Sunday, October 28, 2007

Why can't I bake good bread?

I envy the rest of the creatures on the planet. Because they instinctively know what they need to do. They know how to build their homes, they know what to eat, they know who their predators are, they know where they need to be each season and what they need to be doing.

I often wonder what is the "natural" existence supposed to look like for humans? If we were auto-wired at one time to be sort of in-sync humans, what kind of homes did we build? Out of what? What did we gravitate toward as a food source? What did we instinctively avoid?

It's not that I don't appreciate choice and ingenuity. We as a species have created some amazing things. But we are also responsible for stuff like Clinton Highway.
I just wonder what we are all about when you strip it back down.

Warm and dry. Quenched and sated.

I think I'll go build a fire.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

21st Century Bitch

I'm becoming quite the 40-something year old grouch. I went to an antique mall today that I visit about every six months and I found myself being a complete bitch to the owner. Not that she doesn't deserve it. She is always there; always attacks you as you walk in the door, follows you around and makes really obnoxious pressury comments regarding everything you pick up to examine. I've just found that her type needs some personality nettles to keep her at bay. I just want to browse in peace for goodness sake. I know what I like. Right?

Plus when I was checking out, two of the items I chose were priced with stickers and she balked, saying that "that was the price we paid" and made me pay twice the price per item.

I really can't stand her.

Ok, but it's not just her I act out against. I am finding myself increasingly annoyed by profit-driven personalities. The fakey sugary following me around all over the store shit, the "do you have anything on the bottom of your cart?" shit, the pretend stocking/shelving right next to me while I'm browsing shit.

I AM NOT A THIEF for God's sake.

Give me some breathing room.

I recently read a book called "I Passed As a Teen" written by a thirty-something woman who posed as a high school teenager for a semester in order to write an article about teens. This was in the late sixties.

One of her conclusions was that teenagers are incredibly put-upon by their superiors; lots of "Don't do this", "Don't do that", "If I catch you doing so and so, you will be..", etc....
She claimed that teenagers were basically being yelled at all day and barely being really looked at as god honest human beings. She predicted that it was only a matter of time before the teenagers "snapped" and acted out against the system.
And guess what? She was absolutely right.

And it's not just teenagers. All of us are being treated as nothing more than pockets to pick these days.

I find myself feeling increasingly demoralized as I encounter more and more red light ticket cameras at my usual intersections. Is there any aspect of our lives that doesn't involve a hand in our pockets?

Ok, so if you encounter me in public and try to sell me something or try to imply that I am going to deprive you of something, then guess what?, I am going to be bitchy to you.

On the other hand, if you visit my store and need help or info, I will give it to you gladly and leave you to your own decision-making processes; no pressure. I promise.
You know what you like. Right?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bored? Here's an idea....

Today my husband left for yet another out of town trip (hopefully the last one). I got busy with catching up on housework because my boss went on vacation last week and I haven't had a day off in 10 days.

At some point I started thinking some paranoid thoughts along the lines of "what if our stuff got stolen?" and I decided to spend the remainder of the day recording serial numbers and and taking photos.

I have to say....you should do it. Whoever you are. It's a little bit of a pain in the ass, but really not too bad and my goodness, think of the hours and hours of headaches you will be saving on the other end.

I started in my office and just went room to room meticulously copying down serial numbers off of any and all electronic devices and following up with a digital picture.

I also took photos of my "stuff" because my memory is bad and it would be helpful to have photos of my artwork and books and stuff.

At the end of the project, I copied my digital camera pictures onto two CDs; one to store at home and one at work.

Take half a day and do this. You will feel much better and be waaaay ahead of the game if, god forbid, anything should happen.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thinking about quality again

I was watching Tim Gunn's Style show the other day and got to thinking about "core" stuff. The few pieces of stuff that you own that are actually nice or worth hanging onto long term. With his show, it's about your core clothes, but what about your other belongings?

I feel like my life has been defined with the cliche of not being able to have nice things. Granted, that's mainly because of having so many animals sharing my space, so it's not all my fault. But along with that, I am seemingly addicted to changing things up. The animals have trained me to shop with disposability and thriftiness in mind. The only breakable stuff I have is contained within the kitchen cabinet. Any cloth item must be washing machinable..I mean machine washable. There must be no significant investment or attachment to any furniture because it might need to be tossed into the ditch at a moment's notice.

I found a box of pictures when I was cleaning out my workshop the other day and it was interesting to look back on my various versions of interior decorating. I tried to pick out things that I'm still using or still own. Mostly it boiled down to artwork. I rarely will throw out a piece of art. Everything else though, was totally different.

My home often feels more like a stage set than anything else.
I don't mind it really. It keeps things fun and unpredictable. Every now and then I will find myself envying a more old-fashioned type of person who has generations of heirlooms and fine furniture. But I just don't think I would really enjoy that for very long. It would feel like being chained to a bunch of stuff for family's sake.

I have conflicting visions about my perfect house. Part of me wants the tidy bungalow with lots of sunshine and tall ceilings and natural wood. Another part of me mentally designs something more like an airplane hangar with concrete floors and retractable walls. Lots of indoor/outdoor areas. Mostly I crave big open organized space.

I also find myself mentally trying to design the ideal long-term furniture for pet-owners. I came up with a great couch idea the other night. But being as I don't build stuff, it most likely will never get made. Or if my husband takes a stab at it, it will end up weighing 500 pounds.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Gimpy gifter

I absolutely abhor gift-giving deadlines.

And I really resent the gift-giving industry for establishing these deadlines.
Because for someone like me, who is actually, believe-it-or-not, generous, but also kind of psychologically disoriented, it makes me look like poo-poo.

I just can't buy a gift on cue.
I want to give people things that are unique and specific and perfect to their personalities and needs.

I can't do that at the mall at the 11th hour.
I give people stuff all the time. But I like to do it unprompted. Unexpectedly.
I love finding the perfect thing and sending it off. I really think those make the best gifts.

Christmas is approaching and I'm getting tense already. I've been trying to phase Christmas gift-giving out for the last few years. At least the gift exchanging that goes on between the adults. Or at the very least, just drawing names and buying for one person seems much more logical.

My mom's birthday dinner is tonight and thankfully, I found something cool and unique a few months ago to give her.

I am so lucky that my husband has the same handicap. We absolutely do not hold it against the other when an important occasion comes and goes without a gift. And we both are really good at making it up when least expected.

Friday, October 05, 2007

37914


Our neighborhood is, if nothing else, a source of weekly excitement. My husband and I are frequent background extras in multiple hypothetical COPS episodes.

There was the pistol whipping episode, the woman screaming and hauled out on a stretcher episode, the stolen car crashed into the neighbor's driveway and then the attempt to haul it off with another stolen car using a rope episode and oh Lord so much else.

Tonight was the first night my husband was off on a business trip and guess what?
A new COPS episode!!!

We had a truck crash mightily into the oak tree by the road and bounce back into our deep ditch.
Apparently, there were multiple people involved in the crash, but the chicken shit, in-shock from head-wounds dudes took off and left their woman to take the heat.

I heard a big boom and looked out and saw basically a truck parked in my front yard. Within minutes there were ambulances, fire-trucks, police cars and two tow trucks.

This is our life. Pretty much. Lots of weekly or bi-weekly emergency-vehicle visits.

Kind of fun to be perfectly honest.
Kind of annoying though when I spend the rest of the night checking the backyard and woods for intoxicated dudes with head wounds and the next day picking headlight parts out of my front yard.

My zip code needs it's own tv show.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Dodged the cutest bullet ever


I was trying to find my needle-felting customer's ebay site today when I came across this OMG CUTEST LITTLE FAWN THAT EVER WAS FELTED!!!

I have to come clean and admit that it was me that pushed the bidding up to $89.00.

That's right, you heard me, 89.00 dollars.

But you can see the little fawn and you can see where I'm coming from.

IT'S JUST THE CUTEST FUCKING THING EVER CREATED!!!

I had to back out at $89.00 though just on common sense principle. I made myself admit to my husband that I was having a crack-addict moment and needed some slapping around. He obliged. I am out of the auction.

For those of you who might have been caught up in the hypnotic tractor pull of the cuteness; the auction ends around midnight tonight and you still have a chance against 4210kathy. She's up to $93.78.

BTW, fuck 4210kathy. I hate that bitch.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Chupacabra



Here's our elusive prey. Not a great picture, but I had to take it from far away. He skitters off when you get too close. Isn't he pretty?

We bought him a Fred Flintstone sized cow femur last night at Food City and he's taken to dragging it around with him. It's behind him in this picture, although you can't really tell.

Skilz

I think scouting-type badges for adults is a good idea. Lots of people unfortunately just didn't have parents that knew beans about certain things.
My dad, for instance, practically instilled in me that you should hire a professional for each and every situation...he didn't even trust himself to change the flashlight batteries. I'm not quite so helpless (thanks to my mom), but there are lots of things that I've had to messily figure out for myself.

Badges might include:

Resume writing
Negotiating for a raise
Bill paying
House cleaning
Cooking
Yard work
Pet Ownership
Parenting
Sex
Entertaining
Having a yard sale
Grilling
Programming the TIVO/VCR/DVR
Laundry
Budgeting
Changing your oil
Voting/Politics
Spousing
Locating the main water shut off valve (hee..funny story....)
Tipping

It would be fun don't you think? Badges. Sashes. Classes. Field trips. Uniforms.

What should the top scouting rank be called? The Grown-up? The Huxtable?