Wednesday, July 28, 2010
OK, I Think The Story Would Be More Believable If Little Red Riding Hood Was Attacked Not By A Wolf But By A Bull--Like Matadors...
* sssshhh....don't tell..... But I'm working on the Little Red Riding Hoodie. And ssshhh again.... Because the below is what that idgit Little Baby does between tuna feedings..... * *
Friday, July 23, 2010
* So there I was, making some red psychedelic beads, and I heard distant thunder---which was odd, since it had just been sunny and hotter than hell just a few moments ago. But anybody who knows me will tell you that I love storms. So, knowing the thunder was announcing the imminent arrival of a storm, I ran downstairs, grabbed my camera, and went out on the back deck to watch the storm come in and, hopefully, get some good pictures of it.
All of a sudden I heard Blaine yelling: "Hey Dumb Dora! It says on the TV that there's a bad storm coming in from the west and that lightning could even be miles up front of it----and so you had better come inside."
I replied: "You don't have to tell me where the storm is---that damn new TV is so big that I can see the weather lady from here!"
And then...amazingly.....I heard another sound.....a sound which has eluded me for 18 years.
I heard the lovely jingle of the bells on a Good Humor Ice Cream Truck.... But.... no matter which state I've ever lived in, I have always tried to catch the ice cream man without success. I have been thwarted in my efforts to catch one time after time again, year after year, as for some reason the damn ice cream men I've encountered all think they're Dale Earnhardt in the Indy 500, speeding through the neighborhood at jet engine speed.
But I'm stubborn..... and so I rushed into the house, grabbed some of Blaine's quarters on the dining room table, and flew out the front door towards that wondrous jingling sound which announces that the ice cream man cometh.....
Sprinting like I was in the 100-yard dash, quarters clutched in my left fist, I ran like hell towards the ice cream man. I saw that he was still on the cul-de-sac----which meant that he'd HAVE to pass where I was in order to leave the street. And I was taking no chances....
And then the storm arrived in earnest. Large sheets of rain began pelting the neighborhood and thunder and lightning were all around.
But I wasn't going to let this ice cream man go. I wanted a damn Good Humor "Sundae Cone". And I knew that the ice cream man was going to try and speed away, since he knew nobody would come out to buy an ice cream in hurricane-force winds.
But I was way ahead of him!
I ran out into the middle of the street, waving my arms like a madwoman, signaling the ice cream man to stop. And he had to stop in order to avoid running me over.
"I want a Good Humor Sundae Cone!" I yelled at him, my voice practically drowned out by the thunder and winds.
Aghast, and giving me a look which I know meant he was questioning my sanity, he quickly grabbed one of the precious cones out of the freezer box and said: "That's two bucks."
I counted the change in my hand, and announced: "Oh DAMN! I'm short---let me go inside and get some more money....."
But he yelled back: "Are you nuts? We are in a major storm here! Just give me what you've got!"
So I forked over the money and took possession of my Good Humor Sundae Cone---and hurried back into the house, my entire body soaking wet.
See? I did it! Hee hee!! I overcame an 18-year curse and finally caught the damn ice cream man! HEH!
I started cavorting around the living room, waving my Good Humor Sundae Cone under everybody's noses, bragging to Blaine, Leonard, and Little Baby about my success in getting something I'd wanted for 18 years--- but nobody was interested. Blaine just sighed and rolled his eyes at my stupidity in going out into an electrical storm, and the cats weren't even listening.
I noticed Little Baby sleeping on the sack into which Blaine had put some dried herbs he'd picked off the deck garden. Obviously, Blaine hadn't noticed it yet. I chuckled to myself to think how he'd blow his stack when he saw that.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
* * Okay, so idgity Blaine has a 55" television set delivered. And I'm left wondering what in the hell was wrong with our old behemoth below? It was huge, too... I couldn't resist remarking: "Why don't you get it over with and install an IMAX system in here? We could invite the neighbors and charge money for watching it--- with popcorn and everything." He did not respond.
And look below, at Little Baby's face and tell me what she's saying. Well I know EXACTLY what that face means. It means: "I don't give a damn about the new TV, I just want tuna placed into my bowl---NOW!"
Monday, July 12, 2010
This used to be the place I ran to Whenever I was in need of a friend, Why did it have to end? ("This Used To Be My Playground", Madonna) *
Can you help me remember how to smile? Make it somehow all seem worthwhile? How on earth did I get so jaded? Life's mystery seems so faded... ("Runaway Train", Soul Asylum) *
If you knew Blaine you'd most likely think that he is a kindhearted, quiet sort of man. People always describe him as being "easy going" and "a nice guy"--but quiet and somewhat melancholy. What most people don't see is the despair behind his soft, strikingly beautiful green eyes. That was what had attracted me when I first met him---his eyes. Blaine doesn't talk about himself much. In fact, he rarely mentions his own emotions at all. And he also never talks about hopes and dreams for the future. He has no trust in the future. And if I ever ask him about a future event; i.e. if we can go on a vacation next year or buy a house, he always replies with the same sentence: "We'll see....." And in all the years I've known him, these facets of his personality have never changed.
And it took me quite a few years to find out all the details of the horrific tragedy which broke his heart and left him forever ensconced in the murky, solemn demeanor he has exhibited in all the years I've known him.
And I think the horrible secret behind his sad eyes is exactly what causes him to indulge me in my numerous whims and to spoil me to death. Because over and over, every single time he buys me something, even if it's just a knitting magazine, he never fails to ask: "Are you happy now?" He isn't being sarcastic---he says it in earnest, really wanting to know if he made me happy. In fact, if I ever have a really bad day, what with my mental issues and constant anxiety, it is not uncommon for him to ask: "Can I buy you something which would cheer you up?"
Yes, Blaine tries to make me happy.
During the years after our divorce, when he lived here in Kansas and I had moved to Austin, Texas, he never wavered in his feelings for me, year after year. He never went out with another girl. And he kept calling me periodically---and even frequently visited my mother in a different part of Texas. On one of his trips to Austin, which he said was to visit friends, he brought me a kitten, which I almost named Pasquale but ended up naming the idgity thing "Squealy" since he bawled his eyes out all night for the first week I had him.
Basically, Blaine was waiting for me to come back to him---which eventually I did a couple of years ago. And now things have come full circle.
And I want to tell you his story because it's a story which needs to be told. It is a cautionary story which serves to remind us to always appreciate those we love---and never, ever take them for granted.
So here goes....
It happened when Blaine was 19 or 20, a long time ago, before I ever met him in Texas....
During his childhood he grew up in a small town in upstate New York. He was a child of a broken home, his mother having left his father when he was very young. She took Blaine's sister with her and moved back to the Queens area in New York City. And, like his two older brothers, Blaine opted to stay with their father.
But it was a very lonely existence for Blaine. His two older brothers soon left home themselves and his father, who was a raging alcoholic, paid little attention to Blaine. So at a very young age Blaine learned to fend for himself--- to cook for himself, do his own laundry, clean the house, and all the other things that a mother might do for a son.
Blaine had grown up with two best friends, and those friends became even more important to him after his parents split and his two older brothers had gone their own ways. Blaine's sister, Lexie, once told me that she had felt sorry for Blaine during those years because he always seemed so lonely, especially since neither his father nor his older brothers ever seemed very concerned about young, lonely Blaine.
And so, Lexie told me, after the family disintegrated, Blaine had clung even closer to his two best friends, trying to fill the cruel loneliness of a boy without a mother--- and feeling cast aside by his alcoholic father and two older brothers. Because, sadly, neither Blaine's father nor his brothers ever showed the slightest concern about how Blaine was growing up.
Thus, Blaine and his two buddies were rarely seen apart. They ditched school together, they graduated high school together, got jobs, and usually spent their weekends hanging out with each other and female acquaintances. And they had gained reputations for being somewhat delinquent youths---seen frequently and recklessly careening around town in one of their cars, running as high-spirited, free, and as beautiful as wild horses.
One Friday night, Blaine's two friends, David and Bruce, had planned to go out to the movies with their girlfriends. Of course they asked Blaine to go along but he said he'd skip this one as he had no date that weekend. He decided to stay home and watching TV while drinking a little beer. He later said that he had gone to bed early that night.
He was awoken at 3:00 am by the insistent sound of the ringing telephone. It was Bruce's sister. At first Blaine couldn't understand a word she said as she was screaming so hysterically and he was groggy from sleep. He kept telling her to slow down until he could finally understand what she was saying.
"They're all DEAD!" she screamed, nearly hyperventilating. "Oh Blaine, they're all dead! And I thought you were dead, too---but then they said you weren't in the car!"
"In the car? Who's dead?" he had replied stupidly, not comprehending.
"Oh honey! David and Bruce are dead!" she sobbed. "And also one of the girls that was in the car with them!"
Gradually, Blaine pulled it out of her that there had been a terrible car accident. Nobody knew just exactly how it had happened, but it looked like David had lost control of his car after being broadsided by another vehicle. Of the foursome, David, Bruce, and one of the two girls had been killed on the spot. The other girl, who'd sat on the passenger side of the back seat, had survived. No one had been wearing seat belts.
Blaine was aghast--- and traumatized.
His most precious of friends had all been killed. And if he had gone with them that night he probably would have been killed as well. It was so much for him to comprehend that he walked around in a daze for the next several days, almost catatonic, as the families prepared for the funerals. Blaine was to be a pallbearer at David's and Bruce's.
And then the next blow came.
David's mother asked Blaine if he would go to the impound lot, where David's car had been towed after the accident, to arrange to have it towed home. Blaine said of course he'd go. But when he arrived at the impound lot and the caretaker had taken him to David's car, Blaine was shocked and traumatized all over again.
The entire interior of the car was awash in his friends' blood---from front to back and even on the car's ceiling. And worse yet, there was a lot of brain matter and other parts of his friends' broken bodies scattered all over the place.....
....and good, kind Blaine didn't want his friend's mother to see all that. And so he painstakingly cleaned as much of it up as he could, to the amazement of the impound lot's caretaker.
* * * * * * * *
Everyone said Blaine was never the same after that accident. Whereas Blaine had once taken boisterous, gregarious joy in hanging out with his closest friends, he was now a quiet, sad, isolative shell of his former self. He began drinking heavily and had difficulty making new friends---nothing would ever be the same forevermore.
And Blaine would never, ever be able to get the picture of the interior of the destroyed car out of his mind.
Suddenly, the town seemed vacant and lonely to Blaine. And that is when he decided to move far away and start a new life. An acquaintance of his was going to move down to Austin, Texas, and advised Blaine that he should do the same since Austin has tons of computer related jobs. Blaine's father had worked for IBM in New York and so Blaine thought he might as well go down to Austin and apply to the branch of IBM there. And that is where I met my Blaine---in Austin when he was working for IBM. Eventually, we moved up here to Kansas since his sister and brother-in-law were here and invited us to come live near them, especially since computer jobs are plentiful here as well. And not only did we move here, but one of Blaine's older brothers moved his family here as well. I divorced Blaine 4 years later......but as I related before, Blaine never lost faith that I'd come back to him. And eventually I did. And when Lexie told me how rough Blaine had taken our divorce, and how much it had hurt him, I felt terrible--- and I have decided that I will NEVER, EVER take him for granted again. So that's the story. And now I know why he always asks me, after he's bought me something, if I'm "happy". I think that deep down inside of his fractured heart that he, too, doesn't ever want to take someone he loves for granted again. He's lost enough--- and there will always be those two terrible, tragic holes in his heart of hearts for David and Bruce. And so I allow him to fret over me, which he does faithfully, even in the face of all of my crazy, mental insanity problems and substance abuse issues. And whenever Blaine asks me "if I'm happy"..... ... I always give him my most excited, thrilled and happy facial expression while replying: "Oh yes, Blaine! This makes me very happy!" And then I am gratified to see that satisfied look come over his face with just a flicker of some lost, forgotten light in his lovely green eyes. And all is well.... *
Someday little girl,
You'll wonder what life's about, What others have known, few battles are won alone, So, you'll look around to find, Someone who's kind, someone who is fearless like you... ("True Grit", Glenn Campbell) * *
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
* I think I've found the perfect omelete recipe. I made it up myself. And if anybody would like this recipe, here it is: First, gather your ingredients. I use salsa as a garnish, so I get that out first thing. (I like the kind of salsa with cilantro in it.) Next, I chop up some onions. I also chop up a handful of some of my homegrown cherry tomatoes, which I'm growing on my deck.
Grab some of your favorite cheese. I use half a slice of cheddar. And also grab your silicone rubber utensils. (I think they're silicone---it's that type of rubber which won't melt if you use it in hot pans.) My silicone rubber spatulas were given to me by my sister at Christmas, since she also gave me non-stick Calphalon omelete pan. (The secret of this omelete is having a really good non-stick pan.)
We'll need just a bit of half & half.
And we need spices. First off, I use Dill. I have to use store bought dill since I didn't grow any in my kitchen herb garden.
And you'll need some good ole salt & pepper. (My sister gave me that pepper mill at Christmas, too, can you believe it? She also gave me a wonderful crock pot and Rubbermaid blender.)
And then I go to the deck garden and pick some basil. I finely chop about a tsp and a half. (Basil is a strong herb so you have to err on the side of "not enough".)
Then crack 2 eggs and one extra egg sans the yolk into a container and whip. Put in about a tbsp of the half-and-half. You can put your dill in there, too. And you can put the salt & pepper in there, too.
After melting one tbsp of butter in the Calphalon non-stick skillet, pour your egg mixture in. I put the temp of the burner on "6". And I'll cook the mixture for 4 minutes.
While those 4 minutes are ticking away, keep a lid on the pan.
At the end of the four minutes, when the bottom of the omelette looks as if it's getting more solid, lower the burner temp to "4", and then gently lay the tomatoes, onions, cheese and basil in there---on an area of one half of the omelete.
Let it cook a little more (maybe 2 more minutes). Use a rubber spatula to gently loosen the edges of the omelete all the way around---and that way you can gently loosen any parts in the center which seem "stuck".
When you know the omelette is not stuck anywhere, and the vegetables are cooked, and the omelete, too, looks almost completely cooked----gently use one (or two ) rubber spatulas to "flip" the omelete. (This is the fun part.)
Saturday, July 03, 2010
Mine eyes have seen the glory
of the coming of the Lord,
He is trampling out the vintage
where the grapes of wrath are stored....
"The Battle Hymn of the Republic",
Julia Ward Howe* Well, it's two and a half hours until midnight, at which time the hour tolls for the the beginning of the USA's Independence Day, the 4th of July. And I thought I'd write a few reasons why I'm proud to have been born an American. But first of all, let me take care of some ugly business. Which means that I'm just going to say bluntly that it horribly disturbed me when I read some of YH's American groupies making idiotic syrupy sweet comments on YH's blog that they "wish they could be Canadian" as a result of YH's Canada Day blog post. God, but they sounded so stupidly childish in their worship of YH--- so worshipful that it caused them to actually express wishes to abandon the country of their birth. It also disturbed me when I read other brainless YH American groupies trying to garner YH's favor by stating that they're "ashamed of " and "embarassed by" their very own country, the USA. Hell, these mindless dumb bells worship YH so much that I truly believe that if the YH asked them to walk stark nekkid while shitting nickels down the middle of the Interstate they'd probably do it! Personally, (and I have absolutely nothing against a wonderful country like Canada) I feel like telling these dissatisfied American YH groupies to please do all of us faithful Americans a favor and LEAVE --- please DO go to Canada if you like! Heck, don't let the door hit you on the way out! With traitorous attitudes like yours, you don't DESERVE to be Americans! The USA is by no means perfect--- and everyone knows that we are having a lot of problems these days with a lame duck president--- but we certainly don't need childish, ungrateful malcontents bringing our moral down any further. So take them, Canada! But beware---because if their fickle loyalties leave them bereft of patriotism for America, they probably won't be loyal to your beautiful country either. If it were up to me, such people who take their country for granted would be deported for one year so that they could experience life somewhere else. Because I know that at the end of that year, every single one of them would come crawling back on their hands and knees, back to the country of their birth, begging to be allowed back in. And like I said, I truly have nothing against Canada--- but I do have something against Americans who cheapen their birthrights by taking their homeland for granted---and would throw it away so easily because of their crush on a self-centered, sanctimonious knitting guru. But anyhoo.... sigh.....back to my reasons of why I'm proud to be an American... First of all, I am in awe of my country. The USA is the world's largest national economy. We're the richest country in the world---and we're the world's most powerful "superpower". And since the USA has the highest science output of any other country, coupled with the most technological savvy, we are the world's number one science and technological innovators. These abilities spring forth from our keen intelligence, our never-ending quest for knowledge, and our natural competitiveness. It's how the expression "good ole American know-how" came to be. So what does the above paragraph mean? It means that we're already good at what we do but yet no matter how successful we are, we constantly strive to better ourselves even further. For example, it was the USA who invented the telephone, the phonograph, the movie camera, alternating electrical current, the AC motor, the radio, "heavier than air" airflight, the assembly line, the best computer software, and the internet---just to name a few. We have the world's most Nobel prize winners, the four largest airlines in the world--- and our young athletes won the most medals in last winter's Olympics. In addition, the USA offers more opportunity and social mobility to its citizens than any other country in the world. Here, self-made tycoons are a dime a dozen. In fact, my sister is marrying one. He was thrown out of his home when he was 16 years old without a dollar to his name---but today he's a self-made millionaire, owning a large trucking company, a business which he built up by his own blood, sweat, and tears. I'm proud to have him as my brother-in-law. The USA does not have a "class system"; therefore, anybody with drive, ingenuity, and determination can take advantage of what our country offers in education and employment and make anything of themselves that they wish. And nobody handed us our country. We had to fight tooth and nail for it. We won our independence in the 1700's by sheer determination and guts. We basically won our country using small bands of local militias deploying guerilla warfare against far better equipped soldiers than ourselves. Hell, there were tales of the American Revolution where, many times, small groups of rag-tag farm country militia men fought the sophisticated enemy troops with the only weapons they had---pitchforks, hatchets, and faulty muskets. At the end of the bloody war, we ended up gaining our independence knowing we were divinely destined to govern ourselves---with liberty and justice for all--- and our founding fathers gave the credit to God. And speaking of wars--- as our country grew over the next 200 years, the USA developed the finest and fiercest military forces ever known to man. In fact, if the USA had not entered WWII, most of the free world would have been lost to Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan. We basically liberated the world from being enslaved. And to this day we still fight to help other countries avoid being taken over by evil dictatorships; i.e., Desert Storm.... We also invented space travel; i.e., our spacecrafts have encircled every single planet in our solar system, one of our spacecrafts landed on an asteroid, we invented the Hubble Telescope (which has given the best photographs of outer space ever seen), and we put men on the moon. Also, we are the most welcoming country in the world. The USA accepts more legal immigrants and permanent residents than all the other countries of the world combined. And not only that, but we even give benefits and care to illegal immigrants. For example, during my career as an emergency room nurse, I took care of countless illegal aliens, mostly Mexican. It used to break my heart when an illegal alien came in for medical care at our hospital and they didn't know what I was going to do with the thermometer. A thermometer!!! Which means that they had lived in such abject poverty that, up to that point, they had NEVER had any kind of medical care in their lives! I loved them all and treated them as kindly as I could. (It helped that I can speak really good Spanish.) It has never bothered me a bit that illegal Mexican aliens want to come to America. Hell, if I were in Mexico I'd want to come here, too! Who wouldn't? And these illegals work so very hard---they take some of the most dirtiest and difficult jobs that nobody else wants and they do them with pride. They are good and honest people--- admirable people--- and I don't have any problems at all with granting them citizenship. If anybody deserves to be Americans, they do. (Hell, I would rather have ONE of those hardworking illegal aliens than TWENTY of those idiotic YH groupies who gush to the YH about how they "wish they were Canadian". Nothing against Canada, but I would prefer having our country populated by grateful people who actually WANT to be here working for the good of our land.) And speaking of illegal aliens from Mexico, if I lived on the banks of the Rio Grande, I'd be out there throwing life rings out to those swimming in from the Mexican side. I'd be yelling encouragements such as "Swim for it! You can do it!" And I would help them as much as I could, waiting for them with fluffy towels to dry them off, a hot meal, and whatever other help they'd need. I learned mercy for my fellow man from my beloved country. The good ole USA is a merciful country, yes we are. Most of you know that I lived overseas while growing up, and I'll tell you---I missed my country desperately during those years. And then, finally, the day came when I was to leave my family to fly back to the USA to go to the university. I was only 17 years old, traveling alone back to the wondrous country I had dreamed about for my entire life--- and when the captain of the aircraft announced we were landing in America, I just so happened to be listening to Sousa's marching band song "The Stars & Stripes Forever" in my radio headphones--- and I flat out cried tears of joy. I wept those tears of joy because I was home..... I was finally home.... *
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with might endeavor,
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever...
("The Stars and Stripes Forever", John Philip Sousa)* *
Friday, July 02, 2010
I've played all my cards, And that's what you've done too, Nothing more to say, No more ace to play, The winner takes it all.....
("Winner Takes It All", ABBA) *Just wanted to let everybody know that I'm finally happy---deleriously happy. It took me one full year of enduring hatemail from Yarn Harlot fans.... and one full year of me trying to explain my stance on the matter... and one full year of people threatening all kinds of violence against me (like bad wicca spells, boycotting my blog, and calling me every hateful name in the book)---but I finally achieved my goal. And that goal was simple (and here it is): I wanted Yarn Harlot to prove that she could write a Canada Day post without denigrating America in her commentary. And guess what? She did so this year!!!! Yay, Yarn Harlot!! She stuck to the point and wrote about the good things of her country---the Canadian things to be proud of in and of themselves. And, thankfully, she didn't write good things about her country at the expense of Canada's southern neighbor--- us--- the USA. She wrote her post with simple Canadian patriotism, sans comparing it in a more favorable light than the USA, which is admirable, considering how she usually writes her Canada Day posts. In other words, she didn't lean on criticism of the USA to prove her positive points about Canada. And that is all I wanted!!! So yes, I am happy. But truthfully? I didn't think she could do it. I really didn't. Yarn Harlot has a lot of angry passive aggressive bones in her body and she is extremely stubborn and prideful. I truly didn't think she could step out of her usual disdain for the USA and write a post simply about how much she loves her own country---especially since it was at the behest of somebody she hates with a passion---which is me. Anyhoo, I'm happy. Deleriously happy. So see, Yarn Harlot? That wasn't so hard, was it? Aren't you proud of yourself? And like Forest Gump said, "And that's all I have to say about that." (Yes, I'm letting the whole damn matter go after I do my own July 4th post.) * *