Saturday, October 16, 2021

Ad Astra Per Aspera, Y'all

The first time I was married I wore a ladies tailored jacket and skirt set from the 1940's.  It was all the way style and sharp as hell and fit my curvy little frame like a glove. No I don't have any pictures. Just believe me when I say that the outfit was the only good thing about that marriage.

I love well-tailored clothes, and when I'm forced to interact with my fellow humans I'll go thrift something vintage and show up put together like a brick shithouse, makeup, hair, the whole package, looking good.

Now here comes 2021 and this shit is in style:

                             Look at my crotch dammit! Look at that red stain ON MY CROTCH!    


Why in Gods' name are people spending money on deliberately ill-made, deliberately ugly clothes? Patterns that accidentally on purpose seem to be shooting out of your babymaker or your barking starfish? Immense images of Nicholas Cage? Shirts made out of 1/3 a shirt from Goodwill and 2/3 a shirt from Ship n' Shore for the love of Christ, deliberately askew so the buttonholes don't line up and the collars don't match? And what's up with the palette? Everything I look at seems to be variations on 'oatmeal and homicide' ffs. The general effect that the designers seem to be going for is 'What a dead-cat hoarder would throw on to go dumpster diving'.  And the models-!  Grim anorectics without eyebrows, man and woman!  I've been all over the web looking into this trend and it's just a joke. A very bad joke. The intentional asymmetry, the intended ugliness, the absurd 'Whoopsie! This pattern looks like it's shooting out of my ass!' bullshit just eludes me.

This is not to say that I'm a fashion plate by any stretch of the imagination. But then, I live in rural America and I'm 61.  We all look like bull studs from the 1970's out here, and yet our clothes are bilaterally symmetrical and don't look like they were sewn by people experiencing a psychotic break.  

I've lived through some unfortunate trends, and of course there's always the extreme-o schlock that you wear for shits and giggles. But this crap has made it from the edge runways all the way onto the racks in Wal-Mart.  Hell, even the lady at the counter in my pharmacy here in Sumas is wearing this shit!  If anybody out there can explain the thinking behind this trend I'd be grateful.  Puzzled, but grateful.   


 So far I'm into attempt #3 of Watching Aquaman All The Way Through. The only thing that keeps bringing me back is Jason Momoa, and not just because I want to roll him in sugar and pretend he's a lollipop, either. 


Well of course I looked up 'Images/Jason Momoa Naked', do you know me?  Let me tell you, the sheer amount of Photoshopped Jason out there is astounding. The one where he has a blank white stubby little dad bod, a pop can - sized black dick and a Jason head is a masterpiece of surrealism.  All from ultra-sketchy Russian porn sites, per Image search, so please don't send me any pix that you might have found, because I'm not running a very robust antivirus program.

Long story short, I finally succeeded!  I would have written Aquaman off as time wasted never to be regained save for the presence of Mr. Momoa, who to my astonishment and gratitude turns out to be one of the most natural, funny, and accomplished hot male actors since the notoriously lickable Brad Pitt also turned out to be a fantastic actor with infinite range!

He is way more than just another '2nd tier action stud', and I'm looking at you, Mr. The Rock. Take a seat.  (Vin Diesel gets my pardon because motherfuckin' Vin Diesel. Similarly Shane Diesel, another action star. Ahem.) I can just picture Jason in one of those quirky Wes Anderson movies alongside Bill Murray.  Tell me what you think!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Future Is Now!


                  Me in my newly updated home, chillin' in my electric throne, all metal and shit. 


Electrical service up to code and brand spankin' new from the pole to the plug-ins! A clean attic that is entirely innocent of dead starlings and heaps of old remodel detritus past!  And as of 12:30 today, FULLY INSULATED!

Hell yes!  I have polkadots all over the outside of my house since we went for blown-in insulation, and yes, I'll have to go around and seal those, but the heater hasn't gone on since they left!  It literally feels like a different house altogether!  Rancho FirstNations rises from the mire to reach for the stars!  Somewhere a horse neighs!  A flock of birds darken the skies! Lightning strikes a distant hilltop! I CAN LIVE IN MY HOUSE AND NOT FREEZE MY FUCKING ASS OFF!!!!!!

So naturally, I decided to watch 'Aquaman' to celebrate.

It is a very bad movie.  

Of course, like everyone else, I am not watching it for the plot.


Superhero movies don't need much of a plot, of course. What matters is making the action, props and backdrops look credible and all of a piece.  Aquaman is just a whole lot of no style, bad CGI, and Jason Momoa wearing jeans to swim in the ocean.  WTF jeans. You'd think being Aquaman he'd be ready to deploy at a moments' notice and always have a banana hammock on under those Wranglers, but no. Kicks off his shoes, though. 

How do I know so much about swimming in the ocean in jeans?  It's a thing in Oregon, where most of the beaches are gravel and there's a lot of interesting cliffs, rocks and huge piles of giant beach logs and trees and wrecks and shit to climb around on.  You don't plan on swimming, but you're near the ocean and things are slippery and covered in barnacles and old rusty spikes, and you'll probably fall off something, so you wear jeans and cheap tennies. And when you do fall in, it's not fun. It's cold, sandy, smelly and salty. You chafe and bitch for the rest of the day. So would Aquaman.

What I have enjoyed lately is 'Suicide Squad' (despite the overbearing presence of Will Smiths uninteresting character,) and 'Harley Quinn - Birds of Prey.'  In fact, Birds of Prey is DC getting back to it's roots, when superheroes had a sense of humor and weren't all dismal, angsty carnage junkies in weird costumes.  Plus hot women who kick ass WITHOUT being metahuman!  About fuckin' time, DC


And now a message from the 1930's!

I made the mistake of trying to follow a curry recipe that I'd seen demonstrated on a cooking show.  There is no way you can make a proper curry without the right utensils, come to find out.

 Heretofore I'd been doing my best with a broad, shallow frying pan and making all kinds of mess, trying to strain tiny ingredients out of hot oil quickly, using a ton of paper towels, strainers and bowls, desperate for curry.  


                          The indignity of Curry Desperation. It isn't pretty and it isn't pleasant.

After watching the nice man from India make his curry, my brain finally kicked in and I dug out my big ol' cast iron chicken fryer from about ninety-some years ago and cranked it up.  

My high-sided chicken fryer with the lid was the TICKET.  Here this dude on television had been merrily straining and frying and seasoning and adding and subtracting and flipping shit around using something like a deep, high-sided wok.  Well of course he wasn't a mass of orange oil stains and onion fragments; he had a decent pan to work out of.  Once I had that chicken fryer crackin', it worked like a charm! AND I HAD CURRY!  

So if you've been struggling to make curry, buy one of these beasts.You can get one new, but they're expensive -$40.00 is about midrange - and you'll have to season it in the oven about five-ten times before it's ready to use. Do you want to spend two days oiling, baking, cooling, and burnishing a seven pound mass of iron? Lid and all?  No you do not.  And no, the new ones are not pre-seasoned for sour birdshit. They're just blackened and have had a spritz of canola oil. That is not seasoning. That is a recipe for culinary disaster.  The solution?

           Here is what you want.  High sides, two handles and a domed lid with a loop handle.  

Get one from an antique store. They're usually cheap, because they don't display particularly well. They're already deep-seasoned, too.  All you'll have to do is wash it out and give it a couple of fresh seasonings in the oven and you're off to the races. You can use it as a Dutch Oven. You can deep fry with it on the stove top. You can even make bread in it! These damn things are handy as all get-out.

As for mine? I inherited mine from my mother in law, who inherited it from her mother, so free, so HA.


Monday, October 11, 2021

Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are!

 I'm here!  I'm Bi!  Get used to it!

Today is National Coming Out Day in America, and I thought I'd just publicly own my URGES here online!

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Home Movies

 I have had a...let's say, 'dramatic' relationship with my daughter since the time she hit puberty until she moved to De Sout'.  

                 Not her, not her banjer. Not even her Sout'.  But I'm leaving it here because De Sout'.

I guess it's true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, because since that time we get along great.  (And to my vast amusement, she has turned into a huge Star Trek geek in her old age.  She used to be so embarrassed that I liked 'such a totally uncool thing' when she was younger. HA.)  

Well today she gave me the best gift - after a long discussion about who was the best Trek captain -


Kirk will always be My Captain, but Janeway didn't break the Prime Directive every other     episode, nor did she go around screwing everything in the damn galaxy.     


- she gave me an account on her HBO Max account!

Did I hit Turner Classic Movies first thing?  LIKE THE FIST OF AN ANGRY GOD!

Man I have missed my Turner Classic!  The first thing I did after The Biker insisted on getting us hooked into the channel, which he did with ill grace and lots of swearing because he and The Future are enemies, I landed on 'After The Thin Man' and watched it hard! I had a huge grin on my face the whole time!  Jimmy Stewart in one of his rare 'screen heavy' roles! Asta and Mrs. Asta! The sets!  The clothes!  Myrna Loy and William Powell!  Heaven!!!

 Back when there was still such a thing as True Elegance, Myrna Loy had that shit sewn up.  Her costumes in this movie are astounding!

Now I am about ready to cue up 'Blazing Saddles'!  Next?  'The Producers'!  Next? 'The Penalty'! Next?  'M'!  Next?  'Metropolis'! Next?  'A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum!'  Do you have any must-see suggestions?  Do tell down in the comment lounge!


When my mother was young, she was an usherette in one of the grand movie palaces in New York. Yup, my young, sparkling, beautiful mother in a domino hat with a tassel, a flirty little skirt, mesh stockings and a majorette jacket!  

 Not her, but  you get the idea.  Imagine a gorgeous Greek girl with amazing black hair, legs for miles, a cute figure; and all in navy blue with gold trim and high heels.  That was my mom.

 She was a past master of Hollywood lore and had seen everything, starting with the very first silent films (back when you had to scrounge a penny selling old bottles to see 15 minutes of film shown on a white sheet in an alley.) She hung around the silents so much that she attracted the notice of a moviemaker, and had been scouted to be in an early 'Kiddie Kast' movie - she was a beautiful child, too. No, she didn't get a role. Her mother forbade it, and after knowing how Shirley Temple and other child actors were treated back in those days, I'm glad.  

Her and I used to watch all the old movies when they came on television, and she would even stay up with me until midnight for Sinister Cinema if they were going to play a movie with one of her favorite old time stars.  She always carried a silk handkerchief with a lipstick kiss from Colleen Moore tucked into her purse for good luck all the years I knew her.  

Colleen Moore, who looked like my mothers' identical twin back when this shot was taken. She was a V A M P, vamp!

She taught me about plot, film techniques, directors, different genres, she filled me in on all the Looney Toons and Merry Melody 'in' jokes and references, introduced me to old radio shows, even took me to my first live stage play - All About Eve with Don Ameche and Ann B. Davis!  She knew all the dirt, too. All that  scandalous stuff coming out about old movie stars? I already knew it all by the time I was ten.  

Yes, I am that cool, thanks to her.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Quaint Vignettes From My Charming Rural Idyll

 I woke this morning by sitting up and announcing "It's Waldemar!"

I don't know anyone named Waldemar.  I wasn't dreaming about anything remotely Waldemar-ish.  It is a mystery.

I also learned that one cannot change channels with a cell phone; neither can one make calls with a remote.  This is a lesson that I apparently need to re-teach myself about twice a week.

This afternoon, I went to visit the lady next door, who wanted some divisions.  When I knocked, I heard her say "Go see who that is" and a kid ran into the front room, looked at me through the glass and announced "It's some man!" and she replied "Don't answer it then."

It has been one of those days.


Last Monday The Biker hauled home an entire wood turning setup, from lathe to blades and everything in between, that he lucked into on Ebay.  I can't fault him for it - he got a couple of grands' worth of quality tools for $125.00.  Yeah, he had to drive to Montlake Terrace and back, but that's still a bargain even with fuel costs added.  

Had he asked, I would have had him bid on this vintage Feldman-ator.  

 No, what I can fault him for is the fact that 1. He does not know how to turn wood 2. He has only partial use of his left hand, and 3. The garage is packed full of tools, equipment and crap already.  Fine, it's his garage and his domain, but I've had an industrial wood turning lathe in the back of my pickup for a week now and I need my pickup to go grab another load of lagoonage dammit.  Add that annoyance to the annoyance of knowing that at this very moment that man is outside trying to move the stupidly heavy thing by himself into the maw of Chaos.  Yes I offered to help. Of course he refused any help whatsoever.  He is German, after all.



So far I haven't heard any loud 'SPLAT' sounds, nor have I heard screaming and pleading, but I wouldn't, either.  He is German, and thus far too macho to make a 'SPLAT' sound, or scream and plead.  He would simply lie on the concrete under the lathe and feel very grouchy until he expired.  I should probably go check on him.



I keep forgetting that The Biker has fabbed himself several moving dollies of different heights for just such purposes.  He has a chain hoist and a welding set-up (of course) and access to lots of scrap steel and punched bar stock and casters and whatnot via his job.  I needn't have worried.  But I did, and I feel better about myself for having worried, although I never did lift ass and go check to see if he was bleeding out on the garage floor.

                I searched 'man crushed by machine' and this came up.  I liked this better. Here it is. 

The guy who put together this turning set up was a real engineer, and given that he lived in Montlake Terrace, he probably worked for Boeing.  The stand, custom rigs, and mounts are works of  great skill and mechanical know-how. It's kind of a shame that all this hard work was wasted on the dudes' son, who couldn't wait to get it off the property.  Of course the fact that the dude was so quick on the trigger that he offloaded $2000.00+ worth of quality equipment to the first bidder means that he is almost certainly a fucking idiot.  


I was able to get all of my tomatoes ripe and inside this year for the very first time ever in the history of my growing tomatoes!!  

                                     After two weeks of dry aging in the crawlspace, naturally

The last batch of tomatoes just got processed, and there was just enough to make a big pot of Pork Marinara.  (From a long pig, naturally.)  I had to make ground pork anyway, so I carved the meat off the bones and ran it through the grinder on my Kitchenaid, baked the bones in the oven and then into the pot full of fresh, raw tomato sauce with some garlic, olive oil, black olives, red wine and coffee;  a little oregano, a little basil, cooked for a couple hours on Low.  

I was able to make a nice lunch out of the pork left on the bones once I took them out of the pot,  I've got five pounds of ground pork for sausage, half a gallon of marinara, and a nice smug feeling that makes up for being mistaken for a man by a small child this afternoon.


The attic cleaners have arrived!!!!!!!!

Went right to work, too.  They're up there right now making alarming noises with a ginormous industrial vacuum cleaner.  They're even running it down between the walls (gotta love balloon framing) to suck out all the antique Hantavirus.  ONE IS STOKED Y'ALL!!  Insulation next week!!!!!!!

Monday, September 27, 2021

Frankie Says Relax


For Mr. Mago, who was puzzled.

 Since I've referenced this band and their excellent song here several times recently, I'm going to post up the video version that was banned (!) in the U.S market when it first came out:

                                    Damn, I need a glass of icewater and a smoke after that

Now here is the version of this rampaging, danceable disco anthem to anal sex that was released in America! It too was juuuust this titty-close to getting banned for the suggestive sound effect at 0:15, which was deemed 'too liquid' by reporters on MTV:

                                     Oh go ahead.  You know you want to listen to it twice.

And here are the lyrics to the American version:

Mi- hi-hi-iiiiiine....
Give it to me one time now
Well, whoa, well
Relax, don't do it
When you wanna go do it
Relax, don't do it
When you wanna come
Relax, don't do it
When you wanna suck, chew it
Relax, don't do it
When you wanna come
When you wanna come
Relax, don't do it
When you wanna go to it
Relax, don't do it
When you want to come
Relax, don't do it
When you want to suck, chew it
Relax, don't do it
When you want to come
But shoot it in the right direction
Make making it your intention
Live those dreams
Scheme those schemes
Got to hit me (hit me)
Hit me (hit me)
Hit me with those laser beams
Laser beam
Don't do it
When you wanna come (come)
I'm coming
I'm coming (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Relax (don't do it)
When you wanna go to it (what's inside me?)
Relax, don't do it
When you want to come
Relax, don't do it
When you want to suck, chew it
Relax, don't do it (love!)
When you wanna come
When you wanna come
When you wanna come
Get it up
The scene of love
Oh feel it
Relax, don't do it
When you wanna go do it
Relax, don't do it
Relax, don't do it
When you want to suck, chew it
Relax, don't do it
One time, one time, one time (hey!)

Yes children, it was 1984, the Stainless Steel Amazon was but an infant, and I was living on Capitol Hill in the middle of Seattle. Our top 40 Hit was 'Owner of a Lonely Heart' by Yes, until this song came down like dynamite! This song had them literally dancing in the street when it came out!  You heard it everywhere on The Hill.  It wouldn't be until 1991when local boys Nirvana pushed it off to the side with 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' during the height of the Grunge movement, which overlapped the post- Punk, NuDance club scene. I didn't make up those dopey genre names, btw.  That was the fault of The Rocket magazine, which was for a brief while even more prestigious than Rolling Stone here in the U.S.

I had just left my first husband and moved back to Washington.  I had gone right back to my club clothes and my Bowie-Meets-Bernadette Peters look, and there I was, on Welfare, not a dime to my name, literally an outcast living amid a whole community that was also on the edge of acceptance, and this song wasn't asking anybody for acceptance; it was celebrating what it was.  That needed to happen.  People saying 'Your foot is no longer on my neck, and I'll never express myself in terms of victimhood again.'

So you can probably see why it stuck in my mind.  Not only was it fun and irresistible, it was winning a kind of battle.  And face it - who doesn't like a rousing tune about butt sex?

I'd always wanted one of those huge block print t-shirts, the long ones that were so fashionable in the 1980's, that had FRANKIE SAYS RELAX on it, but I felt at the time that would be going a little too far, seeing as I had an infant and was at the beck and call of the Welfare agency.  Surprise visit by your caseworker? Oh, it happened.  And had it happened go me, sure as shit,  there I'd be in my 'Frankie' t and nothing else, fighting off the cockroaches in my little railroad flat with one bathroom down the hall - unacceptable living standards by Welfare's rules right there.  Nope. Sorry, Frankie.  And so I waited until last January, in 2020, to order myself the t I'd craved for so long.  Trump was in office.  It was practically a necessity.

The henbiddies in Lynden, home of Christian Separatists, homeschoolers, and the practice of Abusive Home Birth, absolutely freeze in horror when I come rocking up wearing this bad boy.  And they should.  That is the revenge that lifelong hatred enacts upon the ageing bigot.  Let them pay in anger, high blood pressure and palpitations for being shitheels.  Because they know what the lyrics to that song mean, and just knowing those lyrics is SINFUL and my t-shirt grabbed them by the throat and rubbed their noses in that meaning, right?  Ah, displaced blame.  Nothing like it.  Suffer, motherfuckers.

Do you have any memories associated with this song?  Do share them, in detail, in the comments!


Sunday, September 26, 2021

Time! Marches! On!



Lord, I am so done with this remodel.  However, there is good news in the midst of my angst!  

We have a stellar company coming in to clean our attic, which is an eccentric maze of old rafters, old rooflines, strange narrow runs where none should exist and birds nests the size of an exploded bale of hay, among other perils. Like critter shit. Ah, life in the country in a pre-code house.

We also have the insulation company lined up and scheduled, which was a dog and pony show, let me tell ya.  There's a lot of men out there in this, the reddest corner of the bluest state in the Union, that see an older woman and get jacked full of aggression and paternalism and try and TELL you what you want.


Like that is going to work on me?  Did you not see the Klingon Empire insignia on my dorklord t-shirt?

                                Abandon hope! Knittin' and prayin' grannies don't wear shit like this! 

                    ...or like this either.  USE YOUR EYEBALLS YOU APPALLING MANCHILD!!! 

 The worst offender by far was one contractor  (KAZ Contracting, for anyone who lives in 'Fourth Corner' country) who came rocking up into MY house and insisted that he do the whole job, cleaning and insulation. INSISTING. That he do it, and for a laughably inflated price!  Over and over again! Each time just a little more sternly! What, I ask you, the actual fuck.  I thought he was going to plop his ass down and invite himself over for dinner.  I had to turn on that 'Mean Mom' voice and put my fists on my hips in that 'Tellin' YOU' stance, and that finally chased the idiot.  Never pass up an opportunity to exercise a little street theater, kids.

Can you imagine how this dude must speak to his mother?  That attitude stems from breeding.  Dad probably spoke to women in exactly the same way.  Here's calling that shit OUT.  Just remember, the hand that rocks the cradle, cradles the rock - and also the checkbook. Just because I'm female and old doesn't mean that I'm sweet or docile.  It means that I have had many more years than you to steep in evil practices and hone my methods to perfection.

 I'll get you, KAZ Construction!  And your little dog! 

Similarly anyone who doesn't call back on an inquiry.  I guess you don't need my cash, Chuckie, because you just wasted my time like it's cheap.  Oh this pisses me off!  It's a common courtesy for fucks' sake, and a standard business practice!  In the age of cell phones there's literally no excuse whatsoever for this shit.  You don't have a single minute to at least shoot me a text?  You're off the island, Paco. 

Now in other news, I've had to cut down my poor Camperdown Elm that had succumbed to a case of slime flux that engulfed the entire tree in one Summers' time.  I got it down leaves and all, and into the burn pit it went.  It's the only thing you can do when a plant is this badly - and suddenly - infected by so virulent a disease.  I was so appalled and so very sad when I discovered the extent of the problem, but when I smelled the overpowering rotten, fermented aroma that the burning wood gave off I felt like I was finally at peace with the decision.  I'm still bummed about it, though. 

This was by far  my favorite plant in the whole garden.  I've wanted one since I was six, going past the Poulson House on the corner of Powell Boulevard and McLaughlin Boulevard in Portland Oregon, and seeing the fantastic specimen that lived in the front yard and crawled like a  giant carniverous spider down the steep lot toward the sidewalk.  What a lovely thing it was.

This is the Poulson House as I remember it, back in the 1960's and 70's when it was painted black with pink trim!  Scary as hell, with ghosts dripping out of the windows!  The tree on the right side is the old Camperdown, and out of shot is the side of it that went down the hillside.  This place still stands and has been fully restored, but sadly the Camperdown was eliminated, which sucks.    

The way you have to look at it is, now I have room for something new next year. I sulphured the trunk and the surrounding soil, and I'll let it freeze out over Winter.  Next year I'll layer it over with lagoonage and plant something extravagant - and disease resistant - in it's place.  I'm thinking a Star Magnolia.

My garden is absolutely alive with bumblebees and other native pollinators!  It's like a miniature version of the movie 'The Birds' out there!  I've seen them teem to my blue asters before, but this year it's gone totally berserk.  Even the hornets are getting in on the action, next to the bumblebees, honeybees, the hoverflies, the regular flies and what have you.  The hummingbirds are absolutely enraged by all this competition and are out there swearing like sailors about this whole state of affairs.  Then in the evening the sphinx moths and hummingbird moths come and the second shift takes over, with tiny bats and ground sparrows sneaking around the flowers.

        Hummingbird Moth.  Isn't it almost too perfect a disguise? They even sound like a hummingbird too!  Absolutely nuts about the color blue, in case you want to attract these wonderful little pollinators. 

I can deal with most insects, bugs and arachnids.  But there's something I find distinctly icky about moths with big fat pulpy bodies, like Sphinx and Hummingbird moths; and if one gets in the house I go full on Squealing Moron, flapping and dodging and brandishing magazines trying to chase the poor confused thing back outside.  I think this comes from back when I was first riding, and in the evening the moths would hit the windshield and the visor of your helmet and leave a huge heaving splatter of icky pudding to mark the scene of their demise.  GAAAAAAAH!

This is why I chase them outside instead of flattening them.  That and I'm not a monster ffs.  I know they're harmless, but they're also all...mothy.  Those of you wishing to send me moths, I'm sorry but you'll have to return them to Hell from whence they arose.  I already have enough, thanks.