Monday, July 28, 2014

Keeping the Lines Open

I have this dear friend (no really, I do, this is not a lame metaphor for me but I don't want you to know who I'm talking about sort of thing) that I've known for thirty years. See, it isn't me, I've known myself for a much longer period of time. While we chatted over beers the other night he admitted to me that he had moved even further to the right politically in the last year. I pointed out that the important thing to remember is that we are still friends and able to talk about these things over a beer. He said that he had recently stopped contributing financially to public broadcasting because of their liberal slant. I remain convinced that people who claim this bias as fact have likely abandoned public broadcasting for right wing, pundit-heavy "news" sources that reinforce their already held, deep-seated beliefs. I confessed that I remain a public broadcasting supporter and listener. It complements my liberal, tree-hugging, socialist, freelovehippie tendencies. I think that my friend is afraid President Obama is bent on taking his guns away from him. Maybe even that our president might not be an American. Fear breeds fear and listening only to those who think like you reinforces those fears. If he's fallen into that worst of mindsets, confusing opinion with fact and opining with journalism, that may end up being a dealbreaker for me. I enjoy the discussion. The only way I can learn is by being exposed to new ideas and knowledge outside of my bailiwick, and I enjoy learning new things. I hope to continue to have the occasional conversation with this friend over a beer or two. He is intelligent and kind-hearted and generous and funny and I enjoy his company immensely. I'm certain he feels the same way about me despite our vast political differences.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Live at the Library

Here I am at the Spearfish public library. Typing on the tiny keyboard on my Nexus with my pink stylus/pen. It just autocorrected my spelling of its name. Smartass device. Six hours or so til Red Willow takes the stage at the Knuckle in Sturgis. I have had a lovely few days enjoying Spearfish canyon and Jill's hospitality. Just found out that sisters Irene and Nancy are on their way out for the concert tonight, too. All I can say is, what fun. Now to peruse some local shops downtown. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Road Trip!

Momentarily I shall be departing for the lovely Black Hills to commune with Jill and chillens and nature. Reid has his to-do list that is mostly cat-centric. After a brief stop in Sioux Falls for gas and a couple of errands I will direct the Outback in a westerly direction. Pretty excited over Saturday's Red Willow reunion concert! And as Jill advised, the tickets have been in the car since Sunday. My OCD tendencies will probably kick in and force me to check for them at least twice before I can comfortably back out of the driveway. Drive attentively! Put down that phone and don't even think about texting! I promise to do the same! Let's all get where we're going safely. Said the mother hen. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Apologies, Michael

While viewing My Girl last evening for the first time in years, I was struck with three thoughts. Yes, three. Without spraining or straining anything. Firstly, wow, does my elder son bear a remarkable resemblance to Macauley Culkin, or what? At least at the age of eleven they appear to be twins born of different mothers. Though I must say that Michael has turned out to be a much more well adjusted as well as handsome adult than Mr. Culkin. That would be my entirely non-objective maternal observation. Secondly, that My Girl is really a terrific movie. And third, when Netflix uses the label tearjerker, they are absolutely not kidding. I strongly recommend having a box of kleenex within reach.

After wrestling with photo placement and trying to maneuver the text around to where I wanted it and failing, I just hit the publish button out of sheer frustration. I am not pleased with the layout in the finished product. If you are also displeased, I feel your pain. I promise this sort of thing will be fixed when the book comes out. Because I will have something called an editor and professional graphics design people. And as I have just now observed in the preview window, this footnote isn't going where I want it, either. Meh.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Feeding the Beast

He took down the jumpybrain photo of himself still awake at 2:30 in the morning. I liked that pic. Sigh. Not that I looked...not for long, anyway. Wish I'd thought to swipe it. But that would have been creepy.

Make it Stop

The insanity. Make it stop. Every time I hear of the latest tragedy involving totally senseless violence and the inevitable loss of innocent life it makes me want to scream. Sometimes it doesn't involve death, just the stubborn refusal to get along, to find solutions, to listen to reason. I swear if Elizabeth Warren and Krista Tippett were running things, more of this sort of thing would be happening. I remember so clearly my mother walking into the escalating melee between the four of us kids and simply announcing that this must stop. Now. And when we simultaneously chimed in our separate versions of our innocence and were clearly the injured party she would hold up her hand and announce that she didn't care. That the noise and mayhem must immediately stop, that we must go to neutral corners, and that this would most emphatically be the end of it. She meant it. And we would sulk off to homework or chores or watching tv. Ten minutes later I doubt that any of us could have told you what we had been fighting about. I think we need some kind of universal Mom to accomplish a similar task on a global basis. I nominate Ms. Warren and Ms. Tippett for their efforts toward creating a more reasonable, functioning and peaceful world. The rest of us need to line up behind them. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

D & Me

 With Flamingo

With Attitude


So I'm here in my kitchen listening to Minnesota Public Radio. It's the rebroadcast of Wits, Episode 45. I've heard it before so it's just kind of playing in the background as I wash up a few dishes. I'm so taken with a song that musical guests Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires are performing that I pause to listen while I return the shiny clean wine glasses to the china cabinet. Oh, yeah. I'm seriously taken with this song. I discover after Googling the pair of musicians that the title of the song is Traveling Alone. I pull up my Barnes & Noble account where I am a member entitled to free shipping and discover this song is on the cd Southeastern and is discounted 40%. I click on add to bag and place my order. Returning to the Google page where I started the search I find out he is playing in Sioux Falls at the Orpheum in nine days. There are still tickets available in the balcony for twenty-five bucks. Talk about instant gratification. Do I dare ask further that Amanda Shires will be appearing with him? Indeed, ask away! The worst they can do is say no. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Some days the most productive and valuable thing I accomplish is cleaning the litter boxes. Envy my poop-scooping, glamorous life. I have earned a beer.

This is Dedicated to IceMen Everywhere

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Puppy Love

I'm not a dog person. Not really. Though my friend Sara and sister Pam have nudged me across the threshold into dog-loving territory. They both live with adorable and very friendly and well behaved canines who have stolen my heart. At the same time, it isn't likely that I will become a dog owner anytime soon. First there is the matter of Newton and Einstein, who are deeply suspicious of other humans I allow in the house, never mind entertaining guests of the four-legged variety. It wouldn't be pretty. I enjoy the lower maintenance that goes along with cat cohabitation. This sounds lazy. Okay, fine, it is lazy. Stop judging me. Scooping poop isn't exactly glamorous and I do that pretty much all the time. My point was that in my experience there are very few bad seed sort of dogs. There are, however, dog owners who don't do their job to properly train and care for their pets. Making said dogs not merely annoying to be in the company of, but downright aggravating and at times dangerous to be around. Taking on any pet requires a certain level of dedication and responsibility. And dog owners who haven't the will to do that belong in a shelter rather than their errant, misbehaving pets. After reading this article, I was heartbroken over the number of owners who surrender their dogs, and how many of them are euthanized. And the whole breed-blaming rather than considering individuals makes me crazy. We're an odd lot in this country. We're horrified by cultures that eat dogs for dinner, yet so many of us are willing to neglect, inappropriately breed, and mistreat the dogs we claim to love. And often love has nothing to do with it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I was minding my own business. Brushing my teeth. When the soothing hum of my SoniCare was done, it seems my son was waiting. To pounce on my brain. With this...

The classic tale of two lovers separated by their difference in temperature, Warmeo and Cooliet.

...he announced in stentorian tones. I like to think of Reid as my very own Ninja punster.

In The End

After viewing the movie Perfect Sense yesterday, my brain has been awash in images from it. And it makes so much sense (haha, no pun intended) today why I had many conflicting thoughts about it. Now that I have it sorted I thought I'd share. It seems that the rational side of my brain was interpreting the film as a straight drama. While at the same time the emotional portion of my brain was telling me that there is so much more to it! As it often works out, the emotional and rational interpretations magically duked it out while I was sleeping and arrived at this conclusion. The entire film is a metaphor for the human condition. How we are capable, even in the worst of situations, of rising to the occasion and persevering. Carrying on in the face of abrupt and almost insurmountable changes. Picking ourselves up and dusting ourselves off and finding our way. And that in the end the only important thing is love. When all else is lost and nothing makes sense we can still find solace and grace in the arms of someone we love. Civilization with all its trappings may crumble away but love remains. Even when our senses fail us.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Perfectly Sensible Film

This movie made me ache. All over. With its beauty and incredulity and pointlessness and, oddly, hope. I will say no more. Except for one thing. If voice-over annoys you, get over this petty annoyance and watch it anyway. Because it's just that good. That's all, sailor.

Monday Mantra

Do not feed the beast. Do not feed the beast. Do not feed the beast. Do not feed the beast. Do not feed the beast. Do not feed the beast. Do not feed the beast. Do not feed the beast. Do not feed the beast. Do not feed the beast. Do not feed the beast.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Birthday Girls

And assorted others helping us celebrate our natal day. Jim's Tap beer garden. A lovely time was had by all.

Friday, July 11, 2014

New Tech!

This is a test! My first post from my new toy, the Nexus tablet I received from Michael and Liz for my birthday. I may not be terribly savvy but I am ornery which often produces the same results. That is all. 

Due to fat finger syndrome, autocorrect, and other technical thingies, I have had to go to my Chromebook to correct a few minor errors. The Nexus is most definitely a fun little toy and I am having a great time playing with it!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

TBT Featuring MiniMe

After celebrating my birthday yesterday I ran across this photo of me on my first birthday. That's my dad holding the cake and my brother Scott standing next to the high chair. I seem to be oblivious to the fact that all this fuss is over me. I expect I enjoyed the cake. I still enjoy cake. I would have needed a much bigger cake this year to accommodate all the candles. And perhaps some sort of permit to light them.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

FYC 57

As of 4:44 this afternoon I will have attained the age of 57. Which means my age will match the year I was born. I love numerical oddities so this appeals to me. I also was entertained by the fact that my high school graduation year was 75. I was about to say inverse or reverse about how these numbers relate to each other but I think I'll settle for the less technical swapped around. It's not a prime number, but is created by putting two primes together. 57 divided by 3 equals 19. 1957. And as we all know from Schoolhouse Rock, three is a magic number. So I'm bracing myself for a magical year. The numbers never lie.

Birthday Activities

1. Sipping a lovely cup (and isn't it a lovely cup?) of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee this morning.

2. Reid ventured out to secure my fave breakfast sandwich. The McDonald's sausage McMuffin with egg. I know this is not the healthiest thing to eat, but I only indulge a few times a year. To balance it out I did drink a glass of orange juice and remembered to take my vitamins.

3. Enjoyed a six mile bike ride with the younger son. Beautiful day for it!

4. In lieu of cake these cookies will do. Most definitely. I am mildly befuddled by the fact that a serving is four cookies when they are packaged in layers of seven each. My OCD tendencies want me to eat them all. It just doesn't divide out evenly.

5. Reid and I will be having birthday dinner at the Knotty Pine. I always enjoy sneaking just across the state line into Minnesota for a meal. I know, I walk on that wild side.

6. Upon returning to Brookings I will have the son deliver me downtown to Jim's Tap where I will enjoy a birthday drink or two with friends. With any luck the son will stay awake late enough to pick me up at the end of the evening.

A Woefully Incomplete List of (in)Famous People Who Share My Birthday Completed Without Consulting The Interwebs, Except on Occasion to Accomplish Correct Spelling

Actress Kelly McGillis
Actor Tom Hanks
Actor Jimmy Smits
Actor Brian Dennehy
Romance Author Barbara Cartland
Musician Courtney Love
Football legend, actor and unconvicted murderer O.J. Simpson
Actor Fred Savage
Singer/Songwriter Lee Hazelwood
Actor Chris Cooper
Scary Author Dean Koontz
Actor Scott Grimes
Scientist Oliver Sacks
Singer Ed Ames

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Within the last few minutes I set a new peak for page views! Three hundred and one and counting! I haven't a clue what is bumping my numbers! But thanks for showing up. I wish I had something brilliant to type.

Moth to a Flame

Monday, July 7, 2014

Idiot Proof

It's late and I'm too tired to master new technology. But I finally got on The Knuckle's website and bought tickets for Red Willow. And I was on my Chromebook. Which, I have just discovered, you cannot print directly from. Not even if you plug the printer into the darn thing. And swear at it. So I followed the instructions to set up printing from the Cloud. Which sounds magical. Maybe more meteorological. At any rate, it worked. Thank you, Google, for creating apps that work even when middle-aged, extremely tired, only occasionally savvy people attempt to use them for the first time.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Moi With Mule

Very early selfie photobombed by a mule. I believe this is July 1980 at Custer State Park. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


I'm not all about possessions. But I do love free stuff. And in honor of my approaching natal day, retail establishments that I patronize have showered me with gifties. Mind you, said establishments would go out of business if they were dependent on moi spending buckets of dough when I walk through their doors, but I do appreciate their appreciation. I have several $10 coupons that bear no hidden agenda! Just show up on line or in person and ten bucks is mine to spend. Some will even allow me to combine this with other offers. And then there are numerous percentage-off coupons. I do love my birthday.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hello, July

From what I am hearing, July is a pretty busy month astrology-wise. As of today, Mercury has pulled out of its retrograde phase and is once again flying right. Which is supposed to clear up communication problems. Which have a tendency to crop up in the retrograde phase. I'm ignoring Mercury as I usually do. At my own peril I would suppose. I pay more attention to la Luna, maybe because you can't ignore her. She's waxing, now, on her way to being full on the 12th. Between now and then, I'll have been away for a few days and back again and celebrated my birthday. Who knows what else may transpire. For now, I'm charging batteries and getting things done about the house and thinking about packing a suitcase. Also anticipating what I hope is a short phone call with the elder son to diagnose a computer issue. Not that I don't enjoy a long chat with him, I just hope this problem that cropped up earlier today turns out to be a fluke or a very easy fix. This is what happens when you finish paying for something, children. While I enjoy moving toward being more debt-free and hate paying interest, somehow there is always a hidden cost somewhere. I don't know about you, but I'm blaming Mercury.