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Preview: Paul. Because 'Paul' is a nice name.

Paul. Because 'Paul' is a nice name.

Before use, wash Paul to remove any debris, blood or saliva that may be present. Carefully remove the blunt tip applicator, using a one-handed technique while reclining in an atmosphere that can be expected to be relatively free of surprises and emergenc

Updated: 2018-03-02T08:04:53.534-08:00


FirstNations lays it all out in an easily understood format


Because I have been given a budget, I have been reduced to lurking around grocery and big box stores waiting for plants to go on clearance, and having made myself familiar with their items in stock I have to say that Lowes has the best quality for the best price.  In fact I am super duper damn impressed with their stock...I have yet to get a plugbound, rootbound or hacked-at plant, and so far never even a hint of fungus gnats, which is almost unheard-of when dealing with wholesale nursery stock.  The only thing they could improve, in fact, is to change suppliers when it comes to clematis...the poor things have been fed so much growth limiter they look like toy-breed vines.  Perfectly formed, just hit with the shrink ray.  It takes a lot of watering and plant food to wash that shit out of their systems.  So buy  your clematis at a regular nursery, but load up the car at Lowes.The worst plants, of course, are at K-Mart.  If you know what you're doing you can pick up stuff and try to bring it back, but on the main give K-Mart a skip.  Sure, they carry some major name stock, but everything is tended by your typical K-Mart employee, with the inevitable result.Around here the supermarkets are supplied in large part by Joes' Garden (go Joe!).  What starts out as premium locally grown material half the time falls victim to employee cluelessness, but since they started out healthy you can bring them back pretty successfully.  You will get potbound items since Joe's is chronically understaffed by college vegetarians with white people dreds working their first retail gig and not quite getting the concept of 'volume means speed'.  But I've already given you the instructions to deal with plug and potbound plants, so no worries.  Oh look it up.Home Depot is fungus gnat central - -plus, they're out to scam you.  They always seem to accidentally on purpose choose plants suited for a USDA zone warmer than where the store's located.  The one here carries things like Confederate Jasmine, Mandevilla and Oleander for heaven's sake (we're USDA 7a.  Seriously, Lowes?  Total dick move.)  I guess they figure there's one born every minute or something and they'll get return customers wanting to replace the stuff that died.  Know your USDA zone before you shop there, and expect to do a little root salad surgery too.  Still, they do clearance things at the drop of a hat, and at an outrageous markdown simply for being past blossom time, which is all good.Wal-Mart has a seasonal garden section, and if you don't mind feeling dirty and cheap afterward you could do worse than shop it.  They have shit for selection on ornamentals but their vegetable selection is pretty impressive.  Wal-Mart is usually where you'll find plugbound plants, unfortunately, so wait till they're clearanced and then go to town.  No sense in paying retail for something that isn't worth it from the getgo.I've had good luck with the Proven Winners line.  Now you can get all peevish and say things about GMO and chemical fertilizers but when you've got a serious Jones like I do all that matters is putting that needle in your arm and Proven Winners tend to be damn good plants.Monrovia is hit or miss - it isn't premium, that's for sure.  Their stock is held until the last damn dog is hung, the plants are hacked at and the roots are usually crawling out the bottom of the pots.  Time of the season doesn't seem to matter either.  The best thing to do is to go visit Oregon, which seems to be owned largely by the Japanese and Monrovia, and visit the Monrovia offices and talk to the staff and poke around in Monrovias' commercial fields and get run off and have trespassing charges pressed and possibly get eaten by Dobermans because they take their security SERIOUSLY.  Their holding yard outside of Mt. Angel looks like Stalag 13 for cripes sakes, and I mean chain link fences with fucking coils of razor wire on top.Novalis is pretty meh.  Their stuff arrive[...]

Quaint vignettes from my charming rural idyll


For the last two days I have been hearing a strange sound in my right ear; as though I could hear my heartbeat going really fast.  Except it isn't my heart beat.  I took my pulse a few times to make sure and it isn't.  This is kind of like muffled ticking.  If I stick my pinkie finger in my ear the sound goes away.  As soon as I take my finger out of my ear it starts up again. I tried to hold my nose and pop my ear, like how you do if you get water in there?  But that didn't help.  Neither did a Q-Tip.  Yes, here I am, smack in the middle of my fast paced, jet setting lifestyle, hearing sounds nobody else can hear and poking around in my ear with random objects.  I want you to think of me like this always.

Because I am still losing weight, I can now wear those jeans that, when you bend over, your entire ass hangs out.  I have a pair.  I wore them.  I bent over and my entire ass hung out.  I didn't care for it.  It was breezy.

That's pretty much it.

Red Mink Delivers A Final Nom De Plume!


I posted this elsewhere, and I figured the time was right to post it here.  So....there ya go._________ much better than I could. Which isn't going to stop me from adding my own two bits of course.I went through the 70's in a town that was pretty gay friendly. Portland was referred to as San Francisco North back then, in fact. It was a great place to be young and gay, or at least it must have beat the living crap out of being young and gay in a place like Vernonia. The thing was-hell, the story of my fucking life was- I didn't quite fit in. I'm only kinda gay. I'm bi.Back then, there were only three sexual orientations:StraightGayLyingIt simply isn't that way. I've had girl crushes and guy crushes equally ever since I was a little kid. It wasn't friendship with bad boundaries. It wasn't youthful experimentation. It was romantic. I'm stone Bi, the point where I had a real difficult time coming to grips with the fact that there even was such a thing as 'only' straight or gay; which means that while everyone ELSE thought I was lying, I 'knew' everyone else was lying! It was a therapy issue! I've had huge problems with other things in my life, but this was something that simply was, and I never gave it another thought.Now lest I make myself out to be some kind of strong, intrepid individual, know that all the 'girl stuff' was repressed hard (to my way of thinking back then, I figured being gay or straight meant that someone had just made the wrong choice; the correct answer was 'both'.) Anyway, I was ashamed of it and embarrassed by it. I agonized over it. I thought that if I let it out to play full time I'd end up driving a road grader and I did not want to be a lesbian because of the social stigma. That, as you can tell by my use of terms like 'driving a road grader' I totally bought into because I was young and a dumbshit.What happened was I got to a point where I figured 'Fine. If I am a lesbian, then that's what I am so I better get started while I'm still young and I have a chance of qualifying for my equipment operators license.' Jumped right in feet first. Hit the dyke bars on Foster St. Hung around in the Aradia Bookstore and flirted. Joined the Co-Op. Read Ms. and Utne Reader. Checked out all the books about lesbianism I could from the library. Went to dyke bars. Crossed in public. (Back then I was uniquely ill-equipped for crossing. I made Bernadette Peters look like Charles Bronson; still, the Annie Hall look was in vogue and people thought I was cute in my slouch hat and tie.  And Arrow shirt, wingtips, grey pinstripe vest, and creased trousers.  Yeah, shit. ) Met a wonderful woman and moved in with her. Patronized all the women's businesses, looked into Dianic religion and Wicca -did the whole thing.And I'll be goddamned if I wasn't still checking out mens' butts.The great thing about the woman I moved in with-besides the fact that she was wonderful- was we both happened to be at the same exact place in our lives. We set up house and fell into whatever couple-role we fit (guess which one I was.) That worked. It lasted for a few months and then it just sort of....faded out for both of us. No problems. Totally clean. It was the sanest relationship I've ever had outside of my present marriage.People think that when you're bi you get a choice, or that the whole world is filled with potential sexual partners. When you're young you think it is; of course, you're young. But after awhile you learn to follow your instincts, just like everyone else does, and the field narrows waaaaay down. In a mixed crowd I might be lucky to spot one person I'd even consider.  Me, when I learned how to respect myself and be picky I WAS picky. Gladly picky. Gratefully picky. Voluntarily picky.Another assumption is that bisexuals are bi because their drive is so overwhelming that they'll just turn to any port in a storm. Man, that doesn't describe me AT ALL. Still,[...]

WHY I LIVE HERE: PART OCHO...Super-Duper Mart!


This is the sign in front of our local quick-stop/beer cave/truck park, the Super-Duper Mart.  It made me feel loved the first time I saw it, lack of dangly bits notwithstanding.  Now it just makes me feel worried for some reason.  Although the part about the clean restrooms is reassuring; back when we first moved here  the Super Duper had a giant rat trap in the corner behind the ladies' john.  It did keep you mindful, come to that. Now I will be the first to admit I have no idea what this means.  Ever since this appeared in front of the Super-Duper Mart I look up in bemusement from time to time and wonder if I am currently experiencing a state of 'moooo'. I could be right now.  I have no idea.  For all I know "Have a 'moooo' of a time"  could be a zen koan. It could be a lot of things, in fact.One thing is certain:  what it should be, by rights, is facing north, toward the border crossing.  It is  not.Still, can your town boast a gigantic inflatable blind cow?  No, it can't.Once inside the mighty Super Duper Mart you have a variety of  options.  You can choose to be startled and yell 'GAAH!', just as I have on a number of occasions upon seeing this goddamn thing...Or you can buy stuffOr you can play this:which, despite the promise of cheese, contains:If gambling for butter doesn't make your heart race then I just give up, people.   It used to have cheese and various sausages inside as well but I think it started attracting mafioso-types so they cut back the high-stakes factor.  I keep trying to tell you this is an awesome little town.  If you still refuse to believe me, then maybe you'll believe this, bunkie:SO THERE....i have no idea what this is for, but they provide you with a little box to write stuff in so i wrote some stuff.[...]



I have decided to return.  I might as well.  I have things I want to write about.  At the moment the chief topic of keen interest has been what a total mindfuck losing a lot of weight is.BTW, low carb, small portions.  That's all I did.Anyway.I had to learn a whole new bodyspace.  Never Nijinsky, for awhile there I was a real hazard to navigation.  Went through an entire set of glasses and coffee cups, several large glass jars with and without contents,  inadvertantly cracked off pieces of the interior trim of my car, tripped going up stairs because I was able to actually, you know, go up stairs again; it was JOLLY. I trip over my own feet still, because my feet are a. no longer held so far apart by my chub rub, b. smaller by half a size, and c. now able to face straight ahead instead of out to the side like a duck so I could sling the heft with each step. The Kremlin has receded and I no longer have to look waaaay over to see things down in Volgograd which threw my neck totally out of whack...that, and the fact that I lost the turtleneck sweater of flub around my upper chest, face and neck that was helping prop everything up.  I jiggle a lot more, just in general.  It is not a good jiggle either. It is a 'crap I hope my skin stretches back into shape eventually' jiggle.  Yes, I know I'm making myself sound like one of those Dorito-breath Jabba the Hut hoarder broads.  It's not that I was horrendously obese, it's that it all dropped off so fast that when I remember how it felt to be me a year ago I remember MASS.  And then there I am in that last paragraph making myself sound like a dead cat melting off a hot engine block.  I am neither.  I am a pretty normal looking woman for my age, in fact, aside from the ear plugs, tattoos and dark purple Ellen DeGeneris hair. The other half of the total mindfuck part of it is that I genuinely did absolutely nothing to lose all this weight.  It really didn't take any effort on my part, and people really want to hear that you were brave and went to meetings and cried and ate grapefruit and shit like that, and everything else sounds like bragging.  Particularly 'nothing'.  People really want to talk about it, too. I can't get by with a smile and a 'Thank you'.  People want to hear a secret tip or a horror story. Something.  This shit is supposed to be hard.  But it wasn't.Now did you ever wonder if all that hype about how hard it is to lose weight might be more hype than you've been lead to believe?  That it just might not be quite such an ordeal for normal average everyday people? That maybe it's hard because you've been conditioned to believe so by a constant line of paid-for bullshit designed to sell diet products over the years?  Because this simply was not hard.  Annoying, yes. Sometimes.  Not hard.  And we all know that I'm not Ubermensch-ette (like Smurfette only with butt hair) particularly when regarded by my relative mental health.  I just....sort of...did this thing and now here I am in a 36c wearing skinny jeans that I have to cinch up like a noose so my shortcomings don't hang out.  It's not convenient.  It's been expensive.  I had to go to physical therapy to learn how to move all over again. I don't look 18 either, I look what I am, which is 53 - and showing the miles.  But there ya go.Now I know that it's occurred to anyone reading this to think 'Oh cry me a river, skinny bitch' and so forth.  Now, isn't that strange?  I don't look any better, just different. I'm only slightly healthier than I was a number of pounds ago, but what people are going to focus on is 'well, you're just using this as an excuse to brag'. And seriously, I'm not bragging. I'm just saying this is not what you OR I expected things to be like, kids.  I never realized there were going to be problems.  I was in serio[...]

LEGALIZED IT!!! almost


In honor of Washington State's legalization of recreational marijuana use,  I thought I'd re-run this post.

Here, for your edification, is the TRUE and ACCURATE story behind the 'Pot Brownies' myth!  

Alice B. Toklas was a woman who enjoyed a good meal and loved her saturated fats. So legendary became her table that Ms. Toklas was prevailed upon to write up a collection of recipes: The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book.

In this collection are many delicious things. One of the delicious things is a mildly narcotic party nibble she presents to us with the title
'HASCHICH FUDGE (which anyone could whip up on a rainy day)'


And in fact her 'haschich' fudge is not chocolate and has no hash in it, but instead dried fruit and crumbled cannibis sativa (she also suggests indica in areas where obtaining sativa 'may present certain difficulties'.)

Her introduction to the method is priceless:

This is the food of Paradise- of Baudelaire's Artificial Paradises: it might provide an entertaining refreshment for a Ladies' Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of the DAR. In Morrocco it is thought to be good for warding off the common cold in damp winter weather and is, indeed, more effective if taken with large quantities of hot mint tea. Euphoria and brilliant storms of laughter; ecstatic reveries and extensions of one's personality on several simultaneous planes are to be complacently expected. Almost anything Saint Theresa did, you can do better if you can bear to be ravished by 'un evanouissement reveille'.

By fudge she means 'a gooey sweet thing'. I have no doubt that grated chocolate could be added to wonderful effect, particularly if the chocolate were one of the new high-percentage, low-sugar darks. Nevertheless, I present to you the recipe as she puts it down, with my paraphrase.

1 teaspoon black peppercorns,
1 whole nutmeg,
4 cinnamon sticks,
1 tsp. coriander
1/4 oz good bud, well cleaned and very dry
Pulverize all to a fine powder (a coffee grinder would work excellently here.)

One handful each, chopped fine:
stoned dates
dried figs,
shelled almonds,
shelled peanuts

Add all the above together and toss to combine.

Melt 1/3 c butter, and dissolve into this
1 cup sugar
NOTE: do not cook this mixture...simply stir the sugar into the just-melted butter and take off the fire.

Remove from heat. Cool until mixture can be handled, empty into bowl with other ingredients and stir together.
Turn out onto a cool smooth surface and knead to combine thoroughly.
Roll into a log, from which lumps may be cut and rolled into balls about the size of a walnut and dusted with powdered sugar. Try and do your best to let these sit at least overnight so that the flavors blossom.  They will firm up but never quite solidify.

Ms. Toklas advises us that two of these are more than sufficient. Those of more robust or practiced liver may find that the suggested serving size must be adjusted upwards.

Hey, you know. I'm just sayin'. It's certainly not like I'd be making anything like this for Christmas eve or anything.
That would be wrong.



I am interested in psychoactive substances.  I grew up in Oregon during the '70s, after all. Plus I have some excellent fun awesome brain abnormalities, come to find out,  that left me recently looking for safe ways to cope in the interval between when one SSRI failed and the next one took effect*.  That's why I go visit frequently.  They have the scoop on that stuff.   You should go there too.  They're doing important work there and they deserve every thoughtful persons' support and encouragement.  Now, do I contribute?  HELL NO, I LIVE ON AN INTERNATIONAL BORDER FOR CRAPSAKES.  Kind of nuts: yes. Stupid: no. Black helicopters: bad.Part of what happens on is the collection of anecdotes relating to recreational psychoactive use. This is important information, and makes for entertaining reading too.  I think it's nothing less than a new folklore genre:  the folklore of trippin' balls.A lot of the folks on Erowid style themselves 'psychonauts'...By which most of them mean they are not to be mistaken for simple forest turds getting wasted for fun, but something far nobler: intrepid travellers though innerspace exploring different levels of consciousness for the good of all mankind. Which is charming in a 'lets go to Burning Man and get sand in our asscracks' kind of way.  You want to say 'Get over yourself, kid.  We all do drugs for fun and that's perfectly ok.' That leaves a small but significant percentage that really do believe that 'venture inward and learn cosmic truths' psychonaut stuff.  The ability to perceive consciousness is chemical. You screw around with those chemicals, you'll experience a lot of shit that has nothing whatsoever to do with places in the conscious mind and everything to do with clogging the pool filter of your brain with used condoms. What you tend to experience using psychoactive substances, particularly in massive dosage, is 'malfunction'. Malfunction has nothing to teach you, even if you experience things during that interval as profound truths. They aren't. They're artifacts of temporary (you hope) brain damage.  And then there's this: just because you've had what you perceive as an extranormal revelatory experience doesn't mean that what was 'revealed' wasn't bullshit.I saw a lot of people from the generation right before mine get lost on the way to enlightenment in the exact same way. All those 'LSD ascended masters' are still out there; cleverly disguised as unwashed vegetarians living in Volvos out in the parking lot behind the Food Bank.  Truth doesn't come solely from WITHIN.  It comes from the correctly perceived experience of efficient interaction with the world outside yourself.  I'll let you in on the one true and useful thing I've learned from having this past year cave in on my like a fucking mining disaster: The chief difference between what you experience as meaning or nothingness is only a matter of the kind of chemicals that happen to be sloshing around in your head at any given moment.There ya go.  You see what you can learn here at Paul?I wish like hell I'd realized this years ago.  Of course nobody was talking about this stuff years ago and certainly not in mainstream America, where Jesus is in charge of that shit and your relative sanity is a moral issue, determined by the quality of  your relationship with the Lord.  Sanity, as it turns out,  doesn't spring from faith in God, it cannot be obtained by force of will or right thinking or good health or even happiness. I've just been on a grand tour of the malfunctioning human mind, and lemme tell you,  I have a whole new perspective on what it means to be t[...]

Green Fish Playing a Deadly Game


This is also the America I live in.

If you're out garage sale-ing and you're looking for old Star Trek stuff, chances are that you're going to find it in Lynden. You know Lynden, I've written about it before; it's that little slice of Dutch-themed heaven six miles west of Rancho FirstNations where the folks are white, the politics are crimson, and Jesus owns a gun. That Lynden.

That's what makes finding vintage Star Trek stuff there so weird. It's not exactly the kind of place you think of when you think of science fiction fans, it's the kind of place you think of when you think of cult Christianity and teenage pregnancy. But there you go...right there on the same table with the piles of Mommy porn paperbacks and Crossroads magazines you're likely to find stacks of Star Trek novels, every single bad, unreadably bad, embarrassingly, embarrassingly bad one of them ever printed. 

Here's my theory: Lynden is remote. It was even more remote back in the 60's and early 70's. No access to popular culture, everyone up in everyone elses' small-town shit, and little in the way of music or entertainment outside of church.  Maybe back in the day, the only way for a  rebellious kid to sneak one past the parents was to bring home a boring-looking book filled with seditious ideas (heart-stoppers like embracing diversity, the triumph of Science over Superstition and the Nobility of Man), knowing that Mom wouldn't look because she was raised to think science is icky; and Dad wouldn't look because books are for fags; he got where he is today by prayer and hard work not schooling.

I see this so often it's become expected.  Someone's putting mom and dad in the Vander Resthome and raising funds by having a garage sale... purging all the Zimmer frames and raised potty stools, and why the heck not; their teenage stash of space opera.  Wouldn't old dad just have a fit if he could see it all lying there next to his copy of 'What The Jews' Plan For America'?

So if you want Trek collectables, particularly full sets of mint Star Trek novels, awful as they are, head North on I-5 until you start to run out of America. About three miles before you hit Canada you'll see a billboard with a picture of a dead fetus lying on an American flag. That'll be Lynden.

And no, I'm not making the thing up about the billboard.

Blue Sea Monkey: Force Of Fist!!!


TOMATO REVIEW!!!!!!I know you were all waiting with breath of bait for this my review of the tomato plants I selected and how each one performed!!! Yes you were!  Yes you were.You were.Winners:  Earliness indeterminate, saladette  "Oregon Spring"I've grown this one before and it does not disappoint.  It hunches down and endures chilly soil and crappy spring weather, all the while pooting out blossoms like a happy bunny. Once it gets a week of sunshine on it's leaves watch out; the thing takes off.  WHAMMO it's covered in fruit.You don't get much of a plant and it tends to get pretty ratty looking as the season progresses, but then who grows tomatoes to admire the foliage? NOBODY THAT'S WHO.  The tomato you end up with is about 4' wide and squatty rather than globular. Inside you get a rather higher percentage of seed chambers than you get in most saladettes; it's more like a beefsteak in that regard. It is delicious and sweet, though, really tomatoey, and the flesh is the  most amazing pigeon blood shade of red!  Oregon Springs'  drawback is that you don't get much yield compared to other varieties.  Make up for that by planting two.Productionindeterminate, roma type "Roma Golden Wave"This variety is crazy vigorous and and the fruit production is huge!  It just does not quit.  Rather than pouting and curling when it gets chilly it just slows down.  You get a full day of sun and it instantly celebrates by putting on a daily 3 to seven inches of growth, which is a party in anyones' book.Let's say you decided to grow a tomato plant just to admire the foliage. THIS would be the one you'd grow.  It's a very pretty potato-leaved variety with straight limbs. The new growth is a gorgeous glowing viridian while the older is pure emerald green, and the habit is kind of Arthur Rackham-esque, if you feel me. We've had cold, crappy weather for the past month, and so today was the day that everyone had to go to the guillotine.  This plant was still putting on new growth and blossoms and setting fruit!  This is the one I'd choose to run longwise on a wire or a fence...I had branches on the thing 7 ft. long before I stopped them.  The fruit grows in pretty trusses like a cherry tomato.  It is pure chromium yellow, and very sweet.  It doesn't have much standout character's just a tomato. But that's not a bad thing!Weird note: of all the tomato plants I had this year, this one was always and by far covered in pollinating insects, with more waiting stacked three deep like a busy airport.  Bees of every variety, wasps, flies, hornets, even moths in the evening!Crap that's bigindeterminate, beefsteak "Early Beefsteak"Plan ahead and use a heavy wire cage for this plant  because you'll need it.  Get the twine ready too.  The branches head straight out from the crown anywhichway and get thick and knobby and woody like apple tree branches, only without the rest of the apple tree to support them; so they tend to split. Untrained branches will meet an obstacle and just force growth against it until they turn into a weird arthritic green knot. You have to help it, like a fat dog that can't climb up onto the sofa.Once it begins to swell fruit it holds nothing back.  The weight of the fruit combined with the weight of the branches and the general cluelessness of the plant organism itself means that it will cheerfully grow itself to death; just twist itself apart and die without a care in the world. Once it begins to swell fruit, then, make with the twine and stakes. The fruit is truly fucking HUGE.  Most of it is softball sized and perfect[...]

Swiftly Dragon Gold Win The Prize!


TRAGEDY STRIKES THE RANCHO, I am not lying just out of shot in a pool of vomit.  This was an ACT OF NATURE, which hates me, and obviously hated my Official, Licensed Edition Star Trek Star Fleet Shot Glass. 

I had it sitting on the windowsill above my kitchen sink, where I could admire it while I did the dishes.  The window was open, and the wind - yes, THE WIND - blew it off the sill.  That, and several other things I had up there, but nothing as important or valuable as my Official, Licensed Edition Star Trek Star Fleet Shot Glass. 

Yeah, well, shit on you, Nature, is what I say. If this is how it's going to be then HA HA on you, Nature...
 I cancel Burning Man! 

BOOMYEAH!  It's done been broughten. That shit is CANCELLED. I apologize ahead of time for the crop failures and catastrophic weather but dammit a bitch gets MIFFY about her Star Fleet tchotkes.

Steve 'Booger' Bailey (this post needed a name.)


Apparently I have been blogging for six years.   I have no idea what to think of this, so I'll move along to more important issues, like, what is it when your potatoes have a metallic sheen on them?  Because that's what happened to some of mine.  They were those little blue potatoes.  I grew them in a nice raised bed, heavy clay soil amended with lagoonage, they had a nice potatoey life, then I dug them up and let them cure.  Go to scrub them and I find a metallic-looking goldish sheen in patches on the skins, which were otherwise blue. It wouldn't clean off. 
So I cooked them and ate them. 
They were good. 
I feel OK so far.  I'm not marching around stiffly with a blank expression on my face attending mysterious neighborhood meetings late at night either. You should still probably keep an eye on me though.

Here's what I 've been diggin' the mostest lately:  Mack Sennett silent comedies.  Every now and then Turner Classics will play a big slew of them and I am right there.  Those things are hilarious!  And I love imagining a whole theatre full of people, innocent of television and political correctness, all cracking up together at this stuff.  You see immediately where the gang at Warner Brothers cribbed all Bugs Bunny's best gags from. 

I love silent films.  Seeing the years gone seem to live is incredibly fascinating to me.  In the case of the Mack Sennett comedies, the vibrance and immediacy of the people is so hyperreal against the dated backdrops and the age of the medium that it's become something more than itself as time has gone on... a sui generis comedy-surrealism that happens in each moment of vision, 24 times each second. 
   I think what I love best about them is the innocence.  This is not complicated stuff.  It's just silly and sweet and fun.  A little kid and a clever dog having adventures in a farmyard.  A very strange and silly man in a very strange and silly department store.  Foreign airplane spies.  Odd waiters and submarines!    One of the most touching things I've ever seen was in a short called 'Fatty and Mabel Adrift.'  The newlyweds are going to bed for the first time in their honeymoon cabin - in separate rooms!  Fatty gets up, goes to her doorway, and draws the curtain aside to peek in at Mabel, sound asleep. Then you see his shadow on the wall over her bed...just his shadow! and it bends down, and places a sweet kiss on her head.     It was like an old Valentine card falling from between the pages of a book you've just bought.  And it will always be this way.  Every time this film runs.

Death Sauce and Derision


Let's say you wanted to make some Death Sauce:

...loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants, and Death

1/3 lb by unprocessed weight Harbanero, or Scotch Bonnet, peppers
(wash, stem and halve)
1 tsp. salt
Juice of one large lemon +some of the grated peel
1/2 cup by volume minced red onion
V-8 or plain tomato juice, 1 12oz can (you won't be using all of it so have some vodka ready)

-Run the Harbaneros through a food processor until minced, combine with onion and fry in batches in a little olive oil until slightly browned. 

-Set aside to cool.

-Dump into a blender with the lemon juice, the grated peel, the salt and half the can of V8, and blend until liquefied past all possibility of even the tiniest muon of remaining chunkness.  Why?  Because if you're one of those people who experiences afterburn you'll want to avoid Klingons.  I'm told that even the tiniest remainder can mean hours of agonized squatting over a hand mirror searching for the miscreant particle, which is a story I made up but probably happens.  Me, I wouldn't know.  I have an efficient digestive tract.  Anyway.  

-Pour through a fine strainer into a glass jar with a lid that fits tightly and refrigerate. anyway you wanted to make this delicious delicious recipe for Death Sauce.  What you should remember is that you should not fry Harbanero peppers in a closed room full of steam.  Harbanero cooking fumes are a lot like the stuff that they spray on people when they won't stop resisting arrest; and lemme tell you it took all the impulse to resist arrest right out of me. 

I have nothing but scorn for people who whine 'ew, I don't liiiiiike spicy, waa, how can you taaaaaste anything, augh' and make their nose all scrunchy like how they do.  I started eating jalapeno peppers when I was 8 years old because it absolutely scandalized the crap out of my parents for whatever goofy reason.  Anyway, I found that not only is a simple jalapeno tolerable, it's delicious.  Face it, it's a fruit.  It tastes like fruit...sweet and nice.  Yeah it has a kick, but here's the second thing I discovered the more I ate them...the more frequently you eat spicy stuff, the more the burn fades.  You get used to it.  The fire simply becomes a delicious, mouth watering sensation, and the heat opens up all the rest of the flavors and releases new ones.  THAT is why people eat spicy food.

Thanks to all the practice over the years, I now have a cool bar trick that's earned me thousands of imaginary dollars over the years - I can literally DRINK an entire bottle of Tabasco Sauce like a shooter.  Right down.  Doesn't phase me a bit.

Wanna blow job?

Fuckin' A Argentina would you SHUT UP aw shit I hate it when you cry DAMMIT STOP


Having washed the last of the scary Ritalin badness out of my system I find myself once again at the point where this entire exercise in medication began...and it's ABSOLUTELY GREAT TO BE BACK.

I'll miss the focus.  Not that I leapt from my previous state in cape and tights or anything...  No, I used all that expensive focus (try 90.00 a scrip) for remembering why I entered any given room.  Recalling what I said five minutes previously.  Doing simple grocery store mathematics.  Seriously.  Well over 500.00 worth of ADHD medications took me a few baby steps into the reality the rest of humanity inhabits, where I looked around in bemusement for a few moments until liquefied brain matter began to run out my ears.  Figuratively.

I've learned some very interesting, heavy, paradigm-shifting things about 'present time' and 'narrative' and 'experience of continuity'; as well as gaining insight into how incredibly malleable perception is. 

I'm done as fuck with it, too.  Gimme a beer.

Dammit Argentina I said don't cry for me.


This past week the Ritalin suddenly stopped working, turned, and went for my throat.  Adderal was right up front about wanting me to die, at least...Ritalin just watched.  And waited.

This past week and a half has not been a picnic.  I knew something was up...but seriously, when the only warning is 'Gee, I've been moody lately'...?  Yeah, gosh, I'll take that seriously; I've been moody lately. Fancy that.  I'm 52 and I'm moody.

The deciding event occurred this afternoon, when for no reason I became...let us say 'distraught' the middle of Harbor Fucking Freight. 

Nobody likes cheap Chinese hardware more than me.   Up until the very moment I wasn't, I was perfectly happy to be there, the bracing aroma of high carbon steel in my nostrils...lovely day, lovely Biker, buying hardware, looking at the extension cords, OH GOD PLEASE LET ME DIEEEEEEE.

...and  I mean just like THAT.  It turns on like a light switch. No warning. It lasts for 45 minutes max, then just as suddenly it's gone. This is exactly whats happened with the other two medications, only much, much worse.


Truthfully, if I have to live the rest of my life with untreated ADHD, at this point I'm ready to do just that. 

Beautiful Music and Lovely Herbs


As you all know I used to be in Led Zeppelin.  But now I have a new band called 'The Frankenstein Vikings' which is: Frankenstein, Kenny Rogers, plus Me!  WOW I know.  This is our hot new single  'Freebird'. (Now you have to hold up a lighter. Go find one.)OK this is the song.I was walking through the woods with my best gal BrendaI had to make a move and I wanted it to send herMaybe a bear would attack us, and then I could defend her-But no bears showed up.  Then I found a blender.Oh yeah! Found a blender!Oh yeah! It was a Waring! Oh yeah! Found a blender! A sticker on the bottom said 'Return to Keith Haring'!Went to Brendas' place in a green CadillacStopped by the Safeway near the railroad trackStole a pack of smokes and an Enquirer from the rackThe headline said 'Keith wants his blender back'Oh yeah! Stole from Safeway!Oh yeah! Down by the tracks!Oh yeah! Stole from Safeway!Plus I scored a canned ham and some Pringles Snacks!I ran down the siding and I jumped a freight carJust the clothes on my back and an old steel guitarA blind man stole it just outside of EnumclawThen his monkey bit my ear off. It's name was Francois.Oh yeah! Hit the road!Oh yeah! No going back!Oh yeah! Hit the road!Too bad I lost my ear in a monkey attack!_________________________________________________Nobody thinks about lovage. This is stupid. You should think about lovage now.Lovage.Lovage is about the easiest thing in the world to grow besides maybe dandelions.  It even has things in common with self-seeds, you can teach it to repeat simple words, and if you eat too much you'll piss your kidneys right out of your body.  USE LOVEAGE WISELY.  Don't wake up at 5:am tomorrow morning and decide today is the day you'll eat nothing but lovage for the rest of your life, because if you're stupid enough to do that then you deserve to have your kidneys land splat on the floor and I'm not going to stop you.  You can read all kinds of stuff about lovage on the 'net, and most of it is repetitive and doesn't help much.  Do you care that "The esteemed Irish herbalist K'Eogh noted that this highly aromatic and giant-sized perennial "expels flatulence; clears the sight; removes spots, freckles and redness; provokes urination and menstruation; and aids digestion." ??  I personally do not give a flying fuck.  Although I had no idea that the Irish had such quixotic surnames, or were interested in the expulsion of flatulence.  Don't they do it like everyone else does?  Is improper expulsion of flatulence a problem for the Irish?  If you take this guys' word for it the Irish have all kinds of things they should be worrying about, plus Enya, and the proper use of loveage, which is 'as a weapon'.A CULINARY weapon.   Loveage has an aroma of celery, if celery smelled even better than it does now, and lets face it that's actually pretty darn good.  But now imagine celery, only more concentrated, more perfumed, with a hint of fennel, fresh green basil, and line-dried laundry of all things.  Oh yes!  Now you're interested!  Well it does smell that good.  And it tastes that good too. It tastes amazing. Just minced lovage in an omelet is unbelievable.  Oh hell yeah. Or in a Vietnamese lettuce wrap... or in pho, in salads, with tomatoes, on burgers, IN burgers, in stocks....and good heavens, what it does for a soup, particularly if there's chicken lurking about in the wings.  Get it? Because, chickens are like theatres, and&[...]

Hope you like jammin' too!


A message from the Assembly of God, Sumas, WA.  (Note the Heefalump Dumpaloon showing a coy half-moon, stage left.)   I just took the last harvest off my blueberry bushes and made jam! My kitchen smells wonderful, and because I was forced to do so many, many 'taste tests', my teeth and tongue are almost black, just like my stony wizened little heart.  Anyway, I was standing there stirring the simmering berries, sipping a Pepsi, when suddenly I had an aneurysm.  No no! Having laugh my face, silly persons!  I had an inspiration.  What's one of the ingredients in cola?  Cinnamon. That, and various types of sugar.  Things you'd add to blueberry jam anyway.  In it went.  Out came awesome.RECIPE: BLUEBERRY JAM 'WHITE TRASH'It's sisterfuckin' good!Ingredients-Maybe about 4 or 5 cups by volume of extremely ripe blueberries, washed and picked over-Two 12 oz. cans of Pepsi-extra sugar or fructose depending on how tart your blueberries run...see, the idea here is to use the Pepsi instead of sugar water to cook the blueberries in.  Otay? Otay. Follow these instructions exactly or the Blueberry police will tase the shit out of you and you'll wake up alone in Blueberry jail with Mr. Zucchini for a cellie :Dump blueberries in saucepanDump Pepsi on blueberriesMash blueberries.  A hand mixer works rully rully good for this. (NOT a bamix.)Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring to prevent scorching.Now youse place a fine wire strainer over a bowl and force this mixture through the wires, or use a mouli with a fine screen.  Save the juice, dump the squeezed-out glop down the front of your underpants.  Or discard it like a normal person.  I'm assuming my usual readership here, though.Check the result and adjust seasonings as necessary.  Right here you could pour the juice back in the saucepan and reduce it further if you think that's necessary Picky Smith.  Actually I did, plus I added more sugar too. Um.Dump into a clean glass jar, let it cool, then tighten down the lid and put in the 'fridge.  It will set by itself without the need to add pectin.  _______________________________I already posted up a picture of my first ripe tomato of the year, but what the hell; I'll post it up here too: ...and my!  What an attractive tattoo! There's only been five more since (indeterminate plants.) We made salsa, but there's just the two of us and these are big honkin' tomatoes. With the few that were left over I made this:RECIPE:  'SUN-DRIED' TOMATOES FLOATING AROUND IN OLIVE OIL IN A JARUse them in dressings, use them in sauces, wear them like a hat; I don't care.Ingredients: Tomatoes, washed, stemmed, cut into chunks Olive oil Equipment de tomateuille of submergeurine oui oui: Clean jar with lid Food dehydrator, or a very sunny, hot location and a fan InstructionsDry tomatoes until they are still pliable...'leathery going toward potato chip' rather than 'gross warm mush'. Dump them in the jar, dump the olive oil in on top of them, put the lid on and then take it out in the sunshine and photograph it in front of some flowers. ________________________________ Still reading?  Oh good.  This next recipe is really complicated and requires special tools and presumes access to stuff that you probably don't have access to,  which will make you cry and cry so hard all like 'WAAAAAAAAAA'  and I'll ignore you.Awhile back I decided to try and mak[...]

Elderly fucked-up people at the edge of America


This weekend before last we went to the Mt. Baker Rhythm and Blues Festival at the Deming Logging Show grounds. ....OK fine. Yes, there is such a thing as a 'logging show' and it is popular enough that they built a special fairground area for it in Deming, a town whose only other claims to fame are the Cedarville Solid Waste Site and the striking number of bald-headed women who live there. I am not shitting you. There are some bald damn women running around in Deming. Never actually been to a logging show myself, but I hear they're pretty cool, if you like seeing things like logs, antique logging equipment in action, wood, competition blacksmithery, log rolling,  competitive tree climbing, customized chainsaws, bar stool racing, sawdust,  top fuel lawnmower racing, logs, competitive axe throwing, logs, and big sweaty mens choppin' wood.  Dead serious, kats.The showground is a really beautiful place.  You'd think it would be skanky, but it's incredibly well maintained, has a full compliment of amenities, and is surrounded by beautiful green hills and tall cedar trees...complete with picturesque lil' forest critters (chipmunks, deer, alcoholics) wandering around in a picturesque manner.The Blues Festival is organized by a long-time acquaintance of ours, Lloyd, who basically does this for love of the music and the opportunity to party with musicians, get drunk, and talk on a microphone. It's always a fun event. Good music, good beer, good concessions, deliberately unobservant security personnel, everything you could ask for. If you love R&B, and you love partying with nasty, dirty bikers, armed vegetarians and other fringe types, this yearly event is worth a trip out of your way to come see. THIS is the America that I live in.I was surprised as hell at the number of young people there. Ida thought they'd all be at home listening to, but no...there they were in their checkered shirts and little funky toques, digging the cougar love, partying alongside the rest of us. Made me proud.The 'second string' acts were pretty good. One chick was bound and determined to bring back Janis via her vocal cords. The younger crowd practically stormed the stage when she started in. We hung out in the back at the beer garden, mainly because this girl did NOT need amplification and loooooved ripping out those Joplin screams wherever she could fit one in...and she most emphatically DID have amplification. There were small craft warnings in my beer.The Fat Tones were shit hot. Just totally shit hot. Every one of them. The guy they had on the Hammond and Clavinet was extra super top secret shit hot, in fact. But the guitarist -! Holy whackamole. 90 lbs of perpetual motion with an electric guitar! Picture this amazingly talented crack squirrel in a rayon shirt playing so fast his little paws are just a blur. Just tore it the fuck up. This year one of the two headline acts was supposed to be Hot Tuna (you have to be really, really old to remember the Tuna.) At the last minute they cancelled. Lo and behold, Lloyd comes up with COCO MONTOYA!!Coco Montoya is one hell of a musician. He is also a hell of a performer. And he really connects with the audience. He got everyone involved and turned it into a huge party, like he was just jamming in the backyard at a barbecue or something. Only, you know, really good. He even got the Biker nodding his head in time, which is how Germans pogo. Coco and I made a true heart connection that night. Now he won't stop calling me. All he does is breathe. Probably shy. I understand that.The[...]

Warthog Getaway Weekend: Methow Stylee


The wonderful thing about America is that you can drive a little ways and visit practically every kind of environment you can imagine, bar subtropical rainforest and anything having to do with the Maldives, or Australia, except for certain parts of Australia that look kind of like Eastern Washington only Eastern Washington has more fat people in sneakers.  Us fat people like to visit Eastern Washington to get our 'high desert' on.  We call out 'Kangaroo!' whenever we see a dog and then laugh hysterically, and call all the ducks 'koala bears' and feed them 'gum leaves' and 'scream' when they 'spit acid', which clears the campsites around ours like magic.This year we visited the Methow Valley for a few days.  We left a town where it was 60 degrees and overcast.  Once we crossed over the pass we were in blue skies.  We just looked at each other and grinned in amazement.  It was pure bliss from that moment on.  Just past the summit. Pure bliss beginning......NOW.Yeah, we pussed out and took the van instead of the Victory.  This was as much a scouting expedition as a vacation, and it's nicer to be able to scout with a cup of coffee in hand.  That, and we wanted to sleep a. in campgrounds b. on a comfortable bed  c.inside a metal box that was d. safely above rattlesnake level, because  e. fuck rattlesnakes.  You're either in timber rattler country or desert rattler country out in Eastern Washington, and either one of them will bite you right on the hine and not give a fuck either way about it.  Nothing ruins a vacation like a snake hanging off your ass. Thus the van proved to be an excellent choice.  We only paid ten dollars on lodging and our butts remained reptile-free, unlike other we saw trudging around with five or six chomped on the back of them.The Methow Valley is a different slice of Eastern Washington. The high forests are colder and damper than the Wenatchee side of the mountains, and there's a wider variety of plants...pine, fir, alder, spruce I think, vine maple, something that smelled intensely like juniper and a whole shitload of other stuff (yeah I know I should of brought my field guide but the dog ate it. Seriously.  And here you were so looking forward to a botany lesson too. ) Lotsa fuckin' trees really close together that are cold and wet. What you notice most are the Ponderosa pines.You know, the ones I didn't take a picture of to put here. They're enormously tall and straight with close cinnamon-colored bark cut by black fissures.  The older the tree the higher up the trunk the  short limbs emerge, dividing into shorter downcurled branches, dark and sooty looking, covered in long green needles and gold buds. Nothing traps the sunset light like these trees.  .*  The foothills descend into rolling plain, and the forest ends in yellow dog hills and grassy, gravelly plains scattered with small clumps of sagebrush.  The road you travel through them is edged with stunted oatgrass and short, silver artemesia. Picturesque log cabin that we saw with hills arroyo trees etc.  And a bigass horse barn in the background. This is western kingbird country.  You see them on every fenceline shimmering in the heat.  Barn swallows, swifts and buzzards rise in circles up the hillsides, and osprey survey th[...]

Methow Valley, Part Un: Rolling Huts


Last weekend we hit the road.  On our trip through the Methow Valley we stopped at took a look around at the Rolling Huts,, something I've wanted to do since I read about them in Dwell Magazine a few years back.  Now you need to be a good reader and go visit the site, and at least let the slideshow on their home page reel past........OK, done?I was really interested in seeing how the years had treated their design concept.  Yes, I know how to party while on vacation.  In the article I read, the original plan was to tow them around in the surrounding fields.  A client could request a certain view (and there are astounding views) or even daylight exposures, and they'd trundle the entire structure about to accommodate the request.The Rolling Huts no longer roll, unfortunately.  Each one sits on an enclosed gravel pad, wired into service.   Here's what I think happened:  1. A Rolling Hut as massively overbuilt  (immense steel i-beams, gargantuan metal chassis and wheels) as these are probably became a Tilting Hut or even a Sinking Hut right around snowmelt.  Not to mention what their sheer passage must have done to the fields over time...'level' probably got pretty scarce.2. The experience they were selling at the outset was 'aesthetic-spartan-rustic'. The design is gorgeously aesthetic. Wood heat is rustic.  But living without electric light and a place to plug into the 'Net is just too damn spartan for people who can afford to spend 135.00 a night on lodging.I asked to take a look inside one of the vacant Huts and fell in LOVE.  These are beautiful objects both outside and in.  I have nothing but compliments for the layout, the style, the efficiency, the way natural light is  handled, everything.  Being inside feels good.  I could stay here happily and never feel awkward, isolated or cramped; no small feat given the square footage and the fact that there's a wood stove in the place.Only problem for me: you have to go outside and use a tank toilet.  Why they didn't build a door that communicated directly from the living space I do not know. As designed, you have to go completely outside and then enter a very chilly little separate chamber near the steps which contains a porta-potty.  Which smells exactly like a porta-potty.This is where ideals and reality collide for me.  I'd GLADLY exchange the electricity for a propane incinerating toilet .  As for the 'go outside' aspect, I'm sure that anyone staying there with small children would appreciate not having to haul them out into the snow in the middle of the night one after the other to use the thing. It was a weird decision, but I wonder, given the 'turn three corners' layout of the toilet area, if the original idea might have been to leave it doorless so you could feel all 'al fresco' and peek out at the view.  It'd work...just not in an area that experiences blizzards.  Putting a door on the area was probably a last-minute thing.I would have used more durable materials for the interior, given that these are rental units. They used plywood for the walls and built-ins, and cork composite for the floors.  There's a lot written on the 'room rules' card about being careful and not letting wet equipment, sharp equipment or dogs ruin things, but I[...]

Yelling Night the White Ox: Terror Attack!


There really isn't a better way to spend an afternoon than digging through dead peoples' belongings.  I spent the past week doing zackly that and having a total blast, on a quest to amass the record collection I never had. Back in 1971 I saved up my allowance and bought a shitty Wurlitzer portable turntable for twenty-eight dollars at Sears.I owned it through Jr. High and High School,  twenty moves, one failed marriage, several cats and a baby.  But despite all that it turned out to be a virtual Volkswagen Beetle of record players...beat it, abuse it, treat it like shit; it just kept on going.The day came when the turntable started running at random speeds, going from a quaalude draaaaaawl to Alvin and the Chipmunks;  which was funny as shit  during one of the Bikers' records but completely unacceptable during Hendrix Live at Woodstock. Upon performing an autopsy, we discovered a lot of change, cigarette butts, bottle caps, Cheerios, a needle worn down to a stub, an interior packed tight with  a giant dusty...thing of some sort, and the white cotton string (!) that ran from the motor to the turntable so caked with grunge that it  had worn down to a thread.  I  picked out all the change, consigned the carcass to the dumpster, and that was that. Since there wasn't any money to get another and there were bills to pay, it was time to sell the records too.I had a chunk of bucks invested in those records, but they were surprisingly easy to let go of and I didn't miss them much.  Part of the reason why was that I didn't own anything that you couldn't hear on every pop-ass radio station in America every hour of the day.  Mainly it was because that, aside from Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, I hadn't actually owned any music I loved.     'Why' hit me years later. Back when I was buying albums, the music I really wanted wasn't carried on the west side of the Willamette. It wasn't even broadcast on the west side of the Willamette until late at night, so I owe at least some of my taste to an inability to sleep and a lack of late-night management presence at radio 101.9 .Of course as soon as I discovered the Internet I started building some shit-hot playlists.  With that on tap, you might wonder 'why bother buying vinyl?'    I'm not a purist. I'm not a trophy hunter. I've been a volume abuser for 52 years so my eardrums probably look like iron manhole covers...but even I can hear the difference between music recorded in the 70's played back digitally, and the same music on vinyl played on a turntable. In that case, vinyl genuinely sounds better, with that lush, plummy tonal quality that only comes from liquid dinosaur. Analog recording wasn't done with a tin can on a string. It was a precise science, and a vast amount of research and money went into producing very specific, highly controlled results throughout, and that included taking into account how the ALL of the equipment and materials involved effected output.  After all, that output was the product they were selling...on vinyl, that went onto a record player, and came out the speaker.  It was the quality of what came out of the speaker, after all, which either brought customers bac[...]



Yes I know I know I know ALL RIGHT ALREADY I haven't posted in a longass time I'M SORRY. Actually no I'm not.  It's been a very intense few months.Awhile back I had to fill out an assessment form which was used to determine whether or not my grandson had ADD-ADHD.  Different behaviors, coping styles, things like that; rated them on a scale of severity or occurrence.  As I was going through I began to notice that not only did it describe my grandson, it described ME.  Long story short, I gots it. Bigtime. Oh holy shit bigtime.Now this is quite a paradigm shift.  You think of yourself as relating to the world directly, right; I mean why wouldn't you?...until suddenly you find out you've merely been coping with reality for 52 years through an intervening perceptual disorder? Yeah, you'd have your paradigm shifted too.  Learning about ADD has been very illuminating, by which I mean 'comprehensively suck-ass.'  I haven't felt this kind of  crawling embarrassment about myself, looking back on my past actions, since I was a hormone-addled 12 - year - old.  On the other hand, there's finally being able to identify the problem and the relief of being able to change it...a relief that I've been clinging to like a tubercular steerage passenger clinging to a lifeboat surrounded by icebergs since it is the only  fucking thing that's been easy or pleasant about this.Well fine, there's been the sudden dramatic decrease in the level of bullshit too.  I've gone from being an unwitting victim of ADD to being very proactive, relentlessly directed and able to maintain certainty.  And that last item has been key.  For me, the issue of 'certainty' has been the number one quality that made ADD so debilitating.  When lack of certainty is hardwired into your experience of reality,  it means that every single waking moment of your life is ruled and defined by a constantly shifting ability to experience stable meaning... and the subsequent core drive to attain it.  Anything snares ones' attention, inspires repeated examination,  leads to questions which lead off into other avenues of unrelated inquiry, which leads to opening 15 different programs on your computer which is by your wallet which makes you wonder where your keys are and also reminds you of Francis Scott Key andOH LOOK A DACHSHUND.  It happens instantly.  All the time.  Just like that you're way off track, and there's a dachshund.When I say 'a constantly shifting ability to experience stable meaning', I should point out that there are times when the range of shift is mild, and even times that it actually locks into the correct location on the scale and operates the way it's supposed to. Of course,  you can't depend on that happening either. Imagine the fun.It's only since I've been taking Ritalin (Adderal ended in flames; made me barf all the time - Strattera turned me into an Emo, only not fun to be around or carefree and upbeat like an Emo, and 52) that I've really gotten a lock on this, and in the course of doing so I have come to two conclusions:1.  I get a lot more things done now. 2. I am a lot happier now. And that's a very good place to be, kats and kittens.  Better late than never._________________________________________I am the last p[...]

6 - 5 - 12


Ray Bradbury died yesterday. 

Anyone who is not appalled that this news isn't  featured on the front fucking page of every newspaper in America has no soul.

How To Get An Opposum Out Of Your Dryer


It is 11:01 and I have just heard a gunshot, close, followed a second later by a man yelling 'Aaa!"I didn't see anyone outside.  Before you castigate me for being a reckless dipshit, know that where I was sitting when these events occurred there are three huge picture windows.   If I was going to be seen by anyone, I would have already been seen, if you catch my drift.  All I had to do was turn my head slightly.  Nope. Nope. Nope.So now what do I do?  Nothing is what I do.  Absolutely nothing.  Which freaks me the fuck out.None of this would have gone through my mind when I lived in Seattle.  I'd have heard the noises, it would have been someone getting shot, and I would have unobtrusively slipped to the floor and butt-scooched my way into another room to call the police.  Same as when I lived in Portland.  That's what you did.  It was tough on pants.But here, since I didn't see anything, I can't do anything...except sit here and worry about spree murderers.The thing is, people fire guns a lot out here.  Back when I lived in a city, you heard gunfire anywhere, it meant one thing, you did one thing in response, and that was that. You at least were left with the illusion of safety, depending on the police department involved.  Situation finished.  Here...? Not so simple.  Sound could simply be travelling particularly well that day.  It could be hunters up in the foothills, it could be a nearby farmer killing a bull calf, it could be smugglers, or just kids shooting bottles off a rock. It could be a drive-by across the border in Huntingdon (thats right Canada, don't be all smug like 'Oh, there's no gun crime here, we're a civilized country' damn old cheese-worshipping puck-humpers with your 'eh?' and your goofyass money.)  It could be someone putting down a dog.  It could be someone test-firing a bird cannon. Shit, for that matter maybe someone found a possum in their dryer.  Talking to the appliance recycler, he says this happens all the time. They come in through the outside vent (the possums, not appliance recyclers.)  You generally don't freak the fuck out about it, though; you leave the laundry room open to the outside and throw some dog food out there to bait him in the right direction. Then you slam the door behind him and buy a louvered metal vent cover. A surprising number of dryers get shot that way, though.  Imagine opening your dryer one morning and there's an ugly greasy possum in there with a mouth full of underpants;  you're going to freak the fuck out. Anyone would.  When I first moved to the country I was played for a rube by an Australian Shepard dog, who herded me, in my car mind you, all the way down the street and into the driveway of his masters' home then ran around the house in furious circles barking.  "Aha!" I thought, veteran viewer of the old 'Lassie' series, "His master is probably in there seriously injured and unable to reach the phone!" (I've also seen one too many LifeAlert commercials.)  So I zoomed back to the police department and filed a report.  Eyes were rolled, my friends.  Then there was the time I called the cops one midnight because I thought someon[...]

A Note from Normal


As you may recall, I was recently diagnosed with ADD.  Nearly three hours ago I took my very first dose of Adderal ever.This is the first time in my adult life that I've ever sustained the kind of mental focus I'm now experiencing for longer than 45 minutes at a stretch.  Not a narrow, intense focus either...a generalized, 'yeah, uh-huh' kind of focus.  And I'm not knocking that; it's interesting in a 'yeah, uh-huh' kind of way.  I'm also discovering just how much of my time and energy has gone into maintaining a whole battery of coping strategies.  Having that extra mental activity absent, letting those strategies go unused for this long is also mildly interesting; the key adjective so far being 'mildly'.  So far, 'normal' as a base state is kind of like moving from Castle Frankenfurter into an anonymous tract home. What in heaven's name do you people get out of this? When my life is going well and outside annoyances aren't being annoying, the inside of my head is entertaining as hell, vivid and colorful.  I experience the world as a succession of intensely interesting, surprising, and exciting things. This is not to say that it isn't also full of giant robot pterodactyls and  wiener dogs and Volkswagens and stuff, because it is.  Apparently the average mind is an index that operates like a three-dimensional flow chart, and query 'x' will always, in the average mind, follow proscribed pathways through that flow chart to arrive at solution 'y'.  My mind, however, is like a latex Habitrail in a state of constant molecular passage through an intricate perpetual-motion sculpture filled with hummingbirds and random explosions.  You will always reliably arrive at 'y'.  I'll arrive at 'y' too, but the process will also trigger a hundred other operations along the way, so I'll simultaneosly arrive at w, r, q and d. And a small cow.On the other hand, my learning and coping abilities, such as they are, have been forged by the kind of undersea pressures that would crush your average lifelong normal thudpucker.  Now that I've emerged from those aphotic depths, lurching like some unimaginably primeval beast from the midnight sea onto the innocent shore, garlanded with seaweed and emanating a presentiment of ancient evil like a foul aura beneath the frozen moons' averted gaze and so forth, beware all upon whom I turn my unswerving gaze.I noted the same effect when I was treated for depression years ago (minus the seaweed.)    Once the fog was lifted, all the strength of will I had developed in the effort to simply survive catapulted me into the lead. I was able to process and internalize twice the recovery twice as fast.  Now I can feel the same potential for forward progress. I think that once I learn how to trust that my attention will remain undivided, anything that I train that faculty upon will eventually give way before it, or be whammed into chowder with a shovel, depending on the mood.Still, I honestly fail to see what this state has to recommend for itself on a long-term basis. This is so...average.  But now I finally understand why the rest of you take drugs. [...]

Souptacular Recipes from Yesteryear


I'd have to nominate Campbells' Soup as the biggest negative influence on the average middle-aged Americans' diet. It was a soup, of course; although unless it was Chicken Noodle I am hard pressed to remember it being served as such.  More often, Campbell's Soup was used as a sauce, an extender, a binder.......with a tip of the hat to DaNator....and apparently as a cake ingredient.In my house, as I suspect it was in many other homes, it was also used a culinary band-aid.  Don't throw away unrecognizably charred horrifyingly over boiled perfectly good food! Just blop a log of Campbells' Cream of Something on top and bake the sapsucker! And don't forget to stick some cheese, pearl onions, tater tots, Corn Chex, cornflakes, fried onions-in-the-can, Doritos, Fritos, Ritz crackers, soda crackers, coconut flakes, walnut chunks, whipped cream, miniature marshmallows or barbecue motherfucking potato chips on top particularly if what's underneath is extra disgusting.*   Take it from one who could hide a lot of evil under a thick coating of Campbell's.  Or a locomotive, or your mother. There was no escaping it! The stuff was everywhere! Any family or group event you attended - weddings, funerals, picnics, reunions, potluck dinners and birthdays - half the food on the table would have been made using Campbell's soup.And so, in the spirit of sharing the dark side of our American culinary heritage, I'd like to present this recipe to posterity:  AUNT LILLIANS' BISQUICK, CAMPBELL'S AND VELVEETA PIZZA... My cousins used to tear this shit up like wild pigs.  CRUST:  -2 cups Bisquick-1/2 cup water...knead for 1 minute then roll out and shape into circle 1/4 inch thick on pan. Pinch dough around edges to form slight rim.TOPPING:-1 can Campbell's Tomato soup, undiluted, shlooped out of can directly onto raw dough and spread with a rubber spatula to cover thinly-1 lb hamburger (crowd pan and boil until grey. DO NOT DRAIN.)-Velveeta cheese, sliced, to cover every single square inch-1 can black olives, sliced in halfBake at 425 for 30 minutes.The thing about this recipe is that it would probably be marginally edible if the cheese was anything but Velveeta.  Velveeta does not melt well when baked.  What it does, is burn.  And at this temperature, it burns rather spectacularly, complete with flames, black smoke and little specks of ash floating around the kitchen; and this is exactly what happened every single time my Aunt Lillian served it.   The smell was exactly what you'd expect any milk product in flames to smell like (i.e a sweaty t-shirt covered in baby formula barf and then used to clean a wood stove.)  In presentation this dish resembled a well-used manhole cover, the hamburger sticking up in craggy lumps beneath a fragile vitreous glaze of burnt processed cheese-food, the olives laid out all shiny and wizened up on top of the thing like little black Volkswagens caught out by an asteroid strike.I trawled the back alleys of my cookbook collection, and here's the closest printed thing I could find right offhand to the above:...from 'Favorite Mormon Recipes'[...]