Oh golly, it’s hot and dry. The sky fills with stray clouds once in a while, then clears back to that blistery blue clearness that betokens
no rain, you idiots who live in a rain shadow, no rain forever
Midvale, Idaho, is being evacuated. There’s a giant fire up by Mann’s Creek or in that area, which is above Weiser, Idaho.
Weiser’s not that great, either. Smoke, ash falling on the small town, I’ve heard. No, I’ve not driven over there to see for myself. No thanks.
Last summer, the skies seemed to have a permanent smoke pall to them. No sun, just a weird gray-reddish haze and the smell of burning. It reminded those so minded of Mordor and Mount Doom. It was that sort of world for a bit.
Redding, California is also being emptied as wildfires rage toward it, around it and have, probably by this writing, reached it. Northern Cali, for those not intimately in bed with California’s geography and towns and cities. By Mount Shasta, an actual volcano, no less.
So far, here in this area, only a small local fire, that got handled in an hour, on the Fourth of July. I have pictures of it, as it took place close enough to watch it from the back yard. Yes, we did sit and watch an actual wildfire sweep from the local butte toward actual farms and herds of cattle.
Then the magical airplanes and helicopters showed up. And the BLM firetrucks trying to get up there and having to probably ask the local watchers of this fire what roads to take to get where they needed to be. Listening for the rumble of big engines, and the crunch of big wheels on the pavement.
I tell ya. Listen here now. Excitement is watching a BLM firetruck rush by. And not sure if you’re rooting for the fire or the BLM. There’s that ambivalence. Do you root for a destructive force for evil or ooh and ah at the flames and smoke plumes?
[[See history of the BLM in the West…and the Hammonds and the Bundy Standoff and…]]
Oh that sploosh of fire retardant dropped on the advancing line of that fire! Bright red, rather showy. the smoke boiling up but the flames gone.
And the plane, almost hitting the ground, flying upward again like an odd giant pterodactyl. We wondered how those planes, as there were several by then, did not hit each other. Probably modern stuff installed to stop that from happening, was our opinion.
Their policies and environmental everything, of course, caused all this. Not so much about global warming or that the weather patterns have been cray cray dry here or that…two winters ago, it snowed and snowed. And then the grass grew because of that, cheat grass, which explodes when on fire and…yeah.
I mean, the least little spark and the hills around here turn into raging infernos. And I do mean the least little spark.
Everything is outlawed, fire-wise…even cigarettes being smoked outside…but the states can’t outlaw thunderstorms.
Which build in this heat and usually arrive with little or no rain and lots of…lightning. THUNDERSTORMS, YA’LL.
Which is the actual scourge of the west, not liberals or city folk. Nobody in the real West is a city slicker, a’course. And those city slickers? They’re from CALIFORNIA. Yep. [Spits raw tabaccy juice somewhere near ya.]
I think I’ve mentioned the antipathy toward Californians here in Idaho and Oregon. Yes? No?
We watch the skies here when those big bad clouds start boiling across the cosmos. We sniff hopefully for that rain smell. Petrichor. The smell of rain has a name. It’s petrichor.
We flinch at the thunder, wait for the light show to spark our little world into something out of a disaster movie. Fire is both a way of life here and cheap theatre.
Fear of liberals is second to fear of lightning strikes in the middle of the night. By far.
I am doing some research for a possible novel project. I have tons of other novels to work on. So here I am, looking into Baker County history, reading about slugs and sights and scopes for deer, and soaking in some Oregon Trail history.
I found this little tidbit. About a woman who was homesteading back in the 1920’s, in Central Oregon. Alone. Alice Day Pratt. In the Crooked River Valley area.
A spinster [Alice’s words, not mine] deciding to coolly study where to go, and then settling on Oregon, looking at what land is available and what to do with it. From pamphlets. A woman who worked in the Alabama coal mines as a teacher.
And just now, I had a THOUGHT.
What if I contrasted this Alice character against my composite renderings of real life fucknuts jerking off to how they love them some Constantitooooshan and freeedumb.
I need to tone down my sarcasm, yes. Yes, I do. I need to have sympathy and empathy for the Fucktoads and the Shitbirds with Big Gunz. Uh huh. They never get heard and Free Speech and eagles. Lots of eagles.
I just keep going back to Alice giving away her chickens. Smiling. I see her smiling as she does this.
Trying to be brave, or actually brave and clear-sighted to the realities of what she had to do. Ready to face whatever came next as she headed back East to live with relatives. After being her own woman for years.
1929. Right before American turned into a dusty graveyard of American dreams. Right before the horrors of what Hitler was doing began to drift out of Europe. Right before yet another giant world-wide war would hit.
I read this or that, and have written a paragraph or two on the maybe novel itself. The basic tale. The sides, the politics. I had begun with the two men shooting deer illegally. Which is where I went, hey, what gun would you use and…research time!
Ask one of my gun nuts relatives? That feels like cheating and I’d get weird looks as I wrote down this or that…as trying to remember barrels, bullet or slug size, make and model, years…ugh.
People can rattle that info off like people do with superhero stats. Story lines, alternative universe stories, worlds created; deaths, rebirths, villains, children of superheroes, evolution of superheroes and name changes, color of their bowel movements…
And then I considered, maybe the story needs to be told from the female POV.
That seemed to click-a-clack with me.
Those good Christian wives who go along, who pray real hard their husbands shoot them a big gubbermint liberal commie BLM meddler coming for their freeeedumbs…whoops.
Slipped into total snark mode! I promise. I’ll write like a sedate adult who drinks weak cups of tea. I won’t do that at all. But it sounds nice, right?
I am steeped in this culture, after all, of the Mythical West. I was born and bred here, as they say. I have sagebrush in my blood and a twinkle of Snake River in my eye. That sounds rather gross and painful but oh well.
I, after all, have set many a tale and play here on home ground. In the Owyhees, in John Day, in Idaho City, in Ontario and Vale and La Grande.
I have an entire novel, Cue the Violins, set in a mythical small Oregon town on the far side of John Day, called Smithhouse. Based on Mitchell, Oregon. No monsters, just people in it. Some of whom are a bit monstrous. Does that count?
I set an entire superfun zombie novel in Boise. Boise! Yeah, you don’t get a zombie vibe from that agri-business town, home of J.R. Simplot. Oh, sorry, the guy who invented Ore-Ida…
I remember my grandmother talking about Boise.
It used to be a cow town, full of farmers trading their stuff. Something like that. She had real disdain for it. Boise used to be nothing much and it’s still nothing much, was her general dismissal of it.
And back to that woman giving away her chickens, making sure her ponies got taken care of. With that rather shiver-giving phrase used to describe her time in Oregon–starved out.
It’s a soothing balm. It’s a story arc. Beginning, middle, end!
Bright-eyed hope and optimism, years of hard work, have to give up and go away to perhaps start over again. That’s the real story of the settling of the West. You try, you get clobbered, you have to give up. Or you die before you can throw your hands up and head back to softer places with civilization and understood norms.
That’s the far more honest take on settlers and homesteaders and miners…even the toughest got their asses handed to them, no matter the jaunty cowboy hat and the can-do spirit. No matter how many bears they fight or how many libtards they “own” on Twitter…whoops, sarcasm alert.
So, I might need to incorporate a lone woman homesteader figure in contrast with the Drapers. That’s my current placeholder name for my cowboy outlaw numpties, on par with Claude Dallas. If you have no idea who that is…go look him up. He was considered a hero. Yep.
I also read some of the history of the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM.
If you’re from the west in the US, you know instantly what that is.
There was a brief mention that the native tribes in Oregon, Washington State and Idaho didn’t get treated so nicely. And then a hasty drop the subject and move on to the glossy sentences about settlers and miners.
Yeah, taking ancestral lands and gifting that to the white people [called Euro-Americans]…mm.
Thirty or more Chinese miners were slaughtered for the gold they’d gathered…and the men responsible didn’t get punished and in fact, established a town or two and become super-respectable. They finally got a monument put up to this…and it’s a half hour documentary if you want to check it out.
So, I have bits and pieces of actual Oregon history, a tale of people who look like they stepped out of a John Wayne cowboy movie so people ignored everything they actually did…and a pardon by a corrupt orange king wannabe to give his base some red meat and himself some praise and back-pats.
Who just gave the raving militia sorts that populate the west a green light. Those anti-gov sorts who rave about their rights and Obama coming for their guns…yep.
Oh, you thought Oregon was nice and full of hippies or something?? Honey! That’s PORTLAND. The rest of Oregon is…mm
Starved out. Giving away her chickens.
Maybe there really is a Great American Novel in me. It’s how to weave the many strands and make a giant wall hanging out of them.
Oh. The Substation Fire pretty much destroyed the Dalles and Sherman County and…it’s bad. The West is on fire. And I’m mixing and matching fragments and pieces of history, myth, tales and bullshit.
Now, I had a big long rant on the mangled orange hellbeast’s ACTUAL FUCKING TREASON that played across a stunned world stage for all to witness. Where hellbeast and Pootie held hands and skipped as they assured each other that no, the Russians had absolutely not interfered in America’s election process.
Where even Fox News had dissenters on hellbeast! I know!! Hell got a tiny frost for a bit but it will wear off and things will continue as before, don’t even worry, darlings.
And the GOP expressed mild irritation over this…and they will fall in line as well, with Pencie actually proclaiming what a success that Helsinki Treason Summit/NATO blitzkreig was and that hellbeast…here, read it yourself.
Our @POTUS is now on his way home from a historic trip to Europe. And the truth is, over the last week, the world saw once again that President Trump stands without apology as the leader of the free world. Mike Pence
After you’re done vomiting…!!!
Number one–– I vow to speak up. I don’t need to explain this, right?
Number two— I’m drawing a blank. Oh, get a real job? Redo my resume? Oooh. That would involve…mmm.
Let’s see what’s available in my area. Let’s vow to do that.
Fuck this massive crushing chronic depression and my inability to be around other people for extended periods of time WITHOUT LOSING MY MARBLES.
No, really. I do. I go off the edge into Crazy as a Loon territory, I snarl and cry and shake and panic.
So. Customer service? No. Check out clerk? No. Oooh, waitress? Uh, no. Aide for group homes?
I’ve done that, I do have experience but budgets for those are long gone, and those jobs that used to be advertised all the time…seem to not exist anymore.
School aide? Those seem gone, too. [Kids don’t seem to trigger me as fast as grown ups do.] I could do the night shift at a group home. I’ve done that before.
What, use my degrees and teach? Yeah.
I either don’t have enough experience or am applying in the wrong area, as no one seems to think a playwright would have read Twain or Dickens or Toni Morrison. Or could discuss literary works with a class at college level or something.
Mm. I thought it was just me being a total loser not being able to land a gigantically fantastic, highly paid, totally no work at all involved, teaching gig at some college or university…nope.
Which doesn’t make me feel better as almost everyone I know is working at insurance companies or driving an ambulance while writing or acting or directing on the side…sigh. It’s not just me is no longer the giant comfort it used to be. Not that it ever was. [I know. Be positive and that will magically fix FUCKING EVERYTHING. I know!]
Number three-– I vow to write more. Novels, plays, etc.
No, nix that.
I have a pile of stuff and crap already.
Pretty up the stuff and crap to professional-looking levels [no typos and titles pages, hello.] and get those sent out.
Which I have not been doing lately as I’m waiting for America to end and kinda concluded there’s no sense sending off Maybelle or excerpts from my cannibal bikers versus the old ladies novel if I have to try and make it to the Canadian border with only some beef jerky and a half-quart of dirty river water to sustain me.
Yes, I do see that future happening. Yes, I do.
Number four— I vow to get outside more. Oh wait.
It’s a thousand degrees here and there’s wildfires all over.
Okay, stand by my mini garden and admire it as I get a sunburn in that five minutes. Coo over my dill plant. Squee over my Greek oregano. Weep gently over how well my squash are producing. Water as needed. Tell the mini garden what a good boy it is, which confuses the dogs. Score!
Number five— I vow to be a better friend to the friends I still have.
I might be a near-hermit that makes that guy from the Misanthrope look friendly but I can still be a better friend. Or a better person or something. I just rolled my eyes so obviously, I either need to improve or just scrap this one.
Number six— I vow not to slap people on the left who get hung up on single issues and then refuse to vote or vote a third party or do a protest I’m not gonna vote at all number.
One of those slaps that’s actually a roundhouse that lands them in the ER, where they can’t pay their bills so that is all passed on to everyone else in ‘murica because fuck socialized medicine, it’s got the word ‘socialist’ in it. And that’s, like, bad, m’kay.
If it has a D by the name, you vote for it.
That tactic wins elections for the Republicans, as they vote for the R, regardless if that R is an actual Nazi screaming we need to round up the Jews and fire up the ovens, like, yesterday. Yes, there are actual Nazi-esque sorts running here in America for public office. Right Wing voters vote en masse no matter how stinky the candidate/s might be. They are well trained to do so. That’s how that works. Nobody notices that but me???[ Roy fucking Moore barely lost. Barely! Get it now, you idealistic fucktwats?]
Do I have to give up cussing? No? Thanks!
Number freaking seven— I must give up my Yahoo Answers persona. Did you expect something profound here?? Come on!
It’s an addiction at this point. I could be polishing my rough writing into smooth torpedoes of success and fame but no…I’m answering why atheists eat babies and if evolution is true, why are there still monkeys ‘questions’.
No, not kidding.
If you splash an atheist with holy water, will it cure them? That is an actual question there…see? You want to sneak over there and answer that one yourself.
I must wean myself from that rabbit’s hole of whackadoodles, religious nuts, atheist snarlers and those wide-eyed deer just caught in the too-bright headlights.
I didn’t vow to destroy the present government with an elaborate scheme of poison sugar cookies and fembots, so there’s that, at least. I know people who could build a fembot–I have friends who build robotics with high school students for competitions.
I bet a fembot or gynoid, would be no problem for those whiz kids. I can bake sugar cookies and…wow, I’m there.
When the real world produces much scarier, crazier asshattery than any combo of words I or others can devise…you tend to wander off to youtube to watch puppy rescues and those top ten lists as to why Jupiter Ascending is the worst movie ever penned. Or the best.
Depends on which top ten listings of attributes and qualities you dig up, accidentally, while searching for Benedict Cumberbatch porn. Not that I do that. Or know anyone who does that. I just heard other people do that.
That wild baby bunny has died.
It was more than likely my mucking something up or it nibbled something bad for it when I put it in the outside cage as it was almost ready to be released…I managed to bring it back once but could not repeat that success.
It was laid out on its side, cold and not moving, having spasms now and then. I warmed it up, I got some milk down it, it actually sat up, had its head up, seemed to be recovering from whatever had plagued it…and then it died. Just turned its head a bit, spasmed, and then died. I watched the last little breath. The sides went in and did not come back up.
I buried it. I feel a real loss that something in my clumsy care passed onward into whatever awaits or does not await. It had a personality, a feistiness. It explored the little box I had it in. It froze just like the adult rabbits do, hoping I could not see it. It responded to noises and huddled in its collection of pulled apart cotton balls, that tiny tail the only thing visible at times.
It remained wild, except when sick. Then it didn’t care if I handled it. I knew it was better when it didn’t want me near it. I felt a success that this wild creature wanted no part of me, that it would survive and go have a short life out in the fields.
As I know the fate of rabbits, yes, I do, in a world full of hawks, coyotes, dogs, cats and badgers. And humans.
I’ve gone through this with baby birds. They seem to be doing well and then the next morning, they’re stiff and cold, beaks open. And I still check for life, I make sure. Sometimes young animals get chilled, sometimes just getting them warmed back up…Thank heavens for heating pads and hot water bottles.
Why do I try when…Because you have to. That’s all I know.
I have to at least try.
I have succeeded in keeping baby birds alive and then releasing them. I’ve helped with too-young kittens, feeding them and caring for them as they needed. My mother taught me how. And sometimes they live. And sometimes they die. So sayeth life and death.
In a Thai cave, boys await to be rescued. That has been dominating the news. Because it focuses on things we can understand.
Children trapped. Cave filling with water. Brave people planning a rescue. Boys need to be taught to swim. A rescuer dies trying to help. Cave divers, from Scotland no less, who are the best in the world go to help. Boys start getting rescued…
We watch and sigh and cheer and cry, this is something we UNDERSTAND. This is something that makes sense.
When children get trapped, you go help them. When men get trapped down a mine, you go help them. Dramatic rescues remind us we’re all alike and yet all different and yet…that compassion magically goes away when applied to others who need help that don’t meet some public understanding of who deserves to be rescued and helped and who does not.
I am glad those boys are getting out of that cave.
But I keep getting drawn back to ‘murica and now, the UK and Brexit and the shenanigans world-wide. As the very modern far right seems hellishly determined to repeat the fascists regimes of the 1930’s that led up to…an actual world war. Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco!
I’ve left names out, I just know it. And everyone seems to have a nuclear warhead tucked away these crazy ass days.
It’s interesting times indeed.
I can’t compete with that in a literary fashion.
I see people getting more upset over being impolite to fascist wannabes than the actual fascism attempting to rear its very ugly head in the heart of the land of the brave and the free. [No, not Canada.]
I blathered on about that in other posts, I won’t here because if I do, someone might complain I’m being mean to the skin-heads and assclown Jesus shouters or something. God forbid they feel a moment of discomfort or actual shame. God fucking forbid.
Oh and someone or something crushed my tiny growing pumpkin.
I took a picture of it, imagining it grown into a lopsided ball of orangeness and bland pulp. A future jack-o-lantern. A future possible actual pie!
And then noticed it had been crushed.
Ants trundled all over the little insides. Ants.
It felt like someone hit me in the solar plexus. That unable to breathe for a bit sensation.
Oh great, the crazy liberal barely read writer lady is lamenting a destroyed squash. Liberals, lol. Need a safe space, snowflake??
I always add very sarcastic comments in my head now to all my reactions, feelings, sensations and thoughts. It’s just how I roll these days. Or always. I have a chorus of Fuck Your Feelings sorts catcalling me from inside my head…should I admit that or pretend otherwise?
So, I did finish a draft for Grumpy Odin and Sexy Jesus.
I rather like it. I need to go over and over it, get it a bit sleeker. Get its engine running smoothly and not at a choppy, too loud decibel that will have cops pulling me over and giving me literary tickets.
Sorry, ma’am, this novel is cobbled together with nonsense and duct tape.
This is not a safe novel to have on the literary highway. This is an accident that already happened.
Yes, that is the amount of the fine and not the national debt rounded up into a tidy amount number!
Well then, you should have rewritten it and turned it into the next Harry Potter series.
Why don’t you give up writing and become a two-dollar a blow job whore in your home town’s park? Like everyone thinks you are already?
It’s not like your writing ‘career’ is all that and a bag of chips, snap!
Or hey, just write something good. Then we don’t have to pull you over like this! Have a good day!
I should probably get rid of some of those voices in my head before the shitshow clown act that’s so far playing to the gullible and grungy alike, takes center stage in full costume under dazzling lights in full surround sound.
So the entire planet can relive in collective wonderment and Lock Her Up fashion and Hold My Beer super-patriotism– the 1930’s and 40’s in vivid, re-enactment detail, with updated clothes, New Age slang and fabulous city-destroying weapons one can send off with a push of a button!
That’s right. Yours truly tries, even as I write this, to keep a very young kit alive. Molly, the industrious and has instincts to hunt, Chocolate Lab, brought in a young bunny from the corn field across the way.
She didn’t hurt it, she just carried it home to the yard in her mouth. I noticed she didn’t have her usual mouse and heard a weird squeak. Yep, baby bunny. I rescued it after making the dog drop it. She likes to carry around small rodents in her mouth…as retrievers have been bred to do with birds, carry it back to those hunting without damaging the prey. A soft mouth doth retrievers possess.
So, I read up, hastily, on how to care for a young wild rabbit.
Feed once a day. Keep warm. Covered, in a box, where it’s quiet. Put in some greens for it. Try not to touch it, use a washcloth to feed it. NO COW’S MILK. What??? So I had to bip off to town and came back with, yes, goat’s milk, which is just fine and dandy and spendy.
Two days, I follow this regime.
I try to leave it alone, feed it once [well, twice a day because it does not want to drink from the tiny end of the syringe I happen to have] and it seems to be okay. It’s lively, scratching at the box sides, does not want me near it.
Yep. So Saturday, you guessed it. I check on the bunny, the size of a large mouse, and it’s cold and on its side and having spasms. I get it warmed up, use my hands, put it down my shirt, and try to get some milk down it. As the fur stays up when you pinch it gently. I figure I’ve not been getting enough milk down it and being such a new, young baby, it quickly went downhill. As wild babies do when you try to care for them and muck it up.
It perked up.
Yes, it did. This took a while. Hours. The bunny got warmer, it lifted its head, it took some milk, made that sucking sound, swallowed a bit more milk, and even released some pee as I tried to make sure I’d done everything I could to bring it back around a bit. Valley of the shadow, take that!
So, today, Monday, it’s still okay. I spent all day yesterday doing two to three hour feedings. It let me handle it without much fuss but then started trying to get away from me again so it is recovering from whatever happened Saturday.
No, no vets, I have pennies and some out of date coupons to my name. But I do have the internet and why do Americans need doctors at all when you can look up how to cure cancer with lemons and good thoughts?
This morn, very early, it nibbled at my fingers. Tiny little buck teeth. Score! If it wants to nibble and try to avoid me, it must be a bit healthier than it was.
I also took my giant zucchini, split it in two and stuffed it, then baked it. So good! I grew it, plucked it, took pictures of it because that’s what you do, and then butchered it yesterday for the evening meal. You’re supposed to use mozzarella for a topping. I had colby, so I used that. The zuke cooked perfectly, not mushy or too hard to get a fork through.
I also have Pop Tarts in the house, so life is good! Pop Tarts! Shush. We can’t live on brown rice, tepid water and good vibrations all the livelong year. Nope! And they’re coffee-flavored. I mean. Come on!!
But, the bunny continues to be alive each morning.
I have nixed starting my Odin and Jesus novel over yet again. I’m re-reading through what I wrote the last week or so and find I don’t want to pluck my eyes out. Good sign!
Yet I’m wondering, is that how I wish it to veer? That way? I have the ending, after all, I have the beginning…it’s the stuff in the middle that’s confoozling me a bit.
Okay, to sum up. Bunny survived my bungling care. Zukes are ripening. Novel progressing in a normal fashion. For me, at least.