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.

Zooey

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Zooey, played by Jane Levy. Mitch, Peter Gallagher. Zooey’s Extraordinary Playlist, NBC

I thought I was prepared for the finale of Zooey’s Extraordinary Playlist, the singing show. Where the manic pixie girl watches/hears people singing songs while dancing; usually about their inner thoughts. If you don’t know this show, it’s fine. This is not a review of it nor do you need to have an intimate knowledge of the minutia associated with this series.

The gut-wrenching heart of this show is Zooey’s dad dying. He has PSP, he’s non-verbal, he’s sliding slowly toward the grave. Or not so slowly, as the disease seems determined to ravish him, as diseases do. Odd choice for a generally happy idea show. To have the dad be robbed of movement and voice, and have this so darkly reflect in the lives of the characters. And how honest this show was about, well mostly, about what it’s like to have someone you love dying day by day by day. How fucking hard that is.

Where you clean up after them. Where you find yourself giving shots. Doing meds. Changing bedding right after an accident. Where you check tubes to make sure they’re not blocked. Where you hope the biggest hopes ever at the slightest uptick of progress. Maybe death won’t have to be faced so soon.

So, the finale of Zooey.

I sat there, watching. I thought it would be cutesy or they’d try something lighthearted or not so goddamn real.

That’s what this episode, despite all the singing and dancing and frothy who will Zooey choose man collection…got so right. How unreal, floaty, numbing and confusing death is when it arrives. Even when expected. Even when death sits on our couch to wait with us. It’s still a wrenching shock, a cry against something so ghastly unfair. It’s not welcome, it’s not that welcome friend at all.

I wept. I don’t mean the sniffing and tears of an ordinary sad or even that episode where something lovely happens, that longed for couple gets together or whatever. I mean weeping. Wrenched from me. This was like looking down at my mother, in the ICU, hooked to machines. How it wasn’t her anymore. It wasn’t her. That meat and bone and skin was not my mother. Where she was, she was not present in that round cool place in the heart of Boise, Idaho.

And knowing she had been gone a while before that fateful last day of hers. That I had missed her going. That I had spent more than a year of my life trying to keep her alive. That the cancer eating her up won. Won such a decisive victory. That I was the one who decided when the machines got turned off. That I had to make such a decision at all. 

And my anger, my confusion, my utter blood-soaked pain. I heard no music. I didn’t get a sign she was ‘okay now’. I didn’t get the last words that told me…she knew her horrible daughter had done her best. I didn’t get to tell her.

So many things.

One thing the Zooey finale got wrong was how neat and tidy death seems. That the transition from life to death is such a tidy affair. It was hinted, by the caretaker to the dad, that death is messy, awful, terrible. An actual truth. They’d done the episode picking out plots and coffins. This family seems made of money so there’s nothing about the sheer cost of death itself.

Just a few thoughts on a show I’ve enjoyed thoroughly. It broke into my inner little sanctum, and I relieved those moments waiting to hear my mother had died. How that still seems as fresh as a bouquet of funeral daisies.  

Merry

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from Anne. T. Donahue

I was doing okay. Pretty good mood. Made cookies. Posted something on a social media site. A happy holidays greeting. Crickets. Does no one wish me a happy holiday anything? Like. Ever? Mood evaporated quicker than belief in love. I know I am not lovable but come on.

Mustn’t dwell on that, right? That’s the message here? Must realize there’s more to blah blah than blah blah? Yep. I have a cat now. That must balance out the notion that I don’t matter at all to anyone ever and never will.

Hello, depression, my old friend, you’ve come to haunt my head again…

I notice my Christmas cheer is non-existent. Raised a Lutheran, so it’s Christmas time to me this time of the year. Oh sure, had the whole nine yards. Two days of food and family, trees and presents. And at times, church. Depending on where we lived or how close we were to the one set of very Lutheran grandparents. Christmas Eve services are when they sing the Christmas carols, by the way. All the verses! I might not like Christmas that much but dang, I sure do like belting out the carols.

I have been listening to various Christmas albums as I work on a screenplay about necrophilia. Yes, you read that correctly.

Annie Lennox, surprisingly, has a gorgeous one out. I had no idea she’d done a holiday album. A Christmas Cornucopia. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is my fave cut from that. Also one of my fave carols. O Holy Night as well ranks as one of my fave carols—the melody just thrills. Hearing a great singer belt that out…dang-a-lang-a-ding-dong.

I just wish to avoid relatives and all that. I have no wish to force myself to be social or friendly or just sit there like a loveless lump stuffing my face with food and drink so I don’t start screaming. I am rather done with humanity at this point. I guess they are done with me as well.

If I go by my social media posts. Which you shouldn’t, I’ve read.

I just meant this to be a breezy little holiday screed. The best of intentions, eh?

Happy holidays, however you celebrate or don’t.

Three Happy Dogs

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Brigit, Jake in the middle and Molly to the right. The Oywhee River.

I took the three dogs out to the Owyhees, which is the mountain range about forty minutes away. I loaded them into the Jimmy or the GMC, took some water, three dog bones, a towel. The old dirty blanket got placed across the back seat because there’s a small river up that way. And the three dogs love to fling themselves into the waters, whether pond, mud puddle, ocean, lake, trickle, stream, or river.

The wind a bit gusty but the sun out, the day beautiful otherwise. June day, not too hot but hot enough.

It seemed my mood lifted the second I crossed the tiny bridge over the Malheur as I drove toward the state park area. There’s a road carved into the rocks and sagebrush that leads up to the big reservoir where you can boat or swim or just hang. I don’t go up there cause…people are there and my entire goal in life right now is to avoid all human contact. That’s not sarcasm or being cutesy. That’s my depression, which has won and is just waiting for me to cut my wrists already so it can move on to someone else who at least poses a challenge to it…

Medication? Other than whatever’s in the fridge? No.

The three dogs whine and whimper. When they get to go anywhere, their other ends spew. They get excited, they have to empty the chambers. So I pull over, as there are little roads cut into the hills, as well as free range cattle and places to shoot off mortar rounds and…it’s Eastern Oregon. You can also see where the wagons cut grooves into the earth for all time, seemingly. Oregon Trail tracks. No kidding. Come see the permanent damage people have done to the earth, y’all!

I slow down when I see a ‘road closed’ sign, and a traffic cone. One of my favorite little spots to hunt rocks. This part of Oregon is rock hound heaven, in case I have not mentioned that. There’s a Thunderegg Festival in Nyssa, Oregon. That’s where people bring rocks to sell, along with other things. A thunderegg is another name for a geode.

The bridge, a tiny stone and wood structure you can drive across, had been swept away by a spring flood. The litter of that bridge in the river yet, which rushed past it importantly. Now. This is a narrow little river but it packs a powerful current with a strength more suited to the Mississippi at times. Same with the Snake River. It’s deceptively narrow but treacherous as the current regime of Gross Old Perverts. Crossing it on a covered wagon, in the days before dams and crumbling bridges, shudder. There’s a couple of famous crossing places that have been preserved in Idaho and Oregon. Farewell Bend, for instance. It’s where you left the river and went up into the Blues. By this time in your Oregon Trail adventure, you were just happy you were still alive.

Up the badly maintained road, often with rocks tumbled across it from the stony outcroppings that lean over it like something from a LOTR movie, I discover one of my favorite spots has no camper or group of scrubbed tourists lounging there like ticks on a hound. The dogs explode out of the back of the Jimmy, I notice I’ve left my bucket at home. I did bring a small ice cream bucket and a sack but nothing to put any or all the rocks I was sure to find. Hope is always eternal when I rouse myself enough to sneak off to hunt the elusive stationary rock. Some trips I find agates or chunks of crystal this or that almost at my feet when I park. I make sure I can get back on the road again as getting stuck out there with no phone is not a goal of mine. I can’t afford minutes at the moment.

The dogs go swimming. They sniff. I wander about noting the rocks, how the river must have flooded this little area, as the ground is yet muddy and water plants had died in straight lines. I had just seen the small bridge destroyed by the Owyhee River. I knew of hikers trapped by a mudslide not days ago. Fifty or more. A man had been swept away after falling asleep when rafting this same river. Found safe after a while.

The current at this peaceful little spot, with a small ranch next to it with actual livestock wandering through now and then, seems relentlessly evil. The dogs have trouble swimming against it and I worry I might have to rescue either of the two big Labs or the young Kewpie. Or cow dog as I think of Miz Bridge.

However, they enjoy being out of the yard and I trudge about. I am happy enough as well to be out of the yard, so to speak. But there’s no real joy in me at being in what has always seemed a spiritual place that renews what little I have left in my life’s batteries. It’s my big birthday. I turned fifty. Is that it? I am just down over how old I am?

Yes, to be frankly honest as hell. That is a small part of that yesterday. I expected. I expected a life beyond failing over and over and over, with nothing to show for my writing efforts but two books nobody’s even read. Including people in my own immediate family. My own fault for not becoming a teacher way back when, a real one, with certificates and such. As I pushed to do by my mother and others, and I did see myself teaching English to high schoolers or even, gasp, my little dream of teaching theatre in a college. And if I go into any of my abject wrong turns here or actual dead end blunders, I really will give in despair. More than usual, anyway.

I am not writing this for sympathy or thrills. I am attempting to sort everything out before I can’t. Or am not able to anymore.

Yes, it’s that bad. All the time. That little trip yesterday was my birthday treat. That was it. My family didn’t do anything special for me and I was grateful to even have my dad remember it was my birthday on the actual day of my birthday. I am grateful for a scrap of ‘hey, birthday, whatever’. Grateful. I have never mattered to my family…that’s how I feel.

And we’re not supposed to have feelings anymore. Or ever?

Once my mother brought a German Chocolate cake for my birthday. From the bakery markdown selection. The frosting had cracks in it, as it was old. Cheap old cake. I realize now that during June farmers don’t have a ready supply of cash and that I should be happy she bothered to get me a town cake at all. I just…want to feel that I matter to my own flesh and blood a bit.

And every birthday, it seems, I am faced with the evidence that I don’t.

The lifelong depression is going to win. I’m not going to magically defeat this thing in my head. I can barely concentrate enough to write this. I want to give in so badly and just end it. There it is. If I can look that in the face a bit, maybe I can…

take the dogs for little jaunt somewhere else that’s strange and new to me. Where I have no memories to remember. And I make it through another day.

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Not the bridge I mentioned, obviously. You can see the river doesn’t look formidable or anything else.
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Already dry as a bone. Sagebrush and rocks.
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Happy Jake after he emptied the chambers.

 

XAVIER AND VICKIE

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Miz Bridge. A little skinny cow dog mix. 

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.

Calm.

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. 

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Old-timey recipes! 

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.

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I just like this pic. We have rabbits, there’s snow now on the ground. Then I wonder if that poor bunny is cold…

Unkind

 

I had a movie review, of sorts, ready to go. Then, I went to Thanksgiving with the very very very red-hatted, MAGA relatives. It was fine. It was okay. Except for this odd twenty minutes or so. When this young woman, who had a year-old baby, went on and on about how homeless people are the real villains of American society.

When I hear how the young people of ‘murica are woke as fuck, I just start laughing. Not in Idaho, honey!

I mean, it was textbook Fox News talking points. Right down to my aunt sneering how those homeless people parked their expensive cars around the block after panhandling all day.

How this one homeless woman had a million in the bank. No name, no details, not a name or a state or even the name of the bank this alleged homeless millionaire lady had her money stashed away in.

Just this vague, urban legends, sort of riff. The welfare queen, which has always more or less been with us. The shifty beggar who’s scamming us. The panhandler who’s raking in big dough! How dare they?! They spend all that money they get on drugs and liquor! They just throw away the food you give them!

There was also a brisk discussion of public parks, what homeless people do to the porta-potties and bathrooms. How guards have to chase them off. Because the homeless sorts are doing drug deals and probably having sex with each other.

In the porta-potties! I’m never using a porta-potty again, was, I believe, the conclusion drawn from all this. 

There was the groaning from the relatives and this young woman, who’s a relative by marriage to my relative, I think. I find this young woman forgettable. A baby factory for the upcoming civil war, frankly. Yes, I am awful. Yes, I am.

Now, me breaking in with how full of shit that all was. No. Me breaking in with name names, what are your sources. Nope.

Because the relatives and relatives of my relatives don’t fact check anything. Why should they? It’s far more sexy to believe there’s a legion of homeless scammers doing lots of drugs, eating steak and lobster every night from their food stamps wrangling, and driving about in a Mercedes after spending all day in smelly rags pretending how poor they were. You don’t have to feel guilty about them folks, after all. Not if they’re all drug addicts, thieves and the worst of the worst. The beggars now are not the virtuous sorts they had in their days, no sir!

Yeah.

I think of my self-preservation during these absurd sneerings about the truly down and out. I also think I have to avoid Christmas, because I really don’t enjoy these people anymore. Nor do I wish to sit there doing a slow burn, with my fingernails dug into my leg to stop me from smacking the holy living verbal shit out of these clusterfuckers. Sure, it will feel so good, it would make a great moment in a play or a movie,. But. Real life, you have to deal with the consequences of turning into a rabid hyena and chewing up your racist, awful relatives.

Which marks me as a coward. A silent one.

Which claws at me far more than anything ‘those people’ can sneer out about this group or that one. That I kept my head down, rather than risk being flayed alive by the entire crew. As I have spoken up before, I have. I know what will happen, right down to the last eye roll.

That I kept silent so my own failures and lack of anything resembling a life or career would not be thrown at my head. I have not been writing. I have not felt bold lately at all. The rejections roll in in a thick, steady stream. My few submissions sent out net me zero results. Which is standard writer crap, but still.

That old crud of why bother, you’re a loser drifts into my head like a stinking poisoned fog. That old music playing and playing. And the realization. That I think every day of ending it. Every day.

Every day.

I dread what they will say at any funeral services held for me. I dread hearing it. If I hear anything at all. But perhaps no one will notice that much. Be relieved I am gone. Or tell stories of how I panhandled, and parked my spendy ride around the block to fool everyone. Perhaps I will join the parade of unkind myths about such people as me. The next generation of babies will be trained to spew the talking points. Beggars bad, rich people angels.

The bungled and the botched, I believe, is what will be written in the dirt. Then carelessly smudged by passing feet. Spare change will remain in pockets as people virtuously ignore the scammers holding out dented old tin cups. My little world has turned into some sort of absurd Dickens-like tale. Like Miss Havisham, I seem frozen in time. 

Father Ted

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from Sky News. Father Ted cast.

So, it’s almost Halloween.

I should be whipping up spooky little tales.

Designing haunted house mazes for the ages.

Setting up corn field obstacle courses that will make people shit their manties.

Carving pumpkins into leering demon faces.

Dang it! I should be a Halloween-happy fiend of productivity!

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Instead.

I’m watching Father Ted. I’m also not writing. Bigly so. My brain remains serenely blank. Like a giant piece of blankness. Nothin’ up there up blankness.

Eh.

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from the Denver Post. Yep, that’s what it looks like. 

So!! I did some marijuana trimming. On the Blue Diesel, on the Hawaiian, on the Star something. Yeah. The plants have names. Did you know that?

Your reefer has a specific name for a reason. Connoisseurs of reefer can lovingly talk about properties, high qualities, etc…rather like those wine freaks can talk about barrels, soil and grapes.

Reefer growers can talk, for hours, on the troubles they’ve had with a certain plant. On bud size. On stickiness and gumminess. On which plant is mostly all star buds. Which plant is not all star buds but sports some good solid gigantic, super-giant, buds. Which are easier to trim, so I’ll give them points here, fellow babies. On how people really like reefer that’s named after berries. Blueberry anything, for example, is a good seller.

You have to hand trim. The machine to do this, that would replace the people-labor portion, is rather spendy. As is all farm machinery. At least, the small aunt-run operation I show up for can not field an expensive piece of fiddly machinery.

Also, she likes the company, I think. Family and friends show up to snip buds from stalks. She makes lots of food, there’s snacks and coffee and soft drinks. It’s more of a party than work! Well, no, it’s still mind-numbing, factory-like work. But there’s snacks! You get to hear gossip about people you don’t know. You get to hear gossip about people you do know. I’m not a Gabby McTalkerson, so I just listen. I just listen!

Where was I? Father Ted.

I’ve been watching this twenty year old Britcom. Craggy Island. Catholic priests. It’s gut-bustingly funny. To me, at least. I know the star of this series has died of a heart attack before he turned fifty.

It’s basically Father Ted [Delmot Morgan], who’s our Everyman sort of guy, flanked by the astoundingly stupid Dougal[Ardal O’Hanlon] and the mad elder, Father Jack [Frank Kelly]. Girls! Drink! No! Feck!

There’s also a housekeeper [Mrs. Doyle–Pauline McLyn] prone to pratfalls and absurdities. Which the British excel at. It’s rather like Monty Python meets the Vicar of Dibley, except Father Ted never ever ever seems to go near a church. Mm? Oh yes, Graham Norton shows up as a priest from time to time. And he’s HYSTERICAL. Oh my sainted aunt!

Anyway! It’s soothing and funny. The comments below the episodes [I’ve found this over on Youtube.] speak to a longing when comedies were not so PC, or policed by the SJW’s of today. Yeah. You just want to start laughing at that, too. Remember back when comedies were full of racist stereotypes and we could be awful to non-white people? Remember back in the good ole days?

Ah!  Liberal nigger lovers and  lefty kike watchdogs have ruined everything! Thank God America is great again! Snowflakes, LOL. SNOWFLAKES LOL. 

I might be exaggerating a wee trifle, but it sure feels like I’m toning shite down.

So, today, I will force myself to write. Something. Anything. To splash some words on that blankness in my head. Or just go outside and play with the two dogs. Or watch some Father Ted, marvel at how great it was twenty years ago to be openly crappy to others.

one of my fav episodes back when TV was really entertaining and funny when people didn’t go all PC gawd i miss those days yes yes that would be a ecumenical matter–shane upham, commenting under Father Ted Are You Right There Father Ted?

you don’t see good comedy like this anymore thanks to the jackasses called the PC police–Espada2234

Sorry, no review, this time, of Father Ted. I can’t seem to gather enough thoughts to write up a little something on Ted and the gang of priests. I do recommend the episode where Ted and Dougal try to write a song for the European song contest show. Eurovision? We don’t get that here in the colonies. They came up with a song about a horse. I kid you not. The scene where Dougal and Ted have been up all night, trying to write that song, is just. I! Oh feck, it’s about the funniest fecking thing I’ve seen in a goodly long while.

That includes a ten second clip of any FatNixon public fap rally held with paid audience members.

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Well, yeah. We’ve time-traveled back to the Fifties. Let’s go fix some stuff! What are we waiting for???

Wonderfalls Visited!

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from Wikipedia

I had Wonderfalls, the first episode, earmarked for watching later. Months go by. There it is. Wonderfalls, crazy lady talks to statues or something. Lighthearted fun. Niagara Falls locale. Pretty!

Finally, I actually bothered to watch it. The anticipation, right? It was killing you?

At first, I LOVED IT. Oh my gosh!

Jaye, played by Caroline Dhavernas, the main gal who gets talked at by various stuffed animals and little statue thingies– that’s just the Everywoman character that we want to root for. She lives in a trailer, how quirky! Jaye went to Brown, yet she’s working in a gift shop as a clerk! Quirky squared! She’s pretty, young, and sarcastic! Ah!

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She’s got a wacky family. Who does not? I wish, frankly and unabashedly, that they’d been the bulk of this show rather than trotted out now and then like show ponies.

The Tylers: Katie Finnerman as Sharon. Lee Pace as Aaron. William Sadler as Darrin and Diana Scarwid as Karen. 

Lee Pace as the brother! Those eyebrows. I loved Pushing Daisies, so here he gets to play someone quite different than the guy who can bring dead stuff back to life for a minute.

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One of the better parts of the Hobbit trilogy. Getting to watch Legolas’s daddy having a really good time in a forest setting. 

The older sister, Sharon, an immigration lawyer and a closeted lesbian. She’s also awkward, ambitious, real, a smoker, sort of the one left out in the family dynamics.

The mother, now. At first she seemed a typical shallow WASP mommy type, then she wasn’t. The dad, same thing, then he wasn’t; they grew on ya.

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from Living Dead Guy Productions. The Tyler Family from Wonderfalls.

The best friend is not white. She and Jaye do a lot of drinking. She’s sassy, this friend. Real sassy. Mostly a foil for Our Heroine Jaye. Tracie Thoms as Mahandra. Yep, that’s her name. 

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The boyfriend, played by Tyrin Leitso, a cute bartender whose wife went to town on some bellhop on their wedding night.

Remember this. Because. Yes, I will revisit this one. He’s pretty. And harmless as a Labrador puppy, the perfect foil for our sharp-tongued, snarky, yet gorgeous little heroine. She has a lot of foils around her. Well, two. He is BOYFRIEND POTENTIAL NUMBER ONE. Sort of like Luke over on Gilmore Girls. Well, this one’s scruffy and wears the guy outfit of plaid shirt, jeans, but he’s more puppy than snarling alpha wolf archetype we gals are told we really like. 

Now, every episode deals with one of the objects around Jaye who give her rather cryptic sayings that she has to figure out. Which usually leads her to helping someone. Which is not her modus operandi! She’s a quirky, selfish, self-involved, people-hating store clerk, dang it! No ambitions like her go-getter sister! Does not pursue her education, like her brother! She has to open up! Be kind! Help others! She even goes to therapy because people think she’s cracking, because she’s acting nice to others a bit. Yep!

Which is actually funny. The writing remains funny and light enough in tone. There’s that air of whimsy one wants in a talking objects hour-long show. The objects that talk, a lion statue, a brass monkey, the fish at the bar, look natural enough. Whoever did the special effects, well done. Even on a grainy youtube video.

Ah, the brother starts to notice his sister is not acting like herself. The three siblings actually act like siblings. They fight, they hate each other, they get comfort from each other. Jay confides in her brother a bit, then a bit more, then enlists his help to rid her of her little tormentors. There’s also Jaye’s best friend getting involved romantically with Jaye’s brother, in secret. I really liked that pairing. It seemed far more interesting and complex than Jaye and the bartender guy panting politely over each other.

Okay, I’ve hinted at the Jaye and bartender guy blues I so obviously wish to send over the falls in a barrel. Yes, there was an episode on just that, with Rue McClanahan and Louise Fletcher, called Barrel Bear. I liked that episode, it surprised me. Did not go like I thought it would.

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from the EW Community. Dharvenas as Jaye and Leitso as Eric. 

But. Jaye and Eric. That’s his name. I forgot it until I went to look something up just now. We get the hunky quiet guy and the obviously quirky sarcasm queen baking a little romance cake for several episodes. It’s building. It’s building. I’m sighing a bit, wondering when they’ll DO IT ALREADY. In the episode about the two macaws, they finally kiss. I think that was the episode. The two rare birds then decide to mate in the sister’s car. Ha ha.

Anyway, we don’t have to suffer any actual triangles or complications just yet. No real villain has shown up to actually disrupt Miss Quirky’s lifestyle choices. Mostly it’s just Jaye fighting her own nature, tee hee. The best friend is salty and honest. The family is weird and quirky and rather lovable. I kinda wish the show had centered more on the family than Jaye.

I’m starting to notice that odd thought more and more in my head. Wish they had centered more on her sister, brother, mom and dad than…um, Jaye. Ahem.

I do like Jaye. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t sit through the Wonderfalls marathon available if I had not. The actress engages, tackles the material with a right good will and seems to be having lots of fun. So I have fun, too!

Anyway. So Eric and Jaye are POISED FOR ROMANCE. When who shows up??? Yep! That not yet ex-wife of Eric’s, named Heidi.

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from Wiki Fandom. Jewel Staite as Heidi Gotts.

No offense to the actress, but oh my God, did I hate her the minute she opened her mouth. Her voice. It just. Fingernails on a million chalkboards time. Jewel Staite. As Heidi Ho, as Jaye’s best friend called her. I just flinched. I had a hard time even sitting through the ep. I looked away a lot. Jaye, of course, gets advice that she has to cede the floor to Heidi, not tell Eric how she feelz about him. She’s got real big feelz for him. There’s a literal girl fight taking place. God damn it! Did the writers go out for a pizza or something here? Did they let actual lions write this one?

Eric actually got down to brass tacks with Jaye before all this Heido Ho biznass. Do you like me or not time. Our Heroine froze like a deer in headlights! Cute!

Okay. So, the not yet ex wife shows back up, wants her man back from man-eater, other woman Jaye.

Heidi? She’s awful. Truly so. I zone out so much that if she has layers or can garner sympathy, eh. Argh. Uck. Stop talking, you rat-faced product of a demon and a toy poodle! A squeaky toy brought to life! If I fast forward through her shit, will that help?

She and Jaye rumble. The best friend, who knows Jaye, has warned the bartender guy not to fall for Jaye, as Jaye allegedly chews men up and spits them out every other day. Jaye’s a heartbreaker, ya’ll.

Jaye’s talking posse of stuffed animals, statues and backpacks, even a snake on a shirt, guide her to not tell bartender guy about her FEELINGS. To make it seem she never had any real ones toward Puppy Man. To stand by while squeaky toy Heidi Ho takes center stage in Puppy Man’s life. There’s even Jaye thinking Heidi might be murdering Eric! It’s whacky! There’s ED pills involved!

And Jaye having to cry a lot, pretend she’s not crying over all this and Eric looking SAD a lot as Heidi looks MAD a lot. I also wondered if Heidi has a trust fund. Where has she been all this time? She can now drop everything, hang out in Niagara Falls with no gainful employment?

Oh this is getting long. Okay!

Yes, exactly what we think will happen happens. Eric and Jaye discover they’re each other’s dates for the Prom. By the time I get to the last episode, Caged Bird, I’m just enduring this thing. A repeat of Jaye telling Eric she doesn’t like him. The objects telling Jaye vague shit that she has to decipher. Give him heart! Whatever, caged bird! Yes, Heidi Ho discovering she’s not the one for Labrador puppy. I just. Yeah.

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from WhatisWonderfalls. Yes, what Jaye was told to do. Quirky results followed!

I can pinpoint my disenchantment with this show the minute the not quite ex wife shows up. The growing rift between Jaye and Eric seems oddly artificial and fake. I feel very manipulated.

The show, before this, cutesy a bit. Sure. Whimsy on overload, yes. But I rather like whimsy, and hey, a bit of cute and gentle, why not. But!! Adding that Heidi thing, fuck me with a brass monkey.

I checked out. I rolled my eyes a lot. I skipped ahead a bit, trying to find scenes that didn’t involve this triangle of idiots. I wondered what was on the other channel. Back when people still had channels and not streaming services. Ah, the good ole days.

I’d rather watch an Orange Hellbeast NuNazi Rally in MontaWyNebTexas than endure returning to the Heidi-heavy episodes. Which seemed all the episodes after eight or so.

Okay, I would not. I could not last more than five seconds through those Nuremberg-esque I’m the Greatest, Everyone Else is Shit rallies from hell.

So! I really enjoyed the first half of the thirteen episodes. That’s all there is. This show got cancelled before it could really get going. Sort of like Firefly, Moonlight, and Freaks and Geeks. Wonderfalls has cult status for a reason. It’s well done. The writing is sharp and funny. It’s character-driven. More or less. It’s not like everything else out there. Until the will they/won’t they crap starts up, of course.

Anyway! That’s my ramble on Wonderfalls. Below is the theme song, by Andy Partridge. Enjoy!

 

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Wheat field being harvested. Eastern Oregon. 

It’s rather sobering how the people around you get revealed. How that top layer of niceness and decency just go away. And you see the rotting bones beneath, the strips of moldering flesh.

You notice you’re talking to ghosts, who cling to things they know with all their might and mistake the screeches of a selfish idiot for truth, beauty and the American way.

He speaks for us. He’s saying what we’re saying.

Um, wow, I hope not. Have you actually listened to that thing speak/shout at the multiple rallies?

This isn’t strangers around me saying that. I’m a lone island in a sea of blank-eyed eidolons.

I grew up around these desperate little spirits, who can’t understand that their wages going down, and everything else going up isn’t because of welfare queens taking advantage of the system.

Well, it sort of is. Those welfare queens run giant companies like GE and Exxon and Bank of America.

The welfare queens, usually portrayed as a black woman or an immigrant-colored sort of gal, that my relatives and others are told to hate, holds some sort of legendary status right up there with Bigfoot, Nessie and the Abominable Snowman.

Everyone knows about them, but nobody’s actually seen one. There’s the tales about so and so in line at the grocery store. This woman, with a fancy phone, fancy clothes, blah, is buying steak and lobster with food stamps. The details! The more details piled on, the more people lap it up! She’s got her hair done, she’s got fancy salon-looking nails! She’s wearing clothes!

How dare this food-stamp mama WEAR CLOTHES?

Outrage, outrage, get your outrage here! We need to cut those programs…! Yeah. Yep. 

It’s on par with an urban legend.

Except. People repeat it and repeat it, like an urban legend. Going back, fact checking that, boring!

Welfare queens milking the system, sexy as hell. And the fault of the left who wants to give all your hard-working money to gang members, those welfare taker milkers of the system, slutty single women who want abortions every other weekend and…yeah.

I can hear Fox News from the other room. Hyde Amendment, ever heard of it? You have to wait five years to apply for any sort of assistance in America if you immigrated here legally or…ugh.

I hear  the loud, very angry hectoring that makes up the bulk of Fox News programming. Hannity to Laura Ingraham, screaming how Pumpkincunt is a savior of the American Way of Life while Obama and Hillary and the Left want to turn everyone into scary words scary words. It’s not the words at this point, it’s the tone that people respond to. That’s what I get from just hearing that shit from another room. That comforting outrage that pours into the ears like oil squeezed from snakes. I get a sick, hot feeling and a need to FACT CHECK EVERYTHING around me, then a need to take one of those showers you take after exposure to anything nuclear. I’m contaminated. I’ve been exposed to radiation. 

I’m in a terrible place right now. Mentally, physically, the whole kit and kaboodle.

I walked out to get the mail. A beautiful day. Cooler than it has been. Clear skies, that smoky haze pushed out a bit. My thoughts full of what am I hanging on for. What. What am I hanging on for. There’s no reason for this.

It’s just this passing clot of darkness amid, should I make some biscuits, is my pumpkin ripe, I need to find a play for such and such. There’s even some fancy name for always having suicidal thoughts. Being always on that cliff. Looking into the abyss. Wondering. How soon. How soon.

My relatives, over on Facebook, posted a meme. Here, you can see it, too. Or curse me, wash your eyeballs with bleach and go get drunk with bikers. Or acrobats, hey, I will not judge you.

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This doesn’t appear to be a joke or hoax

I know her. She’s a good person. Like, deep down nice. Funny, tough, one of those women who stand by their man sorta woman. She’s a throwback country song, sung by George Jones, with Mo Bamby singing backup. A bright spot during the family Christmas Hell-Eves.

And yet…that meme. Does she believe that? Is there some part of her that goes, some tiny still voice in the center of her head, that goes…I’ve been fooled.

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Apricot Hellbeast’s speech in West Virginia. Actual excerpt. 

She’s got a medically fragile kid. She’s on all sorts of assistance to help that kid, to keep him alive. Medical bills that way, ouch!

To pay for those massive tax cuts, the regime that holds all three branches of the American government will go after everything she depends on. Those programs to help kids in that manner already cut to the bone or going away.

This will be blamed on immigrants clogging the welfare system…or lazy Millennials who don’t  know the value of working or people with arts degrees or Hillary. Or avocado toast. Or Starbucks coffee runs. Or. Or anything but pointing out the hoary old there’s always money for anything military, none for social programs.

Oh sorry. Anything military contractor. As veterans getting help when they come back from the never-ending war/s, pfft. We’ve never taken care of our veterans, why start now?

It’s all the Democrats fault, of course, that veterans blah dee blah.

They’re into BIG GOVERNMENT and red tape! It’s not us nice Republicans who love family, the military, guns and Jesus and tiny tiny government! Wheee! Sorry, veterans. If only the demoncrats would work with President Orange Jesus, everything would magically just become magical!! Unicorns in every cooking pot!

We’re the party of Lincoln! We must all tighten our belts, some must tighten their belts so much they get cut in two and die under a bridge having frozen to death. But that’s the fault of  Nancy Pelosi. Nothing is ever our fault, we’re the party of Lincoln!

Doesn’t…doesn’t she know this? Doesn’t that compute? Hasn’t she been paying attention at all?

No.

No, she hasn’t. It seems my entire family turned into members of some sort of weird cult. I’ve never fit in with my family but this is…so much worse. I feel afraid. For me. For them. For all of us. I can’t forgive that they embrace that thing. They can’t forgive that I don’t. I don’t want to talk to them or be around them.

They don’t seem like my family anymore.

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At the Western Idaho Fair, Boise, Idaho. This is the Republican Party these days? 

I think that’s the worse thing that has happened to this country, well…not even close, but still. Dividing friends, family into hostile camps dedicated to erasing the other.

Maybe this is a tiny taste of those pre-Civil War years. People divided so sharply that there was no reasonableness left. No logic, no reason. Just hasty words, slogans, propaganda and shouting. Promising things would be done to protect their side. Swords rattled. Before they really got rattled for four years.

Fuck, we’re still fighting that damn war to this day. It never ended. 1861-?. The South will Rise Again! Um, does that mean we’re gonna have to wear hoops skirts and own slaves and shout that cotton is king? Holy barfballs, ‘murikkka!

How long do you ignore this cult brouhaha from the ‘other side’?

When you remember a snowy Christmas Eve night– that hulking MAGA hat wearing sort used to be a tiny tot in a blue knitted stocking cap, delighted over all the Christmas wonderfulness.

When you remember your dad coming to get you after you flipped your truck but didn’t die or even get hurt that much. When…yep. How much do you have to give up to live with yourself a bit?

Because you can’t put the “nice” faces back on the rotting ghost visages.

You can’t unring the bells, that one is very true. You can’t unsee. You can’t unhear.

I don’t have any answers.

Others have cut all ties with their Trumpkin relatives and friends.

Others have given up on anything political, thrown up their hands with a ‘Can’t we all just get along’ darty-eyed look.

Others don’t discuss politics or religion with family or friends. I guess they talk about the weather or traffic. Or old Bewitched episodes. Who didn’t love Serena? Uncle Arthur! Dr. Bombay, what a hoot! Derwood!

And how, after all this is over and it will be, one way or another, how do you reconcile or reconnect? Or just find those you cut loose to point at them and laugh?

America will either right itself, ha ha, or it won’t.

We might very well find ourselves with an actual dictatorship in place.

And people writing careful puff pieces on the “right” people who had faith in Apricot Hellbeast and Sunny Jesus, and never wavered in faith for either. Because writing anything else. Mm. We’re already kinda there at that point. The lying media. Fake news. Enemy of the people. Yeah, we’re there. Fun!

We might find America will shake this off, with a lesson learned.

HA HA HA HA HA.

America flunks history every damn time. We have those Etch-A-Sketch memories. We in America are always AMAZED AND HORRIFIED at the latest wave of racism or awfulness.

America has never been this bad. Yeah, um, yeah it has. I’m outraged and horrified, this is unprecedented! Ten years ago, then five years before that and then…

It will all get blamed on the Democrats. All this now going on, when it’s over, will get that patina of Right Wing Blame It On The Democrats. People will fall for it, the same people now who think Hil Clinton is running a pedo international child sex slave operation out of a New Jersey pizza parlor. [See QAnon crap]

Or think that Obama is a secret Muslim born in Kenya to outer space lizard lords. Who then rigged the elections, twice, to ruin America so that Pumpkincunt had to save it…

to make amerikkka grate again and put amerikkka firstest. cause obummer fucked us for eight years and trump had sex like a boss with porn stars. he wasn’t prezident when he fucked them porn stars and cohen a big jew baby lied about all that, trump didnt no abut that money. he sed so i beleeve him. the russans helped killery not trump has anyone investigated the dnc?? lock her up!! crooked killery who had all those people killed but nobody went after her she’s a real witch kill that cunt we should kill her shes evil. baby killer killery. obama probably brought in those mexicans. maybe we should send the national guard to CHICAGO. fire muller it’s a witch hunt! clean coal! MAGA!!

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People believe this. Actual real people believe this. 
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Why mother fact-checking, CNN? Why? What’s the fucking point now? 

That’s what I hear. That’s what I hear. That’s what I read.

And worse. And funnier. And far more jaw-droppingly WTF. With bad spelling and monstrous trembling outrage and jumbled conspiracy theories galore, oh my.

I dread any meeting with relatives right now. I don’t want them watching me as they speak about…whatever they heard on Hannity or the Five. I feel any love I bear them get a little bit less each time. Each time. Until they’re just strangers to me. And if it came down to it…I’d be very ready for the Nu Civil War. And that goes a little deeper than some cheap tears and a hasty blog post.