Archive for the ‘Just Stop it’ Category

Not dead yet

I am in haste, Gentle Reader, but let’s just say I have missed you.  I had a decidedly Not Amusing Near Death Experience which I will describe in future posts.   It involved being in a hospital, and all the joys attendant thereto, including a hospital provided drug overdose and a week long stay for what is usually an outpatient procedure.  But I am thankful for all of you, and truly.  This will be an amusing story, I promise.    What, after all, is funnier than the opiate/stool softener regime they want to put you on (even if and especially when you are allergic to the ingredients in both of those things) in such places as SOP while acting as though you eat babies raw for breakfast if you smoke marijuana?  My sense of humor is intact, if dented, at least.

More to come.  And thankyou for reading!

no name for it today

I did realize this morning, when I got up and actually felt perfectly fine, that it was a mistake to think anything about it, such as that it might last the entire day.  Things have been more than dicey for us at Yurt Central of late; it’s been exhausting.  However.  We made decisions, acted on them, resolved differences and conflicts, and found out that contrary to what the dealership in this benighted place said about The Car? there was nothing at all wrong with it.  Mid-Other-Crises our CHECK ENGINE light went on, and I don’t know about you, Gentle Reader, but I no longer ignore that.  Especially given that we live in a place there’s  no walking out from in less than four hours.  So we really need our car.  Going to the local dealership aka only game in town seemed reasonable, at least to the Partner.  We went, they were the usual non-mechanically oriented service department with a focus on Getting You In A New Car.  They estimated that whatever was wrong with the car merited a new $520 part, plus labor.  Also, the clutch seemed to be going.  Able once again after family conferencing to go back to my beloved, life long mechanic, it was revealed that a) the check engine light was indeed related to a gas cap incident and meant nothing, and b) since the car has a hydraulic clutch, which cannot be adjusted, they were talking through their little pointed hats about that too.  Whole cloth, practically.   In the process of visiting my mechanic in the bay area, I also saw many people on my early morning way there who appeared to have been treated more roughly by life than usual:  8 am and a woman of some size walking down an Oakland street in a bathing suit.  People shambling barefoot, clutching the blankets and sleeping bags they’d used overnight, wherever they found a place.

It’s hard to make sense of a world where there is so much constant cognitive dissonance.  Then again, apparently a Republican congressman believes the temperatures on Earth and Mars are the same and testified thusly- this was in favor of coal mines.  This, I believe, is due to there being NO cognition whatsoever.  Which leads us to today’s news which we foolishly turned on, and which left me with the firm conviction that there is a widespread epidemic of no cognition.  Either Malaysian Airlines is cursed somehow, or the Russian Separatists are excellent shots with absolutely…right, no cognition.  Then we see that Israel is actually invading Gaza .  This is totally beyond my truthful comprehension.  I mean, I realize Israel feels Gaza is a swarming nest of terrorists.  But honestly? It is as though everyone has completely lost their minds.  There is no excuse for any of this.

Still, there is a wider gyre than we know- all you have to do is look at the fossil record!  Or read Sandor Katz’s excellent discussion of bacterial activity in THE ART OF FERMENTATION.  In spite of all the atrocities and stupidities and hastenings toward disaster, I believe that if we can be honest with ourselves, things could be worked out.  I’m less sure than I used to be that everyone can be communicated with, but if the teeter totter could just….inch its way toward balance, the non-cognitional would have to shift somehow.   Perhaps they’d fall on their rumps and reconsider.  It just doesn’t seem to me that, however appealing it might be, blowing people up and away is any kind of solution or appropriate action in any situation.  Just my opinion.

Oh dear

Attempting this blog today may be just the final epitome of silliness, given that the cursor is flying all over the page and the fonts are changing in front of my eyes like something in a horror movie.  Too close to Halloween perhaps.

Still, the message of late is pretty clearly: DUDE! You can’t know it!  Don’t take it serious, too mysterious.  Etc.  As in, one toddles forth attempting to do one’s best and totally weird things happen.  Yesterday, for example, an armed robbery took place about a mile from where we live.  ARMED ROBBERY GENTLE READER, IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.  For this, I thought, I moved out of the ‘hood?  The stories are verging on confabulatory, but still.  I was  rather bummed out to hear the peculiar tale-  nine armed black men being, apparently, the perpetrators of this strange occurrence.  Like a bad limerick or something, because one of the things about this part of the state? Diversity ain’t even a word.  It is mind numbingly uniform and blindingly white.  It wouldn’t, would it?, strike you as sensible to plan a crime in such a recondite place with such..a highly visible crew?   It’s also strange that nobody heard the gunfire- but only those in comas might have been home at the time, perhaps.   So while I was puzzling over this oddity, another thing happened.

There I was, innocently minding my own business.  Or trying to.  An ostensible editing job came my way.  I was pleased and excited.  Except it turned out to be some very strange sort of scam wherein…well, let’s just say I was at my P.O. box, looking at a large envelope that contained a large-ish check.  No idea of provenance or purpose.  Supposedly for the edit, no contract or terms, no invoice, no agreement.  No completed edit.  No nada.  Can you imagine the stomach churning moment that ensued when I saw myself with, literally, the means of small salvation in my very paw, which I could not reasonably use.  Which clearly was..not kosher.  It just made me wonder, you know?  JUST WHERE EXACTLY IS THAT BULLS EYE PRINTED ON ME?  But.  The article I submitted to…something…somewhere….was received, at least initially, favorably.  So now I’m having a tiny nervous breakdown.  After the past week, I think I deserve it.

The blue birds are back, and the Partner found a fantastic Flicker feather, with an ORANGE shaft.  I’m OK as long as I keep it simple.  Why is that so hard to remember?


Real Life Ridiculous, #1

Nobody could make this stuff up, Gentle Reader.  NOBODY.  And I would tell you all about it except that my brain feels as though it was dropped on a hard, flat expanse from a great height.  So we will just mention two recent events, to be expounded upon later.

1) Our second annual Christmas Fair Motel Egg Laying took place and was quite a success despite some death defying moments involving a forgotten water bowl.

2) This morning there was an air evac helicopter, along with two fire trucks, an ambulance and a pickup truck, in our “neighborhood”.  The helicopter flew around for about ten minutes, waiting for the fire truck to come creeping around the hill at 15 mph to show it where the action was. ( That was very, very special) The drama! The excitement!  A culmination of a long, stressful story with at this point, unknown denouement.  But it has everything:  Greed, illicit love, crossed loyalties, danger and an international cast. in the rugged wilds of…….

In short, the fun continues.



Chihuahuas.  For crying out loud.  I MEAN IT, ENOUGH ALREADY.

Again, making that first, crucial mistake: getting up.  I made coffee this morning as usual, happily padding around in the quiet without my glasses.  Foolishly thinking that all was well.  But then!  When I went to put the hot water from the kettle in our cups to warm them I discovered that it was bright green.  With stuff that looked like grass in it floating around.  I had, of course, already put the water in the french press which meant that I got to clean it twice today instead of just once.   But bright, emerald, grassy green water.  The toilet water was green.  The water in the sink was green.  What to our wondering eyes appeared, etc.   GREEN WATER.  I don’t know.  Sometimes I think it’s just me.


Well, a lot has happened as per usual.  From the surreal view of a stranded boat on the freeway (?) to the outstanding Quail family we saw early this morning (big, glossy, beautiful male and female, and eight little marshmallows scurrying behind them, all in beautiful deep blue and taupe and  head feathers) it’s enough to make you think.

I was sad to see that Amy Winehouse left this plane of existence.  I knew of another similar person who overdosed, purposely, that same day.  We had just watched Clint Eastwood’s “Bird” and it really made both of us think.  Sometimes those debilities are required in order for someone to be what they truly are.  A big gift and a big price to pay.

Unlike what we see before us in the so-called House of “Representatives”.  Lawmakers?  Don’t make me laugh.  It hurts too much.  And, Uh? They don’t represent ME.  I didn’t sign up to have government and cooperation, common humanity and culture,  dismantled so that the rich can keep their money.  If those same rich people are creating jobs? I ask you- WHERE THE HELL ARE THEY?  I did not vote for a bunch of lackluster brains to stick to a position they’re holding out of fear and inability to look at truth.  Forget thinking, also.  NEWSWEEK had a picture of Boehner in it this week I could barely look at: the smugness, the immaturity.  This man is reveling in his power, ready to yank everyone in the world over the precipice for his…ideals?  This same guy and his cohorts are the ones who pretty much spent and “legislated” us into this hole we’re in.  Now they’re pretending they haven’t got the backhoe out.  I find it mind bogglingly difficult to comprehend that these…individuals…really don’t have any foresight.  None at all.  What the bleeding blue blazes do they think is going to happen NOW?  It seems to coalesce into something that is so unpleasant to contemplate it seems unbelievable.  But a moment’s thought shows that it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.  Every effort is being made to destroy organized labor, social services, health care, education, infrastructure, MAIL FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, and any freedom of choice as to personal conduct of one’s life.  This leaves something that makes Margaret Atwood’s THE HANDMAID’S TALE look like utopia.   The economic situation? Will be impossible.  The rich will still have their money, bless them.  But the rest of us, and our government, will be paying so much more than we’re already paying that it will in large part be simply undoable.  Then what?  These morons, excuse me, seem to think that a large group of people can function and, of course, a select few some of them, run the world, RIGHT? WE GOTTA HAVE THAT OIL, without any cohesive governance.  Talk about the great leap backwards.  But they’ve got an apparent number of people so brainwashed that they’re afraid of their own shadows and yes, their own ability to THINK.  We’re revisiting the 60’s and 70’s, Gentle Readers, when it was time to pick up the gun.  Even though we know that is the wrong thing to do, and that non violence, even though it takes a long time, is what works.  Still, when you think about the fact that our entire, crumbling and defective system, was coerced into shape by just these very capitalistic forces over the past 160 years or so, and consider that they are going to force power to be pried out of their cold, dead hands, it’s hard to know what to do.  I’m doing a lot of praying.


The Polenta Volcano

So, it’s been reasonably eventful here in ….in……well.  In HERE.  We have gotten the insulation installed, that is, The Partner has gotten it in with only a small spot left undone.  It is indeed working, and I can recommend using single cell foam backed with foil, with thin wood veneers facing into the yurt and covering the foam.  NATURALLY THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH EASIER IF WE’D INSTALLED IT IN THE BEGINNING.  We didn’t however.  In retrospect it’s pretty amazing we got anything done at all last year.  But between the shade cloth in the dome and the 95% completed insulation of the walls, it is amazingly OK in here.  Cooler than it is outside! And it’s HOT outside! Gonna get hotter! We may live through this summer after all.  Maybe.  But, given that the manufacturer of our yurt was asking close to $1,000 for wall insulation, and we did this for a little under $300, it is definitely a concept worth looking into.  You have, of course, to purchase the roof insulation from the manufacturer because you’d never be able to fit it together by yourself.  Their roof insulations are usually reasonably priced, however, so as a must-do it’s livable.

But, on to the polenta.  While the Partner was working on the insulation (and, yes, there was a modicum of swearing and ill temper), I was starting dinner which that night included polenta.  I used to make it in the microwave which was good, but what with our electric set up here it’s not so practical.  So I started doing it the old fashioned way on the stove, and boy howdy.  It is ALOT better and not that hard.  The key is remembering to whisk the polenta into the boiling water at the beginning.  WHISK.  Because otherwise? It bubbles like somebody’s insane kung fu cauldron and your stove is covered with polenta splotches. Also you have to stir it the entire time it’s cooking (about a half hour), as opposed to frequent stirring with attention allowed to other things.  SO ANYWAY.  The polenta was volcanizing along because it had not been whisked.  It had not been whisked  because our swamp cooler decided at that moment, as it does from time to time, to have the water pump stop working.  Which of course means the whole cooler doesn’t work.  On another day when the Partner was feeling beleaguered and the pump had to be fixed, I asked him to show me what he did so I could do it myself at a future time.  So, fine.  He was busy and whatnot with the insulation, and I decided to man up and fix the pump.  Which you do by unscrewing the back of the cooler while it is running, reaching in and jiggling the pump til it starts working again. That sort of thing. So, got it unscrewed, jiggled, and then, as the polenta erupted in a Vesuvian manner, my hand drifted toward the whirling blades….yes, it did.  My gasp at the polenta turned into a loud, inchoate howl, apparently.  Fortunately, the whirling blades are plastic and they stopped after the initial encounter.  It hurt alot but no harm really done.  I got to tell myself what a big person I am now, no crying, and OHMYGOODNESSWHATISTHATPOLENTADOING???? In any event the paw was a bit out of commission for the past two days, but THAT day passed, leaving us both still alive, which is about as good as it gets some days.

Rooster Wars

There is a progression here, oft times, Gentle Reader, of bad to worse.  Still, seen in certain lights it is amusing.  I’m not sure what those lights are but the search is on.

We figured out or I should say the Partner figured out, on a positive note, that our little bear friend has moved on west, toward the coast, to safer and higher ground.  I was relieved given the number of people with guns and active trigger fingers around here.  But, hibernating in a very clever spot indeed, our friend woke up, made a couple of forays, and decided the smart thing was to head west toward higher mountains and rivers.  In fact, the footprints were headed west, as if to say, I am So Out Of Here.  So, no more bear.  But the pigs seem to have decided to stay in this area for the season and there have been some interesting vehicular encounters I hear tell.  The neighbor who rides around on a quad with a rifle was somewhat perked up by the news of the porcine posse, because of course they’re good to eat.  I found myself thinking about making ham.  Buoyed along guiltily on that thought, and having another batch of sourdough bread come out very well (recipe in TARTINE BREAD, starter made from Nancy Silverton’s recipe back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) even though needing a bit of tweaking on the bench rest, AND realizing I could go no further on the flying anvil of doing my taxes until Monday when I can spend another unfathomable length of time on the phone waiting for an IRS person to answer some questions, I felt pretty bucked up last night, which was also Friday night.  Hoo Haw.

And so it was, Gentle Reader, that my unreasonable fantasy of a livable life was brought to a crashing and cacophonous halt at, oh, 3:45 a.m. today.

When we got here, there was one rooster and about eight hens.  Manageable.  Until it turned into forty plus chickens of whom ten are roosters.  All of whom are, as a woman remarked pityingly to me in the post office as she was picking up a box of chicks (because SHE keeps her roosters separate thank you very much),”free range”.  In this case it means they go wherever they want all the time so there is chicken shit thickly spread over perhaps a good mile of area.  Among other things.  It also means there are intense fights every day, hens vs. hens, roosters vs. roosters, hens vs. roosters.  There are sounds like Chinese opera whenever one of the many hawks does a flyover, as well as when the dog (who kills the chickens weekly, by the way) comes out.  And, most specially, there are TEN ROOSTERS CROWING EVERY MORNING starting at about , yes, 3:45 a.m.  The poor things haven’t mastered the proper crowing technique even so it is a rather indescribable set of vocalizations but, to be clear, it is ear splittingly loud.  You can hear these chickens all the way at the top of the hill coming down toward Happy Acres.  Interestingly everybody around here has chickens, and lots of ’em.  But you never hear them.  Also, it is pitch dark at 3:45 am.  Pitch dark. There is no sign of sun or light, period.   I’ve lived in the country before, and lots of people had chickens in the city where we previously lived .  The Partner grew up with chickens in the back yard.  This is just to say that we are not Chicken Ignorami, in short.  I expect vocalizing as the sun comes up, and usually it’s really nice to hear.  Plus then you know what time it is.  Roosters crow at dawn.  Maybe a half dozen times, then that’s it.  But not these babies, ohhhh no.  They start crowing and yowling at 3a.m.-ish and continue en masse, competing as it were to be the loudest, until past 8 a.m.   You would be right in thinking: whoa! that must wake you up!   it might even make you crazy! Indeed it does. And it has been mentioned to the proper authorities.  However, this morning, what with all the cosmic vibrations colliding all over the place and the world blowing up and whatnot, the whole thing got completely out of control.  I now have to go buy a new shovel for the landlord to replace the one that…in the attempt to quiet the roosters.  No roosters were harmed in this episode I should point out, although even I was ready to strangle them all.  At this point, I’d have to say the score is Roosters 1, Us 0.  I shudder to think what tonight may bring as the response we got by 6 a.m. was not…terribly responsive.

It’s a puzzle, really, how things get so ballsed up, even if it is not surprising.  But here is one more place to make peace. I hope.

No Solicitors

Well, Gentle Readers, today’s trip over the top and across the edge is about…um…capitalism? I guess.  I have a small business, as we may know.  A small website.  I make botanical topical treatments for a variety of issues and do hands on healing work with people, OK? Pretty simple, just an effort to do some good in the world doing something I know and love.   I’m reasonably well educated, well read, and other things.  Also? APPARENTLY EVERYONE LOVES MY PHOTOGRAPHS.  Judging from the number of downloads from my website.  Free, we might add.  People? My products are not expensive.  If you’re going to rip off my pictures, at least buy something.  And, if you’re ripping off my recipes?  Good luck duplicating them, not to mention don’t lose any sleep over violating the presumed copyright.

The real point of all this is, however, the following.  In the past let’s say three months? I am starting to feel like a fish being pursued by a shark.  Solicitations up the freaking YANG.  The amount of sales pitches and money people want out of me is simply breathtaking.  Coaching certifications for a mere $8k.  Marketing enhancements for $500 down and $150 and up per month.  Advertise here, advertise there.  Pay a paltry $3k and we’ll publish your piece in a book.   Why, little lady? We’ll even HELP you do a You Tube piece.  Which, last time I looked? Had to be something that, well, a caveman could do.  But the thing of it is, all these things take up time.  Time to look at, think about, make a judgment on.  And what it is coming to seem like to me is this.  Marketing and sales are totally out of control.  Somebody with programming knowledge sits at their keyboard and thinks, hell, real estate tanked and I can program.  Where’s another industry I can put my finger in the ring through the nose of people’s dreams and make a bunch of money?  Call someone and say, hey, you could get a book deal this way! We guarantee “x” number of hits to your website every month.  Blah, blah, blah.  Meanwhile? This little piggy is having a tough time out there making money, doing the simple things I do that have meaning not just to me but, I like to think, in a broader sense, are trying to create balance and harmony in my little spot in this world.  And the thought of success? is of course quite heady.  One can get a bit excited and carried away.  Perhaps even part with substantial sums of money.  Or not.  But certainly it takes up one’s time, and in a boorish way.  A Spanish philosopher once said that a boor is someone who deprives you of your solitude without providing you with any company.  I’m starting to feel that way, actually.   Boored unto to death.  And this doesn’t even count all the outright crooked stuff I get.  Do I ship to Malta? Do I want to miss this incredibly important conference in Beijing about candles? Sign up to be our XYZ, time’s running out! Don’t miss this INCREDIBLE opportunity.  That part, incredible, is at least honest.  

So, yes, apparently you do have to have a website if you have a business.  But when you have that? What do you have? Open season, in a way.  So, today, I did this.  I got yet another solicitation at just the wrong time.  So I responded and said, hey! let’s do a trade.  You advertise on my site, I’ll advertise on yours.  Right.  There is a kind of astonishing, to me anyway, presumption operating here that everything has to be shilled and pimped out to be worth anything.  Any sales offering has to be couched in the language of banality and haveyoueverwantedto, I know the secret of, and instant results with preferably no work involved.   What we need is a serious paradigm shift here.  It’s discouraging for us Bears, I’m just saying.

This, Really, IS IT.

How much longer, Gentle Readers, are we going to keep playing along like everything is Just Fine?  I would propose the following:


Of course, since the financial institutions all got bailed out with OUR money, it probably won’t matter.  They’re already just fine on the money end.  I think it would be very worthwhile to turn the tables, just for a moment all at once.  Just to see.  I talked to a friend today who isn’t going to pay his mortgage this month because the lender won’t correct the interest rate which is not only wrong and not what he applied for and not what he can pay, but they won’t talk to him about it unless he’s delinquent.  Does that make sense?  These lenders would rather people go into default.  You gotta ask yourself why that is.   The news tells us that the recession is over.  Indeed, it is.  Now we’re in a Depression.  Time to perhaps face facts?