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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

they took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum

I had a whole big thing typed about how I stopped eating dessert a couple of weeks ago, but people who go on sugar fasts, even weak ones like I'm doing, are usually insufferable.  So never mind.

I finally milked Hazel and Sally last week, and felt very virtuous and provident living-y.  I decided not to get that beautiful blue roan goat.  What with the goats being even more pet than asset than usual this year, I just couldn't justify it.  This also made me feel virtuous and provident.  Also mature.  One of the problems with me is that I have to do so little to feel incredibly self-congratulatory.  Like I ever do anything that's actually challenging or commendable!  But I also frequently feel ashamed at my sheer uselessness, so I think it balances out in the end.  

The thing about Joan Baez is that she has such a gorgeous voice, but she is kind of a downer.  It's like listening to the Civil Wars--you can only take so much before you start eating your feelings. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

leave me the birds and the bees

Should I get another goat?  It is true what you're saying, that I don't need one.  But she is a blue roan!  I know I already have a blue roan, but Minerva is standoffish and I want a friendly one.  I will think about this. 

How do all of you do with difficult intra-familial conversations?  My results are mixed.  I like that my family doesn't yell and fight, but we also tend to avoid talking about Important Topics unless we already know we're in agreement.  And who wants to be in a echo chamber all the time?  Conversely, who wants to be with a bunch of self-important windbags who only want to discuss Important Topics anyway?  Best to not talk at all I guess.  Or only talk like Mayor Quimby's bodyguards: 
Ernie:  "Is there anything fluffier than a cloud?"
Big Tom:  "If there is, I don't want to see it." 
There's an innocuous conversation for you. 

I've got my half-gallon jar of beet kvass fermenting on the counter.  It should be ready by now, but it still tastes pretty bland.  I'm going to give it another twelve hours I think.  Last week we went to Lagoon and during the afternoon when we were all hot and thirsty and whiny Willa asked if she could drink some pickle juice, and I thought, "That sounds sick . . . wait a minute, that sounds great."  So I drank some pickle juice and it cheered me right up.  It's surprisingly refreshing when you're sweating like a musk ox.  Beet kvass is the same way--sometimes it just hits the spot. 

Earlier this week I went to the pawn shop looking for a snare drum for Emmett.  They didn't have one, but they did have a beautiful Seagull guitar that I itched for just a little bit.  I love the pawn shop.  It's such a great slice of humanity in there.  You can get so many wonderful things, and every one of those wonderful things will serve as a constant reminder of the folly of living beyond your means and that you're only one step removed from the pawn shop yourself.  The ciiiiiircle of liiiiiiiife! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

just want your heart, yeah, oh-oh

So it wasn't until I got old enough to start reading cooking and lifestyle magazines that I ran up against the wall that is what most people think of as strawberry shortcake is served on biscuits.  BISCUITS.  Nobody even talked about sponge cake, which is how my mom serves it and is better than biscuits, but worse than the real, true way, which is angel food cake.  And you wouldn't believe how alien this concept is--I've introduced it to scores of people who always look a little crestfallen when I say we're having strawberry shortcake, and then when they eat what I've brought they rave and exclaim with wonder about how wonderful it is, and as my brother-in-law would say:  Let's be clear.  It's not some great talent on my part that's doing it--it's the fact that angel food cake--any angel food cake--is immeasurably better than whatever shenanigans people are trying to pull with those dry biscuits.  I get that angel food cake is not technically a "short" cake from a baking perspective, but come on.  Knock that biscuit crap right off. 

My sister-in-law who is like the internet curator of our family sent me a link to the awesomest song  because she heard it and thought of me and now I am learning it on the guitar.  I don't know if you'll love it the way I do, but you can probably guess why it made Emily think of me. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

bag of blood

We're watching Oblivion with Grant and Emmett (so far very interesting, although with a little bit of clunky dialogue), and last night I went to look it up on Wikipedia, because I enjoy reading movie plot descriptions, and there on Wikipedia's main page is a little blurb that's all "by the way, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is going strong and over 460 people have died," all calm and detached like this is not the beginning of the End Times.  I didn't even know there was an outbreak, let alone that nearly 500 people have died from it.  I read The Hot Zone as an impressionable teenager, and ever since then I have been waiting on tenterhooks for Ebola to truly emerge and just lay waste to every population, human and animal, on the entire planet.  What a nightmare.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I forgive you for all that you ain't

You guys.  I was a poll worker today.  It was fun, if somewhat hot, with a few boring slow patches.  But we got over a hundred voters, which I think is pretty good for a primary election.  I love being involved in civic governance!  And supposedly I even get paid, which is awesome.

There were a few frustrations, though.  It wasn't all peaches and cream.  There was a little gentle encouragement for me to affiliate as a Republican so I could vote in the primary, but I was steadfast and just explained to them that I refuse to be put in a box.  There were a few real cut-ups who made remarks about the President--the "worst president this country has ever had"--and one of them tried to get me to join in with him because I guess he is a jerk who thinks that everyone else agrees with him all the time.  I tried ignoring him, but he badgered and badgered and kept saying, "Don't you think?  Don't you think the machine isn't letting me vote because I talked bad about Obama?"  Finally I just smiled politely with somewhat gritted teeth and said "I'm sorry, but we're not actually allowed to discuss politics." Ugh.  Then the two other ladies who were working with me wanted talk about Kate Kelly's excommunication, and they just kept picking at it and picking at it, making some quite frankly sexist and uninformed comments, and finally I had to shut that down.  I tried very hard to be tactful in my wet-blanket-throwing, but for crying out loud, am I the only one who read my poll worker's handbook about not discussing controversial topics at the polling location?  TACKY TACKY TACKY.  I have many thoughts about this issue, obviously, but that was so very much not the time and place for a nuanced discussion about it. 

I am getting a little bit sick of June.  Gone too much, too much.  I feel like I have done nothing but drive for three straight weeks.  My poor goats barely recognize me, and I haven't even milked them yet.  I wonder if I even remember how. 

I think maybe I can't eat dinner anymore.  It always makes me feel sick and bloated clear until the next morning.  Is this what it means to get old?  How will I eat all the fun things if I have only two meals a day? 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Luke, I'm your father. It is useless to resist.

 Last night Grant and I went to the Neon Trees concert while John went with the other kids to a family wedding dinner.  So Grant was the cool kid hanging out with his mom.  It was his first real concert, and he got pretty bored with the opening acts and especially the interludes between bands.  I think he was a little weirded out by the idea of jumping around and sweating and shouting lyrics with a bunch of strangers.  But he loosened up eventually and we had a great time.  Good enough that he said, "When I get a phone and a car I'm going to come to places like this by myself so I can meet girls."  As though I'm not a good wingman!  Girls love boys who go to concerts with their moms.  And yea, verily, it was a great concert and there was much rejoicing.  Seeing a band live is always a crapshoot--the sound quality is really unpredictable, and I pretty much hate the live version of any song.  But Neon Trees is a good gamble--they sound terrific live.  Would do business again.

Now I'm off to girls' camp and it's a cold, rainy day.  Should be a party.  Is it too braggy to take my guitar?  I hope not.  I don't want to play for everyone/anyone, but tinkering around the campfire is a big part of the reason I got a guitar in the first place.  Plus it's been two weeks since I've practiced and boy, does it show.  I'm going to sleep in my car because I live in privileged circumstances that afford me the freedom to not sleep in a tent if I don't want to. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

my heart's on fire for elvira

Last week we were in Mexico.  We ate all the tacos.  We drank so much soda pop.  I bought the biggest glass mixing bowl I have ever seen.  We found a dead seagull at the beach and Grant spent about twenty minutes trying to fling it into the ocean without touching it.  I bought another calavera (the black one is the new one). 

I don't know how "authentic" these terra cotta skulls are--I suspect they're just a silly touristy thing, rather than something that people actually use when celebrating Dia de los Muertos, but I love calaveras so much.  The painting is so creamy and colorful, and I love what the designs symbolize.  I love the tradition of Dia de los Muertos and would like to research it more, since it dovetails nicely with some of my Mormon beliefs.  I love that the guy we bought the calavera from went into an elaborate lie story about how he paints them all by hand, back at his house, and tomorrow is his painting day, etc.--which is why all the calaveras in all the shops look exactly the same, don't you know.  I realize that I'm tempting fate by buying another one because before long people are going to be like, "Oh, get her something with skulls on.  She's the skull lady."  And they'll try to give me skull kitchen towels and skull salad tongs and skull napkin rings and skull dishes.  Just stop right there, amigos.  We're going to keep doing things the same way we always have, which is with me being the one who decides what comes into this house. 

Where on the scale of cultural appropriation have I landed with the purchasing of the calavera things?  Hopefully closer to the "creepy, but I see where you were going" end than the "you are a malignant harvester of other people's identities" end.

All our baby goats are born now, and they're all boys, harrumph.  One of Sally's is a roan and we may leave him intact for future siring needs.  If so we'll call him Tyrone.  The others are all bound for the auction or the chop, and I'm not even going to name any of them this year.  None of them have captured my heart like Tex or Roger.

The lazy chickens who have never laid any eggs finally started laying while we were gone.  So either they were just really slow developers, or they were eating the entire egg plus shell, or they were too traumatized by last year's skunk attack to start laying before now.  Who knows?  At least they're finally earning their keep.