Posts Tagged ‘postaday2011’

Change of Venue

AS usual, Gentle Reader, wherever you go, there you are.  Which can be a perfectly fine thing, depending.

Things have been a bit grim here at Chez Boozilla of late for one reason and another.  Today even though I had work to do, I lit out.   It did help, actually, for a moment.  So it’s always worth while changing one’s perspective in order to maintain it.  There is a year round Christmas store in town, and while this isn’t usually my thing, our neighbor and I went in and ooohed and aaaahed over the absolutely spectacular trees and ornaments.  There was one tree with African Jungle animals (stuffed toys, and great ones), one with birds (feathered ornaments), one with kitchen themed stuff, one with..oh, just all sorts of things.  They had frogs and toadstools and old fashioned long beaked birds and Santa Clauses and acorns and pine cones, fairies and bears and on and on.  Flowers- angel’s trumpets and wisteria, all crystal and sparkle.  Glittering and intensely colored  huge leaves.  AND.  They had upside down trees, which is an absolutely brilliant idea.  The whole thing was oddly restorative even if the store keeper followed us through the many rooms as though she needed to.  My neighbor was quite capable of selecting items and purchasing them all on her own.

Then we went to the grocery store.  This is a fairly rural area and lots of people garden and grow vegetables.  Which is why both of us were struggling to keep our mouths from hanging open when the girl at the checkout counter (massively teased hair, check.  cocktail ring, check.  eyeliner, check.) had no idea what one of my items was.  And what was this mysterious thing?  GREEN BEANS.  Green Beans, Gentle Reader.  I’m still not quite over it.

In which we keep breathing

I’m always amazed to see that my….epistles get read, and happy, really, once I get over the shock.  I write more or less because it turns out I must and although writing in a notebook is a time honored Good Thing, my handwriting is sometimes…unreliable, hence the perfect thing for the pen-challenged, the blog.  I was able for a long time to completely forget that the blog gets sent off into the world!  So first off I’ll say thank you to those who read this and find something of worth and interest, and take the time to say so.  This is the sort of thing that makes a difference, even though people may not think it.   The small things add up to big things, in short.

SO.  Then, there’s this morning, another morning where we wake up and fight off the gorilla on our chests, thinking well, live in the present!!! Who knows what can happen!!!! It can too all work out!!!!!  I’ve found that breathing and saying thank you is really helpful, even and especially when things look extraordinarily bleak.  So, already being a bit glum and all, The Partner decided to put in a DVD- A Better Life.  I don’t know if seeing this movie would have much impact on people who do not wish to understand.  But it is a tremendously well done, real, moving film and by the end of it we were both in tears. I recommend it highly.

It did have the effect, however, of strengthening my resolve.   All beings do want to be happy, as the Buddha correctly noted.  I am going to continue  lending my energies toward that end, however daunting the task may seem.  I keep mulling over the idea that since, generally speaking, you can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it, this is a stellar opportunity to Change One’s Mind.  I’m thinking that Athol Fugard’s remark that love is the best subversion is not only really true, but maybe at last I’m ready to do it.  We’ll see.

 

If Proust Had Blogged

I wonder if he would have gotten all the pitches for keyword placement to improve his blog’s Google ratings?  Would people actually try to sell him something and open with, “Your content is decent but you need a keyword in every sentence” ?  Would he, the writer who would often amuse himself by having one shimmeringly complex sentence spanning almost two dense pages about, for example, how an espalliered rose bush looked as the sun went down, or how his heart broke because of Albertine, have looked at the webpage about said keyword program which was advertised as free but in fact could only be tried for a dollar a day prior to paying the reduced $XXX,XXXXYOUNAMEIT know-me fee, have decided instead, in the name of seeking fame and fortune,  to do something like:

“The rosebush glimmered in the fading light;  the rosebush, which was a rosebush, stood against a wall-the wall was there for the rosebush to climb on (a rosebush being a plant that likes to climb up trellises against walls, which are made just for a rosebush, against walls for rosebush(es))  because a rosebush looks good against a wall.”  And so on.

Then, tagging it something clever like ROSEBUSH, be thrilled out of his mind by seeing his Google ranking go up to between 2 and 5 for a week?  Not to mention experiencing the sheer Joy of Good Investment at paying for some “SEO Program”, which feeling  he would relish in bed in his cork lined room? Thinking, perhaps, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! I, PROUST! HAVE MADE ANOTHER PERSON RICHER FOR NO ACTUAL REASON AND MY GOOGLE RANKING, WHICH HASN’T  ACTUALLY DONE A THING FOR ME, IS STILL AT FOUR AFTER THREE WEEKS!  MAGNIFIQUE!  LET ME PAY MORE! TRES SIMPLE! THE HELL WITH ACTUAL CONTENT, GIVE ME KEYWORDS OR GIVE ME…er…STRAWBERRIES! DON’T HOLD THE CREAM CHEESE, EITHER!

I am just wondering, is all.  I mean, would Proust have decided that people were so absolutely brain dead that they couldn’t figure out what anything was about without being bludgeoned by some single word repeated ad paragrapham?  Would he have just chucked it all, Remembrance Be Damned, because it was too hard not to use all the many other words that crowded out through his pen and refused to be corralled by mere grammar or the hope that someone would know their meaning? So that he would get views of his blog, which would lead either to blank stares or the much to be hoped-for advertising revenue?  Which he would need because his writing would have gone to the dogs because he didn’t have enough time left over after dragging for keywords to actually compose anything else. And he’d have to pay for all that Optimization somehow.  To keep things going like usual, so he could keep paying ever higher prices for everything and keep his anxiety at bay by comforting himself with the brilliance of his SEO program?

Ah, well.  I believe it was Horace who said you should always keep your hook baited because you never know in which pool the fish will turn up, or words more elegantly to that effect.  It just seems to me that lately we have a whole lot more hooks than we have fish.  Fish are being downright concussed by the sheer volume of hooks being tossed their way- a lot of them without bait, either.   It’s all very interesting, really. Now, if you’ll excuse me, back to Proust.

Veteran’s Day

It has been a really fun day around here, Gentle Reader.  The guys across the road let their dog bark the sun up so that provided just the wonderful element we needed to face yet another day, blearily.  They responded like a$$#@^$ and it remains to be seen what the next installment will be.  The dog is really the only one there who manifests any signs of intelligence so it’s a bit dicey.

The car crash of earlier in the week continued reverberating a bit, we were out of milk and it’s cold and gray.  Veteran’s day depresses me, actually, because I think of everything it means, involves, the pain and suffering and sacrifice and service- usually, it seems to me at least in my lifetime, in service of something I absolutely do not and cannot agree with.  I totally support our service members but it breaks my heart to see the use they are put to.   Integrating back into any society, much less this one, can only be challenging beyond what the average person can even begin to imagine after such a set of experiences as combat involves.  So I’m depressed and angry and sad.  As an alternative modality practitioner, I think I have things to offer in this arena that would be positive and helpful.  It’s pretty hard to get anybody to listen, so far.  The Partner has his own question.  Knowing what will happen to you when you’re in the military, yet going anyway?  I think the Iraq Vets Against the War deserve all the support we can give them- they are on the right page and their message needs to be heard.   The rich cannot be allowed to throw the bodies of their country people into the conflagrations caused by their greed.  Oversimplification, yes.  Essentially true? Yes.

Meanwhile, Herman Cain continues to astound.  He made a joke referring to Anita Hill.  This is a person you want running ANYTHING? SERIOUSLY? A JOKE ABOUT ANITA HILL?  This man is, astonishingly, really an actual jerk.  It’s all pretty scary today, in short.  We hope that tomorrow will provide enough mood elevation to involve baking.  That’s usually a good thing to do to restore perspective- today, just not up to it.

It Goes Round and Round

I think my sense of humor is hiding somewhere with the dust elephants.  Just an alert.

I DID get up again today, against all sane advice, and found that my order of glass jars for Christmas product making arrived yesterday, packed in styrofoam pellets.  Which you can’t do a damn thing with except palm them off on the next person.  So, I don’t use styrofoam anything of course, can’t recycle these things either.  I called the supplier and they said that yes, I had told them before to use paper only, waiving any damage claims should something get broken, but they couldn’t remember to look each time so I’d have to remind them every order.  This is precisely why everything is so EFFED UP.  How hard would it be, Gentle Reader, for people to stop using all this harmful stuff to begin with.  Save the earth, how about it? Packing materials would still have to be made- perhaps it’s about the profit margin.  You think?  Anyway I’ve still got a veritable pile of “regular” plastic to lug to the recycle place because we bought an overhead light for the kitchen (WAHOOO! LET THERE BE LIGHT!) and some other things, all encased in plastic. For no, I might add, apparent reason.  We only get money for beer cans and bottles, sadly.  But at least they take the plastic stuff and recycle it so it’s worth it to bother, in my mind.  Now, if I could get cash for empty wine bottles?  Fat City.  And if there were something to be done with those frigging styrofoam pellets….Still.  So many people get all this stuff and don’t dispose of it properly.  Such a simple thing could be done in this instance and make such a huge difference for the whole world.  The Heifer International magazine came yesterday too, and it had an article about how much FOOD gets tossed, and the melancholy result of that?  There actually IS enough food to feed everyone at this point.  Except for the wastage and the, what I shall call, Styrofoam Pellet Syndrome.  So we have a crudded up environment and hungry people.  For no good reason except that apparently no one along the line wants to read the Essential Operating Instructions.   Keep it simple and share.  How hard is that?  (OH, I KNOW.  It’s HARD.)

Meanwhile, I was perversely cheered to see that my dear friend, who lives essentially at the opposite end of the hemisphere from us, had green water the same day we did.  We’ve known each other for a long time and have ended up in similarly rural situations, which is interesting.  It really did help to feel less like I’m encased in a dayglo, glow in the dark, flashing arrow laden bullseye.  Heck.  ANYBODY could have green water!

It Never Stops

We’re speechless here, really.   I’m wondering if a month on a warm beach would even begin to help.

First there was The Cricket.  Who lodged himself variously around the yurt and began emitting the loudest cricket sounds I’ve ever heard in my life, nightly (or morningly) for a week starting at about 2:30 a.m.  I think the frogs may have eaten him finally.  Or perhaps he froze.

Which led, MAYBE, to yesterday’s Fun With Water.  It seems as though the light freezes at night froze our pex plumbing tubing in addition to perhaps dispensing with the loudmouth cricket.  When it thawed the algae in the tube shook loose and produced the psychedelic effects we witnessed yesterday.  YEUGH, in short.

But then.  There was a very loud crash which turned out to be a car/water pump fracas across the road, which The Partner saw through binoculars from up on the bluff, raced down and took off to the rescue thereof.  That took some time.  Now, today, we’re getting the flyovers from whoever it is who looks for “illegal immigrants” and the noise is making our tattered nerves vibrate.  Our landlady is building a temple of sorts on the aforementioned  bluff above us and we’re waiting for the wild pigs to find it and declare game on.  Which should be any dawn now.

I HAD NO IDEA.  This is hands down the weirdest place I’ve ever lived.   I think I like it.

AY YI YI

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.

Whirled Bears

That is pretty much IT in a nutshell, Gentle Reader.  I’ve finally realized, as of today, that I simply cannot maintain organization as a continuing state.  It is as though someone, somehow, goes through everything when I’m occupied elsewhere and renders it largely chaotic.  Probably the same someone who twists every cord on everything I use into something beyond recognition.  It just happens.  I find mail (important of course) I haven’t opened, the refrigerator is verging on needing FEMA attention, and I finally made a list today, just to be able to cross something off it and feel as though…Something Got Done.  Next week I’ll have to face The Laundry Again and that means biting the bullet and finding a dryer.  Somewhere.  Taken separately none of these things are the stuff deal breakers are made of.   But when you add a few real life dilemmas, quandaries, quagmires and pains in the butt it really just makes a person want to go back to bed.  Instead of attempting to reduce the stack of things being worked on sitting on the one and only table, or doing something about the freezer besides crossing myself every time I pass it.

Part of it is just exhaustion, of course.  It’s been a strenuous life and the past two years have been beyond anything that happened before. Which is saying something.  So.  We’re tired.  Then there are all the projects and things that must be done to keep body and soul together in all the ways that needs to be done.  Sometimes it seems as though everything is moving so fast and there’s so little one can do about it that anything beyond staying in the flow is superfluous, if not downright impossible.  Keeping one’s perspective is a full time job when you’re skating on the edge, as it turns out we all are at this point in time.  The Partner is convinced that we got stuck on one of the strings that may or may not constitute the universe, one where things are like what we know here, but not quite.  Thank God for physics, really.  It can bring you right back around when those woozy fits hit.   Like today, when I’m, in theory, Working and Doing Things and I Know What I’m Talking About.

Anyway last night as I was in the garden cutting some herbs for dinner, Tyrant the Hummingbird appeared out of nowhere, as he is wont to do.  He looked at me from beside the feeder  for some time, then apparently deciding that I needed to be actually told what to do about that feeder (fill it up! HUNGRY HUMMINGBIRD ON SITE) he buzzed over to where I was standing, and in a series of loudly sound tracked pirouettes and tail moving semi mid air standstills came to within six inches of my face.  We looked into each other’s eyes and it was astounding.  As usual.  The color! The feathers! The EYES!  They have coloration around them that is probably to make them look fierce, and having one hover right in front of your nose is just the tiniest bit unnerving.  They have a rather commanding presence.  But he was just showing off and playing of course and I humbly went and filled the feeder, thinking all the while how amazing it is that a hummingbird is more or less telling me what to do. Of course sometimes I feel like SOMEBODY better tell me what to do, but still.   That he can make the connection and act on it is food for thought indeed.  Not that I’m surprised or anything but I did have a moment of thinking, listen here you birds!!!! I am not the avian slave girl!!! You don’t get to boss me around.  And, well, ha ha to that of course.  I came in with the empty feeder and the parrots reminded me that it was time for their crackers and coming out, dinner and dancing as per usual, and why didn’t I just hurry up.  In the end everyone got their needs met, even us.  Balance restored for the moment.  Dancing always helps.

 

The World According to Secret Squirrel

The rules appear to be changing every moment these days.  It makes it hard to come up with a plan, Gentle Reader, very hard indeed.  We’re in something way beyond wild, and it isn’t even fun.  Which to me, makes it verge on being sinful.  Things have to at least be fun at least part of the time, after all.    Also, there aren’t really any coincidences.  But the fine hand of creepiness is to be found in everything these days and it doesn’t lend itself to a sanguine interpretation of things.  We have been trying to finish up some business matters here at happy acres and one thing after another has gone sideways; it’s almost like the people we are dealing with are talking like Brad Pitt did in that movie where he was an Irish boxer.  We’re standing there alertly saying HUH? WHA? It is also as though the whole movement to devalue labor and work that has proceeded apace in this country has inserted itself into every single nook and cranny of everything, even self employment in the gulag.  It’s weird.  I’ve decided not to get upset about it but this is only after several days of decompensation.   This constant conversation with impending disaster gets old.  Then again, it all just means it’s time to look at it a different way.  Which for me means, on almost every level, JUST SAY NO.

As in.  Yesterday the phone rang and it was some yo yo- maybe one of the NEW! 80,000 JOBS! “created” last month- who claimed he was from my phone service carrier. I knew he wasn’t because my caller ID, unlike this particular caller, doesn’t generally lie.    He said something about how the records showed my phone usage was X.  I said, uhm, no actually they don’t.  And he just hung up.  Just saying no right at the beginning meant I didn’t have to waste more time telling him he was lying and attempting to commit fraud.  I bagged the internet stuff with my website too.  It took me 45 minutes to just continue to say “no” to get them to stop their non-service, and also their billing.  I’d already spent five hours on the phone with them, they hadn’t done anything they said they’d do to any degree of completion.  It seemed to me that if they’d put the same effort into delivering the service that they put into selling it, there might be something there.  As it was, it was just another opportunity for me to pay somebody to, essentially, do nothing.   Another know me fee.  To which I say, no, thank you.

It does seem as though there is some kind of convulsive thing happening, this beast we’re living in is starting to try and eat itself and I am not interested in being part of that buffet.  But it’s everywhere, all over the world.  So much time gets wasted in the name of…of what?  Ten phone calls and you still don’t have completion.  Days go by and everything is just blowing in the wind.  The powers that be are…still in power.  People pretend they’re busy, spend time online, whatever it is.  But nothing is getting done, really.  This is one big bubble.  I swing back and forth between those two eternals, hope and fear.  We are where we are, and what is, is.  But that deep inner equanimity is in short supply around here these days.

Harmonic Oscillation

This is the technical, and I think much more lovely, term for washboarded roads.  Apparently this is inevitable on an unpaved dirt road, these waves of dirt and shape that take form while people drive over them.   Apparently the speed at which you drive isn’t critical; driving slowly doesn’t inhibit this formation.  I can’t imagine that driving like a bat out of hell helps either, but WHAT DO I KNOW.  We have harmonic oscillation on an operatic scale here, anyway.

Every time we have to go anywhere, including our neighbors houses, we must pass over these sound and movement shaped things and it is more and more like driving over mountain ridges.  So I wasn’t surprised to learn that I need an alignment job on the trusty Subaru.  Not happy, either, but there it is.  I’m happy it isn’t a full suspension job but that is no doubt looming on the horizon somewhere- perhaps in a low spot on the harmonically oscillating plane of life, just waiting to leap up.

Anyway, one nice part of the oscillatory journey is passing the place where The Chub Group lives.   The Chub Group is four pygmy billy goats; one is somewhat polka dotted, the others are white and grey and mottled black.  They have splendid horns and eyes, too, even though they are very, very, very short.  It’s disorienting to look from the ground up, these tiny legs leading to stout bodies and then!  The heads!  HORNS! Solemn noses!  During the summer we didn’t see them often because they were lounging back in the shade out of sight.  In the winters though they are always out in their yard eating.  Always.  There’s a big pile of rusted metal in the middle of their space and sometimes they eat that.  Other times they’ll drape themselves over it after midday to soak up the heat.  It is so easy to picture them sauntering out of some Club, smoking cigars, heading out to run/ruin things with those yellow captain of industry eyes they have.  They’ll sit in a circle, or stand in one, and you just know they’re discussing Something Important.  They always make me laugh.

Continuing on down the road, the two lustrous calves seem to mostly relax under the big tree in their area.  They are usually lying down, with the black one resting its chin on the red one, just gazing off.  They always make me wonder what they’re thinking.  Across the road from them is the colt- not quite a yearling yet- who is still working out how the four legs work, still bugging its mom for milk, following the other horses in an important, look at me! See what I’m doing! I CAN PRANCE sort of way.  The yoga doing goats next to them are far back in a field now and I can only assume that the babies who were practicing their jumping in May have now become Full Fledged Goats, well on their way to running someone’s life.

Anyway, even way out here Real Life is inescapable, and often hugely dislocating in the midst of nature which continues to do its thing regardless of the stupid stuff humans do.   There’s the oddity of balancing the sure knowledge of the enormity of everything, the transitory nature of US, with the intensity of what happens in life, what is happening, and trying to remain calm in the face of what looks like is coming down the road toward one.   Despite my vow to abjure “news” for a while, my dear friend posted something on Facebook, which I already knew but still.  The U.S. has five percent of the world’s population.  It has TWENTY FIVE percent of the world’s prison population.  Broken down that means roughly one in five people in this country is in the slammer.  So? I think this means it’s either incredibly dangerous here in the U.S.of A., or our power apparatus is crazy.  If the latter, then both statements are true.  Maybe that’s why I went to college- to be able to figure things like that out.  What I come to, can’t always stick to implementing, is that the only response to this is to acknowledge it and then not carry on with the mindset that allows such things to happen.  It always boils down to money, of course.  Prisons are things that are traded on the stock exchange, after all.  Their “owners” make money now that so many are “privatized.”  So that’s pretty sick if you ask me.  Also, prisons are fantastic sources of essentially free labor- you’re housing and I suppose you could say feeding the prisoners, but you aren’t paying them for what you have them do.  Plus you have a steady supply of people who are not acclimated to life on the outside, if they ever get there, so no worries about supply of bodies.  Win win for Mr. Big once again.  Mostly I feel almost sick unto death about all this stuff- but then I see the Chub Group and hope springs eternal.  Which it must if we are to move into the light from this ever darkening dark.