Wednesday, September 9, 2009

If only my work sanctioned naps

My work let me spend a half day volunteering in a local garden that produces fresh food for a lot of needy families in the area; they don't have any paid staff, so the head volunteer told me and a few coworkers we'd be harvesting food (I thought, "yay!"), and then had us engage in the yucky work of stomping around in compost and raking in another layer of rotting vegetables (I saw a rotting piece of fish skin somewhere in there--smelled just delightful) onto the heap (a plot about 25'x8').

Throwing on a top of rotting leaves, I was standing on an embankment trying to stay away from the stuff I'd just been stomping in, and when I threw leaves, my feet slid out from under me. My left foot landed in a puddle of compost juice up to my ankle before my body slid down into it, covering my left side up to the hips. I walked around smelling of anything from fish and veggies to manure.

After finishing with the compost, we finally started in with the promised harvesting...of stew celery! Apparently, you don't cut the stalks at the bottom; rather, you need to get below the bulbous portion where the stalks overlap, into the roots, and tap off excess dirt, with the idea of saving time washing up in minty green bathtubs set up as vegetable washtubs. My job was to hose them off, taking care not to leave any little spiders and their nests intact, then drop them in the washtub full of water, then into a box to be stacked into the back of a truck and shipped out to a warehouse, there to be cut up, frozen, and stored for the winter. Needless to say, by the time I got home, I was stinky, sweaty and drenched, with my sneakers squishing every time I walked.

I didn't know how to explain it to my client when I showed up for my appointment a little late due to my having to stop home for a shower, so my attempt was more like, "Mrs. Customer, I'm SO sorry, I spent this morning working in a garden and I would have been here on time if I hadn't fallen into a rather large puddle of compost juice."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Rated R

I have been having dreams of people being hacked by machetes or samurai swords for the last month, perhaps as a side effect of watching a higher than normal number of bloody movies (one of which was Alien vs Predator). Last night's specialty involved a cabin that doubled as an old, unattended church and parsonage at the top of one of the mountains on the Olympic Peninsula. For some reason, I and my family go out there to check up on things, and realize that the caretaker's gone, pretty recently, as evidenced by some still-fresh bananas on the kitchen counter. Another car pulls up, and it's this other family that I don't recognize, but apparently my family does, and they're there to help us clean things up. Only, toward the end of the cleaning-up of the place, I realize all the lights are off and I'm in this maze-like basement with nobody in the house, so I go to a casement window and see a spray of blood on the side of my family's car, and over by the other car, that family's dad is just finishing up whacking something off on one of my family's I'm trying to sneak out of the house--at which point I wake up.

The frightening part was that the dream continued once I returned to bed from a middle-of-the-night bathroom break, beginning with my escape that involved trying to get out of there by way of the bloodied family vehicle, seque-ing into another version in which a floorboard in the basement lifts (for some inexplicable reason, the basement has hard-wood floors), and as I peer in, a flurry of hands reach out quickly, slapping over my mouth to prevent screaming, and they pull me in, shutting the floorboard behind me...and I'm not afraid of THEM; I'm afraid of any noise it might have made, as some giant scary man, the leader of the other family, is standing in the basement now, holding a bloody machete. What if he realizes there's another way out?

The dream never did resolve itself, and I never did fully escape, although the escape routes became weirder and weirder as the night wore on.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Red Eye in Caffeine

With four minutes to go before 2am, the Dude sleeping on the sofa with his book still on his chest and the dog still crammed into his side, I'm still rocking and rolling with the caffeine Fiend still in my body somewhere, keeping me wiiiiiiide awake. I'm hardly complaining, though; I finished a rough draft of an article on Tamara de Lempicka that I hope'll be up soon. The Art Series should begin again, as I'm feeling inspired lately.

Since I'm up anyway, I might as well relate some of what's been going on in my head. With access to current events and news all but cut off, most of what happens in the world trickles down to my consciousness by way of the final outcome: gas prices are up again, unemployment's at an all-time high in my area, and the local stores have been blasting Michael Jackson's Thriller by way of tribute to the late entertainer, who, by the way, I found out was dead after it'd been on the news for a full 10 hours by way of a text.

So forgive me when I say I've heard that the state of California voted to uphold the ban on gay marriage. It's old news by now, but it still stuns me that the most liberal state in the Union is still comprised of a majority of bumblefucks who seriously feel it's their right to dictate the happiness of others. I still can't believe this was an item up for vote. Shouldn't we all realize by now it's a matter of human rights?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Land of Poor and Deviltry

DISCLAIMER: All information contained herein has been altered to protect the identity of myself, my subjects and my employer. The stories are true; the names may be changed.

She sat at my desk, hands folded in her lap. I stared at the bags under her eyes, wrinkled so as to resemble dragon scales--little microscopic triangles of skin with the points hanging downward, discolored reddish-brown and contrasting with the rest of her face, otherwise pleasant and free from lines. She had little blue eyes, nice and kind. With her old-lady red jacket, she evoked an image of my mother in ten years.

Pulling at a corner of her jacket swathed around her neck, she exposed a patch of skin, "I divorced my husband--ten years of marriage, and this is what did it in. I didn't stay with him for the kids; I divorced him to stay friends for the kids." She tilted her neck slightly to show me a scar at the base of her ear. "He just rammed the knife in there. See this scar?" this time, showing me the batwing webbing between her thumb and forefinger, showing me the scar that ran up and over the hill. "If I hadn't grabbed it, well, the doctor said just another half inch and he'd have got my jugular vein" pronouncing it "jagular."

How we'd gotten from our pleasantly mundane banking business of closing a savings account to attempted homicide and marital dissolution, I don't know, but I couldn't pull my eyes away from hers that looked back at mine gravely as she nodded serenely.

"The police came and took him to jail, but he didn't stay long. He was out a day later, threatening to come after me. I tell you, I moved out of that town as fast as I could. They never did hold anything on him. He had such an angry temper; a couple years after that, they found a couple out in that bit of woods south of town, they called it a hunting accident. I ask you, he was wearing a bright orange sweater and she was wearing a yellow one--how can it be a hunting accident?"

The town was Oakridge, Oregon, and it was, she said, a place where bad things happened. A friend of hers nearly escaped being shot as she walked out of a building. A coworker later told me of a customer who needed records of an ATM transaction ASAP, the transaction taking place in Oakridge, where she'd been accused of stealing money.

Trying to lighten things up, I said brightly, "well, that settles it. I'm never going to Oakridge!" Bless her heart, she just nodded more gravely than ever and said, "that's a bad place to be."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Note, Notate, Notarize

I am going to be a notary in the State of Oregon.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Legally Insane

I'm breaking out, I've scratched every square inch of my body, my nails are ragged (although long, for a change), I've a constant headache, and to top it off, I'm constipated. With any luck, Monday will come and go without a disaster, and Sir and I can go back to our regularly scheduled unfunny lives.

I wish I were at liberty to talk about this latest slew of problems, but with one of us breaking down every other day and the other going silently crazy trying to avoid even the mention of it, I'm stuck with a plea for understanding and kind thoughts. And maybe some good legal advice.