Saturday, November 28, 2020

Z Nation - Post Thanksgiving Edition

I had to go out and at least walk around the garden and then take a drive through town today because I've just about had it with quarantine.  Not a single soul was outside today, despite it's being mild and sunny; there were no cars, no trucks coming to or from the border, not a sound, no wind at all, and it was EERIE.  

I mean, usually you'll see a dog, or somebody's cat, or a tractor, or a kid, but nope.  Went to the post office, nobody.  Drove around, which doesn't take any more than 20 minutes, just at an idle, letting the car drift along - nobody.  Something was on fire south of here in one of the fields; I'd say slash, because it's that time of the year, but I didn't drive down to look because we've had flooding and I have my doubts as to the state of the road headed in that direction. 

(Scene:  FirstNations tootling down a quaint little farm lane in her Wagoroonie mini SUV or whatever the hell I'm driving now.  Tootling along.  Suddenly the pavement gives way and gasploosh!  There I am! Tit deep and sinking, in a jumble of migrating salmon, ecology blocks, traffic cones, broken pavement and crick water - and the zombies all suddenly look up and come stumbling my way.  No, no no no no.  Not worth it to go see a fire.  I've seen fires before.  They're made of flames.)

Speaking of salmon, the Bejewelled Biker, who now drives the Baby Blue Sedan of Sadness, was stopped by a school of migrating salmon just last week.  I mean actual migrating salmon crossing the road, no crosswalk, no 'Danger Fish Crossing' sign, no UFO's, nothing.

There's a notorious high-water spot about three miles from here that runs through a blueberry field, and when conditions are right, big, huge salmon go wriggling across the road in the overspill, from a flooded blueberry field, across the pavement, to the wetlands on the other side.  There were people out on either side of the road taking videos of this, and also wading around doing a little hand-fishing too.  I went back the next day to the very spot and saw the same thing happening!

The Bejewelled Beast snapped an excellent shot of a teenage kid who had hand-caught himself a super nice fish, holding it up on the side of the road. Do I have those pictures?  No I do not.  Just imagine a tall skinny kid, standing in the middle of a street full of salmon swimming like mad bastards across a wet two-lane road, from a blueberry field into a marsh, with a crowd of people taking pictures and about three semi's stopped in the road.

This is trippy country.  Also, when nature tells you it's time to fuck, you gotta fuck.  Even if it means swimming through a blueberry field and wriggling your fishy tummy over wet pavement to deposit your milt/eggs in a cedar swamp.  I'm sure you can relate to the feeling.


Live, from Sumas WA, here is the picture of the kid who hand-caught a fish!

Note that this kid is not wearing matching sandals and has been photographed against a backdrop of cedar swamp with what appears to be a house in the background.  I don't know what he has in his pocket, but it's ruined now, because according to the BB, this kid was up to his armpits in the cedar swamp just moments before this was shot.  So there you go.  Kid with a fish, and a borked cell phone most likely.

This fish is what's called a 'Chum Salmon'.  It is of such unsatisfactory quality that it was cut up and used to 'chum' for bear, or fed to dogs, or slaves, by the indigenes.  Me, I've eaten plenty of chum salmon pulled in from the mouth of the Columbia River and it's a perfectly delicious fish.  It's the change they undergo as their systems adapt to fresh water from salt water that gives the flesh a weird flavor and texture.  As far upstream as we are from the ocean, this kid probably took one bite of his prize and then fed the rest to his dog.  Old fresh-water chum salmon is a funky, funky eating experience.  Still, to see a natural fish run for the first time in years is further proof to me that Nature is coming back with a vengeance thanks to Covid!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Your Great-Great-Grandparents Were Vegetarian, God-the-Mother Worshipping, Gay, Naked, Hippies

...but first, a word from FirstNations.

So here in the US it's Thanksgiving, and we here at Rancho FirstNations are thankful that Biden is our President elect.  All that "I refuse to leave office" Trump horseshit on the news is just Trump spin-doctoring for his peasants. 

 Here's the scoop:  right now we're in a period known as a 'Lame Duck Presidency'. It's the period of time between the election of the new President, and when he officially takes office on January the 20th.  All this spreading fear, the tales of locked doors and the Million Maga Marches is the result of credulous people having been trained to be ignorant by the Right media, or just plain not being aware of how their own goddamn country works.  

The 'lame duck' period is in place with the idea being that the outgoing president will have time to get his affairs in order, take care of loose ends and get his shit packed and so forth.  It's the 20th Amendment of our fucking Constitution for Heavens' sake!  This is business as usual in the United States. 

Our press is absolutely guilty of assuming that the general public has any real knowledge of history past who was voted the winner of  America's Got Talent, or who won the Superbowl in 1977.  I guess putting out boring facts isn't as cash productive as reporting The Orangapresidents' latest wacky antics minus context.

So if you're in another country freaking out thinking that Trump is going to nail the doors of the White House shut and not come out, Do Not Worry. It's just the same old asswind from the Orange Thing.


 The International Association For The Preservation Of Spiritualist And Occult Periodicals is based in Forest Grove, Oregon (surprise, surprise!) and is absolutely solid gold.  If you are a Pagan, a Wiccan, or whatever your left-of-center persuasion, your great-great grandparents were enthusiastically writing about it and practicing its tenets.  If you want proof in the form of a whole treasure trove of primary source materials including personal diaries,  go here:

I sincerely hope that anybody out there who is a practicing Pagan of whatever flavor will use these archives to learn about their history as it ORIGINALLY appeared in popular context.  The collection comes from all over the world!  The UK is well represented, and they were in close contact with the US; there's a lot of ideological cross pollination.  It's wonderful stuff!  Some of it very thoughtful, and some of it absolutely....damn.  Just DAMN. Here is an example of what I mean:

If you were a steampunk writer, this would be your playground.  The same goes for historical mystery and horror writers.  Phillip K. Dick would have shit himself with rapture if he'd had this to play with.  If you're me, you're giggling with delight!


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Lesbians! Wacky, Wacky Lesbians!

 Well I did my research, wrote my story, and found out a number of very interesting facts!

1. I was living in the middle of Lesbian Central back in the day. Southeast Portland, man.  All the co-operatives, the communes, the all-gal apartment houses, the bars, the church, everything!  There I was like "I need a beer and a lez'bean!"  And I was knee deep in the things!  The reason I did not realize it was because...

2. The lesbian community was so ridiculously fractured and political and insular that it was more like an archipelago of warring islands than it was a community.  I lived in 'Blue Collar, Prison Record Land, which explains a lot. Up the next couple of blocks was 'Total Separatist Land'. Up past them was 'Pacifist Co-Op Lipstick Land'. Over another few blocks and you were in 'Lets All Live In An Undifferentiated Heap And Eat Brown Rice Land'. Then there was the "Butch As Fuck' apartments and the 'Indian Print Fabrics and Weaving' duplexes. There was one Womens' bookstore and a Food Co-op in the middle of this area (naturally) and they were cruisy in the afternoons, but everyone generally stuck close to home and went to their own bar and store and seldom ventured further.

3. The gay guys all did their thing across the river, and they did it better than the ladies. 

 Downtown Portland is divided into four parts, unlike Gaul, which is divided into three parts. 

North and South are divided by Burnside Avenue, and East and West are divided by the Willamette River.  In the Seventies, the Northwest and Southwest side of downtown was the wealthy white educated area, and the East Side was everybody else plus Lez'beans.  

On the Northwest side,  around the Flatiron Block, and straggling down North of Burnside Avenue were the awesome gay bars (and some freaky ones too, like JR's Cell.)  If you wanted to go out and you were gay and female, you had two choices (if you were me) - go to your local, listen to Hall and Oates, and hang out with grouchy unemployed women who didn't read  -  or go alllllllll the way across the river, and then head waaaaaaay north, to the Pink Triangle, as it was unfortunately called, and go to the fun bars with the good music, where the bathrooms were actually clean, and there wasn't a huge dyke standing by the door making sure you didn't spend too much time in there.  Yeah, that was still done.

This cleared up a lot for me.  I knew that there were a lot of politics going on - and I mean a lotta a lotta politics, all strident, but I simply wasn't meant to live up to the ridiculously strict rules that every little tiny faction upheld.

4. There was another, scary reason that the ladies were so clannish.  You'd go into another neighborhoods' local and get frozen out.  And I'm thinking what the fuck? I'm cute! I'm a fun date!  I'm a blast when I'm out on the town!  So there I was, all butthurt for years wondering what the deal was, until now, I'm sixty, and I find out that the ladies bars were getting jacked up by the police three times as often as the guys were.  They'd send in a female cop and wait for someone to make a move, and then...yeah. And there I was, unfamiliar, not part of the local 'thing' wonder I got the hairy eyeball.  

Well screw you, ladies.  You missed out.  You missed out by two stinkin' inches.  What do I mean by that?  I mean that the minimum height requirement for a woman on the Portland Police Force back then was five feet, seven inches.  I am an adorable little 5-5. So if you're gay and sixty and used to live in Portland, and you saw a girl who looked like Bernadette Peters and dressed like Fred Astaire, that was me, and you shoulda said hi. HMMPF.

Monday, November 16, 2020

A Blast From The Past

 Hey there fellow nerds!  Ya wanna read a surprisingly enlightened exploration of love, homosexuality and the fluidity of gender from 1908?  No shit, kiddies - nineteen oh eight.  Surprisingly, us folks used to be called 'Uranians'.  Or 'Urnings.'  (Insert Rowan and Martin joke here:  How much are Greeks Urning?  About a buck fifty!!!)  

Admit it. That's some funny shit right there.

Here the linkie:

Everybody needs to belong to EGutenberg.  It is The Tits.

I'm trying to write a story about a lesbian, so I'm doing my research.  I mean, I was there, but being Bi, I just went around everywhere and waited for the vibe to happen.  I wasn't entrenched in the lesbian community.  (Yes.  In Oregon in the 1970's, lesbians lived in trenches.  It was rough out there.) There was a definite culture going on, but I never stuck around long enough to learn the secret password and handshake.  I just remember really, profoundly, shitty, grim, horrifying bars full of women in casual wear dancing to 'I Can't Go For That' by Hall and Oates. I did learn how to close dance with another woman, though, which was fun.

I read Stone Butch Blues years ago, and I only related to half of it, as you'd expect.  A lot of what was being described was not what I saw, either. It being the Seventies in Portland, I was around a lot of younger women trying to rewrite what being queer was all about, and it seemed to be about wearing casual clothes and dancing to Hall and Oates. And boycotting Coors (booo) and drinking Anchor Steam Beer (yay! support your community!)  Then I met my girlfriend, and coasted on that for a year.  

So, I study, and in my travels found this little gem of a book.  It's not a terrifically engaging read- BUT! there are some awesome passages so it's worth the slog, lil buckaroo; don't be lazy! - until you get to the Appendix, where there are a number of testimonials from gay men and women of the day.  They're amazing to read.  Everyone is a little leery of coming right out and admitting to the sex, but consider the times.  And then there's those that do own it, and that is absolutely mind blowing.  Think of how brave you had to be to even write that letter, or talk to the author!


As long as I'm here I'm going to add this issue:  Women wearing mens' underwear. Specifically tighty whities. This, I do not understand and never have.  Fitted uns are constructed to fit certain bodies.  If you are female and you wear tighty whities, (y-fronts to you Brits) you are going to have this floppy pouch sticking out in front.  It feels weird and it looks weird and it is unpredictably breezy at times. 

Yes, I have worn mens' tighty whitey-style underwear on a number of occasions. Once, out of of sheer curiosity. (Therein lies a tale.)  The rest of the times, I was out of clean uns.*  My ex-husband, who was built like a chihuahua, wore the same size as I did, so necessity ruled the day.  As petit as he was, I still had that funky pouchy thing sticking out in front. And t.w's have these beefy leg bands that are apparently there so that your dick and balls don't fall out and run down your leg and off into the distance laughing hysterically. They are horrid and they chafe. But apparently wearing these things is de rigueur among studs. This is not a news flash by any means, I know, but...they're not comfortable.  If you're not wearing high heels, why are you wearing Tee Dubs? Why do that to yourself? WHY GOD WHY.

Not that I am the Underpants Police, or a Bottom Inspector.  Link follows.  If you don't hit that link your soul is dead.  

If you can get with mens' briefs, that is totally OK with me.  I am only concerned for the comfort and general welfare of my people.  So if you're female, and you're reading this post sat in a pair of mens' beefers, take a moment and ask yourself "Am I really comfortable?  Or am I just sitting in a lie?"  I think everybody should do this at some point in their lives.  Are you really getting the most out of your underwear experience? Is your hine ruled by your politics, or do your politics rule your hine, or however I meant that sentence to come out?  I say you should always put comfort and hygiene first.  

That's why I go commando in mens' sweat pants.

*Speaking of a blast from the past, do hit this link (demanding, aren't I?) and revisit the last time I ever wore a pair of mens' underpants, which post is most excellently well and truly described as 'A Blast From The Past'

Friday, November 13, 2020

It's Suddenly Winter And It Sucks

 I am gonna whine.  We didn't even get a real Fall.  We got two weeks of crappy windy weather, one hard freeze and all the leaves blew off and now it's Winter and it sucks.  It's not fair, and I'm cold.  Plus there are weird, fat, fluffy grey birds, big chubby ones the size of chickens, sitting in the trees and I don't know what kind of birds they are.  It's Winter, I'm cold, and I'm a disgrace to birders everywhere.

One good thing about Covid is that the Guns of Autumn seem to have been largely silenced.  I live in a migratory corridor and the cornfields and ponds are usually ablaze with gunfire as the ducks and geese go over, every morning and evening, like an artillery barrage.  Really, that bad.  From sunup for a solid hour, and then around sundown for another good hour.  Apparently you can hunt all day long starting in September until March (waterfowl, upland game birds, and turkeys.  And you know what; go for the turkeys.  Shoot those motherfuckin' turkeys.  I have been menaced and victimized and taunted and harassed by turkeys for years now and just fuck turkeys.)   

Now, I am not anti-hunting.  Not at all (see above statement about turkeys.)  But this area is a bottleneck in the migratory corridor, and there is usually, as I've said, a metric shit-ton of gunfire going on. Very little gets through.  And then I come to find out that a lot of those birds get left lying in the field. And people are very casual about it; like a living thing is no more important than a beer bottle you'd shoot off a stump.  These are the same people who bitch about all the coyotes coming down from the mountains and taking their February calves, you understand.

That's not hunting.  Hunters eat what they shoot.  If someone leaves an animal dead in the field, that person belongs in a gravel pit shooting television sets and washing machines, because that person is not a hunter.  That person is a dick.

But then comes Covid, and the skies are alive again!  Thousands of snow geese, swans, you name it, flocks like I used to see when I was a kid! 

I still hear a few guns go off, and that's the way it is.  But the huge difference it's made in the number of animals I see is remarkable.  Between one year and the next!  Despite my inability to identify the mysterious chubby grey birds, I do keep track of this kind of thing, and I swear I have not seen anything like this since about 1968, back when I lived in another migratory flyway/ bottleneck, in the Willamette Valley.  The skies, day and night, filled with migrating birds.  It's astounding!  Birds blacking out the stars!  The whole auditory landscape filled with the calls of brandts and snow geese, for hours!

And I think, fly fast and fly sneaky, birds.  Get where you're going and keep your heads low.  I want my great-grandchildren to be able to see hundreds of hawks kettling overhead, and vast flocks of redwings circling and turning and flashing through the sky like immense schools of fish in the ocean; and the geese flying overhead in chevrons, from horizon to horizon in the Fall.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

The Backlash You Fear May Be Your Own

 Now, I listened to this.  Dave Chappelle, Saturday Night Live.  If you haven't, here it is:

UPDATE:  NBC seems to have peacock-blocked it.  Oy vey.  Just look up 'Dave Chappelle monologue Saturday Night Live 2020.  You can do it lil' buddy!

Now,  I made it through.  I laughed.  I sat here and was culturally white as snow and I made it through this monologue, and my first thought after it was over, was "Damn, I'm glad I don't live in the city."

My first thought.  My first fuckin' thought.

I remember 1968 and 1969 in Portland, Oregon.  Real well.  

Portland was BURNING.  The police had cordoned off the bridges to keep the black people on 'their' side of the river.  I lived on that same side, less than three miles away.  You could look to the north and see the buildings burning, you could see the smoke rising to the north.  I stood on the roof of the house and looked at the smoke, eight, nine years old. 

I listened to the news and heard, there in the background as the reporters spoke, enraged people being shot down in the streets by the police.  Being blocked from crossing the Willamette River over to the 'white' side.  Coast Guard and dockyard fire boats were patrolling the river and the people raged on the banks and got water cannons shot at them - and bullets too.  Those bodies were not counted. 

None of the bodies were counted, not anywhere. Nobody counted the bodies.  Nobody that I knew, anyway.  

Everybody I knew, on the television, the radio, the newspapers, were all white.

We didn't have to know.

We didn't have to know.

Not our problem.  

It was 'those' people, tearing down their own businesses and homes, look at those crazy people, you think they'd be fighting who they're supposed to be mad at! But see, it's all fake!  No, all they want to do is have an excuse - and I was told this by my parents and other adults - they just wanted an excuse to rob and take away what the 'uppity' ones had, because most of them were too lazy to work. The Russians were behind it.  Destabilizing the nation by riling up the poor dumb people who didn't know any better in the first place.  So bottle them all up and let Devil take the hindmost. That's the only way to make it stop.

They say that inside every liberal is a racist waiting to get out.  

Me, I'm scared.  And if you listen to Dave Chappelle, he addresses that - hey, white people!  There's this feeling that you might begin to experience...that people you don't even know, who don't even know you, are going to do something bad to you because of the color of your skin.

I'm not a racist.  What I am is someone who knows what's right, who wants to do what's right, but doesn't know fucking how.  I didn't know so much, for so long - and didn't even realize I was ignorant - that I AM going to fuck up.  I'm going to offend somebody.  Hell, I may be doing it right now in this post.  I guarantee you that Black rights was not way up on my list of things to worry about when I was younger.  I didn't have to.  

So now I'm reading.  A lot.  Way out of my comfort zone.  

How many of my neighbors are?  

I remember being absolutely appalled at the sheer number of people who lived in my little speck on the map, who were like "HOORAY!  WE CAN BE OPENLY RACIST AND HATE GAYS NOW!" as soon as Trump came into office.  Little old ladies I've known for years ffs. Kids my daughters' age.  The sheer GLEE of people who genuinely felt more free once it was 'cool' to hate.  Just following the President's example.

They're all out there freaking out right now.  Some very vocal, hateful, ignorant, mislead, average people, half the nation.

I've got nothing to end this with.  

I need to go find a kitten.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

More Love, Less Attitude, and No More Cofeve

 I listened to President Elect Bidens speech and I was left thinking two things.  The first thing was YAY OMGWTFBBQ WE'RE FREE THANK YOU NO MORE TRUMP ROCK ON JOE!  

The second thing was "This dude is not a ball of fire."

Can he do what he's promising?  I think that everyone who voted for him is of the inclination to pitch in to heal what the last four years has done to this country.  But as far as leadership presence goes?  Biden said all the right things, invoked all the correct issues, and came across as, God love him, the Calvin Coolidge of 2020.

Can we take it?  Are we as a nation big enough people to forego being entertained by our politicians and put in the hard, not fun, dreary, drab, slogging work to truly abolish ignorance and hate?  Because Biden isn't going to wave a magic wand and Lo:  Harmony reigns!  (That was Obama.  Keep up.)  

He is not what you'd call a demonstrative guy. He seems like a nice, everyday kind of person. I like that.  But here's my point:   For the past four years, everyone in this nation, Red or Blue, has been jacking off to the Funny Monkey and his Tweets.  This poor mook Biden has a long uphill climb, to try and follow that freak show. And face it. The Freak Show was horrible, but it certainly was exciting, wasn't it?  Every day a new outrage!  Another mindless tweet!  Another groping of a foreign dignitary!

  Biden is essentially on a tightrope over a bottomless pit of Hot Republican Garbage.  Keep your ass over the rope, buddy.

 And WTF Republicans?  You used to stand for something, as I recall.  Less government. Increased states rights.  Now you're like those mean girls in grade school, all huddling at 'their' lunch table, hissing shitty insults and tripping the unpopular kids, with the grinning collusion of the Arch Lunch Room Lady, Donald Trump/Vladmir Putin.  (Seriously, I was shocked to see how many people I've known for years suddenly throw off their facades and rejoice in letting their inner bigot out to play during the Trump Administration.  It was fuckin' scary.)  The party that used to be all about self-determination is now nothing but the Ignorant Trailer Park Pukes, violently color-coding their surroundings in blithe disregard of the positive effects of things like public education and genetic diversity. 

 I don't even know what the hell Montana is any more. Or Utah.  Then you head south and run onto Texas and we're all on another planet now, and it's covered in suck. Chunky suck. There's stuff floating in the suck.  All the Texans have turned into angry Klingons who didn't make the grade and have to stay on their planet sweeping up all the suck, and they're doing a really bad job.  I mean seriously, Republicans!  I never thought I'd see the day that I'd actually be able to sit through a documentary clip featuring Richard Nixon and 1. Not start in, or 2. think 'Wow, he was so polite and well-spoken.'

Joe, you  have my best wishes.  But it's gonna be tough.  Nobody is going to be wearing a 'Grab My Pussy Mr. President' t-shirt on your behalf, dude.  And that's a good thing, but those bitches are still out there, and so are their husbands, and you scare them to death.  

Take no shit, Joe.

Friday, November 6, 2020


 Recount?  Oh hell yes I imagine so, there'll be a recount.  And a recount of the recount.  And an examination of the hanging chads and suspect electoral college 'contributions' and all the subsequent whining and bitching we see every single time a Republican doesn't get his way. Waaaaa waaaa waaaa.




Monday, November 2, 2020

Strange Cravings, Oxycontin Edition

 The truth of the matter is, I am not averse to a  little oxy every now and then.  And my excuse this time is 'The Season'.  Which is Fall.  

The thing is, I'm an 'atypical responder' so a combination of substances that would land other people flat on their faces, licking the sidewalk, has me doing household minutia, happy as a clam, at 10:p.m. like:  

1. Organizing and consolidating my spice cabinet.  And kids, we have a whole damn three-shelf average kitchen cabinet filled top to bottom, back to front with bulk spices.  I just went through 76 different bottles of various substances, organized them labels forward,  and got rid of all the little half and 3/4 bottles by dumping all the matching substances into other, larger jars, and labelling them.  This took me about an hour, and it smelled really good.

2. 11:30 p.m.  I rinsed and ate half a jar of Spanish pimento olives.  This had to happen.  My stomach was a little upset, and if I have an upset stomach, the only thing that will settle it is either a lot of olive oil on a piece of bread, or straight-up olives.  If you don't rinse the salt out of those green olives you end up with a worse problem than you started out with, but I am super smart and so I'm sitting here feeling fine.  

Yes.  I know.

3.  Took care of my plastic waste.  This means crushing and smashing and stomping on all our used rinsed out plastic bottles, out on the porch, smash, bash, RRRAW GODZILLA and then putting them into a big garbage can, which I did loudly. At  11:03 p.m.   Hi, neighbors!  I'm nuts!  

4. Looked up the history of carnivals, amusement parks and fairs - the slang, the people and so forth, and now a large part of my childhood lies in ashes.

5. Took lil' Gourdie, yanked off his head to save for the seeds, and then jammed the rest of him into the mouth of our truly huge barfing pumpkin (I got rid of the barf to make room for Gourdie.)  I set this charming vignette up near the sidewalk.  For the past hour people have been slowing down to take a good, long look at my personal weirdness.  I feel happy about this.  It is offensive and inappropriate, and everyone will blame The Bejewelled Beast aka The Biker, and not me, because jolly, chubby, nice  old ladies don't do shit like setting up carnivorous pumpkin-eating-a-baby-displays in their yards at 10 p.m.

6. Eaten half a bag of Doritos XXXtra Nacho Cheese Chips because who wouldn't do that at 10:p.m.? (See entry number 2.  I paid for my Dorito-y sins with green pimento stuffed olives, rinsed.  I should sleep well tonight.  Right?  Huh?)

7. Made detailed plans to use my Bissel Steam mop on the kitchen and bathroom floors.  Planned that shit out like the Invasion of Normandy Beach.  Then I realized that my Bissel Steam Mop died last month. 10:30 p.m.  Bummed out.

8. Decided that making a list of the stupid shit I've done this evening follow a logical timeline was too damn much trouble, and then went into the bathroom and cleaned out my ears with Q-Tips.

This is what acting a fool looks like when you are elderly, folks.  You abuse pain medication, drink vodka and eat olives late at night.  This is life ON THE EDGE DAMMIT.