Monday, May 30, 2011

Conversation with my Dog

Man, sometimes Bennie gets on my nerves. He's a perpetual 4 year old, and our converations when they're not one-sided on my end constantly repeating, "Nooooooo!" go something like this:

Bennie: "Can I go outside?"

Me: "No. You went outside five minutes ago."

Bennie: "But I want to go outside. Can I go outside?"

Me: "NO! You only want to spy on the neighbor's cat and cause trouble. No, you cannot go outside. Sit down."

Bennie: "But I want to go outside. Can I go outside?"

Me: "NO! You cannot go outside. You're only trying to start a fight with Kit-Ka (the cat)."

Bennie: "But I need to go outside. I have to pee. Can I go outside?"

Me: "No. Now shut up."

Bennie: "But I really need to go outside. Can I go outside?"

Me: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Now sit down. Stop whining. Kit-Ka isn't even outside anymore."

Bennie: "But I think Kit-Ka is out there. Can I go outside."


Bennie: "Can I go outside?"

(repeat endlessy)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Living in a Bygone Era

Damned blogger. Now, it won't let me enter a picture with my blog. Anyway.

When I went to that ghost town a few weeks ago and took those great sepia-tone photos, a yearning awakened that I've always had, to go backwards in time.

1890-1910 works for me. Whenever I tell my friends this I get, "Life was so hard back then." Or "People didn't have anything like they do now."

But all of that is relative. How can you miss luxury items that back then, no one had? You can't miss what you have never have known.

Think how nice the absence of technology would have been. No cell, no computers. If someone wanted to contact you, he had to write a letter. You could answer then on your OWN TIME. The lack of bills you would have had. Your only bill would be your tax payment (if you owned the land), and whatever you might have had to charge at a merchantile, that's it.

Coffee in hand this morning, as I begin to read We Went into the Woods, I wonder what things I would miss, how life would really be.

The only two things I would miss would be a fridge and gas stove, which, at least the cookstove would have been available back then, so that leaves only the fridge, which means, to accomodate, you would have eaten differently. More pantry food, whatever's handy, non-perishable left-overs and no cold food, so more of these foods: bread, crackers, cheese, canned food.

That's not a bad trade off.

The only thing I would miss would be able to write as much as I do now, and to read and live in close proximity to a library.

However, I'd be so busy working at many tasks which would tire me out, so I wouldn't really have the time for those things anyway, except maybe at night by kerosene lamp for one hour. And at only 30 min. a night to read, one book would last a long time.

From what I can perceive, the two biggest time-draining pain in the ass things you would have had to have done daily would have been 1. endlessly chopping of wood 2. finding a daily staple (either shooting something or harvesting a grain and garden) and 3. collecting water/laundry. If you had a partner or friend, together those tasks could be greatly lessened. I think living alone as a woman or man would have been close to impossible. The more the merrier. If there were 3-4 of you, and you all remained childless, the easier the tasks would have been to spread out amongst everyone.

Loneliness and isolation wouldn't have been an issue for me, especially if I already had a partner or two working with me. I could always walk to town once every month or two, yack it up, get some kerosene, mail and coffee then split.

Things I would have to have had: a dairy cow (cheese to eat and sell) and a still (booze to drink and sell on the Q.T., maybe to other women marketed as "Natalie's Women's Medicine for Headaches").

What things would you absolutely have to have? What could you do without? What would you have been good at or sucked at?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Humor, Comedy and Gags

What makes something funny or not funny?

Have you ever wondered?

I had a roommate in college who used to say, "I'm gonna chop your tits off!" and then laugh like this expression was the funniest thing in the world. Of course, no one else thought it was funny.

When I was little, I wanted to be a writer/comedian/archeologist (I've suceeded on two of those counts). Ever since then, one of my favorite things to do was to get a rise out of people. Whether it be Mom, Dad, kids on the bus.

It's safe to say, if a person doesn't love to laugh, then I'm pretty much not going to hang out with the dullard.

But what constitutes "funny"?

My favorites are
1. self-deprecation (it takes balls to make fun of yourself--and confidence),
2. sarcasam (saying the reverse of things always kills me),
3. pranks--anything from sticking a sign on someone or something or even wearing a silly hat or making dumb noises, farts, etc.
4. mugging it up--pratt falls, etc.

When Rob and I went to Keystone last weekend and were outside the Holy Terror Mine, we found this weird abandoned metal box attached to the fence. Inside, was a 1940's era phone, which of course no longer worked, so I said, "Pick up the phone and say something stupid into it," and I shot this picture.

But I don't need to have an audience to laugh.

My latest trick when I'm bored at Albertson's, is to whip out my cell phone, when I'm in one of the grocery aisles, and play some of the weird sounds on there that I've recorded and see if anyone notices. 90% of the time, no one notices, wrapped up in their own narcissistic world. But the few who do, look out of the corner of their eye, and I pretend to be seriously involved studying a label on a can of whatever. Then they turn down a different aisle and I laugh.

I don't know what kind of humor that is, but it makes me laugh! So go ahead. Endulge!! Laugh at yourself!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dogs are Just Children with Fur

Today, Rob, Bennie and I went to Keystone and goofed around. We walked through "Old Keystone" which most people neglect, but I think it's the best part: Haley's old Mercantile, the remains (both partially functioning and partially ghost mine) of the Holy Terror Mine, the walking tour of old homes and the Carrie Wilder Memorial Museum. Why anyone goes on the Keystone strip is beyond me. Stupidity?

So we stumbled across the museum actually being open. I've gone before but Rob didn't want to, so he and Bennie played on the old swings outside of the museum that used to be a school.

Do dogs get any cuter than this? Bennie is the only dog I've met who thinks he's human.

My life is so much richer because of him.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I'm Gonna Have To Kick Some Ass Now

Yippee, I look like I live in the ghetto.

What happened? Basement Man came home apparently so ripped he really doesn't have any recollection how he somehow managed to knock out one of my back 1930's style, gorgeous window panes in the door into smithereens.

I come out this morning, write my Birk blog, sip coffee, wondering why it's so cold in the house, go to the pantry, and find all the glass busted out, a huge mess on the floor.

At first I think, "OMG, is there an intruder in the house? (because the smashed pane is right next to the door's lock)" I look around. No one. Then I crept downstairs, butcher knife in hand. No one.

So I knock on Basement Man's door, "Basement Man, you there? WTF, the back window's smashed. WTF???????????" He says, "Yeah, it was probably me. I was pretty hammered last night. I'll fix it later."

Come 1:30 p.m. today, Saturday, was it fixed? NO. He hasn't still woken up and it's 7:39 p.m. So I call Rob, we measure the hole, get plywood and temporarily fix it.

After that, I went downstairs and just opened his door. He was half asleep, a horrible shiner appearing on his face.

"Dude, we need to have a safety meeting soon. None of what's transpired has been either cool or safe."

He said, "It was a bad night last night. I was on a bender." To which I wondered if I was living with a Bukowski character.

So it's fixed for now. My cute house looks ghetto, sort of Pine Ridge Rez, and I'm not digging it. The cost? I called a glass place, $100-195, after Rob and I take the door off and have them measure, then order the glass, then bring the door back in, and have them put the glass in.

Basement Man is one of those new millenials that Baby Boomers and Gen. X have been bitching about.

Peter Pan'ism (not wanting to grow up), irresponsibility. I have no gripes with a person tying one on, but is it too much to freaking ask to do it safely and responsibly?

Made in America?

Is there anything that's made in America anymore that's not crap?

I just realized my first pair of Birkenstocks just turned 19 years old. NINETEEN. Of course, I've had the soles replaced twice. BUT consider this. Until a few years ago, this one pair was ALL I EVER wore except for tennis shoes at the gym. I wore them while I worked on my feet at the newspaper, bookstore (both jobs where you do tons of walking) and now teaching. The Birk designs have changed little throughout the years, too. Good workmanship, excellent design, high quality built to last. In other words, don't try to fix something that isn't broken: a lesson many American companies could learn from, what few manufacturing companies we have left.

I also still have and use my old "Mirage" speakers which are 31 years old. My favorite recliner is from the 1960's.

My washer and dryer are also from the 1950's.

Yet it seems most of the stuff I buy new nowadays, falls apart.

As a country, why do most consumers tolerate this? Why have our standards changed regarding the pride we used to derive from producing a thing made to last?

As a consumer, I refuse to keep buying new just to support big biz. I'll continue to buy good quality old things (so long as I can keep getting parts).

Look around your house. What stuff do you have that's passed the test of time?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Useless Information and Plot Points

It's raining, and I don't feel like walking to the libary to return my overdue books. I'm also procratinating on working on my novel's final rewrite. I know I need more plot points, but putting in all these fake obstacles for the heroine to have to overcome feels so fake and artificial to me. I'm of the opinion that art should mirror life. Life isn't a series of plot points. YET, if you don't have a million of them in there, agents and editors turn their back to you. So I'm making myself read a book on plot IF I can find a good one, amongst the millions out there.

In the meantime, I'm a fountain of useless information. Like, did you know Shirley Maclain is Warren Beatty's sister? OR, my Birkenstocks are about ready to turn 19 years old.

Here's some scribbles from my journal last night:

"Write Lauren Bacall before she biffs it," "Was Andy Kaufmann making fun of Ukranians in his role on Taxi?" "I'd be a perfect wife for a closeted gay man," and "Why are they always mad-looking and fighting in the middle east but never in Norway?"

Pretty damn facinating, I am.

Bennie had a bad day yesterday. He fell asleep on the couch, wearing his hoodie, had an apparently aggressive dream, then fell off, hitting the hard wood floor. He's OK, but he's barred from sleeping up there.

What else? Well, another dude is writing me. He lives in the Black Hills and is very interesting. I can't say more than that because the minute I do, it gets jinxed and he disappears.

But I've got my fingers crossed.

Monday, May 9, 2011

You've Been Deleted!

This morning, I deleted FIVE male contacts off my cell. The funny thing was two of them, I don't even remember. ALL FIVE were contacts that have only been on my phone over the past year.

The story goes, I meet a dude online, he acts like he's into me, we e-mail, then eventually talk and text. We get along wonderfully, then he just disappears. I've read online that many men and women have complained of this sort of behavior. Sociologists venture that the internet has caused a sort of AADD when it comes to dating. Regarding dating/meeting the opposite sex and having patience to see where it goes, many people just cannot socially stay focused and maintain that goal. So they remain online, sniffing around, continually looking for perfection.

In the old days, IF you got up the gumption to walk over to a girl and ask her out, providing that you two hit it off, things often blossomed into a relationship.

But nowadays, sociologists suggest that for many single people, finding a "newer," "better" guy or gal might only be a click away. And so they click, and click and click away from profile to profile on the internet.

This seems plausible. Of course, this analysis doesn't include me. I'm tired of searching, know what I want and am not constantly trying to "trade up" as I see so many guys online trying to do.

T. and I've also theorized that many men only put up a profile on POF to stroke their own egos, to see who's "viewed them" each day, to see how many women will list them as their favorites, to get a thrill, which is exactly why I've changed my profile to "friends only."

There might be thousands of "serial daters" out there, but chances are if guys are truly looking for friends only, they might be more sincere and patient in their attempts to get to know me. I don't want to waste my time, investing hours in someone who's already clicking around looking for other women.

Just a thought. We'll see how that works for now. What the hell, it can't hurt!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Problems with Posts?

I have a couple new blogs to put up but am having technical difficulties--with my roomie in the basement, known as "Basement Man."

Basement Man is a computer whiz. But Basement Man is also eating up all my damned bandwidth. I've asked him, "What are you doing down there, downloading one movie after another?" But I get a nonsensical technical response to the effect of "Well, it must be a router-saurkrauter #231 issue, combined with a 98764a4 issue in a misfunctioned downloading Windows Updates 45-904fr4456K. I'll look into that."


All I know is my wireless cuts out all the time or is so slow I want to throw the laptop out the window.


I Need a Bib!?

Doing laundry the other day, I noticed that every one of my sweatshirts had stains just under the collar and front. It seems I can no longer put anything in my mouth without dribbling down the front of my shirts, creating multi-colored artwork.

What's up with that?
Is is just getting older, or getting sloppier, or just impatient? Do I have a hole in my lip that I don't know about?

The usual suspects are typically coffee, as in, "Yipes, that's too hot," then showering a few drops down the front of my sweatshirt. Or, "I'll just taste this sauce ten more times," hovering over the stove and drizzling the front of my apron with droplets of spaghetti sauce.

White is out of the question. I cannot wear anything white, or the item is trashed. Yup, it's only black for me, folks.

Another thing I've noticed, what's up with the sneezing and accidentally whizzing a tiny bit if you sneeze too hard song-and-dance?

Is this just all pre-menapause fun? Perhaps I've been lax on my kegel exercises (which don't really seem important when you're not having sex anymore).

And the memory issues. I can't seem to remember anything.

What were we just talking about? Oh . . . growing old.

It ain't for sissies.