the 1960's was the height of special exotic events.  That was a birthday thing, an anniversary thing, very fancy indeed. Chow mein saved the day.

A Reuben sandwich/Monte Cristo sandwich.  I lump these two together because they both fill the same craving place.  A Reuben with Swiss cheese, a simple sauerkraut, good corned beef, a nice, rough mustard on rye served with a kosher dill pickle spear and a Scottish Ale is LUNCH BITCH.  One of the great lunches.  And lunch is a very particular meal.  Breakfast is necessary and dinner is something you think about, but lunch is for the working person, and it has to be a certain way.  You either need it to get you to dinner, or to make up for breakfast, and for me, the Reuben meets the challenge. You gotta put it on the flat top and get it warm and the cheese melty.  It can take a little manhandling.  It isn't drippy.  It has strong, delicious flavors that work really well together.

Now I have been all over the fuckin' Net and I cannot find a decent Monte Cristo to save my ass, so here is how it's supposed to be made the RIGHT way.

Start out with a really dense bread.  NOT sourdough. Potato bread is good, a light rye even better.  Now you need Thousand Island dressing. Yes.  And Swiss Cheese. Corned beef, a little plain sauerkraut, and scrambled eggs. Now let's put this fucker together. Stack it up evenly - structure is crucial.  Spread the Thousand Island on the sauerkraut side only. Make sure that corned beef is sliced thin, but that there is a lot of it. Now turn it sauerkraut side UP and  press the whole thing with a pan. Don't reef on it, just get it all evened out and everybody in there acquainted.  Heat up that flattop and get a lid ready; heat it up.  Now, dunk that whole sandwich into the scrambled egg, and I mean sozzle that thing around in there.  Get it good; get all that scrambled egg into every crevice.  Slap it on the flat top and put the lid over it.  Give it a minute.  Turn it over; back goes the lid.  Now take the lid off, make sure it's all dry, that no egg is running out. Press down and give it another squeeze to make some juice run out and turn into a crust that you fold back onto the side of the sandwich, and put that fucker on a plate, slap a pat of butter on top, and sprinkle it all with powdered sugar.  Send it out.  It makes no sense.  It is probably against the law.  You will have to take half of it home with you, so wrap it up good and put it in your pocket or your purse and have that other half for dinner. It will turn you into a hero. This sandwich will actually convey heroism upon you. You will be lifting rail cars off small children and doing parkour; people will ask you for your autograph, you will be able to turn the channels on your television with your MIND.

Duck liver pate'/chicken liver mit schmaltz.  See, I know how to make this stuff.  People complain about the 'cardboard' taste of liver, but if you know the secret, and I do, you don't get any cardboard taste.  You get the very mystery of the animals' life.  When I used to do Christmas Eve Open House I always had one or the other on hand, because I knew that I'd be the only person brave enough to eat the stuff.  You poor saps do not know what you're missing.  And that's fine with me. I'll just take that...

It is stupid o'clock and I have run out of 'must-have' foods.  That probably means that I've got the essentials down, though, so I'm happy with that.  Recipes gladly shared via request.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Fuck Your Agenda

 Since joining the 21st century and getting Netflix and all those other WTF channels and stations and shit, we have been watching us some international television, and it's very very interesting stuff. Here's what I mean.  

Take a show made in Mexico, by a Mexican film crew, about Mexican people.  It is not gonna look like an episode of "No Boundaries".  Gritty urban poor?  None to be seen, or seen in context.  And that goes for all the countries.  A show shot in Malaysia by a Malaysian film crew is not going to take place exclusively among the rural poor.  I mean yes, it depends of the subject of course, but say the story is about Malaysian dogs.  Malaysian film crew gives you a show about Malaysian dogs.  American film crew is headed straight for the shittiest part of town to give you a story about dogs.  You will not see one supermarket, one sedan, one modest little house.  Nope, they're going to trek into the back of the backwoods where everyone is using old tin oilcans from WWII to cook with and shoot their dog film.

My travel experience is limited. Canada, Idaho (which counts as a foreign country; Idaho is some trippy shit) Oregon, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Regular Foreign Mexico.  Yes, I like the West Coast.  We got everything here and everyone speaks the same language.  But you watch television, and if it's a travel show made by an American crew, you got your Gritty Urban Poor all over hell.  And this really bugs me.  It truly does.  You leave it up to an American film crew, every non-English-speaking country in the fuckin' world is nothing but people squatting on the dirt wearing a sarong while naked little kids toddle around among the chickens.

There is some kind of fucked-up agenda going on that seems to say "a country where English is not spoken is not foreign enough if everyone is happy and prosperous.'  So let's head to Skid Row and get down to the REAL SHIT. Because the 'real' country is the poorest and most backward part of the country.  Any country."

I have been homeless, I have been poor, I have been reliant on public assistance.  It was a whole goddamn boatload of SUCK ASS.  At no time did I feel like I was having a jolly time, or involved in a wonderful adventure full of color and vibrance and charming rascals and astounding street food. No. There were straight-up cannibals living up underneath those twelve bridges that cross the Willamette, up in the dug-outs and the blackberry bushes.  Cannibals.  Can. I. Bals.  You died up under there with the cars going overhead, you cut your taste wrong, you had no family?  You got ATE. 

You got ate.  

That shit was real and it happened.  It's probably still happening.  

Now send a crew of man-buns and kitty-cat glasses out with some cameras to make a film about Portland, Oregon and see what they come back with.  Sure ain't gonna be about cannibalism under bridges.

It's so 'Petit Trianon'!  It's revolting! And American film crews are by far and away the very worst offenders on this scene.  Greece?  It's all  po' folk in stone taverns full of hairy sweaty old guys who really do not want you to be there.  Vietnam? Show those tiny crowded alleys with the jacked up wiring all hanging from the lamp posts.  India? Head straight for the Ganges and show folks attending to their dead and that one guy with the strange white eyeball who is in every single show about India ever shot by an American film crew.

It has more than a touch of 'Plantation hijinks' about it.  "Oh, Christmas!  Let's get Miranda and Ashley and ride down the cabin row to hear the cheerful n****** sing carols!"  "Oh Malaysia! Nothing happens in Malaysia whatsoever except Thaipusam, right?  So lets exploit their spiritual practices for the amusement of our viewers!"

Nobody speaks up about it!  Tony Bourdain tried.  Damn that man tried. He is my hero for holding out as long as he did and saying what he said about the type of film that was being expected of him.  He said it during his shows. People heard him say it.  Even mentioned it in one of his books, a meditation, trying to get his mind around the fact that no matter what way he looked at it, he'd been forced to sell out, and forced hard and constantly, and couldn't feel right about it.  I'm not an international celebrity (much,) but I'm taking my own stand here next to him.  So one old white lady adds her voice.

  I remember being SHOCKED AS HELL to see that there was actually a regular downtown Tijuana, with office buildings and men in suits and people in nice cars.  Modern houses, even mansions up in the hills.  Where did we visit?  Down in the most dangerous part of town, while our two white lady friends used their schoolgirl Spanish to try and dicker, which if you ever want embarrassing, be with your mother and two really white ladies thinking they're going to outsmart the poor, dumb locals, while the locals are calling them fat whores with smelly cunts, and they do not realize it At All.  I was seventeen when this happened.  I knew me a little 'berry picking' Spanish.  I spent a lot of time looking elsewhere.  

This is a broad and bold streak of sheer aristocratic thinking going on in our media.  Perfectly accepted.  Americans really, really like to be amused at the expense of the poor.  It is so ingrained in our national character that we still think nothing of it. Don't even realize it. I mean, someone challenge me on this, or add your two cents.  To me, it feels like when Aerosmith played the Superbowl, and sang 'Walk This Way' and I was apparently the only American who realized that going out into millions of homes all over the world were the words:

Backstroke lover
Always hidin' 'neath the covers
'Til I talked to your daddy, he say

He said, "You ain't seen nothin'
'Til you're down on a muffin
Then you're sure to be a-changin' your ways"

I met a cheerleader
Was a real young bleeder
Oh, the times I could reminisce

'Cause the best things of lovin'
With her sister and her cousin
Only started with a little kiss
Like this

Seesaw swingin' with the boys in the school
And your feet flyin' up in the air
Singin', "Hey diddle diddle"
With your kitty in the middle
Of the swing like you didn't care

So I took a big chance
At the high school dance
With a missy who was ready to play
Wasn't me she was foolin'
'Cause she knew what she was doin'
And I knew love was here to stay
When she told me to

"Walk this way, talk this way"
"Walk this way, walk this way"
"Walk this way, walk this way"
"Walk this way, talk this way"
Just gimme a kiss
Like this

Schoolgirl sweetie with a classy kinda sassy
Little skirt's climbin' way up the knee
There was three young ladies in the school gym locker
When I noticed they was lookin' at me

I was a high school loser, never made it with a lady
'Til the boys told me somethin' I missed
Then my next door neighbor with a daughter had a favor
So I gave her just a little kiss
Like this

Seesaw swingin' with the boys in the school
And your feet flyin' up in the air
Singin', "Hey diddle diddle"
With your kitty in the middle
Of the swing like you didn't care

So I took a big chance
At the high school dance
With a missy who was ready to play
Wasn't me she was foolin'
'Cause she knew what she was doin'
When she told me how to walk this way
She told me to

"Walk this way, talk this way"
"Walk this way, walk this way"
"Walk this way, walk this way"
"Walk this way, talk this way"
Just gimme a kiss
Like this

OK.  So you start out with a dude masturbating.  Someone's dad tells him to put that thing in a vagina.  Or baked goods. Probably a vagina, though. So he meets a 'real young bleeder' (classy!) with a sister and a cousin and presumably fucks them all - after a kiss.  Because he's classy like that. Then he nails the neighbor girl, and starts watching the girls on the playground swings, doing the upskirt, checking out their snatches. Then a girl at a dance tells him how to walk a certain way.   

I am literally the only person who found it at all odd that nobody in this God fearin' nation of ours felt that Aerosmith singing about cousin fucking during the halftime show was inappropriate at all.

 It's like this weird group denial thing.  "Aw, i'wuz jest Aerosmith!" Equals  "Aw, thems jes po' folks, they don't care if we watch them cremate their grandma!"

So chime in.  Am I onto something or what?

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Quaint Vignettes From My Charming Rural Idyll

Well, I've made friends with the neighborhood crackhead, and I have to say, he's a nice fella.  He and his dog come up the sidewalk every day, around two in the afternoon or so, and we have a friendly conversation, and we play with the dog, and it's nice.  Then he goes up two apartment complexes, cops at the third one, and comes back down the sidewalk about forty-five minutes later screaming on his cell phone at....somebody, about...stuff.  His dog takes this all pretty philosophically.  If I'm out, he'll break off the crazy for half a second and go 'Hey! Still outside, huh? See ya!' and go right back to shouting gibberish into his phone. 

My house seems to be his midway point, where he builds his rant up into it's grand peak.  He'll be out there posturing and playing to the cheap seats, declaiming and flapping away, and children, there is corn growing across the street. Corn.  An acre of corn.  I live in a town that just passed the 4 digit population mark and there is corn growing across the street and the only crackhead in town is flapping away out there, just street as hell, motherfucking and I gone smash that pussy, all shit, nigga, and...corn.


There is corn.

 Many evenings my husband and I will be sitting here and he'll be right outside on the sidewalk, flailing and gesticulating and shouting, while his dog sits patiently and waits for him to work it out.  Then he goes on his way, still exclaiming.  It's like knowing two completely different people who own the same dog and have the same tattoos.


As part of the 'We're sorry' package my husband got for being told that he was going to be out of work by next....February?  June?  Who knows? he was given a $200.00 gift card.  Visa.  Spend it anywhere.  So he and I took a weekend to go to our happy place, which is Anacortes, WA.  We stayed in 'our' hotel, and ate at 'our' little hideaway, and....slept.  And hung out in our room watching television.  We each had our own king sized bed to starfish in, there was a kitchenette, and we napped, ate crap from Safeway, and napped some more.  Yes, WE know how to party.  I have never needed to get out of town so bad or had such a relaxing vacation in my life.


I went out and bought myself a new hedge trimmer because I'm 60 and I get to use power tools.  I went through all the wilted stuff in the front yard like Grim Death, and now that I've got a look at what's been happening at dirt level I can lever up some stuff that's been bugging the crap out of me.  (I'm a Vita SackvilleWest follower - if you don't like it, rip it out.  And I'm rippin'.)  Now that the smoke has cleared and we've had a couple of rains, my campaign of Death is proceeding with resounding success.

But the best thing?  Is that the season has changed, and it's cool enough and dry enough now at night to sleep.  This is the last year I go without an air conditioner.  Period. This winter, when they're cheap, I'm gonna get one of those little room sized ones that you hang on the wall and never look back because I'M 60 AND I GET TO HAVE AIR CONDITIONING.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Gender REVEAL!

 You notice how everyone is all gay and trans and cis and queer and dis and blenders and pan and socks and WHAT THE FUCK.  Me and Flame Monroe are old school!  I can't keep up with all this shit, what is all this shit?  What does it mean?  And why do My People get skipped over?

MY. BI. PEOPLE. Get skipped over.

Do you think it's easy being a bi person?  There are complexities up here.  This is complicated.  I don't find anyone online talking about bi issues because apparently 'likes pussy AND dick' is enough, next.

It ain't like that!  No it's not!  First of all you got clothes.  

Now most days I cross, but I look like every other sloppy ol' mountain granny, so that's not repping for the team much.  My husband and I wear the same size, and the same clothes half the time. Yeah, I married a genetic male type man, the kind with a 'came in the bag all original dick and balls and likes pussy morning noon and night' situation.  How this happened I do not know.  How it lasted for 32 years I do not know.  It just happened, OK?  Anyway. I'm trying to be all 'lead by example, show the children how' but how do you do old and bi out here in the cornfields?  Every bitch looks like me!  We all are wearing barn boots and flannel and t's with the arms cut off. Tattoos? Check. Shit, half of us smoke Blackies.  That's a thing out here.  I like a cigarillo and a shot of Bushmills in the Autumn, and I set out on my porch sipping and contemplating, and all up and down the road, all the old ladies are doing the same thing!  

It is not just 'Well, you get the pussy pass' because I got my original equipment and everyone thinks that all it takes is three Budweisers to turn a straight girl gay.  Some days, I am BUTCH. Lee Marvin look like a princess next to my butch.  I'm watching all those 'Amateur pole dancer SLAYS routine' videos thinking 'Me carry woman off to cave.'  Then that slews off and two days later I'm Audrey Hepburn, sighing over antique lace and Victorian childrens' books, and looking at my husband like 'you LOUT' when he doesn't open the car door for me, and I'm wearing a bra and shit.  

The complicated part is the 'slews off' part.  That's when you're bi.  That's when you're what you are.

It feels like a distinct thing. Just everyday me being friendly to a fault.  The lesbians think you don't have the courage of your convictions and the heteros think....nothing.  I'd like somebody to think something. We don't even have a parade. WE DON'T EVEN HAVE A PARADE.  And that's not right or fair, really.  It's like half a 'yay'.  We exist and we're important and I don't even get a....parade, or a shirt, or a symbol, or a slogan, or taken seriously.  The most definitive thing I've ever heard said about bi people was by Dan Savage, who referred to us as 'fashion disasters'.

And that's fair, in my case.  I had to ask the lady at Fred Meyers to help me find the womens' shoe department - and there is a whole lot of 'wrong' in that sentence, I know - and then I ended up buying men's shoes, like I always do.

So maybe this is a scavenger hunt.  First one who finds a stereotypical 'bi person' wins?  Or a bi person stereotype?  Either one.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Quaint Vignettes From My Charming Rural Idyll

 Pet Teenager passed her drivers' test in one try!  HOORAY FOR PET TEENAGER!!  

You know how many tries it took me to get my shit together? Seven.  Seven tries.  After you bork the first three tests they make you wait six months before you take the next one. (This was back in the day.)  I do not test well, being on the spectrum, and a stranger in my car marking off my mistakes was enough to throw me way off my stride, so yeah, seven fuckin' tries.  Didn't stop me from driving, of course.  I was the worlds' safest driver for four years there, no license, no nothing.  Just a state I.D. Had my own business cleaning up rental properties, so I was driving truck, too. I could go into a house where there were so many used syringes on the property I filled a goddamn garbage bag full of them, no problem, earning cash.  Sit next to the soul-dead DMV clone with his little checklist? Nope.  Could not deal. But I did eventually. And the statute of limitations has run out on that shit so yeah.  But I taught this kid how to drive!  And she nailed it, first try!  PET TEENAGER IS EXCELLENT!


We found out yesterday that they're planning to shut down The Bikers place of business in a little more than a year.  DO NOT PANIC. We own our own home.  We owe no debt (except for the $84.00 hedge trimmer I bought yesterday. I got it. It's cool.) All our vehicles are paid for and we have substantial financial cushioning.  But it was a shock.  This is part of the new normal.  The Biker works in aerospace, and they are undergoing massive changes worldwide. The Biker?  Will find himself some Joe job someplace eventually. He plans to drop in the traces, die with his boots on, go down fighting etc.  Which is just as well because I dealt with his ass day in and day out for two solid years back about 15 years ago and folks, never fuckin' again. Do not be sitting in my living room every day.  A bitch needs her space.  Got to have my solitude.


The weather has cooled down, so me and my respiratory issues went outside in Downtown Tokyo air conditions and did a major fall clean up on the garden today.  I cannot tell you how good it was to work outside, really get in there and work, plan for next year, and do that shit.  When you do what you were made to do, born to do, it gives you life.  So screw you, shitty air quality.  This old ho' is whackin' weeds.


I just got done watching a solid binge block, the entire 'Star Trek: Enterprise' series.  Four solid seasons, one right after the other. I mean I watched other stuff too, but I got in my three or four (or more...yeah, shit) eps a day.  It was FANTASTIC. I was absolutely pleased as all get-out.  There were a few average eps, but not a single shitty one. 

They did a great job making the pre- NCC-1701 technology look dangerous and substandard compared to TOS (even though you could totally tell they went to IKEA for a lot of the set details. No, I do not kid.  I am serious as a heart attack.  The X1 has IKEA elements in the set.)  Captain Jonathan Archer was a fantastic commander. The only thing that made me laugh was T'pau's amazing shrinking assets.  The first season and a half? That chick had gazongas and an apple bottom for the GODS. You could see the outline of the padded undergarment beneath her form-fitting uniform.  Season three and four, those secondary sexual attributes began to ever so slightly shrink, until she was no longer an unobtainably, sexy as hell Barbie Playboy Centerfold Vulcan-ess, to a 're-think the collagen injections in the lips hon' just folks, average, unobtainable, sexy as hell Vulcan-ess.  The surprise character standout was Dr. Phlox. I expected to hate that cheerful weirdo, but ended up really liking what he brought to the mix.

Anywho that's it for today, kats and kittens.  I gotta make a Bloody Mary and go supervise the Biker. He's out in the garage playing with power tools.  Yeah, I'm gonna get in on that, babies.  So lay ta!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Please Just Make Me A Damn Sandwich

 The Biker and I have always had a united credo...recycle, do it yourself, live simply, think globally, act locally.  That is our family creed.  I know, you'd think it would be "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"* and yeah, OK, that's also part of our thing too. Hey, you can have more than one family credo.

I have been involved in the politics of food ever since the beginning.  The Biker, not so much.

When I first met the Biker, he had no clue.  He'd been living on government commodity supplies flown in every three months to the FFA base where he lived up near the Arctic Circle, where he grew up.  Koolaide? White sugar? Margarine? Bologna?  Hell yeah, bring that shit on!  

Our moment of truth came when I caught him sneaking a - sit down, breathe deeply, happy place, happy place.....quarter cup of BROWN SUGAR into my pot of marinara sauce one day.  I was understandably appalled, and gobsmacked. He and I had a serious talk about food, flavor, the perception of freshness, cultural flavor profiles, and the difference between live and processed.

That poor man had no clue.  No clue whatsoever! None!  You grow up on an FFA station near the Arctic Circle, they don't teach you shit like that!

Now me,  I had grown up with people who believed that as long as whatever edible on your plate had been cooked to death, it was safe.  I understand where that impulse came from.  They grew up in the days before the USDA and the Health Department.  But me, I grew up in the days when you could watch Julia Child and Graham Kerr on television, telling you how to make food that actually tasted good.

When I was eight years old I saw Graham Kerr make a cheese souffle on T.V.  I thought 'Well, we have eggs and cheese, that doesn't look too hard," and so I made that.  I made it.  It was a cheese souffle. And it really is not hard to make.  You need to separate a lot of eggs, and use an electric mixer, but it's not like fuckin' brain surgery or anything.  I presented that cheese souffle to my parents, and while my mother and her demon chorus of issues dealt with that fact, my father ate that bastard like a chainsaw going through cottonwood.

I have always been the technician.  I love the industrial, mechanical aspects of cooking, the chemistry, the heat and the whole mixing of compounds.  And for all the years that my daughter lived at home I was the cook, and we ate like royalty on a blue collar budget, if I do say so myself, and I do. I was able to teach my daughter the importance of locally sourced products, and living out in the boondocks, I have access to the freshest of the fresh ingredients, and that's how she learned to cook, from me, just a suggestion here, mostly her watching and me yakking away, and then her eating the results.  She grew up into a fearless home chef, a political cook like I am, because food is politics, the politics of the worker, the stuff of life.  She absorbed the story of how food gets to the table from what we taught her and what she saw out here in farm country.

Then my  husband lost his job, and was home for two years.  The aluminum plant he worked for pulled out to manipulate the price of their product worldwide, and they did it by closing down the local plant that he worked for.

He could have laid on his ass getting stoned and bemoaning his state.  What he did?  Was temp work.  At food plants.

We have a lot of them locally. It surprised me how many there are.  And all kinds of products, from pure protein for weightlifters to boutique chocolates.  Between temp jobs, he got caught up in the wave of daytime 'food porn' television shows.  Now my Biker, he's a big boy. Likes his carbs. Between that and Nigella Lawson, (BABY I NEED YOU) and the Fat Ladies and Tony Bourdain, he was hooked.  All he would watch was food porn.  The reason this is so bizarre to me, now, writing this, is that my Biker is all about the combustion engine situation. Suck, Bang, Blow. Cars and motorcycles. Things that go fast and burn dinosaur juice.

But see, what you need to know about my Biker is that he is probably a genius. He's the smartest person I've ever met anyway, and if you can get him off the subject of fuckin' cars, he's fascinating.  Well read. Knows his shit.  Keeps us afloat financially by manipulating our assets.  You wish you had what I have, but you don't, so HA on you. This bear be ALL MINE.

He watched those shows, and while I was going to college on a PELL grant, and doing temp work, he would be at home trying out those recipes with our daughter, and they'd cook together. (They also go shoe shopping together.  I don't know what that's about but they'll talk brands and materials and I just ignore it. Shoes are just foot gloves as far as I'm concerned.) 

This dude from the literal top of the earth, the North fucking Pole, taught himself how to cook, and he blows me away.  If he needs me for the technical stuff, I'm there, but he's the one who knows how to get the best flavor out of what he's using. It's a gift.  It's an actual gift, like perfect pitch.  He has it.  And because we all live out here where the food of America is produced, he knows how ethics, morals, politics and ecological responsibility correspond with the meals that go on American tables - shit, tables worldwide. AND HE COOKS IT.

Here's my take.  Food is all about feeding hungry people.  That's what food is.  It's not about polymerized tamari on a wire, or foams, or little dabs of sauce and small pretty towers of this and that, rare and expensive.  Food is about getting the best flavor and the best nutrition and the most beneficial local effect, on the ground, out of what you eat.  That's what we do.  Here at Rancho FirstNations, food is a political act.  And when you think about it, it's one of the most basic political acts.  Feeding hungry people.  Supporting local producers.  Reducing the carbon footprint. Distributing surplus FOR FREE to your neighbors.

Think globally.  

Act locally.  

Set a table for your neighbors.  

Feed the world.


*We Gladly Feast on Those Who Would Subdue Us 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

That Burning Sensation

My home state is on fire. Oregon. I have family down there that were forced to evacuate, and now the town they were relocated to has a lightning-caused fire heading toward it.  What the fuck, universe?  Seriously what the fuck?  In August and September, it's California that's supposed to catch fire.  And yeah, it's on fire too, but that shit should stop at the goddamn border. The Northern Cascades is not supposed to catch on this much damn fire.  But it is,  because there's two years worth of old, un-cleared fire debris on the ground upon which it can feed, that and un-managed, standing beetle kill.  

I've seen that shit.  Whole hillsides covered in the zombie remains of evergreen trees, the ends of the branches curled upward.  The beetles eat the cambium layer of the tree, which is the living system of the plant, and leave a sooty black tinge in the old lignin layers.  Woodworkers swoon over beetle-kill wood. I'd like to jam it up their asses.  Thank your sorry flabby ass, Trump, for fucking over the Forest Service.  If that shit had been managed, none of this would be happening.  Those damaged forests would have been selectively logged and the lumber milled and turned into a salable commodity instead of left to stand and become a death trap.

The little Catholic girl who lives inside me wants to go do a Rosary service on behalf of Oregon.  She and I did one during 911 happened.  No, I'm not religious, but Catholicism is as much a way of life as it is a religion, and I was culturally indoctrinated way young.  If nothing else, I'll get to go cry in a nice, quiet place with a bunch of other sad people, which will be comforting.  As it stands I drunk dialed my psychiatrist and my daughter.  My daughter was very nice about it. I expect my psychologist to call on Monday and laugh at me, because I was pretty lit by the time I reached his message service.

I do my best to choose joy each morning.  Whenever I find myself falling into one of my well-worn hate grooves I pull myself out and leave it behind.  And this has been successful. I know what I can and cannot do as far as world situations go.  But when my home goes up in flames, the most beautiful state in America...when the forests that rivaled any elven landscape of Tolkeins go up in flames, I can only mourn for what has been lost and hope that the planet finds it's own new balance in the years to come.


Drag Queens Built My Drag Car

 Well, not really, but I wish they had.  They would have done a way better job with the interior.  The upholstery was a ghastly patchwork-tweed-1970 Terra Cotta brown...pattern...situation, and it had cat box-tan vinyl interior panels set off with cat crap brown trim and plastic chrome piping.

So I sold it three days ago.  Got it out of my life.  Yes, the Chevrolet El Camino 'Bone of Contention Mach 0' is gone from my life forever leaving me a few grand in hand, thank you.  I put that in the bank and went right back out and you know what I bought?

A recliner.

Best move I've made in a long time.  I should have done this years ago.  I can stretch out at my ease and binge on 'Star Trek Enterprise' and Scott Bacula's chest hair, and then, by God, rise and stand upright without making that 'old people' noise.  Yep, I found an easy chair that doesn't look like a Clydesdale turd, that matches my furniture, and got it On Sale, too, because I am just that good.

Today I am not allowed to go outside because the air quality level is at the 'danger' level.  I haven't seen that warning since I was a little kid.  It's because just south of here in Oregon, the Cascade Range is on fire. The view from space shows a line of bright red all the way from border to border. I live hundreds of miles away, but I'm looking outside right now and the sky is a strange lurid yellow.  I can't make out the houses two blocks away.  There's a southerly wind blowing, and what was just a faint haze yesterday is absolutely dystopian today.

I've had asthma since 1966.  (The doctors then told my parents I was just doing it for attention and that I'd outgrow it.  Apparently I still need my parents attention, dead lo these many years, and I'm still waiting to outgrow the shit.) I pay a lot of attention to those air quality warnings. No gardening today. No, today I'm gonna sit in my recliner and watch Star Trek and drink a Bloody Mary or five.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Titties and Gardening

 I was outside pretty near all day long today, the weather was overcast and mild, and I have four city lots worth of display garden to take care of.  I was doing that thing - titties safely tucked away, not on public view for once - and I overdid it. Oy!

I am not going to whine about being sixty and everything's so hard now, because that isn't the case.  I have gardening in the shape of my hands, my arms and shoulders and the muscles in my legs and that's just not the issue.  I feel GREAT when I'm out working like a medieval peasant.  It's when I STOP that everything goes to hell.

So I'm sitting here around a mixture of pharmaceuticals and alcohol, and I've got on old re-runs of 'Unsolved Mysteries' because I like the sound of Robert Stack's voice.  I usually write with him or Fiona Bruce narrating away in the background. It requires nothing from me, and when I look up there's usually something interesting to see.  Brian Johnson used to be part of my background noise, until his tits got me kicked off Facenbuch (FUCK YOU BRIAN JOHNSON AND YOUR SENSITIVE NIPPLES)  but once I forgive him, he'll be back.  And I'm writing a story about something that happened to me, and that's nice too.  What isn't nice is the number of thorns stuck in me. Or the fact that when I get up from this chair to crawl off and take a piss, I'm going to make that Old Person Noise.

"HNNugh."  Or "FphluchAGH".  I like to switch it up.

Here in September the soil is as hard as (titties) - well, what it is; dried clay.  There's inch - wide cracks running all through the property.  I could water for a day and a night and it would only sink in about an inch, because what I'm on here is old lake bottom silt.  Fertile? Oh my God, it's fantastic stuff.  But you have to come at it planned out like Omaha Beach every year.  'Soil Amendment' ain't just pretty words to say.  

Welcome, rose of my dreams!  Now you just sit there for the next hour while I toil like the Volga Boatmen getting your new home ready!  Titties!

We are talking about CLAY.  (Clay's a baaaaaaad mutha -  Talkin' bout clay!  Well I can dig it!)  

You see what I did there?

Come Spring perennial planting here, you have to dig deeper and wider than the books would have you believe, and you have to mix in a lot of half-finished compost, chunks of branches and old grass and crap, to keep the soil light enough for the roots to spend their first year penetrating the soil as you water like a demon.  Come winter, all the surrounding soil is going to liquify and mix with that stuff, and next year, if that perennial (titties) doesn't have itself stuck in there, it's gonna bitch and complain and you'll have to jump up and down on a soil fork to loosen things up and then water with compost tea and do all sorts of bullshit all summer long while it decides if it wants to live or not.  If you can get it through that first summer, and prepare the soil correctly, you're golden.  If not, you just wasted 35.00 on a rose that's going to drop leaves and reach for the smelling salts every time the temperature fluctuates 5 degrees.


My garden is finished. It has been for the past two years.  Now it's mature, and it's just a case of trimming and weeding and squashing slugs.  And in a few more years me and the Biker are going to look at one another (titties) and decide if we want to stay here, or say fuck it and  move to a smaller place.  I figure by then I'll be so stuck to this chair that we'll have to stay; or they'll have to carry me out palanquin-style, which would be very cool now that I'm picturing it. I may opt for that.

So I spent the day taking things out.  Downsizing.  And I have enough specimen plants to get away with that;  I'll just scatter around (titties) some annuals to take the place of the perennial groundcover. This is the perfect (titties) time of year to do that; everything is still in full grow mode.  Next week, it's going to be a different story.  Those plants are going to start socking away the carbs in the root mass for the winter.  How do I know?  Night time temperatures.  I've been keeping track for years. You get a feel for the time of year, when the first leaves begin coloring up.  This week is going to be hammer and tongs. 

Hand over the aspirin and vodka, tovarisch.  Comrade FirstNations is gonna be haulin' those barges.


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Blog Sneakin'

 I've been feeling a little lonely since leaving Facewhore.  I mean, by the time I left, it wasn't a load of yuks and laffs over there at Zucks' place, between "Trumpbitching Again" and "Elderly and Pissed Off About Everything"  but there was the distinct feeling that there were other people out there saying things.  Occasionally those things were interesting, and occasionally they made you think. Now I have a few readers, and it's nice, but it's kinda lonely.


What I've been doing is launching off the comment links onto other blogs and reading random posts.  Hey, if you're blog is open to the public, I'm public as all hell, and I have read your post.  Nine times out of ten they're good posts too.  So if you're here because you saw my name, welcome!  And stick around!

I've wondered how to introduce myself in that 'About Me' thing over on the side there.  I decided I'd do that best by saying what I'm not.

I am not my sexuality full stop.  I am a 60 year old bi person. And really that's about all I need to say about that.

I am not a pagan. (I'm not religious at all; shit.)  If you are a pagan, welcome.  If you are All Pagan All The Time All Singing All Dancing Blessed Be, Look At All My Pagan Trinkets, thank you for stopping by but you and I are not gonna get along.    

I am not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination. If you are a conservative, just leave now.

I am not young.  I am still trying to catch up on all the movies and books and music and social shit that happened back when my life stopped and I was busy raising a kid in the Eighties.  I have no idea who is popular, who is a star, who is gossip-worthy, BUT!  Please! Fill a bitch in!  I am choking and dying out here for any sign of the modern world!  I live in the country! I'M RURAL! PLEASE HELP!

So that's me. Oh, I garden a lot, too.