End

Oh are we there yet???

Goodbye to the old year, hello to the next year.

It snowed here. It’s finally feeling like Christmas!

Anyhoo! Have a great start to the new year. 2020 will go away, but leave everlastin’ scars. At least the murder hornets hibernate when it’s cold. Right? Yes?

Jaws has now been with me over a year. She showed up around Halloween last year. She’s a sassy healthy kitty these days.

July Hash Post

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Storm about to hit plus the old locust tree. June 2020 pic. That’s a corn field behind it. 

The fireworks and dog and pony show are now over until next year. That’s Fourth of July to those not in ‘murica. I did not attend my family’s gathering. I have actually been trying to follow guidelines about public safety and not helping spread this pandemic about as hard and fast as possible. I guess I hate ‘freedumb’. I guess I hates it really damn hard or sumpin. Wear a mask, love the devil! That’s America right now!

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A Jimmy Johns employee makes a noose out of dough cause…BLM is the real problem here, obviously. Just head-exploding…yeah. 

Okay. Before I just start typing every cuss word every invented and calling upon Satan to curse my own with pus-filled painful boils for their MAGA-filled bullshit cunty cunt…Okay. Okay. See what I mean? Just a screaming unintelligible stream of consciousness filthy river that I hope will drown the world in a river of actual liquid feces infected with exploding small pox so we can be done with all this. Amen.

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is there an American equivalent of Ms. Salt? 

Ahem.

My mood has traveled to a low point in the life highway. Eh. What’s new. Except the sheer awfulness that is America right now seems to be a permanent stain on whatever composition is actually me. It’s tiring and stultifying.

The hits never stop; they pound relentlessly against the already torn fabric of this country and the world itself. Fraud. Lies. Greed. More lies. More damned lies. Mountains of lies. Victim playing while causing even more damage. Temper tantrums because the likes aren’t high enough from the press. Ratings are bad, temper tantrums, we all get punished.

Daddy isn’t happy! You earned that broken bone, America! Why do you make Orange Daddy hit you??? That black eye is YOUR FAULT FOR MAKING DADDY MAD AT YOU

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Oh. Here we go. Bear with me a bit. I apologize if I mangle this.

I’d go into the J.K. Rowling brohouha but others have done it so much better, so much more elegantly, with far more understanding that I do of this terf issue. I had no idea what a terf was until lately. TERF– trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

That’s a head scratcher. Why would you exclude entire groups from feminism? What would be the point and…? Oh, prejudice and ignorance and a host of some other stuff and things, got it. 

I will also state that trans people are people, the end.

Someone identifying as another gender or being gender-fluid or anything in between that—please understand I am not an expert in this and sorry if I state things wrong or badly—has no effect on me, my life or anything to do with me. It doesn’t detract from me or subtract from me that someone else is not like me or doesn’t identify in a way that I understand right off the bat. It might take me a moment to wrangle out details, word meanings, words used, terminology, etc. But I will try and understand, read up, listen up, catch up. It’s not my struggle, but it doesn’t mean it’s not real for others going through all this in some way or another.

Sometimes I don’t instantly receive all the changed anything to do with this issue of transgenderism and gender in general…I have to catch up, read up, watch something. I try to listen, instead of offering opinions and getting testy and defensive. I also, frankly, become afraid of SAYING OR WRITING THE WRONG THING about trans people or marginalized folks.

Because I know I have misconceptions, prejudices, wrong takes, hasty assumptions all just waitin’ to brand me a big ole idiot with poo for brains. I, like others, have no real need to be embarrassed or shamed, like, ever.

But.

How can you learn anything if you don’t venture into the unknown field of New Ideas and New Notions and Brand New Stuff That’s Scary At First To Explore. You might even get bogged down in It’s Always Been This Way Swamp. Ugh, amirite?

There is more than one way to be a woman, far more than Rowling and others in her camp cling to. You can only be a woman if you menstruate…? Um, no. Geez. That’s so obvious it shouldn’t even be offered forth as a reason to deny people basic rights and/or try to legislate them out of existence.

I understand Rowling’s essay, quotes from it, have been used as part of legislators trying to get laws passed against trans people. So, her views are actively and actually hurting people. I am not okay with that.

I am not okay with that!

Yes, read all the Harry Potter books. I did notice some troubling stuff. The 50’s perfect family conservative vibe, for one. The house elves…ick. The goblins…yikes, or was it just me who wondered why the goblins resembled the hoary stereotypes of Jews that people still vomit up to this day?

And Dumbledore being gay…after the last book was out and selling in the billions. It’s…yeah. Was it said in any of the books? No. Suddenly there’s a hot and heavy affair between Dumbledore and Grindelwald that wasn’t written about in any of the books? I…mm. Why not just be open from the start, write this side of Dumbledore into the story from the get-go? Why pretend it was there all along when it so clearly was not?

The females of this world get short thrift as well. They’re either stereotypical moms, like Mrs. Weasely or hard-nosed grim types, like McGonnagal, or shrill shrews, like most of the other female characters or love interests with no real layers to them, like Cho Chang or even Ginny Weasely. Hermione is the scolding, annoying rule keeper to the two boys being rule breaking adventurous risk-takers. Which is the backbone of Western literature, after all. Sigh.

I am all over the map here, with lots of profanity thrown in. Woot woot.

I am also not writing. I just. My brain seems very empty. Tumbleweeds don’t even bother blowing past the sad line of fences leaning here and there inside my skull. I should be almost done with the current rewrite of a film…This about the worst actual case of Don’t Wanna I’ve had. I just don’t see the point anymore in writing for love or money. Mostly love cause nobody gives a piece of toast about anything I string together; that might be the acute depression mumbling. Might be.

I seem to be waiting for the awful other shoe to drop here in my country. So I can adjust and get on with resisting in the correct way. As those that I’m protesting against have decreed are the correct ways to protest! So they don’t get upset or have to think or have to do anything at all, really but totally ignore my protesting. And then nothing changes and we all go on as before until another forty years has passed and there’s a need for protesting and…

Woot. However, things do change. They do. It just seems to take generations for actual change to register. Plant a tree today. Be buried a long time before that tree gets cut down to make way for more condos. It’s kinda like that.

Hopeful note!

I have a mini green pumpkin growin’ away. It’s so cute! I want to give it kisses and talk to it like I talk to puppies. Hey there, cutie pie! Oh you’re so cute! How are you so cute!? Baby pumpkin breath…No. No, that’s a garden too far.

Droplets of Alcott

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June. It’s June. A few more months than it’s the glut of holidays. Thank the blessed unicorns of the third-party American voters, I never ever take my various decorations down. Score!

Thanks. I’ll be here a while. Try the chicken.

And on to a movie I’ve been wanting to see since it hit theatres in 2019. So about twenty thousand years ago, or so it seems.

Ahem.

I did not go see it. I think I went to Rise of Skywalker instead, because hey, sat through the other two. And I actually liked Last Jedi. Do I hear snarls? Is that snarls?

Little Women! Feminist remake! Unpronounceable Irish-named actress as Jo! Timothy Challawallabingbang as Laurie, the alleged six foot plus Italian stud-hunk.

Um, no. No.

Otherwise the casting was pretty spot on.

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Beth, Jo, Meg, Amy and Laurie Laurence

I LOVED Laura Dern as Marmee. This is the first time I found her to be human and lovable, instead of the stalwart lecturer of the four sisters, the saintly mother-goddess archetypal figure so often depicted in nearly every Little Women adaptation. This Marmee is far more human than superwoman. And it’s fantastic. Adds so many layers right there. The way she wipes tears from her cheeks, takes a moment to put on her Happy Marmee Face before facing her daughters…damn. We get a glimpse into just how hard her life is trying to raise her kids and make ends meet and live up to her own ideals is. That little sigh, that little moment of utter weariness. Show don’t tell moment, y’all.

Emma Watson as Meg. Eh. There’s really never been much there to play with. But Watson gives it her best. We also get glimpses of Meg’s talent as an actress, and the creative lives of these lively sisters reminds how limited and few their choices were and how limited a lot of the time women still have it. Even now. Yeah, I went there. Meg marries a good man, settles in for motherhood and caregiving, and oh…we get to see her dissatisfaction, her restlessness, her unhappiness even. This was covered a tiny bit in the actual novel, but Alcott resolved it too neatly and Meg gets to play St. Housewife the rest of her time in the Alcott universe. Through Little Men and Jo’s Boys. Don’t believe me? You have some reading to do, kiddos.

Beth is Beth. I did like this actress in the thankless role of Dying Young role. I am so glad it was not that drawn out or even given all that much screen time. You can see the potential of Beth and how she supports her sisters and lives life through her wild, free, strong protector-friend Jo.

And yes, we also get to blame German immigrants for bringing disease to the March family. That was in the novel, it’s been in all the movies, as it’s an integral part of the story as set down by Alcott.

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Amy and Aunt March discuss the realities of life.

Amy had to be my fave here. Florence Pugh gives this most unlikable sister actual layers, practicality, a lot of heart and that careless something we can call charm. Amy’s future relationship with Theodore Laurence, the hunkalicious boy next door, gets a lot of timne spent on it. In the movie, that is. Not the novel. The relationship does seem one-sided. however. Amy loves him, he tolerates her for the moment…but they do know each other, grew up a bit together and don’t ever really face any real challenges. At least, none on screen. Other than Amy’s other candidate for Rich Husband, Fred Vaughn. But he’s not given much more to be than Obstacle. We barely even see his face, let alone how all of this affects him. Amy tosses him aside like a used handkerchief. But we’re supposed to believe she had chosen love over being mercenary. Or has she???

Ah, Jo. One of my favorite literary characters. I identify with someone who wants to write. Yes, I do. I identify with someone who has such trouble fitting in and being what’s expected of a girl. Here the Jo character doesn’t really deviate from all the other Jo’s, not really. I did like how we got to see the business end of writing. The getting your stuff into print work Jo had to go through. She was always working out story ideas and composing her tales. We got to see that. We got to watch her work on a novel. It wasn’t she sat down at a desk, poof, the next scene, the novel is finished and ready to go to print. Nope!

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Jo and Teddy.

I adore that this film tackled, head on, the Jo mantra that she would never marry and yet the novel and movie ends with the requisite happy ending. Because it’s what people want and expect, not because it’s what the characters want or need to happen. Gut punch. That’s a gut punch. That a story involving women or a ‘woman’s tale’ has to end in either marriage or death.

Gut. Punch.

I had no quibbles, much, with Professor Bhaer. Except…HE’S GERMAN, POOR AND NOT HANDSOME AND OLDER THAN JO BY A LOT OF YEARS. Ugh. In the film, he was young, French and should maybe have swapped with the Timothy Challawalla kid. I felt a real hollowness over this alleged romance between him and fierce independent Jo. It seemed to arise out of nowhere and suddenly, she was madly in love so they could have AN ACTUAL DASH TO THE RAILWAY STATION scene. I. Just. Ugh.

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Louis Garrel as Professor Bhaer. Um…? Yeah.

Suddenly we’re in romantic movies land and it just rang so goddamn false. I DIDN’T BELIEVE THE CHARACTER SET UP OVER THE COURSE OF THIS LONG ASS MOVIE would suddenly turn into Meg Ryan galloping after Tom Hanks or some other screen couple we wait two hours for to do just that. Not Jo March, no sir! Christopher Columbus! But…then again, we are set up that the publisher guy told Jo her stories involving women had to have it end with a wedding or the death of the woman. She could not go off to a life of happy spinsterhood, no no no!

Now, the neighbor guy who was in love with Jo from their first meeting to marrying some other sister cause…mm.

I, too, always asked why Jo didn’t marry Laurie. Or Teddy, as she called him. Teddy, in the book, made the other boys call him Laurie, after beating the shit out of them. As they were teasing him anyway. He’s also presented as some sort of ‘other’ due to his hot Italian blood. Alcott’s wording. As if those of Italian descent are fire-blooded hotheads with almost no morality. Oh, you thought stereotyping of other cultures was a new thing??? Bwha ha ha ha.

We get to see a very torn up Jo, lonely and confused, reconsider her choices here. Openly saying she’d give another answer to that proposal. It was hinted at in the book but here we get to hear it.

Aunt March is played, with lots of fun and vinegar, by Meryl Streep. Teddy’s grandpa is played by Chris Cooper, one of my fave actors. Both are a hooty hoot.

I was taken out of this otherwise stellar film every time Timothy Wallawallbang bang popped into frame. He looks twelve years old to me. He’s heroin skinny with the frame of a stork. I just. I just can’t overcome my suspension of disbelief barriers to swallow him as the over six foot tall, built like a brick shithouse, Theodore Laurence. Who is also supposed to be astoundingly handsome. Rather the perfect foil to Jo March, who is often described as her hair being her only real beauty.

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Christian Bale and Timothy Chalamet compare/contrast time

Teddy and Jo. They share actual bonds. Friendship, confidences, trust, companionship. They spark each other. We are led to believe this is bad; that actual passion, conflict and being hot-tempered are the worst things, like, ever.

Alcott makes it clear that because the two often fight, this is a bad thing. We are led, by Alcott, to think that Meg and John Brook have the idyllic- more or less—married relationship. All cooing doves, no screeching falcons. That a marriage should be polite barely affectionate people…or a marriage of that time. Okay. Okay!

This film breaks the linear fashion of the story up. That’s good. I didn’t expect it to work, I expected to be highly annoyed. I was not. It worked. It often paralleled a moment from the past with one in the here and now to one of the sisters. We got to watch a jigsaw puzzle being filled in rather than being spoonfed a homespun tale of sisters finding their way through life.

I was jarred a bit by all the legs and underwear shown. That’s fine for modern audiences but…not at that time. Even at home in private with no neighbor watching. Marmee had her skirt hiked up, baking, as Meg was brought home by Jo and Laurie from a winter dance due to a twisted ankle. Marmee, no. No.

And to end this rambling screed on Amy. I adored her speech about how marriage was an economic everything to women, not so much for men. As men held all the power, the land, even the children were theirs. Men held the pursestrings mostly and women were very limited as to what careers they could pursue without having to endure society calling them all sorts of names and shunning them accordingly. Amy declares she can’t be a great artist, so she will be an ornament to society. Laurie is horrified by this but she icily reminds him that she really has very few choices here beyond marry a wealthy man or live in poverty with a poor man or…work at some job she hates for very little money to retain her respectability. Aunt March, in an earlier scene, lays it out quite baldly. She never had to marry because she had oodles of money. She urges the sisters to marry wealthy men because that’s one of the only ways a woman can move up in the world. It’s also a means to take care of the entire family. As the Marches have no sons…well.

And of course…if you know this story at all…who does Amy end up marrying?

I could ramble on for days and days over the nuances of Little Women, feminism, the various cinematic takes on Alcott’s most famous work and the absolute puzzlement that the casting folks can’t cast a decent Theodore Laurence already. Though…Christian Bale was okay, in the Winona Ryder version. Which is such a beautiful film, if you have not seen it.

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Laura Dern as Marmee.

Over and out, fellow babies. I need to croon over my growing squash plants and squee over the opening of the bachelor buttons.

Oh! Jaws, the kitty, jumped off the fence and must have come down on it funky. I was freaking out thinking she’d broken her leg but after some rest and TLC, she was fine. Today I caught her tormenting a baby mouse, which is now resting and recovering a bit before I find a place to release it or…let it live with me a few days. I’m sorry, the little frightened squeaking! I put it in a giant glass container and will give it some water and…Yes, it’s ‘just a mouse’. But I like to think the March sisters would approve.

June Hello

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Hello, June.

Sorry. My country has imploded/exploded. I’ve scrapped several posts.

I keep hearing this feels very much like 1968. I keep hearing this time it’s gonna change, it’s gonna be different. I am actually full of some small hope that our obviously racist craptastic framework of a system will indeed be broken down, scrapped altogether and rewritten, reworked with justice and freedom for all. Or at least not so obviously racist, so overtly racist and…

This is how society changes, after all. Tiny little steps forward, upset in-power folks dragging us all backwards, more tiny steps forward, maybe even a riot or a revolution and changes, changes, changes, going backwards; oooh is that a dictator we have now? protests protests revolution changes.

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It’s all messy and frustrating and exhilarating.

Even here, in my tiny red corner of a somewhat blue state, Oregon…there are protests being staged. Has hell frozen over? Is the devil skating over the lakes of fire even now??? Hope seems to be growing that this, too, can change.

I seem not able to write much at the present. I am waiting, perhaps, for that climactic moment when my nation decides if it wishes to be a dictatorship or not. That’s pretty grim but if I can’t be honest here, then why post a blog at all?

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Boise protests. A ‘boogaloo’ counter-protesting Black Lives Matter.

Well, my quick jumble of vague notions. My garden is doing well. My raspberry plant thrives. My cat, Jaws, is living her best life, I tell ya.

I’ll try to post more but I find I drift along, and that time seems to reduce the days to the same day over and over. Sort of like Groundhog Day but not as funny. However, there are rodents.

Oh yes, a brief but violent storm blew over two trees and the old barn. But no real damage. Ten seconds, seventy an hour mile winds. Dang.

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I don’t know who took this pic or who the woman is but yeah…Yep. 

No Bleach

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Yesterday, it was theorized that people try ingesting cleaning products to cure the virus having its way with America. Not to mention the other parts of the planet…Okay!

DO. NOT. DRINK. BLEACH.

It’s poisonous. It will cure the virus because you will be dead. But that’s rather extreme, dontcha think?

And sunlight? It also won’t do much more than give you a sunburn. Sorry.

So I saw all that flurry yesterday caused by these batshitteries and…

This is where we are now as a country? Debunking loony pronouncements by the POTUS that will actually kill people if followed? Yes, indeedy. That’s where we are. Been there for a while.

At Thursday’s White House coronavirus taskforce briefing, the US president discussed new government research on how the virus reacts to different temperatures, climates and surfaces.
“And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute,” Trump said. “One minute! And is there a way we can do something, by an injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that. So, that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me.”

 

I couldn’t even begin to write something approaching the levels of WTF here. Fiction has to slink off and lick its wounds after trying to compete with the actuality of hey, inject or drink bleach, whaddya got to lose?

Sipping coffee, considering where to plant the rosemary, rejoicing that my bachelor button’s are sprouting, happy I got some cheap manure and generally in a spring frame of mind. Instead of, oh, writing. I did get off three submissions yesterday. I plan to write today, even if it’s just a paragraph. Bad habits lately, not writing lately, wonder why that is…mmm.

No, I can’t blame the VIRUS for my utter disinterest in writing. I get into cycles where I write a lot, then just don’t, then write a lot, then eh…that’s all this is. I also need to dust off a project, give myself a deadline, then go from there. Oooh!

I have a stack of novels I need to work on, for instance. I need to rework short stories, spruce them up, trim, throw out and start over, etc! Poetry needs to be written!

Jaws the cat is doing splendidly. She is now twice as big as she was, with a gorgeous shiny coat overlain with ginger tones. A sort of tabby with auburn patches. I don’t know my cat coats. She’s sort of striped with orange patches here and there. Short-hair. The dogs are bored! The fields around the house use drip irrigation as well as being organic so dogs not welcome at all. Normally I would take them out in the afternoon, for a jaunt down the bank and into the fields so they can hunt rodents.

To sum up this hodgepodge—DO NOT DRINK OR INGEST OR SHOOT UP BLEACH INTO YOUR BODY. No!! Bad!! Sunshine is not a miracle cure, either. Sorry. I am not in a writerly frame of mind but will overcome that by opening files, staring at words, perhaps doing more than that. The cat is well, the dogs want to get out and run.

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I don’t know who came up with this but I laughed, then I burst into tears. 

 

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America seems to have lost what little mind she had. This is common rhetoric lately. The Red Scare, y’all. 

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This one won’t die. That the virus is bio-engineered. Ugh. 

Lobster Ice Cream

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Seth Andrews posted this pic on his Twitter account, so that’s where I got this pic. You can go look up who he is, if you don’t know already. 

I just want to clear this up. No lobster anything should be placed, folded within or otherwise added to ice cream. Gross.

Which leads me to the show Chopped.

Ever seen it? If not, you should. It’s great. You get a mystery basket with four ingredients. Random ingredients. You are on a timed deadline. You have to incorporate all four ingredients into one dish. You then get judged. If your dish sucks more than the other dishes served up, you get…CHOPPED. It’s just brutal and so much fun to watch! Three rounds, starter, main course, dessert. Starts with four chefs, whittles down to two, with a winner declared at end of the hour.

I’ve seen things like Spaghetti-O frozen pops. Goat head. Salmon ice cream. Dried tarantulas. Vienna Sausages, in the dessert round. Vienna sausages. In your dessert.

Now they can do with these four ingredients as they want, with a full kitchen to help out.

Okay.

I’m trying to make myself write. I thought I’d do a quickie blog post, maybe open that short story I’ve restarted several times now. A story already written, where I switched POV and yeah, it’s a whole thing. I did manage to finish it but it…ugh. It’s not right yet. I didn’t hit that groove. I might have a last go today, then just…let it go, let it go. Let it ferment and pickle if that’s what it needs!

Waiting for stimulus check, of course. It’s like a game. Check my account, still not there! A bad game.

I streamed JoJo Rabbit. Loved it! That’s my professional film critique. I have it stored away for a month on Red Box, so might watch it a couple more times, then do a post about it.

Some writing, some cooking tips and a movie. I’ve also been outside moving rocks about, looking for stray sheets of metal and whistling back at the ground squirrels. I do live in the boondocks, in the middle of actual nowhere. It’s vastly easy to social distance if there’s nothing much around you but dogs, a cat and some cheeky rodents.

Lobster ice cream. Not even once!!

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Actual in process pics of rock garden re-do. 

 

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Rock Garden

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My transplanted daffodils and Madam Jaws. 

I promised myself I’d write a blog post. I did try to get one out once a week or so. I also somehow stopped WordPress from sending me weekly nods for other blog posts I follow and enjoy reading. I have yet to figure out how I did that and how to turn that back on. So if I have not been liking posts lately, that’s why. I have to now go hunt them down, try to find them…okay.

The weather has turned spring-like.

I’ve a big project I wish to get done before the truly hot weather hits. The front rock garden looks like a drunken murderous clown had its way with a tractor full of tourists and locals.

I’ve gotten one side done. I ripped out all the old plastic I had put down to keep the weeds down, plus moved each and every rock, then put down some metal sheeting that’s been hanging around for, well, years. Over this, I placed the rocks just so. It looks better, more suburban white trash than just flat out white trash. Ha ha.

I’ve also been moving the clumps of tulips and iris. So far, it looks like I haven’t killed more than few doing that. I put a ring of them around the stump in the yard, with plans, today, to place a ring of stones around that. I can also get water to them far easier this way.

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Anyway! Idaho had an earthquake last week. A big one. We felt it here in Eastern Oregon. Challis area, again. Stanley, I believe, was the epicenter.

It’s a tiny mountain town next to the church camp I used to go to and then work at. It’s a tiny world indeed. Camp Perkins, Lutheran. 

6.5 or so for the magnitude.

I was in the kitchen. The day had been stormy, a windy rainy mix that invited one to stay in bed, watch Sex and the City or read some Terry Pratchett. Evening, meal over, spraying everything down with a bleach-water mix. The house shook. I thought, my goodness, here comes the wind. Then, noticed that the entire house seemed to be shaking. What is this?

Earthquake.

It was an earthquake.

Of course I and literally the entire interior West rushed to the internet, asking—Did you feel that? We did! We all felt it! Well, no, it didn’t shake everything on the other side of the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean. Of course not. But it did hit about seven states—Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Utah, Colorado maybe…I heard seven states. Spokane to Salt Lake City, which also just had an earthquake.

Something is going on!

Plates shifting a bit, but you start to wonder.

I notice that my life has not really changed since this pandemic has settled in for a bit of a stay. I already avoided nearly all human contact.

I don’t go out to eat. I have no money to go shopping or go ‘do stuff’. I generally go to movies alone. I have not traveled anywhere for a long time.

I tend to putter about in the yard or try to write a bit. I’m pretty much a hermit, an actual cat lady since the advent of young Jaws last Halloween. I’ve long been entertaining myself or finding this or that to do. I find I do a lot better if I keep away from others. I’m not desperately trying to fit in with those who find me amusing or something to be pitied. More than likely my fucked up perception of my actual charms and worth but still…I also find, that since I’ve just given up trying to be social, that I can ride out the truly low cycles of my depression without being told I’m just a drama queen. Or that I’m doing it for attention. Or the other things people used to say to me that often times had me sitting alone with a razor blade and a little cut or scratch on my skin, the blood welling up a bit, just a bit, the little sting.

You should be stronger, not let them get to you so…yes, I scolded myself with that one, too. All the time.

I didn’t mean to get so honest. But my mental health is so awful all the time and I have no means to pay for the nice pills that make me float in a zombie haze where I feel nothing at all. Which is fantastic. I took the less strong stuff but after a while, it stops working. And there I am, a snarling cringing mess, with people looking at me as one might look at an actual monster. Again, my fucked up heightened perception, my depression, whatever. But I’ve been too many times faced with trying to mop up my life after one of my depressive lows had produced the most ghastly results. Where I couldn’t pretend enough or tamp down all the raw icky shit that had piled up…and it spewed forth like a shit fountain. Hallelujah.

So I keep to myself now.

I understand how this forced isolation wears on people who like and enjoy other people around them. I get that. I do. But for me, this is my normal.

I didn’t mean to write any of the above. I meant to write a short, cheerful little blip. Oh well.

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Harbin, China. The Ice Festival. A carved wall of ice and snow. 

Ham and Beans

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Jaws and some fluffy friends. 

Here I sit, on this chilly March day, about to enjoy a cup of coffee. I am alone. But I know I do better, in all ways, when alone than with others. I am solitary by design and nature and oh yes, the stay at home orders from our local governments.

As Idaho has, as of today, joined other states with the shut downs. Oregon took it seriously last week. Washington State, of course, did as well. California declared that people should amuse themselves at home. Probably not that exact wording.

I’ll not write the oft-repeated name of the Virus.

My dad, he who watches Fox News far more religiously than he ever attended Missouri Synod Lutheran Church services, does not take this seriously at all. It’s getting better, my brother said not a couple days ago.

I have stocked up. I managed to find some toilet paper yesterday while running errands for a friend of mine who’s put himself into self-quarantine. I dropped off his order by his mailbox. He has helped me in the past and I feel this is a tiny way to repay some of that. If people need help, I find I help them if I can.

I do the same with baby birds, stray dogs, starving kittens with broken jaws. I have a kernel of utter kindness somewhere in me yet.

Today I am making ham and beans. From scratch. I’ll add hot biscuits. The American version, not the British cookie. The broth tastes fantastic. I added a bit of liquid smoke. I had oregano from my garden to toss into the pot. A cast iron pot, at that. I cooked the beans yesterday, all day. They are gorgeously perfect, somehow. Yeah, it’s not that hard to cook dry beans, okay. I’ve cooked dry beans before. I will again, perhaps.

I’ve been listening to podcasts mostly. Cheerful ones. The God Awful Movies boys have kept me in raunchy stitches. I enjoyed Maggie Mae Fish’s video on T.S. Eliot and Cats. I learned a lot about that poet and how the musical is the antithesis of everything he stood for. Sort of, anyway. 

I try not to obsess over EVERY LAST UPDATE on the Virus.

I’ve also been obsessed with Pet Saga Animal Rescue, something like that. It’s free, so hey. Instead of writing or oh, sewing or pickling things, I am trying to match up colored blocks, bombs, earn rockets that can take out a whole row, puzzle out the puzzles. Instead of writing.

My mind seems empty.

I am saving actual quotes from this time period. Actual awful things said. Such as the elderly should just sacrifice themselves to save the economy. That America will re-open by Easter, with packed churches. That we should give even more money to the super-rich because the super-poor are super-poor. And then I have to retreat.

My dad is now sneezing, joking he ‘might have it’. Sigh.

I haven’t watched puppies herding ducklings since yesterday. I have a raspberry plant now. Jaws snoozes on the bed, belly exposed.

5th Street and West

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Fun with filters! 

Something recent I wrote for a monthly poetry contest. I was channeling a bit of Tom Waits, perhaps? Maybe? Not at all?

 

 

5TH STREET AND WEST

Angus runs the liquor store on 5th Street and West.
His little ginger cat cleans her white paws
in the window each night if you pass by
after Angus locks the door and yanks the grill down.
The neon on the fur, strange strip club effect
but the cat doesn’t seem to care
for Biblical judgments that turn light into sins.
He lives above, in a tiny apartment and she must sneak down
to wander through the whiskey and gin and rum
as a tiger wanders through subdivisions
built over jungle and forest.
That same sensation of bewilderment and discovery
that perhaps something wonderful
lives just behind the section
of Kentucky bourbon.
He’s not married, and that little ginger cat
means the world to him.
When you buy a fifth of something harsh,
that cat purrs under his hand
as he rings you up with the other.
It’s just a cat, he claims with sneer on lips,
but the truth flops little moth wings
in his neon eyes.

Projects and Porridge

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Jaws chillin’. 

I just needed an alliterative title. No porridge was harmed in this post. 

I am sort of working on projects. Some of which I will foist on here now and then. Mostly a screenplay I need to be reading over, then plunging back into. A novel to be published that needs a cover. A couple other novels started, in various stages of waiting for me to churn out some pages within their frames.

The Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane will be the next novel out. Three elderly sisters taking on cannibal biker gangs in what’s left of Fallon, Nevada after a world-wide conflict that didn’t go so well for anyone. It’s kind of Mad Max meets Doomsday meets that French movie with the three sisters. The Triplets of Belleville. And it’s funny. I think so. I had earlier versions that were grim, realistic, gritty and…it didn’t match the story in my head. This latest one does. A lighter-hearted absurd tale of an apocalypse narrowed down to small Nevada town. It started off as a tale about three sisters making plans to travel to see the grave of a childhood pet by a bridge.

And morphed into cannibals, end of the world, and scavenging.

I really like my characters. This one was easy to write. I wanted to write it. I had fun with seeing where it went. It’s a sort of dark faerytale. And such tales tend to be very dark indeed. At least the original versions do.

The screenplay.

It’s based on a short story of mine, from Oregon Gothic. About necrophilia. I am working with a woman from the Czech Republic who is a director and producer. She’s fantastic!! She truly is. She did a previous short film based on a brief play of mine, Traces of Memory and had to halt production on King Leer, due to the lead actress becoming seriously ill. So,Lucie Gukkertova plans on filming this next year. It’s called Prince Charming for now. I’m trying to remember everything I sort of learned from my one screenwriting class…yeah.

A new novel started. Based on a one act that no one ever wants to produce. Oh Savage Bliss of the Pirate’s Wench is where the characters contact the author and they work up a better story but…mm. Bored yet? Sure, it’s an old idea, done many time by better writers, sure, but hey, they can’t all be Sarte or Pirandello. So hey, what if this is actually a novel?

What?? Yeah!

And here’s where my mind took this off into a weird landscape of God, the devil, angels, demons and writers. Oh dear, already did a novel on that sorta thing except different. Am I doomed to explore whatever’s left of my faith? Dang a lang a dang!

The kitten is doing well. She now likes to go outside. She’s growing! Her belly is healed up, she’s a happy little thing. I did find a severed rabbit leg…on the picnic table. Blurgh.

I am writing some– just not in my usual gushy fashion. I do have projects lined up for spring. January was a good month writing-wise. New decade starting off sorta okay. 

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