Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beer Brains

It's Tuesday, which means trivia tonight. Please enjoy this preposterous pile of phones stacked in the middle of the table, a show of solidarity in the spirit of honest play. Meaning that no answers are arrived at by consulting the internets or calling/texting a friend. We rely strictly on our brains. Fueled by beer. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Poetry Corner

I have admitted before that I take too many internet quizzes. You know, to help peel away the layers and reveal my true personality. Some I have taken numerous times to see if there is a way to game them and get a preferred result. Often among the multiple choice answers there isn't one that accurately reflects my thoughts, giving the final result less validity. Okay, fine, not that there's a scrap of validity at stake here. This morning I took one that would reveal What Famous Poem Was Written About You, meaning me. I was expecting something dark and brooding, and instead I was surprised with a lovely poem by Emily Dickinson.

There Is Another Sky

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!

This is what my choices revealed about me:

Optimistic, but not without a sense of pragmatism, you yearn for foreign lands and exotic tastes. The tides of fate and change thrill you as you surf their waves into the next phase of your life.

But enough about me. Take the test yourself and discover what poem was written about you. Then write your own.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tomato Heaven

I chose a luscious slice of an enormous home-grown tomato from the stack in front of the window. It was so huge I was holding it in both hands like a chunk of watermelon, chomping into it over the sink with juice running down my arms. It was wonderful. Then I woke up. While it is shivery February in the real world, it is late summer in my mind. I could smell that tomato. And the soft warm breeze drifting in through the open window. Cue up Seal & Crofts, please.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Say Cheese!

When I chose this photo for Throw Back Thursday, all I was l was looking for as I dug through the archive was a group pic of my family of origin. But the more I examine it, I think there's enough going on here to be the basis for a novel. So disparate are each of our expressions and poses it almost seems as if it was photoshopped together. Each of us has our own little story going on here. Mom in the center, all calm, composed and very pretty, and completely oblivious to little brother Cullen in her arms who appears distressed if not outright crying. Older brother Scott to the right, all GQ and nonchalant, his jacket rakishly pulled to one side by his pocketed hand. Darling little golden-haired Martine in front, squinting into the sun and waiting patiently for our father to take the picture already. Me to the left, a shy downcast grin, wearing my recently acquired pink cat-eye glasses. In our Sunday best, I think this may have been Easter. I don't recall attending church frequently, if at all when we lived in Denver, but this is most definitely the house on Victor Street. If frequent moves make anything easier, it would have to be identifying the date and location of childhood snapshots. The various yards and houses and furniture give practically every year its own distinct setting. Cullen's casual attire probably means that he is staying home with Dad while Mom whisks the older three of us off to Easter services. But first, let's get out the camera to capture the moment. I have no actual memory of this day in my eight year old life. I do remember Mom's red-striped dress as well as the Peter Pan-collared dresses Martine and I are wearing. I look back on this as an innocent time. Before any clues that my parents would eventually separate and divorce. All I likely knew on this spring day in 1965 was that I was wearing my favorite dress. That we would get home from church and hunt for the colored eggs Dad had hidden while we were gone. And that my new glasses made the world focused and bright again. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Odometer Palindromicity

Not just one but two numerical palindromes appearing on my dashboard Tuesday night. You can't plan this stuff, people. Well, okay, maybe you can, but not likely for me. Also note that the speedometer is at zero, indicating that I am parked to snap this pic. Safety first.

I Love John Oliver!

And I want a Jeff the Diseased Lung tshirt!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

So Very Wrong

As I plod on in my six year struggle to get compensation from my former employer for my workplace injury, I hear this story on All Things Considered. While my injuries are different and our places of employment are very different, the results are very much the same. Due to those injuries neither of us could any longer do our jobs so we were fired. I know how she feels.

And when I got hurt, I meant nothing. I was absolutely nothing to them.

It's bad enough to lose your income. But when you have to fight tooth and nail for what is due you it breaks your spirit. This story, and others like it, are a clear illustration of corporate greed in this country as well as how broken our health care system actually is.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy Birthday, Cullen

You were the happiest child! Not sure what mom was trying to do with the cake but you appear delighted with the effort. It also seems odd that there is a hairbrush on the high chair tray. Though your hair is exceptionally neat. There would be fifty-one candles on your cake today, dear little brother, and I have no doubt you would be windy enough to quickly dispatch their feeble little flames. If there is any justice or fairness at all there is cake where you are now. And beer. Something in me still wants to reach for the phone and call you. You live on in so many hearts.

It's Complicated

Yes, Mr Hemingway was a misogynistic, two-timing, trophy hunter who harvested rare and beautiful creatures in Africa to decorate his home. He also suffered from depression and alcoholism and took his own life just prior to his sixty-second birthday. He also wrote some pretty brilliant stuff. Humans are complex and perplexing.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Naturally, It's Pink

I got the absolute best Valentine gift from my Darling Dilly, Liz. She found nail polish that shares my name! Carla. It Girl. From a cool company called Julep. They have some pretty terrific stuff. I love their Rock Star hand creme. If you need me, I'll be doing my nails. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Mom. Turn Up The Heat!

First, Do No Harm

Grownups get to make their own health related decisions, right? Right. I have a friend, not a close one, but one I've known for close to ten years. She has fallen prey to a dentist who has relieved her of her amalgam fillings as well as probably several thousand dollars that she can ill afford. All this in the quest to "detoxify" her body from heavy metal poisoning due to the small amounts of mercury in those fillings, with expensive chelation therapy to follow. She believes that her neurological and chronic pain issues will end once these treatments are completed. And I'm keeping my mouth shut. Little does she know that she experienced greater exposure to the mercury in those fillings while they were being removed than had she left them intact for her entire life. A very small percentage of dentists either fervently believe neurological disease and chronic pain syndromes arise from amalgam fillings, or they see a segment of population ripe for fleecing and take advantage of it. The thing is, I have been living with chronic, unrelenting pain due to nerve damage for most of the last six years. I understand the lengths people might go to for relief. As a patient who is proactive in her own care, I have researched standard medical treatments such as pharmaceuticals and surgery and take responsibility for my participation in getting well. I ask questions. I call bullshit when necessary. I trust only three of the dozen or so doctors and clinicians who have treated me, because as it has turned out, they have been correct in diagnosing my condition and provided care that has been helpful. As for the rest, they seemed most interested in diagnosing and treating within their bailiwick and generating profits for their employers rather than helping me get better. Only one doctor had the confidence and honestly to say my hand, wrist, and pain issues were beyond his expertise to diagnose and treat and referred me to another doctor. Needless to say, I have a healthy skepticism of the medical/industrial complex that has arisen in this country. No wonder people have gone their own way to find alternative treatments that are holistic in nature or simply off the beaten path of conventional medicine. Some of this is good but some of it takes advantage of patients whose maladies are rare or difficult to diagnose by making unfulfillable promises and prescribing bogus or even dangerous procedures. So. I know this friend would cut me off and never speak to me again should I tell her that her dentist's motives are dubious at best and are designed to generate income for himself rather than mitigate her medical issues. I would prefer for her to undergo no further invasive, pointless, and expensive procedures. Had she asked for my opinion prior to having this done it would have been one thing. After the fact it is quite another. I have no interest in being right and I do wish to maintain contact with her, so for now I am resisting the temptation to provide her with links to enlighten her with the facts. I wish I had a better answer.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Get Yourself Some!

Happy Heart Day

I remain un-cynical and non-jaded. I am not actively looking but am open to the possibilities. I have no idea how I remain so relentlessly optimistic. Happy Valentine's day to all past, present, and future lovers out there. Because the world is a better place with love spread around. And, yes, this is still the basic criteria I hold dear in a man.

Blue Bird

If you want your coffee in the blue and white cup with the bird on it, you'll have to be more specific.

Odd Couple

There is a mash-up of Three Dog Night's Joy to the World and Steely Dan's Deacon Blues currently running around in my brain. It's not as disconcerting as you might think. Actually, it's working out pretty well. If you ask me, TDN really should have added a horn section.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Isn't It Lovely!

If you would like to truly understand what an improvement this is, go here. I have begun cleaning this room many, many times, and I do believe this is the first time I have finished the job. All I have to say is, whew, am I glad it's done!

A freshly painted new wall! Clean things hung neatly and ready to go upstairs. To the left hang sewing projects still to be done. Sewing supplies and craft items are stowed on the shelf. Max, the Patron Saint of Dirty Laundry, surveys the room from his top shelf perch and heartily approves.

A well-lit spot for my sewing machine and organized storage for linens and more crafty stuff.

Gone are the lint and spider infested curtains! The south and west facing windows let in so much light I don't need to turn on the lights to see during the day! I do like the accent stripe of magenta on the block wall. Still more crafty items sorted and stored! There's even space to work on little projects!

The utility side of the room remains utilitarian. Lots of space in the center of the room to spread out the big buckets for laundry sorting.

Because that's what we do in here. Laundry! Seems like a miracle that anything clean came out of this room in its previous condition.

Like I told you, the ceiling hasn't changed except for a thorough vacuuming job to remove years of cobwebs. Years of cobwebs. Years. The floor was clean enough for me to lie down and snap this pic. So I had to. 

Boys in Matching Shirts

Yes, I am guilty of sewing matching shirts for my sons. Which they delighted in wearing. I actually sewed one for their father from this fabric as well. It does make it easier to find them when you're on vacation.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Merrell Janes

Last fall I was looking for some in-between sort of shoes. I mostly wear boots and sandals, with few choices in between. You know, for in-between weather and in-between seasons. Slightly dressier than a tennis shoe but not fussy. Often when I dream of a shoe, it either does not exist at all or only exists not in my size or not in my price range. Behold the best cross between a Mary Jane and a bedroom slipper! I love these shoes! Procured for twenty-five bucks. My feet are happy as is my bank account.

Call me a Merrell devotee, if you must, because last week I found Merrell hiking boots on a clearance rack and snatched them up. In my size and price range! I've been casually on the lookout for new hiking boots to replace my fifteen (at least) year old pair that have been relegated to around the house chore boots. Clearly I need to move to a more mountainous region. And take up hiking. Think I'll pass on the lederhosen.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Indeed, Mr. Vonnegut

It's a Poop Art Installation, Mom!

Don't flatter yourself, Newt. There are three litter boxes. Three! Do your business in one of them. Or all three! Knock yourself out. Art for art's sake doesn't stink to high heaven. At least in this house it doesn't.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Call Me Ariel

Earlier today I posted the above photo of me for Throw Back Thursday. 1984 or '85. On a rock next to some body of water. 

A while later my cousin Cory posted this pic of the Little Mermaid sculpture in the comments! I'm a mermaid! A mermaid in velcro sneakers and a Minnesota vocational school hoodie. I love it! Cory is currently the frontrunner for favorite cousin.

Sometimes I Feel So Very Balanced

Drugs And Sex With No Mention of Rock & Roll

I proudly bear the self-applied title of SubGenius. Y'all know that. This has me wondering if I'm all that smart and everything. I am a night owl. I do enjoy staying up late, something in my brain perks up when the sun goes down. And as far as the drugs thing goes, they don't say specifically what counts as a drug. Potato chips? Chocolate? Peanut butter cookies? I don't try to hide the fact that I rarely turn down the offer of a glass of wine or a tasty beer. The occasional Cosmo is a shameless indulgence. As far as drugs go, prescription or street in nature, I have never been the slightest bit interested. I grew up in the cocaine and smack saturated seventies without feeling tempted to snort or stick a needle in my arm. While in the hospital after giving birth I turned down the Demerol in favor of ibuprofin! What kind of self-respecting druggie does that! And in regard to the sex thing, I can promise you that whenever I have had a willing and able partner in my life I have stayed up late to indulge. Or woken up early, for that matter. Did not turn down an invitation to an Afternoon Delight. I would come to the conclusion, then, that Two Out of Three Ain't Bad. I really should end this before I drop the title of another song from the 70's. All I have to say is, intelligent and smart aren't necessarily the same thing. I may have to stay up all night to contemplate that.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Quaker Query

Is the HQ* of this morning's bowl of oatmeal (with brown sugar and cinnamon simmered in) totally negated by my practice of enjoying it smothered in cream?

*Healthiness Quotient

Monday, February 2, 2015

It's Show Time!

Three guacamole perfect avocados. Three of them. Fresh lime juice, salt, garlic, onion, cumin and chili powder. Chips. Sam Adams Winter Lager. I believe we are ready to settle in and watch Ground Hog Day. Let's all drink to world peace.

Sippy Cup

When I go out with friends for an evening of music and a cocktail or two, I never expect to see one of these on the table.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ten Things About This Weekend

1. Terrific live music by the Hegg Brothers plus others, including the fabulous Miss Allison Nash and sax player extraordinaire Matt Wallace.

2. The best spoiling in the world courtesy of Jill. If there's any way you can work it out, make friends with her so you can be her house guest.

3. My picks for the Oscar nominated short films? From Norway, Me and My Moulton in the animated category and in live action, Boogaloo and Graham.

4. In reference to item 3, I feel eminently qualified to choose favorites as I viewed all the nominated shorts on Saturday.

5. Also in reference to item 3, it's just an opinion. My thoughts have no sway with nor influence on the Acadamy's ultimate decision.

6. The Drunk Kitchen is hilarious, as is its host and creator, Hannah Hart.

7. A bottomless mimosa accompanying brunch is pretty much the best thing civilization has to offer.

8. Brunch is made even better by having fab friends along for the ride. AndiBean and Andrea and Lindsey are the best. 

9. South Dakota winter weather is perhaps some of the shittiest around.

10. In reference to item 9, when shitty weather forces you to spend an extra day with some of your favorite people, it doesn't suck quite so much.