Friday, November 30, 2012

Shanking Santa

Christmas is coming.  Like a big freight train barreling down the tracks and I'm in that stalled Hyundai at the crossing.  It's coming whether I like it or not.  Now, the smart person would jump out of the car and hop off the tracks, it's not like a Hyundai can be worth that much, you think?  But the car in question is a 1989 hatchback, and it's priceless to me, so stop judging!  The newest thing on this little car that we lovingly call 'Gremlin' is a gas cap.  And that is an entirely different story, but a short one, so I'll tell it... I took my 7yo on her first overnight hike recently.  On the way home I stopped to get gas.  As I drove off after the fill-up, I heard a clattering on the roof of the car. Immediately thinking it was Santa and he was defiling the top of the Gremlin with his overgrown deer which my husband would happily hunt, I yelled (here we go with the yelling again) "Oh No you Don't! It's too early to start this you fat elf!" Then I looked in the rear view and saw the gas cap skittering off into the woods.  I looked for it for a while, couldn't find it, then drove home.

I actually knew it was the gas cap from the start, I just had to add something to the story.  Told you it was short.

So back to the tracks.  Like You said, 'just get out of the car...'  Well, that's tricky in a 1989 Hyundai.  Sometimes the door doesn't open.  You have to crank down the window to unlatch it from the outside, which is usually fine unless you are in the passenger seat.  The window on that side doesn't stay up on it's own, you have to keep pressure on the window crank for it to stay up, so we have a mini bungee cord wrapped around the handle and attached to part of the door panel.  Good luck getting out if Jason is running at the car, or a Christmas train.

Holy crap, I'm going to be squashed by the Polar Express! (I figure that is recent enough that I don't need to link a picture) Tom Hanks better watch out, I carry a big knife.  Well, not that big, but I do have a knife.  The most important part of the said knife is the bottle opener, but still, I have a knife ,Tom Hanks, so take your lady squashing train and magic it away to whence you came!

There, that should at least keep Christmas at bay until I'm ready.  I'm sharpening my spears as we speak.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Crazy Train to Bora Bora, ALL ABOARD!

Memories aren't always wonderful.  Sometimes I'm jealous of those people that bonk their head and then can only remember the last 5 minutes.  I mean if I had to meet the friends and family I have, over and over and over.... it wouldn't be so terrible.  I know some pretty awesome people.  It would suck for them though.  I'm pretty decent too, but there are only so many times a person can ask the same question before they are murdered.  Even by their biggest fan.  I think a dog might be the only being that can handle that without loosing their own mind.  I have a Lab, so I have proof that doing the same thing a trazillion times in a row does NOT bother them in the least.  So if I ever bonk my head in just the way as to loose all of my long term memory, just put me in a small room with a few loaves of bread and a Lab.  Make it good bread though.  A girl has to have standards.

The reason I sometimes lament for the mind of a vegetable is because I only seem to have long term memory storage space for my worst moments.  The kind that, hopefully, I am the only one who remembers.  Really, the actual events were not that bad.  Like apologizing for something that you said a year before, only to find out that the person that you thought overheard you had no idea what you were talking about, and you made them cry during your apology because you brought up their dead brother.  Yup, that is like a loop in my head sometimes.  Hmm, after actually writing that down, it appears as though I might already have gotten my wish.  That seems like something only a vegetable would think about.

The trick to getting myself to stop thinking about whatever it is that I don't like thinking about is to yell.  I don't yell out loud, only in my head.  I yell until I stop thinking about the offending thought.  Every time it tries to creep back in, I yell it away.  I think it's kind of like those basketball players that wear the rubber bands on their wrists and snap them every time they miss a shot or do something stupid on the court.  It's rather ingenious actually, because I don't think about whatever it is that I don't want to think about for quite a while.

But the technique brings a new fear to bear.  Am I going crazy.  Not really a question, kind of a statement of maybe fact.  Like an agnostic saying 'there is no god', when really they aren't sure.  I wonder if this is how Sybil started, if you take away all the abuse.  I also fear getting old.  Not because people get gross when they get old, but because oldsters have no filters.  And when they go crazy, they seem to get stuck in either a good or bad crazy land.  I wonder if I am going to be one of those gross old women that just yells out loud for no apparent reason.  The kind that scare the crap out of kids that are forced to walk the halls of a nursing home looking for their grandma.  Now that I think about it, I am going to put in my will that my kids will only get the old insoles of my hiking shoes if they put me in a nursing home.  Then again, I think they have nursing homes in Bora Bora.  OK, you kids can have all my possessions if you put me in a nursing home in Bora Bora.  So I'll be a crazy old lady that yells at odd times, probably pretty often, because by then I'll have three times as many crap memories that I do now.  Maybe I can just get diagnosed with Turrets Syndrome.  There will probably be good drugs for that.  But still send me away to rot in Bora Bora.  If I end up in some old mining town in West Virginia, be sure that I will never forget, and I will not yell away that memory.  Instead, I'll feed it and let it fester, like a wart on my hand that I refuse to smother with duct tape.  And I'll spend all of my money on bird feeders that spin squirrels, because there are a lot of squirrels in West Virginia.

Jockey Factory

I'm happy my kids are still young enough that I am confident I can win arguments.  The argument of the morning was whether a zero '0' is ever called an 'oh', or if 'ohs' are only letters and if you call a zero an 'oh' then you are really not talking about a number, you are talking about a letter.  I think I confused my 7yo enough that she just rolled her eyes and said the same thing to her brother.  Like it was her knowledge she was imparting.  Which it wasn't.  Yet.  Because I have a dreadful feeling that she is smart.  Soon I won't win the arguments.

Now I know that every parent thinks their kids are smart and cute, which decidedly is not true in many cases.  There are a lot of ugly babies out there.  Mine are not one of them, the ugly dumb ones, that is.

But I'm not under the illusion that their intelligence and looks will follow the same growth curve.  In fact, if they do follow my kids' growth charts, I'm looking at a future of short buses.  My husband and I are starting a jockey factory.  Not the clothes, the smallish people.  And not the smallish people that probably make the clothes, the short people that ride race horses, like I really had to explain that... I actually showed my kids the Kentucky Derby in the hopes that they will both want to move to the country and start racing horses.  It's in their blood.  The size that it, not the anorexia.  I wonder if the real jockeys grow into that.  No pun intended.  The anorexia is what I'm talking about now.  ...I know, try and keep up.  My husband is 5'3" on a particularly tall day.  He is about 130 lbs, all lean sexy muscle too.  He is short enough to be one of the tall jockeys (I wonder if they get made fun of because they are so monstrous) but about 30lbs over weight.  For my husband to loose 30 lbs would be like a frog reverting back into a tadpole form.  I bet he could loose 30 lbs if he chopped off his arms and legs.  But then he couldn't ride a horse, so that's a moot point.

Did you ever see the movie Boxing Helena?  It's about a bad guy that kidnaps a girl and keeps her in a box.  After he cuts off her arms and legs.  She couldn't ride a horse either.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hobo Life

I think I might head out to New Mexico for a 'working vacation'.  There is a bit of research I need to do before this 'big idea' becomes a reality.

A side note for my 'big ideas'.  I have a lot of them, and they are all fabulous and will make anyone that tackles them extremely rich, or wonderfully happy.  If they live through it.

Today, it's wild cattle wrangling.  I guess all the thousands of cattle that meander aimlessly through our plain lands sometimes get lost.  Now this seems to be obvious, seeing that cows are beautiful, empty headed, over sized  furry worms.  Of course worms with four legs, ears eyes, a tail... ok, so maybe they are more like potatoes.  At least potatoes have eyes.

So these wild cows are roaming around our wilderness, happy and free.  Time to trap em and bring them back to civilization.  At least that's what ranchers think we should do with them, or the government, or hobos looking for their next meal.  I'm not sure who pays you for the cow when you walk him into town on a leash, but someone will.  I think I'll just walk them to the nearest feed store and wait.  Someone will notice me with my wild cow and know what to do.

Apparently, the going rate for wrangling a wild cow is two to three hundred dollars per cow.  That's like a car payment a day.  A week of cow catching is a house payment.  In fact, the more cows I can leash, the bigger the house I could buy.  Not like I would, I like living in a tree house.

I don't really live in a tree house, but it's close enough because the houses in this neighborhood are getting old.  They were built using twigs and spit by drunk workers that mixed up which house should be built on which lots.  Seriously.  My neighbor's house should have been built on my lot and vice versa.  Both of our driveways lead to the back side of our house.  Brilliant.  The twigs and spit are slowly disintegrating into the leaf litter.  Soon this area will be natural space again with a few hobos living among the ruins.  That'd be me.

Maybe I should bring home one of the wild cows, or two.  I'd let them mate then eat their young.  You know, because the old ones meat would be too tough.  Don't judge, hobo life is hard.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Self Titled

A few weeks ago, I was minding my own business, just trying to nap in a homemade hammock.

Said hammock did not rip down the middle and dump me out onto the ground like a newly birthed rhinoceros,  as stories like these usually go, instead, I got nice and comfy and started to enjoy the slight sway in the breeze.  I had wrapped myself in a cheapo JCPenny quilt that I have had for at least 10 years.  It's a nice quilt, and many people think it is one of those grandmotherly quilts like the one I have on my wall, which was made eons ago by a great great grandmother.  My JCPenny quilt has bits trying to wiggle themselves loose and disappear in the drier every time something vomits on it, but it is still holding strong.  You're probably wondering how often things vomit in my house... happily, not enough, if there ever is an enough to things vomiting in any house.  The great great grandmother quilt would never go in the washing machine, let alone get vomited on.  I know where to draw the line.  ...and jeez, I make a better hammock than that.

So I was enjoying a sway, gazing up into the crisp autumn sky trying to think up award winning poetry, when I caught a glimpse of movement.  I turned my head to get a better look at the enormous, seventeen inch caterpillar was slowly making its way to a perfect burrow spot in my ear.

Being the outdoorsy survivalist that I am, I squealed like a tiny girl and almost peed my pants.
Then I found a stick, smashed it, and went to sleep.

 No, I didn't smash it, what kind of a person do you think I am?  I let it crawl onto the stick and took it across the street to show my kids, who at the time were 'helping' my husband build the neighbor a shed.
We have since adopted the caterpillar.  I tried mightily to identify the little ear burrower, and the best I could do was figure it was either a tent caterpillar or a tent worm.  But Ear Burrower is much prettier than the pictures I found on google, so I think I have found a new species of burrowing caterpillars.

We pulled out the death trap that has been the 'fish tank'.  I don't think anything is ever meant to survive in a little gallon tomb, and anyone who claims they have had a fish live longer than a month in one of these things is either lying or severely depressed.  Seriously.  And thanks to Grey's Anatomy that has made saying 'seriously' normal and bothersome at the same time. Seriously.

Two days into being entombed in the death tank, and Ear Burrower had yet to munch on any of the plethora of greens I stuffed into his nice new home.  He was probably going through separation anxiety, which is kind of a depressing way to loose weight.  I thought we were loosing him, yet I never once thought it might be a good idea to release him back to nature.  It was getting cold, and I know I would be pretty pissed if I were brought into a nice warm house, gussied up in the very best of death tank greenery, then banished, in all of my nakedness, into the frozen tundra.  Even if it wasn't below freezing, it will be soon, so I really had only Ear Burrower's best interest in mind.

I did further research, which mainly involves looking at the first three links that google had.  So I grabbed some sand from our very own fossil pit out front, gave him some new twigs and leaves, and waited.  Apparently some caterpillars actually do burrow, whether that be in ears or sand.  Now I'm even more convinced that he was going for my ear.  I feel vindicated.  Thank you google.

Well, the same day I gave him the sand, he snuggled up to a twig and made the ugliest cocoon I have ever witnessed.  It looks a bit like a piece of moldy bread that has been rolled in sand.  It's not even at the top of the death tank.  It's tucked about a half inch into the sand.  I think I have a special caterpillar, not only does he think it's totally fine to burrow into ears, he doesn't even know that he should wrap himself in a pretty, sleeping bag looking cocoon and hang from the lid.  Dumb caterpillar.  Actually, I am getting pretty skeptical about the chances of Ear Borrower still being alive.  Since he molded himself, I took out all the leaves and stuck his death tank near some plants that I brought in for the winter.  And since we heat with wood, the air is very dry in the house.  I think I may have dehydrated my caterpillar.