Monday, January 24, 2022

Nuttin' Honey

I have nothing to report.  No pithy observations, no dick pix (I know, right?) nothing.  And they say that no news is good news, so there you go.

I do have a book, though.

                                             Cumming and going and going and cumming...

And also, this:

Really Awesome Sylvania light bulb commercial - YouTube

It is, in fact, really awesome.  You owe it to yourself to watch this.

No, I don't know how to embed it.  I forgot how to do the html thingie, so if someone would explain that to me I'd be grateful.  

Also the fact that 'noog' means 'Chattanooga', or 'a Chattanoogan' - and is also a seed found in Nigeria that is used for producing cooking oil, and also in many bird seed mixes, when it is marketed under the misnomer 'Nigerian Thistle.'   As in, 'My cousin the 'noog from 'Noog bought some noog and cooked the songbirds she atttracted with it in noog oil.'

You see what you can learn here at Steve?

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Music and Space Bedrooms

For all you jazz dogs out there. 

Marcus Miller, Zycopolis Productions, "Tutu".  Listen HARD.

Marcus Miller - Tutu Revisited feat Christian Scott - Hannibal - 2009 LIVE HD - YouTube_

I like this Marcus Miller guy.  


He's a generous performer.  He allows his ensemble to improvise and will step aside to let them shine while he backs their sound with brilliant, minimal bass stings.  Jazz doesn't come much finer than this stuff.  Look this guy up on Wikipedia - he's done everything!

The algorithms have concocted a wonderful YouTube channel for me.  It's got Al Blakey and the Jazz Messengers doing 'Moanin' ', Herbie Hancock playing 'Speak Like A Child', good standard Grover Washington Jr. doing 'Mister Magic', old as the hills and twice as dusty Dave Brubeck on 'Take Five', and the incomparable beauty of Oliver Nelson with Bill Evans playing 'Stolen Moments', a rave fave here at Apartmento el FirstNations.  And that's not all, but I'll spare you.

This is perfect rainy, windy night music, and that's what we've got going on outside now. I am soooo cozy.

My go-to for all things rare and sweet is Herbie Hancock. 

You've all heard the ferociously danceable "Rockit".  Well here they are, the gang from 'Future Shock.'

He's done some things that aren't to my taste but the man has never put out a bad song.  He's like the caffeine/chocolate/opioids of jazz - the man just makes everything better.  Even if he's just sitting on on keyboards, that piece is going to be 100% better for his presence.  This is a true fact, no bullshit.

Another man that deserves national treasure status is Stanley Clarke.  

                                    I was just a poo-butt kid, but I knew quality when I heard it. 

I saw him live years ago in 1976.  I can't even remember who I went with.  I'll spare you the tale; if you've been a-hangin' round Paul or Steve for awhile you'll have heard me go on and on about that concert before, so I'll just shoot you a link to his 1974 album:

Stanley Clarke Album - YouTube

And what is the first cut called?  VULCAN PRINCESS.  

                                        T'Pring, you dumb bitch.  You passed up Spock for that?  

I saw Stanley Clarke play 'Vulcan Princess' LIVE. Lost my mind?????

ANYway.  Back to the present.

So I'm putting together my third Space Bedroom.  

My first one was just a few movie posters.  

The second one was way over the top.  Sort of Space-Goth. I painted my bedroom this super dark burned espresso color and then dotted it all over, and I mean All Over, floor, furniture, linens and ceiling, with glow in the dark galaxies and constellations, lovingly applied with a fine brush.  It was wicked bad and disorienting as hell once the lights had charged up the paint. I had blackout drapes, and the instant you closed the door those stars would fade up and daaaaamn.  I liked it.

This time I'm paring it down to some Trek collectables and some new posters and lobby cards.  I have a Deco chrome blender that The Biker turned into a table lamp for me, and - what?  Everyone in the future will have blenders that serve double duty as table lamps. Don't question my motives.

I found a nice cheap poster of 'Metropolis', the gold and black one, and that's on the outside of my bedroom door, like I'm twelve or something.  The Biker gave it the hairy eyeball this afternoon. I just said "God made man. Man made Maria." all portentously like you do when you're trying to impress someone with your knowledge of science fiction and shit. 

Anyway, he has nothing to feel all holier than thou about. There's this.  When you figure the man subjected me to this atrocity:

Yes it's Robert Williams, yes it's 21st century edge street-pop-car culture-West Coast, but honestly, it's huge and he had it hanging in his room as soon as you opened the door, and you know what; I just quit vacuuming in there.

yeah, that fucking thing, for years, until I took to keeping his bedroom door shut all the time?  He can just put up with lovely, soulless, intimidating Maria, the antithesis of everything good in this world.  I mean it's just pop art too. There really isn't that much difference, right? 

                                                                        You tell me.

 I thought seriously about doing a 'Spocks cabin', and if Mr. Beast is still out there lurking, he'll remember the epic Trek House we both coveted, where the woman who owned the place had done the whole interior over to resemble the starship Enterprise set.  It had a Vulcan themed telephone nook. Now that's class right there.

And then I thought 'No, I don't own this place, and I'm going to go looking for that weird shimmery fabric or the expanded metal dividers. Life is too short.'  And they sell that shit online.  It's tempting.  But so is owning a 'Forbidden Planet' poster.  And a 'Gort and Klaatu' poster.  And a '2001' poster. And a 'Things to Come' (1936) poster.  And maybe some replica spaceships hanging from the ceiling on fishing line.  I did buy another bottle of glow in the dark paint....

I already bought a 'femme of the future' moderne dresser for a steal. That and my nightstand are going to be painted silver once the weather improves.

Yes. Everyone in the future will have chrome bedroom furniture and dual-purpose blenders. I'm just way ahead of the curve.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Like A Delicate Blossom


I find myself opening like a tulip in the springtime lately!  I don't know what it is!  Could it be that the burden of all the worries our old house held in store has been eradicated in a stroke?  Could it be that, suddenly having found myself no longer isolated in The Valley of  Pointy Republicans and holding myself in constant check, I am perforce and by the grace of Dog reborn in mid-flight, like a magnificent fois gras spreading its wings for the first time in decades?  What could this strange euphoria mean?

Well, I've been drinking, so that could be a factor.


I thought I'd be in deep mourning by now.  

I'm not.

Instead, I'm shedding old possessions and saying a cheerful 'Fuck off and die!" to the life I had in Sumas.

A lot of unhappiness took place in that house. The worst years of being a mother and a wife happened in that house.  The last few years I've lived in constant dread of the horrible winters.  I could go into a hundred other worries and negative vibe sources associated with that house and the property and the town and the region.

Y'all are saying 'but what about your garden?'

Kids, I was at the end of my ability to keep up with the garden. I still love plants and I've been thinking of ways to finagle my way into someone's yard.  The urge hasn't left me.  I already have one person nearby seduced with promises of David Austin roses and rampageous clumps of Japanese irises. Nice small yard. Tools supplied. Yeaaaaaah.

All of next Spring and Summer I get to go back to Sumas to keep the joint from looking like it's abandoned, at least from the outside.  It has to sell and it will sell, believe it or not.  It's going on the market. That's written in stone. The regional infrastructure in place is so obsolete, the area so imperiled, so many lies were told over the years, and the local governments so in denial that it would be idiocy to hang onto the property any longer.   For me, this coming summer will be like a weaning process.  A prolonged farewell to horticulture.  I'll distribute a few things locally to old friends, put stuff out next to the road with a "Free ( fill in the name of a plant)! Bucket and All!" sign.  I'll talk to all my Canadian tourists, say goodbye and thank you; and maybe unload some stuff that way too. 

It's time for that to happen.  I won't miss the backbreaking labor that tending a mature garden takes.  It's 20% enjoyment and 80% culling, trimming, cutting back and reiving out when it gets to this point, and I am no longer up to climbing trees with a chainsaw, hauling around 100lb. clumps of overgrown hosta crowns and turning a compost heap that is half as tall as my house.  OR sifting the motherfucker; I mean Jesus in a bouncy castle already.  

For the past five years my life went like this:

I got three months - March, April and May, to keep June, July, and August from looking like shit. Full eight-hour days.  In and out of the house, drinking water like a fish, slathered in sunscreen, always tired, always in pain, always tripping over shit or stuck full of thorns or falling on my ass.  

During June, July, and August I sat trapped in the house and sweated while the heat and humidity rendered everything a nightmare, only sneaking out in the early morning or after the sun had gone down to do some necessary stuff.  Early in the morning, starting in September I'd be able to grab a few more hours each day to go out and speed-garden. October was all labor all the time, until it got too cold and rained too much, and all for the sake of November, December, January, and February not looking like shit.

So there's that.  Now I'm two Bloody Mary's in (four, the way I pour 'em) and I'm gonna go full bore now.

If this flood had not happened, we would have spent the rest of our days pouring money down a shithole. Hiring repairmen, hiring contractors,  hiring garden help (the poor bastards cringing under threat of the lash... me and my riding crop, all dressed out in latex and spikes in of those funky mask thingies with a zipper where the mouth should be, prowling constantly, looking over their shoulders, making inhuman sounds, drinking from the hearts of the weak etc.) having the house put up on cribs, putting in new sill plates, new window frames, having the old block foundation demolished and hauled away,  getting new foundations poured,  building a new bathroom from the ground up, connecting to the city sewer... increased insurance costs, literally trying to stay above water and losing ground all the time as every single winter hence gnawed away at the house, the outbuildings and the garage.

OK. There's that picture painted. 

I would have been miserable, and my husband would have felt even worse.

He goes out there now, most times.  I can't.  There's too much mold growing.  The dust that kicks up is toxic and my lungs are weak.  

He's out there mourning.  Brings back a few things.  We clean them off in the bathtub and let them dry on the back porch and then have to clean them again because whatever was dissolved during the flood clings like paint to everything it's touched.  The longer any of our belongings stay there, the more they smell like anaerobic rot, diesel and sewage.

Biden finally declared Sumas and Everson federal disaster zones.  We've applied for FIMA assistance, and we'll be meeting the inspector this coming Monday.  If we don't fall outside income and savings restrictions (if any are in place) we should get a little something to put in the bank. At some point in the future. I think. 

Back to the present moment.

The only bitch I have to pick now is the sheer amount of plastic in our daily lives.  It's the difference in the market region.  Twenty miles down the road, North toward the border, people still make their own lye soap and live off the grid.  They still buy things like Lydia Pinkhams - no shit - and alum.  They want to be able to handle their groceries and won't buy if they don't have that kind of assurance.  Here, you have all the Eighties and Nineties babies.  They think nothing of having to unwrap one clementine from three separate layers of plastic packaging.  It's how they were brought up (unless one happened to be in the small minority, whose parents were hippies and belonged to the Co-Op.) Just the ridiculous band-aid idea of reducing plastic waste by outlawing plastic bags? That's just a fart in a hurricane! I trip on the sheer amount of plastic waste I have now.

And that's it. That's my only complaint.

I've been here before - back in the 1980's and '90's, Portland and Seattle.  All those old habits; never leave your purse unattended, always keep that strap across your body, money in your front pockets, doors locked, windows locked, don't make eye contact with the nutty people, don't advertise your belongings, always size things up going in or out, that's all coming back to me.  Sumas was already in the beginning stages of social decline.  Here it's just back to the damn future with shorter buildings.

I'm safer.  I'm warmer.  I have reasonable people in my daily life and they aren't all Dutch ffs.  I get out more and see more things.  I said 'SHIT!' out loud in WinCo yesterday - twice! and nobody infarcted.  Folks know what my 'Weyland Yutani' shirt means.  I'm surrounded by the world again.

Fuck Sumas.  That life is over.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Quaint Vignettes From My Ordinary Urban Apartment Complex

 Me and the Biker are sitting here singing along to 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone' and laughing like idiots.  Is this how you envisioned your golden years?  I figured I'd be in a flying wheelchair on Moonbase Alpha or some shit. 


I have a bad habit of being interested in too many things at once, and when that happens I have to do an information dump.  What this means is walking around the place doing chores and talking to an imaginary person about whatever comes to mind, just to get it out of my head already. This is just a private idiosyncracy, and I never gave it much thought. 

 As I was rambling around the apartment this afternoon talking away about What is there to say about the Rolling Stones that hasn't been said already, what constitutes soul, the mighty Hammond B3, Herbie Hancock, math rock, the invention of the theremin, Cement Music, how hot Pavrotti was before he became a ham planet, it suddenly occurred to me that, OMG. I now have upstairs neighbors! And the walls here are paper thin!

I'll tell them I was doing a podcast. Yeah.


Gladys Kravitz Department:

Our former upstairs neighbors would have never noticed that shit. They were a busy group.  Two women, five children under the age of 12, one undercover dog, three regular gentleman callers, and one dude I'll call The Midnight Creeper.  It sounded as if they were juggling lawnmowers up there.  They were a happy group, thank God, no screaming fights or anything like that, but then again it wasn't me lying on my couch in the silence of the agricultural day listening to crows walk on the roof, either.

The Midnight Creeper would come in between 11:00pm and midnight without fail. Wham wham wham wham wham wham up the stairs. 

Bam, front door. 

Goes to the kitchen. 

50/50 chance of being treated to the sound of Creeper puking in the kitchen sink. 

Feeds and then plays ball with undercover dog. Bounce bounce bouncebouncebounce, skitteritteritteritteritter slide, scrabble, gudunk gadunk gadunk gadunk gadunk. 

Repeat eleven more times. Without fail.  

M.C. takes a shower. Then he takes a firehose piss. Flushes. Has animated, if muted conversation with unknown woman.  Fall into bed.  All sound ceases at 1:30am.

6:am rolls around and here comes our man Creeper! Bam goes the front door! Wham wham wham wham wham wham down the stairs! Off into the rising sun! 

Life begins again for our two ladies and their children at 7:am.   In and out and all about, doing whatever it is they do at high speed while wearing Elton John shoes.

This all changed three days ago.  Come 9:am that morning an amazing changing of the guard took place as one group of people speed-moved out of that apartment and another speed-moved in simultaneously.

Yesterday, silence.

Today, silence.

...but the little dog remains.


One of the unkindest things that can happen to a person is to stumble across Witness Money.

I've collected some over the years.  It used to come in the form of an Eisenhower or Kennedy dollar coin; now you've got Susan B and Sacagawea too. Steam polished aluminum. One side looks legit, the other side is a bunch of demented 'Come to Jesus, money is the root of all evil Moloch 666 only Christ can redeem, turn or BURN' stuff.  

Lately it comes in the form of folding money, commonly given to waitresses instead of a real tip, or found on the floor in resale stores, or near the Mission. Isn't this a wonderful way to call poor people to the throne of the Lord?  Be short of cash, get pranked by a random stranger, get rebuked by fake money, and given a bible quote to make it all better.  Make me feel all churchy just thinking about it.


Our handyman is named Jake.  This guy is a mensch.  Friendly, not creepy, busy, competent, shows up on time, keeps the place looking sharp.  Super nice dude.

We're talking in the laundry room, just he and I; he's fixing the coin machine and I'm folding slogan t's. So many slogan t's.

                                                           So very, very many slogan t's.

When he leaves, there on the floor is a folded bill.  I bend to pick it up, and sure as shit, there's Benjamin Franklin.

"Oh fuck no. Come on man, don't be one of these," I think, terribly disappointed, and I bend to unfold the bill.

 I have a brick. 

A hunno, children. 

Cold hard cash! Swimmin' pools, movie stars!

"oh shit," I think, all in lower case like that.

The next day he's striding past with a big sheet of fiberglass and I ask him "Did you notice you had something missing last night after we talked?"

"A hundred dollars," he said, eyes big.

"I got it. Hang on."

And Jake is soo grateful.  He is overjoyed. He is thanking me over and over and over.

Stone Troll Roll Dode 12, Icosa twentaaaaay, BOOM shakalaka! 

I am gonna get my toilet fixed FOREVER!!!!!!!!