Dreams. They invade our sleep like strange armies. Jumbles of images, faces we’ve gathered while awake. I remember reading that the faces you see in your dream are faces you’ve seen while awake. As your brain can’t or won’t make up new faces to delight or frighten you with during dreaming time. There are no strangers in our dreams. Which is rather creepy.
Well. Last night. Yours truly had a dream. Where I combined my local scenery with that guy from Fifty Shades.
Stop. Stop right there.
You’re either laughing or already looking to perform an exorcism on yourself after reading even that far. It’s not one of THOSE DREAMS.
It was more me walking up and down the lane and road by the house as we chatted, then we were riding in a car, in what looked like downtown Los Angeles somewhere, at night. You know how dreams abruptly switch locations on you? Yep.
Summer. Sunshine. Yet the corn field across the way seemed in its winter state. Yellow bits of stalks left, the electric fence up to keep the feeder cattle contained. As people turn out their herds on harvested corn fields here, let them eat away to their heart’s content on corn stalks. Not being in the cow business, I have little to no interest as to why this is. Something about not wanting those giving birth to be too fat or something. I really do need to perk up my ears about the bovine trade, oh dear. Where was I. Oh yes.
Summer yet winter corn!
The juxtaposing of two seasons, yet the harmony of it. All while I’m chatting away to Mr. Fifty Shades. Jamie Dornan?
My truly malicious naughty dream inventor creature slapped together some amalgam of the Fifty Shades brooder with what is probably not the actor’s personality at all. Also, this amalgam stood in the lane, quite a distance from me. I walked up and down the road! Yet we could hear each other fine.
We had supernatural hearing. As you do in dreams.
Yes, a bit of polite flirting. I remember him muttering I wasn’t ready yet. Ugh? Then I was asking him what it was like to make that movie, if that was okay to ask him.
So it went from the Fifty Shades character to the actor, back and forth, like a weird game of chat tennis. It was both the Fifty Shades grim alpha hamster and the more down to earth, perhaps a bit more realistic actor persona.
Which I totally made up, I’m sure, for that dream series of sequences. Am I a fan of Dornan or harboring a ghastly desperate want to get a slice of that fantasy? Not that I know of!
The dream ended before we two arrived at whatever destination in this convertible car. You should always drive in downtown Los Angeles in a convertible when dreaming– that’s my sage advice for now and always. But we clearly liked talking to each other. I perhaps miss people I can talk to– that might be what this dream tried, in symbols, movie stars and country roads, to tell me. TALK TO ACTUAL PEOPLE, YOU TWIT.
Maybe it’s a warning. Talk to real people before you actually do become one of those crazy hermit sorts, muttering at the rats you’ve made your boon companions about the state of today’s youth.
Maybe it’s meant to tell me to stop watching awful movies, just watch the ones that win lots of awards. No, no! I’ll never give up my junkie bad movie ways! No no no!
Ah, well, probably be checking the mail in my dreams tonight while chatting up one of the sharks from Sharknado.
Don’t bite me, combined with– Did you enjoy being one of the main sharks? Wherewith the shark will bite me, then answer–Tip top, I did, old chum, it was jolly good fun, lots of laughs.
You’re British??Why is everyone British these days??
Don’t be spiffy, dahling. I’d like to chew your arm off, do put that in the mailbox already!
[My dream creator might add some Jeeves and Wooster in there, oh heck.]
A bit of light-hearted nonsense on a cloudy January day.
I also completed a one act play.
You may now cheer, clap your hands, grin foolishly for hours, o gentle readers. Celebrate in a suitable fashion. Remember to get some rest afterward.
I wrote twenty pages or so of dialogue about tigers, Pocatello, Idaho, and ghosts.
It needs some spiffing, pages numbered, nipple clamps added, but by Jove, it’s a rough draft! Mr. Gray will be so pleased.
Christmas. It’s over. I have tales. A new dog. A relationship so toxic Baby Jesus winced even as Baby Jesus gave the two the side eye. A funeral. Ah.
The death of a mother. A friend of mine. Right before a big holiday season. Not pleasant when there isn’t a string of days devoted to this or that. Horribly nasty when it takes place during festive times. A Buddhist funeral. I’ve never been to one. I went with another family member, who’d never been to one either. This was a neighbor lady, Japanese, who had lived at the house across the field for eons. Farmers. Everyone about here are either farmers or teachers. Or cook meth. It’s that kinda world here lately.
Bells. Incense. Chanting. Very dignified. A sort of foggy Christmas Eve day. No snow. Wet, muddy, foggy. A reminder that Dicken’s immortal classic began with a funeral on Christmas Eve. Marley’s. More bells and the sweet odor of incense.
Christmas Eve is spent with the hillbilly side of the fam’ly.
Christmas Day was and is traditionally spent with the other half of the family. Both sides of my family got along very well, in case you were wondering. Both sets of grandparents really enjoyed visiting with each other. Both sets migrated here to Oregon and Idaho from Nebraska, where they grow corn and manners and tornadoes. That’s what I’ve gathered from all that talking back and forth over the years. Christmas Day was giant meal, the women did all the cooking, and we played cards all afternoon.
Christmas Eve was spent with the hillbillies.
That’s my own pet snarky nickname for my mom’s kith and kin. I did get to see pictures of the cougars my cousin trapped and hear about how the price of coyote pelts is through the roof right now. I silently wondered who’s buying fur anymore. Who the fuck is that? Cause you’re not eating the cougar meat. You’re not eating the coyote meat– though I did see where you can cook it and turn it into haute cuisine sort of food. That was when Andrew Zimmerman still wandered through the Travel Channel. But anyway, before I get distracted and this gets super-ass long as hell!
I do cuss. If you’re new here, well. I do cuss on occasion.
Yes, now to Xavier and Vickie. Which is not their real names.
My little group trundles off toward the Christmas Eve festivities. It’s a foggy, muddy, somewhat rainy Eve. No snow. No real cheer. Just obligation and the thought of the chips and dips. Which tell me the holiday season is truly nigh. Sad. Chips and dips is what I look forward to, not halting awkward family interactions and hearing that the lib’rals have attacked God-fearing red-blooded ‘murican farmers.
I’ve done entire blog posts about what I hear pooped out of human mouths around me. M’kay.
We get there, it’s cool. As in groovy, not my auntie needs to turn the heat on or stuff some wood in her wood-burning stove.
Most of the people showing up for this gathering are already there. It’s mellow. My aunt has enough food to feed Boise bubbling, boiling, baking or waiting to go into an oven. Ham. Turkey. Taters. Stuffing. Bacon mac and cheese, from scratch…with six kinds of cheese in it. OH MY WORD. Oh look, chips and dips. And then someone else brings bread and HOMEMADE DIPS THAT ARE SUPER TASTEFUL.
Veggies? No. I have yet to see a veggie dish show up since the death of my own mother over ten years ago. No salad. No squash. No weird green bean casserole attempt. Just meat and carbs and DIP.
However, I pick up on how watchful people are. Waiting. One cousin is not yet there. I hear, nearly five seconds after I enter the house, decorated with red and green, blue and silver, gold and sparkly lights, that Vickie is a bitch. There’s the oh no, don’t start that yet admonishment. Do I already know what is thought of Vickie and her California ways? Yes. Yes, I do. Yep, she’s from California. California is a bad word in Eastern Oregon/Western Idaho. It’s kinda the queen mother of bad words here. You want to really insult someone, ask if they’re from California. [Because it’s run by liberals, the housing, the myths and legends people absorb as truth, the…uh huh. Then, Californians are all moving to Idaho and Oregon, ruining everything. Uh huh.]
I’ve mentioned that one, too. I know I have.
Okay! So we’re all waiting for Xavier to show up. If he and his little woman show up. It’s that kinda crowd.
Ah, the two arrive. The lights splash along the driveway! We’re all tensing already. What will walk through that door? Stay tuned to find out! Where’s the dip??!!
It’s just Xavier and one of his very young chil’ren. She’s fucking still out there in the car, he snarl-snaps at the startled, still sorts watching this entrance.
Suddenly, we’re watching a Eugene O’Neill play, except with modern language added. [The f bomb, mostly.]
Xavier dumps his first load of baby stuff– as it takes several Sherpa loads these days to take babies anywhere– to fetch the other kid and the rest of the stuff, presents and stuff. Vickie has not yet made her appearance. We’re all…uncomfortable audience members to this kitchen sink reality show of epic proportions. It takes perhaps half an hour before Vickie makes her DRAMATIC ENTRANCE.
DOG SHIT. ON MY SHOE. BIG PILE OF DOG SHIT. RIGHT THERE BY THE CAR DOOR. WHAT THE FUCK? DOG SHIT DOG SHIT DOG SHIT!
She’s more wound up than a barrel of rattlesnakes and twice as poisonous. Something like that!
Instantly, as we’ve been enjoying the two very young babies– both under two years old or so– the tension goes to eleven.
Xavier bristles. Vickie uses Wet Wipes to clean the poo from her shoes. Instead of just removing her shoes, leaving them by the door. Or laughing about stepping in dog poo right out of the car door. Or…so many other choices here than what she chose to do. [It’s family, you pretend you have manners. If I learned nothing else, I learned that, hello!]
Though dog poo on velvet shoes or delicate little spendy numbers you adore…but. I saw the shoes, just some old cheap ass boot looking things. Then the mutters, from Vickie, about the baby crawling on the floor…mm. If the tap water was drinkable. To keep so and so away from Baby X. Mutters. Oh the mutters one overhears at times.
Xavier and Vickie apparently fought the entire time they drove to the Christmas Eve gathering. Apparently, they’ve been fighting since before they met, if you know what I mean. So, there’s muttering. So much under the breath muttering, just muttered loud enough for all of us to hear. Those not front and center in this O’Neill gritty reboot, have the side eyes down to an art. We’ve all become experts in body language communication exchanges. There’s selective deafness goin’ on! Whee!
The holiday air seems stained with invisible dirty bomb emissions. The chips and dips, so good! Everyone’s munching or in the other room, shoulders hunched up. Because surely, this ugly pimple is gonna burst. Spray noxious fluids all over us. Ever had one of those ugly angry white-topped pimples? Yeah, like that. Ever watched cysts and infected pimples get drained?? So gross and yet so satisfying!
Where was I.
The presents get opened. Ah. Thanks! The sound of ripping paper, the asking if those pretty boxes were bought at Joanne’s. [The local craft store.]
The food, the literal mountains of food, become available for consumption. The alcohol has been flowing, so actual food that’s not chips and/or dip, nice. Xavier, shoulders hunched to his angry earlobes, slaps some of that food on a big disposable plate, prepares to chow down. Vickie mutters she’d sure like a hot meal as she slams about getting out baby food stuff. Xavier about comes out of his angry skin, like a butterfly bent on rampages, bursting out of a cocoon, ready for carnage. He shoves that giant disposable plate away. He goes off for cartons of baby goo to shove at the youngest kiddo. The older kiddo gets mac and cheese and other tidbits. The two sit on the same side of the table. We’re…careful. Watching. Afraid to breathe.
Are the guns locked up? [I had that actual thought. Both sides of the fam’ly are totally into GUNZ.] This is the lead up to one of those Christmas Eve drunken fam’ly shootings. I’m watching it in real time. That was the impression I had.
Now, the two are shoving food at the two kids. Neither talk. The one year old can barely crawl. I see Xavier about once or twice a year, if that. My other cousin’s little woman fills me in on all this so…I have the gossip and what I observe. Okay!
Not long after the most uncomfortable dining experience I’ve had to sit through in years, Xavier and Vickie pack up their spawn, their shit, and head back ‘home’. Without a kind word for each other, without much enjoyment shown toward either kid, with faces like death masks from a Greek tragedy. A Greek tragedy channeling Long Day’s Journey Into Night with big handfuls of Mamet’s way with certain words thrown in.
During this brief, awful family drama unfurling, I go outside where people are smoking the funny weed that’s legal in my state. I burst out about the tension, what the hell is this, does anyone have any heroin, because it will take the edge off that scene in there. We all laugh, gossip fiercely, suck down some smoke. Because hey, why confront directly when you can smoke funky plants and gossip in half-whispers?
No. I don’t do heroin.
Okay! I’m not around Vickie on a regular basis so I don’t really know her but it does seem she got painted early on as a bitch, and unlikable. That she never really had a chance. When you’re around people who don’t like you, no matter how nice they’re pretending to be, you tend to get defensive. A lot defensive. Poor Vickie can’t avoid her own kid’s grandma. Well, she can and has, I gather. What a mess, a hot sticky this is gonna hurt to actually resolve this MESS.
That was my Christmas Eve. I had pecan-flavored whiskey, but did not get drunk. A bit high, but not drunk.
The fate of those four caught in some loop of resentment, outright hatred, commitment entanglements, children, obligations, job loss…ugh. I don’t know. Counseling might help, some neutral party that can weather the pimple bursting far better than family members can. I see a nasty as hell breakup galloping down the two-lane. Maybe people going to jail for assault. [Yes, that’s the air I got from all this.] I don’t want to hear Xavier and Vickie imploded and took everyone around them downward, too. I want to hear they took a realistic look a their situation, their relationship, worked out custody and money matters, then parted for good. So they could both heal from all this and become far better people on the other side. That’s my Christmas wish this year.
And the writer part of me…sadly…goes– how to use this? They don’t read my stuff. Or if they do, I don’t hear about it. [If that side did read my collected works, they’d tar and feather me, after asking me if so and so was them…] Family drama fuels a thousand percent of literature is my humble opinion. Usually first-hand family drama.
Except those writers who grew up in a vacuum somewhere in the wilds of Oregon on a communist commune where nothing happened except the day’s baking of nan bread. They grew up, wrote nice poems about flowers and were politely puzzled at another writer’s seething three-book rage-athon on why their dad was a POS.
Xavier and Vickie, poor things. Their two little peanuts. You just want to offer to take the two kiddos, let the two adults go destroy each other all they wish…
But hey, found a stray dog. Cream underbelly, dark brown silky soft short coat. What we call a cow dog. But there’s something else in there. Rottweiler? German Shepherd? Maybe even a bit of pit bull? Boxy head. Smart, female, no collar, skinny. I did post her on social media. I did ask the folks living where I found her if she was their dog. Nope. I found her where we’ve found other dogs, it’s a spot to drop unwanted canines out. Brigit. Or Miz Bridge. As she was found by the bridge. Yeah.
So far she’s torn up some mats and a old magazine. And my flip flops. But. She’s a big puppy yet.
I’ll end on a nice note instead of the intense sadness that is my cousin’s life situation at the moment. New dog! Oh and it snowed. It’s not a muddy spring-like mess without. Snow. I do love snow.
Hi, everyone. I’m waiting for the snow. It insists on raining. Ah, weather! My book, the HOUSE ON CLARK BOULEVARD, is on sale for a bit, at about a dollar. For your Kindle or whatever you might have that lets you read e-books.
I do actually have a long post, about not much at all, scheduled for release into the wild. But. Have a great day if you celebrate Thanksgiving. Have a great day if you don’t. I think that covers everyone?
I’m not writing. I have maybe two words rattling around in my writer jar. Those two words seem to be slurgatt and fzzutrty. I can’t really do anything with those two. No stories seem to form, not even bad poetry slinks off into the wastelands where bad poems go to die.
Instead, I’m obsessed over making little ornaments for Christmas presents. I got some paints, some brushes, made that salt clay. The kind you used to make at school or maybe even at home. Salt, flour, water. You work it into some sort of shape or get the cookie cutters out. It dries, you paint it! DIY!
Yep, that’s what I’ve been doing instead of writing. So, still being creative, just not writing. I got two submissions done this week, so that’s, um, good. I feel guilty. That I’m not writing. I survived the midterms, and took up painting clumsy little hand-cut clay ornaments.
Ah, survived the midterms. There it is. What a…mm. The blue wave did show up. It took a bit to notice that, but it did show up. Cutting through the babble exhausts me. So I watch old cooking show contests and jab Christmas hues on dried flour lumps. I like the sparkle of silver, the luster of antique gold. I wonder how to make the red look less flat. Maybe I can just paint everything blue? I love glitter and glue, but now there’s glitter from one end of the house to the other! Can you paint something orange or is that too Halloween? I don’t even have orange! What do I have for string?
I love painting. I love coloring, too. It’s very soothing. I have something finished at the end. Look, I finished this, it looks okay. I used to love painting anything for a stage production as well. Detail work on something meant to look like a wall. A floor that needs something to make it seem not a stage floor. A costume that needs hand-painted flowers on it…oh yes. I haven’t done any work like that for ages. I can write bad plays, then slap paint on flat backgrounds for them! I rock and roll this planet, ya’ll! Sarcasm aside, I do like seeing something blank turned into something. Yeah, it’s that simple.
Little ornaments, before I wander off into some other subject entirely. That’s the other thing. I find it very hard to concentrate on writing anything right now. I’ll open a file, then just close it back up, with a notion that. That. Yeah. See what I mean?
But the owls call at night again. I open the door, it’s dark yet. Coyotes squabble nearby. The corn fields have been mostly cut around here, the deer run about, the pheasants scoot here and there. The two dogs want to hunt mice, though it’s cold out. No snow or rain forecast here. It’s just cold. Nothing profound here but the turning of the season toward winter’s thrall. Great writers have surely exhausted that seasonal change. Perhaps nothing is left to write about. Maybe that’s why my brain shut off, went into drift mode.
Maybe I should take up a career in tentacle porn fanfiction. Take various famous figures, have them encounter…mmm. What other color combos are used for holiday decorations?
I am making salt clay ornaments for presents. Or just to give myself a much-needed project to help me start focusing again. As my brain seems made of fog and cotton candy right now. I made up the clay mixture– salt, water, flour. I used cookie cutters for the shapes. Tree, star, circle, candy cane, snowflake. Other odd vague holiday shapes. I dried them a bit in the oven, but the dough puffs up. So, I let them air dry, figure the puffy parts are ‘artistic’.
I got some sparkly gold and silver paint, some actual glitter. As the paint, when it dries, is rather dull.
I noticed that the Democrats took back the House of Representatives, but the GOP, somehow, held on to the Senate.
It seems there was a lot of cheating, voter suppression, voter intimidation, etc, etc. See Florida, Texas, Georgia, the Dakotas, etc.
I also noted that the orange stain forced Sessions into resigning, then propped up some fanboy to oversee the Mueller investigation…all of this within hours of election results on Tuesday night. Mm.
There’s also the latest mass shooting , in Thousand Oaks, CA. Suspect is dead. Lots of others, dead. Dead, death, dying. Tots and pears offered. Mm.
I have lots of little ornaments to paint. If I can make them look presentable or as if painted by a Kandinsky or a Matisse, then I will give them as modest little presents. A little something to hang on a tree a few days a year.
Writing? What’s that? I can’t match the absurdity that is American politics right now anyway. I can’t rise to the level of sheer jaw-dropping WTF twists and turns that play out minute to minute anymore.
My imagination grabbed at its chest, muttered something about they’re not even trying to hide how corrupt and awful they are…then slumped to the floor of my skull. The EMT’s are trying to revive it. Waiting. Waiting. Mm.
The cracks show now in America. We can usually pretend here, real hard, that we’re nice and civil. That we’re not the biggest bag of racist assholes on the planet. Our elections say otherwise, these days. Hopefully THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT. This time unicorns will show up and stab the bad guys! Whee. Mm. Maybe? What? Recount? There’s recounts galore goin’ on?? Whiskey, whiskey would taste nice right now.
I can’t wait to get out my paints, work on beautifying dried out flour, water, salt. As Christmas fare plays nearby. Or something equally innocuous and soothing. I might also go for a walk today, if the wind isn’t blowing. That cold wind that says
Hi there, it’s November, here’s an icy blast, you idiot wanderer of dirt ways and weedy hollows.
The dogs enjoy it so. I let them take off in whatever direction, then just follow behind. Harvest is done about the house so it’s far safer for them. Giant farm trucks whizzing by at a thousand miles an hour trying to get the contents they carry to the appropriate place before it closes for the night kill many an unwary pet, wild animal and confused bird.
Getting the paints out. I don’t want to write but I do want to paint, be all crafty. I find others are also not producing the Next Great Only Read By Ten People American Novel. They’re crafting. Knitting. Sewing. Baking. Usually while curled in a fetal position. It’s really hard to make cream puffs with an orange blossom cream filling, topped with bitter Swiss chocolate curls, from a fetal position.
Maybe I’ll make myself write for at least ten minutes– which is usually open a file, stare at the words which seem jumbled abstracts of a language I don’t speak–then set up for PAINTING. Or maybe go redo the resume…ha ha ha ha. I just made myself giggle. Now I’m sobbing. How long can you keep telling yourself things will turn around? What’s the expiration date on that one?
Hi, ya’ll. I’m doing laundry. I’m watching the Food Networks Halloween Baking Challenge shows. They’re so much meaner in spirit than the Great British Baking ones. But the challenges. Turn a common nightmare into a cake! WT…?! Petite Fours for a monster wedding shower! Animals caught in a spider web design– cockroaches, frogs, dragonfly. A dessert that oozes. Oozes!
Yes, I’m keeping calm, hoping the GIGANTIC VOTER TURNOUT BEING REPORTED is, like, actually going to reflect some stuff. And that those voting will have their votes counted, as the GOP side of things has been tossing ballots due to someone didn’t check the Miss, Ms. or Mrs. box. Or a signature didn’t quite look exactly the same– here I’d have trouble, as my signature is a sloppy mess. My handwriting is awful! Or someone left out a period after something in their address. No foolin’. Or suddenly, like in the Dakotas, those that live on reservations suddenly can’t vote because they have a P.O. Box instead of a street address…which has been fine until about two weeks ago. Yeah. Yet it’s the left that’s importing bazillions of illegals to vote for them so they can lose elections like cray cray. Uh huh.
But social media has been riding that ups and down of ACTUAL GODDAMN VOTER SUPPRESSION with how to vote if you get denied at your polling place. With what numbers to call if you get harassed. Orange Shitstain Supremas actually threatened voters…Anyway! Oh. Lyft and Uber are offering discounts to free rides to get people to vote. There’s people willing to drive people to and fro if they need a ride…it’s kinda awesome to read and hear about what companies and citizens alike are doing to GET PEOPLE TO CAST A VOTE.
I have ‘friends’ who write, in total disdain for those not in their cozy little circle of purity and shining single-purpose issues, who opine that voting doesn’t matter. Only fools vote. Only sheeple cast a ballot. I just…want to punch them in the face with my actual naked fist. I know, violence isn’t the answer but not voting because of the global corporatist blah blah blah…Punch. They sound rather like those on the Alt-Right. And then these far far far lefties complain that no one gets them and look at the state of the world…while writing reams of WORDS ABOUT HOW BAD THE WORLD IS. I just! Fuhhhhhhhh!!!
All right! Back to the little trove of Halloween baking challenges. Everything’s raspberry, chocolate something or other or burned cinnamon orange blossom water sesame seed basil-infused…I am seriously loving the rando ingredient the host throws at the bakers in the middle of them trying to get their projects done in the time allotted. Wheeeee!!! It also makes me want to try some of their flavor combos. I did buy myself some sesame seeds yesterday.
I do have high hopes for a blue wave indeed. I do. I think a mass of first time, pissed off as hell, voters will make something of a real difference. I don’t trust the polls as people below fifty don’t answer them. I saw that discussed. Where anyone of the younger generations doesn’t answer a number they don’t know. They text, they don’t talk on the phone. Old people answer strange numbers they don’t know. Mm. [Read that as Fox viewers]
So, these polls that say there’s a red wave about to hit…eh. Red wave. Like a heavy day during your menstrual cycle, kiddos? Where you are soaking through pads and tampons, bent over with cramps, wishing you were dead so you’d never have to have such a goddamn red wave again hit you? Kinda like that? Yeah.
Baking shows seem to be my choice of drug today. I do have vodka and tamarind soda pop for later. Take that as you will, fellow babies.