Saturday, December 28, 2013

Does he like you or does he LIKE you?

Ho, ho, ho.  Happy holidays, bloggers!

 Here's a thought for the year's end . . .



After so long being single, you begin to wonder if it even matters anymore, and you begin to think it doesn't as you measure up your future to what it would be like living with your mother when you're old, in a sort of Grey Gardens kind of way.

That is until you find attraction again.  And not that settling shit I see so many people do.  But real, raw, attraction.

And maybe, just maybe, that glint in his eye is really for YOU.  You even look over your shoulder assuming that wink was for someone else, but there's no one behind you, so maybe he really does like you, or maybe he just had a hair in his eye.  Maybe it's all in your head, because you WANT that person to really be into you.

In that case, what if it was all in your head, and what if it's not reciprocal?  I have had one friend go spiraling off the universe for someone who was just not that into her; this has happened twice with two different friends.

Still life has these complications--where maybe it's possible.  No, Crackie hasn't been in town.  He bailed on coming to see me at the eleventh hour last week.  That dog don't hunt anyway.

But there IS someone I feel chemistry for, someone in the shadows, someone who's even been around a while.  But like the theme of this blog, how do you know if it's even reciprocal?

Only time will tell, but until then, it's key to stay UN-delusional and centered.  Stay tuned.  Keep your head about you.  Stay Calm and Carry On.  Forward, ho!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A New Date vs. Grammar Nazi?

I had a date two weeks ago last Saturday night.  Why am I waiting so long to post this?  Well, because it sucked.

OK, I'll back up.  I met him on POF, a free internet site (that sort of says it all, right?), and on the outside everything appeared to be all right: he liked to hike; he was breathing; he works out.   I have to admit, you gotta get the phone thing going quicker.  Via e-mail, he seemed pretty neat, but on the phone, not so much.  For some reason, I've always been able to detect chemistry on the phone, but this poor fella had no phone chemistry, and talked too slow and kinda hayseedy.  But I figured since he was breathing and still had a pulse, I should go out with him and keep an open mind.  After all, he has a steady job, works out, close relationship with his kids, lives within three hundred miles of me.  It sounded good.

Until I met him. 

He gave me a giant bear hug, which was kinda nice, except for my boobs hurt afterward.  And of course, he wore a baseball cap and his shirt tucked in.  Hello 1986.

About ten minutes in, I realized I was bored.  As in ZERO chemistry.  But this past year, I've noticed women assessing dates more like interviews with future financial portfolios (disgusting, I know, but I'm trying to be more practical about dating), so I tried this "Who cares what he looks like so long as he's nice" theory, and I'm here to tell ya, I don't know how women have done this for hundreds of years, this hooking up/marrying men when there's no chemistry.

I guess it could have gone better had he realized I am a writer and English teacher and at least tried to talk like someone with a third grade education.  He actually said to me, "I don't read books."  Wait, back up.  You don't read?  Then he said, "I never talk religion or politics."  What?  While I was reeling from this, he said, "SUPPOSABLY, I guess I should read now and then, but I don't see the point."

Whoa, "supposably"?  What the fuck is that?

And he said it at least four times the first hour along with this diddy, "I ain't got no . . ."  As in, "I ain't got no brains."

I flinched as if being struck with a bat.  You can drop F-bombs on me all you want.  In fact, I like foul language at the right place and time.  But talk like you grew up in a tar paper shack where literacy was considered optional like say, wearing shoes, I don't think so.

It gets worse.  I started yawning.  I mean really yawning, my eyes tearing, while we were at the fireplace of the Alex Johnson lobby.  At one point, I actually dozed off for a moment.  You know, like you did during boring college classes where your chin dips down, then you jerk wide awake, looking around, paranoid the professor saw you?

Then this poor creature, apparently clueless and with perhaps a mild case of ASPERGER’S, didn't seem to notice I wasn't that into him.  But after a zillion "I ain't got no's" and "suppoablies," I just couldn't stay awake.

Until he reached over and grabbed my hand. 

That jerked me awake!  Out of shock and politeness, I let him hold it approximately ten seconds then jerked it away.  Needless to say, I was now fully awake and plotting an escape.

"Wow, I'm super tired.  I think we should call it a night," I said, hopping up and thanking him for dinner and his time.  He absolutely insisted that he'd give me and my bike a ride home.  Stupidly, I caved.  Then the next thing I know, after he lifted my bike out of his truck, he tried to kiss me!  I gave him a quick switch-a-roo, cheek-block and shook his hand instead.

Crimeny.  Sigh.  Can't there be just a hair of chemistry these days?  Or are there no available men out there other than this?

Speaking of chemistry, Crackie e-mailed me last night and will be coming into town this month and wants to hang out.  I know, I know.  Even though he's emotionally unavailable therefore un-dateable, at least there's still a few crazy sparks between us--though nothing ever happens.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Camp Tales 2013, part X: Leaky Memories


What year was this camping trip?  Hell, I don't remember.  I don't even remember where this was at other than it was Colorado--New Castle maybe?  Here's Doooders admiring the roses while I sipped on a brewski--in the public park, of course.  Wouldn't be a camping trip without a little law-breaking.

One of my favorite birthday cards that I gave away once was a picture of an old lady with a bubble over her head, and she was saying,

"My memory is so bad."  Another bubble pops up and says,
"How bad is it?" and the old lady replies,
"How bad is what?"


Well, the past two years, we've been trying to remember what we did shortly after this picture was taken.  I KNOW that within this time frame, we found a super cool little tavern, and we went in for a "on the road brewski."

The only thing is, we can't remember the name of it, where it was located or when we were there.

"I'm not sure we were even there," Doooders remarks thoughtfully.

"But I distinctly remember this charming old tavern," I retort.  "It was shortly after this picture was taken.  It was even a brick tavern, and I remember looking in through the window!"  Doooders shakes her head and looks doubtful.

Maybe we DIDN'T go in and actually have a beer.  Maybe we just drove by a cute place.  How could our memories be that leaky?  It was after this trip that I started writing down everywhere we go.  Apparently, no matter how much fun we have, if we don't write it down in the camp log, a year later, we forget all about it like it never even existed. 

Aging, beer-drinkin' and camping--
it's a dubious mix, that's for sure.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

What is Food Network Thinking These Days?


Ahhh, a lovely Gallette I made for friends this summer.

Speaking of food, you guys ever watch the Food Network show, The Pioneer Woman, hosted by Ree Drummond?

At the gym, when I work out I watch Food Network, and for the past year, at 10:00 a.m., it has been the lovely Contessa, Ina Garten.  I love her show, full of interesting information about classics, entertaining, wine, cheese, spins on classics and European dining.

But now at that time slot, they've changed  it around so Ree's show comes on when Ina's used to.

Before I start ranting, I'm sure Ree is nice.  I'm sure her neighbors like her, and she's a good mother.

But that show sucks ass.

The other day, I kid you not, she made lasagna WITH COTTAGE CHEESE IN IT.  As in, hello, 1980's.

I'm as enraged as "Adam" was about cooking from Northern Exposure.

If that was not offensive enough, yesterday, her "recipe" for enchiladas, was 1 can green sauce poured over a corn tortilla, with cheese on top, nuked.

Are you kidding me?  This is a "recipe"?

Then yesterday, she made burritoes: ground beef and cumin, refried beans outta the can, can of green sauce on top.

Again, these are "recipes"?  WTF, I call it cooking you did when you first moved away from home, right up there with Ramen noodles, Hamburger Helper.

OK, I get the whole "country thang," going on.

But the show sucks.  All the talented home chefs out there who don't have their own FN show, and we get this?  Can't Food Network turn to say, You Tube and find some bright talent out there?  Recently, I've found some good Paleo-blogger-foodies whose recipes are wonderful.  Why can't they get a show?

Why can't I have a show?

Now, I'm morbidly curious each day, to see what slop Ree's going to throw together.

Maybe Friday she'll show us how to say, fry an egg, or better still, make a peanut-butter sandwich, with jelly.  I can't wait!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Camp Tales 2013, part IX: Scatalogical Humor, part II

Friday, Oct. 25th (don't know why it says July)
My new cabin tent I bought a while back.  Here's Bennie attempting to drop off a log--don't even think of it, Bennie-Boy!

Pretty slick, eh?  Nothing beats a good tent unless it's a good cabin.

Bottom line is that you must camp with only people whom you've known for many, many years, and rather intimately I might add.


Well, if you're sharing a one room primitive cabin or a cabin-tent, you become acutely aware of each others' toilet habits.  I'm afraid in close quarters like this, there's no room for modesty.

I've only camped with FOUR people my entire life.  My childhood friend, Lynne, Gaylord in Nebraska, Robby and Dooooders.  Quite frankly, they're the only people I'd trust to camp with, since they are not offended by my frequent toity-events and scatological humor.  Dooders has learned over the years that ignoring my butt-trumpeting only encourages more butt-trumpeting.  She's learned to smile and just sadly shake her head.

Bowel-movements, discussion of bowel-movements, jokes about strangers' bowel-movements, toilet paper comparisons, and appropriate-stall discussions are all fairly common place.

"Don't use the second stall over," I noted to Dooders in Ouray.  "Someone took a big dumper and didn't flush."  Doooders nodded appreciatively.

Oftentimes, you even go to the dumper together if it's multi-stall building and you have only one key to your cabin between the two of you.

And well, if sitting next to one of your oldest friends, listening to an exclamation of sharts, farts, butt trumpeting shocks you, then maybe you're best off camping with total strangers and doing the "walk of shame" to the lavatory sink without eye contact.

It's not like you can stick your head under the stall and exclaim, "My aren't you making a merry assortment of butt-trumpeting.  By the way, I'm outta toilet paper.  You wanna hand me some?"  So there are a few rules, but not many.

Early morning flatulence has always been a strong suit of mine.

"Pffffssssssssssssst!  Crackkkkkkkkkkk!  POP! POW!" from my lower bunk bed, thunderously shaking the windows of the small cabin.

"Well, good morning to you, too," Doooder noted dryly, her head buried in her sleeping bag.

Really, there are only 4 rules:

1. Always inform your fellow camper of a rotten stall.
2. Always share your Handi-wipes.
3. Always inform your fellow camper if a stall's outta toilet paper.
4. It's always best to keep small talk to a minimum while on the crapper, especially with strangers.  So keep the, "It's been pretty warm out lately, don't ya think?" or "I shouldn't have had that whole bag of candy corn last night," observations to yourself.

I'm lookin' out for us all!  Stay tuned.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Camp Tales 2013, part VIII : More Scatological Humor

Ahhhh, the creature comforts of an inside toity.
But when you're camping, this is not so.  And it wouldn't be a Camp Tale if I didn't have some toity humor now would it?
Most toilets at campsites are vault toilets, literally, a big, foul bucket of shit, and most vault toities lack even the most primitive amenities: running water, or if you DO have some, it's cold only, often no soap, no paper towels, and usually no overhead lights, so you do your business in the middle of the night, in pitch black.  Not a very cheery notion, mind you, when, sitting there, you start thinking of what's directly under your bottom and all the creepy crawlers and spiders who might be laughingly eyeballing your anus and wondering what you taste like.
 So imagine it's 2:00 a.m. and you're snuggled into your mummy bag when you feel a good pee coming.  Oh, no, you think, so cozily wrapped up in your bag, with your pillow perfectly adjusted.  Maybe I can just ignore it and it'll go away.  Only the pressure is overwhelming,  "I'm gonna pee my pants if I don't go immediately" and you frantically start unzipping your bag, preparing to get dressed, find a flashlight and trot off to the pit-toity, which means a good hike through the woods and better lace up your shoes and get completely dressed while you're at it.
Just to take a leak.
Who wants to do all that?
I've never seen the point to all those steps.  Firstly, why the hike?  Secondly, it's at night.  Unless people have night vision, who's gonna see you takin' a leak?
So this year, as Doooders was strapping on her headlamp, sighing and pulling on her shoes, lacing them, pulling on a sweater, I slipped on my flip flops and said,
"Go ahead without me.  I'm gonna go right here," I said.  There was a pause as Doooders must have been mulling this over.
"OK.  But don't pee too close to the tent," Doooder warned.  I didn't bother with pulling on pants.  After all, I'm in the middle of the Utah desert, in the middle of the night.  Who's gonna see?  I pulled on my head lamp, to see where I was going, lest I stumble upon an angry rattler, and lurched out of the tent.
Getting out of a tent is always an act of acrobatics and balance as you step over the doorway and stand up at the same time without bonking your head on the rain-fly while simultaneously quickly zipping the tent up to ward off spiders, ticks, and other rude blood-suckers.  I wobbled a good three feet away, then mused another foot away or so might be prudent.  I assumed the splayed position, yawning then threw the toity paper in the fire ring, turned off my head lamp then stumbled into bed.
The next morning as I woke up and pulled on my shorts and went outside, Doooders stood brewing up some coffee.
"Dude," Dooders began and poured two cups.  "You gotta find a different place to pee.  I said not to pee too close to the tent."
"I didn't," I sorta lied.  "What's the big deal?   It's not like I peed on the tent or something," I noted.
Doooders proceeded to tell me, that with my BRIGHT head lamp on, and in my mildly intoxicated "Who cares" frame of mind, I had not thought to check to see where I was peeing in proximity to the shit-house.  Apparently, I peed in a wide-open clearing, and since there were others also peeing but peeing in the shithouse where you're supposed to pee in the middle of the night, everyone could see me peeing.
"It was like you had a neon light flashing over your head.  I could see you way over at the bathroom.  'Look everyone.  I'm peeing," Doooders described.
Oh well.  All's well that ends well.  I could have had an accidental "Shi-pee-pee" then that would have DEFINITELY been classy, suave and sophisticated.  Indeed, that would have been quite a show for a bleary, half-asleep camper.
Hee hee.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Camp Tales 2013, part VII: Campfire Questions

Nothing beats chips and dip and cold brews around the campfire.

When you're camping on vacation (only applies to real camping, not "motel-camping"), it seems Doooders and I have some rather lively, if not spirited campfire chats.

Something about the starry nights, the wind swept deserts and pine-studded forests just brings out the curious as you're stooped over the campfire, cold beer in-hand, staring primordially into the snapping and popping flames.

It's usually one really good stumper of a question, some years it's two questions, that neither of us can solve the entire week.  They're not necessarily intellectual or spiritual as much as just puzzling.

2011's was: "If pine nuts don't grow on pine trees, why are they called pine nuts?"  Good question.  Did we ever find out?  Nope.  The odd part was just now, as I was re-reading that camp log, I noticed further down, I'd written "Do bears eat them?"  Seriously, who the fuck cares IF bears eat them as much as ARE THERE BEARS IN OUR CAMPSITE?  WTF was I thinking?

The question is usually scribbled down in an alcohol-fueled haze then later researched after the vacation.  Naturally, even if Dooders and I were smart-phone-a-holics, they'd be rendered useless in the back country.   We usually camp in areas with no signal for miles, where even cold beer and ice is hard to find.  Last year, we were up in the Crazies, 40 miles from the nearest one-gas-station town, let alone cell phone tower.

Some years are, I'm afraid, too boozy, the remains of the scribbled question rather dubiously scratched down from the night before and hardly legible.  "Why dooos the K*&dls at Christmas time for gibberish ass-sneeze insize a mothball-cake?"  Later translated, WTF?

Other years are unmistakeably Cheech-n-Chong-like--such as the time when Doooders couldn't figure out if the strange soot stain on the rim of the campfire ring was a ghost-face, or simply an ad for Kriskuits--if you don't know what the hell  I'm talking about then I've made my point.

This year's question was a two-parter.  So we're particularly proud of ourselves.

Here goes--
1.  How can the reality show, Full Throttle, (based on the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally) be so popular when its stars are so amazingly stupid?  Go ahead and Google/Youtube it.  You'll be astounded.  A gal named "Angie" allegedly sits on men's heads and is photographed . . . for money.

2. Has there ever been an openly-Mormon rock-n-roll idol other than Donny and Marie Osmond?

Given we have had a Mormon running for the presidency, we found this question rather vexing.  There almost SHOULD be a token Mormon rocker, shouldn't there?  There was Creed, but who knows what brand of spirituality they claimed.  There's just something about rock-n-roll mixing with Christianity that doesn't float.  It's like combining gasoline and ice cream.  Doesn't mix.  But why?

Anyway, stoke up that fire and pass the Triscuits.  I'm on a roll.  More later.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Camp Tales 2013, part VI: Travel Food From Hell

Ahhhhh, now THIS is what I like to see on a camping trip: a fun biker bar, filled with long-haired handsome biker-rock-n-roll dudes.  Easy on the eyes.  Easy on the wallet.  What more could you ask for?
However,  this was not the case in Ouray, Colorado.  Sadly, this was from LAST year's vacation in Montana.
After we were skewled for being "old ladies" by the five-year old (OK, OK, 25 year-old) whose ass I should've kicked, we stumbled, half-starved, around Ouray trying to find food and stupidly going to the bar the baby-girl suggested for senior citizens--Ouray Brewery, an impressive, 3-story affair.
At the beginning it was promising; a cute little bartender recommended a fine pale ale as we sat on the 3rd floor terrace over-looking the quaint town.
"Ahhhhh," Doooders and I sighed after a nice long sip.  After all, it'd been an entire hour since our last brew.
We perused the menu, but every damned entre on the BAR menu was over $13 bucks.  This was just a tavern/"ale house" with food.  It's supposed to be cheap.  It's supposed to be greasy.  It's supposed to be good.  After all, it got good reviews on Yelp.
"Gawd, Doooders, everything on this menu is expensive," I noted.  Earlier in the day, Doooders had over-paid $15 for a cup of coffee with about a quarter cup of scrambled lifeless rubbery eggs on spring greens while I only had a $7 cup of coffee and entertainingly swatted flies at our table.  So we were REALLY starving by now.
"Let's get the Mozzarella Moons and the hummus with veggies.  How could they possibly screw that up," Doooders noted.  I nodded ravenously.

Doooders went up to the bar and posted our order then came back to our table looking pale and shaken.  What was it, I thought.  Did she see Cactus Man here?  Nothing else could have afforded such a scare.

"Doooders," I start alarmed.  "What's wrong??!!"

"The bill was $32," she sputtered.

"$32 bucks for two appetizers?!" I squeaked.  "This BETTER be fucking good."

Twenty minutes later, the bartender brought us over a plastic, tissue-paper lined basket with 4 wads of shriveled mozzarella, each piece smaller than a jalapeno pepper, and a strange grey blob of hummus served with 4 pieces of  celery with brown ends, the size of my pinkie, and some slimy carrots, which, starved, I proceeded to eat anyway.  Dooders passed on the celery sticks and carrots and ate the 2 pieces of red pepper, wiping the slime off them first.

"Do you have any bottles of Ensure to-go?" I wearily asked the baby-bartender.

"HUH?" he grunted.

"Never mind."

Well, the GOOD news was that no one got the squirts or threw up later at camp, AND a good lookin' biker from Florida sat down next to us and chatted to us for a while.  But our next Ouray trip means, bringing our own food, and cooking in camp.

And next time I see that woman, I'm gonna skewl her right in the ass. . . . Stay tuned for more Camp Tales.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Camp Tales 2013 part V: "Hey, OLD chicks Can't Go There!"

Doooders, at the head of the Historic Western Hotel's bar!

After an entertaining couple of hours perusing the Historic Western Hotel Bar in Ouray, and vigorously snapping pictures in hopes of capturing a forlorn ghost on camera, we grew weary and decided to refill Dooder's "Beer Prescription" somewhere else.

I hadn't had a single "good-lookin' rock-n-roll biker spotting" yet for the vacation, and it was getting old.  So we decided to hit Main Street and scope it out.

I spotted a young woman in her early 30's having a smoke outside the post office.  She appeared to be local and looked somewhat friendly, so Doooders and I ventured over to her to quiz her about Ouray's night life.

"Excuse me, do you know of any entertaining bars around here?" I asked.  "A biker bar perhaps," I added hopefully.

"Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll," the girl started and looked us up and down as if we were Soviet spies.  "There is a good place down the street.  BUT," she paused, exhaling a long puff of smoke and giving us another questionable look as if she'd caught us peeing in public.  "It's where the YOUNG people go."

"Oh, YOUNG people," I mumbled sort of in shock as I looked over at Doooder whose mouth had fallen open.  What does one say to that?  "Well, I was just wondering if you knew of a good nursing home that has a bar in it?"  Or, "Thanks for compliment.  Do you know the direction to the local A.A.R.P. ?"

The young lady sighed as if we were impossibly daft, hard of hearing, and perhaps mentally-challenged because we were over 40.  "There's the Ouray Brewing Company down the street," she offered.

"Thanks.  I hope they give us our senior citizen discounts," I said sarcastically.  And we left.
Apparently, everyone over 40 needs to start wearing Depends and stock up on Ensures--this is news to me. 

What a fucktard.   It's not like we were dressed in "Mom Jeans" that go up to our boobs, or even worse, bling-jeans and spiked heels, like some sort of Cougars.  Where did she get off with that?  Step off woman.  You're lucky I didn't "Skewl" you and kick you in the ass.

So off we went in search of 1. good lookin' dude spottings 2. biker bars and 3. cheap food.

Stay tuned.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Camp Tales 2013 Part IV: Haunted "Western Hotel"

After fleeing the frightening experience with The Texans at the Ouray Museum, we were terribly thirsty.  We needed beers quite badly, I'm afraid.  Dooooders looked parched, her complexion pale and her demeanor listless.  Her walk was no longer lively, and she looked alarmingly dehydrated.  Dr. Duder promptly wrote out a "Beer-prescription," and Dooders suggested we look for a place to fill it.

So we found ourselves visiting a few places (all with great stories, mind you), but this place was the most entertaining by far because it was so intriguing, and well, so spooky.

As in, 1980 called.  Kubrick's got a new film out.  You might recall it, The Shining.

Apparently, this hotel is one of the few remaining 1880's wooden frame hotels left standing in the old West today.  My guess, is that is because it's not burned down.  So many old west towns lost their wooden frame buildings to fire.  Leave it to some drunken sot to kick over a lantern in a barn, and poof.  Fifty or more years of history down the drain.  Especially, saloons, which are of course my favorite thing in the world and the only place I feel truly at home.

We didn't SEE any ghosts as much as felt an atmosphere of weirdness.  Firstly, no one who worked there appeared to be a local.  In fact, no one who worked there was even from America.

When you're in small town, America, this is just weird. 

"How old is this place? Who built it?  What is its history?" I anxiously queried noting the 100-year-old-looking back-bar. The doe-faced server, young enough she could have been my grand-daughter, looked at me blankly then ran outside and read the date on the outside of the hotel.

"1891," she announced as she walked back in.  Rocket science, I thought.

How could anyone work here and not be curious about this place?  How could you work here and not know anything?  Besides being mentally-challenged, there's really no excuse.

An 8-foot tall, impossibly-ancient, painting of an attractive, naked lady graced the bar behind her, which was alarming on many counts.  Firstly, no respectable Victorian woman of the era of this bar would have ever posed in the nude.  Secondly, what led this portrait to be here behind a bar in Ouray, Colorado?  Who was she?  What was the story, damnit!?

"Who's that?" I asked curiously pointing to the painting.  Certainly, it was a madam of the night from the 1880's.  No doubt, someone with a notorious history a mile long.  Maybe she was murdered behind the bar by one of her many young, handsome lovers who was jealous of her many sordid gentlemen-callers.  I waited in anticipation for undoubtedly a juicy answer.  Doooders blinked and set down her beer, looking at our bartender expectantly.

When I'm on vacation, I want to see the local color.  A red-headed local named Flo, who knows everyone's business going back 100 years.  An answer such as, "1891, and it was my Great-great Aunt Ethel's sister-in-law who everyone knew was a concubine, scoundrel and thief.  In fact, legend has it that blah, blah, blah," evoking a fat tip on the bar from Doooder and I.

"I dunno," she said rinsing a glass.  "I'm from the Netherlands," she added as if that explained everything.

I sighed heavily.  If there's ANYTHING a writer can't stand more, is a story that's left untold.  And if there's ANYTHING that a former news-reporter hates is a dead-end.

But this wasn't the only disappointing encounter we had that day with a young woman.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Camp Tales 2013, part III: Cultural Day

Ahhhh, the Ouray Historical Museum, Ouray Colorado.  What's one of my favorite things about camping out-of-state?  Why, checking out the local culture, of course.
Doooders and I pulled on clean shirts, brushed our teeth, slapped a little deodorant on to be respectable, then trotted off to see the museum this day.  Cultural sites, usually local bikers' bars, gabby coffee houses, tasty diners, small volunteer-run museums are all places where you can tap into the pulse of a community and find out what it's really like.
This particular museum, I was thrilled to find, is housed in the old former "Miner's Hospital."  So I was overjoyed.  Maybe I'd catch a ghost on my camera, I eagerly thought, as the stairs going up to the second floor creaked impressively under my feet.  I copiously snapped  pictures, hoping to catch a shadowed form, perhaps a miner in his last throes of death, I imagined.
The museum was silent--the way museums that are likely haunted should be.  Volunteer curators whispered to each other as if they were librarians, everyone talking softly under their breath.
Whoever put the exhibits together had a fairly dubious sense of humor, I found, on the second floor, in the room that was the old "Operating Room."  The placard on an easel near the exhibit cheerily reminded us, there was no such thing as anesthesia or cleanliness during operations.
A mannequin from the 1960's dressed as a miner from the 1800's lay on a gurney with a fake blood soaked towel wrapped around what appeared to be an amputated leg.  A bottle of Jack Daniels sat jauntily by his side.  How cheery, I thought.  Nearby, a 1960's female mannequin dressed as a nurse with an astoundingly bad wig, looked on, holding a scalpel.  It was all rather alarming in a ghoulish sort of way, and I hoped the local grade-schools thought twice about taking a field trip here.
Suddenly, the quiet solitude of the museum was broken by boisterous voices from outside. 
"Ahhhhhh!" Dooders and I shouted as we accidentally bumped into a stuffed black bear with a dog-like collar reading "Jimmy" on it.  "Cripes," I exclaim.  Apparently, "Jimmy" had been the miners' doctor's pet, but had to be taken down as he had gotten "too friendly with visitors."
I looked out the window and saw a gigantic truck, a dualie, the kind you'd expect to see in the Dukes of Hazard, one that had to be driven by someone with a name like Rooffus or Bufford.  I glanced at the license plate and noted it was from Texas.  I looked down the stairwell, to a large Texan family loudly entering the museum. 
I say "large" because all of them were large, fleshy things, sort of reminding me of something from Honey Boo-boo.  There was a grandmother, a great-grandmother, a great-great grandmother, a mom and a dad in loud tourists' shirts and an assortment of mewling children.
But what struck me as amazing was their deep southern accents.  I could hardly understand them.  It was as if they were from a foreign country speaking a different language.
"Hey Paw, whaaaaaaaaaaaazzz dat dare?" the littlest boy asked his father and pointing a fleshy hand to a mining tool.
"Waaaaaaaaaaaaaayle, daaaaat's a shit-shoveler, sawwwwwn."  Then the father proceeded to read every placard to every single solitary exhibit aloud, in astoundingly high volumes, to everyone in the family--to everyone in the museum, I might add.
The windows shook as he thunderously spoke.  Glass figurines threatened to topple.  I wanted to shout, "SILENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and sternly point to the sign on the wall to be quiet, but the Texan family treated the museum as a carnival, everyone gleefully shouting, hopping about and reading every placard in the place in voluminous tones.

Doooders, and I immediately retreated to the basement, but the Large-and-in-charge Texans followed us down there, annoyingly reading everything that they saw slowly, loudly, in bellowing tones.  We ran to the mining exhibit, but they gleefully followed us there, too.
Worse still was the awful stench of Axe the father wore.  He must have sprayed the entire bottle on that day, coating his hair, skin, clothing, hat and shoes with it.
It gave Doooder a headache, so we escaped to the rock-exhibit in the other part of the basement, but the Texans followed us to there, too.  It was if we were all playing hide-and-go seek.
"OMG," Dooders moaned holding her head.  "That Axe-man is giving me a migraine."
"Don't worry Doooder.  I'll find a place for us to hide."  But there weren't any places, and The Texans were happily trotting around the corner to greet us.
I looked for an escape hatch, an emergency exit, but there was nothing.
So we knew our time was up, admitted defeat and headed to the haunted hotel bar down the street for brews and aspirins. 
Doooder's headache abated; the beer flowed, and the Texans never followed us there, thank goodness .   .   .  Stay tuned! 

Camp Tales 2013: Lower Calf Falls, part II

So where was I?
Finally, we got to the end of the trail to our reward: a cascadingly beautiful waterfall, droplets splaying out, catching in the light of the sun and reflecting it back like diamonds.  Others had stumbled there, too, and were either passed out on the beach, recovering (or praying their gratitude--it was hard to say), as others re-hydrated in the cool water. 
I stripped off my boots and jumped into the waterfall.  Immediately, my burning skin cooled; my mosquito bites ceased itching, and I was in heaven.
Everyone was ooing and ahhhing.  Dooooders snapped off a few pictures and changed into her swimsuit behind a clump of bushes.  About an hour later, completely re-hydrated, I was ready to go when an amazing thing happened.
I got my second wind.
I'm always slow to start, but when I get my second wind, I'm pretty much capable of anything--running marathons, lifting small trailer homes, carrying a horse, toting military tanks.  Besides, I had 3 bottles of water left, and I was re-hydrated.
"Come on, Dooooders, let's step up the pace," I exclaimed joyfully hiking ahead of her.  Doooders, going too fast and hard in the beginning, had used up all her energy and merely grunted as I trotted by.  Suddenly remembering the small bottle of Malibu rum in the cooler of the car, I never felt more elated and for the fun of it, took off at a brisk trot, passing other slow hikers as Doooder labored behind me huffing and puffing, her former zap and Marine-Corps drill instructor-zeal entirely gone.
"You OK on water?" I called out joyfully behind me.  Dooders didn't answer, merely grunted.
Record time was made skipping back to the vehicle, Doooders laboring behind me, entirely soaking wet from perspiration, purple-faced, and making wheezing noises on occasion. 
I was in heaven.  Not only had I figured the rum would be delightfully chilled by now, but I also recalled two light beers were also in the bottom of that cooler.
Suddenly, under my foot, I felt a flapping on my sole.  It was like the slapping sound you hear when you walk in flip flops.
I look down and see that I had entirely blown out the soles of my sturdy Merrill's.  I'd literally hiked my own boots to their death.
But who cared?  I had Malibu rum in the cooler. 
"Unlock the trunk, Doooder," I call out joyfully since I'd made it to the vehicle first, Dooder stumbling, lurching and mumbling incoherently behind me.
Disregarding the children scattered throughout the parking lot with their families, I tilted the wonderful concoction down my throat in ecstasy as Dooooders grappled with several water bottles chugging them as fast as she could.  Her hair was matted to her head in an alarming fashion, and her face was the color purple of the irises in my front yard.
"You OK?" I ask.  Dooders didn't answer, only cracked open another water bottle and sucked it down.  I thought she'd pour the last one over her head, but she drank it then refilled it from a spigot outside the vehicle.
It's hard to say what was better: finally getting into that waterfall, or getting into the goodies in the cooler.
But it was damned well worth it.  Stay tuned for more "Camp Tales."


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Camp Tales 2013: part 1, Calf Creek Falls Hike, Utah

Pretty fluffin' amazing, huh?  This is where Doooders and I went on vacation in southern Utah.  And it wouldn't be summer without some good old-fashioned "Camp Tales" right?
Well, the hike wasn't what I would call "easy" nor did it offer the worthless ratings-scale that the park service usually offers from "Vigorous" to "Easy."
It did say, "Walking can be strenuous, especially in hot weather."  Moronically, I somehow missed this tiny warning in  .008 sized font on my pamphlet.
"Doooooder," I stammer breathlessly almost 20 minutes into the hike as I'm covered in perspiration and mosquito-bites, "Did you pack the booze?" I whine.  We brought a tiny bottle of Malibu coconut flavored rum to commemorate the end of the hike, and I needed a nip, NOW.  As in right the fuck NOW.  My mouth watered just thinking of it.
"Why no, I thought you did," she replied non-chalantly.  I stifled a whimper and prayed she was kidding.  She wasn't.
"N-o-o-o-o-o-o!!!!!  We MUST have booze after this hike.  Let's run back to the car and get it," I pleaded.
"No, we must press forward," says Dooders as she marches on, reminding me very much of the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket.  Soon, I alarmingly realize that I'm very much short on my water supply.  It's about then that I start feeling stabbing pains in my calves and turn my mind to more pleasant topics such as dehydration and heat-stroke.  Walking through the southern Utah desert is very much like parading through two feet of powdered sugar.  You can never seem to make much progress.  Your feet sink through the 145 degree sand, trying to find purchase while you're stomping slowly through it, marching quite similar to how a zombie wearing snowshoes might march. 
"I . . .can . . . no . . . longer go on.  You might have to go on without me," I announce after about 2 hours in.  I fall over a rock and gasp for air.
"Oh, you'll be fine.  Think how great it'll feel to be at the falls in the cool, icy water," Doooder replies cheerfully.
"I . . . NEED. . . beer," I gasp.  Doooders only shakes her head and we plod on.
I suddenly feel for what the Mormons must have endured on their desperate journey through the desert.  My knees hurt; my skin feels like it's peeling off my body I am so hot.  I'm starving, and my back hurts.  Even my eyelashes hurt.  A bevvy of mosquitoes attack me, and one even bites me inside my ear which was simply the last straw.
"Acckkkkkkkk!  Jezus!" I scream and sort of throw a full blown temper-tantrum, jumping up and down, purple-faced, hair standing on end, slapping mosquitoes and giving an amazing show to the group of Asian hikers who walk past me, carefully avoiding any eye-contact.  "When the FUCK does this hike end?" I scream.
By now, even Doooders begins to wonder if there's really a waterfall at the end.
"It's just around this corner," she says dubiously, but of course it's not.
Finally, after about a dozen, "It's just right around this corner's" we hit the falls about an hour later.
More later.   I promise.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Older Dudes Dating Way Younger Chicks, are you fucking kidding me?

Me and my MAIN Man, Bennie.  Bennie goes for older broads; he's got good taste.

Anyway, today, as I was cruising home from the gym, I saw this dude's S.U.V. who've I'd admired from afar since he's an engineer at the same place that shares my gym (not the same engineer as the guy who's crushing on me, different one this time).  He looks like Justin Bateman only with Drew Carey glasses.  Hot.  Intelligent.  Witty.  I'd put him at 40-something.

One day last year we bumped into each other, and exhanged a few words.  Since then, and the explosive hotness I've felt since then, I've made sure I look hot while cruising by his office window as I head to the gym.

So, today, I was splitting from the gym and rode by Murphy's, this trendy gastro-pub, when I noticed his S.U.V.  Since his S.U.V. stands out in a crowd with its Yakima on top and many bicycle stickers, I knew it was him.  Already, because of his outdoor-enthusiast stickers all over the Yakima, I know we have a ton in common right outta the gate.

Excitedly, I pulled in and went to the patio.  There he was.

GORGEOUS.  Geek Sheik, that he is.  He was sitting with a slightly feminine looking man.

So I plopped down at the outside bar and thought, "He's gay."  Oh, well.  Maybe we can be friends at least some day, do a little biking together, sigh.

Then his friend leaves.

And Hottie walks right by me to go to the restroom.  I wonder if he recognizes me.  How can he not, I wonder as I've been going to this particular gym for years.  And well, damn it, I look good.

But he then goes back to his seat.  A few minutes later a young lady, easily only 25 years old and beautiful sits down next to him.

I study them in the covert way that only I can do.

I note that this young lady is trying to look older (more mature) than she is in years, hence, sophisticated sunglasses, hair in a bun, Ina Garten-style neck scarf that no one her age would wear.  She's as pretty as me, but 25 years ago.

Then she notices me noticing them, only she must not say anything to him, for he never turns around.  Instead, she puts on her dark sunglasses, circa Jackie O'Nasis era.  This is obviously a ploy to watch me, while I'm watching them but appear undetected, for it's not sunny at all where they are sitting.  I'm a fucking writer, a natural detective and damned good at what I do.

Meanwhile, the guys sitting next to me, total strangers, embark on a hillarious conversation about a drunk that they're watching who's passed out a couple tables away.  They engage me, and I pay attention to them for awhile.  Eventually, they leave.  Bummer.  So I go back to watching Hottie and his baby girl.

I was totally confused by Hottie and why he'd be hanging out with this INFANT when there's obviously well-seasoned, hillarious, wild hotter women out there, well, say like me.  Why isn't she snagging some 25 year old with his MBA?  Why my hottie?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, 1945 called, and Bogie wants his fedora back.  I GET that in the "old" days men went for young broads, because men back then, were spoiled rotten in a society that doted on  white men and the privies that they got.

But this is 2013.

What. The. Fuck. Gives?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer time, Summer time

Me at the gym, sporting different hair these days for summa-time, summa-time.

So what's new?  Not much.

I met my friend last month, and we had cocktails and a fabulous dinner at Enigma, then he had to dash back home (a couple hours east of here) for work.  He's an engineer and is currently wearing two hats at his workplace.  Is he "hot" like I usually go for, not really.  But he's not fugly at all.  In fact, he has a nice smile and kind eyes.   And he's tall, in shape, etc.  So, we'll see.

And we're friends, and I LIKE it.

I was having a conversation with Cookie yesterday over a beer, about kids, being a single mother, dating.  (I have no kids, but I am a single-doggie mother).  And "dating"  hahahahahahha.  Whatever.

She said, "You know, I just can't see dating at this time.  A blended family, everyone getting along.  I just can't do it.  I don't have time.  My kids take up my time."  I told her I didn't blame her, and I know TWO women who, while their kids were under 18, refused to date at all, focusing their engeries on simply raising their kids.  She said she couldn't agree more, but that her sister had chastised her for not wanting to date anyone.  I, however, commend her.

As it should be.

I'm not sure why women rush into dating so quickly.  I've been "done with dating" since last August.  I can only do friendship first, and well, anything else has simply got to wait.

Anything worth anything is worth waiting for, not rushing through, folks.  But that's my "life of hard knocks" talking, my "truth" as it will.

More later.

They'll be some upcoming "Camp Tales," as Doooders gets here soon.

Friday, May 3, 2013

New Friends and Summer on the Horizon

Ahhhhh, spring is here.

Or so we think.  But I hope it is.

It's Friday, time to flee, and time to meet a new friend.  I'm excited to make a new friend, for we share one big thing: Northern Exposure.

Isn't that grand?

More later.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Feminism and Loss of Identity

Apparently, Once Again, I'm RIGHT

I will admit sadly, because I'm reading this Gloria Steinhem book, and it's rocking my world.  It used to be that I looked around and saw women disappearing into men/relationships left and right.  They'd find a boyfriend, slowly stop hanging out with their old friends.  Sometimes, it'd be abrupt.  They'd find a new boyfriend, and BOOM you would hardly hear from then again . . .  UNTIL they broke up.

Remember in high school, so many girls were so obsessed with finding a boyfriend?  Guys weren't obsessed that way.  Instead, they were obsessed with other things, like goals/sports and sure sex was always on their mind, but not disappearing into a relationship.

If we've made such leaps and bounds with the women's movement, why are girls and women still doing this?

Then I wondered if they were really disappearing, or if I was losing my mind.

Then after I started reading Gloria's Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, and she vindicates, using many reports and studies, that women do indeed DISAPPEAR into men, or better put, they disappear into the "relationship."  I feel better: I'm not losing my mind. Thanks, Gloria!

Here's her book.  I recommend it highly for all women who are independent and would like to stay that way.

It's not "focusing on their relationship" like Dooders said. It's disappearing into it.  Sure, some men do this too, but it's very rare compared to the rates women do it.

In fact, there's this book dedicated to this very phenomenon:

AND, scads of everyday articles about it such as this:

As Mamie remembers, Carrie noted from Sex in the City, "If two souls have only one thought between them, something's very wrong."

I have been enchanted with men before, and even obsessed sometimes, but I can say, I have never lost myself.  In fact, the shortest time I dated someone before living with them was a FULL two years, and even then, the guys gave me tons of room, and I never dumped my friends who would have kicked my ass if I did.

So what gives, what with all the modern changes we've made, why do women disappear into a relationship?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Alaska--Where Dreams are Born

My Northern Exposure fans will recognize this one as I was priviledged to go here last summer--ahhhhh.


What is with that place?  I've been obsessed with it as of late.  As my friends know, I've got the soul of an adventurer, an explorer.  One day, with no reason, I just picked up and moved out west to where I am now.  No man, are you kidding me, influenced this.  In fact I had a boyfriend at the time, whom I left to move out here.  No job influenced this, you kidding me?

I just wanted to explore.  This was 14 years ago.

Now, I have a good job, respect, a great house.

Yet, still I find my foot itchy of late.

Alaska.  The Yukon.  What is it?

As Stretchie said to me a few weeks ago, "Neums, why not?  You'd love it there.  Eccentrics, artists, mountain men.  It's YOU."  As Matt is always saying, "Natalie, you'd never come down to the lower 48 again."

Something about that place touches my lone wolf soul, makes me want to buy a truck, fill it with my books and antiques, grab Bennie and just. . . . GO.

I could see living in Unakleet, Palmer or Talkeetna.  Even Anchorage.  I could see infusing the culture with my culinary skills, opening up a bistro and creating masterpieces out of moose and elk.

What is it about that place?  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Craziness, Spring Fever and Other Musings

If you can't have a sweet doggie begging for his Easter basket, what have you?

What's new?

Well, I'm really proud of one friend of mine who's dating this dude, and just takin' it easy-peasy, slow, nice and healthy.  I think he's teaching her lessons, inadverntantly, about herself.  So it's fun to see.  He's not her "the one" but who cares?  Why do we Americans put so much stress on that?  Just have fun and live in the Eckert Tolle moment.

What else?  Talked with an old friend of mine, whom I adore.  She's vice pres. and CEO of one of our nation's biggest mobile phone companies, yet, she's as humble a person I've known, and I've known her for almost 30 years.  She's what I call a "natural feminist."

A Natural Feminist doesn't have to toot her own horn. She's not into material possessions, comparing herself to the Joneses.  She doesn't NEED kids to define herself, and she doesn't disappear into a man either.

She just, well, just IS.

I love how the universe has been moving me along to these great women-friends.  And I'm chomping at the bit to read Gloria Steinem's Revolution From Within.

Ironically, there's a wealthy, attractive, Harley-riding, grounded mechanical engineer-investment banker who's interested in me locally.  Meh.  He's nice, and I told him we can most certainly explore our friendship. 

It's funny.  When you're entirely 100% independant and comfortable, really good men are attracted to that.  Maybe it's the chase?  I'm not desperate and love my quiet life.  I do not disappear into a man, nor do I need one to feel completed.  Or maybe it's the calm from within that they like?  Either way, I'm in the moment and have no hurries.

Stay tuned, folks. And simply just love the moment.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Envy, Jealousy, Sloth, Coveting and Other Vices

Here was a fun little dive Doooders and I found two years ago, and I'm sure there were vices by the bucketload that have occurred here: lustfulness, pride, envy, jealousy, coveting, etc.

What is your vice?  Not a habit like say drinking, smoking, lighting your farts on fire, but what's the one weak downfall that you have, your Achilles Heel?  Do you try to keep it in check?  Or do you only TELL yourself you keep in check when you really don't.

Are most people aware or ignorantly UNaware of theirs?

I go through little intense spells where the Universe will show me a quality in people that I despise, and then it'll show it to me over and over again with many people, and I then wonder, what are you trying to tell me Universe?  Are you trying to make me sick of the human race or just more attuned to my own judgemental pronouncements toward others, or are you trying to warn me that I have this vice as well and need to work on overcoming it?

Lately, I've been seeing a lot of sloth and envy around (bear in mind I work with the public, so I encounter people in masses every day).  I've been conscious about envy and try to be aware of it, conscious of it in myself.

But look around.  Take note.  Then take that note home to yourself.

Do you WORK to avoid that which is your weakness, to climb over that, or do you live in denial?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Are you a Foodie or a Food Moron?

Benny says, "Let them eat cake!"  This was a particularly amazing cake, I might add, that I created for Rob's birthday.


Today, it got me thinking after listening to some strangers go off on food.

What does it mean to be a fine appreciator of cuisine?  Does everyone have the capacity or is it a learned taste?  Are there food morons out there?

I think so.

After listening to some Food-Morons today, talk about food, I think the appreciation of food is more like art.  You have the intellectual capacity, or you do not.

I overhead one moron say he doesn't like mayonnaise.  Really?  Not even homemade?  Are you an idiot?  Then the other moron said he liked some entree at Applebees.  Are you serious?  I wanted to interrupt with, "YOU DO know that their food is 'Corporate' food, made, frozen or canned elsewhere, then only re-heated on the premise you established.  You DO know that you fucking idiot, right?"  But I shut my chocolate pie hole.

Then, the other person attempted to show he's a foodie by saying that now and then, "I try a new chicken sandwich or chicken entree in a restaurant."  WOW.  Chicken.  That's all you'll eat?  Of all the millions of food combinations with grains, proteins, fish, meat, game, that's all you'll eat?

It lead me to some interesting conclusions.  Americans do NOT like to stretch their palettes.  They do not like to try new things.  They like what they like and nothing more.  When they DO try something new, they are already negatively telling themselves in their mind that they do NOT like it.

What's next to come out of a nonfoodie's mouth, "I don't like milk in my coffee.  I prefer Coffee Mate." or, "I'd really prefer NOT to have that fresh dairy whipping cream.  Please give me some Cool Whip."  OR "No, I'd prefer NOT to have that Stilton cheese.  I'd prefer to have Easy Cheese."

OK, my blood pressure's rising.  Better sign off.  Good night!  I'm looking out for all your palettes.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Greatest "Almost" Romance Ever

Happy Presidents' Day.
Wait, this is Crazy Horse.  OK, Happy Inspirational Leaders Day.

How was everyone's weekend?

Mine was super chilly.

Crackie came up from Custer, and we spent most of the day together before I went over to Mr.  J's house for a Bitchin Kitchen Fest and excellent food and company.

Crackie?  From Custer?  Sigh.  Yeah, Yeah, I know what you're thinking.  Be careful.  But Crackie and I are just friends.  Despite everything we went through, we never even slept together, gasp.

It's hard when he leaves, because I think he he is one of the most gorgeous men (inside and out) whom I've ever met.

And like always, we're passionately laughing and talking at the same time, and so many coincidental things happen between us.  Like, we're both reading the same books; we finish each other's sentences.

We spent the whole day together, used bookstore shopping, going to Sam's Club, and we had a fabulously romantic lunch.  The whole time, arms linked together or holding hands like two best friends.

The chef at the bistro said to me, as I was trying to pay for a piece of Sage-Derby cheese, "Your husband's on the other end of the counter waiting for you."

Your "husband."  I laughingly told Crackie this, and said it's because we just naturally look good together, and when we're around each other, we both glow-- he just smiled.  Sadly, I might add.

Star-crossed lovers=lovers who, for whatever the reason or season in the universe, are just not meant to be together at this one point and time.

There's nothing sadder than that.

There's the "Mistake" the guy you wish you'd never met (BTW: I think Cactus Man has been reading this blog as of late--because of Analytics--which, I have no idea how he ever found this blog, more later, meh, I already have a few ex's who read this, so WTF), then there's the guy who got away, the one man in your life whom YOU SHOULD have been with, but for whatever reason, you just can't be with.

So that makes at least two: Crackie, and Jay, who passed away 20 years ago last July.

It's a crazy world, a funky, trippy universe; you can't force it to give you what you want--in fact, you have VERY LITTLE to say about what the universe has planned for you --stay tuned.

Brainiacs and B.O.

Bennie's first parka when he was a baby.  Check out that cute little butt.  Speaking of butts, what's up with major brainiacs and bad butt smell?

I belong to TWO gyms.  One of them has an inordinate amount of professional-brainiacs, most of them in sciences, who belong to it, but I've run into the worst B.O. there in my life.  Every SINGLE time I go, I smell ass, pit-sweat, foot-rot, bad breath, no matter what part of the gym I go to, someone reeks or has sharted in his pants.

But my other gym, which is more of a "jock" and working-man's gym, smells like a rose.  In fact, I can smell most people's deodorant, and most guys even smell nice.

I keep waiting for it to change up, for me to wander into the brainiac gym and smell something pleasant, or the working class gym, and smell a giant fart.

But so far, for the past five months, this has been the case every day.

So can we imply that Brainiacs simply do not care about hygiene as much as the average guy on the street?  If so, why?  What gives.

Do I have to bring Febreeze?  Wear a surgical mask?


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Friends and Pets Day!

What?  No "Valentine's Day"?  Valentine's was NEVER intended to be the holiday our country and Hallmark intended.  Christianity attempted to Christianize the Roman Pagan holiday, Lupercalia.  It was an event to mark fertility in both crops and women.

Nothing necessarily romantic about that.

And besides, we already have a holiday for lovers.  It's called your "Anniversary."  So celebrate it in quiet, and leave the rest of us alone.  Take the damned romance out of Valentine's, would ya?  Take the pressure off us single people, and quit trying to force us to feel bad.  And get those god-awful Vale's and other hideous diamond commercials OFF THE AIR.

It ain't working.  There's already a holiday for mothers, one for fathers, the anniversary, the birthday.  But where's a holiday honoring your good friends who've been there for you through it all (unlike your ex's)? 

Where's the holiday honoring the joy that our pets give us?  Where's the holiday honoring our furry friends, who, despite whatever day they might have had, greet us with the most unlimited love a human being could ever ask for?

So don't give me that holiday crap.

Here's to Bennie and my beloved good friends.  Happy Friends and Pets Day to you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

FULL DISCLOSURE: Top Ten Mature Hotties

Crackie from last summer, looking hot, sigh.  I'm sure he wouldn't mind his picture up.

OK, I'm on a rant about older men and women looking hot and stayin' chilly these days.  Crackie is one.  But there are more. 


*Note: the following are not only HOT, but they're super kewl, too.

1. Katey Sagall and Kurt Sutter
2. Chris Cornell
3. Jeff Bridges
4. John Corbett and his pal, Bo Derek
5. Susan Sarandon
6. James Hetfield
7. Chrissy Hines
8. Iggy Pop
9. Anthony Kietis
10. Patti Smith

Yup, they're all pretty kewl to me.  Thanks for being an inspiration.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Amusing Dreams, Mountains and Winter Doldrums

I wish I were back here.  The Crazies of Montana, just chillin' with Dooder.  I don't even care that it'd be windy and snowy and probably outrageously cold.

We're in this weird winter pattern in the Black Hills, again, where it's not really winter, but it's not spring either.  Drought everywhere.

Anyway, had a good day yesterday, working late into the novel and seeing a few edits that I hadn't seen before.

So, I had a jumbo cocktail then went to bed exhausted and had the weirdest, WEIRDEST dreams.  As in, I was having Elvis's baby.  And it wasn't even fat Elvis, but hot Elvis.  How strange.  I remember he didn't seem to be sexually into me, seeings as I was nine months preggo.  But hey, I was with Elvis!

Then I dreamed I was camping in a camper-cabin with Brad Pitt.  We were sharing the bottom bunk, and above us was his ex, Jennifer Aniston and her boyfriend.  I kept thinking, "Brad is so hot.  But when's psycho Angelina going to come around and start a hair pulling contest??"

Luckily, she never showed up.

So what's new?

Crackie came by last Saturday.  I knew he'd be in town, so I wore my good jeans and a tight top.  His eyes about bulged outta his head, and he kept saying, "Wow, you look great!"  When I was bent over the dryer and unloading some clothes, I caught him taking inventory of my can as he said, "That cross country skiing is really paying off for you."

And when he left (he was only in town to go to Sam's and get groceries), he gave me a big kiss on the cheek and a delightful hug.  As usual, he was stunningly attractive, in his ruggedly George Clooney kind of way.  We even made plans for spring break, but I have no allusions.

We're just friends.  Nothing wrong with that.  Might as well have a hunky, hot, intelligent friend.

What else is new?  I have a new role model.  Katy Sagall.  I love her on Sons of Anarchy.

AND, get this.  She's married to the show's producer, Kurt Sutter, writer/director/and the guy who plays the old club member in prison who used to be married to Luanne.  Yes, that super, ultra hottie.

Did you know this?  She's 59, and he's 46. 

You go, Katey.  My new hero.  She's cool, edgy, cutting edge, smart, funny and gorgeous.

When is Hollywood EVER going to realize that women are not at their pinnacle in ANYTHING, let alone looks, when they're young.  I find older women, especially those who keep themselves up, to be incredibly hot.  I'm not sure what it is.  Wisdom and a few laugh lines?  The FUCK YOU attitude?

Take care of yourself.  Grow wise.

The best years are yet to come.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Nerds, Publication and other Needy Women

Ahoy mates!

Me, a few years ago, and I still have that hat, that pin, those shoes.  Not much changes on me.  I even have the same sparse wrinkles.

So what's new?  There's a new/old nerd writing me.  I used to know him from the old Myspace days.  But I thought his picture was totally gay, gay is in gay, as in, "Are you gay and don't know it?"  I've met a few of those in my time, but that's usually due to me being more masculine than most men, so whatever.  And well, he was dorky.  Not dorky as in, Jim Halpert from The Office, 'cause that character was Geik-Sheik.  This guy, whom I'll just name Dork, is simply dorky, polo shirt, preppy clothes,  you name it, yawn.

BUT, he's a Gemini, plus!  He's well educated like me, plus!  And he loves the silver screen and is a totally foodie, plus.  He even has a Harley.

BUT, I could bench press him with one arm.  He's not tiny, but I'm used to Big and Cactus Man, big manly 6'4" men.

Meh, but that never worked out so well for me.  So we'll see.

Other news:
The novel's last ten thousandth revision is in, and my students are like, "WHY ARE YOU NOT SENDING IT OUT ALREADY?"  Including my colleagues who say, "It's time."

I have that answer already: fear.

Fear of the same thing happening as last time.  I get all the way TO THE TOP EDITORS, then get shot down on some stupidly small thing.  Like, "We already had a midwesterner makes good theme last season, so we don't need that kind right now, even though Neumann is really good."

Kind of like my fear of men.  Which leads me to another rant about women-friends.

So CC, my one friend in the hood blew me off last Monday.  We were supposed to exchange Christmas presents, but she is so GLUED to the side of her husband, she can't do anything or be without him for more than fifteen minutes.  Sickening.  Totally disappeared into him years ago.  Ironically, except for when he was in Iraq, then suddenly she had all the time in the world to hang out and would get annoyed when I wouldn't call her back right away.

Oh, the irony of needy women.  The irony.  So I might donate her present to Boys Club.  I'm not mad or jaded.  Just done.

When you get my age, you stop the bullshit.  You may NOT call anyone on it, because do you think they will care if you do?

You just take care of business.

More later, ladies and gents.  Hugs to ya all.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

OK, so I have a really relevant picture to acompany today's blog, but now blogger won't let me download pics from my computer?  Only from Piccasa or an Android or from previous posted pictures.  Are you fucking kidding me, Blogger?  Terri, help!!!!

OK, normally, I leave politics out of my blog.  Mainly because I'm an easy going gal.  And because I have friends who are right-wing Republicans, yet I love them despite this, but.  LOL.


So let me begin.  I haven't told anyone this but family.  Because I've learned it's not to your best interests to brag about what a big heart you have--for many reasons.  But this summer I made a mercy call.  My Republican roomie in the basement made a plea to me to help his college fraterntiy brother out who's having a hard financial time, is out of work, and is homeless and is fifty years old.

Because I'm a NICE PERSON and have  a big heart, I said sure.  He moved into the basement with my roomie who lives down there.  I expected, since this new person has a BS in mechanical engineering and is smart, that  he'd be here two months tops and move on.

Well, guess what?  He's been here six months.  He's not found a job.  He's not paid me a dime of rent.  Neither has my roomie offered to pay more rent since this is his frat brother.

There's more.

My roomie is an idiot.  A fucking idot.  And he can't manage his money.  Not that I care, but I DO CARE when he pays rent late, sometimes as late as 20-30 days late.  Let alone he's a republican yet he mooches off his democratic union who pays him good money.

So last month, I'm getting really fucking tired of this late rent business and never helping me out around this house.  Did I mention that I do not charge him for utilities and internet?  Yes, neither of them gets charged for water, heat, gas, electric, and internet.  Oh, and did I also mention that I have a washer and dryer that my original roomate also uses free of charge?

I barreled down there the other day and asked my original roommate WHY he has not paid his rent yet for January (btw, I only charge him $200).  I got the same old bullshit I've always heard, can't get time to go to the bank, etc.  Then I give him an "update."

That is, if he's late one more time, I''m calling Harvey's lockshop and throwing both of their shit in the alley and changing the locks.

Look, his friend seems like a sweet guy and responsible, just really down on his luck.  And I like helping people out.  I'm a benevolent person.  That's what I do.  I don't don't have a single friend who would have done what I have done.  Whatever.  It is what it is, and most people are selfish.  It's my roomie and his late rent bullshit that I'm sick of.

Then, today, as I was reading on my couch, I overheard, in my small house, a conversation that they were having.


It went like this.  That Native Americans were just living on the dole.  That all they were doing was looking for free handouts, like as they said "Most Americans are doing."  That America was all about getting free handouts these days.  That food stamps were bullshit.  Entitlements were BS.

This, coming from one roomie who's not paid me a lick of rent since I kindly let him move in in August and I have given him several hot meals?  This, coming from my original roomate who NEVER offers to fix my house, never takes out his trash, never mows the lawn, ruins my downstairs bathroom and make me fix it, makes me do everything for this house on my own labor and my own dime then owes me at least two hundred dollar in late rent fees.

Are you fucking kidding me? 

I am the hand you are biting, folks.  I am the hand of a good Christian Liberal.  I am the citizen of benevolence, to which if I kicked both of your sorry Republican asses out into the street, like I should do, you would weasel right up to the "entitlement" plans our government had out there and mooch off them , just like you do me.

Is there anyone, anyone who can see the irony here?

I'm writing down Harvey's Locksmith number right now.

They don't like Natalie's Benevolent Kindness?  Well, try our government's "entitlement" programs, or go live under a fucking bridge and eat grass.

I've had it with selfishness and hypocrisy especially with the right wing.  I am ready to tell them.  "OK, so you don't like entitlements?  Both of you get the fuck out of my house."

But I suppose I'd be called a "bitch."  Nice.  Happy New Year.